“Who Are You…God?” – Part 2

Many years ago I boasted that my wife and I knew each other so well that we didn’t even need to talk! (I admit, I was young and stupid!) Not long after that, I woke up to realize that I didn’t know her very well at all…and it almost cost us our marriage. Just like with marriage, our relationship with God requires time and communication. Last month I wrote about communicating with our Father through prayer, which in most forms involves us doing most of the “talking.” While God communicates with us in many ways, the most significant and foundational way is through the Scriptures. The Bible is His love letter to us and “how-to” manual for life here and for eternity.

Many times, however, we read His Word in a perfunctory manner, hurrying to get throughking_james_bible7 “today’s scripture reading” and move on to the next thing. For the 30 years I’ve been in ministry, too often I have spent my time in the Scriptures with some “goal” in mind…preparing for the next Bible study or sermon…rather than sitting with His Letter and really digesting it. When we take time to “chew” His Word, it nourishes and feeds our faith which leads to spiritual transformation. Foster (2009) suggests, “Our practice of the Spiritual Disciplines is kept on course by our immersion in Scripture.” Dissecting Scripture with a microscope can be wonderful, but often fails to reveal the grand vistas and overarching themes that a different vantage point may reveal. For instance, for the past couple of years I’ve been reading through the Bible chronologically…in the order the events happened…rather than the canonical order in which they appear. I began to see the broad themes of God’s faithfulness, patience, grace, and desire to be “with us.” Spiritual reading is like holding a mirror to ourselves. His Word reveals us to ourselves in truth and lays us open to radical transformation at those points of our unlikeness to Christ (Thompson, 1995). So, we approach His Word humbly, with repentance, and the desire to become more like Him, having our spirits renewed day by day.

Another vantage point of spiritual reading is in the benedictine tradition of Lectio Divina, which includes meditating or “chewing” on scripture. A simplistic description here of Lectio Divina can provide profound results: After “centering” yourself (consider time, place, absence of distractions, relaxed posture, etc. Give yourself permission to be “unavailable!”), select a passage of scripture to be read. Quality is to be considered over quantity, so number of verses is not important. Some use the lectionary to guide their reading. Read the passage (preferrably outloud) slowly. Allow the meanings, context, images to surface. Read the same passage again being aware of significant words which emerge, spending time ruminating on the meaning of the word(s) for you. What might be the application of the word(s) to your life currently? What is God saying to you through His Word? Allow your thoughts to move toward prayer emerging from your encounter with the text. Take a word, phrase, or thought with you into the rest of your day, aware of Emmanuel’s presence.

I challenge you to take time to “chew” His Word, until it becomes “as sweet as honey” (Ezekiel 3:3). The discipline will not only deepen your relationship with God and produce spiritual transformation, but also have very real effects on your other relationships and the work you’ve been called to…balancing “doing” and “being.” I would be interested in your experience with this and other forms of spiritual reading. Please leave your comments below.

References

Foster, R. & Roller, J. (2009). A year with God: Living out the spiritual disciplines. New York: Harper.

Thompson, M. (1995). Soul Fest: An invitation to the Christian spiritual life. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.

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“Who are you… God?”

Depending on how you read it, this is the question Saul of Tarsus asked when he was struck blind on the road to Damascus…”Who ARE you, God!?” As I mentioned in the last edition of “New Mission Wellness,” even Christ cried out while He was on the cross, “God, why have You forsaken Me!?” In other words, “WHERE are You…in my hour of need?” Times of trauma can drive us to our knees or even cause us to question our assumptions and beliefs of the world, justice, God, others, our self  and…even our spirituality (Janoff-Bulman, 1992). The spiritual journey can become so foreboding that we experience what St. John of the Cross described as, “the dark night of the soul.” St. John was not alone in his struggle, with “dark nights” being experienced by Therese of Lisieux, Mother Teresa, and yes…Tom Gray.

We are intimately spiritual beings created for relationship with God. Saint Augustine spiritual-development1confessed to God, “You have made us for Yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” The spiritual life refers to the vitality of God’s spirit within us; the dynamic inter-relating of His Spirit in the human spirit, drawing us to respond to His invitation to communion (Thompson, 2005). Research indicates that worker spirituality is the greatest concern for sending organizations (Hay, et al., 2007). Additionally, when workers perceive that their sending organization promotes and provides for their spiritual development, they are more likely to  report higher levels of satisfaction in the organization, their ministry assignment, and family life (Andrews, 1999). With the importance of worker spirituality, as well as the use of both positive and negative religious coping, it becomes imperative to consider some ways to engage the spiritual journey and resources, whether in response to trauma or as a means of facilitating resilience. Studies also indicate that individuals turn to prayer most often as a means of religious coping following trauma. So, that’s where we’ll start. In following editions, I will discuss some of the other spiritual disciplines.

  • prayingPrayer: Prayer is a conversation which expresses our relationship with God, in which we are fully present to His presence. There are many means and expressions of prayer. A few of my favorites include:

– ACTS: using the acronym as a form to pray prayers of: Adoration – Confession – Thanksgiving – Supplication

Using the form of the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:5-24): 

– Presence: My Father in heaven…Holy is Your name…

– Priorities: …Your will be done…not my will…

– Provision: … for daily nutrition, strength, grace, patience…etc.

– Pardon: Forgive my trespasses…as I forgive others…

– Power: …provide me a way of escaping temptation…and protection from the evil one…

– Write or paraphrase your own psalm: expressing your true feelings, desires, needs in relation to God…even those you are afraid or reluctant to “speak” to Him. Then pray your psalm to Him.

– Contemplative prayer: Thompson (2005) calls this “a simple gaze toward One who loves us unshakably; resting in God, allowing the Spirit to fill and move us as God wills.” Some examples include:

– Prayer of Presence: With a relaxed posture and mind, being attentive to God’s presence. I often create the mental/spiritual image of being a child cradled in the lap of Abba.

– Prayer of the Heart: Typified by short phrases which move from the lips, to the head/mind, to the heart, or core of our being. The oldest of these prayers is the “Jesus Prayer” (Luke 18:13); “God be merciful to me, a sinner.” The short version is “Lord, have mercy” (kyrie eleison). I have used this prayer, repeating it as a sort of mantra, to help bring peace and relaxation when dealing with insomnia or anxiety.

– Solitude and silence: Related to prayer is the practice of solitude and silence. An aspect of the “conversation” of prayer with God is that of quieting and centering ourselves to be able to “listen” to His voice and the movements of His Spirit. In “Invitation to Solitude and Silence,” Ruth Barton (2010) suggests, “It is in silence that we habitually release our own agendas and our need to control and become more willing and able to give ourselves to God’s loving initiative. In silence we create space for God’s activity rather than filling every minute with our own.” Silence and solitude is a learned practice which moves us from openness to His presence, through confronting our resistance and exhaustion, into the valley of facing “ourselves,” to receiving His guidance and grace…ultimately for the sake of the larger community.

This represents merely a thumbnail sketch of the topic of prayer, but may elicit enough curiosity to warrant deeper exploration. I invite your thoughts, comments, and/or personal experiences (below the references). My prayer for you in this New Year is for a deeper, richer, more vital spiritual life and relationship with Abba.

References

Andrews, L. (1999). Spiritual, family, and ministry satisfaction among miss. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 27(2), 107-118.

Barton, R. (2010). Invitation to solitude and silence: Experiencing god’s transforming presence. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Hay, R., Lim, V., Blocher, D., Ketelaar, J., Hay, S. (2007). Worth keeping: Global perspectives on best practice in mis. retention. Pasadena, California: William Carey Library.

Janoff-Bulman, R. (1992). Shattered Assumptions: Towards a New Psychology of Trauma. New York: Free Press.

Thompson, M. (2005). Soul feast: An invitation to the Christian spiritual life. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.

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“I’m afraid I have bad news…”

The moments that followed that phrase from the doctor a year ago changed my life dramatically. It would take a few days, but soon I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. The usual regimen of chemotherapy began and was tolerated without major side-effects, save the usual week of fatigue, the occasional trip to the hospital for anti-biotics when my fever would rise, and the expected hair loss. By July, I finished the prescribed treatment and was pronounced “in remission,” just in time to travel to Beirut for 2 weeks of teaching counseling education classes with students from across the Middle East. However, a month later, another CT scan confirmed our biggest fear…the tumor had returned. Now the treatment and prognosis took on a more serious, ominous tone… 4 more stringent chemo treatments…then a bone marrow transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore by Christmas. My world was rocked…everything in my life came to a screeching halt. Since then, I have closed my private counseling practice and we have moved from our home, unable to keep paying the rent. Graciously, God has provided rent-free housing and storage for our belongings, as well as financial gifts from family, friends, and churches. While the faithfulness of God remains true, in these months, both my wife and I have been on an emotional…and spiritual roller coaster.

Traumatic life events can cause a destabilization, or a “shattering” of our basic assumptions about the world, life, justice, and our self-image (Janoff-Bulman, 1992). A major recovery task of the traumatized individual is to process, re-interpret, even struggle with the event. While the construct of “coping” includes utilizing many resources, for religious/spiritual individuals, “religious coping” is often the first resource we turn to. Religious coping orients us to the “sacred” in our search to make meaning out of life when our equilibrium has been disrupted by trauma (Pargament, 1997; see previous post, “God Help Me!”). Recent research suggests religious coping consists of both positive and negative patterns and outcomes. Generally, the pattern of positive religious coping relates to a sense of spiritual connectedness with others and a secure relationship with God. In contrast, the pattern of negative religious coping relates to a more uncertain relationship with God, a view of the world which is foreboding, and a religious struggle in the search for meaning and significance in life. Positive religious coping tends to correlate positively with reduced distress and increased psychological and spiritual growth; while negative religious coping methods generally result in greater emotional distress and lower levels of health and well-being (Pargament, et al., 2001). However, in only a few studies, religious participants (ie: clergy and “Cross-Cultural Christian Workers”) utilized both positive and negative religious coping, resulting in positive growth (e.g., Ting & Watson, 2007; Proffitt, et al., 2007). The prevailing thought is that individuals with more spiritual maturity may be able to more effectively tolerate the ambiguity and conflict of the negative aspects of religious coping, resulting in spiritual and psychological growth.

What does this mean for “Christian workers” on the front-lines of cross-cultural ministry regularly exposed to and experiencing more than your fair share of trauma and crises? How we employ our spirituality as a means of coping may provide positive or negative outcomes. Believers who have a more secure relationship with God may be more likely to experience growth through trauma. And, it’s ok to struggle with the meaning, the uncertainty, the fear of a traumatic event. I see Christ struggling in the Garden of Gethsemene,“…if it be Your will…let this cup pass…” And, even on the cross, He asks the Father the question we feel too “unspiritual” to ask…“WHY? Why have You forsaken Me?” But, out of the trauma of the Garden and the Cross came victory…hope…healing…eternal life.

If you’re struggling with “bad news” this holiday season, hear again the words of the angels,

“Fear not…I bring you Good News…a Savior…”

I would be interested in your experience of religious coping and perhaps struggling with a trauma. What are the practices/disciplines you have found most helpful? Please leave your comments below, following the References, or send me an email.    Peace -Tom

P.S. Due to my illness, it’s been over a year since my last post. During this time, as I’ve let go of all the “activities” that identified me, I have been re-evaluating my priorities and passions. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I could only do one thing, my heart’s desire is to support and encourage Cross-Cultural Christian Workers. Writing “New Mission Wellness” is one small thing I can do for now, as I await my upcoming transplant. Hopefully I will be able to post more than once a year!

References

Janoff-Bulman, R. (1992). Shattered Assumptions: Towards a New Psychology of Trauma. New York: Free Press.

Pargament, K. (1997). The psychology of religion and coping: Theory, research, practice. New York: Guilford Press.

Pargament, K., Tarakeshwar, N., Ellison, C., & Wulff, K. (2001). Religious coping among the religious: The relationships between religious coping and well-being in a national sample of Presbyterian clergy, elders, and members. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 40(3), 497-513.

Proffitt, D., Cann, A., Calhoun, L., & Tedeschi, R. (2007). Judeo-Christian clergy and personal crisis: Religion, posttraumatic growth and well being. Journal of Religion and Health, 46(2), 219-231.

Ting, R., & Watson, T. (2007). Is suffering good? An explorative study on the religious persecution among Chinese pastors. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 35(3), 202-210.

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Boundaries Without Borders

No doubt you are familiar with the humanitarian organization, “Doctors Without Borders,” which operates independently throughout the world, responding to crisis situations, without political, military, or religious agendas. We esteem them for being able to cross geographical, cultural, and political boundaries to provide medical services to populations in crisis. Oftentimes, the work of “Christian Cross-Cultural Workers” (CCCW) is without “borders” as we are stretched and called on to engage in a myriad of tasks and relationships on any given day. However, in our personal and professional lives, living without “borders” …or shall we say, without boundaries or margins… can be detrimental to our effectiveness, as well as to our relationships, and our physical/mental/spiritual health.

Recently, I took my car to one of those “quick oil change” businesses, for a… well… quick oil change! While I was waiting, I picked up a copy of “Entrepreneur” magazine and was drawn to an article with amazing application for CCCW’s. You may be wondering what CCCW’s have in common with entrepreneurs… Well, I would suggest that much of the work of the CCCW is in fact, “entrepreneurial” in nature; in that you often work alone and at some risk. The article was entitled,Don’t Melt Down;” the risks and responses to overwork and burnout. The author suggested the simple antidote to overwork and avoiding burnout is “boundaries!”  (I subsequently bought the magazine, but you can read the article for free by clicking the title link!)

 In their classic volume, “Boundaries,” Drs. Cloud & Townsend categorize boundary problems as:            

  • Compliants: Saying “Yes” to the bad
  • Avoidants: Saying “No” to the good
  • Controllers: Not respecting others’ boundaries
  • Nonresponsives: Not hearing the needs of others

 They make a further distinction between functional (those relating to one’s ability to complete a task, project, or job), and relational boundary issues (ability to be honest and practice healthy assertiveness with others).

 In chapter 6, the authors engage in some boundaries myth-busting by outlining the common boundary myths:

  1. If I set boundaries, I’m being selfish
  2. Boundaries are a sign of disobedience
  3. If I begin setting boundaries, I will be hurt by others
  4. If I set boundaries, I will hurt others
  5. Boundaries mean that I am angry
  6. When others set boundaries, it injures me
  7. Boundaries cause feelings of guilt
  8. Boundaries are permanent, and I’m afraid of burning my bridges

 In Leaving It at the Office: A Guide to Psychotherapist Self-Care,” (2007) the authors suggest that trying to “avoid burnout” is negative and presents an avoidant, disease-focused orientation. They offer the admonition that it is far more productive to practice and promote self-care and wellness. (You may again be wondering why I am quoting a book for psychotherapists. Well, both psychotherapy and and the work of CCCW’s operate in the realm of “care-giver.”)

 Do you see yourself in one of the “boundary problems” categories above? Have you given in to one or more of the “myths” of boundaries? Whether you find yourself in the midst of needing to “avoid burnout” or are proactively practicing healthy self-care; I encourage you to reflect and consider the real benefits of healthy boundaries. (PS: Take it from one who has struggled with boundaries recently… which is why this edition of “New Mission Wellness” has been so long in coming!) I invite your comments. –tom

References:

Cloud, H. & Townsend, J. (1992). Boundaries: When to say yes, how to say no, to take control of your life. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Norcross, J.C. & Guy, Jr., J.D. (2007).Leaving it at the office: A guide to psychotherapist self-care. New York: Guilford Press.

Robinson, J. (2011). Don’t Meltdown. Retrieved from: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219311

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Is My Arm Too Short?

When the Israelite children complained about not having meat to eat, the Lord told Moses to get readyI’ll give them meat! When Moses questioned the practicality of such a promise, God responded, “Is My arm too short?” Later, while God had physical arms, He told His disciples that those who have faith will do “even greater things [than I have done]… because I’m going to the Father” (John 14:12). There are various interpretations as to what those “greater things” might be today.

I would suggest that at least one idea pertains to the advent and Kingdom use of technology and the internet. Jesus was bound by physical realities while on earth, reaching only a few or at most a few thousand at one time. Today, while the internet has facilitated a tsunami of pornography and other sins, there remains a redeeming value in reaching the masses around the globe with help and hope for living.

When I was completing my master’s degree at Loyola in the mid-1990’s there was discussion of a “new thing” called online counseling.” We scoffed (myself included!); questioning what good could come of counseling which was not at “arm’s reach.” At that time, there were only a few mental health practitioners charging for their online services. Today, a quick “google search” of “online therapists” produces more than 6 million hits. The Huffington Post recently called “telemedicine” the “sleeping elephant” and the “next big thing” in the delivery of medical/health care.

Distance counseling is defined by the use of technology (synchronous and/or asynchronous means) as a delivery method to assist clients to function with, or grow toward, increased wellness in their personal and professional lives (Malone, 2007). The use of synchronous technology could include: “chat,” “instant messaging,” telephone and video/voice calls (such as skype); with asynchronous means including: email, listservs, blogs, social/professional networks, websites, etc.

With the flood of online therapists and the potential for abuse, organizations such as the International Society for Mental Health Online (ISMHO), the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), and the American Counseling Association (ACA) have established ethical guidelines and principles for distance counseling. NBCC has established education and experience requirements for training and attainment of “Distance Credentialed Counselor” (DCC).

Personally, I have changed my tune since grad school. I believe there is a place for the careful and thoughtful use of technology to deliver counseling services, especially in under-served parts of the globe. I have been providing coaching services online for more than 3 years, but now have joined ISMHO, and have recently earned NBCC’s “Distance Credentialed Counselor” (DCC). Technology/internet can have redeeming value in providing various levels of membercare services for “cross-cultural Christian workers” in isolated areas. Our “counseling arm” need not be too short.

I wonder if you have ever taken advantage of online/distance counseling? And, if you haven’t, would you… if it were available? Feel free to respond below… or to my secure email account: thgray@hushmail.com.  

References

Anthony, K. and Nagel, D. (2010). Therapy online: A practical guide. LosAngeles: Sage.

Malone, J.F. (2007). ‘Understanding Distance Counseling’, in J. Malone, R. Miller, & G. Walz (eds.), Distance counseling: Expanding the counselor’s reach and impact. Ann Arbor: Counseling Outfitters.

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“Tis the season to be…SAD!?”

It seems to be true in at least 6% of the American population, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, with 70-80% of the sufferers being women. Most of us tend to get the winter blahs, however “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (SAD) affects millions each year around the world, with symptoms often beginning as early as October and sometimes not abating until April; the most problematic months being December-February. For the ex-pat the symptoms may increase due to anxiety related to separation from family during the holidays. But SAD is not as related to cold temperatures as it is to the reduced amount of daylight during the winter months, especially for those living beyond 30 degrees latitude. Seasonal changes apparently cause a disruption to our “circadian rhythm,” or internal biological clock, similar to some animal’s hibernation patterns. The reduced light appears to have physiological effects resulting in what is often referred to as “winter onset depression.”

The symptoms of SAD include:

  • Mood changes; including depression
  • Low energy, fatigue, lethargy
  • Changes in sleep patterns; usually excessive sleeping
  • Changes in eating; usually craving carbohydrates and sugar, as “comfort foods,” resulting in weight gain
  • Difficulties with close relationships; less time socializing

As with other forms of depression, the symptoms of SAD may range from mild to severe, with the mild form causing few if any disruptions to daily life, and severe symptoms being more problematic and disruptive.

The most popular treatment for SAD is “phototherapy” otherwise known as “light therapy” utilizing… light! Under the guidance of a trained therapist, patients are exposed to a specific amount/quality of light, using a “light box.” If you believe you may have SAD, and/or are prone to depression, you should seek professional help.

However, if your symptoms are mild, there are some simple things which can be done to boost your winter mood. For instance:

  • Increase the light in your home, office, work environment. This may be as simple as opening the curtains and placing additional lamps in the room.
  • Get some aerobic exercise… especially outdoors if possible. Exercise is a natural mood enhancer and doing it outside will increase your exposure to light even on an overcast day.
  • Watch your diet and resist indulging in excessive carbs and sweets.
  • Talk to someone (ideally a professional therapist/counselor) to help process changes in mood/activity especially as it relates to inter-personal relationships.
  • Be aware of and effectively manage stress levels.
  • Under a doctor’s care, you may consider an anti-depressant medication or dietary supplement, such as “St. John’s Wort” (Rosenthal, 2006).

Ultimately, it is helpful to recognize the natural changes taking place and accept them as a reality of how God created us. Oftentimes, our stress and depressive symptoms are increased when we feel we are not meeting expectations (others’ or our own). Take permission to offer yourself and others some “wintertime grace,” lean on the “Light,” and remember that the sun really will come out again!

Note: Again, if your symptoms are more severe and effecting your ability to function normally on a daily basis, seek professional help. You may consult a therapist (if available), or medical doctor in your area. If you have questions, feel free to email me at: nmwcoaching@gmail.com; or to leave a comment below.  —tom

References

American Academy of Family Physicians. http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/mentalhealth/depression/267.printerview.html

National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1450113/

Rosenthal, N.E. (2006). Winter Blues: Everything you need to know to beat seasonal affective disorder. New York: Guilford Press.

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“God… Help Me!”

Since the times of Genesis, Mankind has been turning to God for help in times of trouble. Throughout history, each of the major religions of the world have taught a means of coping by utilizing one’s religion, spirituality, faith, practices, and the like. However, until the past three decades, there has been very little empirical research on the topic of “religious coping.” One of the issues relates to the difficulty in teasing apart the constructs of “religion” and “spirituality” (Hill, et al. 2000). Additionally, the topic is generally discussed in subjective terms and therefore difficult to measure. In short, most researchers now agree that both religion and spirituality refer to a related process, a “search for significance in ways related to the sacred” (Pargament, 1997); where “spirituality” reflects a more individual experience and religion refers more to formal institutions (2000). Religious coping then refers to a dynamic search for significance in times of stress (1997).

Why is this important to us [you] on the field? We know that the life of the “cross-cultural Christian worker” (CCCW) is filled with stress, trauma, daily challenges, and disappointments, to say the least. How we [you] cope and respond to these realities makes the difference in happiness, fruitfulness, and longevity; versus leaving the field early due to burnout, depression, disillusionment, moral failure… a statistic of preventable attrition. Also, how we employ our religious/spiritual coping can be either helpful or harmful (Pargament, et al. 2001)… but that’s a topic for another time!

In 2005, the World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) commissioned a study of more than 580 mission agencies in 22 countries (ReMAP-II) to ascertain whether attrition had reduced since the initial Re-MAP study during 1994-96 (Hay, et al. 2007). While attrition had indeed gone down, the ReMAP-II project highlighted issues of the spiritual life of the [CCCW] to be the number one concern of mission agencies. Further, the study showed that an emphasis on spiritual growth and health was significantly related to job performance and correlated with retention (Hay, et al., p. 131). Interestingly, a 1999 study of 245 [CCCW’s] and families found that when the mission organization was perceived and experienced as promoting and encouraging opportunities for spiritual growth and nurture; higher levels of ministry, family, and self satisfaction were also reported (Andrews).

Maintaining and enlivening one’s spirituality is both a personal and corporate (as in community) journey. Recognizing both the personal and organizational responsibility of nurturing, encouraging, and facilitating spiritual growth, religious coping and resilience; the question becomes… how?

We would all be interested in your thoughts, suggestions, experiences… whether from a personal level or an organizational level. Please leave a comment belowafter the “References.” I will compile the offerings into a follow-up edition.

Peace to you during this holiday season, as you remember that you are not alone… He is Emmanuel… God with us!

References

Andrews, L. (1999). Spiritual, family, and ministry satisfaction among miss. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 27(2), 107-118.

Hay, R., Lim, V., Blocher, D., Ketelaar, J., Hay, S. (2007). Worth keeping: Global perspectives on best practice in mis. retention. Pasadena, California: William Carey Library.

Hill, P., Pargament, K., Hood, Jr., R., McCollough, M., Swyers, J., Larson, D., & Zinnbauer, B. (2000). Conceptualizing religion and spirituality: Points of commonality, points of departure. Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 30(1), 51-77.

Pargament, K. (1997). The psychology of religion and coping: Theory, research practice. (pp. 32 & 90). New York: Guilford Press.

Pargament, K., Tarkeshwar, N., Ellison, C., & Wulff, K. (2001). Religious coping among the religious: The relationships between religious coping and well-being in a national samply of Presbyterian clergy, elders, and members. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 40(3), 497-513.

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