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Settling up: A New Year’s tradition

I lived on a farm in southwestern Minnesota where New Year’s Day was special. My mother would make the dough for New Year’s Cookies. (“Porzelkie” is a Prussian word which means “tumbling over” because they turn over by themselves when dropped into the hot fat.) These doughy, delicious raisin fritters all doused with sugar, were…

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10 Tips for Setting New Year’s Resolutions

You’ve survived the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and are settling into a new year. You’ve made those New Year’s resolutions to lose the extra pounds, eat healthy, exercise every day, get organized, learn a new hobby, and save more and spend less. But by the time February rolls around, you’re telling yourself…

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Pornography: Is It Addictive?

“My husband lies. I can’t deal with it anymore. I feel like he’s cheating on me.” “I promise to stop viewing and do so for awhile, but then I go back to it.” “I don’t even enjoy it anymore, but I find myself viewing in between working on projects.” For many of us, the term…

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God’s Gift; Our Gift

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 I have commented in the past that there are about 10 scripture passages that are my favorites—and John’s gospel, chapter 1, is certainly one of…

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How Big Is the Table?

I write this blog the week before Thanksgiving. There is absolutely no missing how important this holiday is to consumers in the USA. Television ads are now in full mode of shopping because, after all, Christmas is coming. Shop! Shop! Shop! Two weeks ago, a local store was already pushing Thanksgiving décor out of the…

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Obstacles to Healing

Text: Luke 10:25-37 Often when I re-visit a familiar biblical story, something new emerges. Sometimes that new thing is a simple truth, other times it’s a detail that I simply overlooked as if it wasn’t important. This happened when I re-read the story that Jesus told to explain to a lawyer exactly what a “neighbor”…

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Skills for Making Life Less Difficult

Dialectical Behavior Therapy – what in the world is that? DBT, as we call it, is a cognitive behavioral therapy developed by psychologist Dr. Marsha Linehan in the late 1980s. Originally designed to treat people who struggle with chronic thoughts of suicide and self-harm, it has now become the premier evidenced-based treatment for addressing these…

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Guilt & Shame: How you can break through the toxicity and find freedom

I have the privilege of working in a treatment center with young people who have mental illness and to hear their stories. Many of them have a history of traumatic experiences or other difficult situations that cause them to doubt themselves or others. Most of these young people have parents or guardians in their lives…

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Don’t Be Afraid

When our family lived in Kansas City, my mother once asked me, “Aren’t you afraid?” Her farm seemed so different than our busy inner-city street. “It’s just so noisy. How can you sleep?” And I had to think in my mind, “How do you sleep, Mother, in the absolute silence of a star-lit country night?”…

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Honoring Hoarding Disorder

It wasn’t a fire, actually. The newspapers, stacked tightly, had been shoved against a floor furnace. They didn’t burn; they smoldered. Cause of death: smoke inhalation. This shouldn’t have happened. Friends and family had loved the dear woman who suffered. Many knew of her hoarding but didn’t know what to say or how to help.…

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