lifestyle

Your Body: Friend or Foe?

Your body can be a touchy subject (no pun intended). Is your body friend or foe to you? Many if…

What Were You Even Created For?

If you woke up this morning feeling that everything in your world is better-than-good and you’re fully satisfied, this article…
Young person sitting in grain field. Brain CAN change.

Your Brain CAN Change

When I went through medical school back in the “dark ages” we were told that 50% of what we learned…
Digital Diet Causing Anxiety

Is your Digital Diet Causing Anxiety?

Feeling overwhelmed with life. Distracted without a sense of purpose. Overstressed and overanxious. Lonely, without close relationships. Unable to focus,…
When people disappoint you

When People Disappoint You

Did you know that happiness research is a “thing?” For the past few decades researchers have looked at what determines…
Who are you becoming?

Who Are You Becoming?

If you are the same person tomorrow as you are today, your life will pretty much be the same as…
Mother and daughter doing pushups

Love is not Wimpy

Say love and chances are your immediate mental picture is soft, squishy, and colored in pastels. If you’re over 40…
Emotions

5 Ways to Befriend Your Feelings

Feelings are fickle. They’re real, but they’re unreliable. Emotions can be affected by everything happening both inside you and around…
Sunrise

HOPE for the In-Between Times

The in-between times can often be one of the most challenging. The Christmas celebrations are over. The New Year is…

Women In Charge!

Women have a difficult time in this world. We always have. It’s not that men always have it easy, but…

4 Keys to Good Mental Health

Struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, or the like? Would you like to have good mental health? There’s more you can…

3 Ways to Start Your Day Right

Have you ever wished you could go back and start your day over again? You’re frustrated, irritable, and nothing seems…

Why You Must Find Your WHY

Brianna sat down to chat yesterday. Her second child is nine months old, and she and her husband are planning…
Healthy weight loss

10 Healthy Weight Loss Tips

Healthy weight loss is a big deal. Losing weight – or trying to – is big business. Researchers tell us…

Preparing For Menopause

It seems that every time I’m around a group of women and they find out I’m an OB-Gyn doctor the…

Live Healthy, Live Whole!

It’s here! Your Prescription for Healthy Living, Loving Relationships, and Joyful Spirituality Have you ever tried to have a meaningful…

How Shall We Then Live?

Yesterday we celebrated Easter in remembrance of when Jesus rose from the dead, never to die again. The historical evidence…

How to Study Your Spouse

One of the two best pieces of advice I heard prior to getting married was this: Study Your Spouse! I…

4 Things To Do While Waiting

Nobody likes to wait. It’s frustrating. It feels cold. And it’s easy to let a seeming delay mess with your…

When Love Goes to War

What have you done in the name of love? Stayed up all night nursing a sick child – over and…

Helping the REAL Problem

Trying to fix spiritual problems with physical “fixes” doesn’t work. And trying to fix physical problems with spiritual activities rarely…

6 Things God Wants From You

We humans have a tendency to make religion very complicated. Even the relatively recent attempts to differentiate religion and spirituality…

What the Bible Says About Health

I often see honest Christian people who are not at all healthy. Sometimes they become frustrated and discouraged, even wondering…
Skydiving

13 Things On A Bucket List For Christians

Wanting to “kiss at the top of the Empire State Building,” or “learn to play guitar” may be great goals. But if you believe that God has a purpose for your life, there are some other things that should be on your “bucket list” for sure. Here are some things you don’t want to get to the end of your life without having accomplished:

7 Things The Bible Says To Those Who Are Poor

There are few topics on which the Bible has more to say than the topic of money. And there are plenty of distortions of Biblical truths on the subject. Those on the political right and political left have found plenty of Biblical proof texts for their positions. And sadly someone’s position on what the Bible says can often be determined by their net worth.
But for those who are in need of material things, here are some specific things that the Bible makes clear:

10 Ways You Can Worship God

As a human being you were made to worship. Even though most of us get completely self-absorbed too often, you as an individual human being are not big enough to worship.
As incredibly valuable as you are to God, to others, and to the world, God has left Himself indispensable.
But showing God the worship He is worthy of does not happen in an hour or two each week in some church service, as important as that is. Worship is a lifestyle.

How To Begin Making The Bible Real To You

If you are like many Christians, the voice in your head may be telling you, “Read the Bible!”
I’ve heard that voice in my head too. Even though I read the Bible from the time I learned to read there have certainly been times in my life when it just didn’t happen.
I want to take away a little of the mystery and the overwhelm, and outline a few things that can give you the chance to experience how life-changing Scripture can truly be.

Reading the Bible

What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Reading the Bible

There’s that little voice in your head that says, “Read the Bible!” Intellectually you accept the fact that as a Christian, reading the Bible would be a good thing to do. But you don’t feel like it.
Here are a few thoughts on what to do at those moments when you just don’t feel like reading the Bible.

Man wearing glasses

Can God Heal You From Mental Illness?

Of course God can heal you from mental illness!
But the real-life answer is often much more complicated, more painful, more excruciating.
When it comes to mental illness, like with most other problems we humans face, God’s answer is almost always, “All of the above.”

The Message Of Your Life (Or, Why Nobody Likes To Eat With Me)

It’s almost become a joke: nobody likes to eat with Dr Carol! Almost without fail, when eating around me people comment about how they should be eating healthier, and try to convince me how they really are trying. I don’t breathe a word about healthy eating when we’re in public. I order what I want, right off the menu. And I don’t think they really believe him when Al tells them (truthfully!) that he’s lost all his weight without dieting once, or missing a meal.

10 Excuses That Won’t Work With God

God is as eager to bless you, heal you, give you good things, or fulfill a big purpose in your life as a father or mother is to give good things to their children. (Matthew 7:11) Most of what He wants for you is bigger and more eternal than you could imagine for yourself.
But too often we humans are so short-sighted, selfish, or afraid that we don’t take advantage of what God offers. It’s like a child afraid to get onto a bicycle or jump into a swimming pool. The joy of swimming or riding a bike is waiting for you, but it takes being willing to risk, and trusting that your parent (God) will be there.

“Why Don’t I Feel Like Praying?”

Some part of your heart believes you “should” pray. Prayer is a good thing. But you are struggling to find it in you to actually pray.
Does that mean you’re just not “spiritual enough?”
Not necessarily. God made us as whole, integrated human beings. Something that happens in one part of our lives may impact every other area. And that includes your spiritual energy.

When Your Soul Is Tired

In the 21st century there are so many things that can wear us out. An unhealthy lifestyle, lack of sleep, digital overload, complicated relationships, and stress of all kinds is enough to make any one of us exhausted.
But perhaps the most paralyzing of all is exhaustion of the soul. All the other stresses of life can certainly make your body and mind vulnerable, but soul fatigue leaves you barely existing rather than living.

Smiling Child

10 Reasons You Should Smile More

Smiles are contagious!
That’s only one reason to be conscious of how often you smile. Smiling is good for your body, mind, and soul. It’s good for the people around you. And it can demonstrate an inner hope and peace that speaks of God’s work in your heart.
So, here are some specific reasons you should consciously make an effort to smile more often.

Sleepy boy

8 Things To Do When You’re Tired

If you’re tired because you are behind on your sleep, that may be the very best thing to do.
But not so fast. Sometimes sleep may work against you.
Often it’s not a medical problem that’s causing fatigue. There are many lifestyle factors in our modern world that just wear you out!
So what can you do when you’re tired?

Wealth or Poverty Is A State of Mind

Wealth, generosity, and poverty are not concepts primarily defined by your bank account, adjusted gross income, or zip code.
Wealth, generosity, and poverty are defined by your state of mind.
Are you a giver or a taker? That question is the best way to determine your state of mind when it comes to wealth or poverty.

Number One New Year’s Resolution: Losing Weight

Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions this year? If so, there’s a pretty good chance that losing weight is at the top of your list.
If weight is YOUR challenge, the costs are much more personal. You pay in ways such as decreased energy, self-esteem, or perhaps a sense of discrimination. I see women in my office regularly who break down in tears over their struggle with weight.
But now it’s a new year, and you’ve resolved to do something about it. And before taking any other action, I want you to think FIRST about what’s eating you!

The First Thing to Learn In Marriage

Each person comes to marriage with different expectations of what life will be like.
Your expectations of marriage ARE different than your spouse’s. Even if you communicate well before getting married, the realities of life together WILL challenge those expectations.
And you WILL be disappointed.

7 Things to Give Away This Year

This is the time when many look forward to the coming year, planning how to make things better than last year.
But there’s one other area of life where I would like you to plan as well. Plan to give away what you have!
The vast majority of us are far more likely to hold back than to give too much away.

10 Things to Leave Behind in 2014

A new year provides a wonderful opportunity to leave behind things that aren’t working.
At least briefly review your physical lifestyle, money habits, thoughts and emotions, use of time, personal relationships, and spiritual practices. Ask a few important questions about each area, and it’s likely you will find things that you can do without in 2014.

Weight loss

Does God care if you’re fat?

If approximately two thirds of Americans are overweight, and one third are obese, surely God has something to say about the situation.
Christian preachers and gospel singers have a reputation for being seriously overweight. Some data asserts that Christians are more frequently overweight than those of other religions, or no religion at all.
But again, what is God’s perspective on this?

Does Being a Christian Make You Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise?

Some of God’s best friends were healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Some of God’s best friends were also poor, weak, and outcast.
Does God enjoy blessing you with financial means, good health, and a good life here and now? Yes, He does. But don’t ever make the mistake of judging someone’s Christianity, or your own, by their bank account, popularity, or physical health.

5 Ways to Get Through the Holiday Season Happier and Healthier

Too much food. Too much stress. Too much spending. Too much drinking. Too much unhappy family time. No wonder many people start the new year heavier, unhappy, and in more debt.
There’s no holiday magic that gives you a free pass on what it takes to be healthy physically or mentally. The principles of healthy living apply during the next six weeks just as they do the rest of the year. It’s not too late to plan some better strategies.

Happy woman

For the Christian Woman Struggling with Hormones

Every part of your being impacts every other area. There are times you may not immediately understand what the root cause of your distress is. But menopause is one time when physical changes may lead to very real emotional and spiritual problems.
It’s no wonder that the physical, emotional, and spiritual pressures become heavy for many women to carry.
Here are some specific things you can do that become especially important at this time of life:

Why It Matters Who Is In Charge Of Your Life

“Who’s in charge around here?” That’s a very good question. For any endeavor to succeed, someone must take responsibility.
If your life is a project, or an expedition, or a book, who’s in charge? If you are playing a part in some great drama, who’s directing? It makes a difference.
There are three basic choices when it comes to who’s in charge:

Sapling

What Does Spiritual Maturity Look Like?

Just because you reach a certain birthday does not mean you are mature. And there is no area where that is more true than in matters of the heart and soul. But what does it mean to grow up spiritually?
You know people who are emotionally and spiritually children, even though they have lived many years.
Here’s what spiritual maturity would include:

5 Pieces of Smart Marriage Advice

The institution of marriage goes back to the Garden of Eden. But sadly the state of many marriages today is anything but Eden-like! For those who are married, there is probably no other area of life that has a bigger impact on your well-being than the state of your marriage.
There are many bits of advice for those wanting a better, healthier, happier marriage. Here are five I believe to be especially important:

How To Influence Others for Christ Without Being Harmed

The people you hang out with have a big impact on your character. Values, attitudes, beliefs, habits – they are all very contagious! You may not even notice subtle changes in your own soul until you have changed more than you wish.
But didn’t Jesus call His followers salt and light? How can you influence others for His Kingdom if you’re not around them? You must get out of the saltshaker if your saltiness is to flavor anything.
How can you deal with this seeming conflict? How can you influence others positively without being corrupted yourself?

6 Things That Wear You Out That You Can Stop Doing

If you spend your time and energy trying to do something you can’t do, you’ll only experience frustration, fatigue, and failure. How much better to understand where you can make a difference, and where your efforts are useless. Then you can spend your valuable time and energy in the right place.
Here are six things you might as well stop doing. All your time and effort will just be wasted:

Healing From The Bondage Of Addiction

The numbers concerning addiction are truly staggering. And the problem is huge in the Christian church as well. But numbers tell little of the personal devastation caused by addiction. And the most devastating cost of all is to the soul of the person held in bondage by an addiction.
Yes, addiction is powerful. But as powerful as addiction is, there is ONE who is more powerful. There is ONE who is the Bondage Breaker, Jesus Himself. He has already gone to hell and back for you, and He offers you a way out.

Having a bad day

18 Things To Do When You’re Having A Bad Day

Sometimes it’s a bad hair day. And sometimes it’s a whole lot more than hair that’s going bad! Sometimes everything that can go wrong does go wrong, your stability feels threatened, and you’d just like to go away somewhere and forget everything.
When you’re having a really bad day, here are some suggestions on what to do. Choose one, or two, or three, and see if you don’t feel more able to get through the difficulty:

Where Do You Fit In The Big Drama?

For many people the Christian life seems difficult. You try to knuckle down and push yourself to make it work. But that’s just it: it’s work!
Seeing the Christian life as work will always make it seem difficult. It may help keep you out of jail, but it certainly won’t be much fun.
Let me suggest a much more engaging way to look at things. Rather than work, consider the Christian life as part of a very great drama. Think of what you know of the Bible.

25 Small Things That Make A Difference

Small changes in direction may make a huge difference in your destination. You know that. But it’s easy to fall into a routine and end up some place you would rather not be.
So many areas in life follow this principle. Here are some things where very small actions may make a huge difference down the road:

Managing Your Mental Health

The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that at least one in four adults suffers from a diagnosable mental illness during any given year. 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.
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:

15 Things You Can Do In Your Time With God

You know you “should” spend time alone with God. Perhaps you feel a little guilty for not having something spiritual to answer your friends with. But more than that, it all sounds boring and unimportant. You just can’t do “pious and spiritual.”
God works uniquely in each person’s life. So if you’re up for an experiment, here are some suggestions to try. See what fits with your personality.

Why You Should Care About Your Health If You’re A Christian

Some Christians have been criticized for not caring enough about their health in the here-and-now. You know, being “so heavenly minded they are no earthly good.” It seems Christians on the whole do not have a very good track record for being healthy.
While not the deciding factor in your eternal salvation, doing all you can to maximize your health leads to increased effectiveness in what God has given you to do, allows you to hear God’s voice better, helps you experience God’s restoration now, and more.

10 Things To Look For In Your Friends

The people you align yourself with will determine your future, good or bad.
It’s important who your friends are. You become increasingly like the people you hang out with. Your attitudes, behaviors, and values naturally move closer to those of the people around you. It’s possible to know much about your future by looking at your friends.

Single: When You Live Alone

The rates of marriage may be going down in our society. But for most, you expect to grow up, find a man or woman to join your life with, create a family, and live happily ever after. Your mental life plan, conscious or unconscious, probably did not include being single.
At least for some, marriage will never happen. And then the truth is that marriage is temporary. Every marriage has an end. Your spouse dies, or your marriage ends in divorce, and you face being single again. Whether never married or newly single, the single life has special challenges.
Being single is not just a prelude to being married. Go ahead and enjoy life, and take God with you on the journey.

Things Children Can Teach You

Seeing things through a child’s eyes sets so many things straight. Learning to walk, fascination over a butterfly, first day of school – every day is wonderful in some way.
The tiredness and busyness of life lead most of us to forget much of what we knew as children. Here are some things children know that we can learn again:

10 Things To Do When You Feel Lonely

Make friends with yourself; then you will never have to be lonely!
Sometimes it really is that simple. We do need people in our lives. But being alone does not have to mean feeling lonely. When you feel lonely, taking some specific action can change your whole emotional state. Over time, those actions may create new emotional habits, and you will feel entirely different about the times when you are alone.
Here are some things you can do when you feel lonely:

Woman in Meditation

Your Soul Gets Hungry! 5 Ways to Feed Your Inner Being

We need to eat every day. So does your soul. Sometimes a mental fast-food snack will keep your soul’s hunger at bay for a time. But you regularly need to bring some real nourishment to the deeper parts of you. Neglect doing so for too long, and you will become irritable, short-sighted, frustrated, angry, and ineffective.
Here are several possible ways to give your soul some gourmet nourishment:

Where Is Your Body Vulnerable?

Stress exacts a toll on your body, mind, and soul. But how your body responds is unique to you. The same outside stressor may create a very different reaction in your body than in mine.
If you are paying attention, your body will tell you when you need to take action to prevent further damage. Each of us has one or two body systems that are most vulnerable. Some common vulnerable areas are:

How Do You Handle Stress?

In preparation for being part of a group I hope to work with, I underwent a behavioral interview this week. A behavioral interview focuses on such things as how you deal with people, how you handle situations you dislike, what excites and energizes you, and how you handle stress.
How DO you handle stress?
There are many different ways of handling stress. Here are a few:

What Two Little Girls Running to School Can Teach About Spirituality

Two little girls were walking to school. It was a beautiful spring morning, and they took some time to enjoy the flowers and the fresh air.
Suddenly they realized that they had taken so long enjoying the flowers that they were going to be late for school. Soon the bell would ring, and they’d be marked tardy. Not wanting to get in trouble, the first little girl said to her friend, “Let’s kneel down right here and pray.”

Why Seeing Yourself as “Body, Mind, and Soul/Spirit” is a BAD Idea

“I am a spirit, I have a soul, and I live in a body.” Have you been in Christian gatherings where the preacher asked you to say that out loud, or something similar?
Some readers may issue with this position. But I believe this discussion really misses the point. God didn’t take a bit of this and a bit of that and weld it together with some cosmic superglue when He made you.

When Arms Are Empty: Infertility

There’s something intimate and beautiful about new parents holding their newborn baby in their arms. But sadly, many couples do not have an opportunity to experience that joy, and do not have a baby to hold in their arms.
As a Reproductive Endocrinologist I’ve seen couples struggle with these issues, and have seen the stress it puts on their relationship. Helping couples experience that miracle is a privilege I enjoy. And my hope and prayer is that you can experience that miracle when you so desire.

5 Actions to Take With Almost Any Problem

If it wasn’t one thing it was another. The very professional woman broke down in tears, hoping for some help from me as her doctor.
I explained to Linda how inter-connected a women is in her body, mind, and soul. And we talked through these action steps that I’ll share with you. When faced with almost any problem, here’s what to do.

birth control pills

Should I Use Birth Control? A Christian Doctor’s Answer

When I think of contraception, a number of images come to mind. Talking about contraception is often an emotionally charged issue. The debate really has nothing to do with birth control. The debate has to do with sex.
If you’ve read this far, you want to know how I deal with these issues, and what I tell patients. As a Christian, as a gynecologist, as a minister, what’s the RIGHT thing to do?

Body

Women and Hormones: No Excuse!

A woman is beautiful, complicated, fascinating, strong, and loving. Much of a woman’s fascinating, complicated nature comes down to a woman and her hormones.
As a gynecologist, I see women at some of the most intimate and challenging times of their lives. And I’m honored to help. I’ve also seen some women use their hormones as an excuse for bad behavior.
Here are a few suggestions I make to women struggling with their hormones, and the men who love them:

The Ripple Effect: How One Lifestyle Change Creates Another

Making lifestyle change takes a lot of effort. And it can get discouraging at times. Setbacks are common. Your original motivation becomes cloudy. Is all that effort really worth it?
But when you start to notice benefits in other areas, it may be easier to find the motivation to stick with the change you know is important. Here are a few ripples that are easy to understand:

7 Sure Ways to Stay Young(er)

Yes, you are only as old as you feel! But none of us enjoys having to face grey hair, skin wrinkles, loss of strength, or “senior moments.” People have been searching for the fountain of youth for centuries.
There are many things you can do that either speed up or slow down the aging process. No, none of them will make you live forever. But they will make a big difference in how your body, mind, and soul look and feel. Here are seven ways:

7 Things I Would Say To You As My Patient

You’re tired, you don’t feel well, and you want some help. You come to see me in my office, hoping I will have an answer.
How I wish I could fulfill your hopes! I wish I could fix you. That would make your life, and mine, so much easier. Most of the time it’s a matter of you and me figuring things out together. Here are a few things I’d like to tell you:

Sad young woman

25 Messages Women Hear

Think of the messages you hear during an average evening. Some of them come in pictures, some in words, some in feelings. Here’s what they sound like:
1.You’re not young enough anymore.
2.You’re not pretty enough anymore..

5 Ways to Know if Your Faith is Working

Sometimes we all wonder if we’re doing this thing called Christianity right. Even if you are certain of Jesus as your Savior, what kind of difference should that be making in your life now? Do you have to be “super-Christian” to be successful? How do you know?
Checklists can be a little dangerous. But a spiritual checkup every now and then is helpful.

Why Miracles Don’t Happen In a Day

God can do amazing things. He just might step in and part the Red Sea for you. I’ve seen God do it. And it can be exhilarating! But what if it doesn’t? What if you wait – and wait, and wait?
It may well have taken a long time to get where you are now. And it may well take time to make things different.

Baby and father alseep

Sleep – Good for Your Body, Mind, and Soul

I’ve never especially liked going to bed. There’s so much to do.
We all know that our human bodies need sleep and rest. But that’s not all. Your mind, emotions, ability to handle stress, and how you relate to your children, spouse, God, and others are all affected.

Interruptions ARE Your Job

Look for the interruptions: they are your job security!
If you work with people in any capacity, expect to be interrupted. The only people who are not interrupted are hermits and prison inmates. You and I should be thankful for interruptions.
But think of these situations where interruptions are the whole reason your “job” exists:

You Know Your True Priorities When …

With all the talk about priorities, how do you know what yours truly are? It’s good to decide what you want your priorities to be. But the only way you know your true priorities is when they are tested.
My priorities have been tested this week. My husband became ill while I was out of town, and was hospitalized.

How I Got My Husband to Change

I got my husband to change. When we first met Al was a smoker, and had been for 45 years. He was seriously overweight, and had been much of his life. He ate – and loved – the typical unhea
lthy American diet.
Today things are completely different. He hasn’t smoked since we got married: that was a huge accomplishment, and made a big difference in his health right away.
How did I get him to change?

7 Benefits of Healthy Living Beyond Being Healthy

For many people, lessening the risk of disease or living longer is a rather boring, un-spectacular motivation for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Understanding more of the “other” benefits of healthy living can help us find more of the motivation necessary to actually make those healthy lifestyle choices. Here are some of those benefits.

What Your Lifestyle Can – and Can’t – Accomplish

Going to extremes is only human, but it’s not healthy. Many people have a difficult time finding a healthy balance in lifestyle choices.
On one extreme are those who throw caution to the wind. On the other extreme are those who wouldn’t eat a piece of bacon or a candy bar if they were starving. And then there are those who jump between those two extremes – with no better results.

Marriage in a Pressure Cooker

Marriage is under assault. 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.

Nature or Nurture: Managing Your Genes

The 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. But are you doomed to live out the results of whatever your parents passed on to you – good or bad?
The genetic package we are each left with simply means we have to work harder in some areas than others.

Lifestyle

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!
Here are some tips that I give to my patients when they want help to lose weight. 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.

5 Different Kinds of Hunger

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.
Understanding – and meeting – the different needs we have with appropriate “nourishment” will make a huge difference in our health and happiness.

Fast Food or Gourmet Meals – for the Soul

The average American eats fast food several times a week. Most of us realize that fast food is much less healthy than most food prepared and eaten at home.
We love fast food in other areas of our lives as well. We settle for fast food all too often, and miss the deep pleasure, satisfaction, and nourishment we really crave.

Asking Your Input: What Changes You?

Change is fascinating. The basic message of the gospel is one of change.
I’d like to know from your own experience what changes you. Perhaps your comment will be helpful to someone else.

5 Things I Know For Sure

Some days are definitely better than others. When things are frustrating, painful, difficult, or confusing, it helps to have some things settled – those things you know for sure.
Here are a few things I have settled for good, things I know for sure:

3 Benefits of Being Single

No little girl or little boy dreams of always being single. I was single for 48 years.
Living alone for all those years, I did learn some very important things about the single life. Whether you’re still single, newly single, or temporarily single, there are some real benefits to take advantage of.

What God Will NOT Do For You

There are a few things God will not do for you. We human beings sometimes presume on God’s grace and think that will excuse our bad behavior.
So don’t be angry with God when you experience some “natural consequences.” Do seek God for His grace in changing your character.

Nobody Wants to be Healthy

I have assumed everyone wants to be healthy. But that’s not true!
The most powerful lifestyle changes come from the inside out. For most of us a desire to “be healthy” is too nebulous, too temporary, too easy to compromise. It takes something deeper.

Run – or Pray?

As a physician and a minister I see both extremes: I see those who live an unhealthy lifestyle become frustrated, angry, or depressed when they experience the physical or emotional consequences of those behaviors, but they often seem empty spiritually.
I sometimes see others who try to live a wholesome lifestyle – natural foods, exercise, manage their stress, etc.,

5 Laws You CANNOT Make

One would think that legislators couldn’t come up with any more laws regulating anything else. Until they do!
Everything we do, every activity we touch, has laws controlling it.
Those laws, rules, and regulations we’ve become accustomed to. But then we get to some laws that are truly pushing the edge of sanity.

The Intimacy of Vulnerability

There are few things that bring two people closer together than vulnerability. Being physically, emotionally, or spiritually vulnerable with someone is a powerful force welding two hearts together.
Where two people of good will are in a relationship together, being vulnerable is one of the most intimate things they can do.
What does vulnerability look like in a relationship? Here are some ideas:

Thanksgiving

When You Feel Anything but Grateful

Our world is messed up! And for that I’m NOT grateful. And you shouldn’t be either.
This week we will all see and hear everyone talking about what they are grateful for.
For some, the holiday season is only painful. Once in a while it helps to put our gratitude against the backdrop of what is truly dark in our world. Here’s a short list of a few things I’m NOT grateful for:

The Benefits of Anxiety

Anybody out there want to be anxious? Probably not.
Anxiety is a very unpleasant feeling. Your heart may race. Your stomach may be in knots. You may have trouble sleeping and trouble concentrating.
But there IS something very positive about anxiety. And that comes in the process of change.

A Response to Recent Election Results

Along with millions of others I was watching the election returns on TV Tuesday night.
Different generations ARE going to see things differently. Their cultural understanding is different. Certainly there must be principles, ways of communicating, person-to-person connections, that can help make the most important things relevant for those in every culture even now.

Happy girl

Doctor, Doctor: Bitterness and Unforgiveness

Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
That’s exactly what bitterness and unforgiveness does. It’s terribly toxic physically, not to mention emotionally and spiritually.

7 Things to Do Intentionally Every Day

Do you remember learning the classic laws of thermodynamics, perhaps in seventh grade science class? The basic idea goes something like this: any system will seek equilibrium where the least amount of energy is expended.
Doing something on purpose makes the difference. So, for myself, here are some things I must do intentionally:

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

Our little granddaughter is a month old. Is there anything more precious? We’re told Madelyn will be the last one, so we as her grandparents treasure each moment just a little more.
A newborn baby is a full-time job. Mommy and Daddy do it gladly – at least most of the time! But their biggest job is working themselves out of a job, helping her grow to become thoughtful, loving, wise – and independent.
Growing up emotionally, relationally, and spiritually is often harder than growing up physically.

7 Things to Check when Not Feeling Good

I’m feeling good today.
But there are certainly days when I don’t feel good. Something’s definitely off. Occasionally it’s immediately obvious what’s wrong, but other times it’s frustrating to just feel bad and not be sure why.
We can’t expect to feel good every day. That’s just life.
Here’s my checklist for when things are looking bad, and most of the time it will help determine why I’m not feeling good.

Doctor, Doctor: Ignoring the Symptoms

I could probably use her real name: she’s been dead over 20 years. I met her one night in the emergency room during my residency training. She had been bleeding for months, and finally became so weak that she allowed her family to bring her to the hospital. She hadn’t seen a doctor in years.
Periodically it’s a good idea to do a mental check of the different areas of your life, and see if there are symptoms you might be ignoring. Symptoms that need to be dealt with before they get worse, and before the problem becomes deadly.

A Big Enough Reason

Making a change is hard. Habit, routine, addiction, convenience, or a thousand other reasons keep us doing the same thing over and over again, even if it’s terribly unhealthy. Or dangerous. Or even deadly.
It takes a big enough reason to endure the anxiety, setbacks, difficulty, or even pain that may be involved in making a lifestyle change. Sometimes that reason is positive, where the outcome you wish is enticing enough to work hard for. Sometimes that reason is negative, where the pain of remaining where you are is big enough to force a change.

Food for the Soul: Learning to Feed Yourself

We get hungry! And it starts from the day we’re born.

A newborn baby needs to be fed every 2-3 hours. They are completely dependent on others for the timing, quantity, and quality of the food they receive.
Later a child learns to feed themselves. Food preferences develop, and we have an increasing control over how much food, what kind of food, and when we eat. Eventually everything about what we eat is our own choice.
Food for the soul is just like that. When we’re immature we are dependent on others for any stimulation, human communication and connection, and spiritual nurturing we receive. Eventually we need to learn to feed ourselves.
Three things you need to consider in learning to mentally/emotionally/spiritually feed yourself:

Doctor, Doctor: Your Mental/Emotional Health

Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I get angry. Sometimes I feel strong, and sometimes I feel very small. Sometimes I get anxious and upset. Sometimes I feel so happy I can’t imagine ever having a bad day ever again. Sometimes I feel like I could change the world, and sometimes I feel like nothing I do makes any difference.
Life has emotional content, and that’s a good thing. One of the best signs of psychological health is the ability to experience the whole range of human emotions.

Healing begins

Where Does Healing Begin?

As a doctor I can give you pills. I can recommend changes in your lifestyle that can improve your health. I can do surgery at times. Once in a while I might even save someone’s life. But can I heal you?
As someone wanting to be healthy you might get all the exercise you need. You might follow careful healthy eating habits. You might get enough sleep and take plenty of vitamins. But will that heal you?
As a minister I can pray for you. I can teach you about having a relationship with God, and faith. I can introduce you to Him and help bring you into His presence. But can I heal you?

Doctor, Doctor: Your Physical Health

You don’t feel good, so you snap at your spouse. You’re tired, so you make a quick unwise decision you later regret. You wake up with a headache, so you try to sleep in, and skip your morning quiet time.
Our physical health impacts every other area of our lives. If you are in shape, at a healthy weight, with good nutrition, and well rested, you are a comparatively formidable force against any obstacle in your way. On the other hand, if you are sick and tired, overweight, full of junk food, and never exercise, you have no reserve to handle even the “normal” stuff life throws at you.

What is Your Body Telling You?

Our physical body takes a hit when we experience stress. Even if that stress is not especially negative or traumatic, our body takes the wear.
And if the stress involves danger or trauma, or continues over a significant period of time, our body may just “shut down” in some way.
It has been estimated that 75% or more of the time a patient visits a primary care physician the true reason is stress, psychological difficulty, or something related.

The Bad (or Good) News about STDs

There’s one part of my job as an OB-Gyn physician that I dread. And I’ve had to do it several times in the last two weeks.
I dread telling a woman that she has just been diagnosed with an STD.
Within just the past few days I’ve had to address HIV, HPV, herpes, and chlamydia. There’s just no easy way to tell someone that kind of news. The tears, the physical distress, the fear, often the shame, in a woman’s face just tears at my heart.

A Time for Everything

The Byrds sang it: “A time to every purpose under heaven.”
I wonder how many people who still sing Turn! Turn! Turn! realize that the lyrics were taken essentially word-for-word from the Bible, Ecclesiastes ch. 3. It talks about a truth that those of us who live in this super-charged ultra-fast over-connected society often forget.

Alzheimer’s Disease: A Scary Thought

What was I going to write about? Oh yes, I remember. I just had a senior moment there.
Have you ever felt like that? Are you worried about whether it’s “just” a “senior moment”, or something much more scary – Alzheimer’s?
Losing one’s mental capacity ranks near the top on any list of fears about the future as people get older.

Staying Healthy On the Road

Keeping a healthy lifestyle is a challenge at any time. But when you’re traveling it takes special determination to keep from falling back into less healthy eating and exercise patterns. These tips for eating healthy and exercising on the road will keep you feeling better and healthier.

Do Less to Do More

It’s not working. And as hard as I try, it’s not getting any better. In fact, the harder I try,…

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