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Pain and Trauma

Sometimes life hurts. Sometimes the pain lasts. But it doesn’t have to define us forever.

Now what do you do?

Living in God’s Desert

Last week I talked about God getting quiet, and three questions you can ask yourself to help clarify whether you missed something. But what if you've done everything right? What if you heard God say to do this thing, you obeyed His request, and it's left you sitting in a hard place? A dry place? An uncomfortable place? Now what do you do? I'll warn you: The answer probably isn't what you want to hear. 3 Possibilities to Consider ...
Why wouldn't God answer?

When Heaven is Silent

The issue weighed heavily on my mind. My mind circled the arguments, processing the positives and negatives, trying to determine the best way forward. Yet I wasn't sure what to do, and it felt like God wasn't adding His two cents worth. Why wouldn't He answer? Where was a billboard with God's instructions? Or at least some confirmation from a mature believer on which way was the better way? What do you do when Heaven is silent?
Is it okay to walk away?

Repairing a Broken Relationship

I'd hurt her feelings, and she didn't want to talk to me. I gave her some time and space, yet a couple weeks later she still wouldn't talk to me. Our relationship felt irreparably broken. How can you heal a broken relationship? Should you always seek restoration, or does the Bible tell us that sometimes it's okay to walk away? And what if the other person refuses to talk to you about it? These are big questions, but important ones. Let's start with a more foundational one: How important are relationships?
You're not alone

Where I Fail You [You Are Not Alone]

When I was a young warrior's bride, I knew little about military life. I was so naive, I didn't know what questions to ask the more experienced brides around me. I couldn't formulate my ignorance into coherent thought to even begin a discussion on what the future might look like. I have learned much over the years, through my experience and through the lives of dear friends. Military life no longer scares me, even though it occasionally troubles me. I don't fear for my active duty friends, although worry sometimes sends me into deeper prayer for them. Here at Fort Bragg, we are in a deployment cycle. To be truthful, because of the units housed here, we are always in a deployment cycle. One-quarter to one-third of the ladies who attend the military group at our church are in the midst of life while their spouse is half a world away. It's normal here. But that doesn't mean we are good about talking through it.
Healing after Trauma

Truth in a Troubled World

Crossing, Oregon, population 725. The town square consists of a diner, ice cream shop, newspaper, General Store and Micah’s Hardware. The people are friendly, drive older cars, and live life slowly. And it exists only in my head. Growing up I loved Cinderella. She was sweet, cheerful, and caring. Prince Charming was so captivated in one evening with her that he turned a city on its head looking for her. When evil entered the story, it was subdued and the champions of good lived happily ever after. This mindset colors my world. It’s not that I’ve lived a charmed life. Like Cinderella, I’ve experienced pain, loss, and hardship.
repentance and forgiveness

Repentance and Forgiveness in the Real World

The Christian world is big on repentance and forgiveness—and we should be! We've all had impure thoughts, displayed poor attitudes, not controlled our tongues, and made a plethora of other poor choices. Each of us desperately needs forgiveness. But how should we react if someone repents? What would you think if a known drunkard asked Jesus into his life? What if the town brawler walked into church saying he'd changed?
I wanted God to fix it.

Stuck? Follow Apollo 8 to a Renewed Mind

I knew I needed a renewed mind, to see things God's way. But I didn't want to. I was exhausted and lonely. I felt like I was being set apart — not for some grand purpose, but left behind; unchosen, like the kid no one wants to pick for their team.
Power of Words

The Power of Your Words

A spirit of negativity is rampant in America. Probably the world, but definitely the United States.

Power of WordsThis past weekend I spoke to a small group of military women, and I heard comments, problems, and concerns much like those in every other military town I know. But whether the group of women I’m with is military or civilian, I hear a common problem among them: we speak with a lot of negative words and tones.

Don’t worry. I’m talking about myself here too.

What Does the Bible Say about Our Words?

This is bigger than positive thinking. Bigger than the annoying people who pop out of bed with a smile on their face. In fact, it goes deeper than most of us like to think about. In Ephesians 4:29, Paul tells us:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Read the rest
Life is falling apart

When Life is Falling Apart

What should you do when it feels like life is falling apart? For those of you who just had some Christian answer cross your mind, how close does your behavior mirror it when a storm is raging around you?

Maybe you are in the midst of a storm right now that seems overwhelming. Giving up would be the easier path, but you really just want God to show up and tell you exactly what He wants you to do.

Wouldn’t that be nice? A billboard from God with step-by-step instructions?

And yet, He doesn’t do that, at least not in the way we want. Of course, we have lots of instructions in the Bible. And in the Gospels Jesus gave us several examples of what to do when life gets hard.… Read the rest

How much are you responsible for others?

Are You Responsible for Others? [part 1]

Can I ask a hard question? One of those that doesn't have an easy answer, but one that is important for each of us to wrestle through anyway? Where does our responsibility toward others begin and end? How much are you responsible for others?