Thursday, December 31, 2009

Not Because of Sin


A verse hit me this morning during my quiet time. John 9: 1-4
1 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.
2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.
4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us.
Of course I have read this passage many times but I was struck by the third verse.
3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.
When "bad" things happen, it isn't because you did something wrong. God allows those interrupted expectations to occur because He wants to further His Kingdom. He wants to be gloried in our rough times.

As I have blogged, I struggle with the why-me attitude. Why did I have to lose a sister? There is one thing that I can hang my hat on - there were approx 20 people saved at my sister's funeral. That's right - 20 people are going to Heaven because of my sister's death.

When I start stomping around feeling sorry for myself, the Holy Spirit taps me on the shoulder and says "your pain is not in vain."

You maybe don't have knowledge of people becoming Christians because of your Interrupted Expectation. But, that doesn't mean that God doesn't want to use you.

- Is there someone around you who is experiencing the same thing? Go and encourage them.
- Is there a ministry at your church where God could use your story?
- Blog about what God taught you. Use this or your own blog to encourage people?
- Send a card in the mail to a person who is hurting. Put a smile on their face when they open the mailbox.

What are you doing to let God use your story?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Review: The Sweet By and By

544890: The Sweet By and By

The Sweet By and By

Combine an upcoming wedding, a hippie mom, and a haunting past. A beautiful story of forgiveness is created.

I was sorry that I started the book The Sweet By and Byover the Christmas season because all I wanted to do was read! Authors Sara Evans and Rachel Hauk drew you into the book with luring descriptions and emotions created on each page. About the time that I felt I had the ending figured out, a new twist to the plot occurred for the main character, Jade.

In a past post, I quoted this book. Many more blogs could have been written because this novel is filled with Interrupted Expectations. Unlike the typical current Interrupted Expectations written about on this blog, Jade learns to deal with past hurts. Items that she and her fiancĂ© agreed to leave in the past and not mention – every. Traveling life’s journey, the “back-burner” experiences always boil up.

This is a book that needs to be read. But, I want to preface that statement with – this could be a very difficult story to read for people who have had similar circumstances in life. The amazing thing is that through all of the emotions that this book evokes, you too can find God’s love and forgiveness.

Momma C Rating:

View at:Amazonor Christianbook.com

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Food for Thought



No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another

- Charles Dickens


What are you doing to encourage someone else?







Image from Faithclipart.com

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas



My prayer goes out to each of you today as Christmas can be so hard when you are in the valley of Interrupted Expectations. May you feel God's love holding you tight.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Send Jesus Back on the Cross

544890: The Sweet By and ByThe Sweet By and By

I was asked to review the new release The Sweet By and By written by author and recording artist Sara Evans. Although the entire review will come later, I was struck by a conversation two characters in the book have.

"I can't imagine what angst exists between you and your mama. Were you abused? Pardon my frankness."
"No."
"My granny, bless her soul, used to say, "Whatever ill you have against someone isn't worth sending the Lord Jesus back to the cross."
"I don't even know what that means...but I am not sending Jesus anywhere."
"It means Jesus' love and forgiveness is sufficient for any wrong or voilation done to us, Jade. Don't you think it's powerful enough for you and your mama? This I do know...you need to forgive your mother for whatever it is that she did to you. Belive me, holding a grudge does nothing but deepen and widen your hurt."
This lead me to think about a situation in my life right now. I am mad at God that we have to deal with it. But who is my anger and bitterness hurting? Me. All it does it provide a road for satan to entire my thoughts.

As Christmas is around the corner, we are all thrown into situations with people who have hurt us. We have expectations as to what a family should be.  We have expectations of how the holidays should go.  We gave expectations of how people should act.  But life throws us yet another Interrupted Expectation. 

People do and say some really stupid things. Feelings get hurt and walls get built. But is it worth "sending the Lord Jesus back to the cross"?

View at: Christianbook.com
or Amazon

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Listen to the Christmas Story for Free - Created by Matthew West




Christian recording artist and author of 101 Ways to Give This Christmas Away, Matthew West is offering a free download of the Christmas story from Luke read by the singer/songwriter himself. You can also download a free copy of the Gospel of John in the New Living Translation.

Here is the link:  The Christ of Christmas

Some ways this download is being used:
- Family time listening experience (hot cocoa, fire place, Christmas cheer)
- Christmas E-cards (include a link to the download in your Christmas card this year)
- Posting the link in the comments sections of other blogs you read to spread the word
- Embed the audio file into your Facebook page or website so it plays automatically
- Spread the Gospel though Twitter
- Send the link through a text message or through your smart phone so you can download the file and play it all around town

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Emotions of Grief

In October I wrote about a day set aside as a day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance. The Remembering Our Babies Foundation like this site desires to help those who are hurting.

On their website is a wealth of information about grieving. Below are three emotions that they target during grief.

Anger is a common emotion following a death. You may find yourself angry at a situation, at a person in particular, or just angry in general. You will often find that you take out this anger on those closest around you. You cannot choose to be angry, but you can choose how to express it. Try holding an imaginary conversation with the person you are angry with, or write them a letter that only you need to see. What is making you angry with this person? Talk or write out all of your feeling about that person or situation. Understanding your anger is the first step toward dealing with it. Hit a pillow, kick a bed, play tennis, or scream if it makes you feel better! The experts claim that exercise is an excellent stress reliever.

Whether rational or not, appropriate or not, almost everyone experiences guilt. Guilt can be triggered by almost anything, but usually comes under the heading of “I could have, I should have, I wish I would have...” Acknowledge guilt, by looking at each situation, write it down if you need to. If you feel your guilt is warranted, write an apology--even if you are the only one to read it. Vow to learn from your mistakes and move on.

Depression - Sometimes feelings of numbness and shock go on longer than the first few weeks. Although it is common to experience some of these earlier symptoms from time to time, it is not a good sign to have these symptoms constantly. Be sure to have at least one person that you can discuss your feelings with. Even better, join a bereavement group. Talk to your doctor about how you feel, and perhaps seek a counselor for further treatment. Call a crisis hotline if you ever feel that you may consider suicide.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Infertility is Real

Everywhere I turn I find people who are or have experienced infertility. The God-given desire to have a baby is strong and real.

There is no getting around it. People you don't even know ask when are you going to start a family. Friends around you are "surprised" by a pregnancy. High school girls are getting pregnant. Mother's Day comes once a year to remind you...you are not a mother. Is God really saying "no" or "just wait"?

I can look back and see God's hand in our 1 1/2 years of infertility. I realize now how His timing was perfect. Easy to say now that God has said "yes" three times to my husband and I. But being in the middle of it, your heart aches.

Here are a few things that I learned in that year and a half:

- People are stupid and nosy. Don't ever ask or tease someone about starting a family. You never know how many doctor visits that they have gone to.

- Don't assume anything. You don't know what happens behind closed doors.

- Infertility can draw a husband and wife together or pull them apart. It is up to you whether you allow bitterness and anger to take hold.

- Statistics mean nothing to God.

- It doesn't matter if you have the best doctor and the best that medicine can offer, God creates life in His timing.

- Infertility doesn't mean that you are doing something wrong in your life. Spend time on your knees but not with blame. For some reason - which may have nothing to do with you - God is saying "not now."

Hannah's Prayer Ministry is a wonderful ministry to provide Christian support for fertility challenges and miscarriages. Included on the site is a forum, links to other sites, and recommended books.

Is there a book or website that you can suggest?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Review: Treasured

074815: Treasured: Knowing God by the Things He Keeps
Treasured: Knowing God by the Things He Keeps

By Leigh McLeroy / Random House, Inc

* If God had a box of souvenirs to remind him of things that matter most, what would it hold? Blending personal stories with Scripture, McLeroy examines the mysteries of heaven through tangible symbols of God's goodness, grace, and mercy---a fig leaf from Eden, Hagar's waterskin, a blood-stained strip of fabric . . . .
As I read the book Treasured: Knowing God by the Things He Keeps, I knew immediately that this book needed to be put on the Interrupted Expectations website.

Grief has a way of monopolizing itself. You feel overwhelmed in every area of your life. It is easy to feel like the world is falling on top of you. Leigh McLeroy opens your eyes to the little treasures that God gives us each and every day. As I read the book, I felt the layers of yuck peel off as I climbed out of a pit of lies. I was reminded of God's love for His "most precious possession" - me!

With thirteen short chapters, this book can be used as a personal devotion or group discussion. It even includes discussion questions and scripture to help you dig deeper. McLeroy uses similes and metaphors like I have never read before. The imagery comes to life on each page. This is not a deep book. The message is very simple. So grab a cup of coffee and allow God to show you that you are His precious possession and climb out of that pit of lies.

This book was provided to me for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.