10 Ways to get Mental/Emotional/Spiritual Nourishment

10 Ways to get Mental/Emotional/Spiritual Nourishment

You and I are full of leaks. The good things we get filled up with only last so long. We can feel top-of-the-mountain right now, and in an hour, a day, or a week feel empty and discouraged. Our souls get hungry. We need regular soul nourishment if we are to function well and be of any use to anyone.

Jesus knew this well. On Earth He was constantly being drained through interactions with people and with evil. He regularly needed to get away in order to get filled up again.

With our physical food God makes an infinite variety available. But you and I are responsible for knowing when we are hungry, and for finding, choosing, preparing, and taking into our being the food we need. Some food tastes better than others, and some is more nourishing than others. Food is available, but God doesn’t drop food into our mouths.

It’s the same with mental/emotional/spiritual nourishment. There’s an infinite variety of soul nourishment available, but we are responsible for knowing when we need it, for finding it, choosing it, and taking it into our being.

Different people get filled up in somewhat different ways. The kind of “leaks” you have (work, family, other stresses) affect that somewhat. So does your personality. If you already know what fills you up, do more of that.

On the other hand you may need some ideas of where to get healthy soul nourishment. If you’re empty, hungry, dry, try some of these things.

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What God’s Communication can teach us about Communication in Marriage

What God’s Communication can teach us about Communication in Marriage

When we asked couples what they struggle with, communication was Number One. It can feel as though you and your spouse are speaking different languages, and attempts to talk seem to only make things worse. Since we are made in God’s image, looking at God’s communication with us should teach us a lot about healthy communication in marriage.

God is always communicating. The Bible is basically a record of and means of God’s communication with us. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” (Hebrews 1:1-2)

Imagine God trying to communicate with us. He knows everything, has all the answers, and loves us with a heart that is infinite, passionate, strong, and wise. But we struggle to hear and understand Him. Jesus described it like this: “In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’” (Matthew 13:14-15)

Talk about a closed heart! Does that sound like your spouse when you try to communicate?

And perhaps it describes you sometimes as well.

But God doesn’t give up, and neither should you.

Here are some aspects of God’s communication with us that can help you in communicating with your spouse.

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What are you afraid of? What are you worried about?

What are you afraid of? What are you worried about?

Before you answer “Nothing”, pause for a moment and think. Have swirling thoughts about things you can’t do anything about robbed your sleep? Have you hesitated – or downright failed to do – something you know would be beneficial for you or others because of some fear? Has your stomach been tied up in knots? Have you put up a psychological wall when dealing with someone close to you rather than dealing with an important issue?

It’s a rare person indeed who does not deal with fear and anxiety – some less, some more. So ask yourself, what are you afraid of? What are you worried about?

Here are a few possibilities. Perhaps you’re afraid or worried about:

  • What other people think, or might think
  • Having enough money
  • Failure
  • Success
  • Identity theft
  • Your health
  • Your marriage falling apart
  • Your children making it in life
  • Criticism or rejection
  • Death
  • What God thinks of you

And then there are the wider issues that affect us all, and can cause plenty of fear and anxiety:

  • Political unrest and division
  • Decreasing acceptance of Christianity in our culture
  • Terrorism
  • Global economic turmoil
  • Weather extremes, natural disasters
  • Human trafficking
  • Disruption of the family, with domestic violence, divorce, single parenting, etc.
  • Violence from illegal activity

One or more of these almost certainly comes very close to home for you. And there are countless more things you could be angst about.

So again, what are you afraid of? What are you worried about?

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40 Days to Freedom from Fear and Anxiety

40 Days to Freedom from Fear and Anxiety

Does your mind keep you awake at night, unable to stop swirling about bad stuff that might be about to happen? Are your thoughts and actions often limited by your fear of what others will think? Is worry about the past and anxiety about an unknown future preventing you from living fully today? Is your body getting the fallout from a troubled mind with such symptoms as headaches, stomach pain, or a racing heart?

If so, you’re not alone. Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States, or 18% of the population. Dealing with psychological distress is expensive too; in 2007 it was estimated that the yearly cost for treating anxiety and related disorders in the United States was $36.8 billion. And it’s not only expensive financially; fear and anxiety wear on your relationships, your work life, and your spiritual wellbeing.

As a believer you know what the Bible says: “Be anxious for nothing.” (Philippians 4:6) “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed.” (Joshua 1:9) But you’re not feeling it. You wonder whether God cares, or whether there’s something seriously wrong with you.

The Answer in God’s Word

The Bible has a great deal to say about fear and anxiety. God knew you and I would face more than enough reasons to have a troubled mind. That’s why He promised “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, NKJV)

I’ve prepared a 40 Day Devotional series based on what God says about your mind. Each day includes a Scripture, a few words of inspiration, and a prayer designed to solidify godly thought processes in your mind. These Scriptures and prayers will provide a pathway to Freedom from Fear and Anxiety.

My own heart and mind were encouraged and uplifted as I focused on these Scriptures and prepared these brief messages, and I know your heart and mind will be too.

The first Scripture, as you might expect, is 2 Timothy 1:7.

I encourage you to sign up right now to receive the 40 Days to Freedom from Fear and Anxiety emails in your inbox each morning. Expect your heart and mind to be refreshed and uplifted as you read these Scriptures, brief devotionals, and affirmation prayers.

 

Your Turn: How has fear and anxiety affected your life or health? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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7 Things to Do the Day After Christmas

7 Things to Do the Day After Christmas

Woman restingIt’s the day after Christmas. The presents are unwrapped. The Christmas decorations may still be up. Christmas dinner leftovers are still in the refrigerator. If your Christmas was wonderful, you may be feeling a little letdown already. If it wasn’t so great, you may be glad the holidays are nearly over – and wishing you had some leftovers to worry about.

If you’re feeling a little undone, here are a few suggestions for how to make the day after Christmas work in a positive way for you.

  1. Express gratitude for what you received.

Children are well known for being disappointed if they didn’t get a particular gift they were hoping for. You’re a little more grown up – or at least you should be. Your Christmas probably wasn’t what you hoped it would be in some way, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t receive any wonderful gifts.

If someone gave you anything – however small – tell them Thank You again. If you learned something about yourself, about others, or about the true meaning of Christmas, express gratitude. If you recognized the Christ child in a special way this year, tell God Thank You once again for sending Him.

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