"God's healing promises are based on His goodness, not on yours.  You don’t earn and deserve healing — you believe it to receive it!  You didn’t DESERVE salvation either, you received it when you believed." — Karen Jensen

4 Things to Remember If You're Sick

 

Being sick is so horrible on so many levels.

And sometimes it seems even worse for Christians who believe in healing, because we know our covenant rights...we know Jesus Himself took our infirmities and bore our sickness (Matthew 8:17) and we know that by His stripes we are healed (2 Peter 2:24), but we're still sick!

If that’s you, I want to encourage you today and remind you of these four things:

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6 Ideas to Grow a Grateful Child

At this time of year it seems like the whole world is conspiring to turn our kids into “gimmie” monsters, am I right?

What a great opportunity to teach them instead to be grateful! We can help them adopt an attitude of gratitude that lasts all year long.

Gratitude is scriptural. First Chronicles 16:34 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Besides that, gratitude is healthy! Studies show that people who cultivate gratitude are happier themselves, and that kids who practice thankfulness have more positive attitudes toward school and family.

Here are 6 ideas for helping our kids develop an attitude of gratitude:

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5 Parenting Wins at Christmas Time

Christmas is a wonderful time of year – it’s when we celebrate Jesus’ birth! Peace on earth, God’s good will toward mankind! It’s the Greatest Story Ever Told, and we are the recipients of it – God’s grace and mercy and salvation!

But this time of year can also get a little crazy for parents, am I right?  Sometimes in the midst of all the activities, shopping, toy-induced tantrums, financial pressure, obligations and family dynamics to navigate, we can lose track of the joy of it all.

I understand! When my kids were little it seemed like there was so much going on that I always felt behind, and I wondered if I was doing everything “right” (am I the only one who compared our life to idyllic Christmas movies? Bad idea!).

Over the years I’ve discovered a few tips to give parents the WIN during this busy time of year: 

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Stuff Happens

Here’s what I’ve learned after being alive for a few years: stuff happens. Has it happened to you too? Yep - every one of us goes through “stuff.” The devil may have told you that you’re the only one, but he’s a liar! The storms of life come to everyone.

It’s what you do in the midst of the “stuff” that determines your outcome. Don’t be surprised when stuff comes, just be ready! We do that by daily refueling with the Word of God and then when everything is hitting the fan, determine to NEVER QUIT.

Now, I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, or even the greatest faith woman on the planet, but there is one thing I’m pretty good at: I know how to keep going. I refuse to quit. That doesn’t sound too glamorous, but here’s the truth: if you don’t quit, you’ll win!

I suppose I learned that lesson after my first husband died when we were both only 37...

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The Top 3 - Here's What You Liked Best

My first book Why God Why starts out with a story from New Year’s Day, 1997, when my first husband Brent went to bed before me and by the time I got there (about an hour later) he had died and gone to heaven.

As you might guess it was completely devastating, and I had questions! “Why God, why?” It didn’t make any sense to me that my big, strong 37-year-old husband who hadn’t been sick could just die without warning.

Has anything ever happened to you (or someone you know) that didn’t make sense? I think we could all say yes, and if so, then this book is for you. I call it “a manual for getting past the pain.” Here are three of the excerpt blogs from the book that readers have liked best:

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Dear Crazy Goal-Setting Person...

Do you like waiting? I don’t! Waiting is hard for everyone, but especially for crazy goal-setting people!

In today’s gotta-have-it-quick world, we want everything fast – we don’t want to wait for anything, whether it’s an order online, a drive-through latte, or the next phase of our dream to come true.

But I’ve noticed that the word “wait” appears in scripture more than once, and it’s not really bad news -- it just requires patience. Let’s face it: sometimes, like it or not, we’re in a season of waiting.

So, if you don’t know what to do, or things just aren’t happening fast enough for you, you’re in a season of preparation or waiting, let me encourage you with this today: get the most out of the time that you can. Yes, right now, today. Just go ahead and enjoy your current season. It won’t last forever, I promise!

I think too often we set our sights on a goal for our lives and we push, push, push until we get there, without enjoying the journey. If that’s you, here are three things to remember:

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How to Get to the Next Level

I have good news for you today: God wants to promote you! He wants you to grow, to increase, to move forward so you can get to the next level in your life. That’s totally His plan for you.

How is that going to happen?

Well, here’s the deal: God’s method of promotion is, and always has been, faithfulness. And let’s face it, that’s on us. We decide how faithful we are.

How bad do you want the next level? How far do you want to go? Ummm….how faithful do you want to be?

God’s looking for people who can be trusted to stick with it through hard times, with a humble, teachable attitude. He’s looking for people who will get the job done and not quit in the middle of it. More than talent, charisma, or good looks, God is looking for faithfulness.

So if you’ve been seeking God about a certain direction or decision and you just aren’t getting a definite answer, go ahead and be faithful where you are until you know for sure. Here’s how:

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Cut the Chain, Let Go of the Pain!

If you’ve been alive longer than about 15 minutes, someone has probably hurt you or done you wrong. When that happens to any of us, we all have a choice – hold onto the hurt, or let it go and forgive.

Forgiving isn’t always easy, but holding onto hurt is like attaching a ball and chain to your ankle. Every time you try to run your race, that ball bangs against your leg, hindering your progress and causing you pain. It’s unforgiveness, plain and simple, and it affects every area of your life and steals your joy. It’s bondage!

Hebrews 12:1 says, “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”  

I truly believe that, among other things, unforgiveness is one of those weights and yes, one of those sins. Holding onto hurt weighs you down!

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4 Keys to Keep Your Faith During College

It’s that time of year, when Christian kids all over the country start classes at college. If that’s you, or someone you know, then read on.

College brings momentous changes in life and exciting opportunities. It’s a time when many young people are away from their parents for the first time in their lives. In the college atmosphere, there are all sorts of temptations and distractions that can way-lay a Christian.

Here’s the deal: you'll only be in college for a while, but you're setting a course for the rest of your life. Can you keep your faith? I believe you can. Here are 4 keys that can help you make right decisions and lead a godly life in college:

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I Forgive You, But You Don't Deserve It!

"I forgive you, but you don't deserve it!" Have you ever said that?

I think we Christians realize we should forgive, and we’ll even give it lip service, but really, are we sometimes thinking of forgiveness as an option?

If we’re honest, we have to admit we are. We’ll forgive someone if they’re really sorry or if they deserve it. But here’s what I’ve learned: forgiving and deserving don’t have anything to do with each other!

In fact, forgiveness doesn’t have anything at all to do with the person we’re forgiving.

I know, that’s sort of a crazy thought, but it’s freeing, too. It means you can forgive and go free no matter what the other person has done.

How in the world can we do that, even when the person who hurt us clearly doesn’t deserve to be forgiven?

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3 Things to Remember When Someone Hurts You

If you’ve been alive longer than 15 minutes, someone has probably hurt you, or ticked you off. Maybe they meant to, maybe they didn’t – the hurt and the anger is still real.

We all have choices to make when someone hurts us. And it probably won’t surprise you to learn that God has a way to set you free from the hurt! While it’s inevitable that we will all get hurt during our lifetime, it’s not okay to stay hurt. God wants you to go free.

And the way you can do that is through forgiveness. Because forgiveness is freedom! Here are three things to remember when someone hurts you:

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How Could God Let This Happen?

Let’s just be honest. Some of us are mad at God.

When something bad has happened, or something didn’t happen the way we wanted or expected, it’s easy to blame God. It’s easy to say things like, “How could God let this happen? Where was God in all of this? I prayed but he didn’t answer.”

But I’m here to tell you God is not your enemy. All of his intentions and actions toward you are always good and never bad. First John 1:5 says that “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all,” and James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

So what can you do when you’re feeling bewildered or mad at God?

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3 Reasons I Refuse To Hold a Grudge

Here’s the question I’m asking myself today: “Would I like to have raw sewage running through my living room?”

The answer to that question is a no-brainer, right? Of course I wouldn’t! Yuck! On so many levels!

But that’s just about what it looks like in the spirit if I decide to hold a grudge instead of forgive.  

Because forgiveness is how God deals with mankind. He’s not a grudge-holder. He is a forgiving father. Since you are his child, you should (and can!) also be a forgiver. It’s for your ultimate benefit. Harboring unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die; it’s not hurting the one you’re holding a grudge against, it’s hurting you. Here are 3 reasons I refuse to hold a grudge:

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How to Overcome the Hurts in Your Life

Have you been hurt?

I think we could all say “yes” to that! And really, we know we should forgive those who have hurt us, but maybe you’ve tried to forgive and you just couldn’t.

Maybe you thought you forgave, but what happened just keeps coming back, and it feels so raw and painful, you wonder if you’ve failed in the forgiveness department. Maybe you know you should forgive, but you’re just plain mad, and you don’t want to forgive at all.

Or maybe you’ve forgiven the same person again and again, and you don’t want to do it anymore.

First, let me say I’m so sorry you’ve been hurt. I know your pain is real. You may think, “No one understands what I’ve gone through” or “How can I forgive the horrible things I’ve endured, the emotional, mental, or physical scars I wear every day?”

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