Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Warren’

Rick Warren’s ‘Daniel Plan’ Debuts on NYT Best-Seller List.


Rick Warren
Rick Warren
Despite being the time of year for sweet treats and indulgences, The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life, co-authored by Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church, and Drs. Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman, has landed in the No. 1 spot on The New York Times Dec. 22 best-seller list in the Advice, How To and Miscellaneous list following its Dec. 3 release.
The Daniel Plan is Warren’s first book published since The Purpose Driven Life, which has been identified as the best-selling nonfiction hardback in publishing history by Publishers Weekly, having sold more than 36 million copies. This marks the ninth best-selling book for Amen and the seventh for Hyman.
The Daniel Plan details a healthy lifestyle program based on five essential principles of food, fitness, focus, faith and friends, with the latter three being what Warren describes as “the secret sauce.” The program was developed and originated at Saddleback Church in 2011, and within the first year more than 15,000 church members collectively lost more than 250,000 pounds while experiencing decreases in health issues and stress and increases in spiritual growth and energy.
The Daniel Plan is far more than a diet; it is about living a healthier life based on biblical principles,” Warren says. “You can’t love if you don’t have the energy to love. If you go home every night and lie on the couch because you’re exhausted from not eating right and your blood pressure is too high, well, how can you make a difference? Change your life and change the world. That’s our goal with this book.”
Each essential within The Daniel Plan is intended to hold up one’s life, enliven one’s body, enrich one’s mind and fill one’s heart. Warren dives into spiritual health and the importance of building a foundation on God for all other areas of life. Hyman, a family physician and functional medicine expert, discusses the power of food as medicine and a source of abundance, noting that eating real, whole food can be a doorway to reverse chronic disease and create resilient health, easy weight loss and a clear mind. And Amen, a physician and double-board-certified psychiatrist, helps readers boost their brain’s physical health to turn his or her mind into a powerful tool to fight off cravings, bad decisions and toxic thoughts.
“It’s your brain that pushes you away from the table, telling you that you’ve had enough, or gives you permission to have the third doughnut,” says Amen, whose Amen Clinics have the world’s largest database of functional brain scans relating to behavior, totaling 85,000 scans on patients from 93 countries. “I want to help people avoid the dinosaur syndrome. There are 140 studies now that say as your weight goes up, the actual, physical size and function of your brain goes down, which should drive anyone to want to get healthier.”
The Daniel Plan focuses on practical tips, such as eating real, whole food; viewing physical activity as play, rather than exercise; setting SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound—goals; and finding a group of individuals to provide encouragement for healthy lifestyle choices.
The Daniel Plan is not a book; it’s a movement,” Hyman says. “In addition to the faith element, what makes the Daniel Plan different from other healthy lifestyle programs is the essential of friends. We have found people who did the program together lost twice as much weight as individuals who did it alone. It is the power of the community. They shop, cook, eat and exercise together. And that accountability—the love factor—is what helps people change.”
The concept for The Daniel Plan was developed by Warren after baptizing 827 adults in one day by lowering each under the water and lifting them back up. At that time, Warren literally felt the weight of America’s health problems while being simultaneously convicted by his own unhealthy weight and habits.
Warren enlisted three highly qualified doctors, Hyman and Amen, as well as Dr. Mehmet Oz, to developThe Daniel Plan, which was conceptualized from the Old Testament biblical account of Daniel, who refused to eat the rich foods from the king’s table and challenged the ruler to a 10-day health contest.
Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Rick Warren Details Healthy Lifestyle in ‘The Daniel Plan’.


fitness
Fitness is just one of the five essential principles laid out in the upcoming book ‘The Daniel Plan.’ (Tulane Public Relations/Flickr/Creative Commons)

Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church and best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life, has partnered with renowned Drs. Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman to co-author The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life releasing Dec. 3.

The Daniel Plan details a healthy lifestyle program based on five essential principles of faith, food, fitness, focus and friends. The program was developed and originated at Saddleback Church in 2011 and within the first year more than 15,000 church members lost a collective of more than 250,000 pounds while experiencing decreases in health issues and stress and increases in spiritual growth and energy.

The Daniel Plan is far more than a diet; it is about living a healthier life based on biblical principles,” explains Warren. “While all five essentials are necessary, it is the components of faith and friends that I believe are the secret sauce that make the plan so effective. When you have God and a group helping you stay on track, you have far more than willpower driving you to make positive changes and you are far more likely to stay consistent.”

Each essential within The Daniel Plan is intended to hold up one’s life, enliven one’s body, enrich one’s mind and fill one’s heart. Warren dives into spiritual health and the importance of building a foundation on God for all other areas of life. Hyman, a family physician and Functional Medicine expert, discusses the power of food as medicine and a source of abundance, noting that eating real, whole food can be a doorway to reverse chronic disease, create resilient health and easy weight loss and a clear mind. And Amen, a physician and double-board certified psychiatrist, helps readers boost their brain’s physical health to turn his or her mind into a powerful tool to fight off cravings, bad decisions and toxic thoughts.

“The health of the U.S. is going the wrong way. Two-thirds of us are overweight; one-third are obese. It is estimated by 2020 that 50 percent of the U.S. population will be obese,” says Amen. “Until now, many churches have been places of illness rather than health … think spaghetti dinner, pancake breakfasts, ice cream socials, potlucks and donuts on Sunday morning. The Bible Belt has been widening, but not in a way ordained by God.”

The Daniel Plan focuses on practical tips such as eating real, whole food; viewing physical activity as play, rather than exercise; setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals; and finding a group of individuals to provide encouragement for healthy lifestyle choices.

“Today, America has become the United States of Diabesity with 70 percent of Americans and 40 percent of children overweight, and one in two Americans having pre-diabetes or type-2 diabetes,” notes Hyman. “By 2050 at current rates, one in two Americans will be obese and one in three will have type two diabetes.

“Diabesity drives our national debt, threatens our national security because kids are too fat or unfit to serve, and our global economic competitiveness because kids who are sick and overweight cannot learn leading to an achievement gap with the rest of the world. We need a clear, doable, scalable program that can become a movement. ‘The Daniel Plan’ is not a book. It’s a movement.”

The book also outlines three simple exercise programs as well as a balanced meal plan, complete with recipes.

For Warren, The Daniel Plan has been three years in the making, ever since the vision for the program was developed in 2011. In the book, Warren honestly addresses the issue of setbacks in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, referencing his own experience following the loss of his youngest son to suicide last April.

Warren, who had lost more than 50 pounds prior to the tragedy, admits to returning to his previous unhealthy choices brought on by physical and emotional exhaustion during his subsequent grieving period, and his recommitment to The Daniel Plan lifestyle.

“As anyone in recovery will tell you, setbacks are part of the process of making any long-term change,” Warren writes. “Rather than beating myself up, I simply asked God and my close friends to help get me back on track.”

The concept for The Daniel Plan, on which the book is based, was developed by Warren after baptizing 827 adults in one day by lowering each under the water and lifting them back up. At that time, Warren literally felt the weight of America’s health problems while being simultaneously convicted by his own unhealthy weight and habits.

He enlisted Hyman and Amen, as well as Dr. Mehmet Oz of The Dr. Oz Show, to develop The Daniel Plan, which was conceptualized from the Old Testament biblical account of Daniel, who refused to eat the rich foods from the king’s table and challenged the ruler to a 10-day health contest.

“I witnessed firsthand the Daniel Plan’s impact on an entire congregation’s health,” says Oz. “The wisdom in this book will protect the temple of your soul.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Rick Warren Again Under Fire for Offending Asian-American Christians.


Rick Warren
Rick Warren

Asian-American Christians are voicing concerns over how they’re depicted by white evangelicals, most recently at a conference hosted by Rick Warren’sSaddleback Church in California.

Saddleback recently hosted a conference by Exponential, a church-planting group, and a video on Oct. 8 left some Asian-Americans offended.

It’s the second dust-up in as many months involving Asian-Americans and Warren, who spoke at the Exponential conference. Last month he received backlash from Asian-American Christians after he posted a Facebook photo depicting the Red Guard during China’s Cultural Revolution. “The typical attitude of Saddleback Staff as they start work each day,” the caption read on Sept. 23.

Warren later posted an apology.

In the video at Exponential, a pastor jokes about making his church-planting apprentice do menial activities, such as getting him coffee, giving him massages and holding his towel, according to the Rev. Christine Lee, a Korean-American Episcopal priest who attended the conference.

The apprentice reacts to the pastor in a parody of the Karate Kid, the 1984 martial arts film. The pastor begins speaking in a Chinese accent with “typical ‘Oriental’ music” playing in the background, Lee said. They go into a karate segment, and at one point, they bow to each other.

“I know they are not trying to be offensive,” Lee said. “I was actually trying to talk myself out of [being offended], but I kept coming back to this question: Would they have done this with black people?”

Saddleback staff declined to comment on the skit since it came from Exponential. Exponential leaders could not be reached for comment.

A group of Asian-American Christians are drafting an open letter to address the larger issue of continued troubling stereotyping of Asian-Americans and Asian culture.

“It’s disheartening to believe anyone is having to explain to fellow evangelicals that racist stereotypes are not OK, especially in the church and used in the name of mission,” said Kathy Khang, author and blogger who has been outspoken about race issues.

Last month, several Asian-American Christians commented and blogged that the photo Warren posted on social media was distasteful.

“People often miss irony on the Internet. It’s a joke people! If you take this seriously, you really shouldn’t be following me!” Warren initially posted in a Facebook comment. “Did you know that, using Hebrew ironic humor, Jesus inserted several laugh lines—jokes—in the Sermon on the Mount? The self-righteous missed them all while the disciples were undoubtably giggling!”

Warren took the photo down and apologized in the comments section on writer and speaker Sam Tsang’s blog.

“Thanks so much for teaching us! It was removed instantly. May God bless you richly. Anytime you have guidance, you (or anyone else) can email me directly,” Warren wrote in part.

Warren then posted photos announcing new Saddleback campuses, including one in Hong Kong, which upset Asian-American Christians who felt he needed to apologize more publicly.

Warren later posted an apology on Facebook, saying, “Staff handed me a hard copy of an email from someone offended by a picture I posted. If you were hurt, upset, offended, or distressed by my insensitivity I am truly sorry. May God richly bless you.”

It’s not the first time Asian-Americans—about 13 percent of whom are evangelical, according to the Pew Research Center—have been upset by depictions from other Christians.

In 2009, the Christian publishing house Zondervan publicly apologized for publishing “Deadly Viper: A Kung Fu Survival Guide for Life and Leadership,” a book that uses illustrations depicting Chinese characters and images.

In 2004, LifeWay Christian Resources was criticized for its Asian-themed “Rickshaw Rally” Vacation Bible School curriculum, which some saw as racially insensitive. After the criticism, some changes were made in those materials but the curriculum continued to be used.

“It is worth observing that it has almost been 10 years since ‘Rickshaw Rally,’ and there are prominent American evangelical publishers, conferences, and pastors who still use Orientalizing imagery,” said Justin Tse, who is finishing a Ph.D. in geography at the University of British Columbia.

Author Helen Lee wonders whether the continued use of Asian imagery suggests evangelicals are unable or unwilling to see their own cultural blind spots.

“How many times must we say the same thing before we are heard?” Lee said. “It is not acceptable to caricature Asian culture and to do so for quick laughs.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Rick Warren: Got on Knees and Prayed Over Navy Yard Shootings.


Megachurch pastor Rick Warren said he prayed for the victims and families of the Washington Naval Yard shootings the moment he heard about it.

“When I heard about those deaths, at the naval yard, the first thing I did was get down on my knees and pray for those families, of the victims, those who died, and those who are wounded,” Warren told CNN’s Piers Morgan in an interview to air Tuesday. “My heart went out to them.”

Warren lost his 27-year-old son, Matthew, to a gun-inflicted suicide just after Easter this year. He took 17 weeks away from the pulpit of his 20,000-member church before returning to preach a series titled, “How to get through what you’re going through.”

Warren is also a best-selling author.

See the video below:

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Greg Richter

Pastor Rick Warren’s Message After Son’s Suicide: ‘Never Waste Your Pain’.


Rick Warren
Pastor Rick Warren this weekend completed his seven-week sermon series ‘How to Get Through What You’re Going Through.’

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of the best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life, this weekend completed his seven-week sermon series “How to Get Through What You’re Going Through.”

Beginning with Warren’s July 27 return to the pulpit from a four-month sabbatical following the death of his son, Matthew, who struggled with mental illness, each message in the series focused on the various stages of grief—shock, sorrow, struggle, surrender, sanctification and, finally this week, service.

In a sermon entitled “Never Waste Your Pain,” Warren challenged members gathered at the main Saddleback campus and via video at the seven satellite campuses and live-streamed on the Internet by saying, “Our deepest life message often comes out of our deepest pain.”

Warren explained that God often uses pain to fulfill His purposes in our lives.

“I can endure pain if I see a purpose in it,” he said. “But sadly, most people squander their suffering, don’t profit from their problems, never learn from their losses and are unable to advance from their adversity or gain from their pain.”

Warren challenged that we can use our pain to draw closer to God and to others and that it can also make us more like Jesus, who learned obedience through suffering.

“God didn’t spare Jesus, His only Son from pain. What makes you think He will spare you?” he said.

“The secret of every winner, whether in business, sport, love, finance or relationships, is resilience—the ability to bounce back from setbacks or failure,” he added. “Winners have the same problems losers do, but they get back up while losers stay down. The secret to a person’s resilience is perspective.”

According to Warren, the highest and best use of our pain is to help others.

“Don’t waste your pain; let God heal it, recycle it, utilize it and use it to bless other people,” he said. “Use your pain as a model for your message and a witness to the world. But to touch other people, you need to be honest—with God, yourself and others—and you need to be vulnerable.”

“The world is impressed less with how we handle success than how we deal with suffering and adversity,” he said. “I could tell you about all the awards I have received, but when I tell you authentically about what I have been through with my son’s battle with mental illness for 27 years, that gets your attention.”

During his sermon, Warren got transparent about the recent pain in his own life since the suicide death of his son, Matthew, in April.

“The fellowship of suffering is the deepest of all,” he said. “Odds aren’t good for a couple who loses a child, as nearly one-third of these marriages end in divorce. But Kay and I give each other a lot of grace, are closer today since Matthew’s death, and I am more in love with my wife than ever before.”

Warren also shared that the way he has leveraged that pain to help others is to use his social media platforms, reaching more than 1.5 million individuals to help encourage hurting individuals and families. He recited 2 Corinthians 1:4-6, the same Scripture passage he used to start the series, explaining that he intends to continue comforting others with the same comfort he has been given.

In recognition of Suicide Prevention Week, the Warrens decided after more than five months since the tragedy that they would finally speak about the loss of their son and related issues, including removing the stigma of mental illness. They have elected to grant a broadcast-exclusive interview with CNN on Piers Morgan Tonight, which airs Monday, and an exclusive print feature in People magazine to run the following week.

Founded in 1980 by the Warrens, Saddleback Church is located in Orange County, Calif. With an average weekly attendance of 22,000, it is one of the largest churches in America.
Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Three Months After Son’s Suicide, Rick Warren Returns to Pulpit With ‘Grief’ Series.


Rick and Kay Warren
Rick and Kay Warren returned to Saddleback Church this weekend.
On Saturday, July 27, Dr. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of the best-selling book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” delivered his first sermon since the April 5 suicide of his son Matthew, who struggled with mental illness. Pastor Warren’s wife Kay joined him in sharing a message titled “How to Get Through What You’re Going Through.”
More than 10,000 attended two Saturday eveningworship services at the Saddleback Church Lake Forest, Calif., campus to hear the Warrens, with an additional 6,500 watching live online. It was the first time Warren had preached in 16 weeks, the longest he has ever been away from the pulpit. The congregation greeted the Warrens to a standing ovation.
Warren opened the service with a word of thanks to his staff, local pastors and his family for their love and support over the last few months. “We intend to spend the rest of our lives comforting others with the comfort we’ve been given,” he said.
Warren then continued by sharing the three things that gave he and Kay stability during their grief. First, life doesn’t make sense, but we can have peace because God is with us and loves us. Secondly, everything on earth is broken, but we can have joy because we know God has a greater plan. And third, we know that life is a battle, but we can have hope because we know there is more to the story.
“For 27 years I prayed every day of my life for God to heal my son’s mental illness … it didn’t make sense why this prayer wasn’t being answered,” said Pastor Warren. “When you go through a difficult time, you automatically start to try and find an answer. But explanations never comfort. You don’t need explanations; you need the presence of God.”
Kay Warren also shared about her struggle with continuing to choose joy even in grief, a topic of which she wrote about in her book, “Choose Joy,” released in 2012. “What do you do when hope doesn’t turn out the way you think it will? You rebuild your hope,” she said.
Warren concluded the service by committing to remove the stigma of mental illness.
“Any other part of the body, you can have it hurt and there is no shame in it,” Warren said. “If your brain doesn’t work right, why do you have stigma? It’s just another organ in your body.”
The Warrens, who have worked the last decade to remove the stigma of HIV/AIDS, said they are now called to remove the stigma of mental illness.
“If you struggle with a broken brain, you should be no more ashamed than someone with a broken arm,” said Warren. “It’s not a sin to take meds. It’s not a sin to get help. You don’t need to be ashamed.
Over the next six weeks, Pastor Warren will continue the “How to Get Through What You’re Going Through” sermon series by focusing on the six stages of grief: shock, sorrow, struggle, surrender, sanctification and service.
Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

After Son’s Suicide, Rick Warren Returns to Saddleback’s Pulpit.


Rick and Kay Warren
Rick and Kay Warren (Facebook)

Pastor Rick Warren is expected to return to the pulpit this weekend for the first time since his youngest son’s death in April. A spokesperson for Warren announced Friday that the founder of Saddleback Church will begin a series of sermons titled “How to Get Through What You’re Going Through.”

On July 15, Warren tweeted that on July 27-28, he would “start teaching again. Come early for a seat.” His first service back at the Lake Forest, Calif., church is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 27. The sermons will also be streamed live on the Internet at saddleback.com.

On April 6, Saddleback Church announced that Warren’s 27-year-old son, Matthew, had taken his own life with an unregistered gun he had purchased online.

Warren and his wife, Kay, appeared on stage at Saddleback Church in late May, announcing to his congregation that he would take a couple of months off to “recharge,” the Lake Forest Patch reported. Although emotionally and physically exhausted at the time, Warren said he had “spiritually never been stronger.”

In the interim, Warren, who is best known as the author of the tremendously successful book The Purpose Driven Life, has continued to share his teaching materials online at pastors.com, a website he founded for teaching pastors, and at rickwarren.org, his personal website.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

SHAWN A. AKERS

4 Ways a Pastor Can Show Love.


Pastor, you set the tone and atmosphere in your congregation. If you want to know the warmth of your church, put the thermometer in your own mouth.

I’ve visited some churches where the pastor’s lack of love is the main reason the church isn’t growing. Some pastors, by their cold demeanor and lack of personal warmth, virtually guarantee that visitors won’t come back. And in some larger churches, I’ve gotten the impression that the pastor loves an audience but doesn’t like people.

Great preaching without love is just noise in God’s viewEvery time I speak to at Saddleback, I repeat a simple reminder to myself. I never preach or teach without thinking this:

“Father, I love You, and You love me. I love these people, and You love these people. Love these people through me. This is not an audience to be feared but a family to be loved. There is no fear in love; perfect love casts out all fear.”

Let me suggest some practical ways that you can demonstrate your love:

1. Memorize names. Remembering names shows that you’re interested in people. Nothing sounds sweeter to a second-time visitor than hearing you use his or her name. While I don’t have a particularly good memory, I work hard at remembering names. In the early years of Saddleback, I took pictures of people and made flash cards to help me remember their names. I knew every person’s name in our church up to about 3,000 in attendance. After that my brain fried. I ask new members in the membership class to tell me their names on three different occasions to help me remember it. When you work hard at remembering people’s names, it pays great relational dividends.

2. Personally greet people before and after services. Be approachable. Don’t hide out in your study. For the first three years of our church, we met in a fenced-in high school where everyone had to exit through the same gate. Each week, I personally greeted every person that came to our church. They couldn’t get out without passing by me!

One of the best ways to warm up a crowd is to meet as many people as you can before you speak to them. Get out among the crowd and talk to people. It shows you are interested in them personally.

3. Touch people. At Saddleback, we believe in a high-touch ministry. We give a lot of hugs and handshakes and pats on the back. Today our society is filled with lonely people who are starving for the affirmation of a loving touch. So many individuals live by themselves and have told me the only loving physical contact they ever get is at church. When I hug somebody on Sunday morning, I often wonder how long that hug will have to last.

Study the ministry of Jesus and you see the powerful effect of giving people a look, a word and a touch. Look people in the eyes when you talk with them. Eye contact says, “You matter to me.” Give everyone a word of encouragement. Offer a warm, personal touch to show you really care.

4. Use a warm, personal style in writing to visitors. We have a series of letters I’ve written to first-time, second-time and third-time visitors, telling them how glad we are to see them. I don’t sign them with “Dr. Warren” or even “Pastor Warren.” I simply sign them as “Rick.” I want visitors to feel they can relate to me on a first-name basis.

If you send a letter to visitors, write it like you talk to people, not in stilted, formal language. I received a visitor letter once that said, “Our church would like to acknowledge your presence with us last Sunday and extend to you a cordial invitation to return on the next Lord’s Day.” Does anyone really talk like that? Instead say, “It was really great to have you. Hope you can come back.”

One of the most important issues every pastor must decide is whether you want to impress people or influence them. You can impress people from a distance but you have to get up close to people to love and influence them.

Written by Rick Warren


Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times best-seller The Purpose Driven Life. His book The Purpose Driven Church was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

For the original article, visit pastors.com.

Rick Warren Holds Private Funeral to Avert Controversy.


Pastor Rick Warren
Pastor Rick Warren

Pastor Rick Warren is being criticized by some for his family‘s decision to hold a private funeral for his son Matthew. The 27-year-old committed suicide after a lifelong battle with mental illness.

Meanwhile, Warren expressed his grief on social media tweeting his broken heart.

He posted, “Every time my heart shatters I take the pieces to Jesus for repair.” He also quoted Psalm 34:1 where it says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.”

He also wrote, “I’ve cried almost as many tears of joy as tears of grief in the last 48 hours, because you’ve loved @KayWarren1 and me.”

In response to supporters he tweeted, “Many ask “How can I help?” Help @KayWarren1 and me end the #stigma of mental illness! Join our team: http://bit.ly/152YGAG.

And to give supporters a little insight into how he and his wife are coping he wrote, “Music, not words, have brought the most comfort. As I type this, Kay’s downstairs playing hymns on her piano. #Worship!”

In a letter to his congregation Sunday, Pastor Warren explained his family decided on a private funeral to circumvent the controversy and pain surrounding the suicide.

The family’s “grieving has been public,” Warren wrote. “And grieving when haters celebrate your pain has been even more difficult.”

In honor of Pastor Warren and his lost we’ve retweeted many of his heartfelt words. For more, follow us @charisma_news.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Ron Luce Addresses Depression, Suicide in the Church.


depression
(© Magicinfoto | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images)

My heart goes out to Rick and Kay Warren over the death of their son Matthew. Their grief has to be beyond what words can describe. Knowing how close my own daughter came to losing her life last May, and suffering the loss of several close friends and staff members, this tragedy hits close to home.

It seems that precious Matthew had been struggling with depression for a number of years, even dating back to his teenage years, as I’ve read in some accounts. The Warrens say he had been receiving treatment for his depression for years, and that this disease unfortunately did not respond to counseling, medication or a host of treatment Matthew underwent.

I know the Warrens loved their son, prayed for him, and did everything within their power to help him overcome his depression. There is no understanding why, at 27 years old, Matthew felt he could not go on living.

Now, a debate has sprung up centering on how depression is treated by the church. Depression is very real issue, and it affects 1 out of 8 teens. We need to remember that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. As the church, what are we doing to love those who are in the grip of depression?

It seems that more and more teens see the taking of one’s life as the only viable answer to cease pain. Take for example young Amanda Todd, who took her own life last fall after a suffering bullying both in school and over social networks that was so bad she had to change schools several times and even move to a new town. And just this past week, 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons ended her life after she was allegedly raped and photos of the incident were spread around at her school, and police chose not to file any charges in the case. Although these stories are significantly different from Matthew’s, all of them were dealing with the same level of pain, and now all three families are suffering from incredible loss.

When the news of Matthew Warren’s passing away became evident, it felt as though we all lost a son, because Pastor Rick has endeared himself to so many of our hearts. The fact is, when we hear any of these stories of young people in so much pain, we all grieve. We are seeing a generation suffering and hurting, and they can’t make sense out of life.

In some situations, it appears that there’s no answer available. With many parents, as I’m sure it was with Rick and Kay Warren, there’s a sense that they have done everything they can do. Scripture says “after having done all, to stand firm.” (Eph. 6:13)

Instead of being those who’ve never been touched by tragedy judging people like the Warren’s, the Todd’s or the Parson’s, it’s up to us to find the Amanda’s and Matthew’s and be a source of life and hope for them. It’s up to us to be aware of what’s going on in our own kids’ lives and in their social network lives, so we can be sure they’re not being targeted emotionally beyond their ability to deal.

While for some families it may be impossible to know, many times (as with Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons), the reason why is obvious. We can be the source of solace to a generation whose hurt is so deep, no words can describe, and only the love of God through a human being can bring healing.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Ron Luce is the founder and president of Teen Mania MinistriesClick here to visit his blog.

Tag Cloud