Prepared!

You can't always prepare for difficult times. Here are some ideas to help you through when they inevitably come.

Ashes, steps, and life

Today is Valentine’s Day. I’m a little bah humbug about it – we should be showing our loved ones how special they are throughout the year, not just on one day. But it’s also Ash Wednesday for many Christians. It marks the beginning of Lent, a season of 40 days between today and Easter (there’s 46, but Sundays are “little Easters” and don’t count) during which we remember that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Sounds depressing, I know. But it’s actually one of my favorite holy days. Yes, I’m mortal. And frail. And prone to mistakes, if not outright selfishness and pride. You may disagree, but I believe we all are. It’s a problem we’re all aware of and battle in our own ways. And every

Fault lines. Or, whose fault is it?

Every day it seems I sit in front of couples absolutely convinced that the distress and discord in their relationships is the other person’s fault. It’s one of the most common problems we see in marriage therapy, and it works against every couple that employs it because it takes the couple dynamics out of relational counseling. If you are convinced you have nothing to change, and your partner has everything to change, then you will, by definition, not do your part to make your marriage – and your therapy – work. I once counseled a younger couple with a colleague, Pastor Mark Vincenti, now the Pastor of Spiritual Formation at College Park Church in Huntington, Indiana. He is a wise man, and I

Not your average Valentine

I think abolishing Valentine’s Day would be a great idea. I know. I know. It feels almost sacriligious. Would you feel better if I said I felt the same about Mother’s Day? And Father’s Day? And any other “day”? For about 2000 years, since obscure Roman events I won’t go into here, many have celebrated St. Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to (mostly) lovers and small children. What’s wrong with that? Well, for the small children, nothing really. Except, who doesn’t remember counting your Valentines to see if you got one from everyone, and being devastated if you did not? Who didn’t compare their Valentines to others, to see that another got a bigger/cuter/prettier/more elaborate one from the

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