A Resolution You Can Keep

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I would like to suggest a New Year’s resolution that will not cost any money, take any time, nor require a gym membership. But this resolution is guaranteed to improve your life as well as the lives of those around you.

I suggest your resolve to express more love, admiration and appreciation.

It goes without saying that we each need to hear and know that we are valued, that our husbands or wives see and appreciate what we do on their behalf. ...

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Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men

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When angels heralded the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ, they praised God and said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14) That phrase has been repeated millions of times over the past 2000 years, often sung in our favorite Christmas songs.

Perhaps the best known recital of that phrase is in the song, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. That familiar song began as a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ...

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‘Tis the Season to Be Jolly

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Since 1988, when I first began counseling couples, families and individuals, I have noticed an interesting holiday phenomenon: people often call for appointments, desperate for help dealing with the stress and distress associated with “the most wonderful time of the year”. But I also saw that most of these emergency appointments would not be kept; clients apologized and explained that they were “just too stressed out” to make it to the office.

Research and your own observations make it clear that ...

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It Really Is “A Wonderful Life”

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Nary has a Christmas season gone by without watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”, the classic film in which Jimmy Stewart plays a normal, struggling guy who learns the value of his life by seeing what the world would be without him. I know of no other movie that so deftly sends the message of the season. But it is probably my favorite overall move of all time.

Perhaps my love for the film results, in part, from the times and ways ...

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‘Careful, Your Prejudice is Showing

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There is much discussion in this country right now on the topic of racial prejudice. Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri have pushed it to the forefront of national media and local minds alike.

But what is prejudice? “Prejudice is prejudgment, or forming an opinion before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case. The word is often used to refer to preconceived, usually unfavorable, judgments toward people or a person because of gender, political opinion, social class, age, disability, religion, ...

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Life is Precious

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I have to say that I was very surprised to see the strong response to my last column. Clearly I offended Steve Oakey with some of my statements on the topic of suicide. I like Steve, and agree that there is great value in public debate of important topics. And no topic could be more important than the sanctity of human life.

But I very much regret that Steve misunderstood me to suggest that his comments somehow related to or caused ...

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To Be, or Not to Be? Here Is the Answer.

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As I drove home from the office Saturday I picked up the Standard Journal (Nov 5) and was saddened to see the cover story about the young boy who took his own life, and his mother’s efforts to find some meaning in the loss and to protect others from a similar fate. So it seemed particularly ironic to see a feature letter to the editor in defense of doctor-assisted suicide.

In the span of those few pages one person sought to ...

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Take the Challenge!

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“Ice Bucket Challenge” fever swept the nation this year. Time magazine reports that Americans donated 115 million dollars to the ALS foundation to fight a disease most had never really thought about before.

So why the big response? It seems we want, even need, to be challenged. The need for challenge—taking on tasks that stretch our abilities—is very real in all of us. I gained a greater appreciation for this fact when our youngest son was nine months old.

Tyler wanted to ...

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Sometimes You Gotta Take a Break

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I am writing this week’s column from exotic Richfield, Utah where Ruth and I have spent a couple of days with Trevor and Miranda—our oldest son and his wife—and their 3.4 kids. (Child number 4 is due in April.) We brought our six-year old granddaughter, Emma, as a surprise guest for her cousin, Allie’s, sixth birthday celebration.

Other than the “fallout” from car sickness everything has gone well so far. (Maybe fast food and seven hours of Angry Birds and educational ...

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The Paradox of Protection

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Working closely with young gang members in Southern California helped me to better understand the drive many feel to “get even”. Revenge seems to offer protection from being hurt, something we all desire.

A young lady recently told me, “Nice people get walked on. If I come off as mean and insincere people won’t take advantage of me.” How sad that many kind-hearted people harden their hearts as a means of protecting themselves from potential pain, only to find that this ...

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