Are You Trying To Overcome Pain?

Are You Trying To Overcome Pain?

I wrote this for my Overcomers people because it's an issue those in recovery deal with, but we all deal with pain and sin. There can be a confusion regarding the term overcoming. What exactly are we supposed to overcome? It may not be what you think. You can’t overcome pain. You've tried desperately to do good. You want off this roller-coaster. Still, you struggle with the addiction and chronic cycles of negative behavior. Here’s the thing: The pain you feel cannot be overcome, not even with the help of a 12-step program. Pain has to be healed. Period. End of story. God is the only one who can heal and take away your pain. And you’re the only one who can let Him. I spent years trying to overcome my pain. At first, I didn’t even know that pain was driving my behavior. I was just empty inside and was searching for love in all the wrong places. My heart was encased in a shell of...
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A Key To Breakthrough

Do you ever wonder why you haven't experienced a breakthrough? You pray, and you earnestly trust God. All the while, the situation remains the same, or even gets worse! I'm experiencing that right now. I can't pretend to know the answers to every situation, but maybe there's something to this: "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." (Matt. 15:11) Here Jesus says it's the words you speak that defile you (and your situation). In another verse, He says, "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man." ( Matt 15:18) Faith and speaking are connected. And what you really believe is in your heart, not your head. I find myself acting with duplicity in these matters. On one hand, I pray, declare, and believe God. That's good! But on the other hand, I speak what I see in the natural. The natural, or what I call...
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How To Grow In God

It happens to all of us. Life. It's hectic, busy and (sometimes) confusing . If you're a believer, then you know God's word has an answer to your dilemma. Recently I spent some time studying the first several chapters of Revelation, and one of the things that stuck out to me is about our role as kings and priests. As the messages roll out to the various churches we find each church has a lampstand. The lampstand represents the light we are to the world, but that light is fueled by oil. Going back to the Old Testament, we can find out how symbolic it all is to our current life as New Testament believers and as modern day priests (which has nothing to do with enrolling in Bible school!). Listen to my latest message entitled, Keep the Fire Burning, here and here. You'll learn some ways to grow in God. And I'll answer questions like what is the purpose of light and what...
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Is There A Reason For The Struggle?

Is There A Reason For The Struggle?

If you're going through something difficult right now and you're wondering why then take a moment and read. There's a reason for what you're going through, and it has a good ending, but *spoiler alert* it may not be the ending you’ve imagined. The circumstances of life are most difficult – there's always something going on to cause worry, fear, and anxiety. But have you ever considered those difficulties to be invitations to draw closer to the Lord? Have you ever thought that the dryness of your soul is meant to be quenched and that the thirst is meant to drive you toward Jesus, not away from Him? I’ve been thinking a lot about the wilderness lately. It's actually kind of a funny story. I was asked to preach at church on a Sunday morning about a month ago, and the message was about the wilderness. My message followed my lead pastor's message on the same topic, I just had an additional perspective....
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Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." Psalm 139:14 This verse keeps shouting at me in a loud whisper: believe! Know it's true. I don't know if this ever happens to you like it does to me, but have you ever disliked a part of yourself and forgotten that you are actually fearfully and wonderfully made? For a good deal of my life, I've not understood a particular driving force within my being. I have a deep desire to take things that are not quite right and turn them into beautiful, efficiently functioning things. This means I see the broken parts of systems and habits and usually ways to "fix" them, but sometimes that comes across as negativity. I'm not trying to be negative - inside my heart, I only want to make things better! If I'm being honest with myself, I've unconsciously loathed that part of me. I've found...
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It Was Just Flower Arranging

It Was Just Flower Arranging

I was prepping for my daughter-in-law’s baby shower and I’d been on my feet all day. It was getting late and I was super tired and achy. And, as it turns out, my husband had a difficult time getting home in Friday rush hour traffic. He didn’t make it until after 8 pm with the flowers I’d requested him to pick-up for the shower. Although I was so tired and really wanted to rest in my bed, I unwrapped each bundle of flowers and began sorting them by color and type. I had a vague sense of what I wanted them to look like, and what I didn’t want, but as I gathered up the stems, I just couldn’t make the bouquets look right. (I think the Lord skipped over me when He passed out the creative ability to beautifully arrange flowers. That’s not a 'poor me' statement, just reality. He gave me other gifts, by His design; but here I was, needing...
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The Dark Side of Change

The Dark Side of Change

The day my mom called and told me my aunt was getting married was an exciting day! After we hung up, I began to wonder and hope that because of the enormous change in their lives, my mom would decide to move her home back to Texas. My mom and her sister had been living together for the past five-plus years, but that living arrangement kept her far from us, her kids, and her grands and great-grands. We longed to have her around more! The next time we spoke, my mom said, “yes!” she wanted to move back to Texas. I enthusiastically, and without reservation, offered my home to her, and from there we began making plans for her to move in with us. What I didn’t realize at first was making this change would be hard. Even though I had a spare bedroom, I had furniture in there and had recently redecorated it. I had to find new places for my...
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Peace and Goodwill

Peace and Goodwill

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:13-14 Once there was enmity between God and man. Sin came early on in the story of mankind, and because of it, God was separated from His most beloved creation. Man was destined to live in a tragic condition: lost in darkness, tormented, mistreated, used and abused by an insidious slave owner. God’s grand plan seemed eternally ruined. When God created mankind, it was with grandeur. He risked the success of His plan by placing so much choice and authority into man’s hands. Man rebelled and seemingly crushed the life out of God’s expectations. Whenever there is separation from God, there is no peace. And it can seem like there is ill will between God and man. As it turns out, God wasn’t mad at man at all! To prove it, He sent His Son to...
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A Sign

A Sign

“And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12 A sign. Evidence. Proof. This whole scene must’ve only taken moments to complete, but who could believe what was happening before their very eyes? Who could trust what they were seeing? Their minds were sure to play tricks on them, and they were sure to talk themselves out of it, believing they had a crazy dream. But God gave them a sign. He invited them to test the word and see if it was real. Of course, they did and found everything just as they were told. Then they became eye-witnesses to the event. They told everyone what they had seen and heard. Once you and I hear the Good News, we test it out and discover it’s true, then we can’t help but become like the shepherds, like the woman at the well, like the delivered demoniac, the Apostles, and so forth....
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Your Personal Savior

Your Personal Savior

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 The message of the Good News came to a group of shepherds who in society’s estimation, were on the low end of esteem. They were most likely rough around the edges, perhaps a little dirty – definitely smelled like outside – and likely not educated beyond the basics and their given profession. It is bewildering to the sophisticated and refined of the world to imagine why a god, much less THE God of the universe, would even stoop so low as to communicate with lowly shepherds. The fact that this God did, and still does, by the way, demonstrates the underlying reason for joy in the announcement and the reason He gave His birth announcement to the simple shepherds. Jesus is a personal savior. The angel said to the least of the least: “there is born to you…” To you who do not...
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