Saturday, August 29, 2009

Just for you

I am aware there are people reading this blog who are in a similar situation to my own and there will be more who will come. Your spouse has left or perhaps you are the one who left. You feel lost and confused, hurt deeply and you don’t know how to go on or what is to come. This entry is for you. There is hope. Some of you who have found your way here are hurting from some other injury or trial in your life. There is peace, comfort, forgiveness and rest for you.

God wants to take you on a journey to draw you close to him. This is my experience. You can see it in my words, start at the beginning. It was all about me and my troubles. Somewhere along the road God transformed my heart and made it all about him. You may not even understand this from where you sit now, but he can and will bring you to this place as well, if you let him. This is a place of overwhelming peace and joy regardless of the storm. I hope I may be able to help guide you in some way, to encourage you, to be a resource. Let’s start by getting you on solid ground.

You have a decision to make. Will you choose to love (or continue to love) or will you not? This decision, I believe, is paramount to your future. Yes, the Bible says there are a few exceptions when divorce is acceptable, but Jesus had something to say about that. In Mark chapter 10 the Pharisees where testing Jesus and said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” Jesus replied, “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote this law, but at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Then we could refer to 1st Corinthians chapter 13 on how we are to love (a passage I cling to daily.) I recommend reading the whole chapter, but verse seven sums it up nicely. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. The choice is yours to make, but I think it’s pretty clear the path that God honors.

Dear friend I am presuming one thing first, that you know Jesus as your savior. If you do not, this is where you start. You must desire a relationship with him; make him the Lord of your life. After that, we are working to deepen our relationship with him and understand his truth. Many will claim to know his name; few will have him written on their hearts.

Now you must decide to commune with him. Spend time in his word, in prayer and in worship. This is an area that I am now painfully aware that I was lacking in for a long time. You have today, the past is the past and God tells us not to worry about tomorrow. Pick up your bible, it may seem silly at first, but pick it up daily. Perhaps even multiple times a day; make relationship with him your top concern over all else. If you are already familiar with the gospel accounts of Jesus I highly recommend you start with the book of James in the New Testament and keep working your way forward. If not start with Matthew, come to know your savior for who he is.

Next, stay in his will, follow his direction; stay pure. When you are in darkness, you can not also be in the light at the same time. If you are struggling to draw close to him, ask yourself where you are selfish in your life, where you willingly sin and continue to. Stop and turn from the sin, repent of it, ask for forgiveness. You will find further help on this subject in another entry of this blog as you read through it.

Find ways to keep your focus on him throughout your day. I find and listen to a lot of Christian music all day to be in constant worship and keep his message and truth close to my heart. I not only read the Bible, but I read several other books on marriage, separation, divorce, love and other subject that help me to understand how God wants me to live. I will post my favorite reads at the bottom of this post for your reference.

Be careful and mindful of what you let into your heart through your eyes and ears. What you take in becomes you over time. For me that meant turning away from certain movies that I wanted to watch or some secular music that did not have a wholesome message. That may seem over the top to you now, but you will find this to be another truth directly from the Bible. You can choose your way with all of its self serving purposes or you can choose the way to an abundant life that Jesus laid out for us. You see, he ALWAYS has our best interest at heart. The Bible is not meant to weigh us down it brings about true freedom!

Pray, talk with God constantly. Tell him your thoughts, hurts, feelings, fears…cry out to him and ask of him what you need. He understands completely and wants healing for you to a level that you can’t even comprehend at the moment. If you seek, you will find him. He loves you more than you can ever imagine. You are his precious creation. Let him repair you from what may seem to be a shattered life and make you whole again.

Finally, there will be many opinions and people who offer you advice. Most of them will be full of anger behind their words, full of revenge or judgement. If you choose love, you will stand alone at times. It is not a popular path, not even an accepted path by many I am sorry to say. So in the midst of your storm you will also face great adversity from the naysayers who may even have good intentions. You must persevere!

Rely on his strength to get you through and not your own. Listen to his voice and shut out those that would extinguish your hope. Seek out those who will support you whole heartedly in your cause. Do not give up and try to see the bigger picture! Live out 1st Corinthians 13 with everything in you and everything from the Lord! I hope the words that were written on this blog bring you encouragement and understanding.

My heart aches with you, yet I rejoice for what he has in store for you!
Jesus is very fond of you and so am I,

Favorite Christian Music Groups
Hillsong (lots and lots of Hillsong!)
Mercy Me
Casting Crowns
Chris Tomlin
(Most of the songs that speak to my heart are posted after a blog entry)

Non-fiction Books
Hope for the Separated – Dr. Gary Chapman (my favorite)
How to Save Your Marriage Alone – Ed Wheat (short read and VERY useful)
Yes, Your Marriage Can Be Saved – Joe & Michelle Williams
From Anger to Intimacy – Dr. Gary Smalley
I Do, Again – Cheryl & Jeff Scruggs (incredible true story)
The Love Dare – Kendrick
The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman
Brave Hearts – Sharon Hersh

Fiction books with great spiritual messages
The Shack – WM. Paul Young (One of my favorites of all times, a MUST read)
The Ultimate Gift – Jim Stovall
The Ultimate Life – Jim Stovall
Showdown – Ted Dekker
The Saint- Ted Dekker

Amazing Grace
End of the Spear

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

God's incredible economy

God weaves such a wonderful tapestry in our lives. Our lives intersect and meet in ways that can only be described as divine appointments. We don’t always recognize them for what they are. Have you ever thought about the impact you have on another life through a simple gesture or word of encouragement? Have you ever stopped to consider how grand God’s economy is? How his love and truth impacts a life and is then spread through that person to another and on and on. How big is the ripple? How far reaching are its effects? Even from a ten thousand foot view I doubt we would see the full scope. The impact of God’s touch as it spreads across one life to many in a sea of faces; individual lives in need of help, healing from hurt.

When that still small voice speaks to you, it asks you to reach out a hand, step out in faith, to be there for someone else; to be selfless in the moment…what will you do? Allow yourself to flash through the grandeur of what God may be asking you to set into motion. Planting a seed that you may never see as fruitful this side of heaven is one possibility. You may, however, see a wellspring of new life burst forth in vibrant color that saturates the very life that needed it most and spill over into the lives of others. What will you do the next time you feel that gentle nudging, prodding you to do something as simple as offering a smile or fantastic as calling you to do the seemingly impossible? What will you do?

Father God, we don’t understand your ways, they are not our ways. We see a glimpse of your glory, your majesty, your sovereignty. You breathe life into us and sustain us. What Satan intends for ill you use for your good. Your will is done; the sun, moon and stars are at your command. May we be so humble and blessed as to be vessels to carry out your will, to shine your light through us, to spread your love through word and deed.

What if a trial is allowed in our lives to bring stronger faith and healing not to one person, but to many? Wouldn’t that be just like God! To bring about His purpose in an immeasurable number of ways through one common thread...that is His awesome economy of scale. Wouldn’t that be an interesting way of approaching it? It wouldn’t be about you at all would it? It’s not really about your problem, your difficulty, your struggle. It’s all about Him. What does He want to accomplish? How can you be an instrument of faith in this time, an instrument of healing for others by the understanding that comes through trial? What would that mean for your life? What would that look like? A greater purpose than your own…wouldn’t that be just like….Jesus.

Scripture Reference
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The other side of grace

So you read the last blog on grace and thought, “That’s nice, but I’m on the other side of this equation. I’m in need of someone extending grace to me! The weight of my failures burdens me down. The shame and guilt of my sins, past and present, are like chains around my neck, choking the life out of me.” Good news! There is someone who can identify with you in every way. His name is Jesus. Yes, you know Him already, but have you REALLY thought through the full implications of it all.

Even though he never sinned he bore the weight of sin, experienced the condemnation that we all have felt at times, whether brought on by someone else or simply from our own internal struggle. We may lock our shame and guilt deep within us so that no one will know or we wear it on our sleeve. Either way it can be crushing, seemingly inescapable.

Jesus EXPERIENCED all of these condemnations. He UNDERSTANDS the feelings you have. He can IDENTIFY will you. He again FULFILLS the justice requirement on your behalf. All you have to do is REPENT from your sin; to turn away from it. Then, with a sincere heart, ask God to forgive you and he will. You may not be shown grace by men, but you will be shown a much greater grace, God’s. His is healing, peace, and a deep satisfying relationship that will overflow in you. God is love. He heals all wounds.

In the Bible it says that Jesus was despised by many, have you felt this way? He was stalked, conspired and plotted against. The Pharisees and Sadducees sought to trap him at every turn. They wanted him defeated, found guilty. Have you felt this way? He was forsaken, betrayed, deserted, disowned, unwanted, unloved, and we esteemed him not.

You feel alone in your sin, rejected, unloved and maybe even unworthy of redemption. Jesus knows how you feel. He understands what you are going through. He cares deeply about you and wants you to share your burden with him, lay it at his feet. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28:30

He is enough. Whether you are the offended or offender, He is enough. His grace covers it all. If you are lonely, sad, depressed, angry, bitter, feel stressed, anxious, panicked, worried, unloved, unaccepted, condemned or even when all hope is gone; He is enough. Friend, I don’t know where you are and I don’t know where you’ve been. Maybe you’re fighting for your life or just about to throw the towel in, but if you’re crying out for mercy, if there’s no hope left at all.
If you’ve given everything you’ve got and you’re still about to fall, well hold on! All of these things can be resolved through Him. Some may take a deeper road of understanding to make you whole again, but He is enough.

If you need help, getting to a deeper understanding on any of these road blocks, I would be more than glad to help you. We can sit down together or talk on the phone and I will share with you all that I have learned, everything I know to be true. There is a way, there is resolution. All I ask and all the He asks for is an open heart, a sincere heart. Email me at if you feel compelled to. Call if you like; my cell is 317-652-8411. If I am available at any hour I will answer. If not, leave a message and I WILL call you back. I’ve taken up cooking lately and I enjoy it greatly. I’ll even cook you a meal if you like. I can also point you to the person who has counseled and mentored me if you would feel more comfortable. Just reach out and you will find what you are searching for.

Jesus is very fond of you and so am I,

Scripture references
Isaiah 53:3-11
Matthew 12:1-14; 26:62-68; 27:15-26
John 15:18
1 Peter 5:7

Always by Building 429 - I absolutely love this song and its message
The offical video

I was standing in the pouring rain one dark November night
Fighting off the bitter cold when she caught my eye
Her face was taught and her eyes were filled, and to my surprise
She pulled out a photograph and my heart just stopped inside
She said, “He would’ve been three today
I miss his smile, I miss his face”
What was I supposed to say, but

I believe always, always
Our Savior never fails
Even when all hope is gone
God knows our pain and his promise remains
He will be with you always

He was living in a broken world, dreaming of a home
His heart was barely keeping pace when I found him all alone
Remembering the way he felt when his daddy said goodbye
Fighting just to keep the tears and the anger locked inside
He’s barely holding onto faith
But deliverance is on its way, cause


Friend, I don’t know where you are and I don’t know where you’ve been
Maybe you’re fighting for your life or just about to throw the towel in
But if you’re crying out for mercy, if there’s no hope left at all
If you’ve given everything you’ve got and you’re still about to fall
Well hold on, hold on, hold on, cause


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My weakness

The storms rolled in today and seemingly into my heart. It's just amazing how, after all that I have witnessed, His goodness and miraculous ways, that I can STILL be so weak in the flesh! I read about Job and think, wow, this guy lost everything and here I am starting into my complaining over much less. The Lord said to Satan for a second time "Have you considered my servant Job?" At this moment I'm thinking, Lord, please consider me no longer! I am so selfish and weak! I just want my wife back in my arms.

All that seems to cloud my mind, is how can be I strong, and how do I move on? You ask me to let her go into your care, to be still, as you work in her! How I struggle with this, I wrestle with it. How long must I wait? How long Lord? I want to be like Hosea and wait patiently for your calling to restore my wife, YET I DO NOT WANT TO WAIT!!!

I think of the passage in Romans where Paul says "I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate.” I see how majestic your ways are, how awesome your timing is, how beautiful are the encounters you have put in my path. Yet I ask for this "burden" to be taken from me?! I am like Elijah, who after following your commands (calling down fire from heaven mind you!) fled in fear and cried out “I have had enough Lord!” I have SEEN your ways, yet I am impatient, saddened to not be with her; my bride that I love so dearly.

Father, forgive my weakness. Bring me peace once again, resolved to your will. Hide me in your pavilion, give me rest. I run, I fall into the arms of my Father, into a love like no other. I walk, I crawl; it doesn't matter how I get here, only that I can be here at all.

Scripture References:
1 Kings 18 - 19
Job 2:3-10
Hosea 3:1
Romans 7:14-20

Today’s song: I Run by Forty Days

I've never had a day like this,
when things become so clear & I can feel you here

I've never had to pray like this;
it's all that I can do to see me through the fear

But when my faith begins to fail me,
and I can't find my way

I run, I fall into the arms of my Father,
into a Love like no other

I walk, I crawl; it doesn't matter how I get here only that I can be here at all

All that seems to cloud my mind,
is how can be I strong, and how do I move on

But I know You will never fail me,
You will be my way


I will call upon You,
Lord You are worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved