Loneliness

What If Christmas Isn’t Merry?


What pops into your mind when you think of Christmas?

Colored lights, tinsel, festive decorations? Familiar music, parties, family gatherings? Joy, the promise of a Savior, God with us?

How about death, loss, and grief? That’s probably not what you expected.

Christmas is a time for glad tidings of great joy, but we also must be sensitive to those for whom the holiday invokes painful memories and highlights difficult circumstances. This isn’t the cheeriest of holiday greetings. I hope you’ll forgive me for reminding us that we’re likely to encounter folks that can’t quite share our holly-jolly spirit.

Spiritual Warfare Prayers

One of the most important aspects of Prayer is Spiritual Warfare. The Bible tells us that we are in the midst of a Spiritual battle, and our advisory the devil is like a roaring lion seeking to destroy our lives. Paul says,

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against Spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12


Satan and his forces of darkness are trying to destroy your life, and it is imperative that we learn to pray against these forces of darkness in order to gain victory in our lives.

*SPIRITUAL WARFARE PRAYERS*

1. I arise today with the power of the Lord God Almighty to call forth the heavenly host, the Holy angels of God, to surround and protect, and cleanse with God’s Holy light
all areas vacated by the forces of evil. I ask the Holy Spirit to permeate my mind, heart, body, soul and Spirit , creating a hunger and thirst for God’s Holy Word, and to fill me with the life and love of my Lord, Jesus Christ.

2. We use every verse in the Holy Bible that wars against the demonic forces. We bind and loose spirits. We tear down strongholds. We command civil war in Satan's Kingdom. We loose the Love of God, Price that Jesus Paid, Holy Spirit, Word of God, Blood of Jesus and Cross of Jesus against the forces of evil. All these things we do in the name of Jesus Christ , our Lord, Master and Savior, and for the Holy Trinity.

Facepalm MomentsPremium Content

When I first saw the image of Jesus doing a "Face palm," I laughed. The exasperated look of our Savior, indeed, conveys the message of "why did you say/do THAT?" And you and I know what that is. It usually has something to do with sin. Sometimes, we look downright foolish. I mean, c'mon, how many times in life have we, ourselves, done a similar face palm?

Remember, lying is a sin.

In any case, some lesser face palm moments often involve us- and our big mouths. Yes, we really blow it here. It's not just about "taking the Lord's Name in vain" either. It's not even about other expletives (you know the words). It, instead, has to do with the negative and untrue statement we utter.

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I have been divorced a long time. What can I do?Premium Content

I have been divorced for ten years. What should I do?

It is so unfortunate that you felt that your problems were so difficult and unique that there was no way to resolve them. It seems that you are now realizing that most of life's problems are short-lived and that on the other side of them, it is easier to see what would have been the right decision.

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Do You Belong In Bethlehem?Premium Content

What would Jesus think if I showed up in Bethlehem?
I’ve been trying to spend some time each day during this Christmas season at the nativity scene, wondering about the thoughts, emotions, and experiences of each character. And I found myself wondering how Jesus would respond to the presence of a disabled person in that holy circle.

I’d probably try to stay away. I’d list endless excuses to stay in my own warm, safe environment and let someone else go.

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Getting My Eyes Off of Myself

A cheerful heart is a good medicine,
but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 NRSV

We visited a church with our kids on Sunday. The pastor, in trying to make a point about honesty, addressed the dynamic that occurs when friends meet together: "How are you?" "I'm fine." He concluded that often the "I'm fine" is actually a lie because we aren't fine.

But are we?

As Christians should we have any opportunity for griping or complaining, moaning or groaning? Or are we actually stating a truth when we say "I'm fine," a truth that perhaps we really don't embrace but which is a truth nonetheless? Paul wrote:

When Prayers Seem Unanswered

This was written by an unknown Confederate soldier

I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for help, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

The Emotional Dimension of Recovery, Part 2Premium Content

Part 1

How do feelings affect the addict in the early stages of recovery?

This second installment on the role of emotion the recovery process will focus on the first 30-90 days of sobriety. The truth is, most addicts return to drugs and drinking when sobriety becomes too stressful for them. Therefore, teach them to deal with their feelings in a healthy manner greatly improves their chances of achieving long-term sobriety.

A. The physiological impact on emotions.

    The first few days without drugs and alcohol are characterized by disjointed thinking and emotional upheaval. Newly sober people tend to be very anxious and uptight. This is due, in a large part , to the fact that alcohol and drug use have caused their bodies to be depleted of many important neurochemicals, like endorphines, that contribute to a normal state of well-being. Crack and cocaine users especially, experience anxiety, abnormal fears and difficulty sleeping. They can be short tempered and they have short attention spans.

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The Emotional Dimension of Recovery, Part 1Premium Content

Part Two

A Christian friend once told me, "Well, why even talk about feelings, because you can't trust them anyway. The Bible says, Have faith and don't trust your feelings." Well, that's not really a healthy attitude at all, because feelings are real. Denial is all of these repressed and stuffed emotions, and part of sobriety and getting better means that all of a sudden all of the pain that has been pushed down. And anger, and everything else that has been there, is going to start rising to the surface, and these people will start feeling depression and loneliness and fear. And we need to be prepared to hear those things and to respond to them in a supportive, kind way. It doesn't mean that -- and some of those feelings are not accurate at all, but still need to be respected and accepted. It has to be there.

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Understanding and Overcoming LonelinessPremium Content

I have been in counselling now for many years, working with God, my counsellors and myself with all my might to overcome the scars of the past. Sometimes those scars leave me feeling lonely and longing for someone to be with me. I know I am not the only one.

Many people suffer with loneliness in our society, and many generations. Seniors suffer from loneliness when their spouses dies. Couples suffer loneliness when one partner works extra long hours to make ends meet. Teenagers suffer from loneliness when they cannot make and keep friends. Children are also lonely when, as children do, choose other friends than them for a time. People with disabilities suffer because they are unable to get out into society. And the patients of mental health suffer loneliness in silence, ashamed to tell anybody they are lonely because they fear they will look weak.

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