December 1, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

The Most Wonderful Time of the Yearis a popular Christmas song written by Edward Pola and George Wyle in 1963. It was sung by Andy Williams and appeared on the Andy Williams Christmas Album that year. The lyrics are happy and cheerful but do not mention the true meaning of Christmas. Is this song celebrating the time of year without knowing or caring why?

Christmas really is a happy time of year. Christmas time has a personality all its own—whether or not people acknowledge the birth of Jesus. There are so many things to look forward to at Christmas, e.g. family and friends, gifts, parties, traditional foods and yummy treats, just to name a few. But how empty it is without the reason for the season.

For some, Christmas time is not ...

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December 1, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

It seems like we move straight from Halloween to Black Friday to Christmas. Little mention is made of Thanksgiving other than it is the precursor to Black Friday. Some call this holiday shopping frenzy “retail therapy” because shopping and buying things elevates the mood and makes us feel better. Merchants love retail therapy because for them it’s all about the money. Many merchants (as well as churches) depend on yearend sales (or giving) to finish the fiscal year in the black

Retail therapy and buying stuff (most of which we don’t need) cannot fill the hollow place in our hearts. Our hearts were made for God and nothing and no one else can fill the void. As Saint Augustine of Hippo wrote, “You have made us ...

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December 1, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

Don’t you long for public figures: politicians, Hollywood stars, athletes, and others to repent, come clean, and openly confess their sin? I long for a public figure who’s guilty of a sin to say, “Yes, I did that. I’m so sorry. Will you forgive me? I don’t ever want to do that again.” I think I’d pass out if I ever heard one of the powerful say that. What prevents them and us from doing that? The number one reason is pride. Our pride refuses to come clean. That’s not all. Fear is right up there as a reason for not publicly confessing sin. We fear the consequences if we admit to what we’ve done.

Those reasons and others are described in Genesis 3 in the Bible. After Adam and Eve ...

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December 1, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

If you’re under 40 you probably are familiar with the acronym FOMO. It’s the abbreviation for Fear Of Missing Out. It’s such a compelling fear that millennials and generation Zers stay glued to their cell phones, checking their social media accounts lest they miss out on something important in their social sphere. Americans aren’t the only ones afflicted with FOMO. When Elsie and I were in England for a wedding, British radio calls those with FOMO, “cell phone zombies.” These are young people so busy checking their social media accounts for new information that they are oblivious to their surroundings and walk into other people, light poles, even traffic. Some have died.

What’s the driving force ...

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November 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

Another term for stress is pressure. It’s the pressure we feel when we have too much to do and too little time in which to do it. It’s the pressure of expectations to fulfill, deadlines to meet, budgets to balance. Usually pressure is directly tied to time. Time pressure causes stress. Pressure can also result from a toxic relationship, a relationship in which we walk around on eggshells never knowing what will trigger the anger of another. Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley write profoundly about stress in their premarital text, “Ready to Wed” (2015, Focus on the Family). Before I write about how to deal with stress and actually grow stronger through it, let me list all the unhealthy ways couples deal with marital stress ...

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November 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

In September of 1620, 102 pilgrims embarked from England aboard the Mayflower. Their intent was to establish a settlement in the Hudson River area of the recently established Virginia Colony. After a sixty-six-day journey they made landfall approximately 150 miles north of their target at the eastern tip of Cape Cod in present-day Massachusetts. They explored the area for about a month and then sailed further west to the mainland at present-day Plymouth. It was here that they decided to establish a new homeland. The pilgrims were puritans and were not in agreement with King James I and the Anglican Church of England. They were not free to worship God according to their puritan faith.1

William Bradford was a prominent member of the pilgrim ...

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November 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

As you watched one of the ubiquitous car commercials on television or your tablet you probably heard in the background the chorus of One Republic’s hit song, “Can I Get a Connection?” It’s pretty catchy though a bit repetitious, “Can I get a connection? Can I get, can I get a connection? Can I get a connection? Can I get, can I get a connection?” What does the song writer want? He wants to connect with somebody in a meaningful relationship. Read the first stanza of the song and you’ll sense the desperation behind the words of the chorus:

These days my waves get lost in the oceans
Seven billion swimmers, man I'm going through the motions
Sent up a flare, I need love and devotion
Traded for ...
...

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November 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

Jubilee Community Church in Minneapolis will be hosting Friday Night Fight, an event with a focus on men’s sexual purity. Dr. Irv Woolf, Director of Hopewell Counseling, will be the guest speaker. The event will take place on Friday evening, November 30, 2018 at 6:30 pm. Irv's message is titled The Battle For Purity. The evening will begin with a meal. There is a suggested donation of $7.00 to cover the cost of the meal; however, please attend even if you can’t afford the $7.00.

The deadline to confirm that you’d like to attend is Thursday, November 29. Please call Frank Schmidt at Jubilee Community Church 715-937-0064 by noon so an accurate count can be obtained for ordering food. You can also RSVP to ...

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October 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

Couples usually come for counseling with a surface presenting problem. It could be an affair, addiction, abuse, anger, parenting concerns, integrity issues, or basic communication problems. We use assessments to identify surface areas of conflict as well as deeper personality issues. The surface issues can be challenging. to be sure, because old habits are hard to change, but the personality issues are by far most difficult and resistant to change.

In marriage counseling, one and sometimes both have narcissistic tendencies or even narcissistic personalities. Marriages where both husband and wife are narcissists usually do not survive. When one person is a narcissistic there is a “dance” or style of relating to each other that ...

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October 1, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

Introduction

Young men are driven to conquer: school, the woman, business, a sport or task. Some men even conquer their food when they eat! Young men want to conquer. Why? To conquer is to succeed but somewhere along the way young men grow older and come to realize that significance means more than success. Let me explain.

I would contend that young men and women are striving for SUCCESS but as they get older their striving for success turns to searching for SIGNIFICANCE (men) and searching for SECURITY (women).

Men, Success, and Significance

Definition of Success (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) is obtaining "a favorable or desired outcome." In our world success is measured by the Big 3: FAME, POWER, WEALTH. There is a ...

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