Tag Archives: Healing

020 – Forgiving the Unforgivable

Photo, "Silhouette Of A Man" by Markuso on freedigitalphoto.net

Photo, “Silhouette Of A Man” by Markuso on freedigitalphoto.net

The concept of forgiveness runs deep at the core of any society.  If we cannot find a way to forgive then vengeance is all that will be left in the end.  But is it always possible to forgive?  Are some actions unforgivable?  What does forgiveness look like?

Today we remember the genocide in Rwanda that took place in April 1994.  This was 100 days of slaughter.  10,000 people killed per day.  In total, over 1,000,000 dead—1/8th the country’s population.  Either such destruction will lead to more destruction or forgiveness can lead to healing.

We will hear from some of those involved in the healing and reconciliation process.  The topics come from excerpts for the PBS show, “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly” from April 2005.  As you listen to today’s podcast and look over the note please feel free to enter the dialoge via the comments section.

Facing reality/the truth:

We were hut specifically, we must forgive specifically.  At some point, when we are ready, we have to come to terms with what has happened and the impact it is having in our lives.

“The wounds and the healing is a process that we continue to engage deliberately.”

“To tell people they just can’t cover it up.  We need to be able to unearth it and deal with it head on.”

Benefits of forgiveness:

“Forgiving not only benefits the criminal, it benefits me.”

When we forgive we are set free.  We also open up an opportunity for the offender to find freedom.

It is a process:

Repentance – Counseling – Forgiveness – Reconciliation.  This did not spontaneously happen.  And in order for reconciliation to take place the offenders had to “repent”.  In this they took responsibility for their actions and committed to living life in a new direction.

Sometime reconciliation is not possible.  They offender may not be willing to repent.  They may be dead.  We may not know who assaulted/hurt us.

As a result we may take it out on the group or kind of people involved in our PTSD.  Even if we cannot reconcile with the individual(s) we can reconcile with the gender, ethnicity, or group they represent.

The power of three words:

“You killed my wife and my child.   I will not do wrong to you…I forgive you.”

There is such power in saying and hearing the word, “I forgive you.”  This man captures the heart of forgiveness when he declares, “I will not do wrong to you.”  Forgiveness is not devoid of justices.  Rather it is giving up our right to vengeance or us exacting whatever we consider justice.


First bitter, then…remember Christ’s words on the cross.

“He did not wait for the paint to subside.   He cried to the Father, ‘forgive them for they know not what they do.’”  “The fact that Jesus called from within the pain is a guide and a teaching for us to forgive.”

Willing to repent:

Some offenders may never have a conscience concerning their evil actions.  While others seek transformation.  Especially during war wrongs are due by otherwise decent people.  These “moral injuries” can cause deep pain.  This can lead to repentance and transformation.  Seeing the offenders ad humans can help us do our part in the forgiveness process.

Many who have done wrong to others suffer from fear, nightmares, guilt, and self-loather.  One part of us may say, “Good for them.  They deserve it.”  Forgiveness would lead such people toward repentance.

It is not magic:

We have to continue to work the process until completion.

Forgiveness and your journey:

Next Week:

We will consider specific steps toward forgiving the deepest of wounds.

Where are you in this process?  Do you feel stuck?  Are you ready to consider moving forward?  If so and you want someone to walk along side you on this difficult part of the journey contact me, david (at) HealingTheWoundsOfWar (dot) com

Full video of Religion and Ethics Newsweekly story on Rwanda Reconciliation


Why is forgiveness so hard?

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019 – 3 Barriers to Healing & Tips to Knock Them Down!


It may be important to understand barriers; but we do not need to focus on them.  Instead, we can focus on positive actions we can take to overcome the barrios.

Stuart Miles FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Stuart Miles FreeDigitalPhotos.netIt may be important to understand barriers; but we do not need to focus on them.  Instead, we can focus on positive actions we can take to overcome the barrios.

In this episode we will discuss: (Note: topics are not necessarily in this order.)

  • Barriers to healing
  • Tips to overcome these barriers
  • My 7 Day Green Juice Fast
  • Principals learned from dealing with diabetes that can also help me deal with PTSD

7 Day Green Juice Fast: Cucumbers, celery, kale and all their friends.

  • Why?
  • Diagnosed with diabetes about 6 years ago
  • Not obese
  • I tried to control with diet and oral medication; but nothing seemed to work well enough.
  • Started experiencing diabetic complication (eyes, feet and heart attack)
  • Started using insulin a couple of months ago


Our mindset is important.  Do we see PTSD as something that can be dealt with?  Do we see it as something that can and will bet better?

 “While some people do suffer from full-blown PTSD, most cases are mild. What often occurs is that a doctor tells a patient that his symptoms look like PTSD, and that diagnosis impacts that person right between the eyes as if he were told he had cancer. Well, it is not like cancer; it is more look like PTSD, and that diagnosis impacts that person right between the eyes as if he were told he had cancer. Well, it is not like cancer; it is more like being overweight. If you weigh 30 pounds more than you should, those extra pounds, while tiring to lug around, are probably not life threatening.”

Grossman, Dave; Christensen, Loren W. On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace (Kindle Locations 6690-6693). Human Factor Research Group, Inc..

“It is important that you bring the issue into perspective and think of it more along the lines of being overweight than being stricken with cancer and all that that means. Put it in perspective and make peace with the memory.”

Grossman, Dave; Christensen, Loren W. On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace (Kindle Locations 6697-6699). Human Factor Research Group, Inc..

If we do not expect to succeed, or get better, we are not likely to even try.

Knocking down the negative expiration barrier:

  • Listing to others.  What worked for them may not work for us…but it might.
  • Stepping out in faith-even if we do not see the improvement at the moment.  Allow time for small things to add up to bigger changes.
  • Changing our mindset.  Philippians 4:8


Asking ourselves some difficult questions:

  • Do we really what to get better?
  • What does it cost to get better?  I am not specifically referring to money.
  • What are you willing to pay?
  • What are you willing to do to get better?
  • What are you willing to do to get 1% better?


What if I try and do not get better.  Other people have gotten better.  What does that say about me if I try and do not get better?  In fact, some people fear getting partially better and losing their disability check.

Knocking down the fear barrier:

  • Listing to the stories of how other people have overcome adversity.
  • Beginning to trust.
  • Stepping out in faith.

Discussion Questions:

What do you think about Dr. Grossman comparing comparison for dealing with PTSD?  Is it more like losing weight or having cancer?

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018 – Healing PTSD: The Role of Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness


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There are many parts and paths involved in any healing process.  Post-Traumatic Stress is no different.  We have to address physical, psychological and spiritual need.  Some aspects of these needs we all share in common.  Other aspects may be unique each of us.

The ideas of grace, mercy, repentance, reconciliation and forgiveness are part of the PTSD healing process.  To one extent or another these concepts impart our lives and our recovery process.

In this episode we will,

  • Go beyond the dictionary definition to practical application in a spiritual and healing context. (Dictionary referenced: www.merrian-webster.com)
  • Discuss the relationship between repentance, reconciliation and forgiveness.
  • Forgiveness: what it is not

Question: Is it ever right to not forgive someone?

Request: If you have been blessed by any of our programs.  Please drop us a line and let us know.  Leave a comment, a voice message via Speak Pipe or send an e-mail to david(at)HealingTheWoundsOfWar(dot)com

(Scriptures referenced: Romans 5:8; Matthew 18:21-35)

Ash Wednesday and Lent… What is the big deal?

Cross AshA Special post for; (a) those that follow Christ; (b) interested in Christian spirituality; (c) anyone curious about Christian history, teaching and tradition.

Many Christians all over the world are entering a season of the Church year called Lent.  In short, it is a time to remember our frailty and God’s gifts, goodness and offer for a new life in Christ.  It is a time of reflection and taking inventory of our life and actions.  This is not for the point of beating up on our selves, or others.  Rather it is on opportunity to let go of the past and things that weigh us down.

For those of us dealing with painful experiences and memories it is an opportunity to experience the power and freedom found in the act of repentance and offering and receiving forgiveness.  So Lent can also be a time of healing, even healing the wounds of war.

The following is a quote from the late Robert Webber on the practice of Lent.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Ps 51:10 KJV).

Ash Wednesday is the service and Lent is the season for repentance from phony Christianity, pretend spirituality, and words without works Christian living. The Holy Spirit uses the Lenten focus as a tool to open our hearts which have grown calloused through selfishness and pride. Throughout the busy year, we become spiritually dull and unapologetically self-absorbed. Our attitudes and actions are insensitive to others’ needs and disobedient to God’s call to life and holiness.

Ash Wednesday stops us in our tracks and reminds us that we are but dust and to dust we shall return. Dust can’t demand, dust can’t argue, dust can’t exalt itself, and dust can’t boast. Dust needs God to have life and only in God can these “jars of clay” minister life (Gen. 2:7, Job 42:6, Eccles. 3:20, Ezekiel 37:4, 2 Cor. 4:7). Ash Wednesday reminds us that we are nothing but dust, muck, and mire without the crucified and risen Jesus.

“We too easily forget our Maker and Redeemer; replacing God with things and ambition. Lent is the season that does something about this situation. It calls us back to God, back to the basics, back to the spiritual realities of life. It calls us to put to death the sin and the indifference we have in our hearts toward God and our fellow persons.

And it beckons us to enter once again into the joy of the Lord–the joy of a new life born out of a death to the old life. That is what Ash Wednesday is all about–the fundamental change of life required of those who would die with Jesus and be raised to a new life in him.”

Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2004), pg 99.

Trying to Find My Way Home…through music

Music can make us laugh, calm us down, rile us to action and move us to tears.  It can be a powerful tool in helping us deal with and overcome different aspects of PTSD.

Jason Moon, a Veteran and song writer, captures a small part of the struggle that many face when returning home.  In this case it is coupled with the visual arts in the video.

Question: What do you think of the song?

(On January 24, 2014 we will be releasing an episode of the podcast exploring how the role of music in our recovery process.)

Music, Art and Recovery…

Music and art—including movies, poetry, pictures and paintings—can move us emotionally.  We each of may have different tastes and we may be move by one thing or another; but there is something that will affect each of us.

Can music help in the coping with or healing of PTSD?  In our next podcast episode we will consider some of the scientific research into this topic.  We will also look at the more personal side of what each of us experience when we listen to music.

Until then, here is link to one bloggers take on Music, Art, and Poetry that I find interesting: http://www.ptsdspirituality.com/2012/01/29/ptsd-spirituality-engaging-music-art-poetry-helps-to-heal-ptsd/

Question: How has music be beneficial in your life?

001 Healing the Wounds of War – Post Traumatic Stress: It’s not just in your head.


Now available on ITunes, RSS feeds and the Zune Marketplace.

A podcast and community of Hope and Restoration for all those dealing the Stress, Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress and much more.  Each week we seek to inform, educate and yes, perhaps even entertain as we learn together how to live lives of victory!

 In today’s episode we will…

  • Do some introductions
  • Look at an overview of this podcast series
  • And the dive into the main topic of the day…Post-Traumatic Stress: It’s not just in your head.

Introducing your host: David Fell

  • Army Wounded Warrior; Retired Army Chaplain; Two tours in Iraq;
  • Devastating lung damage: Radically changed my life
  • Beyond the physical injuries…
  • Living with and dealing with my own post-traumatic issues…
  • Helping (as an Army Chaplain) hundreds of Soldiers, before, during and after combat
  • Helping family members (kids, spouse, and parents) between tours.

We will deal with the Physical, Psychological and Spiritual aspects of Stress, Anxiety, Trauma and the Post Trauma recovery process.

I am not a Medical Doctor or a licensed psychologist!

  • We don’t deal with diagnosing or prescribing.
  • We are a community sharing our experiences and understanding.

I am

  • Husband for the last 20 years
  • And a dad
  • A war veteran, chaplain, ordained minister
  • I have a Masters in Divinity and a Bachelor in Biology with several years experiences teaching science.

There is a lot of information out there!

  • Together we will explore this information.
  • As a teacher I seek to…
  • Break down complex idea
  • Consider how things might apply to our lives

Some of the tools:

  • Scientific Journals, Books, Articles, Stories, Music and more…
  • Guests: People sharing their stories & Experts in science, theology, therapy and medicine

brain blue with lightsPost-Traumatic Stress: It’s not just in your head…

It affect your entire body…

We will take an integrated approach – physical (body), psychological (mind) and spiritual (soul).

A brief look at the Physical, Psychological and Spiritual

Join the community: Your voice matters!

Next Episode: RESTORE: 7 practical steps (coming October 24, 2013)

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