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Power of Voice

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Friend, have you thought about the power of your voice?

We thought about that this week because our little guy Jackson who’s three was kind of pondering and he came out with the statement, “When I was a baby, I wanted to have a voice like mine!”

It took us a little while to figure out what he meant by that, didn’t it?

As he began to talk, we figured out that he was saying, “Now that I can talk, I make friends and I feel close to people.” And I understood what he meant.

It is so powerful, we take it for granted. But that’s exactly what we have as a gift in our own marriages—our voices to pull us together.

That’s right. Sometimes people define marriage as one long conversation, and I know why they do that.

Friend, don’t take your voice for granted. It’s the lifeblood of your relationship.

If you have a comment or question for the New Shine.FM relationship experts Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, visit the relationships experts page at Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

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Is the Church Dying?

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A well-known pastor talks tough about the current state of the church.

Outspoken pastor Mark Driscoll says Christians need have a much stronger resolve because of “darker” days, and he argues that “the church is dying.”

Driscoll is the lead pastor of Mars Hill Church based in Seattle, and is a leader in the Resurgence movement, a resource for Christian leaders in discipleship and leadership training.

Mark says, “Four years ago, Newsweek magazine proclaimed ‘The Decline and Fall of Christian America.’ Their words ring disturbingly true today.”

ChristianPost.com reports that Mark claims the church is dying and no one is noticing because we’re wasting time criticizing rather than evangelizing.

In a letter addressed “Dear Christian,” he says, “The days are darker, which means our resolve must be stronger and our convictions clearer. This is not the hour to trade in work boots for flip-flops.”

Mark points out that the latest statistics reveal that the number of Americans actually practicing evangelical Christian faith is only around seven percent to eight percent.

According to Driscoll, the need for young Bible-believing, Jesus-following leaders is desperate and dire.  He also challenges believers to stand firm in God’s grace.

He says, “Hold fast to the word. Jesus is alive. Quit licking your wounds – stand up, dust yourself off, and get to work.”

This year’s Resurgence conference will be held at Mark’s church and satellite locations in four cities.  It will include speakers such as Rick Warren, Matt Chandler, Greg Laurie, James MacDonald, and Crawford Lorritts.  You can get more information at theresurgance.com.

If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

Listen to today’s audio here.

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Helping Kids Cope with Divorce

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Dear Dr. Bill,

I recently became a single mother of three children under the age of 6 when my husband left us and moved in with another woman.  This is especially difficult because this other woman had been a family friend.  My 4 and 5 year-old daughters are very confused about what’s going on because their Dad isn’t being honest with them and is contradicting what I’ve told them about our separation and where he is living now.

Recently my husband has begun to miss visits and other events with my daughters.  They respond with screaming tantrums and by lashing out.  And they’ve confided to me that they have “a lousy Dad.”  What should I do?

–Kathy

 

Dear Kathy,

I’m sorry to hear about your situation and the way your husband’s actions are affecting your daughters.  It’s understandable that that they would be confused and angry about what’s happened.

It’s important to be honest with your girls about the situation, using language that a 4 and 5-year-old can understand.  Resist the temptation to badmouth your husband, which will further alienate him from his daughters.

I suggest you sit down with your daughters and explain to them that mommy and daddy haven’t been getting along, and daddy has made some bad choices that are hurting the family.

If they ask about the other woman, answer them honestly, and let them know that it makes you very sad that daddy has moved in with her.

Most importantly, reassure your daughters of your love for them and let them know that you understand how painful this situation is for them.  Encourage them to express their feelings of sadness and anger, but don’t allow them to engage in aggressive or destructive behavior.

I’d also encourage you to seek out a family therapist who can help your girls cope during this time of stress.

Thanks for writing, Kathy.  If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

Listen to today’s audio here.

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A Study to Sleep On

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I’m not surprising anyone by saying if you’re short on sleep, you’ll be tired the next day – and that affects everything from your job to your relationships. But did you know less sleep could mean more weight gain?

When you’re tired, you overcompensate by eating more during the day. But the problem actually starts the night before. Research shows that too little sleep leads to hormone changes that increase your appetite. Another study revealed the later you stay up, the more you eat – up to five hundred calories more! That’s like having an extra Big Mac.

So, try to make eight hours of sleep your minimum. The benefits are worth it. In this case, you snooze – you don’t lose.

Find more information on this and many other health topics, when you log onto Shine.fm.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Difference Makers: Christmas Gift Mart

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Each year Christmas Gift Marts are hosted to benefit people in the under resourced communities located in the East Side of Joliet and Aurora. This will be the sixth year the Christmas Gift Mart in Joliet has provided the Gift of Dignity by collecting 9,000 toys (increased from 4,500 toys last year) and selling them for $2 per toy to families that would not have otherwise been able to purchase presents.

The Joliet Christmas Gift Marts have paved the way for these communities to provide the gift of education to their children by donating all the proceeds of these events to their neighborhood schools. These schools are then able purchase much needed books, computers, and provide school initiatives that would otherwise go unfunded.

This year, Christmas Gift Mart is in need of over 13,000 toys to provide for children for Christmas. This ministry accepts new, unwrapped toys priced at $6 to $20 for elementary age children. Another way to participate in Christmas Gift Mart is by hosting your own toy drive in your workplace or at your church.

You can also help make Christmas Gift Mart a success by volunteering on the day of the event. For more information, click here.

Get to know Community Christian Church and the Christmas Gift Mart this month on Shine.FM!