- Dr. Timothy Sumerlin - Denver, CO, USA • May 12, 2021
I learned a few lessons about mental health from people who have very few resources during the pandemic and have to find other ways to cope:
1) People are eager to learn. I've been privileged to travel around the world for my In Motion Counseling workshops. During the pandemic I have met with over 40 different nations and cities to teach on Zoom. In some cities, it is very difficult to attend these kinds of meetings, whether in person or virtually. Despite challenges, people come to learn and to share. Many arrive early and stayed late. Most took notes and asked great questions. A very important feature of mental health challenges is to learn as much as you can about your issue. Read books. Listen to podcasts. Ask questions. Read more books and articles.Knowledgeis indeed power.
2) They come bearing gifts. I have never received so many gifts as when I travel to other countries. Coffee mugs. Baskets of fruit, candies, cheeses, and meats. Books about their city. Candy bars and cards. Giving gifts indicate a grateful heart. When we learn or receive from others, the natural response is to give back. The leaders in Central America sent me a certificate and two pounds of coffee! (this is quite expensive) Check out thisarticleabout the power of giving back and mental health.
When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. – Matthew 8:14-15
3) They are well-connected to each other and their friends. Not only did the disciples show up communally, they brought their friends and family. Families were intact and people relied on each other. I sensed that this was not just a “church thing” but a life habit of theirs'. Building community while facing mental health challenges is a powerful healing aspect of our recovery.
4) They worship powerfully. Maybe it’s just the different cultures, but many disciples around the world worship powerfully. Drums, guitars, cymbals, loud voices, and hands lifted up in praise. I've been inspired. Lifting our hands, hearts, and voices to God during our challenges demonstrates a reliance and trust in the One who cares about us.
Acknowledging our challenges while worshiping changes our hearts and minds and is a powerful witness to others on the care and compassion of our God.
Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them—
they are counted among the blessed in the land—
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness. – Psalm 41:1-3
As we finish our series on depression, allow me to summarize the route to getting better:
1) Recognize and own the problem. Spend less time on blaming yourself and others and more time on owning and solving your problem. It is energy well spent!
2) Create a social network around you for support. Find friends who care and can help– ask them to listen and thank them for doing so. Find someone you can help in the same way.
3) Educate and advocate for yourself. Read and listen to the experts. Knowledge is power and you will find yourself getting better as you learn.
4) Develop and execute a self-help plan with short- and long-term goals. Come up with your values, morals, and motivations to create plans. Some plans are shorter (hourly, daily, weekly) and some are lifetime goals. Keep them in front of you as you travel this journey.
South Tamil Nadu Churches comprising Nagercoil Tirunelveli Tuticorin Madurai Theni and Dindigul regularly organize leadership conferences once in 3 months in different locations for the young and married leaders, upcoming leaders and family Group leaders to be equipped in serving God and to keep the mission focused. This time Madurai Church hosted the conference titled “Equipped to Serve” in their newly built Church Hall on Monday of October 23rd 2023. Small group Leaders and upcoming trainees travelled from their cities to Madurai on their own expenses to empower themselves with the fellowship and learning from each other. The hall was filled with energetic youngsters and enthusiastic leaders. Very exciting to have Chennai leaders join us for the first time. They were a special treat to watch & listen to. The meeting started with the Choir team leading some inspirational worship songs to help us connect with God and glorify Him in the beginning followed by a fabulous spot dan
Sis.Mangayarkarasi. Reena’s mother was going through a difficult health condition with her terminal cancer. She had been admitted in the hospital often for her health issues. But after a long perseverance she understood its best & better to surrender to God and accepted Jesus as her Lord.. Long time prayer answered for Reena's family & Coimbatore church. People come to Jesus at the perfect time till that let us persevere without giving up. Sis.Kamala & her children Sis.Kamala from Tuticorin Church. God’s instant answer for her prayer for her dad to walk 3 days after his leg injured accident had inspired her to know Jesus more. She started trusting God and having faith in Christ. Sadly she lost her husband 3 months back which made her more lonely and along with losing her identity in the society as a widow. taking care of 2 children will be the huge task in front of her. She decided to believe God more and took a bold decision to step up for faith in Jesus Christ
SPIRITUAL RENOVATION Fresh thoughts about following Jesus You need to forgive and move on. Right? Or maybe it’s actually very wrong. Someone has said terrible things to you, accused you, treated you harshly, possibly spiritually abused you in a church setting and now you are being told to forgive your perpetrator, because, … you know, forgiveness is what Christians are supposed to do. This scenario has played out on more than one occasion . It’s common! So how to deal with it when it comes your way? The first thing to recognize is that this kind of language is very simply an extension of the original abuse. It is a simple bid to excise the perpetrator from any repentance or restorative action. It’s a lot easier to trundle out these seven words than to perform any serious introspection. Hey, if it works five times out of ten it’s worth it. If it works one time out of ten it’s still worth it. Avoiding accountability for actions has a big payoff. But, holy smokes… the carnage. The damage.