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If I Only Had….

This past week, I interviewed Lisa Burkhardt Worley about her take on the secret longings that many women harbor.  You can click on the link above to listen to the full program. I really encourage you to do so. In this interview, we focus on Lisa’s personal testimony of struggling with a mother who suffered from mental illness. We do not often hear these stories from the perspective of the child involved and I think you will find it very encouraging and uplifting…a true story of redemption. For more information about Lisa, keep reading:

Lisa Burkhadt Worley is a former national television sportscaster, Christian non-fiction writer, speaker, retreat leader and Christ follower whose passion is ministering to women. Lisa has worn numerous hats throughout her life. She was both a national and local television sportscaster for nineteen years with HBO Sports, the Madison Square Garden Network, ESPN and the local CBS affiliate in San Antonio. She was also the spokesperson for San Antonio International Airport for five years, part of which was during the events of 9-11.

After she rededicated her life to Christ in 1993, God led Lisa on a path that has included numerous ministry leadership positions. She is currently the lay leader over Women’s Ministry at Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church in Flower Mound where she speaks regularly at a monthly women’s luncheon at Trietsch called First Friday Feast. Lisa also speaks to other church gatherings, retreats and secular groups, both in the Texas area and occasionally in other parts of the country.

She recently completed her first book with co-author Catherine Weiskopf called, If I Only Had…Following God’s Path to Your Security. The book won “Best Non-Fiction Book” at the 2012 North Texas Christian Writer’s Conference and is currently being edited by Catherine and Lisa’s Literary Agent. Catherine, Lisa and former Dallas media personality, Rebecca Carrell, are currently writing a new Bible study, The Un-Crowd: How God Takes us Out of the World to Do the Unpopular. It will be taught in March, 2013 at Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church. Lisa is also publishing a devotional, The Pearls of Promise Devotional, in 2013.Lisa is a strong proponent of small group ministry, having led small groups in both San Antonio and Flower Mound for over fifteen years.

Lisa completed her Masters of Theological Studies Degree at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2008. At Perkins, she was recognized as one of the top students in Division 1 Studies (Biblical Witness.) Lisa is a San Antonio, Texas native but moved to Flower Mound in 2005. She has been married to Jeff Worley for 26 years and has two children, Kyle, 23, and Bret, 16.

Visit Lisa at …

www.pearlsofpromiseministries.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pearlsofpromise
Facebook: http://facebook.com/pearlsofpromiseministries.com
Books: Pearls of Promise Devotional
Linked in: Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Relationships in the Workplace.

I had a great time interviewing Robert E. Hall, a noted author, consultant, and speaker on relationships. His latest book, This Land of Strangers: The Relationship Crisis That Imperils Home, Work, Politics, and Faith, gives a clear explanation as to why fostering healthy working relationships should be on our short list of daily activities.

As cofounder and CEO of a two-hundred person relationship management firm with offices in the United States, Canada, Latin America, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia, he consulted for twenty-plus years with major corporations on customer and employee relationships. Ernst & Young named him a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year in the Southwest. His first book, The Streetcorner Strategy for Winning Local Markets, is a business bestseller that helped inspire the customer relationship managment movement. For the past decade, Hall has mentored inner-city homeless families and helped pioneer a relationship-centric model for addressing homelessness. He has authored more than one hundred published columns, articles, and research papers on the topic of relationships.

I asked him to stop by the studio to give us some insights into how relationships can make or break a business. Click on the link above to listen to the whole program. Listed below are four actions you can take to strengthen your relationships in the workplace:

1. Understand Unintended Consequences:  We are always trying to streamline our lives. The faster or easier we can accomplish a task, the better. Unfortunately, there are unintended consequences to increased material productivity, usually in the form of declining relationships. Why communicate face-to-face when you can send a text? Why strike up a conversation with someone in an elevator when you can be listening to your favorite podcast on your i-phone? Robert does not advocate for going back to the stone ages. He does, however, believe that if we are aware of this unintended distancing brought on by advance in technology, we can be more intential about fighting against it, maintaining connection and unity with people in the workplace and potentially save a suffering relationship.

 2. Make relationships a strategic priority: Robert notes that relationships have as much value (if not more value) than capital.  Our intentional investment in people can be worth more than a million dollar grant if we can understand the long term ramifications of a healthy working environment. As a consultant, Robert notes that he has seen large companies go under, not for lack of material resources but because of failed communication, bitterness, disloyalty, and hurt feelings. We need to remember that relationships are not just a means to an end, but an end in and of themselves. They are what give our work meaning and purpose. We feel fulfilled in what we do for the very fact that we are investing in people, whether directly or indirectly.

3. Deinstitutionalize our Organizations: Robert recommends breaking organizations down to the small and local. Many churches are adopting the small group model of connecting people with people. As one school principal told him, “We have been in rows and we need to move into circles.” Sometimes we hate business meetings. I know every one of us has thought at some point, “This meeting could have been over 15 minutes ago if someone would just get to the point.” But meetings are not even as much about producing something material as they are about giving people a voice to be heard and a way to connect with one another.  For a great book on this subject, check out Crucial Conversations by Patterson, Grenny, McMillian, and Switzler.

4. Relational Leadership: We will not change this problem from the top down through programs or forced interactions. We can only create an environment that fosters these interactions. To do this, leaders must demonstrate the importance of individuals by being individually oriented themselves. You may be the lowest man on your company’s totem pole but you can be a leader in this way by making meaningful connections with people each and everyday.

Question: How do you feel in your place of employment? What are the relational aspects that make or break your work experience? What are the solutions you have found helpful? 

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Ever seen that movie, What About Bob? One of the funniest scenes in the movie is also one of the most glaring proofs of how ignorant many people are about mental illness. Bob has been placed in a sanatorium by his analyst, and he sits casually telling a joke to the hospital staff. “Roses are red. Violets are blue. I’m a schizophrenic and so am I.” Many people still believe that schizophrenia is a disorder of split or multiple personalities. It’s actually not that at all. For the DSM V diagnostic criteria of Schizophrenia, click here.

Another misunderstood diagnosis in psychiatry is called Bipolar Disorder. You yourself may have been accused of being Bipolar if you’ve changed your mind on an issue recently, become suddenly sad or angry for no apparent reason, or chosen to do something foolish on a whim. I see many clients who ask to be evaluated for Bipolar Disorder, so I know that it is a real concern for many. If you believe that someone you know may suffer from it, I hope to clear up the most common misconceptions. Please note that this blog post does not substitute for a thorough psychiatric evaluation nor does it provide all of the various diagnostic criteria to make a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. The internet provides basic information about the disorder, but this is no substitute for a medical evaluation by a trained professional.  With that CYB (Cover Your Butt) disclaimer, here are the top five most common misconceptions I’ve heard:

  1.  People with Bipolar don’t sleep well. This is true but only part of the truth. Many people who do not have Bipolar disorder experience insomnia. When daylight savings time rolled around, I was struck by how many people on facebook reported several nights of insomnia as a result. We all have times of poor sleep for a number of reasons. Stress, worry, depression, too much caffeine, exercising too close to bed time, indigestion, a lousy mattress, or a snoring spouse all can interfere with our sleep. What constitutes a positive symptom of Bipolar disorder is a decreased NEED for sleep. If most of us have a few bad night of sleep, we are out of commission for the next day. We feel lethargic, unmotivated, and miserable. Not people with Bipolar Disorder. During a manic episode, a patients will not want to sleep, forget to sleep, or feel they are wasting time by sleeping. Even if patients want to sleep, their bodies say no. They have so much energy and drive; they can do without sleep for several days or weeks at worst.
  2. People with Bipolar are moody. Mood changes, as the old name implies (Manic-depression), constitute part of the criteria for the disorder.  However, these changes in mood are distinctly different from the individual’s normal personality. Some people are prone to moodiness by nature. They may be up one minute and down the next. These shifts of emotion are usually the result of circumstantial stressors. By definition, however, a manic episode must last at least seven days (4 for a Type II diagnosis) or require immediate hospitalization due to the severity of the shift. Depressive episodes must last at least 2 weeks. These changes are drastically different from the affected individual’s normal disposition. So if you’ve ever said to someone, “You’re so Bipolar,” you are probably describing a personality trait rather than a feature of a true mental illness.
  3. People with Bipolar have racing thoughts. Again, this is true only in part. Many people complain of racing thoughts, but what they really mean is “I feel anxious.” A person who feels anxious can have a subjective sense that their mind is racing. Someone with Bipolar disorder, however, actually has an increase in the flow of ideas rushing through their brain as a result of excitement, overstimulation, and excessive energy, not worry or fears. In fact, individuals in the midst of a manic episode tend to feel grandiose or invincible, as if they could conquer the world. They are more likely to be impulsive as a result. Because of the racing thoughts, they are easily distracted. Their speech is pressured and fast. You might have trouble keeping up with their train of thought. Don’t confuse the racing thoughts of an anxious person with the racing thoughts of a manic person.
  4. People with Bipolar Disorder are drug addicts. This is an unfortunate stigmatization of Bipolar patients. Many individuals who have a first break episode of mania or depression have never even tried alcohol, let alone hard drugs like cocaine. Is it possible for drug-use to mimic the symptoms of Bipolar? Absolutely. It is also common for someone with Bipolar Disorder to have a comorbid (co-occurring) addiction. At times it can be difficult to distinguish the two from each other. The key difference is that people with Bipolar Disorder experiment with drugs because of the grandiosity, invisibility, and pleasure-seeking desires they feel during a manic episode. The egg comes before the chicken in this case. In many instances, proper treatment of the disease reduces the addictive behaviors.
  5. People with Bipolar Disorder are dangerous. Though it is true that in the midst of a manic or depressive episode, people can be a danger to themselves or to others, they are not evil, scary, criminal, or crazy as pop-culture might like to portray them. With the proper education, treatment, and follow-up, most people with Bipolar Disorder live very normal lives. Indeed, some of the most powerful, creative, and influential people in society have had Bipolar Disorder. I would encourage anyone who would like a first-hand report of life with Bipolar Disorder to read Kay Jamison’s book, An Unquiet Mind.

If you or someone you love suffers from Bipolar Disorder, check out The Bipolar Survival Guide for more helpful information and tips on how to control it.

Question: What are some of the other common misconceptions about Bipolar Disorder that you have heard? What is our role as a society to help those with mental illness? How can we better equip people to understand and relate to people with a mental illness?

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How are your fears keeping you chained to the same old destructive patterns in your life? Are you ready for real freedom? Then you will want to tune in to the show tonight on 90.9 KCBI at 6:30pm or 10:30pm CST or listen online after 7:00pm by clicking here.

This evening on For Christ and Culture, my special guest is Michelle Borquez, author of the book, God Crazy, and creator and host of the women’s conference, The God Crazy Freedom Experience. Michelle will be talking to us about what true freedom looks like and how her personal journey of redemption led her to become a powerful advocate and coach for women struggling with the pressures of a superficial culture. When the glitz and the glamour fades, Michelle knows how to find true satisfaction and freedom in relationships, the most important of which is our relationship with a God that loves us completely. If you are interested in signing up for her upcoming conference here in the Metroplex on April 17th, 2014 at 7:00pm, click here. It will be at North Point Church in Fort Worth. Tickets are limited, so be sure to reserve your spot today.

For those of you who don’t know Michelle, God has used her mightily. In 1999, she founded “Shine”, a general interest women’s publication highlighting articles on fashion, travel and health. As Editor-in-Chief she interviewed well known leaders, such as First Lady Laura Bush, Anne Graham Lotz, Michael W. Smith, Kurt Warner, Chuck and Gena Norris, Beth Moore, and many others. Shine published 9 years with over 40,000 subscribers. In 2005 Michelle hosted and co-produced I-Life Television’s “SHINE with Michelle Borquez” on INSP that aired internationally for two years. Michelle is also Creator, Producer, and Host of the recently released, 8 week DVD series for women,” Live Again After Divorce” available at liveagaindvd.com and is host for Beth Moore’s “Loving Well” Television Special and national spokesperson for “GLO” Bible. She has authored numerous books, “Live Laugh Love Again,” “God Crazy” “Overcoming the Seven Deadly Emotions” “Forever God Crazy,” “God Crazy Freedom”, and the “God Crazy Freedom Series”.

Question: What’s your story of redemption? Sign up for my blog and email me your story and I may feature it on a future blog post. Help encourage others who may need your words of hope in their life! “It is always the deepest mine, the darkest cave, or the loneliest desert that holds the richest treasure…”

Twitter: @DaveHendersonMD

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The effective communication of thought and emotion is one of the best ways to have a healthy mind and a deep connection with God and others. Unfortunately, communicating our emotions can be extremely difficult to do with words alone. That is why God has given us the gift of creativity: to enhance our expression of what we feel deep within us. When we struggle emotionally, the artistic expression of our pain can generate a catharsis unparalleled by rote recitation. Likewise, when we feel joy the beauty of creation gives it wings. This is why I strongly encourage my clients to get involved in some form of art therapy. Not only does the creative process give us an outlet for our emotions, but it draws us deeper into the human experience. We realize the deep bond that exists between individuals as we share our work. Art can be the vessel by which we comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received. We tell our story and encourage others to tell theirs.

In our passion to express ourselves, sometimes we forget that art tells a greater story, one that surpasses our own individual experience. The Gospel, or good news, is a story of redemption that the world is longing to know. Sadly, I think we have failed to use all means available to us to tell that story. That is why I am so excited about a new book by Chris Brewer, a great friend of mine. The title is “Art that Tells the Story” and as the back cover describes, ” it is an invitation to experience The Story through commonly observable, shared experience… it is a conversation about the story God is telling.” I believe that you will find great inspiration from the works featured in this book. They include paintings, sculptures, woodcarvings, and pottery all meant to convey some aspect of the greatest story ever told…one in which we all play a part. As you look through its pages, recognize that it is just the beginning of the conversation. Let it inspire you to raise your artistic voice as well and know that by telling your story, you can tell His as well!

 If you’d like more information about “Art that Tells the Story” or “The Gospel through Shared Experience” click here. You will not be disappointed.

 

I just finished reading a book by Hank Hanegraaff called Christianity In Crisis. I would recommend it to anyone who struggles with the “Prosperity Gospel” that is so prevalent in Christian culture. In short, this doctrine states that faith is the force that produces material pleasures and frees us from all physical suffering in this life. What is fascinating about this teaching is the underlying web of theology faith healers must weave to support it.

Here are a few major ones as described in the book:

1. Faith is a force and words are the containers of the force. Thus, through the power of words, you create your own reality.  That means that the men and women of faith described in Hebrews 11 who “were stoned, sawn in two, tempted, slain with the sword and wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented…” must have created this reality through their own lack of faith-filled words.

2. The demotion of God. In “Prosperity Gospel” God is himself subject to the force of faith and cannot accomplish anything apart from it. He is at the beck and call of His creation, who control him with their faith.

3. The deification of man. In Faith theology, man was created as an exact duplicate of God, including size and shape! Some faith healers have gone so far as to say it is unnecessary to pray “if the Lord wills” or “in Jesus name.” We, as little gods, have the power to control our destiny through faith!

4. The demotion of Christ. All cults and world religions compromise the diety of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Faith movement is no exception, claiming that before Christ was annointed with the Holy Spirit, he was just a human like you and I. Therefore, any one of us could have done what Christ did if we have the annointing.

5. The Reincarnation of Christ. Faith Healers believe that salvation was not completed by Christ’s death on the cross. They believe that he was recreated from divine to demonic, taking on the very nature of Satan. He was then born again in Hell, and reincarnated from demonic to devine with the ressurection. The inevitable conclusion: When we are born again, we too are reincarnated from demonic to divine, becoming “as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth.”

Why is this theology so troubling? Because thousands of people (like the man born blind in John chapter 9) are led to believe that their suffering is the direct result of their sin. More disturbing is that many refuse to accept the help that is available to them through modern science for fear that they would lose their faith. They see their suffering as a punishment rather than a potential opportunity to grow closer to Christ and to others. Remember the words of God – “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword…yet IN all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:35

Red Sea Rules

Robert J. Morgan has written an excellent book entitled The Red Sea Rules: The Same God Who Led You in Will Lead You Out. This is a must read for anyone who has struggled in difficult times. Morgan uses the story of the crossing of the Red Sea to lay out Ten God-given strategies for making it through hardships. Our small group in South Carolina studied this book several years ago and we have started it again this year with our small group in Texas. I will outline the ten strategies for you here, but I recommend that you pick up your own copy for your library. (And, no, I am not a part of any blog review program that is supporting this book!)

Rule 1: Realize that God means for you to be where you are – When we face trying times, wondering if God has forgotten us is a normal gut response, but take time to consider that God may have us right where He wants us. Stop trying to escape, and start trusting God in the crisis.

Rule 2: Be more concerned for God’s glory than for your relief – The apostle Paul wrote to the Phillipians and said, “Even if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and greatly rejoice…” Paul could say this while under house arrest awaiting possible execution because he had a single goal: to bring glory to God. This gave him joy, knowing that no matter what people or circumstances did to him, his mission could never be thwarted. God can be glorified in any and all situations…even in our pain.

Rule 3: Acknowledge your enemy but keep your eyes on the Lord – Evil is real! Satan is real! We have forgotten these facts today. Even so, by keeping our eyes on Christ we can gain victory over sin, Satan, and death!

Rule 4: Pray – Morgan states, “Looking back over the years, I’ve never faced a crisis in which, in response to earnest prayer, whether prolonged or instant, God didn’t make a way.” What a testimony to God’s faithfulness.

Rule 5: Stay calm and confident and give God time to work – Waiting is one of the hardest aspects of pain. Yet, when we leave our circumstances in His hands, our confidence in Him will be rewarded. Just wait and see!

Rule 6: When Unsure Just take the next logical step by faith – “A man plans his ways but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Rule 7: Envision God’s enveloping presence – “I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too – your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful – I can’t take it all in!” (Psalm 139:5-6 The Message)

Rule 8: Trust God to Deliver in His own unique way – Vance Havner said, “God marks across some of our days, “Will explain later.” Sometimes we do not know how, why, or when but God does and He can use some of the most unusual circumstances to carry us out of crises.

Rule 9: View your current crisis as a faith builder for the future – This is so hard because it requires effort on our part. It is, however, effort well spent. God never fails!

Rule 10: Don’t forget to praise Him – I think this is where most of us miss out. I believe that God does so many good things in our lives that might have helped us to trust Him in our present crisis but we cannot remember them. When we take time to praise, it keeps His provisions for us fresh in our minds. Those reminders may be just what we need to get through a time of crisis.

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I am a board certified psychiatrist, author, speaker in private practice with Southwest Clinical and Forensics in Dallas Tx. I also serve as an adjunct professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. I have a passion for helping people through painful circumstances, be they physical illnesses of the brain, psychological conditions of the mind, social problems of everyday life, and/or spiritual crises of faith and worldview.

Disclaimer

All information provided is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for a professional evaluation or treatment. If you are experiencing emotional distress, please contact a mental health professional. Dr. Henderson cannot respond to inquiries about prescription refills, or medical or psychiatric emergencies over the internet. If you are a patient in need of assistance, please contact Dr. Henderson’s office directly, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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