A Refining Influence

Ecc 7-3There is such truth in this verse from the book of Ecclesiastes. We don’t like it but it’s true. 

We prefer happy times full of laughter, the times when the wind is blowing gently on a spring day, the days when relationships are strong. And these are all good times. Good times for all aspects of our lives – body, heart, mind, spirit and soul. 

However, there is a refining that occurs in dark times, in gloomy days, in situations that reveal some character issue in our lives. This refinement doesn’t come in the good times. Only the not-so-good times. Yet we wish them away so often. We don’t want them. We can’t take the refinement. It’s harsh, painful and most definitely uncomfortable. 

But it brings out a new us if we will allow it to finish the process. It removes the ugly, the harsh, the ungodly, the selfish parts of us. It smooths us in every way and literally makes us “fine” again.

My prayer is that God would not stop refining me for I know that it brings about an outcome that I will eventually enjoy seeing. No, my prayer is that God’s presence would rest so heavily upon me that the refining process would no longer frighten me but that I would welcome it when it’s time for it to enter my life again. 

Will you join me in that prayer?

New Year. New Day.

Lam 3-23

The year of 2016 has arrived. A new beginning. A fresh start. A brand-new opportunity.

While most everyone I talk to gets excited about a new year, the excitement wanes rather quickly when the first resolution fails. We get so down on ourselves and literally say, “Well, there goes this year.”

But why? Why do we throw away an entire year of good intentions and pure motives one day when we could start over the very next?

Scripture says that God’s faithfulness is great and that his mercies are new every morning. My friend, they are new every, stinkin’ morning. Why not take advantage of those new mercies every day? Why only use them once a year on January 1st?

God knows you will make mistakes. God knows you will set goals and not always reach them. God knows that you will resolve to do something consistently that you won’t follow through on. God knows. And that is exactly why He has provided His Word to give you hope and comfort.

Enjoy the beginning of this new year. There is something so sweet and pure about a fresh start. But don’t let this be the only fresh start you take. If you find yourself not doing what you wished or planned to do at any given point in this year, start over the next day. Because His mercies, well, they are just waiting for you to grab them. 

Pray. Thank. Ask. Receive.

IMG_0009

Worry and anxiety go hand in hand. Worry produces anxiety and anxiety produces worry. These terms are often used synonymously. So, what exactly do they mean?

Webster defines the verb “to worry” in this way: to think about problems or fears. Anxiety is defined as fear or nervousness about what might happen. 

Simply put, worry has to do with our mind and what we think about. It is mental. Anxiety has to do with physical manifestations that worry brings on. It is typically physical.

Thankfully, there is a remedy for us who believe the Bible to be God’s inspired Word. What is it? Glad you asked. Paul exhorts us in Philippians 4:6-7:

Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Do you ever worry? Do you ever feel anxious? I know the answer is yes. We all do at some point in our day. So, expecting that we will never worry for the rest of our lives is probably not realistic considering the fallen world in which we live. But, we do have the strength of Christ to be able to find victory over things that cause us to bite our nails to the quick. 

I’m not telling you to be a better Christian like your friend or mentor and stop worrying and fretting. People who don’t worry have already put this verse into practice. That’s why they don’t worry. It would be great if that simple command could do the trick. What I’m saying is that we have to act when those worries and anxieties threaten to send us into a pit of despair. 

So, when you are worried or concerned about something, stop. Go to your Heavenly Father in prayer. In your prayer, thank Him for who He is and for saving you. Then, humbly present your requests to the Creator of the Universe. And then receive His peace, the kind that cannot be understood or explained.

Affair Recovery

Each and every week I receive emails from hurting spouses practically begging me for just a minute of my time. That’s an odd request to receive as it makes me seem like I have all the answers. I certainly do not. 

But just this week as I was praying over the emails and situations in the lives of those hurting, I decided that I would share about a ministry that will most definitely help you begin to put back the pieces of your marriage after infidelity strikes.

affair_recovery_logo


Allow me to introduce you to an amazing ministry called Affair Recovery. Rick Reynolds is the founder and president. He is a terrific man of God who loves to help others due to his own journey through infidelity. You can watch his story HERE

Rick is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and leads a team of individuals, also LCSWs. Their mission is to restore those in crisis to extraordinary lives of meaning and purpose. They accomplish this mission by a variety of ways: weekend retreats, online courses, free articles online, a FREE 7-day bootcamp, to name just a few.

I want to encourage you to seek out the help you need on your own journey. This team is amazing and wants to help you. Not only that, they know what they are doing. 

Praying for you.

He Never Stops

Psalm 36-5The heavens and the skies are unreachable to me. Unattainable. Never able to get a hold of. They are out of my ability to grasp. 

So is God’s love and faithfulness for me.

He never stops loving.
He never stops being faithful.

Even when I stop loving Him and stop being faithful to Him.

Because I do that sometimes. When I don’t obey and decide to go my own way. When I choose my flesh over what the Word of God is leading me to do. When I ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit and instead push it away as if it’s just indigestion. The Lord knows I try not to do this but sometimes I do. 

I want to follow His example to me. I want to love and be faithful just like He is. I want to have those two words synonymous with my name regardless of what anyone else does to me or says about me. 

I want to be loving and faithful no matter what.

Just like my Daddy.