Broken

Me: Hey God.
God: Hello…..
Me: I’m falling apart. Can you put me back together?
God: I would rather not.
Me: Why?
God: Because you aren’t a puzzle.
Me: What about all of the pieces of my life that are falling down onto the ground?
God: Let them stay there for a while. They fell off for a reason. Take some time and decide if you need any of those pieces back.
Me: You don’t understand! I’m breaking down!
God: No – you don’t understand. You are breaking through. What you are feeling are just growing pains. You are shedding the things and the people in your life that are holding you back. You aren’t falling apart. You are falling into place. Relax. Take some deep breaths and allow those things you don’t need anymore to fall off of you. Quit holding onto the pieces that don’t fit you anymore. Let them fall off. Let them go.
Me: Once I start doing that, what will be left of me?
God: Only the very best pieces of you.
Me: I’m scared of changing.
God: I keep telling you – YOU AREN’T CHANGING!! YOU ARE BECOMING!
Me: Becoming who?
God: Becoming who I created you to be! A person of light and love and charity and hope and courage and joy and mercy and grace and compassion. I made you for more than the shallow pieces you have decided to adorn yourself with that you cling to with such greed and fear. Let those things fall off of you. I love you! Don’t change! … Become! Become! Become who I made you to be. I’m going to keep telling you this until you remember it.
Me: There goes another piece.
God: Yep. Let it be.
Me: So … I’m not broken?
God: Of course Not! – but you are breaking like the dawn. It’s a new day. Become!!!
~Author Unknown

Can You Help Me?

When I started this blog years ago, I never knew that it would reach all over the world and help so many special people. Each and every one of them (including YOU) has been a blessing from God to encourage me to continue helping people that need healing from divorce.

And now, I would love your help!!

I believe that God is leading me to create a new YouVersion Bible App Reading Plan. I have been blown away by how many people have responded to the other two plans I created (as of today, over 137,000). I give God all of the glory and a huge thank you to YouVersion for allowing me to just be a small part of the healing process that He is doing in their lives. I am extremely humbled.

Soooooooo, what next?

I WOULD LOVE YOUR HELP!!

I know that you may not be ready to share about your divorce situation, and I am totally fine with that. If you are not, you may skip the rest of this post. Feel free to check out any of the other posts I have on this blog. May they give you the help and direction you need during this time in your life. Check back soon because I will be creating another new blog post soon and would love to know what you think.

If you are at a point where I could ask you to suggest topics for my next Reading Plan, I would LOVE for you to help me out.

TITLE: (pending) DIVORCE TO HEALING: THE FIRST 7 DAYS

REQUEST: In as much detail as you feel willing to share; describe the first 7 days of your divorce and what helped you out the most in those 7 days? Can you narrow it down to a few different topics? Are there specific feelings of fear, regret, anger, etc.. that dominated that time? Looking back, if you had a Reading Plan offering assistance during that time, what 7 things would have given you the most help during those first 7 days?

I know this may not be something you feel comfortable to share, and I totally understand. I just wanted to give you an opportunity to share, if you feel like God has gotten you to a point where you are willing to help others with your experience.

Go ahead and leave your thoughts in the comments. If you would like to share, but would only like to share with me in private, go ahead and send me a personal email at divorcetohealing@gmail.com and I will keep your comments between us.

Ask God what He would have you share. You may have an insight that could change the life for someone just like you, a person forever changed by the pain of divorce.

I want to say thank you in advance. I know this may be tough for some people. God has brought some of you to a place where you are ready to share your thoughts. He has given you a testimony in how He has helped you gain wisdom and peace through your healing process. Now is a great time to share your thoughts.

Thank you all for taking a few moments to give me a greater look into what it takes to handle the first 7 days of a divorce. I don’t take it lightly. I appreciate each and every one of you.

Be blessed!!

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

Divorce and Remarriage Resources

I am sure many of you have questions on what the bible says about divorce and remarriage. So many people have heard bits and pieces of verses, taken verses out of context, or just try to make God’s word fit to justify a decision.

Below I would like to share some resources I have reviewed recently. I will share a little at the end of my opinion on the material and the sources.

Here is a podcast from Dr Michael Heiser, PHD titled “The Naked Bible Podcast“.  He is considered one of the top, if not the top, biblical scholars in the world today.

The two episodes I reviewed were:

#316: Divorce and Remarriage in the Old Testament

and

#318: Divorce and Remarriage in the New Testament

Both of these podcast episodes have just recently been released near the end of March 2020.

These episodes do dig deep into the Greek & Hebrew texts and they are on the academic side. For some they may seem rather scholarly, but follow along with the verses shared in your bible to help bring God’s word to life through this study.

Two books that the guest (Rev Dr David Instone-Brewer) referred to:

Marriage and Divorce in the Bible by Jay E Adams

and

Marriage and Divorce in the Church by Jay E Adams.

Dr Instone-Brewer has also created a website called Divorce-Remarriage.com that provides a lot more to consider on this topic. I have not researched the whole website, but the quick summary of the two books mentioned above is posted below and can be of great value:

(from Divorce-Remarriage.com)

The conclusions:

  • The Bible’s message for those suffering within marriage is both realistic and loving
  • Marriage should be lifelong, but broken marriage vows can be grounds for divorce
  • Biblical grounds for divorce include adultery, abuse and abandonment
  • Jesus urged forgiveness but allowed divorce for repeated unrepentant breaking of marriage vows
  • Only the victim, not the perpetrator of such sins, should decide when or whether to divorce
  • Anyone who divorces on biblical grounds or who is divorced against their will can remarry.

Very quick summary:

This book interprets the words of Jesus and Paul through the eyes of first century readers who knew about the ‘Any Cause’ divorce which Jesus was asked about (“Is it lawful to divorce for ‘Any Cause’” – Mt.19.3). Christians in following generations forgot about the ‘Any Cause’ divorce and misunderstood Jesus.

The ‘Any Cause’ divorce was invented by some Pharisees who divided up the phrase “a cause of indecency” (Dt.24.1) into two grounds for divorce: “indecency” (porneia which they interpreted as ‘Adultery’) and “a cause” (ie ‘Any Cause’). Jesus said the phrase could not be split up and that it meant “nothing except porneia“. Although almost everyone was using this new type of divorce, Jesus told them that it was invalid, so remarriage was adulterous because they were still married.

The Old Testament allowed divorce for the breaking of marriage vows, including neglect and abuse, based on Exod.21.10f. Jesus was not asked about these biblical grounds for divorce, though Paul alluded to them in 1Cor.7 as the basis of marriage obligations. This book argues that God never repealed these biblical grounds for divorce based on broken marriage vows. They were exemplified by Christ (according to Eph.5.28f) and they became the basis of Christian marriage vows (love, honour, and keep).

Of course, I highly suggest that you counsel with your pastor or care ministry that can give you additional help and direction in this difficult time. Don’t take this as any final answer. God will give you His wisdom as you seek it with those around you that will lead you to God and His word on the subject.

When all is said and done, you and you alone will be held accountable for your decisions and actions surrounding divorce and remarriage. This is just a good starting point to help you as you seek God and His face on your next step.

Be blessed!!

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Divorce

How in the world can you handle all of the craziness of a global pandemic, with all of the demands on your family from homeschooling and mask-making to locating toilet paper and working from home (or being laid off)? Now add the stress and logistics of a divorce to the mix? How on earth can anyone even ATTEMPT to handle all of this?

If anyone has the answers, they are lying!!!

SO, why should I even attempt to write down my thoughts on this subject?

I am no disease specialist. I do not have a degree in epidemiology. I am no way an economist, front line healthcare worker, governmental representative, or even a counselor.

What I am is a person who has been where you are; having to deal with too much stuff while trying to navigate my life and attempting to heal from a divorce.

It would be a monumental feat for me to share practical and redundant information on COVID-19. That is why your local, state, and national governmental bodies were created. From the CDC to your local doctors and healthcare professionals, they can give you the best information on anything and everything you need to know on the virus.

What they cannot do is speak to you about what really matters; the health of your soul.

With all that is going on, the health of your soul is the most important thing, in my opinion.

In my own hometown, calls to the police for domestic violence are up 20% over last year for last month (March 2020). While many families are coming closer together during this difficult time, many others are fighting and hurting each other at an alarming rate.

Our souls (mind, will, and emotions) are hurting, confused, and just plain tired. They are being torn down by so many different factors, not the least being our financial situations, the media, elderly parents that won’t stay at home, or our own family getting on our nerves.

For the most part, what is attacking our souls is not something physical. It is our own thoughts and fears about what is currently going on and what is to come. It is being attacked by our thoughts towards one another and not knowing where the next paycheck is coming from.

These are all valid and need to be acknowledged, but they need to be retaliated against. Just not in a physical way.

You never attack the wind with a sword. The wind comes and goes as it pleases. It changes direction and intensity at will. We can try to predict how strong it will be and from what direction, but even that is futile at times.

So how do you handle the “wind” coming against you?

You put up a wind turbine and allow the wind to create energy for you!!

Just like fire, wind can do good and do bad. It can destroy a building itself by crushing it with a large tree. It can cause waves that crash upon a dike that may break and flood whole communities. Wind can carry debris during a hurricane or tornado that could cause death and destruction beyond our wildest imaginations.

It can also provide electricity when driving the blades of a huge wind turbine. It can propel a sailboat through a beautiful channel of islands in the Caribbean. It can bring refreshing on a hot day as you lay by a pool, reading a book.

The wind of circumstance for both the pandemic and divorce have 2 things in common; it can bring forth death & destruction or it can bring peace and energy to move forward.

So how can you protect your soul during this time of corona virus and divorce?

(1) Find a hiding place

We have all heard of the social distancing and stay at home orders. It works for the spread of the virus.

When you are needing a hiding place for your soul during divorce, find it in the person of Jesus and His word (the bible).

Psalm 32:7  You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah (Pause. Take a moment and let the passage above speak to you)

A hiding place allows you protection as well as giving you a place to gain strength for what is to come next. It is in our hiding place where we can either grow or fall apart. It is all a decision on how you address the time and how you use that time while you are there.

(2) Be cautious

Wear a mask. Stay 6 feet away from other people. Do not be in a group of more 10 people.

When divorce becomes a part of our lives, we need to be careful who we hand around. Family can be as much of a hindrance as a help, if they are not speaking life to you. Doing things and going places with those who just want to make you “feel good’ only cause more damage and destruction for your soul.

Spend time with Godly people, those willing to speak life and not death to you and your situation. Pastors, counselors (Christian or Christian-friendly), friends, and family that encourage you to seek God are the ones that will feed our soul instead of tearing it down.

Deuteronomy 12:28  Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.

God will protect you and provide the wisdom you need during this time in ways you may never ever know. Only days, month and years down the road may you see how following God’s ways have kept you from harm and helped your soul heal.

3) Plan to come out

With wisdom from the healthcare and business professionals, we will emerge from the isolation from this pandemic. It needs to be a plan with much consideration for the health of all people and our country as a whole.

There will come that day when your soul will be able to move forward with God’s help and wisdom. It will be a time of uncertainty and apprehension, but He will be with you every step of the way, if you let Him.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lordplans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

I know that this verse is one of the most quoted verses in the Bible, but I felt it fit better than all of the others. God does have a plan for you. Your challenge is to bring your soul in alignment with that plan. From there, God will guide you out in wisdom and with peace.

4) Walk in faith

The day is coming soon (if it hasn’t already) when we will be asked to leave our isolation and return to work, return to school, and return to living lives outside of our homes. It may look different for quite a while, yet we need to move on with what needs to be done to move forward.

Our soul will grow stronger as we exercise it; moving out from our hiding place into the next chapter in our life. God will give you the strength and encouragement to move on. You may not think you are ready (usually nobody thinks that), but God is calling you out into His marvelous light.

2 Corinthians 5:7  for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Another popular verse, yet it so relevant to our situation. When we step out after divorce, we can’t see what will happen. We have no idea how things may turn out, but I know how does.

Jesus.

He is the One who is, who was, and who is to come. He knows the beginning from the end, not just for all of humanity, but for you!!

He knows you intimately and can see what you cannot see. Walk with Him in faith as He shows you all that He is doing for you now.

Step out, holding His hand as you are encouraged with the support of Godly friends and family. He will be there for you, no matter what.

My prayer for you is that you find Jesus through all of this in a new and healthy way. May His healing power heal our bodies and our souls during this difficult time.

Be blessed!!


If you are interested in any free resources (book for sale, if desired) to help you as you proceed through the healing process of divorce, here are a couple of Reading Plans I wrote for the YouVersion Bible App.

The links to those plans and my book are below:

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

Loss

(Dedicated to my friend and brother, Jerry Arney)

When we lose someone, a lot of times we just don’t know what to do next. We don’t know what to say. We don’t know how to act or even feel.

Loss of a marriage is like the death of a friend or loved one in a lot of ways. It is a life leaving us to make sense of what has happened and move on. It forces us to deal with thoughts and emotions that we avoid at all costs. Who wants to experience that?

Today, a very good friend of mine who has been sick for almost 3 years passed away. His name is Jerry Arney and he was someone who I loved as a brother and friend very much. I always will. I will never forget him, though life moves on and eventually I will not give him much thought, and I absolutely hate that. Sorry, Jerry, but that is the human life.

We are usually consumed by what is happening at the moment. Time makes it imperative to deal with what is going on today, which causes us to push the past into the back of our minds. It sucks, but that is what happens.

When it comes to the loss of a marriage, the pain eventually subsides and the business of life, children, a job, friends, and new events require us to have to focus on them. It pushes the past back a little more each day and is a large part of the healing process.

When that happens, it doesn’t say anything about that person you lost or the marriage that did not last. It had a life and it hurts when it is gone.

When I spend less time time thinking about Jerry, it doesn’t take anything away from the relationship I had with him. We shared and invested in our friendship and it means something. The same is with a marriage. It mattered and you invested so much into it, and yet it is gone.

When I think of Jerry, I am going to do my best to remember the good times. We spent a lot more time in a hospital praying and talking than we ever did outside of it. The bad times happened, but I am going to remember how even as he suffered pain and disappointment, he had a love for Jesus that I will always be jealous of.

He knew that someday, he would be healed one way or the other. One day the pain would be gone. And tonight it is gone.

My pain is getting more intense. I miss my friend and brother, I miss his love for his family and God. I miss his love for others, those he shared love with on the the streets and in the detox centers where he ministered to those most people have given up on. But God will help me and carry me during this time. He has before, and he will again.

You have lost a marriage, and it hurts. It hurts bad. You will miss some things that where amazing. You will miss the person that you married, the one who said for better or for worse. You didn’t marry the person you they are now. You lost someone totally different.

The last time I saw Jerry, I knew he was getting tired. He shared many things with me to make me realize now that he had become a different person from the one I first met and grew to love as a fellow man in ministry. He still loved & trusted in the Lord, but his human body was dying.

Your marriage was not the same at the end as it was in the beginning. You wanted it to be different, to be like it was when you first got married, but eventually it died.

So where does that leave us?

As I mourn my friend and brother, I will cling to Jesus, the one who is the answer for my broken heart. He is the only one who can heal it. And he will. I will eventually be able to look back and remember the good times we had, all the wonderful fellowship, and the time spent with our Savior.

As you mourn your marriage, cling to Jesus!! He loves you with an everlasting love. He is the only one who can give you the wisdom, peace, and joy to move forward each and every day. It will get easier. I promise. As you let Him lead and hold you, He will give you a peace that will surpass anything you could ever imagine.

Eventually we will both look back and it won’t hurt like it does now. We may have a scar and a tenderness when we remember, yet it will not stop us from being better. God has plans for both of us. Walk with me as we both move forward with Him.

RIP Jerry Arney

The Healing Triangle

Think about a triangle. Any triangle. It may have different lengths and odd angles. It may be large or small. It may look different to each person, depending on how they look at it. Yet, there are certain characteristics of a triangle that each one has that are the same:

  1. They all started at a specific point.
  2. They all are created with 3 sides.
  3. They all end up at the original point, but from a different point of view.

There is a point in our life when things become extremely difficult and life-changing like divorce. There needs to be a change. We need to move away from that point. We need to create movement away from that specific point.

It is not easy. It takes energy and a decision to move forward. But what direction do I need to move? What if I head in the wrong direction?

I may present an unpopular point here, and I may take a little flack with it, but I think in the end it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that you move away from that point, in ANY direction.

Make a decision to move on, and then start moving.

Think about how you would draw a triangle. You start with your pen or pencil on a specific point and than you move away from that point in a straight line. Just get moving. Go. Move away from it. It is time to leave that point, and it starts with the decision and movement.

Create the first side of your healing triangle.

But you may ask, what if I head in the wrong direction? Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter. What actually matters is that you start creating something new. Get moving.

When do you stop moving in that direction? It is different for everyone.

Just like every triangle can look different, so will your triangle. If you want that first side to be long to get as far away as you can from the specific point you are leaving, that is fine.

Sometimes the hurt and pain will cause you to head in a certain direction longer that others. You are on a journey that is meant only for you. You are unique and your healing will look different than anyone else’s healing.

There will come a time when you get tired of just moving away from that painful time in your life. You will realize that you are far enough away and it is time to make a shift. It may be to the left, it may be to the right.

Does it matter which way I turn? Again, it is your decision.

At this new point, it DOES matter which way you turn. You have to turn. You can’t just keep running away from that painful point.

You will come to the realization that if you just keep running from it, you will never be able to heal from it. You must be able to see that point from a different perspective. You need to start creating the second side of your healing triangle, and you must choose to turn right or left.

There are only two directions to choose from, right or left. Which direction will you take?

One direction leads you in a positive direction, one that will lead you to seek what good can come from your current situation. The other direction leads you in negative direction, one that will lead you down a path of negativity and an unhealthy mindset towards what happened and where you will ultimately end up.

Don’t make that decision without truly understanding which way you should turn. It will make a world of difference in the rest of your life. How will you heal from that point in your life that you would rather forget about and put behind you?

It does matter which way you turn. You will understand in a minute, how important this decision is and how it will change your whole life moving forward.

You are creating your first angle with this turn. Here is your next decision and another specific point in your life. It will change the direction of your life.

Choose Jesus. Choose the path towards the only one who can help you make sense of what happened. Choose the direction towards understanding and peace. Trust me. It is the best direction.

Yet, the decision is yours. When you truly see how much your life will be affected by taking the positive direction and how your healing triangle comes together, you will look back at this next specific point where you shifted your direction and be thankful you did.

You are now heading in a new direction. What kind of angle did you take?

A triangle is created by 3 angles and 3 sides.

The angle determines two things:

  1. Your commitment and trust to the healing process.
  2. Your faith in the healing process which determines how long it will take to heal.

Think about your healing triangle again. You are now creating that second side. You have committed to a change of direction, but at what angle?

Are you still heading away from that painful point in your life? Are you still running? Are you moving sideways, not wanting to hurt, but realizing that you need to stop running so you can address the pain before losing any more time?

Did you realize that the only way to move on is to take a sharp angle towards the understanding and truth that Jesus has for you? Do you trust Him and not yourself for the healing? The sharper the angle towards God will bring greater healing in a shorter time frame.

You can decide how long your healing will take by how sharp of an angle you take towards God and the healing He has for you.

Think about it. If you take a shallow angle and just put a little faith and commitment into your healing, you will end up having a much longer way to travel back to complete your healing triangle.

In order to complete a triangle, the second side leads to the second angle. That second angle is what you need to head towards completing your triangle.

The first angle determines your second angle.

The length of the second side (time spent before creating your second angle) is also a choice. How long do you want your second side to be? Everyone’s healing triangle is unique. It does take time. Don’t sweat it. Everyone’s healing times are different. Just don’t take forever to make your final decision. You will never complete your triangle until you do.

There will come that time when you are ready to look back at your original starting point because you want to complete your healing triangle, the healing process.

Here is where all of your decisions up to this point (the length of the first side, your decision to turn left or right, degree of that first angle, the length of the second side) all factor into the next step.

As you look back at that painful point in your life, you need to go back there to complete your healing triangle. Let me explain:

You need to be able to see what happened to you from a different perspective.

Your first angle determines how far you still have to go to complete your triangle. It also determines how sharp of an angle you now need to take in order to complete your triangle as well.

How long you took until you decided to turn (your second side) and face your past with a new perspective determines how much more time you have to complete your triangle.

Are you ready? Have you decided it is time to address the pain from a new perspective?

Let’s back up to your first angle: Did you take right turn? Did you choose the correct direction to turn? Are you heading back towards your painful past with understand, truth, and peace you received in the healing process from God? Did you make the wrong turn?

Before you finally connect the dots and complete your triangle, make sure you are seeing your pain through the grace, mercy, love, acceptance, healing, peace, and understanding of the only one who can heal a broken heart :Jesus!!

If you took the wrong turn, that is ok. Stop. Turn back. Return to where you made the wrong decision and create a new angle. Do it more than once if needed.

You need to see your pain from a positive direction with the eyes of God if you are ever going to fully and completely be healed from your pain. Trust me. It is the only way you will fully be able to move on without the baggage and unresolved issues that divorce or other painful event has caused you.

Did you take a positive, Godly angle when you were done running? Are you ready to complete your triangle?

Realize that whatever angle you took and the length of time you spent before making your second angle doesn’t really matter in the scheme of healing. It may add time and some uncomfortable times before you complete, but you are doing it; YOU ARE HEALING!!

Make the decision to head back to that painful point. With your new Godly perspective, make your second angle and connect the dots.

See your pain through God’s eyes. You can’t change it. It happened. It was painful.

As you complete your triangle, it may still hurt, but as you close your triangle know that healing is being completed. It may not feel like it, but it is. God is healing you. You decided how long and at what angles your healing took, but God brought you back here; to the point of your pain.

Complete your triangle. Let God hold your hand as you complete it. Ask Him to heal you completely as you trust Him to finish the work.

It is ok to shed tears. It is ok to still not understand why. It is ok. You will be ok.

You took the angle that led towards God and brought you back to the most painful point of your life with a fresh, Godly perspective; one that includes truth, peace, and understanding.

You are healed. Thank Him for healing you.

Give God the glory as you now move forward into all that He has for you.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” — Romans 8:28

Be blessed!!

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

 

 

Father

This is an amazing new song (as of Oct 2019) from one of my favorite artists.

It describes our relationship with Father God in a way that touches me like few ever have touched me.  May it encourage you today like it encourages me. (Lyrics below)

“Father”
Writer(s): ED CASH, SCOTT MCTYEIRE CASH, JEREMY CAMP

I cover up the pain that I’m lost in
‘Cause  I wanna be enough and it’s exhausting
Trying  so hard but really I’m just wearing my heart out
And I find myself right on the verge of a breakdown

Then You hold me in Your hands
Remind  me who You are and who I am

I  was born broken so You can make me whole
I’ll bring my dirt and let You wash over me like water (Oh-oh-oh-oh)
I  was born to need You, to wipe the tears I cry
Yes, You made me a child so You could be my Father
I’m Your child and You’re my Father (Oh-oh-oh-oh)

Even when I’m lost and I don’t feel found
When  humans are human and they let me down
You’re still my Father

I was born broken so You can make me whole
I’ll bring my dirt and let You wash over me like water (Oh-oh-oh-oh)
I was born to need You, to wipe the tears I cry
Yes, You made me a child so You could be my Father
I’m Your child and You’re my Father (Oh-oh-oh-oh)

Be blessed!!

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

Gain Strength

So many times in our lives, we struggle to find the strength we need.  Whether it is the strength we need to get through our current crisis or the strength to just get out of bed.  We need strength to attack another day of family, work, and whatever comes our way.

Personally, I am not near as strong in my life as I need to be.  I miss going to the gym, I don’t post here enough, and I miss out on getting things done for my family.  To be honest, it is not a lack of strength.  It is a lack of discipline.

I lack building my physical strength when I decide that going to the gym is not as important as another activity.  I lack building up content for those who are looking for help and encouragement in a time of need when I decide that my time focused on something else takes precedence.  I lack building my family’s confidence in me as a provider and maintainer when I do not get things done around the house and furthering my career.  Why is that?

The dictionary has many definitions of strength. Here are the top 3:

1: the quality or state of being strong: Capacity for exertion or endurance
2: power to resist force
3: power of resisting attack

It is interesting in all off these, strength is actually describes and defined in terms of resistance and endurance.

Strength cannot exist without a force purposely being thrust against it.  It has no purpose but to withstand a force dead set on keeping you being better, being more that you are right now.

There is a force that wants you to stay where you are now and not experience what true strength brings.

Is it possible that part of our weakness and lack of strength is not recognizing the force that is coming against us?

 

Ephesians 6:12 (MEV)

12 For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

Complacency and weakness are partners.  Ever notice that when you settle for where you are now, it feels like there is more out there?  Why does it seem so difficult when you start to improve yourself?

We pray for God to bless us and help us out of our situations, yet could we be unwilling to build our strength in the areas where God wants us to grow?  Could He know that we are leaving real life on the plate after we have only eaten the junk food live hands us?

As Christians, we have given our lives to Jesus.  He desires to give us all that we need.  He has promised us strength and peace.

 

Psalm 29:11 (MEV)

11 The Lord will give strength to His people;
the Lord will bless His people with peace.

 

Why do we choose not to seek strength whether it is physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual strength?  When we think other things are more important than spending some quality time with Jesus every day in prayer and devotions, we lose out on building our strength through knowing and becoming more like Him.

True strength to win the battle against the forces fighting against our relationships, family, finances, peace, and well-being is only built through the truth of God’s Word and focused time spent communing with Him.

Reading the Bible, praise & worship, devotions, fellowship, weekly worship services, and daily time spent in His presence away from all that distracts us (even for a few minutes) allows Him to build the muscles of faith that we need to grow and have the strength we need to live this life.

 

1 Chronicles 16:11 (MEV)

11 Seek the Lord and His strength;
seek His face continually.

 

Today is a new day.  You don’t have to be focused on the forces coming against you when you focus on the God of the universe who is over all of them.  Even if it is just 5 minutes today, just quiet yourself and focus on Jesus.  Not what He can do for you, but who He is.

He is love.  He is truth.  He is power.  He is strength.  He is all you need.

 

Be blessed!!

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
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7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

A Song Story

So many times while we proceed down the road to healing from divorce, you wonder about so many things. You wonder so much sometimes that it makes you question your own existence.

This is a story behind the amazing song, “Wanted”, recently released by Danny Gokey. He and the co-songwriter provide so much insight and wisdom for everyone to help them through the hard times. I don’t know what else I can add.

Here is the full video:

God loves you.

You are Wanted.

Be blessed.

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

 

 

Wounds

A friend of mine (Matt Anderson) shared this from a Facebook post by Kari Stephens Perkins with Get Up & Get Real Ministry. Not sure if she is the original creator, but wanted to share where I got it from.

The hardest part of healing is accepting the fact that you have wounds that are more than superficial. Someone gashed you and hurt you beyond what you could ever imagine. You did not enter into a relationship expecting to end up like this, and you should not have. Yet, here you are.

This is serious business!! Hurt people hurt people!!

Don’t become that person that refuses to do what it takes to heal, only to project your pain, damage, and issues on someone else who doesn’t deserve it.

How does it make you feel when someone else doesn’t just dump on you, but attacks you in a way you know does not fit their real personality? It is unfair to you and to themselves. They don’t want to attack like that, but the pain is eating away at them and they are turning it upon others instead of dealing with the root issues.

Do the hard work. Get to the root of the issues that have caused you the damage to your soul. It will take time, most times must longer than you may want it to take, but it is worth it.

BUT HOW?

I am not a counselor. I am not a pastor. I am not a savior. I am not qualified.

Find the ones who are qualified. Find a counselor, a pastor, and a savior.

The following statement is being said in love. If you know me, you will understand it is meant to share with you what I believe you need, not what you may want:

If you don’t have others involved in your healing process, it is my belief that not only are you trying to take the easy way out, you are robbing yourself of a testimony and a real true healing that allows you to walk in strength through peace for the rest of your life.

The very first person you need is Jesus!!! Of course, He is God. He is also a person. He became human to experience pain and suffering as we do. He knows the ultimate betrayals, wounds, and physical destruction unto death unlike anyone else in all of eternity.

You need a real, raw, complete relationship with Jesus.

If you are confusing a relationship with Jesus with a ministry, church, or organization, then you are going to be disappointed. Jesus never fails. Jesus never leaves you or forsakes you.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, He brings everything you need when you fully surrender your whole life (wounds and all) to Him. He brings comfort, peace, joy, healing, wholeness, love, and everything you must have in order to receive a complete healing.

I am not bashing the church, ministries, or other religious organizations. Just know that they are filled with humans (just like you & I), imperfect and needing help. They do the best they can. They want to be there for you. Give them some grace and mercy during the process.

Without Jesus and a total focus on His Word and His Holy Spirit, you are missing the most important part of the healing from the only one who can heal a broken heart.

Spend time alone with Jesus. Study His Word. Pray that God reveals real love to you, not a human’s definition or representation of love. Allow Him the time to stitch up the wounds caused from a relationship lost. True healing takes time and patience.

Find a Christian counselor that understands how important Jesus is in the healing process. If they trust a human process over God’s process, they are the wrong counselor (sorry, but let’s get real). Why trust a man over God? They should bring all the gifts that they have been given along with their training and knowledge to the table, but they should give all the glory and authority to Jesus and the Holy Spirit, who ultimately does the healing.

It is understandable that when relationships go bad people are looking for change or want to find a new church. In many ways, it can be healthy to do that, but don’t leave a life-giving, Bible-preaching, spirit-filled, loving church just because you are hurt. Meet with the pastors or a care partner to express your feelings and determine the best course of action.

Just leaving a church because it will be difficult is not a reason. Neither is you feeling like you have a big ‘D’ on your forehead (that was me) when you gather for worship or a group.

You are there for God, not for what others think. You are there to lift His name on high, not give others something to gossip about this week. You are there for your relationship with the Almighty, not for the one who thought they were the almighty.

Leaving your current church and groups may rob you of just the ones that God wants to use to help you heal. Who knows how they will rally around you and support you in prayer. They can be a resource as you get back on your feet.

My wife and I used to lead an amazing divorce recovery group at our church  called DivorceCare. Not only can you sign up for a daily encouragement, you can join a group that is a sound, biblical group that ends up helping each other as much or more than the curriculum does. Your church may have a similar group as well.

Most of all, have a support group of family and friends that love Jesus and what He wants, complete and total wholeness through that healing that only the Healer gives. Find those that don’t pull you down, but lift you up.

Trust the process, but the RIGHT process. God’s process!!

Psalms 51:17 ESV

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Psalm 147:3 ESV

3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Be blessed.

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

 

 

 

 

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