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Free to Live What I Believe?

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This article is quite a bit different from the posts I normally write.  I usually blog about marriage, leadership, family issues, or personal growth; current events commentary isn’t exactly my gig.  But when I started the blog, I mentioned that I would also talk about “life challenges”.  And this post addresses something that is a personal challenge for me.  As a husband, dad, and pastor, I’ve grown increasingly concerned by our government’s tendency to punish those who live by traditional views of gender and sexuality.  And when I read Target’s recent statement about bathroom usage, I decided it was time to address the issue on the blog.  This post represents my opinion, and I have tried diligently to keep the ideas and wording thoughtful, balanced, and graciously stated.

Religious freedom is a big issue right now. Watchdog groups on both sides of the issue spend tireless hours trying to make sure their side of the debate is protected. Those who feel that religion has no place in public discourse or the “secular” world have, for instance, fought hard to remove the Ten Commandments from government related spaces, even if the display in question is considered a piece of artwork or a historical monument. They continually pursue the idea that public schools and universities should be religion-free zones, and one by one, any remaining vestiges of faith-based life have been pulled from the education system. They suggest removal of the reference to God in the Pledge of Allegiance, the motto “In God We Trust” on American coinage, and the phrase “so help me, God” in many public oaths. On the far opposite side, I sometimes meet individuals who feel strongly that religion–their religion–should be embedded in the government’s gear work. I recently read a post on social media from an individual who insisted that it was time for our government to start “legislating from the Bible.”

I suggest that it’s important for all of us to take a balanced and pragmatic look at the issue before we go too far in either direction. Read More

How to Reduce the Drama in Your Life

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Most of us hate drama.  We have enough stress as it is—we don’t need extra, unnecessary craziness.  Yet drama follows us every where we go.  It’s the gossip your neighbor or co-worker is dying to share with you.

It’s the headline in the newspaper that proclaims the end of the world is a few short years away.  It’s the social media post that was written with the intent of being personally inflammatory—to you.  It’s the aggravating thing your spouse did that started the fight that neither of you wanted to have.  It’s the thing your in-laws do that always makes you wonder what they really think of you.

It’s attitudes, facial expressions, incendiary statements, unsolicited opinions, obvious-but-unstated elephant-in-the-room realities, causes, and the people that become absorbed by them.

If you’re like me, you want a way to click the minimize button on drama in your life.  Who needs artificially inflated problems?  Here are three powerful strategies to deflate the drama in your life and make your stress more manageable.

Three powerful strategies to deflate the drama in your life: Click To Tweet Read More