Kristi LemleyI’m thrilled to join Kristi Lemley from Living in the Light Ministries on her TV show Sunday morning, July 24th. We’ll be talking about women’s health, the heart-felt shame many women feel in this area, and God’s healing.

If you’re in St Louis, MO, set your DVR.

If you’re not, you can see the show on her website Monday morning.

Date: July 24, 2016
Time: 2:30 am EST
Appearance: Television Guest on Living in the Light TV
Outlet: KMOV, St Louis, MO
Location: St Louis, MO
Format: Television

What to Do when you Don’t Know What to Do

Find Direction when You're Overwhelmed

Big Moon at NightWouldn’t you love it if you could wake up in the morning and find a message from God written on your mirror telling you what to do next? Wouldn’t that save you so much angst, fear, and stress? Only the most arrogant of us never feel as though we don’t know what to do. (And if that’s you, you’re probably not reading this!)

I face those times regularly in both small and large ways. They’ve been especially frequent since my husband died a few months ago. What do I do with my husband’s things? Where do I invest the finite amount of energy I have? When do I spend time in rest and renewal and when do I push through even when I’m tired or depressed? What area of ministry growth should I focus on most? Who are the people I most need to connect with?

Feeling overwhelmed is easy when you don’t know what to do. That feeling can take over your mind whatever the problem; marriage difficulties, financial challenges, significant life transitions, business or ministry opportunities, etc. If you tend to be impulsive you may find yourself running from one thing to the next expending time, money, and effort – and never making true progress. If you tend to be analytical you may find weeks or months or even years have gone by – and you’re in exactly the same place you were where you started.

As a result of going through other seasons when I felt overwhelmed in the past I’ve learned some truths that apply to any such situation. I hope these will help you as well.

 1.  God is not the author of confusion.

That’s a Biblical truth. (1 Corinthians 14:33) God is not the One overwhelming my mind with multiple conflicting messages, negative feelings, anxiety or stress. His perspective takes into account the world, the universe, and the cosmic war between good and evil. He sees my whole life – past, present, and future. His plan for me is simple, good, unique, and trustworthy.

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Sleeping With the Elephants: the BIG Marriage Problems

4 Keys to Kicking them Out

ElephantIt’s one thing to have an “elephant in the room” – the BIG problem that nobody wants to talk about or deal with. But what about when that room is your bedroom? In marriage the elephants can become so big that there’s no space in your bed for either of you. The time comes when you can’t ignore them, work around them, or co-exist with them.

And you certainly can’t sleep with them. And by “sleep” I mean both refreshing rest in what is supposed to be the safest space – physically and emotionally – in your home, and the intimacy – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – that God designed to be between husbands and wives.

I’ve heard from a number of individuals and couples recently who are trying to sleep with elephants – dealing with really BIG marriage problems. And it’s just not working. Some of those elephants include:

  • Infidelity of one or both partners recently or many years ago
  • Constant fights (or at least disagreements) over the when and how of sexual intimacy
  • One spouse who consistently drinks too much
  • Pornography stealing marital intimacy
  • Sexual abuse in the past making intimacy traumatic or impossible

Sometimes problems such as infertility, a rebellious child, serious financial reversals, chronic physical or mental illness, or others can also become elephants.

The thing about elephants is that they usually continue to grow. Elephants just don’t leave on their own. Time doesn’t make them go away. Until and unless the elephants are dealt with directly they will stick around sleeping in your bed and robbing your peace, regardless of how many years have gone by since they entered.

Perhaps you’re tired of trying to sleep with the elephants, and you know that if things don’t change you, your spouse, or your marriage is about to self-destruct. You may have tried to kick the elephants out of your bedroom in the past and feel as though you’ve failed miserably. You may have tried to ignore them and know you can’t do that any longer. You may wonder if the elephants are there to stay and you’re the one who will have to leave.

The circumstances are often complicated and painful. Solutions are challenging and often take time. But here are a few important keys to kicking the elephants out of your bedroom and regaining the relationship you signed up for.

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What Would Jesus Say to an LGBT Person?

A Different Alternative

HandsContemporary culture in our country and much of the world has seemed to place same-sex relationships on a par with opposite-sex relationships. Gender and sexuality are supposedly seen as fluid and changeable. If you disagree you are made out to be bigoted, hateful, and out of touch with reality. Traditional Christianity has viewed same-sex relationships as sinful and unacceptable. If you are an LGBT person or support such relationships, much of Christianity has seemed to relegate you to hell.

What a contrast! But what’s right? Do we “give in” to progressive contemporary culture and support same-sex relationships out of love and tolerance? Do we cloister ourselves in our conservative churches and condemn homosexuals as hopeless sinners?

I don’t believe Jesus would do either.

This article is in response to your questions. I had not planned on ever writing about this issue, but in our most recent survey several of you asked me to address this question. It’s something you are wrestling with, and I want to wrestle with it along with you. One article cannot address all aspects of this issue, but I think the question is a good place to start: What would Jesus say to an LGBT person?

So that you know where I’m coming from, I have had patients, colleagues, bosses, employees, students, and extended family members who are LGBT. Sometimes those relationships have been positive and other times they have not. Sometimes I’ve responded to these fellow human beings in ways I know God would be pleased with, and other times I have not. These issues are challenging for all of us.

Several weeks ago I visited a church I had not known previously and on arrival discovered the morning’s sermon was about how God deals with LGBT persons. Several individuals told their story as part of the service. What struck me was the way this particular church was walking with these persons through a process of spiritual growth, loving them as individuals while calling them to an entirely different life in Christ. It was obvious this church made LGBT persons feel welcomed while at the same time clearly naming same-sex behavior as sinful. Is this church doing it right? I don’t know. It was the first time I had seen the topic handled this openly and in their unique way.

I’m not going to address a theology of sex here, or discuss what the Bible says about homosexuality specifically. For an in-depth treatment of the whole topic, one resource I can recommend is Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church’s Moral Debate. My position is that sex is a God-given gift to be enjoyed exclusively between one man and one woman within marriage, and I believe that is the position that is supported by Scripture.

One important thing to note;

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Preserving Your Marriage while Building Your Family

Staying Married during Infertility

I’m thrilled to be guest posting for my friend Elisha Kearns over at Waiting for Baby Bird today. Thank you! If you’re struggling with building your family, I hope you’ll check out all Elisha has to offer. And I hope you’ll check out the full post on her site.

Building Your FamilyI haven’t kept track of how many infertility couples I’ve worked with over the years. It’s been thousands. But there are two whose tragedies will always stick with me – and it had nothing to do with whether or not they became pregnant.

Shirley and Jackson had both been busy with their careers for several years. Both had become quite successful, and now they felt the only thing still lacking in their lives was a child. Shirley was approaching 40, which you all know makes achieving pregnancy statistically more challenging. But being take-charge kind of people, once they decided it was time to have a child they jumped in with both feet.

A few months of ovulation inducing medications and IUIs passed quickly, and Shirley was ready to move on to IVF. Jackson came with her to almost every one of her appointments. The embryo transfer seemed to go well and Shirley’s initial pregnancy test was positive. Sadly she lost that pregnancy a couple of weeks later, and we shed some tears together.

But that wasn’t the real tragedy. Shirley came by the office a couple of months later and told me that Jackson had moved out. Their marriage was over. She was devastated.

Melinda always brought her two children with her to her appointments, but her husband was never with them. She had some nearly expired vials of medication she had saved after her last successful infertility treatment, and she wanted to try again. Why now? “My husband is threatening to leave me, but if I have another baby he will stay.” He wasn’t interested in supporting her through treatment, but she was sure he could be counted on for timed intercourse.

I talked with Melinda about how unlikely it would be that having another child would fix her troubled marriage, but she insisted she wanted to try. Melinda did not get pregnant again, and the last time I spoke with her she was still begging her husband not to leave. She daily lived with the fear and dread of being left to raise her two children alone. Another tragedy.

Those stories may not be like yours, but they illustrate something important. Not being able to have a child when you so desperately want one is heartbreaking and stressful. Others who have never struggled with infertility cannot fully understand even if you try your best to explain. It becomes all-consuming to you. And yet there are worse things than infertility. The loss of your marriage would be one of them.

In the full post I share three specific tips to help you preserve your most important human relationship while trying to build your family.

I hope you’ll check out the full post here.

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