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    Sex + Addiction = The Devil’s Playground

    Often times Christians shy away from anything involving the term “sex.” Add to the mix “addiction,” and you can clear a room in five seconds. But I encourage you to pull up a chair and stick around. Because today we have a submission by my guest blogger and psychotherapist husband on this taboo topic. Read on… “Sex addict.” The phrase can make us uncomfortable. Especially when used to describe ourselves or someone we love. I believe our discomfort comes from the way society stereotypes addiction. Of all addictions, sexual addiction seems to bring the most shame and embarrassment to the sufferer and loved ones. For this reason, many sufferers want…

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    Discomfort with Discomfort

    A frazzled acquaintance mentioned that she had finally hired a new marketing manager. Her former manager had quit on short notice. The new manager would have to commute over forty miles in heavy traffic to make it to the office every day. I felt happy that she filled the position. But I cringed over the lengthy commute. Most people cannot sustain driving over three hours each day, five days per week. She chastised me for my expression, and then issued me a citation for “being negative.” Was I, though? Or was I just being realistic and empathetic towards the new hire? Good thing she didn’t see my facial expression when…

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    Would Jesus Wear a Mask?

    SARS-CoV-2 hit the US over a year ago. Despite the worldwide scourge, many still felt that the pandemic was a hoax or another attempt at government control. Some nations took it seriously. Others did not. But this coronavirus plays no favorites. It does not respect politics or religion. It follows the rules of basic biology. Whether this pandemic started with a laboratory leak or wet market, no one can argue that we’ve lost too many lives because of it. And for the survivors, many still deal with long-haul symptoms months after infection. And then there’s the mask debate. (Insert eyeroll.) Do we really need to wear them? Do they even…

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    What Would Jesus Really Do?

    I recently met a woman who works for a major U.S. airline. She worked as a “stewardess” with them for over twenty years. She said when she first started working for them, the stewardesses wore hot pants, high boots, and cropped tops in flight. In her words, “It was Hooters in the sky.” She (we) is grateful the dress code has changed for flight attendants.  We’ve heard the old saying, “The world is going to hell in a hand basket.” Maybe, but at least the #MeToo movement has made strides in the right direction. Or so I thought. Because just when I thought we were turning the corner on this…

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    Resurrection

    I spent most of 2020 feeling unproductive, invisible, and useless. I many times wondered if I add value to anyone’s lives. Or if my existence had meaning. OK, fine. I felt this way prior to 2020—the devil has been tormenting me for years. But all things COVID Pandemic didn’t help.   Four days ago God proved me and Satan wrong. My brother’s family came to town last week for three nights. Although they stayed at his in-laws’ place, they made this trip just to visit me. Of course my niece and nephew also wanted me to spend the night over there. I promised I’d stay one night. Not that anyone…

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    Waiting for Normal

    My husband and I put up our Christmas tree on October 25. Call us eager. And bored.   But despite all the glitter and music, the gifts and velvet bows, almost half of Americans wrestle through the holidays—even without a pandemic. Mental health workers say that some people get the holiday blues because there’s this perception and comparison of others having more and doing more. Enter 2020. Humpty Dumpty has fallen. It’s not just COVID cases that have surged. Loneliness, anxiety, and depression have also spiked this year. Weeks of waiting have turned into long months. Although Advent is the season of waiting, many could do without it by now—the…

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    Is It Safe to Open My Eyes Now?

    I write this post two days before the US elects its next president. By the time you read this, the election would have already passed.   The election results won’t make a difference to me. (Translation: I’m jaded.) Too many people have died from COVID, riots, and racism this year. Add to that unemployment, mask wars (a.k.a. selfishness), hurricane after hurricane, and fire after fire. We came into this election season an exhausted hostile nation—already overwhelmed with anxiety and grief. I can picture the devil high-fiving his minions right now over their victory at dividing our nation. There is no real winner here. Because a presidential election can’t buy peace…

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    Obey God or Please People

    In Daniel Chapter 3 we find three Hebrew captives who refused to fall down and worship the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. The Babylonians practiced polytheism. They didn’t believe in just one god, nor did they require others to follow only their gods. King Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t asking them to renounce Yahweh by bowing down to his statue. So what was the big deal, then? This is exactly what my relatives ask me when I refuse to participate in Hindu rituals. They believe in a pluralism of sorts, and purport that Hinduism is more of a philosophy than a religion, where one can adhere to tenets that appeal to them, and disregard…

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    True Super Hero: A Tribute to Chadwick Boseman

    Should we blame social media that people deem themselves privy to the intimate matters of others? Somewhere along the way we lost our respect for privacy.   On a job interview this year, I met a young woman who told me she has to pump breast milk during her commute home. As a healthcare worker—not fazed. All fine to that point. Then she asked me if I have children (which always makes me cringe because I can predict what follows.) I told her I do not, and quickly added that I’m fifty years old. She said I don’t look my age. Nice! I thought disclosing my age would make her…

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    Light and Momentary Troubles

    Job loss. Global pandemic. COVID-19 killing thousands. Racial injustices. Knees on necks. Anxiety. Depression. Social distancing loneliness. Sexual harassment. School bullying. It’s just one thing after another. Maybe you wonder if God is even paying attention.    We all face discouragement. We try our best, only to be humiliated in front of our coworkers by a toxic boss who leaves us feeling unappreciated and discarded. We toil to make our marriages work, only to feel frustrated because nothing is changing. We give and serve at church, only to have our jaws hit the floor when we learn of members’ gossip and betrayal. It’s a good thing that what God says…