Thank you for taking time to learn more about the Season of Peace. In the following sections, you can learn more about the purpose, history and goals.
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The purpose of this organization is to reach out to those who are crippled by anxiety, fear and panic attacks with the love and healing power of Jesus Christ.There are multiple avenues by which we plan to share this message of hope:
- Website (active)
- E-mail (active)
- Weekly E-mail Message (active)
- Books (one written)
- Videos and Broadcast (one produced)
- Interactive CD’s and media (podcasting started)
This battle with panic and fear dates back to my teenage years, if not earlier. Unlike most people who experience this, I can’t remember the first time I had an attack. But, I do remember sitting in class as a teenager struggling with panic and terror. Needless to say, it has affected me most of my life.
In 1996, I posted my story on a secular website that provided resources to those with anxiety and panic attacks. This website—the Anxiety Panic internet resources, or tAPir—was one of the first Internet resources for those struggling with this. My story was unique because it focused on faith as the primary recovery platform, rather than medication and therapy techniques. I received a few e-mails from people who were excited to know that other Christians were experiencing this same condition.
During that year, I made some Internet friends whom I started chatting with and swapping e-mails. It was encouraging to know that other Christians were fighting this fight with fear. One of the first Christian resources on the Internet that I found was Bonnie Crandall’s The Hatchery. After chatting with Bonnie for quite some time, she asked me if I would be interested in writing some online devotionals for people. I agreed and started writing about my own experiences with fear and panic attacks.
After about a year of this, I decided to consolidate these messages into a book—a devotional that other Christians could find helpful. Working with an editor, we compiled these stories and laid out the manuscript. As she began editing the stories, she used this term that just stuck with me: Season of Peace. I liked it. I immediately checked for available domains names and found that season.org was available. I applied for the domain and created my first website, The Season of Peace.
Since that time, this organization has grown tremendously. What used to be a once-a-week e-mail exchange has grown to about 100~150 e-mails a week. As of today, the website gets about 200 hits a day. Thousands of people receive a weekly message on Sundays. The Season of Peace website is now on Facebook, Twitter and has an RSS feed, bookstore and stories, all of which is working 24 hours a day, 365 days a week.
Website, E-mail, Weekly Messages
All communication is done through the website and e-mail. Weekly, inspirational messages are sent out every Sunday or every other Sunday. This weekly correspondence provides a great way to remind those struggling with fear and panic that God is more than able to help them in this struggle and that he longs for a love relationship with each person.
In 1998, I started sifting through the messages I had written. My dream was to create a devotional for those struggling with fear and panic. Being an unknown author, my hopes of signing on to a big name publisher were quickly shattered by the numerous rejection letters.But, that didn’t stop me. I completed the manuscript in 2000. The devotional is 100 messages with three discussion questions and a prayer following each message. I worked with an established editor who edited my work and organized the messages. In January of 2001, I decided to self publish the book in hopes of selling it through the website. As of now, the book is published can be found in our online bookstore. I don’t want to stop there. My dream is to write an experiential recovery book based on my faith walk through this storm. My dream is to write this book so that it can be used as a springboard to starting recovery groups. I haven’t started this book yet. I have laid out some preliminary outlines, but I’ve proceeded no further.
Videos and Broadcast
Another form of media that I would like to use for sharing this message of hope is video and broadcast. For the video, I envision a one-hour teaching video for those wanting to learn more about panic attacks and fear. Additional videos could include topics like agoraphobia, psychological treatments, learning to drive again and other various fear-related topics.As for broadcast, I am open to whatever doors God wants to open. Recently, I was asked to be a guest on a radio show in New York. A gentleman who has received these weekly messages for about two years has contacted me about sharing my story on his new radio show. This is an avenue that I am open to.
Interactive CD and Media
As the interactive media technology continues to grow, I would like to use all means possible to share this message of hope. Using interactive media, I want to combine audio, video and textual information into a hope-filled presentation.
- Jesus Christ is the Son of God,
- he came to earth to die for our sins,
- and those who believe in him will have everlasting life.
- the Bible is true,
- it is God’s word to us,
- and we should live our lives according to it.
- the Holy Spirit has been sent to us by God,
- he speaks to us and guides us,
- and he empowers us to live out the life God has planned for us.
Our complete statement of faith can be found in the Bible, beginning at Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21.
Here are some comments from people who receive these weekly messages.
- “I don’t know of any other resource for those like me, who have anxiety and panic disorder. The fact that they come from someone who is experiencing the same feelings and expresses his thoughts and his journey so earnestly and honestly is important to me. When I go through a difficult episode I know I can read these messages and be assured that I am not alone.”
- “Fear comes from facing the unknown. I have had this anxiety disorder for 45 years! It has affected my job performance, relationships, self-esteem, and academic performance. These messages of hope and encouragement are helpful because as panic sufferers, we need to be reminded that we are not the only ones who face this challenge. We are getting better because we are willing to share our condition with others.”
- “I have learned so much about myself and about others through this struggle. I have found Russell’s insights both helpful and a source of hope. The insights that he provides are rooted in his experience with fear and anxiety but could easily be transferred to anyone who struggles with daily life and who is looking for a deeper relationship with the Lord. Furthermore, though I know that we do not share the same denomination background, I can accept almost everything that he has said with few doctrinal disagreements. I have forwarded his messages to friends of mine who in turn have used it as a springboard to prayer.”
- “There are very few resources on panic attacks that address faith in the healing process, either published or online. I have found no books on panic and anxiety that deal with panic attacks over issues like death and eternal life. I have found these messages very comforting.”
- “I always enjoy reading Russell’s messages, but when I am having a panic attack or a little anxiety, they are like a life raft in the middle of a raging sea, reaching out to save my drowning soul. Russell is one of God’s lifeguards!”
- “I look forward to these weekly messages. I used to feel like a freak having these fears that others didn’t seem to have. My family never understood them. My father used to tell me to snap out of it. I’ve tried prescriptions, hypnosis—just about everything, except for trusting in God. These messages are a reminder that God loves us and wants only the best for us.”
- “Russell’s messages have truly been a blessing in my life. What a feeling it is when I try looking for the words to explain how I feel and find some comfort throughout a day and then read one of his messages! It is like God is speaking to me through him. No one can relate to someone who has panic disorder unless they have been through it themselves.”
- “I could not go to the grocery store or to church. I was almost housebound. These messages are like finding an oasis in the dessert of anxiety, panic and fear.”
- “For me, these messages are a light at the end of the tunnel—a reminder that there is a heaven and a Savior.”
- “I have found great peace reading Russell’s devotions. I sometimes doubt the Lord and that he really does love me, but reading these devotions has made my relationship with God stronger because each one I read seems to be written specifically for me. I know that it must be God working through Russell.”
- “Russell’s words of encouragement through God’s Word have been a blessing.”
- “Without God, doctors and people who understand what I was going through, I probably would have taken my life. That is very hard for me to write, especially now that I have not had a panic attack in 10 months and have 2 beautiful children that I love and cherish. Thank you, Russell, for being there when I felt like no one cared or understood.”
- “I can not describe how Russell’s messages have helped. They really hit on what a sufferer goes through. His honesty about what he feels lets us know that we are okay, and we are not unique or different in this illness. His insight into God’s Word and God’s leading helps us to know that God does have a purpose in our sufferings and He is with us every step of the way.”
- “One day I was in the store shopping and I felt it coming on. I began to feel real dizzy and all of a sudden I was in that other world that I step into whenever I’m having an anxiety attack. I felt as though I was going to pass out. I wanted to just run right out of the store and just leave my cart with all of the food in it right there. Then I remembered Russell’s words. One of the most significant letters I had read of his was when he talked about how Christ did not run from what was going to happen to him, instead he faced with much dignity. I told myself that I was not going to fight this attack. I was going to continue my shopping until I was finished. And I did. I was so proud of myself.”
- First and foremost, I take no credit for the work of God in these people’s lives. I live my life as a John 15:5 life: Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches. Apart from him, I can do nothing.” It is Jesus working through me that affects these people’s lives. I am no one special, for if God can make a donkey speak (Numbers 22:28), then surely he can use me.