Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Who Made You the Boss?

posted by Linda Mintle

Angry bossHave you ever had that moment when you thought or said, “Who made you the boss?”

Someone in authority or a leader makes a decision and you think you know better. If we are honest, this happens all the time. Yet, in most cases, we have no authority over the situation, nor are we asked to offer an opinion in the matter.

A story in Luke helps us  better understand how we are to respond to authority.

Luke 20 is about an owner (God) of a vineyard (God’s people) who allows renters (leaders) to manage his land. At one point, the owner decides he wants some fruit from his land, so sends his servant (those prophets and those who point to Christ as the true Messiah) to get fruit from the vineyard. But the renters beat up the servant and give him nothing. The owner sends a second, then a third servant and all are beaten. Finally, the owner sends his son whom the renters not only beat, but kill.


The heart attitude of the renters was rebellion, saying to the owner, “Who put you in charge?” The point is that when we are under authority, and we all are, the wrong response to an order is to question the person in charge.

The story is about the rejection of Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah. The leaders of the day did not listen to Him or respect His authority. Instead, they took the attitude, “Who made you the boss? We’ll take matters into our own hands!” And of course, doing so was not a wise move.

The application to us has much to do with respecting God’s authority and leading in a godly way.  Leaders stand and fall according to God’s timing and plan. But when they think they are operating on their own, without God’s authority and not in line with teachings of Christ, they will eventually fall and be judged by God.

Ultimately, we will all face the boss and clearly know, we were never in charge!


Stress Eating? The Brownie or the Apple?

posted by Linda Mintle

woman eatingYou want to lose weight and know what you need to eat. But does stress make it harder to actually make healthy food choices?

Let’s say you are under stress at work. You have to pass a series of exams to get that needed promotion. So much rides on you making the grade. During your study time,  you reach for a snack. You can choose a big red apple or a thick fudge brownie. Did I mention you want to lose weight?

You go for the brownie! Self-control seems to vanish!


Brain scans now give us a clue why this is. According to a study in Neuron, stress impacts the brain’s decisions.

Think of the brain like a neural network composed of  many connections. All those connections are communicate with one another. When you experience stress, the communication in the brain changes. The signal to eat the brownie gets louder.

Cortisol, a stress hormone, activates taste; the immediate reward of that tasty brownie demands your attention; the parts of the brain responsible for decision-making and judgment are weakened.

What happens then is that your desire to lose the pounds goes out the window because your brain is shouting go for the tasty brownie. The more stress, the weaker the brain connections in the long term planning areas. The quick brownie fix wins!


Stress sets the stage for eating those high calorie foods. So all the good intentions in the world may not be enough to overcome stress eating if you are not aware that your self-control is decreasing. Of course, you always have a choice, but understanding how the brain is geared to pull you to the unhealthy snacks helps explain why we eat those foods under stress.

Important then, if you want to lose weight, deal with stress! Lowering your stress allows those brain connections to communicate better and process tastiness, value judgments and long-term planning so you can go for the apple instead of the brownie. Less stress, better self-control.

If you want to lose weight, manage your stress! It appears that stress influences taste and self-control.


For more, Press Pause Before You Eat by Dr. Linda Mintle



Harvard’s Humanist Chaplaincy: Good Without God

posted by Linda Mintle

I was listening to HLN the other day as I was driving home from work and heard a show about Harvard University’s humanist chaplain. I went to Harvard’s chaplaincy page and found this description, “The Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard is dedicated to building, educating, and nurturing a diverse community of Humanists, agnostics, atheists, and the non-religious at Harvard and beyond.”

The list of religious chaplains on Harvard’s page included many, but I was a bit stunned that humanism was listed as a religion. I was taught (consistent with the dictionary) that humanism is a philosophy, without theism. Chaplains are persons called by God. And this humanistic “chaplain” admitted their goal was to eliminate God from the picture. But at Harvard, humanism is listed along side all the religions.


The “chaplain” went on to explain that the focus is to help people to be good without God. But in that conversation was also the belief that religion harms people.

Harvard is the oldest university founded in America (1636). It was founded with the purpose to educate clergy and perpetuate education from a Christian perspective. It’s shield bears the Latin motto that means “truth.”

And interestingly, this contemporary move to help people be good without God is the oldest sin first established in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they believed they could be good without God. This is the definition of pride. It is, as C.S. Lewis points out,  a complete anti-God state of mind.


With pride, one rejects God’s Word and His goodness. This rejection leads to the belief that goodness is attainable without God. That we are inherently good, the root of humanism. Humanism is a growing reliance on self, a dependence on one’s strength and wisdom.

Pride is about self-sufficiency, self-importance and self-exaltation. C.S. Lewis calls pride a “spiritual cancer. It eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment or eve common sense.” And God removed his creation from the garden because of it. So if you want to be good without God, then form an organization or a club, but don’t call it religion, especially if you believe religion is harmful and your goal is to remove God from the picture.


The Realities of Emergency Contraceptives

posted by Linda Mintle

teen girl upsetMonica represents one in five sexually active teens now using emergency contraceptives for birth control. That number represents an increase from 1 in 12 a decade ago. According to the CDC, easy access and relaxed age restrictions have led to the increase. Teens can now buy the drug without a prescription.

Monica, a 16-year-old Christian teen found herself in a compromising position recently. She was at a party, began drinking with friends and had sex with a boy she hardly knows. Worried that she might become pregnant, Monica’s guy friend told her to go to the drugstore and buy the morning after pill. She didn’t need to tell her parents or have a prescription. Frightened and ashamed, Monica purchased the pill three days later and is now questioning whether she induced an abortion. The guilt is also getting to her. She wants to tell her parent because she is feeling sick and has had some bleeding.


For Monica, the mind, body and spirit consequences of using such a drug were never discussed by her friends. Yet, she was experiencing emotional, physical and spiritual consequences from her actions. She felt very alone and scared.

On the physical side, emergency contraceptives do not prevent sexually transmitted infections (STI). So while Monica wanted to prevent pregnancy, unprotected sex still left her vulnerable to an STI. Also, the effectiveness of the contraceptive is uncertain as Monica waited (due to fear and not having the money to buy the pill) to take it three days after her sexual encounter. Later, tracking her cycle, Monica realized she had unprotected sex just prior to ovulation.

Emotionally, Monica feels guilty from having casual sex. Her self-esteem has plummeted and is impacting her relationships. Now sober, she doesn’t want to face the boy she hooked up with and feels she left an intimate part of herself with someone she barely knows. She is embarrassed that her adolescent brain didn’t make a good judgment and feels depressed and anxious.


Spiritually, Monica knows she sinned and repented. She decided to tell her parents because she was afraid of the bleeding and didn’t know what was happening to her body. Her parents lovingly encouraged her to learn from this, make better future decisions and problem-solve ways to avoid such a situation in the future. They also scheduled a visit with her pediatrician who will test her for STIs, monitor the bleeding and follow her for possible pregnancy or miscarriage.

Monica now realizes that causal sex comes with a price and isn’t the care free act her friends made it appear to be. The worry she has over the consequences and the lack of understanding of what the pill actually did to a possibly fertilized egg bothers her. She wants to help other young women understand what is at stake and wants her youth leader to address this topic. She knows she is forgiven but struggles with the fall out of her actions.


And while Monica did not become pregnant this time, she just found out that she was positive for an STI. Now, she has to report her sexual partner and get treatment. All for one night of unprotected sex. “Somehow, it wasn’t as fun as what I saw on TV or in the movies. No one talks about the realities involved. Maybe I can be a voice to help others.”

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