Grateful for All

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Travel to my hometown is time travel. When I pass through the parts of the world where I lived out my younger years, memories vividly visit me. Today I traversed several such memory laden miles. I found my mind skipping like a smooth stone over the waters of time, across stories of discovery, to symbols of shame, to tough times, to occasions of joy.

As I ponder how the paths of the past paved the way to the present, I am thankful.

As Henri Nouwen wrote,

“To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives – the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections – that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment.”

Rather than remain in resentment, today I thank God for the shame and the pain. In this moment, I am grateful for the madness and the miracles, the confusion and the comfort, the overwhelm and the opportunities. Father, thank you for your faithful fingerprints across the span of the seasons of this life.

I have regretted so much but today I am grateful.

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Finding Motivation & Inspiration – New Facebook Group Launched

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The transition from surviving to thriving requires community. If you are in recovery from addiction or simply stuck in a state of mediocrity, I invite you to join me in the new Facebook Group launched yesterday called “The Inspiration Community“. This group is a place to inspire, motivate, and encourage one another in achieving our goals through the sharing of pictures, quotes, videos, and music (that are non-triggering). It is meant to be a hub of hope for those hungry for daily encouragement to move from auto-pilot into intentional living. If you want to participate in a community like this, I invite you to join us.Let’s support each other in taking our lives to the next level! So far, there has been a surge of interest. Please share this post and group with others.

-Written by Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley If you benefited from this article, please “follow” us on this blog and on Twitter, “like” us on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

Preparing for Your Proud Parent Moment (And Upcoming Central Valley Pornography Protection Seminars for Parents)

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Last week my 6 year-old son was with some friends when they came across nearly nude “art” that was displayed publicly. The experience was followed up with a conversation in the car with their concerned mother, who talked openly with them about what they saw and the need to be careful and look away. My son confidently responded, “Oh, I know. My dad works with that stuff. He taught me that too.” When I heard this story later that day, my heart swelled with pride. We recently started reading Good Pictures, Bad Pictures together and this was a sign that the message was sinking in.

I wonder, are you having similar conversations with your young children?

It is likely that all of our young children will someday be exposed to much worse than nude art. Maybe it will happen on the school bus or at a friend’s house. Are your children ready to defend themselves? If the answer is “no”, I urge you to start educating yourself today.

For all concerned parents, here are some upcoming presentations I am providing for our local community on this important topic:

Parent Seminar – December 2 at North Fresno Church (sanctuary), 6:30-8:00pm – Adults only

Teenagers and Up Seminar – December 9 at North Fresno Church (third floor), 6:30-8:00pm, separate seminars at this time for females and males.

Parent Seminar – January 5, Crossroads Church in Turlock (more info to come).

It is my hope that someday you too will have your proud parent moment, when your heart is reassured that your children are prepared for their inevitable exposure to pornography.

For announcements of future seminars and resources, please follow our blog.

-Written by Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley If you benefited from this article, please “follow” us on this blog and on Twitter, “like” us on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

Seeking Peace in a World that Wars

I just finished a piece called “Pursuing Peace When the World’s at War“. It is a message that our fearful world needs to hear and I would be honored if you would please share it with others.

Gratefully,

Forest Benedict

Reclaiming Hope: Overcoming the Challenges of Parenting Foster and Adopted Children

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My friend and fellow writer Marcy Pusey has just published a new book! For two days the Kindle edition is available for free. Check out this great resource and please share it with others.

I just got mine and look forward to gleaning from Marcy’s wisdom.

Check out the book here: Reclaiming Hope: Overcoming the Challenges of Parenting Foster and Adopted Children

Forest’s Article Published on Self-Talk the Gospel

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Self-Talk the Gospel, a website for Christian authors, just published one of my articles called “Are You Sleeping On Buried Treasure“. I am honored to have this article kick off their November series for male writers. I consider this piece some of my best writing and God continues to use it in my own life as well. I hope you can take a few minutes to read and share it.

Gratefully,

Forest Benedict