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Articles by Charles Lowery

Found 146 Articles by Charles Lowery

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An article in Psychology Today told of a man who committed three hours a day for ten years to find something wrong with everything. He then either wrote to or talked to someone to complain about what was wrong. He did that for ten years of his life. Psychology Today concluded that his only accomplishment was to make himself miserable for ten years. That's life, isn't it? There are many things that can't be changed, many possessions we want, or accomplishments we may not achieve, but if we spend our lives trying, we will be miserable. A man said that if he just had $100 he would be happy. A friend overheard his comment and gave him $100. He then said that he wished he had asked for $200. Satisfaction comes from within. A. W. Tozer said gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make which makes us much richer.

In his heyday, it was s...

Do you ever feel as if you dated Jekyll and married Hyde? One wife said she would always cherish the initial misconception she had about her husband. Someone said marriage is composed of three rings — engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering. One pastor visited a children's Sunday School class and asked them what God said about marriage. One boy chimed, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Sometimes marriage seems like a romance novel where the hero dies in the first chapter. Marriage can be tough. The problem is our perspective; most good marriages are 90 percent positive and only 10 percent negative. But when people focus on the negative 10 percent, it makes their marriage feel as if it is 90 percent negative. (By the way, the same principle can also apply to church work.)

I counseled thousands of people while in practice. I actually counseled with a couple with whom I had previously done premarital counseling. Five years later, they were in my office t...

Upon returning from his first circus a young boy commented, "Once you've been to a circus, you'll never enjoy a prayer meeting again." Such sentiment implies that Christianity is like going to the dentist; it is good for you but it will be a miserable experience. The stereotype of a joyless, guilt-filled religion surrounds us. It is said that a priest once commented to Groucho Marx, "Groucho, I want to shake your hand for all the joy you have brought into the world." Groucho responded, "I want to shake your hand for all the joy you have taken out of the world." It is hard to be upright without being uptight. Righteousness easily spills over into self-righteousness. It has always been that way. The religious people of Jesus' day didn't think the joke about the log in their eye was very funny. A sense of humor is a matter of viewpoint, and it takes work to see around the log in our own eye, but it's worth it.

Laughter is good for you. ...

I like the story of the young man who, eager to make it to the top, went to a well-known millionaire businessman and asked him, what the number one reason for his success was. The businessman answered without hesitation, "Hard work." After a lengthy pause, the young man asked, "What is the SECOND reason?"

Three young boys were bragging about who had the fastest father. The first boy said, "My dad can run a mile in only five minutes." The second boy countered, "My dad can mow the whole lawn in only ten minutes." The third boy jumped in, "My dad's the fastest of all. His job ends at 5 p.m. and he's always home by 3 p.m."

Pastors talk a lot about church, family, and the spiritual life (prayer, Bible Study, etc.), but when is the last time you heard a sermon about work? Most people spend the majority of their time working. It may be going to school, caring for a family, or going to an office, but it is our job. We are...

Legend has it that during the 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy gave a great speech to a large and excited crowd assembled in front of the Alamo, where a handful of Texans held off a large army from Mexico. Kennedy wanted to make a quick exit after his speech. He told a local politician that he wanted to get out of there and asked for the back door. The politician replied, "Senator, if there had been a back door to the Alamo, there wouldn't have been any heroes."

I believe that modern-day heroes are the ones who close the exit doors and commit to one mate and one family for life. By the time some reach the age of 40 in our society, they have had more spouses than children.

I'm not saying that marriage is easy. A couple came upon a wishing well, and the wife leaned over the well, made a wish, and threw a dime into the well. Then the husband, of course not to be outdone, stood on the side of the well, tossed in a quarter, lost his balance, fell ...

Most of what I do is Sunday Relationship Conferences (which, by the way, hasn't been happening very much recently; the economy has resulted in my calendar having more holes than Swiss cheese). One message in the conference is "I Am Woman Hear Me Roar, I Am Man Tell Me More." One church changed it to "I Am Woman Hear Me Roar, I Am Man Watch Me Snore." I guess that's why another message title is "Helping the Handicapped — Men." Men need help in their relationship and communication skills. Couple that with the fact that many women think that if they can just find the right man, they'll live happily-ever-after. So the result is many become frustrated and desperate housewives. Our society doesn't help the problem — we just produce a TV show about it.

Most women are disappointed to discover that the goo of the romance will not be the glue of their marriage. Unfortunately, many women turn to the wrong people for advi...

This article is different from my normal format. I am enclosing my daughter's recent Facebook posting — her oldest son, Drew, had been seriously injured playing football. It was the first time she had been in an ambulance since her younger son, Jake, died.

There are two lessons here. First, I know some of you pastors wonder about your kids and the effects from the stress of being a PK. Kasey is my middle daughter and she went through her time of rebellion. There were times when I took her car away, cancelled her insurance, and put our house on lockdown. Some days, I didn't think we would make it. My friend Michael Catt's favorite church story is about Kasey. When Kasey was three, she told the church day care workers that if they didn't get under the table and play with her she would have her daddy fire them. I think by reading this you will realize that her strong will has given over to His will. The pain of rebellion has turned into the pleasure of obedience.<...

I recently spoke in Pensacola, Florida, with Art Linkletter who is 96 years old. He showed me a set of keys and said that when you don't know where they are, that's old age, but if you don't know what they are, that's Alzheimer's. He has a great sense of humor, and as I listened to him, I thought about how much longer people are now living. I then received a call that my mother-in-law, Jane, had just died. Jane had a great sense of humor.

She listened to and laughed at all of my mother-in-law jokes. Like the one about the man who said he was going on a pleasure trip — he was taking his mother-in-law to the airport. Or the classic one in which a tourist visited a town and saw a very unusual funeral procession. A horse-drawn buggy carrying two caskets led the procession. Behind the buggy was a man leading a dog and behind him walked one hundred men in single file. He was so curious that he just had to ask about the funeral. When he asked the man w...

It has finally happened. The world has gone crazy. As a psychologist I now have a job for life. News reporters are correct. They are always talking about breaking news, and now everything is breaking. We know that kids fresh out of business school and employed at Wall Street investment banks have been advising grown-ups on Main Street to buy nothing with nothing down. They can then leverage to pay themselves fees so that they can pay nothing for something else and collect more fees. Of course that's risky, so you have to involve an insurance company just in case nothing becomes something.

It seems like giving permission for someone to bet your money on a race horse that will never run a race. The horse will be sold so many times that by the time the race occurs, it will be impossible to determine who owns the horse. And if the horse wins the race, then everyone will have enough money to go to court. At any rate, the fees charged for selling the horse over and over added up to m...

Two young brothers were fighting over cupcakes. In exasperation, their mom flipped a coin to see who would pick first. Johnny won, and she told him to pick his cupcake. Johnny said that he wanted his brother to go first so he could have the one his brother picked. That's jealousy, and the Bible says it will rot your bones. How is that for a great word picture? Jealousy has existed for a long time. Remember Cain and Abel, and Cain's jealousy? Joseph's brothers sold him because of jealousy (and we think that the families in our churches are dysfunctional!). King Saul was jealous of David. Some say jealousy even led to the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus.

The first step to solving jealousy is to acknowledge it. If you say you have never been jealous, then you have never read my articles on denial. In other words, "liar, liar, pants on fire." At times we all experience jealousy. You may be jealous of me because I don't have deacons, and I am jealous of you be...