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Author and minister Max Lucado sits down for a one-on-one about the issues facing our county

"If you're anxious, rather than give in to that anxiety, make a list of 5 or 6 things for which you are really grateful," Lucado said.

SAN ANTONIO — The most popular all-time videos on YouTube are Despacito, Baby Shark and Ed Sheeran, and these are the YouTube videos we clicked the most this year.  But, with 30 million views so far, there's someone here in San Antonio chasing them, but he's not a singer, he's a minister.

Already a best-selling author, Max Lucado has taken to social media in a unique way, and reaching a greater global audience with hope during one of the most difficult years of our lifetime. Unemployment, economic insecurity and self-isolation are creating epidemics within a pandemic.

National tracking systems show U.S. suicide rates are the highest since World War II, domestic abuse is up and drug overdoses have climbed 18% since March. Racial unrest is also heightening tensions. 

"The biggest problem of this pandemic is anxiety. The uncertainty that it creates," said Lucado.

But there is a bright light shining into the hearts of people around the world coming from right here in San Antonio. As the country went into lockdown in April, Oak Hills Minister Max Lucado started something new- eight to ten minute videos of hopeful messages on MaxLucado.com.

More than 30 million people tune in to hear words of encouragement from this best-selling author. 

"If you're anxious, rather than give in to that anxiety, make a list of 5 or 6 things for which you are really grateful. I'm grateful for my good health, for my family, for the good weather, for todays food. When we're grateful, we get our minds off our problems. Gratitude and anxiety refuse to share the same heart," Lucado explains on his videos.

Lucado didn't imagine the impact his videos would have around the world.

"I was amazed at how many people were watching them," the minister said.

Lucado says we can deal with all that’s coming at us physically, financially and socially by being kind to ourselves and to others.

"Don't let a day pass that you don't reach out to somebody else. Somebody in the world needs what you have to offer. And you really are a better person as you give. Find somebody who needs encouragement. Even if you can't see them in person, you can call them you can text them," Lucado advises.

The 2020 holidays will be "life-altering." knowing we can't enjoy what we cherish the most, which is being with friends and family. Lucado encourages you to do something "life-changing."

"Let this be the holiday season that you seek to be at peace with the people in your world. There is a lot of friction and a lot of division and sometimes, often times it's right there in our own family. This is the perfect Thanksgiving and Christmas to say 'I'm gonna make sure I am okay with everybody in my family.'"

"Begin some conversations with phrases like 'Is there anything we need to talk about? Let me tell you why you're special to me. It's been too long since I've thanked you for being such a special person.' Let things be expressed that have gone unexpressed. Maybe you need to extend forgiveness. Maybe you need to ask for forgiveness," Lucado said.

When 2020's cloud of uncertainty seems darkest, Lucado shines the light of what matters most.

"We need to be reminded how fragile life is. This pandemic has reminded us that a microscopic virus can bring us to our knees. If I could do anything this holiday season it would be to challenge people to seize the opportunity to be at peace with the people in your world and see what happens," Lucado said.

Max Lucado has over 140 million products in print with his books, videos and curriculum.

His latest book "You Are Not Alone" was just released. Lucado wrote it before the Pandemic. He says it was God's providence that a book on loneliness would be so appropriate for this season.

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