Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

When Trust Is Shattered

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

“He told me he’s sorry and will never look at another woman again,” Betsy said. She reached for the tissue box on my desk. “He said he loves me. I don’t believe him anymore, Ms. Yvonne.”

“His infidelity has shattered your trust. Right now, you can’t trust him.”

With a nod, Betsy said, “I don’t. If he says he has to go to work early or stay late, I think he’s lying.” She unbuttoned her purple jacket and removed it. “If the phone rings, and he races to answer it, I wonder if it’s the other woman.”

“That’s a natural reaction. If the situation were reversed, he wouldn’t trust you right away either. Trust is earned over time.

I explained that in Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, to repent means “to change one’s mind or purpose always . . . for the better.” Vine’s also says that in the New Testament, repentance refers to sin, and “this change of mind involves both a turning from sin and a turning to God.”

She sat in silence for a few moments and stared out my office window. Then she whispered, “How will I know if he’s really repented and has turned from infidelity?”

“You may not for a while. Time will tell. It will require patience on your part and his.

Can you identify with Betsy? Because of your husband’s infidelity, do you wonder whether you can believe a word he says? Does he try to make you feel guilty for not trusting him immediately?

2 Corinthians 7:10: “Godly sorrow brings repentance.”

Dear God, my husband’s infidelity left me devastated. Show me what to do. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to help you understand the process of rebuilding trust?

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

What Do You Do When Stress Strikes?

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Have you ever had one of those days when you didn’t know whether to scream or to cry? Did you feel you could do both?

Perhaps a crisis surfaced at home with the children or your spouse. Maybe the challenge occurred at work or with your own health. Regardless of the situation, you felt you couldn’t take any more stress.

You may have wished the kids would eat dinner out and go to bed early. You may have wished you could take a week’s vacation alone to a deserted island.

I understand. This past week, I went through several of those days as I pushed to finish the edits on my new book before sending it out for endorsements. My left shoulder ached. My eyes hurt from all the time at the computer, and I longed to do anything but write another word.

I had no choice but to finish. So I took short breaks, posted a prayer request on a prayer loop and on Facebook, and asked God for mercy and multiplied time. At one point, I fell to my knees and said, “Lord, this problem is yours. Thank you in advance for your help.”

The Lord did answer my prayer, and joy swept over me when I sent the manuscript to my professional editor.

What about you? What will you do when stress strikes?

When anxiety was great within me,?your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19

Dear God, I’m overcome with anxiety today. Please console me. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to receive God’s consolation and joy?

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 Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

Can’t Get a Grip?

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

Sometimes my life feels like I’m constantly trying to gain traction-on ice. The harder “you” try the more you are spinning your wheels and getting off course. Traction enables you to get a grip, establish a toehold, and set your footing.

Maybe Joseph can shed some light for us? “Deeply moved on seeing his brother and about to burst into tears, Joseph hurried out into another room and had a good cry. Then he washed his face, got a grip on himself, and said, “Let’s eat.” (Genesis 43: 30-31, Msg) Joseph didn’t cave to what had to be very strong emotions. He obviously had let go of the past. Got it? Let go of the past-plain and simple! “Let’s eat.” Sounds like one who has traction in the moment and able to move on to what’s next in Jesus!

Hezekiah put his whole trust in the God of Israel. There was no king quite like him, either before or after. He held fast to God — never loosened his grip — and obeyed to the letter everything God had commanded Moses. And God, for his part, held fast to him through all his adventures. (2 Kings 18:5-6, Msg)

King Hezekiah was probably one of the most unsung heroes of the Old Testament. He also got it. Hold fast to God and you find out God’s been holding fast to you, even when you thought your life was; well-spinning out of control.

One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan also showed up. God singled out Satan, saying, “And what have you been up to?” Satan answered God, “Oh, going here and there, checking things out.” Then God said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him, is there — honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil? He still has a firm grip on his integrity! You tried to trick me into destroying him, but it didn’t work.” (Job 2:1-3, Msg)

He still has a firm grip on his integrity! Do you and I? Veracity, honor, honesty: would others use these words to describe your impression upon them? They will when we have a firm grip, kind of a ‘toehold’ on our integrity.

Dear friend, take my advice; it will add years to your life. I’m writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way, I’m drawing a map to Righteous Road. I don’t want you ending up in blind alleys, or wasting time making wrong turns. Hold tight to good advice; don’t relax your grip. Guard it well — your life is at stake! Don’t take Wicked Bypass; don’t so much as set foot on that road. Stay clear of it; give it a wide berth. Make a detour and be on your way. (Proverbs 4: 10-15, Msg)

When you go out looking for your old adversaries you won’t find them —  Not a trace of your old enemies, not even a memory. That’s right. Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’ (Isaiah 41:12-13, Msg)

And here’s the footing and toehold of traction. [It’s a Good Thing to Hope for Help from God ] I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all — oh, how well I remember —  the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope. (Lamentations 3:19-21, (Msg)

[He Gets the Last Word] Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ — eternal and glorious plans they are! — will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does. (1 Peter  5:8-11, Msg)

Getting’ a grip while being gripped!

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.

Do You Lose yourself in Him?

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God! Psalm 90:2

Seek to fill yourself with thoughts of the Almighty. Lose yourself in the impenetrable tracts of His Glory!

“Can you by searching find out God?”
Can the insect fathom the ocean?
Can the worm scale the skies?
Can the finite comprehend the Infinite?
Can the mortal grasp Immortality?
We can do no more than stand on the brink of the shoreless sea, and cry, “Oh the depth!”

“From everlasting to everlasting, You are God!”
Shrouded in the great and amazing mystery of eternity,
before one star revolved in its sphere,
before one angel moved his wing–God was!

His own infinite presence filling all space. All time, to Him, is but as the heaving of a breath–the beat of a pulse–the twinkling of an eye! He was as infinitely glorious when He inhabited the solitudes of immensity alone–as He is now with the songs of angel and archangel sounding in His ear!

This is the Being to whom I can look up with sweetest confidence, and call “My Father!”

This is the Infinite One, whom “the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain,” whom I call “My God!”

“This God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even until death!” Psalm 48:14

John MacDuff, “The Night Watches”

Why Does God Need Me to Worship Him?

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

A fairly common question raises today’s word-of-the-week…

NARCISSISTIC

“Why is an all-powerful God so narcissistic that He demands our worship? Why does He need us singing and bowing down to Him?

I love questions, and this is a great one. Is God a narcissist? Does He “need” our worship?

I’ve written about this before. I’m certainly no theological scholar, but from my perspective as an ordinary guy who’s trying to follow Jesus–I don’t think God needs anything, and He certainly doesn’t need anything from me. Whatever I bring to God in the form of worship may please God, but it surely doesn’t add anything to Him. He’s just fine on His own.

God commands worship because He knows what it does for me. He knows I was created to be in right relationship with Him, which means understanding He’s creator and I’m not. So worship is God’s way of helping me understand my proper place in creation.

It’s not about God’s narcissism, but His generosity. He accepts, and is pleased by, whatever worship I bring.

I don’t “have” to worship because God needs it. I want to worship because I need it.

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

Taking Stock: The Past Year, The New Year

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

This is the last evening of the year! I am trying to sum up my year’s life. The days have come to me like clean, white pages–and I have tried to put upon each something beautiful to keep for me when the eternal books shall be opened.

It has been a year of opportunities. I am conscious of not having embraced them all. I have neglected duties of love, not always doing the things I should have done. I have not grown in heart-culture and spiritual life as I ought to have done. These neglects and all my sins, I humbly confess.

Yet I thank God for the past year. I cannot now change anything in it. But I want to learn lessons of experience from my failures and mistakes, and carry them forward into the new year.

I would forget the good things I have done, and try to do better things next year. No year’s life, however beautiful, is beautiful enough to simply repeat–it must be improved upon. So I leave my year, with all its blots and blessings, with God, who will forget nothing worthy, and will look graciously upon my mistakes.

“One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus!” Philippians 3:13-14

(J.R. Miller, December 31, 1907)

How Grateful is Your Spirit?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thanksgiving should never be lacking in a Christian life. It is not enough to observe one day in the year for ‘Thanksgiving’ although that is a beautiful thing to do. Nor is it enough to put a sentence of thanksgiving into our daily prayers, although that, also, is proper.

It is the grateful spirit which pleases God, the spirit that is always full of praise. There should be a note of thanksgiving running through all our life.

Too many of us go to God only with requests, with our burdens, our worries, our troubles; while we but rarely go to Him with any word of thanks.

We are not to be thankful only for the pleasant and agreeable things that come into our days–we are to be thankful, too, for the things that appear to us to be adversities. “Give thanks in everything.” That means . . .

in the sad days, as well as in the glad days,
when clouds are in the sky,
as well as when the sunshine is pouring everywhere.

It is said here that this is the will of God for us. The Christliest life–is the one that is always keyed to the note of praise and thanksgiving.

~J.R. Miller, “Christian Essentials”

What Are You Thankful for? What Are You Doing About It?

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Psalm 95:2-3: “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.”

As I placed my Thanksgiving candle figures on the dining room table, I remembered how my son used to move the pilgrims, the ships, and the Indians around the table. I thank God for the precious memories of my son, who is in heaven now.

I also think of my mother who loved the holidays and used to cook and bake from morning until night for days to make Thanksgiving a feast for the family.

My son and mother are in heaven praising God with music and song. I thank God they are no longer in pain.

I also thank God, for you, my readers. Some of you have been with me since the beginning of my weekly devotions. Some of you have not, but you have encouraged me and prayed for me as the others have. Thank you so much.

As I look back over the past year, I thank God for the fall in my home. Although I was in pain, I spent time with “the Lord . . . the great God, the great King above all gods” in prayer, Bible study, and praise and worship. I sensed God’s presence, peace, and power.

Dear God, thank you for my family, friends, and you “the great God.” Amen.

Application: When will you praise God with music and song this week?

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
Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

Help! I Need Peace!

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Psalm 29:11: “The LORD blesses his people with peace.”

“The pianist has to work Saturday and can’t play for the conference.” That was not an email I wanted to see. The conference is in five days. I prayed, “Lord, please intervene. Keep us calm, and send us a pianist.”

The next email didn’t help. “The soundman said he will try to be there.” Try? I prayed again, “Lord, please work this out and bless us with peace.” God answered that prayer request immediately. The soundman will be there.

“Another pianist is looking at the music to see if she can be ready to play on Saturday.” I prayed again, “Lord, get her ready fast or get someone else for the conference as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, I’m trying to practice my presentations. “God, multiply my time and bless me with peace.”

The latest email arrived. The pianist is ready, and the praise & worship team will practice with the pianist on Thursday evening. Hallelujah.

Do you think to ask God for peace when your circumstances look dismal? What situation tests your faith to believe God will answer your prayer?

Dear God, I believe you bless me with your peace. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to show you believe “The LORD blesses his people with peace”?

What If Prayer Doesn’t Work?

Monday, September 15th, 2014

vending“It doesn’t seem like my prayers work.”

Now there’s a conversation starter. You just have to inquire—what do you mean, they don’t “work”?

“Well, it seems like none of the stuff I pray about ever happens. Ever. It’s like God’s not listening. Or if He is, He’s not answering.”

I felt like the smart kid in the front row. I KNEW the right answer to this one—I had the perfect platitude to put a quick end to this discussion.

Well, you know, sometimes God says YES, sometimes NO, sometimes WAIT, but He always answers.

Fortunately, I managed to stifle the smart kid for a moment. “So you told me that you talk to your mom every Sunday night, right?”

He looked a little confused by the sudden left turn. “Yeah, we talk for at least an hour.”

“Why?”

“Why? Well, I miss her. Haven’t seen her since I came here, so we just talk. I tell her what I’m doing, how things are going, stuff like that.”

“And that helps?

“Yeah, it helps a lot. I always feel better after I talk to her.”

“Do you ask her for stuff?”

He obviously thought it was a strange question. “Not really. We just talk.”

“And how do you think it would go if you spent the whole time asking for stuff?”

He smiled. He saw where this was going. “That would be pretty weird.”

“Yeah, I’ll bet your mom would get tired of being treated like a vending machine.”

“So you think that’s what I’m doing when I pray?”

“I think Jesus wants us to get to know Him, just like your mom. He’s a person. And He wants you to talk to Him the way you talk to your mom.

“Maybe prayer’s more of a conversation and less of a shopping list.”

“But aren’t we supposed to tell Him our needs?”

“My opinion? Of course! He wants to hear everything that’s going on. But I get a little nervous about the notion of ‘praying harder’ as if the intensity of your prayer might change God’s mind. It’s like there’s a right way or a wrong way to pray, and if you do it right you’ll get what you want.

“Be careful thinking you can manipulate God with your faith or whatever. And be careful thinking you understand how God’s working or how he answered a prayer. Because He always responds, but sometimes it’s long-term or in ways you have trouble seeing.”

This is a smart guy, and you could see the wheels turning. After some silence he said, “So Jesus is a person, not a vending machine. And the point of prayer is conversation, not results.

And prayer is like talking to my mom?”

Not bad.

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 ww.relentlessgrace.com