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Second Forgetting


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Remembering This introductory chapter will set the stage for the importance of remembering in everyday life with particular attention given to God's call to remember him, what he has done and what he has prom-ised. The concept of the second forgetting will be introduced and linked to the way we think about the spiritual care of people with Alzheimer's disease. Chapter 2 - What is Alzheimer's disease? This chapter provides an up to date description of Alzheimer's disease, including its effects and treatment. Case examples will be incorporated to demonstrate the various ways that Alzheimer's can manifest itself in daily life. The intention here is to educate readers on the basics of Alzheimer's disease. Chapter 3 - Forgetting The nature of memory problems in Alzheimer's disease will be described in detail with attention both to problematic areas of remembering and aspects of memory that are generally preserved. This lays the foundation for later chapters which emphasize how to help people with Alzheimer's respond to God's call to remember. Chapter 4 - The Gospel for Those With Alzheimers The gospel transforms all of life, including the way we think about and care for people with Alz-heimer's disease. Drawing on Biblical themes of creation, fall, redemption and restoration, this chapter retells the story of Alzheimer's disease in the context of God's story. Understanding the person and their struggle with Alzheimer's disease in this context promotes a loving and honoring approach to a vulnerable, confusing and frightening stage of life. Chapter 5 - The Gospel for Caregivers Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease brings unique challenges that impact whole families. Caregivers often live with feelings of burden, guilt and anger, and struggle with painful questions about God's presence and plan in their lives. The gospel speaks to their situation with a way to understand their suffering, grace for their limitations, and a renewed hope for restoration. Drawing on scripture and the personal stories of caregivers, this chapter highlights the challenges of caregiving and the way the gospel transforms this part of their story. Chapter 6 - A Unique Ministry of Mercy Most churches have some form of mercy and care ministry. This chapter will describe how churches can focus their mercy and care efforts on people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. At-tention will be given to the unique challenges of caring for these individuals and how these chal-lenges can be addressed by the church. Chapter 7 - Recalling Stories of Faith Remembering our stories of faith and their connection to God's larger story are critical for under-standing the struggles and confusions of daily life. This chapter describes how the rehearsal and retelling of our stories can be connected to what scripture explains about who God is, what he has done and what he has promised. Practical methods for helping people with Alzheimer's disease re-connect with and rehearse their faith journey (including key relationships and faith milestones) can be used to promote a form of remembering that brings peace, comfort, and reassurance. These include practical life review and reminiscence techniques which will be provided along with specific questions and worksheets that ministry leaders and families can use. Chapter 8 - Helping Others Remember In addition to rehearsing our stories, there are many other methods that can be employed by care-givers and the church more broadly to promote remembering the Lord and his goodness. This chapter will describe how the essentials of the gospel can be rehearsed and remembered in a meaningful fashion through the combined use of the sacraments (e.g., communion), well-known scripture passages, music and liturgy. Emphasis will be placed on methods that are familiar, easy to incorporate, and which maximize understanding. This chapter will also highlight the ways that ministry leaders mi

Promotional Information

My mother, one the godliest people to ever walk on this earth, died from Alzheimer's. The debilitating effects of this disease were almost more than we could bear. A book like this would have been worth its weight in gold! I cannot commend highly enough what a gift it will be to families everywhere. -- Daniel L. Akin, , President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Second Forgetting is filled with wisdom and hope and soaked in the compassion, grace, and kindness of God. It is a fascinating book---it is theologically rich and very practical on how to care for those struggling with Alzheimer's and for their family members. -- Justin Holcomb, , Episcopal priest, seminary professor, and author of Know the Creeds and Councils and Know the Heretics. What is a Christian to think when a loved one who has been faithful to God's commands and steeped in his Word behaves in ways that are strange to family and even to self? Do we fear ourselves that we may lose our memory, our mind, such that all spiritual that we value dissolves into apparent oblivion? Ben Mast has provided us with much-needed perspective and encouragement about the ongoing interaction among God, family, and those who begin to forget. -- Dan G. Blazer MD, MPH, PhD, , JP Gibbons Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina An expert in the field of Alzheimer's, Mast has woven together the latest research with a gospel-centered orientation and the compassion of a caregiver to produce a biblically informed and practical guide for those in the early stages of the disease and those who love or minister to those afflicted. A welcome and needed resource! -- Eric Johnson, , Professor of Pastoral Care, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Director of the Society for Christian Psychology Second Forgetting isn't simply scientific theories regarding the brain, Alzheimer's, and memory loss, but the deep, prayerful, and careful counsel of a pastor. Dr. Mast is not only a seasoned scholar but a soul physician. My hope is that his prescription would lead to a healthier, holier and more hopeful church. Buy this book. -- Daniel Montgomery, , Pastor of Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, KY, Author of Faithmapping and PROOF: Finding Freedom through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace When memory is compromised we lose touch with connections to people ... and also with God. Benjamin Mast takes us into the inside of memory loss and helps us understand from within what it is like to experience such a tragic, disabling disease. Caregivers who read this book will respond more empathically and effectively to people who struggle to remember. -- Ronald J. Nydam, Ph.D., D.Min., , Professor of Pastoral Care, Calvin Theological Seminary; Author of Adoptees Come of Age: Living Within Two Families Dr. Mast leads the reader through Second Forgetting to Second Remembering as he reminds us that all people have infinite value and that God remembers each person no matter the circumstances. This book contains a powerful message of hope, written especially for those of the Christian faith, but it also contains eternal truths helpful for individuals of all faiths. This message is a must for those of us dedicated to a better way of communicating and relating to the person with dementia. -- Virginia Bell, , MSW, co-author of the Best Friends Approach books We forget ... God always remembers. Thank you, Ben, for this profound reminder. -- Jolene Brackey, , national speaker on Alzheimer's Disease, author of Creating Moments of Joy Whether newly diagnosed, caring for a loved one with the diagnosis, or ministering as pastor or friend, readers will find themselves returning repeatedly to the gentle wisdom and compassion conveyed in these pages. -- Susan H. McFadden, , Research Consultant, Fox Valley Memory Project, and John T. McFadden, Memory Care Chaplain, Appleton Health Care Center One of the greatest fears of growing old is the ever-increasing possibility of developing Alzheimer's or another dementia, raising the lament, "Who am I if I can't remember who I am?" Using Scripture and inspiring testimonies of dementia-afflicted people he has known and helped, Dr. Mast shows the reader how to respond to the experience of dementia as God's beloved children. -- Jane M. Thibault, PhD, , Clinical Professor Emerita, Clinical Gerontologist, University of Louisville, School of Medicine

About the Author

Dr. Benjamin Mast, Ph.D, is a licensed clinical psychologist, Associate Professor in Psychological & Brain Sciences and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville, and an elder at Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, Kentucky.

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