Hope for the Hurting

Seven Ways to Avoid Being Driven to Distraction

Seven Ways to Avoid Being Driven to Distraction

Dear Dr. B,
I get so easily distracted that it keeps me from being more effective in my personal and professional life. How can I keep my mind from wandering or being distracted by a million things?
Sincerely,
Driven to Distraction

Dear Distracted,
Everyone gets distracted from time to time, but it sounds like what you are describing is more than an occasional distractibility. [more]

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Before and After

Before and After

I looked into her eyes and she stared back at me, yet I hardly recognized her. When had that happened? The years had taken their toll. Her skin was no longer as smooth, and creases were worn deep at the corners of her eyes and lips. She no longer had that youthful glow, but it was okay because she looked back at me with eyes of knowing and wisdom that came only through experience. Her face told the real story: that “after” only comes when there is a “before.” [more]

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Ask Dr. B: How To Overcome Discouragement in Prayer

Ask Dr. B: How To Overcome Discouragement in Prayer

Dear Dr. B,
I feel like God didn’t answer my prayers and I’m so discouraged. How can I restore my faith and hope in God when I’m devastated?
Sincerely,
Prayed but Discouraged

Dear Discouraged,
I’m so sorry you’re discouraged in your prayer life. I have been there several times in the course of my life, and it’s a painful place to sit. Because I’ve been there, I can assure you that you aren’t alone, although I know that that is only mildly encouraging when you are actually going through it. And let’s be honest, shall we? When we pray, we want God to answer our prayers the way we want them answered, when we want them answered! [more]

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God Offers Hope (the When & Will of Trust)

God Offers Hope (the When & Will of Trust)

“My heart is breaking for you,” came the compassionate words of a friend as she held my hand while my shoulders heaved and sobs caught in my throat.

I found myself in circumstances that I could never have predicted nor imagined. In fact, I had tried to obey all the rules, do everything right, and tell the truth, yet it didn’t serve to make me immune from trial or heartache. Quite the contrary, I came to realize that many don’t value the truth. [more]

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20 Practical Ways to Help a Friend in Need – Part 2

20 Practical Ways to Help a Friend in Need – Part 2

As a natural encourager, it’s always my desire to instill hope in the hearts of those who are hurting. Yet sometimes this is harder to do than others. During a recent prolonged bout of illness I found that some seemed to instinctively know how to help, while others did not. Some words and deeds helped, others actually hurt.

As I thought about the ministry of Jesus, it didn’t take long for me to realize that Jesus got dirty in doing good. In order to heal, He frequently got His hands dirty – both figuratively and literally. He spit in the dirt and made mud to heal a blind man’s eyes. [more]

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Practical Ways to Help a Friend in Need – Part 1

Practical Ways to Help a Friend in Need – Part 1

“I trust this morning you are feeling much better!” were the words that greeted me via a text from a friend. Unsure of how to respond, I waited. Strangely enough, that text did not encourage or lift my spirits as I’m sure it was intended. It also didn’t give me much opportunity to provide an honest response.

You see, I wasn’t feeling any better. In fact, I was feeling even worse and had just returned from yet another visit to the doctor to find out that that not only was my originally diagnosed pneumonia not improving, but I had also picked up the flu somewhere along the way. [more]

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Bring Back the Child

Bring Back the Child

“What happened?” I asked my husband, really inquiring as to where my youngest son went.

He had just been in our family room, dancing with wild abandon, choreographing a song for his performing arts group he dances with, then rapidly disappeared when my husband and I walked back into the house after chatting on the patio.

“I think he became self-conscious when he thought we might be watching.”

My heart sunk as I wondered when that happened. When did he go from being a carefree little boy to being self-conscious…even around those who loved him most, and would accept him even when others might not? [more]

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How To Find The Right Words To Pray

How To Find The Right Words To Pray

Dear Dr. B,
Praying seems so hard, how can I choose the right words? Am I making it harder than it really is?
Sincerely,
Praying but Perplexed

Dear Perplexed,
I’m glad you took the time to ask the question rather than giving up. Scripture says we have an enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), and he would like nothing better than to convince you that praying is hard so that he can steal your zeal to pray, kill your motivation, and destroy your prayer life. So let’s determine together that that will not happen!

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Jesus Didn’t Get a Day Off

Jesus Didn’t Get a Day Off

The alarm didn’t go off that morning, so I awoke in a panic. I didn’t even have time to take my temperature but was pretty sure I was running a fever to match my flu-like symptoms as I dragged myself into the office. My head pounded, and my throat screamed for relief with every swallow I took. It promised to be a long day. As I dashed to the car later than I would have liked, I was greeted by the little warning light that no one likes to see on a morning they are pressed for time…EMPTY. Seems whoever was the last to drive my car left it for me to refuel, on a day I didn’t really have time to refuel, and I couldn’t afford not to. [more]

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Dr. Michelle Bengtson

Dr. Michelle Bengtson

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