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Jesus is Your ONE WAY Ticket to Heaven! Don’t Deny Him! Get on Board! 

Come on, Christian Believers… Rise up! You have to make a CHOICE! You can NOT serve two masters! Either you’re with JESUS all the way, or not at all! You can’t say you’re a Christian, and then tell other people it’s okay to worship whomever and however they choose! That’s NOT witnessing! That is denying the power and authority of GOD as the ONE and ONLY GOD! If you’re telling people you are a Christian, but you’re appealing to the masses by telling others it’s fine if they believe in another deity, or fine to participate in religious practices which are directly OPPOSED to God’s teachings; I’ve got some bad news for you… you are NOT helping the lost get to Heaven! Don’t make the mistake of denying Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for you, and gave you salvation!

Denying Jesus due to ignorance:

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ignorance as: “the state or fact of being ignorant : lack of knowledge, education, or awareness.” Ignorant does not mean stupid or foolish. Being ignorant just means we’re unaware of a particular topic, or have not been educated on a specific subject. I’m intelligent, gifted, and talented in many different areas. So are you. But when it comes to Calculus, I’m completely ignorant. I know nothing about it, have never been educated in this type of Math, and frankly; I really don’t care. But one area where ignorance is NOT bliss, is the matter of receiving your salvation through Jesus Christ. Being ignorant in this area will cost you your very life… after death! 

So don’t be foolish; get educated about the truth today. Let Jesus save you now: HOW TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART, AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!  If you have been living with the belief that everyone gets to Heaven their own way; through various religions, journeys, and beliefs, I need to break the news to you… You have been believing a LIE! For the Bible says: “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him’ ” (Jn. 14:6-7 New International Version).



Denying Jesus due to confusion:

Confusion is not from God; it’s from the devil. If you’re already saved, but have still been led to believe that there are alternative ways to get to Heaven; you’re living in denial of the truth. You need to renounce the lies you’ve been taught, so you can do what you were called to do, when you made the decision to give your life to Christ: Tell others about Jesus! Why would a true Christian be so selfish and self-centered, as to keep God’s Good News all to themselves, without telling another single soul?

If you have received Jesus, yet don’t believe your life will ever get better, you are in denial of what Jesus can do for you! If you are saved, yet believe you are perfect, you are in denial of why Jesus died for you in the first place! As Christians, we must continuously repent, apologize, and ask for forgiveness often; or we are living in denial of what it means to be a Christian. Ask the Holy Spirit to impress the truth deeply within your heart, so you will know, without a doubt, that Jesus is the ONE and ONLY way to eternal life.

Denying Jesus by refusing to follow him

Some people don’t want to give up their bad habits and fleshly desires. But Jesus is here to change our hearts. When we follow him, our earthly desires will give way to holy desires. Some people choose the world, because they feel they can’t attain perfectionism, but this does not mean we aren’t supposed to try living like Jesus. People choose many sinful things, believing these evil things will satisfy them. But these evil things only lead to more evil things. The truth is, people are really looking for peace, purity, and perfection; and unless they choose Jesus, they are living in denial of the one and only path that will take them there.

If you have accepted Jesus into your heart, yet purposely choose not to live the life of a Christian, you’re denying the truth about what your salvation means. Salvation means we have received the gift of eternal life through Jesus, and have decided to follow him. The Holy Spirit impresses this upon our hearts: We are to live our lives in continuous repentance, by asking for forgiveness of our sins. We are to live in the world, but not be of the world. We should pursue Jesus and desire a relationship with him. Jesus wants a relationship with us! “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’ ” (Matt. 16:24).



Denying Jesus by pleasing the world:

To be comfortable telling others that whatever floats their boat is great for them, when we know the TRUTH… is a SIN! It is a LIE; and people who die believing that lie, are going to end up in Hell! You’re not doing anyone a favor by sharing your faith as a Christian, while at the same time, telling them it’s acceptable to delve into world religions, which do not teach that Jesus is the one and only way to God! That is to deny the very foundation, the ROCK, of Christianity… God’s Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ! Christianity is the belief that JESUS CHRIST is THE ONE and ONLY way to SALVATION! Would we set a plate for our child’s lunch, yet not fill it with food? Would we buy a friend a favorite book, with all the pages torn out? Would we put our teen drivers into a car without any brakes? Of course not!  So why would we offer them a religion lacking the crucial, key component they need to experience healing, joy, and freedom on Earth? Why would we offer a religion lacking hope and truth in Jesus Christ… the one and only way for them to get to Heaven? Why?

If you know that Jesus is the one and only way to eternal life, and you believe this to the very core of your being; why on earth would you encourage your loved ones, and the people you care about, to go about practicing any religion they choose? Is it to prove tolerance? Is it to prove you’re a well rounded, open-minded person who gets along with everyone? Is that why some parents let their children flounder in the dark, believing the lie that they shouldn’t “interfere” with their children’s religion? While we cannot force our children to choose Jesus, don’t we love them so much we want to offer them the most valuable gift of salvation? Is It a Gift?  Yes! Withholding your witness to please the world is a LIE from the devil. Ask God to remove this lie in the name of Jesus, and to remind you that sharing the truth about Jesus is the most loving gift you can ever give… It leads to eternal life!  “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it” (Matt. 7:13).

Denying Jesus due to strongholds:

Jesus knew his disciples had human weaknesses, such as fear. This is why the night of his betrayal, Jesus told Peter he would deny him three times before the rooster crowed. Peter, along with all of the other disciples, vehemently disagreed. But when Jesus asked his disciples to be on guard in the Garden of Gethsemene, they fell asleep! When praying for God’s will to be done, Jesus, overwhelmed with sorrow, was so distressed over what was yet to come, that he sweat blood! Yet he still asked for His Father’s will to be done. When Jesus was betrayed by Judas, and then badly beaten by the Roman guards, his disciples were overcome by fear; they ran away, abandoning Jesus. They forgot to trust Jesus their Savior, who had faithfully kept all of his promises to them.

If you’re letting fear or other spirits control your actions, you’re denying your God-given power and authority to overcome strongholds through Jesus Christ! You’re denying the fact that your very best friend in the whole world is able to spiritually come to your aid during trials, and give you miraculous victory! Peter allowed fear to take over, even though he had witnessed so many miracles of Jesus; including his own amazing experience of walking on water! When two servant girls recognized Peter as having been with Jesus, Peter twice denied it; he even denied knowing Jesus at all. “After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, ‘Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.’ Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, ‘I don’t know the man!’ Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: ‘Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.’  And he went outside and wept bitterly”  (Matt 26:73-75).

Denial of Jesus as THE Authority and Power of God:

Do you know “The Man?” If you have a relationship with Jesus, you will understand that anyone and everything in the entire universe comes under the power and authority of Jesus Christ. Every human, animal, and spirit must bow to him. Even if one chooses not to believe in Jesus as the one and only way to Heaven,  it’s still the truth. We can not create our own truth…  God is Truth! Someone might choose to believe night will never come, but it’s coming anyway; just as one can choose to believe Jesus isn’t real, but he’s coming back anyway! And Jesus comes with rewards… or consequences. We can choose to willingly worship God through Jesus, and be immensely blessed; or we can choose to ignore the truth, and end up living in hell for eternity. The Holy Spirit lives within true Christians, and provides wisdom and discernment against the world’s lies. Lies go against scripture, and they cause our spirits to feel “unsettled.” We need to seek wise counsel from our elders, look for answers in our bibles, and pray for God to continuously reveal truth in His timing.

If you are a Christian, and realize that you’ve helped to pass on false teachings of other world religions as being an alternative path to Heaven, you should feel conviction in your heart from The Holy Spirit. Get on your knees in repentance, and ask God to forgive you for living in denial of the fact that Jesus, and ONLY Jesus died for you; and that ONLY GOD’s SON is capable of wiping away our dirt, grime, and SIN. Forgiveness can only be given to us through Jesus Christ, and ONLY the blood of Jesus can cleanse us, and make us holy, and white as snow. Without being cleansed of sin, we can NOT enter Heaven, because sin is what separates us from God. It would be impossible for us to live in Heaven with Jesus without being washed clean! “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Denying Jesus because you’re ashamed of the gospel:

Let’s say you know fresh fruits and vegetables are good for you, and will keep you trim, healthy, and fit. Yet, you know a lot of your friends really like candy, and they want to be trim, healthy, and fit too! Your friends are very ill from eating just candy, and they never eat any fresh fruits or vegetables. You know the fruits and veggies will heal them, but you’re afraid you will be rejected for your advice; after all, you don’t want to offend them. So, you decide to tell them that if they choose to believe that eating sugary candies will help keep them trim, healthy, and fit; that they should keep on doing it In addition, you never even bother to tell them that eating fruits and vegetables will give them their desired results. Even worse, you have an entire vegetable garden and luscious fruit trees in your back yard, growing in such abundance, you can’t even harvest it all!

Wouldn’t you want to volunteer your nourishing, fresh food to your friends to help them get well? Especially when there is enough for everyone? Don’t you want to help them? Why are you not helping them? What if you find out that the candy eaters are dying from lack of the nourishment, and your nutritious fruits and veggies could have saved their lives? Would you tell them now? … Or, never? “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16).

Denying Jesus by not pursuing him as our Master:

Of course when we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts, the most brilliant gift is getting to spend eternity with him in Heaven! The silver lining in serving only Jesus Christ as our earthly Master, is that our prayers are offered to The One who can really answer them! Jesus changes us, forgives us, gives us strength and courage, talks and listens to us; Jesus has a relationship with us! No other prophet, deity, spirit, religion, or false god can provide us with any hope on earth, or the joyful gift of eternal life when we are gone!

If we pursue only Jesus, we won’t get confused about where to go when we come to a fork in the road. Do we really want to get lost in the forest, or take the longest path when we are searching for the truth?  If not, we must pursue only the truth! We must choose Jesus! Choose Jesus, and stay close to his side. God offers us protection, refuge, and shelter from the storm! No other prophet, deity, spirit, idol, or false god can fulfill God’s promises. The devil will use the things of the world to deceive, manipulate, trick, control, tempt and tease you. He flashes shiny material goods, feel-good passions, money; and he lure his victims with lies about the grass being greener on the other side! He even comes disguised as Christianity, which is why we need to choose one master, and follow only Jesus! The devil’s plans are all meant to destroy you, and ultimately lead to your demise and destruction! ” ‘No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matt. 6:24 NIV).

Get on board, Believers! Don’t deny yourself a one-way ticket to ride the train of truth! Hang on tight when it’s going full speed! Don’t jump off when it slows down. Pick up as many people as you can at all the stops along the way! You will be amazed at the glorious perfection which awaits you at your final destination!

There’s only ONE WAY to God, and it’s through Jesus Christ! It’s a free trip to Paradise, and we can stay forever!

Queen Bee Gossip: Sweet as Honey or a Toxic Sting? (Series: Toxic People and Situations)

What can be done when annoying bees buzz gossip into our ears, casting doubt about a friend or loved one’s character? How do you handle it?  Do you accept the information as valid and true, or do you go directly to your friend for his or her side of the story? Have you let a good relationship go to waste, simply because you accepted a story that caused you to side with the gossip, or did you consider something may be wrong if you only heard from one party?

When we think about the times we have found ourselves in these situations, do we discover that we’ve taken sides with the gossip, without knowing all the facts; or have we given our loved ones the benefit of the doubt?  Did we ever allow the person being gossiped about, to come to his or her defense? Did the person even know about it? Did the person give up? Why or why not? Was the person being gossiped about… you?

At one time or another, we’ve all found ourselves in a sticky situation when someone suddenly starts talking about someone else. In that moment, we have a choice to participate, or not participate. It can be uncomfortable to speak up about it, but the person who should really be feeling uncomfortable is the gossip herself. If we choose to participate, we will find ourselves stuck in a hive, wondering how to escape a sticky situation. Those who engage in gossip are often afraid to fly away from the queen bee, because they’re usually fearful of getting stung themselves!  And they will… get stung… because if a gossip is sharing info with you, the gossip will share info about you. To think this is false, is to live in denial about the spirit of gossip and how it works.

A gossip’s tasty little bits of information may initially seem to be sweet as honey, but there’s something to be said about food that is sickeningly sweet. When a gossip shares her irresistible story, people willingly eat it up. This is because the gossip falsely makes you feel special; as if it’s an honor to have been chosen to be trusted with her private little story. But it’s kind of like having a chocolate chip… you can’t eat just one. Each tasty morsel gives you a desire for another, and a little bit isn’t enough to satisfy. Eventually the listener wants a whole cookie, something to fill the belly:

“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts” (Prov. 18:8 New International Version).


If the gossip is really experienced, she or he will work hard to turn you away from her enemies, from the very people God intended for you to have in your life… truthful, compassionate, loving people. Why would a gossip do this? Because the gossip has an agenda: It’s an agenda to get attention from you, no matter what the cost is to anyone else. If the gossip is successful at getting you to stop talking to your friends and loves ones, and you don’t even really know how it happened, you may want to consider the fact that this busy bee body is downright toxic.

By definition, toxic means poisonous! Who wants to be near poison? Wouldn’t we want to separate ourselves from it? Of course! The gossip knows this, so the gossip creates the division first, to distract you from the real problem… the gossip herself! However, instead of you being separated from the gossip, you are instead craftily separated from the friends and loved ones who are a positive influence in your life. A gossip separates friends out of spite, jealousy, low self-esteem, selfishness and self-centeredness.

“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends” (Prov. 16:28).


The Bible condemns gossips; even grouping them into the same category as liars, slanderers, and God-haters!  God is not referring to this group with favor. A gossip is always a liar too. Why? Because the juicier the story, the larger the gossip’s audience will be, and embellishment means that more attention will be bestowed upon the gossip.

“They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. (Rom.8:29-31).

Try this experiment: Watch a gossip in action. Observe how people engage with her. They move in closer to her, and shut out those who are their targets. The gossip whispers for dramatic effect. People “oooh” and “ahhh” over her phrases. The news is always negative, and it is usually shocking. Bits of truth are thrown in to make the story seem true, and to make the gossip seem like a credible witness. The audience reacts by mimicking the gossip’s emotions. If she’s angry, they are “righteously” angry for her. If she’s having a pity party, her audience gladly pats her on the back and agrees that the person being gossiped about is truly thoughtless, unforgiving, and unChristianlike.

The gossip is the center of attention and the gossip wants to keep it that way. The focus will be on her and how much better she is than someone else, how she’s been mistreated by someone else, and how she is concerned about someone else. In essence, the gossip is an expert know-it-all about the person who is not even there to defend himself.  A genuine Christian should use discretion when concerned about a loved one;  and should seek to keep quiet about things that could hurt someone else or damage relationships among friends and loved ones:

“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs” (Prov. 10:12).

Gossip is like having a  judge rule over a court case without allowing the defendant to speak. It’s like a football game when the offense runs forward to make a touchdown, but the defending team isn’t even there to try and intercept the ball.  If you challenge the gossip with questions to  verify how she got her information, her feathers will get ruffled, and she will become offended. She will become uncomfortable, and only then will she make an effort to change the subject.

In the worst case scenario, the gossip has no empathy, yet displays fake empathy by manipulating her captive audience into believing that she is concerned about the person being discussed. She is now in control of the situation, by having played on people’s emotions. Meanwhile the person being gossiped about is living a normal, healthy productive life, and usually has no clue about how much damage the gossip is causing behind his back. Yet slowly, bit by bit, people drop out of his life, all because of the gossip’s made up stories! Rarely will a good and fair man or woman come forward and say, “I heard this about you… is it true?” But why shouldn’t we do this? Why would we accept a one-sided conversation as truth? The Bible itself tells us this is a very naive thing to do:

“The naive believes everything, But the sensible man considers his steps” (Prov. 14:15 New American Standard Bible).

Most people can’t imagine how someone would play with real human lives in such a manner. But the truth is, it does happen, and it’s more often than we’d like to think. It happens when a gossip is at her very worst; and becomes a completely self-absorbed, self-centered, narcissistic person: Everything will be about her… everything. Not all gossips are narcissists; but ALL narcissists are gossips!  Beware the self-centered sting of narcissism!

If you’ve been caught up in the sin of gossip, the silver lining is that gossip is forgivable and escapable!  Repent of participating in gossip, and ask God whether He wants you to apologize to those who have been hurt by your participation in it. God makes good out of all things, when we come to Him with a repentant heart. Though it may take a while, God can heal broken relationships, and He can repair broken hearts. One small act of repentance can bring about a lifetime of beautiful gifts. God is a God of restoration. He can even replace many years which were lost due to the sin of gossip, and heal all the hearts involved. Ask God to remove gossip from your life today!

” ‘I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten– the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed” (Joel 2:25-27 New International Version).


If you’re the one being gossiped about, remember that God is your protector. The Holy Spirit is at work, convicting the hearts of those who accuse you. You’re not alone. Jesus knows exactly how you feel. He chose not to defend himself, even though He was, and is, God’s beloved Son. He knew God had a better plan, and he trusted His Father. When we are unjustly slandered, by those who gossip about us, we can rejoice in the fact that we are taking part in the suffering of Jesus for his namesake. Not only do we take part in the suffering, but we will also take part in the great joy of God’s Kingdom! God will judge all of it, and make it right. Don’t waste your time with a queen bee, when you belong to the KING!

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:17-18).


Stay tuned for these upcoming June posts from the Series: Toxic People, Toxic Situations… 
Is She a Gossip? … 10 Red Flags

10 Ways to Escape Gossip

The Self-Centered Sting of Narcissism

The Jezebel Spirit

Flying Monkeys… What are They?

Jezebel’s Chess Game… Win or Lose?

Fifty Darker Shades of Sin… Sexual Abuse is not a “grey area”

By Angela Royse Pelleman

Formerly published as “God’s Scriptures on Sexual Abuse are Written in Black and White… Not Grey”

Confusion and Lies  

As if it wasn’t bad enough to be exposed to unwelcome previews for the pornographic movie, Fifty Shades of Grey, right before Valentine’s Day, it’s déjà vu, two years later, with Fifty Shades Darker.  Though pain, abuse, and trauma are weaved through this vile book and movie, which sadistically glamorize a sexually abusive relationship, the devil has managed to convince readers, movie viewers, actors, and producers, that they need another dose of more sin and darkness. I cringe just typing out the titles, which were aptly chosen for material so “grey” without love, and  so “dark” with evil. 
I pray my words will honor God, and convict the hearts of many: male and female, young and old, Christian and non-Christian; from making the shameful sinful, regretful mistake of viewing what should actually be an X-rated movie, which can do x-amount of damage in too many ways to count.

Original, complete article below:

As God quickly gave me words and verses to share, I started wondering: Do they really know that’s it’s wrong, and why it’s wrong? To me, it’s obvious, but it may not be obvious to those who are lost or confused, or to those who have been taught to believe lies. Even Christians can be blinded by the lies of the world. “And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf” (Isa. 35:5 New Living Translation).
This may be a “gray” area in the minds of some people, but God speaks to us, in scriptures, from pages that are black and white. The words of Jesus can be found in red. God hates sexual abuse. His word says, “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but gracious words are pure” (Prov. 15:26 English Standard Version). If God’s word says NO on a particular issue, then God doesn’t want His children involved in any way, shape, or form. That includes reading books and watching movies about it. Walking down an ungodly path, leads people into temptation. “But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires” (James 1:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible).

“No! Sexual abuse is not okay!” I want to scream it. Neither is emotional, verbal, physical, or spiritual abuse. Usually, several of them are tied together, as they are in this movie. My hope is that people will not change their minds because of what I have to say about violence and porn, but what God has to say about it. Maybe lives will be changed for the better. Maybe lives will be…saved. 

Sin and Sensationalism

Is our world so broken, that the newest form of sensationalism is the sexually abusive relationship? Yes; God already knew it would happen: “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people” (2 Tim. 3:2-4 New International Version).

A sin is a sin, and the devil is a deceiver. He knows that people will think it’s okay to watch a pornographic movie, if it has an acceptable R rating and is being shown at a public movie theater. The devil also knows that people get their ideas about love from the fallen world around them. Lies can be found in books, movies, commercials, and magazines. They all shout out the lie that sex is love.

God says, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28 NIV). When people view pornographic material, they are inviting sinful thoughts to surface. This can lead to further sin. Why jeopardize the chance to have a fulfilling, godly relationship, based on love? “Do not give the devil an opportunity” (Eph. 4:27 NET Bible).

Sex and Abuse

When sexual abuse gets added into the mix, and it causes even more chaos and confusion. Sexual abuse is not love. It is the opposite. Sexual abuse is hatred. It is a sin. Sexual abuse is unhealthy, damaging, and evil. It is a lie to believe that it’s romantic to dole it out. It’s a lie to believe one must take it, in order to prove love. It’s a bold-faced like to believe love can be found in a sexually abusive relationship.

Sex without marriage already causes damage. God’s laws are in place to protect us. God intended sex to be an intimate act of love, within the confines of marriage only. The marriage bond is sacred. God says this: “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Heb. 13:4 English Standard Version). Sex forms an intimate bond between a husband and wife, and it’s one way for them to express their love toward each other. In fact, it is so special, that the couple can create a baby together. 

If God does not approve of sex outside of marriage, then He certainly does not approve of an abusive sexual relationship. God also does not approve of sexual abuse within a marriage. He gives clear instructions about how men should treat their wives: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Eph. 5: 25-28 NIV).

Temptation and Thievery

Anything in opposition to God’s commandments, is sin. The devil is at work, enticing people to sin. He does this subtly, through entertainment. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and also have it to the full” (John 10: 10 NIV). These are the words of Jesus. The thief is the devil. The devil steals virginity, innocence, childhood, and peace. He kills by inflicting pain, turning people against each other, and he will do whatever he can to kill hope, faith, and joy. He destroys purity, marriages, families, and lives. He is a tempter. One vile way the devil does this, is through sexual abuse. He also seeks to deceive people into thinking that certain situations aren’t so bad. The devil is a deceiver and a liar. Only Jesus can redeem and restore the beauty that is lost, and bring new life.

The comments in favor of this book and movie, are excuses to sin. Erotica is not valuable literature. It’s a fancy word for “porn.” It’s sexual fantasy. When the graphic sex and violence are removed, there is nothing left. When a man degrades a woman, he is saying she’s worthless. This is a lie from Hell. God created women to be loved and cherished. In a sexually abusive relationship, lost souls are being led down a dangerous path full of manipulative lies. These souls are being damaged.

Reality and Redemption

Why on earth would it be okay, then, to watch a movie with a selfish, sadistic, narcissistic, sexual abuser as the star? What is entertaining about watching women be demeaned, mistreated, battered and abused? How does this give glory and honor to God? It doesn’t. Death would be a better alternative for the character from Shades of Grey. “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6 NIV). These are the words of Jesus, in red. If someone thinks that is harsh judgment, it can be discussed him. Jesus is real man, a man without sin, and he can take it. In fact, he already did. He took it all, for you and for me, when he died on the cross. He died for girls and boys who are, and have been, sexually abused. He even died for the abusers.

God’s people can be forgiven their sins. Even sexual abusers can be forgiven for atrocities that would otherwise land them into the pit of hell. Why does a sexual abuser, get a chance to go to Heaven? If an abuser asks Jesus into His heart, God lets him in. Why? It’s because Jesus already paid for the sin! He took the punishment for you and me! It’s a gift! God loved us all enough to send His own son, as a living sacrifice, to die for each and every one of us, so that we could live with Him eternally. Hell is not a place anyone wants to go. The devil may buddy up to some people here on earth, but he’s a deceiver. He’s making promises he doesn’t intend to keep. But God does keep his promises, and He has every intention of fulfilling every single one of them for His children.

The Silver Lining

God wants a clean, pure relationship with His children. God forgives all sins, only through His son, Jesus Christ. To receive eternal life, a person must ask Jesus to come into his heart, while acknowledging that he is a sinner, and that Jesus died for him. This is an act of faith, and God calls every man and woman to receive His gift. Since we have to wait until he comes, he offers healing to those who have suffered the pain and agony of physical, emotional, spiritual, and sexual abuse. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 NIV). Jesus understands suffering. He willingly suffered for our sins.

Prayer

Dear God, please forgive your children when they struggle with temptations. Please give them wisdom and discernment. Heal those who are hurting and damaged. Fill your children with your Holy Spirit. Give them eyes to see the truth. Turn your children away from evil, and into the arms of Jesus.

Reflection

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Phil. 4:8 NIV). 


Black and white bible page with words of Jesus in red and life-saving verse: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).

Choosing a King… 5 Biblical Examples

CHOSEN, ANOINTED, APPOINTED: God chooses all kings. When we understand how God chooses a king, we can apply godly wisdom and discernment when faced with a democratic vote for choosing our new president of the United States of America. Do you have peace about your vote? We can examine five biblical truths from 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel, to prayerfully guide us to be at peace with the decision we make when we go to vote.

 1.   GOD SENDS A PROPHET TO ANOINT A FUTURE KING:

Samuel was a prophet. A prophet is also anointed by God to proclaim God’s truth. “The LORD said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill you horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king’ ” (1 Sam. 16:1 New International Version). Today, God sends his pastors and disciples out to anoint and pray for our leaders and disciple them, in the name of Jesus.

 2.   GOD DOES NOT LOOK AT OUTWARD APPEARANCES:

 King David was a young shepherd boy. Shepherds were looked down upon as the lowest of the low on the social scale during biblical times. They were dirty and smelly; they were gossips and liars. But God didn’t see that, because He saw what was underneath, a heart after His: “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart’ ” (1 Sam. 16:7) Today God is still unimpressed by status, wealth, fame, and connections. After all, He is The Creator of all of us. He can give and take away in an instant.

 3.  GOD LOOKS AT A THE HEART OF A MAN:

God sees everything. He observed how David took his job as a shepherd very seriously. He watched as he gathered each and every one of the sheep together, and searched for any that were lost, to bring them back home. God in His Omniscience could already see that David would do the same thing with people under his reign. God needed a king who would care for the chosen people of Israel. “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ” ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do’ ” (Acts 13:22). Today God looks through all the superficial layers the world has created, and He searches deeply for the good that lies down underneath. He sees our potential, even when no one else does.

4.  GOD SEEKS A KING WHO WILL PURSUE HIM, IN SPITE OF BEING A SINNER:

King David was far from perfect. He lusted after a woman named Bathsheba, while she was bathing. Then he committed adultery with her, and she became pregnant, all while her her husband was being loyal to the king and fighting for him in The Lord’s Army! As if that were not despicable enough, he also deceitfully set up a plan that would cause Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, to die in battle, just so he could keep Bathsheba for his wife. It worked. “After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD” (2 Sam. 11: 27). Though David battled sin and strongholds, he had a repentant heart, and continued to pursue God. He wrote the Psalms, which everyone can relate to today, because we are all sinners. Today’s kings must pursue Jesus for forgiveness of their sins, because God has said Jesus is the One and Only way to God.

 5. GOD WORKS IN SPITE OF EVIL BUT DOES NOT CONDONE IT. THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES:

A consequence of King David’s sin, was the death of his son.  David was remorseful. He prayed and asked God to save his son, but when his son died, he accepted the consequence. “Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at this request they served him food and he ate” (2 Sam. 12:20). David sinned, but he was not evil. He had a repentant heart. After asking God to forgive him, he accepted his trial, and continued to pursue God, and fight for God’s Army. God equipped David for these battles.

David could have rejected God and turned his back on him. Instead, David trusted God in all things, even painful trials. He went on to receive God’s blessing of another son, King Solomon, who became the wisest and richest king in history. Today’s kings can also have a close relationship with God by choosing to accept Jesus Christ. As they pursue Jesus, with repentant hearts, they can come boldly to God, without fear, knowing He will help them gain victory in their battles. They can say, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Heb. 4:16).

If God has appointed kings, but we live in a democracy, what does that mean for us? It means we are responsible to choose a king as God would, to the best of our knowledge and our abilities through Jesus Christ. Our candidate’s agenda should line up with God’s scriptures. If God says it’s a sin, the candidate we vote for should be saying it’s a sin. A quick way to do this is to look up the 10 Commandments.

They are listed in both the Old and New Testaments. God’s scriptures are black and white. If you feel an issue is a “gray area” seek God with all your heart, soul, and mind. Accept Jesus, if you haven’t. Repent of any sins. Ask Him to remove any spiritual blinders. Then ask Him your question again. He will answer you. The silver lining is that God is in control, and if we pray, we can have peace about going to the polls. God gave you a voice…Go out and vote!

“Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.”

Deuteronomy 1:13

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Related: Christians and Candidates: Voting for Your President

YOU Are Worth More Than A Gorilla…God Says So!

I love animals. They were created by God for us to enjoy. We are to care for them, as they help us with our work and comfort us.  However, given a situation where I had to choose between the lives of my children or the life of an animal, I’d choose my children’s precious human lives in an instant. I’d also choose the lives of other children and adults over any living animals.

Each human life is unique and created with love from the beginning of conception: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well ( Ps. 139: 13-14 New International Version). There is no one like you, or me, in existence, and never will there be again.

Animal Kingdom
“The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel” ( Prov. 12:10). This verse shows God clearly cares about how animals are treated. He is angry when animals are abused, just as we are. However, God did not create animals to be equal to humans, just as humans are not equal to angels.

Humans were given dominion over animals, and expected to treat them well. God gave Adam the job of naming animals and reigning over them. “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground’ ” ( Gen. 1:26). Noah was given the job of saving two of every kind of animal from the great flood. Then he was given the job of caring for them for forty days and nights as they bobbed around in a storm, on a gigantic ark. God wasn’t playing around when it came to saving animals.

Sanctity of Life
God gives permission in the bible to hunt. Native Americans and other respectful people used every possible part of the animal: meat to eat, fur hides for blankets and clothing, and bones for tools. God demanded specific animals to be killed as sacrifices for people’s sins. Though the sacrifice of Jesus replaced animal sacrifices, hunting animals as a source of food supply is permissive and mentioned multiple times in the New Testament: “He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat’ ” (Acts 10: 11-13).

However, one of God’s Ten Commandments is “You shall not murder” ( Ex. 20:13). This sixth commandment refers to the killing of human beings. God’s laws, which were brought down from Mt. Sinai by Moses, are still in effect today. These commandments are repeated over and over again in the New Testament. God clearly differentiates between killing an animal for food, versus killing a human being, which is murder.

Justice
Sometimes people make grave mistakes, and sometimes they just participate in outright sin. In these situations, animals may be placed in danger, hurt, and sometimes killed. These tragic events make people angry, and they seek justice. But God is just! People who hurt animals will have to face God and answer to Him. So will those who kill humans.

What about when a human falls into the dangerous path of an animal, such as a child falling into a gorilla’s habitat at the zoo? If it’s in our power to save a human life God considers to be of utmost value, will we help? Tragic events do not change truth. God has gone through great lengths to protect his children and keep them from being killed. Wouldn’t he expect us to do the same if it is within our power to do so? One saved human life can lead to another saved life. God doesn’t play around when it comes to saving people, especially when their eternal salvation is at risk.

Judgment
People are life guards, doctors, and nurses for a reason; they want to save lives. Human life is more valuable than that of any other creature. Unfortunately, protecting human life may occasionally mean taking the life of an exotic, endangered animal. In the midst of the shock, won’t we at least rejoice and praise God that a child has been spared from death? Would anyone dare judge, demanding, “That child better grow up and be somebody special!” Sadly, yes. People judge, as if an animal has more right to life than a child in peril.

Do people not understand God doesn’t want anyone to die without knowing Him? As sin threads its way through our society, people become blind to the truth. Yet, God waits: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” ( 2 Peter 3:9).

Privilege
Those who love animals more than humans, do not understand the sanctity and value of human life. To not understand this, is to not understand the truth of God’s scripture. It’s true that many humans are in a place where they need healing. They may have been rejected, abused, and abandoned by humans. Animals may bring temporary comfort, but they will not bring the comfort that comes from living eternally in Heaven with Jesus Christ. Humans are given the opportunity to make this decision; animals are not. It is a privilege to be given another chance at life, a gift to be offered eternal life, a free gift!

Sacrifice
God made it clear in the bible that Jesus died for PEOPLE. He did not die for animals. In the Old Testament, God demanded animals as sacrifices for people’s sins. In the New Testament, that changed. God sacrificed His one and only Son, so that PEOPLE, not animals, could receive Jesus and have eternal life. Jesus died, but God loved him and us so much, that he brought Jesus back to life! There is no death in Jesus! Nor is there death for those who accept him!

Death
In the bible, Solomon muses, “Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth” (Eccles. 3:21)? There’s a distinction of questioning the difference between the spirits of two different kinds of living beings. However, God makes it clear that humans have a soul and will face judgment in the afterlife. Who wants to go through judgment without Jesus? We need him to tell God, “They’re with me,” as he opens the gates of Heaven and walks us through!

“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Rom. 8: 34).

Eternal Life
Even though the life cycle can be sad at times, and we do experience sorrow when a beautiful animal is killed, the silver lining is in knowing that our lives are much more valuable to God…so valuable, that God is willing to redeem us and give us a second chance at life, so we can live eternally in Heaven with His Son Jesus… “For God so loved the world, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Won’t you pray, and ask Jesus to forgive your sins and come into your heart today? He loves YOU! He is knocking at the door of your heart. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Rev. 3:20).

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Matt. 10:29-31

 

12 Steps to Forgiveness with Boundaries

Have you forgiven someone, only to be accused of harboring unforgiveness, because you’ve had to establish necessary boundaries for healing and protection? If you’re feeling guilty about having less contact because of an unhealthy or abusive relationship, the guilt is not from God. God does not want His children to be doormats. How can we forgive others, while keeping boundaries in place? How can we do both, while continuing to please God, as we daily walk with Christ?

We can recognize that God set boundaries and expected them to remain in place: “Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors” (Prov. 22:28 New International Version). We can take comfort in knowing that Jesus, himself, set boundaries: “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” (Matt. 13:58). We can take godly steps towards forgiving others, by seeking Jesus, as we put boundaries in place:

1. Set aside time to step away from your offender. Even Jesus retreated, and stepped away from the crowds of people in order to spend time with God, and pray. If the offender lives with you, step outside to clear your head, or go visit a friend. Walk away, and give yourself some space. If you need a quiet spot to talk to God, and can’t get away, find ten minutes to pray in the bathroom or your closet. Sit in your car, and read a Psalm. Retreat. Jesus is an example.

2. Pray this simple prayer: “I forgive (name of offender) in the name of Jesus.” We can’t do it alone. That’s why Jesus died for us. He died to forgive us of our sins, and to forgive others. Through Jesus, we can forgive others, grow our relationship with him, and show others the way to salvation. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matt. 6:14). Jesus is forgiveness.

3. Ask God to remove your pain, and fill you with His Holy Spirit. It hurts when people sin against us, whether directly, or indirectly. Ask God to remove your pain. Then ask Him to go to the empty spot where pain once resided, and fill it with His love for you, until it’s overflowing! Jesus is a healer.

4. Ask God for wisdom in establishing healthy boundaries. God gives wisdom freely to those who ask. Wisdom will help you to discern what kind of boundary you will need to allow for healing: some contact, little contact, or no contact. You can do any of these, while still continuing to walk with Christ. Jesus is a teacher.

5. Ask God to give you strength and courage to keep the boundary. The devil will do everything possible in order to try and make you remove the boundary. He will find people to spread lies, gossip, strife, fear, and chaos. His intent is to plague you with anxiety, so that you will not change. He wants you to settle for staying in your old, familiar rut. If he can keep you ignorant of truth, you won’t go forward and learn about how Jesus can heal you and change your life. Jesus is strength.

6. Ask God to provide you with support. The devil has the goal of isolating you. He will use rejection, depression, doubt, and any other fiery darts he can throw at you, to try and convince you to remove your boundary. He knows the boundary is there for your protection, healing, and growth. He hates that God is going to heal, change, and use you to win others to Christ. God will put people in your life to replace those you’ve lost when you established the boundary. Your support will be comprised of Christians who know your heart, pray for you, and encourage you in your walk with God. They will fill in the missing gaps. Jesus is a friend.

7. Ask God to reveal truth in the hearts of those who come against you. The devil will deceive well-meaning people into believing that they are helping, when they come to you, trying to convince you to break down your boundary. They may not have knowledge about the whole truth of your situation, so they don’t understand. They may accuse you of being unforgiving, cruel, fake, or even anti-Christian. God knows your heart, and that is all that matters. However, God knows our need for love and fellowship, and He will provide everything we need. Don’t be afraid! God knows what He is doing! Jesus is truth.

8. Know that when you’re most tempted to break down your boundary, God is about to give you a big break-through! Keep your boundary. Continue to forgive others who hurt you, disrespect you, or shun you. God has a plan. The enemy wants to destroy you, but God means to use it all for good! Live your life, honoring God, knowing that the boundary is there for good reason. If it needs to come down, GOD will show you, and He will make it obvious. Be ready when God says it’s time. You will have a heart that has already forgiven, and your past pain will be behind you. Jesus is courage.

9. Read or listen to scripture, and pray. Scriptures keep us wrapped in truth. When we are struggling, God’s word lets us know that we are doing the right thing. Knowledge of the bible keeps us ready for the battles that will come our way, when we are doing something against the grain of what everyone else thinks we should be doing. God’s word is living and healing. It helps us to see others through the eyes of God. The bible helps us to see that Jesus loves everyone, even people who hurt us. The bible changes our thoughts. We can begin to develop love and understanding for our enemies, even if we don’t approve of, or accept their behavior. Jesus is comfort.

10. Pray for salvation for those who have hurt you. God says to pray for our enemies. The goal is for others, no matter how much they’ve hurt us, to gain salvation through Jesus Christ. Our prayers, and yes, even our boundaries, can help another person to receive eternal life. Jesus died for everyone. Pray that those who have hurt you will come to know Jesus. If those people are already saved, pray for their walk with The Lord. Realize that many people who profess to be Christians, are not really saved, and do not have a relationship with Jesus. “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers’ ” (Matt. 7:22-23)! Jesus is salvation.

11. Seek your own relationship with God, while the boundary is in place. During a time of separation from someone who has wronged you, allow God do His healing work in you. You will begin to see the damage in the people who hurt you, and realize they are broken just like you. This doesn’t excuse what they’ve done. It does give us insight into what Jesus did for us. Our sins put Jesus on the cross, and he died for us, even though we didn’t deserve it. It’s love beyond measure. “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:22-23). Jesus is love.

12. TRUST GOD. Understand that your boundary may allow time for the offender to draw closer to God. Recognize that the person who hurt you, is also deeply loved by God, and needs a relationship with Him. He or she may need time to dig deep down, and repent of his or her own sins. The boundary may create a void of loneliness and desperation, which only Jesus can fulfill. Your boundary may bring someone to true repentance, and draw that person towards a relationship with Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, your offender can heal, receive forgiveness for sins, and receive eternal life. This allows him or her a chance to live a godly life on earth. Only then, can true reconciliation occur. Jesus is protection.

There is a silver lining…God is in Control! Though your offender may continue to try and hurt you emotionally, physically, mentally, or spiritually, God is your protector. His Son, Jesus, heals our pain. Recognize that people may be struggle with jealousy, anger, or fear, when you place boundaries between them and yourself. Some people lash out in frustration, when they lose access to their ability to manipulate and control you. The devil thrives on ruined relationships, but God is All Powerful! “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). God is the one who is ultimately in control. With God as our protector, strength, and shield, we have already won every battle.

Though reconciliation is the ultimate goal, it’s not always possible. You do not have to allow an abusive person back into your life, to prove your forgiveness toward that person. This could even delay all the work God is doing in your life, and in the life of the abuser. Pray against guilt in the name of Jesus. We need godly relationships in our lives. Often, we need to step out, and let God step in and do His work. Sometimes we need to let others catch up, before we can be in a relationship with them.

It’s difficult to create a boundary, and even more difficult to keep it in place. But God’s silver lining is found in the amazing things He has planned for you during the storm. God will use your experience to make you stronger, healthier, and joyful. He will use your experience to bring glory to His name! God knows your heart. Forgive, leave your boundaries in place, pray, and continue to follow God. God will let you know when, and if, the boundary should be removed. Trust Him! He knows what He is doing! Jesus is Savior!

“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Ps. 16:6

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Let God Reveal True Beauty…not Society

Everywhere I look, society is insisting that it knows the true definition of beauty. If I didn’t know Jesus, I might fall for the myths too. Is beauty a woman after a makeover, or one who bares her natural face? Does it finally come when we lose our extra weight, or is it just when we are eating healthy and can fit into our clothes? Is it a perfect sunny day, or a rainstorm? Is it a picture perfect holiday party setting with family and friends, where nothing goes wrong? Is it little kids running through crunchy colorful fall leaves, or is it a wife running to greet her soldier who is coming home, broken from battle? Is beauty all, none, or some of these things?

We don’t all have the opportunity to create, or live in, our ideal surroundings of what we consider beautiful. Real life is messy and time-consuming. There are sick people to care for, ugly emergencies, life that goes on, without allowing you to unpack your stacks and stacks of cardboard of boxes. There’s illness, stress, depression, and life’s demands. Try as we might, we can’t live up to those picture perfect lives from the magazines, where homes stay clean, families are perfectly dressed and styled, toys are non-existent unless strategically placed, gourmet meals are a given, and home improvement projects are effortless. It seems so beautiful, but the magazines aren’t selling real life; they are selling dreams.

Some of us want to walk around outside and enjoy the nature around us, but life gets in the way. We may have an injury, or too much work to do. Perhaps we struggle with depression, which makes it harder to get up and go outside. Some of us would love to create a beautiful moment by lighting a candle, and enjoying a mug of tea with a favorite book. But we can’t seem to get there either. When you have toddlers, your relaxing bubble bath turns into a swimming pool filled with bath toys. That nap you were going to take on your crisp white sheets sprayed with lavender oil, just got spit up on by your newborn baby. Are these things beautiful? Maybe they are!

How can we understand godly beauty?  We invite Jesus into our lives, for nothing is truly beautiful without God. God will reveal the beauty around us. God created everything. A rainbow is beautiful, because we don’t see one everyday, and only God can create one. God is also the illustrator of beautiful sunsets and starry skies, which are mentioned in the bible. Beaches, trees, butterflies, animals, and people are beautiful. People’s opinions vary on the beauty of these things. Some believe that tall trees, overlooking a babbling brook, are more beautiful than a glistening, white sandy beach. That’s because God made us unique, with our own joyful experiences, as we witness beauty throughout our lives. When it comes to people, God looks inside our hearts for beauty. God did this when He chose King David: “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7 New International Version).

Sin steals beauty. Sin attempts to ruin the beautiful things and people that God has created. A smashed butterfly is no longer beautiful. Nor, is a beach littered with trash, or an animal that’s been killed on the side of the road. There was no death, until Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, in the Garden of Eden. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in the way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12)– Grass died, flowers began to wilt, animals fought, people murdered each other, and childbirth hurt. Those things aren’t pretty. Sin is ugly. Jealousy, anger, lies, rebellion, and pain came along when sin began insidiously seeping its way into the world. That first sin of disobedience destroyed much of the perfect beauty God meant for us to have.

Let’s not be fooled into thinking that anyone lives a perfectly beautiful life, in perfectly beautiful surroundings, with perfectly beautiful people. Pictures shared on social media are not an accurate representation of our lives, but people share them, because we desire the beauty and perfection, which can only come from God. “From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth” (Ps. 50:2). The reality is, that most of our not-so-beautiful life events, are not shared publicly. Imagine if everyone were to share those!

In real life, people are dealing with sins and strongholds, and just trying to make it through each day. Some people are caring for a sick family member or dealing with a family member going through addiction. Some people are victims of domestic violence or abuse, and others are dealing with anger or depression. We are all affected by each other’s sinful actions. Sometimes there are no choices about the situations in which we find ourselves, but we do have the choice to trust in God and follow Jesus. It’s a promise that God’s path will lead to beauty in your life.

The silver lining is found when God makes beauty out of the brokenness in our lives. He can make beauty from ashes. The bible says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecc. 3:11). He will take away our pain and damage, and create something new and beautiful. This brings us hope and healing, and ultimately brings God glory. During the storm, He will lead us to see the beautiful things that He knows will give us the greatest joy. Then we will gain wisdom. It may be a rainbow that surprises you after you’ve cried your eyes out. It may be the beauty of seeing a family member healed, or set free, after many prayers. You may find beauty in the soft, elderly hands you hold as you gaze into your grandmother’s blue or brown eyes, knowing time is running out. Your child is beautiful when she or he gives you a hug after a really hard day. Beauty is reconciliation after answered prayers, when you thought all was lost. Beautiful is the adopted child who comes to his or her forever home to live with you, after you miscarried twice, and thought the hurt would never mend.

Because God is here in our world, because Jesus lives within the brokenhearted, and makes them brand new in him, we can find beauty in imperfections. This is why an old broken down cabin sitting up on a grassy, green hill, looks beautiful with the pink and orange sun going down behind it. The cabin represents history filled with pain and life experiences. Broken people have lived there. But God’s expansive sky surrounds it, and the windows are lit with a soft yellow glow, showing signs of life inside. If you know people who have come to Christ, after rejecting him over and over again, you’ll now see light in their eyes, where once there was darkness. Their lives are not perfect; none of us has a perfect life. But when we walk and talk with Jesus, he makes us beautiful, and he helps us to see the beauty around us.

Ask God to reveal the truth about beauty for you. It matters not what people say or what people believe about beauty. God’s truth about beauty is the only definition we need. If God says it’s ugly, it is, and if God says it’s beautiful, it is! Follow Him, and get excited about the beauty He will reveal to you about yourself, others, and the situations in your life. Not everyone or everything is beautiful. Outward beauty fades, but no one can take away the beauty of Christ within our hearts. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (Prov. 31:30). God’s beauty is eternal!

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The Year of the LORD’S Favor

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61: 1-3IMG_9316

10 Godly Reasons to Break the Chain Post You Just Received

Another chain email comes around saying something like, “This is a test.  God is love.  Send this to 10 people if you love God, and something good will happen to you tomorrow.  Don’t break the chain, or else you’re denying God.  Share to make sure you get a blessing tomorrow!”  These deceitful chain posts cleverly take a truth and wrap it in lies.  Below, are ten godly reasons to break the chain post you just received:
1. Chain letters are a burden, requiring immediate action.  These lies burden us.  “Share if you care!”  This saying subtly insinuates that you don’t care if you ignore the post. Unfortunately, many good people believe they must participate in these chains, which are “innocent” sayings in disguise.  Chain posts form spiritual chains of anxiety, guilt, fear, and self-condemnation.  How do we handle these?  There’s good news; we don’t have to do anything at all.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28 New International Version).
2. Chain posts twist the truth, which includes distorting scripture. One particular chain post claims that people who break it are denying God. “But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in Heaven (Matt. 10:33 New Living Translation). We are NOT denying God by ignoring a chain post; sending it won’t save us. Being a child of God is a commitment of the heart. “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9 NIV). No one can take our salvation from us. “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28 English Standard Version).
3. Chain posts manipulate the reader by inviting guilt, fear, anxiety, self-condemnation, and rejection.  These are all evil spirits.  Guilt may visit when one doesn’t copy, paste, and send the “sweet” chain message.  The pressure’s on when the message says, “If I’m one of your best friends, I hope this comes back to me!”  Fear of rejection can creep in for refusing to join a game that supports a cause being promoted.  Selecting ten “greatest moms” may cause anxiety. Who will be left out?  Do we even want to be in a position to judge?  Some people may feel jealous about the titles given to others.  Flattery, pride, and jealousy are evil spirits.  They build upon each other, forming anger and bitterness. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice” (Jas. 3:16 NIV).
4. Chain posts plague us with negative emotions, but God gently convicts with the Holy Spirit.  If you are a child of God, you have the power of the Holy Spirit.  You can renounce guilt, fear, anxiety, and more, in the name of Jesus.  You can rejoice in the fact that these negative emotions do not come from God!  God doesn’t make us feel bad to get us to do a job for Him. If you feel bad about not sharing a chain post, it’s not from God. The devil is the one who harasses us.  If God wants our involvement in advancing His kingdom, He will place the desire in our hearts.  If we make a mistake, and miss an opportunity, he will gently convict us, and lead us on the right path.  “He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Ps. 23:3 ESV).    
5. Chain posts create a false sense of friendship. Our real friends are not trying to hurt us.  They have good intentions, and most likely just want to brighten our day.  But because chain posts are based on lies, they add no value to our friendships. The messages are targeted toward a large audience, with the expectation to act quickly. Real friends are there for each other during hard times.  Chains posts have nothing to do with friendship. Real friendships consider your unique individuality, and they take time to cultivate. There is conversation and interaction with each other, with heartfelt notes, phone calls, and time out for coffee. Chain posts distract us from the true friendships that God provides for us. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born to help in time of need” (Prov. 17:17 NLT).
6. Chain posts require you to “prove” something. If you love Jesus, and if you’re not afraid, you will pass it on.” Even if this is all the chain post says, it subtly insinuates that you feel the opposite, if you ignore it. Some people feel frustrated at having “something else to do,” but share the posts to relieve guilt and anxiety. Self-condemnation may nag in their ears, telling them they are weak for not being a voice for Jesus.  Fear tells people their prayers won’t be answered.  It is fear that makes people believe they will be punished for not sharing a chain post to prove their love for God.  Lies are the devil’s hired hands. Jesus sets us free from man-made rules requiring us to prove love, friendship, and loyalty.  “But Peter and the other apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than human beings’ ” (Acts 5:29 NIV)!
7. Chain letters are rooted in sin, and they shackle the participants in lies.
A chain post is an empty promise filled with false hope that something good will happen, if the “good luck rose” is shared. We can’t control our destiny with “luck.”  When we need help in our lives, we need to pray.  Only God can change our circumstances, and He is the giver of all good gifts.  Chains predicting “bad luck” are even worse.  The lies sprout seeds of fear, and lead people further from truth.  In Deuteronomy, chapter 18, God tells Moses not to let his people practice fortune telling, which He says is detestable.  It is in the same category as witchcraft and interpreting omens. Chain mails are a form of fortune telling. They predict the future. “I will put an end to all witchcraft, and there will be no more fortunetellers” (Micah 5:12 NLT).  People naively share chain posts, without realizing that God hates fortune telling.  In addition, chains are usually shared without recognizing the source from which they originate.  Spiritual messages can be connected to sites, which lead people away from the truth of Christianity.
8. Breaking chains brings us relief from fear. The most evil chains threaten harm, if the chain is broken. They contain words about God’s love, and then suggest people are siding with the devil if they ignore the chain. This is a lie meant to cause fear, but we are safe as God’s children.  “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.  And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’ ” (Rom. 8:15 NIV).  God will not abandon us for ignoring a chain post.  “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fear for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below– indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39 NLT) 
9. Chain letters steal our time.  Our time is better spent praying for others, reading the bible, and fellowshipping with friends and family.  We should feel free to share wisdom, truth, scripture, and prayer requests.  Be wary of manipulative posts that require you to act, in order to avoid a consequence or to prove a point:  “90% of people don’t care enough to send this on.  Let’s find out who really does!”  Guilt just hitched a ride!  Manipulation knows you want to be considered a caring person.  Guilt knows you will feel like a jerk, if you’re one of the 10% that “don’t care.” We don’t have to participate in chains and challenges to prove that we care about a cause.  God doesn’t care about “likes” and “shares.”  He cares about our hearts. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts” (Ps. 139:23 NIV).
10. Breaking chains is the only way to freedom. The jailer can open the door, and tell us we can go, but if we are still in chains, we aren’t going anywhere. When storm clouds bring chains that try to bind us, there is a silver lining. With Jesus, we can break free, by standing in God’s truth. It is such a relief to be free from emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental chains that bind us.  How sweet to know we can show our love for Jesus, without being required to do things that man demands of us.  Jesus died for our sins.  He came to bring forgiveness and release us from our burdens and chains. “For God will break the chains that bind his people” (Isa. 9:4. NLT)…
In order to be forgiven and receive eternal life, God only requires that we accept His son, Jesus Christ, who was sacrificed on the cross for our sins.  Nothing else can save us or change the course of our lives. We need to acknowledge that we are sinners, and ask God to forgive us. Then we walk on God’s path. We no longer walk in chains.  We walk in freedom, and we grow closer to Him! 

“He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.” (Psalm 107:14 NIV)

   © 2015 Nicholas Pelleman
 

God’s Scriptures on Sexual Abuse are Written in Black and White…Not Grey

By Angela Royse Pelleman
Confusion and Lies
This Valentine’s Day, everyone is talking about the movie that glamorizes a sexually abusive relationship. I don’t even want to write the title, Fifty Shades of Grey. As God quickly gave me words and verses to share, I started wondering: Do they really know that’s it’s wrong, and why it’s wrong? To me, it’s obvious, but it may not be obvious to those who are lost or confused, or to those who have been taught to believe lies. Even Christians can be blinded by the lies of the world.  “And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf” (Isa. 35:5 NLT).
This may be a “gray” area in the minds of some people, but God speaks to us, in scriptures, from pages that are black and white.  The words of Jesus can be found in red.  God hates sexual abuse.  His word says,  “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but gracious words are pure” (Prov. 15:26 English Standard Version).  If God’s word says NO on a particular issue, then God doesn’t want His children involved in any way, shape, or form. That includes reading books and watching movies about it. Walking down an ungodly path, leads people into temptation.  “But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires” (James 1:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible).
“No! Sexual abuse is not okay!”  I want to scream it. Neither is emotional, verbal, physical, or spiritual abuse.  Usually, several of them are tied together, as they are in this movie. My hope is that people will not change their minds because of what I have to say about violence and porn, but what God has to say about it. Maybe lives will be changed for the better.  Maybe lives will be…saved.
Sin and Sensationalism
Is our world so broken, that the newest form of sensationalism is the sexually abusive relationship?  Yes; God already knew it would happen:  “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with such people” (2 Tim. 3:2-4 New International Version).
A sin is a sin, and the devil is a deceiver. He knows that people will think it’s okay to watch a pornographic movie, if it has an acceptable R rating and is being shown at a public movie theater. The devil also knows that people get their ideas about love from the fallen world around them. Lies can be found in books, movies, commercials, and magazines.  They all shout out the lie that sex is love.
God says, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28 NIV). When people view pornographic material, they are inviting sinful thoughts to surface. This can lead to further sin. Why jeopardize the chance to have a fulfilling, godly relationship, based on love?  “Do not give the devil an opportunity” (Eph. 4:27 NET Bible).
Sex and Abuse
When sexual abuse gets added into the mix, and it causes even more chaos and confusion.  Sexual abuse is not love. It is the opposite.  Sexual abuse is hatred.  It is a sin.  Sexual abuse is unhealthy, damaging, and evil.  It is a lie to believe that it’s romantic to dole it out.  It’s a lie to believe one must take it, in order to prove love.  It’s a bold-faced like to believe love can be found in a sexually abusive relationship.
Sex without marriage already causes damage. God’s laws are in place to protect us. God intended sex to be an intimate act of love, within the confines of marriage only. The marriage bond is sacred.  God says this:  “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Heb. 13:4 English Standard Version). Sex forms an intimate bond between a husband and wife, and it’s one way for them to express their love toward each other.  In fact, it is so special, that the couple can create a baby together. 
If God does not approve of sex outside of marriage, then He certainly does not approve of an abusive sexual relationship. God also does not approve of sexual abuse within a marriage. He gives clear instructions about how men should treat their wives: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself” (Eph. 5: 25-28 NIV).
Temptation and Thievery
Anything in opposition to God’s commandments, is sin. The devil is at work, enticing people to sin.  He does this subtly, through entertainment. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and also have it to the full” (John 10: 10 NIV).  These are the words of Jesus.  The thief is the devil.  The devil steals virginity, innocence, childhood, and peace.  He kills by inflicting pain, turning people against each other, and he will do whatever he can to kill hope, faith, and joy. He destroys purity, marriages, families, and lives.  He is a tempter. One vile way the devil does this, is through sexual abuse.  He also seeks to deceive people into thinking that certain situations aren’t so bad.  The devil is a deceiver and a liar. Only Jesus can redeem and restore the beauty that is lost, and bring new life.
The comments in favor of this book and movie, are excuses to sin. Erotica is not valuable literature. It’s a fancy word for “porn.”  It’s sexual fantasy. When the graphic sex and violence are removed, there is nothing left. When a man degrades a woman, he is saying she’s worthless.  This is a lie from Hell. God created women to be loved and cherished. In a sexually abusive relationship, lost souls are being led down a dangerous path full of manipulative lies. These souls are being damaged.
Reality and Redemption
Why on earth would it be okay, then, to watch a movie with a selfish, sadistic, narcissistic, sexual abuser as the star? What is entertaining about watching women be demeaned, mistreated, battered and abused? How does this give glory and honor to God?  It doesn’t.  Death would be a better alternative for the character from Shades of Grey.  “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6 NIV).  These are the words of Jesus, in red.  If someone thinks that is harsh judgment, it can be discussed him.  Jesus is real man, a man without sin, and he can take it.  In fact, he already did.  He took it all, for you and for me, when he died on the cross. He died for girls and boys who are, and have been, sexually abused. He even died for the abusers.
God’s people can be forgiven their sins.  Even sexual abusers can be forgiven for atrocities that would otherwise land them into the pit of hell.  Why does a sexual abuser, get a chance to go to Heaven?  If an abuser asks Jesus into His heart, God lets him in.  Why?  It’s because Jesus already paid for the sin! He took the punishment for you and me! It’s a gift! God loved us all enough to send His own son, as a living sacrifice, to die for each and every one of us, so that we could live with Him eternally. Hell is not a place anyone wants to go.  The devil may buddy up to some people here on earth, but he’s a deceiver.  He’s making promises he doesn’t intend to keep. But God does keep his promises, and He has every intention of fulfilling every single one of them for His children.
Silver Lining
God wants a clean, pure relationship with His children. God forgives all sins, only through His son, Jesus Christ. To receive eternal life, a person must ask Jesus to come into his heart, while acknowledging that he is a sinner, and that Jesus died for him. This is an act of faith, and God calls every man and woman to receive His gift.  Since we have to wait until he comes, he offers healing to those who have suffered the pain and agony of physical, emotional, spiritual, and sexual abuse. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 NIV). Jesus understands suffering.  He willingly suffered for our sins.
Prayer
Dear God, please forgive your children when they struggle with temptations.  Please give them wisdom and discernment.  Heal those who are hurting and damaged.  Fill your children with your Holy Spirit.  Give them eyes to see the truth.  Turn your children away from evil, and into the arms of Jesus.
Reflection
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Phil. 4:8 NIV). 

Black and white bible page. Words of Jesus in red. Life-saving verse: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).





Freedom from Bullies for the New Year and Beyond

I’ve had discussions with plenty of friends about bullies this year. Bullies can be found everywhere and anywhere you go. They are in the workplace, neighborhoods, and schools. They can even be found in homes and churches.  Some bullies disguise themselves as nice people, hoping to be seen as moral, upstanding members of society.  “These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead” (1 Tim. 4:2 New International Version).
There are ways to educate yourself about a bully’s tactics.  Bullies use manipulation, guilt, and lies to control their victims.  They may engage in verbal, emotional, physical, and even spiritual abuse or a combination of these. They cowardly use projection to place blame onto others, instead of accepting, confronting, and dealing with their own deep issues. They often choose a scapegoat, or two, and cleverly blame their problems on innocent people, in order to avoid looking at themselves in the mirror. Then, they gather up “allies” by using flattery, half-truths, and flat out lies, to gain false affection.  This gives them a feeling of strength in numbers, and feeds the lies they have been telling themselves.
It feels overwhelming to be the target of a bully.  Satan wants to isolate victims of bullies.  He seeks to make the victim feel abandoned, and then begins to throw his fiery darts.  The flaming arrows are lies.  The lies make the victim feel condemned, worthless, guilty, anxious, and fearful. The child or adult begins to feel there is no one that can be trusted.  This is yet, another lie. We need to protect ourselves from the lies by reading the bible and praying.  “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16). We need to wash ourselves in the truth of God’s love for us as His children.
Jesus knows all about the damage being caused.  He was brutally bullied.  He didn’t deserve it, so he knows how it feels to be mistreated. He was mocked, spit on, gossiped about and slandered, ignored, betrayed, and tortured.  All he wanted was to share God’s love with everyone, even with the people who bullied him. He wanted every single person on earth to have a chance to live with him eternally, and he still does. After everything they did to him, he still forgave them.  After every sin we’ve committed, he has forgiven us.  He died on the cross for every single one of us, and he died for every single sin we have ever committed.
Jesus was mercilessly bullied, but God did not abandon him. Instead, Jesus received victory over his enemies.  He wants the same for us.  Pray to God, and seek His help.  Ask Jesus to show you how to deal with bullies. Look for someone who will listen to you and help you.  Do not give up.  And though it’s difficult, pray for the bullies in your life.  Pray for Christ to convict them. Pray for their hearts to change. God will protect you, and He will heal your heart.
Ask God to help you forgive your bully.  Yes, this may cause some relief for your bully, but more so, it will bring relief to you.  It will give you the ability to live fully in the freedom of Christ, without anger and bitterness. Unforgiveness is a seed that grows into a thick root of bitterness, which will only weigh you down, make you sick, and destroy you.  Ask God to pull up the ugly root, and fill that space with His Holy Spirit.  Jesus speaks to us in this verse, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44)…
Bullying hurts the victim, and it hurts the bully too, who is taking his or her own current or past pain, and throwing personal problems onto others. Sometimes victims become bullies too, which causes a vicious cycle. Bullies, and their victims, need help. Some people don’t even realize they are being bullied until they are buried in pain. A victim must seek help to stop the cycle and start the healing. 
When children are being bullied, parents and guardians need to advocate for them. This can also seem like an exhausting task, for it seems impossible to beat the odds when a bully is at work, especially when the “teams” are not even. But numbers don’t intimidate God. He created so many stars in the sky, that they can’t be counted.  “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matt. 10:30).  If God knows how many hairs are on your head, then he certainly cares about you! 
In the bible, a man named Gideon fought for God. God cut Gideon’s army down from 32,000 to 300. He didn’t need all those people to do the job. “The Lord said to Gideon, ‘You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength’ “ (Judg. 7:2 New Living Translation). God can do anything to help us, and He can do it all by Himself! He uses us to help him, in order to help us grow, and form a stronger relationship with Him.
Jesus had the power to stop his bullies at any time, but he endured the suffering, because he knew it was part of God’s bigger plan to save us from our sins.  Just as God carried Jesus through his pain and heartache, God will carry us.  He knows about the bullying, and he will provide a way out.  God promises to care for us.  When we turn to Him, He will send us people who will pray for, believe in, counsel, and befriend us. Don’t give up.  Jesus is our hope. “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they walk and not be faint” (Isa. 40:31 NIV).
When you’ve reached the point where you most especially feel like giving up…pray!  Shout out to God for help.  Fall on your knees with your face to the floor.  Let the tears come. Our help often comes just as we feel we can hang on no longer.  Sometimes this needs to happen, so that we will truly know that our help comes only from The Lord.  This helps us learn to depend on God, and trust Him even more.
God wants to help us. Hold on to hope, and wait on His answers.  They will come. They will come in ways you didn’t expect, because God is working on the bigger picture.  He will send silver linings along the way… valuable lessons, new friends, joyful experiences, healed relationships, and fruits of the spirit.  Put your trust in Him, and give your pain to Jesus.  Place yourself in God’s loving arms.  They are the safest place you can be. 

“But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet” (Heb. 10:12-13 English Standard Version).