Doing Life Together

man sleepingIt is afternoon. You have a talk to give. When you enter the room and begin to set up, you notice people looking rather sleepy. In fact, as you scan the audience, some people are already nodding off.

You think, “This is going to be a challenge! Why are people looking so drowsy? Was it the big lunch they ate? Am I just not entertaining enough to keep their attention or what?”

Truth is, it is probably none of the above. Sure a heavy load of carbs at lunch could intensify the sleepy feeling people are getting, but more is going on with your midday audience.

At midday, people are entering the nap zone—that sleepy time when the brain says, “Take a nap, you need it. I don’t care if you want to be awake, I need to sleep!” Yes, the brain is telling you to sleep and fighting you to stay awake.

Now, most of us don’t have the luxury of taking an afternoon nap no matter what our brain is telling us. But in reality, a little siesta would actually benefit our functioning. The brain telling you to nap is trying to help you function better. We actually fight a beneficial impulse!

Napping benefits the brain.  It helps increase reaction time, reduces traffic accidents, and improves your cognitive functions. And that cognitive improvement lasts about 6 hours after a 45-minute midday nap.

So if you can, next time you are trying to push through a tough assignment or need to be creative, but find yourself fighting sleepiness, take a 25-45 minute nap! Close your door, nap with the kids, and rest! Your brain will thank you by working better!


grief2You are reading an email from a man you are dating. Your gut tells you, “I’m not sure this is the truth.” How do you know if he is lying to you?

It’s tough. With social media you don’t have the advantage of watching the person’s body language or listening to the tone of his or her voice. All you have is written text.

But we do know a few things from research. People have what is called a “truth bias. ” This means our tendency is to trust what people are saying. We want to believe people are telling the truth and may overlook signs of lying.

So what should we look for when we are trying to avoid a scam or don’t want to be duped in a relationship. After all, honesty is the bedrock of healthy relationships.

Here are 10 signs.  Law enforcement has a technique called statement analysis. It entails carefully looking at a person’s words. We can learn a few things from this approach that scrutinizes words:

1) If the person is emphatic about something, he/she may be trying to push a lie. Pushing too hard could indicate too much effort is forcing a lie.

2. Attend to the fact that a person is saying the same thing repeatedly, but in different way. This may indicate that he or she is trying to get you to believe a point of untruth as well.

3. Look for the omission of personal pronouns and references to self. This is a distancing technique. For example, “I really loved spending time with you yesterday and hope we can do it again.” Reply: “Yes, it was a good time.”

4. No answers to  specific questions. You ask and the person doesn’t really answer directly. In some cases, the person may change the subject. This should make you think, “What is he/she not saying or even hiding?”

5. The language or pace of a conversation changes from what you know to be normally. Parents understand this! We know our kids and when they begin talking in ways that are not typical of them, or use words that we don’t typically hear, or even answer too fast or too slow, we know something is up. If you know someone well, you can usually tell if his or her way of responding to you is different from the  normal.

6. Using noncommittal language. When people can’t commit or are unsure, think about what they may not be saying. Hedging on an answer can indicate that they are answering but not telling you the entire story.

7. Lead in statements like, “I’m afraid to tell you…” or “To be honest…” may indicate the person hasn’t told you the truth, things are heating up and you are about to hear more news.

8. Changing the tense (think our current government’s report on crises). As the story is reported in the past tense, the tense suddenly changes and made up events begin to be added. We call this fabricating a story.

9. When you ask to speak to the person in person and the person hesitates, something may be up!

10. Carefully listen for inconsistencies in the conversations. For example, you are talking with someone about his lack of contact with his ex wife and he mentions talking to her about a child. People often slip up when they are lying and don’t get their facts straight.




ID-100151605We know that obesity is a global epidemic and that something has to be done to curb the eating of most Americans.

One solution being proposed is to tax junk food. This would mean government would decide the winners and losers of food? Hmmm….how did they do picking energy companies? Can you say Solyndra?  I am not feeling the love for this idea!

Denmark gave it a try and taxed foods high in saturated fat. This strategy did not change consumer behavior. And people are growing weary of government poking their nose into private aspects of their lives. Go fix Medicare and take care of our vets. Stop the overreach and work on the tasks you already have to do!

More important is the idea that government can regulate individual choice when it comes to food. If they try, watch for the black market for burgers and fries!

The solution? Take personal responsibility for your health and what you eat.

Instead of constantly looking at government to fix things (consider the track record of this strategy), educate yourself and make better choices. When it comes to losing weight and being healthy, individual responsibility is high on the list of winners. This also means that parents should care for their kids by eating healthy in the home. And consider the fact that a two-year-old can’t walk into McDonald’s and order fries!

Is it easy to resist all the junk food available? No, but if you don’t buy it, you won’t be tempted to eat it. We can say NO with our money! We can make healthy choices!

So no, my junk food should not be taxed. I should stop buying it and eating it. But the idea that I might actually be responsible for my own choices seems to be an idea getting little play these days!

For days, I have been listening to all the chatter about Justin Bieber and his alleged return to God. All the buzz was about his bath tub baptism by NYC’s Hillsong pastor, Carl Lentz. Yes, Bieber has a faith background.

As of late, however, he’s followed the path of most young celebrity stars–partying, insensitivity, entitlement, substance use and out of control behavior. As a result, his image has suffered.

Bieber claims he is seeking the path of forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Supporters sees this as a much needed move. However, most public opinion errs on the skeptical side. The question being asked is, “Why should we see this as anything but a publicity stunt, anything more than an attempt to win back moms of teen girls?”

In reality, none of us truly knows Justin’s heart. Only God and Justin know the sincerity of this move. So we can all stop speculating and watch for the fruit. True repentance brings a change in behavior and attitude. If a heart change is made, we will see the results. Jesus said good fruit can’t come from a bad tree and bad fruit doesn’t come from a good tree. So the proof will be in the fruit we see.

In the meantime, I want to simply encourage him. Turning to Jesus can only help. Jesus is a better influence than most of his recent “friends.” And if Justin is reading the Word as reported and looking to God to help direct his life, I applaud him.Truth sets people free. Jesus has the power to transform any life surrendered to Him.

Now, will he stay in this place of repentance? And will his temporary intentions be made real? Only time will tell. He’s in a tough business when it comes to staying clean and rising above the moral decay.

In the meantime, let’s all reserve judgment and pray for this young man. Wouldn’t it be great if he beat the odds and stood strong in his faith? I would love to see his story end differently than most of the young stars in his business. And that will take a lot of Jesus!