Why you should stop trying to change yourself ... and instead accept the gift of conviction. read more
All Stories in Straight Talk
Page 6 of 15
Someone once said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Change is a part of life. It’s also uncomfortable and can be scary. Here are a few facts about change:
It’s a process. And it’s often a lengthy one that requires long-term commitment.
It’s frightening. Even though we usually want change, we also like to be in control. But we have to be willing to let go of something to move toward something new—without knowing exactly what the new thing will be like.
It takes action. It comes when we confront our fears. read more
How would you like to live every day like you were on vacation, as if it were a day away from work? You can, if you’ll learn how to really enter God’s rest.
My life used to be one big struggle. I was unhappy about almost everything and difficult to get along with because of the abuse I endured during my childhood.
In the early years of my marriage, I wanted Dave to be miserable because I was miserable. And it just about drove me crazy when he stayed happy while I was unhappy. He refused to join my pity parties and accept my negative perspective of life, and it made me mad. read more
Have you ever spent weeks—even years—praying about one specific thing and still found yourself wondering, When is God going to answer this prayer? If so, I know exactly how you feel.
When I pray, I really want my prayers to be answered. I know faith, patience and timing all are in the mix, but sooner or later I need to hear from God.
The fact is, He gives us some pretty outrageous promises in His Word about prayer. If you’re not seeing the fruit of those promises and if you’re still in the waiting period, I encourage you to simply ask why.
At several times in my life I’ve had to get honest with myself and say: “OK, God, I see what the Word says. Why isn’t it working for me?”
Each time, God has led me to ask myself three very direct questions. I believe they can also help you to find the answers you’ve been seeking. read more
Psst ... need a clue? Check your heart.
Are you a content, satisfied, joyful Christian? If you are, can you say that you are consistently content, satisfied and joyful? I know few Christians who are consistently content. I used to be one of the discontent.
I grew up in an abusive situation and experienced a lot of disappointment, discouragement and discontentment because of it. For many years I believed good things wouldn’t happen to me and that it was better to expect nothing so I wouldn’t be disappointed. Well, it didn’t work, and I was still miserable anyway. See, I was expecting nothing, and nothing is what I got.
It was a breakthrough for me when I realized that God truly loves me unconditionally and has good plans for my life. He wants to bless me and be good to me. But He also wants me to trust Him and put my expectation in Him so He can do great things in my life. read more
How to avoid the traps of religion and enjoy a real relationship with God
As a teacher of God’s Word, I have a great responsibility to equip people with the knowledge of how to live a holy life and not be legalistic. It’s part of addressing the age-old issue in the church of liberty versus legalism—by helping believers understand how to be free in Christ instead of “holier than thou.” But in our quest for freedom, we can’t forget that God is a holy God, and He does want us to live holy lives.
A good place to start is by simply understanding the difference between what real holiness actually means and what legalism looks like.
“Holy” means being separate and set apart for God’s use. It’s about belonging to God, not the world, and pleasing God, not man. The focus is on God’s love and grace—God’s power, given to us free of charge, to enable us to do with ease what we could never do with any amount of struggle or effort. It’s having a heart that desires to do what’s right because you love God, not because you want to try to earn something from God or impress anybody. read more
The key to a life of peace is accepting God’s amazing grace
I spent a lot of years being frustrated about a lot of things. But one of my biggest problems used to be the frustration I had about me. I didn’t like myself.
So I tried very hard to change. I didn’t like my personality. I felt like I was too bold, straightforward, loud and expressive. Along with that, it seemed that every message I heard at church (and we were in church a lot) just pointed out more things that were wrong with me. I remember at times wondering, How can one person have so much wrong with them? read more
You can give God the time He deserves—and here’s how
Are you faithful to God or are you having an affair?
James 4:4 (AMP) says, “You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy?”
This is basically saying that when we care about anyone or anything more than God, or when we trust in and lean on anyone or anything more than Him, He is not first place in our lives. In other words, we are unfaithful. read more
Are you just hanging on, trying to make it through the day? Then it’s time to live within the boundaries of God’s Word.
Are you living an unsustainable life? Have you ever said things like, “I can’t keep this up much longer. If I have to live like this one more year, it’s probably going to finish me off. It’s all just too much!”
Do you feel like you’re on a treadmill, and if you try to get off everything will fall apart, so you just keep going?
This is what it means to “live on the edge.” read more
By keeping our bodies in tip-top shape we can truly do God's work the way He intended.
If you suffer from self-doubt or self-hatred, abuse your body with bad food or bad habits, or regularly find yourself at the bottom of the list of people you do things for, then you do not understand your own value.
I believe that many people today are experiencing a self-respect crisis. This condition has to change in order for us to lead effective Christian lives. read more