Saturday, August 25, 2018

Recovery from Trauma

Adverse Events can mark us for life. This is especially true when a child loses a parent or loved one.
However, as Christians we have the ability to pray for healing of the wounds that occur deep in the hearts and minds of people traumatized by losses and offenses as children.

The brain can hold traumatic memories within that somehow cause pain forever unless unleashed by good Counseling and/or prayers. James Chapter 5 offers us insights into how our prayers can unleash us from the past. One of my favorite phrases is: "It is never too late to have a happy childhood".

The book of James builds on that assumption. For example, James counsels us to Count it all joy when we encounter various trials.

Why would that be a positive step in regaining a happy childhood? He gives the answer. Because we can choose to see growth through trials and our thankfulness allows us to seek God for a better future rather than focus compulsively on the past.

It is well known that obsessing pessimistically about past hurts and losses actually leads to anxiety and depression. However, by seeking a better way can strengthen our perseverance and builds us as Christians.

This is not suggesting that we deny past pain but that we refuse to dwell on it and dwell on ourselves as victims. Face the losses and grieve them but refuse to dwell on why it makes me a worthless victim.

Come back next time and read on about having a happy childhood.

Now, go to Sweeten Life and download one of our fantastic books that are liberating people all over the earth!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Out of the Roots Come the Fruits

I led a healing prayer service at our church for several years and people came for prayer for a wide variety of complaints. One lady, I will call Ellen, came with a request that her complaint be kept confidential. As a Minister I assured her that whatever she told us in confidence would stay that way.

Ellen poured out her story of sexual abuse and trauma by family members from childhood until she left home. She was about 20 pounds over weight and suffered from nightmares, depression and a fear of men. I hesitated to simply pray for her because her symptoms were so severe. After listening intently to her long list of traumatic events and current symptoms I asked if she had considered therapy. "Oh yes. I have been in therapy for years but all my Psychiatrist does is give me drugs. I need healing."

My female partner that night was Marie and we anointed the lady and prayed for healing of memories. Afterward, Ellen was dramatically relieved and explained that during the prayers she had felt a warm feeling inside of her chest. We suggested that she come back several times to get more "Soaking Prayer" since her trauma was so deep and long term in development.

Can you imagine how many adults are carrying around memories of deep trauma and distrust as a result of the betrayal of the evil Priests who violated their covenant with God and the young people they violated? It is shocking and startling so hear about so many Roman Catholic Priests have been involved in such awful, evil behavior. Many of the victims are likely to carry the scars for many years. Every single victim needs inner healing. (Outer healing is physical.) Healing is possible. . 

I first met adults in the 70's who suffered from sexual trauma as children and teenagers. Almost every one of them showed current signs of those past wounds. My training as a Counselor had neglected to educate us about how to treat adult victims, most of whom had never revealed their experiences to anyone else. Not only did they suffer from the trauma itself but also the False Guilt and Shame of sexual relations with a Holy Man!

From the Bitter Roots of Abuse can come the following Fruits:

Our of the heart and mind comes all kinds of emotional, relational, and spiritual dysfunctions. God has equipped each believer with the Holy Spirit to release the Love of God, the Peace of Christ, the truth of the God's Word, and the Gifts of the Spirit to "Heal the broken hearted and set the captives free. If 10% of the churches in a community offered free prayers for members and visitors many of the fruits of past trauma could be healed.

It is great to see so many churches establishing Recovery Groups which promote transparency, confession, prayers and love to help people get free from the past.

One of the most powerful books we have that can be used privately or for a small groups is Power Christian Thinking. It can be ordered he from Amazon Kindle.

Our Ministry has books, videos and seminars to equip Christians to care and counsel.

A Powerful Way to Heal the Brain

I grew up in a tiny town in southern Illinois. During WWII many of our young men were carried off to places with strange sounding names and impossible places on the map find. In my childhood the economic level we all faced was pretty grim. My dad described the situation as being a "hard scrabble existence".

When the soldiers who survived came back from the war economic opportunities improved but the mental and emotional issues worsened. A lot of the ex GI population suffered from Post Traumatic issues and had few places to go to get help.

Today, the data about an increase of people suffering with mental and emotional issues is a surprise to those of us in the Counseling professionals. While doing a Leadership and Discipleship Equipping Ministry I discovered Cognitive Therapy and how it has been used to renew the minds of many people with irrational and anxious thinking. It is a perfect fit for accomplishing the goal of Romans 12:1-2 that tells the benefits of Renewing our minds.

I beg you my friends to stop thinking like the world and be transformed by renewing your mind. 

I wrote several books and articles that individuals and churches can use to lower their anxiety, depression, and anger of people without having to see a Therapist. My latest book is called Power Christian Thinking and is on Amazon Kindle.

Thousands of men and women have shared how the book helped them stop Stinking Thinking and started enjoying life more fully!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

We have always done it that way

The United States Standard railroad gauge; the distance between rails is 4 feet, 8.5 inches, an exceedingly odd number. What caused engineers to use this gauge? Where did it come from?

  1. Why was that gauge used to build U.S. rail lines? That is the way they built them in England. English expatriates built the first U.S. railroads.

  1. Why did the English people build them like that? Because the first rail lines in Europe were designed and built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that is the gauge they used.

  1. Why did they use that gauge for trams? Because the people who designed and built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that same wheel spacing.

  1. Why did the wagons use that odd wheel spacing? Well, when they tried to use any other spacing, the wagons were prone to breaking down on the old long distance roads, because that is the spacing of the old wheel ruts.

  1. So who built these old rutted roads? The first long distance roads in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

  1. And why did the ruts come about? Roman war chariots first made the initial ruts. Since the chariots were all made to certain specifications for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

    Thus, we have the answer to the original question. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification (Military, as it were) for an Imperial Roman Army war chariot. But one nagging question still remains.

  1. Why did the design of the Roman chariots incorporate that specific wheelbase? The chariots were designed for the back ends of two Roman war-horses.

So, the modern transportation system got its original dimensions by following the rear ends of two warhorses!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Why Change is Hard

All of us realize that change is hard. It is especially hard when people have developed rituals and habits that seem to have extraordinary meaning to their members. For example, when I first went to Russia I met many people who proudly proclaimed they were Russian Orthodox. However, after some discussion it was clear they were also atheists who were born and reared in the days of atheist USSR when actually believing in God was dangerous.

Many Russians are very proud of the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church was founded over 1000 years ago! That, my friend, is a long time! So, the Russian people felt great pride in their history and culture. As a result, many agnostics and atheists proclaimed their heart felt allegiance.

Several years ago I was pretty optimistic about being a change agent. I had gone to school and learned to be a change agent with kids in school: I thought every kid could learn and wanted to learn. Even more optimistically, I thought I could motivate parents to insist that their kids try to learn! It is hard for "leaders" to lead change.

I attended Graduate School and learned about psychology and motivation. I got a position in a college at the same time kids wanted to have free sex, free drugs, and engage in riots. I tried to foster change, but Change is hard! 

I went into to ministry and sought the Holy Spirit as I tried to motivate people to come to Christ and live a holy life. Change is hard!

In order to be a success as a change agent we must pray, be patient, and humble! God alone is the only real change agent. Do you know why? Change is hard!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Innocent Until Proven Guilty By Gossip in the Media

It is difficult to keep your job and your reputation if you are famous and accused of a crime. There are individuals and special interest groups that will destroy us if we seem to be a vulnerable target. 

Men accused of "sexual harassment" are especially vulnerable. If they are in college the hanging will very likely be swift and filled with hysterical accusations but little if any right to a fair trial. There are numerous cases of false chargers against male groups that ended with complete exoneration weeks after the organization and its members were hounded, publicly scorned, and punished academically. 

A fraternity at the University of Virginia was accused of sexual attacks against a young woman in Rolling Stone Magazine. The group was sanctioned by the President and the members attacked by the President. The fraternity and all men were found to be innocent and the magazine and woman who charged them to found to be lying. The president of Virginia attacked the organization and the men and yet was never held accountable. She recently retired with no regrets. 

When I serve as Associate Dean of Students at Cincinnati we were always careful to give every student due process if he or she was accused of wrongdoing. But with great pressure from the Obama administration due process was not applied and many schools are now having to pay millions of dollars for following the DC demands. 

We cannot afford to allow the mantra of "Innocent until proven guilty" to become "Innocent until accused by gossipy liars, and social media". 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Are Dads Important to Healthy Kids?

New MUHC research highlights the value of fathers in both neurobiology and behaviour of offspring

Published: 4 Dec 2013

Even with today’s technology, it still takes both a male and a female to make a baby. But is it important for both parents to raise that child? Many studies have outlined the value of a mother, but few have clearly defined the importance of a father, until now. New findings from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) show that the absence of a father during critical growth periods, leads to impaired social and behavioural abilities in adults. This research, which was conducted using mice, was published today in the journal Cerebral Cortex. It is the first study to link father absenteeism with social attributes and to correlate these with physical changes in the brain.

“Although we used mice, the findings are extremely relevant to humans,” says senior author Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, a researcher of the Mental Illness and Addiction Axis at the RI-MUHC and an associate professor at the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. “We used California mice which, like in some human populations, are monogamous and raise their offspring together.”

“Because we can control their environment, we can equalize factors that differ between them,” adds first author, Francis Bambico, a former student of Dr. Gobbi at McGill and now a post-doc at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. “Mice studies in the laboratory may therefore be clearer to interpret than human ones, where it is impossible to control all the influences during development.”

Dr. Gobbi and her colleagues compared the social behaviour and brain anatomy of mice that had been raised with both parents to those that had been raised only by their mothers. Mice raised without a father had abnormal social interactions and were more aggressive than counterparts raised with both parents. These effects were stronger for female offspring than for their brothers. Females raised without fathers also had a greater sensitivity to the stimulant drug, amphetamine.

“The behavioural deficits we observed are consistent with human studies of children raised without a father,” says Dr. Gobbi, who is also a psychiatrist at the MUHC. “These children have been shown to have an increased risk for deviant behaviour and in particular, girls have been shown to be at risk for substance abuse. This suggests that these mice are a good model for understanding how these effects arise in humans.”

In pups deprived of fathers, Dr. Gobbi’s team also identified defects in the mouse prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that helps control social and cognitive activity, which is linked to the behaviourial deficits.

“This is the first time research findings have shown that paternal deprivation during development affects the neurobiology of the offspring,” says Dr. Gobbi. These results should incite researchers to look more deeply into the role of fathers during critical stages of growth and suggest that both parents are important in children’s mental health development.

About the study 

The paper in the journal Cerebral Cortex entitled Father absence in the monogamous California mouse impairs social behavior and modifies dopamine and glutamate synapses in the medial prefrontal cortex, was authored by Francis Bambico (First author) from the Behavioral Neurobiology Laboratory, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto; Baptiste Lacoste, Patrick Hattan and Gabriella Gobbi from the Neurobiological Psychiatry Unit, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal. Cerebral Cortex is published by Oxford University Press.

This work was supported by the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec (FRSQ), and fellowships from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and from the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University.