How Does Character Produce Hope?

“…We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” (Romans 5:3-4) When I experience difficulties I admit I don’t always rejoice in them. However, I do see how suffering has built up my endurance because I can deal with a lot more challenges today; and I…

The Long Road Home

“In the history of the Christian church, the tendency has been to avoid being identified with the sufferings of Jesus Christ. People have sought to carry out God’s orders through a shortcut of their own. God’s way is always the way of suffering— the way of the “long road home.” (Oswald Chambers -My Utmost for…

From Strength To Strength

What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the valley of weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs.  The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger and each of them will…

Success is a Journey

It’s been written that ‘success is a journey, not a destination.’ As it relates to spirituality, it couldn’t be more beautifully said than ‘The Peace Prayer’ (or the Eleventh Step Prayer) by St. Francis of Assisi: Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is…

Unhealthy Ways of Getting Our Love Needs Met (In Marriage)

Being vulnerable with another person can be difficult. Especially if we’ve been taught that being vulnerable is a sign of weakness and having emotional needs is wrong. But when we hide our vulnerability out of ‘shame’ it often surfaces in other ways; such as through anger, manipulation, and control. Here’s an example. I’m somewhat introverted…

The Power In Our Weaknesses

I feel Gods presence the most in my darkest times. His power seems greatest in my weakest moments. Sometimes pain exposes our vulnerability and opens the door for God to do a work in us that can become a powerful testimony. The apostle Paul begged God 3 times to remove the ‘thorn in his flesh,’…

Choices

Several years ago I came home in tears, feeling hopeless and defeated after getting another traffic ticket following a road rage incident. “I don’t know what to do” I said to my husband “I give up!” “What lane were you in?” He asked. “The Fast Lane,” I said. “Why don’t you just move over,” He…

Does Pursuing Righteousness Pay Off?

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” While some changes may be instantaneous, for most of us that ‘new creation’ happens gradually over our lifetime. You may feel like you’re not making much progress and then one day you find you’re not as angry or fearful as…

Enjoy The Moment Before It Ends

How many hours did I miss being single while I was lamenting being alone, and how many nights were wasted dreaming of the good old days which we’re told in Ecclesiastes not to ponder because we … “don’t know if they were any better than today” (Ecclesiastes 7:10). How many times I’ve missed the runner’s…

Does God Answer Prayers?

There are many prayers I’ve wanted to quit praying because it seemed like answers would never come. Sometimes I would stop for a period of time out of frustration. However, Matthew 7:7 & 8 tells us: “Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find….

When God’s Timing Meets Ours

I asked God to give me a husband and He did, after way too many years of loneliness. I asked God to help me get sober and He did, a thousand regrets later than I wanted. I asked God help me find me the right job and He did, after at least a dozen wrong…

Why Didn’t I See This Sooner?

Occasionally I get discouraged that I’m just now realizing what led to my past troubles. While I’m grateful God has given me these epiphanies, sometimes I find myself saying things like: “why am I forty two years old and just now figuring this out?” ‘More will be revealed’ is a popular motto in recovery. It…