Kathleen Hardaway

Author - kathleenhardaway

Have You Stopped Dreaming?

Have you Stopped Dreaming? Kathleen Hardaway

Do you feel like your dreams are fading further and further away? Life keeps passing you by, and so do your dreams. You’re starting to believe you may have missed it. But you know deep in your soul you were made for more!

Maybe you’ve accomplished some amazing things; and yet, at this point in your life, you feel stuck. You feel powerless in your current situation. There’s an overwhelming cloud that covers you, and you wonder, Is this it? Will my life ever be any different? The thought of having your same life is causing you great anguish, and you wonder how anything could ever change.

What is it that runs deep in your soul? Do you have an ongoing nagging in your heart that simply will not go away? Maybe you’ve shared your dreams with family and friends and just talking about it brings tears to your eyes. You know you were made for more, but you’re just not sure how to get there.

Satan wants nothing more than for you to become worried, restless, and to make you think your life seems to have no purpose. Don’t listen to his lies! He’s doing all he can to stop you from living the life God has planned for you.

Satan’s goal for your life is to STEAL and KILL and DESTROY you, but Christ came so that you may have LIFE, and have it ABUNDANTLY (John 10:10).

How are you doing? Unfortunately, far too many are stressed out, burned out, and are freaking out about their future. It’s easy to fall into a life of anxiety!

Stress starts in the mind. “For as he thinks within himself, so he is…” (Proverbs 23:7). Ask yourself, What do I think about? What’s stealing my joy and keeping me from pushing forward with my dreams?

Are you consumed with life’s problems and challenges so that your mind dwells on negative thinking? Are you anxious about your future?

Don’t believe that change in your life is not possible. Never give up! It’s important to believe your story is not over. Until you breathe your last breath, it’s not over. God has given you more time, time to do even more. The key is to find out what it is He wants you to do. Do you know? If not, ask Him until He shows you—keep asking!

Often people look at success and believe their career should peak at a certain age. Do you think that’s true? Let’s look at some highly successful people and see what age they were when they made some great accomplishments:

  • Thomas Edison was forty-six years old when he invented the light bulb.
  • President Reagan was sixty-nine years old when he was elected the President of the United States in 1981.
  • Walt Disney was fifty-four years old when he opened Disneyland.
  • Colonel Sanders was sixty-five years old when he kicked off the start of his fabulous franchise for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

My friend, what’s holding you back? Do you feel like you have too many challenges stopping you? Don’t look at your obstacles, but look at all the opportunities that you may have. If you feel God is leading you to dare to believe Him again for something different in your life, pray and see what He wants you to do. Keep praying; keep seeking Him for what steps you need to take next.

Are you looking at people who seem to have it all? Looking at others can be a slippery slope of discouragement. Be careful wishing you had what others have. There are plenty of people you can look to who just might encourage you. If you choose these people carefully, you may be enormously blessed.

I’ll never forget the day I saw Nick Vujicic. I was sitting in a packed-out crowd of people waiting for him to come on stage. First I heard the sound of an electric motor, and it appeared to be some kind of lift. He was being lifted onto the stage! Then Nick walked out on stage—but not like most of us walk. You see, he has no legs and no arms. I was amazed that he could stand and even walk. Nick’s enthusiasm was contagious! I was deeply moved that day, and he clearly made an impact with the audience. I later began to read his books and watch his videos.

I love what Nick says in his book Life Without Limits. He writes, “My name is Nick Vujicic (pronounced VOY-a-chich). I am twenty-nine years old. I was born without any limbs, but I am not constrained by my circumstances. I travel the world encouraging millions of people to overcome adversity with faith, hope, love, and courage so that they may pursue their dreams.”1

He says it all right there. It takes great faith and hope in a God who can do all things, in His love that carries us when we may feel like no one else cares, and the courage to keep on keeping on.

Nick also says, “Often we feel life is unfair. Hard times and tough circumstances can trigger self-doubt and despair. I understand that well. But the Bible says, ‘Consider it pure joy, …whenever you face trials of any kinds.’ That is a lesson I struggled many years to learn. I eventually figured it out, and through my experiences I can help you see that most of the hardships we face provide us with opportunities to discover who we are meant to be and what we can share of our gifts to benefit others.”2 What powerful truth Nick speaks! He inspires me greatly.

Who inspires you? Do you have a Nick in your life? You can choose to look at people who seem to have it all or look at those who rise above it all. I can’t begin to comprehend the challenges that Nick faces daily. But, he’s choosing to let God use all the disappointment, all the difficulties in his life, for good.

So what’s stopping you? What are you telling yourself and who are you listening to? What obstacles are you facing? Take another step. Today, step toward the vision God has given you!

Never ever give up! Choose to be unstoppable. Dare to believe God again and again with your dreams!

Excerpts taken from Dare to Believe Again

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1 Nick Vuijicic, Life Without Limits, (Colorado Springs, CO: Water Brook Press, 2010), vii.

2 Ibid.

 

Why Will 2017 Be Any Different?

Have you made New Year’s resolutions in the past and they didn’t work? Are you looking for something that will work and that will help you move forward with accomplishing your goals?

What changes would you like to see happen in this New Year? Are you looking for CHANGE? Ask anyone, and most will begin giving you a list of things they would like to see changed.

What would you like to see happen? Have you given up on certain areas in your life? I want to encourage you, DON’T GIVE UP!

Have you ever wondered why change is so hard? I have. I think about it a lot. Certainly there are countless reasons why so many people fail at bringing about change. What about your finances; how are you doing in that area of your life? We have seen the Hollywood stars gain and lose their weight even when they know the world is watching. Change can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be.

There are countless books on weight loss, exercise, financial bondage, relationships, and reaching your dreams. These subjects seem to always find themselves on the Best Sellers list. We purchase these books because these things dramatically affect our lives.

I personally own books on all of these subjects and have found them helpful. But I have also found that all the knowledge in the world on a subject will not make you change. Why? Satan has one goal for your life:

“The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy…” (John 10:10).

Satan desires to destroy your life in any way he can. He works hard at keeping you discouraged. He would like for you to continue to have thoughts like, I will never change; I’ve always been this way; this is as good as it gets; I’ll always be single; there’s no hope for my marriage, my children. On and on the lies flood your mind. Lies, all lies. Change these lies to, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Cling to this verse when the fiery darts come. Stand up to the fact that change is possible.

Change happens every day—with singles who find their mates, with broken marriages, with messed up teens and adolescents, and even with seniors. I have a good friend whose parents were dramatically changed and found the Lord very late in life. Change is possible for everyone and at any stage in life.

One key to change is to recognize when Satan begins to speak his lies to you. Do you ever hear yourself say, “I’m stuck; I’ve never been able to do this before; it’s just too hard”? Do you feel stuck and believe that change will never happen? Maybe you’ve never been able to make this change before; but remember, it’s never too late. We know “…with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). Making change can be hard but not impossible. You must believe this.

Look back over the past year. What changes have you made? What are some of the good things that happened in 2016? Thank God for all that He has blessed you with this past year.

What Will Make 2017 Any Different? Write a plan for the year. If you don’t set a target, most likely you won’t hit one.

  1. Begin in prayer. Set aside time to seek the Lord about what He would like to see you do over the next year. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). Be sure and ask Him.
  2. Make a list of three things that you can accomplish in the next three months.
  3. Make a list of three things you would like to see accomplished in the next six months.
  4. Write your Dream Goal for 2017. (Write one Dream Goal and the plans for accomplishing it.)
  5. Put these lists on the refrigerator, on your bathroom mirror, and in your Day-Timer or the calendar you use. If you place these goals in all three places, they will be constant reminders of the goals you desire to reach over the year.
  6. Start a support prayer group for the year. Meet at least once a month.
  7. Select the person who will be your accountability partner through this year. Give them your list of goals. Weekly go over the goals and have them help you reach your three-month goals, then your six-month list, and ultimately your Dream Goal.
  8. Celebrate each goal accomplished.
  9. Remember that each goal accomplished is important to God. It’s important to Him how we spend our time.

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).

When you set down to watch TV, ask yourself, Is this really the best use of my time? Certainly there is a time to relax and possibly watch television or spend time on social media. But watch out; hours can pass and what have you accomplished? Be very conscious of how you’re spending your time.

May the Lord bless you mightily this next year. Remember, He rejoices as you are walking in righteousness and as you are accomplishing goals that impact His Kingdom.

My friend, dare to believe God again!

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).

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And the Winner Is?

Americans spent over 25 billion dollars on professional sports last year. Massive amounts of time, money, and energy is spent on athletic events. People enthusiastically go and cheer, clap, and watch their coveted team try to WIN!

While others sit at home spending countless hours in front of their flat screen TV’s waiting to see who will win, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and The Voice. Millions take the time to vote and give their opinion on who they believe the winner should be. Countless people wait in anticipation to hear the words… “And the winner is?”

The Olympics continue to be loved by most and it too brings millions of viewers glued the tube to see which country and athlete stays on top! It often can be within a fraction of a second that stands between the winner and loser.

Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

Is winning the only thing?

When the athlete, recording artist, Hollywood star stays on top, often people love them. The minute they begin to sink in their careers there can be an instant slump in sales and the fans can turn on them in and instant.

While on top, the winners have the world by the tail as they say, but there’s a problem, it’s fleeting and often never last.

Oh, I highly admire what our Olympians have to do in order to be the best in their field. The sacrifices they make are unbelievable. They have one focus, one goal, one ambition, the Gold medal.

What’s your one ambition? Think about it. What’s the one thing you would die for, the one thing that makes you eager to get out of bed every day?

Did you know you’re in a race?

God’s Word says,  “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Oh my friend be sure you’re in the race. God’s race. Run, as He directs you and help make a difference for the Kingdom of God.

Do You Ever Feel Alone?

Are you married with children and still feel alone? You may be single and feel desperately alone. The great epidemics in our society are not only HIV / AIDS, diabetes or cancer, but the enormous increase of people feeling alone. What changed? What happened to a society that once related to programs such as Father Knows Best and Leave It to Beaver? The ideal marriage, friendships with your neighbors, or walking on sidewalks where you feel safe, secure and not alone seems to be difficult to find.

The heart of every person longs for a sense of community, a sense of belonging, a strong desire to simply love and be loved. If you’re married and your mate is not meeting these needs in your life or if you’re single and you have no one, what do you do? Be miserable? Have an affair? Find someone on the internet? Many seem to be running to drugs, alcohol, food and, even to the television set, to anything that will help fill this void in their lives that is so painful.

There are no simple answers for this plague of feeling lonely. Most everyone desires companionship, friendship and courtship. “I Will Always Love You,” (written by Dolly Parton, sung by Whitney Houston) is one of the top selling singles of all time. Not only is the music to this song fabulous, but so many can relate to it. Not only do we desire to be loved, but we desire for someone to always love us. Always. Not just some of the time, but always and forever.

Women enjoy a good love story. The knight in shining armor, the long awaited prince finally speaks the words that he will always love his princess. But what do you do when your life has not turned out like a Hollywood movie, or the ideal romance novel? One thing that you can know for sure, your Heavenly Father is the only One Who has perfect love. It’s eternal, it will never end. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He formed you in your mother’s womb. He knows you better than anyone. He desires your very best.

In your loneliness, turn to Him. In your hurt and frustration tell Him how badly it hurts. You may desperately desire someone to hold you, someone to comfort you, someone simply to just be with you. I understand. When the difficulties of singleness come, I choose to believe this is God’s plan for my life today.

Do not believe a lie from the enemy that says, “Life will always be this way!” It’s not God’s plan for you to be miserable feeling alone, but it is His plan that in your loneliness you run to Him, cling to Him, and give your life completely to Him.

Tell Him what you‘re feeling. Everything. Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Never give up. Don’t lose heart. Don’t believe that you will always be lonely. Live each day being the best mother, wife, friend, husband, father, brother, sister you possibly can be. If you’re walking and living in Christ you are not alone.

… I am with you always, even to the end of the age. —Matthew 28:20

Embrace the Season

I’ll never forget the day I was out shopping and my cell phone rang. It was my mother on the other end. I knew by the sound of her voice she had bad news. All I heard was, “He may not make it.” And unfortunately he didn’t.

As family and friends gathered together for the funeral, I was so happy to see cousins of mine whom I’d not seen in a while. Despite the fact that two of them had just started brand new jobs they interrupted their lives, jumped on a plane, and came hundreds of miles to be there just for us. As I finally got a chance to briefly talk to them, I asked, “When do you have to leave?” “In 30 minutes.” “You’ve got to be kidding!”—but no, it was true. With that short time, I wanted to spend every second I had with them, look them straight in the eyes, talk with them and find out how life was going with them. In every way possible, I wanted to embrace the moment.

It had been a long time since I felt such a strong desire to stop the clock. How quickly people come in and out of our lives. How short life can seem. And whether you’re married or single, there is still heartache and disappointment. Loved ones will come and go and, as much as most of us don’t want to admit it, we’re all getting older and will someday die. There’s something about funerals that slow us down and cause us to stop and examine our lives. How are you living?

If you keep doing what you’re doing today, where will you be ten years from now? As singles, there is a tendency to put life on hold, waiting for that day you finally walk the aisle, when that ring goes on your finger, when you say, “I do.” Then, you think, life will truly begin.

Your desire to marry is very natural and normal. In many ways I believe God made us this way. But what are you doing today? Embrace every moment you have—now.

Life is full of wonderful and terrific opportunities beyond your wildest dreams. Don’t stop dreaming. Don’t stop seeking God for His divine appointments. Live life with moments that take your breath away. Don’t live your life “on hold.”

Stop and enjoy a beautiful sunset, the ocean, the mountains, the moon, the stars, a rainbow. Embrace the Creator of the universe. Embrace the beauty of His creation, His magnitude, His greatness, His love. Embrace life, knowing God has a plan even when you don’t always understand it or see it. Embrace His Word when life doesn’t make sense.

God says He has a plan, a plan to prosper you and not to harm you, a plan to give you a hope and a future. Call upon Him and pray. Seek Him with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:11-13). Don’t lose heart! Keep believing God no matter what disappointments come. Have you had another relationship fall apart? I understand. Press on!

When life is frustrating, He remains faithful. When you’re tired of waiting, He remains constant. When you’re sick and tired of being single, embrace your freedom.

  • Exercise when you like.
  • Go on a vacation when you like.
  • Change the thermostat how you like.
  • Invite friends over when you like.
  • Watch the programs you like.
  • Change the channels when you like.
  • Spend your money how you like (according to God’s principles).
  • Go to the movies you like (according to God’s standards).
  • Eat the food you like. (Keep it healthy.)
  • Dress the way you like. (Keep it wholesome.)
  • Go to bed when you like. (Keeping it healthy.)
  • Go to the church you like (by God’s direction).
  • Work in the ministry you like (by God’s direction).

If you marry, the above list may dramatically change. Your freedom changes to a commitment to another. Your desire is to please your mate. Marriage would add a wonderful new set of things you may be able to do, but don’t forget the things you would lose.

Today can you embrace your singleness? Consider all the wonderful opportunities you’ve been given. Live it, love it, enjoy it and embrace it!

May God fill you with His great joy! Embrace the moment!

You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever. —Psalms 16:11 

Husband and Home: Is It a Package Deal?

Quite often little girls grow up playing house, playing with Barbie and Ken, and playing with baby dolls.

It seems to be the nature of what most girls do. They think surely someday the toys would no longer be make believe, but become reality. How quickly time goes by and the young girls become teens and some become boy crazy beyond words. Boys, boys, boys. What else is there, what else really matters? And, before you know it, the boys are now men and you wonder what happened?

Days have turned into months, and months turned into years, and still no husband and no house. How could this be? Your dreams of being married and living in your dream home look like an impossibility. You’re still single, living in what appears to be a couple’s world. A world that asks the question, “Why aren’t you married?”

I certainly can relate to every bit of this. I was one boy crazy little girl, teenager and young woman. I use to think that a husband and a house was a package deal. I always thought the two went together. You get married, you buy a house. This is how it works, so I thought.

Was I ever wrong! Last year, single women purchased one of every five homes sold. That’s nearly 1.5 million, and if you’re counting that’s twice as many as single men bought, according to the National Association of Realtors. I made the jump and joined this group of home owners.

I never thought I would do this alone. I never really thought I could. I was a bit scared, freaked out, excited – all wrapped up in one. I took the big leap, and I’m so glad I did. I prayed hard. I sought the Lord’s guidance all along the way. My strongest prayer was “God, not my will but Yours. Close the doors if this is not what You have for me.” God confirmed it at every turn and, yes, it was a process.

This didn’t happen the first time I looked for a home. Nothing was right. It was not God’s timing. Waiting can be so hard, but it’s always worth it. This time around, the right house, at the right time, in the right neighborhood all fell into place. I wasn’t even looking for a house; it just happened.

Are you like I was – a little scared to make the jump? I’m not necessarily encouraging you to purchase a home. Many of you are way ahead of me, and you did this even in your twenties. You didn’t wait until you were in your forties to buy a home. If you have a strong desire to own your own home, begin praying about it. Mine was a very long wait, and then it happened fast.

Not only do you need to pray, but there are things you need to do on your end. Before you ever start the process of purchasing a house, be sure your finances are in order. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. How is your credit rating? The higher your score the better for you in every aspect of this important decision.
  2. Find out up front how much you can borrow, and get pre-qualified.
  3. Do you have high credit card debt? Work towards getting out of debt as much as possible.
  4. Consider the entire cost for the purchase. Taxes, home insurance, the mortgage rate, interest rates, a home inspection and the closing costs.
  5. Be sure you work with a realtor you can trust. I worked with my mother who is a realtor. Not everyone can be quite this fortunate.
  6. Consider everything you will need when you move. There will be things you probably will need to purchase, like a refrigerator, washer and dryer, furniture and lawn mower. I had to purchase all these things. I had some furniture, but not enough to fill up a house. And, think about the cost of the move.
  7. Consider using a mortgage company that will not sell your loan.
  8. There will be expenses such as putting in phone lines, possibly cable or satellite television. Do you want high-speed Internet or Internet access at all?
  9. You may decide you need an alarm system. Many singles won’t live without one. Typically there is an installation cost, and then the monthly bills.
  10. Your house may need to be treated for bugs. Not just once, but possibly on a regular basis.
  11. If you’re purchasing an older home there may be many hidden problems with the house. New or old, NEVER purchase a home without having a good quality home inspection.
  12. Pray, pray, pray.

These are just a few simple things I’ve learned along the way. There are many great Web sites and books on purchasing your first home. God knows your future. Be smart; don’t buy beyond your means. This may mean changing how you spend your money. You should live on a budget, if you don’t already. Don’t wait.

You may be thinking, with your salary, purchasing a home will never happen. Never say, “Never.” But no matter what happens, remember God has built our ultimate dream home, one beyond our wildest imagination, one that nothing here on earth will even begin to compare. Things may be very hard for you right now financially. Keep seeking the Lord for His provision. Do your part; take baby steps towards becoming smarter with your finances.

God has a plan; He has a purpose, He has a place that is perfect just for you. Keep pressing on. Keep believing His precepts, and He will bless you as you continue to walk in His ways and trusting Him with your life.

In my Father’s house are many mansions; and if it were not so, I would have told you. For I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. —John 14:2-3

– See more at: http://www.believe.com/articles/Husband-and-Home-Is-It-a-Package-Deal/?source=fCon#sthash.eiEjQBGW.dpuf

Do You Feel God’s Pleasure

Chariots of Fire is one of my favorite movies with many quotes that I absolutely love. You probably have heard the famous quote by Eric Liddle, “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.”

I could write volumes about this wonderful quote but let’s think about this popular quote for  just a moment.

​As Christians it’s important that we operate in the talents and gifts God gives us. And when you do, you should feel God’s pleasure. There’s nothing else like it!​ But what if you don’t feel God’s pleasure?

Life can be tough, and there will certainly be days you may not feel like getting out of bed, much less experience God’s pleasure.

​As you’re growing in the Lord and doing what He has called you to do, there’s nothing else like it. Possibly you’re not operating in your spiritual gifts or could it be…you don’t know the Lord at all?​

Do you remember Harold M. Abrahams? He was another runner in the movie, Chariots of Fire. There’s a scene in the movie where Harold is talking to another runner, Aubrey. He says to him, “You, Aubrey, are my most complete man. You’re brave, compassionate, kind: a content man. That is your secret, contentment; I am 24 and I’ve never known it. I’m forever in pursuit and I don’t even know what I am chasing.”​

I think about the millions of people in our world who are doing the same thing.

Forever in pursuit and not knowing what they’re chasing. People are desperately trying to fill the void, the empty vacuum in their lives. All the fame, money, beauty, power, family and friends can’t fill it.​

I enjoy watching Barbara Walters interview the many Hollywood stars. They seem to have it all, but often if you watch them long enough many  say in so many words, I’m still looking for more.​

The Lord Jesus Christ is the only thing that will ever give us true joy and lasting contentment. I like how the Amplified Bible explains, I Timothy 1:6-7 says,​ And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain. For we brought nothing into the world and obviously we cannot take anything out of the world.​

“Get busy living or get busy dying!”  This quote from The Shawshank Redemption is certainly an interesting quote. I don’t want to tell someone to get busy dying, but the fact remains we’re all going to die.

How can you get busy living…by pursuing godliness. If that’s your life’s ambition, you will have complete contentment—the contentment that Harold Abrahams was so desperately looking for.

Facing Winter with a Smile

When was the last time you laughed at winter? One of the last things I did in preparation for winter was to plant pansies. I’ll never forget the day I purchased the flowers. I asked the gardener, “How well do they live in the winter?” She replied with a grin, “Oh, they laugh at winter!”

Now that’s a line I’ll never forget – “They laugh at winter!” As if the pansies could talk and say, “Are you kidding…we love the winter; below freezing doesn’t bother us. Bring it on!”

Many have already had snow and the cold weather has blasted across the country with vigor. And I wonder, what is in store for us this winter? Being from the South, it’s hard to imagine living with sub-zero tempts. But no matter how cold it gets can you, “laugh at winter?”

Winter is by far my least favorite season. And if I’m not careful I can let myself get depressed. I love being outside in the warmer weather. I enjoy daylight savings time, not driving home in the dark after work. I go home to an empty house, not one with a husband or children. Well, there’s my cat, Bunker. He does a great job welcoming me home, but of course he’s only a cat. And the communication continues to be one sided.

The television seems to provide some sense of not being alone, but it can become a huge time waster. The winter months can often make you feel lonelier than ever. We’re living in a day when one of the greatest epidemics in our society is not cancer, obesity, alcohol, or drugs, but loneliness. Yes, all these issues plague our country, and these are often ways people channel their pain due to loneliness.

During these cold, dark, dreary days you need your spiritual armor on more than ever. When was the last time you laughed at winter?

How do you face winter with a smile?

  1. Remember, winter does not last forever. It’s only for a season. 
    Seasons come and seasons go. Thank God! But some last longer than others. Are you in a trial? Has life taken its toll and it’s almost more than you can bear? Keep rolling your hurts over on the Lord. He tells us to “Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7). Also, never forget that He will never give you more than you can bear (I Corinthians 10:13). Take each day knowing that spring is on the way and He is always with you!
  2. Look for ways to help others.
    Often when you dwell on your own problems you can cause continued frustration and heartbreak and before you know it, you’re more depressed than ever. Look for ways to help others. You may need to write someone a note of encouragement. Go help in a soup kitchen. You may find many have far more problems than you do.
  3. Get involved in a small group Bible study.
    If there is not a Bible study group in your own church, you may want to start your own. Be sure you’re in Bible study. This is foundational to your spiritual growth. Meditating and studying His Word gives you the power to press on during these challenging months.
  4. Join a health club.
    If you’re financially able to join a health club, you may want to consider this. Exercise is vital to your health and well- being. I always feel better after I exercise. It’s certainly better than putting on ten to twenty pounds during the winter months. Gaining weight is a battle for so many especially during the winter. If finances are an issue, go walk the mall. I do this on occasion and thoroughly enjoy it.
  5. Pray, pray, pray.
    Being cooped up inside has few advantages, but one drawback of spring and summer is that it’s far easier to play, than to pray. You may play tennis, golf, swim, boat, fish, run or walk, all which can be good things, but they can rob you from your quiet time with the Lord. Cultivate your prayer life. Nothing can be better for you, and for those you’re praying for.

Embrace the winter! Laugh at it knowing that the God of the universe designed the seasons for a reason. Keep on praising Him for His goodness, His mercy, His love, His compassion, His forgiveness, and His comfort! Stay warm, my friend, and keep smiling.

Preventing a Broken Heart: Is It Possible?

My friend, have you ever had a broken heart? Has the pain been so deep you thought you just wanted to die?

I’ll never forget the night when I wondered if I was ever going to stop crying. All I can remember was going to bed and finally crying myself to sleep.

Hurt and pain can come in many different forms, but grief that comes from a broken heart seems to hurt us the most. There can be deep disappointments when relationships don’t work out.

Is it possible to date and not get hurt? Certainly! Is there anything you can do to help prevent heartbreak? Yes. There are lots of things you can do.  However, you are never excluded from heartbreak if you give your heart to someone else.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where many date with reckless abandonment. Godly integrity is often not a part for many relationships today and consequently enormous heartbreak is inevitable.

If there was ever a time we needed some basic guidelines in dating, it’s now. If today’s media has become our standard we’re in deep trouble.

Following a few basic truths from God’s Word is the answer to preventing much heartbreak.

Whom should you date? How do you date? There is absolutely one essential key in the area of spending time with someone and developing a relationship. If you’re a believer, then it’s important to date a Christian.

God says in His Word, “Do not be unequally yoked” (2 Corinthians 6:14). And since dating often times leads to marriage you don’t ever want to get involved with an unbeliever. Plus, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” You may think that you’re just having fun and you never intend to marry the person you’re dating. I have known people who began dating someone just for fun and ended up marrying them. With deep regret they admit they made a huge mistake. Be careful with whom you’re spending time.

Since respect is a key to a good marriage, respect is vital in a relationship. If you don’t respect whom you’re dating or if they do not respect you, stop the relationship now!

Often women tell me that the man she’s in a relationship with does not respect her, and he pushes her too far in the area of sex. This is an age-old problem that continues to break the hearts of countless women. How do you guard your heart?  One way is by “Fleeing youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22). If you play with fire, you will get burned. Don’t go there.

As a Christian you must have a passion for purity.

If you truly have a passion for God, then you should have a passion for purity. Much can be said on this subject, but the key is holiness. The Bible is very clear, “Be ye holy for I am holy” (I Peter 1:16). What are you watching, reading, and viewing online? Does it please God?

If you’re pure in your dating relationships you are less likely to experience as much heartbreak. Always pray about every friendship that you have. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Ask for God’s direction in all your relationships.

Keep your relationships pure. Keep your relationships simple.  Keep an open hand with your relationships. Ask the Lord to use you to be one who is pointing all your friends to the Lord. Be honest with yourself, and certainly be honest with whom you’re dating. If the person you’re spending time with is trying to fool you into thinking they’re a Christian, but they’re just trying to steal your heart, ask the Lord to show you who they really are.

A lady shared with me her deep hurt after rushing into marriage. “Please tell anyone who is single to not be blinded into thinking the person they’re dating is a godly person if they’re not. I married my husband much too soon. I thought he was a believer and I know now I was very deceived. It’s much better to be single, than to be in a wrong marriage.”

Is it possible to avoid a broken heart?

There’s no guarantee, but there are certainly ways to prevent the hurt from devastating your life. In all your relationships walk in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. Yes, my heart has been broken, but praise God He has been faithful. As I reflect over my past, I’m so grateful for the relationships that didn’t work out.

I tell much more of my story in my book, “I Kissed a Lot of Frogs, but the Prince Hasn’t Come.”

My friend, wait on the Lord. Trust the Lord. Always put your hope, your joy, and your dreams in Christ. When He is first then, single or married, you will have a peace that no person or thing can give.