Pain can push you away from God, away from people and into the darkness even more.

But God wants your pain to push you towards Him, towards people and into the light.

Pain can have a purpose.  Nothing is wasted with God.  He turns the greatest darkness into opportunities for the light to shine.  His promise in Romans 8 is that He will turn all circumstances for good.

Here are 4 things to do when living through painful situations.

1. Draw close To God: position yourself for hearing

When Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead – Jesus spoke and Lazarus heard. And his whole world, his whole life changed!

Are you making time for God to speak? Are you listening? Purposefully tuning yourself in to hear. Right now, where you sit, no matter where that is, there are radio waves all around us – if we had a radio we could tune in and hear a cricket commentary, some pop music or someone talking politics. But we don’t have a radio so we’re not tuned into the frequency. Same with God. We have to put up our spiritual antenna and tune in.

John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.  Jeremiah 33:3

When living through pain its important to be intentional about carving out some time to hear God.  His promise is the anchor to keep us still in the storm.  His words give us peace.  His truth silences the lies that try to magnify the pain, unleashing it to do its worst.

2. Draw Close To God: Remind yourselves of the promises of God.

So many times the Israelites got in trouble because they FORGOT about the great things of God. They forgot about His promises. Case in point. God promises the Israelites to deliver them from Egypt and settle them in the promised land. He does signs and wonders and soooo reveals Himself and then boom. They forget. They freak out. They get fearful and insecure and faith-less. And so they have to wander another 40 years in the desert and die.

When my husband was made redundant the 2nd time – about 6 years ago I made a conscious choice to draw near to God. Everything within me was stressing out but I knew that how we walked through this would be watched by our housegroup and our families.  We wanted our lives and the way we lived them to be a reflection of the reality of God.

We reminded ourselves that God is good and faithful and our provider. I lay on the sofa in the lounge and put on worship music and cranked it up loud. The song “You are good” came on and it did something on the inside of me.

Rick Warren says worship reinforces what matters most, reminds us of truths we forget and renews our desire to live what we believe.

When you draw close to God you position yourself to hear from Him and to see life from His vantage point and to remind ourselves of His reality, His goodness and His greatness.

3. Draw Close to People: Get good people around you when the going gets tough.

In fact get good people around you NOW so that when it gets tough you’re not having to pick new friends. Job’s wife was not a good friend. She told him to curse God and die. Seriously woman! Get good people in your life now – get into a housegroup, make intentional opportunities for friendship. Paul had good people in his life, when he and Silas got thrown into prison they turned it into a revival meeting. That couldn’t of happened if Silas was like “Paul shut up, you’re out of tune, we’re in a prison, what good is this, no one can hear us, this isn’t the XFactor, we’re gonna die!” They were brothers of the same Father and encouraged each other to draw close to God despite their location and circumstances.

When living through pain surround yourself with people who will encourage you, pray for you, support you.

4. Draw Close to People: Be real.

Often when the going gets tough people say “how are you?” and we’re like “fine mate, sweet as” and inside we’re crushed and disappointed and it feels like someone has rolled that stone over our tomb. When Jesus came both Mary and Martha told Him how it was. They were real with Him. They were vulnerable. They let people in. Now I’m not suggesting we all go and choose our “im feeling emotiocom” on facebook to say I’m feeling like the sky is falling, but again, don’t be afraid to live out your story on the stage of your life. Your mess becomes a message. Your test becomes a testimony.

Pain has a purpose – to grow us, to strengthen us, to teach us.

How we respond is up to us.

Will you embrace the potential of pain and draw near to God and near to the right people?

What helps you get through painful situations?


There is just something within me that resonates with this song.  It cries out to know God and make Him known, to go deeper and to be real.

My church is called The River, and this would be a perfect theme song!

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Evangeline, my daughter, came home from school one day and nuzzled into my side and said in a small voice… this was the worst day ever…

I held her close for a moment and then asked, honey, what happened.

They made fun of my name Mum, they called me Evil Eva…


Words can crush can’t they?

They hurt.

I got her to look up at me, into my eyes.

Remember sweetheart, when you were one day old, when God said YOU ARE DELIGHTFUL…?

Yes, I remember

That is who you are Evangeline.  You are not evil.   You are delightful.   Your name means giver of life, messenger of good news.

I know Mum.  They kept on saying it. It was hard but I kept on ignoring them.

Whose voice do you need to listen to sweetheart?

God’s voice and your voice Mum.

Such truth from my youngest. A fearless young one, learning courage and wisdom in the classroom of life.

Often we have an internal dialogue which is ripping us off and defeating us… we have an inner voice – our soul, our mind, that can depreciate our assets, rationalize a situation or just plain speaks with unbelief in our own abilities and more importantly the God we serve and that empowers us.



This voice can be like the voices of my daughters classmates, telling us we are worthless when the truth is that we are very precious and God delights in us and loves us so much that He gave His only son to ransom, rescue and save us.

What shapes this voice we listen to?

  • our past
  • our parents
  • our peer groups
  • the media
  • the enemy

Our voice can often tell us that we won’t ever be able to do anything to help or be very god at anything – but God calls us his partners and calls all of us to work with Him and promises to work through us.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.  ~Winston Churchill

My voices says:

  • who do you think you are?
  • no one will listen to you
  • no one wants to listen to you
  • you’re just a …
  • nothing is going to change – why bother?
  • you’re a proven failure
  • you’re not good enough
  • you’ll never be good enough

The voices in my head tell me everything that I don’t like about myself, the remind me of my flaws and failings.  They however are silent when it comes to reminding me what God says about me and His promises and unfailing faithfulness.

“Regardless of what you want to do or who you are, fear will always see you as wholly unqualified for anything you ever dream or attempt.” Jon Acuff

Fear is going to tell you you cant. It’s going to lie to you and make excuses so you stop in your tracks.

Fear and insecurity partner with the enemy to limit us and restrict us. To kill the dream.

But God is great.   He is good.

He wants us to rip that negative self talk out of our heads, to change the cd so to speak and to hear HIS voice of hope and faith and truth.

God qualifies us for anything we dream and attempt.

What does the Bible say?

Let the weak say “I am strong”

Greater is God in me that the enemy in the world

Those that know their God will be strong and do exploits

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

This is why God tells us to renew our mind, to be transformed and to fix our eyes (and ears!) upon Himself. To listen to His voice. We need to listen to the truth that God speaks. We need to listen to HIS voice in our head and hearts and let the voices in the playground fall away into silence.

There is an enemy who wants us to think we are defenceless, useless, hopeless weaklings. If he can shut us down he shuts us up.

Can we see beyond what people say about our limitations to the fact that we serve a God who doesn’t even have that word in His vocabulary? To the God whose capability doesn’t rise and fall with our own inability? Can we see beyond what people say about our dreams and plans to the God who has actually given them to us and is fully competent to bring them to pass? Steven Furtick

Become master of your own voice – take every wrong thought captive. Don’t just think and believe every thought you have. Not every thought we have is correct. This is why I think it is important to read the Bible – to learn what God says about us.

Then we can reprogram our heart and override any untruth (from the enemy or ourselves) with the truth of God.

Remember, we are loved with an everlasting love. We are children of God. Servants of God. Strong. Mighty. We carry the living God within us – a great powerful treasure in jars of mere clay. God calls us and anoints us and uses us. He works in us and through us. Despite our flaws and failings He is great and great in and through us for His glory. He chooses the weak and the foolish, the ordinary, to demonstrate His extraordinariness.

“Don’t underestimate what God can do through your life. God has a very long, proven, and consistent history of using foolish and broken things for His glory.” ~ Eugene Cho

He is our great healer, our great strength, the one who saves us.

“The best way to get rid of the negative thoughts is to crowd them out with something else bigger and more beautiful: worship of the One who holds everything in His powerful and capable hands.” ― Jocelyn Green

So how do we change the voices in our head?

Read the Word of God and transform the way you think (Romans 12:2)

Take control of the thoughts – when the lies and doubt come, change your mind, change the topic. Stop passively agreeing with the negative voices.

Replace the negative thought with a positive one. Change the tone of your thoughts.

Don’t play the victim, take control and make some changes if changes need to be made.

Find someone to encourage you, share your fear and ask for intentional help.

Analyze what you’re thinking. Is this really true?

Line a new truth up against the lie.

Give yourself grace. Remind you that God’s grace is sufficient.

“I’ve tucked those negative thoughts in a drawer, and for the most part, though I know the drawer still exists, it never gets opened.” ― K. Martin Beckner

What else do you do to stop the voices in your head dragging you down?

Who are you listening to?

God of mercy, God of love, how we marvel at Your majesty.

The secret to having an alive growing relationship is awe and love.  To keep fixing our eyes on Jesus and going wow.  We often need to remind our forgetful hearts about grace, about what Jesus did on the cross and how great His love is for us, personally.  This holds our heart focused on Him, and stills our feet from straying.


“How heavy is this glass of water?”

“The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

“The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water.  Insecurity.  Shame.  Fear.   Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

One of the reasons that we’re tackling this topic is so that break down the walls that divide us and put barriers up – that prevent us from having deeper, amazing relationships.

We need to put the glass down.

You are not meant to carry your shame.  You are not meant to live in fear.  You are not meant to live in insecurity.

Insecurity isn’t a sin, it’s a place for God to fill.

Read the rest of this entry »


7 Arrows for Bible Reading – Gospel Coalition

The seven arrows of Bible reading were an attempt at developing a tool for proper hermeneutics to power these relationships. We did not want our people to simply talk about the Bible. We wanted them to understand the Bible and know how to apply it to their lives. Each cluster would read a predetermined passage of Scripture and discuss it using these seven arrows.

The goal was for the clusters to start by summarizing the main point of the passage as succinctly as possible, ideally in one sentence.

5 Things Your Habits Say About You – Relevant

Behavioural therapists and others who study human behaviour will tell you there’s only one difference between those who succeed and those who don’t. “It’s all about their habits,” they say.

1. They reveal what you value least—and most.
2. They reveal where you spend your time.
3. They reveal the state of your mental health.
4. They reveal the state of your spiritual health.
5. They reveal the state of your physical health.


No one ever talks about it but it’s there. Intensely burning within every person on the planet regardless of their age, sex, race, status, or job. Everyone wants it and they want it from you.

I’m talking about RECOGNITION.

Everyone wants to be recognized and acknowledged. This is why a simple smile, making eye contact, or just saying “hello” to a passing stranger matters. It matters because it matters to them!

Because of this desire we all have, you can motivate and influence those around you by simply giving someone recognition. When someone feels acceptance, recognition, and appreciation from you they are more likely to support you, help you, or anything else that you’d like them to do.

Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage by John Piper

Preparing for Marriage: Help for Christian Couples is a new ebook from Desiring God aimed at aiding couples – whether dating and considering marriage, or engaged and preparing for marriage – to get to know each other better in some of life’s most significant matters, and be more fit to discern God’s leading for their lives.

Along with the questions contained in this blog post, we’ve packaged three additional resources from John Piper in hopes of enriching such important preparation.


  • Own a home or not? Why?
  • What kind of neighborhood? Why?
  • How many cars? New? Used?
  • View of money in general. How much to the church?
  • How do you make money decisions?
  • Where will you buy clothes: Department store? Thrift store? In between? Why?

Don’t You Want Your Daughters to be in Love on their Wedding Day? by Gary Thomas

If the main reason you’re getting married is because you’re “in love,” what happens when the infatuation fades and you don’t feel that same “in love”? What’s going to keep you in the marriage then?

I confess, I have a fondness for lyric videos.  Often on my day off I watch lyric videos and jimmy fallon….


So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water.  Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.  Exodus 15:22-25

God is the God of yesterday, tomorrow and the future.

He is with you today, He was with you yesterday and He has already being in tomorrow. He is eternal and outside of time. However as humans we are bound in time and I know for myself, my brain begins to ache when I explore the unlimitness of eternity and God’s time bending nature.

Today, whatever obstacle you face you can be confident and assured that God has prepared a way forward.  He has prepared a tree.

Before Moses and the Israelites even began on their adventure in the wilderness God had prepared a miracle.   Twenty years before the people of Israel arrived beside these bitter waters, dry, parched and desperate for hydration, God had made a way where there seemed no way.  A seed found its way into the ground, grew and flourished.  A tree with a purpose, purposed by God.

The God of past, present and future provided for their present time of testing back in their past.

Likewise, the God of past, present and future has provided for you present and future in your past.

There is a tree. A tree of hope.

In Exodus God told Moses to break a branch off the tree and to throw it into the water, and the water would be healed. This tree that grew from a seed many many many years before was their remedy for their time of distress.   God nurtured the solution through seasons of drought and winter. He protected it as it grew from a seed to a sapling. Away from the spotlight the tree grew.

What is in your world that will bring healing and provision to your point of need?

2000 years ago God used another tree to prove His power and grace.  A tree that God had prepared from before the foundation of the world.  Jesus Christ hung and died on that tree to give us a new life and to heal us from all our diseases.  By His stripes we are healed.   There is a tree.  Yahweh Rapha, The Lord who heals, was wounded for our sin.  The Healing God bore upon Himself all our sicknesses and death for our healing, physically, emotionally, spiritually, eternally.  There is a tree.

When God looks at me He sees Jesus, His perfect Son who fulfilled every part of the law, who was obedient in all things.  By that perfect man’s death and obedience I am healed.  In Christ I am righteous.  He came and lived the life I could never live and died the death I deserved so that I can walk in healing and favour with God.

As you stand in your place of desperation fix your eyes upon God. Be confident in His limitless ability to heal, to save, to overcome. Stand fearless knowing that God is good and great and that He has made a way when there seems no way.

There is a tree.


Could it be true that there is a group of people keeping you from success? I can assure you that it’s true. Now, you may be thinking that I’m referring to your competition, your spouse, or maybe even your parents. Hang on to your seat because the only person I’m actually referring to is YOU.

Seriously, put some thought into this, you hold yourself back in all areas of your life and business. You do this in multiple ways which is why it’s like there’s a small army against you.

Here’s who is holding you back: (go read it!)

So, how do you deal with rejection?

Feel the disappointment all the way down to the ground. Get mad. Feel hurt. Voice how disappointed you are to friends that can listen. Don’t try to pretend it didn’t matter that much, or that your hopes weren’t really that high. Let your hopes rise, and let them crash….




For a few years running I could’ve been nominated for Miserable Person of the Year.

Really, I had a stellar campaign going.  I was bitter. Frustrated. Angry at God, man and myself. My life wasn’t turning out to be the success-fest like I’d planned and somebody, everybody was to blame. But it didn’t take long to realize that being miserable all the time, funnily enough, is a miserable way to live.

Now after years of studying, writing and researching, here are what I believe are the seven habits of highly miserable people and how we cure each one:

1. Living as a Lone Ranger
2. Complain-ism
3. Having a Crazy Timeline
4. Obsessive Comparison Disorder

5. Waiting for Someone to Show You How

6. Failing at Failure

7. Becoming Comfortable with Crappy




Storms provide the United States over 50 percent of their rainfall, distributing water to plants, lakes, and reservoirs.

Winds from storms create life by distributing seeds and pollen while removing old and weak vegetation to make room for new growth.

When lightning strikes, it actually liberates nitrates that help fertilize the soil. Storm updrafts remove large amounts of pollution, while storm rainfall washes more pollution out of the air.

Storms don’t just destroy. They heal.
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