Summary: An effort to helpl my audience have a greater peace concerning family stress and crises and to begin building real spiritual resources that will help them cope with them in their home

Matthew 6:6-34;

There’s a lot of stress going on out there, and a lot of that stress has been associated with the workplace. Maybe you’ve seen some of the signs of it; like this one of a zebra who says, “I think it’s stress.”

Or, maybe you’ve seen this stress reduction kit. The instructions are fairly simple:

1. place kit on firm surface.

2. follow directions in circle of kit.

3. repeat step 2 as necessary, or until unconscious.

4. If unconscious, cease stress reduction activity .

Lot of people stressing out there. A survey by Integra Realty Resources reported the following statistics:

• 34% had lost sleep because of workplace stress, and 23% had been driven to tears.

• 65%, identified workplace stress as a problem for them personally. (And the other 35% must have been too busy to answer the question).

• If all else fails, they just get sick. According to the American Institute of Stress [I’ll bet that’s a fun place to work], 43% of Americans suffer from stress-related health problems, making stress America’s #1 health problem.

• Stress contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and other illnesses in many individuals. It affects the immune system, which protects us from many serious diseases. It also contributes to the development of alcoholism, obesity, suicide, drug addiction, cigarette addiction, and other harmful behaviors.

• Tranquilizers, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications account for ¼ of all prescriptions written in the U.S. each year.

It doesn’t have to come from bad things. This thing called a family, with all of its good features, is also a source of stress.

Story - Rick Harrison’s 6yr old son seemed to demand his attention just when he was the most busy around the house. His standard reply has been, "I'm busy right now. Go ask your mother.”

The disappointed look often on his face as he was sent away convinced Rick to change his priorities. He resolved to give his son immediate attention whenever he asked. His resolve was quickly tested. He had just climbed to the top of their two-storied house, paintbrush and bucket in hand. As he dipped his brush into the paint he heard his little voice call, "Daddy, Daddy."

Determined to keep his new resolution, he immediately laid paintbrush and bucket aside and climbed back down to the ground to see what his son wanted. He got down on both knees, looked him straight in the face and asked, "Well, now what can I do for you, son?"

His reply: "Daddy, where's Mommy?"

Have you done your homework? That’s what we’re focusing on this month. We’re of the conviction that our homes take and deserve hard work. And this morning, we’re going to be looking at what some have called “the great gray killer.” Something that all families face…

(I. Stress and Crises are Realities All Families Face)

Joke - A little boy was sitting on his front steps with his face cradled in his hands, looking sad. His dad came home just then & asked him what was wrong. The little boy looked up & said, "Well, just between us, Dad, I’m having trouble getting along with your wife, too!"

All families face stress or crises. In fact, sitting here this morning, you’re in one of 3 places: you’re a family that has endured some crisis, a family that is currently going through some crisis, or a family about to go through some crisis. And when you’re going through it, you need to realize what’s happening:

Stress and Crises involve 3 factors:

1. What causes it

Sometimes, without even realizing it, conditions in life add up to stress, and we finally figure it out when we snap at the kids or grump at the spouse or drive down the wrong street without even realizing what we’ve done. I once pulled up to the drive through of a Taco Bell to pick lunch up for my family, ordered, paid, and drove off. It took me a minute to realize I forgot to get the food!

Ill – All of us have certain things that get on our nerves. Frank and Shirl were good friends of my parents. They used to come over to play Rook with my folks. I learned that one of the things that got on Shirl’s nerves was someone stirring with a spoon against a glass. So, from time-to-time, I’d go into the kitchen where they were playing Rook around the table, and I’d make a chocolate milk. Just for Shirl’s benefit, I’d stand there and stir it for a couple of minutes. Ting, ting, ting, ting… They’d be over talking at the table, and I’d just look over now and then to watch the signs of stress in Shirl’s face. Finally, her eyes would catch mine and she’d realize what had been making her feel uneasy as she sat there. “Sherm, you brat!” She’d always manage to get even with me sometime later.

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