Showing posts from December, 2016

Our Greatest Epidemic

It’s not heart disease, cancer or diabetes. By 2020 our greatest epidemic will be depression. Neuropsychologist Dr. Michelle Bengston says the number suffering from depression will be greater than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined.
Why such an increase?
Medical researchers don’t know. It’s far easier to see the connection between diet and diabetes or exercise and heart disease.
Perhaps depression is increasing because of our comparison complex. Can Facebook take some blame for our nation’s depression?

There is a dark side to social media. Beth Moore said, “Our social media world is training us up for our greatest complex. We think not only do we need to be great, we need others to know it.”
When did we make the mistake that thinking good is not good enough?
Facebook reminds us of who we wish we could be. Comparison envy.

Solomon, the wisest man in the world, said: A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.  Proverbs 14:30
Solomon’s opulent lifestyle would…

Santa Fantasy

The whole Santa thing started before I could walk or talk. My parents felt that a little storybook make-believe at Christmas just made the season even more special.

It didn’t take long for my young self to get acquainted with the big jolly guy in the red suit. You won't find any pictures of me crying on his lap. I must have connected the dots that this guy made things go well on Christmas morning.

Santa and I seemed to develop a friendly rapport. It didn’t matter that there was a dreadfully long line to see him every year. I could whisper my wishes with confidence and he’d ALWAYS remember.

The specialness lasted but a few years and then like all good storybooks, the ending comes. When I asked my parents, they gave me the honest truth about Santa and his magic elves.
While the magic had been fun for my childhood fantasies, something quickly replaced it that was far better. 

I learned what the gift of Jesus meant. Rather than a make-believe Santa who kept track of my naughty days, I had …

Remembering Christmas

Hannah carefully brought out the boxes that she’d stowed away only eleven months ago. But it seemed much longer. Gene had slid further into his own world. 
She had watched it as if little pieces of their lives disappeared a week at a time. Yes, it had been a very long eleven months.

Gene sat in the recliner staring out the window as he did for hours at a time. She gingerly unwrapped the decades-old glass ornaments and placed them carefully on each branch. All that could be heard was the crinkling of tissue paper.

Hannah found the Christmas music in another box, and soon the small living room was bathed in twinkling lights and the sound of soft carols. Gene continued to stare out the window. What was he thinking?
After Hannah put the boxes away, she returned to find Gene standing before the tree. He lightly touched the ornaments, one by one. Almost as if he remembered….
Then he turned to Hannah and spoke the first real words he’d said aloud in months, “It’s Christmas, it’s Christmas.”

“Yes, …

Quiet Miracle Workers

Long ago, back when Christmas brought wide-eyed wonder, Mom read me a story about Christmas miracles. 
Throughout the colorful pages, unexpected goodness came to those who needed it most. The vibrant illustrations showed empty cupboards and lonely faces. 
Holiday decorations were absent in the bleak homes. How could anyone have Christmas like that, my young mind wondered.

But then came the quiet miracle workers—as the pages turned I could see how others prepared good food and made gifts to deliver to unsuspecting people’s homes. 

A knock on the door and they quickly ran away. 

On the next page, a weary woman opened the door and saw a basket brimming with ham, eggs, bread, cheese, apples, and candy. Next to it a wooden crate held boxes tied with ribbons—gifts for them all.

As the page turned again, another knock on a door and this time an elderly man answered. A group of smiling faces sang a carol. They offered cookies and cheer, and the forlorn man had one less evening to be alone.

The stor…