Have you ever gone through a difficult time? A situation that lasted awhile? If so, you know we need hope.
Raising a disabled son was like that for me. I tell people, it felt like swallowing razor blades for breakfast. He wanted to be normal, like everyone else. How excruciating to watch him try and fail. His tears shredded the depths of my soul.
I made it through with the Psalms. The writers of the Psalms did not hold back. In their brutal honesty we can find comfort.
You’ll notice Psalms start off with sadness or distress, but end up joyful, as if the author found the answer in his faith. The only one that doesn’t is Psalm 88, which draws a pic of depression. I think God put it in the Bible for those really tough times when we need to grieve.
Pam Farrell has written a study on the Psalms called Discovering Hope in the Psalms.
Why Easter is the Most Important Christian Holiday
Rabbits don’t lay eggs, they bear live young. Someone told me the story of a pagan holiday combined with Christianity. Something about a fertility celebration? It wasn’t Christian, but it got mixed in. However, I found family movies of my first Easter. My brother and I had Easter baskets, chocolate eggs, and fancy outfits. Watching my parents follow me around while I wore my pretty dress almost makes tears come to my eyes. (They are both in heaven.) In later years, I do remember picking out my fancy clothes and dying eggs for Easter egg hunts. We always went to church to sing and praise God for the resurrection. However, despite the fact what we celebrated every year, I didn’t”t realize how important Easter was until I got older. It may have been my fault for not listening, but I didn’t get it. Now I do.
My guest is my husband, Ray Simmons. He’s a Bible teacher and elder at Grace Community Church. We chose a different tradition raising our children, and he will explain why Easter is so important.
Ray Simmons leading Passover
1:00 Why is Easter so important?
2:10 What evidence do we have that Christ rose?
[tweetthis]He is risen. He is risen indeed![/tweetthis]
[tweetthis]Because Jesus lives, we have eternal life[/tweetthis]
Learn more about doing a Messianic Passover here or here.
Spiritual Warfare: Persevere with the Armor of God
We are in the midst of a war, how can we find the stamina to keep going? Let me tell you a story.
Let me tell you a story. I have a disabled child and I homeschooled. I took him in for evaluation and the person I used recommended I take him to professionals several days a week for therapy. Leaving that lady’s office, I wondered how I could follow her instructions with my four other kids. I chuckled to myself that I would have to put somebody up for adoption, something I’d never do.
This child’s issues broke my heart every day. When I tried teaching him the simplest jobs, he collapsed into brought blood-curdling screams. “I’m stupid. I’m stupid, I’m stupid.” For instance, teaching a child to count is easy. You pick up blocks and say one for the first, two for the second.The only problem was my son couldn’t do that. Picking up a block required he use his fingers with the right amount of pressure. It took too much concentration. Saying the numbers in the right order, sequencing was also terribly hard. He could never do the two things at once. I never did do what the lady recommended.
I hired part-time therapists and worked on their goals until we met again. However, it was an inch by inch proposition whenever I taught him anything. He had neurological issues due to his seizures, and he could not concentrate. I had three seconds if I held my face to his, almost touching his nose. That makes teaching really tough. Many mornings I prayed fervently in my bedroom before I went downstairs to work with him.
As wives and mothers, we will face challenges. Where and how will we find the courage and perseverance to stick to the task? Katy Kauffman is my guest today. She has written a Bible study based on 2 Timothy, and it’s about perseverance.
2:50 What does God have to say about not giving up?
3:50 Describe perseverance for Jesus.
5:00 What do you think of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane prior to his crucifixion?
6:10 How can we deal with those who reject Christ without being preachy?
I don’t know if you have an itch to be perfect, but I do. I was a straight a student in school, and I worked so hard not to make any mistakes. That tendency to long for good grades has snuck into my everyday life. I cannot bear to err. And I know I fail all the time. The older I get, the more I am aware of the wickedness that resides in me. I wish it was not there.
Romans 3:23 says “For All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Everyone agrees none of us are perfect, but some have a leaning toward different sins. Sin separates us from God, but the consequences of some sins are more extreme than others.
Either way, we can become snared in sin and be unable to free ourselves.
In 2 Peter, the apostle speaks of false teachers when he writes: “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” This verse makes it clear that a person can become a slave of sin. Fortunately, the Apostle John shares “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Bob Fife was enslaved by homosexuality for twenty years. His book, Out, tells his story of breaking free.
You can overcome abuse, and we are going to talk about how that’s done.
The mind is incredible. God designed us so we can access our memories and relive events. As we do that the emotions wash over us again as if it was happening in that moment. In fact, that’s one reason Worry is bad for us because we imagine something bad happening and our bodies respond as if it did happen. All the negative chemicals start flowing through our bodies. Those bad chemicals can make us ill.
Ladies, If you’ve lived very long, you’ve been through heartrending stuff, you’ll have baggage. Stuff from the past that weighs you down and impacts your actions and even reactions. What can we do about that?
2 Cor. 10 5 says, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”
Today we are going to talk about how you can implement that verse and how Scripture can help you heal:
I have Becky Harling with me, and she wrote, Rewriting Your Emotional Script
2:25 Why pray Scripture? Isn’t that magical thinking?
3:12 How can God heal you with the Word?
4:00 How can we be ‘poor in spirit’?
5:30 We need God.
6:45 How is letting go different from being a victim
Cynthia Ruchti: Christmas and God’s Restoring Love
Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit.
We celebrate Christmas because God came to earth as a baby to die for our sins. That’s a pretty huge event, very worth celebrating.For many people, it’s a painful time. You may have sustained a loss during the year or miss someone who died years ago. We don’t often think about Christmas and restoration in the same sentence, but my guest, Cynthia Ruchti wrote a book, Restoring Christmas. What an interesting concept! I looked up the word restore and found it occurred about seventy times. (depending on your translation, that may vary.)
After giving the matter some thought, I agree with Cynthia. Jesus came to earth to be our redeemer. He came to pay the price for our sins so we can have restored fellowship with God. But what about all those other hurts we experience? Cynthia shares her heart on heartache during Christmas.
1:45 Share the basic story of the book
5:35 Did any event in your life prompt this story?
12:10 Talk about restoration for those hurting places.
19:50 Jesus is close to the broken-hearted. Share with people who may be there this year.
21:25 What about folks who are stumbling through Christmas with sadness or depression?
[tweetthis]I can’t unravel, I’m hemmed in hope[/tweetthis]
[tweetthis]Christmas is all about God’s love[/tweetthis]