Nearly across the country! At 2256 miles as I write! I have a love-hate relationship with technology! I expect most of us do. I am able to write and complete office tasks on the go, exactly as I am doing … Continue reading
To go or not to go on Friday, that is the question! Yesterday, I updated the front page of our blog page and somehow it was sent out as a blog. So I apologize for that! Please check it out … Continue reading
John and I are preparing for our move to England. We are moving forward at the same time as waiting for John’s Visa to come through. We are in Elk Grove, CA at the moment visiting friends and listening to … Continue reading
But what can I do?
This week I have spent time with people with a variety of intense issues from grief, burnout, marriage despair, anger, financial problems, cancer, ladies with a prison sentence on their back, depression to simply needing to make a major life-changing decision; life has come to a crossroads. I also deal with my own daily choices, reactions and a changing story. This is life and surprise surprise I cannot fix it all.
Yesterday John was in a women’s institution giving his testimony and I had the privilege watching the faces as the women listened to his story. I don’t know what I was expecting but it could have been any women’s group in any church except for the clothing and place. We are practically all one choice away, or pretty close to this, from having committed whatever any of these women had committed sometime in their life; a moment of weakness, anger, hurt, pain, greed, jealousy. But now they are literally a captive audience to the Gospel and hope of Jesus Christ and the freedom He brings even within the four walls of a prison building. He fixes I cannot.
I was introduced to a young lady afterwards, who was a prisoner in many ways, geographically and physically; having been diagnosed with a terminal cancer. I looked into her eyes and I was blessed. There is absolutely no way that I can fix this for her but I can encourage and pray, lifting her soul up into Christ’s presence. I can come alongside someone and listen. I can share a meal. I can listen to the still small voice as God leads. Maybe there is something I can share but words have to be carefully chosen and at the right moment. I can deeply encourage another to stop their busyness even if only for a few moments to ask of God what he wants them to know about whatever situation they might be in. Maybe, just maybe God will speak back through His Word penetrating the soul. So much better than anything I could say.
Please consider sharing and contributing to www.gofundme.com/LIFOC-going-to-London as we seek to reach the addicted in the center of London.
Posted in Reaching People with Choice
Tagged anger, burnout, cancer, choices, counsel, depression, grief, listen, prayer, prison, terminal
And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.
I love the way God can use a story in His Word and bring it alive in a very relevant way. Sometimes the pain and fears we experience in life seem like the
furnaces. Very few of us will be literally thrown into a real fire, bound up like Daniel and his friends. However, I think the real significance here is that Jesus was with them, they were not even singed. They still had to go through the fire. Facing up to the fire is the first brutally honest step. Whatever it might be…He will bring us through, maybe not as quickly as we would like though!
I was writing this email recently in response to someone going through a personal fire:
This is where you are at the moment. God wants you to be brutally honest. A radical thought: sometimes a true acceptance of a painful place, surrendering to Gods most perfect will, painful or not, is exactly where God would have you be. He is interested in Your soul and sometimes our souls can only be molded to be like Christ in the suffering. He is not in a hurry to take the suffering away because He knows what our souls needs. Yes, My flesh sure hates this. James 1.
Bring all to God, the joys and the painful moments and ask God what He wants you to know about each thing. Then listen. Ask Him to help you do this and then watch the God of the universe mold you as He wants. The best.
Learning and choosing to love your husband moment by moment in the midst of all of this is tough but a calling on your life. God reminded me the other day that He has called me to be a wife. It is a sacred calling and I need help to do this. It sometimes means loving and respecting not only when I don’t feel like it but also when nothing comes back in return. Boy I have blown this sometimes. These guys need us and we each have our own unique guy to love.
Yes Lord please help us.
Posted in Biblical Counseling, Prayer, Reaching People with Choice
Tagged choice, Christ, Daniel, furnace, God, husbands, Jesus, joy, pain, surrender
A stump might be all that is left!! If God’s seed is there it is worth it!!!
I recently read one of my favorite chapters in the Bible; Isaiah 6. I did my usual thing, asking God to show me what He wanted to show me as I read this chapter. This time instead of the amazing holiness of the throne and Isaiah’s reaction I stopped right at the end of the chapter at the word “stump.”
God is angry. His people have sinned against Him. They have walked away and God starts stripping away until simply a stump is left. The stump is His holy seed.
Sometimes, the only thing that works is for God to strip everything of comfort away. He wants our attention. He wants all of us, even if it means for us to get to rock bottom before He begins to build us up. This might be that a loved one may have to lose everything and end up on the streets before they come to their senses and turn to God, crying for help. Sadly, some might choose to never reach this point. Others may choose to cry out for help before they reach the bottom.
It is difficult and sometimes very discouraging to walk aside those in the midst of addictive behaviors. Sometimes the prayer just has to be, “Lord, take everything away until they are sick of themselves and realize that they need help, most of all Your life.” A brave prayer to pray because the result might be very messy.
A stump might be all that is left!! If God’s seed is there it is worth it!!!
Yesterday, John and I had our first experience presenting and sharing to a group reaching out to family and friends of those with addictive behaviors.
What a great group of support and listeners to us and each other. The leaders of the group both transparently shared their stories with us and you could have heard a pin drop for almost an hour as John shared so vulnerably about his life, also emphasizing his journey of having to come to terms with the fact of how his bad choices had affected the lives of others.
A powerful time of testimony, making wonderful connections with others who are going down the receiving part of other people’s bad choices.
They are not victims, they are also coming to terms with their own journey of bad choices in their own lives and also how their choices have influenced, and even added, to the addictive habits/sins/idols of significant people in their lives.
We are blessed and so humbled by this path we are on. How others allow us into some really deep and painful areas of their lives. We need each other. One lady shared that the main change in her life was joy. Her circumstances hadn’t changed that much, in fact she was still suffering but she had joy and peace in her Savior. It showed on her face. She put life into the verse in James where it talks about “Counting it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds…” It is possible to have joy in the midst of really unpleasant circumstances and grow through them.
In fact, this is a purpose that God has for your life. I don’t believe He wills these circumstances. Life just has a way of creating painful circumstances, whether by our choices, another’s or just so. He has promised to grow us through these times as we surrender each circumstance to Him. Did you also know that emotions can be considered “circumstances?” Food for thought!