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With Peter Rosenberger

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Portion of HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER Monologue 8/10

 

"...The whole point of this is to speak clarity to a caregiver so that we're not floundering around wondering, you know, where do we go next? What do we do? What's going on? And I go back to this whole thing with gun safety.

 I think a lot of people rush to push their political ideology and very few people are rushing to push this in a ministry capacity, and if you think about this, with all of our [United States’] clergy combined, even those from different faith, we can still ask the same question, are the firearms secured?

Think about praying with the mother in despair over her addicted child. You don't have to wait for legislation. You could go ahead and ask the question now, hey, does this kid have access to guns? 

And you know, you're not going to stop it. I mean, somebody just went on a rampage with a knife. I mean, we can't exactly go out there and pass legislation to get to knives.

Well, we can, but legislation doesn't do anything, y'all know that and even if it does, it's still not going to do anything until they pass it—I'm talking about something today, right now that you could do.

Think about, think about if this man yesterday who shot and killed his wife and then killed himself over healthcare issues down in Florida.  If somebody spoke life to this man, what a different outcome that would be. You can't insure it. You can't make it happen that way, but you give them a fighting chance and you know, results are in God's department, but we have a responsibility to be stewards of this message. Are we just glad we got our salvation, glad we got our knowledge —and then everybody else is just on their own. 

I mean, don't we have to be responsible with the information that God has entrusted to us to be the light of the world? And if we're not going to speak light into these situations, who, who are they going to listen to? You know, when you've got states passing medically assisted death and they're all just gung-ho to, to pass that so that you know, physicians could provide drugs that go ahead and take a patient out. How big a leap is it for a caregiver to go ahead and just take matters in their own hand and say, okay, let's just be done with this? When you got a governor of Virginia who is a doctor himself saying that if a child with special needs is born and it's severely deformed, we're going to put the child aside and make it comfortable and then we'll let the mother make the decision on whether or not we'll execute the child. 

How big a leap is it for a family with a special needs child that has pushed him to the breaking point to go ahead and just end that child's life? Don't tell me it doesn't happen, it just happened in Oregon a year ago this month. Well, the 28-year-old girl who took a gun and shot her child and then turned the gun on herself.  Over in Dixon, Tennessee, a father of a special needs boy, if nonverbal Autistic boy, beat him to death and the mother watched. Then he told the community that child ran off, which happens with Autism. There's a lot of problems with elopement. 

There are dark thoughts that that get into these people's minds, to all our minds. [It] is scary. It gets into all our minds and if we're not hearing words of life on a regular basis, who are we listening to? What are we listening to?

The world is increasingly throwing death as a solution to us. Think about it. Look at all the headlines. Don't just take my word for it. Look at it yourself. The world is throwing death as a solution. Medically assisted death, abortion.  When Roe versus Wade was passed and set up as the law of the land …and I watched Bill de Blasio this week argue about it— and he was asked point blank by Sean Hannity, "Do you believe that an abortion, that a woman can have an abortion all the way to the moment of birth … and he wouldn't answer the question, he would just simply say, "I believe in Roe versus Wade."

Well, I don't believe in Roe versus Wade! I believe that our Savior bore the penalty of death and we don't need to use death as a solution. But these people are not going to be content until they can eliminate by killing anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or in any way unpleasant. 

Don't take my word for it. Look at the media every single day. “Well, I wouldn't want to live with this and this and this.”

Well, you don't know what you want to live with! My wife lives with more pain than anybody I know; her body is so broken and yet she has value with what she does, and she trusts God with her pain, and He speaks to her in it.

C.S Lewis said that you don't, suffering is God's megaphone to us. and the world is going to continue to reinforce this [Death] over and over and over, until we get rid of people with disabilities, people who are aging, who have outlived their usefulness according to the world, [or] children that we do not want.

You look at Barack Obama, he said some years ago that if his daughter makes a mistake, he doesn't want her to be punished with a baby. These were his words, they're not my words, they are his words. 

And "anything that is undesirable, we need to get rid of." That's what the world says, the scripture tells us something far different ...that we trust God with these things that come along in our lives that are, that are challenging, that are painful. 

We hang on to Him in this—not just look for some way to just go ahead and pull the trigger and be done with it. But our natural inclination is to want to be free of all this pain and sorrow and suffering and unpleasantness or fear, whatever it is we got to deal with. So, let's just kill it. We don't have any more money for, to, you know, healthcare, whatever but let's just go ahead and take our own lives and be done with it.

 This is happening now. It happened yesterday in Florida. Go look at the news.

So, what are we doing about it? What are we doing about it? 

This show is dedicated to speaking to those people who are watching this unfold, who are so discouraged as they watch someone else suffer—to go into that heartbreaking place, and point them to a path of safety.

I get it. I truly get it, but God has not abandoned you. God is not forsaking you. This is not some kind of goofy punishment. He's not arbitrary. He is not reckless. He is not whimsical. He is God all by himself, and He alone is working in ways that we cannot possibly fathom …and so, we learned to trust Him. A lady wrote me last week on her Facebook page. Her husband has seizures all the time, and their nine-year-old boys said, “Why would God do this to us?” 

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I remember our nine-year-old asked when his mother (Gracie) just kept going through surgery, after surgery—losing legs and everything else. He said, “How can I trust God with my hurts … when I see what He allows mom to go through?”

And I answered him with wisdom that I didn't know, it wasn't my wisdom and I said, “You know what, I don't understand all these things, but I know that He stretched out his arms and gave his life for us.  If he loves us that much, I'm going to trust Him.

This is Hope for the Caregiver; we'll be right back.

Hope for the Caregiver is the family caregiver outreach of Standing With Hope - a ministry committed to the wounded and those who care for them. 

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Peter: Hank in Virginia. Hey Hank, how are you feeling? 
Hank: Oh, I'm confused. My mother moved in here almost five years ago now. But then she died November 5th. Okay. My sisters all say I'm building castles in heaven because of what I did. But my problem is that now that she's gone, I feel incredibly guilty because I didn't …I wasn't nice enough to her.

I just, I didn't like my mother, but she was my mother. You know, my sisters called me and said, all these religious holy rollers that you live with, now that you become reborn,  …what do they do with their parents when they have to put them in a nursing home? I just laughed at them because they "put them in their basement," they don't send them anywhere.

So, my mother moved in with me and my sisters, I mean, they helped, you know, they all live on the left coast. They're all …nobody's near me. Well, my one little sister is in Maryland and she's up in Baltimore, but I saw her like every other weekend. We had a woman who did the woman's stuff a couple of times a week, but other than that it was me, 24/7.

Peter: Well Hank, I tell you what, can you hang on through the break?

Hank: Sure.

Peter:  Listen, don't go away because I want to talk about this with you. We want to

unpack this a little bit more for you. 

Hank: I don't know if I called the right place.

Peter: You absolutely called the right place. This is the place for you to call and we're going to spend as much time as we can with you. All right? 

Hank: Okay, sorry.

Peter: You got people here that are pulling for you. We're going to talk about this. Don't go away. This is Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. We'll be right back. 

 

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Gracie: Have you ever struggled to trust God when lousy things happen to you? I'm Gracie Rosenberger and in 1983 I experienced a horrific car accident leading to 80 surgeries and both legs amputated. I questioned, why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me, but over time my questions changed and I discovered courage to trust God. That understanding, along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs led me to establish, Standing with Hope.

For more than a dozen years, we've been working with the government of Gannon, West Africa, equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people. On a regular basis we purchase and ship equipment and supplies and with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison, we also recycled parts from donated limbs. All of this is to point others to Christ, the source of my hope and strength. Please visit standingwithhope.com to learn more and participate in lifting others up, that's standingwithhope.com. I'm Gracie and I am standing with hope. 

Peter: Welcome back to the show for caregivers about caregivers hosted by a caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger and we are glad that you are with us. We're talking with Hank and Virginia. Um, Hank let me go back to some things that you were talking about earlier. It sounds like you

are struggling with a lot of different conflicting feelings. If you had to just sum up one thing that you're feeling right now, what would that be? 

Hank: Um, huh. I thank Jesus and I live in West Virginia, West by God, Virginia [Laughing] 

Peter: West by God, Virginia. 

 Hank: Yes. Uh, and I found the Lord here were, I let him in anyway. I never knew who he was. I always knew there was a God. I always knew there was something greater than me, but I never understood the Jesus thing. And when I did, I mean, I didn't even believe he was talking to me, you know, like, but... 

Peter: But, but how, how are you feeling today Hank? 

Hank: Uh, depressed. Um, worthless. Look, um, I'm pretty busted up. I'm pretty disabled in my own right. I have a hard time getting around, walking, doing whatever. At least when my mother was here, I had a purpose. You know, I was doing something, and I thought, she's going to be here for the next 20 years. I really did. I thought I was doing penance for being in the child that I was but uh...

Peter: Well let's unpack it a little bit cause we only, I want to spend as much time as I have with you, but I want to go back ...you were not doing penance. Okay?

Hank: I know, it's a joke. It's a joke. 

Peter: Okay, well I'd say I'd, it's radio so I can't see you. So I don't know for sure, but I want to make sure you know that and the audience knows that this is not penance because there are a lot of people that do feel like it's penance. 

Hank: Um, okay. I apologize. 

Peter: No, no, don't apologize. Look, we're caregivers here, all right?

Hank: I know this is serious. I know this is serious and I know, I mean I found you guys, I've listened to you for the last few years, you know, so I know what you do and I, I just never thought it applied to me. I just thought because my heart wasn't in it.

Peter: And yet, and yet you still did it. 

Hank: Yeah. Now, you're sound like my sisters.

Peter: Well, maybe they had some good words for you, but the point is you still did it and a lot of caregivers tend to beat themselves up for their job performance while completely overlooking their job attendance record. 

Hank: Okay. 

Peter: And you kept showing up, you kept doing it and, and I also want to tackle that issue that you said that you felt like, you know, you had a purpose. You have a purpose period.

The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. That's catechism number one in the shorter catechism, the chief end of man that is, that is our purpose, is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Now, some of that may be involved and may be manifest in us being a caregiver for someone. We may have some conflicting feelings. We may not even do it very well, but our chief purpose is not to be a caregiver. Our chief purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever and he may call us for a season to do certain things. Now that season may be a lifetime. I mean, I'm 33 years into this. That season may be how long did you take care of your mother? 

Hank: About four and a half years. 

Peter: Okay, so for four and a half years, you had an intense situation where you were doing this and you felt like you were kind of in the zone of what your purpose was doing to get up and do these things. All right, but that doesn't mean that that, that your life is over just because your mother passed away. God has things for you to do as well and things to, to reveal to you about you and more importantly about him and he hasn't forgotten about you, he hasn't abandoned you. Your life is not over. Are you involved in church? 

Hank: I have a church that they, yeah, I'm, I'm like the black sheep. They love me very much. Yeah. I came to the Lord. Most of them, most, most all of them gave thanks. 

Peter: Well, actually the day that you came to the Lord Hank, all of Heaven rejoiced. (Luke 15:10)

Hank: Well, yeah, I know. I know. 

 

Peter: Do you really? Do you really know that? Do you really know how important you are to Christ?

Hank: I believe I truly do. I don't know why, but I truly do. 

Peter: Well, we don't need to know why 

Hank: He knew me like this, you know? Before you know, before he, before my father knew my mother, he knew me. He knew I'd be here. 

Peter: Yeah, he did and he knows 

Hank: I feel kind of lost.

Peter: Well, you sound kind of lost, you know, but that's okay. That's just where we are today. He has known you before the foundations of the earth. 

Hank: Amen. 

Peter: All right. And he stretched out his arms and died for you and he took all that on for you. You know, he died for all of us, but he died for each of us. 

Hank: Amen. All right. 

Peter: These are words that mean something, Hank. They mean something. They mean something to a caregiver to know that, “…wait a minute, this is not the end of the story!”

 That your mother's funeral was not the end of your purpose, that your disability, that things that you're struggling with just to get around. All the sins that you committed; he knew all of that. Every bit of it, Hank. There was nothing hidden from him. And as I said at the beginning of the show, all you need is need and he understands what you're going through right now. And so, you're calling the show on Saturday morning just to have a conversation with somebody who can speak back to you. These, there's an old hymn that I love, it's called a “Wonderful Words of Life.”

 “Beautiful Words, Wonderful Words, Wonderful Words of Life…”

And if you don't hear that on a regular basis, hey, if I don't hear that on a regular basis, we both have Gospel Amnesia and we'll forget it. And we need to be reminded of it daily, hourly, you know, that old hymn, “I Need Thee Every Hour?”

Hank: Amen.

 

Peter: You know that hymn?

 

Hank: I do not, but I know...

 

Peter: There's a wonderful hymn called, I Need Thee Every Hour” and you know why it was written because nobody had written, “I Need Thee Every Minute” yet. I think I'm gonna write that one.

 

It's okay to feel that way because now your prayers change. Now we're getting serious about this thing with God and He wants to speak to those things …and He does speak to those things with you  …and there's no need for you to continue to just beat yourself up about being the black sheep. There is nobody, there is nobody, I promise you there's nobody that has ever lived on this planet that is somehow earned the grace of God. 

Hank: Amen. I get that part.

Peter: Okay, do you really get it because it doesn't sound like you do? 

 

Hank: No, no. It's a gift. It's a gift that you have to accept. 

Peter: No, you don't have to accept it. No, no. You're, you're, you're parroting back words to me …that I know that you know …but in your heart, I could just sense that you have just been so beaten down and I don't want you to feel that way anymore. I want you to, I want you to see yourself as God sees you. When He looks at you. He sees Christ. 

Hank: Oh man. [Choking up]

Peter: Yeah, he does. He doesn't see all that nonsense because you were covered under that. It's the called the great exchange. He took on all of your filth, all of your brokenness, all of your sin, and he swapped it for all of his righteousness. He looked at Christ and saw all of that stuff that you're struggling with right now. That's what Christ has done on the cross …so that He could just wrap his arms around you and say, “Hank, dude, glad you're here! Come to the table. Sit down right here.” 

Hank: “Well done. Faithful, servant.”

 

Peter: And He will say that to you, but I'm asking you. I'm giving you an invitation here to stop parroting these words back and just listen to what they really mean. I know you know a lot of the words, but your heart is just torn apart for whatever reason. 

Hank: The truth, the truth really, really is. It's that Jesus is what changed my mind. I knew all the words. I knew all the stories; I'd heard it all. I'd been baptized, confirmed, all that stuff. I just didn't get it but once I understood than it is very simple. You just accept the gift that he's offered you. 

Peter: Well, I know that. I know that. 

Hank: I just don't want to sound like a parrot. 

Peter: Well, that's why. That's why I'm asking you to....

Hank: I really truly believe; I really truly do. 

Peter: I don't doubt that you do, but I think that there's so much brokenness in your own heart that you're standing on the sidelines looking in and trying to convince yourself of these things, …and I know that you believe it, but do you really believe it in all the broken places?

 [Do you really believe ] that none of that escaped God's sovereignty in his hand … and He was there watching all of these things happen and still weaving out his purposes in your life?

He watched my wife slam into that concrete abutment. He watched it. God allows what He hates in order to achieve what he loves. 

 

If you, if you get nothing out of this conversation today, Hank, God allows what He hates to achieve what he loves. Can you hang onto that? I'm sorry, we're up against the end of the show on the clock, but I wanted to make sure you had something tangible you could hang on to is, is that okay? Can you hang on to that for me? 

 

Hank: You have done more for me than you understand. 

Peter: Well, listen, it's a privilege because people have done more for me …and I'm going to be a good steward of it. 

CaregiverPodcast.jpgHey, this is Hope for the Caregiver and we're out of time, but we'll see you next week. Go to hopeforthecaregiver.com for more and you can get this podcast.

 

Peter Rosenberger is the president of Standing With Hope which sponsors HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER. Your support helps make this broadcast possible. Please consider a tax-deductible gift to this ministry today!

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"I'm going to swerve into something today that I've been stewing on for a while ..."

That's how we started the July 20, 2019 show, and we tackled families struggling with addiction (alcoholism).
I said to a young man recently, "Honour thy father and thy mother.." (Exodus 12:20) DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO HONOR THE IMPAIRMENT!

When dealing with an addiction issue, family members all too often (and sadly) place themselves in bondage trying to enable.

The disease of addiction is a family disease, and will take everyone with it ...if allowed. Alzheimer's has no mercy ...and will crush everyone around an impaired loved one  ...if allowed.  Caregivers will sadly take so much abuse into their heart as they listen to a disease speak with the voice of a someone they love. 

But it's  the disease, not your mother, father, spouse, etc.!

Yet, so many struggle, often painfully, with tremendous sense of guilt while mistakenly honoring a disease or impairment instead of the parent or loved one.

We spend a good bit of time on this issue in today's show. Share this show with someone you know who is struggling with this. 

if you're in a relationship with someone struggling with addiction/alcoholism, here is a helpful resource. 

https://al-anon.org/

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Watching someone suffer with chronic pain remains a heartbreaking reality for so many caregivers. As a spouse of a chronic pain sufferer (Gracie's dealt with this for 36 years), I personally understand the frustration, despair, grief, and helplessness in watching a loved one suffer. 

Laura called the show to share her difficulties as she watches her husband suffer. One of consistent challenges caregivers face in this particular journey is despair and feeling isolated and alone ...feeling that God has abandoned them. 

We're not alone, and God hasn't abandoned us.  Listen to the conversation. 

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From HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER the radio show June 30, 2019.

Defending your faith ...to yourself.  Sometimes the challenges we faces as caregivers overwhelm us and we falter. While many of us know the words to say to others about faith, hope, and God, do we know what to say to our own hearts that are struggling?

One of my favorite passages in Scripture is 1 Samuel 30:6

And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

Do we know how to strengthen ourselves in the Lord? What does that even mean?  We talk about that in this episode. 

In addition, a caller (Laura) shares her struggle as she cares for her husband who lives with chronic pain.

At the very end of the show, a surprise gift from Vickie in MS who let's us know an amazing turn around in her life in dealing with her abusive, drug-addict son with PTSD. 

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"Our Circumstances May Not Be Able to Change, But We Can Change."  - Mary Tutterow, The Heart of the Caregiver

 Mary called the show to share her journey, insights, and her new book, The Heart of the Caregiver 

Mary and her husband Winn have two adult children and live in Charleston, South Carolina. Their daughter, Mary Addison, has cognitive and physical challenges and an active seizure disorder. They also cared for Winn’s mother through cancer and dementia. A former anchorwoman and marketing executive, Mary now writes, speaks and leads online and in-person small groups for caregivers.

Mary's new book:

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https://theheartofthecaregiver.com/ 

 

 

 

 

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Sandi Floria quickly moved  to intense concern when her 42-year-old husband repeatedly dropped the baby food while feeding their infant.  The puzzled look on his face signaled more than just clumsy hands, and she jumped into action  - because she understood warning signs of a stroke.

Sandi called the show to share her story, their journey, and their ministry, Compassion Radio.

Sandi's husband Bram has been the Full-Time Host of  Compassion Radio and President of Compassion Ventures since December, 2016.  For ten years he served as Executive Producer for the daily broadcast, which now reaches tens of thousands through a network of nearly 500 radio stations with 1000 releases a day.

Bram met Sandi in 1984 while doing Missions Work together in Eastern Europe. Apart and together, they led teams of Christian musicians on Evangelistic Crusades throughout Western Europe, the Soviet Bloc, Africa and Southeast Asia. As a Development Director for Continental Ministries and Christian Artists, Inc., Bram helped advance the arts in creative worship on three continents.

Today, the Florias live on 30 acres of what they call their ‘Texas Paradise’ where they’ve raised their four children.

 

From the National Stroke Association:

A stroke is a “brain attack”. It can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost.

How a person is affected by their stroke depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged. For example, someone who had a small stroke may only have minor problems such as temporary weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be permanently paralyzed on one side of their body or lose their ability to speak. Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.

 

Use F-A-S-T to Remember the Warning Signs of a Stroke

  • FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

 

Stroke By The Numbers

  • Each year nearly 800,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke.
  • A stroke happens every 40 seconds.
  • Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • Every 4 minutes someone dies from stroke.
  • Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.
  • Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.

https://www.stroke.org/understand-stroke/what-is-stroke/

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