Monday, March 4, 2024

An Interview with Curtis Solomon, Author of I Have PTSD

 



An Interview with Curtis Solomon,
 Author of I Have PTSD

Anyone who experiences a traumatic event feels confused, lost, out of control, unsure, and unsteady—disoriented. This kind of suffering leaves marks, sometimes on the body, always on the soul, and sometimes both. In I Have PTSD: Reorienting after Trauma, counselor and trauma expert Curtis Solomon helps those who have suffered the disorienting effects of a traumatic experience to reorient their lives to the path God has for them.  

 

I Have PTSD gives readers the tools to understand their struggle and how the gospel brings hope and healing to post-traumatic stress. Solomon helps both those who have suffered trauma, as well as their loved ones, to understand the physical, emotional, and spiritual effects of trauma while offering practical ways to make that hope real in their lives.  

 

Q: When we hear “PTSD,” we often think of someone who may have been in military combat, but trauma can encompass so many different experiences. What other situations might result in someone experiencing post-traumatic stress?

 

Great question. It is vitally important that people understand PTSD is not a military issue, a law enforcement issue, or an issue of any particular population. PTSD is a life issue. People experience Post Traumatic Stress after encountering all sorts of events that threaten to, or actually do, end life, cause serious bodily harm, or violate one’s sexuality. This can be anything from a motor vehicle accident, violent crime, watching a loved one die, living through natural disasters, etc. The list could go on and on. 

 

Q: The word that you use to describe what a trauma does to a person’s life is disorient. For someone who may not have experienced a trauma, please explain how the impact of a trauma can be disorienting.

 

Disoriented is the best single word I can think of to describe the experience of PTS. It carries the concepts of confusion, disruption, and having what was once set and stable completely turned upside-down, tossed about, or shaken up. It simultaneously feels like you have been hit by a wave, driven under the water and rolled about until you don’t know which way is up, and the sensation of being out in the wilderness completely lost. 

 

Q: What is a transformation team? Why is it important to have an entire team walk alongside you?

 

God says it best, “It is not good for man to be alone.” From the beginning, God declared our need for relationship, our need for one another, and He made that declaration before the universe was corrupted by sin. The enemy understands this reality and seeks to isolate people in whatever struggle they have. With trauma, the lie that screams loud and clear in the sufferer’s mind is, “No one knows what I’ve been through. No one understands me. No one can help me.” As Joni Earekson Tada says, “Community breeds life. Isolation leads to death.” 

 

A transformation team is a group of people that comes alongside the sufferer to offer hope, encouragement, friendship, and care. They include a biblical counselor, spiritual mentor/friend, and 3-5 other people who aren’t necessarily privy to all the details of the person’s struggle but who know there is a struggle and have been equipped with some interventions to help the person in key moments of need. 

 

Q: You write that no two people experience trauma in exactly the same way, even if they lived through the same event because they will have different responses and wounds as a result. However, there are common symptoms of PTS. What are some of the signs that loved ones can watch out for? 

 

Trauma is instigated by events of severe suffering. So, the first thing to note is you should be close enough of a friend or family member to know that severe suffering has occurred. If you aren’t that close of a friend, you may not be the one to intervene, unless the person specifically asks you.

 

If someone you know has been through something that threatened her life, serious injury, or violation of sexual integrity, then stay close enough to observe her responses. In the immediate aftermath, ensure she is eating, drinking water, and sleeping. As time progresses, observe and ask about things like sleep loss, including nightmares, waking up in fright, or difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep. Watch for increased irritability, jumpiness, a loss of interest in things she used to love, a change in personality, or a desire to isolate. She might try to avoid things that might remind her of the trauma or have a threat response (fight, flight, freeze, faint) to things that are not actually dangerous. She may express negative thoughts about self, life, God, others, the world, especially if that is a change from previous outlooks on life. 

 

Q: You are intentional to use PTS or PTSd rather than PTSD in the book. Why do you make this distinction?

 

The “D” in PTSD stands for disorder. That label often communicates to people that they are disordered, broken, weak, or freakish. The diagnosis combined with the common prognosis, “There is no known cure for PTSD. It is something you are going to have to learn to live with,” robs people of hope. 

 

The reason I prefer PTS over PTSD is that it is less a diagnosis and simply a description of experiences that are common to people who live through severe suffering. I want people to understand that what they are living through is not a broken, abnormal response to normal life, but a common response to extreme suffering. 

 

Q: How does looking at the life of Jesus and how he handled himself provide hope and perspective for the traumatic events we have faced?

 

Jesus is the exemplar human in all respects. He is the embodiment of what we were created to be. When we look at how Jesus suffered there is a great deal to learn. First of all, his life teaches us that Jesus understands, relates to, and feels for us in our suffering.

 

Secondly, we see that Jesus suffered severely and expressed whole person lament for the pain and difficulty he went through. He did not “tough it out,” “suck it up,” or keep to Himself. He cried out with loud crying and tears, and He did so to someone—His heavenly Father. We are to follow that example of going to God with our griefs and grievances. 

 

Finally, Jesus’ suffering drew Him towards people in compassion and love. It did not drive the wedges of hardness, comparison, and looking down on others. We should follow His example by being softened towards others, and wanting to see our pain used for the benefit of others rather than allowing it to divide us. 

Q: What is a peace plan? Does everyone who struggles with PTS need one?

 

The peace plan I describe in the book is vital for anyone who struggles with panic attacks or similar fear responses. But it is also a helpful tool for anyone who struggles with anxiety and/or fear of any kind, which is really all of us. It is a tool that helps us live out Philippians 4:4-9.

 

A Peace Plan is designed to help you reestablish peace with God and with your inner and outer person. It invites God and others to aid you in the pursuit of peace. The basic steps are intentionally simple but profoundly helpful. Pray. Recline. Breathe. Think. Call.

 

Q: Regardless of the trauma one experience, there is always some kind of loss. What are the biblical steps of grieving a loss?

 

I’m completely indebted to Bob Kellemen for these insights. His book God’s Healing For Life’s Losses is my go to book on grief in counseling. He draws eight phases of grieving from God’s Word:

  1. Being honest with yourself about the pain
  2. Being honest with God
  3. Asking God for help
  4. Receiving God’s help
  5. Trusting with faith
  6. Groaning with hope
  7. Perceiving with grace
  8. Engaging with love. 

Q: Guilt and shame often plague trauma survivors, but it’s important to differentiate between the two terms. What are the differences?

 

People will use these terms in a variety of ways. Sometimes interchangeably and sometimes with very clear distinctions. There are others who might use them differently, so whenever you are conversing with someone about these be sure to ask clarifying questions to be sure you are talking about the same things.

 

The way I distinguish these terms is that guilt is an objective reality. Biblical terms used for guilt are typically judicial terms. Someone has violated God’s law, and they are objectively guilty before the ultimate judge. 

 

Shame has more to do with the internal experiences associated with sin, whether it be shame over my own sin, or shame I feel because of something done to me. Shame can also have something to do with disgust, even if guilt isn’t involved. 

 

Q: When it comes to resiliency, how are trauma survivors similar to trees? 

 

There are three common ways people use the term resiliency: resistance, recovery, and reconfiguration. Each of these responses is similar to the way a particular type of tree responds to the strong winds of a storm.  

 

  • Resistance is the ability to be unaffected by suffering. This is like an oak tree. No matter how strong the wind is, that trunk is not going to bend.  
  • Recovery is the ability to “bounce back” after a trial, similar to how a palm tree will bend in the storm but it straitens back up after the storm passes. 
  • Reconfiguration is the tendency to adapt oneself in and after a trial, typically in a way that is better equipped to handle the next storm that comes along. This is like a coastal cypress that lines many sections of the California coastline and is shaped over time by the winds that blow in off the Pacific. 

In the book, I lay out an argument that reconfiguration is actually the biblical kind of response we want to have to suffering. Not that we be unaffected, but that we be rightly affected. 

I Have PTSD: Reorienting after Trauma

Ask the Christian Counselor Series

By Curtis Solomon

September 5, 2023 / Retail Price: $11.99

Print ISBN: 978-1-64507-335-2

RELIGION/Christian Ministry/Counseling & Recovery

Read a Preview

About the Author

Curtis Solomon currently serves as the Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and Program Coordinator for Biblical Counseling at Boyce College. He holds a PhD in Biblical Counseling from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also earned a Master of Divinity in Christian Ministries and a Master of Theology in Christian Philosophy.  

 

Dr. Solomon is a certified biblical counselor and cofounder of Solomon SoulCare. He is also a veteran of the United States Air Force and serves on the advisory board of two ministries dedicated to helping our nation’s military community: The Mighty Oaks Foundation and Fallen Soldiers March

 

Dr. Solomon is the creator of the Transformation Bible Study Journal and author of Redeem Your Marriage: Hope for Husbands Who Have Hurt through Pornography and I Have PTSD: Reorienting after Trauma

 

He and his wife, Jenny, have two delightful sons and live in Kentucky. 

 

Curtis Solomon can be found on Twitter (@CWSolomon) and Instagram (@drcurtissolomon).

Sunday, March 3, 2024

A A bY B J Bassett #devotional

 

A.A.

God, my God, I yelled for help and you put me together. God, you pulled me out of the grave, gave me another chance at life when I was down-and-out. Psalms 30:2-3 MSG

Bill Wilson, an alcoholic and deeply depressed, found himself at the bottom of a pit, unable to climb out of it. That’s when he cried out, “If there is a God, let Him show Himself! I am ready to do anything, anything!” Not unlike the Apostle Paul’s conversion, the room lit up. Bill was bathed in love and ecstasy with no words to describe it. He felt a Presence, and peace stole over him. He was free.

Rowland H., another alcoholic, traveled to Switzerland to be under the care of psychiatrist C. G. Jung. After a year of medication and psychiatry, Jung told Rowland there was no more he could do for him. The only thing left was a spiritual experience. Rowland returned to America and joined a group of Christians who sought conversion through prayer, confession, and helping others.

Knowing alcoholics cannot stay sober independently, Wilson founded Alcoholics Anonymous, a Twelve Step program that has ministered to millions.

Are you an alcoholic? Do you know an alcoholic? No one can do it alone. We need God, and we need each other.

Father, I pray for alcoholics and for those who love them. We need You desperately. Intervene, Lord, I pray. Amen.

Reprinted from


The King’s Daughters

BJ Bassett



 

B. J. Bassett encourages others as an author, teacher and speaker. Her books include a contemporary novel, Gillian’s Heart; a historical novel Lily; Sweet Charity; A Touch of Grace—The G.R.A.C.E. Ministries Story; and coauthor of a children’s devotional My Time with God, Focus on the Family, Heritage Builders, with over 55,000 copies sold.

 

As a contributing writer, publications consist of Writer’s Handbook 2000, The Writer, and The Focus on the Family Guide to Growing a Healthy Home, Wolgemuth& Hyatt, Publishers, Inc.—consistently on Bookstore Journal’s Best-selling Christian Books List from November 1990 - February 1991, and voted the 10 Best Books for 1990 by Today’s Christian Woman.

 

Magazines, devotional booklets, curriculum and newspaper publishers include Focus on the Family, Woman’s World, The Quiet Hour, Pathways to God, Devotions, Harcourt Brace, WordAction, Gospel Publishing and Times Standard (newspaper).

 

She teaches writing workshops at Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, OR and at writer’s conferences. As a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries, she tells her story of rejection and acceptance, not only in life, but as a writer as well. She also offers book talks, including discussion questions and shares the journey -- from the seed of an idea to a published book.

 

She enjoys reading, jigsaw puzzles, knitting, munching warm scones oozing with butter and strawberry jam and sipping earl grey tea.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Welcome to the Protecting the Mountain Man's Treasure Celebration Tour! #giveaway!


About the Book

Book: Protecting the Mountain Man’s Treasure

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: February 6, 2024

In the wild mountains of the Montana Territory, the Coulter ranch is a place of family, loyalty…and a hidden fortune.

Jude Coulter is far more comfortable in his family’s sapphire mine tucked in the Montana mountains than the bustling streets of New York City where he’s been sent to deliver a shipment of gems. His relief at boarding the train for the first leg of his journey home is short-lived when an accident renders him unconscious.

Angela Larkin worked hard to earn this assignment for the Treasury—an undercover mission to determine the source of the sapphires brought each year for auction in the city. When an accident causes her target to lose his recent memory, Angela jumps at the opportunity to create the ideal ruse. Jude seems surprised to learn the two of them had married and were returning from a glorious wedding trip, but he doesn’t question too strongly.

Yet when an unexpected threat arises, they find themselves dependent on the other to navigate the treacherous journey home. As the danger mounts, so too does an attraction neither of them anticipated. But can this love withstand the revelation of their tangled beginnings?

From a USA Today bestselling author comes a mountain family saga filled with a pretend marriage, amnesia, undercover agents, and a love worth treasuring far more than riches.

 Marilyn's thoughts:    

Protecting the Mountain Man’s Treasure is Jude’s story with his strong faith being leaned upon after being deceived. The heroine was set out to obtain valuable information for her job but unexpected events created more chaos. The depth of twists and tums filled with action kept the pages turning along with Beller ever present and gentle faith message of God’s Word to stand upon in all aspect of life even when the heart is involved.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this from the publisher and Celebrate Lit for the book tour. I have expressed my own thoughts.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

Raised on a farm and surrounded by family, Misty developed her love for horses, history, and adventure. These days, her husband and children provide fresh adventure every day, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

Misty’s passion is to create inspiring Christian fiction infused with the grandeur of the mountains, writing historical romance that displays God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Sharing her stories with readers is a dream come true for Misty. She writes from her country home in South Carolina and escapes to the mountains any chance she gets.

More from Misty

In my latest release, the hero and heroine travel up the Missouri River in a steamboat, and I loved the research for that portion of the story!

Traveling on a steamboat in 1869 was an experience like no other, and took about two months to travel from St. Louis, Missouri to Fort Benton in the Montana Territory. Passengers would step aboard these floating palaces to find ornate decorations, plush accommodations, and the promise of new scenery at every bend in the river. Despite the occasional discomforts of travel—such as noisy engines and the ever-present risk of boiler explosions—passengers reveled in the novelty and the relative speed of steamboat travel.

The Missouri was notorious for its shifting channels, snags, and sandbars, which could easily ensnare even the most experienced pilot’s vessel. Navigating this river required an intimate knowledge of its capricious nature, and the river pilots were worth their weight in gold.

River towns along the Missouri thrived thanks to the steamboats. These towns became hotbeds of economic activity, where goods were loaded and unloaded, and stories from faraway places were exchanged. The arrival of a steamboat was an event, often met with fanfare and excitement by the local populace.

I pray you love the peek at steamboat life in Protecting the Mountain Man’s Treasure! J

Blessings!

Misty

Blog Stops

Alena Mentink, March 1

Wishful Endings, March 1

Lighthouse Academy Blog, March 2 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 3

Splashes of Joy, March 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 4

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, March 4

Madi’s Musings, March 5

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 5

Texas Book-aholic, March 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 6

Betti Mace, March 7

Books You Can Feel Good About, March 7

Devoted To Hope, March 8

For Him and My Family, March 8

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions , March 9

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 9

Cover Lover Book Review, March 10

Life on Chickadee Lane, March 10

Blossoms and Blessings, March 11

Mary Hake, March 11

lakesidelivingsite, March 12

Melissa’s Bookshelf, March 12

Holly’s Book Corner, March 13

The Lofty Pages, March 13

Lily’s Corner, March 14

Pause for Tales, March 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/2a3d3/protecting-the-mountain-man-s-treasure-celebration-tour-giveaway



Friday, March 1, 2024

Under Fire

 


Under Fire 

March 7, 2023




USSS Special Agent Zane Thacker has landed his dream assignment protecting the president of the United States. When the president plans a fundraiser at the exclusive estate of a political supporter in Raleigh, Zane is thrilled to be working again with Special Agent Tessa Reed, his best friend--and the woman he desperately wishes could be more.


Though Tessa almost lost everything, she battled her demons and came out on the other side healthy and healed. But when her role as the liaison between the Raleigh office and the president's protective detail wrenches her past back into the present, her greatest failure threatens to come to light.
 
Zane refuses to let Tessa go through this alone. But can he stand by the woman he loves 
and protect the president from a mounting threat at the same time?

Sparks fly as award-winning romantic suspense writer Lynn H. Blackburn closes out her Defend and Protect series with this exposive tale of secrets kept, lies exposed, and relationships restored.

My THOUGHTS:  UNDER FIRE is book 3 in this exciting series, but in my opinion it didn't stand out as the others.  There was a massive information dump, though it is all need to know, but it really stalled the story.  And Tessa was a very strong willed woman  who had a massive problem.  Zane is a wonderful hero and he gets serious points for standing up to Tessa's drama   I was given a copy free and all opinions are my own.




Thursday, February 29, 2024

Welcome to the Who Brought the Dog to Church? Celebration Tour! #giveaway

 

Who Brought the Dog to Church? Kick-Off Package

About the Book

Book: Who Brought the Dog to Church?

Author: Tracy L. Smoak

Genre: Christian Contemporary Fiction

Release Date: June, 2023

Betty is sure that Ida Lou does not belong in their church when the woman shows up to the Good Friday service with her small dog in tow. But before she knows what’s happening, Betty is pushed into helping the woman as she deals with the sudden hospitalization of her husband. Having lost her own husband just one year ago, Betty is chosen as the perfect person to help walk through this valley with the newcomer—along with the other women of the WUFHs (Women United For Him).

Sarah McAdams knows her husband loves her. He just loses his temper sometimes. It comes with the stress of being a highly recognized police officer. But when Sarah makes the decision that this is not the life she wants for her young son, will she be able to get out alive? Where can she go? And who will help her?

God works in mysterious ways—and through ordinary people. The town of Prosper is about to experience some drama—and it all starts with a dog who comes to church.

 Marilyn's thoughts:   The title of this book caught my attention. This tale has humor along with topics of grief and domestic violence. The casts of characters are unique in their own way plus add in Sweetie the dog, who came to church. Smoak gently penned the theme of individuals being the hands and feet of Jesus through their compassion, actions, words and loving those suffering no matter their past behavior to bring healing and forgiveness.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit Bloggers tour. I have expressed my own thoughts.   

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

A native Floridian, Tracy L. Smoak grew up riding horses and climbing citrus trees. Her passion is to encourage others in their faith journey. Smoak writes for Guideposts. Ambassador International released her debut novel, Who Brought the Dog to Church?. Bold Vision published her Bible study about encouragement titled Refuge of Grace: Finding Your Safe Place.

She loves photography and authored two hardcover devotionals with her original nature art (Living Water to Refresh Your Soul – tranquil lake scenes; and Arranged with Love– floral landscapes).

Smoak holds a master’s in Education and a bachelor’s in Communication. At her church home, she leads small-group Bible studies. She is an active member of Word Weavers International.

 

More from Tracy

What secrets are hidden behind your neighbor’s door? What do you try to hide?

The idea for this contemporary fiction began in a small country church during an Easter prayer vigil a decade ago. As I sat in the pew late at night, I heard a strange scratching noise. When I turned to locate the sound’s source, I saw a woman across the aisle with a little Yorkie.

The vigil was silent, so I didn’t approach the lady, but I did wonder why that pooch accompanied her in the sanctuary. That scenario, connected with others in my weekly involvement in several volunteer roles, sparked imagination. We judge appearances and may completely miss needs of the heart. Do we know our neighbors?

Experiences as an advocate for survivors of domestic violence started me wondering how do people get free from damaging situations? What are the obstacles holding them back?

Serving as a Stephens Ministry leader in my home church exposed me to people suffering loss. How are we to stand with those crushed with grief?

Another volunteer role helping immigrants settle in the U.S. reminded me of the difficulties they face. How can one fill out an online job application when a person relocates from a refugee camp with no electricity and never has had a computer?

The story’s heart is learning to really see, and know, our neighbors. Three women and their friendships reveal how doing good unites a community. Through comic misunderstandings and risky undertakings, the characters show us how to be Christ’s hands and feet.

Short videos to introduce the main characters can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kuEoU7pFvU&list=PLf6ZzeQjavMcocMuZDOZUvLxZG48BiWm5&index=1.

Audio book excerpts can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwxqS2mNisI&list=PLf6ZzeQjavMcocMuZDOZUvLxZG48BiWm5&index=9.

Video resources for survivors of domestic violence are at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3Aq2myofjo&list=PLf6ZzeQjavMd0mkdKujmZeq7iKDzi8IoQ&index=2.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 28

Lighthouse Academy Blog, February 29 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 1 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 1

Texas Book-aholic, March 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 4

Pause for Tales, March 5

Artistic Nobody, March 6 (Author Interview)

Lots of Helpers, March 6

Cover Lover Book Review, March 7

Fiction Book Lover, March 8 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 9

For Him and My Family, March 10

Books I’ve Read, March 11

Girls in White Dresses, March 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tracy is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy each of Who Brought the Dog to Church? and Refuge of Grace: Finding Your Safe Place!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/2a3cd/who-brought-the-dog-to-church



An Interview with Curtis Solomon, Author of I Have PTSD

  An Interview with Curtis Solomon,  Author of  I Have PTSD Anyone who experiences a traumatic event feels confused, lost, out of control, u...