13 Reasons Why 


13 Reasons Why Students Need to Read The Delusion, a Young Adult Novel about Teen Suicide

 
If you’re a teenager or the parent of one, you’ve probably heard of the Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why. My eighth-grade daughter described the teen drama to me this way: “It’s about suicide, and lots of my friends are watching it, but Mom, it’s, like, making some of them depressed and stuff.”

Based on a book of the same name, the show’s theme centers around 17-year-old Hannah Baker, a suicide victim who leaves behind audio recordings for those she blames for causing her to want to die—13 people, to be exact. The show’s producers maintain that they hope to shed light on the tragic issue of suicide, but various suicide prevention groups say it’s actually glamorizing suicide and putting teens at risk.1

I too have a heart for this cause, so much so that I chose teen suicide as the driving theme of my young adult novel, The Delusion. But I come at it from an entirely different angle—a biblical, spiritual perspective.

Here are 13 reasons why I’m over-the-top passionate about getting The Delusion to every teen and household who speaks and reads English (and beyond that once the book is translated into other languages!):

1. While The Delusion depicts how peer-to-peer conflict can escalate suicidal thoughts in teens, the ultimate source of dark, depressing thoughts is not the people around us. Instead, 18-year-old Owen Edmonds becomes an eyewitness to the otherwise invisible demonic forces that whisper soul-sabotaging lies to troubled teens in a deadly mission to provoke them to end their lives (see Ephesians 6:12). It becomes Owen’s mission to convince his vulnerable classmates to combat depressing thoughts with hope and truth, a real-life strategy.

 

2. Throughout The Delusion, readers are shown the crucial importance of reaching out with concern to friends and loved ones who show signs of depression, committing to be a source of support and encouraging them to seek counseling. At the same time . . .

 

3. The Delusion portrays how some students show few or even no signs of depression, yet are suicidal. With this in mind, readers are inspired to go beyond surface-level conversations with those within their sphere of influence and seek to build deeper, more meaningful friendships that help prevent emotional isolation.

 

4. As an atheist, The Delusion protagonist Owen Edmonds wrestles with the real-life struggle to understand why a supposedly good God would allow evil to prevail at times, particularly when forces of light (angels) have the power to overcome evil. Eventually he learns that it’s our responsibility, as human beings, to yield to good and resist the evil that seeks to overtake us.

 

5. The Delusion powerfully illustrates how abusing antidepressant drugs and alcohol to numb emotional pain only leads to more suffering and dysfunction.

 

6. The Delusion gives a vivid—okay, completely horrifying—account of what it’s like to face eternity without Christ, exposing the lie that all turmoil ceases after we take our own lives. At the same time, it dispels the notion that suicide is an unpardonable sin that automatically damns a person to hell. The takeaway is that we must accept God’s saving grace in this life.

 

7. The Delusion shows the harm bullying can do, but goes a step further to show that even the bully is a troubled person worthy of receiving help.

 

8. The Delusion focuses on the healing power of forgiveness as opposed to fixating on a bitter need for revenge against those who’ve wounded us. This theme is also powerfully illustrated in the movie portrayal as The Delusion is currently being prepped for the big screen.

 

9. The Delusion makes the case that those hearing tormenting voices may be in a spiritual battle as opposed to suffering a solely psychological issue. This empowers readers to consider solutions beyond antipsychotic drugs alone.

 

10. Even teens who don’t like to read are engaged by The Delusion storyline, which intentionally depicts how abusive teen dating relationships greatly increase a young person’s likelihood of suicide.2

 

11. The Delusion reveals how cutting and self-harm are destructive ways to cope with painful emotions and only serve to invite more darkness into our lives.

 

12. The Delusion helps young readers grasp the awesome power of prayer in way that is uplifting and engaging, not stuffy or boring—and faith and prayer have been proven to combat the negative effects of stress and depression.3

 

13. Delivered in a form of page-turning entertainment, The Delusion communicates the hope-filled message that God has a profound plan for each of our lives, and that plan is worth living for, no matter our current setbacks or disappointments.

 

Tyndale House Publishers will release The Delusion November 2017. Receive notification of early release copies by texting DELUSION to 24587 or emailing info@lauragallier.com with DELUSION in the subject line. For media requests or to arrange an interview with Laura Gallier (@Laura Gallier), contact alysssaanderson@tyndale.com.


Follow #TheDelusion book and movie-making journey @DelusionSeries on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

1. http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/13-reasons-faces-backlash-suicide-prevention-advocacy-groups/story?id=46851551

2. http://www.loveisrespect.org/resources/dating-violence-statistics/

3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/more-mortal/201406/5-scientifically-supported-benefits-prayer and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2314781/Believing-God-help-treat-depression.html

 

 

 

Houston We Have A Problem 

  
By now the world has heard of Houston, TX and the traffic distraction of the naked dancing queen. I admit I got a good chuckle out of all the Meme’s floating around the net. 

Interesting though that when I think of her… I feel this overwhelming sense of not only compassion but a sense of wonder and hope surrounding it.    

First I wondered how she kept her footing so well, as a larger woman myself, I know that was not an easy job, so I like to think she had some Divine assistance with that and protecting her from harm. 

Second, I wonder if the surrounding motorist were pissed because she had hindered them and taken up almost two hours of their time, or if they relaxed and just enjoyed the show or stopped and prayed for her and all the children that may have caught the show.  

Third, I even laughed because if you have been anywhere near Hwy 290 lately and the mess it already is with congestion and construction, it would make you want to strip your clothes off butt naked and run- not dance.  

I saw the lead image from a friends Facebook page that captured the shot of the lady’s pose with her arms stretched up over her head.  

I wondered….

Was she surrendering to the freedom she felt high above the other cars and distractions of her life, unhindered from the binding and restrictions of her clothes now shucked, and just experiencing the happiness of the breeze blowing away every care at that very moment? 

That was the thought that I wanted it to be for her, for me, for everyone watching…..

But sadly, I doubt she could grasp a hold of any thoughts. Her mind was either plagued by the demons that have been raging within her or possibly the drugs that altered her sense of acceptable behaviors when stuck in traffic.  

Rumors circled the net along with the meme’s that she was a psych patient that had left the hospital and other reports were that she was driving erratic and had caused two other fender benders before bailing out and baring all her goods before she climbed up that poor guys rig and began dancing to the music only she heard.

I can’t help but wonder, what music did she hear?

What message was this to deliver to us? 

Those offended and pissed, where was their empathy and compassion? 

All the YouTube videos, snap chats, tweets and Facebook posts swirling- but did anyone put down their phones, get out of their cars, and try to reach out to her instead of pointing and laughing? 

I am not sure why this is all swirling around in my head this morning but I do know that God has a plan for this. God has a message much deeper than all the surface skin level that we all saw and the world has seen now by all the media coverage.  

I believe that it just isn’t Houston, but the World that has a problem when others are not led to compassion or empathy for those hurting, regardless how they choose to express that pain.    

Dancing Queen, whomever and wherever you are I pray that in that moment of arms held high that you felt God in that breeze that hit you girl! I pray that the demons or addiction or just the mental break from whatever life’s events caused you to do this that you will come to know Christ, be delivered, set free and be renewed in your mind, and come to have the mind of Christ. I pray for the world watching that didn’t reach out or respond with empathy and compassion would get a good heart check. I pray for all the little eyes and others that just didn’t need to see all this that you would protect their minds. I pray that I will keep seeking the lessons you are wanting to share with me over all this.  Lord, forgive me when I only think of myself- let me be led to reach out more. 
                ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Calling All Angels 

  
“I need a sign to let me know You’re here….. 

All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere”

Remember the old Train song- 

Calling All Angels

When there is no place safe and no safe place to put my head

When you feel the world shake from the words that are said”

When I read today’s verse I instantly thought of that song. I admit I had to look up the lyrics since it had been awhile:

I need a sign to let me know You’re here

‘Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear

I want a reason for the way things have to be

I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me…”
When children have to play inside so they don’t disappear

While private eyes solve marriage lies cause we don’t talk for years

And football teams are kissing Queens

and losing sight of having dreams

In a world that what we want is only what we want until it’s ours”

Wow- those are some great lyrics!  No wonder that song was so popular. 

  I can see when people are consumed with the news media and hearing the world telling them all sorts of bad stuff that it would be hard to have hope. 

The TV set just keeps it all from being clear

But what is clear?….
God and His Word! 

Countless times we read stories in the Bible where people cried out to the Lord and He rescued them. God has armies of Angels all ready for their next assignments. Our simple cry to God, sets that assignment into motion.  

In Numbers it shows that when they cried out to the Lord, he heard them and sent an Angel who brought them out of Egypt.   

His promises are still true today. Cry out to God for what ever your need is. He has His angels always on call and ready to go.  

                    ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 
But when we cried to the Lord he heard us and sent an Angel who brought us out of Egypt, and now we are here at Kadesh, encamped on the borders of your land. ~Numbers 20:16 TLB 

Words

  
Words…….

Oh how they can be woven together so beautifully and elegantly and bring such joy to others… And then there are those Words that can fly out unscripted in anger or emotion or just be very unpolitically correct. Either way they come out, you can’t retrieve them, they are all out there in the atmosphere swirling.  

What If we were judged, ridiculed, cursed, discarded and disqualified by every unworthy word that flew out of our mouths?

I think that would make us all be unqualified at some point.

 I think of the story of the woman caught in adultery and Jesus told the angry crowds – those of you without sin pick up your stones….. 
Many were ready to stone this woman to death. I wonder how many pridefully went to reach for a stone to throw at the woman before they realized they too had sinned?  

Whether it is Kanye West or Donald Trump or you or me, or whomever said words you did not like…May we remember….. 

We will all only answer to One Judge regarding our words. May we all put down our stones and realize none of us is perfect. 

 May we all practice saying worthy words as well as, extend forgiveness to those that haven’t.   

                   ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.” ~Matthew 12:36 NASB 

Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.” Ephesians 4:29 AMP 

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.~ Proverbs 18:21 MSG 

I DARE You -challenge 

  
Today we are featuring an archive explaining the vision behind our Monday posts by Lereca Monik.  We hope you have been enjoying them and will continue to take these challenges with us.

  You can search our blog by placing “Lereca” in the search to see all of the other DARE challenges you might have missed. 
#LiveRestored 
Click here to find out more 

I dare you
https://restoredministriesblog.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/i-dare-you/

Enjoy! XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Love 101

  

I have been thinking lately about all the hate, violence, offense, and just plain ole craziness in the world.  

We see it reported everywhere. Just look at Social Media or the news. There is so much “junk” out there and it keeps getting reported and reshared so it just keeps circulating In the atmosphere. 

Even if you don’t do social media or watch the news you probably have heard about the stories or witnessed it first hand in your own communities. 

I was sitting quietly and thinking about some of the recent events around the world that I have heard about or witnessed and this is what I wrote down:

The solution for all the world’s problems comes down to one thing-

LOVE


So as I was preparing this blog on my thoughts on Love, the world woke up yesterday to the trending of #LoveWins and I couldn’t help but think….

Love is NOT the Gay Rights hashtag #LoveWins message that is circulating.  
That definition of love NEVER wins- only Real Love Wins & that is a person –God.

Real Love already won at the cross.

I don’t care if people want to fight for equal rights for a civil union with their same sex partners- I accept and love all people regardless the lifestyle they choose to participate in- but why the need of wanting to redefine marriage on all the rest of the world that choose to live by a Biblical world view -which defines marriage as between a man and a woman? 

I don’t approve of the ruling, but I accept those that do.  

I read something that said don’t confuse Marriage with Holy Matrimony. 

I started thinking on what we really should not be confused by….

Don’t confuse Acceptance with Approval or Tolerance with Endorsement. 

The world has confused disapproval or a difference of opinions as Intolerance or hate. 

We can disapprove or disagree and still love.

 Disagreement and disapproval don’t =hate.  

The solution to end all hate, intolerance and violence in the world could really be very simple if we all followed Jesus’ command to Love.

Love God above all and love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.  

We can’t love our self or others properly without first loving God.   
Without genuine self love our love for others will always be counterfeit.  

We must know what Real Love is. 

 Love is a person- Love is God! 

Once we know God; Real love, then we will know how to love ourselves and others well and fulfill this command and all do our part in making this world a better place. 

This recent ruling doesn’t change anything.  God is still in control and God always wins.  

Yes, Love Won; several thousand years ago and Love is still winning and Love will win every time on every situation when it is Christ’s Love shown through us.

I think everyone should have to take a mandatory course in Love 101.  A great place to start is looking to God’s Promises in His Word on the subject.   

              XXOO ~Michelle Bollom

                     #LiveRestored
The whole law is made complete in this one command: “Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.” (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭14‬ ERV)

The person who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8 GW)


The Way of Love

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. (1 Corinthians 13:1-10 MSG)
  

Best quote on the recent ruling:

We’ve turned a historical corner today, one that is not only significant in terms of US history but also in light of God’s larger redemptive narrative. I see this new age as one of opportunity for the Christian believer, as we prepare to embrace any and all whose present joy might later turn to emptiness, confusion or despair. May the Church meet the new struggles of this age with all the soul-stirring love, faithfulness, and courage of Christ Himself.

—Karen Angela Ellis, Adjunct Professor of Ethics, Oxford Graduate School

Prime Time

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My family and I have always been big Bear Grylls fans. We were so excited to see his new show “Running Wild” come out that we recorded a season pass not to miss a moment of the action. The best two so far for me have been Zac Efron and his openness about recovery and my latest favorite is the one with Deion Sanders. Not the hilarious part where he runs from the snake squealing like a girl. I was so happy to see that they did not edit or cut out the part where he is overcome with some fear over climbing the mountain and he says he needs a moment to pray. He does not just lift up a little canned prayer or a quick Lord Help Me, no, not at all. Deion begins to pray in the Spirit. He prays in his heavenly prayer language and it is all captured for Prime Time television.

As a person that did not believe in this sort of stuff for many years, I was overjoyed now. Let me take you back to my experience.

Years ago my dad and I would make fun of the whole talking or praying in tongues. We did not believe it was real. All I knew was that it was called talking or praying in tongues. I thought it was a made up practice for those really far out there religious freaks. When I came back to The Lord in 2006 after living a life of doing religion and not wanting anything to do with God for a time, and now learning about a relationship with Jesus, I dived deep into my bible and into learning all I could. I had never really read the Bible before. I was stunned to see there were so many translations and that I could actually understand it. I also found great Bible teachers out there. Not wanting to shake things up too much we left the Catholic religion and joined a Bible based church for years before joining a Spirit filled church. I was memorizing and declaring scripture over my life and God delivered me during that time from a smoking addiction and that just made me want more and more of His power working in my life. I had never heard of The Holy Spirit living inside of you. I had no clue about Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I remember thinking that was so cool and why had I never heard of this. I was not so freaked out by the speaking in tongues phenomenon thing now, so I decided that maybe some really do have it and some don’t. It just was not for me. Fast forward to several years later. I had become a mighty prayer intercessor. I prayed daily. I prayed all the day long while going about my day. I was growing in The Lord but I still was convinced tongues were not for me.
I was at my wits end on a subject and felt that God was just ignoring me. I did not even know how to pray so out of frustration I begin praying out loud and I thought my tongue got tied up and a strange word slipped out. I was startled and thought, that is weird. I did not give it much thought until about 6 months later I was reading my bible in Genesis 16. I came across the story of Sarah and Hagar, and the point when Hagar had run away. The next verses I read were:

So she called the name of the Lord Who spoke to her, You are a God of seeing, for she said, Have I [not] even here [in the wilderness] looked upon Him Who sees me [and lived]? Or have I here also seen [the future purposes or designs of] Him Who sees me? Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi [A well to the Living One Who sees me]; it is between Kadesh and Bered. (Genesis 16:13-14 AMP)

When I sounded out the word Beer-lahai-roi I instantly was taken back to that time that the strange word slipped out of my mouth. I ran to my commentary to find out what it meant. Simply it meant, THE GOD WHO SEES.

Instantly I knew that God had definitely seen my situation and answered our prayers even though I had not thought of that strange word slip till there it was again in my Bible in this story of Hagar. I began studying Glossolalia, the proper word for this phenomenon. I was curious about it. Then some friends and I bought The Baptism of the Holy Spirit teaching by Joyce Meyer. It was weeks after that conference that I finally listened to the teaching while running on my treadmill. At the end, Joyce encourages you to stop, put your hands up and ask The Lord to fill your mouth with your heavenly prayer language. So I stopped the treadmill, raised my hands, asked The Lord to fill my mouth…..a few seconds later some stuff slipped out. It kind of startled me and I thought, that is strange. Then I closed my eyes and did it again. This time I was speaking some strange language and it just kept flowing. I thought, hmmm this is strange; I will keep this to myself for a while. I started noticing when I would sense the need to pray my throat would get a burning sensation.
For weeks and months following I could not wait for my family to leave each morning so I could start praying. I prayed and prayed and had no clue what I was saying. I then started to get a sense of a situation, not necessarily a person, some days a person, but mostly situations that I would have to pray about. I knew that God was having me pray in this prayer language because I needed to get out of my own head and let Him pray perfect prayers through me interceding for my friends and family. Another thing about praying in the spirit or praying in tongues is that it edifies you. God is building you up in your spirit and strengthening you. Boy was God’s timing perfect. It was my Prime Time moment for prayers. I had a lot going on in my life. My husband’s work hours and commute kept him away from home about 16-17 hours a day. I was raising my teenage twins basically solo during the week. My mom and twin sister were having lots of health issues, and I had lost some family members to cancer. I know that I would not have survived it all without this prayer language. It is powerful and amazing. I don’t even think those words do justice to adequately describe it. I laugh sometimes and think, boy my dad would be shocked, but he is in Heaven so I am sure God already filled him in on it too and he has his language.
I was fearful to share it with my family for a while, but they were all very open about it and not freaked out a bit. I shared it with more close friends and they too did not seem to mind. I found that God brought other people in my life that also experience and have this gift so it helps to not feel like you are going crazy, that it is a real true thing. Even ABC Nightline did a report on it. See it here http://youtu.be/NZbQBajYnEc
They showed that the brain area where speech is generated is bypassed or diminished when someone is speaking in tongues. So really someone else is praying through them. That someone is the Holy Spirit, praying His will and Perfect prayers through you building you up to withstand the blows of life better. I was a non-believer for many years. I am 100% a believer and know for a fact it is true and not something made up. I pray almost daily still in my prayer language and it has changed my life.

Many scholars may disagree and spin it to fit their doctrines, I get that, and I did it for many years. Not everyone believes or agrees, but I know differently based on my own personal experience.

Here are a few verses from the Bible on this subject to check out for yourself. I won’t try to convince you; I will let God do that. Ask Him and He will fill you in and fill your mouth!

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit. ~Jude 1:20

For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don’t understand what I am saying. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:14

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. ~Romans 8:26

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)

XXOO Michelle Bollom