Don’t Rush Forgiveness

What a great reminder this weekend at Bear Valley Church from Todd Lanting about the power of forgiveness. There are two points that have particular meaning for me. First is the understanding that forgiveness takes time. The deeper the hurt, the longer the healing will take. I talk about forgiveness with many clients, and have wrestled with my own giving and receiving of forgiveness, but rarely do I remember to accept this facet of it. I tend to get caught up in our “microwave culture” that wants results now! When I’m tempted to offer forgiveness too quickly, it’s often not the healing...

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Your Joy Center

Give Thanks in all Circumstances November is the month of Thanksgiving, a holiday enjoyed by our entire nation. Many of us will say what we are thankful for as we sit around the dinner table. But, what if I don’t feel very thankful right now, then what? This week we enter into the official holiday season. Ready or not, it’s upon us. For those who are struggling, especially in relationships, this time of year can feel very intense. When things are going well, life can feel magical. When things are going poorly, life can feel miserable. The truth is – most of life is lived somewhere between...

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Fully Alive

Christy’s groggy voice smiles over the phone line, and I can tell she is happy to hear from me. I suppress my guilt. It has taken me two weeks to call—two weeks since her father-in-law told me that my high school friend is dying of breast cancer. The news hit me hard. Christy is dying from what I have so far survived, and she has a little girl the age of my own daughter. This, in my opinion, is a terrible time to die. On hearing the sad news, I decided to write to her, tell her I was praying, say a few encouraging words, and throw in a few high school basketball memories. Christy has a great...

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Happy Is as Happy Does

Act happy, and you’ll be happier As a marriage coach and counselor, I often teach a technique called, “Act As If.” When we are disappointed in people or circumstances, Acting As If, can give a new perspective that brings unexpected and even happy outcomes. Why? Because just as a negative outlook filters our expectations, so does a positive one! Here is a story I often use to illustrate: What Do You Expect? We tend to see what we expect to see. More than that, we actually help to promote what we expect to see. For example, if I think my wife is in a bad mood because of a...

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Happiness is a Moral Obligation

Dennis Prager is one of America’s most respected radio talk show hosts. New York’s Jewish Week described Dennis Prager as “one of the three most interesting minds in American Jewish Life.” We invite you to read his candid post on how devout happiness will greatly affect your life, and the lives of those around you. Readers who think I am preoccupied with political issues may find it interesting to learn that I lecture on the subject of happiness more than any other single topic. And, every Friday for the past 12 years, I have devoted an hour of my radio show to this subject. I do so because...

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The Four Stages to Learning

Have you ever had a dream where you’re in front of a large audience and you don’t know what you’re supposed to do? Maybe you’re standing near a piano facing bright lights with a blank stare. It’s really more of a nightmare, isn’t it? You’re expected to perform, yet you have no idea what you’re supposed to play, or worse yet – how to play it! I think this nightmare is often experienced by married couples. They find themselves on stage with people waiting and watching. Yet, they know they don’t have a clue! I get nervous just writing...

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You Can Do This!

As a marriage counselor and frequent speaker, I have seen many people work toward restoration with very positive results. Marriage reconciliation takes reasonable, reliable steps that will encourage individual growth and will inevitably influence your circumstances. Restoration in every aspect of life takes the same approach, one step-at-a-time can move you forward to the healthy place you want to be. While working with people for the past 20 years I have seen many courageous clients celebrate small to life-changing victories. My wife, Jan, and I have celebrated many victories over the past...

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Service Engine Soon

Service Engine Soon! That’s what the little yellow light on my dashboard announces. But what does that mean, other than the possibility of paying hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to correct a problem that I can’t see, and probably won’t understand? How do I determine if it is worth it? Will the light go off if I just ignore it? Or will I hear a loud “krathunk” as my car strands me at night, on the highway? If that does happen I half expect the light to say, See, I told you! There is another warning, though less intimidating than the screaming yellow light. It’s a small clear sticker...

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Habit Forming Lifestyles

How do you break the compulsion of bad habits? Habits encompass more than biting your nails, cracking your knuckles, or struggling to stop smoking. Habits affect your mind, and represent a pattern of behavior that creates a familiarity and desire to be repeated. Habits are not always bad. Running regularly, reading the Bible everyday, or brushing your teeth each morning are good — and much appreciated — habits. Habits, whether good or bad, affect not only our health and well being, they also affect how we relate with those around us. habits affect how we relate with those around us...

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3 Nice Ways to Enjoy your Family Christmas

Santa’s List of the naughty or nice is the talk of the town leading up to Christmas Day. You might want to keep that thought in mind as you visit with family during upcoming celebrations. To keep it simple, we’ll share three nice ways to enjoy your family Christmas. Expect the expected! Families come with certain dynamics such as birth order, events and history, disappointment, and personality conflicts. We all know that going in, then bristle or even over react, when the expected happens. But since it is expected, why not prepare to enjoy the family quirks, jokes, and yes,...

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