BW#95 Choosing Gratitude In the Middle of Hard

BW#95 Choosing Gratitude in the middle of hard

1 Thessalonians 5:14-18

“14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Can we really choose gratitude in the hard places? How? We can be in a hard place and not become hardened. Listen in to this episode as Denise and Angela finish this series on gratitude and learn how to be set free from the prison of ingratitude.

Listen Button

Letting Go of Shame from Divorce

Shame RX 11-19-19

Shame RX: Divorce is not the unforgivable sin.

Matthew 5:32

“But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Sitting in the church pew alone, I looked around at seemingly happy couples, wondering if they really were. The feeling of isolation suffocated me as I felt as if I were wearing a scarlet letter I could never be rid of.

The loneliness in the aftermath of separation and divorce consumed me as suddenly people did not know how to relate to me. And so I would go to church and I would go up and weep at the altar. Again and again.

I was one of them now. I bore the shame of a divorce but not the regret. I knew in my situation that it was best, but still, there was this sense that it could not be forgiven. Not by man, and not by God, because He hates divorce. And everyone had the scriptures to prove it.

But God. Our God is loving. Yes, He hates divorce, but He also hates abuse. And He makes a way out for those who find themselves in harsh, abusive situations.

For a long time, I could not forgive myself for the divorce. God hates divorce. And then, God hates all sin. It hurts God’s people. His hatred of divorce did not mean that He does not forgive it. There are painful consequences for divorce and we should not take it lightly . . .

Read More button

𝐂𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐫𝐢𝐟𝐭: 𝐃𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐍𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐟𝐥𝐮𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐈𝐧𝐟𝐥𝐮𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞

𝑮𝒂𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒂𝒏𝒔 5:7-9 (𝑬𝑺𝑽)
“𝒀𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒓𝒖𝒏𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒘𝒆𝒍𝒍. 𝑾𝒉𝒐 𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒐𝒃𝒆𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒕𝒉? 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒖𝒂𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒊𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒉𝒊𝒎 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒄𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖. 𝑨 𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒍𝒆 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒏 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒆 𝒍𝒖𝒎𝒑.”

Anyone feel like they are drifting in here? Would you notice if you were?

Swimming in the Atlantic Ocean one summer, the waves were super fun and strong. I had not noticed a rip tide nor the fact that I was being pulled far away from where I had started until I looked to spot my umbrella on the shore.

It was nowhere.

That moment of panic that hits as you try to gauge just how far you have drifted to assess your situation while chastising yourself for not noticing sooner is quelled once you see that familiar benchmark and start to plan your way back.

But what if there is no benchmark? No measure to discern whether or not we have strayed? Oh, then, we would be lost at sea.

We might not be lost at sea, but we can sure get lost in this life and culture, can’t we? Like waves that push us around, there is a confluence of influence in our lives, constantly dragging us away from what we know to be true.

You can’t hardly open your eyes without influence breathing it’s values and persuasion all around us. The radio, the television, the internet, the people all around us are exerting an influence upon our souls.

It can make a soul tired. It can wear anyone down if we are not ready for it . . .

Read More button

Finding Satisfaction and Filling Our True Hunger

James 4:3, “And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.”
We all have wants. And the motives behind those wants is often focused on our own pleasure. Those things we hope for in this world. Sometimes the wants are needs and sometimes they aren’t. Led by our flesh, we seek to satisfy our sometimes insatiable desire with things that just don’t last.
God is not a spoilsport and it is not wrong to have pleasure. It’s God’s idea after all. He gave us taste buds. It was His idea for intimacy between a man and a woman. He is a good God. But there is so much more that God has for us than just the pursuit of pleasure. And it is when we pursue God that we have the highest pleasure. This is the pleasure we are to pursue. And God surprises us with earthly pleasures, too, that pale in comparison, to meet our human needs and godly desires.
But God also left us hungry.
Not because He was cruel, but so we would not stop seeking Him. So we would recognize our need and not be so easily satisfied with the created, that we would long for the Creator.
Last night as I was helping the youth lead worship at our church, we sang the song, “Take My Life” and it hit me that these youth are hungering for things in this world. Popularity. Materialistic belongings. Attention. Well, truth be told, we all are wanting relief or pleasure of some sort. A chocolate dessert, perhaps . . . 😉
But what would it be like if we asked God to help us to hunger after what we sing and talk about in church? If we were to hunger for so much of Him in our lives that the world would see Christ in us? Hungering after righteousness, holiness, and faithfulness. Craving His presence and His word and not letting any substitute stand in the way or distract us from God?
Read More button