Life Challenges

Answer

A Biblical Look at Gambling

Does the Bible really say that gambling is wrong? I realize that it's one of those activities – like dancing and playing cards – that religious conservatives have traditionally been "against." But I'm not convinced that there's any solid biblical basis for their opposition to what I regard as innocuous games of chance.

Read more

Answer

Recognizing the Signs of Compulsive Gambling in a Spouse

How can I tell if my husband's recreational gambling is becoming a serious addiction? At first it was just an occasional poker game with his buddies, but a few months ago he exchanged this activity for weekly outings to a casino. Twice in the last month he has called in "sick" so he could make a mid-week gambling trip, and some of his closest friends no longer seem important to him. He assures me that he's just relaxing and enjoying himself, but I'm feeling very anxious about the changes I'm seeing. Is it possible that he's become a compulsive gambler?

Read more

Answer

"Magic" in Movies and Entertainment

What do you think about references to wizardry, sorcery, spells, and magic in storybooks, films, TV shows, and various other forms of entertainment? It seems our children are being bombarded with this, not only in Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit, but even in relatively innocent Disney movies. To complicate matters, our church recently hosted an event featuring a "Christian illusionist." What's your opinion of this kind of thing?

Read more

Answer

Tithing and Giving While in Debt

Should we keep tithing to our church while trying to pay off debts? My husband and I are on a tight budget and trying our best to pay off a large backlog of debt that has been building over the past several years. Would it be better to put our giving on hold until we've satisfied all our creditors?

Read more

Answer

Dealing With the Pain of Miscarriage

Is it normal to experience deep grief after the unexpected termination of a pregnancy? I recently lost my first child through miscarriage, and my husband and I are surprised at how devastating this experience has been for us. Is this typical?

Read more

Answer

Dealing With the Memory of a Deceased Abusive Father

How can I forgive my deceased father for his cruel words and behavior? He treated me horribly when I was a kid, and as a result my relationship with him was strained and distant until the day he died. I never worked things out with him in person, and now I'm struggling with feelings of anger, bitterness, guilt, and remorse. How do I resolve this issue?

Read more

Answer

Depressed, Seeking Help

How can I know if I need to seek professional help with my depression? What exactly is the definition of a "clinically" depressed person? I feel sad and fatigued much of the time, and nagging anxiety is a chronic problem, but I have no idea if these are serious issues or not. Can you help me?

Read more

Answer

Treating Insomnia

What can I do to address my ongoing inability to sleep? Is medication a good solution for insomnia? The problem has lasted several weeks so far. It seems to be rooted in anxiety, and it's becoming worse: the more I worry about getting to sleep, the longer I lie awake. If anxiety is the issue, will drugs help, or will they simply mask the deeper issue?

Read more

Answer

Senior Unhappy in Retirement

Do you think there's something wrong with a senior citizen who doesn't enjoy the freedom of the so-called "golden years?" After decades of looking forward to retirement, I find the promised carefree lifestyle isn't quite what I expected. I worked hard to attain this goal, and now I'm struggling with discontentment. What do you suggest I do?

Read more

Answer

Confronting an Elderly Parent's Bad Driving

When should I take the car keys away from my elderly parent? I can tell that my father's vision, hearing, and reflexes aren't what they used to be. That's not to mention that he's had a few dangerous near-misses on the road just recently. The older he gets, the more responsible I feel to protect his safety and make important decisions like this for him. What do you think I should do?

Read more

Answer

Dementia and Memory Loss in Aging Loved Ones

How can we communicate and keep up a meaningful heart-to-heart connection with my aging mother as her mental condition deteriorates? She's past eighty now, and symptoms of dementia are becoming more and more pronounced in her behavior. Her short-term memory is so poor that she can't remember what she said to me ten minutes ago. It's as if we're already losing her. Do you have any advice?

Read more

Answer

Making Health Care Decisions for Aging and Incapacitated Loved Ones

How should we plan to handle our grandmother's health care needs and financial affairs now that she's beginning to show signs of dementia?

Read more

Answer

Mom Thinking About Going Back to Work

Should I go back to work while I have young kids? Recently I was offered an opportunity to return to the workplace. The challenge is exciting, and a second income would be a big help to me and my husband right now. At the same time, I get stressed out just thinking about juggling a full-time job and my family's busy schedule. How can I make this decision?

Read more

Answer

Managing Anxiety

How can I handle worry? I'm a perfectionist, and I really struggle with this. I worry a great deal about everything in life, but especially about my children. Fears and anxieties about what could or might happen to them out in the world are a constant feature of my everyday life. You don't have to tell me that this is wrong, that it's a problem, and that the Bible commands us not to worryI'm already painfully aware of that. What I need to know is how to stop.

Read more

Answer

Christian Response to Lawsuits and Civil Litigation

How should I respond if someone sues me? In 1 Corinthians 1:1-11, Paul says that Christians shouldn't bring lawsuits against one another. That makes perfect sense to me. I understand that brothers and sisters in Christ need to explore other, less adversarial ways of resolving their differences, and I don't intend to sue anybody if I can help it. But what do I do if someone, Christian or non-Christian, decides to bring a lawsuit against me?

Read more

Answer

Christians and Lawsuits

Should Christians be involved in lawsuits?

Read more

Answer

Using Tithe Money to Help Aging Parents

Would it be wrong to use part of our tithe to pay for a nursing facility for aging parents? We're finding out what the term "sandwich generation" really means. Just as our kids are entering college we're faced with providing some kind of care for my wife's mom and dad. What do you think we should do?

Read more

Answer

When to Move an Elderly Parent Into a Senior Residence Facility

How do we know when the right time has come to move my aging father-in-law out of our home and into a professionally staffed nursing facility? He's been living with me and my husband for the past couple of years. I don't want to abandon him just when his need is greatest, but recently I've begun to feel as if I'm at the end of my rope.

Read more

Answer

Assisted Living Facilities for Aging Loved Ones

How do we find the best possible care for our aging mother? In our quest for a workable plan, one of the options that has surfaced is "assisted living?" What exactly does this entail? What kind of service does it offer, and how do we select a good assisted living facility? We'd appreciate any advice you can offer.

Read more

Answer

Protecting Aging Loved Ones From Financial Exploitation

What are some of the most common ways scam artists victimize the elderly? How can I protect my parents against this kind of abuse?

Read more

Answer

Protecting Aging Loved Ones Against Abuse

What can I do to ensure my aging mom's safety and security? She lives alone, and I worry that she's becoming increasingly vulnerable to abuse from outsiders. How can I tell if she's in any immediate danger?

Read more

Answer

Advance Medical Directives for Aging Loved Ones

Can you tell me how to make sure that my elderly father's medical wishes will be respected? He's in ill health, and he has often said that he doesn't want any heroic measures taken to prolong his life. I know that we need to establish formal documentation of his desires in this regard, but I have no idea how to go about it.

Read more

Answer

Assisting Aging Loved Ones With Estate Planning

Do you have any advice for me as I attempt to help my elderly mother protect her financial assets and make sure her wishes will be carried out after her death? Wills, trusts, partnerships, probate, power of attorney I know next to nothing about them. How should we plan her estate?

Read more

Answer

Covering the Cost of Health Care for the Elderly

Are there resources available to help elderly people afford the rising price of health care? My mother has died and my dad is retired and living alone. He has a number of medical issues, and he's desperately afraid that his money won't hold out if he's hospitalized or forced into a nursing home. How can we help him?

Read more