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Lessons from Panama City

I can still remember the look of shock and disbelief in their faces. My heart sank as I listened to story after story of natural disaster and devastation. By the time we arrived, Hurricane Michael had long since receded, but its aftershocks were still felt by all who experienced its torrent. Loss had taken more than the eye could see.  When crisis hits us, things that we take for granted, like a sense of safety and control, are washed away in its wake. Recently an...

12 Ways to Increase Your Joy

I know Christians are supposed to be joyful people. And I realize that joy is a result of having the Spirit in me. . .that among all the people of the earth, Christians have the greatest reason to be full of joy. But, sometimes life steps in and robs me of the joy. I know I should feel it, but sometimes I just don’t. The question emerges: Is joy something I should just wait for? Will it just come upon me? I am not alone. There seems to be a great absence of joy in...

Guilt & Shame Are Not the Same

Finding Freedom From Both Guilt is a feeling familiar to us all. Even though we may describe it in different ways — a bothered conscience, feeling culpable for an offense, or a sense of responsibility for a regretful action — guilt is a disconcerting emotion and one often hard to shake. It can feel like a dark shadow following us around, demanding we give it our attention and making it difficult to fully focus on anything or anyone else. Guilt disturbs our peace...