by Dan Hill

A Fresh Start with a Lighter Load
Series: Fresh Start in the Family
Dan Hill
Matthew 11:28-30

In this last message of this series, I want to deal with something that is very real and personal to me and very real and personal to you. For many of us in this room, it is very difficult to even imagine getting a fresh start for us and our families because of the tremendous stress we are under in our families. So I thought I would first try to help us determine our level of stress as a family.

Family Stress Test - Your Family Might Be Under Stress If...

1. Your family conversations begin with ''Put the gun down, and then we can talk.''
2. The school principal has your phone number on speed dial.
3. Your cat is on Valium.
4. You are trying to get your 4-year-old to switch to decaf.
5. The number of jobs held down by family members exceeds the number of people in the family.
6. No one has time for microwave dinners.
7. Your family meetings are often mediated by law enforcement officials.
8. You have to check your kids Day-Timer to see if they can take out the trash.
9. You have begun to explore the possibilities of setting up a drip I.V. solution of espresso.
10. Antacid tablets have become your primary source of nutrition.

The reality is our families are under tremendous pressure and stress today; much greater than any generation that has lived before us. And even though stress has always been a normal part of life, everyone believes and is experiencing a dramatic increase in the level of stress today. Stress related disorders have increased 400 percent in the last two decades without any end in sight. Workers Compensation claims resulting from stress-related illnesses rose 700 percent in the last ten years alone. Tranquilizers, anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety medications now account for 40 percent of all prescriptions written in the U.S. each year.

One clinical psychologist said this: ''Much of our activity these days is nothing more tha ...

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