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“Turn toward God and speak candidly about your pain and disappointment.”

A thought by Jeff Manion (2010-07-14) from his book, The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions(Kindle Location 1785). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
I really like the Psalms in the Old Testament.  I read one every day.  I love them for a lot of different reasons but for one, I like people’s honesty.  They tell God what they feel and He lets them because He understands.
In our times of pain and disappointment He knows that we need to see how desperate we really are.  We need help.  We are at the end of the rope and we feel like we are about to slip off the rope.  We can’t make it on our own.  And we want to tell someone. 
Now we can tell everyone else that but it won’t make a lot of difference.  It will just be a time that we spew it all out and maybe feel a little better but that is it.  But when we tell Him and we really come to Him in total trust and total dependency and total confidence of His love for us then something more will happen.  It is in our time of desperation and…

“Not simply the hardship, but also our reaction to the hardship, is forming us.”

A thought by Jeff Manion (2010-07-14) from his book, The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions (Kindle Locations 311-312). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
On my other blog, bill’s front porch, I dealt with today the fact that we are never going to be problem free.  Problems are inevitable and the same is true of hardships.
I think that may come as a surprise to some Christians.  They believe that because they have asked Jesus to come into their life then there will be no hardships in their life but what that means is they haven’t studied too much about the life of Jesus.  One of the reasons why He came to earth was to show us how God would handle hardships.  They will come.  They are a part of His plan to cultivate our dependency on Him and to strengthen us in our resolve and our character. 
Now our reaction to the hardship is of major importance.  What do you do?  How do you react?  Do you whine or complain?   Those reactions show a definite immaturity.  God wants you to be …

“Often God leads us through the land we most want to avoid in order to produce the fruit we most desperately desire.”

A thought by Jeff Manion (2010-07-14) in his book, The Land Between: Finding God in DifficultTransitions(p. 191). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Have you ever noticed that the fruit that is the easiest to pick is on the ground because it is too ripe so it has fallen off the tree?  Have you also noticed that the best fruit usually takes some effort to pick?  Could that also be true about those things we really want in our life.

Two years ago in August I weighed 260 lbs.  I always used to laughingly say that I didn’t have a weight problem, I had a height problem.  I should be 7 ½ feet tall.  But the truth was I had a real weight problem and it was affecting my quality of life.   I was having trouble with my feet; I was becoming an invalid and a prime candidate for a heart attack.  I was not looking at the quality or quantity of life that I wanted.

Now something happened that month that change the direction of my wife’s life and in turn changed mine.  Margaret found out that she was a type 2 di…

“The tragedy is not that we make mistakes but that we are prone to make the same mistakes.”

A thought by Jeff Manion (2010-07-14) in his book, The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions(p. 139). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
There are so many people who get so upset when they make a mistake so it is difficult to understand why they keep making the same mistake over and over again.  I mean wouldn’t you think because it is such a negative emotional experience for them that they would do whatever they could to not visit this same place again and it seems again?  But somehow they haven’t learned the assessment and asking step in making mistakes.                                                                                   
It is a difficult step.  It is much easier to believe that somehow the next time will be different.  So we do the same thing but we believe that life will turn out differently this time.  It is a faith thing.  I mean didn’t Jesus turn the water into wine.  Yes he did but He also created a complex marvel inside your skull called a brain and He expec…

“Whether we age with grace and poise or become bitter, resentful people is largely determined by our response to disappointment and the habits of response that often result.”

A thought by Jeff Manion (2010-07-14) in his book The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions (p. 41). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
What an awesome thought.  We have a choice - grace and poise or bitter and resentful.  
I lived with a man who aged with grace and poise.  There was a lot of disappointment in his life but he didn’t let it change his response to life.  He was my hero.  He was my dad, B. Ivan Williams.  I always said that when I grew up I wanted to be like my dad.
Life is tough. That is so true. There is a phrase that people love to use when they are going through difficult, disappointing times.  When our kids were growing up we tried to never use it.  We even outlawed it in our family.  It was hard sometimes. But for many it is an attitude toward their life.  When you are going through tough times do you ever say, “Life isn’t fair?”  0f course life isn’t fair.  If life was fair the most perfect man who ever lived would never have been put on a cross to die.  But it…