How to Share the Gospel

how to share the gospel

[Guest Post by Gail Davis – Some of my favorite bloggers are from South Africa, so when I heard from Gail Davis I couldn’t wait to post her with you. If you struggle with sharing your faith to others, be encouraged today!]

Watching the world change, people are in fewer relationships.

They are isolated. This should not be the case for Christians. Jesus commands them (Christians) to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to obey Him (Matthew 28:18-20).

Christians are supposed to be relational.
They are to talk with people.
Make disciples.
And teach them.

Believers often find this difficult because of the non-relational way the world exists. They are afraid to speak to strangers or tell them about Jesus. What keeps Christians from being relational and sharing the Gospel? Rejection.

Believers must remember, people will not be rejecting them, but, instead, Jesus. One of the best ways to overcome this fear is to take a course or two on witnessing. Put it into action.

The more times Christians share with others, the easier it will become.

Most importantly, believers must care for the person with whom they speak. When God saves people through Jesus, He puts His love through His Holy Spirit in them. This love is that upon which believers must call.

Put aside your limitations, selves, and prejudices and allow God to love people through you. People just want to know you care! People want to be listened to and to trust others. This is what we call relationship evangelism — God’s love for others shining through believers.

God wants a relationship with you.
He loves you.

Witnessing to someone is easier if the person is known to the Christian. Your effort to listen as the other person tells about them self will help him or her open up and trust you. Then you will see they are human, too; one who needs love and friendship. This will unlock the other person’s heart and allow them to trust you.

If you’re curious on how to share the Gospel — try the FIRE method!

Family
Interests
Religious Experience
Evangelism. 

The application is not hard. It requires Christians to be human and take an interest in another person. It requires listening more than talking.

Get to know the person. Ask about their family. Do they have kids or grand kids? Who lives at home with them? From where do they come?

Find out what the person’s interests are. Do they like to read, play an instrument, play computer games, camp? Do they have something in common with you, the believer?

Ask about their religious background. Do they go to a church? Which faith system do they follow? What are the person’s thoughts on what happens after this life?

Once you have taken time to get to know the person, the other person will realize they can trust your care for them.

Tell the person about your own family, interests, and religious experiences. Upon listening to the other person, you will begin to recognize their needs. Tell them of your religious experience with Jesus, and relate how God can meet them, too.

Share that Jesus gives life abundantly because He loves them. Share how God and Jesus showed that love and how it changed your life. Tell the person how your life changed since you gave your life to Jesus. You will, eventually, reach a point where you ask if the other person would like to be in a relationship with Jesus, a relationship where Jesus gives life, meaning, and forgiveness of sins.

Jesus is there for us, and wants us to follow Him.

Tell the person how your life changed since you gave your life to Jesus. Ask if the other person wants to make a commitment to Jesus, to follow Him as his or her Lord and Savior. Lead him or her in a prayer of confession and acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Savior. Make sure to commit to help them grow in discipleship, to be more Christlike.

It is a relational way to speak to someone about Jesus, His love, and sacrifice.
Try it more than once.
Be intentional.

Go out once a week with the only agenda being to seek a person who needs to hear about Jesus and to hear someone cares for them. Go out and be in the public without needing to shop. You will be more open to seeing people in need and with whom God is leading you to speak. It is a relationship thing.

Question: What is stopping you from sharing the Gospel with others? 

Gail DavisI am Gail Davis and my husband is Ronnie Davis. We have been missionaries to Cape Town, South Africa for 14 years with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. I work with refugees from other African nations by teaching them English using the Gospel of Mark. I have four children, two in college in the USA, our son, James, and our daughter, Sydney, and two still in primary and secondary school in Cape Town, Simeon (11th grade) and Samuel (7th grade). Connect with me on my blog.

[Photo: KOREphotos, Creative Commons]

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I never wanted a bruised heart

bruised heart

[Guest Post by Laura – I appreciate how brave Laura is! This is the second time she has shared her story of rape on DevotionalDiva.com, and I love seeing how far she has come and how her story continues to encourage others. If you struggle with a bruised, broken, or shattered heart — be encouraged today!]

Bruised. I bruise easily.

Bruises seem to appear randomly on my knees or shins, and I can’t remember bumping into anything. To make matters worse, I can be a little klutzy. On the bright side, I’ve never broken a bone. But I’m fairly sure that a broken bone hurts exponentially more than a bruise. And just like bones and knees, our hearts can end up broken and bruised throughout our lives.

Perhaps it was naiveté, but I always thought that meeting someone, falling in love and getting married wouldn’t leave me bruised.

Why?

Maybe it was the relationship books that I read in high school and college, the ones that made it seem like if you followed God, everything would end up fairly wonderful, and the process would lack confusion and chaos. It didn’t take too long after college for me to realize that those books weren’t accurate.

But I still wanted it to be my story – a relationship without a bruised heart, no klutzy steps, no confusing words or actions. It would be my fairy tale.

Part of that fairy tale disappeared one night in South Africa when I was raped during a home invasion.

And a piece of my heart broke then as well. Suddenly the fairy tale seemed incredibly distant. Who would want to be in a relationship with me? Who would want to marry me? Eventually I reached a point where I could look in the mirror and tell myself that someone would, that I wasn’t too broken.

I still wanted the rest of my fairy tale to be perfect, however. So I was careful with my heart. Balancing hope and risk with reality and guardedness.

Not easy.

But I think I managed fairly well. It helped that I was living overseas, that there weren’t any guys interested in me.

And then there was a message.
Followed by a flurry of messages and flirting.
A few phone calls.
Then fewer messages.
No phone calls.
Followed by confusion and impatience.

Throughout the entire time there was lots of prayer. I was honest and brave. And while my heart wasn’t broken, it definitely came out bruised.

Once I admitted to myself and to God that I was bruised, that I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was, I felt relief. Relief in knowing that it was okay to be bruised, that it was okay to be hurt, that it was okay to not have a fairy tale ending. And now I focus on being open again, on not putting up walls, on trusting God’s plan.

I never wanted a bruised heart. I wanted the fairy tale. And I’m sure that many women would say the same thing.

But this bruise to my heart, which faded and eventually vanished, taught me a lot. About how sometimes the bruises in my life are more about the lessons learned and less about the bruise. About how I am partly responsible for how deep the bruise becomes and how long it lasts. About how important patience and waiting are when there is the potential for a relationship. About how I still struggle with high expectations. About how God doesn’t always answers my prayers the way I want Him to.

About how trusting God is far more important than seeking my own desires.

Question: What have your bruises taught you about God or about yourself?

LauraGod has given Laura a heart for teen and young adult girls, as well as a love for drinking coffee and living overseas, and she loves when all three of these come together. She currently lives in Ireland and writes regularly about life, ministry and healing on her blog http://chattingaboutlife.wordpress.com.

[Photot: CarbonNYC via photopin cc]

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When You Harbor Bitterness

When I Harbor Bitterness

[Guest Post by Lindsey Meeker – It’s kind of amazing how much bitterness can hinder us from God’s best — even about something as simple as going to the dentist. I hope her story encourages you to let go!]

I’ve always thought that to have a real testimony you had to have been set free from alcohol or gone to jail.

But.

This last year I’ve learned that doesn’t mean anything. A month before I started my freshman year of high school, I visited my local orthodontist to see about getting braces. I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. I went through all of the moldings and x-rays and the orthodontist came in and said I was a worst case scenario.

He didn’t know if he would ever be able to straighten my teeth.
My teeth were very off.

I had teeth in front of teeth I had a very bad overbite. My mouth was too small, and my front two teeth pointed together.

I left my orthodontist in shambles crying — thinking — no one would ever want a girl with messed up teeth.

My mom decided we would try and the first thing we had to do was get my wisdom teeth taken out, and four extra to make room! That’s a whopping eight teeth to be removed. I made it through wisdom teeth removal without any issues.

Next my orthodontist decided to give me a spreader to expand the roof of my mouth. A spreader is a metal device out in the roof of your mouth that you twist a key. It gradually makes your mouth wider. The average person twists the key once a day; I had to twist my 3 times a day. Every time it was twisted, I could feel my mouth getting wider.

But.

I will always remember one day.

My mom was twisting the key like any normal day and then we heard a POP sound. The roof of my mouth was in pain. The spreader had broken the roof of my mouth. By the end of spreading the roof of mouth — I could fit four quarters in between my front two teeth. I was so mad at my orthodontist for making me go through what I called a form of torture.

By my junior year of high school, I was full of bitterness towards my orthodontist.

I constantly left in tears.

One afternoon I went to the office, and they said it was time to get my braces off. To say that I was full of excitement was an understatement. The next week I got them off! A month later I went to the office and my teeth had shifted too much.

And.

They gave me the wrong retainer.

They said my braces must be out back on. I. Was. Furious. I went through senior pictures and prom with braces. I kept telling my parents that I wanted them off for graduation, and my orthodontist said that that was impossible because my teeth weren’t moving fast enough.

I went home crying thinking I was possibly going to have to go to college with braces. My dad, being the amazing praying man he is, told me he had been in prayer about the situation.

He told me I was harboring bitterness towards my orthodontist, and I needed to forgive him.

Later that night I knew my dad was right.

I sat on my bed crying to God, and telling him that I was sorry and truly forgave him. A week later I went to the orthodontist for my check up. To my amazement — my teeth had shifted to the right places. They told me I could get my braces off the next week — right before graduation!

I learned when you harbor bitterness that God can’t always bless you. God needed all of me! I’m so glad I decided  to forgive others and myself.

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”- Matthew 6:14-15 NIV

Lindsay MeekerLindsey Meeker is a student at Oral Roberts University studying Public Relations in Tulsa, Ok. Lindsey dreams of event planning for churches and helping in youth ministries. Connect with Lindsey on Twitter.

[Photo: Silvia Sala via photopin cc]

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Why is it that Christians Hurt Me the Most?

Christians Hurt Me

[Guest Post by Mary DeMuth – If you or anyone you know has been hurt by Christians, the church, or anyone who claims to love God–please forward this to them! Be encouraged.]

I wish it weren’t true. But I can honestly say being hurt by other Christians, particularly Christian leaders, has devastated me.

I don’t have a category for the grief because of all the shoulds. (Those leaders should know better than to act that way. They should not have said those hateful words.)

In the aftermath of the pain, I’ve not always processed it well.

I’ve been angry.

I’ve wanted vengeance.

The writer in me wanted to craft a piece that exposed all that awful stuff. (Truth be told, I was so hurt by one Christian woman, I made her a character in one of my novels…I won’t tell who…and actually found healing in writing her. I began to have empathy for her).

It took me a few years to get beyond the anger of one particular hairball of a ministry hurt. Eventually, Jesus helped me overcome my frustration and learn to live with grace and kick bitterness to the curb.

So I wrote a book (natch…isn’t that what authors do?).

I kept meeting people who had my experience—trying to process pain from others, particularly those closest to them. I’ve seen people leave the church because a Christian leader deeply wounded them. There had to be a way through.

The Wall Around Your HeartThe Wall Around Your Heart shows my way through.

I help readers walk the path of The Lord’s Prayer in an entirely new way—with an eye toward relationship. I’m honest about my own struggles. It’s not always pretty, but it’s real.

The truth is relational pain is probably our largest pain on this earth.

And Jesus gets it.

He experienced it.

Who better than Him to help us navigate the waters of betrayal?

My prayer is that book will set an entire generation of bitter Christians FREE from living constantly in reaction to the past. That they will find the joy of NOW, healed from injury, daring to forgive and move on.

That’s why I wrote the book—that we’ll all experience the abundant life Jesus promises, but feels so far from our everyday experience.

Mary DeMuthMary DeMuth is the author of over a dozen books including her latest, The Wall Around Your Heart: How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You (http://amzn.to/15Q19xh) Find out more at MaryDeMuth.com.

[Photo: EssG, Creative Commons]

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Mental Health Boot Camp

mental health

[Guest Post by Anonymous – My heart goes out to people who feel like they have to hide their story. Obviously it’s a good thing to protect your child(ren) or family, but I hope this person’s courage will help you find true healing in Christ.]

As a mom with a physical chronic condition I am familiar with the complexities of having a demanding disease.

I have long admitted that although I could see how God has worked through my physical ailment, I still did not understand mental illness.

It was a world I had not been a participant of, a language I did not speak. And then my young sons’s struggles began to worsen.

My biggest fear as a mom with a chronic illness was that he would need me in ways I would not be able to provide–like needing to be picked up when he was two or having me chase after him at a park when he was four.

But at five years old he screamed, “I am not meant for this world. I am not like everybody else! I want to die!”

How could he believe this, or even articulate it, when his world was as innocent as cartoons of planes and trains that spoke? How had the world stung him so deeply, so quickly?

He is now ten and the last year has been all about survival. Counseling, hospital mental health programs, family therapy, support groups, psychiatrists, testing, over and over. I have read books, joined groups online, sought out answers to “is this normal?” and “what now?”

We no longer do therapy or church or vacations–we do therapy. We no longer celebrate typical accomplishments–we rejoice that he is letting me brush his teeth three days in a row or that he ate half a sandwich.

A good day is when he doesn’t speak of death–mine or his own.

We search for answers.

What does he have?

How badly does he have it?

What medications will work?

What side effects do they cause?

And how on earth can we get another pill into him?

If he has ADHD he should stay on a stimulant, if he has bipolar the stimulant will make it worse. The doctors vote for the stimulant. I am left to decide how bad it will get before it is considered “worse.” They see him five minutes. We see him at 4 AM, wide awake looking for a toy he needs right now.

ADHD, OCD, ODD, GAD, IEP. Our life has turned into alphabet soup.

The Internet provides a wealth of information and so I read and read and read, because I will be held responsible for how much effort I put into searching for the diagnosis. I may not be able to cure him, but someday I can tell him I did my best–for twenty years, I did my best.

As the mom, I am responsible for educating the teacher, the principal, the counselor, the doctor, the psychiatrist, the Sunday School teacher, and Boy Scout leader (if he ever returns). The books tell me to introduce myself–not to the teacher of an extra curricular activity–but to the police, the staff at the emergency room. We need to. Someone nearly called the police this week.

A two-hour appointment with a new psychiatrist results in her telling me,

“We just don’t know with kids this age. Your job is to create a medical paper trail, so if it gets worse, he can be diagnosed correctly–quickly.”

I tell my son he is God’s child. He is strong and courageous, and yet, Satan is trying to get his claws into him.

I tell him just to whisper the name of Jesus when the anxiety rules him–in class, anywhere.

“God is going to make you a soldier for Him,” I tell my son. “He has great plans for you in a world where He will need strong men. But first you have to go through Boot Camp. Most people don’t go through Boot Camp until their twenties or thirties, so God must have extraordinary plans for you because you started training at about age 8.”

I believe it.

I pray for him.

I talk to teachers, his doctors.

I advocate.

I try not to take it personally when his illness speaks to me with contempt, and instead focus on his heart when he apologizes later. But life is hard. I cry. I doubt. I ask God why He would allow His child to be touched by mental illness.

He hasn’t responded yet.

But I believe He will.

Life is hard, but God is good.

We are all in our own mental health boot camp–and some of us start early.

[Photo: The U.S. Army, Creative Commons]

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Why Sexual Harassment at Work is Wrong

sexual harassment at work

Two things happened today that have caused me to write this blog immediately.

The first is that Mayor Filner of San Diego is resigning as of 5 PM on August 30th. The second is that I ate at the restaurant Karl Strauss for the first time since I was sexually harassed in their parking lot many years ago by a former coworker.

I am infuriated that men like Mayor Bob Filner think it’s okay and appropriate behavior to sexually harass women in the work place.

As a woman who has been sexually harassed in the work place twice, I am not only offended–I am downright angry.

Some of you may have read my story about the day that I said no and my coworker didn’t stop. It upsets me that I was the one who got in trouble, and not him, when I asked for help the next day at work.

But most of you don’t know the other story.

A story that I lived in fear to tell publicly for so long.

It makes me angry that victims are treated as the perpetrator and not the other way around. I know what it feels like to think and even believe the work place rewards men and their inappropriate behavior instead of the victim.

When I reached out after the first incident, I was told I would get in trouble for speaking up again, and that is why it took me SO long to speak up the second time.

Each time I felt helpless.

Scared.

Instead of going into further details–I want to focus on this one thing: God used both of these terrifying seasons in my life to spur me forward into writing. It’s always been about writing and sharing my story. And because I listened–I am now the author of 4 books.

Don’t.

Miss.

This.

My.

Friends.

I truly believe, if you are feeling like a victim of sexual harassment that God might have bigger plans.

Satan might feel threatened that God is on the cusp of something GREATER in your life–and that is why you’re in the middle of a situation that actually has NOTHING to do with you!

Maybe you’re afraid.

Maybe like me–you suffer with anxiety or depression, which made each situation MUCH worse.

I want to let you know that it’s okay to feel scared.

The first time, I ended up having the courage to drag my 80 pound keyboard to the second floor, and play and sing worship songs at my “non” Christian job. Songs like “He’s got the Whole World in His Hands.” In the middle of that song the power went out and all I could think about was that God’s presence was in that room. There was no denying it.

(It wasn’t until years later that I reconnected with a former coworker who thanked me for playing that day. Who never forgot my faith. Faith? Me? I thought I was the one drowning. The one not following God close enough–otherwise, why would HE LET THESE THINGS HAPPEN TO ME?).

The second time, I ended up in the Emergency Room and was put on disability for anxiety because I honestly couldn’t deal with it anymore, and didn’t know who to trust or who to talk to. I honestly thought my life, career, and writing ministry were o-v-e-r.

BUT.

BUT.

It was never about sexual harassment. That was all just a giant DISTRACTION. That is also why I don’t hold anything against anyone.

We’re all human.

We sin.

We hurt each other.

I say that now after years of anxiety medication, therapy, and lots of prayer. AND why I have faith that God can get you out of sexual harassment–or worse.

I want you to know that sexual harassment is a BIG deal whether you’re a Christian or not.

It’s just not okay.

Even after writing a book on FORGIVENESS, this is a topic that I still struggle with because both of these men never apologized.

They never got caught.

They never said they were sorry–even when I apologized (hoping they’d apologize).

To Filner, who said today in a press conference that he has never sexually harassed any woman–I’d like to say “join the club.” You and every other male who has denied–and will continue to deny claims of sexual harassment exist everywhere. I know because I’ve met a few of them. You may not get caught this side of heaven, but you will eventually–and that is what helps me sleep at night!

I will not apologize for feeling so strongly about believing why sexual harassment at work is wrong because it happened to me.

BUT.

It forever set the course of my life into new paths that have gotten me to where I am today!

I may have been naive back then, but I am certainly not naive anymore.

To the women who have not yet lost their innocence, may God continue to protect you and keep you safe! No one deserves to be sexually harassed whether at work, church, home, family, or elsewhere.

No one.

Ever.

This blog represents one of many reasons why I am looking forward to addressing the subject of mental health on the blog next month.

There is always hope.

Even when you don’t believe it–or see it. God is there, and in His arms are faith, hope, and love!

[Photo: errantfool, Flickr]

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Host a Small Group on Forgiveness

Quote 8

I recently recorded Chapter Videos to go along with my new book “Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me” for those of you who want to host a small group on forgiveness.

They go along with the Discussion Questions at the back of the book (pages 175-178).

You can cover each chapter a week for seven weeks or space it out as you desire. Since forgiveness isn’t a fluffy topic, but weighty and often times difficult–hear me when I say this–feel free to go at your own pace.

Without further ado, here is the first Chapter Video, and the rest can be viewed at http://www.forgivingme.com.

Ch: 1 Video & Chapter Discussion from Renee Fisher on Vimeo.

[Photo: rlmoore1, Creative Commons]

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Why Married Sex is the Best

why married sex is the best

[Guest Post by Aurora Vilchis – I love my friend’s heart. Not only has she has experienced both kinds of sex, but she knows which one is best and shares why. *This post was originally featured on Girls Using Their Strengths blog here).]

I like sex. There, I said it.

We live in a culture that leads us, as women, to believe that men are visual creatures who want to unclothe us by any means, and we just have to accept that even if we don’t want to. We have heard that women are forced to have sex and would rather be doing anything else but the act itself.

I’m here to say that isn’t true. 

I can’t speak for all women, but I can say that my decision to have sex, unmarried, was all my decision.

Let’s back up a few chapters.

I went to a tiny private school and followed the “Christian rules”. I prayed when told, listened when asked, and rebelled rarely. When I graduated high school and was living outside of my parents house, it was finally time to make decisions on my own. Not because someone was telling me to. I had long term relationships, some not-so-serious ones, and one that would end up taking me out of the dating scene forever, my husband. God love him.

When we met, neither of us were really into going to church, or spending time with God for that matter.

I had no set of priorities, no one to hold me accountable, and my flesh was sure to win this battle. So when the time came for the talk and decision that comes up with any and every adult relationship, I did it. You know, sex. I didn’t care if I wasn’t married and I definitely had no teacher reading me Bible verses to point me in a different direction.

And it was done.

All of those women before me who I had judged before with prideful eyes, I was one of them.

I knew what I was doing and I continued to do so completely unaware of the consequences I would face later on. At the time I made a decision to not protect my heart and body as a temple, I did it for someone I didn’t even love. Yes, I love my husband now, of course. As we faced trials together and our relationship got deeper, so did our relationships with Christ.

We started going to church and counseling after we felt like there was something missing in our lives. I once heard someone call it a Jesus-shaped hole, and those words have never been more true. We went to counseling as a couple, decided to do pre-maritial counseling, were together another year, and got married. A lot more happened along the way, but a few sentences will suffice.

Although we were married, I shamed myself for having sex when we weren’t married and it took more counseling, books, consistent prayer and lots of love and practice to view sex as a beautiful act between a husband and a wife. It was a battle and something that took a long time to put together in my mind.

I was gifted a book entitled Reclaiming Intimacy in which it reads,

“Christians don’t talk about pre-maritial sex because we are ashamed to admit that many of us have engaged in it. Admitting that we have had pre-maritial sex means admitting to being undisciplined, disobedient, and pleasure seeking.”

It’s true.

I felt alone and discouraged.

After going through all of these things with my incredible husband, we got to the place where sex was enjoyable and I finally saw what being a “Christian” really meant. I truly saw what following Christ felt like and what the grace and truth of Jesus looked like. I felt wrapped up in God’s goodness and promises and wanted to portray that same grace on others experiencing the same mistakes.

Because it’s true; God loves you, God forgives you.

Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to like sex.

Heck, it’s okay to have sex.

But what I learned about the difference between married sex and dating sex is that now I know my husband loves and views my body as something sacred and something that will only happen between him and I.

I had to forgive myself before I could truly enjoy one of the most awesome gifts God gave us, sex.

You know what they say, all good things come from Christ.

Aurora VilchisAurora Vilchis is a wife, mama and photographer, loves messy hair and messed up people. She blogs over at www.auroravilchis.com.

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Do You Want to Get Well?

Do You Want To Get Well

I believe God is serious when he asks you and I the question, “Do you want to get well?”

In John 5, we read the story of an invalid who had been seriously crippled for many, many, many, many years. In other words–a long time! The story goes,

“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gatea pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’

‘Sir,’ the invalid replied, ‘I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’

Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked (John 5:1-9, NIV).

I wonder how long you have been suffering and struggling to get into a place of healing? Every time you come close like the invalid in John 5–something or someone sabotages your chances to receive God’s healing.

Maybe it’s a co-worker.

Maybe it’s your bank account (or lack thereof).

Maybe it’s a family member.

Or maybe it’s your own excuses (ouch!).

But I have to wonder if un-forgiveness is one of the things stopping you from walking in healing.

David, a man familiar with suffering, pain, forgiveness, and repentance wrote,

“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:1-5, NIV).

My story is similar. 

When I kept silent my skin (not bones) wasted away. Literally. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in the hospital bed at San Diego Children’s Hospital with no skin on my face and feet. All because I had cried over a boy. I couldn’t let go. I couldn’t forgive him for leading me on. I wanted nothing more than to feel loved again. I went three whole days before my mom could get me to stop crying. At that point my body broke down. The rash that had started on my toe spread across the tops of my feet and then to my face when I rubbed the tears off my face.

I share how miserable I was because I know that I’m not the only one who struggles with unforgiveness.

I share my story in my new book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me because I had never experienced God’s in such a powerful way, that was what caused me to finally believe.

Guess what?

This past week, I visited Family Christian Stores and found they will be placing Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me in the Wellness section. At first, I thought it would be in the Christian Living section. Nope! Next I thought it would be in Women’s Interest section. Wrong again. When I found out FCS is placing my book in the Wellness section I had to catch my breath.

Family Christian Stores

“Forgiveness doesn’t just affect relationships, but the body, soul, mind, and strength. It took my body ten years to heal from that health crash. I don’t know why God didn’t step in and heal me. But because God allowed my rash to spread I have an even bigger story to tell–one that doesn’t just end with forgiveness but restoration.” (Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, 115)?

Today, choose to let go of your unforgiveness and watch God heal you of your past hurts, present circumstances, and future fears.

Do you want to get well?

Say it with me, “YES!”

[Photo: ergobachmann, Flickr]

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Forgiveness is a Choice

Forgiveness is a Choice

Forgiveness is a choice and the only person you have control over is yourself.

The only attitude you can control is your own. We can’t control what other people do, how they act, or what they feel. We can only make choices for ourselves.

For instance, Paul knew his story was less than perfect.

Before his conversion, he persecuted Christians! But he didn’t let the sins of the past stop him from becoming a mighty Christ-follower. He received the title of apostle because he wasn’t afraid to truly let God transform him. He gave his weaknesses to God and became a new man. The former enemy of Christians became one of the most influential leaders of the early church.

To read the rest of my new article and enter to win a free copy of my latest book Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me please click here.

[Photo: Aya Dajani, Flickr]

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