July 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

Whenever we go through difficulties and times of crisis, the mental task we must face is to make some kind of sense of what is happening to us. The human brain struggles with things that we cannot comprehend. I often refer to this mental phenomenon as “trying to make sense out of something that does not make sense.” We eagerly and often desperately seek out information from multiple people and sources. We seek out people to talk to. We read everything we can find on the subject. We turn to multiple media sources. We look to the “experts.” We look for something familiar that we have experienced or someone we know who has gone through something similar. We might even look up Bible verses. We look for a hero in all the ...

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July 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

You’ve heard it said on television news or on one of the online news feeds, the “new normal.” What is meant by new normal is that because of the COVID19 pandemic, the way life is now is the way it will be in the future and there is no going back to the way things were. What’s wrong with that thinking? A lot. For one, no one but God knows the future. We don’t know if this is the new normal. We can speculate but we just don’t know and it’s premature and irresponsible to broadcast such prognostication. So, we need to admit we don’t know the future but we do know the past. We can learn valuable lessons if we will study the past.

Studying the past led me to research the “Spanish Flu” ...

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July 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

In last month's newsletter (June 2020), Elsie's article (below) was inadvertently left out of the first edition. For those of you who missed this excellent article, here it is in its entirety.

 

We have all seen examples of good leaders and bad leaders. We can typically determine quickly with which kind we are dealing. People who are in leadership positions may or may not be qualified for their position of power and influence. In fact, for some, they are mostly motivated by power and position rather than a sincere desire to serve the people under their leadership. Leadership is about serving others as opposed to being served. Though God instructs us to honor and respect our duly elected or appointment leaders, righteous ...

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July 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

You’ve probably experienced it. The person to whom you’re speaking won’t stop talking. They drone on and on and you can’t get a word in edgewise. Perhaps you’ve been in a meeting in which one person dominates the conversation and no one else can express their opinion. It’s called “overtalking.” My dad used to use a disgusting, yet descriptive, phrase for overtalkers. He said they had, “diarrhea of the mouth.” Yuck, but we all understand what he meant by that.

The Bible addresses the issue of overtalking. Listen to Proverbs 10:19, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable” (NASV). Another version renders it, “In a multitude of words, sin is not ...

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June 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

We have all seen examples of good leaders and bad leaders. We can typically determine quickly with which kind we are dealing. People who are in leadership positions may or may not be qualified for their position of power and influence. In fact, for some, they are mostly motivated by power and position rather than a sincere desire to serve the people under their leadership. Leadership is about serving others as opposed to being served. Though God instructs us to honor and respect our duly elected or appointment leaders, righteous leadership is actually a humble position of service. We sometimes hear a leader say, “I am humbled by…….” but that is a misuse of the word humble. What they should say is “I am ...

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June 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

Why are we here? For what reason are we alive? Why are we on planet earth for 80+ years? Some might say to live a long life. Here’s what the Bible says about long life. “Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years’ “(Genesis 6:3). Remember this statement was spoken by God pre-flood when men lived significantly longer. Nowadays if we live a long life it’s between 80 and 100 years. Abraham died at 175 and he died at a “ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life” (Genesis 25:8). The reality is “our times are in His hands.” We can take all the safety precautions we choose ...

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June 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

In June 1996 for five consecutive nights over 70,000 people/night packed into the Metrodome in Minneapolis to hear the Reverend Billy Graham. Each night an additional 25,000 people watched on jumbotrons in the Metrodome parking lot! As a pastor, I was selected to be one of several supervisors of the counseling team and was trained weeks in advance of the crusade. My job at the Billy Graham Crusade was to match all who came forward at Dr. Graham’s invitation with a counselor. I was given materials, the two most important being a blue paddle and a pink paddle. The blue paddle was to alert the counselors that a male counselor was needed and the pink paddle a female counselor. When the invitation was given supervisors and counselors stood...

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June 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

You’ve probably heard the old joke, “How many counselors does it take to change a light bulb?” The answer is only one but the light bulb has got to really want to change. True for light bulbs and true for clients in counseling. If a client does not want to change it doesn’t matter how many counselors they see they will still stay stuck in their same destructive patterns. Counselors cannot change anybody! Let me say that again, counselors cannot change anybody! Change only comes through God and the client. Counselors can counsel, advise, strategize, teach, encourage, pray for, and admonish clients but they cannot change them.

So how do clients change? Change starts when the light bulb goes on (no pun intended) for ...

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May 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

As we enter the month of May, we continue under the stay-at-home directives of the governor because of the COVID19 pandemic. As I write, restaurants and numerous businesses are still closed, social distancing is still in effect, and online education has been extended for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year. Graduations and weddings have been cancelled, postponed, or will be conducted online. Valiant efforts are being made to restart the economy, but it will take time. Health and safety issues are the ultimate priority. Suddenly certain priorities come to the forefront and others fade. Many things have become harder and more challenging, but others have become clearer and less complicated.

If I think about what was normal last Spring, or ...

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May 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

If you’re like me you want to know what those four phrases are so you can begin using them. If they’re that important you need to know them, right? As you might suspect, they are four phrases which come from the pages of the Bible. God uses them with us and wants us to use them with others. All four phrases are found in the first 11 verses of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Here they are:
 
1. “I Greet You”—Philippians 1:1, 2
Paul and his disciple, Timothy, greet the saints in the church at Philippi. Instead of “I greet you” we might say, “Hello!” or “Hi there!” Why is greeting others so important? Because everyone, regardless of age, race, or ...

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