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Contentment Is Possible

By Don Loftis | 10.31.18

Contentment is a rare commodity in our American culture.  Professional advertisers spend millions of dollars to maximize our desires for things we don’t have — cars, clothes, bodies, cruises, food.  In addition, they seek to create guilt, if we are not giving our children every social, academic, recreational or spiritual opportunity.  How can a person be content, when their life is “missing so much?”   This conflict makes the reading of Philippians 4:11-13 even more difficult.  How could Paul be equally content in times of prosperity and adversity?  How could he face being full and hungry with the same assurance?   The answer was simple; he had learned to rely fully on the Lord’s power in all circumstances.   A group of former students visited a retired professor and poured out their career stresses and frustrations.  [...]

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Are We Really Peacemakers?

By Don Loftis | 10.17.18

We certainly live in a culture that is experiencing serious conflict and growing divisions.  One person described Americans as “cats in a room full of rocking chairs”.  We seem to be twitching our tales and hoping someone will rock on us, so we can squeal and scratch.  We see this in domestic disputes, formal divorces, dueling politicians, business competitors, and even ill-tempered preachers.   Yet, Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.”  The apostle Paul told Christians in Rome, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”   Historians have shown that President Ulysses Grant sought to facilitate genuine reconciliation between the North and the South after the Civil War.  Despite having led the northern armies, he became close friends [...]

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Moving Past Our Anger

By Don Loftis | 10.10.18

In 1969 Elizabeth Kubler-Ross published her classic work entitled Death and Dying.  In it she posed five stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  While everyone’s grief is different and there is no defined timetable, these five components are typically present.   Anger is one of the most interesting and explosive.  It may be directed toward the medical staff, “If you all had acted faster…”  It might be toward the deceased, especially if they had ignored repeated warnings or chose to take their own life.  Anger toward God is not uncommon, “Why didn’t you spare my child?”  Feelings of guilt may even lead to anger directed at ourselves.   A lady whose husband had unexpectedly died was having a very difficult time with her grieving process.  Every day she took fresh flowers [...]

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