September 2008


Well, Rob called me this afternoon to tell me that he had been fired from his job. I guess he was goofing around with a co-worker. At his previous job his boss didn’t seem to mind horseplay, but at the college grill the boss seems to expect adult behavior. Hopefully Rob learned his lesson from this. He says he is going out job hunting tomorrow. Now he wants to try something other than food service, so he doesn’t want to go back to his previous job. I hope this is not the start of a pattern. Stay tuned.

And I’m scared to death…..Lord, please put LOTS of angels around that car.  Thank You that I have this worry – I know they are many parents of an autistic child who would love to be in my place right now – so I’m grateful.  But you know me…always have to worry about something. Keep him safe.

Anyway, his “new” car is a ’95 Toyota Avalon. It is a really pretty pale blue color, and in good condition. It doesn’t get the best gas milage, but there wasn’t much choice for what he could afford to pay. And it has low miles for its age. We are paying his insurance and upkeep, and he is paying for gas.  So for the first time, we don’t have to drive him to and from work. Now both of my kids are independent travelers. Yipee!!

Now we just have to find another car for Joy (her car was stolen a month ago, and we finally got the insuance money).

I’m not prudish about using plain terms for physical intimacy with my husband – but I’ve noticed that I get a lot more icky spam if I use plain terms in either email or blog posts, so forgive the euphemism. Anyway, I had read that hysterectomy can really affect a woman’s response, so I was a little nervous. It did feel a little different, and I did not climax, but that is sometimes a problem for me anyway if I am tense. I was a little worried about whether the surgery site would be tender, but it felt fine. So I think everything will be OK.

My blood work shows that I am indeed in menopause (no surprise), so my doctor recommended hormome replacement therapy (HRT). I am still having some trouble sleeping, so I thought I might try it — but when I picked up the prescription and read the insert, I was scared to death by all the warnings and possible side effects. So I think I will stick with the estovan and minerals for now – and do some more research.

Rob has found the car he wants, so tomorrow he and his dad are going to buy it. I haven’t seen it yet, but Rob and my husband both say it is very nice. He drove my car to his bowling league tonight. It is only his 2nd solo outing. I was nervous, but he and the car came back all in one piece.

Tonight was my husband’s birthday, so we had his parents and our daughter Joy over for cake and ice cream and cards. Rob decided to go out with friends instead, which made me a little sad. But he is at that age where his friends are the most important thing (especially since he is making friends really for the first time). He got back just as his grandparents were leaving, so he at least got to say hi.

Mike Guglielmucci Questions Answered « Planetshakers Insider.

According to the link above, Mike G. is currently undergoing in-patient psychiatric treatment. Some Christians are questioning why he is getting “worldly” treatment, when he “really” needs to be delivered from the demon of lust. Bearing in mind that I am not a psychiatrist, and have absolutely no contact with or inside information about the churches/persons involved, I believe in-patient psychiatric treatment is appropriate for a person in Mike G’s circumstances.  I am writing about this, not solely to air my opinions about the Mike G saga (if that were my only reason I have no business writing about it), but because I think the broader Christian community has a misunderstanding of spiritual warfare.

———————————–

I believe in-patient treatment for a person in Mike G’s circumstances is appropriate for the following reasons:

  1. He has a medical condition that needs to be treated. First of all, he may be suicidal, and needs to be monitored closely, and perhaps medicated. Also, he is obviously in ill-health, even if it is psychosomatic.  He was truly vomiting, coughing up blood, and in pain.  Even if he was taking something to induce his symptoms, he will need to be monitored and treated for those symptoms.
  2. Even if his problem is basically spiritual, Mike G’s ideas about God, healing, and the church are obviously so neurotic at this point that he probably needs a break from a religious context in order to start dealing with it.  His shame is so toxic that he needs to be completely protected from anything that might trigger it.
  3. By a “break from a religious context” I do not mean a break with God. God is still holding onto Mike, as He holds onto any of us no matter how far away we have gotten from him.
  4. While I do believe that there is definitely demonic oppression involved, getting free and healed will require more than just a few deliverance sessions. Satan has a deep foothold in this young man’s life, and repentance and freedom are going to take time and a lot of effort.
  5. Once he is stabilized medically and emotionally, then it will be time to begin to deal with the spiritual roots of the issue. He probably does need to be delivered from a demon of lust. But there are other, much worse problems here – unbelief, deceitfulness, pride, fear, shame, rebellion….And his thinking is obviously very confused.  Satan delights in taking the truth and twisting it, so that Mike may “know” the scriptures yet not really know them at all. He may believe lies about the nature of God that are very deeply rooted. He is going to need to rebuild his faith from the bottom up. So deliverance from lust is only one step, although obviously a very important one.
  6. And who should he trust to do the deliverance? His church? His family? These are people that he was unable to trust with his secret. That may be solely his problem and not have anything to do with the climate of the church. On the other hand, perhaps that climate is toxic. Whom then can he trust?

———————

I believe that there is a reason why some people are delivered from a sin and never struggle with it again, and why others like Mike G. struggle for years and are not delivered. I think the word of Jeremiah 8:11 is a key point:

“For they heal the wound of my people superficially, saying ‘peace, peace’ when there is no peace.”

Telling someone to pray, or fast, or memorize verses, or repent, or do more good works, does not of itself heal a deep wound of the spirit. Nor does a deliverance session, if you are not getting to the root of the issue. A demon of lust only has a foothold if you give it one. Why did he begin to look at porn to begin with? What unhealed wound of the spirit did Mike G. have, that porn would seem to be a balm? Most people with any addiction, whether drugs, sex, or money, are trying to self-medicate, to deaden emotional/spiritual pain. It is a form of idolatry, yes; but the porn itself is probably only a symptom of a deeper issue. Instead of repenting from looking at porn, Mike G. needed to be repenting from looking to porn instead of God to assuage his pain.

One of the best books I have read on the issue of spiritual counseling is Inside Out by Lawrence Crabb. He has written many other helpful books as well, but this is a good place to start.

My twin brother emailed me from North Carolina where he’s been staying out of the way of Hurricane Ike and the aftermath.  He lives in Houston. He just found out that his apartment (a guest house) was not damaged, and the electricity is back on in his neighborhood. So he’ll be going back soon. I still think he should move away from Houston and come live in sunny Arizona! 🙂

———

AGE OF AUTISM: The Autism File Magazine Now in Bookstores!.

I saw this magazine in Borders today. I sat down and skimmed through the current issue. There is an article about the appalling, inhumane treatment of autistic children in some second and third world countries. There were photos of children chained to their beds, emaciated and injured. It broke my heart, made me nauseated, and very very discouraged. I had not thought before of the treatment of autistic persons as a human rights issue. But it is. These children are warehoused and neglected–or even abused and tortured–due to superstition, cultural ideas of shame, and unstable political and social conditions.I guess that is what might have happened to kids here a century ago – or even 50 years ago.

As frustrating as the situation is here in America, at least we have access to health care, treatment options, and education.

I think I have a new crusade. I don’t know how I can help….but I’ll find out how.  I know that autistic kids in Mexico are also poorly treated (anyone with disabilities, actually) and that is close to home; so maybe that’s the place to start.

Next Page »