The Burden of Anxiety, Pt. 2

The Burden of Anxiety, Pt. 2

Anxiety fundamentally has to do with security and control. When anxious, we take on the responsibility for caring for ourselves, whether through seeking to secure the future or providing ourselves with a distraction from anxiety. But when Jesus announces the gospel, he also announces that the final responsibility for caring for ourselves is not ours. We no longer need to be the masters of our own destiny. Instead, we are free to seek the kingdom of God, leaving both our final destiny and our daily provisions to our Father (Luke 12:31-32). In short, Jesus invites us to live in the reality that we need not be anxious because our lives are ultimately in his good hands.

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The Burden of Anxiety

The Burden of Anxiety

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are amongst the most common mental health problems in the Unites States, with about 1 in 5 adults experiencing an anxiety disorder during a 12-month period. But I think the problem with anxiety runs deeper than that. When we look at certain addictive activities and substances prevalent in the United States, it is striking to note how they relate to anxiety. As opioid use and dependence skyrockets in the US, I cannot help but notice that opioids calm and relax people. Marijuana, another drug that calms and relaxes people, is increasingly accepted within our culture and utilized recreationally. Speak with almost anyone in the church and they will tell you that pornography use is epidemic and once again, sex allows for a release of tension and relaxation.

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What Can Adam and Eve Teach Us About Addictions?

What Can Adam and Eve Teach Us About Addictions?

In the Garden of Eden, immediately after eating the fruit of the knowledge of the tree of good and evil, Adam and Eve find themselves naked and ashamed (Gen. 3:7). They respond to their shame and nakedness by making a covering of fig leaves for themselves (Gen. 3:7), hiding from God (Gen. 3:8), and when confronted by God, blaming someone else for their sin (Gen. 3:9-13). These verses highlight some of the dynamics operating in those struggling with addictions, whether with substances or in other areas such as pornography and gambling.

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Science and Faith: Friend or Foe?

Science and Faith: Friend or Foe?

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?” Psalm 8: 3-4

The historic solar eclipse of August 21 was visible in all 50 states and a total eclipse was seen across the entire continent for the first time in 99 years. It is believed to be the most observed and photographed eclipse of all time, with tens of millions of people re-orienting their lives and schedules to participate in watching the event. During totality, it is possible to see the sun’s outer solar atmosphere (the corona and chromosphere), which makes solar flares (a sudden flash of brightness near the sun’s surface powered by a sudden release of magnetic energy) observable. What I did not know until I read Dr. Michael Guillen’s newest book, The Null Prophecy, is that space weather, particularly solar super storms, can hit and impact the earth. Solar flares are often accompanied by coronal mass ejections, when clouds of electrons, ions and atoms are ejected through the corona of the sun into space. These are huge explosions of plasma and the sun’s magnetic field that can travel almost at the speed of light, reach the earth in as little as 14 hours, and fill half of the volume of space between earth and the sun on their way.  A CME hitting the earth causes huge geomagnetic storms and disrupts telecommunications and technology grids.

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From Slavery to Sonship: Coming Home (The Father Heart of God, Part 3)

From Slavery to Sonship: Coming Home (The Father Heart of God, Part 3)

“My son (translates “beloved”), the father said, you are always with me and everything I have is yours.” Luke 15:31

When we accept Jesus as Savior, our status as spiritual orphans and slaves to sin immediately changes. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians tells us that we have been chosen by God, the Father, to be adopted as sons through Jesus (1:4) and that our inheritance as sons and daughters is completely guaranteed (1:14). We are actually invited into the very same relationship Jesus shares with His Father with all its benefits! But does this knowledge really impact how we live and experience each day beyond our attempts to “just be good Christians”?  While we may intellectually agree with this statement, our ability to live like we believe it is the challenge we face for the rest of our lives. This is the heartbeat of sanctification: the divine exchange of growing more and more secure in the love of the Father as his children, and as a result, becoming more and more like Christ in our hearts and minds and the way we live our lives.

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Returning Home (The Father Heart of God, Part 2)

Returning Home (The Father Heart of God, Part 2)

Rembrandt’s painting, The Return of the Prodigal, is considered by some art historians to be the greatest picture ever painted. The artist lived a life of excess and great tragedy coupled with a deep faith and knowledge of the scriptures. His many paintings taken from scripture reflect his empathy for the human condition and sense of spiritual understanding and insight into the pain of our fallen humanity. His first wife, Saskia, bore four children during their brief eight years of marriage. The first three died within weeks of their birth, and only 8 months after their son, Titus, was born, Saskia succumbed to tuberculosis and passed away. Rembrandt had a daughter some years later by his then common law wife, who was banned from the church “for committing acts of a whore with Rembrandt, the painter.” He did not marry her to avoid losing the assets of a trust established by his late wife. Despite his tremendous financial success as an artist and his wife’s inheritance, Rembrandt out spent his earnings and eventually had to sell his home and substantial collections to avoid bankruptcy. He ultimately died a pauper, and was buried in an unknown grave where his remains were later removed and destroyed, according to the custom of the time.

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The Father Heart of God

The Father Heart of God

Preparing the recent Lifeline article on bereavement set the stage for me to approach Lent from a slightly different perspective this year. I have more often focused on the suffering of Jesus during Lent than what the experience of our Father God must have been like. Most people would agree that the loss of a child is likely the most painful event we endure in this life. As heartbreaking as the loss of a parent or even a sibling may be, none of us believe we should outlive our children. When we see our children suffer, we would much rather it be ourselves.

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Love Well, Grieve Well: A Conversation with a Grief Specialist

Love Well, Grieve Well:  A Conversation with a Grief Specialist

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:17-18

We grieve because we love.  Our remarkable ability to love someone intensely is turned upside down as we face loss of a person we have deeply loved.  The emotional, physical, and spiritual pain we encounter can be overwhelming and often unthinkable.  And yet, we live in a society that discounts the primal human need to grieve and mourn our loved ones. Feelings of isolation often accompany grief in our fast passed world, as family members, friends, and coworkers refocus on their own lives, work, and concerns, leaving us to feel as if we are mourning alone. Yet, it is in that place of pain and sorrow that we find the essence of life.  Knowing and understanding the basic human need to grieve and mourn gives each of us the opportunity to heal and to begin to live in a world different from before, but nonetheless, a world of hope and life.

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Hope and Healing (Meet Pringle Franklin)

Hope and Healing (Meet Pringle Franklin)

hink of February and most of us will immediately be reminded of Valentine’s Day long before we think of President’s Day or probably any other day. Valentine’s Day is another one of those holidays that tends to evoke feelings of the best of times or the worst of times, depending on the state of our closest relationships. In the creation story, the first thing that God ever said that was not good, was that man should not be alone (Genesis 2:18). We human beings are created for connection- with God and one another. Indeed, the entire story of Scripture is related to a Loving Father God who is working to restore broken relationship with us and provide a Bride for His Son, who, in turn, gives His Father children through His work on the cross. We, created by love, are both!  We are caught up in the most painfully wonderful love story ever created. And we live in these same relationships here on earth.  All of us have relationship stories that have brought us amazing joy and great pain. Fortunately, we have a loving God who has much to offer us as we navigate these relationships.

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Why Peace is Possible in Turbulent Times

Why Peace is Possible in Turbulent Times

“In this world, there will be trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” -Jesus Christ

Last year, my husband and I attended a medical mission meeting at The Billy Graham Center, The Cove, in Black Rock, North Carolina. There we had the privilege of hearing from a remarkable woman, Aileen Coleman, who has dedicated her life as a missionary in Jordan since 1956. The past 40 years of her service have been at the Annoor Sanatorium in Mafraq, where she oversees a 50 bed hospital and clinic treating chronic chest diseases, such as Tuberculosis, which are common among the Bedouin people. Because the recovery from Tuberculosis is so lengthy, many Muslim patients come to faith in Jesus Christ during their stay.

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The Healing Power of Forgiveness

The Healing Power of Forgiveness

Many years ago, Mary (not her real name) was referred to me for therapy by her family physician, who was concerned that she might suffer from agoraphobia (marked fear and avoidance of a situation that causes anxiety should an incapacitating event occur and no help or escape is available).  She was so fearful to leave her house that she had become increasingly isolated and almost home-bound. A middle-aged and otherwise healthy woman, Mary suffered from such debilitating migraine headaches that she feared if she was away from her house when a migraine hit, she would not be able to function well enough to get herself home. In taking her history, she mentioned that she was estranged from some of her family members over a dispute that had been going on for years. As Mary was a professing Christian, we spent some of the session discussing the concept of forgiveness, and how God’s command for us to forgive those who wrong us is actually for our benefit.

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'Master McKinney' Inducted to the 2017 South Carolina Business Hall of Fame

'Master McKinney' Inducted to the 2017 South Carolina Business Hall of Fame

Join us in celebrating, Patrick W. McKinney, one of Life Resources' founding board members, in being selected to the 33rd class of laureates for the 2017 South Carolina Business Hall of Fame. McKinney is one of three honorees including Emmett Davis and James M. Smith Sr., who was honored posthumously.

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Five Fingerprints of Your Identity

Five Fingerprints of Your Identity

Life Resources is very excited to announce the launch of our newest class! We will be teaching The 5 Fingerprints of Your Identity. It is our goal that by the end of the class, the participants will have a firm grasp of who they are and the incredible power of their identity.  1st Peter talks about us as being Chosen, a Royal Priesthood, a holy nation,  a people of God; belonging to God and that God’s love is not based on them, their performance, but merely the character and nature of God Himself.

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Ten Most Careless Statements Made to Grieving People

Ten Most Careless Statements Made to Grieving People

Will Rogers once said, “It’s not what you don’t know that scares me; it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Nowhere is this folk wisdom more applicable than when we try to comfort the grieving. To be sure, no one has ever taught us what to say. We generally parrot what we heard from adults when we were growing up. The difficulty is that most of our statements have some elements of truth in them. However, the message behind the message is not true and is often very hurtful.

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