Saturday, December 31, 2011

No More resolutions. .lets say hello to 2012 by saying goodbye!

This is my last Friday night post for the year 2011. When I post again it will be a new year and we will have all kinds of new goals and high hopes for 2012. I know this is a time when many will make "New Years Resolutions" that we will forget about before the end of January: weight loss and time management and closet organization.

So. . .  lets do something different. Insead of making resolutions , make this the year we just say goodbye to the things that have held us back in 2011 & for so much  longer than that. Lets say goodbye to fear, we will get rid of anger and bitterness, we are gonna  kick sarcasm out of our mouths and out of our hearts. Hopelessness &  despair we will toss like a used up tissue. Lets say hello to 2012 hopefully, with every expectation that this new year will be a time of learning and giving and receiving, taking our losses with grace and looking for the Face of our G-d in every situation.

Prayer: Precious and Most Glorious Father , thank-You for bringing us thru another year. Some of us thought  ,Lord ,that we would n't make it , some actually thought there were some things going on in our lives that were too hard for You.But in spite of our unbelief You were patient with us and brought us thru . And the things we walked thru have not been easy, there were deaths of loved ones and unfilled emptiness in our hearts, there have been financial losses and illnesses , but Father we would rather go through these evils of life with You than have to face them without You. As we look back over this year there is much to rejoice over, many have received You into their hearts, a war has ended, someone has been delivered from a  personal turmoil.Thank You , Lord. And now as we walk into a new year we do so confidently knowing  that whatever we face , we know our prayers are heard by our G-d Who never sleeps. Hallelujah!!!!!!

Lets be hopeful. Lets Be Encouraged!!! See you next year. Happy  New Year!! Dr Norma

Monday, December 26, 2011

It's The Day After Christmas...... Is everyone as tired as I am???? Or are you just engrossed in new electronic devices?? I am both;tired, but really loving my latest toy. Iam writing this post on my IPad which is a gift from husband. Now I can share with you whereverr I am! This is great because next month we will be doing a Word Study on Hope. I believe this will be a great spiritual Focus on which to start the new year. I am praying that G-d will speak to your spirits and to your situation as you join me in this study. Prayer|: Precious and Almighty One, You Whose Exellence is unequaled, thank You for sending Your Son to us that we may No longer be subject to the power of darkness, but have a right to walk in fellowship with The Light of Perfe ction. Father, we ask that You would forgive us for all the things that we as a people have done that offend You. Forgive us for all the anger , bitterness and rage that grieve Your Spirit. Let us be reminded of The Love You sent in The Person of Your Son and let us walk in That Love. Amen. Be encouraged and be filled with Hope! Dr Norma

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas To All!!! Why We

Merry Christmas !!!!
For these most recent past  weeks I have been ,like you ,enjoying the December energy: shopping, decorating,  and admiring other peoples' decorations and traditions.
Last month, my husband & I traveled to  Fayetteville,North Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with our son and our  daughter in law.  On Sunday we worshipped with them at their church : New Life Bible Church where  Rev Drs. Allen S and Norma McLauchlin are the Pastors. As it happened, we were at the church on the 1st Sunday of the Advent Season and we were very pleasantly taught many things about Christmas traditions. Some of the teachings included:
  • The use of evergreens- Isaiah 60:13-"the Glory of Lebanon shall come unto you , the fir tree, the pine tree and the box together , to beautify your sanctuary."
  • The poinsettia- a Mexican plant whose flower has become a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem.
  • The candy cane - representative of the humble shepherds who were the first to worship the Newborn Savior. The red stripe- the Sacrificial Lamb, the white stripe- our Sinless Savior. The smell & taste of peppermint relate to the herb hyssop-"purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean . Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow" Psalms 51:7 
This list is not exhaustive; many more traditions and symbols were explained in the service . I found it very gracious  that not only did several ministries  have an explanatory part in the service but all the congregation participated , even guests , by singing and by the responsive reading. We had a good time at New Life Bible Church and as we wait on Christmas Eve, it is my prayer that you never forget the reason Christ came , and why we should always remember Sacred Traditions. They keep us in touch with The Reason for the Season.

Prayer - Hallelujah ! Thank You Lord Jesus for laying aside Your Heavenly Glory and coming to Earth so that we may have a Place in Our Father's Kingdom. Without Your Obedience it would not be so.Thank You for teaching us the value of forgiveness. Thank you for enduring The Cross in our place . Thank You for getting up and Thank You for being our Advocate even now. May Christmas with all its traditions constantly remind us of You and cause us to hunger and thirst for Your Presence in our lives even more. Glory , Hallelujah. Amen.
       Merry Christmas & be encouraged. Dr Norma

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Seasonal Stressors-Beware Part 2

Another , more debilitating stressor you may  come up against in the Winter is Seasonal Affective Disorder., also known as Winter Depression (S.A.D.) This is a type of depression that occurs in  Winter as the days get shorter, although the symptoms may first appear in Fall.  A short list of key points regarding this form of depression:
  • Symptoms- social withdrawal, energy loss,weight gain, appetite change 
  • Causes/ Risks - loss of sunlight , altered biorhythms , loss of sunlight leads to low serotonin, melatonin. Risks include being female, family history, clinical depression , bipolar disorder
  • Complications -Suicidal thoughts & behaviors, substance abuse, problems at work or school
  • Lifestyle Changes- make your environment as bright as you can , exercise regularly, get out during the day & get some sun.   
These are some points that hopefully  will make you aware of what some people may be suffering thru as the seasons change.  SAD is more common in Winter among women , but it can occur in Summer and it does affect men : although not as frequently but when it does , it appears more intensely .

You can read more information about this type of seasonal stressor  by clicking this link : Mayo Clinic Auger Depression

If you need help in assessing whether your symptoms are SAD , please contact us. You can leave a comment at the bottom of this post where it reads "comments", or for a private and personal reply e-mail me at the address that appears at the top right  of the blog. Be encouraged! Dr Norma

Tonights Prayer- Precious Father; in the Name of Jesus we come before you thanking You for all that You continue to bring us through. Thank You Lord , for Jesus . Help us in the midst of this Season to remember that He is  Our Reason for celebrating. Father at this time , many struggle. We pray that You will help and heal them as only You can. This we ask in Jesus' Most Holy Name and we thank You for hearing our prayer. Amen

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Seasonal Stressors - Beware!!!!!

I believe December is one of the most mystifying months of the year. The beauty of  Christmas decorations, winter fashions, the stark, contrasting natural scenery, and that awesome , hopeful energy charge that is in the air only in December create a wonderful, joyous season. As beautiful as it is , December is  the most stressful month  in the calendar year.
In this post I want to encourage you with  some ways to de-stress December.
  • Stressor -Over extending yourself
     Its ok to say "no" when you already have enough to do. Firmly, but pleasantly state that you will be happy to help at another time when you are less committed. 
  • Stressor- Spending too much  Set a realistic budget, especially on holiday spending. As you wander around the malls , remember that there are 364 more days you have to live.
  • Stressor- Family drama
  •   Accept your family for who they are- they are feeling the same strain that you are feeling  and you aren't perfect either. Hug'em , remember why you love 'em and enjoy 'em.
  • Stressor- Overeating-
  •    For many of us, it is hard enough to be disciplined about food thru the year.  However, when we are constantly surrounded by holiday goodies for a good month or 2, it is that much harder!!! If you can , eat lightly or have a cup of tea before you get to the party . Should you mess up, forgive yourself and get back on track .
Hopefully this list will give  you some help in navigating though some of the stress of the Holiday season. This is a time of joy!!! Be merry and Be Encouraged!!!!  Dr Norma

 Scripture Reference- Phillipians 4:5- let your moderation be known to all men

Friday, December 9, 2011

In A Season of Hope..........


 As you know we don't usually publish this late,  however I  just read some really encouraging news, and I did not want to go to bed without wishing you a safe and happy week-end.

As reported by the Associated Press, there are 2 new medications available that have had a stunning effect on breast cancer .One experimental drug called pertuzumab held cancer at bay for 18 mos, versus the 12 months reported  by more usual treatments.  Another medicine, everolimus sold as Afinitor, kept cancer in check in a median of 7 months in women who had conditions that were worsening in spite of treatment. Although the new meds are expected to be very expensive, and are NOT proven to be cures, physicians are hoping that they may become cures when given to women with early stage cancers.

I found this to be very encouraging , very hopeful GOOD news and so I had to share it with you. For more information about this consult the American Cancer Society, or if this information is directly pertinent to you, speak with your oncologist.

This week-end, remember that as Christmas approaches , we are in a Season of Hope. Look for it: its all around us! Lets not forget to thank G-d for it. Be encouraged! Dr. Norma

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Night Prayer

This is a late post, but I could not close out this week without wishing you a fun, safe and economical week-end.  This is a short post, but please remember to give a toy to one of the Christmas donation efforts like "Toys For Tots". There are many such efforts all over the country, so there is No excuse for us not to participate. I know, I know . . . .  many don't want to hear anything about Jesus/Yeshua all year long , until Christmas so why should we  celebrate "our" holiday with them????? because Jesus celebrates us Christians  all year long and He is counting on us Christians to show Him to them.    So- o- o !!!!!!!! Lets start with the little ones by showing them what Christmas really is.

A Prayer for this week-end: Precious Father G-d, we love You and we thank You for bringing us through one more week. Some things scared us this week , Lord. Some things shook our faith,  and we thought  we would n't make it, but through it all You kept us , You helped us , You sustained us and we again say thank You for Your Love and Your patience. We thank You for allowing us the privilege and the honor of coming before You in Jesus Name.  Father , I thank You for all the service men and women who are leaving Iraq. I thank you for those who are coming home, those who have come home  and I  thank you for the memories and the families of those who paid the ultimate price.  Father, please keep us safe as we travel this week-end and bless every road, vehicle, and driver. Protect us from the predators who lurk seeking what man, woman or child they may destroy.  Look especially at our  children and youth, Father and please hide them from the evil one's eyes  and his presence. We rebuke him , Lord where he has intruded ,we bind him , cast him down and render him powerless in Jesus' Name .  Finally , Father  I ask that as we all go to our Places of Worship , we will be receptive , obedient and embracing of Your Holy Spirit. Bless us Lord and keep us . In Jesus' Name ,we pray.  Amen
Scriptural references : Psalms 121, Psalms 150

Be Encouraged!- Dr Norma

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Remembrance On World Aids Day

About 18 years ago, my first determination toward Biblical Counseling came after my  experience as a volunteer in a ministry for persons with AIDS. At that time , I was overwhelmed by the severity of the disease , as well as the hate and lack of compassion shown to the people who were suffering.  Although some of the hysteria is gone , and public support for victims and suvivors is  improved over what it was 16-20 years ago, there remains  a lot of ground to cover in terms of awareness, treatment opportunities,  education and compassion. Still, I remain convinced that our G-d , our faith, our hope and our love for each other is GREATER THAN AIDS.

The proof of this conviction is what  is seen in the spirits of those  determined not just to  to survive, but to live: those who face the stigmas , the effects of the illness upon their quality of life, the amount and types of medication (and the side effects!)  and still rally, mentor, encourage , educate, lobby, smile, advise and pray in spite of the darkness in their lives. This is absolute courage , definite stregnth. To me this is evangelism at its best, because it mirrors what Jesus did when He went throughout Galilee. He preached , but He also healed and delivered from disease and demons, sickness and stigmas.  I know that this type of determination leads some one to the reality that ours is a loving G-d and Nothing can separte us from His Love because He is GREATER THAN AIDS.   Be Encouraged!!! Dr Norma


Monday, November 21, 2011

Make someone Thank G-d for your presence in their life.

Good Monday evening!!!!

This is my 2nd time posting this message, so instead of the Monday AM PepRally this will be more like the Tuesday AM Pep Rally. The first post was done at 10Am today. I wanted to add a picture , hit the wrong button and wiped out 2 hours of writing and editing. After that I calmly went downstairs and made 8 pies. No sense in crying , right??????

Anyhow , big changes are happening right here at A Higher Place : changes  that will require your assistance. We will talk more about them maybe tomorrow., but since this is the 1st day of my blogging week I did not want to end  the day without a message of encouragement and a prayer .

This Thanksgiving , make the day mean more than a designated National Holiday. Find some way to make someone thank G-d for you everyday. Speak a word of encouragement, give someone a small surprise, spend some time listening to a young person. Remember that to those of us who love G-d , everyday is another opportunity to say "Thank-You" by sharing what we have with someone else. Even at our lowest point we still have something that can be shared , a smile, a prayer , some time. In this way we become a continuum of G-d's Great Provision of Love to us.

Today's Prayer: Precious and Most Holy Father, Thank You. Thank You for bringing us through another week. We are thanking You for showing us how to be thankful for the good and the bad  because in this way You are teaching us to walk in Faith. We have much for which are most appreciative  , Dear Lord. And so we are. This week it is Your Servants's Prayer that you bless each celebration of Faith, that You preside at every table , that You remain at each place setting , that You are on every road , in every vehicle guiding every driver to safely arrive at each destination. Father, we know that there is no place where Your Loving Spirit cannot go and so we ask You to be with us and inspire us to live to please You. Once again , we thank You for all that You are . Hallelu-Jah!!! Amen.

Remember, make it your goal to be the reason a soul will say "Thank You , Father for Your Love. "
Be encouraged and always be excellent- Dr Norma

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Morning Pep Rally!!!!!!!

Happy Monday, Everyone!!!!

As a Biblical Counselor , I am constantly encouraging counselees, church members , family , friends and  often people I met on the street  because these days , everyone is affected or effected by something. I find it is discouraging sometimes to listen to the news or read the paper because of the bad/sad news. As much as we pray against it , stuff is gonna happen. It happens in your house and it happens in mine.

The thing to remember is that misfortunes do not define us unless we allow them to. I am by no means minimizing anyones' struggles: my family and I are going through a health challenge at this point, so I know how hard and hopeless things can seem. Other people are facing the losses of homes , jobs,  & careers. Families are being torn apart, churches are closing.Sometimes  it seems trite to even tell someone " be encouraged" or "remember G-d is in control." If at this time you are going through some personal devastion, do not lose hope and don't allow the challenge , whatever it is, to define who you are. Remember it is a valley you are walking through, not the description of your life.  And as you walk through the valley , look around you and see that you are being stregnthened , you are being changed, you now know things and people and resources you did not know before the crisis came . You now are aware of stregnth within yourself you did not know you had, and the good thing is as you continue in your life journey , you have more tools to help and encourage people going through  their life changes. What's that??? you say you say you are not being stregthened , or changed and this thing is going on forever? Thats because you are allowing it to define and describe you. Come up out of that valley!!!!!!!

Right now , I want to offer a short prayer of encouragement for this week to encourage you and keep you strong through whatever may your way  this week.
            Precious Father, Our G-d and our Hope,thank You for allowing us to stand before you in Jesus' Name. Please encourage and stregnthen everyone reading this prayer right now. You , Father know our needs and I am asking You to  touch each and every life as only You can. Bless our children and keep them hidden from the eyes of the predators who would destroy them. Help us to remember that all things work together for the good of those who love You, to them who are called according to YOUR purpose. Please,  Father help us to throw away and forget mentalities that would prevent us from seeing Your Hand moving for our good in each of our lives , no matter where we are on our life's journey right now. We love you , Father , and we praise Your Name forever. Thank you for hearing our prayer. Amen 
*** Scriptural Reference- Romans 8:28
It is only a valley. If this writing has been helpful to you , feel free to share it responsibly. Feel free to post a comment or email us .Be Encouraged!!!!!  Dr Norma

Friday, July 8, 2011

In The Waiting

The theme of today's post is in fact the name of one of my favorite songs , recorded by Miss Vikki Yohe. I know you have heard someone say , "patience is a virtue" and so it is. I was reading the account of the Apostles regarding the choosing of a new Apostle to replace Judas. The Apostles prayed after proposing two candidates, and then  they cast lots!!!!! 
The candidate chosen was Matthias. Matthias was numbered  with the eleven Apostles and never heard from again. Had the Apostles waited on an answer from G-d they would have known He had Paul, then known as Saul ,being prepared for his 40 year , very powerful ministry. But. . . . . .

I am sure the Eleven meant to do as Jesus commanded them , and we know there was a reason for  having twelve Apostles.It could not have been easy for those early church leaders to organize their ministries and certainly they were operating under great confusion. I bet the enemy thought he would reign in that confusion and stop the Church from continuing and developing. Sometimes the hardest thing is not seeking G-d, or even acknowledging Him.The hardest thing is in the waiting. We often convince ourselves that delay means denial. We think because He doesn't answer immediately , that He is saying "no". Sometimes , as in the case with the first Apostles, we  make a decision based on what seems to be the best thing to do, because we "haven't heard G-d's Voice yet". Has anyone other than me been guilty of this?

Anyhow , when you are faced with a decision, be patient. Seek God and then WAIT for His answer. Don't let the enemy reign in your confusion. Wait. Believe me , G-d truly is the Sight Beyond What We See , and His response is always best because He alone knows what the end is going to be.

If you have had some issues with patience or with waiting on an answer fromG-d ,here is a resource for you. I hope you will write back and let me know your waiting experiences. Be encouraged !!!!!

Scripture references for today's post- Acts 1:12-26 , 9:1-31

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm Back !!!!!!!

Hallelujah!!! I thank G-d for another Spring!!!!I  am happy to blog with you again. My treatment is over ( for good,I hope!!) and  I am just full of new ideas , new thoughts and plenty of thankfulness .I certainly thank all who have prayed for me and with me,I thank my caregivers : in the medical community and in the faith community, most of all my husband , family members and friends  who have been so much encouragement.

If it seems to you that A Higher Place is taking a somewhat different slant in the days to come, you are correct. We continue as a Biblical Counseling initiative , but we are even more so a ministry of encouragement reaching out to persons battling cancer and other serious illness; both patients and caregivers Through the darkest times in this ordeal, G-d has surrounded me with His Love thru so many Angels , that I cannot  do anything but join that band . Sometimes , in following our usual format , our TORCHBEARER may actually be a Scripture, instead of a Biblical Character.  Please do not hesitate to let me know when you need prayers of Healing, Encouragement, Peace or Comfort for yourself or your family . Counseling issues such as making the best financial choices, new medical breakthroughs, how to be a friend to someone who's ill will be addressed in this blog , on our radio show and in the newsletter. Look forward to receiving valuable and encouraging information.

I am excited to be attending a re-entry conference here in Philadelphia , PA . I have not been able to be very active in the re-entry community since my illness , but even so , I  continue with preparations for Spirit's Rest  Transitional Counseling Residence for Women. THE BUILDING IS ALMOST READY!!!!! Those who know me know that this has been a long-time dream and it is amost HERE!!!!

Well, this is the first post in a long time and I hope I am not rambling on too much, but I wanted to let everyone know about the changes, and the new focus we have. Our show will probably broadcast next month on the 2nd Sat at 6PM- E-mail me at  to suscribe to the newsletter. One thing that will not change is that I am expecting to hear from YOU.  Be encouraged- Pastor Norma