Holiday Season Pain

Since my past experience with holiday season pain, I am sensitive to the emotional and spiritual needs of people during the HopeforHolidaysholiday season.

I believe “holiday season pain” can be the worst. I also believe this time of the year strikes a chord of caring and great concern because I understand the heartbreak caused by the death of a loved one during the holiday season.  For me, it was the death of my mother the day after Christmas. Although the holiday pain is not so piercing now, I still remember it as if it was last night, although it has been 11 years since I experienced the “first” worst day of life, December 26, 2003, 12:01 a.m.
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Thanks!

Hope for the Holiday Season

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This holiday season, for many people, is the most depressing and stressful time of the year. News headlines are filled with tragic events.  An increase of deaths occur during this time of the year.  So many have to deal with trauma, tragedy; families are grief-stricken families by the death of loved ones and the many other perplexities of life. Moreover, many families are struggling financially, which increases their sadness because they lack the resources to purchase gifts, gadgets and basic essential items.   It seems like a paradox to hear about and know of  such hopelessness during a time when this season is meant to bring peace, joy, happiness and hope –celebrating the birth of the Christ. Unfortunately, too many are hopeless!

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A Colorful Reminder

The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky, I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise.                                                     –Genesis 9:12-17 (CEV)

 

It’s good news to know that God keeps His promises. To this date, we bear witness to an eternal promise God made in Genesis 9:12-17.

After the flood, God made a promise to Noah that He would never again let the floodwaters destroy all life.  Yes, we’ve seen lots of devastation from flooding, but we survived storms.  The rainbow is a colorful reminder that we can depend on God’s promises. A rainbow is created by millions of rain-drops, each at a different angle and each reflecting a different color into the eye of the beholder.  God wants you to remember that if He makes a promise, you can depend on it, and He gives us a visible reminder.

You know the saying, seeing is believing?  It’s something about seeing a rainbow that changes your perspective.  I can recall a period in my life when I faced family, marital and financial challenges.  Whenever I would behold a rainbow in the sky, it gave me a sense of calm resolve that everything would be alright; that God was faithful and that I could trust His word.  This is a visible sign to serve as evidence that what God says, God does.  This beautiful array of colors scientifically explained is a truth that cannot be denied, and is upheld by the power of His word.

The photo in this article is real!  My dear friend suffered a great loss.  They had purchased tickets to visit family in Colorado, but plans were altered by the inevitable.  But amazingly, God gave them a “colorful reminder” that brought peace and comfort as they beheld the beautiful rainbows that hovered over their home for days. It reminded them of God’s promise for eternal life for all who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, and gave them the assurance that their love one was at peace.

With the state of affairs in society today— turmoil, evil, wickedness, distress, disaster, disappointments, broken hearts and lives—it’s a delight to meet the only Promise Maker that will never break His promise.

An excerpt from the book, “The Path to Promise: Moving Forward After Brokenness

Gains and Losses

SOON TO BE RELEASED!

I’ve learned it’s so easy to focus more on our losses in the past that we lose sight of any spiritual gain in the future.I firmly believe that gains and losses are a necessary part of life.  I also believe that when professing and practicing Christians lose, God has a plan and way of restoring or replacing what we’ve lost with something better and more valuable.  Usually, it requires an attitude adjustment on our part before we can attempt to make sense out of what we’ve experienced in terms of loss. 

Additionally, if we don’t assess the gains as being more valuable than what we lost, from God’s perspective, we may never realize this truth; and we certainly won’t appreciate the goodness and sovereignty of God. Why? Because we’re too focused on our loss; we are crying hopelessly and looking backward rather than forward to the possibilities of having better and being greater in God.
Also, I am persuaded to believe the greater concern we have is with a carnal analysis of what we define as gains in comparison to what we consider loss.  Unfortunately, our analyses are calculated from a worldly system of operation and thought based on past personal experiences and present unpleasant circumstances.  If we itemize our losses and gains from a worldly system rather than a Kingdom view, we can be easily deceived into believing God is not trustworthy, and is out to destroy us. (That’s a lie from the father of lies!).   Consequently, we itemize our gains and losses from a faulty and unstable system rather than align with God’s way of operation.  No, it doesn’t mean our losses are unimportant nor have no value to God. However, it does means that God sees beyond the here and now.  Remember, God’s thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).  So often what is valuable to us, based on our limited knowledge and understanding, has no real value in the Kingdom, and is useless when it comes to fulfilling God’s purposes.

For example, Apostle Paul came to a point in his life when he made an analysis of his gains and losses. He itemized using the same value system as God.  Paraphrasing, he said in Philippians 3:7-11, what were his assets (gains) he wrote them off as a loss.  Why? Because what was most valuable to him was gaining Christ… having Christ…knowing Christ, the power of His resurrection, and the participation in his sufferings.  Sufferings! Are you serious? No one wants to suffer, right?  Obviously, Paul viewed all the suffering he endured for the sake of Christ as gain! That was Paul’s mindset.   What about you and me? What are we willing to lose so that we might gain for Christ’s sake?

Sadly, too many Christians fall apart and panic when they experience loss of materials items. No one should deny the truth that it hurts to lose stuff… even loved ones. I know the pain of separation!  It hurts to lose anything you consider as valuable; especially life. But what can be gained? A more constant and consistent prayer life, deeper trust and dependency on Christ to sustain,  increased faith that looks to God for provisions, better stewardship practices,  a greater witness to the faithfulness and peace of God during life’s storm, greater commitment to the work of ministry and helping others in need.  God gives you so much more in place of what you lost when you trust Him as your Source.  

Beloved reader, remember it’s so easy to focus more on our losses in the past that we lose sight of any spiritual gain in the future. Also, like Apostle Paul, we haven’t been perfected yet, but let’s press forward and grab hold of what God desires for us.  Let’s press in to get to that place where God is calling us to reach in Christ Jesus. Let’s not focus on our past losses, and what we’ve left behind so much that we miss what God wants to do  in our lives now, and what He has destined for your future. 

Moving forward on the path to promise,

Book! Soon to be released!

The Path of Peace

My faith says if I pray hard enough and believe long enough things will change.

Is it too much to hope for? Am I considered naïve to even think things could possibly be different from what they are now? Is it not my privilege to think…to believe…to pray…to hope…to expect?

Here’s what I think; here is what I believe, and pray and hope and even imagine…

Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, God’s Sunrise will break in upon us, shining on those in the darkness, those sitting in the shadow of death, then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace…

 

That’s it! The path of peace!

 

The path of peace will lead us to that blissful place of eternal rest. There’ll be no more sorrow, tears, heartache and pain.

 The path of peace will lead us to that majestic ambiance of glory unimaginable.  No natural eye can behold its brilliance and exquisite décor.

 No finite mind can comprehend its power.  No frail body made of dust can stand under its weight of glory.

 Oh! The Path of Peace.

It is a path that anyone can take to find their way to the Father.  He has been waiting since before the foundation of the world to welcome you into the family.

 

Do you want to know how to get on this path of peace?  Because I sense, you’re tired and weary from the burdens you bear. Your life is spinning out of control. Your mind is tormented by nightmares. The daily challenges you face are daunting; they leave you drained of strength to survive.  You’re restless although you take sleeping pills. Your system has become immune to Prozac. You feel hopeless; you’re exhausted because your days are spent worrying about anything…everything. You don’t have the power to sustain yourself.  You are tired of suffering from sickness and diseases. The substance abuse and sexual promiscuity are no longer gratifying.  You feel used and cheap. Your “pint-sized” self-esteem has evaporated into thin air. There is no satisfaction in anything you do. You are emotionally and mentally stressed by the pressures and cares of a life you’ve concluded is unfair and hopeless.  

 

The voice in your head is screaming louder and louder, “Kill yourself! It’s your only way out!”

 

NO! WAIT! Do not listen! It’s lie!  Suicide is NOT the way out! STOP!  Your solution is here!

 

TODAY, RIGHT NOW You CAN start the journey on the path of peace by accepting Jesus Christ into your heart as Savior and Lord.

 

Jesus was punished for our sins so that we may have peace (Isaiah 53:5).

Christ gives peace and rest to all who come to him in faith (Matthew 11:28-30).

Peace comes through justification by faith in Jesus (Romans 5:1).

Jesus gives peace (John 14:27).

 

I’m praying for you….Now

 Heavenly Father,

 Thank You for sending this word for that special individual who has no hope. It is because of Your unfailing love that You’re reaching out to them now. I pray that Your calming Presence embrace them now. Let Your peace overshadow and Your love uphold them.  Open their eyes to see beyond present chaos and calamities of life, and let them envision the beauty and tranquil place of glorious hope.  Father, it’s Your desire that we all have peace that exceeds our understanding.  And thank You, that You made provision by sending Your Son Jesus Christ as the Light to breakthrough like the majestic sunrise. Let the warmth of the Light shine and dispel the darkness that lurks in the soul of that beloved whose weary, battered and bruised. Mend their broken heart. Restore. Renew their mind. Change their life and make them new in Christ.

To start your journey on the path of peace, pray this prayer:

Heavenly Father,

 I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is Your Son; that He died on the cross and You raised Him from the dead. I confess that I am a sinner in need of salvation. Lord Jesus, come into my heart. I repent; I turn away from a life of sin and turn to You. Forgive me of my sins and make me whole. I receive You as my Savior and Lord.  Thank You, Father, for rescuing me from a destructive lifestyle and eternal damnation. Thank you for eternal life. I receive Your peace with thanksgiving. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

If you prayed this prayer in sincerity, you are saved! You are now on the path of peace. Make sure you pray daily, and read the Bible. Get connected with a local church where the Bible is taught, and you can fellowship with other believers. This practice will help you grow and become knowledgeable about the teachings of Christ, and the Word of God.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).

 

Visit Prayer Principles & Podcasts for more teaching resources, prayer coaching tips and sample prayers.