The Six Proven Happiness Boosters

We have combed through all the scientific studies we could find on happiness to lift out the best of what we know works to make and maintain happiness in marriage. And we’ve settled on a half dozen happiness boosters that are sure to move the needle in your relationship. These are the six dials we … Continued

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Making Happy Together (part 2)

Easy as Pie? Ever heard of a happiness set point? It has to do with our genes. Researchers have found that 50 percent of our happiness is determined by our biology. Turns out that some brains are happier than others. We sometimes call it temperament. And we’re more or less stuck with it. If our … Continued

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Making Happy Together (part 1)

It was a beautiful day in Chicago.  On June 30, 1984 our closest friends flanked the concrete steps of our church and tossed rice in the air as we made our way to the waiting car adorned with nothing less than the obligatory “Just Married” sign hanging off the back.  We could not have been … Continued

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Transformational vs Transactional Culture

Most of our culture is built around the idea of transaction: “I will do this for you if you do this for me.” The focus of our transactional culture is self. It is rooted in the deep belief that happiness is achieved in focusing on self-good. In contrast, the focus of the “abundant life” Jesus … Continued

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Learning to be a Good Listener

Listen and Understand – Often the most loving thing to do is simply listen. Deep down, people desperately want to be understood, to know someone cares enough to pay attention. I lived for several years in Los Angeles, in an area where there are around 100,000 homeless people. I used to go for a walk … Continued

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The Secret Life – How secrets effect relationships

The Secret Life When I was in college, I was in a fraternity. For the most part, it was an amazing experience. Lots of fun. Great friends. A brotherhood with a common bond. We even accomplished several community and campus projects. One of the bonds holding the fraternity together was the initiation into membership. I’m … Continued

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Do pastors experience fear and anxiety?

Okay. It’s time for some gut wrenching transparency. I’m afraid and I’ve spent the greater part of my adult life living with fear and anxiety. Does that surprise you… especially when you realize that I’m a pastor of a great church. Where’s the faith baby? Why don’t you apply what you teach? Don’t you believe … Continued

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Love More Like Jesus

In our student ministry we recently finished our big fall event. The theme we chose for the event was #LoveLikeJesus (Hashtag Love Like Jesus). Now in all honesty we chose this theme because I knew that I would be involved in this blog, but at the same time I don’t know how I feel about … Continued

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This is the primacy of our faith

Meet Darryl I received my first Bible at the age of five, a picture Bible. I remember growing up loving the stories in Scripture, learning them, and kind of contending to the faith a little bit like Jude. I took it with somewhat of a prophetic chip on my shoulder. When I went on to seminary, … Continued

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Just say no to endorphins

Well, that might be overstating things a little, but I am concerned about a chemical dependency on endorphins to keep a relationship healthy. Endorphins are neurotransmitters, which in English means chemicals that pass signals from neuron to neuron. There are quite a few different kinds, but I am specifically referring to the feelings of euphoria … Continued

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The principals of love: loving

Love is all sorts of elements in motion. Imagine that one of your loved ones has just died. At the wake, a co-worker who doesn’t really like you comes up and says coolly and properly, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Also at the wake, your best friend walks up to you and puts her arms … Continued

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A stage set for love: pursuing love

Pursuing Love Who hasn’t heard the saying, “More is caught than taught?” In other words, you can teach me something, but if you show me something instead, I experience it along with you. To see you living it out before me somehow makes it vivid and authentic to me. Your living story seeps in around … Continued

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Dear magic of Christmas, I miss Christ

Of all the times of the year, Christmas seems to be one when I’m most tempted to convince myself and others that I can stuff more into my days than reality allows. I cram the calendar full of activities and celebrations because there are so many meaningful opportunities. After all, it seems that when you … Continued

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In the waiting: our adoption story

As the temperatures cool, a time when I pull out my boots and sweaters, and my kids plan their Halloween costumes, I’m reminded of our adoption story: a season when the Lord brought our son home. He’s five years old now, but he was in our hearts long before he grew in another woman’s belly. … Continued

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Friends and people magnets

Some people are “people magnets.” The people who are always surrounded by a plethora of people. Don’t you love that word, “plethora?” It means an overabundance. In high school I envied people magnets. They were the life of the party, the center of conversations, the talk of campus. Most often, not always, they were the … Continued

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The principals of love: serving others

The next principle of love is serving others. In John 13:1-17, Jesus washes his disciples’ feet. In explaining his actions, he says, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” He explains at another time, “For even the Son of Man did not come to … Continued

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The principals of love: introduction

Matthew 22: 34 – 40 states: “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, … Continued

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I’m not your best friend, I’m your dad

My kids are grown. They have their own families. We are enjoying a great season of life now… a richness of conversation, time and activity together that is incredibly significant. I heard a quote years ago from former president George H.W. Bush. In an interview with his wife, he was asked what was his most … Continued

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