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    When You’re Feeling Stressed about this Election

    “Why are you concerned about this presidential primary?” I ask.   “Because," a friend said over dinner, "someone I don't trust may gain control of our military might, our nuclear codes–someone who seems easily offended and vengeful.”   “Because," another said, "I’m afraid I’m losing my homeland. It’s changing right under my feet.”   “I wonder,” said another, “what are people thinking?! They don’t appear to care about issues and substance. They seem charmed by the personality of a Pied Piper.”   Yesterday I was speaking to another friend who confided that it was getting to the point where she didn’t even want to let her thoughts go to the…

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    Home Sweet Home

    This past week I walked away from a position I loved. Working has brought me so much joy, but after a year of going into an office, I found myself in a familiar place that makes my life seem perfect, but unbearable for those who live with me. I thrive in chaos. It’s the environment in which I grew up in and it makes me feel good about myself. Chaos feeds my selfishness and pride. I write better, work harder and I have my own way of doing things. When things got chaotic with me working, I planned everything from what time my girls needed to get up to what…

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    Don’t Just Survive

    Today I'm happy to have as my guest Mary DeMuth, my dear friend who's an author and speaker. Her desire is to help people live “uncaged,” freedom-infused lives. She’s the author of fifteen books, including six novels, a memoir, and most recently The Wall Around Your Heart, from which today’s column is adapted. (It appeared in similar form at Crosswalk.com. I read the book and endorsed it.) After church planting in Southern France, Mary, her husband, and their three young adult kids now live in the ‘burbs of Dallas. To find out more about Mary, visit her  website, facebook, twitter, or wallaroundyourheart.com,  Some of us cope with relational pain by choosing to live in survivor…

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    Purge people pleasing, and live for an audience of One

    People-pleasing can mess up our lives. It can hinder our effectiveness in resolving conflict, result in burn out, and cause us to waste precious years trying to please people while ignoring what God wants us to do with our lives.     Harriet Braiker defines people pleasing this way:         The Disease to Please is a set of self-defeating thoughts and flawed beliefs         about yourself and other people that fuel compulsive behavior that, in turn,         is driven by the need to avoid forbidden, negative feelings. This triple         combination of distorted thinking, compulsive behavior, and the need         to…

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    The Present of Presence

    At this hurried time of year we rush here and there with our shopping lists, food preparations, and Christmas pageants or concerts. When I had children at home, I set aside their school time for my hunting trips to the mall. When they were home, I had food to prepare for neighbors and friends, gifts to wrap, and places to be. As I look back, those days felt frantic and stressful rather than filled with the peace of Christ. I missed the present of the presence of God, and I failed to give the gift of my presence to those around me. Can you relate?  How do we overcome the busyness…

  • Plaque: In the scope of eternity, what does this matter?
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    In the Scope of Eternity. . .

    There’s a piece of my calligraphy in our bathroom, where it’s been for many years in a place where my sons would see it (over the commode!), of one of life’s most important questions: “In the scope of eternity, what does this matter?” This simple question can create a lens or filter through which we can assign value and importance to our experiences. It helps us know if something is worth getting upset about or not. If it’s not going to matter two weeks from now, much less in eternity, let it go. Many of our stressors would be less stressful if we would just put them in perspective. Both…