Turn on the TV or open a paper and the financial news can be unsettling. “A recession is coming!” says one expert.  “No recession,” argues another.   “Save more, spend less, just in case!” cautions a third.  And with all the conflicting reports, our joy level sinks lower and lower. But does financial security equal personal joy? Does our economic status serve as an accurate barometer of our happiness level? In a classic study psychologists determined that recent winners of the Illinois State Lottery were no happier than recent accident victims who were consequently disabled. The two groups were asked to … Read More

I don’t care how tough you are. You may be a Navy Seal who specializes in high altitude skydiving behind enemy lines. You might spend each day making million-dollar, split-second stock market decisions. Doesn’t matter. Every parent melts the moment he or she feels the full force of parenthood. The semi truck of parenting comes loaded with fears. We fear failing the child, forgetting the child. Will we have enough money? Enough answers? Enough diapers? Vaccinations. Education. Homework. Homecoming. It’s enough to keep a parent awake at night. Fear distilleries concoct a high-octane brew for parents, a primal, gut-wrenching, pulse-stilling … Read More

More bad news. Killings in El Paso. Shootings in Ohio. All this on the heels of a violent weekend last week. All this violence adding up to too many mass shootings in just 216 days. Is our society coming unraveled? How are we to respond to this dark season of bloodshed? Anger is the choice of many. Anger at politicians. Anger at the NRA. Anger at God. We become bitter and sour toward this world; toward one another. Fear is another option. Lock the doors and close the windows. Avoid every shadow and dark alley. Yet, do we want to … Read More

You drive a hybrid; he chugs around in a gas guzzling, air-polluting truck. You vote red and she likes donkeys. You love your husband and she lives with her wife. You and your “opposite you.” “Opposite yous” can drain your joy tank. There is a tension, an awkwardness. Anger, low-grade or high flame, can flare. Inability to manage the relationship can lead to isolation, prejudice, and bigotry. What if your “opposite you” is your boss? Your next-door neighbor? Your coworker? What if your “opposite you” is your parent or child? How do we respond? Ignore them? Share a meal with … Read More

Happiness happens when we give it away. Be the family member who offers to wash the dishes after dinner. Be the colleague who serves the staff by arriving on time for each meeting and listening attentively. Be the church member who supports the pastor with prayer and notes of encouragement. Be the neighbor who mows the grass of the elderly couple.  Can you imagine the joy-giving benefits of these decisions? Contrast the situation of Moe and Joe. Moe expects everyone to serve him. The moment he awakens he thinks, Is someone going to bring me coffee? He leaves the house … Read More

“One of my favorite people in the world is Bob Russell. After serving the Southeast Christian Church in Louisville Kentucky for 40 years, he continues to minister to people around the world with his unending encouragement and wisdom.He recently posted an article about China, reminding us to pray for that wonderful country. With his permission I am re-posting it here.” Pray for the Persecuted Church in China Written on March 31, 2019 by Bob Russell Thirteen years ago I visited Beijing, China with eleven other Christian leaders from across America. Our purpose was to petition the Chinese government to curtail … Read More

Never lose hope? Never be fainthearted? Never feel overwhelmed? Never get sucked into the sewer of despair? For our friends and neighbors in the flooding Midwest that is a tall order. Can you imagine in your own life when no day is lost to anguish? No decision is driven by fear?  This is God’s will for you and me. He wants us to “abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NKJV). Abound. What an extraordinary verb to use with “hope.” For about half an hour last week, the sky became a waterfall. I had to pull … Read More

Max Lucado, Christian Author

(Note from Max: Last month on December 13, 2018, I participated in the GC2 Summit on Responding to Sexual Harassment held at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. What follows is an adapted version of my comments). My name is on the list of grateful participants in today’s conference. I, too, am a survivor. I was sexually abused by a member of our community when I was 12-years of age. Being here, reminds me of the great healing the Lord has done in my soul. Listening to the presentations today has alerted me to the occasions in which I have underestimated … Read More

Max Lucado, Christian Author

We banter the word “hope” about carelessly. We hope the Red Sox will win the world series. We hope the store will stay open late. But the hope of Christmas is a greater hope. The message of Christmas is simply this: a good God is up to good things in our world. It often feels impossible to remember in the chaos of our world. Christ came! 
In spite of sin and scandal, Christ came.
 In spite of racism and sexism, Christ came. Though the people forgot God, Christ came. 
In spite of hopelessness, Christ came. In spite of, and out of, … Read More

Max Lucado, Christian Author

The widest river in the world is not the Mississippi, Amazon, or Nile. The widest river on earth is a body of water called If Only. Throngs of people stand on its banks and cast longing eyes over the waters. They long to cross but can’t seem to find the ferry. They are convinced the If Only River separates them from the good life. If only I were thinner, I’d have the good life. If only I were richer, I’d have the good life. If only the kids would come. If only the kids were gone. If only I could … Read More