Through the Fire

Ouch! On Christmas I burned my right hand on the stove. It really hurt! We've all been there. Fire is very beautiful but...oh how it can burn. This fire that burns so hot is also so great in refining...We can put gold and silver into the fire to refine it, to take out the impurities and make it more pure. In comparison the Bible describes us being refined in the fire (Psalm 66:10). God purposely places us, His dearly loved children, in the fire of affliction, pain, despair...etc. Why? What could be His purpose? Well if we look at what fire does to gold we see the Master's purpose-it refines us, makes us more like Him, less like ourselves and our sinful nature. How does it do that exactly?
I'm sure you can attest to times in your life, maybe recently, that you have been in terrible pain, like the affliction will never end. You may have continually gone to the Lord, seeking comfort. You see, God may want to wake you up out of your complacency! It may have been awhile since you noticed the Lord or prayed to Him. Getting our eyes off of ourselves and onto Christ is a huge reason for the refinement. Zechariah 13:9 answers this:

And I will put (them) into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.

 So the things that really stick out in this verse is that first off God is the one that PUTS us into this fire. Yes, our loving God allows us to be tested and afflicted. And what happens is that His children TURN to HIM. Amen!

Are you, in your pain, turning to Christ? He is there, waiting. He loves you and has a purpose in your pain! He is good all the time. Thanks be to the Lord that He hears our cry. 


Merry Christmas to you. I know it is a hard time of year for those of us with chronic pain...All the shopping, interacting, demands on us, etc. It can become overwhelming. Tonight I want to reconnect you with the meaning of our lives...this baby, this God-man, our Savior-Immanuel who is God with us.
I love Spurgeon. If you've never read his works I highly suggest you break open a book by him. He loved the Lord and brings God freshly to life! I have included a part of one of his sermons for your reflection. I pray your Christmas is pain free, but if it is not, I pray your eyes stay on our Immanuel.

Here is the link. My favorite part is when he says,

"God with us," is the sufferer's comfort, is the balm of his woe, is the alleviation of his misery, is the sleep which God gives to His beloved, is their rest after exertion and toil.

God bless you!

Christmas with Chronic Pain

A fellow sufferer of chronic pain has a great blog post about dealing with pain while everyone else is merry. You can get to it HERE.

Thanks JoJo!

God bless!

Expiration date!

Sooo, you know that moment you open the refrigerator and take out your favorite food only to find out it expired the day before? Not happy moments, but there is one expiration date that will forever, and I do mean forever, be a happy day! Let's hear from John about this amazing day in our future-

Revelation 21:4
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Praise God! I look forward to this day when my pain will expire! There will be no more crying or pain. Can you fathom such a day? Don't Waste your pain today thinking and dwelling on your pain. Keep your eyes focused on Him and just remember...Today you are one day closer to that final day when all things will be made new including these brittle bodies we have. 

God bless you! 

Our Character In Our Time Of Pain

As I was reading Romans 5:3-4 today I came to the word character. What exactly is character and how do we develop it in the midst of chronic pain? Paul tells us:

We rejoice in our suffering...
our rejoicing in our suffering produces endurance...
our endurance produces character...
our character produces hope...

So the first step in developing a Christ-like character while suffering is rejoicing IN our suffering. This means a purposeful focus on Jesus and on eternity-knowing that this pain is only for a season. We will one day be with Him in heaven forever! Amen. This fact, along with recognizing how amazing the Gospel is, will cause us to rejoice, knowing what we have been saved from!

The second step in developing Christ-like character is when we rejoice while we suffer the Holy Spirit helps us to endure through the pain while rejoicing! Endurance is shown to us in Hebrews as one running a race. The race is our lives. We are called to continue running, to endure until the end. This means CONSTANT focus on the Lord as well. If we let the things of this world cloud our focus on our Savior we easily feel like we cannot endure and we may give up! But God calls us to endure because He says endurance in this life, this race, leads to Godly CHARACTER.

Have you ever reflected on what this word means? Our endurance leads to this in our life. Our character...our moral strength, our integrity. It changes us. Makes us more like Christ as we continue to suffer-rejoice-endure...and then finally our changed character produces in us hope.

We can look back and see the work of Christ in our lives in the midst of suffering and we can be thankful for all He has done for us through our suffering, hopeful of what is to come.

The exact opposite is true, then...

If we don't rejoice in our suffering it leads to discontentment.
Discontentment leads to discouragement.
Discouragement leads to dissatisfaction.
Dissatisfaction leads done the path few return from. No hope.

Pray today for God to show you the way of rejoicing in His purpose in your life!

Today is a very hard day for me. While I am extremely excited for two friends That just had babies it just reminds me that I am unable to have anymore. I have a heavy heart about it. I know that God has richly blessed me with one beautiful girl that I love. Ellie is a joy to have as a child and I know that if I ever had anymore kids it would be too much on me health wise. God is so good in knowing our needs even when our wants don't line up. His ways are so far above my own. The only thing I can do is:
•pray and know God is always good
•be thankful for the amazing blessings I do have

I hope you too are clinging to Him today.

Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (1 Peter 4:19 ESV)

One of God's best medicines

If you are anything like me in your pain journey, you probably have tried numerous medications to help relieve your pain even if its just a little. You've probably had friends or family offer other "medications" to help relieve your pain. I feel like I've tried them all- chiropractic care, acupuncture, diet change, herbs, etc...While I am so thankful for all of these things that can help me, I'm most thankful for one of God's medicines...Affliction.

Yep, I said it.

Affliction is one of God's medicines He uses. He uses our pain to draw us away from the comforts of this world, away from self, away from greed, away from sin. In Affliction He works at our heart. He sloughs off all the dead or diseased things we cling to and he offers us HIM! This affliction can lead you straight into the arms of your Savior, if you let it.

You are in a great position to cling to Jesus in your affliction. You can easily run away, blame Him, curse Him (Just what Satan wants you to do). OR you can stop. breathe. get your Bible. and read about the Love of Jesus. Every sorrow that befalls us He has experienced. He is in the best position ever to help us deal with our pain.

Can you say like David,"It is good for me that I have been afflicted" (Psalm 119:71)?

God knows best

Our Father knows what's best for us.
So why should we complain-
We always want the sunshine,
But He knows there must be rain-
We love the sound of laughter
And the merriment of cheer,
But our hearts would lose their tenderness
If we never shed a tear...
Our Father tests us often
With suffering and with sorrow,
He tests us, not to punish us,
Bot to help us meet tomorrow...

For growing trees are strengthened
When they withstand the storm,
And the sharp cut of the chisel
Gives the marble grace and form...
God never hurts us needlessly,
And He never wastes our pain,

For every loss He sends to us
Is followed by rich gain...
And when we count the blessings
That God has so freely sent,
We will find no cause for murmuring
And no time to lament...

For our Father loves His children,
And to Him all things are plain,
So He never sends us pleasure
When the soul's deep need is pain...
So whenever we are troubled,
And when everything goes wrong,
It is just God working in us,
To make our spirit strong.

-Helen Steiner Rice

1st radio interview

I have to say it was a pretty neat day! Bill Lopez from Rockview Radio interviewed me about my book, depression, keeping your faith...It went well. You can listen to it HERE. Please let me know what you think!

I can't do this!!!

You know the old verbiage that goes through your mind as you deal with pain...

"I just can't take this any more! I can't handle even one more minute of this."


"I can't continue being nice, selfless, calm, etc while i am going through all of this."


"No one else is going through something like this. I feel soooooo alone."

All of these statements have one thing in common-They put all the emphasis on us and what we are trying to do in our own strength and none on God and what He does THROUGH us. Remember the words in 1 Corinthians 10:13 in which Paul says:

"There is no trial that has OVERTAKEN you but such as is COMMON to man, and GOD who is FAITHFUL will not allow you to be tried BEYOND what you are able to BEAR."

You've read this before, I'm sure, many times but how often do you stop and reflect on what this verse is teaching you? God sends trials our way every day...He loves us and wants us to grow to be more Christ like, but He never gives us something that, with His grace, we are not able to bear!

I like the saying, "I've had a lot of hard days, but I've made it through each and every one of them- So I can make it through this." AMEN...

First let us remember what Paul says at the beginning of this verse. These trials you and I face are common, ordinary, everyday. Meaning what? That this heart-stopping painful situation you are going through has been going on since the beginning of time. People all across our world today are fighting chronic, desperate pain, marital despair, loss of a child, cancer, etc. We HAVE to remember we are not unique in this experience and in some way that should bring us comfort knowing not only are we not alone in our pain but that God is faithful and knows exactly the pain we are going through. He allows this pain in your life to shape you, mold you, grow you to be less like the person you used to be and more like Jesus!

So what does Paul tell us to do in the trials we face? Trust God. He sent Jesus who was tried and tempted in every way we have been but endured. Because He understands our pain like no one else (even though it is common to man- LOL ) we can go to Him asking Him for the grace TODAY to endure this difficulty and the wisdom to understand it and get through it.

Ask...and ye shall receive.

God bless you all!

Talking about...

Prayer is one of those subjects that everyone has an opinion on. How to pray...When to pray...why we pray...I'm sure you have issues with this part of your spiritual walk just as I do. Feeling as if we are not doing enough...Do I need to pray all day since Scripture says to pray without ceasing. What does my prayer really accomplish if we are to believe in a Sovereign Lord? These are all great questions and  I am a sinner just like you in need of the Lord daily and so I pray. I look to HOW Jesus prayed to His Father. I look to HOW David prayed to his Lord. I seek to follow the examples the Bible gives us in prayer.

It is a subject we, Christians, hardly ever tackle together. Why? We may feel inadequate, not knowing the right answer. The good news is the Holy Spirit enables our prayers (even the ones we think are horrible). You know the ones I am talking about. The ones in which our minds wander during prayer and we start thinking about the laundry, work, the kids, or ourselves. Romans 8:26 tells us that the Holy Spirit prays with us, even for us, with groans that even words cannot express.

You know those prayers where you just don't know how to tell God even one more time how overwhelmed you are with your pain or the kids and you just stop. You stop because you feel you are not a good pray-er... I know that feeling. It's easier just not to do it. But God WANTS you to talk to Him. It's amazing that He loves us so much that He gave us the Holy Spirit to intercede on our behalf. How good He is!

J.I. Packer explains it this way, "The Spirit fixes our prayers on the way up."
Consider the following example:
You have unconverted children. You pray for God to change their hearts. Do you also pray for God to give them hard times in which He will most likely work in them? I know, right? Probably not. More often we pray for God to keep them safe, out of trouble and doing the right things. But maybe God's plan for them is different.

Isn't it comforting to know God has given us the Holy Spirit to groan for us as we mangle up prayers to Him! It is not in our strength we even pray at all. In Jude we are told to pray in the Holy Spirit. What's so great is knowing we might not know the will of the Lord in our lives but the Spirit does!

So today...go to prayer with thankfulness and certainty, knowing the Spirit is with you praying for you and with you. What comfort in all our troubles!

No more "ifs"

 I am amazed each and every day by the grace our Lord gives to those who love Him. As I was reading today in Genesis 2, I came upon some very familiar verses. Verses 16-17 say, "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for if you eat of it you shall surely die." God gave him a conditional covenant. Unfortunately no one could keep this covenant with the Lord. We fail each and every day. Sin abounds in our hearts, our words, and our actions.

But I am so thankful to God for what He did, He and He alone! The second Adam lived a perfect, sinless life, died in our place and rose from the dead 3 days later defeating death! He made a covenant with His people saying, "You shall be My people and I will be your God" Jeremiah 31:33. There is no if statement. We could never earn salvation on our own!

I praise God that it is not up to me. I could never be perfect. Glory be to God that He saves! His grace is sufficient for me and for you because of what Christ did on the cross. When Jesus bowed His head He said, "It is finished." There remained no more "if" in the covenant. All the weight in the world was placed on Jesus and all His grace was poured out for you.

If you are struggling today with pain of any kind, let these words wash over you today and praise Him for what He did for you! 

Perfect High Priest

I've been away from my blog for awhile because of my nagging pain. It has been getting worse this last month and it has been hard to think, let alone write. It has changed a bit. My pain that is usually throbbing and pulling is now that plus feels like a hot poker is poked through my eye and down through my nose. Anyway, I have a hard time concentrating or reading during times like this but now that the pain has lifted slightly, thanks be to God, I've been reading about Jesus as our High Priest and what that means for us...

There is so much to learn from Jesus. Unlike the High priests of the Old Testament who had to go year after year to the Temple to atone for the sins of the people and themselves, Jesus is perfect! He didn't sin, yet He, only once, on the Cross, atoned for the sins of His people. He now intercedes for us as a mediator between God and us.

Just that fact alone should blow your mind! We could never approach God like we are, but Jesus is there, with God, interceding our prayers to the Father on our behalf. What is so amazing is that Jesus went through every pain and struggle, temptation and family problems we have, and YET was without sin. He is our Perfect High Priest, loving His people and talking to the Father for us!

This should change how we pray!! When we go through painful issues we may feel as if NO ONE understands! But there is Jesus, beckoning us to come, draw near to Him, talk with Him so He can then bring our requests to the Father. How deep is His love for us, His children. May you draw strength and peace from this today.

Overcoming unbelief AND having a healthy fear of the Lord

Ever feel as if you are stuck...stuck between believing God can do what He says He can do and feeling as if you aren't even sure He's there at all...?

Let's look back in the Old Testament to God's own people, the Israelites for some perspective-

His people, the Jews were slaves to Pharaoh and  were tortured and made to work like mules. Moses redeemed the people God had set apart for Himself and taken them away from Pharaoh by God's mighty hand and now they were FREE! Yet, freedom didn't feel so good to them. They wandered aimlessly (or so they thought) for forty years!

You may have had your pain for some years now but just imagine 40 years of it. Doesn't feel so good, so they started complaining. In Numbers 14 verse 2 we hear that ALL the Israelites  grumbled. They didn't grumble to God, but Moses about their freedom! Do you do this? Do you grumble about your pain to others without going to God? It's easy to do, isn't it...You see God had a purpose for them in the desert, yet they wanted to go back to captivity!!! You and I can be seen doing
                                                            THE    SAME    THING.
Our unbelief is staggering when we think about it. Do we trust God's plan for our lives wholly? Even when it causes pain? Do we thank Him for the blessings even with the pain we feel? Or are we like God's chosen people blaming and grouchy about where we are in life. They saw miracle after miracle and still had unbelief welling up in their hearts...Sounds familiar today. We need to STAY in God's word and away from the negative voices we hear about our pain- "This isn't fair!", "You should be healthy!" "Why are others healthy and I am not?" and so forth...Instead we need to remind ourselves of God's promises. Here are a few:

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

 They kept looking back when God wanted their focus on Him! Where is your focus today? Is it on the world and what it has to offer? Or on the God who created you and loves you?

Oh and one more thing...the Egyptians had lost their fear of the Lord and came to find the Israelites- make sure you have a healthy dose of fear of God as well as a trust that He is who He says He is. Then you will be in a better position to see God's purpose for your life!

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