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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Necessary or Unnecessary Suffering

Necessary or Unnecessary Suffering

Is suffering a good thing? Is suffering to be embraced? Or avoided?

Suffering never feels good. That’s why it’s called suffering. Some Christian believers seem to embrace suffering and grow from it personally and spiritually. Other believers seem to avoid it at all costs, wonder why God doesn’t always relieve their suffering, and wonder what’s wrong when suffering continues.

Much of that confusion, I believe, comes from a failure to understand the difference between necessary and unnecessary suffering.

Unnecessary Suffering

There are countless ways in which we suffer – physically, emotionally, spiritually. But not all of that suffering is necessary or inevitable. It’s not a pleasant thought, but sometimes you cause the suffering yourself.

What about the suffering of material lack – poverty? Have you invested your time and energy well, refusing to blame others for where you are in life? Have you learned good money management skills, staying away from debt? Have you learned to be a wise steward of any physical resources you have?

What about the suffering from the breakup of a marriage? Did you give up too soon when your marriage might have been saved with hard work? Did you neglect your spouse too long in too many ways? Did you compromise your boundaries, or refuse to deal with damaging things in your own character?

What about physical suffering? Are you experiencing the consequences of a lifestyle of unhealthy eating, no exercise, or substance abuse? Have you cared for your body well, with appropriate rest and medical care?

Wallowing in shame and guilt about any of this is not useful. But it is sobering to realize that some of our suffering was caused or at least made worse by the decisions we made and actions we took.

That’s actually good news! Because it also means we can now reduce our suffering in those areas by making new decisions and taking different actions.

Necessary Suffering

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A Woman’s Beauty and Strength: Dangerous or Delightful?

A Woman’s Beauty and Strength: Dangerous or Delightful?

Can we talk? Just you and me, girlfriend?

A woman’s beauty is one source of her strength. But everything depends on how you use it.

As a woman, you are powerful, beautiful, strong, smart, vulnerable, intuitive, and resilient. When God made you earth and heaven smiled, and you completely took Adam’s breath away. You are the expression of the part of God Himself that longs to connect, communicate, and nurture life, intimacy, and so much more. As John Eldredge describes it, every woman has a beauty to unveil.

In part because of your combined beauty and strength, God’s enemy has unleashed his most destructive weapons against you ever since the beginning. You have survived indescribable pain, loss, and torment. You’ve faced the worst that evil can dream up.

And yet you are still here! The assaults on your body, mind, and soul have not taken you out. You may feel down, but you’re not finished yet!

But the question is, What Will You Do Now?

You have two choices.

You can use your beauty and strength to wreak havoc on everyone around you. You DO have that power.

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More Than Gratitude: Trusting God for ENOUGH

More Than Gratitude: Trusting God for ENOUGH

Joy in the MorningThere’s something powerful about relishing the enough-ness of where you are and what you have right now. It’s more than gratitude, although that is important. Some call it the abundance mindset, or the glass-half-full mentality. I call it trusting God to be ENOUGH.

Think about your prayers. How many of them are requests?

  • Please heal me of my sickness.
  • Please bring me the money that I need.
  • Please bring me a spouse.
  • Please fix my spouse so that we are happy together.
  • Please bring more people to my church.
  • Please give me more opportunities to expand my ministry.

It’s right to bring our requests to God; we are told to do that in Scripture. But if your relationship with God is based primarily on asking Him for things when you need or want help, you’ve made God into a heavenly vending machine; put in a prayer, get out a blessing.

How long would your relationship with your spouse or a good friend last if most of your conversations with them sounded like your prayers – you’re always asking for things and never listening?

If you’re a parent you know what it means to want to give good gifts to your children. Jesus said our Heavenly Father feels that way about us. (Matthew 7:11) But you also know that if your children are always focused on asking for – and receiving – things, they are not likely to mature into happy, productive, responsible adults.

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What to do if you Feel Unloved

What to do if you Feel Unloved

Unwanted. Rejected. Second class. Fifth wheel. Unimportant. Not good enough. Lonely. You feel unloved, and it hurts.

You want to be Number One to someone. Perhaps you never felt that from your parents, and you desperately hoped – expected – that you would find that in a spouse. But the right person hasn’t come along. You keep secretly hoping you’ll meet The One before it’s too late, but it’s not looking real good for you right now.

Or you’re married and you’ve discovered that a ring on your finger doesn’t mean you’re Number One to someone in the way you had hoped. You’re disappointed. Why do you feel so lonely and unloved? Wouldn’t your spouse treat you differently if they truly loved you? This Marriage Misery is worse than being single! At least in that case you wouldn’t have your hopes raised – and then squashed into nothingness.

I so badly wanted to be Number One to someone for many years. I was outwardly successful, had friends, and experienced quite a lot of freedom and joy – but I was alone. Some of the people around me were nice enough, but nobody loved me. Not really. Not for me, the whole of me.

Does “God Loves You” even apply to you?

You might say, “That’s just sour grapes. God loves you. And that’s enough.”

You’re right – God loves me. And you. But how does that become enough?

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