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    Crossing the Finish Line with Hidden Hurts

    finish line Crossing the Finish Line with Hidden Hurts

    By Amy Joob, On Emotions Column

    I just completed the Chicago Marathon – miraculously! Although it was my 5th marathon it was the first time I ran injured. I hurt my back three weeks prior to the race and only ran one time between then and race day! It is normal to have marathon jitters and concerns over whether or not you can accomplish this athletic feat, and on top of that I was standing there at the starting line wondering if I would even be able to run at all! I really had to rely on God and the prayers of others in order to run and finish the 26.2 mile distance.

    photo 1 6 e1414252642306 224x300 Crossing the Finish Line with Hidden HurtsIn the weeks leading up to the race I did whatever I could to get healthy and rest up. I even went to a chiropractor, a physical therapist, and even a myofascial therapist. I wasn’t noticeably limping around but I was still hurting in my back and hip.… continue reading

    A Solid Foundation

    marriage on a cliff Crossing the Finish Line with Hidden Hurts

    Amber Frank: Out of the Ashes

    In the last few months I have heard of three more marriages overlooking the cliff of divorce. I know these couples fairly well, and I can’t think of much that makes me sadder. All three involve children, and two, many, many years together.

    Marriage is where my heart is, not just for my marriage, but in marriage as an institution. Marriage, that is where God has directed me to use my gifts. Because of the dramatic healing that happened in my marriage, women often ask me to meet with them, to give counsel when they are struggling in their own marriage. I know I have a unique story of perseverance and restoration, and troubled couples want to hear that there is hope when they feel all hope is lost. So I count it a privilege to give those glimpses into what God has given me.

    So what do I say to these women who are looking for hope?continue reading

    Thanksgiving Money-Saving Tips


    Turkey Day 300x224 Crossing the Finish Line with Hidden Hurts

    By Steve Repak, the On Family Money Matters Column

    1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT) “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

    With November upon us and Thanksgiving just around the corner, now is a great time to reflect on the many blessings for which you are thankful. And because we are also entering what most of us find to be the most expensive season of the year, I thought it would be a good idea to share some tips to help you save a little money while still enjoying Turkey Day with your friends and family.

    Thanksgiving Money-Saving Tips

    Tip #1. Plan for the meal in advance

    Maybe you have always served both turkey and ham. Try sticking with one protein this year because we all know that good meat ain’t cheap! Also plan to keep things simple. For example making a pot of mashed potatoes is much less expensive than a scalloped potato casserole.… continue reading

    The Gift of Creativity

    creative parenting Crossing the Finish Line with Hidden Hurts

    By Ann-Margret Hovsepian, Creative Connections column

     God is Creative

    In the first two chapters of Genesis, we find a tip-of-the-iceberg account of things God created. Considering an estimated 8.74 million species exist on earth, I’m glad Moses chose to keep his list a little vague: creatures of the sea, winged birds, livestock and wild animals. Planets? Stars? Trees? Waterfalls? Precious stones? Let’s not even go there.

    God even invented the concept of saving the best for last. After He created the animals, He made man and woman. . . in His image (Genesis 1:27). Though it’s not always evident, we were designed and crafted to possess many of the same qualities as our Creator. We can feel, love, grieve, choose and even create. Of course, we don’t have the power to speak things into existence, but we can imagine and dream and use the resources He provides to make things.… continue reading

    Does Hollywood Mimic Life? Is Entertainment Geared to Teens a Bad Influence?

    Hollywood real life Crossing the Finish Line with Hidden Hurts

    By Sherri Wilson Johnson, On Inspiring Purity column

    My husband and I no longer have cable TV. We have a Roku box instead. And we love to veg out on Netflix shows. So every now and then, after we watch every episode of a particular show, we look for a new series, and we watch it all the way through or until we get sick of it. Since we are basically empty-nesters, we can watch some shows that we wouldn’t have watched when our kids were younger. We still refuse to watch shows with unbridled sexuality or with cursing that is extreme.

    Does Hollywood mimic life?

    Recently we started watching a new show called Switched at Birth. It’s new to us anyway. It’s an ABC Family show, and this was our first experience with that station. The show starts out with a teenage girl, Bay Kennish, who is in Biology class.… continue reading

    Our Counterfeit Culture

    coutnerfeit culture Crossing the Finish Line with Hidden Hurts

    Counterfeit Culture

    Nate Stevens, Preparing Teens for Marriage column

    Today’s young people face a much different and challenging cultural climate than previous generations. So many cultural pressures invade and influence every aspect of a young person’s life. Social media, television, movies, magazines, school environments, governmental rulings all encourage vast and ever expending cultural shifts.

    Some people consider this simply a progressive mindset, similar to the changing music trends from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and so on. But in doing so, we are deceived into forgetting we are in an ongoing spiritual battle.

    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 / NKJV)

    If you would, put on your “spiritual dimension” glasses and walk briefly into that parallel universe.

    The dark room feels threatening. Flickering shadows break dance on the walls from fires burning everywhere.… continue reading

    10 Ways To Teach Sexual Integrity To Your Teen

    sexual integrity Crossing the Finish Line with Hidden Hurts

    Sexual Integrity

    By: Brenda YoderOn Middle School Column

    Believe it or not, what our teens believe about sex and the intrinsic value of others is more important than grades, sports awards or college. Their choices in these areas define their character and future relationships. It affects their physical, emotional and mental health. What adults believe about teens, sex, and integrity is a big deal.

    [Tweet “What our teens believe about sex and the intrinsic value of others is more important than grades, sports awards, or college. @BeyondPicketFen “]

    Media, technology, video games and social media make sexual acts public, dehumanizing and normalized. Kids as young as twelve are becoming the fastest population viewing online pornography. When kids are desensitized to sex, their moral compass changes. As parents, we’re still guardians of their soul.

    In this sex-saturated world, how do you teach sexual integrity to teens?

    1. You have to live it.
    continue reading

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