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Showing posts from December, 2011

Give the Gift of Prayer This Year

By Chris Hammond, MS, IMH

I don’t know about you, but every year I struggle with finding the perfect gift for my family and friends. It is almost a mission to seek out the right gift balancing between the person’s needs, wants, and talents. When the right gift is discovered it is pure joy to watch them open it and it is in moments like that when it is truly better to give then to receive.

This year as finances have become tighter, I find myself less interested in all of the bargains, deals, extra shopping hours and countless searches on the internet. Rather it has become a time of self reflection onto the meaning of Christmas rather than the gift giving of Christmas. When I recall the best gifts I have received during the year, it is the rare moment when a friend tells me they have been praying for me without my prompting and without any knowledge of my present circumstances. Those moments are precious to me and I can remember every one of them with great clarity far better than …

G U I D A N C E

When I meditated on the word guidance, I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word. I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing.

When two people try to lead, nothing feels right.

The movement doesn't flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.

When one person realizes and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music.

One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another.

It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully.

The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.

My eyes drew back to the word guidance.

When I saw "G," I thought of God, followed by "u" and "i."

"God, "u" and "i" dance."! God, you, and I dance.

This statement is what guidance means to me.

As I lowered my head, I became willing to tr…

We Wish You a “Mary” Christmas

By Chris Hammond, MS, IMH

It’s that time of the year again when the list of things to be done grows by the minute, plans are changed again and again until the last minute, and stress over finances, family, and friends is at an all time high. There is too much to do, too much to see, too many places to be, and far too many expectations to be met. The demands of work, family, friends, and even church push us to a panic frenzy to meet and exceed those demands but at what expense?

When did this season, the season of joy, the season of celebration, the season of giving and the season of bonding become the season of anxiety over unmet expectations and financial pressure, the season of depression over the loss of loved ones, and the season of trampling over others to make a purchase? “Merry Christmas” is not so merry anymore. Rather than trying to put the “Merry” back into Christmas, I would propose a different type of “Mary”. Jesus refers to Mary in Luke 10:38-42 when he informs Martha…