What to Do When You are Broken

When a bone breaks, it can usually be fixed with a cast, splint, or pins. If the mind breaks, there is medication, therapy, and counseling. These things help when there is something broken in the mind. Emotionally, we can be broken as well. Long term stress or trauma can break our spirits, and we can lose hope. As we reflect on that, we realize that God is our refuge, our strength, our protector. We know that He will bring us through. All of us have been broken, or will be. We don’t want it. We don’t like it. We want God to remove that burden from us.

But what do we do when we are broken, when we are shattered into a million pieces. This can happen to any of us, and it can seem like it will last forever. When it does, we question why. One way to look at it is that God is refining us to get rid of impurities, to get us to the point where He can completely transform us. He is getting us back to dust. A painful process, but part of transformation.

But dust is valuable. We were created from dust, yet God calls us valuable.
“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7, NIV). In John 9:5-6, Jesus uses dust to restore a man’s sight. “… After saying this, He spit on the ground, made some mud from the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.” Then the man could see. All because God used something common to make something beautiful and to restore that which was broken.

Finally, dust, when mixed with water, becomes clay. And in the potter’s hands, clay can become something beautiful, new, and fresh – and useful again. Our brokeness can bring us down and defeat us (which the enemy of our soul would love), or we can put it all in God’s hands and let Him make it into something valuable, useful, and productive. God sees the beauty and the value within us, and He wants to refine us through our brokenness, in order to bring that beauty out. He knows what we are going through, and He will continually see us through. Brokenness is a common thing, and God can use that for good.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Ps. 34:18 – NIV).

This writing’s content is inspired by the writing of Lisa Terkurest, from her upboming book, “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way”, and from the article, “Shattered Beyond Repair” (link below)

https://proverbs31.org/read/devotions/full-post/2018/10/04/shattered-beyond-repair?fbclid=IwAR31i_DQIx1igjFnTBPEI-WZq8UvH09VocLfOEITuOPx_Nf9zNxmtDDoqBs

Trauma – Part 4 of 4 – Trauma of the Soul

This may be the most important writing I have ever done, not because my writing ability or style, but because of the subject matter. The implications of trauma to the soul are literally eternal, and will affect believers and unbelievers as well. Please read on.

What we are talking about here is your eternal soul, the one that will stand before Jesus one day, either with His arms open wide, joyfully giving rewards to you, or a “sorry, I never knew you.” That last one is for unbelievers, for those that don’t know Jesus, the ones that thought all along that they were good enough to make it to Heaven, or that just wanted to try to “do things their own way”, the souls that chose themselves over Jesus. Dear reader, that’s not going to work. We need Jesus to help us with our body, our mind, our emotions, and our eternal soul. Jesus came to bring wholeness to all of us and to give us eternal life. Have you received it? That’s one trauma that can be avoided. Just ask. Submit your soul, and your cares, to Jesus, because He cares for you.

“A Heaven to gain, and a Hell to shun.” That’s the saying I’ve heard many times. But “gain” Heaven implies it is something we grasp, something that we take hold of, an accomplishment, a goal, a measure of success to achieve. The problem there is that it puts the focus on us, and not Jesus. It’s not about our ability or our success in “achieving” Heaven, but about Jesus’ availability to us in all of our needs – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, eternal. It’s about what we do with the free gift that Jesus offers. Heaven is a gift, not a goal.

In Heaven, there is no trauma. No more night, no more darkness, no more pain, no more tears, no more “drama”, no more restless nights, anxiety, depression. One day all these will be gone for the believer. We would like them gone now, but we do live in a sin-soaked world. “In this world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Because of Jesus’ victory on the cross, we can receive victory over sin, death, and Hell. This victory is a wonderful gift of grace, brought to you by the blood of Jesus.

But in Hell … In Hell, there is no end of trauma, pain, suffering, darkness. It is not a place where can just do whatever you want and party on. You will not have any choices there, no joy, no purpose, no peace, no life, only death, destruction, pain, and loneliness. Totally alone. Isolated. That’s bad enough in this life, but for eternity? No thank you! I choose Jesus. Do you? Have you?

If you are in Christ, your days of trauma will be over, and He is there with us on the journey. If not – well, I guess all I can say is “may God have mercy on your soul.” That mercy is available NOW through Jesus. What are you waiting for. Just ask. Admit your need. Believe in Jesus’ sin-payment. Receive the gift.

Four emojis

Trauma! (Part 3 of 4 – The Emotions)

As discussed in previous writings, trauma is unexpected, unplanned for, and can’t always be prepared for. Sometimes it is possible to prevent disaster by staying out of dangerous situations. Though we don’t have control over all things – only God has control over everything – we can still choose our attitudes, actions, and words. But there’s one thing we can’t do. – we can’t control the words, actions, or attitudes of other people. Sometimes what others say and do can have traumatic effects on us. That is what this piece is about – trauma of the emotions. Another way to say this is trauma of the spirit.

We are told to build up one another and encourage one another. That includes our emotions. When people are attacked in body, mind, and/or emotions, they need support. They need to be built up. They need encouragement. You can’t tear people down and build them up at the same time Be kind. Emotional trauma tries to stop us in our tracks, and often does – but it does not have to. We definitely need Jesus to help to get us through these traumatic experiences and I pray that we at least have someone to talk to when we are hurting. I am here. Others are too. Don’t keep it bottled inside. Let others build you up and encourage you. Then pass it on to others. 

In First Thessalonians 4:18, we read, “Therefore encourage one another with these words”. The second one is Second Thessalonians 1:4 – ” … “He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us… ”

As a pastor, I always want to include practical ways to apply these instructions to comfort and encourage each other. I would like to suggest three steps each of us can take when the emotions are assaulted by the pressures of life or by the attacks of others.  I will close with these steps and a prayer.

  1. Admit that you have been hurt and that you need emotional support and encouragement. While you don’t want to dwell on the hurt, you also don’t want to deny it. That just presses it down into the soul, and hurts yourself and others.

  2. Ask the Lord to send you to someone to comfort and encourage who has been through, or is going through similar situations. It’s good to know we are not alone.

  3. Release the hurt to Jesus. Pour it on him. He already knows. Just let it out.

“Father God, you tell us to encourage each other and comfort each other. Help us to seek Your comfort and to pass it on to others well. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Today is a tough day for my sister, Linda Kamoji. She is a site member, and I know she would appreciate your prayers. Today would have been hers and Dan’s 46th anniversary. This is her first anniversary as a widow, and it is hard. Linda is the one who led me to Christ, for which I am (literally) eternally grateful. 

She and Dan had a strong faith, both individually and as a couple. They had a scripture verse they said together every morning: “Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!” – (Ps. 34:3) That was their verse together, and it is Linda’s verse and prayer now, to magnify Jesus, and exalt (lift high) His name. 

Grief is hard under any circumstances, but may be especially hard if you lose a spouse. This is something Linda pointed out to me, and shared this link to Grief in Common http://www.griefincommon.com

I would like to ask readers to check out this site and use it to pray with understanding, or maybe to help you deal with this kind of grief. I want everybody here to be ministered to and to grow closer to Jesus. I hope this post does just that.

I have four great sisters (no brothers). Pray for them, as I am praying for you and your family. (You may hold me accountable for this.)

Until next time,
Pastor John

Hands and feet pierced

The Gospel

The gospel is about Jesus Christ, and what he did for each of us on the cross. It is the good news that he died for our sins, so that we can believe in Him and receive him. I know as Christians, we throw those terms around a lot, so let me break it down for us all. The gospel is about a relationship with Jesus Christ through faith.

The Background

Since the fall of man in Genesis, our relationship with God has been broken. What Adam and Eve did in the garden has its consequences passed down to us. Sin is now a part of our nature, our core, our heart. How do we know this? Because we keep messing up, keep hurting people, keep running our mouth when we should be quiet, keep seeking self first. We have a choice not to do or not do these things, but our natural tendency is to just go with what’s easy and live for ourselves, regardless of the consequences to others. You don’t have to teach a child to lie.

What Jesus Did

With that brokenness in mind, God sent Jesus to die for our sins, to pay the penalty for all the wrong we have ever done, to take our punishment, so that we could have a right relationship with God through Him. The long and short of it is this: We messed up. That separated us from God. God didn’t want that separation, so He sent His son Jesus to take our place. He did that on the cross, and now we can know God through faith in what Jesus did for us, through realizing that we need that forgiveness, and through surrendering our lives to Him.

My Story

At the age of 15, I gave my life to Christ. I asked God to forgive me of my sins, to come into my life, and to take over my life, since I realized it was falling apart and I needed him. When I asked him to come into my heart, he did, and he promised that we would never leave me or forsake me. He is in my heart forever. He is with me now, and I will be with him in eternity. That’s what Jesus did for me.

That is my story. What is yours? Just click “leave a reply”  below this post and tell me your story. Do you know Him? Would you like to? What has he done for you? I would love to hear from you. I have heard from one already. I would love to hear from you, and I would be most grateful if you would share this post so others could hear the truth of what Jesus did for them. To share, just copy and paste the short link below:

https://wp.me/paeMlO-3E

I have just updated the products page to include pictures of the four C.D.’s that I am selling at this time. These are all recorded at home, either in Kentucky or here in Mississippi. Each one reflects something unique – job loss, patriotism, praise and worship, fun for kids of all ages. Each C.D. is priced at $13.00, which includes shipping! Please check out the page “Products”, accessible from any page.

Thank you to all for your financial and prayer support, especially prayers for this website. God is growing it, and me, an amazed at all He is doing in our midst. 

Blessings,
Pastor John