Helping ALL people... regardless of their ability to pay!

New Beginnings
By: Dr. Rick Armstrong
Springtime in Florida - what a gift of God's grace! Beautiful weather, outdoor individual and family activities, and a reminder of the promise of new beginnings! For our family, it was our grandkids celebrating the bookends of the two major holidays - swimming in the pool on Easter Sunday, as they had been swimming in the pool on Christmas Day!
Springtime and Easter seem to be all about new beginnings. It's probably more noticeable in other parts of our world, but the change in temperature seems to end hibernations, not just for animals but also for each of us as the jackets, sweaters, extra blankets on the bed, and closed up houses are replaced with shorts and short-sleeves, open windows, and fun in the sun.
The events of Holy Week and Easter this year reminded me once again of the cycles of life in an imperfect world - Good Friday followed by Easter; struggles in life followed by resolutions; loss and despair followed by hope and new beginnings!
"We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts..." (Romans 5)
One author suggested, "We see the hand of God working in our lives no more clearly than when we reflect back on the years of our lives." In those times, we see the struggles and resolution; we see the darkness followed by light; we see the winter followed by spring and the hope and the new beginnings.
A lesson discovered, "It's our future not just our past that affects our present... our view of the future?" Knowing that spring will come each year, we survive the winter. In the same way, knowing that there will be a new beginning, an Easter, light at the end of tunnel we can find hope, peace, and promises for the days that are difficult.
We are available at LCS to walk with you through the difficult times toward the promises and new beginnings that might be on the horizon.
I am grateful for your reading of this newsletter and your partnership with us in bring hope and new life to many. Be sure read in this newsletter to learn more about National Stress Month and National Autism Month and special events we have coming up.
God's peace to you in the journey...
Dr. Rick Armstrong, LMFT
Executive Director

April is National Stress Awareness Month

Tips to help you reduce stress
  • Pray
  • Read Scripture
  • Ask for help
  • Listen to music
  • Call a family member or friend
  • Eat right
  • Exercise
"Jesus said, 'Do not worry about tomorrow. For tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.'" (Matthew 6:34)

LCS in the Community

- Tracy Kristoff has been writing articles for Pastor Berg from St. Philip Lutheran Church  in Mt. Dora.  These articles will be used along side Pastor Berg's sermon series, "Rise Up!". One of her articles is featured below.
- On March 9 and 10th, Dr. Armstrong attended Winter 2016 Missionary Orientation in St. Louis. 
- Dr. Armstrong  will be leading a Healthy Congregation Workshop in St. Petersburg on April 16th. 
- Megan Miessler, Scott Gress, and Dr. Armstrong will be leading a five session webinar on "Navigating Through the Storm" for church professionals in their ministry in our world today beginning April 21st. 

INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY: LCS is Looking for Registered Interns to work in the School and Older Adult Ministries. 
C lick HERE for more information about School Counselor Intern position. 
Click HERE for more information about Older Adult Intern position. 

Save the Date! 

May 1st - Gardening and Clean Up at LCS from 1-3pm.  Bring gardening tools and flowers to plant. 

September 24th -  Walkathon at UCF in Cooperation with LiveUCF.  
FORGIVEN: Supporting Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Awareness.   Sponsorship and Team Sign Ups available now. Email Jamie for more information:
Overcoming Illness
By Tracy Kristoff, MFT, RPT

Illness can strike anyone at any time.  Many of my clients say that being diagnosed with a chronic illness can make them feel weak and dependent on others.  This struggle, along with the illness itself, can lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression.  Waiting (from diagnosis to treatment) can also bring added stress during a difficult time. Here are some helpful tips that may help you during these times:  
1.) Prayer can help you surrender to a timeline that is not your own.  Getting lab results, waiting for a diagnosis, and waiting for treatment success can be very stressful.  During these times it's helpful to pick up a prayer or meditation book to remember that God is always with us. The book of Psalms is an excellent resource!   
2.) Chronic illness has the potential to change our expectations of who we are and what life's going to be like in the future.  Learning to live with chronic illness means embracing certain limitation and accepting your experience with the illness as your new "normal."  
3.) You may feel overwhelmed between learning about the illness itself and lifestyle changes you need to make to manage symptoms.  Finding ways to cope with stress is very helpful when feeling overwhelmed.  Walking, adapting a healthier life style, or joining a support group are few good ways to manage stress.  
4.)  Be aware of what therapists call the "flight into health" where one group session or one walk makes the person feel as if they "have everything under control."  Chronic illness is a life time adjustment, be prepared to treat it like one.  Denial does nothing to support spiritual growth when living with a chronic illness.   
5.) Express your thoughts and feelings to a trusted individual.  The more we tell our story the more we can accept our experience and learn to live fully with what we have been given.  
"Life is not what it's supposed to be.  It is what it is.  The way you cope with it is what makes the difference." Virginia Satir

National Autism Awareness Month
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person's ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a "spectrum condition" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis/intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes. Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills' and sensory sensitivities. Again, a person on the spectrum might follow many of these behaviors or just a few, or many others besides. The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is applied based on analysis of all behaviors and their severity.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
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