The Inside Struggle

"God is good, a hiding place in tough times. He recognizes and welcomes anyone looking for help, No matter how desperate the trouble." Nahum 1:7 MSG

Becoming entrapped by life-controlling issues is generally a four-stage progression through experimentation, social use, daily preoccupation and finally using the substance or practicing the behavior just to feel normal.

When we move from the social use or practice stage into daily preoccupation, we start to lose control and break the self-imposed rules we set during stage 2. The behavior or substance becomes the center of our lives. We look to it for comfort and relief. We begin to feel the pain of addiction, and our life enters a downward spiral of deterioration. Our delusion grows deeper until we no longer recognize the truth.

Does this sound like a hopeless situation?

Perhaps you have reached this stage of a problem in your life. Or maybe you have a loved one who is trapped by a life-controlling problem. Finding the way out of this despair might seem impossible. And alone, it probably is. But you are not alone. And your loved one is not alone. Jesus is with you and he loves you unconditionally--a love so great that we can't even comprehend it.
Will you turn to him today? Receive his love, his forgiveness and his guidance. He won't let you down.

Father, thank you for your promise to help me in tough times. I realize now that my situation is hopeless without you. Please forgive me and help me. In Jesus' name …



Psalm 73:23-26

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. -- Psalm 73:23-26

In times of confusion, we can take comfort that while we may not understand everything while here on earth (read Psalm 73:1-22), God will be faithful. Everything we have and know here on earth is subject to decay, but our relationship with the LORD is our strength forever. He will not abandon, fail, or forget us.

Almighty God, thank you for being with me always, especially in those moments when life is most confusing and my fears most troubling. Please give me faith to not only ask you honest questions, but to also trust you even when things don't look like they are all that good for those who believe in you. Please help my faith hold firm as I wait for your mighty vindication of your people. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.



When God said, "Let us make man in our image, to be like us."
Genesis 1 :28

Hope. It's about looking forward, seeing beyond the here and now, and anticipating the future. Hope pulls the joys of the future into the present because it believes there's more to come, and it doesn't wait to celebrate.

God is all about hope. He is full of hopes and dreams for us. We can see it right there in the first chapter of His Word. He created an ideal environment to sustain us because He intended a future for us. Since He made us in His image, He created us to reflect His hope filled character.

Consider these truths as you approach this day:

~Will your attitudes, words, and actions reveal a confidence that God will continue to be God? Not just in the Garden of Eden, not just in Sally Somebody's life-but in your life. And not just today, but tomorrow, next month, and years from now.

~Circumstances are never the real killers of hope. The death of hope lies in forgetting to focus on the One whose image you bear.

~You can celebrate today, no matter what your current circumstances look like. Life often hurts-and you may not experience the answers or provisions right now-but God promises you a hope-filled future in Him.

Dear Lord,
Please help me reflect your character today
to a world that needs hope.
In Christ, Amen


I didn't understand John 3:16

This is so beautiful!

John 3:16

A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner,
the people were in and out of the cold.
The little boy was so cold that he wasn't trying to sell
many papers.
He walked up to a policeman and said, 'Mister,
you wouldn't happen to know where a poor boy could
find a warm place to sleep tonight would you ?
You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there and
down the alley and it's awful cold in there for tonight.
Sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay.'
The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, 'You
go down the street to that big white house and you knock
on the door. When they come out the door you just say
John 3:16, and they will let you in.'

So he did. He walked up the steps and knocked on the
door, and a lady answered.. He looked up and said,
'John 3:16 .' The lady said, 'Come on in, Son.'

She took him in and she sat him down in a split bottom
rocker in front of a great big old fireplace, and she went
off.. The boy sat there for a while and thought to himself:
John 3:16 ...I don't understand it, but it sure makes
a cold boy warm.

Later she came back and asked him 'Are you hungry ? '
He said, 'Well, just a little. I haven't eaten in a couple of
days, and I guess I could stand a little bit of food,'
The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table
full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn't eat
any more. Then he thought to himself:
John 3:16 ....Boy, I sure don't understand it but it sure
makes a hungry boy full.

She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub
filled with warm water, and he sat there and soaked for a
while. As he soaked, he thought to himself: John 3:16 ..
I sure don't understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy
clean... You know, I've not had a bath, a real bath, in my
whole life. The only bath I ever had was when I stood in
front of that big old fire hydrant as they flushed it out.
The lady came in and got him. She took him to a room,
tucked him into a big old feather bed, pulled the covers
up around his neck, kissed him goodnight and turned out
the lights. As he lay in the darkness and looked out the
window at the snow coming down on that cold night,
he thought to himself: John 3:16 .....I don't understand it but
it sure makes a tired boy rested.

The next morning the lady came back up and took him
down again to that same big table full of food. After he
ate, she took him back to that same big old split bottom
rocker in front of the fireplace and
picked up a big old Bible.
She sat down in front of him and looked into his young face.
'Do you understand John 3:16 ? ' she asked gently. He
replied, 'No, Ma'am, I don't. The first time I ever heard it
was last night when the policeman told me to use it,'
She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to explain
to him about Jesus . Right there, in front of that big old fireplace,
he gave his heart and life to Jesus. He sat there
and thought: John 3:16 -- don't understand it, but it sure
makes a lost boy feel safe.
You know, I have to confess I don't understand it either,
how God was willing to send His Son to die for me, and how
Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don't understand
the agony of the Father and every angel in heaven as
they watched Jesus suffer and die. I don't understand the intense
love for ME that kept Jesus on the cross till the end.
I don't understand it, but it sure does make life worth living.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life....


Twas the month before Christmas

This has been circulating around the web for many years but i just had to repost it !
Twas the month before Christmas

Twas the month before Christmas
When all through our land
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda..
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-is-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say