My Thanksgiving List

Those of us in the United States have just celebrated Thanksgiving. For many, it was a day for food, family, and football. For some, it was a day to wrestle with sadness over the loss of a loved one missing from their place at the table this year, or to plan your Black Friday early shopping. And for others it was perhaps only one more day of trying not to think about loneliness or pain.

But whatever the circumstances in which you find yourself this Thanksgiving season, the benefits of offering gratitude are real. And I want to take this opportunity to offer a great big Thank You to:

  • Our readers, listeners, and viewers – YOU! Without you there would be no Dr Carol Ministries, no website, no articles, no books, no media programs. Your questions, your messages, your prayers, your sharing, your gifts, your struggles, your victories, your growth, your hopes and frustrations and fears and joys, your wondering and your faith – that’s what all this is about. Each one of you who calls or writes or comments means the world to me, and the fuel for us to continue moving forward.
  • Those who have been instrumental in helping this ministry move forward this year. To Michael, Brian, and Todd, who have helped in our studio. To Ann Byle and Tim Beals at Credo Communications who have helped bring Live Healthy, Live Whole into reality. To Jevon Bolden, Debbie Marrie, and all the rest at Charisma House who are about to launch my book Dr Carol’s Guide to Women’s Health. To my husband Al, whose support and production expertise continue to be the wind beneath my wings.
  • To God, most of all. For Your salvation through Jesus, for the daily guidance, wisdom, grace, and courage You supply so generously, for Your Word, for Your Holy Spirit enlivening us daily, for ideas and healing and transformation and restoration, for the hope of eternity that begins now and never ends.

So yes, I’m thankful today. Are you?

May God bless you today and throughout this next year with gratitude.

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  • Here’s my personal Thank You this Thanksgiving – to YOU.      Tweet that.

Two Minutes to Being More Happy

Research to Improve Your Thanksgiving

Happy FacePeople who are more happy experience 23% less stress, 39% better health, 31% more productivity, and 34% more positive social interactions. That’s the summary claim supported by several years of so-called “happiness research.” I just discovered this body of research, and it’s pretty exciting.

You might think, “Of course I’d be happy if I had less stress, better health, and positive social interactions.” But that’s just the opposite of what this research shows. It’s the order of things that becomes important. It’s not that success creates happiness. Rather, happiness leads to success! Happiness comes first, and the less stress, better health, increased productivity, and more positive social interactions follow as a result.

Happiness in this research does not simply mean “superficial pleasure.” It has much more to do with joy and meaning. Shawn Achor (author of The Happiness Advantage) has studied happiness levels among people in over 45 countries, from wall-street executives to displaced farmers in Zimbabwe. What was amazing is that he found no significant difference in happiness based on people’s external circumstances – rich or poor, healthy or sick, young or old. The “outside world” in which one finds oneself only explains 10% of how happy someone is.

The other 90% of happiness is dependent

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Christians, Christianity and War

A Biblical Response to Terrorism

Hiding Eyes“Christianity and war” seems like an oxymoron. But unless you’ve been in the jungle with no means of communication with the outside world, you know that terrorism has been a bigger deal than ever in the past several days. A plane brought down by a bomb smuggled aboard in Egypt. Hundreds killed and wounded while enjoying Friday night entertainment in Paris. Nonstop news about the hunt for the remaining perpetrators in Europe. A new level of fear among many in western cultures. Extreme controversy over what should be done politically and militarily, what to do about personal rights and privacy, and how to handle the multitude of refugees involved in this war.

For most of us living in America terrorism is still something “over there.” We know 9/11 happened on our own soil. We hear occasionally about plots that have been foiled by our homeland security machinery. We voice superficial belief in the reality that terrorists are probably already living among us and that we are at risk.

But most of the time we don’t really think about it. This week, though, something about the ability of terrorists to carry out their coordinated attacks in Paris makes it all feel closer to home. The reality that we could be personally affected feels a little more real.

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Your Prescription for a Healthy Body Mind and Soul

Live Healthy, Live Whole

This is an excerpt from the first chapter of Dr Carol’s book Live Healthy, Live Whole. At the end of this post, find out how you can get a copy at a significant discount!

2 Girls WalkingTwo little girls were walking together to school one beautiful spring morning. They were enjoying the beautiful flowers and the crisp, fresh air. Everything was right with the world as they sang, skipped, chased butterflies, and picked a few flowers.

Suddenly they realized that they had taken so long enjoying the flowers that they were going to be late for school. Soon the bell would ring, and they would be marked tardy. Not wanting to get in trouble, the first little girl said to her friend, “Let’s kneel down right here and pray.”

“No,” her friend answered quickly. “Let’s run while we pray!”

I want to help you learn how to run while you pray.

3 Groups of People

Some people mostly run. We’ll call them Group A. They study about health, read food labels, and count calories. They know how many steps (or miles) they walked today and how close they are to their weight goal. Their medicine cabinet is full of vitamins and supplements. They’re always looking for a checklist or program to make their home life better. They orchestrate everything in their life and marriage—sex, date night, Bible study, church attendance.

And they’re tired. Something still isn’t working, no matter how hard they try.

“I know the answer!” says Group B. “You need to pray.” Now, it’s good to pray. About everything. But praying is about all Group B does. They start with praying for the doctor to find the magic pill to cure them, or the pastor to “fix” their husband. They have lots of problems: multiple medical issues, frequent emotional ups and downs, and a miserable marriage. If only God, or anybody else, would help!

And they’re frustrated. Nobody will fix them. Not even God. Sigh.

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How to Find Comfort When You Need It

When there's no way to make things OK

Sad Girl CryingI need to be comforted this week. I “lost” a patient. Actually, two patients. Both mother and baby died, and there was nothing either I or the rest of the 10-member medical team could do to stop it. We were – and are – stunned, shaken, sobered. The loss to her family is much greater than what those of us on the medical team feel, of course. But today I need to find comfort for my own heart. When you work in the medical field you can almost get used to seeing pain, death, and tragedy. But every now and then a particular patient “gets to you.” And this one got to me.

There are moments in each of our lives when we come up against our limits. We encounter something evil, something tragic, something that makes us feel hopeless and helpless – like watching a pregnant mother and her baby die in front of me, and being powerless to stop it even with all my medical experience. Or like the pastor’s family who survived ten years in a dangerous foreign country as missionaries, only to bury their husband and father when a crazed parishioner guns him down at his nice suburban church back in the US. Or like the loss of every earthly possession some of the residents in my city experienced recently in a sudden flood. Or like the accident that leaves one of our radio guests’ husband paralyzed from the neck down.

And then there are those ongoing tragedies that seem to never end. The trauma of a violent marriage. The PTSD after returning from a war zone. The life-threatening chronic illness of a loved one. The addiction that seems permanently attached to someone you care about.

And don’t say, “It’s OK.” Because it’s NOT OK!

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