Keep Moving

As I pondered what to share with you in this newsletter / blog, I asked the Lord “what do I share?” Immediately words from a song came to my mind… “I won’t go back; I can’t go back to the way it used to be…” So, I played and sang along with William McDowell’s song, “I Won’t Go Back.”

The focus of the song is on change. Not just any kind of change but change that comes from being in God’s Presence! When we are changed in God’s Presence, it is difficult to go back to the old way of being and doing. God does a work on the inside of us that causes us to be different!

“At that time the Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you…
You will be changed into a different person.”                                                                                                      1 Samuel 10:6, 7     

An obvious change is receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit immediately comes and takes up residence in us. He helps us to move deeper in our new life in Christ and relationship with God, The Father. The challenge is our willingness to go deeper because He will not force us. He gently guides the way, even if He is lovingly loud at times, to get our attention.

As we spend time with Jesus (the Word) and in the Presence of God we learn to recognize His voice. Jesus said “My sheep know my voice and follow it. (John 10:27) This hearing and following brings about continual change. Our human nature can make us ignore His voice in order to remain the same.  Or we do not want to face the impact that our change will have on relationships (friends and family) or activities and behaviors that we have become accustomed to.

Then there is the change that comes when we recognize assignments that God gives us along the journey or His very call on our lives. These take us out of our comfort zone requiring adjustments to our lifestyle and/or relationships. This can come with grief even amid the excitement that it brings because moving forward means leaving something… it means the new and no longer the old. And grief is normal when processed in a healthy manner. Grief that stagnates our ability to move forward with God is unhealthy. This can cause a willful not following the voice of the Lord. But if we are smart, we’ll realize that to ignore the Lord is to disobey and gives the devil place in our lives. (Ephesians 4:27).

Change is an ongoing activity in the life of one who yields themselves to God saying yes to His direction and correction. Change is a process with many transitions which can cause you to want to give up or quit because with transition comes the unknown. It requires walking by faith and not by sight. It requires choosing to trust God and not lean on human reasoning.

Has this pandemic season changed you?

Choose not to go back to the way things were… or to the way you were, but decide to move forward in victory!

The end of 1 Samuel 10:6,7 says,

…After these signs take place, do what must be done, for God is with you.”

So, go forward! Do what must be done! Some things that have happened during this pandemic season (good and not so good) are signs for you to do what must be done remembering that God is with you! He will not leave you helpless and will continue to show you the way to go! Say the following aloud to God:

“I won’t go back! I can’t go back to the way it used to be because Your Presence has changed me!”

MOVE AHEAD! 

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Click to ENROLL in HEALING OF THE SOUL MINISTER CERTIFICATION COURSE 

(HOSM) HEALING OF THE SOUL MINISTRY CERTIFICATION COURSE is an in-depth training covering the essential areas for emotional healing that are addressed in the Healing of the Soul Prayer Counseling Ministry Sessions. Trainees learn skills and gain knowledge necessary to provide effective emotional healing, renewing of the mind, dealing with negative generational patterns and behaviors as well as deliverance ministry for others. How to allow the Holy Spirit to operate in a prayer counseling session is taught and demonstrated. The course is a full review of the ministry process, including the completion and interpretation of ministry forms and information. Each trainee is prepared for their own personal prayer healing session as they are trained to become Healing of the Soul Prayer Counseling Ministers. Completion of the 40 hours training qualifies trainees to become Certified Healing of the Soul Ministers with the privilege to work (receiving pay per session) as an Assistant Minister in the Healing of the Soul Ministry sessions provided by Because of Grace Consulting & Training Services. This course is being conducted in partnership with Tidewater Bible College. COURSE TUITION is $450. Payment Plans are available.

NOTE: Attendance at each class from September 8th to November 17th, 2020 is required to become a Certified Healing of the Soul Minister.

HOSM DESCRIPTION

HEALING IF THE SOUL MINISTRY (HOSM) brings inner change, inner healing, touching deep hurts and woundedness as well as exposing and healing hidden memories and past hurts that cause negative cycles of behavior and relationship disruption. 

Anxiety, depression, stressful living, and  traumas are addressed and begin healing through the power of Jesus – His Word, His blood, God’s love and by the Holy Spirit! 

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Because of Grace Consulting & Training Services

1251 Kempsville Road Norfolk Virginia 23502

757 454-6393

info@becauseofgracects.com

 

THE PAUSE INSIDE OF THE PAUSE

The COVID19 quarantine that our nation and the world has experienced for the past almost 3 months has been termed by some, “the pandemic pause.” My pastor and many other leaders have suggested reasons for this pause, provided advice as to how to handle the pause, from the practical to relational to spiritual, as well as caution to consider what must change in your life as a result of newfound understandings or revelations discerned during the pause. It has been helpful and encouraging speaking truth into our hearts.

A thought came to me recently regarding the pause that caught my attention causing me to slow my thoughts and ask a question. The thought was, “the pause inside of the pause.” So, I asked my Teacher, the Holy Spirit (John 14:26), what is the pause inside of the pause? I received no response for a few hours. Then at a very still and quiet moment these words came to me “…turn from their wicked ways.” Those are words from 2 Chronicles 7:14.

“… if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves

and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,

then I will hear from heaven,

and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

 The interesting thing is that I had been rehearsing that verse earlier in the day after hearing it quoted by at least 2 other people. Though the focus of their mention was “pray and seek my face,” which is important, very significant, and essential to God forgiving our sin and healing our land, this was not my focus of thought. I had been thinking about “turn from their wicked ways.”

So, when the Holy Spirit finally responded to my question, I realized that He had already had me thinking about “the pause inside of the pause” before it became a thought to me. Briefly, I will share what it means to “turn from their wicked ways.”

Let me start by saying that the word “wicked” is a turn off to most Christians, especially the “good” ones : ) It sounds like you’re really bad and may remind you of the word witch! As if you are in engaging in the worst of sins. Therefore, causing you to subconsciously agree with yourself that you may have some flaws, but you’re not that bad, you’re not wicked, dismissing any connection to it.

According to the Hebrew definition, wicked does mean bad and evil. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary bad means failing to reach an acceptable standard. Evil, in a general sense, is the opposite or absence of good (vocabulary.com). Going back to the word wicked then, from a biblical perspective it implies not aligning properly with God’s standards and doing or behaving in ways that are opposing to His way of doing or behaving.

To God, Our Creator, the One who knows everything about you and me (Psalm 139), if our decision making, the way in which we conduct ourselves, and our daily lifestyles consistently are not meeting His standards, it equals “wicked ways.” If God says, walk by faith yet we live by fear, this is not living up to His standards. If God’s standard is love one another (as an aside, God’s way of loving must be taught), but we choose to love some, like others, demean, disrespect, and disregard whom we please, tolerate others and, hate a few, His standard is not being met. When we know that having other gods is not His standard, yet we idolize people, money, material things, food, even political parties, causes, and social organizations, (etcetera) anyway, well we are not meeting His standards.

Yes, witchcraft, fornication, lying, cheating, stealing, vulgar speech, killing, domestic violence, drunkenness, are wicked too, but so is jealousy, envy, pride, being mean, unforgiving, selfishness, or not standing up for righteousness and justice in your realm of influence, are considered wicked ways, too!

Saying you serve God, yet you practice or participate in things ungodly and clearly not in line with Scripture, like sorcery, mixing other religious beliefs, philosophical ideologies, or man’s doctrines within Christianity, or simply going along with the worldly flow, these, too, are all considered wicked ways! Hopefully, you get the point. There are many ways that we say are “just human” that are considered “wicked ways.”

What is needed then is a careful examining of self:

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT)

Also, a willingness to say to God “show me if there be any wicked way in me…” (Psalm 139:24) The New Living Translation says it this way, Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”  

The pause inside of the pause” requires an intentional taking

time away from the activities of your pause for self-examination.

“The pause inside of the pause” requires an intentional taking time away from the activities of your pause for self-examination.  It requires courage to be brutally honest with yourself and to allow yourself to hear what God wants to tell you about you. “The pause inside of the pause” is the “turning.” Turning point comes to mind. It is truly letting go of ways that are not God pleasing. Ways that do not align with the word, will, and way of God are what we must turn away from!

And, no more excuses, we must renounce self-pity and self-righteousness, saying no to your flesh/human nature that wants to control you! Whatever it means to you, whether seemingly big or simple or small, turn from it! God has given us a pause, and BECAUSE OF GRACEa pause within the pause. He has a plan for you and me that we will not have the empowerment necessary, the wisdom that comes through revelation, or the necessary capacity to successfully make it through what comes after the pause if we do not follow through with the pause within the pause!

God has given us His Holy Spirit, our Helper, to help us make the turn! (John 14:26) Take a pause inside of your pause, put your trust in God and let His will be done for and through you and TURN! You will be setting the stage for generations after you, those alive and to be born! TURN!

____________________________________________________________________________________________

becauseofgracects.com

for further details or information about Because of Grace Consulting & Training Services’, counseling or training services, and about the upcoming:

Healing of the Soul Certification Course in partnership with Tidewater Bible College which is scheduled to begin September 8th, 2020, onsite and online.

Contact hosm@becauseofgracects.com to be placed on the list to enroll or for enrollment information

 

Are You Ready For This?

“Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

‭‭John‬ ‭4:21-24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

As we experience the affect and impact that the coronavirus is wreaking throughout the world, it is evident that “the time has come…” A rapid change is taking place in the way we conduct church, business, relationships, school, etc.

Fortunately, technology is in place and improving to accommodate the changes that are necessary for practical survival and thriving in this new season, in this new way of life that is quickly upon us.

But are we ready for the change? Are we willing to make the necessary changes? Is there resistant within and/or stubbornness insisting continuing in on how it was and what has become comfortable?

Regardless as to how we are emotionally reacting to this change, we are pressed into a position where we have no choice but to change! The time has come when what is to be will be whether or not you or me agree!

But the best choice is to accept, humble ourselves and agree by doing what we must to more easily adjust and handle life from a different perspective. It is important to submit to the government suggestions and ordinances that are impacting the way we normally live. No longer can we stay in the old way of living. We are not given the option of fully processing these rapid changes. We must jump right in the boat and float with the waves, whether they are tumultuous or smooth and palatable! Our strength is in knowing that God is with us!

Jesus addressed the woman at the well, a woman that normally a Jew would not give a moments notice. He is demonstrating a new way. No one is better than anyone else! No one is less than anyone else! All people are accepted by God and should be accepted by His people.

Judging is not acceptable but loving with the Love of Lord is. Who do you despise? Is there a person, race, ethnicity, economic status, religious group, that you dislike, look down upon or even hate? God suggests that we hate what He hates but that we love people (in Matthew 5 Jesus tells us to love and do good to our enemies!).

After shocking the woman by talking to her, she responds with a question about worship. Actually, she was head on in addressing one of the major disagreements between them. She took courage and brought it out in the open.

What we don’t deal with, what we conceal will only cause more despise, destructive behaviors and attitudes, and gives greater place to the enemy of God (and of our souls) to wreak havoc in our lives! We must face the things that bring division or cause any negative relating or attitudes. We must admit wrong attitude, words and behavior as well as injustice as sin. Then make the appropriate responses, amends, repentance or whatever is required.

Jesus corrects the woman telling her that “the time is coming and now is…” In other words, where you do it (worship was the issue) is not the issue. The issue is that you do it and how you do it. This is our dilemma in current society.

God is demanding our attention. He is not looking for it in a building, at a conference, in a podcast, webinar, etc. These things are a matter of method. What God is looking for are people who will be like Him on earth. People who will recognize their need for Him and seek Him. People who will stand up and be who He called us to be doing the things that lead to advancing His Kingdom precepts and living out the Image in which He created us.

This is a Malachi 3:18 moment when the distinction between those who obey God and those who don’t will be clearly seen – right before our eyes! Also it is a time where God will begin to show Himself as the One in Charge especially in situations that appear impossible… He will get the glory and be lifted up!

But it is us who must recognize that this is the time! “The time has come when the true  worshippers will worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.” This is the time when His way, His will, His purpose will prevail regardless as to the events of the world or the activities of man. It is time for us to choose this day whom we will serve meaning how we will live and engage life on a daily basis. 

Some changes will be in the practical arena of life, use of technology relating to our churches, businesses, schools, retail, partnerships, etc. and changes in the mode and manner of our general living. But how we do what we do will proceed from the inside out. It will be based on a relationship with God, hearing and following His Voice on a regular basis. Then operating in a way that causes others to recognize that there is a difference between God’s way and the way of man. 

The time has come for us to fully and more completely let the Light of Jesus Christ shine by fully aligning ourselves with the way of God in every aspect of our lives no matter where that may be!

 

Note: If you do not understand the gist of this writing, it may be that you do not have a relationship with God which comes through accepting Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior. You can do that anywhere. As a matter of fact, you can do it right now by telling God that you are sorry for not pursuing a relationship with Him. Then asking Jesus Christ to come into your heart allowing Him to be your Lord & Savior. This will allow you to enter into a new way of life that equips you with the spiritual resources necessary to make it through life the way God intended from the beginning!

Call or text 757 454-6393 or send an email to rozbecauseofgrace@gmail.com if you want to share your experience, desire prayer or want to find a church in your local area to help you get greater understanding.

BOGCTS / Roz Caldwell Stanley can be reached at:

Becauseofgracects.com
                   757 454-6393 or rozbecauseofgrace@gmail.com

 

Vicarious Grief and Unresolved Pain

Vicarious
experienced in the imagination as a result of feelings or actions or experiences of another person.
Grief
deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death; emotional pain or emptiness due to loss
Traumatic Grief
 an abrupt, unexpected loss; not just mourning the loss; also traumatized by it.

Many people are vicariously grieving the recent deaths of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the 7 other people who died in the tragic helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. Before and since this traumatic incident there have been other incidents that have produced grief or trauma personally for individuals, families, groups of people, nations and globally due to relationship problems, shootings, unexpected deaths, terminal illnesses, losses of all kinds, other tragic incidences, natural disasters, national political fighting and other causes.

This means that people everywhere are hurting! There are many people carrying hidden pain and unprocessed (unhealthy or negative) thinking. This affects emotions which begin to affect attitudes, mentality, physical health, and relationships. Hidden meaning not identified, remaining in denial, suppressing or repressing the grief that is there.

Vicarious is a bit more difficult because a person doesn’t always realize they are feeling or experiencing grief or have been traumatized by an event unrelated to them personally;  that even though the incident didn’t happen to them or their family member, at some level their ability to “feel” those whom the incident does impact draws them into vicarious grief.

This is a grief that if not understood, can go unprocessed, undealt with, unresolved. Unresolved grief is unhealthy to the mind, will and emotions. It is unhealthy to the body. It is unhealthy to relationship management. It is present but under the surface with most people not recognizing or acknowledging it. Most people move on not knowing how to process what they experienced because of exposure to a stressful, hurtful, or traumatic incident burying the pain, confusion, sadness and sorrow in their souls.

Many people live life based on their emotions (which are most often fed by unhealthy undetected thoughts) making major decisions out of a “passionate” feeling not always realizing that they are reacting to a pain and/or attempting to avoid it or any future possibilities of it. This is known as (self) defense mechanisms or coping behaviors. Many defense mechanisms seem reasonable, but the underlying aim is “me protecting me for fear of that kind of pain or hurt or sadness coming again. ”  (Google search Defense Mechanisms to identify how you may be responding to grief and trauma)

Though self defense mechanisms are God given, a part of our human wiring, they were never intended to be our lifestyle… our way of living. They are temporary responses to overwhelming incidences that enable us to handle the crisis, loss, or trauma that is in our face at the moment.

Eventually, defense mechanisms / coping behaviors (which are fear-based) begin to override the authentic you that God intended you to be because of the tendency to operate out self-protection. This means that subconsciously you are always on guard against some potential inner pain. Without conscious awareness defenses or coping behaviors require the activity of our intellect, emotions, choices/day to day decision making, and our body parts. It causes a hyperarousal in our bodies that begins to injure our souls and bodies.

“Many are sick among us” not because of the sickness itself but because of the hidden unidentified and undetected thoughts and emotions that are driving our bodies to operate in a way unintended by God, Our Maker! The body tenses up or certain organs overcompensate to fuel the requirements of self-defenses.

I am presenting vicarious trauma/grief because on a daily basis we are pointed to some kind of traumatic experience that someone in our town, church, neighborhood, school or place of business has experienced. This affects us vicariously! Added to this are our own personal issues of loss, tragedy, or trauma.

Our bodies and minds were not made to carry negative but to carry Truth. Truth is what God offers us in His Word… His Word is Truth and that Word is Jesus! Further, His desire is for us to have abundant life and to be free (which comes from the inside to the outside).  So what has this got to do with vicarious trauma/grief? Well, first of all Jesus took on our sickness, grief/emotional pain and everything negative that we not have to carry it. “By His stripes we are healed!” (Isaiah 53)

We are instructed to “cast our care upon God” (1 Peter 5:7) and “to be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6-7). But how do we do this if we go through life ignoring our thoughts and feelings? This writing is to implore you to be brave, to be courageous and not give into fear as was the command to Joshua. To be willing to check yourself out! Examine yourself (2 Corinthians 13:5) to identify how you really feel and what you are really thinking.

This will take some of your TV or movie time, or whatever you do to zone out / relax yourself and forget about the issues of the day or of life. It may require the help of another who can ask questions and hear your unfiltered responses. It also requires your commitment and integrity before God in choosing to begin a new lifestyle of dealing with the inner you that fear / self-defense no longer can steal from you. That the authentic you that God created can operate to its fullest!

Often trauma healing therapy / ministry may be essential for you to get through years of unresolved traumas, emotional pain and griefs. This will take you being proactive. You being humble. You be willing. You allowing yourself to be vulnerable before God and whomever is the person, minister / therapist that you choose to walk with you. Often it is a calculated walk of trust, endurance and faith. It is a process of dealing with the losses, grief, and unidentified or unresolved issues of sadness and pain.

It is a walk that leads to wholeness, and to an authentic you who is free and able to occupy your realm of life in the way that God created you and intended for you!
You can be better; you can be healed! Inner peace and joy are on your horizon if only you choose to accept that, “yes, in some ways I have been impacted by vicarious and possibly other forms of grief, but now am choosing to face it, go through the process of healing, and get rid of it to be free, healthy and whole allowing God to carry my load!”

References:
1. Google Dictionary Online

2. Traumatic Grief: When death is sudden and unexpected by Marilyn A. Mendoza, Ph.D. Posted Jul 23, 2016 Psychology Today.

3. Grief: Living at Peace with Loss, Biblical Counseling Keys, by Hunt, June, Hope for the Heart, Dallas, TX, 2002.

4. The Many Faces of Grief: Finding the Healthy Response Workshop Presented By Rosalind M. Stanley, MA LPPC, Because of Grace Consulting & Training Services, Norfolk, VA.

_________________________________________________________________________________________
Roz Caldwell Stanley, MA, LPPC is a Licensed Professional Pastoral Counselor. She has been in the people helping field for 30 years and enjoys helping people find soul healing (mental health and emotional well-being) as well spiritual growth and depth in their relationship with the One who created them. She provides counseling, training and consulting services onsite in her Norfolk, Virginia office and anywhere in the world via her online confidential telemedicine site. Healing of the Soul Prayer Counseling Ministry is one of her specialties. Roz is wife, mother, grandmother and recently became a great grandmother! Her life and testimony give credence to the inner healing power of God that leads to a healthy, godly, joyful and (maybe not perfect but) purpose-filled life!
                                   Contact: 757 454-6393   becauseofgracects.com

I’M WATCHING YOU

I have probably mentioned in a previous blog, this story that I’m about to tell, but it is worthy of repeat. Each time that we would leave my mother’s apartment after a visit, (although she lived in a safe independent senior citizens apartment community), we’d say “close the door Mom.” So she would pretend to close the door. The hallway to the elevator was long walk before arriving at the elevator where we’d make a left and no longer be on the same hallway. Right at that point Mom would stick her head out of the door and say, “I’m watching you!” We’d all laugh, again insisting that she close the door.
As I have been encouraged, I’d like to encourage you, God, who is our Father, (1 John 3:1, Psalms 103:13) and comforts us like a loving mother (Isaiah 66:13), is watching you! He is watching you to ensure that you are okay. That you have what you need. To provide for you and help you along the way. He never slumbers or sleeps. He is always there for you!
He is also watching what you do and what you say. He knows your thoughts before you speak them. God knows you. He is watching you like a parent looks after their child making sure that they are growing properly, responding to life properly, are learning how to do a certain thing or adjust to a new environment. God is watching you. Not for bad, but for good. He wants you to make it. He wants your life to be full of His righteousness (meaning way of doing things), peace and joy! So He watches you even when you do not realize it. Especially when you think no is there or no one cares. God is watching you!
He sees things before they come your way and as a good dad, He sets up barriers, boundaries and at times divinely intervenes on your behalf. You may not see this or realize that this is happening on daily basis in your life because of some issues, losses or situations you might be dealing with. But God sees that too. He is watching you! And, if you listen, He will show you the way to go (Psalm 32:8) The key is your decision to listen to His Voice then humbly choosing to follow through with what He says (John 10:3-5).
You are loved, valued and cared for by the One who is larger than this life and can lead you along the right pathway. He walks with you down the long hallway of life. He is there at every turn.
Like our experience with my mother, It may seem like we were separated when we left her door and started walking down that hallway, but as soon as we made the turn she reminded us that she was watching us. When you need to make a decision, or need help, or don’t know what to do, God is watching you to do you good!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Trust Him, He is with you and for you! God is watching you!

 

Tragedy and Tragic Loss: What to do when it comes near you

Mass murder causing families and communities to unexpectedly be impacted by grief on a scale that is incomprehensible and can lead to anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, or trigger physical, emotional or mental illnesses as well as relationship problems, has hit home. Literally, in the sense that this most recent killing of multiple people is very near where I live.

Of course, when other communities suffered the effects of a mass shooting, like you, I experienced vicarious grief – a grief that comes because you can feel their pain on some level; you have empathy and compassion for those directly affected. As you see the media accounts of these incidences and listen to those whom barely survived and family members who have lost a loved one, you grieve with them.

The closer to your city, neighborhood or home that these incidents happen, can cause a greater sense of anxiety, which is fear of what can happen to me or to my loved one, my friends or my coworkers, etc.

This fear can begin to affect how you live daily along with your interactions with others. And rightly so, becoming more sensitive to what is going on around you or going to classes to better learn how to respond in a crisis, is certainly in order; this kind of sensitivity is applauded. After incidences such as these, as the Virginia Beach Police Chief mentioned, “lives have been changed forever.”

However, what can happen, is what I mentioned above, a person can be impacted in such a way that causes their functionality to be negatively impacted. Often, this is not by choice but rather by the immediate coping mechanisms that begin to operate with trauma / crisis. The body will immediately engage in a fight, flight, or freeze mode to get through the traumatic incident as it occurs or once they’ve heard about. These responses release chemicals in the body that allows us the energy, rationality or physical or emotional response necessary to handle the moments of trauma / crisis.

The problem with coping mechanisms is that they are not intended for day to day living. When a person does not or is unable to “process their pain” in a healthy and appropriate manner, they remain in the fight, flight or freeze mode then other coping mechanisms set in. Initially, it may seem that they or you are “handling” the aftermath of the situation well. However, eventually, inner and/or outer issues may begin to surface.

Some of these functionality issues or responses to be aware of:

  • Sleeping too much or unable to sleep
  • Easily startled
  • Loss of appetite or weight gain
  • Increased agitation
  • Responses to situations beyond the scope of the situation at hand
  • Self-neglect
  • Isolation
  • Neediness
  • Physical illness
  • Mental challenges (including depression, anxiety, PTSD, obsessive compulsive behaviors, etc.)
  • Psychosis
  • Addictive behaviors
  • Drastic changes in behavior
  • Unresolved / complicated grief (deep sadness, hysterical crying, uncontrolled thoughts or images, etc.)
  • More emotional than usual or more stoic than usual
  • Suspicious Behaviors
  • Lack of confidence
  • Argumentative / demanding
  • Neglect of normal responsibilities
  • Anger / rage

If any of these responses begin happening to you or a person in your life, whether they be a loved one, friend, coworker or social contact, please do not ignore it! Be willing to humble yourself and talk to someone who cares about you or can find help for you. If it is a loved one, friend, coworker or social contact, friend them in a way to better informally assess them. Talk with them about what you see, if appropriate. Go beyond them, if necessary, by going to someone who has some level of influence or authority in their life. Seek out help!

Greater problems occur when issues go unaddressed and unattended to. Further problems can be nipped quickly when properly addressed. So again, please, even if it seems that you or they “got this” as we tend to say, at least pursue pastoral and/or professional assistance to be sure.

My heart grieves for and with all the families whom lost loved ones, the people who survived the incident, those wounded and those in the hospital struggling for their lives, all the first responders, as well as the impact upon Virginia Beach and the entire Hampton Roads area of Virginia, as your does also.

Understand that

Grief is normal and is a process. It at times can be a long process, especially when due to trauma, such as shootings. We must allow ourselves and others to mourn in healthy ways for as long as needed. This will eventually lead to a healthier person and healthier society.

The most important thing that we can all do is sincerely pray for them, for us, for yourself. Pray to process this grief in a healthy manner, for eventual healing of our souls, for hope for our future, eventual mental, emotional, and spiritual resolve and a lessening of violent behaviors.

Even though the question lingers “why?” And we do not understand “how this has happened? We can choose to trust and believe (Proverbs 3:5,6) that God does care and that His Word is true,

“He heals the broken-hearted and binds all their wounds”

physically, mentally, and emotionally. I pray that we can move forward with love, respect, and care for one another finding ways to be a blessing.

Because of God’s amazing GRACE…

Roz

Becauseofgracects.com

LIVING WITH MENTAL CHALLENGES: Refusing Stigma to Get the Help Needed for Healthy Living

LIVING WITH MENTAL CHALLENGES: Refusing Stigma to Get the Help Needed for Healthy LivingI had the blessed opportunity to share with  NAMI’s Coastal Virgina Peer2Peer Class. This is a courageous group of adults whom are challenged with a mental condition that in some ways changed their lives and impacted their intended goals. They attend the classes because they want to better understand their condition and help others in similar predicaments (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). This mental challenge that they live with caused or is causing them and their family and friends to make unexpected and/or undesirable life adjustments.
I was invited to share with them, not as professional mental health provider, but as a family member. Specifically, as a parent. They were interested in hearing about my and my family’s journey through the tough waters of mental illness from the perspective of a parent. It’s been nearly 18 years that my husband and I embarked upon this journey with our son who at the time was 22 years old (my biological son, his stepson). Initially, we were so overwhelmed that we felt as though we were in quick sand on a daily basis, struggling to survive, to keep from sinking, and mainly, to find a way to get our son the help he needed… the help we needed.
Being Christians, we turned to God in prayer. We sought prayer for our son and for us. And many prayed for and with us. I remember a desperate moment when I insisted to my husband and son to interrupt the message that our then pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes, was preaching because we needed him and the congregation to stand with us in prayer. I guess that day I was the “crazy lady” mom! But Bishop so gracefully stopped his message and prayed over my son as the congregation joined in! I am forever grateful!
For a number of years, the day to day care and concern for our son had me filled with tears and fear. After 5 hospital stays within one year, clinical assessments, outpatient programs and Dr. appointments, because of mania, major depression, paranoia, hallucinations, irrational talking & thinking, unpredictable and aggressive behavior and his character totally unlike the son I raised, we learned that he was treatment resistant. This means that the doctors could not find a psycho-pharmaceutical concoction to medically stabilize him; a concoction that would makeup for the areas in his brain that were not functioning as God intended when He created man. Aside from this, we went to all kinds of healing schools, services , etc., even traveling from TX to FL for healing ministry prayer sessions. All seemingly, to no avail.
Eventually, during one of my husband’s job assignment’s (in Hawaii no less!!! – the job paid for his travel, room & board and my sweet sister blessed me and my son to go join him for a few months – blessings come in the midst of the storm!!!), we became close friends with a lady at our church there, who had been a psychiatric nurse. She was full of faith and the love of God seemed to drip from her as she talked with you. Anyway, she strongly suggested a psychiatric drug that she said was a “miracle” drug for many of her former patients. So upon our return home, we decided to give it a try.
God is the miracle worker! But He uses people, with their training, skills, and wisdom as His Divine Tools, including medicine and surgical procedures, if we allow Him to work situations in our lives His way (just like He does for hypertension, diabetes, chronic pain, and other medical conditions that affect bodily organs). The medicine that she suggested began to work and has been working for our son for many years! As with some challenges in life, we continue to work toward 100% recovery, however praising God for the small to big improvements along the way!
Today, our son is that “handsome guy” (as he jokingly calls himself) who faithfully works maintaining a PT job (vs FT to proactively avoid the stress that triggers major symptoms) and is a sweet, peace-loving man whom my husband, family and I are continuing to love on and be supportive of as we all continue this journey through the daily life of living with mental illness. Our son has been amazingly persistent about living a “normal life” with great endurance, still being witty, humble, kind, giving and sensitive to others, as he is the one who directly lives with the change and adjustment to life that this illness has brought about.
But now, thanks and glory to God, we are experiencing a greater level of joy and peace, walking in more faith than sight, knowing more assuredly the impact of our (and your) prayer and especially the Presence of our God’s daily covering, keeping and leading! Some things take time… the years of hard fighting, of perseverance and endurance, of all the prayers and laying on of hands, along with medical advice and medicine, have culminated into a Miracle Work of God!
Lastly, the stigma of living with a mental illness, whether it is you or a loved one is the lying trick that keeps you (many people) from a freer, healthier life. Stigma is when a person and their situation is looked upon with disgrace, disrespect, disapproval, and/or arouses feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment, anger, or disregard; by the person experiencing the issue, people in their lives or others who may cross their path. You or they may not just be “acting crazy” or are strange or weird intentionally! Mental illness like any other illness is real and is treatable! Break the silence and refuse the stigma! Get the help you need or be an advocate for someone in need! Fight for healthier living! Whatever this means for you, do it!
In truth, it’s a hard fight, but you win when you realize that it is possible WITH GOD who gives you the strength to fight and to endure and Who through your perseverance will open the doors and make a way! And regardless as to the situation you may be experiencing, being respectful, promoting dignity, seeing everyone as an important person, speaking kindly and with a non-aggressive tone, (even when you don’t want to) makes a powerful difference! So, do your part and allow God to do His on your/their behalf!

Because of God’s amazing GRACE…

Roz 

PS A prayer that people prayed with us for years, from coast to coast and internationally, is in my latest book, Prayers for Living: prayers to help you get through life (pocket book & large print editions). Both can be found on Amazon.com (Look up Rosalind Caldwell Stanley)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – LOVE

What the USA Needs Now is Love, God’s Love; It’s the One Thing That We Don’t Have Enough of…

 The reminder of the “fight for freedom” that Dr. King and many others engaged in on the behalf of blacks in America (and ultimately for Americans), is sobering. The realization of this and the people who lost their lives over the years or were hung or beaten mercilessly mainly because of the color of their skin by other people who could not see them as people too, is mind boggling. Even today, the unfortunate reality of continual acts of prejudice and racism, baffles me.

But, the strides that have been made in this effort to decrease the racial divide between blacks and whites in America warrants our constant determination to live with God’s love as Dr. King expresses so eloquently in his classic book “Strength to Love.”

 It calls for our insistence not to allow the demon of hatred to demonize us in any way! Also, not allowing the demonic spirit of fear to control our thoughts, attitudes or actions – because to some degree, both whites and blacks have carried fear about each other due to differences misunderstood, misjudged, or mis-taught.

However, God’s love can prevail, if we allow it! It is a choice that we must make everyday because God’s love is more than a feeling, it is an action. And, it happens unconditionally. Each person doing their part to love another because they choose to.

 God’s love is more powerful than bullets, than words, than hatred. It can transcend differences and cause intimate friendships between those of diverse backgrounds. But only if we allow it. Love is a choice. Love, God’s love is an action. To get it we must turn to what America’s original / foundational intention was , that is, to God… in God we trust!

God’s love is “agape” and has to be learned and put into action by choice! It is not our human love. “I’ll love you if you love me.” It is not the movie/TV romantic sexual love. It goes way beyond and above our human propensity to love. That is why knowing God is important. He pours His love into us by His Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5), when we receive His Son Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!

So what this says to me, like Dr King and his followers did , they followed the way of Jesus Christ and were determined to love and would not allow hatred to hang around with them in any form or fashion. They chose Jesus Christ! This decision caused them to act. Yes, their actions required sacrifice, caused suffering and the endurance of persecution. But the love of God, knowing Jesus gave them the Strength to Love!

PS If you have never read this book, get it, read, digest it, implement! If you have read it a hundred times, read it again, digest, implement it! 

REMINDER: Prayer Conference 2019 is this Saturday, January 26th 9:00AM-12:30PM. 1251 Kempsville Road, Norfolk, VA 23502 Looking to see you there!

Prayer Conference 2019

Prayer Conference 2019 carries on my mother’s legacy of prayer breakfasts. Her primary focus was SSIP (Senior Saints in Prayer) which will be continued. However, including all people of all ages and stages in life was her heart’s desire, mainly to have us all sharing together in a meal and inspiring one another through prayer as we communicate to the Only One who hears and answers our prayer, Father God through Jesus Christ Our Lord!

Come to be a part of this time of prayer and fellowship being held:

Saturday, January 26, 2019

from 9:00am -12:30pm.

Location is

New Heights Fellowship

1251 Kempsville Road in Norfolk, Virginia.

Prayer is more important to our lives and everyday living than we realize. Actually, prayer is one of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship with God. The impact of prayer goes further than what our minds can comprehend and touches people and situations in ways that we could not orchestrate ourselves.

Prayer Conference 201 9 will allow you to review some of the nuances of prayer along with experiencing and participating in prayer for specific issues. We’ll share a meal, (Breakfast) as we engage in awesome fellowship and visit various vendors.

Your prayer life will be energized and become more targeted! I am giving a free copy of my latest book, Prayers for Living: Prayers To Help You Get Through Life, to the first 25 people to register so register early at http://www.paypal.me/rozbog. Because of Grace Consulting & Training Services. Hope to see you there!

Copy of Prayer CONFERENCE (2)

PRAYERS FOR LIVING

One of the things that I have learned in life, is the power of prayer and our need to engage in it. Often our situations can be so overwhelming that in the middle of it we become paralyzed and don’t know how to pray or what to say to God. God, through Jesus Christ, is our Healer, Redeemer, Comforter, Way-Maker and so much more, He is Our Everything! And, in Him resides everything we need! Prayer keeps us in touch with God, increasing our intimacy with Him.

At times, you might find yourself talking so much to people about your situation not really bringing it to God with all the specifics about it. Many people think, “God knows what I am going through,” so opt not to pray. Guess what, He does know what you are going through, but He wants you to talk to Him about it! He wants you to acknowledge that He is the Creator of the Universe, the One who formed you from the foundation of the world!

He is expecting you to always talk with Him about everything that concerns you whether good or bad, whether happy or sad. And, He is right there, standing, waiting for you to speak. He knows before you even speak what you will say, but He wants you to say it… to Him, and to request His Divine Involvement. He stands waiting to respond. Maybe not in your timing but certainly right on His time!

As is the case with many of you, aside from my “getting down to business pour it out with no formalities” kind of praying, I have had to learn about the nuances prayer. I’ve had the privilege of being in many prayer settings, experienced powerful praying, been in the presence of awesome prayer warriors, gone to prayer conferences, and read books or heard great messages on prayer.

For many years of my walk with the Lord, I have written a lot of my prayers as I was praying them. There was no rhyme or reason. I have tended to be a note taker, journal writer, a have to see the words kind of person. One day, one of my BFF’s, my aunt, called me. She was on a mission. She was in her last days on earth. Her mission for me was to write a book of my prayers to benefit others. “Wow,” I thought. This had never occurred to me. But when she said it, I knew that it was a God thing. She was passing along what He put on her heart and it resonated within me.

After a few years of delay, I am grateful to God and glad to introduce my latest book releasePrayers for Living: Prayers to Help You Get Through Life!” It is a compilation of only some of the prayers that I have written and prayed since my introduction to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in 1984. My hope is that my prayers will help you in your prayer life or can be used in your prayer meetings, or as a tool to pass along to others to help them in turning to God in prayer.

Prayers For Living: Prayers To Help You get Through Life is available at Amazon.com for $10.99. Eventually, it will be available directly through my website. Buy a few copies. I’d appreciate your support! But more than that I know that you or someone you share it with will be blessed!


Because of God’s amazing GRACE…  

Roz