Archive for the ‘Pain’ Category

Need a New Perspective?

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

A fifth grader’s comment brings us today’s word-of-the-week…

PERSPECTIVE

The young lady told me she loved the idea of perspective.

I just spoke to her class and she was escorting me to the office. “Why is perspective so interesting to you?”

She stopped and gazed right into my eyes. “Because,” she explained, “it means I get to control how I look at things. It’s like choosing my attitude instead of letting my attitude choose me.”

I love listening to kids.

Can I be honest, just between you and me? Once in a while this thing of living in a wheelchair still gets a bit discouraging. You would think after nearly twenty-eight years I’d be over that feeling, but I still hit an occasional stretch in which all I can see is how difficult life is and all the things I wish I could do.

Then a young lady reminds me God gave me the ability to decide whether I’ll see darkness or light. It’s not easy, but with the Spirit’s help I can choose hope rather than despair. I’m not a victim of circumstances.

As my young friend said, “Perspective means I get to control how I look at things.”

Is there some situation that requires a new perspective?

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Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance
. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Trusting in God – No Matter What

Friday, May 13th, 2016

“I delight to do Your will, O my God!” Psalm 40:8

Faith endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heart-aches of life–by recognizing that all comes from the hand of Him who is too wise to err–and too loving to be unkind.

There is no higher aspect of faith, than that which brings the heart to patiently submit unto whatever God sends us, to meekly acquiesce unto His sovereign will, to say, “Shall I not drink the cup of suffering which my Father has given me?” Faith when it reaches the pinnacle of attainment declares, “though He slays me, yet will I trust in Him!”

When we receive all that enters our lives as from God’s hand, then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings–whether in a hovel, a prison-dungeon, or a martyr’s stake–we shall be enabled to say, “The lines have fallen unto me in pleasant place!” But that is the language of faith, not of sight or sense.

“Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine!” Luke 22:42

“It is a genuine evidence of true godliness when, although plunged into the deepest afflictions, we yet humbly submit ourselves to God. It is the height of piety to be submissive to the sovereign will of God.” John Calvin

“It is not enough to bear the cross, but we must take it up, we must accommodate ourselves to it, and acquiesce in the will of God in it. Not, “this is an evil, and I must bear it, because I cannot help it;” but “this is an evil, and I will bear it, because it is the will of God.” Matthew Henry

“Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.” Jeremy Burroughs

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Seeing God’s Hand in Our Trials

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

We must see our heavenly Father’s hand in our lesser trials and cares, as much as in the greater ones.

David recognized the hand of God, in Absalom rising against him in rebellion–but he saw it no less in Shimei throwing stones and dust and casting bitter words at him.

Just so, let us see God’s hand in everything. These petty troubles and vexations are a part of our schooling for Heaven. They are just as much sent from above, as the fierce storm that wrecks our home and leaves us desolate in a cold world. They all come . . .
to prove us,
to humble us,
to draw out the grace which God has given us,
to break the tie that binds us too closely to earth,
to knit the tie that draws us nearer to Heaven.

Let us ever fix this in our minds. Let us say to ourselves,
“My Father has sent this trial!
Not a sparrow falls to the ground without Him.
The very hairs of my head are numbered by Him.
So I will trust His heart, where I cannot trace His hand.
He is too wise to be mistaken–and too good to be unkind!”

~ George Everard, “Little Foxes, and How to Catch Them!” 1878

Prevent the Valentine’s Day Blues

Friday, February 12th, 2016

At one time I dreaded Valentine’s Day. You may feel the same way right now.

Perhaps you’re married to someone who doesn’t remember special days like your wedding anniversary and Valentine’s Day. Have you taped reminders to the dashboard of his car?

Have you called him at work, sent him an email or a text to remind him? If you fix breakfast for him or pack his lunch for work, have you put a sticky note with a reminder on his napkin? At dinner, place a reminder near his plate.

Maybe you’re legally separated, divorced, or a widow. You still have options. I’ve learned from mentors that I can buy my own flowers and candy. That way I select the kind of flowers and dark chocolate I prefer.

Go ahead and buy your own flowers and candy. You’re worth the time and money.

My mentors also taught me to invite friends to breakfast or lunch that day. I can pick our favorite restaurant and enjoy my friends and the meal.

If I’m busy that day and would prefer dinner from a restaurant, I can call ahead of time and have a take-out order ready to pick up. Once I’m home, I can set the table with my best china, silver, and crystal.

Decide whether breakfast or lunch at a restaurant or a take-out dinner works better for you. Then move forward with your plans. Maybe you’d like to do both a meal at a restaurant earlier in the day and a take-out dinner. Why not?

I’ve scheduled a massage or bought a new outfit on sale on Valentine’s Day.

Several times in the past I invited girlfriends to my home for a potluck dinner or we chipped in for pizza and watched a movie.

Make a list of friends you can invite and send them an email, a text or call them.

If you have young children living at home, consider a single parents’ night in your home. If you live in a townhouse or a small home, invite only one or two single parents and their children to your home.

You can play games or watch a kid-friendly movie.

In short, regardless of your marital status, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Here’s to your Happy Valentine’s Day.

How Can You Avoid Being Deceived?

Friday, January 15th, 2016

“How could I have believed all of Pete’s lies? Janie said through tears. She sat across from me in my office and twisted the shoulder straps on her purse.

“He said he loved me and wanted to marry me.” Janie looked at the floor and shook her head. “He told me he lost his job because he defended mistreated employees.”

“I sense your shame and guilt for believing Pete. He must have sounded convincing.”

Between sobs, she said, “He sure did. He said he would have more money but he had house payments and utilities in his home state and the apartment rent here. All the time we dated, he had a girlfriend in his home caring for his children. She paid his utility bills and enough to cover the rent.”

“You didn’t completely believe him, Janie. I want to congratulate you for taking your time in the relationship and not marrying him.”

With a smile, she said, “At least I did that much right.”

How about you? With online dating services, social media, singles events, etc. you could meet someone like Pete too. How can you avoid it?

The Test of Time
First, take your time. Don’t rush into a serious relationship or marry on impulse. If someone tries to rush you, take it as a danger signal.

His Family, Friends, and Coworkers
Secondly, get to know the person’s family, friends, and coworkers. See how he treats them. Observe their conversations and behavior. If he makes excuses to keep you from them, consider that trouble.

Your Family, Friends, and Coworkers
Third, let him meet your family, friends, and coworkers. Ask them later for an honest opinion and listen. They care about you.

Social Media
Fourth, if he is on social media, compare what he tells you against the social media profiles and posts. Check his friends or connections.

Criminal Background Check
Fifth, do an online free criminal background check.

Prayer
Last but not least, pray daily. Ask God for wisdom and discernment.

2 Thessalonians 2:3: “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way.”

Dear God, keep me from deceitful personal and business relationships. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to avoid being deceived?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Copyright by Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of
“Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward”
Download her One Sheet at http://www.yvonneortega.com.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

When Christmas Is Hard

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Have you lost a loved one or been through a divorce? Have you faced a major move or the loss of a job? Have you received a diagnosis of a life-threatening illness or made a significant change in your lifestyle?

If you answered, “Yes,” to any one of these questions, Christmas may be a struggle for you. It may not be a warm “fuzzy” time of Christmas cookies, carols, and cards.

You may not feel like eating Christmas cookies or singing Christmas carols. You may not want to send Christmas cards or enjoy reading the ones that you receive. You may not want to be caught up in the social whirlwind of plans, parties and programs.

Please don’t force yourself or fake feelings you don’t have. Please be gentle and patient with yourself. Give yourself permission to rest, to write in your journal, and to seek peace and quiet.

You may need more time in prayer, Bible study, meditation, and praise and worship. That’s okay.

Soft relaxing piano, harp, or guitar music may soothe you. Listen to it and take care of yourself.

Psalm 85:8: “I will listen to what God the Lord says;?he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants.”

Dear God, I’m lonely and tired. Please help me. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to experience God’s peace?

 

A Different Start to the Christmas Season

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

“It’s a different start to the Christmas season,” I told Darlene. “I’ve stayed off my feet the last five days the way the doctor told me and iced my knee three or four times a day to no avail.”

Darlene nodded and suggested I read a good book and journal. I laughed. I’d already done that.

After she left, I looked at the whirlwind of Christmas activities on my calendar for the next two weeks. It didn’t look like I would attend them.

I sat in the sunroom and pulled out my Bible. I took up where I left off the day before and read three chapters in Exodus. A relationship between those chapters and my book in progress formed in my mind. I took notes and smiled.

Next I reviewed a section of a Bible study from last summer. Another creative cascade came with more ideas for my manuscript. I giggled with glee.

I called Darlene and said, “It’s okay to have a different start to the Christmas season. Christmas isn’t about parties, luncheons, and gifts anyway. It’s about celebrating the birthday of King Jesus.”

We both laughed, and Denise said, “With all those ideas, you better get to work on your manuscript.”

Perhaps you’ve started the Christmas season in a different way too. Maybe you’re fine, but you have a sick child or spouse. Perhaps unexpected home repairs or a job loss have interrupted your plans.

I don’t know how God will work in your life, but he is in the miracle business. He can help you move from broken to beautiful too.

Let me know what God does in your life, and I’ll let you know when I finish my new book.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!

Copyright by Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of
“Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward”
Download her One Sheet at http://www.yvonneortega.com.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website:
http://YvonneOrtega.com

But I need something more!

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

But I need something more! I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I am at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Romans 7:17a and 24-The Message

Before we can get a hopeful answer to this predicament, we first have to arrive at the door of giving up! Just like Paul; who remember, had a religious pedigree as long and as impressive as the State of Texas is wide-we seem resolute to exhaust all of our personal resources first.

Does the power of sin and unhealed or unresolved life issues ever seem to sabotage your best intentions? More often than I like to admit, they do for me. Any real, transparent or honest follower of the Grace message of Jesus Christ will readily admit to Paul’s dilemma. The very things I truly think are behind me, often jump up, seemingly out of nowhere, and bite my religious butt.

The answer to this is in the giving up-truly coming to the end of our rope. “There is none perfect, no not one!'”

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

God went for the jugular when He sent His own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In His Son, Jesus, He personally took on the entire human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. Romans 7:25-8:1-3b, The Message.

In our quest to please Him, we long for something more-something that will finally bring hope to our hearts. He is the something more! Total and constant surrender and trustful reliance upon Him, is always the answer. It is only because of Him, (even on the best or worse of days) that our hearts can be pregnant with hope. Besides this hope will never disappoint us because God proves his sustenance by his daily love gift of Holy Spirit in our hearts.

God went for the jugular when He sent His own Son.It will never be because we finally have a perfect religious score or day-we finally get it right…no, we must always let go of our rope and grab onto (by a sheer act of faith) the resurrection power and Grace of Jesus Christ. Something and someone more loves you and me, especially in our frailty and weakness. We cannot do much of anything in our best of intentions. We can do all things through Him. That brings our heart hope!

In the grip of His Grace,

Ron Ross

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

You Can’t Move from Broken to Beautiful Overnight

Friday, October 16th, 2015

“For years, at least five times a week, I sat at the beach with my journal and cried until my head ached and my eyes were swollen. My mind swirled with questions: Will I ever be strong and stand up for myself? When will I feel free and peaceful? When will I laugh and enjoy life again?”

Can you relate to those questions I asked?

You may wonder how you can change.

First, I realized “change requires hard work.” My work included daily journaling, prayer, Bible study, praise and worship, individual counseling, and a divorce recovery group. What will your work include?

Second, I accepted the fact that change takes time. We can’t rush the healing of a broken heart anymore than we can rush the healing of a broken arm or a broken leg.

Third, I celebrated “each step of progress.” That celebration included breakfast with a friend on one occasion and on another, lunch at a restaurant with friends, a bag of confetti, and balloons. How can you celebrate?

James 5:7—8: “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”

Dear God, as I change for the better, help me be patient with myself. Amen.

Application: What small step of progress will you celebrate this week?

 

Note: This post is an excerpt from my new book, Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Copyright by Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of
“Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward”
Download her One Sheet at http://www.yvonneortega.com.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

Missing the Point

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

A lesson in grace brings us today’s word-of-the-week…

BETTER

Ursula Ward had just heard the verdict.

Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez was guilty of murdering her son, Odin Lloyd. She stepped forward to speak before final sentencing.

“I forgive the hands of the people who had a hand in my son’s murder, either before or after.”

“She’s a better person than I am.” That was the takeaway of many news folks and talking heads as they marveled at this woman’s uncommon grace and courage.

They missed the whole point. They missed it because they didn’t listen to the whole statement.

Ms. Ward began with a remarkable comment: “I thank God for being here this morning.”

Seriously? Gratitude to God for that moment? I wonder why no one focused on that rather incredible demonstration of faith?

Then she ended with this simple benediction: “May God continue to bless us.”

If you listen to the entire statement, you hear grief, anger, pain, saddness–Ms. Lloyd wasn’t in denial and she’s wasn’t pulling punches.

She didn’t forgive because she thinks she’s stronger or better than anyone else. I think she understands her relationship to God. I think she understands her weakness.

I know I’m reading a lot into a few lines. I suspect she knows that forgiveness isn’t an event. She didn’t forgive her son’s killers in that courtroom so she could be done forgiving.

She did it so she could travel a difficult, daily journey of forgiveness that will allow her and her family to heal without bitterness and anger.

We can only choose that journey because we know we don’t have to travel alone. Jesus already walked the road…He knows the way.

May God continue to bless Ursula Ward, her family, Aaron Hernandez, and all of us on the journey.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Dixon
Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance
. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com