How Mental Illness Impacts Families

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Depressed Woman

Many of you commented on and shared my recent blog post, “Could Robin Williams’ Faith Have Prevented His Suicide?”

That’s not surprising because mental illness directly impacts about one in four individuals… yet sadly, it sometimes seems that the Christian community doesn’t talk about the issue as often and as thoroughly we should.

Focus on the Family is hoping to help change that by helping families and churches better understand topics related to mental health – things like depression, bipolar and schizophrenia.

University Christian Clubs Not Allowed to Require Leaders to be Christian

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Female university grad

It’s a disturbing trend taking place on university campuses around the nation. Thanks to a 2010 Supreme Court decision, state universities are now allowed to restrict “belief organizations from requiring belief.”

The way this is playing out in real life is that Christian clubs are no longer allowed to require their members and leaders to be Christian.

Yes, you read that correctly. Pretty much defeats the purpose of having the club, doesn’t it?

And yet, in the name of inclusiveness, some state universities (like the California State University system) are choosing to impose this nonsensical restriction, and private schools like Vanderbilt University are following suit.

God in the Middle of Pain and Suffering

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American flag

Few events in modern America’s collective consciousness embody pain and suffering like the terror attacks we experienced on Sept. 11, 2001. It was this generation’s Pearl Harbor, a day so unthinkable and awful that we spent months reeling from the shock of it. We ached as a nation. We grieved with moms and dads, husbands and wives, children and friends who had lost loved ones.

Where was God in the middle of all that heartache?

It’s a question many people asked themselves in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and understandably so.

Remembering Chick-fil-A Founder S. Truett Cathy

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Truett Cathy

By now you likely know that S. Truett Cathy, the beloved founder of the popular Chick-fil-A restaurants, died this morning. He was 93.

With more than 1,800 stores and $5 billion in annual sales, Truett will be remembered by many as an entrepreneurial genius, a fast-food pioneer and an astute man of business. His rags-to-riches story should inspire anyone. Opening a diner in Hapeville, Georgia, in 1946, Mr. Cathy launched the now iconic brand on a shoestring.

How to Heal Old Wounds

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Burdened woman

Do certain memories from your past still haunt you after all these years?

Every day Focus hears from good people who have faced difficult, even tragic, circumstances. Many endure life with a sense of agony few of their family and friends are even aware of.

In some cases, these folks refuse to seek help because they don’t believe it’s possible to overcome problems from so long ago. “Why bother?” they think. “What’s done is done. We can’t change the past.”

Strictly speaking, that’s true, of course.

17 Pearls of Wisdom

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Grandfather laughing with grandson

I asked several of my colleagues here at Focus for their best dose of homespun parenting counsel. It should be a given that we’re to introduce our children to the Lord and disciple them throughout their childhood and beyond. I was mainly asking them for some very practical nuggets of wisdom.

Here is what they told me they regularly tell their children:

It’s never as good as you hear or as bad as you feel.
Learn to remember names.

Praying for Our Christian Family in Iraq

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Man upset, praying

If you’ve had an eye on the news lately, you’ve no doubt heard reports about the terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), more recently known as “The Islamic State.”

They’re a well-armed Muslim extremist group sweeping throughout Iraq, exercising both military and political control over the regions they conquer.

Just the other day we saw grisly images of the beheading of the American journalist, James Foley. ISIS claimed responsibility for his murder.

Beyond the political complications usually addressed on the nightly news are disturbing accounts that hit much closer to home for all of us who profess the name of Christ.

The Funny Things Kids Pray

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Three kids laying in fall leaves

Some time ago, a colleague tacked up the following sign above his door here at Focus:

Live Well (Philippians 1:27-28), Love Much (John 13:34-35), Laugh Often (Proverbs 17:22)

There is so much to say about each of these, but if laughter is truly good medicine, I thought I’d end the week by sharing something sweet – and comical, with you.

Riley was five years old. His father is on our team here at Focus, and he and his wife have made a habit of recording some of the more memorable comments the little tyke makes, especially at bedtime.

Could Robin Williams’ Faith Have Prevented His Suicide?

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Comedian and actor Robin Williams performs at the 2008 USO World Gala

The death of comedian Robin Williams has reignited something of a nationwide conversation about suicide and mental health. After all, most know someone whose life has been touched or severely impacted by depression. My own wife, Jean, lost a brother to suicide and Jean herself has shared that she struggled with bouts of depression earlier in our marriage.

Here at Focus on the Family our counselors talk with severely depressed people every day. In fact, suicide-related calls have skyrocketed in the past few years.

12 Suggestions for Loving a Prodigal Child

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teen boy looking out in distance

The following is excerpted from a previous post (which can be found here):

I recently came across an excellent article from Abraham Piper, the son of author and pastor John Piper. For parents who are currently struggling with a child (of any age) who has either strayed from their Christian faith or never professed Jesus as Lord of their life, this will serve as practical guidance to help you manage what is a very difficult reality.