April 21, 2018

Peace in the Midst of Your Storm

Wildfires raging out of control in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Catastrophic record-breaking flooding in Texas. Severe threats from Irma across Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. How can you find peace when you lift up your eyes and all you see is orange sky and smoke-covered sun? When you wade through chest-high water to find your home of thirty years destroyed beyond repair? When injury and loss capture every waking moment? Life gets turned upside-down and there’s nothing anyone can do to make things right again. No amount of time or money can replace what's been lost. No amount of comfort can fill that emptiness of grief. How can there be peace in the midst of [...Read More]

Trust God With the Hard Questions

If you've ever studied the life of Abraham, you could probably identify his passion fairly easily. His long, uncertain journey of faith; his willing obedience to God's extraordinary commands; his unwavering confidence in God's direction and provision... everything that is recorded for us about him points to the passion that characterized his life: knowing God intimately. He lived out that passion as his highest priority. Even thousands of years and hundreds of cultures later, it is easy to see that everything he did was for the purpose of knowing God fully and obeying Him completely. One part of his life that speaks powerfully to this passion is his patience in waiting for a [...Read More]

Your Health Is Not Everything

We place such a premium on physical health. We spend money on gym memberships, workout equipment, quality running shoes, and music to run by. We count calories, carbs, and sugars, and worry about choosing the right kinds of fat. We drink green smoothies, research symptoms online until we're paranoid, and stock up on supplements that promise younger, slimmer, healthier bodies. Our bodies are king, and they must be appeased. I'm guilty of thinking that way, too. I'd like to think I have a valid reason to focus on my health. After all, I have a chronic illness -- which includes insomnia, chronic fatigue, weakened immune system, chronic inflammation, migraines, and a little extra [...Read More]

Your Suffering Is Not About You

Life is not about me, and it is not about you. Life is about God. Everything that happens in this life -- every person who is born and every one who dies, every major world event and every minor 'coincindence', every joy and every pain -- is all about God, and His plan, and His desires. Which means that everything in me must be about God. My thoughts, my desires, my words, and my emotions -- and even my suffering -- must be about GOD, rather than me. About what pleases HIM, what brings honor to HIS name, rather than what is convenient or comfortable for me. Author and theologian Layton Talbert explains this further in his book Beyond Suffering (affiliate link), an in-depth study on [...Read More]

Choosing Gratitude: Chapter 8

Welcome to the Choosing Gratitude study! If you’re not sure what this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more details. Choose Gratitude -- But Not Without Sacrifice Gratitude is more than just a pleasing sentiment. It's more than smiley faces and greeting cards. It takes hard work, and it costs something real. It involves sacrifice. "Out in the byways of real life, a grateful heart must often strap on sword and shield, summon up its deepest courage, and brace itself for battle." Consider Job. Think of all he lost -- his family, his servants, his livestock, his wealth, his health, even his friends. But is there any [...Read More]

Suggested Reading about Physical Affliction

I want to start compiling a list of biblically sound books that are relevant to physical suffering. They might relate to dealing with a particular disease, or how to handle an emotional response to physical problems, or how to biblically discern proper medical treatment. They might be counseling books, memoirs, novels, or devotionals. I plan to keep a running list of these books over at TouchingtheHemBook.com, so check back there for any future recommendations on the topic. Meanwhile, here's the beginning of that list:   Laurie's Story: Discovering Joy In Adversity by Laurie Elmore Thompson. Another story of suffering turned into blessing! Laurie's family was in a horrible car crash [...Read More]

Let’s Chat: Getting Through Tough Times

What gets you through difficult seasons of physical suffering? Personally, I depend on the prayers of friends & family, encouraging Christian music, lots of books, recordings of the Psalms, and my favorite hot pack. What about you? Prayer, friends, favorite music, sleep, special family time, books, favorite Scripture passages, certain routines...??? Share your favorites in the comments, and let's get chatting! And invite your friends: click here to tweet about it!     Have you been keeping up with Touching the Hem on Facebook? If not, there's several giveaways going on for an autographed copy of my new book! Enter at The Deliberate Reader (ends [...Read More]