What Would You Do If You KNEW What God Told You Was True?

Jesus Calms the StormOf course I believe what God said! He’s God, right?”

But do you really? Do you really believe what you say you believe about God?

I’ve read the Bible many times, but I still remember a Bible story book I had a child. It told the story of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35-41). Fearing for their lives, the disciples were valiantly trying to save themselves and the boat. They awoke Jesus, asleep in the boat, who then stood and spoke to the wind and waves. “Peace, be still!” And everything became quiet.

Right in the middle of the storm, Jesus questioned the disciples’ faith. In the words of the children’s book, He said to them, “Why were you afraid? Why were you afraid when I was with you?!”

We so easily become frustrated, angry, afraid, or discouraged by the circumstances around us, or the thoughts in our own mind. It’s so easy to say, “If Jesus were right here with me, I wouldn’t be …. (afraid, discouraged, etc).”

But He IS right there with you!

What would you do if you really believed that?

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Do’s and Don’ts For When Your Spouse Is Depressed

Do’s and Don’ts For When Your Spouse Is Depressed

Depressed SpouseSarah wasn’t sure if she was feeling down because of something wrong with her, or if she was simply feeling her husband’s depression. His recent health problems had led to the loss of his job, and he was taking it very hard. Many days Sarah found herself feeling guilty that she wasn’t being a better support to the man she loved at such a difficult time.

When you’re married, your spouse’s mood can affect you a great deal. If the one you love and live with is depressed your own emotions can take a severe beating. Especially if you have been strongly connected in your marriage you may find it hard to separate your own feelings from those of your spouse.

God’s plan for marriage is that husband and wife be a support to each other in good times and in bad. When your spouse is struggling with depression you will likely need to draw on the full range of physical, emotional, and spiritual coping strategies in order to do so.

During such challenging times, there are two goals to keep in mind:

  1. Maintain your own strength.
  2. Be a helpful support to your spouse.

It’s possible to fall into the ditch on either side of this path. Ignoring your spouse’s extra vulnerabilities and needs, and refusing to help where you can, may well destroy your marriage, and certainly is not the Christian model of love. But ignoring your own vulnerabilities and needs in favor of your spouse’s will leave you completely spent and unable to help in any meaningful way.

A few things to do and not to do that will help you remain sane, strong, and supportive:

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25 Good Things to Think About

25 Good Things to Think About

Thoughts control actions. Thoughts come before emotions. Thoughts impact how other people see you, and how you react to every situation you come across. Choosing what thoughts to think can go a long way toward making you well or sick, happy or sad, lonely or connected, desperate or satisfied.

Many times I see two patients with the very same medical illness respond very differently. Sure, there are unique physical elements to each case. But the primary difference that determines how well they do comes down to their perspective – their thoughts.

You remember Paul’s admonition to “think on these things,” things that are true, noble, good, pure, and lovely. (See Phil. 4:8) You really can choose what to think about!

When circumstances are bad, when you are facing illness or relationship problems, when the future is concerning or uncertain, you naturally think dark, negative thoughts. The truth is sometimes partially negative. Choosing what to think about does not mean ignoring truth.

But it does mean choosing where, when, and how much time you spend thinking negative thoughts. You can choose, instead, to begin and end each day with something positive. Then the less positive aspects of life take on a very different hue. Even seriously ill patients or prisoners of war have found that choosing their thoughts, and choosing positive thoughts in particular, is a powerful way to maintain physical, emotional, and spiritual resilience.

If you feel challenged to know what to think about, here’s a list to get you started. When you find yourself rolling negative things around in your mind, choose one of these items instead. You can think about:

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5 Different Kinds of Hunger

5 Different Kinds of Hunger

Cookie JarAnn knew she was experiencing some health problems as a result of being seriously overweight. She had very little energy, her knees hurt all the time, her menstrual cycle was messed up, and her cholesterol level was dangerously high. She knew she needed to lose weight – and the first step was changing how she ate. But she was finding it very difficult. She sat on the exam table and told me, “I’m an emotional eater. It’s the way I handle stress.”

The good news is that Ann realizes there is a difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. Feeding emotional hunger with physical food may lessen the “Feed me!” screaming in your brain, but that only lasts a little while. When the underlying need has not been met, the mental demand for “food” only gets louder once again.

My friend Kathrine Lee likes to say, “It’s not what you’re eating: it’s what’s eating you!” Understanding – and meeting – the different needs we have with appropriate “nourishment” will make a huge difference in our health and happiness.

For the many of us who reach for food to quiet any hunger we feel, it may take some thinking and self-study to truly understand what our body and mind is really asking for. Here are some different kinds of hunger we can misinterpret as a need for food:

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Faster, Higher, Stronger: Your Gold-Medal Run

Faster, Higher, Stronger: Your Gold-Medal Run

The 2012 Olympic Games in London have just come to an end. For these two weeks every two years I spend more time watching sports on TV than probably the entire two years between them. I love watching a gold-medal run.

Names like Michael Phelps, Usian Bolt, Gabby Douglas, Missy Franklin, Oscar Pistorius, and others are now household words around the world. There’s something about the Olympic Games that draws us in.

There is such drama packed into those two weeks that little else can rival – the exhilaration of winning, the agony of defeat, and the sometimes heroic achievement of some athletes just to make it to London.

I love the intensity of the Olympic Games. I love seeing people who have pushed themselves to the limit, overcome great obstacles, and kept going even through periods of “failure” to reach their dream.

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