How Church Members Can Contribute to Better Community-Wide Senior Care

From mobility limitations to social isolation, seniors face a variety of mental and physical changes that can threaten their independence and quality of life. Unfortunately, seniors don’t always have family around to provide support and assistance. Without the help of friends and relatives, age-related changes often force seniors to leave their communities to gain access to the care they need. However, churches and their members can be a valuable source of meaningful physical, emotional, and sp...
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You Are Here

Have you ever gone to the directory at a mall or shopping center? Often there is that star that says, "You Are Here". While we can see on the map where we have been, the star reminds us where we are and helps us figure out how to get where we are trying to go. So often we can get stuck dwelling on the events of our past. This can leave us feeling lost, lonely, and hopeless. We can start to believe that the mistakes we've made or the difficulties we've faced are part of our identity. It's du...
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The Ticking Time Bomb of Unprocessed Trauma

By itself, trauma is devastating. Trauma originates outside of the victim who receives it, yet it is passed to the victim, who bears the aftermath and the consequences. This is unfair to say the least. Sometimes trauma occurs as the result of a natural disaster, or a as a direct result of war. Most often, however, trauma originates from an abuser, an individual whose bad decision(s) affect(s) the victim for the rest of her life (and sometimes his or their life). The victim, who did not cause ...
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My Tree of Hope – April 15, 2019

Hope is so often a substantial prayer of those I listen to. Hope for change. Hope for peace. Hope for joy. Hope for healing. Hope for movement. Hope for hope. During my creative time this afternoon, I painted on top of a background I had used to demonstrate how one might express anxiety. Dark colors. Sharp movements. A paper towel trying desperately to remove the unwanted parts. I was drawn to colors that calm, colors that symbolize life. Turquoise. Lime green. I was drawn to the da...
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Choices

Choices... they can feel like a gift and can easily make us feel overwhelmed by the responsibility. Fortunately, we can't escape them, because in them we better understand ourselves, the world, and most importantly, our relationship with God. Choose to live in the present, for today is the only one you have. Choose to live out of your core set of values, for someone's values are informing each choice you make. Choose to resist the gnawing negative self-talk and renew your mind in what is ...
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Purity

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8). Have you ever lamented a dull relationship with God and others.  That's the time to check your "lust meter".  James speaks of temptation as something that lures us by enticement and leads to sin, and ultimately to death (James 1:14-15).  There are layers to the concept of death, but it's fundamentally a separation from God.  In the garden of Eden, it even led to barriers between Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:7). Temptation is...
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Happy New You!

One of our children used to express new year wishes with an exclamation, "Happy New You!".  It was funny and everyone thought the child was cute for saying it, but I believe there was great wisdom in the expression. I think most of us know what types of changes would be healthy and helpful for us, yet change is difficult.  The biggest barrier to change seems to be fear related to possible rejection, the unknown, and even success.  Think of the opportunities you didn't step into because of a n...
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The Beauty of Fall

I love living in an area that has four seasons. I am easily bored and prone to take things for granted--situations and relationships. I also tend to grump about anything, even good things, so I'm pretty confident that I would find something bad about experiencing perfect weather every day. The change of seasons makes me stop and reflect, though. I'm reminded that I'm not in control of most things, except my responses. I also take time to consider life--where I've been and where I'm headed. Fa...
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The Superlative of Family

Family is a beautiful mess.  It is a walk in the park on a glorious fall day and a horror movie that never seems to end.  It is what we run away from and yet seem to be consistently influenced by.  It is a long look in the mirror. Extreme emotions and life decisions can be prompted by family issues, because family is a powerful system loaded with expectations.  The problem is that our expectations are somewhat unrealistic.  It's natural to want family relationships to be perfectly loving, yet...
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Parenting Teens

Parenting is difficult. Parenting teens has its own set of unique challenges. There are three keys to parenting teens well: Promoting shared responsibility, authentic participation, and individuation. If you want to learn more, then I have a seminar for you! "Parenting Teens" will be presented as part of a seminar series by Jon Burchard of In Him Christian Counseling at the Giant Food Center community room in Camp Hill, PA, on October 27. Session times are 5:30PM-7:00PM and 7:30PM-9:00PM. The...
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