The Day after Christmas Blues (The Cause; The Cure)

While Christmas is the “Hap, hap, happiest day of the year,” the days after Christmas can be real downers.  Even if your Christmas was picture perfect — and few are— the day after is a harsh reality check.  It’s that emptiness under the tree, the piles of paper and boxes, the sink full of dirty dishes and the clutter of toys.

Since Christmas fell on a Tuesday this year,  many will awake to the jarring sound of the alarm and the reality of getting to work on time after all that holiday celebrating.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we simply could keep that Christmas spirit going for a few more days, a few more weeks.  Better still, throughout the year?   Continue reading “The Day after Christmas Blues (The Cause; The Cure)”

An Attitude of Gratitude

Although Thanksgiving Day dates back to the Pilgrims, it didn’t become a national holiday until 1863 when America was in the midst of a bloody Civil War.  Abraham Lincoln thought it might help to unify the country and it has been celebrated annually ever since.

An attitude of gratitude can do much to heal the country, but it also can heal the hurts that one inevitably suffers in this life and can make us healthier, happier and more successful.  These are scientifically proven facts.

Most of you are familiar with the song “Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)” from the 1954 movie classic “White Christmas.”  It begins,

“When, I’m worried and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep and I fall asleep counting my blessings.”

These are not simply pretty lyrics.  A 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being found that spending just 15 minutes jotting down grateful sentiments before bed, helps one sleep better and longer.  Better sleeps leads to better overall health and well being and more productivity.   Continue reading “An Attitude of Gratitude”

Thanksgiving 2017: Where is God?

These last few months have been filled with a series of tragedies too horrible to have been imagined: hurricanes, one after another, brought death and devastation in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.  Nature’s wrath was accompanied by man-made tragedies in Las Vegas and Sutherland, Texas.  The loss of life and property brought pain and suffering that will continue for years to come and, for some, may never be overcome.

This Thanksgiving will be celebrated by many in shelters or bleak circumstances without running water or electricity.  For others there will be empty spots around the table.  Some may not feel like giving thanks at all and may be asking, “Where is God?” Continue reading “Thanksgiving 2017: Where is God?”

We Need the Peace of Christmas (But It Is Conditional)

We have entered Christmas week, the most joyous holiday of the year as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, the one who is called the “Prince of Peace.”

The trees have been trimmed.  Cards have been sent. Presents are being bought and wrapped and familiar carols are being sung like “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

And mild and sweet their songs repeat

of peace on earth good will to men.

Peace is something we all want — freedom from worry, a quiet and calm state of mind, agreement and harmony among people.  It’s a word that has become synonymous with Christmastime. Continue reading “We Need the Peace of Christmas (But It Is Conditional)”

Why Christmas Matters

Last week, I went into the Gap to buy a gift card for a young friend of ours.  I asked for one that said “Merry Christmas” and the clerk said, “Oh, you won’t find anything like that in here.”  I was stunned.  Then I remembered an email I received from the American Family Association on its “Naughty or Nice” list listing retailers who were friendly or openly hostile to this annual opportunity to celebrate the birth of Christ.

I made a mental note to go back and check that “Naughty or Nice” list  as I thanked the clerk, but told here that I would go elsewhere.

Why would any company that does business in the United States go out of its way to insult 90 percent of the population?  Could it be that we are so busy “celebrating” that we have forgotten the reason for the season or that we no longer care?   Continue reading “Why Christmas Matters”

The Easter Battle

My soul was troubled as I entered the sanctuary last Sunday.  My country has turned its back on Israel.  Our president is working on a deal that will leave Iran just two weeks from having the deadliest weapon the world has ever known.  Meanwhile, that pariah nation is carving up the Middle East, along with other Islamic extremists while we do virtually nothing.  A regional war  seems inevitable, a war that could turn into WWIII.

It was if our pastor had read my mind.  His sermon was on war, more specifically, the most important battle ever fought.  It help me get things back into their proper perspective.

This battle was not between soldiers of opposing armies.  It occurred in a garden outside of Jerusalem.  It was a battle from within. Continue reading “The Easter Battle”

How to be Thankful when Your World is falling apart

The world appears to be spinning out of control.  This once great country of ours is no longer trusted.  We are in debt up to our eyeballs.  Our friends cannot count on us.   In fact, we often bully them.

Our president has become a source of ridicule.  Russian President Vladimir Putin taunts him.  Terrorists execute our citizens and dare him to do something about it.

Closer to home, we call right, “wrong” and wrong, “right.”  Marriage is denigrated.  Having children out of wedlock is rewarded.  Personal responsibility is out.  Government benefits are in. Continue reading “How to be Thankful when Your World is falling apart”