How A Christian Faces Trouble and Tragedy

Emotional TraumaWe live in a world where there is no shortage of trouble. And that trouble often presents a great challenge to our faith.

Perhaps it’s a natural disaster, such as the recent floods in Colorado, or the tornados just a few nights ago in the mid-west. Perhaps it’s an accident, such as the church bus that crashed in Tennessee last week, killing eight and injuring 14 people.

Then there is the almost unspeakable violence both near and far, such as the shooting in the US Navy yard recently, the slaughter at the mall in Nairobi, Kenya, or the systematic killing of Christians in certain parts of the world.

Or perhaps it is your own private trauma, such as for Janet and Paul who have been trying for years to have a baby. Finally, a few months into her pregnancy, they discover their prayed-for child has life-threatening birth defects. Or for Brian, whose father, a pastor, is fatally shot by a parishioner while in his office at church. Or for Evelyn, the widow whose life savings is stolen by her dead husband’s business partner, and is now left with nothing.

No, there is no shortage of trouble in our world. And when trouble happens, it’s normal to ask questions: Why me? Did I do something to let this happen? Couldn’t God have kept this from happening? Where is He now? In the face of unexpected tragedy, the challenge to faith is real.

When trouble comes, here are three things to do:

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

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

Having a bad day? “Life is difficult.” So wrote M. Scott Peck at the opening to A Road Less Traveled.

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.

I’m assuming you have thought through your life plan enough to know that you’re basically on track. You’re just in the middle of a major bump in the road. 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:

  1. Take a walk. Exercise clears your mind, gets you away from the immediate problem, and may even increase those feel-good endorphins.
  2. Take a nap. Fatigue can make even normal stress feel overwhelming. A short nap can give you a you new perspective.
  3. Eat something. Not junk food – that may just clog your brain and make you feel even more stressed. But they don’t call it “comfort food” for nothing. Just choose thoughtfully.
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Things Children Can Teach You

Kids Posing on GrassBeing with our grandchildren is one of the things I enjoy most. Seeing the world 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:

  1. Joy comes from small things. It’s not expensive entertainment, fancy material things, or the whole world liking you that makes you happy. Joy comes from simple things: noticing dew on a spider web, the feeling of sand between your toes, hearing the echo of your voice across a valley, or a good stretch in the morning.
  2. Learning is fun. Have you noticed the wonder in a child’s eyes? Learning new things about the world, stretching your mind and body to do something new, relishing in the mastery of a new skill or understanding – that never has to stop.
  3. Living in the present is best. You’re likely to miss so much by rushing through life. Tomorrow will be here soon enough. Borrowing from the past or the future is useless. Take time to notice and appreciate today.
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Your Soul Gets Hungry! 5 Ways to Feed Your Inner Being

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

What’s your favorite meal? Think of it right now. Is it something you eat at home, carefully prepared by your spouse? Do you enjoy a culinary masterpiece you spend all day preparing yourself? Is there a special dish at your favorite restaurant? Who do you eat it with? What’s the setting? Is there music? How do you feel afterwards? Keep that in your memory as you read this.

We need to eat every day. Sometimes it’s a banana while rushing off to work, or a slice of cold pizza at your desk. But sometimes it’s an experience for all the senses, perhaps with a few good friends, or with the one you love. Sometimes feeding your body becomes part of feeding your soul.

Can you tell the difference? You could satisfy your body’s need for calories and nutrients by swallowing the same ready-made nutritional drink three times a day. But that wouldn’t satisfy any of your other hungers, would it? Your soul gets hungry too!

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. You need to feed your inner being. Neglect doing so for too long, and you will become irritable, short-sighted, frustrated, angry, and ineffective.

Here are several possible ways to feed your inner being with some gourmet nourishment:

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Where Is Your Body Vulnerable?

Woman Having StressStress 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.

Your body is an amazing integration of multiple systems that normally all work in harmony. Any one of those systems can break down when any kind of stress becomes too great.

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. For me, if I lose too much sleep or work too many hours I sometimes get a migraine headache: that’s my vulnerable body area. For you it’s probably something else.

Some common vulnerable areas are:

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