Christianity and the Culture Wars

It’s almost Christmas! Are you greeting others with “Merry Christmas?” Perhaps you’ve put up a Christmas display at your house, or helped put one up at church, or even in the town square.

If you’re watching this in the United States, you probably think you are living in a Christian nation. I hope this past Thanksgiving one of the things you thanked God for was the privilege of living in this great country, for the freedoms we do have, and for those who have lived and died to preserve our freedoms.

But you also know that there are many who would strongly disagree that this is a Christian nation. Many expressions of Christianity have received and continue to receive strong opposition from those who have another agenda.

Watch this week’s video for what’s really important behind Christianity and the Culture Wars:

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When to NOT Discuss Things With Your Spouse

Unhappy CoupleYou are supposed to communicate together as husband and wife. And that’s a good thing. But there is a difference between communicating and dumping.

The purpose of communication is understanding, connection, and intimacy. (It’s been said that the organ of intimacy is the ear!) Hiding thoughts, fears, hopes, memories, problems, or anything else from your spouse builds a wall between you that can be difficult to tear down.

However, some women (and a few men) use the principle of communication to unload on their spouse. They use their spouse as a dumping ground for every thought and feeling that comes along. That may place a burden on your spouse that is not their place to carry.

Your spouse is not your pastor, your therapist, your 12-step sponsor, or your doctor. God often uses marriage partners to bring much healing to one another, but it’s not your spouse’s primary responsibility to fix you. Expecting them to do so is a form of manipulation and control.

And that drives people apart.

Here’s what the difference looks like:

Communication lets your spouse see and touch the difficult things in your heart. Dumping tries to force your spouse to carry what is yours to own.

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The Exhilarating Freedom NOT To Care

I Dont CareHave you ever come to the point where you don’t care? It’s one of the most powerful places you can be. And it’s exhilarating!

This is not about not wanting what is best for your loved ones, or not wanting to be successful. It’s about getting rid of the chains that your own fears create in business, personal relationships, and even your spiritual life.

It’s possible to care too much. Becoming too invested in the outcome puts you in a very vulnerable position, clouds your perspective, and removes all your negotiating power.

  • If you want a specific car or house too much you may agree to a significantly higher price than necessary.
  • If you have your heart set on a particular job position you may agree to terms that make your future much more difficult than it needs to be.
  • If you worry excessively over what people will think your judgment will be clouded in leadership and making difficult decisions.
  • If you want a relationship with a certain someone at any cost you will be blind to danger signs in their behavior and character.

This is a spiritual principle as well.

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Managing Your Mental Health

Sad Teenage GirlThe National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that at least one in four adults suffers from a diagnosable mental illness during any given year. That includes problems such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and many others. Antidepressants are the second-most commonly prescribed class of medications. That’s a lot of people! If it’s not you, then perhaps it means your parent, child, spouse, coworker, or best friend.

Sure, there’s controversy over whether the one-in-four number represents an over-diagnosis. But what is absolutely certain is the pain and loneliness many of those affected struggle with. For many it may be an accomplishment just to get up in the morning.

What leads to mental illness? We know there are many factors. Genetics, nutrition, and substance abuse certainly play a roll. So does a history of being abused, or serving overseas in the armed forces for some people. Our human brain is a sensitive complicated instrument, and our world offers trauma much too often.

Added to the personal struggles of those with mental illness, our society often presents even more hurdles. Those with mental illness often face stereotypes and stigma from others, and significant financial challenges in getting the help they need.

There are a number of things you can do on your own to maximize your mental health. You don’t have to accept emotional or mental problems as your destiny. Here are recommendations that will make a difference in managing your own mental health:

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How to Make Your Doctor Happy

How to Make Your Doctor Happy

Doctor in white coatWhat a difference it makes when a patient has “skin in the game!”

One of the most common question I hear from most patients is, “Does my insurance cover this?”

If a given medication or treatment is the best option for a given patient, why should insurance dictate whether they receive it or not? I realize health insurance has become the primary way people expect their health care to be paid for. But why should some group of number crunchers on the other side of the country decide what happens between me and the woman sitting in front of me? It’s just wrong!

It’s a very different experience for me and my patient when there is no middle-man. Just today a woman came to see me who desired some specific care that I was uniquely qualified to give her. It was one of the best doctor-patient interactions I’ve experienced. And here’s why:

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