When You Dread the Holidays

I have a friend who dreads this time of year. Come each November 15, he wishes he could fast-forward to January 2. The stress, the rush, the shopping, the expectations – he hates it all. And most of all, he hates being lonely.

There are a number of reasons why you might not look forward to Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s. Holidays make our normal vulnerabilities even more apparent.

If that’s you, there’s one important thing you must do this holiday season. Watch this to find out:

Happy Thanksgiving!

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What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Praying

What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Praying

Only the most spiritual of people would say that they ALWAYS feel like praying. And I’m not sure I would believe them if they did! All of us sometimes don’t feel like praying.

Sometimes you may be so exhausted that prayer just feels like one more thing to DO, and you have absolutely no energy to do even one more thing. Sometimes your mind feels confused and you wouldn’t even know what to say if you tried to pray. Sometimes the Why questions feel too difficult, and trying to pray would mean struggling with the exhausting challenge between doubt and faith. And sometimes, truthfully, you may feel angry at God because of some loss or grief or pain, and you just don’t want to talk.

Whatever the reason, sometimes you just don’t feel like praying. And if someone says to you, “Pray about it” at one of those moments, they’re the one who might end up needing prayer!

So what do you do with those moments? Is there an option other than living with the guilt of not being “spiritual enough?”

Yes, there is.

If You Don’t Feel Like Praying

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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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