Merry Christmas! Do you struggle with the stress of entertaining during the holiday season? Does the thought of having friends and family in your home cause your anxiety level to immediately increase?
What would a transcript of your recent prayers reflect?
Are your prayers vague and generic? Or are they specific and bold?
Do you play it safe…not asking God for anything too big for fear of disappointment?
Or do you ask for things that are impossible for you to accomplish in your own power?
For many years, my prayer life was inconsistent and tepid. I might cry out for help in a moment of desperation, but on a day-to-day basis, I had little confidence that my personal needs and desires really mattered to God.
Whether you’re newlyweds or celebrating 50 years together, it’s possible to breathe some fresh life into your marriage relationship.
Sounds like a great idea, right? But how?
Begin the monthly celebration of “Companion Appreciation Day.”
This bit of relational genius was created by my young friends, William and Monica Warren. The Warrens have only been married for 2.5 years and they established this beautiful monthly tradition before their own wedding in 2013. William is now 30, Monica is 29.
Have you ever arrived at a new location in the midst of a dense, heavy fog? Perhaps you can decipher a few signs, but that’s about it. Noises might seem magnified but you can see little about your surroundings. The uncertainty can be unsettling.
That happened to me years ago on a visit to Wengen, a quaint little village in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland. It’s a charming, bucolic spot, accessible only by cog-wheel railroad. There are no automobiles in the village.
“Life’s not fair!”
“God answers everybody else’s prayers…just not mine.”
“I can never catch a break.”
Have any of these thoughts ever crossed your mind? Be honest. If you’re like most of us, you’ve done at least a few laps in pools of negativism.
I just spent 5 glorious days on a sailboat in Southern California with some long-time, dear friends.
The beauty was breathtaking: incredible sunrises and sunsets, gentle breezes, clear turquoise waters. Such tranquility. Such a sweet time of refreshing.
I love fall. I love the changing colors of the leaves, the bright blue skies and the cooler weather. I love college football, pumpkins, chrysanthemums, and the (sadly decreasing) focus on Thanksgiving. And I love the smell and taste of freshly baked pumpkin muffins!
If you live in the greater Atlanta area, there’s a likelihood you’ve already been given this recipe. I’ve been making these delicious muffins for most of my adult life, and have shared this recipe with everyone who has asked.
And that’s a lot.
It’s real. It’s searing. It’s not “fair.” And it never arrives at an opportune time.
Pain comes in all shapes and sizes.
Pain can be physical and/or emotional.
Just ask Nick Chubb, the University of Georgia’s star running back. Until last week, Nick was often mentioned as a leading 2015 Heisman Trophy candidate. During the first play of last Saturday’s game against Tennessee, a significant knee injury destroyed that dream.
Loving with courage takes a lot of different forms, but none more inspiring than in those with ALS.
Over the last several years, the “ice bucket challenge” has raised awareness of this disease. Watching someone douse themselves in a bucket of freezing-cold water, and then challenging a friend to do the same, can put shivers down your spine and provide a few laughs….and it might even help fund research for a cure for this life-limiting disease.