What it Takes to be a Faith Hero

What it Takes to be a Faith Hero

When you think of what faith means and who demonstrated great faith, you probably think of Biblical heroes such as Abraham, Moses, David, or Paul. The Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11 lists many of them, describing the exploits they accomplished “by faith.”

As much as you and I might like to be a faith hero, sometimes your faith gets shaken. Your infertility isn’t miraculously healed as it was for Abraham and Sarah. Your child isn’t rescued from death as Isaac was. The walls of business struggles, a troubled marriage, physical or mental illness, or lack of money aren’t falling down as those of Jericho did. You aren’t ruling over any kingdom as David did, or putting the armies of social injustice or evil institutions to flight. And when your messed-up life doesn’t seem to be getting any better, you feel like anything but a faith hero.

Perhaps you hear messages from others something like, “If you only had enough faith you wouldn’t still be sick.” Or, “Just speak in faith what you need, and the money and resources will come to you.”

Faith is not some tight-fisted grasping for what you want or need in some sort of “mind over matter.” Nor is it an ethereal emotion some people feel easily and others can’t conjure up. Faith is something much deeper. It’s a matter of character, and it can be developed even in the worst of times.

The Faith Hall of Fame provides a much more varied picture than most of us have been led to believe. Here’s what it takes to be a faith hero.

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Two Times when Anxiety may be Useful

Two Times when Anxiety may be Useful

AnxietyAnxiety is uncomfortable. You’re keyed up inside. You wonder if you can trust your thinking. And your body may experience any number of miserable symptoms. But anxiety may be useful.

There are times when anxiety signifies a medical condition, or it may be a response to something in your past or your present that is beyond your ability to manage. When that happens, dealing with the physical, emotional, and spiritual factors involved can lead to real freedom.

While anxiety always feels unpleasant, it is not always only negative. Sometimes anxiety can be very useful. If you understand that, you can extract the significant value anxiety may provide on the way to a better future.

Here are two times when anxiety can be very valuable.

  1. Anxiety provides Necessary Emotional Fuel for Change

What you’re doing now may be killing you – literally or figuratively. You may even be miserable, exhausted, and in significant pain. But you’re actually quite comfortable. Your misery is what you know. You’re used to the food you usually eat, the thoughts you usually think, the schedule you usually keep, the things you usually say to those around you, the things you ignore and put up with. In important ways your sickness or addiction or dysfunction or pain has become normal for you.

And to make a significant and lasting change you will have to get even more uncomfortable.

Research showed that among a group of people who experienced significant and lasting change as a result of some form of therapy, fully 75 percent of those interviewed said a willingness to experience some anxiety along the way was a critically important part of their success.

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Expectations at Christmas: Birth, Tragedy, and Purpose

Expectations at Christmas: Birth, Tragedy, and Purpose

Baby SLeepingThe media’s depiction of Christmas leaves us expecting it to be the most wonderful time of the year. And I hope your Christmas is awesome!

But sometimes your expectations at Christmas get disappointed.

The Hallmark channel doesn’t always get it right. You don’t always get a boyfriend for Christmas. Your son or daughter doesn’t always come home for the holidays. You don’t always get a box of firewood and food on your front porch. Families don’t always reconcile on December 25.

The first Christmas was about the birth of a Baby. And what can create greater expectations than the birth of a baby?!

Satan tried to turn that first Christmas into a tragedy. And he’s trying to do the same thing to your Christmas this year.

But thank God that’s not the end of the story! Divine intervention kept Satan from accomplishing his plan at the birth of Jesus. And the same Divine intervention can keep him from accomplishing the tragedy he wants to create in your life.

As an OB-Gyn physician, I love to tell new parents as often as I can, “A new baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on!”

And this Christmas is God’s opinion that YOUR world should go on too!

Are unrealistic or failed expectations stirring up the Holiday Blues for you this year? You’re not alone.

If you haven’t signed up to receive our Beating the Holiday Blues series, you’re missing a lot! Today’s video is about dealing with good, bad, and failed expectations, and what God has to say to you at Christmas about that.

And I have some very specific suggestions about how you can Overcome the Holiday Blues this Christmas.

You can access these FREE videos here. I hope you’ll join me!

YES! Help me Beat the Holiday Blues!

Let’s beat the Holiday Blues together!

Tweetables: won’t you help someone else find help to beat the holiday blues?

  • Singing the blues? Get some FREE help to Overcome the Holiday Blues this season.        Tweet that.
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Politics, Faith, and Fear

Politics, Faith, and Fear

Politics and FaithPolitics and faith have clashed even more strongly during this election year in the United States. People on both sides of the political spectrum are angry with the way things are, and are lashing out verbally, with their votes, and sometimes with violence. It’s easy to find Christians with specific political views denouncing other believers with different political views in the most un-Christian of terms on social media and in other formats.

The “issues” run the gamut:

  • Abortion
  • Immigration
  • Support or non-support of Israel
  • LGBT/gender/sexuality issues
  • Poverty and jobs vs. corporate “greed” and freedom
  • Racism (or at least perceived racism)
  • Terrorism
  • The place of Christianity in society

And there are many more.

Much of the response of many Christians comes from a place of fear; fear that our ability as Christians to practice our faith will be curtailed, fear that a certain government policy or official will make a ruling that goes against our Christian faith, fear that our standing as Christians in society will become further marginalized, fear that our beliefs will not be supported by those in power, fear that world views other that what we hold as believers will gain broader acceptance.

Perhaps those fears are well founded, in the sense that the Christian characteristics of our country, as we have experienced them in the past, are changing. But in one sense, so what? Fear never comes from God. Change by itself is not bad; it may be good. When we feel ourselves shrink back in fear, it’s time to remember Paul’s words; “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) God’s truth is truth, and His kingdom will prevail whether our society is friendly or hostile to it.

Jesus never responded with fear. But He never responded with violence either. He saw beneath and behind people’s social or political beliefs to their true motivations, and He called them to allegiance to a kingdom not of this world. (John 18:36) Social issues are not unimportant, but they are not the most important. Among His disciples He included Matthew – a tax collector collaborating with the Romans, and Simon – a Zealot who would gladly have stabbed Matthew in the back if he caught him alone before they both came to know Jesus.

Politics are not unimportant.

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Is Someone Else In Charge Of Your Health?

Is Someone Else In Charge Of Your Health?

HallwayPerhaps you’re like many of those I talk with. You feel powerless. Stuck. Sick and tired of being sick and tired.

And it seems that no one cares.

Well, you’re right! NOBODY CARES that you’re tired, sick, powerless, and stuck. At least nobody else on earth. Not really. Not enough to really make a difference. Not the kind of difference that will make you healthy and strong.

Nobody really cares that much about your wellbeing:

  • Not your doctor
  • Not your pharmacist
  • Not the hospital
  • Not the government
  • Not your health insurance company
  • Not your employer

Your doctor really does have your best interest at heart (I know; I am one!), but she can’t be with you every day. The government tries to institute policy that improves public health, but they don’t know anything at all about you. Your health insurance company is making decisions based on profit, and those decisions may or may not be good for your health.

And when it comes down to it, do you really want to leave your health in the hands of someone else? Anyone else? Certainly not some impersonal monstrous corporation, someone who may have competing interests, or some person or committee that may be thinking about thousands – or millions – of people instead of you!

Here’s the cold hard truth: No one cares about you and your health more than you do!

But that’s really wonderful news. You don’t have to leave your health – or your healthcare – up to anyone else!

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