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What do you do when stress escalates, becoming distress? How about when you feel the white-hot anxiety burn? A husband feels discounted by his wife’s superior intellect so he becomes overly assertive, even slightly aggressive in his posture and mannerisms. A manager is caught in relational binds between the executives and the front-line staff, finding […] Read More

The church is my people, and in the depth of my being I believe the church is the best hope for the world. I gladly take my place in the imperfect, idiosyncratic, international family called the church. I also know that serving her is not for the faint of heart. A lot of the folks […] Read More

How quickly our conversations can go from theoretical to all-too-real. I spent a rewarding Wednesday in Tennessee recently on a retreat with 45 ministers and staff members thinking through the unique and profound pressures of ministry in the 21st century. We agreed that, while it is not an easy task, it is unquestionably a delight […] Read More

New psychological research suggests that employees who are more actively religious are better able to cope with stress and are more likely to report that their lives have meaning. These are the key findings of a study presented on Jan. 9 at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology in […] Read More

I woke up recently to my daughter in great distress. The evening before we had cleaned her room and this included closing up the dollhouse to clean around it. The next morning when she opened it back up, everything was out of place. She was in a panic to try and figure out where everything […] Read More

Advent offers a busy beginning to the church’s year for most of us; we look forward to the parties and special church programs. Of course, there is another side to this saga. Advent can drain the life out of ministers in a few short weeks. While most ministers look forward to the celebrative atmosphere of […] Read More

A sermon delivered by Robert Browning, Pastor, Smoke Rise Baptist Church, Stone Mountain, Ga., on August 15, 2010. Hebrews 11:29-12:2 Amy is my thirty-two-year-old daughter. She is married to John and they have twins, Jack and Kate, now two and one-half years old. She is also the office manager at John’s medical practice, which keeps […] Read More

In the prelude to “A Hidden Wholeness,” Parker Palmer offers a powerful metaphor for life in local churches today. He tells of a time when farmers on the Great Plains, at the first sign of a blizzard, would run a rope from the back door out to the barn. They all knew stories of people […] Read More

Awfulize. That’s the word to which my therapist friend, Paula Batts, introduced me. We were talking about how the economic crisis was rippling through the people of our congregation. We began to count the ways: economic stress for individuals and the church, family stress, marital stress, emotional distress, stress among friends and business partners. She […] Read More

I worked in a television newsroom in the late ’70s. Back then, the most inflammatory phrase you could attach to a person’s name was “Vietnam veteran”… as in:   “Vietnam veteran Joe Smith has been arrested today and is expected to be charged with murder … ”   We never mentioned the name of a […] Read More