Author Archive

When Terror Strikes, What More Can the Church Do?

April 22nd, 2013 No Comments

I typically am not susceptible to nightmares, but this week, the national news snuck into my dreams with SWAT teams patrolling my safe Iowa farm while my young boys played cards with their dad and me on our living room floor. I awoke as the young man, who had just parked his 1970s style Mercury Marquis on our driveway, removed an assault rifle from the front passenger seat then walked toward the front door of our


Call a Professional! I’m in Over my Head! – Part 2

April 4th, 2013 No Comments

He Said — She Said.  It’s an everyday experience when you’re doing counseling.  Sometimes the wars between husband and wife or parent and child become so confusing, that — even as an objective, impartial, third party – it’s nearly impossible to figure out what’s going on.  Moments like this can lead to some of our worst assistance as we feel compelled to do something or, worse yet, fix it!  After all, particularly when you’re in


Reality at All Costs

March 25th, 2013 No Comments

M. Scott Peck, MD, author of the best-selling book The Road Less Traveled, is also famous for a remark that can be paraphrased as such: Mental health is directly related to one’s commitment to reality at all costs. Take a moment to think about what that phrase means. Now take another moment to consider what that means in your world, in your life, in your brain. What would reality at all costs even look like


Call a Professional! I’m in Over my Head! – Part 1

October 11th, 2012 No Comments
Sunrise over grass seeds at the Clay County Fair.

As the alto section leader for my church choir, I often told the singers, “If you need anything, give me a call!” And she did.  She was overwhelmed by simple things, like having to answer the phone at work.  Some days she never made it out of bed.  She went days without bothering to eat.  Other times, she said there was no reason to live.  I did everything I knew to encourage her and remind


Maslow’s Interruption

October 9th, 2012 No Comments
Spring flowers show how Maslow's Hierarchy relates to PTSD.

Although I can’t remember all of the details surrounding the event, I will never forget the moment that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs suddenly came to life for me.  Perhaps because I grew up singing, “Love is Something You Do” from some “Pass it On” era song collection, I’d developed the perspective that once a person “gets saved,” she will be injected automatically with the ability to love everyone.  Most of my life, that distortion was