This is a spiral bound 60 page 8 x 11 RESOURCE MANUAL for individuals or support groups. Leona explores our Christian responses to Adversities, Aging, Illness, and Loss. The Manual comes with 3 companion CD's of "live" presentations by Leona during a Christian Conference. Titles of the CD's are "Surfing the Age Wave," "Singled Out," and "Encountering Physical Challenges."
Life is not a smooth, seamless journey. It is unique for each person. Tough times are unavoidable. For the Christian, life is infused by the good purposes of God for his or her life on earth. The Christian moves joyfully toward his eternal destiny but not without ups and downs, obstacles, struggles, problems and challenges in common with everyone else.
God has generously created us with free will. Therefore, some things are the result of our choices, our wisdom or lack of it, and by living among the rest of mankind who also exercise their free will. Some things that happen to us are beyond our control and are simply part of mortal life on Planet Earth.
I have chosen three of the most common—the Aging process, the issues of Health, and our significant relationships with other people. As to the latter issue, I'm thinking broadly of several categories: the lifelong lack of a spouse, the loss of a spouse or family member by death, also the severance of a relationship through separation or divorce. Since I'm not able to do justice to all of these specific relationships, the material in this manual is related to the third issue—it focuses primarily on the loss of a spouse. However, there are transferable concepts that may apply to all kinds of loss.
I use the analogy of a BACKPACK which we symbolically carry as part of the human community. Everyone carries the same backpack. The backpack itself signifies ADVERSITIES. Like it or not, we can't go through life without experiencing some set backs. They come in various guises—hardships, misfortunes, afflictions, reverses, troubles and other hard knocks we all inevitably go through. We carry many issues in our backpacks, but included in each are at least the three I have singled out.
Through my published books and CD's and by my own experience of these three issues, I attempt to explore how we can best respond to them in a Christian way. I call them UNAVOIDABLE. However, RESPONSES to them are part of our free will and under our control. Our responses can be positive, constructive, optimistic, and pleasing to God. Likewise we can be discontented, angry, in denial, or rebellious.
The first section of this resource material is meant to offer a positive Christian perspective on ADVERSITIES in general. The second section focuses the spotlight on the AGING process. We begin aging from the time we are born! The third section takes up HEALTH/ILLNESS or the lack thereof as physical afflictions. The fourth section offers facts and encouragement on the BEREAVEMENT/SINGLE AGAIN process in both a personal context and the church context of help for the individual in need.
The printed material in this manual is, in a sense, documentation and background information to supplement what I offer in my published books, my presentations, and my CD's on these topics.