How to Escape Your Impossible Situation

Have you ever gotten yourself into such a mess that escaping the situation seemed impossible?  I sure have, more times than I can count.

If you have, too, I bet you’ll relate to this story. 

After an event where I was speaking, Eliza* approached me with a simple request for prayer to feel God’s love again. She had gotten into something she wasn’t proud of and her shame was heavy.

I asked if she’d confessed this issue of ugliness to God. She had, but the shame remained and the temptation to return to her junk was strong.

We prayed for her to experience the love of God. When we finished praying, I asked how she felt. “I have peace,” she replied.

“Peace is good, but you didn’t come for peace,” I reminded her. “You came to feel the love of God. To be free of the shame and truly know God loves you, right?” She nodded weakly.

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Sin Is Delicious … and Addictive

Sin is delicious. I wish it weren’t so, but it is.

I work with so many women who get caught up in things they never dreamed would hook them.

Prescription drugs. 
Alcohol.
Lies and deceptions. 

Overspending and debt.
Co-dependancy.
Pornography.
Abusive relationships. 

When I met with *Carolyn, she couldn’t even look up at me, but finally, she took a deep breath and started.

“I’m having an affair with a married man. We met at work and over the course of conversation and cocktails and compliments, I found myself taken in by him. At first, it was just so nice to be noticed. Not just for the way I look but for my brain and my ideas. He listened to my dreams and my problems. He helped me get promoted.

Now here I am. Three years into a relationship with a married man who will never divorce his wife. Hiding the truth from my family and friends, swallowing the pain and guilt, pretending everything is great. I’ve tried to break it off, but I keep going back.”

 

I stared at her. Why would a beautiful, educated woman get into this mess?
Because sin is delicious.

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Follow Directions To Get The Results You Want!

 

Are you an improvisor or do you follow directions to a “T”?
I lean toward following the directions just because I’ve had so many failed improvisations.

Like the time my party host said, “Just bring one of your fabulous desserts.”
I flipped through my favorite recipes and decided on applesauce spice cake.
Feeling adventurous, I substituted stewed prunes for half the applesauce.

Girls! Bad plan.

I mixed and stirred and smashed and whisked, but those darn prune skins held together in my batter like little black footballs.

I should have followed the directions.

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Goodness, God! What are you up to?

God’s faithfulness doesn’t always look like I think it should.

There have been many times that I looked to the heavens and asked,
Goodness, God! What are you up to? 
Can you relate?

 
Like you, I’ve had several callings or commissionings from God.
He called me to be his own.
Hurrah!
He called me to be a wife and a mom.
Hurrah, hurrah!
He called me into workplace.
Ok! Hurrah!
 He called me into full time ministry.
Yahooooo! Hurrah!
 
Even when faced with obstacles and obstructions,
I trusted those callings were from God. 
 
But … Though I am confident of the calling,
I still run into road blocks and detours.
I have to remind myself of God’s faithfulness.
 
The journey to trust God never ends.
 
Like all journeys, some parts are smooth and easy and

other parts or rocky and hard. 

Do you need a reminder that God is worthy of your trust?
 
Look no further than your Bible.
Noah was called to build an arc to escape the coming flood.
He trusted God for 120 years.
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Are You Confused About Prayer?

I was very confused about prayer when I first started to follow Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I knew that I was supposed to pray but I wasn’t sure how … or even to whom I should address my prayer. I knew there were three persons of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but I wondered Which one do I pray to? I sure didn’t want to offend one person of God or bring down God’s wrath on myself for doing it wrong!

How could I get the answers I needed?

I was in a small Bible study group with some pillars of our church. When they prayed it sounded like they were reading from a hymnal! I wanted to pray like they did! However, I didn’t want anyone to know how ignorant I was! 

In the end, I had to ask for help. I screwed up my courage and asked the oldest and grayest of them to teach me about prayer.

She explained, “What one person of God knows, they all know. It doesn’t matter which person of God you address your prayers to.”

She suggested I start with a memorized prayer like the one in Matthew 6. I still pray the Lord’s prayer frequently, but since then I also developed a prayer model to help me keep my prayers fresh and fervent.

I call it the T.R.U.S.T. Prayer Model.

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Dance on the Stage God Has Given You

Do you know what stage you’re supposed to be on?
Do you know how to get clarity? 

Mr. 4-Ever and I, along with hundreds of others, sat in a hot, crowded auditorium for hours to watch a parade of small girls in dressed up tutus and tights wobble and hop on the stage in front of us. 

Every mother and grandma and friend of the family attending knew that the performances of the budding ballerina they came to see was likely to be awkward and poorly-executed, but we each, to a woman, swelled with pride when the little girl we came to see appeared on the stage.

In every performance, the tiny dancers took turns being out of sync, but as a group, they covered each other’s weakness, one remembering one part and another remembering another part so as a whole, they completed the number.

Occasionally, in moments of complete bewilderment, a ballerina wrangler – a preteen ballerina in matching leotard and tights – would appear from the wings to prompt and shoo her mini versions through their next step.

The sweet ballerina we came to watch, was on the stage for not quite two minutes. She was in lipstick and rouge for the first time.  She bravely swayed and pirouetted nearly on cue. She curtsied to thundering applause and cheers.

After the recital, carried her flowers in her arms as if they were her infant, careful not to bump the blossoms or break the stems. She beamed under the praise and adoration of the few of us who were there just for her.

There are no dress rehearsals for life.

That recital was packed with life lessons for all of us!

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How Do You WANT To Belong?

Have you ever been invited to join a group and just didn’t think you’d fit it?

Maybe you felt inadequate. Maybe you didn’t think you’d measure up or you’d be embarrassed or it would be awkward. Maybe, you wanted to avoid conversations about your past or your current situation.

Maybe you’re just too busy to get involved with one more thing. When your proverbial plate is so full you can’t see the pattern on the edge, you can’t add one more thing.

Maybe you have your hands full of your own stuff, and you just don’t want to hear about other people’s problems. Maybe you’ve decided you don’t like the people in the group.

Of course, you’d never say that out loud, but you might think it.

For whatever reason, you want to pass …

How do you change your thinking so you want to belong? 

I talk about that reluctance to join in this week’s video.

Click on the video below to watch it now.

It might be as simple as trusting that the person who’s invited you loves you and wants to be with you.
It might be that you feel God prompting you.
Often, you’ll find that you’ll benefit and be a benefit.

What is God calling you into and is he doing it through an invitation from a friend?

Father God, You invite us all to belong. Overcome our fears and doubts about whether we’ll fit in or if we are good enough. Amen. 

 

 

Reset Your Faith To Trust God

How do you reset your faith to trust God with your circumstances, your kids, your job, your past and your life?
I can help you with that. 

If you’d rather watch a video than read this, you can see it if you click here.

My hubz, Dave (or Mr. 4-Ever as we call him) and I spend a ton of time in the car. While he drives, I read, play video games, write on my laptop, gaze out the window or nap. I don’t have to stare at the road looking for hazards, because I trust Dave to do that.

Driving with, … oh let’s call her “Mary” is an entirely different story.
I’m on high alert because Mary is forever running over the rumble strips on the highway.
She fiddles with the radio, checks her phone and yells at other drivers.
It’s exhausting to be in the passenger seat.
I can’t trust her driving.

The key to trusting God is to know him.
To know his character and his heart.
To know he is competent and that he has your best in mind ALWAYS!

How do you do that?

The first way to get to know God is to stick your nose in his big book – the Bible.

Read the accounts of God’s faithfulness to his people. They trusted him in the direst or most peculiar of situations. Then you will begin to see that what was provided for some is possible for you.

Now before you tune me out about reading the Bible, let’s talk about how to make it fun, valuable and effective. There are LOTS of ways to make it interesting.

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Are You A (Lonely) Control Girl?

Remember the Beatles song, “Let it Be”?
That is great advice for control girls.

When we try to control situations, it rarely works out the way we want for very long.
When we try to control people, they grow weary of the micro-managing and the criticism and their inability to measure up or satisfy the demands of a control girl.

Eventually, friends and even family check out physically or emotionally.

The good news is, the solution is easily accessible.
Embracing God’s love for YOU releases the need to control every one and everywhere else.
It lets you love people as they are, for who they are, not what they do or don’t do.

There is a great example of this is this video.

 

Click on the image to watch it now.
Run time 2 min. 34 sec.

 

 

Prayer: Father, I know that I need to let it be. Give me the assurance of your love so I don’t try to hijack from others. Fill me with your love so I can love others. Amen 

Done Being Fooled And Ready For A Do-Over

Have you ever been played for a fool?

It feels awful, doesn’t it?
As if we don’t make enough foolish choices of our own, the world is full of shysters.

Sometimes even good intentioned decisions lead to lousy outcomes.

That’s what this week’s video is about.
Starting over with Jesus.

 

Take a look.  Click anywhere on the image to play.

 

Even if your past includes things you’re not proud of, God offers forgiveness and restoration.

Ask him now to put you back on track.

Prayer: Oh Lord, the things I wish I could do over. The things I’ve said that I wish I could take back. I have such regret and guilt. Your Bible says that I can confess these things to you and you will forgive me. Take them from me and give me a fresh start. In Jesus Name. Amen.  

 

 

 

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