Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How Will You Finish?

by Dave

Today's Scripture:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  (2 Timothy 4:7, NIV.)
Today's Word:
So often when people make mistakes, they get down on themselves and think, “If only…” “I should have…” “What if…?” It’s easy to feel like you’ve missed the best plan for your life. That’s when people get discouraged and stop pursuing their God-given dreams. But understand today, just because you’ve made a mistake or failed in some way doesn’t cancel God’s plan. God never disqualifies you. He never says, “Go sit on the sidelines. You’ve blown it too many times. You’ve got too many weaknesses.” No, God always gives you another chance!
Some of the great people in the Bible made very poor choices. The apostle Paul started off as a murderer, yet his destiny was bigger than his mistakes. He ended up becoming a great leader and writing over half of the New Testament.
What am I saying? Our mistakes, our failures, our poor choices don’t have to keep us from our God-given destiny. With God, it’s not about the way you start in life, it’s about the way you finish. Receive His grace today and embrace the bright future He has in store for you!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Day 3 - To a Community of Faith

by Bonnie (Where Can Broken Hearts Go?)

On Christmas Day, just five days after finding out about my husband’s affair, someone gave me a guide. It was a spouse’s guide for a support group and suggested I come to one of the meetings at a church in Orlando. This group was for women who had been betrayed by their husbands through sexual sin and additions.

Reluctant to go, my counselor gave me the name and number of one of the ladies. She was previously a pastor’s wife and had gone through the same situation a year or so before. I made the decision to call her and see what she had to say. While sharing my pain, she said something to me that struck me that night and has stayed with me ever since. Her statement was, “I would do it all over again, the pain, all of it, for what I have today.” She was talking about her marriage and most of all her intimate relationship with the Lord! I remember saying to her, “WHAT! Are you kidding me?” I thought “How….how could that be possible!!! I feel like my guts are about to spill on the floor every second of the day. How in the world could she say she would do it ALL over again?”

I agreed to go to the support group. I was furious that I would need support, much less drive an hour, but I was willing to try anything to ease the pain and hurry my healing. I attended the first meeting in desperation! I was a MESS! My emotions were like a roller coaster. For the new people attending, we were called the “grievers” and we were split into a smaller group for people just starting the grieving process.

Well, It didn’t take long to recognize that there was a room full of women that knew what pain was, and I needed to be part of that group for healing. I can’t imagine how the journey would have gone without those ladies!

Psalm 27:4-5 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. NIV

Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 31:24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

You can’t do it alone. You will need to look for support. God uses people to bring comfort and hope. Don’t look to people for the answer, but lean on them for support. They can be a wonderful comfort. People who are facing the same pain or have been through the pain of a broken heart are sometimes people God places in our path. They hold our hand and let us express the emotions that come with pain. Be very careful to find safe groups with safe people. They will keep you accountable to take care of yourself. This is probably in my top three most important things you can do when you are hurting.

Reflection: This is a tough place, to branch out and look for a safe person or group. Safe people aren’t people that tell you what they think you should do or give you demands for getting through the pain. As you learn to be more authentic with safe people you will also learn how to be more authentic with God. Don’t suffer alone. You will need a hand to hold yours. Often times, family members are not safe to walk this journey of pain with you. This might not make sense but it is because they love you so much. When you hurt, they hurt…it is hard for them to stay objective and give you wise counsel.

Prayer: Father, sometimes I find it so difficult to open up and share my pain with anyone other than you. Lord, help me to realize there are safe people. I pray you will lead me to a support group or a group at church. Show me if there is someone currently in my life I can trust. Help me to open myself up and not be scared to experience what you have made me for…. relationships. Fill my life with people to whom I can trust and be myself with. Thank you for what you are going to do through my friendships. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Day 2 - To Acceptance

by Bonnie - (Where Can Broken Hearts Go?)

God knows the secrets of the heart; He knows if you have a broken heart - even if no one else knows it. Get real about how you feel.

Psalm 44:21, Would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart? (NIV)

If your heart has been broken or is broken, don’t deny it, or pretend it isn’t. Stop saying, “Everything is okay!” If you have a broken heart, admit it and accept it.

Psalm 109:22, For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. (NIV)

Reflection: I know you probably don’t feel like singing, but I can almost guarantee, if you choose a song to worship during this day, the pain may not go away, but the peace that will flood your soul will be indescribable. I found music to be very comforting for me, and when my heart was singing and praising, the chaos around me didn‘t stick to me or bring me down. Give Him your heart and soul with a song.

Prayer: God I am hurting because______________. Father, I need to feel your comfort and peace during this time. I’m not sure why I am going through such horrible heartache but I choose to thank you for what you are going to do through my broken heart. Please come close. I need you Father. I desire to feel your presence and believe you are near. Thank you for your strength, comfort and peace. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Prewired to be Imitators

by Dave
Today's Scripture:
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
(Ephesians 5:1-2, NIV.)
Today's Word:
Have you ever spent time with a small child or baby and had them mimic your every sound or action? To them it’s a fun game, but internally, they are learning by watching and copying everything you do. They just watch and do the same thing. That’s because we are all prewired to be imitators.
Just like little children, we are all still imitators. So many people today end up imitating what they see in the world, on TV, in the news and magazines. But scripture tells us that we are to be imitators of God and follow His example of love.
If you need to change your actions today, change what you are imitating by simply changing your focus. The more you focus on the Word, the more you will imitate God. And when you do things God’s way, you will get God’s results—peace, joy and blessing all the days of your life!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Day 1 - To The Well

by Bonnie - (Where Can Broken Hearts Go?)

Day 1 - To The “Well”

As a child I had fun outside, however my home inside had issues with addition and co-dependency. My father was a good provider. My mom was a housewife who cooked every meal and was truly our maid. My life, however, was broken. I didn’t know how broken until I started counseling. I don’t blame my parents for how I deal with issues in my life, but I do know that the experiences and feelings I had as a child have affected how I have handled life in the past and why I am trying to change how I handle life in the present and future. My past led me to be a negative and controlling wife and mom. I realized some time into my pain that my heartbreak was making me sick. I was sick physically, emotionally & mentally. But the thought of getting well didn’t come to me right away.

John 4: 13-14 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst.

John 5: 6-9 When Jesus saw this man lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he ask him, “Do you want to get well?” The man replied “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your mat and walk. At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

Reflection: Jesus is the well of living water and the beginning of healing. If we truly want to get well, it might mean we need to do some hard examining of our own lives. You might not want to hear that but it is true. I believe Jesus can heal us, just like He did the man at the Bethesda pool. Jesus has the same compassion for us as he did this man. While you might not understand why relief or a miracle has not come, you must never give up hope that God’s time to work a miracle in your life may come soon. Do you want to get well? What have you tried or not tried to ease your broken heart?

Prayer: O Jesus, Please help me recognize you. Give me the desire to get well. Have compassion on me and see my hurt. Show me ways I can move forward to walk close to you and spend time working through this deep hurt. I will do the hard work to get well. Help me to sense your leading during this time. I don’t understand the pain, but I choose to trust you. Thank you for this time of healing. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Promotion Comes From the Lord

by Dave

Today's Scripture:
“For not from the east nor from the west nor from the south come promotion and lifting up. But God is the Judge! He puts down one and lifts up another.”
(Psalm 75:6-7, AMP.)
Today's Word:
Have you ever noticed that people tend to act differently around those they think can do something for them—people who appear to have status, wealth or influence in life? I believe that the way we treat people is a test. At times, God will bring people across your path that may seem insignificant. They may not appear to be able to do anything for you, but in reality, they are divinely linked to your destiny. They hold the key to your promotion and increase. Will you treat them with respect and honor even if you think they can’t do anything for you?
The truth is, the people that we’re playing up to or trying to win their favor may be the ones that will open a door for us. But, they don’t hold the key to your destiny. Promotion doesn’t come from them. Promotion comes from God. And God will use the most unlikely people to open doors of opportunity for you—a hotel bellman, a maid, an intern, or an unpopular kid at school. Let’s pass the test and treat everyone like Jesus put them in our path because He probably did. Remember, God is watching and promotion comes from Him.

Monday, December 9, 2013

But The LORD Delivers

by Bonnie

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous,But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Now notice what the promise is: “He is near and He saves.” The word “near” means God shows up. It speaks of a personal relationship with God. That relationship begins the moment you receive Jesus Christ into your life. “Near” has these ideas:

1. God is attracted to those who have a broken heart and turn to Him in faith as the only hope.

2. God is available at any time, all the time for healing.

3. God is accessible. You can go directly to Him with every need, every hurt, every wound.

4. God is able. Psalm 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

He has the power, He has the resources to heal You and bring you out of where you are emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

In Psalm 34:19, “Many” means much! The word “afflictions” means bad, sad, unhappy, unpleasant, giving pain, malignant, hurtful.

The word “delivers” means He delivers! He brings you out of the pit! He gives you the victory!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Don't Let the Storm In

by Dave
Today's Scripture:
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”
(Mark 4:39, NKJV.)
Today's Word:
Have you ever thought about the fact that a boat can be surrounded by water, sailing through a vast ocean with water for miles in every direction, but it’s not any problem unless the boat starts taking on the water? If the boat starts allowing the ocean to come inside, before long, it will sink.
The same principle is true in life. You can have trouble all around you—stress, frustration and worry. But the good news is, just like that boat, you don’t have to allow what’s on the outside get on the inside. When difficult times come, you don’t have to be overwhelmed by the waves of worry or fear. What should you do? Follow the example of Jesus. When He was in the midst of the storm, He stood up and spoke to the storm.
Always remember, no matter what storms may come against you, the Greater One lives on the inside of you. Turn to Him and walk in His power. Don’t let the storm in, and speak peace to every area of your life!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Are you crushed in spirit?

by Bonnie (Where Can Broken Hearts Go?)

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

This is an amazing promise from God. If you are experiencing a broken heart, please listen to what David is saying in this verse.

When you hear the word “broken” heart, it speaks of a feeling of being crushed, wrecked, in pieces, shattered. It can be a shattered hope or dream; crushed plans; memories that leave you feeling in despair and in pieces.

The word “crushed” means dust. Have you ever felt lower than dust? Lower than dirt? It speaks of being contrite. If sin is in your life, it means you repent….you humble yourself before the Lord.

If you have had something happen to you that created a broken heart, it means getting to the place of surrendering to God and realizing He is your only hope, your only help. It is releasing everything to Him, looking only to Him, trusting only in Him, realizing you cannot face whatever it is by yourself.

Overcome with Good

 by Dave
Today's Scripture:
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
(Romans 12:21, NIV.)
Today's Word:
The scripture says, “We overcome evil with good.” In other words, when somebody’s rude or inconsiderate, don’t sink down to their level. Don’t be rude and inconsiderate back to them. No, if you going to rise higher, if you are going to overcome, you have to do just the opposite. You have to show kindness, grace and mercy. It isn’t always easy; in fact, it’s almost never easy. It takes a lot of humility to treat someone with respect who is disrespecting you. But do you know what happens when you walk in humility? God gives you His grace. He empowers you to walk in His goodness. Scripture plainly says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Today, walk humbly with God and overcome evil with good. Show mercy and sow mercy. Receive His grace, receive His power, and receive His strength to be everything He’s called you to be.

Monday, December 2, 2013

You Are In Control of Your Happiness!

by Dave

Today's Scripture:
“…No one can take away your joy.”
(John 16:22, NIV.)
Today's Word:
Life may not have turned out the way you planned, but you still have the power to be happy right where you are. God is the source of all joy, and when God gives you something, nothing in the world can take it away. That means other people cannot make you unhappy, no circumstance can force you to get upset. Nothing can take your joy; you have to give it away. You’re in complete control of your happiness.
Think of it this way: If somebody is rude to you, what they’re really saying is, “Give me your joy.” Somebody cuts you off in traffic, “Let me have your joy.” Somebody ignores you or leaves you out of a meeting; they’re just asking for your joy. You have a choice. You can give it to them by going around upset, frustrated and offended. Or, you can make a much better decision and say, “No thanks, I need my joy. I’m not going to get upset because you were rude and didn’t speak to me. I’m not going to be frustrated because you cut me off in traffic. I’ve already made up my mind that I’m going to live this day happy!” Instead of giving them your joy, give them mercy, grace and understanding. Give them the benefit of the doubt and keep your joy because only you are in control of your happiness!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stay Focused on What HE Can Do

by Dave

Today's Scripture:
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”
(Hebrews 12:2, NKJV.)
Today's Word:
In John Chapter 4, Jesus met a Samaritan woman at a well. He asked her for something to drink. She was a little surprised because in those days the Jews didn’t have anything to do with the Samaritans. She said, “How can you ask me for something to drink?” Jesus said, “If you knew who I am, you would ask of Me, and I would give you Living Water.
She immediately began to look in the natural. She said, “But, sir, you don’t have anything to draw water with. You don’t have any kind of bucket or pail. How can you give me living water?”
How many times do people do the same thing today? God tells us He is going to do something great in our lives, and we start looking at things in the natural, and before long, we talk ourselves out of it!  But we have to remember, God can take something that is ordinary, breathe on it and turn it into something that’s extraordinary. With God, all things are possible!  Don’t just look at things in the natural, look at the greatness of God. Stay focused on what He can do and embrace all He has for you!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lack No Good Thing

by Dave
Today's Scripture:
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing.
(Psalm 34:10, NLT.)
Today's Word:
It’s easy to think, “If I had more money, I could accomplish my dreams. If I had this or that, or knew the right people, then I could do something great.” But as long as you feel like you’re lacking or that you were shortchanged, then you’ll make excuses to be less than your best.
Today, get a new perspective. God has given you exactly what you need for the season that you’re in. You have the talent, the friends, the connections, the resources, the experience you need for right now. It doesn’t mean that’s all you’re ever going to have. You may need more next month or next year. When that time comes, God will make sure that you have what you need. Because your trust is in the Lord, you don’t have to worry. You lack no good thing.
Remember, you are equipped, empowered and anointed for this moment. You are not lacking. You have what it takes. Rejoice because increase is coming. Promotion is coming. New opportunities are coming. You are ready for whatever may come because you put your faith and trust in Him.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Fullness of His Blessing

by Dave

Today's Scripture:
“But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.”
(Romans 15:29, NKJV.)
Today's Word:
God wants you to live in the fullness of His blessing. His blessing is His supernatural empowerment. It is His favor. We’ve all seen a measure of His blessing, but there is a whole new level He wants to take you to. God has promises and opportunities in store for you that you haven’t even thought of yet. What you’ve seen in the past is only a fraction of what God wants to do in your future.
Understand that God likes to outdo Himself. He wants to open doors for you and bring out talents and abilities that you didn’t even know you had. Remember, the God we serve is a God of abundance. He is the God of more than enough. Not only does He want to meet your needs, He wants to give you enough to bless other people. That’s living in the fullness of the blessing!
Today, don’t settle where you are. Your destiny is not determined by the economy, your past, or what anyone else thinks or says; your destiny is determined by Almighty God. He wants you to tap into a greater measure of His blessing and live in the fullness He has in store for you!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Give Your Faith a Voice

by Dave
Today's Scripture:
“And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak.”
(2 Corinthians 4:13, NKJV.)
Today's Word:
Every believer has been given a measure of faith. In order to see the promises of God come to pass in your life, you have to give your faith a voice. You must declare what God says about you in His Word. Those seeds of faith inside you are activated when you speak them out into the atmosphere. That’s why the scripture tells us, “Let the weak say I am strong. Let the poor say I am rich.” When you give your faith a voice, you send forth the Word of God, and the Bible says that He watches over His Word to bring it to pass in your life.
The key is to not allow words of defeat or negativity to come out of your mouth. Don’t dig up your seed by speaking against His Word. Instead, water your seed by continuing to declare the Word of God. When you wake up every morning, thank Him that His promises are coming to pass in your life. As you do, you will see those things come to pass, and you will live the life of victory God has prepared for you.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Say What He Says

by Dave

 Today's Scripture:
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
(Genesis 1:3, KJV.)
Today's Word:
When God created the world, He didn’t just think them into being. He didn’t just believe there would be light and land and oceans and animals. He had it in His heart, but nothing happened until He spoke. He said, “Let there be light,” and light came. His thoughts didn’t set it into motion; His words set it into motion.
It’s the same principle today. You can believe all day long and not see anything happen. You can have faith in your heart, big dreams, stand on God’s promises and never see anything change. What’s the problem? Nothing happens until you speak God’s Word. Instead of just believing you’re going to get out of debt, you’ve got to say so. Declare every day, “God is my provider. I’m coming out of debt. God is faithful to His Word, and He is faithful to me!”
Today, make sure you are speaking what God speaks about you, your family and your future. Declare His Word and meditate on it day and night. Believe what God believes, say what He says, and see what He sees for every area of your life!  

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Choose Blessings for Your Future

by Dave
Today's Scripture:
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.”  (Deuteronomy 30:19, NKJV.)
Today's Word:
Your words have creative power. With your words, you can either bless your future or curse your future. If you want to know what your life is going to be like five years from now, just listen to what you’re saying about yourself today. Too many people go around saying, “I’ll never get well. I’ll never get out of debt.” “It’s flu season. I’ll probably get it.” “This marriage is never going to last.” Then they wonder why they don’t see things turn around. It’s because they’re calling defeat into their future. They’re calling in mediocrity. Don’t let that be you!
When you wake up in the morning, no matter how you feel or what things look like, instead of using your words to describe your situation, use your words to change your situation. Make a declaration of faith by saying, “This is going to be a great day. I have God’s favor. He’s directing my steps.” When you do that, you are choosing to bless your future. You are calling in favor, increase and opportunities. You are opening the door for God to move on your behalf so you can live the abundant life He has for you!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Who God Rewards

by Dave

Today's Scripture:
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
(Hebrews 11:6, NIV.)
Today's Word:
When God is first place in your life, and you make pleasing Him your highest priority, then you can fully expect to live a blessed, fulfilled life! In today’s verse, notice who God rewards. It’s not people who half-heartedly seek Him. It doesn't say “people who only think about Him when they’re having a problem” or “people who will only come to church when something special is going on.” No, God rewards people who earnestly seek after Him. That means we are determined. We get up every morning and thank Him for His goodness. We go through the day meditating on His promises. We give Him praise in the good times and the tough times. We are constantly stretching, growing, learning and striving to know Him better.
Today, remember, when you diligently seek God, He promises that a reward is coming. He promises He will give you strength, wisdom, favor, good breaks, promotion, healing and restoration. When you seek Him with your whole heart, you will find Him, and you won’t be able to outrun His goodness and blessing!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Staying Rock Solid

by Dave
Today's Scripture:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
(Matthew 7:24, NIV.)
Today's Word:
When we have rock-solid faith, we won’t be moved by what’s happening around us. We have peace in our hearts and minds because our hope is in God. We have an attitude that says: “I’m not moved by this medical report. I respect and honor people that are trying to help me, but I know God can do what medical science cannot do. God made my body.” “I’m not moved by the economy, the stock market, my job situation. I know God supplies all of my needs. He promised He would prosper me even in a recession.” “I’m not moved by how my children are acting. I’m not stressed out because they’re off course, making poor choices. I know it’s only a matter of time. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Friend, that’s unshakable faith. That’s building your house on a rock-solid foundation. When the storms of life come, you won’t be moved. How do you stay rock solid? By meditating on the Word of God and following His commands. It’s that simple. Instead of making your circumstances the focus, you make God the focus and stand strong and secure in Him! Today, make spending time with God your number one priority and learn to stay rock solid in Him!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dream Boldly

by Dave
Today's Scripture:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go”
(Joshua 1:9, NIV.)
Today's Word:
When you look out into your future, what do you see?  What are the dreams and desires that you hold close to your heart?
So many people start with bold dreams, but then opposition comes. Life doesn’t turn out the way they planned. They lose a loved one or encounter difficulty they didn’t anticipate. Today, if that’s you, I want to remind you that the Creator of the universe designed you with specific gifts and talents that no one else has. He has you on this planet for a specific purpose. When you commit your life to Him, He promises to be with you wherever you go. Even though some things in life may have caught you by surprise, they didn’t catch God by surprise. His good plan for your life remains. You can trust Him because He loves you with an everlasting love, and He doesn’t want to see you settling for anything less than His very best.
I want to encourage you to be bold, be strong and be courageous. Put aside the past and lift up your eyes to Jesus. He is the Author and Finisher of your faith. Live boldly and dream boldly so you can embrace the good things He has in store for you!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


by Erin
Jesus is worth the suffering.
I know it doesn’t seem like that. I know that the pain of sexual betrayal feels unbearable and the future may look bleak. I know that days can drag on and nights can be incredibly lonely, no matter where you are on the journey. I know that keeping yourself together and just getting out of bed in the morning can seem like a monumental task.
But I promise you this: Jesus is WORTH it.

I wish I could explain how all this works. How in the midst of deep pain Jesus seems so close. How my weakness has made me stronger and through my doubts I have heard His voice. How scripture that once felt distant has jumped off the page and calmed my shaking heart. But I know this….

If you seek Him, He WILL be found by you.   2 Chronicles 15:2

Knowing Him more has been worth it.
Because, you see, if I had not walked in that pit He could not have lifted me up. If I had not cried out He could not have comforted me like He did. If I had not continually thrown myself at His feet I could not have known His mercy like I do. He WILL be found by you. Even in our brokenness, he WILL be found by US!

He didn’t wave some magic wand and take all the pain away. He didn’t suddenly make my husband faithful or my marriage perfect.
He gave me Himself.

And it was WORTH IT.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

After This

by Dave G
Today's Scripture:
“And after this it came to pass that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them…”
(2 Samuel 8:1, KJV.)
Today's Word:
Your life is not over because you had a setback. God has an “after this” in your future. He has another victory planned. He wants to take you further than you ever dreamed possible!
When you go through tough times, don’t be surprised if the enemy whispers in your ear, “You’ll never be as happy as you used to be. You’ve seen your best days. This setback is the end of you.” No, let that go in one ear and out the other. God is saying to you, “After the bad break, after the disappointment, after the pain, there is still a full life.”
Know today that you have not danced your best dance. You have not laughed your best laugh. You have not dreamed your best dream. If you will stay in faith and not get bitter, God has an “after this” in your future. He’s not only going to bring you out, He is going to bring you out better than you were before!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Forgetting What Is Behind

 by Dave G
Today's Scripture:
“I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”
(Philippians 3:13, NKJV.)
Today's Word:
We all go through disappointments, setbacks and things that we don’t understand. Maybe you prayed for a loved one, but they didn’t get well. Or maybe you worked hard for a promotion, but you didn’t get it. You stood in faith for a relationship, but it didn’t work out. One of the best things you can do is release it. Let it go. Don’t dwell on it anymore. If you go around wondering why things didn’t work out, all that will do is lead to bitterness, resentment and self-pity. Before long, you’ll be blaming others, blaming yourself, or even God. You may not understand what happened. It may not have been fair. But when you release it, it’s an act of your faith. You’re saying, “God, I trust You. I know You’re in control. And even though it didn’t work out my way, You said, ‘All things are going to work together for my good.’ So I believe You still have something good in my future.”
There is power in letting go of the past and the frustration of trying to figure everything out. When you release your questions, you are saying, “God, You are in control. I trust You.” And when you put your hope in God, that’s when He can heal your heart and lead you forward into victory.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Reason Isn't A Right

by Dave G
Today's Scripture:
“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.”
(Isaiah 61:3, NLT.)
Today's Word:
It’s easy to have a good attitude and pursue our dreams as long as everything is going our way. That doesn’t take a lot of faith. But what about the difficult times— when a relationship doesn’t work out, or you get a bad health report, or a friend does you wrong? It’s easy to lose your passion when you’re hurt. Too many people are sitting on the sidelines of life because they’re injured. Now they’re nursing their wounds, not moving forward because of what they’ve been through.
You may have a reason to feel sorry for yourself, but you don’t have a right. God promised He will give you beauty for those ashes. He said He would pay you back double for the wrongs, but you have to do your part. If you’re going to see the beauty, you have to shake off the ashes of self-pity. You’ve got to shake off the discouragement and get back in the game. Every person has injuries. We all have wounds, but you can’t let a loss, a health issue, a divorce or a hurt be an excuse to sit on the sidelines. Today, get back in the game. Know that your best days are ahead. Know that He is working things together for your good, and He has victory in store for your future!

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's Never too Late

 by Dave G
Today's Scripture:
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”
(2 Peter 3:8, NIV.)
Today's Word:
Have you ever thought, “It’s too late for me?” That’s what two sisters in the scripture thought, Mary and Martha. Their brother, Lazarus, was extremely sick. They sent word to their good friend, Jesus, to come to their city and pray for him. A day went by and Jesus didn’t show up. They asked the messengers, “Did you tell Jesus it was us?” “Yes, we told Him.” “Did you explain how sick Lazarus was?” “We explained it to Him.” They couldn’t understand why Jesus wouldn’t come immediately. Lazarus ended up dying. Four days later, Jesus showed up. Mary said, “Jesus, if You had been here sooner, my brother would still be alive.”
Have you ever felt like God showed up too late? If He’d just got there a little sooner, maybe things would have worked out. That’s the way these sisters felt. But Jesus spoke to Lazarus, and he came back to life.
The sisters wanted Jesus to come and heal their brother. But Jesus wasn’t thinking about a healing, He was thinking about a resurrection. A healing would have been good, but Jesus had something better in mind. Always remember, God has another option. No matter how bad your circumstances look, it’s never too late with Him!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

by Dave G
Today's Scripture:
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”
(Isaiah 30:21, NIV.)
Today's Word:
God has put a promise inside each and every one of us. Oftentimes, we have to go through the wilderness before we reach our promised land. Oftentimes, like Joseph, we feel like we are in a pit long before we ever see the palace. Maybe you’re in a season right now where you don’t see anything happening. You think, “I’ve been praying and believing for a year, five years, ten years. It’s never going to work out.”
No, be encouraged today. Stay the course. Keep believing. You may be tired, discouraged and tempted to be frustrated, but don’t give up on your future. Stay on the high road. Our God is a faithful God. It may be taking a long time, but what He started He will finish in your life. Scripture says the eyes of the Lord search to and fro to find someone who will be faithful on His behalf. Be the person He finds faithful. Keep believing, keep praying, keep obeying and stay the course because He is leading you in the path of victory!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

by Dave
Today's Scripture:
“He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work…”(Exodus 35:35, NKJV.)
Today's Word:
It’s easy to fall into “destination disease.” That’s when you’re comfortable where you are. You’re not stretching, not learning anything new. There is nothing wrong with being happy where you are, but you have to remember, you have so much more inside of you. You were created to increase, to grow, to stretch and sharpen your skills.
Studies tell us that the average person only uses 11% of their brain. Think about how much more potential we all could be tapping into. Maybe you’re an accountant. That’s good, but don’t settle there. Why don’t you go get your CPA license? There’s a new skill you can develop. That gift will make more room for you. Maybe you’re an electrician, a mechanic, a plumber. That’s great, but what steps are you taking to improve? I believe in this day and age, if you are at the same skill level today as you were five years ago, you’re at a disadvantage.
Today, shake out of that “destination disease” and start sharpening your skills. Keep stretching, keep growing and keep moving forward into the life of blessing God has prepared for you!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

by Dave G
Before we are promoted in life, before we can be moved ahead, we have to be prepared. Sometimes it’s a spiritual preparation. Sometimes it’s a physical preparation, but we all go through seasons of preparation.
Too often, people miss their appointed time simply because they are not ready. They haven’t prepared. They look around at others and think, “Well, so-and-so is more qualified than I am.” No, if you’ll get ready, if you’ll outgrow where you are, then God will make room for something greater.
Don’t worry about who’s in line in front of you. You just keep growing, learning and getting prepared, and the right doors will open. The fact is that God may not want you to have your supervisor’s position. That may be too low for you. God may be about to thrust you right past them into a whole new level. You just be faithful to develop what God has placed in you, and He will take you further than you can ever imagine!

Monday, September 23, 2013


by B Hicks

We recently moved from one small rental to another larger rental.  I can tell you that I have moved over 17 times and that I dislike moving as much as the dreaded jean shopping.  It makes me irritable and moody.  I heard myself saying, "It's just too much work" or "I just don't want to move".  I knew the one bathroom situation was becoming an issue since our college daughter had recently moved home but I thought we could and should work around the inconveniences.  The boys could use the backyard, that's not to much to ask.  Well, I heard myself say that and immediately knew it wasn't ok.  So we decided to move and the boxes found their way into the house.

Oh, those wonderful brown ugly horrible boxes.  We still had boxes full of junk in the garage from the last move.  No one wanted to unpack those boxes including me!!

Fast forward to now.  We have been in the new place for a little over a month.  I was in a hurry to unpack the boxes that I knew had items we needed to live.  I was in a hurry but not happy.  This was the same for my healing on this painful journey of betrayal.  I wanted my healing to come in a hurry and I wasn't happy during a lot of those seasons that lasted longer than I expected.  I started unpacking my junk quickly after the train wreck of my marriage.  I am 33 months into my unpacking and wow what a different person I am today.  My life, marriage and family look a lot different than they did back then.  I got through it!  Was it easy?  Nope.  Painful? Yep.  Did healing come quickly?  Not a chance.  But unpacking is why I am who I am.  It was a good thing!!  Emotions and childhood wounds were uncovered and uncluttered from my life.  Moving, ugh...I admit it has been a good thing!  I am still unpacking, down to about 6 boxes, but with each day I'm closer to having the home I desire...unpacked and uncluttered.  And as I work this road of recovery, each day I'm closer to becoming the unpacked and uncluttered Christian I desire!

By the way, two of the junk boxes from the garage got unpacked today.  Feels great!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Don't give up...

by B Hicks

As we pulled up to the arriving pickup area at the Jacksonville airport, I realized how disappointed my 19 year-old Marine must be feeling.  We had driven 4 hours to pick him up in the middle of the night.  Just two weeks earlier, while in training in N. Carolina, he watched with a flashlight as a brown recluse spider crawled on his hand during a night exercise.  The bite he received that night became horribly infected and after many attempts to treat his wound, he was plucked from his training and underwent emergency surgery. What an emotional let down.  He was just two weeks from graduation but instead he was flying home for 30 days to recover.

Healing from our past takes time.  Old patterns of behavior don't correct themselves overnight.  It takes work, dedication and healing to not run back to familiar behaviors.  We can't just move past or get over childhood wounds and traumas.  We must commit to working through them.  In recovery and life we will have disappointments and setbacks.  The disappointments of why is healing taking so long?  Or when will I ever feel normal or have a normal life?  These are the same questions my son is asking about his healing but I remind him...this is temporary.

Choose to believe with me that roads on this adventure are temporary.  Unfortunately, the road to freedom doesn't come without pain.  But, I can tell you first hand, it is well worth it...to live in freedom.

My son will return back to camp on September 8th and finish his training.  This setback will not keep him from reaching his goals.

I encourage you, don't give up!  Reaching your goal is possible. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The trap of feelings...

by B Hicks

Why do feelings matter so much?  I've learn in recovery that feelings aren't wrong.  How we react to those feelings is where we get into trouble.

I'm well into my recovery but I have been struggling with feeling distant from the Lord.  I will admit, my head knows how good and faithful God is.  He has worked out many impossible situations for me in the last couple years but my heart was yearning for something, more of His presence.  I missed Him.  See, when I was going through the heaviest of storms in my life, I could almost feel God in a tangible way.  It is difficult to explain.  He was real to me.  His presence was so incredibly strong and I can't describe the peace and joy even when my life was a big heap of ashes still smoking.  After tasting the goodness and nearness of God, I've had difficulty in my heart understanding why I didn't feel Him the same way any longer.  I terribly missed the sweet gift of His presence!

So, last week I started really sharing with the Lord how I was feeling.  All the doubt and gloom.  I used journaling to open up my thoughts and it kept me from getting distracted.  It was ugly and I wouldn't want anyone to read it.  What I realized is that Satan is sly.  He uses different and new tactics to get us to rely on our feelings.  He knows where we are vulnerable and attacks us there.  I believed his lies that God wasn't close or good even though intellectually I knew better.  Wow, I just put that out there for you to see! 

On Saturday night after many days of crying out to God and studying His Word looking for answers and relief from this heaviness in my heart, I decided to go online and look for suggestions on...how to feel close to God.

I came across this article and it hit me.  I've been dealing with a wrong view of myself and I was trapped in my feelings of self-pity. 

"What's really happening in our lives, then, is this: While we're busy questioning ourselves and our worthiness to be close to God, God is busy loving us, appreciating our absolute beauty, wanting us to realize who we are. God says, "Come to Me as you are. Don't dress up specially. Don't put on a holy act. Just come as you are -- I love you that way." Thus, God invites us to enjoy a great and Divine love affair."


It can happen to you.  Watch out for the trap of your feelings!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

One less lonely girl....

by BHicks

I love Justin Bieber's song One Less Lonely Girl (google it if you haven't heard it).  I think it's a sweet song and I'm approaching mid 40's.  Recently, my husband joked me on facebook for listening to it over and over.  As I was thinking about the song and the words I began to realize the desire to be romanced is something most of us want.  We were created with a desire to love and be loved.  Books, movies, and songs pull us into that fantasy of how love should look and feel.  I'm not an expert, you will hear me say that often, but we buy into how we should feel and anything short of that isn't love.

Truth is...there is only one way to be "One Less Lonely Girl" and that is to ask Jesus to come into your world and heart.  His presence replaces the lonely with peace, joy and love beyond belief.  I am recovering and rediscovering because of His love!  A love that never fails!

I will continue to sing this sweet tune but remembering there is only one who could make me "One Less Lonely Girl".  I know Him personally and His name is Jesus!  Lonely?  Give Him a try! 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cut the rope...

by B Hicks

I was reading this morning about Paul being shipwrecked in Acts 27 & 28.  I've read this passage many times, but today I was reminded of all the anchors I've allow to remain in my life from time to time.  It was only during my storm, with wind and waves battering me unmercifully, that I was broken enough for God to speak in my heart and open my eyes to my anchors.  These anchors might not look like yours or maybe you can relate to some of these.  The anchor of self sufficiency, self righteousness, false beliefs about myself and God, a critical spirit, feelings of entitlement, not being honest with my spouse, things I did for comfort, or a strong desire for approval, acceptance and love.  Whatever the anchor, we can be free but we must be willing to cut the rope.  Total surrender.  Accepting grace.

You'll be changed from the inside out...God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.  Romans 12:2

Saturday, June 29, 2013

To the beach without expectations or so I thought!

by B Hicks

I have given a lot of thought about expectations this week.  I am not an expert on this topic but I do know how I feel when an expectation isn't met.  Is it wrong to have expectations?  When we go out to eat we expect to be served a good meal.  We expect our spouses to be faithful.  Sometimes meals aren't good and spouses fail us in the one major expectation we have for our marriage.  I don't think those expectations are wrong but sometimes our expectations are unrealistic or aren't verbalized.

On Wednesday morning my husband and I headed to our favorite beach spot.  It was his only day off for the week and the kids were busy with activities.  What started out as a beautiful morning enjoying each other turned into an ugly disagreement in the car ride home.  As we were headed out for our fun day, I mentioned that I was pondering the subject of expectations and how disappointed I get when I approach certain things with unrealistic expectations.  I ask him a couple of questions to get his view point.  It was a great time of meaningful discussion. We talked about how disappointing it would be if it rained while we were at the beach but that it wouldn't crush us because we were spending time together and besides this is Florida, it's summer, and showers are in the daily forecast.  I finished the conversation with, "I'm much better off if I live my day without those types of expectations."  I wish I had taken my own advice that day.  The day ended and I felt crushed, not because of the actual storm that blew in, but because of the storm of expectations I allowed to control my emotions and my ability to truly experience a fun day with my spouse.

I will spare you all the ugly details but before I knew what happened, I started this thought pattern in my head about how I wanted him to act.  Rather than verbalizing my desires, I allowed myself to stew in my emotions. I think you know what happened next.  I felt disappointed.  I masked my disappointment for as long as I could then an unpleasant scene unfolded on the ride home.  

This situation gave me a fresh reminder that I'm still on the road of recovery.  So, I give myself a little slack because I haven't mastered the art of authentic living.  I apologized to my husband and pray God will help me remember how to handle these emotions in the future.

The principal of relating authentically with your spouse and appropriately expressing feelings is taught in Principal Three of the LIFE Guide for Spouses.  http://www.freedomeveryday.org/spouses-of-sex-addicts/index.php