Teaching the Shy Child (and Parent) to Share Christ

Has your child ever wanted to do something, but was just too shy or scared to do it?

Our family decided to participate in a one-day community outreach event at a local laundry facility. At first, our eleven-year-old son eagerly looked forward to the event. Then, as the day drew near, he tried to find reasons to be excused. 

"Maybe I should go stay at a friend's house while you go." 

"I'm not sure about doing this. What if I don't know what to say?" 

Although amiable, he’s shy with strangers—especially adults.

Unfortunately, there have been too many times when I’ve kept him within his comfort zone. It was time to do brave things. Since he is a Christian, I appealed to his heart.


Share the Hope of Christ with the Mentally Ill

by Sally Matheny

Share Hope with the Mentally Ill

Many years ago, one of my kindergarten students, “Cody,” exhibited bizarre and sometimes violent behavior. He wasn’t malicious. Yet, he consistently wrecked havoc among the five-year-olds, causing everyone around him great stress and concern. 

No matter what methods we tried to encourage success for him, they only helped for a short time—a very short time.

My assistant and I felt all our efforts were hopeless. And school wasn't the only place of Cody’s erratic and raucous behavior.

One morning he came in with singed hair and no eyebrows. His crystal blue eyes remained expressionless as he told me what he did in the middle of the night.

The kindergartner quietly slipped out of his home with an armful of toys. He dumped them in a pile in the front yard. Then, while everyone was asleep, he set them on fire.

I asked his grandmother, whom he lived with, about it later. She seemed a bit frazzled, but laughed it off and said the boy was constantly into things. 

It took me almost an entire year to convince Cody’s grandmother, and their family doctor, that something wasn’t right. He needed more help than his prescribed Ritalin could provide.

Around May that year, Cody finally received the requested testing and counseling. The results revealed Cody suffered from severe mental illness due to physical and sexual abuse. He was taken where he could receive extensive care.

Prior to Cody receiving help for his mind and body, I had the opportunity to offer him hope for his troubled soul.

It was on one of those many days when the P.E. teacher sent him back into the classroom because he was causing mayhem and harm on the playground. Cody flitted from one end of the room to the other. I was used to talking to him while he was on the move. Rarely did he stand still or even make eye contact.

However, that day, something unusual happened.


Review of Fragile World: A Film by Sandy Boikian

by Sally Matheny

An intriguing movie released in 2015. While fictional in story, Fragile World may shatter a few misconceptions about those who suffer with the realities of mental illness. It certainly refreshed my perspective.

The award winning, inspirational film has earned the highest rating of five Doves. This nonrated family feature is free of foul language, sexual content, and violence but the storyline is best suited for ages twelve and up. 

The main character, Rosalie, an interior designer, suffered a mental breakdown after the death of her father and occasionally suffers from delusions.

One day, she meets the man of her dreams,,,but does he really exist?

That question, as well as the excellent cinematography and outstanding acting, held my attention the entire movie. I constantly guessed at what was real, and what was not.

Those uncertainties opened a gate to better understanding those who suffer with mental illness. Writer/director, Sandy Boikian deserves kudos for that.

Bruised Reed Productions describes the film as one that “ponders the depths of human loss, the fragile framework of the human mind, and the road to emotional and spiritual healing.”


Three Things Parents Should Avoid on Sundays

by Sally Matheny

Do your Sunday mornings roll in with waves of whines
and crashes of grumbles?
If you’re one of those parents who has it altogether on Sunday mornings, whose kids eagerly jump out of bed, and sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy” all the way to church—this post is not for you.

However, if your Sunday mornings are like some of mine, rolling in with waves of whines and crashing with grumbles—read on, dear friend.    

Like grains of sand swirling about in the ocean, parents long for peace. But are we encouraging our families to settle for less than they should?

Here are three things parents should avoid, followed by some tips to help you get more out of your Sundays.