Category Archives for "Blog"

called to thrive -deep subconscious
Jun 03

Why Can’t I Get Well?

By Stephen Luther | Blog , Counseling , Splankna Healing Ministry , Walking Wounded , Wellness

called to thrive -deep subconscious

We have all had this experience; we know what is wrong, we want to get well, we may even seek help, but nothing works.  It’s frustrating and if you’re like a lot of people, you have just accepted that some things won’t change.  You’ve accepted something less than the abundant life Christ came to give you.  Or maybe you have accepted some watered down version of abundant life and become convinced there is nothing more.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  John 10:10 NASB

But if Christ came so that we can have abundant life, it must be possible.  I challenge you to start believing that.  Or at least to start wanting to believe it.  Are you willing to do that?  Let’s look deeper into this issue and explore what is going on and why so many of us can’t find freedom.

Most of our issues are deeply rooted and buried in our subconscious.  They emerge when they are triggered but then they get submerged until they are “needed” again.  These issues are the result of a past wound or maybe many past experiences that hurt you.  These experiences come with a lot of negative emotion that get attached to that issue and, unless resolved, weigh it down and keep it buried in your subconscious.  You may be aware that it is there, but in your conscious mind you cannot resolve it or deal with all of its impact.  Think of something being submerged in the deep end of a pool weighed down by a lot of heavy weights.  You may dive down and try to bring it to the surface but the weights become too much and you lose your grip and it sinks to the bottom again.  This is what it is like when we try to resolve deeply rooted issues.  We try to bring it to the surface and deal with it but we can’t.  Each time we try, we begin to lose faith that it can be resolved.  It’s hard to believe something can be resolved when all your experiences tell you otherwise.  It’s hard to believe you can truly be free and have abundant life.  That’s why I challenged you, that if you can’t believe it, you can want to believe it.  That’s where it starts.  Choose to want to believe you can get well, offer that to God and ask him to fill in the gaps in your faith.

Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”  Mark 9:24

Let go back to our analogy for a second.  What if you could dive down and one at a time cut the weights off of this thing that is submerged in the deep end of the pool.  With each weight that is removed it would begin to rise and eventually be floating on the surface of the water.   Could you remove it now?  absolutely!  So what if we could do that with those deeply rooted issues in our lives?  Well, you can.  This is exactly what we do in Splankna healing ministry.

At Grace Wellness Center we provide both Splankna treatment and in partnership with the Splankna Institute are now offering level 1 Splankna training to pastors, counselors and anyone else who has a passion for ministry and helping others in the Pittsburgh area.  You do not have to be a pastor or professional counselor to use this tool.  In my personal counseling practice and ministry, Splankna has become my most valuable tool and I believe once you experience it you will understand why.  Training is coming to Pittsburgh in July 2016 so don’t miss out!

Please contact me directly with any questions or to come to the office and see a live demonstration.  If interested please email me at

Life is a Journey, do more than survive; choose to THRIVE!

By Stephen Luther

Executive Director of Grace Wellness Center

Licensed Professional Counselor, Therapeutic Parent Coach and Splankna Trainer

called to thrive - struggles
May 31

Integrated Wellness: My Personal Struggles, Successes, and the Relation to Family Therapy

By Jonathan Held | Blog , Coaching , Counseling , Life , Wellness

Hi, my name is Jonathan Held, LCSW. Today I wanted to talk about my personal struggles, and successes with wellness and how family and/or couples therapy can fit into overall wellness.

First allow me to share with you some of the ways I have learned to bring wellness into my own life. I should start by saying that if you’re thinking why would I listen to this guy he thinks he has it all together, I can assure you that is not the case. Like most people, I struggle to maintain balance in my life. As a teenager I was probably about 100 pounds overweight. One of my greatest accomplishments was losing this weight; however, through most of my life I was rarely able to motivate myself to exercise. About one year ago (at 32 years of age) I discovered Beachbody and set a goal for myself that I would exercise six days a week for a year. I am happy to say that I achieved this goal and still continue to have daily exercise in my life. (I also – through Beachbody – have been turned onto Shakeology, which is what I am about to enjoy in this picture!). Like most accomplishments that stick, I did not try to do anything extreme, but instead attempted to bring balance by exercising 20 to 30 minutes a day and often modifying so as to not injure myself. You’re probably thinking wait a minute, I thought you were going to talk about family therapy – the tie in is this: setting small goals each day can sometimes produce the greatest results!

Other areas of life in which it is important to set (and maintain) small goals include family life, parenting, and romantic relationships/marriage. Generally speaking, I attempt to maintain a positive outlook on life and work towards maintaining positive relationships with all of those in my circle of influence – especially my immediate family. One of the best ways that I have found to do this is by making sure that each of my children – and my spouse – has a small amount of individualized attention each day, I will also attempt to have significant family time daily and weekly. Sometimes this can just be as simple as sitting down at the dinner table together, or going for a family walk/bike ride. The important goal is to maintain connection through family rituals.

In my practice, I often focus on relationships and the building of effective communication. I find that this can be a great step to maintaining overall wellness (I’m sure most of us can attest to the fact that we just don’t feel well – or make healthy choices – when we are not getting along well with our loved ones). The areas I am most passionate about  in practice are marriage and family. It surprises me how often couples and families state that they do not spend quality time together. I believe that part of the barrier to this is that we get stuck in negative patterns and ultimately avoid communication – which I believe is one of the magic pills to getting un-stuck in families (perhaps I should have said effective communication).

EFFECTIVE communication is where family therapy comes in. Through family work, I help others to communicate more effectively with each other, and help families to restructure in a way that children can thrive through an appropriate balance of structure and bonding/nurturing. One of the keys to this is helping parents discuss areas where they can more effectively align/work together to parent and to help talk with their children about emotional needs.

Of course family therapy is not the only focus – even in individual therapy, relationships (and wellness!) often become a part of the focus. Through assessment we will work together to determine areas of emotional stuckness in past/current relationships, work through ways to heal these hurts, and plan for ways to build and continue to maintain healthy relationships in the future.

One of the most important parts of therapy is YOU. Through counseling we will work together to help you come up with goals that make sense for your life (or your family) and establish a pace that works for you with an appropriate balance of pacing and challenging/meeting achievable goals. If you are ready to begin a journey towards healing and integrated wellness please call us at 724.863.7223 or you can email me directly at

called to thrive - dog fight
May 25

A Dog Fight

By Ron Agostoni | Blog , Counseling , Life , Walking Wounded , Wellness

called to thrive - dog fight

“That will teach them”.  Every utter that phrase? Ever experience that feeling of rage building inside of you, ready to explode out of your chest like something from the movie Alien.  Like an untamed wild animal gnawing at your mind and emotions. There’s that desire to tell someone off, cuss them out, or to slam on the accelerator speeding past the person who cut you off while “flipping the bird”. Like a dog tugging at its leash, it pulls you down, drags you about, and leads you down somewhere you don’t want to go.  And what do we call that dog; it goes by the name of Anger.

This dog named Anger has a message.  In the midst of the gnarling and the showing of teeth, it’s saying: “They deserved it”, “They will pay for that”, “They will regret it”, “I swear to God, I’m gonna…”, “If only they would shut up, then I wouldn’t…”.   And the fight is on.  The fight between giving someone a piece of your mind and that voice saying, “let it go”.  And there it is, the other dog named self-control; telling you to stop, or you shouldn’t do that, this won’t help.  So which dog is going to win, well it depends on which dog you feed the most.

That untamed dog named Anger has proven to destroy friendships, marriages, land someone in prison, and can even lead to major health problems.  But the dog named self-control is capable, patient, mature, forgiving, expresses forbearance, and restores.  Which dog do you feed?  John 6:35 reads: Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”  Are you eating from the bread of life or are feasting off the bait of Satan?

Scripture reveals to us that vengeance belongs to our Lord.  Deuteronomy 32:35 reads: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”  The truth is that vengeance is His and we have no right to seek it out on our own.  We are required to forgive, this is not an option that we have the right to decide whether or not we will forgive someone, but rather something that is vital to our wellbeing, both spiritually and physically. We are called daily to forgive, 7×70, not allowing the sun to set on our anger.  Despite the dog fight between wanting our own “pound of flesh” and “turning the other cheek”, the fact is that God will avenge us and He is more swift and just than we are.

Even as I write this, I am reminded of the dog fights I have had to endure throughout my life. When I was younger, if someone hurt me, I would hurt them worse just to “teach them a lesson”.  We may feel justified to retaliate, or to speak our minds telling someone exactly what we think, but we are not. And there lies the problem as I see it. That side where we believe that we are entitled to seek justice and “speak our mind” and the side that reminds us we are not.  Let me be clear about this, I am not saying that anger in itself is wrong, sinful, or always unwanted.  After all anger is only an emotion.  However, what we do with that anger and how much time we devote to “feeding that dog”; well that can turn into a destructive pattern within our lives.

When we feed off of the bread of life and enjoy the fruits of the spirit, allowing God to deal with those who have offended us, the load on our shoulders is no longer heavy.  There is a relief and a sense of freedom that comes about. So in the end, the hard part in managing your anger comes down to the struggle between your sinful soul that seeks justice and the spirit of God what dwells inside of you. Which dog will you feed more? Learn to lean of the strength of God that dwells inside of you.  You need to prevent anger from overcoming your thoughts and life by being in the word of God because when you are in the word of God, His word reminds you of these things that provide the strength you need.  So be still and know that He is God and there you will find that peace that surpasses all understanding. And isn’t that is the end goal you’re seeking, that peace that surpasses all understanding while in the midst of a dog fight.

One last thought to consider, there are tools that can help you develop that self-control and manage your anger.  Head knowledge is good, Godly wisdom is essential, and developing tools that help enable self-control is possible.  If you are struggling with anger, or know someone who is, call the main office of Grace Wellness Center at 724-866-7223 for more information on our anger management group.  It is a group that utilizes Cognitive Behavior techniques and the word of God to reach a more abundant life.  Let go of angers leash and find rest in God.

called to thrive - reboot marriage
May 25

Reboot Your Marriage

By Ron Agostoni | Blog , Marriage , Marriage Counseling

called to thrive - reboot marriage

When it comes to your marriage, have you ever felt alone, as if you’re living with a roommate?  Have you ever felt stuck and disconnected? Angered because nothing ever changes, and hopeless that nothing will ever change?  I think most couples have experienced this within their marriage at some point.  Perhaps not in regards to the entire marriage but at least in one area of your marriage.
Everywhere you turn; there are couples that have become good at being roommates.  They handle most conflict in the same way, parenting in their own way, finances as they see fit and on and on.  While there are no major glitches in their life, there is this little virus that is slowing growing and infiltrating all areas of their life and they do not even notice it.  The virus is called isolation and its main purpose is to render your marriage useless.  This virus is slowing your marriage down, decreasing the signal strength, and freezing the screen.
Consider this, there’s no doubt that we all have recognized just how inundated our lives have become with technology, we all have our favorite devices whether it’s our phone, tablet, laptop, whatever.  It’s also safe to say that we all have experienced these times when our device has simply lost its signal, or dropped a call with only one bar remaining.  What about when your screen freezes, and you sit there staring at the same screen, wishing that hitting the back button will fix the problem and erase everything that went wrong.
Well the same thing can happen in marriages as well.  There are times when your ability to communicate with your spouse is only at 1 bar.  Or perhaps you have felt as if you are stuck in the same spot with little to no hope of fixing the problem.  Unsure of how you got there to begin with and wishing you can hit a back button and erase everything that went wrong.
When your favorite device starts acting in this fashion, you know that it does not fix itself.  There is that moment when you have to take over and turn the device off for a few seconds, or unplug the device for a minute or two.  This reboot is necessary to get your device back to working as it is supposed to.  Without the reboot, your device is rendered useless.  Has your marriage be rendered useless in regards to performing its main purpose?  Do you even know what the main purpose of your marriage is?
In order to fix the device of marriage, it takes intentional behavior and action.  Sometimes we need to reboot our marriage.  Remember this, how you view your spouse will determine how you love your spouse.  If you are looking at your spouse as a problem, a broken device, an irritating person, annoying, nagging or anything else, your love for them will be hindered.
We are called to love as Christ loved the church, Ephesians 5: 22-32. If you view your spouse negatively, you will not be able to love in this manner.  Your love will not follow what Christ says love is supposed to look like as found in 1st Corinthians 13.  Our love should never give up, never lose faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (1st Corinthians 13:7).
Here at Grace Wellness Center we believe in Gods promises, we believe in marriage, we believe in living an abundant life, and our passion is to show you how to practically apply the word of God, along with counseling techniques, so that you find that joy, that passion, and experience that prosperous and abundant life God promises.  We have helped many, many couples just like you, couples who were struggling, who were broken, who couldn’t find peace, who felt alone and disconnected. And we can help you. Do not sit there day after day staring at a frozen screen.  Call and take that first step to an extraordinary life together.


called to thrive - life strikes a blow
Mar 22

THRIVE! – Even When Life Strikes a Blow!

By Stephen Luther | Blog , Coaching , Counseling , Wellness

called to thrive - life strikes a blow

We are children of the most high God and we were called to THRIVE!  This calling is undeniable when one reads the scripture.  We are to have abundant life, be overcomers, be free, walk in love and bear much fruit.  This gospel of just enduring until we can reap our benefits in heaven is toxic and it’s time we as Christians but it to death once and for all.  Don’t get me wrong, we have rewards in heaven but we are to Thrive here on earth as well.  Thriving in this life is not about being rich and successful by the world’s standards although some will.  Thriving means that we walk in the power God provides and we have abundant life regardless of our circumstances; even when the world strikes a blow.  Jesus was being questioned after his arrest when the following scene took place.
22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.
23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”    John 18:22, 23

When I read these verses today I pictured a little insignificant ant striking a mighty worrier. The official acted as though he had authority, superiority and power but does he?  Look at Jesus’ response.  He is unmoved by this attack; it had no power over him.  Why?  Because he had the truth; He already had the victory.  You see, Christ’s victory was already accomplished in Genesis 3:15 where it says “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”  The outcome has never been in question.  However, we often live as though it is.
What if we lived as though we already had the victory?  What if we stopped living on the defensive and started living victoriously?  What if when the world strikes a blow, we saw it as Christ did, as insignificant compared to the love and power of our heavenly father?  What if we recognized that we live with the same power Christ lived with, the Holy Spirit within us?

We would live victorious lives!  We would thrive no matter what our circumstances were.  Are you ready to do that?

Life is a Journey, do more than survive; choose to THRIVE!

called to thrive - vision, decision,
Mar 22

Vision, Decision, Provision

By Stephen Luther | Blog , Coaching , Counseling , Thrive , Wellness

called to thrive - vision, decision,

I was once asked if, as Christians, we should be plan makers or order followers.  How are we suppose to Thrive as Christians?  Do we create visions, make plans, or wait for orders?  As I thought about this and what scripture says, it was clear that we are to be both plan makers and order followers.  We need to find our calling, create visions and be obedient even when we feel ill equipped.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  Matthew 16:24

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.  Proverbs 15:22

God desires our partnership in carrying out his work.  He wants us to rely on Him and do extraordinary things in his name.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.  John 14:12

Ok so how does this work?  How do I THRIVE as a believer?

When people hear that my wife and I have 13 kids, many of whom have been severely abused and neglected before they came to us, we get very interesting reaction.  Most are very affirming and encouraging but usually somewhere in the discussion they say that it is great that God has equipped us for that calling but they know they haven’t been equipped for something like that.  Ok so let’s first look at the calling.  God calls us to be more than conquerors, to overcome and to have abundant life.  He calls believers to do the works that He did and in fact to do “greater works.”   How about this?  In James 1:27 God calls us to take care of widows and orphans.  So all believers are called to do God sized things; extraordinary things.  Every believer has been called to THRIVE!  

Ok so now let’s look at this idea of equipping.  Every time I have taken in another abused child I have felt ill equipped; because I am.  We recently had two children placed with us temporarily and the option to make it permanent came up.  Initially I said “absolutely not, we can’t handle any more kids.”  Well one day I was sitting next to one of the kids and felt an undeniable call from God that this was my child.  That was it.  I wasn’t equipped but God called me.  I can either be obedient and trust Him to do it through me or I can be disobedient because I don’t feel equipped.

So I believe the process of Thriving, of taking on God sized challenges, looks like this.  First we have the vision.  We look at how God has designed us and what passions He has placed in our hearts and we allow ourselves to dream BIG.  We wake up every day and, like Isaiah, say “here I am God, send me.”  Then we EXPECT him to do big things because he is a big God.  After seeking God’s direction with these visions, we then make a decision.  We decide whether we are going to be obedient and trust God or not.  If we decide to wait until we are equipped, we are deciding to not trust God.  Then once we trust Him, He gives us the provisions to carry out the vision.  If we wait to be equipped we miss it.  Dream big, decide to follow God and then watch Him equip you and do it through you.

Vision – Decision – Provision

God is calling you to THRIVE!  We are here to come along side you, meet you right where you are and help you get there.

Life is a Journey, do more than survive; choose to THRIVE!

called to thrive - live a life that thrives
Mar 22

Live a Life that THRIVES!

By Stephen Luther | Blog , Coaching , Counseling , Thrive , Wellness

called to thrive - live a life that thrives

Are you thriving in your life?  Do you believe you can or have you settled for just surviving?  Have you wondered if there is hope or is this all there is?  Let’s take a look at this.

“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”  Romans 8:37

Are you overcoming?  Yeah, me neither.  But check it out, God is!  Too often we think we have to do it on our own and get overwhelmed and depleted.  We conclude we can’t do it….and we are right.  But God doesn’t want us to do it; he wants to do it through us.  Isn’t that amazing?  Doesn’t that make you excited?  The God of the universe wants to give you abundant life and help you thrive in your life despite your circumstances.  He wants to move you past the limitations and lies that the world has given you.  They are nothing to him!  What does God want to do in your life that He isn’t because you won’t get out of the way?

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

In case you are wondering, this doesn’t mean you won’t have suffering or bad things happen to you.  What it means is that God has already overcome those circumstances.  Read the above verse again.  “I HAVE overcome the world.”  He has done it, we just have to accept it and let Him live through us.  Are you ready?

Life is a Journey, do more than survive; choose to THRIVE!

called to thrive - heal the wounds
Mar 04

Heal the Wounds

By Stephen Luther | Blog , Life , Walking Wounded

called to thrive - heal the wounds

In the last couple newsletters we have been talking about the walking wounded… those among us who are hurting and have not gotten help for their emotional, spiritual or relational wounds. We know about some of these folks, but many are suffering in silence. We know because often when people come to our counseling centers for help, we are the first people they have told about their problems. Our mission at Grace Wellness Center is to help the walking wounded by providing a safe place for them to heal without fear of judgment or rejection.

In the last newsletter we discussed taking off the mask and being genuine and why many people choose not to do this and instead suffer in silence. This month, we are going to talk about healing the actual wounds. As seen in the outline below this is the second step in the total process of healing.

The Process of Healing through Biblical Counseling

Take off the MASK: We need to begin the healing process by being genuine and open about our pain.
Heal the WOUNDS: Just like physical wounds, emotional, spiritual and relational wounds need to be treated and healed.
Remove the TOXINS: Toxins are the false beliefs that result from unhealed wounds and a life of covering our pain with masks.
Replace with TRUTH: The Bible tells us we are to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” We need to examine our life under the light of truth and replace the false and destructive beliefs with those that are true and healthy.

In his book Pure Desire, Ted Roberts tells a story of speaking at a church in the Bible belt. He asked the pastor what he wanted him to speak on and was told to just speak about all the good things God is doing in his ministry. Ted responded that he could do that but was sure he would end up talking about the hurt and brokenness that exists in the church, especially around sexual issues. The pastor assured him that while he could do that, he would not find people like that in his church. After all, they are not only in the Bible belt but the buckle of the Bible belt. So as Ted Roberts spoke about sexual sins and brokenness he gave a call for all those who struggle with some of these issues to come forward and acknowledge it before God and get help. He tells us that at first no one moved but once one person did, they were lined up 3 deep coming down the aisles. You see, often we think that our church or our family or our friends don’t suffer with the kind of brokenness we see elsewhere, but usually we are deceiving ourselves. The walking wounded are in our midst at church, in the community, in our neighborhoods and in our extended family. Let us help you meet the needs of these individuals and provide a safe place for them to heal.

The type of wounds people deal with are many. Often if we have secure relationships with others and God, they heal over time. However, many do not heal even if we have secure relationships. For those who lack proper support the healing of wounds is even more infrequent. You may think that everyone in your church has the support they need from the pastors, church leaders or others in the congregation. However, people who are deeply wounded, especially from very young, often don’t have a foundation of trust and security that allows them to take advantage of this support. Many who are not active in the church are this way not because of choice, but because of ability. They can’t connect because of their woundedness. Not connecting only intensifies their woundedness. At Grace Wellness Center, we specialize in helping people heal in a way that repairs the very wounds that keep them from taking advantage of the support in your church. Our goal is to return them to you healthy and able to grow and contribute based on their gifts and calling.

Psalm 34:18 tells us that “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” He wants all that are hurting to know that His grace is sufficient for them and that he has already provided the victory over their brokenness. Healing from brokenness and developing the ability to live in line with God’s truth and free from destructive patterns of behavior and thinking is essential if we are to fulfill our calling to be transformed more and more into his image (2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 8:29). In order to do this, we need to examine the hurt and through God’s word figure out how to integrate it into our life story. Unfortunately attempts to deny and forget hurtful things end up only causing more harm and leads to us missing out on the blessings that God has planned for us through the suffering. We need to help people see that through God’s grace, suffering doesn’t have to be destructive. It can lead to the development of perseverance, proven character and hope (Romans 5:3-4). We also want them to know that God does not want our suffering to be fruitless but to lead to an endurance that will enable us to be complete and lacking in nothing (James 1:4).

Will you join us in our effort to get our message to the walking wounded in your church and community? Consider partnering with Grace Wellness center and letting us come along side you in your existing ministry and strengthen your impact on those in your care. If you would like to explore the possibility of developing a ministry partnership with Grace Wellness Center please call the office (724-863-7223) and ask for either Kaelynn Labra, our Outreach Coordinator, or Dr. Phillip Huggins, our Director of Spiritual Development.

At Grace Wellness Center, the invitation is open to every heart that has been broken…let us help!

called to thrive - nutrition
Mar 04

Natural Medicine: An Alternative Treatment

By Grace Wellness | Blog , Wellness

called to thrive - nutrition

Natural Medicine: An Alternative Treatment for You and Your FamilyBy: Rachel Grace C.N.C. Certified Nutritional Counselor

Ever hear the saying, “Old habits die hard”? By nature, we are creatures of habit. We get up in the morning, do our daily regiment and crawl in bed at night. Even growing up, traditions are passed down from generation to generation. It’s only within the last couple of centuries that our understanding of nutrition and health has exploded. The medical field is now able to save the life of a child born as early as 22 weeks! They can do brain surgery, transplants, blood transfusion, even heart surgery! Incredible skills, thought and talent are involved in these processes, but have you ever taken your child in to a doctor for being sick and feel brushed aside, or put on the back burner? What about when you go to the doctor with symptoms and sickness but all tests come back saying you’re in great health although you still feel sick? We have grown up with the habit of taking our kids to doctors when they’re sick with things like ear infections, diarrhea, flu, and colds, but are our families getting better? Are we getting sick less often? Less visits to see the doctor? No- in fact, did you know that kids are out of school at least six to seven days a year for being sick? A doctor once stated, “In medical school, only they teach us how to get a child better, NOT keep them better.” Our goal as parents is to keep our children healthy and safe, and to provide the best environment for our children to grow up big and strong! It’s not our doctors’ job and they aren’t trained to do it, it is our job. So how do we this effectively? We aren’t doctors, we don’t have extensive education on health, but we are all given wisdom and intuition, and the ability to seek. I once took my four month old into the doctors with a slight fever and was sent away with a prescription for an antibiotic to treat an ear infection. As I was getting it filled I was talking to the pharmacist and was told it was not safe for a child under the age of 6 months to take, and was shocked the doctor prescribed it! I didn’t know what to do! Surely I was not expected to give my child something that was worse for him than an ear infection, so I had to find an alternative medicine. I went on the search, and it didn’t take long; within a couple hours I out found that garlic is a natural antibiotic and kills infections. We got garlic oil for half the price of just the doctor visit! Within two days, the infection was gone, and I didn’t even need to use Tylenol for the pain as garlic oil is also soothing to the ear. The results were unbeatable: two days versus ten days, a fraction on the cost, natural medicine, safe, effective, no Tylenol needed, a healthy child, a parent’s dream! Have you ever gone to the doctor for ear infections and they prescribe you garlic oil, or maybe a urinary tract infection and they send you home with a homeopathic remedy, or for insomnia and they talk to you about some effective herbs? I haven’t, its always one medication after the other, one prescription that only leaves you with more symptoms and more doctors visits that only one cost you more money. We ate healthy, exercised, stayed away from things like soda, and candy, but we were still getting sick, and the more we got sick the more I felt a gap between my children’s well being and the doctors’ sense of well being. What was missing? By following the same routine and skipping the step called nutrition, our family wasn’t getting healthy, we were only getting worse. After a lot of research, time, effort, and money, I finally reached a point of understanding. A recent clinical study (which can be found at in collaboration with the University of California Berkley School of Public Health, found that people who used high quality, chemical free, bio-available nutrients, in the form of a supplement had markedly better health than both other supplement users and those who used no supplements. Diabetes, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, stroke, emphysema, coronary heart disease all these things were significantly lower, including triglycerides, homocysteine levels, C-reactive protein which showed great results. The study also found that those who took supplements that were of less quality had an increase in their risk for these diseases than those who took absolutely nothing. Nutrients of all kinds can be compared to diamonds, you have your extraordinary diamonds that contain no defects, no contamination, no discoloration, diamonds that are high quality and costly, because of their exceptional value. Then you have your okay diamonds; some discoloration, some with black specks, some that just don’t sparkle, but they’re cheaper, easier to get, and no one can really tell from a distance the difference. Then you have your fakes, they look like diamonds, feel like diamonds, and unless your eye is trained, you cannot tell the difference. That’s exactly how our vitamins and nutrients are today. You have organic, whole, natural, no chemicals, no contaminates, available to be used by the body and turned into life for our cells and by our cells, or you have the vitamins that are just the copycat look alike, the chemical form. It’s a vitamin but it’s not real! No enzymes, chemically produced, depleted of the life giving effect, our bodies can’t even recognize what they are. But it’s cheaper, and unless you have a trained eye you can’t really tell a difference. Life as a parent, and some very unwanted stress and worry, led me to realize there is a gap between us and the medical system, between health and doctors, between sickness and health. So I became a Nutritional Counselor to utilize natural treatment and assist my family in being able to provide the best nurtrition, so we don’t get sick, so our children grow up big and strong. SAFE, EFFECTIVE, NATURAL nutrition, so we all can fill the gap between sickness and health and most importantly to STAY healthy.

Rachel Grace C.N.C. Certified Nutritional Counselor

called to thrive - car
Mar 04

Suicide Prevention: A Christian Standpoint

By Dr. Phil Huggins | Blog , Life

called to thrive - carSuicide prevention, while extremely important, appears to not be keeping pace with prevention of other injury related deaths. Of all the deaths by physical injury, the number one cause is suicide. One would think that auto accidents, accidental poisoning, or even more generic ‘accidental deaths’ would all have more deaths than suicide. Sadly however, there are many reasons why suicide is the leading cause of death by physical injury.

When I grew up, we had six kids in the back seat of a four door car. None were in child restraints nor wearing seatbelts. Today you need all of the above and then some. As a child an air bag was someone who talked too much. Today some cars have as many as ten airbags that deploy all over the car. Between the car itself being safer, safer roads, and safer practices by the occupants the death by auto accident has steadily decreased.

Along the same lines is the misdiagnosis of death by auto accident in terms of what is deemed a suicide. It is easier to believe that the driver lost control of the car and hit the tree than that he intentionally aimed at the tree. Some suicides are listed as auto accidents when in reality, they were more likely a suicide.

The same could be said of poisoning. With the labels on medicine today, it is difficult to overdose unless by intention. Yet, rather than list the death as suicide by overdose the cause of death is listed as drug overdose. Illegal drug users have often attempted suicide simply by overdosing.

So in fact the number of deaths by suicide is even higher than what the statistics can support. Why are so many taking their life? Depression, anxiety, loss of a dream, marriage difficulties and divorce, wayward children, financial strain,and loneliness come to mind, and the list could go on and on.

There are no clear signs about suicide, but especially in men as culture has taught men that they are not to show emotion. We are taught to simply solve a problem and when there is no solution, it appears that we have failed. When a man’s back is up against the wall, he can become potentially suicidal. At this point the best thing to do, the loving thing to do, is point blank ask “Are you considering the option of taking your life?”. It is better for all that he become upset at the question than for you to be silent and he proceed with the act. You will not put the thought in his head if it is not already there.

One might ask, if there are no clear signs, how does one know a friend or family member is suicidal? If you suspect, you ask. It is amazing how often people will be honest with this question. They are hurting. They are afraid. They need someone to show that they care. You may just talk your friend out of suicide simply by having him verbalize “Yes, I am thinking about taking my life.”

The second step you can take is getting your friend or family member help. A pastor or church counselor is a good starting point. For many this will be all that is needed. For others setting up regular counseling sessions with a Christian Counselor at a center like Grace Wellness Center will be needed to develop a mindset that is needed to overcome the current life situation. For any of these steps as a friend you may well have to make the contact and help your friend to get to the meeting. They may well be at a point where they cannot emotionally and intellectually make that call. You will have to do it for them.

In conclusion what am I saying is the key to suicide prevention? To simply walk with them. “One another” is a key phrase used throughout the entire Bible. From Genesis through Revelation , the idea of being alone is rejected. I need you and you need me. What a suicidal person needs more than anything else is to experience that (s)he is not alone. You are there. The ministry of presence is powerful.