Category Archives: Healing

Another Gospel

They tell you to ignore and deny your sickness, depression, and pain. And when you pray, and nothing changes, it’s YOUR fault, because you don’t have enough faith.

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How many of you know that’s a bunch of hogwash?

For whatever reason, some people have a hard time wrapping their minds around the fact that depression and anxiety is an illness and disability. Much like someone who lost an arm or a limb.

However, there are some in Christendom who believe if you are struggling with any kind of illness or disease, it is either a result of unrepentant sin, demons, or a lack of faith. So, on top of suffering, there is the guilt, blame and shame added to the mix for good measure.

I happen to be an open minded person, but I have a real problem with this false teaching being purported as truth. I have been exposed to a lot in my life, and have learned a great deal in my search for God. The one thing I can tell you is that these so-called faith healers are fake, and if they do exhibit any so-called power to heal, you must question the origin from hence it came, because not everything “supernatural” is of God.

I am here to tell you, that if you are a Christian who struggles with any kind of illness or disability, you are not alone and are no less a Christian for it. Jesus never said we wouldn’t be sick or suffer here on earth. He said we will have to pick up our Cross and follow Him.

I read this morning in Matthew 10:18, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” Hmm, did you catch that… “not worthy of me.”

Jesus said it like it is. These fresh revelations, or new insights of the Word of God that these self-proclaimed apostles and prophets tell you is not biblical doctrine, but another gospel.

Today, the Church has strayed so far away from the truth, it’s sad. They have a distorted, confused and mixed up doctrine. What makes matters worse is that Christians don’t like to read their Bible. They’d rather be spoon feed, than dig into it themselves. What they fail to realize is they are doing themselves a huge disservice.

I do believe God heals. However, I no longer believe in those who claim to be used of God to heal others. God is God. He doesn’t need intermediaries. All God desires that we pray, have faith, and follow Him, whether we get healed or not.

Don’t Go To Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight by Deb & Ron DeArmond


Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Price: $14.99
Purchase: Amazon | CBD | BN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

We’ve all been there. He doesn’t understand what she’s really upset about. He thinks she blows things out of proportion. Neither of you can agree on the right course of action. In every marriage, there is conflict. And with every conflict, there is a choice for resolution. Will you ignore the issue until it seemingly goes away? Or will you work together to find peace?

In Don’t Go to Bed Angry, Deb and Ron DeArmond give you permission to fight. Marriage is worth fighting for. Conflict isn’t the problem, after all; the real issue is how we deal with the conflict. Combining a healthy dose of personal experience with relationship-affirming biblical wisdom, Deb and Ron demonstrate how communication through conflict can lead to greater insight and understanding of thoughts, feelings, and perspectives that can safeguard–and even strengthen–your relationship. Immensely practical features including worksheets, discussion questions, callouts, and prayers make this a definitive go-to resource to help you start fighting–together–for your marriage.

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Review

Wow! I have read books on marriage, and I have to say, this book takes the cake. There is so much to like about it. Seriously. You would think for a short book, it wouldn’t contain so much relevant information, but it does and then some.

The main premise of this book is how to communicate in a marriage and tools on how to resolve conflict effectively. I honestly wish this book existed before I married my husband thirteen years ago. I pretty much did everything this book advises against.

I have gotten into conversations with friends about how there isn’t a guidebook on what to do when you get married. Here you have two people coming together, from different worlds, upbringings, and communication styles. You know the saying, the “honeymoon is over?” Well, when you start living with your spouse, stuff starts coming up and if you don’t know how to fight fairly, or resolve conflict, you are going to find yourself in a very precarious situation. Don’t God To Bed Angry can help as it is a guidebook on how to do marriage successfully.

So, for any of you who are thinking of getting married or are married, I highly, and I mean HIGHLY, recommend this book. It doesn’t matter how many years you have been married, or how many problems you have had, or even if you are at the brink of divorce, you need to get this book. The information contained in this book alone, if practiced and applied, can revolutionize and save your marriage. Guaranteed.

This is by far one of the best marriage books I have read in years. I give five stars, but if I could give it more, I would. I will be referring to this book and recommending it to everyone.

In conclusion, I want to thank authors, Deb and Ron DeArmond for sharing their lives by helping me and other married couples. I also want to thank Abingdon Press for publishing this gem of a book, and last but not least, my Litfuse Publicity Group family for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to review. Thank you, it truly blessed my life.

Deb DeArmond is an author, speaker, and coach with a focus on communication, relationships, and conflict resolution. Her writing explores marriage, parenting, in-law and extended family relationships. She is the author of “Related By Chance, Family By Choice” and “I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last.” Deb is the founder of Living-Write, where she coaches aspiring authors. She’s monthly columnist and feature writer for Lifeway’s “Mature Living” Magazine, and has published more than 120 articles online and in print publications. Ron DeArmond has a hungry heart for the Word, and has studied the Bible for 45+ years. Ron’s call to serve men is evident in his previous ministry positions with Christian Men’s Network under Dr. Edwin Lewis Cole and Faithful Men Ministry. Ron is currently the Associate Pastor of men’s ministry at Catch the Fire/ DFW and has ministered around the world. The DeArmonds live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell


Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN-10: 0718037626
ISBN-13: 978-0718037628
Price: $15.99
Purchase: Amazon | BN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

“Feathers—no matter what size or shape or color—are all the same, if you think about them. They’re soft. Delicate. But the secret thing about feathers is . . . they are very strong.”

In the pre-Katrina glow of New Orleans, Amanda Salassi is anxious about chaperoning her daughter’s sixth-grade field trip to the Big Easy during Halloween. And then her worst fears come true. Her daughter’s best friend, Sarah, disappears amid the magic and revelry—gone, without a trace.

Unable to cope with her guilt, Amanda’s daughter sinks into depression. And Amanda’s husband turns destructive as he watches his family succumb to grief. Before long, Amanda’s whole world has collapsed.

Amanda knows she has to save herself before it’s too late. As she continues to search for Sarah, she embarks on a personal journey, seeking hope and purpose in the wake of so much tragedy and loss.

Set amidst the murky parishes of rural Louisiana and told through the eyes of two women who confront the darkest corners of humanity with quiet and unbreakable faith, The Feathered Bone is Julie Cantrell’s master portrait of love in a fallen world.

Review

The Feathered Bone is a fictional account on human trafficking and its aftermath. The story centers around Sarah, who was abducted on a school field trip in New Orleans on Amanda’s watch. The premise of the book surrounds Sarah’s sudden disappearance and its effect on everyone, predominantly Amanda and Ellie, who was Sarah’s best friend.

Instead of Amanda getting the help and support of her husband Carl, she received the complete opposite. The irony is Amanda was a counselor for victims of domestic violence, yet she herself was one. Carl was unable to see beyond himself and placed the blame on Amanda for anything and everything. He was abusive, and eventually left her for a younger woman, when she and their daughter Ellie needed him the most. This pushed Ellie’s depression further, until yet another tragedy ensued, leaving Amanda shattered and hopeless.

The Feathered Bone is a sad, but redemptive story about faith, hope, love and forgiveness.

Personally, I had a difficult time reading this book. One, because it was depressing and two, certain parts of it dragged for me. However, I still rated it five stars based on its original content and writing.

Julie Cantrell is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Into the Free, the 2013 Christy Award winning Book of the Year and recipient of the Mississippi Library Association’s Fiction Award. Cantrell has served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and is a recipient of the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship. Her second novel, When Mountains Move, won the 2014 Carol Award for Historical Fiction and, like her debut, was selected for several Top Reads lists. Visit her online at juliecantrell.wordpress.com, Facebook: juliecantrellauthor, and Twitter: JulieCantrell.

At A Crossroad

Have you ever found yourself sitting back and evaluating your life? Well, this year has been one of those for me, as I find myself at a crossroad.

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Crossroads aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Yes, they make us feel uncomfortable and force us to face the unknown. But, none of us knows what lies ahead, life is one big leap of faith anyway.

Growing pains never feel good, neither does facing the truth about yourself and the choices you’ve made that have lead you to where you are today.

Let’s face it, we all want easy, simple, and less complicated. However, life will never hand us a box of chocolate covered strawberries neatly tied with a bow on top. I’ve learned that things will get messy before they get better.

So what do you do in the meantime?

For one, don’t run. Running won’t solve anything. Sit with your feelings, look at it for what it is, analyze why you are where you are, and if there is something you can do differently not to repeat the same pattern.

Second, get help. It’s okay to seek counseling when life feels overwhelming. Some people may not admit it to you, but everyone goes through rough patches in life. None of us are exempt from difficult or hard times.

I can’t tell you how much the rooms have helped me throughout my life. It’s a gift when you are afforded the opportunity to learn about yourself and receive unbiased support.

Pain is a signal, a sign for you to pay closer attention. Be brave and courageous. Face it. Delve into those areas that hurt the most. Don’t be afraid. You’ll be surprised at what you discover, and how free you’ll feel as a result.

Do you find yourself at a crossroad today? If so, how are you coping or dealing with it. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

This Quiet Madness

Have you ever wanted to give up? You look around you and everything looks grey? A sense of hopelessness envelopes you, that you can’t seem to shake it off?

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Well, you are not alone. Throughout my life, I have struggled with the torment composed of invisible scars. I’ve danced to the same tune more times than I care to admit.

It’s a combination of hopelessness, worthlessness and despair rolled into one. Unless someone goes through it, they won’t understand. So it’s like you are walking through life, on the outside looking in. Disconnected, disoriented, and in a bubble.

I get it, I do. You wonder when you will ever feel “normal”? Whatever normal is. You try hard to mask the gnawing pain with a smile. Sometimes someone will *see* and a wave of shame will come over you. Pushing you to hide, avoid and isolate even more.

This quiet madness is as real as real can be. No one knows how you truly feel or what you are going through. These invisible whips and chains torture you daily.

The incessant voices inside your head telling you, you don’t matter. You are worthless, you have no value, and you are failure.

Yes, yes… I know all too well what this is about. I’m living it right now.

Are you surprised? Don’t be. Most people don’t know the road I’ve been on, or the suffering and pain I’ve endured.

These invisible scars are hidden from the naked eye, but this silent disability is alive and well. It frames my life, and experiences.

I long for the day where I can truly be free. I envision the day where I can fly. Where I won’t be subjected to people’s opinions, or criticisms. Where I can be me and accepted and loved unconditionally for who I am without judgment. Or perhaps reach the point, where it won’t matter anymore.

This journey of mine has been a long and hard one. There have been times I have wanted to give up. But as hard as it is, by the grace of God, I continue on. I am grateful for the praying friends God has graciously placed in my life who know of my internal struggle.

I am writing this post today for those of you who may be struggling too. Depression and anxiety are real. It’s considered a disability. Please join me in trying not to beat yourself up. Know that you are not alone, that God is with you and somehow, someway, you will heal and overcome. Be encouraged even in the midst of the storm. God promised to never leave or forsake you. I’m gripping on to that word for dear life. I hope you will too.

If you are struggling, please let me know in the comment section below. You are not alone. Let’s pray for one another. There is power in prayer and community.

The Stigma of Shame

I have been doing a study on shame. It’s been something I have been avoiding to delve into for quite some time. Why? Well, who really wants to start digging up old doo-doo.

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Shame is one of those things you would rather just hide, ignore or bury, than have to face or look at. Shame is much more pervasive than guilt.

The stigma of shame is something humanity struggles with, if some realize it or not. We all mask it differently. God forbid we feel naked or exposed… that will only bring about more feelings of shame.

Some people think it is guilt they are feeling or struggling with, when in actuality it is shame. Shame is deeper and stems from messages you were told as a child. Shame is connected with self loathing and disgust of one self.

Those who have suffered from sexual abuse, carry the stigma of shame in its most palatable form.

So what do we do once we know that shame is pretty much controlling and navigating our existence? Well, we delve right into the abyss and unravel its mysteries.

There is a passage of Scripture that I always identified with, the story of the man with a withered hand. (Mark 3:3) This man walked around hiding his hand, until Jesus who had compassion, healed him on the Sabbath. He told him to stretch forth his hand and he was instantly healed.

Sometimes we have to risk exposure in order to heal. Yes, it is humiliating at first, just as it was for the man with the shriveled hand. He had to expose it in front of everyone in the Synagogue. He had to demonstrate courage to overcome his shame and allow Jesus to heal him.

It’s sort of like the pus of an infection, if you keep covering it, it will only get worse. You have to expose and clean it, in order for it to heal. Same applies to the inner infection of shame.

If you struggle with shame, know that you aren’t alone. If you desire to heal, then you must be willing to risk and face the Goliath in your life. Once you do, you will experience freedom. This is something I’m striving for and want in my life.

Do you struggle from shame? When was  your earliest recollection?

One Reason Why Marriages Fail

There seems to be an epidemic with failed marriages. It’s not only happening in secular circles, but also in Christian ones too.

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I’m not a marriage expert. I only share things based on my own personal observation and experience.

This famous expression holds true, Know Thyself.

One of the reasons why marriages fail is because people rush, instead of taking their time and getting to know themselves first.

If you don’t know who you are, how can you possibly select the right person to spend the rest of your life with?

We bought into the lie Hollywood sold us, falling for an illusion or fantasy of romance and marriage.

We want to be swept off our feet and saved by another person. So, we convince ourselves that when we finally meet someone, we will be happy and fulfilled.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Only God can save us, not a person. People can’t give us what we don’t already have inside.

We are in such a rush to hook up with someone and get married that we wind up marrying the wrong person.

I understand that we don’t want to be alone. However, in our desperation, we rush and don’t take the time to analyze whether or not the person is right for us.

Feelings can be deceiving. Those warm and fuzzy feelings pass like gas.

God admonishes us to be patient and exercise wisdom in all things. Being desperate or rushing into anything, especially a marriage, is a huge mistake.

When we get caught up or obsessed in finding a partner, instead of learning who we are and what we want first, we can end up with the wrong person.

Rush, rush, rush… Hurry, hurry, hurry… leads to misery.

So many people are falling in and out of love these days, it’s mind boggling. However, I am realizing why that is, and it’s because people don’t know who they are.

When you don’t know who you are and what you want, your ability to choose the right person is hindered.

People don’t want to do the preliminary work necessary to be with someone or become the right person for their future partner.

We think “love” if the only thing we need. Don’t get me wrong, love is important. However, it’s not everything. There are other factors contingent upon sustaining a long term, healthy and fulfilling marriage.

It all comes down to knowing yourself. If you know and love yourself first, then you have a better chance of finding the right person to marry and not end up disappointed, disillusioned and ultimately, divorced.

Trust me, I’ve been at this for a while now. Do yourself a favor and readjust your focus. Instead of obsessing on marriage, get to know who you are and what you want first. You will save yourself a lot of grief, and hurt in the long run.

Have you taken the time necessary to get to know yourself or heal from your past, instead of focusing on finding someone and getting married?

 

The Making Of A Prophet by Jennifer LeClaire

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Chosen Books (February 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800795628
ISBN-13: 978-0800795627
Price: $12.99
Purchase: Amazon | CBD | BN

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

Now what?

In this book, leading prophetic voice Jennifer LeClaire guides readers along the journey of a prophet– from the initial call all the way through to maturity.

This process is anything but easy. But LeClaire offers honest, accessible counsel to help you move into your prophetic call. Her spiritual insights will help you overcome the fear of man, identify and eliminate wrong motives and, above all, pursue intimacy with God.

Many prophets are called . . . but not everyone endures the making process; to his or her prophetic destiny.

God is looking for people to entrust with the secrets of His heart.

Embrace the journey toward your call with this comprehensive, practical guide, and experience the awesome process of being formed into a mouthpiece for the God of the universe.

Review

I have read many books on this topic and The Making of a Prophet was the best I’ve read thus far.

When I first selected this book to review, I was on the fence about it. Since the other books I read were a disappointment. This book was different than all the other books I’ve read on this subject.

The Making of a Prophet is a practical and biblical guide to what it truly is to be used of God as a prophet and also, the great responsibility and cost that is associated with this office.

LeClaire does not sugar coat anything. She tells it like it is. She derives and shares from her own personal experiences; the mistakes as well as the victories.

Her writing style is honest, down to earth and real which I find refreshing in this day and age.

Especially with so many today in the prophetic ministry, who call themselves “prophets” and go around using, abusing and exploiting their so-called gift for their own personal gain, status or recognition.

If you want to read a sound and no nonsense book on this subject, I highly recommend you read, The Making of a Prophet.*

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Jennifer LeClaire is a prophetic voice and teacher with a growing media ministry. She directs IHOP-Fort Lauderdale and serves as news editor of Charisma magazine. In addition, she writes one of Charisma‘s most popular prophetic columns, “The Plumb Line,” and frequently contributes to Charisma‘s Prophetic Insight newsletter. Her media ministry includes her website, 40,000 followers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and a growing newsletter list. She lives in south Florida. Learn more at www.jenniferleclaire.org.

 

 

 

Do You Gossip?

I find around the holiday’s people tend to engage in gossip more than usual. Sometimes the holiday’s brings the worst out of some people.

Gossipers preface what they have to say with, “Promise you won’t say anything…”

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But, do they know, that the information will eventually get back to the person their gossiping about?

When I get wind of someone who has gossiped behind my back, while smiling at my face, I want very little to do with them. I honestly do not care if they are family either.

If a so-called family member or friend has the audacity to talk garbage about me (or those I love) behind my back, I want nothing to do with them.

I forgive them, but I keep it moving. Life is too short to be around those who speak ill of you.

I’ve come to the conclusion that those who engage in gossip, don’t have your best interest in mind. They only care about themselves and whatever thrill they get in bashing other people behind their backs.

Gossip is negative and destructive, causing unnecessary harm and irreparable damage to relationships.

The Bible says, whatever is hidden will be brought to light. (Luke 8:17). The light pierces the darkness and truth is always revealed.

The person who engages in gossip, talking negatively about others, is actually causing themselves more harm than good.

Think about it… if you continued to hear from different sources that someone, whether a family member or a friend is talking badly about you, wouldn’t you distrust and lose respect for them?

An individual who engages in defamation or slander of another person, thinks they are not doing anything wrong, but it’s quite the contrary.

Gossipers cause harm and stand more to lose than gain.

Once the information finds its way back to the person, the gossiper is found out, and well, they will never be looked at the same way. No matter how much they smile and act nice, the damage is done.

If you engage in gossip, whether it is casual or consented, please think twice before doing so. Why not start the new year fresh by asking the Lord to help you not talk about other people behind their backs? I know it’s easier said than done, but gossiping is hurtful and the damage it creates is irreversible.

Do you gossip? Have you ever been a victim of gossip by family members, close friends or coworkers? How did it make you feel?

Holy Is The Day by Carolyn Weber

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: IVP Books (October 6, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0830843078
ISBN-13: 978-0830843077
Price: $12.00
Purchase: Amazon| BN | CBD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

Life pulls us in many directions, sometimes even to the point of pulling our souls apart. We know rest and reflection are necessary for a healthy life—even Jesus took time to get away from the crowds, away from the demands of everyday life, to pray, to spend time with close friends, to sleep.

But when Carolyn Weber—emotionally and physically exhausted from managing her career as a college professor, writing her first book and parenting three children under the age of three—hears this truth from a friend, all she can think is: but who will do everything if I don’t?

And this sets her on a journey to find the still, small space in each day.

In these pages Carolyn reflects on the eternal beauty that lurks within the present. Drawing from literature, history and everyday life, Holy Is the Day is a collection of spiritual reflections that trace the way God’s ever-renewing grace is a gift of the present. Opening it we find poignant stories of endurance, humility, compassion, remembrance and gratitude, as well a harrowing account of near-death experience.

Carolyn gives us new eyes to receive the precious gift of the present and give it away to others.

Review

In January of 2012, I reviewed Carolyn Weber’s award-winning memoir, Surprised by Oxford. This book spoke to me on so many levels.

Surprised by Oxford is one of my most favorite memoirs.

When I was asked by Intervarsity Press to review Holy Is The Day, I was more than excited, I was ecstatic.

Holy Is The Day is absolutely breathtaking. Carolyn Weber writes exquisite. She is a master wordsmith. Her writing reminds me of C.S. Lewis and Frederick Buechner, both of whom are my favorite authors. Carolyn Weber is in a lane by herself as her words are poetic and meaningful.

She writes so beautifully, that I am committed to reading everything she writes until the day I die. I know this sounds dramatic, but I am telling the truth. I do not want to miss out on anything she writes.

Holy Is The Day is written as a meditation. Carolyn Weber shares her personal experiences, weaving stories from Scripture. Her spiritual reflections are breathtaking and powerful.

Lately, the theme has been to live in the moment, Holy Is The Day is timely to say the least.

I was blessed to have received a complimentary advanced copy from Intervarsity Press for which I am grateful.

I highly recommend Holy Is The Day; it is beautiful beyond words.

Carolyn Weber is an author, speaker and professor. She has taught literature to undergraduates for 15 years, most recently as associate professor of Romantic Literature at Seattle University. As the Canadian Commonwealth scholar for literature, she completed her M.Phil and Doctoral degrees at Oxford University, and later served as the first female Dean of St. Peter’s College, Oxford.

Carolyn lives in London, Ontario Canada with her husband and their 4 children.

 

One Thing I Don’t Regret

Yesterday I came across a story that crushed my spirit. I couldn’t sleep. All I could do is think about this precious boy in China.

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For the life of me, I can’t understand how anyone, much less a woman, could gauge out the eyes of an innocent child.

His uncle says he asks why the sky is always dark … and why the dawn still hasn’t come.  Heartbreaking.

How does one explain to a six year old he is blind for life by the hand of a cruel stranger?  How is he suppose to understand this? I feel heartbroken for him, his parents and family. No child should have to go through something like this.
******

At three-thirty in the morning, I cried out to God, asking Him why? Why this little boy? Why any child for that matter?

Silence.

I fell back to sleep eventually and had a dream. I saw Jeremiah 29:11.

Every now and then, God speaks to me through dreams. I count it a blessing when He does.

He is kind and thoughtful, unlike this cold, callous and cruel world that hurt this boy.

Yes, God made the world beautiful, much like the Garden of Eden, until evil destroyed it.

God reminded me in Jeremiah 29:11, that He is with me, even when my heart feels like it will explode from the pain.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

What a hope. What a promise! One I will grip on to tightly in the days ahead.

*****

When I look over my life, I have a lot of regrets. But the one thing I don’t regret is giving my life to Jesus Christ.

If there is one thing I did right in my life, it was that.

Since giving Him my life, there were plenty of times He could have turned His back on me, but He didn’t.

He loves me unconditionally, something I have a hard time grasping, because I think I need to earn everything.

But grace can’t be earned. He gives it freely.

Which is why I can’t wait for the day I meet Him face to face.

I need to stick around for my boys sake to make sure they are standing on their own two feet. But I can’t wait to experience His uninterrupted love 24/7. Where there will be no evil, tears, pain, hurt, sickness, tragedy or death.

I’m grateful I am a child of God. When things look bleak and I grow weary, I am glad I have His hand to hold.

He is my only hope in this world. I can’t fathom living life without Him.

I remember when I didn’t know Him. What a dark and hopeless place that was. I never want to live like that again.

I wish the woman that gauged the boy’s eyes out knew Him. If she knew Him, she wouldn’t have committed this heinous crime. If she knew His deep and abiding love, she wouldn’t have been consumed with evil to harm him.

My heart is heavy today and I am weary. My prayer is that the darkness which is consuming hearts will be replaced by Jesus’ love and light.

Is Jesus your only hope?