I heard from someone I’m very close to about a counseling appointment they just had. Thirty minutes of spilling their guts, then “Well, your time is up. That must have been very therapeutic getting that out, see ya’ next week." They walked out and were alone with little direction or answers. It devastated them.

The questions they had were existential, spiritual, and deeper than the symptoms they were exhibiting. Modern counselors are primarily taught to treat the symptoms. Their 30-minute life assessment is not a life assessment. It's a check in the box. Now, there are some who dig deeper, but they are few and far between. These special ones are worth finding, but they can be hard to find. 

Depression up. Suicide up. Psych meds up. The evidence shows I’m right. Modern mental health has a problem.

Today on the Pilgrim's Odyssey we discuss why, what to do about, and advice for those seeking help.

What a crazy, wonderful, strange trip to Idaho! I saw the best of America, and then the worst on the flight home.

Hear it all on today's episode!

We’ve been talking this week about George Washington’s farewell address of 1793. It contains his admonition to preserve our liberty through unity of government, the danger of a large military establishment, and the divisiveness of parties.

Today, we end this series on the values he saw as needed to preserver this character and freedom, our religion and morality.

Yesterday, we talked about George Washington’s view that our country was interwoven with the love of liberty and the unity of government helped insure this liberty. He warned of those who would divide us.

What was this unity Washington warned us to keep?

“The name of American, .........., must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles.”

He also warned us of what he saw as the most likely thing to tear our country apart:

“In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.”

That is what has exactly happened to our country. Parties have created a platform to pollute our union, to give us fewer choices, to allow elites to speak for and divide us.

We will never be united by fear. It may temporarily dictate actions, but eventually, fear erodes and divides.

We will never be united by political divisions and labels.

But what unites us today? Does anything?

In 1796, George Washington used his farewell address to remind us what kept our young country united, Liberty! And admonishes us that liberty is the only thing that will keep an American government united in the future.

Take a minute to look up and read the entire farewell address and join me all week as we discuss it in depth. George Washington's words and warnings have never been needed more.

I mentioned in a podcast earlier this week that I believe the Bible describes the human condition better than anything. It is real to me because it knows me.

Sadly, we have raised a couple generations of children unfamiliar with church, with no clue “why” you should believe, the benefit of belief, etc.

I still think that half-a-century since his passing, the best apologist of how to reach them, and to understand the role of faith in our own lives, is CS Lewis.

You were made for something greater than just earth.

You discover yourself when you give up yourself.

Try to be good, and you will understand quickly why you need God, why you need what you were created for.

Now, as you walk around this weekend, remember this world was created for you. Christ died for you. Find your place in it by following the one who created you.

October 15, 2020

Making Sense of Loss

Tragic, inexplicable, senseless loss can completely shake up our lives. “This isn’t supposed to happen.”

This weekend we have our Indiana STARR event for the families of those who lost their lives serving our country. One hard part of deaths like these, they are out of the order of things. Our children, our young spouses, brothers and sisters aren't supposed to die like this.

You also see it in first responders - young, healthy, brave, and then they suddenly and tragically die.

It upends us. If we don’t right ourselves after this happens it can send us in a spiral we can't recover from.

Some things to remember:

When we suffer, God is close. Embrace that. Our pain can allow us to come to God.

Own your faith. It is really is simple, it’s a CS Lewis thing. If Christ rose again, there is hope. Focus on that image.

When I was a boy I thought I could change the world. Thankfully, I still do.

What has allowed me to keep that hopefulness? Living and loving deeply, trying to make each day an adventure, seizing opportunities, and most importantly, never giving up.

What I have learned in doing that?

  • Don't quit. If it’s that important, don’t give up.
  • Kids are energy, and kids are a reflection of us. Keep yours smiling.
  • Sometimes the best workout is the short, painful one. Keep moving!
  • It takes about 15 - 20 years with someone to really understand true love. Hang in there.
  • The bible is true because nothing describes the human condition better. From Old Testament barbarism to New Testament grace. That is who we are and we aspire to be. What others see as mistakes or gotcha’s, I just see as perfect descriptions of the imperfect perfectness of creation.

Help me celebrate my birthday, become a Patron! I'll be able to reach more people. You’ll feel better, they’ll feel better. Just click on the patron link in the header at thepilgrimsodyssey.podbean.com.

Yesterday, we talked about doing the little things. Today, it is doing those little things over and over.

Woodshedding, going to a private place to do a task over and over again. The result, a big pile of something, hopefully good!

Eddie Van Halen sat on the edge of his bed for hours as a young man playing guitar.

We are all called to work this hard for whatever is our calling. If Eddie Van Halen can do it motivated by youthful exuberance and Schlitz Malt Liqueur Tallboys, surely you can do it remembering God created you to do it!

October 12, 2020

The Power of Little Things

Look at the living room floor, the condition of your car. Are you taking care of the little things?

How about those morning prayers, those meals together as a family, time alone with your love? Are you taking care of the little things?

That diet soda, French fries, a few minutes at lunch to go for a walk or run, a check-up with your doctor. Are you taking care of the little things?

In faith and in life, small things add up. Small things are a great way to begin change, a bite size effort that over time moves mountains and changes our lives.

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