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Family Fire

The photo at the left shows how deep and wide an atomic bomb can impact its surroundings. The online article taken from Planet Deadly (https://www.planetdeadly.com/human/incredible-nuclear-explosion-photos) reports, "The “Baker” explosion above was part of Operation Crossroads and was the first underwater nuclear weapons test. Considering this photo was taken back in 1946 the quality is exceptional. You can clearly see the massive amount of water forced upward and the fleet of ships anchored around the site. There were 95 ships used to test the effects of this 23 kiloton explosion. Ships as far away as 760 meters (1/2 mile) were sunk and some 2.3km (1.5 miles) away were seriously damaged."

Carpe Dium

Carpe diem is a Latin word, usually translated "seize the day," taken from the Roman poet Horace's work Odes (23 BC). Another way to say it is, "enjoy the moment." American Idol is back on TV for season 10. I enjoy watching the stories behind the story. I like when people are given their "15 minutes of fame" and turn it into an opportunity for healing. Last night the top 14 performed for a chance to make it into the TOP 10 for next week. The judges remind the contestants to "Show us you." Sometimes, it appears to be more like a Karaoke bar than America's stage, and other times, tears come and it becomes real. One contestant stood out for me, Maddie Poppe, not because she had the best voice,

Flipping Out

I look at this photo and think, "WHOO HOO!" I then I think of the landing and think, "O.M.G. That's gonna hurt." Both feelings of UP and DOWN can be experienced as Anxiety (flying through the air out of control) and Depression (what is going to happen to me when I crash). These ups and downs can also be expressed as a "roller-coaster ride" and a sense of being "overwhelmed." These feelings can be manufactured within our relationships (conflict, avoidance), and experienced as a result of living with someone with physical limitations or a mental health condition (PTSD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Dementia, etc.). Because we are relational beings we need to learn how to keep the wheels on the gro

GRIEF TO GRACE

Grief to Grace is a week-long program for anyone who has suffered physical, emotional, or spiritual abuse, whether in childhood, adolescence, or as an adult. Through a retreat program facilitated by mental health professionals and centered on Jesus Christ, Grief to Grace helps those who have endured physical, emotional, and/or spiritual abuse find healing. Grief to Grace has served thousands across the United States and around the world since 2005. Professional therapeutic staff will engage you in a program of Living Scripture exercises, therapeutic facilitation, cognitive restructuring, and grief work. By traveling the Paschal Mystery of your own life and uniting your suffering to Christ’s,

Emotional Blackmail

How is your relationship reflecting love? Read the words posted on the left and ask yourself, "Does he (or she) show me this?" Does love exist if only one or a few are demonstrated in your relationship, or does the failure of one part of the scripture mean the whole thing unravels? Read it again and tell me where sex comes into play? It's not there. Does that mean Sex is not the same as love? That is correct. Sex is sex and love is love. Sex is the ACT of coming together and can be an expression of love, but it can also be just sex. It can be forced upon another (rape) and it can be demanded from a spouse or sexual partner as payment for staying in the relationship. When one person forces

Safe Sex

Sex is everywhere. There is little one can do to avoid it in daily discussion. It's the main topic on the news, entertainment commentary, and even at work. Employers are trying to address the concerns of sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, and pay variances, even while trying to avoid the discussion altogether because of the possibility of being misunderstood or accused of being insensitive. It is a point of contention in relationships. Men and women both are manipulated by it, use it, and abuse it. Our children are suffering because of the misuse of it as the over commercialism of it floods their senses through music, TV, internet, and cell phones. They are being left to decipher for

Just Imagine

I am not a movie critic. I go to the movies maybe once a year and I NEVER go on opening night because I hate crowds. Movies seldom impress me and I tend to stick to the old classics as “the last great movies.” But… Last night I went to the movies and saw, “I can only imagine,” staring Bart Millard, and was amazed at the list of actors I knew from the big screen: Cloris Leachman, Dennis Quade, Trace Adkins, and Priscilla Shirer. Before the movie even began I was impressed. I was also amazed that I was sitting in a nearly full theatre on a Saturday afternoon watching a movie with a “Jesus” theme; and right next door, “God’s not dead,” another movie with a definitive Christian theme was playing

The Gift

What a beautiful gift. I walked into the Encouragers’ Murrieta office this week and there was a UPS box labeled “Fresh Cut Flowers,” waiting for me. This beautiful gift, from a beautiful friend, was a welcomed surprise that brought joy to my heart. This week we have been working, living, laughing, and loving through our day-to-day transgressions and habitual goings-about as usual. But what we have been missing are the daily bouquets of love that have been showered down from the heavens. This week has been a reminder of the gift God gave to the world in the form of Jesus Christ. From Palm Sunday when Jesus fulfilled prophecy when he rode the streets on a donkey, to the display of love he off

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