Pastor Brad Hoefs

Pastor | Author | Speaker | Hope Coach | Mental Health Advocate

Start Your New Year with the Free Fresh Hope App​

Start Your New Year with the Free Fresh Hope App​

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Start your New Year off with the Fresh Hope app for both Apple and Android mobile devices.   The app allows you to have all of our online resources (blogs, videos, podcasts, newsletter, recovery principles, etc.) all at your fingertips in one place.

Plus, coming very soon is the mental-health-tracker within the app!

Click on your store’s icon, and it will take you directly to the download:

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New Year Resolutions​? Yes or No?​

New Year Resolutions​?  Yes or No?​

Over twenty years ago when my life was altered forever by bipolar disorder, I stopped planning and went into a mode of just surviving. All that I could do at the time was to survive one moment by moment. It had taken a good length of time before I moved jerry-kiesewetter-182712beyond just surviving. Interestingly enough it was at that time I stopped wearing a watch. Up to that point in my life, I had even worn my watch to bed in case I “needed” to know what time it was. I carried my day-timer everywhere all of the time. I looked at my calendar every morning and every night; making adjustments in it throughout the day. I made lists galore, read them and knew where they were. And setting goals was second nature to me. I could set them, achieve them and set new ones.

I was very driven and organized. No doubt I was a highly functioning hypo-manic “over-achieving-achiever.” That is until the hypo-mania gave way to mania and it caused my life to implode. Interestingly enough in the last few years, I have become increasingly more interested in being proactive about my life. I’ve become more goal-oriented again. Not to the point of being hypo-manically driven. But, in a healthy way (so it seems) I have taken more a hold of living my life instead of life living me. This year I’ve even set a few personal goals.

In 2017 I hope to:

  1. Celebrate even the smallest of things.
  2. Wait to respond when I have become triggered by someone.
  3. Stay on task more.
  4. Focus more on what is right than what is wrong.
  5. Focus more on what I can change than be frustrated with what I cannot change.
  6. Show my appreciation for my family, especially my wife, more.

They are simple goals. Not too grandiose.

Recently I read that people change for the following reasons:

  • 5% because we are open to it
  • 5% because we are obedient
  • 15% because of enlightenment
  • 75% because of pain and brokenness

I don’t know about you, but I think I’ve spent way too much of life changing due to pain and brokenness. For me, it is time to change for other reasons like enlightenment or because I want to change.

How about you? Do you feel as though life “lives” you or do you live life? Do you have any goals? If so, why? If not, why? What are your goals?

By the way, I still don’t wear a watch. (Probably never well again since I have a phone in my pocket that I can always pull out if necessary.) And I seldom look at a calendar. I’m just taking one step at a time over 20 years later.

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When Christmas Is Difficult

When Christmas Is Difficult

This is a special Christmas edition of Fresh Hope for Mental Health. 

In this edition, Pastor Brad talks with Perry Root, Sr. about experiencing grief or depression during Christmastime.  Perry is an M.S.W. student doing his practicum with Fresh Hope and is also a fulltime member of the Community of Grace staff.  He shares some insights as to experiencing grief or depression at this time of the year.

We encourage you to share this podcast with those that you believe might benefit from it.   Even posting it on your social media may reach someone who is very lonely, sad and depressed during this what many call “the most wonderful time of the year.”

To listen to this episode click here or click on the icon below:

small logo for Fresh Hope

After listening to this podcast, we encourage you to email us at info@FreshHope.us with a comment or question that we will share on our next podcast.

If you are listening to this podcast on iTunes, we encourage you to leave a comment regarding the podcast. Or you can leave a voice message for us on the site:  www.FreshHope4MentalHealth.com

Pastor Brad Hoefs, the host of Fresh Hope for Mental Health, is the founder of Fresh Hope Ministries, a network of Christian mental health support groups for those who have a diagnosis and their loved ones. In other words, Fresh Hope is a Christian mental health support group.

Brad was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1995. He is a weekly blogger for www.bphope.com (Bipolar Magazine). He is also a certified peer specialist and has been doing pastoral counseling since 1985. Brad is also the author of Fresh Hope: Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis, which is available on Amazon or at http://www.FreshHopeBook.com

If you are interested in more information about Fresh Hope go to http://www.FreshHope.us or email info@FreshHope.us or call 402.932.3089.

To donate to Fresh Hope go to http://freshhope.us/donate/

For a complete list of where Fresh Hope groups are presently meeting, go to www.FreshHope.us and click on “find a group.”  Or you may attain an online group of meetings of Fresh Hope by going to www.FreshHopeMeeting.com

If you are interested in starting a Fresh Hope group within your faith community, contact Julie at Julie@FreshHope.us 

Fresh Hope for Mental Health is a production of Fresh Hope Ministries. 

Fresh Hope Ministries is a non-profit ministry.  

The copyrights of this program belong to Fresh Hope Ministries and may not be duplicated without written permission. 

All of the podcasts of Fresh Hope Today, as well as numerous other videos, are all available on our YouTube channel: Fresh Hope Network

 Fresh Hope for Mental Health is on Facebook at  www.Facebook.com/FreshHopeforMentalHealth

 

 

Messy Christmas

Messy Christmas

Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. Prior to being diagnosed with bipolar, it was also the time of the year when my mood would escalate and the spending sprees would ensue. I also frequently experienced over-the-top focus on making Christmas “perfect.” I had never had anything but a “perfect” Christmas until 1995. That December was the first Christmas, following a manic episode earlier that year, which had led to the loss of my job as the head pastor of a large and growing church. It was also the first time in my life where I was not preaching, singing or playing an instrument in a worship service on Christmas Eve. Needless to say, I was in a lot of pain, grieving and numb from all of the hurt. I was lonely, filled with shame and remorse. Our world had imploded due to my behavior. My diseased brain had caused a very painful, messy situation. It was a stinkin’ pile of crappy mess! But, it was also the first time in my life that I think I got a glimpse of what Christmas is really about.

It was through the stripping away of all of the usual Christmas activities and traditions that I began to understand how messy the first Christmas was. Think about it. If you were God, wouldn’t you have done it differently? God could have done it with great pomp and circumstance; after all, who is more disserving of it than his son? But, he didn’t. Instead, he entered our world in the mess of a stable filled with animals along with all of the stench and the manure. His son was born right in the middle of all of it. He was born into the mess of a mother who was pregnant but not married at the time. And instead of a huge announcement of his birth to the world, the announcement was given to some shepherds out in the fields tending their sheep. Shepherds? Really? Who would ever believe them? After all, they weren’t even allowed to testify in the court system because they were known to be scoundrels who perpetually lied. What a messy birth. But, then again, messy is what our world is. Life can be very messy. And it was because of His love that He entered into our mess.

Maybe this Christmas is messy for you; messy because of the mess of life itself. But, possibly made even into a bigger mess when you stack bipolar on top of all of it. Maybe your world has imploded and brought nothing more than loss, pain, and shame. If so, please know this: this baby of Bethlehem who was born into a messy situation understands your mess. And not only does He love you; He is with you. And He is for you! My life is living proof that He can take HUGE messes and work something wonderful out of it. It did not happen quickly. It was a process that took time. But, I can honestly say that today I see how He has and continues to, redeem all of the messes of my life, including the messes that the bipolar disorder created. I’ve come to understand that there is no such thing as a “perfect” Christmas. It is not about that. Instead, it’s about messy Christmases and Jesus entering into our messy world to save us and redeem us- including the working together of all of our messes for our good. He IS with you. He IS for you; even if you don’t feel it. That doesn’t change the truth. He is working all things together for your good, (Romans 8:28) including any messes you may have made.

The reality is that there are no perfect families, no perfect Christmases, no perfect lives. Instead, the perfect one entered into our broken and messy world and lives. The peace He brings is the true peace, joy, and hope in midst of our messes. He is our sure and certain hope in spite of our messy circumstances. He has come for you. In whatever circumstances you find yourself in this year. He is working things out for your good. He loves you unconditional. He has not given up on you, nor will He ever give up on you. Because of Him, there is real hope. Hope for today. Hope for tomorrow. Hope in spite of your circumstances.

Christmas is still my favorite time of the year. However, there are no more spending sprees or an escalated mood. Rather, I celebrate quietly His entering into my mess and continuing to up-cycle and repurpose my pain for my good and the good of others. I’m not the exception to what He can do. Nor are you!

So, “Fear not, for behold I bring you good news of great joy, for unto you this day in the city of David, a savior is born who is Christ, the Lord.” He specializes in brokenness, messy lives, hope and forgiveness and He has come just for YOU!

 

 

 

 

Christmas Lessons When We Are Depressed at Christmas Time

Christmas Lessons When We Are Depressed at Christmas Time

By Rick Qualls

Good News…you don’t have to have a perfect Christmas. Christmas lights burn out. Your cat attacks the tree. The turkey doesn’t thaw in time or you forget to turn the oven on. Oops,  you forgot where you hid the kids’ presents.

The Good News when we are depressed is that Christmas isn’t perfect.

The first Christmas wasn’t perfect. Joseph and Mary couldn’t find a place to stay in Bethlehem and Mary ended up delivering Jesus in a stable. They stayed in a stable with animals. A manger from which animals eat.

In an imperfect world, God took all the limitations of being a human being. He experienced all the problems of living in a broken world.

When we suffer from depression or bipolar we experience the effects of a broken world.

Depressed at Christmas? It is ok. Manic during yuletide? It is ok. We are vulnerable in an imperfect world.

The lessons from that first Christmas have a lot to teach us about coping when we are depressed during the Christmas season.

Mary teaches us acceptance. Imagine how Mary felt when an angel announced that she, an unmarried virgin, was going to have a baby? How could her fiancé Joseph understand? Would he refuse to marry her? What would Mary’s family say? Would her friends abandon her?

When we are diagnosed with a mental illness we have questions. How is this possible? Will our family understand? Will our friends abandon us in our need?

How did Mary respond to the angel’s message? “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it happen as  you have said.” She accepted her condition.

Like Mary, we need to come to acceptance with having a mental health issue. The longer acceptance takes, the longer it will take us to manage our disease.

Does acceptance mean giving up? Does it mean being passive? NO! Acceptance is acknowledging reality and learning all we can to manage our disease, get treatment, and work toward remission. There are treatments. There is hope.

Acceptance is a kind of faith. A faith present in the first Christmas. 

Joseph’s world was not perfect either. He simply could not understand how Mary could be pregnant. Joseph was heartbroken. Very quietly he decided to divorce Mary. The pain of feeling betrayed must have angered this humble man.

But in a dream, God revealed Joseph should continue with the marriage plans. And so he did. He practiced obedience to God when he felt betrayed. Instead of striking out in anger Joseph responded in love.

I get angry at having bipolar. Sometimes I am furious. It makes no sense. There were more things I could have accomplished. My plans for the future were twisted out of the shape. Sometimes I am so angry I lash out at people in my life though they are not responsible. With foolish anger, I cut my medicine. I fail to exercise. I feel betrayed by God.

Joseph teaches me that regardless of how I feel my response needs to be one of obedience. Striking out at the people I love hurts all of us and accomplishes nothing. Cutting my medicine and not working my plan for remission is only self-defeating.

Obedience is doing what has to be done even when you don’t understand. So when I am at my best I use my anger to energize my fight against my disease.

Not working my plan only hurts me. I need to follow my plan toward remission even when nothing makes sense.

Joseph teaches me obedience.

The first Christmas was not perfect. But what the angel told Joseph is still true, “The virgin will be with child and give birth to a son and they will call him Immanuel—which means ‘God is with us’”.

Quails-bio-slide

De-Stressing the Holidays

De-Stressing the Holidays

by Jamie Meyer

Just a few days after Halloween I took our little dog, Mika, for a walk after dark. Strolling down the sidewalk I noticed that the orange lights, inflatable goblins, and spiderwebs draped across front porches had been replaced with twinkly white lights and inflatable Santas. Seriously? We were barely into November and the homes around us were already decked out like Christmas was just around the corner.

An unexpected wave of sadness came over me. Tears welled up as I was reminded of the pressures, stress, and shameful thoughts that begin to crowd my mind during the holidays. Seeing Christmas decorations on houses and in every store triggers a cascade of emotions from discouragement to dread.

After my recovery from major depression nearly ten years ago, the holidays have become stress x10 for me. You probably think I’m being too dramatic but this is how my brain works when I think about surviving Thanksgiving through New Year’s. It’s the only time of the year when there are more expectations, more decisions to be made, and more demands on limited energy.

A few days ago I told my husband that I’m already feeling anxious even though it’s only mid-November. He suggested that I write down everything that needs to be done between now and Christmas. Then we’d sit down together and decide what’s most important to us, what we can do together, and what we can eliminate or at least cut back on. We’re even going to put dates on the calendar when we’ll do things like hanging the outdoor lights.

I think one of the best things we can do to stay mentally healthy is to be proactive in managing the big things in our lives, like Christmas, instead of letting those things control us. My usual approach to the holidays is to ride the waves of anxiety, gritting my teeth until I get through it. I let myself get all out of sorts mentally and physically when caring for myself should really be my number one priority.

How do we realistically do that when we’re already feeling overwhelmed? Like my husband suggested, I think it helps to get our thoughts and feelings down on paper. Things become more concrete when we can actually see the words rather than letting them spin around in our mind and cause distress.

If we know a triggering event is coming up, we can plan ahead for what we’ll do to reduce the odds of becoming anxious and stressed out. Some people are troubled by having too little to do instead of too much during the holidays. Planning ahead will help them know what to do when they’re lonely, and what not to do, like isolating or using alcohol or drugs to numb the pain.

Several things I’m going to try this year include asking for help and sharing my thoughts and feelings instead of bottling them up inside. I’m going to do my best to lower my expectations and reduce the pressure I put on myself to make the holidays perfect. As I look over my list of holiday to-do’s, I intend to cross off anything that would be nice but not necessary to make the holidays enjoyable.

I think it would also be helpful to identify my assumptions about this time of year. For instance, I just assume I’ll send out Christmas cards every year because it’s something I always do. I believe that friends and family expect to hear from us as well. A better alternative would be to ask myself if sending cards is absolutely necessary. Is everyone expecting a card from us? Probably not. Will they think less of me if they don’t receive one? Since I have no way of knowing what people think then why be concerned?

Why does every part of the holiday season have to be perfect when “good enough” will do? I think about how much happier I’d be if I stopped comparing myself to others or worrying about what other people think.

Breaking down an overwhelming situation into manageable pieces makes it easier to choose what’s most important to us during the holidays. If we make caring for ourselves one of those important priorities, we’re better able to focus our time and energy on the people and activities that are most meaningful.

I wish all of you a blessed Christmas and may the gift of God’s peace be yours throughout this holiday season.

Jamies-bio

Christmas Lessons When We Are Depressed at Christmas Time

Christmas Lessons When We Are Depressed at Christmas Time

By Rick Qualls

Good News…you don’t have to have a perfect Christmas. Christmas lights burn out. Your cat attacks the tree. The turkey doesn’t thaw in time or you forget to turn the oven on. Oops,  you forgot where you hid the kids’ presents.

The Good News when we are depressed is that Christmas isn’t perfect.

The first Christmas wasn’t perfect. Joseph and Mary couldn’t find a place to stay in Bethlehem and Mary ended up delivering Jesus in a stable. They stayed in a stable with animals. A manger from which animals eat.

In an imperfect world, God took all the limitations of being a human being. He experienced all the problems of living in a broken world.

When we suffer from depression or bipolar we experience the effects of a broken world.

Depressed at Christmas? It is ok. Manic during yuletide? It is ok. We are vulnerable in an imperfect world.

The lessons from that first Christmas have a lot to teach us about coping when we are depressed during the Christmas season.

Mary teaches us acceptance. Imagine how Mary felt when an angel announced that she, an unmarried virgin, was going to have a baby? How could her fiancé Joseph understand? Would he refuse to marry her? What would Mary’s family say? Would her friends abandon her?

When we are diagnosed with a mental illness we have questions. How is this possible? Will our family understand? Will our friends abandon us in our need?

How did Mary respond to the angel’s message? “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it happen as  you have said.” She accepted her condition.

Like Mary, we need to come to acceptance with having a mental health issue. The longer acceptance takes, the longer it will take us to manage our disease.

Does acceptance mean giving up? Does it mean being passive? NO! Acceptance is acknowledging reality and learning all we can to manage our disease, get treatment, and work toward remission. There are treatments. There is hope.

Acceptance is a kind of faith. A faith present in the first Christmas. 

Joseph’s world was not perfect either. He simply could not understand how Mary could be pregnant. Joseph was heartbroken. Very quietly he decided to divorce Mary. The pain of feeling betrayed must have angered this humble man.

But in a dream, God revealed Joseph should continue with the marriage plans. And so he did. He practiced obedience to God when he felt betrayed. Instead of striking out in anger Joseph responded in love.

I get angry at having bipolar. Sometimes I am furious. It makes no sense. There were more things I could have accomplished. My plans for the future were twisted out of the shape. Sometimes I am so angry I lash out at people in my life though they are not responsible. With foolish anger, I cut my medicine. I fail to exercise. I feel betrayed by God.

Joseph teaches me that regardless of how I feel my response needs to be one of obedience. Striking out at the people I love hurts all of us and accomplishes nothing. Cutting my medicine and not working my plan for remission is only self-defeating.

Obedience is doing what has to be done even when you don’t understand. So when I am at my best I use my anger to energize my fight against my disease.

Not working my plan only hurts me. I need to follow my plan toward remission even when nothing makes sense.

Joseph teaches me obedience.

The first Christmas was not perfect. But what the angel told Joseph is still true, “The virgin will be with child and give birth to a son and they will call him Immanuel—which means ‘God is with us’”.

Quails-bio-slide

Mental Health Life Hacks for the Holidays

Mental Health Life Hacks for the Holidays

By Rick Qualls

As a child every Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday I would become sick.

Don’t misunderstand. Mine was a “Leave It To Beaver” childhood. It was an idyllic 1950’s childhood where I was cared for and loved.

I would get so excited I couldn’t contain myself.

There were long trips to visit grandparents we didn’t see often. Sears and Wards offered additional catalogs with large children’s sections of fascinating toys. Wish books we called them. I studied them and marked the pages, so mom and dad wouldn’t miss my favorite requests. And I was an ardent believer in Santa Claus…even after I learned it was Santa Qualls that brought the gifts.

The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year.

Today, as an adult with bipolar, I can still get sick during the holidays.

By the time I became an adult the ugly face of depression cycled into my life. The winter and holidays can now trigger a bipolar-depressive relapse. As the days get shorter and grayer, my spirits began to fall.

Fortunately, recent years have been better because of bipolar life hacks I have discovered. Here are a few:

  • Winter days and holidays are better when I keep my routine. I stay on my medicine. Not taking my medicine regularly will trigger a depressive relapse.
  • Sometimes adjustments are made in my meds as the season starts. I just had a session with my doctor in which an adjustment was made.
  • I have found that sleep difficulties can set off my depression. It does not take many sleep deprived nights to cause major setbacks. I have learned that I function best with nine hours of sleep. Everyone is different, but it is important to know what your sleep cycle needs to be.
  • I trim the Christmas tree but also trim my schedule. Some time ago I learned what is called the Pareto Principle which states that 80% of your reward comes from 20% of your effort. While the percentages may be argued I have learned that about 20% of what I do bring 80% of my satisfaction.
  • So I trim the schedule to make sure things of ultimate importance are done. It allows me to say, “No” to things that take energy I do not have. That helps me to keep my energy balanced.
  • These days my muscles and joints are not flexible, but my attitude is. If one of my grown kids can’t be at home on Christmas or Thanksgiving, I can let that go. I just make a point of enjoying them when they can. This flexibility makes life easier for them from the stress of trying to please other family members.
  • Accepting other family members as they are and not expecting someone’s personality to change makes things smoother. Over-expecting creates pressure for me and everyone else. Everyone needs their emotional space, including me!
  • What about the gray, dreary days? I turn on the sunlight. In my experience, a sunlamp used for Seasonal Affective Disorder helps my bipolar. So if the sun is hiding, the light comes on.
  • I also have learned that the light is best used early in the day. I discovered when using it in the evening it will prevent sleep, even overcoming my sleep meds.

What are your mental health life hacks?

“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” 1Thessalonians 5:11

“Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. “Eph 4:29

What are your mental health life hacks? Share them in the comments. It may make a big difference for someone.

Quails-bio-slide

12 Keys to Living Well Through the Holidays

12 Keys to Living Well Through the Holidays

The holidays can be a difficult time for people living with bipolar disorder. Adjusting your expectations and finding time to enjoy simple pleasures are among many ways you can stay stable and avoid triggers.

The holiday season can easily trigger hypomania, mania, dysphoric mania, depression, anxiety or intensify an already existing bout of depression. So, I offer these 12 “keys” which I have found which empower me to live well through the holidays:

  1. Adjust your expectations. Expectations more often than not have let me down. I find that if I adjust my expectations “down several notches” or even better if I have no expectations I enjoy the holidays Too high of expectations of others always seems to lead to disappointment. And disappointment can easily play into the hands of a mood swing.
  2. Enjoy the little things. Focusing on the little things can make a big difference. Life is made up mostly of little things. And simply enjoying them is important. I always have to remind myself not to make the little things into big things. And remember,  the little things that are not enjoyable or even painful are nothing more than little things.
  3. Give to others. If I focus too much on myself during this time of the year inevitably, it will lead me to the self-pity’s doorstep. When I am “other” focused I do much better. Giving to others and helping others who are in need allows me to keep the focus off of myself.
  4. Remember, this too shall pass. Going through hell only last if you stop while going through hell. If you are having a particularly hard holiday season, just keep going even if you are “barely going”. The holidays will pass. As they say, when you are going through hell, don’t stop! The one constant in life is change. Things will change. This too shall pass.
  5. Remember, depression lies. Remembering that depression lies is a biggy for me. If you and I begin to believe the lies of depression, then depression can even take a stronger hold on us. I always have to remind myself if depression is lurking around the corner or even if it has come to visit to use my rational thinking regarding all of the lies and deceptions that it has to offer. Despite how dark depression feels, I fight to use my logical mind over it.
  6. Watch your sugar and caffeine intake. This one is especially no fun at this time of the year. There is good food and drink everywhere. But, sugar (and carbs) takes us on a roller-coaster of highs and lows. Caffeine can easily overstimulate you and me. I recently lost about 62 pounds with many more to go, but during this holiday season, I’m allowing myself to enjoy some of the sweet things around me. But, I have promised myself that if I slip up and overindulge that does give me cause to jump off of the healthy eating wagon for good.
  7. Stick with a healthy sleep schedule. Don’t sleep too much or too little. Doing it is more challenging at times than knowing it. This one is absolutely necessary at all times.
  8. Exercise will help. The truth is that exercise always helps. But, if you are like me, I don’t enjoy exercise. I find that I do better if I choose some projects to do that cause me to move more than usual. Moving more is better for me and if the project is something I enjoy I don’t even realize that the movement is good exercise.
  9. Don’t isolate. This one is much easier said than done especially when you are in the midst of depression. Some years ago after being initially diagnosed, I was so depressed that I found myself simply isolating more and more each day. I had to do three things to isolate less:

a. I asked others to come to me and hang out with me as opposed to me going out.

b. I forced myself to get out of the house at least once each day. Even if it was only to take a short walk. It always helped.

c. I allowed my wife to urge me strongly to get up and get out of the house when I was not accomplishing the first two things. I didn’t always like it, and I didn’t always do it. But, she didn’t give up on me or get mad at me. She was lovingly very insistent.

10. Don’t over think. Overthinking life is never helpful. Overthinking can cause an “override” with our entire emotional and mental health. Overthinking can simply shut us down. If I’m too much in my “head”, I can lose large segments of time that go by with me becoming frozen in my thinking. Yes, I need to think and not react compulsively. But, overthinking can get me in as much trouble as not thinking and reacting impulsively. Balancing the two is very important.

11. Remember, there are no perfect families. During the holidays, most of us spend more time with our families than usual. And many of our loved ones can easily trigger us. Through the years, I have found it helpful to remind myself before a family gathering that “so and so” will probably once again trigger me. So, I plan ahead of time as to how I’m going to respond. Most times this works for me. You may not have the best family. But, remember, there are no perfect families.

12. Focus on what the meaning of the holidays. If you are a person of faith, it is important to remember why we celebrate the various religious/spiritual days during this time of the year. For those of us who are Christians, the message of God sending his son for us is the central message of Christmas. Which easily gets lost in amongst all of the commercial hype. So, during this time of the year, I take special care to make sure to spend time each day meditating on what the true meaning of Christmas is.

How about you? What have you found to be helpful to living well through the holidays? What works for you? What challenges you during this time of the year?

Check out Brad’s weekly podcast at www.FreshHope4MentalHealth.com

When Christmas Is Difficult

When Christmas Is Difficult

This is a special Christmas edition of Fresh Hope for Mental Health. 

In this edition, Pastor Brad talks with Perry Root, Sr. about experiencing grief or depression during Christmastime.  Perry is an M.S.W. student doing his practicum with Fresh Hope and is also a fulltime member of the Community of Grace staff.  He shares some insights as to experiencing grief or depression at this time of the year.

We encourage you to share this podcast with those that you believe might benefit from it.   Even posting it on your social media may reach someone who is very lonely, sad and depressed during this what many call “the most wonderful time of the year.”

To listen to this episode click here or click on the icon below:

small logo for Fresh Hope

After listening to this podcast, we encourage you to email us at info@FreshHope.us with a comment or question that we will share on our next podcast.

If you are listening to this podcast on iTunes, we encourage you to leave a comment regarding the podcast. Or you can leave a voice message for us on the site:  www.FreshHope4MentalHealth.com

Pastor Brad Hoefs, the host of Fresh Hope for Mental Health, is the founder of Fresh Hope Ministries, a network of Christian mental health support groups for those who have a diagnosis and their loved ones. In other words, Fresh Hope is a Christian mental health support group.

Brad was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1995. He is a weekly blogger for www.bphope.com (Bipolar Magazine). He is also a certified peer specialist and has been doing pastoral counseling since 1985. Brad is also the author of Fresh Hope: Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis, which is available on Amazon or at http://www.FreshHopeBook.com

If you are interested in more information about Fresh Hope go to http://www.FreshHope.us or email info@FreshHope.us or call 402.932.3089.

To donate to Fresh Hope go to http://freshhope.us/donate/

For a complete list of where Fresh Hope groups are presently meeting, go to www.FreshHope.us and click on “find a group.”  Or you may attain an online group of meetings of Fresh Hope by going to www.FreshHopeMeeting.com

If you are interested in starting a Fresh Hope group within your faith community, contact Julie at Julie@FreshHope.us 

Fresh Hope for Mental Health is a production of Fresh Hope Ministries. 

Fresh Hope Ministries is a non-profit ministry.  

The copyrights of this program belong to Fresh Hope Ministries and may not be duplicated without written permission. 

All of the podcasts of Fresh Hope Today, as well as numerous other videos, are all available on our YouTube channel: Fresh Hope Network

 Fresh Hope for Mental Health is on Facebook at  www.Facebook.com/FreshHopeforMentalHealth

 

 

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