The Blessing of Limitations

Using Your Limits to Bless the World

Harriet TubmanWe love stories of people who overcame limitations. There’s Harriet Tubman – escaped slavery as a young woman, then became instrumental in leading many other slaves to freedom and advancing the cause of abolition. There’s Jackie Robinson – first African-American to break the Major League Baseball color barrier, becoming so successful that he was admitted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. There’s Nick Vujicic – born completely without arms and legs, who now travels the world inspiring others and telling them about Jesus.

And we could name many others. There are plenty of Biblical examples also; Moses – a disgraced former Egyptian leader who God used to lead His people out of Egypt, David – a shepherd boy who became King of Israel, or Peter – an impetuous uneducated Galilean fisherman who Jesus transformed into one of the premier leaders of the early Christian church.

We focus on the come-back story, the impact these individual’s lives end up making, the glory at the end. We look at the biography, the obituary so to speak. We stand amazed, and we should. We may even feel a little envy. Why can’t I have that kind of impact? Why doesn’t life give me that opportunity? Why doesn’t God use me in that way?

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4 Ways to Provide Gourmet Food for the Soul

Inner Nourishment that’s more than Fast Food

Gourmet cookingHave you been guilty of feeding your inner being primarily fast junk food? Doing so may temporarily numb your inner hungers – but only for a few moments. And when the junk calories wear off, you’re left with emptiness, longing, discouragement, and loneliness. Where can you go to get filled up? You need some gourmet food for the soul.

The average American eats fast food several times a week. Most of us realize that fast food is usually much less nutritious than food prepared and eaten at home. But we love convenience. Our fast-paced lifestyle and the lure of hyper-palatable food has made us believers – and consumers. A few dollars at the drive-through promises satisfaction when you’re hungry.

Our soul needs nourishment just as our bodies do: stimulation, entertainment, excitement, purpose, communication, laughter, hope, peace, intimacy, joy, information, perspective, relaxation, refreshment, love, and the experience of worship. We will seek for those needs with as much intensity as a starving man searches for food.

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6 Steps to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Prevent Alzheimer's DiseaseYou probably either know or know of someone who developed dementia as they got older. Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia – is feared by more adults than any other disease except cancer. But dementia is not inevitable. While you may not be able to guarantee how your mind will function in the future, there’s much you can do to effectively prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

“Senior moments” may lead many middle-aged individuals to worry if these are early signs of dementia. Forgetting where you left your keys or missing an appointment because you forgot can be scary. It’s reassuring to know that most people experience such “senior moments” as they get older, and only rarely do these indicate impending dementia. There’s no need to worry unless these are accompanied by other more serious symptoms, or they begin to affect your daily functioning. Other people who know you well can also provide feedback; if your spouse notices a personality change, or if your coworkers are concerned that you’re no longer doing your job adequately, it’s time for further evaluation.

Alzheimer’s disease is a complex disorder involving the death of brain cells. Tangles involving the neurons in the brain, deposits of abnormal proteins such as amyloid, and other specific changes all contribute to this cell death. As more brain cells die, the remaining brain cells eventually become unable to pick up important functions such as memory, communication, and judgment.

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5 Ways to Deal With Difficult People

Feeling UpsetInto every life some difficult people must come. These are the people who make you feel small, stupid, and powerless. They’re the ones you assume you should have a relationship with, but you cringe every time you come in contact, or communicate with them. Somehow they have a way of making you feel like YOU are the crazy one. But somehow you still have to deal with difficult people.

Your difficult person might be your boss, your coworker, a sibling, an in-law, or even a parent. It might be a friend or classmate you developed a connection with before realizing how difficult the relationship would become. Whoever it is, they feel like a thorn in your side and you wish they would just go away.

A difficult person is not simply someone who needs your help. Here are some characteristics of a truly difficult person:

  • Refuses to take responsibility for their own life, feelings, and behavior
  • Turns simple challenges into major drama
  • Continually expects you to rescue them from their own problems
  • Makes you feel guilty if you don’t do what they demand
  • Blames you for any problems in the relationship, while demanding you stay connected
  • Responds to any help you provide with a demand for more, even if they voice appreciation at first
  • Has an answer for everything, and makes sure you realize that you don’t
  • Makes you feel confused, anxious, or “crazy” after interacting with them

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To the Lonely, Disappointed Wife

Woman Sitting by the OceanWhen you first got married you imagined every day would be wonderful. Someone would be there to do much of the “heavy lifting” necessary in life. You would have someone to talk to whenever you wanted, someone who would understand you. You felt rescued, safe, and fully alive. Marriage would mean there would be someone eager to spend time with you at the end of every day. And you’d never go to sleep lonely.

Do you remember feeling like that, even if it was only briefly? Oh, you heard the warnings from those who were “older and wiser.” Sort of. You acknowledged that many marriages encounter problems.

“But MY marriage will be different!” you thought, perhaps not even realizing you were saying it. “MY husband will always love me and be there for me. If we have any problems we’ll get over them in a flash. I’ll be happy for the rest of my life!”

How long ago was that?

And how close has married life been to what you imagined it would be?

If you’re like so many married women, you feel like YOU are doing much of the heavy lifting. You don’t feel like your husband understands you at all. And many nights you go to sleep feeling painfully lonely. You’re a disappointed wife.

It’s probably a good thing that people get married with stars in their eyes. If everyone truly believed how many problems would come after the “I Do’s” the world might not have such a population problem.

So what do you do when you feel used up, disappointed, and lonely?

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