Friday, May 31, 2013

Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning ... Book Review

Book Review . Anxiety . Depression ., Down Syndrome . Journey . Dreams . Talents . New York . Mental Health . Christian Life . Women Issues . Virginia . Maya Angelou . non profit . international missions . Manhattan . Greek isles . relaxation . Heavenly treasures . corporate ladder . pray

Rebekah Lyons is a brave woman to share her personal story and I hope that it will inspire and help others.

"It is never too late to be what you might have been." ... George Eliot

Depression and anxiety have many faces. More than 57.7 million American adults suffer from some form of mental illness, including 18.1 million who have been diagnosed with depression.

Even more shocking is the number of women suffering from depression. From anxiety attacks, as in Rebekah case, to mood disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and so on women are under siege. And the majority of women who are wrestling with depression fit nicely in the twenty-five to forty-four-year-old age bracket.

Rebekah is no medical doctor, and she has no degree in psychology,but she loves to listen to the stories of women.

Thanksgiving had barely faded into autumn's wake when Rebekah received the news of her aunt Martha's death. The doctor had handed her a diagnosis of advanced pancreatic cancer just five months prior, but none of the family thought the disease would steal her life so quickly.

Her thoughts flipped to the person noticeably absent for the funeral the weekend: her dad.

She was aware of the state of his mental health when she was fifteen. He was admitted to a psychiatric hospital hospital for a week.

He lost his job teaching for the county. Administrators didn't consider him fit to be responsible for a classroom.

Perhaps one of the worst effects of such an illness is the lack of respect the individual gets from those closest to them. The survivor never seems to receive the benefits of the doubt. Always looked at as a mental case.

She found herself thinking of her father.

Would she end up in the same bed, her mind unable to sustain her body? She worried that his present might be her future.

Her father and her firstborn son, which has Down Syndrome were connecting in a way they were unable to. Beyond logic and reason. A brokenness that is whole. Beautiful.

A man who'd lived a life of suffering, of struggle, of mental anguish never turned his back on God. He had been faithful. His grandchildren delighted in his presence.

As you know, New York is bleak in wintertime.

Rebekah was invited to lunch with a few women in her Church who were looking to start conversations among their parish Churches concerning what "living fully" looked like for the women in the city. She'd been asked to provide insight and talking points, but she was wrestling with God.

She was beginning to put pen to paper about her journey over the past two years - the story of her own struggle with depression and anxiety.

She thought of Jesus. And what had to have been a horrific night in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before He was Crucified, when He prayed on His face for hours.

We all wonder how long we must wait and when the rescue will come. And God says in the waiting, "Turn your face to Me, focus on Me.

So we wait.

"If the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction." ... Maya Angelou

These technological creations, while interesting for everyone else, have the opposite effect on us. Instead of confirming our worth, they only add to the pressure to perform and strive. Have you made every recipe on your Pinterest board? Rebekah admits she haven't. How many of us have homes that look like the images we pin?

Rebekah loves knowing what her friends are up to, near and far. Technology helps her feel more connected to them. But unless she reach out and actually talk to them, the closeness is limited to a newsfeed.

Her husband, Gabe is a helpful barometer to keep her accountable. He knows when the real Rebekah, and the virtual ones grow disconnected. And he raises a red flag when her iPhone gets more attention than he does.

For a few of us, our parents saw a gift in us and nurtured it to full bloom. Sadly for many, like Rebekah our uniqueness was squelched by peer pressure, feelings of inadequacy, or disapproval from a parent.

As for her gift of writing, that one snuck up on her. Though she could be found often with a book in her hand during her youth. As she wrote fervent questions of prayers, she felt His presence near.

Some days she's on edge for no reason, unsure if she should trust her surroundings or even her friends.

Upon graduation, she landed the perfect job at Blair Communications, a respected PR firm in Virginia. The idealism lasted for nine months, until she felt pulled toward a nonprofit focused on international missions.

What is God's unique plan for the headstrong leader and wise counselor with a fierce ambition for love for writing?

She loved her children and her husband and, in many ways, the life she had created. After months of misery, she had begun the journey toward meaning by unearthing her unique gifts. And like Manhattan's spring tulips, she was now bursting with life.

"Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgment. Go some distance away, because work will be in perspective and a lack of harmony is more readily seen." ... Leonardo Da Vinci

Like children anticipating Christmas morning, Gabe and Rebekah were anxious to steal away. His parents had offered to let the grandkids run free on their five wooded acres in Virginia's heartland so they could spend uninterrupted time together.

Scrounging together airline miles, hotel points, and a bit of money they had tucked away for such an occasion, they booked a trip to Greek isle of Santorini.

At night, they dined in front of Mediterranean sunsets.

Gabe and her had one assignment: to reconnect. They had grown distant during her freefall months in New York. Her anxiety attacks had understandably placed him on edge. They aimed to steal away and reignite the spark they once had.

They didn't know they would go with little sleep for a decade-facing financial uncertainly and loss, burying their dear friend, birthing a son who would change the way they saw the world. And God would make them new through all of it. A lesson they continue to learn.

When packing for the trip, she made sure to cram in as many many books as her luggage could hold.

She remembered a story from the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus teaches His disciples some cornerstone principles about treasure. He explains that storing up earthly treasures is a worthless endeavor. Houses, money, livestock - they all rust or are eaten by moths. Jesus describes a different kind of treasure. Heavenly treasures.

She have felt the fading in her own life. Battling a lifelong struggle with anxiety and despair.

How might life be different for women like her if they believed a treasure awaits them?

She have found community with people who are living out the calling God has breathed into their hearts. Not a story of climbing a successful corporate ladder for personal gains, but one that carries a humble heaviness for burdens that break their hearts.

That evening she packed with fury in anticipation of returning home. But now she was discovering something greater. Treasure. Meaning.

"The wise man in the storms prays to God, not for safety from danger, but deliverance from fear," ... Ralph Waldo Emerson

They returned home to find New York had shed its summer skin, with fall nearly in full swing.

Life was going so well.

Soon sleep beckoned, thought less restful than she had hoped for. She tossed and tossed between dreams, resisting each one like an uninvited guest.

Panic whispered.

She shook Gabe awake, begging him between gaps to help her get to the elevator. Their children stayed asleep as the alarm clock glowed 3:20 a.m.

They were painfully aware that the attacks she had avoided the past nine months were back.

She had begun experiencing an onslaught of attacks daily, each distinctly different from what she had fought the year before. These episodes took place in wide-open spaces as she gasped for air on the playground bench while her kids played in the distance.

She began to believe she would never change a thought that brought sadness and new depths of desperation.

Just as life was looking up the floor was dropping out from beneath her.

3:02 a.m. another panic attack.

Her husband prayed, "God take this panic attack away. You are not a God who invokes fear, but faith. Give us faith. Help Rebekah to breathe, to calm, to release."

She cried out, "RESCUE ME!"

The physical bondage that she had been battling for more than a year-gone in an instant. She had never come out of a panic attack like that before.

Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Jesus yoke is easy and the burden He gives is light."

For many, prescription medication has been a lifesaver in moments of severe struggle, and some need it to even out imbalance in the brain.

God had met her in her darkest hour.

Write down the turning points in your life.

Write down your talents.

Write down your greatest burden.

If you aren't married or if your husband isn't willing to offer his support, the journey may be more difficult (particularly for single moms). Look for a trusted friend - a person who believes in you - who encourages you along the way.

Note those in your life who will help you on this journey.

I'm convinced God wants to use you to bring someone else's gift to life.

I received a copy of this book for review from Tyndale House Publishers. I review books for Authors, Ministries, Businesses, Publicists & Publishing Companies.

Rebekah Lyons is a mother of three, wife, dog walker of two living in New York. As a self-confessed mess, she wears her heart on her sleeve, a benefit to friends and readers alike. She serves alongside her husband, Gabe, as cofounder of Q Ideas, an organization that helps winsomely engage culture.

Books of Ezra & Nehemiah ... 6/30/1203 - 7/25/2013 .. Sunday School Lessons

Ezra 3,6,8, Nehemiah 8,9,12,13, Sunday School Lesson, Jews, Sheshbazzar, Zerubbabel, Joshua, high priest, Cyrus, Temple, Darius, Joshua, Babylon, Ezra's prayer,Confession, Religion, restoration, Law, Feast of Tabernacle, Levites, Covenant, Jerusalem, dedication,abuses

My Sunday School Lesson is coming from the Books of Ezra & Nehemiah starting June 30,2013 - August 25, 2013.

These books were regarded in ancient times as one.

They may be divided into four parts: 1. Ezra 1-6 describes the first return of the Jews under Sheshbazzar or Zerubbabel and Joshua, the high priest, in the first year of Cyrus (536 B.C.), and the rebuilding of the temple (516 B.C.)... 2. Ezra 7-10 narrates the second migration from Babylon under Ezra, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimaus (458-457 B.C.), and includes Ezra's prayer and confession.

Nehemiah 8-13 describes the combined efforts of Ezra & Nehemiah to effect the restoration of religion,including the solemn reading of the Law, the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, the confession of the Levites, a list of the inhabitants of Jerusalem and other cities, the dedication of the walls, and the removal of certain abuses.

Sunday - June 30, 2013 - Celebrating What Is Meaningful - Ezra 3:1-7

Commencement Of The Rebuilding Of The Temple (Ezra 3:1-4:24)

Sunday - July 7, 2013 - Finding Joy in Restoration - Ezra 3:8-13

Sunday - July 14, 2013 - Celebrating with Joy - Ezra 6:13-22

Completion Of The Rebuilding Of The Temple (Ezra 5:1-6:2)

Sunday - July 21, 2013 - Preparing for a Journey - Ezra 8:21-23

Return of More Jewish Exiles Under Ezra (Ezra 7:1-8:36)

July 28, 2013 - Generous Gifts - Ezra 8:24-30


Sunday - August 4, 2013 - Great Rejoicing - Nehemiah 8:13-18

The Reading & Exposition Of The Law (Nehemiah 7:73b-8:18)

August 11, 2013 - Admitting Shortcomings - Nehemiah 9:2,6-7, 9-10, 30-36

The Renewal Of The Covenant (Nehemiah 9:1-1039)

August 18, 2013 - Taking Pride in Accomplishment - Nehemiah 12:27-36;38,43

The Dedication Of Jerusalem's Walls (Nehemiah 12:27-43)

August 25, 2013 - Getting It Right - Nehemiah 13:15-22

Nehemiah's Second Period of Administration (Nehemiah 13:1-31)

Scripture reference used/taken from: The International Teacher's Handy Bible Encyclopedia/Concordance KJV Precious Promise Bible & Zondervan Bible Commentary

Beyond Description ... June 2, 2013 .. Sunday School Lesson

II Chronicles, II Kings, Isaiah, Prophet Isaiah, Joshua, Psalm/Tehillim, God, Miracles, Confession, Angels, Revelation, Prophet, Lord, Sunday School Lesson, Jehovah, salvation, Hoshea, Jehoshua, Jeshua,Jesus

My Sunday School Lesson is coming from the Books of II Chronicles, II Kings, Isaiah, Joshua, & Psalm/Tehillim for the week of June 2, 2013. Unit I. The Prophet & Praise.

The Lesson for June 2, 2013 is shared from Isaiah 6:1-8 (Devotional Reading Joshua 24:14-24).

Isaiah received the prophetic call in the last year of King Uzziah's reign (Isaiah 6:1), and prophesied during the reigns of the three kings, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (Isaiah 1:1).

Isaiah Chapters 1-6 prophecies against the sinful and idolatrous people.

Isaiah 6:1-4

Verse 1 ... God; Anthropomorphic & Anthropopathic Representatives of God; God Appears in Human Form

Anthropomorphic ... the attribution of a human form or personality to God

Anthropopathic ... having human feelings

Verses 1,2,3 ... Angels, Offices of Good Angels, They Wait on God

Verse 2 ... Angels, Good Angels; Angels are Superhuman; Cherubim & Seraphim

(We are never to worship angels)

Cherubim ... angelic being of God's order

Seraphim ... angelic being, one of the highest order, gifted with love and associated with light and purity

Verse 3 ... God; Attributes of God As Person; Holiness of God

Verse 4 ... Miracles; Miracles In The Upper Regions, & In The Atmosphere; God's Presence Manisfested by Fire

(Ezekiel 1:13; Revelation 4:8; Psalm/Tehillim 19:16; Romans 1:19-20; Exodus 19:16; Exodus 13:21-22; Numbers 9:15-23 & Exodus 19:18-25 ... Reference Scripture from Sunday School Book)


Verses 5-7

Verse 5 ... Duties To God; Confession; Examples of Confession, Individual Confession

Verses 6,7 ... Angels; Offices Of Good Angels; Convey's God's Messages

(Leviticus 6:12-13)

Verse 8 ... Mediums & Methods of Revelation; The Qualifications Of A Prophet; He Must Be Called of God

(I Chronicles 29:5)

Joshua 24:14-24

Joshua Chapter 24 contains Joshua's last speeches & his death.

Joshua 24:14-27 renews the covenant.

Joshua ... Jehovah is salvation. (Hoshea, Jehoshua, Jeshua, & Jesus)

Monday - May 27, 2013 - Setting Yourself to Seek God - II Chronicles 26:1-5

The Reign of Uzziah (II Chronicles 26:1-23)

The Divided Kingdom - The Story of Judah (II Chronicles 10:1-36:23)

Tuesday - May 28, 2013 - From Success to Pride to Destruction - II Chronicles 26:16-21

Wednesday - May 29, 2013 - Following a Father's Example - II Kings 15:32-38

A Kingdom Divided (I Kings 12:1-II Kings 17:41)

Thursday - May 30, 2013 - People Dulled to God's Presence - Isaiah 6:9-13

The prophet's call to office (Isaiah 6:1-13)

Oracles For Judah & Jerusalem (Isaiah 1:1-12:6)

Oracle .. divine inspiration or revelation

Friday - May 31, 2013 - Choosing to Serve a Holy God - Joshua 21:14-24)

The Covenant at Shechem (Joshua 24:1-28)

The Way Ahead (Joshua 23:1-24:33)

Shechem (Joshua 17:17; Psalm/Tehillim

Charge of Joshua (Joshua 24)

Shechem (shoulder, mountain ridge), the Hivite, Genesis 34

Saturday - June 1, 2013 - Seeking the Face of God - Psalm/Tehillim 24

Psalm/Tehillim ... "Prayer, Praise, & Adoration," is 'Sepher Tehillim,' the Book of Praises.

Psalms of Adoration: Of God's power

Didactic Psalms: Showing the blessings of God's people and the misery of his enemies.

Didactic ... Instruct

Prophetic, Typical, & Historical

Sunday - June 2, 2013 ... Encountering the Holy God - Isaiah 6:1-8

The prophet's call to office (Isaiah 6:1-13)

Isaiah and King Ahaz (Isaiah 6:1-12:6)

Scripture reference taken/used from: KJV Topical Reference Edition Bible; The International Teacher's Handy Bible Encyclopedia/Concordance KJV Precious Promise Bible; Zondervan Bible Commentary, Reader's Digest Complete WordFinder & Merriam Webster's Deluxe Dictionary

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Boy From Bothell .. Bipolar * Vietnam Veteran ..... Book Review

Book Review . Vietnam Veteran . Bipolar . Army . Navy . Saigon River . Investigation . ONI . The Office of Naval Intelligence . Lithium . Fight for Sanity . God . South Vietnam . Memoirs . Okinawa . Prodigal Son . Church . Marriage . Psychiatric Hospital . Seattle VA Hospital . Poland . Vancouver, Washington

I am high elated as well as honored to have received a complimentary copy of this book from Gene Olson, who is a Vietnam Veteran. Let us never forget our Veterans and Troops. Now my favorite branch is the Army for I use to stay on base I believe when i was a little girl in Texas (El Paso, Texas), and Florida (Homestead, Florida; Goulds, Florida; & Naranja, Florida) with my Daddy and Mother.

More than six million American adults suffer from bipolar disorder (manic depression) and or schizophrenia. These are two types of the most severe and crippling forms of mental illness.

What medicine do you give a paranoid schizophrenic? Thorazine. Between 1965 and 1980, state hospital mental patients went from 470,000 to a staggering 100,000.

What medicine do you give a paranoid schizophrenic on a VA psych ward? Liquid Thorazine.

Gene shares God miraculously healed his mind with lithium.

The year 1945 was one to remember. Flouridated water and frozen orange juice invaded American kitchens. And Tupperware gave housewives a reason to save leftovers.

John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert unveiled the electronic computer ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). The birth of computers was ignited.

The greatest historical event in 1945 was the end of World War II and the beginning of the Nuclear Age. Germany formally surrendered on May 7th. After atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima on August 6th and Nagaski on August 9th, Japan surrendered. And it was hard to understand and believe the film footage coming out of Eastern Europe - concentration camps run by Lucifer himself and his devils - cremation, experiments, sexual exploitations, starvation, gas and death.

As news spread "THE WAR IS OVER! celebration started from the East Coast to the West Coast.

October 12, 1945, 3:20 a.m., with a cry Gene entered the world at Doctors' Hospital as Gene Ellis Olson. The fourth child of a Norwegian mother and a Swedish father ... a mixed Viking, ready for the world.

Him and his sister, Pat, would spend the next twelve years together in the same grade. His birthday missed the eligibility date to start school.

Elementary school was a time of friendships developed and would continue to grow until high school graduation. Two of his best friends he met in elementary school were Rich and Joe. Rich was the son of an insurance executive at Bothell State Bank. Joe was the son of the Superintendent of Bothell School. Gene was proud to be the son of a meat cutter.

Rich Worthington was Gene's friend since second grade. Rich was a helicopter pilot, killed in action, South Vietnam 1970.

A picture in the Bothell Citizen brought Gene short fame as a fifth grader. Four were photographed with books in their hands and smiles on their faces.

One of his favorite places to visit as a child was Uncle Fred and Aunt Clara's house. Uncle Fred was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. He was a Korean War hero.

The book 22 Stayed documented twenty-two prisoners of war of the Korean Conflict: twenty-two soliders did not want to return to the United States, but wanted to stay in Noreth Korea. This book planted seeds for Gene's own writing tastes and styles.

After school and weekends there was plenty of free time to play.

Then they would divide into cowboys and Indians. It was hard to pick who was going to be "King of the Wild Frontier" or "the Lone Ranger."

Chris grew hay on several acres of their pasture.

Part of the fun work belonged to the little kids in the wagon.

Chris also had several acres of cherry trees.

When the cherries were ripe to pick, teenagers and even kids like Gene could earn spending money.

First stop would be to Meredith's Five & Ten. They always had great items and wasn't too expensive. Later in life he discovered that Washington State's Senator Patty Murray's father owned that store.


The first crush in elementary school was with one of the twins in his class.

In 1957 (the year I was born), Gene was eleven years old, his parents decided to divide the property in half and build a new house.

A few months later he would be helping print "1957" in the fresh cement at their new house in Bothell.

As a toddler, the trips to his Grandma's house was exciting.

During his junior high school days, Grandma Olso moved in next door to Chris's rental house.

She came from Sweden and their great-great-grandmother from Sweden had lived to be ninety-five years old - and she smoked a pipe!

The dial on his Gramma's radio had places like "Tokyo, Moscow, Amsterdam," etc.

The seeds for his interest in writing were sown in junior high school. Not only could you write on the journalism staff you could also help "publish" and distribute the school newspaper, The Bobcat.

His family transferred to Kirkland Baptist Church of the Nazarene.

In his book, he talks about the Holy Ghost - Holy Spirit. Let me share a few Scriptures on the Holy Spirit & Being Born Again: Acts 2:1-4; John 14:16-17; Ephesians 1:13; Luke 24:36-40; John 3:1-8; and II Corinthians 5:17. (Now I realize that I am not all that - but - a work in progress.)

Oral Roberts was the famous "Pentecostalist" in the fifties.

Now we have seen televangelists Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggart fall, and Bennie Hinn false accused.

If a person sincerely repent and confess God is faithful to forgive. But at times it can still be damaging to your ministry and career.

Not much has changed from radio, television and mass mailings. Ministers, televangelists, schemers ... some, not all, worship money and wealth as their God. It's sad.

The Scriptures also teaches us about false prophets and some of them wolves in sheep clothing. II Timothy Second Chapter tells us to study to show ourselves approved, where we can rightly divide the word of truth.

In his childhood, boyhood and youth church played a significant role in their family. They attended services on sunday morning and sunday night, and wednesday night prayer meeting.

As a teenager, one night going to bed, he brought a Look Magazine to read. The cover read, "Wanted: Priests, Rabbis & Ministers." He started reading about the future shortage of qualified men to lead in the Catholic Churches; the Jewish Synagogues and Protestant Churches.

After high school graduation he had no problems, no worries, life was carefree.

Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho gave him a small activity scholarship.

Foodland was the only place to work. He like "bagging" groceries better than cleaning or sweeping floors.

He enrolled as a ministerial student: the conversation college forbade smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages as set forth in the manual of the Church of the Nazarene.

What money he did have went to beer. Usually in a broken stupor he would turn to his Bible and the Book of Psalms.

But the summer of joy of '65 would not linger. College dropouts were in demand. Something to do with Southeast Asia. Something to do about a place called South Vietnam.

Greetings from the President of the United States. You are hereby ordered to report for induction into the Armed Forces of the United States of America ....

Report date "October 12, 1965," his twentieth birthday! The escalation of the Vietnam War had caught him.

Ten days after signing his name and taking the oath, "I do," he found himself ready, but not so willing for ten weeks of Navy boot camp training. He had successfully dodged the Army, but not the Navy.

Seventy-two recruits of Company 529 living together in a naval barracks.

His mother sent a letter one day telling him of an upcoming major operation.

At this time in boot camp training calls were against regulations unless you had an emergency or "bona fide" reason. Certainly he knew he was eligible to call home.

He went through the usual of seeing the company commander.

After the pass was signed, he raced to the telephone booths.

Hearing his father's voice, he almost cried from excitement. His mother was fine and had arrived home from the hospital.

Boot Camp was a good teacher.

All during the flight home he did two things: relished in new freedom and prayed to God.

His mom was still recuperating from her operation when he walked into the room. She was thrilled to see him. He never wanted to leave home again .... NEVER!

Okinawa had a busy naval port to load supplies, support vehicles, machinery and troops up rivers and along the coast of South Vietnam.

Soon he was "bar hopping" and meeting sailors.

A sailor he didn't know walked back to the ship with him. Well, he knew he worked in the engine room. He couldn't see anything strange in his request that they go to the rear of the ship (funtail)n and talk.

He put his arm around Gene and held his wrist with his other hand.

The sailor made sexual advances toward him.

What could he do? He asked God to help him! He made a quick surprise move, escaping his strong grip.

Then he appeared, climbing down the ships ladder. Sitting across from Gene, he whispered only one sentence, "Better not tell anyone what I tried to do."

After drinking himself "silly," he walked into a bar and noticed a table full of chief petty officers from the ship.

They talked and he drank their free beer.

"Olson, I know you haven't been in the Navy very long. If there is anything bothering you about the Navy, feel free to talk with me about it."

After he told the chief petty officer about the incident, he asked "Will you say those exact words to the executive office?"

The next day he spoke to the X.O.

Instantly he could tell who the men were as they boarded the ship - civilian clothes, suits, both carrying briefcases. "The two men were agents from the Office of Naval Intelligence."

"First of all they informed him of his rights under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He didn't have to answer any questions if he felt it could be used against him in a court marital."

One agent left the room and returned with a Polaroid camera. They wanted a picture of the scratches on his face caused by him breaking away from the sailor. He had never noticed the scratches before.

The sight of a sailor made him sick, even though he was a sailor.

Loneliness and he guess doubt about what was happening would follow in the next few days dragged him into deep depression.

The days started growing worse. He felt he should see a psychiatrist before things became twisted up within his mind.

He noticed a magazine nearby called His and starting to reading an article on Psalm 13. He likened himself to a modern David.

The ONI agents had said they had given the other sailor a lie detector test. Every time he had lied, they had stopped and told him to come back when he was ready to tell the truth.

When they reported onboard ship, the officer of the day knew nothing of their circumstances.

"Olson, the agents told me not to touch you or I'd be in more trouble than I am in now. But he still let Gene know that he still had feelings for him, but would not force him."

Gene thinks he was sorry.

Within two days the ship headed back down the Saigon River.

Forty letters and fifteen hometown newspapers were stacked up waiting to be opened.

Three days later word was passed throughout the ship "We're heading home!" The only thing the crew could think about was seeing America and Americans once again.

Only one sentence filled his mind as the plane circled over Seattle and Puget sound, "I will sing unto the Lord, because He hath dealt bountifully with me."

He didn't know at the time, but his final cruise would sail from Okinawa, to Saigon, to Keelung, Formosa and Japan, and then to Pearl Harbor and San Diego.

Twelve of the children lined up outside the hut. He could not resist picking up the baby. When he kissed the baby on the forehead, the children laughed. The mother proudly held her baby up high for the camera. If he was running for a political office, he would have had everyone's vote.

With the GI Bill he could return to college and start fresh in the academic field. It was the fall of '67.

Being discharged from the Navy didn't discharge him from an alcoholic.

As a private Christian College, NNC was able to foster and promote religious principles and ideas of the Church of the Nazarene. Those were special times, sensing God's Spirit, sensing God's love, sensing God was personal.

Back in Washington State, his parents started two group homes for boys.

He agreed to work in the boys' home.

But one evening was the start of his first manic high.

Bipolar seeds were starting to sprout. Paranoia was growing at a rapid pace.

His dad told him, that he wanted him to come with him to go see a psychiatrist.

But his dad didn't know about Rich, the helicopter crash, his death in Vietnam and the details of the all-night drive.

The doctor's clinic was in downtown Seattle just south of the Westin Hotel near the Seattle center monorail tracks. He was recommended by his brother-in-law the doctor as a very qualified Christian psychiatrist.

Here he was twenty-six years old, ready for the journey from paranoid schizophrenic to manic depressive/bipolar.

Private hospitals are expensive. His brother found out he was eligible for psychiatric treatment at the VA Medical Center in Seattle. As a Vietnam Veteran he had priority over other Veterans except those with service-connected disabilities.

During the night a veteran had committed suicide; a lady had lost her silent husband.

He asked God to explain it. He said He didn't.

The Jewish kid who wondered like all of them, what were they doing there? His mother visited every night.

Another veteran had electric shock treatments. Shock treatments for depression - sometimes it worked.

Lithium had entered his life. It had only been approved by the FDA in 1970 and now, just six years later, he would be "put on" a relatively new drug for manic-depression, lithium.

He met a veteran his age. He had Huntington's disease, a disease of the nervous system. When his wife found out she left him. He had accepted his approaching death, but he could not accept his wife leaving him.

He died when he was at American Lake.

Towards the last months his concentration improved. He read four books. Man in Black, by Johnny Cash and Born Again, by Charles Colson.

He had finished reading Born Again when he heard on the TV news Charles Colson was coming to Tacoma. His prison ministry was taking him to explore McNeil Island Penitentiary.

Gene would be bipolar for the rest of his life.

"Grandpa" Christ was in a nursing home.

"He passed away."

Now before this happened he had to come to his senses like the Prodigal Son and return home he shares in his book. He also had married another woman for less than a year and she had an abortion.

If God had a girl picked out for Gene, where was she? He wasn't attending Church every Sunday, but he truly believed in a personal God.

There was one place he did not try, the Little Nickel dateline section int he free ad paper.

He must confess he prayed to God.

God sent only one.

Jolanta was 27 years old, 5'2," blond, Native Polish she wrote to him. She was Doctor of Medicine (inernist) graduated in Europe.

She was unique. She was loving and caring.

Not only could she speak seven languages fluently, but she was almost finished with her medical residency in Poland.

A few weeks passed and discussions on marriage entered the conversation.

"Should we just become engaged, or take the chance and get married?" He asked the immigration officer.

He was quick to respond, "He suggested that if you are really serious about it - get married.

After two weeks Jolanta said "Yes, I will marry you! But you have to stop drinking beer."

Their marriage took place at his parents' house in Bothell, at the small group home for boys.

They would return in later years with his wife's brother from Poland, his two young sons and their two young sons, which would be born via of C-sections.

Six months he had waited for this exact moment! She was still beautiful.

Now firsthand, he was learning about Polish culture, customs and behaviors.

It was a known fact with kids in the Polish neighborhood that all Americans were rich!

He later returned to Seattle without Jolanta.

The owner/manager of the mobile home park was leaving in several weeks for Israel and asked him to be the manager. He would agree for about a year.

He didn't have all the specific details, except his wife was having problems with the
American Embassy.

Now there was something he could do. He wrote a letter to Senator Dan Evans explaining his frustration and anger. He promptly replied back that he would look into the situation.

When his wife went to the American Embassy in Warsaw, she was treated like a diplomat.

One of the greatest moment in his life was getting a collect call from his wife at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. She had arrived in the United States!

His wife joined a small group of physicians in Vancouver, Washington. Southwest Washington was their new home.

Soon Dr. Jolanta Olson would become partner in a medical clinic and later also serve as chairman for the Department of Medicine at Southwest Washington Medical Center.

In February 2000, he received a letter from his high school sweetheart, Nancy, the dentist's daughter.

Nancy wrote:
Dear Gene, The question was asked "Who talked to you about the Gospel of Christ for the first time?" Her answer was Gene Olson. The next question was "Have you thanked them?" If not, "What are you going to do about it?"

She had continued to sing praises to Him throughout many lands - Singapore, Malaysia, Africa, Haiti, Canada and across the U.S. .... This - all because Gene told her how to know Jesus.

The lithium reduction started. He could feel mania approaching. Only a bipolar knows.

The 2004 presidential election had placed John Kerry in the spotlight of Vietnam Veterans. As he read some articles on John Kerry, the song Soirup River caught his eye. He had been on the same river a year after his ship was anchored as the "Mekong Hilton."

When John Kerry finished addressing the crowd, he asked Gene, Is there anything I can do for you?

He answered, "Yes, there is. I'd like a memorial for my friend Rich, a helicopter pilot killed in Vietnam."

A red, white and blue viewing stand was erected on top of the Seattle VA Medical Center, Beacon Hill.

The first helicopter had gathered on the hill and near the hospital for the memorial. They saluted the flag draped on its side.

In progression, each helicopter became newer.

For the finale, hundreds of Blackhawks and the most modern helicopters in formation at the viewing stand.

In meditation with God, he said, "All these years I never wanted to die! All these years he have been fighting for sanity!

God answered, "I know. I was there. I saw it all. It was a good fight. And you won!"

Oregon Senator Gordon Smith had a son with bipolar disorder who killed himself at his college apartment.

On July 8, 2004, the Garrett Le Memorial Act passed the Senate. The bill was introduced by Senator Gordon Smith who said, "It's been six months, and it's time to find more meaning and help others who suffered like he did."

The bill is for suicide prevention.

If Rich Worthington, his Christian Scientist boyhood friend killed in Vietnam, were alive today he know exactly what he would say.

"Gene, you don't need a Band-Aid for your brain. God will heal it."

Genes Olson, is the author of 'The Boy From Bothell - Bipolar *Vietnam Veteran lived most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He has traveled extensively in Eastern Europe. He currently resides in Vancouver, Washington with his Polish wife, youngest son, older son out of the nest and three dogs.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Business Development of eHarmony .. Book Review (2005)

Book Review . Family-friendly . Dating . eHarmony . business coach host . writer . editor . Failing in Love For all the Right Reasons . Soul Mate . biz development . business development . Christian Worldview . faith based . ethnic backgrounds . religions . races

Sharing some tips from a book that I reviewed in 2005.

I did not want to focus on the dating from the book, so I focused from the business development from the book.

I received a review copy of eHarmony while being the business coach host, writer, editor for a site.

Development of has more than 500 questions based on 29 dimensions that their scientific research has shown are crucial to long-term success in relationships.

In 1995 Dr. Neil Clark Warren, moved his counseling practice to a new office in Pasadena. Much of his time was consumed with creating materials to teach people how they could have a better marriage. One day while talking with his son-in-law Greg Forgatch, he told him about a study he had done in which he asked 100 married couples to tell him what makes a great marriage.

His son-in-law asked him had he ever thought of creating a service for singles based on that kind of information?
They began to dream of an educational service based on such empirical data.

This data is share in the book "Failing in Love For all the Right Reasons - How to find your Soul Mate" written by Dr. Neil Clark Warren, founder of with Ken Abraham.

In 1977 Greg and Dr. Warren traveled to Santa Monica, California, where they met Pete Hurt, the former CEO of MasterCard and the current CEO of Advanta ( a financial services company for small businesses).

Pete became convinced that the only way a matchmaking company could succeed was to expand the pool of available partners. And the most helpful way of doing that seemed to be by means of the Internet.

Pete encouraged Greg and Dr. Warren to develop a program and put it on the Internet. Pete told Dr. Warren that he would be his advisor, only if he would use the Internet.

They took another year and a half to gather and analyze their empirical data.

To collect accurate reliable information, they decided to devise a questionaire for married couples to complete. They developed a team of researchers comprised of PdD's and research assistants, many of whom had worked alongside him when he taught graduate -level psychology classes. Dr. Galen Buck Walter, a brillant former student of his, was one of the first to come on board after Greg Forgatch and their friend Greig Steiner.

Galen introduced them to his friend Steve Carter, who was taking a break from his doctoral program for a while. Steve joined them in their quest. Soon Steve brought in antoher friend, Grant Langston, and they started meeting every day, working on questions they wanted to ask married couples.

A friend of Greg's, Kevin Burke, also assisted them greatly in the process. Kevin is the director of Lucid Marketing, a company with great expertise in public relations. It was Kevin who first almost whimsically tagged the fledgling company and future Internet site with the name ""

Greg informed Lorrie that we were not going to match individuals on external appearances or bank accounts, but on values, character, and other inner qualities, she caught the vision for what we could do.

As they began developing their eHarmony team, they didn't go to other Internet companies in an attempt to hire away their best people. That would have produced an environment of MBA's, marketing people, and Internet techies who would say, "Well, the last five times we created one of these Internet companies, we did it this way."

Although Dr. Warren and Greg approached the problem from a faith-based, Christian Worldview, they have people of various ethnic backgrounds, races and religious faiths harmoniously working together at eHarmony.

Dr. Warren's wife, Marilyn has a background in fundraising. Marilyn raised more than $150 million during her tenure as a library. From the beginning of eHarmony, Marilyn had been their best public relations person.

They had secured a few financial grants to help get them started and had lined up investors to help them afford the initial launch costs. The equipment and technology wweb site cost more than $3.1 million. They had no clients when they first opened for business in August 2000, it cost more than $300,000 per month in overhead merely to keep the company going.

Not only did they pick up new members to eHarmony following his interview on the nationally broadcasted radio show, they multiplied from barely 4,000 people on their site at the time to more than 350,000 singles on eHarmony within twenty-four months.

In 2002 he was invited to return to the nationally syndicated radio show to represent an update. By then they were adding nearly one thousand new users every day and more than two hundred couples had married after being matched on eHarmony.

The corporate culture at eHarmony is rather laid-back, but it is definitely not sloppy.

1 of 2 .. A Kiss Is Still A Kiss ... 10/23/2011

Sunday School Lesson . Christian Courtship . Love . Christian Dating . The Wedding . Christian Marriage . Wedding . The Marriage . Genesis/Bereshith 1 . Genesis/Bereshith 2 . Jeremiah 3 . Hosea 2 . I John 4 . I Corinthians 13 . Song of Solomon 4 . Movie Night . Tyler Perry Movie: Why Did I Get Married? or Why Did I Get Married Too?

My Sunday School Lesson for the week October 23, 2011 was coming from the Books of Genesis/Bereshith, Jeremiah, Hosea, I John, I Corinthians, & Song of Solomon.

Our lesson in the Teacher's Guide stated to plan a movie night with a few of our friends from work and or our community to watch the movies by Tyler Perry: Why Did I Get Married? or Why Did I Get Married Too? After the presentation of the movie(s) a discussion should be held.

Monday - October 17,2011 - God Blessed Them - Genesis /Bereshith 1:26-31

Creation from God's Standpoint (Genesis/Bereshith 1:1-2:3)

Tuesday - October 18, 2011 - One Flesh - Genesis/Bereshith 2:18-24

Creation from man's standpoint (Genesis/Bereshith 2:4-25)

Wednesday - October 19,2011 - The Consequences of Unfaithfulness - Jeremiah 3:1-5

Prophecies Concerning God's Action At Home & Abroad (Jeremiah 1:1-45:5)

First Message a Warning of judgment (Jeremiah 2:1-3:5)

Thursday - October 20,2011 - A Covenant of Love - Hosea 2:16-23

The great restoration (Hosea 2:14-23)

Hosea's Broken Marriage (Hosea 1:1-3:5)

Friday - October 21,2011 - The Source of Love - I John 4:7-12

God Is Love (I John 4:7-5:5)

Saturday - October 22,2011 - The Expectations of Love - I Corinthians 13

The supremacy of love (I Corinthians 13:1-13)

Spiritual Gifts (I Corinthians 12:1-14:40)


Sunday - October 23,2011 - How Sweet Is Love! - Song of Solomon 4:8-5:1a

How beautiful you are my darling': groom praises bride (Song of Solomon 4:1-15)

Drink your fill, O lovers! (Song of Solomon 4:16-5:1)

The Day of Hearts' Rejoicing (Song of Solomon 3:1-5:1)

Scripture reference used/taken from: The International Teacher's Bible Encyclopedia/Concordance KJV Precious Promise Bible & Zondervan Commentary

5/15/2013 ... Truth, Integrity, & Honesty

Devotion . Devotional . Building Character . Integrity . Truth . Honesty . Deuteronomy 10 . Deuteronomy 16

April/May/June 2013 Devotional & Educational Emphasis is on "Building Character .. Truth, Honesty, & Integrity.

Devotion Scripture ... Deuteronomy 10:17

Topic Scripture ... Deuteronomy 16:19-20

Key Verse ... Thou .. shalt not wrest judgment; .. thou .. shalt not respect persons, .. neither .. take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise; & pervert the .. words .. of the righteous (Deuteronomy 16:19).

Thou ... Exodus 23:2,6

thou ... Deuteronomy 1:17

neither ... Exodus 23:8

words ... matter, status, pillar

Deuteronomy 16:19,20 ... Civil & Social Life; Administration of Law, Imperial Justice Demanded

Call to Worship: Deuteronomy 10:16,17

Verse 16 ... Sacred Rites & Forms; Sacraments, Worship, & Church-Fellowship; The Significance of the Rite, It Implied a Moral Change

Verse 17 ... God; Attributes Of God As Person; Impartiality


Devotional Message Scripture ... Deuteronomy 10:17

Topic Discussion Scriptures ... Deuteronomy 10; 16:19-20

Deuteronomy 9:6-10:11 ... Reminders of past failures

Deuteronomy 10:12-11:32 ... A Call to Commitment

Deuteronomy 16-17 ... Annual Pilgrimages

Deuteronomy 16:18-18:22 ... The Duties of Officials

Integrity ... moral, uprightness, honesty, decency, goodness, virtue, trustworthiness, soundness, incorruptibility

Scripture reference used/taken from: KJV Topical Reference Bible, The International Teacher's Handy Bible Encyclopedia/Concordance KJV Precious Promise Bible, Zondervan Commentary, & Reader's Digest Oxford Complete WordFinder