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Eeyore, the always negative donkey in the children’s story, “Winnie the Pooh” has an incredible knack for seeing the negative in everything. I remember chuckling at some of his statements while reading to my children. In his world there was nothing good. There was no hope. Expectations always fell short.

We can chuckle at this fictional character’s outlook on life, but reality is, it’s easy for us to do the same. It’s easy to live trapped by our past. I’m grateful for a relatively boring childhood, but many are still grappling with abusive homes, dysfunctional families and sometimes, as a result, mental illness or addictions. It’s been said ‘our past can kill us or make us stronger’, and while there is some truth to that, its easier said than lived.

It’s also easy for us as believers to lose hope when we look around us at the direction society seems destined for. Often our belief in Jesus Christ is construed by society as intolerant, out of touch and irrelevant.

Peter wrote his book to Christ followers in a society that, believe it or not, was more brutal to the things of God that the one we live in. Yet he wrote of great expectations. Not because of his past, but because of his future. Not because of who he was, but because of who Jesus is.

Don’t base your hopes, aspirations and expectations on who you are or what you can do. Don’t allow the actions and accusations of others deter you from expecting great and mighty things in your life. Success by God’s standards comes from a live lived rich in integrity and holiness. Success by societies standards is like flags in the wind, being tossed by every new idea. Jesus gives you stability in an unstable world and hope among the hopeless.


If you’ve ever walked through a swampy area you’ve seen them. Some are trampled down. Some are bent over. Virtually all of them are at some level of being wounded. Reeds of every size and shape standing vulnerable to the elements.

Life can be like that swamp. We go through life and get stomped on, damaged, and wounded. For some it’s broken relationships. The person we once thought a soul mate is suddenly gone, and with their departure, there’s a gaping hole in your soul.

For some it may be shattered dreams. You’ve worked hard towards a goal, only to have the rug pulled out from under you and you are left holding a thousand different pieces of a puzzle you know you will never get back together again.

When life heads south; when we go through some life changing event, we become extremely fragile. The slightest breeze can break us. The brush of a passing situation can be our undoing.

Jesus showed throughout his time on earth that he had the soft compassion that would heal the most fragile of lives; that would move so gently that even the most bruised reed would not be broken.

You can come to Jesus with your fragile heart. You can come to Jesus with your bruised heart. You can know that his gentleness will help you through the pain. He’s the great healer.


(To my readers: Today’s post is in response to the recent accusations of abuse by Minnesota Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson. But in a more general sense, the situation has reminded me of how easy it is to become judgmental. For the believer, hard as it is, grace comes first. )

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7

Maybe it’s because I made a horrific mistake that cost me a career I loved and left me with a criminal record that I’ll carry for the rest of my life.

Maybe it’s because I remember the shame and embarrassment I felt realizing that I’d hurt someone very dear to me, someone I loved and would have protected with my life, but ended up hurting.

Maybe it’s because I remember the looks, the loneliness and the rejection from friends I once thought would be loyal (many professing Christians).

Maybe it’s because I still harbor the wounds of those who still consider me an abuser, and still hear their accusing words.

Maybe it’s because I remember the few that stood by me even though they knew I wasn’t completely innocent.

Maybe it’s because I learned the ground is level under the cross and we are all equally guilty before God.

Maybe it’s because I learned the hard way that the common belief that one is ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is a fallacy and that even though our justice system may still be the best in the world, it’s seriously flawed.

Maybe it’s because I don’t think social media is the place to determine innocence, guilt or character.

Maybe it’s because I learned through my own failings what grace was.

Maybe it’s because, as a parent, there were far too many times I failed.

For whatever the reason, I’ll stand with AP. I don’t agree with what he did, but Jesus died for him too. I expect the secular media to crucify him, not believers. We are to be the last to cast stones, not the first.


Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19 (NLT)

How do you respond to someone who attacks you? Or maybe the question should be “Do you respond or react?”

Reaction is immediate, swift and impulsive. Response involves thought and time and deciding if the best action is non-action. Sometimes, of course, the situation itself dictates the answer to that question. For example, when physical harm is imminent there is no time to waste. Action must be swift.

There are other times when our best action may not be reaction but taking time to step back and consider our response. The human reaction when we are attacked is either fight or flight. The decision is often determined by our ability, or perceived ability to win. That’s what it’s really all about isn’t it? Isn’t that why the guy cut you off yesterday? You were in HIS lane? Isn’t that why you felt so good (for awhile anyway) when you didn’t give a tip to that incompetent, rude server at the restaurant during lunch? Isn’t that why you got into the face of your teenager when they were disrespectful to you ‘for the last time’? It was all about control, all about who will come out on top.

From the very beginning of time, every conflict has been about who will control what or whom. That was the motivation behind Satan as he entered the garden, it’s the basis of every national and family conflict ever since. We want to win and sometimes we want to win at all costs.

Psalm 37:11 teaches us, “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.”

That’s just the opposite of how we normally think. It’s not the meek that get anything except to be treated as doormats. But meekness isn’t weakness; meekness is having power that is under control. As believers in Jesus Christ we are not called to be doormats, we are children of the king. We are, however called to be meek. We have all the power of the Triune God on our side, but we are to consider how we can be meek when it comes to our own way.

Meekness is hard because meekness means that even though we have all power and even though we may be right, we release the situation in which we feel attacked or mistreated to God so that he can handle it.

Meekness means we wait for God’s timing, not our own. God has promised to protect us. He’s promised to be with us, to walk with us during the dark valleys of life. Sometimes his promises seem slow, but they are not slow. He’s just much more patient than we are.

Meekness means we trust God’s methods. When we are mistreated or attacked we have a pretty good idea of how it should be handled. Usually, if we are honest, it will be handled in a way that gives us glory. However, God’s intention is never to give us glory; God’s intention is to bring glory to Himself; it’s never about revenge but always about restoration.

Meekness goes against every human part of us. It can only come as we learn to give control of our lives to Jesus through the power of His Holy Spirit.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus. I confess that many of the conflicts I’m involved in are a result of my demands for my own way and not for your glory or the restoration of others. Empower me with your Spirit to give you the control in the conflicts in my relationships. Amen.


Pray that our Lord will make us strong and give us peace. Psalm 29:11 (CEV)

Psalm 29 speaks to us, to remind us that storms will come into our lives. Sometimes those storms are the result of our own sin and rebellion. Sometimes the winds of the hurricanes that block our paths are the evil actions of abusive people. Whatever their cause we are assured that it’s not a question of ‘if’ storms come, but ‘when’ and how often.

Storms can be physical such as illness, financial ruin, and destruction of our homes, careers or relationships. Perhaps the toughest, scariest storms are the storms within. Those flashes of lightning that remind us of our failures. Those life-shaking claps of thunder that make us question our ability to go on; that make us question our faith. These are the storms that can make us suffer in silence, or force us away from those who love us most.

Read back through Psalm 29 once more. Take time to reflect on the words of power seen in the words of the Psalmist. Your heavenly Father is pictured as being the most powerful storm ‘nature’ can muster. He shakes the foundation of the world; no one can escape or deny his mighty works.

Then, remember his great love for you today. There will be storms. Ask him to give you strength and courage to weather them. There will be times when life seems to jostle you about like a small boat on a great and windy see. Pray that in the very midst of the storm he will give you peace.

The great preacher/author Charles Spurgeon writes: Dear reader, is not this a noble Psalm to be sung in stormy weather? Can you sing amid the thunder? Will you be able to sing when the last thunders are let loose, and Jesus judges quick and dead? If you are a believer, the last verse is your heritage, and surely that will set you singing.

You oftentimes have no choice as to the storms that will enter your life, but because of Jesus you can choose how they will affect who you are and how you come out on the other side. Jesus Christ came, not only to give you forgiveness and eternal life; he came so that when the storms come you can rely on him to see you through.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank you for your grace. I praise you for your forgiveness. But most of all, right now I pray for us as your children. I ask that during this present stormy time of our lives you would grant us the strength and peace we need to endure. In your name, Amen.

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