Marriage in a Pressure Cooker

Couple Facing ApartMarriage is under assault. And as in any conflict, knowing where your enemy will attack dramatically increases your chance of successfully withstanding that assault.

Yes, the institution of marriage is being challenged, but that’s not what I’m talking about today. I’m talking about YOUR marriage. And most of the “enemies” your marriage faces are very close to home. It’s possible to be so concerned with assaults from “out there” that we overlook the very real things that can weaken our marriage from the inside.

Check these seven points of vulnerability, and see how your marriage scores:

  1. Greener Pastures. At some point something or someone “outside” will seem attractive. And if you’re not careful, seeds of doubt about your own marriage can creep into your thoughts. “What if?” becomes “why not?” (You don’t want to go there!)
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Nature or Nurture: Managing Your Genes

DNAThe more than 3 billion base pairs that make up the DNA in each of your body’s cells provide a blueprint for everything about you. Francis Collins, leader of the Human Genome Project, called itThe Language of God.”

But are those encoded messages infallible? Are you doomed to live out the results of whatever your parents passed on to you – good or bad?

Every time I ask a patient about their family medical history we’re talking about genes. There are a comparatively few diseases that we can now pinpoint to specific genetic abnormalities, and new research in the field of genetics is exploding. But the more we discover, the more we realize how much we don’t know.

You can’t change the natural color of your hair, or how tall you grow: those are easy genetic factors to understand. And for certain genetic illnesses the medical certainty is great: sickle cell disease, Huntington’s chorea, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and others. As sad as some of those illnesses are, the vast majority of genes we can do something about!

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The Easter Story for Today

Three CrossesWe call today Good Friday. But remember – the very first Good Friday was anything but good!

The Biblical story goes like this: Just a few days prior, Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem and been hailed as a King. Children were singing His praises. Blind and lame people were made well. The religious rulers who had been exploiting the people had been exposed and routed. Yesterday, those who were with Jesus thought this might be the time Jesus would usher in God’s Kingdom, and their problems would soon come to an end. Hope was at a fever pitch!

And then today they watched Him die.

We know the end of the story. We know what happened Sunday morning. But imagine for a moment what it was like for those who loved Jesus on that Friday. They had finally dared to hope, and now that hope was gone.

Can you imagine any higher hopes than those of Jesus’ friends a week earlier?

And can you imagine any deeper devastation than how they felt when He died?

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5 Reasons I’m Proud of My Husband

5 Reasons I’m Proud of My Husband

Most people thrive on being appreciated, understood, loved, and respected. When the person who knows you best also thinks highly of you, it fills your heart like little else can. Letting him or her know how proud you are of them is like supercharging their batteries. I’m proud of my husband, and that makes a difference.

“But what if my husband (or wife) hasn’t done anything I can be proud of?”

If you are not used to praising your spouse, it may seem difficult to find honest reasons to praise him or her. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t there!

My husband Al has had some health challenges. As a result he has not been able to do some of the things he so badly would like to do.

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10 Tips for Losing Weight

10 Tips for Losing Weight

Losing weight is one of the top resolutions people make every year, and yet one that people find hard to follow through on. The emotional, physical, and relationship cost of being overweight is heavy! And it’s expensive: the US diet control and weight loss market is worth about $62 billion/year.

Here are some tips for losing weight that I give to my patients. I believe a lifestyle change is the safest, healthiest, and wisest way for most people to lose weight, but you may need some help along the way. Here are some tips to provide some of that help:

  1. You are more than your body weight! Your happiness, your relationships, your spiritual life – all are more important than your BMI (body mass index). Keep things in perspective.
  2. It’s not what you’re eating: it’s what’s eating you. My friend Kathrine Lee likes to talk about this. The emotional, mental, relationship, or spiritual baggage you carry may be what is really weighing you down. Deal with that, and food may become a much smaller problem.
  3. Keep it natural.
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