Things I Think…

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67 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks for this Michael.

    At times I wonder if God allows suffering people in our midst to test our level of compassion towards those suffering.

    Or to see if we give a you-know-what.

    But instead many of us take to twitter, post on Facebook, or blog about how bad that person is, how it’s their fault for suffering, or they have sin in their lives so that is why they are suffering. Or if they would have just watched this-or-that video on Youtube, or prayed harder or read their Bible more, they would all be ok.

    Note I didn’t state the nature of the suffering.

    As I write this, my wife is about 23hrs removed from finding out she is at risk for glaucoma.

    I care for my wife, and I almost hate those that want to “fix” her.

  2. Michael says:


    All fixes are temporary in this life…you would think that our shared mortality would lead to shared empathy and compassion…especially among the people of God.

    I’ve learned to keep my trials to myself as much as possible…

  3. Michael says:


    Praying for you and your wife…

  4. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks Micheal. It’s not the first health issue my wife has been faced with.

    I was talking with her a while back and said that if God answered all our prayers in the way we wanted, we wouldn’t need Him anymore. He would be nothing more than a forumla or incantation. A genie, if you will. Sounds trite, but it’s true.

    Many people want to offer up a word of advice to those that suffer. Few are willing to sit with someone who suffers and keep their mouths shut.

  5. Em says:

    Reminds me of a pastor who must be nameless here commenting on suicide:
    “You don’t want to meet God with His arms folded, tapping His foot!”

  6. Michael says:

    When any of us meet God it will be with open arms and pure joy.
    How we arrive is His business…

  7. Em says:

    Dan, no Christian can dismiss a fellow Christian’s suffering….
    When we lost our son, I am convinced the church we attended was holding us up in prayer…
    So sorry to hear of your wife’s eye problem, will be praying over here also
    God keep

  8. Em says:

    Michael, open arms? Yes, but if we arrive prematurely, He may have some words for us… 😚

  9. Michael says:

    ” Yes, but if we arrive prematurely, He may have some words for us…”

    Yes and the words will be “welcome home”!

    If my heart fails this afternoon or my brain does…I simply met my appointment.

  10. JD says:

    Thank you Michael for posting this.

  11. Michael says:


    I hope it was helpful…

  12. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks Em for the prayers!

  13. Joel Brown says:

    As the war rages on I am seeing an extremely large uptick in depression, mental health swings, and crises of faith, and “wouldn’t it be better if I was just gone” thoughts. And it’s not something we can tell people to pray away. We just have to be there, love them, and provide what strength we have where they lack. Bearing each others burdens is Christ-like.

  14. Michael says:

    Well said, Joel…thank you.

  15. Officerhoppy says:

    my friend, you said “ Michael, open arms? Yes, but if we arrive prematurely, He may have some words for us”. You may want to study a little more about the issue of depression before making statements like that. I know you didn’t intend it to be a mean statement, but it shows you don’t understand the matter.

    I, like many and even some here, have wrestled with depression for 20 plus years. It runs in my family. I was under a pastor who believed the cure was to fast, pray, seek the Lord (what ever that means). One man did that but when it didn’t work, he ended up taking his life.

    Depression is not a spiritual problem. It is a problem with the brains ability to produce the chemicals necessary for well being. For many it’s environmental, but for many more, it’s just “mental” and they need the help of medication.

    So I think we need to be careful when talking about depression. Many don’t really understand the disease.

  16. Dan from Georgia says:

    Psychiatric medications have pretty much saved me from a myriad of problems. And I haven’t been damaged spiritually at all by them. Probably saved my life.

  17. Reuben says:

    I always appreciate your direct advocacy in these matters, Michael.

    Part of the bipolar life is dramatic mood swings, sometimes even out of control. This IS depressing. Medications are keeping me more middle of the road with the swings these days, but I go through spells of catastrophizing everything and being gripped with fear. There have been very few highs the last couple years.

    My daily “salvation” is getting absorbed in work. It stops my mind from dwelling on big things and focuses it on little things. Sometimes I obsess even during a work day because the weight of the big things overshadows everything.

    Depression is real. I can’t pray it away. Like Hoppy, I was instructed for decades to “word, prayer, fellowship” it out of my system. All that failed.

  18. Elena says:

    Thank you Michael!
    Well said on all points.

  19. Michael says:


    It’s sad that direct advocacy is needed…

  20. Michael says:

    Thank you, Elena…hope all is well with you…

  21. pstrmike says:

    word, prayer and fellowship.

    Fellowship doesn’t work for me, it makes me more depressed. I know that isolation is also a killer, but I take my chances….. I was surprised once in a group of pastors (CC pastors at that) where a few of them admitted they suffered from depression— not who you might think Hoppy and Reuben….. no, not those guys… 😉
    It was liberating to me, although I was not comfortable to share my own struggles.

    I like the Psalms and Lamentations, reading those tells me I’m ok to feel this way. And prayer? yes it helps but not in the way that you might think. I pray prayers to God in many different forms, some of them I would never repeat in church or even on this blog, but I trust God to say whatever I need to and feel free to express to Him any way that chose.

    It was a hard weekend, I realized last night that my heart has been broken so many times that it probably will never be healed completely. Reading people like Brennan Manning and Rich Mullins, among others, helps if for no other reason than to know I have kindred spirits out there.

    Speaking of Rich Mullins, I found this last night. It’s worth the 14 minutes to listen to as he talks about home, loneliness, dying, and our life in Christ. Talk about a guy who tried to free himself from the baggage of our Christian heritage…… and his Quaker influence cuts through 😉

  22. bob1 says:

    I agree w/what Hoppy said
    What’s sad to me are all those folks who were told that all they had to do was pray mental illness away. So much soul damage to these gentle and suffering folks
    Sadly the church has been of little help.
    Often they just add to the stigma. When as Hoppy said, it’s often a brain or chemical disorder. Not something “spiritual.”

  23. Dread says:

    I think David prayed psalmed and confessed his depression away over and over. My warmth toward medical intervention as well as counseling and even in-patient therapy should be well known. But Christians are well equipped by word and Spirit to deal with depressive disorders. The binary thinking that often gets lampooned here more often gets employed.

    There are many useful approaches to depression. “Cognitive therapy is based on the cognitive model, which states that thoughts, feelings and behavior are all connected, and that individuals can move toward overcoming difficulties and meeting their goals by identifying and changing unhelpful or inaccurate thinking, problematic behavior, and distressing emotional responses.”

    I can cite dozens of texts that concur.

    I know there was an anti-psychology bias in the Calvary Chapel world for many years and many of you were disadvantaged by it. But it did not exist in all evangelical traditions.

    This is not to deny any of your bad experiences. It is only to say that all was not hell… among the faithful.

  24. Officerhoppy says:

    “But Christians are well equipped by word and Spirit to deal with depressive disorders.”

    That’ s what I was told. It didn’t work. I got more depressed either because I didn’t feel God could help me or that I was told I didn’t have the faith enough to not feel depressed.

    It was only when a Christian doctor educated me about depression and I started taking meds that I felt I could function again.

    I will never tell a person suffering from depression that they are well equipped in word and spirt to deal with depression. Like my Doctor friend was told that and when it didn’t work he took his life.

    I say every perfect gift comes from above. Being “healed” thru meds is no different, IMO, than a direct healing from God (which in 52 years of being a Christian I have never witnessed)

  25. filistine says:

    I’m no expert on suicide, but I’ve walked the valley. News like this weekend’s happens a lot and each one, whether famous or high profile or just a death announcement in the local paper, every suicide is like a punch to the jaw for me. Each brings the loss of my son into the forefront again. I identify with the tearful tributes, the shocked teammates, the shattered parents/spouses/children/friends/etc. Covid has played havoc with the mental health of so many I fear the tsunami is merely drawing out before rushing in. Thank you for posting the helpline–everyone here should memorize it or record it in your phone. Do a little research and find out which therapists in your area specialize in depression and suicide matters. Inform yourself on the subject–so you can be the one who factually, honestly, and compassionately corrects the misinformation that is so rampant. Truth is powerful.

  26. Michael says:

    Thank you, fil…prayed for you and yours as I wrote this…

  27. JD says:

    The only “pastoral advice” I ever got for depression was “go eat something”.

  28. filistine says:

    We withdrew for the weekend and huddled with our kids and grandkids–we keep Drew’s memory alive and talk about him often. My grandmother took her life after a long battle with depression and she became a phantom, the one no one ever spoke about. I didn’t know the story until I was 18. Shame and secrecy fuels the power of suicide–the discomfort in talking about it must be overcome.

  29. brian says:

    When Rich Mullins died in 1997 I was deem with in the evangelical industry, and it is an industry nothing more. There was great discussion that God took him out by flipping a jeep on top of him and killing him so he would not convert to being a Catholic. That is how much they hated Catholics, along with charismatics, Lutherans, Anglicans, and pretty much anyone else. At a RM concert he spoke about baptism in sacramental terms and some of the faith community members I were almost hyperventilated.

    I remember looking over to one of them at the concert and she was planning on calling K-Love to express their utter horror. Granted these are the same folks and quite honestly they were fine human being when not in herd mode had no problem with Bob Lar$on, Bill Gothard and other such carnival barkers. No offense to honest carnival barkers.

    I could go into the few times at a funeral about someone who committed suicide where the Job comforters would accost the grieving family about how their loved one is lost and burning in eternal horror right at the memorial service. Because Jesus spoke strong words when people died. He also raised them from the dead so there is that.

  30. filistine says:

    “No offense to honest carnival barkers.” Truly one of the funniest lines I’ve read @PP Brian, that is classic.

    On the other hand, you embody much harm done in the name of christianity. I applaud your willingness to frequent this space and appreciate your candor. In the words of our friend the guitar man–peace to you.

  31. pstrmike says:

    To some degree or another, we all suffer. How is “being well equipped by word and Spirit” manifest itself? I think in a number of different ways.

    Some trust only in nouthetic counseling (biblical) which will work for some. But I’ve seen too many cases where that doesn’t work for people who are Christians.

    Some need medication, some meditation, some spiritual direction, some a form of integrated counseling that incorporates a biblical approach with different modalities (CBT, EFT, SFT and others). It is for me a matter of recognizing the common grace of God, and that every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights. . .

    So I read the Bible and other Spiritual literature, pray in various forms, talk with people I trust, see a spiritual director, sometimes a counselor, and I’ve learned to live with walking with a limp. I also do counseling and spiritual direction.

    I think this says it well:

    “Our life is a short time in expectation, a time in which sadness and joy kiss each other at every moment. There is a quality of sadness that pervades all the moments of our lives. It seems that there is no such thing as a clear-cut pure joy, but that even in the most happy moments of our existence we sense a tinge of sadness. In every satisfaction, there is an awareness of limitations. In every success, there is the fear of jealousy. Behind every smile, there is a tear. In every embrace, there is loneliness. In every friendship, distance. And in all forms of light, there is the knowledge of surrounding darkness . . . But this intimate experience in which every bit of life is touched by a bit of death can point us beyond the limits of our existence. It can do so by making us look forward in expectation to the day when our hearts will be filled with perfect joy, a joy that no one shall take away from us.”

    ― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Making All Things New: An Invitation to the Spiritual Life

  32. pstrmike says:

    The quote that I posted by Henri Nouwen is included in the introduction of Ronald Rolheiser’s‘s book The Holy Longing. That was the first book that I read in my doctoral work. After reading that, I thought something finally makes sense and explains how I felt for my entire life.. For me it’s just the battle of remembering to live with that reality in my life.

  33. brian says:

    Where I have met Jesus, in some profound and deeply moving ways. Very late at night on the ward floor, between the squeaky wheel of the med cart and the muffled cry of a lonely soul. I have seen Him in the smile of a student I have/had the honor of helping. To see people fight so hard to make a connection through truly profound struggles. I see God sort of like the sun, if we were really close to the sun we would go poof down to the sub atomic level. So we are 93 million miles away, just close enough to thrive from the warmth but not close enough to get burned in this reality. I think we would be overwhelmed if we saw God as God truly is. So God chooses to reach out to us through the mundane. Simple bread and wine, a smile, a child playing, the love of a cat or dog or both. Each a simple grace with wonderous hope. In these dark times the light is right there, the darkness is noisy but will dissolved if we seek the Father of Lights.

  34. Dread says:


    You didn’t read what I wrote. You read your version of it

  35. brian says:

    Michael and other fine folks on here, this is what breaks my heart. The Witch Children of Africa. Please note this video can be very disturbing and triggering concerning abuse issues. There are many other vids concerning this issue.

  36. Officerhoppy says:

    I read all of your posts. But I always have difficulty understanding what you are trying to bad.

  37. McGarret says:

    Hi Michael,

    Regarding number 9. We have a Family Member suffering from Mental Illness. Said member suffers, as well as our Family. Trying to maintain our own normalcy can be incredibly difficult on some days. To think that years ago, it was told to us at the Church, that “above the neck” issues were spiritual, I cannot believe that we bought into such insidious and naive stupidity. We do know that Jesus weeps with us, we do know that Jesus loves our suffering one, we do know that some day, all of us, will be made perfect in Heaven. It’s just that down here on the “Terrestial Plane”, it has been, and can be excruciating. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

  38. Michael says:


    I hear you…our “normal” looks much differently than most.
    Sometimes it’s hard to remember that we are called to “share in the sufferings of Jesus”…and even when we do, it’s still really hard.

    One day at a time…we’ll all get home.

  39. Em says:

    ” ….. we are called to -share in the sufferings of Jesus”
    it was hard for the Son of God also, was it not?

  40. Michael says:

    All you need to hear is Jesus in the garden…

  41. Dread says:


    You’re right … I am obscure… don’t often realize it.

    We cannot say that only moderns have help with depression. There is clear help for those broken by life and sin. The Word and Spirit were genuine refuge and help to David to all. Our discovery of psychotropics definitely assuages our bodies but the cure of soul is often found in the actual revelation of God in Christ in us.

    He does come and help us. It is not words on a page. It is life and peace.

    And I often send people to doctors and counselors. Anyway peace to you.

  42. Reuben says:

    Dread, I must have misread you too. I saw the same thing Hoppy saw, Mike saw. Can’t agree with the sentiment. God has not ever equipped me to deal with depression, and I “Word, Prayer, Fellowshipped” the living snot out of myself, almost unavoidable as one of the pastors for 12 years. Like Hoppy, it made me worse. I taught the same things I was taught, and I saw suicides. Suicides that resulted from the point of hopelessness knowing that as hard as they tried, they could not please god, they could not get out of the funk, they could not overcome, and they believed god had forsaken them. The worst was a 14 year old girl named Lacey, and she haunts my nightmares. God has never answered why I taught her those things, all I know is it is what I was taught, and if I understood it or not, I taught it. The condemnation on my heart and mind for that is pure torment, has been for years, which leads to further depression. I don’t have a way out of this either. I am afflicted with PTSD and Bipolar Disorder. I don’t think or operate like other people, I have known this since I was a child. I begged god to remove the thorn from my flesh, but like Paul, god seems to only say “my grace is sufficient”. Never once felt that. Not once.

  43. Michael says:

    The problem here is in making universal application.
    The Psalms may have helped David and others, but have done little to assuage the pain of most I know and pastor.

    Why we would assume that word and Spirit cure mental illness and not any other illness is beyond me…and the claims of physical healings remain mostly unproven in any case.

    I will not deny or minimize anyones testimony of finding wellness wherever they do…but neither will I universalize the manner of healing.

    That applies to drugs as well…

  44. Officerhoppy says:

    I appreciate your clarification and understanding

  45. Dread says:


    I don’t assume that at all Michael.

    Nor do I need to win or even participate in this kind of discussion

  46. Michael says:


    I did not intend any offense, nor was I responding to you directly, but to what is generally said about this issue.

    Everything is becoming an offense to everyone these days…discussion is pointless.

  47. Dread says:


    Feels that way …

    As always humans do better face to face but our mediated conversations here have to do

  48. Duane Arnold says:


    As you may remember, a week before Christmas the eldest son of one of my close friends took his own life. On New Year’s Eve, a former student with whom I was still close, took his own life. Both were believers. Both had supportive families. There were few outward indications.

    I used to think that self-harm would be telegraphed. I tend now to think otherwise. I’ve had other friends who have died suddenly from strokes or heart attacks, or within weeks of a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Our bodies, including our brains and their chemical processes are imperfect vehicles. We are too quick to assign self-harm or depression as being a matter of will, much less a matter of faith.

    I am left with questions that are not easily answered, but perhaps that is how it should be. The one thing I cannot do is to assign blame to those who are the victims of an illness that is so imperfectly understood. Compassion transcends life, and it should transcend death…

  49. Michael says:


    Every time I write on this subject we hear from many folks who have experienced anything but compassion.

    There are complex issues here concerning science and spirituality…there was a day when we could explore them.

  50. Dread says:

    Is suggesting that the Lord actually helps us here and now by his Spirit and word a triggering accusation that people are without faith? It is not an accusation. It does seem triggering.

    What benefits do we derive from our life in Christ? What help is there in the Lord? Are these questions challenges to someone’s faith.

    I likened cognitive therapy to the exact exhortations and examples of our scripture. That should be a good thing. Convergence of faith and medical practice need not be troubling.

  51. Michael says:


    I don’t recall anyone saying anything about a triggering accusation.

    I am simply saying that for many “faith” has not provided any help in this matter…and was clear to say that observation doesn’t preclude it being a help to others.

    I do not go into much detail about what my life and the lives of my family have looked like for the last twenty years…but all I can say about my faith in regard to mental illness is that we’re all still here and trying…which may well be the grace of God…I choose to frame our survival that way.

  52. Em says:

    When a person decides their life is hopeless and they decide to end it, it is either systemic or they are not close to their Creator/Redeemer….
    God knows our hearts AND our minds better than we do….
    Does God forgive suicide? If it is one of His children, of course He does, but expect a lecture when you face Him. 😘

  53. Michael says:


    Mental illness is no different than any other organic illness.

    When my heart finally fails, I will not get a lecture when I meet up with my cats and Jesus.

    I have lost people who loved the Lord more than I do to this…

  54. Dread says:

    It is not that “faith” helps us. The living God helps us. The testimonies of his care abound in scripture. It does not require any abandoning of medical interventions. It is however, cogent that on a blog that is centered upon our life in Christ that we testify to the benefits of that life.

    We worship. We partake of his body and blood. We engage in a life of prayer. We encounter him. And we agonize the darkness. We lament the uncertainties. We ache over the distances. These too are part of our healing journey.

    We cannot separate our soul’s agonies from our participation in Christ.

  55. Michael says:

    “We cannot separate our soul’s agonies from our participation in Christ.”

    That I can affirm wholeheartedly.

  56. Duane Arnold says:

    “It is however, cogent that on a blog that is centered upon our life in Christ that we testify to the benefits of that life.”

    It is also incumbent upon us that we are willing to acknowledge what we do not know… especially regarding the pain and distress of others.

  57. Dread says:

    Just like day follows night

  58. pstrmike says:

    One of the areas where this blog has been instrumental is in attempting to help those who have suffered various forms of spiritual abuse. Such abuse, particularly when it comes by the hands of the rank and file within the church, is at times due to this mistaken notion that God’s work of deliverance is universal for every individual. It isn’t, for reasons that are beyond our pay grade of understanding.

    However, I have to agree with dread on this one. Can we not, should we not, testify to the benefits of our life in Christ as been told us in scriptures, seen or heard of in the lives of others, and quite possibly from time to time, experienced ourselves. Are we so triggered by the abuse suffered by ourselves and others that we dare not even whisper of His goodness?

    I hate to think where I would have ended up had God not interceded on my behalf, both in what I would call supernatural and through the agency of others. I have not received from God all that I have asked for or wanted. Grace, at times, feels like it is in short supply. However, I have the testimony of scripture, tradition, and a few contemporaries, and that gives me hope. Often it seems that hope is the only thing I have, particularly as I enter each evening that recently has its own dark night to content with. If I did not have hope, I would say to hell with all this and pursue whatever was in front of me to give some type of satisfaction. But I have hope, it often isn’t much, but it gets me through the night. Your mileage may very.

  59. Em says:

    PP one…. Amen
    PP two… Amen
    PP three…. Me, too. Amen and. amen ! !
    I had a dear, God loving grandpa praying for me…. Folks don’t discount intercessory prayer

  60. Dread says:


    Thanks for that. My testimony is that two years of hell have been eased substantially by so many friends and by direct intervention of God.

    Michael has faithfully checked in as well as dozens of believing friends. Direct ministry of others laying hands upon me and praying. Consistent calls and encouragements. Then a direct breakthrough of prayer and God answering.

    It has been two years of unrelenting grief but God is faithful. He gives grace and he gives powerful breakthrough. I tried drugs but they made me worse. Still the counselors were helpful with their love and faith

    This is not to diminish anyone else. But I would be lying if I did not declare that the LORD has heard me and helped.

  61. Officehoppy says:

    “When a person decides their life is hopeless and they decide to end it, it is either systemic or they are not close to their Creator/Redeemer….”
    Wrong! A CC pastor in N. Calif. took his life a few years back. I have heard of other Christians who have done the same thing.

    “God knows our hearts AND our minds better than we do….”
    Yes. And He knows we are all broken people

    “Does God forgive suicide? If it is one of His children, of course He does, but expect a lecture when you face Him. 😘”
    You clearly don’t understand mental illness and depression. The only thing a person who takes their life can expect from God, when they cross over, is the same thing anyone can expect: the open loving arms of a merciful and forgiving God

  62. BrianD says:

    What Officer Hoppy said.

  63. pstrmike says:

    Thanks for sharing a part of your story.

  64. filistine says:

    following my son’s suicide, the presence and work of the Spirit of God as well as the kind ministry of many of His people were of enormous help. The Bible, not so much so because of the difficulty of focusing my thoughts to access it. But much of its truth from previous readings and teachings came into play. Prayer was difficult, but productive. The contacts with many of Drew’s friends and fellow soldiers was enormously helpful too. Spiritual life was apparent & carried the day. It doesn’t follow a formula–it is formulae that create unrealistic expectations and profound disappointments.

  65. ChiliDog says:

    When I was around 30 I was in a depression so bad I could hardly function. I prayed and prayed, went to a doctor and told him that God had not helped me. He told me that God was going to help and he sent me to a psychiatrist. I was put on mega doses of meds and still take them 35 years later. I am so fortunate that I responded very well to meds. I know some people don’t. I praise God for my help and I pray for mentally ill people. Naomi Judd is out of her misery and happy with Christ. No more tears.
    I do pray to the Lord that my liver holds out. I get blood tests all the time.

    I don’t get too angry at thoughtless Christians, they just need more education. Some pastors don’t get very much education in Bible school.

    God is so merciful. Mercy tirumphs over judgement. Thats is James.

  66. Shawn says:

    Michael I have found the last three weeks of Things I Think some of the very best since I stumbled on to your meanderings. I have wanted to interact but have not had the time or energy to gather my thoughts. However, this week reminded of how we often failed those struggling with suicide. I will always be plagued by the fact that in my previous ministry we were so task oriented, this was imbeded into the very fabric of our educational mission statement, that it served as the primary indicator of future ministry and present spiritual growth.

    It was easy to look at those who “caught” the vision and consider their success our success. It is easy to sheepishly pat yourself on the back. What was strange to me was those who failed to catch the vision and eventually exited the program were the ones at fault. In all preparing for the next batch of students, nine years of it, I cannot remember a single time we asked the questions “what more could we have done?” Or “how did we fail so and so?” I wish we would have had the spiritual sensitivity to be introspective in these matters.

    At this point you may wonder what this has to do with anything, especially this week’s collection of thoughts. Everything. I am forever reminded of a good natured carrot snacking student that we failed. Seriously he was always eating carrots. Most times you could find him with one in his back pocket.

    I can’t remember if we asked him to return for the next semester or if we asked him leave in the middle of a semester. Either way he was always the center of critique, supposedly due to his work ethic but I won’t get into our expectations here and now, but let’s just say they were harsh, for lack of a better word.

    I can remember that we got a phone call that he had taken his life. I am not sure if there was a correlation or not. I do remember being told that this was something he struggled with before coming to us. When I heard I was shocked but did not have the time or permission to process the whole thing. Over the years I have processed his suicide in small parts. In many ways I am freshly processing it anew today. Needless to say, this time I am processing it differently.

    My hope and prayer is that someone struggling with suicide will find your post and read through the comments and find the hope and help they need.

  67. This is the last article my dear friend Nancy emailed me that was written by you before she went to be with our Lord. She knew I had read Naomi’s book and had been so inspired by her story. She also knew how saddened I was to hear about her suicide. I really appreciate your empathy for those struggling with mental health issues/trauma. It is a blessing and encouragement to hear this from a minister these days.

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