If you have watched the news for the past 4 years, if you are involved with your local and state communities, or if you are involved in counseling, you know of the opiate epidemic. My experience as a mental health and substance abuse counselor is that many people know some things but few know most of what has been happening. The news is getting this opiate crisis only partially reported, mostly because there is so much happening. Dreamland, authored by Sam Quinones, touches on all that has been happening since the late 20th century.
You may have heard several conversations about money within the Church. From the necessary “tithe your percentage to the church” sermon, being part of a small group on Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey, sitting in on a budgeting meeting for the ministries when it gets heated, or trying to decide if you are going to pay for that $2 donut and $4 coffee at the newly installed church coffee shop, money is apart of every church.
One thing is true, there is stress in money.
We don’t have enough money, it seems difficult to keep money, and it’s hard to obtain money. The Church even talks about how money is the root of all evil.
But what if there was a way of taking the stress out of money?
Marriage is hard. Think about being in a relationship with someone, them knowing all of your deepest flaws and you knowing theirs. Further, your understanding of family, finances, or sex is different from theirs. You have children, but struggle to keep your own marriage as a priority. Then we throw in disappointment, in-laws, and personal expectations that may not be met. Having a resource to help you understand what you are currently going through in marriage as well as having something before you say ‘I Do’ is huge and having it faith-based is all the more important.
Below, I have shared several resources for people to use, though I will be honest, they all require you to have a mentor couple to work with you. It’s not easy and you should not go it alone.
Working with children and their families in counseling, one conversation that comes up over and over is concerns of the parents, teachers, and other important figures for the children that they are either misusing technology or putting themselves at risk. While you cannot prevent all problems from affecting children, there are several things that parents can do for their family in order to protect them.
Below I have links to several contracts and pledges for the family to go over and sign on how to properly use and expect to work with family members with the internet and smartphones. Further, I have several tips you need to consider as you begin dialogues with your children because a simple contract is not going to prevent harm, but constant vigilance and communication.
What is shame? What is fear? What is anxiety? Why do we fight? Why do we abuse drugs and alcohol?
I do not think the video below answers all of the questions, but I do think this is a huge piece of the puzzle. And to us as Christians, this shame, fear, guilt, and stress disconnects us from God. It disconnects us from the gifts God has for us.
People are hurting every day. The story of the Gospel is literally a love letter to those who are broken, hurting, suffering, and without hope. It is in this time that we can find hope in God. It is in this time we find salvation. It is where we can begin to grow.
For the Church, we want to share who God is and develop a reliance on Him.
For counselors, we want to see people find peace and comfort.
What if these two ideas were not at odds, but instead aligned together. I propose that to truly serve a community, it isn’t just an idea to consider, but a necessary part of finding wholeness.