Following His Lead: Kristen

Posted by Lynn Yount, Staff Writer Aug 5, 2016 8:30:00 AM

“Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” I John 4:4b

As assistant manager at the downtown UGM Thrift Store, Kristen Nitschke works in a position of authority. She knows God has called her to leadership, and the above Scripture, her life verse, reminds her daily of why she can succeed: “He leads, I don't lead.”

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Recognizing Addiction in Your Life

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Jun 3, 2014 9:17:00 AM

This is the second of a 2-part interview with Mental health Counselor Dave Edwards on how addiction affects all our lives. The first part, How do you know when you're addicted? introduced the connection between alcohol/drug abuse and other behaviors. This post explores next steps for a person who recognizes the beginnings of addiction in his or her life.

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How do you know when you're addicted?

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director May 1, 2014 12:38:03 PM

Addiction is so much bigger than drugs & alcohol.

In this interview, Dave Edwards, a Spokane mental health professional and former UGM counselor, expands the definition of "addiction" beyond drugs and alcohol and provides helpful insight into how to tell when you have a problem.          

UGM: When we hear the word “addiction,” drugs and alcohol come immediately to mind. How is our thinking misshaped by limiting addiction to those two things?

Dave: First, in a very general sense, we tend to focus on the object of addiction as the primary problem. We label alcohol and drugs as the problem and stress sobriety as the cure when really the abuse of substances is more of a symptom or a secondary problem, and if we don’t get to the underlying cause – what led to the drinking or substance abuse in the first place – sobriety will be of little use.

Drugs and alcohol are just one way that people cope with unwanted thoughts, feelings and memories.

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Recovery: do I have as much courage as that homeless guy?

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Apr 1, 2014 10:33:43 AM

This is the second of two posts on UGM’s self-evaluation process. The first, “The courage to ask why I do what I do” explains how the process plays an integral role in recovery. This post looks at the benefits of encouraging staff and volunteers to participate in the process, as well.

The Haves vs. the Have-nots

One of the dangers in working for a ministry like the Union Gospel Mission is the tendency to develop an us-versus-them mentality. We have jobs, houses, in-tact families. They are unemployed, homeless, and often alone – their families fractured or non-existent. We use our paychecks to buy our clothes and food according to our tastes and style. They wear and eat what they are given. We have cars to drive. They walk or take the bus. We feel good about ourselves because of our accomplishments. They feel shame and humiliation because of their failures. We package our images to portray confidence and success in marriage, parenting, career and the Christian walk. Their packages are torn; their insides exposed. We feel like we are in control. They know they are not.

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Recovery: the courage to ask why I do what I do

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Mar 26, 2014 2:28:58 PM

Change requires courage.

Often when I forget why I am here – why I am writing yet another newsletter story, wracking my brain for a bit of Facebook insight or trying to come up with a new way to say “thank you” –  I wander into the UGM chapel for community meeting, the daily check-in time where announcements, agenda items and prayer requests are shared. Without fail, I leave 30 to 45 minutes later with a renewed sense of purpose.  This morning was no exception.

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