How to Get Through Spiritual Dryness

How to Get Through Spiritual Dryness

Dry SeasonSomething just feels off. You try to pray, but it feels as though no one is listening. You try to go to church, but you leave feeling empty. You’re struggling with the same sinful habit you were a year ago. Things you thought you heard from God aren’t happening. This thing called Christianity doesn’t seem to be working for you at all. All you see is spiritual dryness.

At times like that it’s easy for us to become discouraged, frustrated, angry, or desperate. I’ve been there. One especially difficult period several years ago seemed to go on forever. Although my external life was relatively OK, my internal soul was overwhelmed and burdened. Nothing seemed to be happening between me and God even though I cried out to Him often.

Over several months I learned some important and sometimes difficult lessons that have been vital to my spiritual life ever since. If I could talk to myself back then, here are some of the things I would say. If you’re in one of those desperate times right now, perhaps they will be helpful to you as well.

  1. Don’t Give Up! The world – no, the whole universe – looks dark right now, and your problems seem eternal. But God IS there even when you don’t see Him. This is something to go THROUGH, and there is the other side to look forward to. (Matthew 24:13)
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45 Healthier or Uplifting Distractions

45 Healthier or Uplifting Distractions

It’s been a bad day. You’re frustrated, tired, anxious, and/or upset. Or perhaps you can’t pour over those numbers or wring words from your brain onto the keyboard for one more moment. You need something to distract your mind, and hopefully help you feel a little better. You need some uplifting distractions.

What do you do in moments like that? Grab some chips or a bowl of ice cream? Flop down in front of the TV to veg? Surely there must be healthier or uplifting distractions that don’t leave you with a higher risk of dying! (Sitting too much can kill you, by the way.)

So here are a bunch of healthier alternatives.

These distractions only take a few moments:

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How to Turn It Over to God

How to Turn It Over to God

Why Are You AfraidIn Christian-eze it’s been said various ways: “Give it to God.” “Turn it over to God.” “Let God do the heavy lifting.” Scripture says it this way: “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

But how do you do that? Your human heart and mind can’t help worrying, thinking, ruminating, and drumming up all the bad things that might happen. Or becoming anxious, paralyzed, or frantic about the bad things that ARE happening.

Of course bad things might happen. Or are happening right now. You just got laid off from your job. Your child, your spouse, or you have just been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. The bill collectors are calling. You’ve been served with a lawsuit. You, your spouse, or your child has just been deployed to a war zone. False and malicious rumors have been circulated about you. Your spouse just served you with divorce papers. How could you NOT worry?

The Bible is full of admonishments to “fear not.”

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What I Want for Valentine’s Day

What I Want for Valentine’s Day

My husband gets these posts in his email inbox. I’m sure when he sees the title of this one he’ll open it eagerly to see what will make his wife happy this year. In our culture many guys feel a lot of pressure around Valentine’s Day, searching for the thing that will impress that special someone, or at least get her off his back for another year.

If you watch TV at all you’ve certainly seen the advertisements for chocolate-covered strawberries and life-size teddy bears. (And Honey, as much as I love chocolate-covered strawberries, that’s NOT what I want this year.) Merchants must love taking advantage of this holiday.

Have you ever noticed how almost all the promotion around this holiday centers around things a guy would give to his girl – flowers, cards, candy, teddy bears, and yes, chocolate-covered strawberries? Don’t guys want anything? Sure, there are cards wives give to their husbands on this day. But perhaps we should promote fishing lures, remote controls, or cordless drills on Valentine’s Day. Then guys would look forward to it as much as their wives and girlfriends!

What is it that women are looking for on Valentine’s Day? Why is there so much angst from men to satisfy what they often don’t understand? Why do women feel lost and alone if they don’t get what they’re looking for?

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What’s GOOD About Shame?

What’s GOOD About Shame?

Can there ever be anything good about shame?

You may have heard it a lot: “You ought to be ashamed of yourself!” Perhaps you felt a knife in your own soul when a parent, teacher, or coach said it to you. Perhaps you watched a sibling or friend wither under such a putdown. Or perhaps you caught yourself saying it to your own child or someone else close to you.

And the truth of it is, that’s right! Each one of us ought to be ashamed of ourselves. We’ve done things, said things, and failed to take action in ways that have harmed ourselves and others. If we were to feel the full weight of our shame we would be crushed. And some of us are.

Human beings hate shame. Throughout the years people have devised all kinds of ways to deal with shame. Religious penance or the doing of good deeds doesn’t address the inner shame, however, even though they try to. Whole movements have developed over trying to get rid of our shame about things such as sexuality or body weight. (Wasn’t that the underlying issue in the “sexual revolution?”)

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