A Living Hope: I am free

By nature, the word salvation implies that we are saved from something. 

The Gospel isn’t a self-improvement program. It is a liberation movement.

And liberation is only needed if I am a slave.

The truth is that all of humanity is enslaved to sin. The word sin means to “miss the mark”; we are by nature law-breakers and fail to meet God’s perfect moral standard.

“For all have sinned…everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin…for whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved” (Rom 3:23, John 8:34, 2 Pet 2:19).

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A Living Hope: I am secure

Life is unpredictable. In the span of three decades, I’ve already lost more than I care to lose: family, friends, a job, dreams and health.

When you’ve experienced recurring loss and grief, it can create a cycle of anxiety and fear over what else you could lose.

Salvation, for one.

Many times I have been gripped by the panic that I could lose my relationship with God. Or that Jesus will forget me when death darkens my door. Could I do something to jeopardize my eternity? Will my faith be enough?

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A Living Hope: I am forgiven

I know Jesus has forgiven me. But too often I live like this forgiveness isn’t full or free. I allow my past to define me. When I fail, I fear God will be mad at me. And though I don’t admit it, I’m still trying to prove my worth so that God will accept and approve of me.

But the resurrection proves I am forgiven.

The resurrection proved that Jesus died, not for his own sins, but ours alone. “For death has rightful claim only over sinners” but death had no hold over Jesus (Acts 2:24). The resurrection proved that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins and showed that God not only accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and payment for sin, but He declared Jesus innocent by raising him from the dead.

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Finding Joy in the Midst of Pain

For many of us, the changing season ushers in a renewed sense of thanksgiving. But what happens when your season of change is marked by pain? When you don’t feel very grateful?

As we approached Thanksgiving, I felt anything but thankful. A serious illness had darkened my door, filling me with disappointment and heartache over what was being lost: hopes, dreams, expectations on how life would be. Yet it was in this difficult season I learned two important lessons about gratitude, discovering that hardship, not happiness, is the forerunner of joy.

Is your season of thanksgiving overshadowed by pain? Are you looking for a way to harvest more joy in your life? Join me on (in)courage to read more and discover how you can find joy in the midst of your hardship!

 

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6 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Feel Anxious

Terror. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. The ever-looming threat of nuclear war. Just the events in the last month are bound to kick your anxiety up a notch.

And that’s just the global stuff. Add your own busy schedule, work load or family conflict to the mix and there’s plenty to fret about.  In fact, more than 6.8 million Americans suffer every year from general anxiety disorder.

If you’ve been stuck in the worry cycle lately, you’re not alone.

I come from a long line of worry worts; three generations in fact. I know what it’s like to worry over health, family, work, safety and the future. I’ve personally experienced trauma and panic attacks. Many times I’ve expected the worst to happen, feared disaster scenarios, and even found myself anxious about being anxious.

At its core, anxiety is really about fear and control. The more we feel out of control, the more we fear. And the more we fear, the more helpless we feel. Continue reading

4 Things to Know When Experiencing Hardship

4 things to note about trialsDo you ever wonder why difficulties in your life seem to cycle on repeat?

Like lapsing waves, one hardship rose after the other this month. Each circumstance cued my anxiety like clockwork. But when the pressure didn’t let up, it got me thinking. Why does each struggle feel so eerily similar to the last one? Continue reading

3 Ways to Defeat Despair

Last week I had a scare. In the span of a few minutes, my world was shaken. Again.Last week I had a scare. In the span of only a few minutes, my world was shaken. Again.It had only been 4 years since my last autoimmune flare. Yet my knee grew twice its size for a second time. Flashbacks of wheelchairs and home confinement flooded my mind, crippling my heart.

This couldn’t be happening. Not again. Not ever. Continue reading

If Your Digestive Pain Won’t Go Away, Try This…

If digestive pain won't go away try thisTired of bloating, gas, abdominal pain or bowel trouble?

Reoccurring digestive issues can really cramp your style.

So you look to your doctor for help but he tells you it’s “all in your head” (wait…I thought it was my gut?). He labels you with a confusing acronym (IBS, IBD, SIBO) and sends you out the door.

Desperate for relief, you turn to the natural community. You sign up for an enormous amount of supplements, enzymes, cleansing treatments and spend all your money on whatever promises to heal you.

But what if you try it all and you STILL aren’t better?  Continue reading