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Sacrifice and Service

Recently, businesses have been forced to close resulting in employees being sent home with no idea when they will be allowed to return to work. Business leaders and employees are both struggling in this season of rapid and unexpected change. Pastor Gary Martin of The Bridge Church, Murrieta, (TheBridgeChurch.TV) says we should be modeling "confidence and not confusion." (Watch his message of encouragement to business leaders). Even while we are unsure of what will happen during this season, we can have confidence that God is in control. Even when we don't know how long these challenges will continue, this too shall pass. Even when fear of the unknown makes us uncertain, we can trust that God

Tired of Fear

Fear is the main emotion that is driving America right now. Fear of the unknown, fear of the disease that has a 98.5% SURVIVAL rate. Those are better odds than the risk we take everyday driving on the freeway. Fear is worse than the pandemic that is the reason for causing the fear. Fear causes needless anxiety and worry and depression when we can't decrease the fear. We look for answers, follow the rules, and sit in our homes isolated, scared, and alone. Recently I went for a walk in my neighborhood and was surprised by what I saw. Young families were taking their kids for walks, riding bicycles, and enjoying the sunshine. As they approached me, I said, "Hello" and they looked at the groun

Circle the Wagons

Back in the days of Cowboys and Indians and wagon trains crossing the prairies in an effort to "go west," there was a common method of circling the wagons that would allow the people a barrier of protection from dangers outside the wagon train. Today, families are circling the wagons in efforts to protect their loved ones from the dangers of COVID-19. In by-gone-days where families traveled by wagon train to new plantations and farms, the family was mostly all you had. Your neighbors were "down the road a spell" and you would often only see them Sundays at church. You would ride a horse or take the buggy to town for "supplies" when you ran out, but you generally grew or made everything you n

Cash In

One of the blessings you may find as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak is money in your bank account. Without the availability of dine in restaurants, movie theaters, and "non-essential" stores, our spending habits of the past just might mean there's more money in our savings account today. On top of that, the White House is looking to give us money during these times of uncertainty. There are rumors of money to pay our bills, money we can keep and not fear getting evicted from our homes, loan forgiveness for student loans, and mortgage loans are being deferred. So, what should we do with all that extra money. We should get out of debt. This is a GREAT time to be focused on paying down thos

Spring Sights

Good morning America! What a beautiful photo of the blessings of spring. Are you seeing it? There are many blessings that, unless you are looking for them, you will miss. Everywhere blessings are blooming. Yes, we are living in uncharted waters with the Coronavirus being talked about at every turn, but what we are experiencing feels very familiar to me. I am reminded of 9-1-1 when Twin Towers and the Pentagon were attacked by terrorists. The American people came together, supported each other, and did the best we could as a nation. In one way, I feel so blessed by the response of the masses, even while the few continue to act in ways that are harmful and inexcusable. After 25 years in law en

Happy Place

I was wondering when someone was going to take their happiness into their own hands and seek shelter in a different way. My nephew posted this picture about a neighbor of his who literally took to the rooftop of his home to find peace and quiet. Now that takes "out of the box" thinking to "new heights." Innovation is an American trademark. We are so capable to create the "new and improved" to compensate for the old, stale, and broken things of life. Recently, I was showing a young girl what courage and fear looked like. I lay on the ground (seriously) and whined, kicked, and complained that I had fallen down. In comparison, I jumped up, stood in a boxing stance, and showed her what courage (

Shine On

Sometimes it's hard to see the light while we are consumed in darkness. Everywhere we look we are being led astray by fear-mongering pandemoniac words and actions. Rushing about trying to figure things out on the fly has become normal. All of this causes unnecessary anxiety and depression and feelings of hopelessness. I'd like to offer some sanity in the flurry of overwhelming abundance of information that is contributing to the problem of miscommunication. In an article published online (March 20, 2020) from CalTech.edu, Trustee David Ho of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, Columbia University shared his perspectives of the virus and what he calls, "The tip of the iceberg." He believe

Risk - Reward

Last night I was catching up on the latest CoronaVirus information and saw New York City Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D) sharing a term he has used to teach his daughter, Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo (see photo) about acting responsibly: "Risk-Reward." What he was sharing, and what many government officials are saying, is that whatever your decisions are--there are risks and rewards associated with them. It you are taking risks (party on the beach with 100's of others) you are not only taking a risk of potentially catching Covid-19, but you are potentially going to take that virus home to your family members, who may be at a greater risk of catching the disease and possibly dying. That is a HUGE unn

Confidently Optimistic

Information is changing so quickly it's hard to keep up on the latest news from the White House. Local city and county officials have closed their doors to foot traffic, which limits access to finding answers on a community level. Schools are closing and sending students home to their parents who have no idea what to do with them because there was no time to prepare. Businesses are being forced to close their doors and employees are being furloughed or "let go" as business owners await solutions to the problems created by politicians responding to the Coronavirus outbreak. No one knows what the future will bring, so we brace ourselves for the worst. We sit at home, glued to the television, a

Cool Cucumbers

All through the Bible we are commanded to "Fear Not," or "Don't be afraid." This is because fear can drive us to do things we wouldn't otherwise do. It causes us to make bad decisions, to act impulsively, and it can cause us to run off a cliff like sheep without a shepherd. Fear can also discourage us. It can makes us feel isolated, confused, and hopeless. Left to our own devices and limitations discouragement and fear can spread (much like Covid-19). Why is it some people give little concern to the Coronavirus outbreak while others fear the worse? I believe there are people who naturally have the ability to consider the information, look at the possible consequences, and who can respond

Spinning Out of Control

We at Encouragers Counseling & Training Centers and Encouragers Family Counseling want to ensure you that we consider your safety and well being our top priority. We offer our clients a clean office setting with hand sanitizers readily available in every room. We have always offered Telehealth as an option to face-to-face therapy and would like to remind you how easy it is to contact our office or your mental health provider to request Telehealth. We are concerned about both your physical health as well as your mental health. The first thing I address when helping people who say their lives are spinning out of control, is to help them find balance. We are more than just physical beings, we

Calmer Heads Prevail

As of March 12, there are more than 127,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide, with major outbreaks in mainland China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea. Only 1,700 cases have been reported across the United States. (source: https://www.vox.com/2020/3/3/21163020/coronavirus-new-york-washington-california-florida). Governor Gavin Newsom announced Sunday March 15, 2020, additional regulations to limit movement of anyone 65 years and older and restricting movie theaters, restaurants and bars to only being able to provide services if they can maintain a 6' diameter between people. These suggestions are offered in order to protect those most vulnerable and at higher risk of catching the Covid-19

Calm in the Storm

The CoronaVirus (Covid-19) has now been labeled a pandemic by many in the news media and the medical field. Fear is mounting everywhere. With all eyes watching there are mixed messages offered as to how the virus was created, how to treat it, and how we are to respond to it. In a frenzy of miscommunication Julie Fischer, Associate Research Professor at Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science & Security spoke this morning on C-Span about the CoronaVirus. In this hour long discussion she provides clarity while at the same time offering a calmness that speaks of truth. Watch the entire presentation at: https://www.c-span.org/video/?470260-3/washington-journal-julie-fischer-discus

Paying Forward

Last week Nashville Tennessee was hit by a tornado that resulted in the loss of many lives and damage to property. The recovery attempts, assistance, and financial aid is pouring in from across the country. What often comes out of these disasters is the blessings brought on by others who have come to the rescue. The self-less acts of a neighbor helping another neighbor was the standard when I was growing up. We learned from our parents and schools taught us about "The Golden Rule." In church we heard, "It is better to give than receive." Self-less acts were common and movies like "Pay It Forward" (2000) and "Do for others as you would want them to do for you" were common phrases of those tim

Puppy Love

Sculptor Susan Norris created this life-size bronze sculpture titled, “My Hero, My Friend,” to honor the working dog's devotion to their handlers and resides at Veterans Memorial Park in Trophy Club, Texas, inside the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Service dogs are amazing. For 11 years my furry friend, Holly, was both friend and companion. Holly was a registered service dog and I would take her to work with me to bring calm and comfort to the veterans and children suffering from PTSD. When she passed 3 years ago I was heartbroken, and the love I lost still brings a tear to my eyes. I am so pleased to honor those who have service dogs by inviting them into the therapy sessions with their owner

Daylight Reset

Tomorrow is Daylight Savings. Don't you wish twice a year you could do a reset? I mean, how cool to take something that is God given (sunlight) and make it rise and set on your own time and terms. What if everything in life could be determined by your needs and wants? How different would your life look? Your relationships? Your families and your work environment? Would you be happier knowing that everything you planned is coming true? This seems like it would be AMAZING, right? Except for one thing...if you create it, you're responsible for it. Imagine this: You want your wife to serve your every need and she does. But for some reason that's still not good enough because she's doing it in a

Most Excellent Way

One thing that I've never understood is how people would rather bowl, tennis, fish, golf, ski, or play whatever sport, on a video game instead of going to the place where the sport takes place and experience it for real. I don't understand paying for a bicycle that sits in your living room and watching a TV monitor of places to go as being more exciting than actually getting on a bike and riding through the real countryside, up a mountain hill, or down a row of vineyards. Most people I know are working toward retirement where they hope to visit exotic destinations and the top of their bucket list is "travel." What do people put as their retirement dreams who already have "seen" those destina

Dusty Memories

When my daughter was young and before there were digital cameras, I would collect photos of all the places we visited that year and of all the fun we had. Then, I would compile all these photos into a photo album and present it to her Christmas morning as one of her gifts. We would always open it last and look through the pictures and laugh about the places we visited and the people we hung out with. I still have those photo albums and one day will revisit the places and dusty memories with my grandchildren. One of my best friends from high school was Alice. I loved going to her mom and dad‘s house because every wall was filled with family photos from generations past and present. Those phot

Puppy Dog Tails

How much of your day is spent chasing tail? If your immediate thought was sex, I have in my office a really nice seat cushion with your name on it (smile). What I am talking about is when you chase your own tail and you never get anywhere. You just keep going around in circles chasing after pointless endeavors. When was the last time you weren’t focused on your finances, your weight gain, your hair loss, or other mind numbing ruminating thoughts that you daily obsess about? When was the last time you set aside all that negative thinking and just went out to enjoy the life you are living? When was the last time you actually had some FUN? I have been known to focus so much on my company that w

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