Physical / Mental response to Harvey 

Physical / Mental response to Harvey 

These last few weeks have been some of the most amazing yet hardest weeks of my life. It’s been incredible to be a part of water rescues, shelter stocking, and the hardest to see was when we were evacuating families from their homes onto a boat. Grabbing all they can bring with them onto a boat or truck. Their kids grabbing their one toy or stuffed animal and walking off the boats and onto bus and into a shelter, truly heartbreaking.  Then when the hurricane passed, working along side so many in helping & organizing the clean up process for those who affected by the flood. 
With all this going on it’s been somewhat tough and this article has been a huge resource. 

The only part missing is Jesus in the whole article. He is the first step, and I’ve been cleaning to Him this whole time. I’ve loved this so much, helping our city brings me so much excitement! 
“While this was posted for first responders, a lot of others may suffer the same effects, especially those who volunteered, please pay attention:
What To Expect As First Responders Return Home

Want to help http://www.Second.org 

#HoustonStrong

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Article: 

As first responders begin to return from Hurricane Harvey, it is vital that we pay attention to their wellbeing. Large scale disasters demand significant physical and mental amounts of energy that public servants readily give of themselves. However, the recovery process for these amazing first responders is frequently overlooked. If you are a public safety professional who has deployed to the hurricane, a family member, friend or colleague, here are some things to consider:

First responders take about half a second to ramp up mentally and physically. The fight or flight response is immediate and vital to the roles that first responders take on during dangerous and even life-threatening situations. Coming off the response however, is very different. Think of this analogy: launching into response mode is fast like a microwave, with immediate heat and energy. Coming off response mode is like an oven that has been cooking at 500 degrees cooling down, slowly and gradually.

During Harvey, all first responders utilize the fight or flight response, which involves the sympathetic nervous system and copious amounts of adrenaline, glucose and cortisol. In the aftermath of the activation, rescuers will experience the counter effect of the fight or flight response, which is a parasympathetic nervous system backlash. This means rescuers hit the wall. They get very tired and irritable. They sometimes catch colds or simply don’t feel well. At the same time, they also begin to deal with reality as the sights, smells and sounds begin to replay in their minds.

Please understand that human beings are not light switches. We don’t simply “turn off” an experience and “turn on” normal life. I ask that every first responder give himself of herself time to recover. Specifically, please consider this:

For First Responders:

• Get rest. Take plenty of naps if you are not sleeping well through the night

• Stay hydrated

• Take Vitamin C and zinc to help prevent or shorten the nasty cold you might have

• Talk to your family, your peers, peer support or a clinician

• Resist the urge to skip the gym. Yes, you are tired, but moving your body is the best way to get the fight or flight chemicals out of your system

• Resist the urge to drink too much. Heavy intoxication will only make matters worse

• If after two weeks you feel like you are not beginning to return to normal, get help immediately from a clinician who understands public safety

For Family Members:

• It is important to give first responders the time and space to return to “normal life.” Try not to overwhelm them with requests in the first few days. They will need time to restore their resilience.

• If there were issues at home while you loved one was away and you are notifying him/her, be sure to include the solutions that are being implemented. For example, if your 10th grader is already struggling in biology, let you loved one know what steps are being taken for tutoring, etc.

• Understand that your first responder has seen significant human struggling. They will come home with a perspective that the little things in life that don’t matter REALLY don’t matter. It is likely that they will have little tolerance when the kids are arguing over what video game to play. They are dealing with a sharp contrast of reality coming from where they have been.

• Don’t be surprised if your first responder has no desire to go out in public for a few days. They have been over-stimulated by noise, people and chaos for several days.

• Understand that your loved one might not want to talk about it. It’s ok for little snippets to come out here and there, and also for them to be more inclined to share with their fellow first responders versus family members.

• Don’t take it personally if your loved one tells you that he or she wants to go back. This is normal. The work is very meaningful, much needed and ongoing in disasters. It is normal to want to return to continue to help.

For Coworkers and Supervisors:

• Be there for your colleagues as they return and allow them the opportunity to discuss what they have been through without judgment.

• Understand that they will view the normal workday as mundane for a while. Considering what they have been through, it is normal for returning first responders to be frustrated with the tempo, the paperwork and the protocol. They will feel restricted compared to where they have been.

• Encourage them to get help if things are not returning to normal.

The main things to remember is that it takes time and effort to restore your resilience after a disaster deployment. Also please understand that it is normal for all of the issues to crop up a bit later down the line. The delayed response is due to the fact that many first responders employ a healthy amount of internal numbing, and when the numbing wears off, the reactions occur. Please take good care of yourselves and reach out if things are not improving.”

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“Checking Your Phone” – Hurting family relationships

“Checking Your Phone” – Hurting family relationships

Over half of children think that their parents check their phone too often, with a quarter of parents agreeing they want to look at their devices less. Yet it’s difficult to pry ourselves away from technology, so social media is in large part making us less social.  Andy Crouch reflects on these issues and will help us think through utilizing tech in a way that contributes to relationships.

 

 

Transitioning in Student Ministry

This is the time of year that many transitions and graduations are happening around the country.  It can be especially hard for many parents and kids as this happens.  We sent this to all of our parents in the student ministry hoping that this can help out in someway.  I also hope that this article can help you or someone else out as well.

Transition in Student Ministry

Students accepting or rejecting their walk with God is happening younger and younger.  We can focus all of our attention on students who graduate from high school to college, but the truth is, we need to start even younger.

We must work hard to make the transition as easy as possible for all students.  The best thing we can do is to keep everything consistent. Second Students works hard to keep students in a small group separated by gender and grade with a consistent small group leader. You know it takes a village to raise a child, and we agree. We do all we can to make sure we have the best volunteers when it comes to working with your students. We believe in our adult leaders and give them as many resources as possible for them to best serve the students.

We plan many events and activities throughout the year to build that student/volunteer relationship. These are key for getting to know the students, earn their trust, and begin investing in their lives.
We also believe in providing opportunities for your student to serve both on Sunday mornings and on Wednesday nights. We have seen that though transitions can be hard, when a student serves, this creates ownership. This too, translates into consistency.

We want transition of your student to be as easy as possible for your family. We want to come along side your family and make these next few years the best yet.  Our goal is to add to the already strong foundation your family has set and see your student grow in their walk with the Lord.

Please let us know if there is any way we can help. We look forward to watching your family be impacted by God through this transition.

Praying,

Michael Head

Be You..

Be You..

At times in life we can feel like we really aren’t good enough. I know that in ministry we can fall into that trap as well. We hear a great sermon and want to go and do that sermon (that is not a good way to show what God is doing in your life) or we want to go and be that person somehow. I have fallen into that trap before and it is horrible to be there. It is hard to continue to be someone else when God made me the best me.

Ministry is about you being you! God made you to do ministry the way He made you. In ministry, the trap comes as we try to look, talk, act, dress, speak, sound, study, read, listen, yell, live, move, sing, design, like the people who are “doing it.”
WHY?

Who said you’re not getting it done In your area that you are serving now? You may be reading this and in the back of your mind you are thinking, “well only if I had this or that”.
Why are you “not getting it done”? Maybe because you are looking in the backyard of another church or ministry and you are jealous because they have cooler lights, larger staff, amazing worship leaders, great communicators, cool carpet (ok no one is saying they have cool carpet).
Let’s look that up in the Bible…WAIT, IT’S NOT! No where does it say, the “cooler” buildings, lights, screens, stage designs, sermon titles, get people to come to your church or events.
It does say it is about relationships, that is it! People knowing that you truly care about them, and want to see them grow in their walk with God.
BE you. BE who God made YOU. Don’t be someone else. You will be more successful if you are you! The people that you try to be like, are not like anyone else. They’re not scared to just be them, so do ministry the way God designed you to be, not how He designed everyone else.

Mothers Day…

Mothers Day…

Mothers day is an incredible day for so many people…  I personally am very excited about today because of the mom that I get to see in action every single day!  The truth is, is that there are many who will never be married, never have kids, and will always struggle on this day.

I am saddened for those people and I know quite a few… I ran across this, and I hope if you know someone or maybe you fall into that spectrum this will help.

Here is a section from a Mother’s Day sermon by John Piper where he addressed some various issues of pain that can be associated with this day:

There are millions of single women, and many will stay single.

There is a grace from God for that—a very special grace and for some even a calling.

There are women who are single mothers and the marriage element in the calling I just described is painfully missing.

Jesus Christ has a grace for that.

There are women who are married and cannot, or, with their husbands, choose not, to have children.

Jesus has a grace for that.

Be

Be

cropped-bestillpiccopy.jpgFor so long my favorite verse has been Psalm 46.10…. I have it on my wall in my office I stare at it all day long. I preach it, tell it, counsel with it, etc. I have just found that at times I need to REALLY put it into practice.

Can I really “Be still and know He is God.” It is hard at times to just do the first part “BE” can I even do that just “BE.”

I work hard to focus on this and let it really be lived out in my life.  Life can at times be so incredible, but happening at a speed that is very fast.  Those are the moments that we forget to just BE…. I challenge you to BE this week… What is that? How do we “BE”?  I would take time and ask God, and see what He says about you being “Be” You have to figure that out for your self.