Monday, August 31, 2015


The Red Words in Scripture - Promises of Jesus
Matthew 19:28 At the renewal of all things when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne you who have followed me will also sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.

Matthew 26:64 In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.

Mark13:26-27 At that time men will see the Son of Man coming on clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

Mark 14:62 You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.

Luke 17:24 The Son of Man in his day will be like the lightening which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.

Luke 21:27 At that time they will see the son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

John 6:62 What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before? The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

Revelation 3:11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one will take your crown.

Revelation 22:7 Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of prophecy in this book.

Revelation 22:12 Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.

Revelation 22:20 Yes, I am coming soon.

With all these Scriptures in Jesus own words does anyone doubt that Jesus is coming back? Unfortunately there are many who don’t believe. Even scientists with no belief in God say that the earth had a beginning and will have an end. Many believers long for the return of Jesus. And we are told to be prepared, to watch and be ready. Some day Jesus will return. We are instructed when we see the Son of Man coming with power and great glory we are told “look up, lift up your heads, your redemption draws near.” What a day that will be!

Dear Father,
We thank you for the promise in Scripture that Jesus will be coming back soon. Prepare our hearts for this day. Help us win others to a saving knowledge of Him in the meantime. We want to say “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.” We know your timing will be perfect as you are.

In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

To learn more see Excellent Books on Prophesy here.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Q. I know my husband loves me and we’re committed to each other but we go through times of intense conflict and times of distance from each other. Then we wonder if the struggle is worth it and whether we really are meant for each other.  What’s going on? How can we change these patterns? 

A.  All couples face obstacles, angry flare ups and apathetic periods in their marriage from time to time. When these problems occur we often pull back and become distant or even have thoughts of giving up. We fall away from our spouse. Gary Thomas in his book Sacred Marriage says the solution to these problems is to do the opposite of what comes naturally - we need to fall forward.  “Falls are inevitable. We can’t control that, but we can control the direction in which we fall - toward or away from our spouse.” 
Thomas goes on to say, “It took years for me to understand I have a Christian obligation to continually move toward my wife. I thought that as long as I didn’t attack my wife or say cruel things to her, I was a ‘nice’ husband, but the opposite of biblical love isn’t hate, its apathy. To stop moving toward our spouse is to stop loving him or her. It’s holding back from the very purpose of marriage.”
To learn to fall forward toward our spouse we must learn three things: 
1. We must learn not to run from conflict. Our natural tendency is to run away from disagreement. We can do this in other relationships more easily than we can in marriage. We can look for another job, another friend, another church. But our marital vows challenge us, or even force us, to work through the problem, to reach a solution. Thomas says that “conflict provides an avenue for spiritual growth. To resolve conflict, by definition we must become more engaged, not less. Just when we want to ‘tell the other person off’ we are forced to be quiet and listen to their complaint. Just when we are most eager to make ourselves understood, we must strive to understand...”
2. We must learn to compromise. This is not a dirty word, as society would lead us to believe. In order for a relationship to continue and grow some compromises must occur. Every relationship involves compromise in some way. When we’re willing to give some ground we prove our love; we prove how important the relationship is to us. We fall forward.
3. We must learn acceptance and loyalty. The very differences which attracted us to each other sooner or later cause conflict or hurt.  For example, you were attracted to his kindness before you married. Now you see him as too giving. Or you enjoyed her as fun loving before marriage but now you wish she would be serious. Life would be easier we think if he or she would be just like me. The challenge is to let go of our idealized image of a husband or wife and learn to love the person we married, an imperfect, flawed human being. We fall forward.
Learning to face conflict, learning to compromise and learning acceptance teaches us how to love and how to forgive. This is what falling forward is all about. We don’t let pain or apathy keep us from moving toward each other.
To learn more about how to put these lessons into practice join a couples educational group, The Third Option, Marriage Encounter or Weekend to Remember. I also recommend you read Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas.

“Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12:10 NLT

Blessings, Dottie

Monday, August 17, 2015


Q.  I think I’m having a nervous breakdown. I’ve been depressed and nervous since my wife died a year ago. I can't sleep and I feel shaky. I force myself to go to work but I don’t accomplish as much as I did in the past. On the weekends I force myself to go out some where but most of the time I sit home and cry. I can’t get over having lost her. Am I having a nervous breakdown? Am I mentally ill? What can I do to get over this?

A. You’re not having a nervous breakdown. In fact, there is no such thing as a nervous breakdown.  Many people say, “I think I’m having a nervous breakdown,” when they feel very stressed or depressed. We are fearful and think the worst when our emotions are overwhelming. A nervous breakdown is not a legitimate medical diagnosis. It doesn’t exist in diagnostic manuals or medical text books. 

Nor are you mentally ill. When a person has a mental illness their personality is seriously disorganized and out of touch with reality. Instead, you are very much in touch with the reality of your wife’s death.
You are experiencing normal grief over the loss of your wife. Most of us expect to grieve for a few weeks after the loss of a loved one - until we experience a major loss ourselves. Then we learn that grieving is more painful than we imagined and takes much longer than we expected. 

Most widows and widowers face the same feelings you’re experiencing. After the loss of a loved one it’s very common to have periods of anxiety, sadness, tearfulness, anger and guilt. It is also common to have difficulty sleeping, a loss of appetite, and little energy. Some people also have physical symptoms such as stomach aches, joint pains, or headaches.

Friends have no doubt told you to keep busy, to be strong and positive, and make a new life. Their advice is sound but it’s only part of the story. Spending all your time grieving is not healthy. But denying your grief also is not healthy. Activity numbs the pain and keeps you in touch with the world but it doesn’t shorten mourning. 

If you try to deny your mixed emotions you will prolong your grief. The key to working through grief is to allow yourself to feel your pain some of the time, which you are doing. Go into your sadness and let yourself cry. Express your anger and hurt out loud to a close friend. It’s also helpful to write about loss.

Grieving may last several years. The fact that you aren't over it is normal and O.K. This doesn't mean you will be grieving all the time. Each year it lessens. However, you will experience periods of pain; days or weeks when you are again depressed after feeling better. Certain days will be more difficult than others. Anniversaries, birthdays, holidays and weekends are particularly difficult for most widows and widowers. Knowing this you can plan how you want to spend these days. A balance of activities with others and time alone to grieve is best. When your grief is strong don't avoid it, go into it. 
If you have no one you can talk to about your loss or if your depression isn’t gradually lessening, seek help from a counselor or a pastor. Talking about your loss will help speed up the grieving process. Medication can also help if your sleep problems are extreme and constant. A number of churches also offer a program called Grief Share which is very helpful. In this group program you will learn to understand your grief and how to handle it. And you will have support from others going through the same difficulties.

Above all else, call out to God in your sorrow and he will help you through this time of grief. Pray and read His Word daily. Abide in Him. He is a safe refuge.

“I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds.” Jeremiah 30:17 NASB

Blessings, Dottie

Monday, August 10, 2015

Teaching Children about Money

Q.  How can I teach my children, age 8 and 10, the value of money? They always want the latest toy advertised on TV or some novelty a friend has. I’ve tried to explain we can’t afford to get them everything they want but this doesn’t help.  What do you suggest?

A.  Teaching children about money is essential in today’s world of easy credit and constant commercials. We need to think consciously about what we want to teach and how to get these ideas across to our children.

Experts agree that the best way for children to learn about money is to have an allowance. They learn more from their mistakes, from spending foolishly, than they do from all the lectures or explanations we give.

Very young children, those under age 5, do not need an allowance but three or four year olds can learn to identify coins and can enjoy putting coins into a piggy bank.

Experts differ on whether or not allowances should be tied to chores. Some families give an allowance unconditionally. The child, as a member of the family is expected to help around the house just as everyone else. No one pays the parents to cook, clean, cut the grass - these are responsibilities. These parents don’t want their children to expect payment for everything they do. If chores aren’t done the allowance is still given. 
Others believe it’s best to tie the allowance to chores so the child won’t think they can get something for nothing. Whichever approach is used, it’s ok to allow children to earn extra money by doing extra chores.
Give an allowance beginning in grade school. Talk this over with your child and explain your expectations about the use of the money and that it must last the entire week. For example, you may want your child to give a quarter every Sunday to the Sunday school offering. You may want to teach the child to save by requiring a quarter be put in a piggy bank. Young children should be free to spend most of their allowance as they wish. They will be learning to make decisions and they will be learning from their mistakes.
Don’t lecture, punish or blame a child for the way they spend their money. Instead, calmly explain that the child will have more to show for his money if he saves for a more expensive item. 

By age ten children can begin to learn more complicated money issues. You can offer a loan (from you) for something the child needs or wants immediately. Explain this is how you buy your house and your car. Be strict about the repayment plan or your lesson won’t be effective.
Teenagers enjoy having their own clothing allowance. This will often help them get over the desire for expensive name brand clothing and mistakes will teach them a great deal. 
Share with older children specific information about your own finances. Tell them about your own financial struggles or successes. Show them your budget and explain all the bills you must pay. 
Even young children need to hear about how you decide to use your money. Why do you save? Give examples of saving for a large purchase. Why do you give to your church or to people in need? This is an opportunity to teach them to care about the needs of others. Sharing with your children your values and priorities about money will teach them how to save, spend and share their money.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. “ Proverbs 22:6

Blessings, Dottie

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Promises of Jesus

Matthew 16:24-27 If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.....For the Son of Man is going to come in his glory with his angels and he will reward each person according to what he has done.       

Matthew 19:29-30 Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.

Mark 10:29-30 I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields - and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life

Luke 18:29   I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this present age and in the age to come, eternal life.

John 5:24-25 I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 
To save your life you must lose it? We must give up everything to gain eternal life? This is difficult for many Christians to understand and accept. How can you lose your life? How can you surrender all – everything, every relationship, everything precious to you? Yet letting go and committing your life into the hands of Jesus will result in much gain both in this life and in life after death. This is a promise with a huge price – but one worth everything.

John MacArthur’s comment on Matthew 16:24-27 clarifies this:
“Here is Jesus first mention of the word “cross” to His disciples. To them it would have evoked a picture of a violent, degrading death. He was demanding total commitment from them – even unto physical death – and making this call to full surrender a part of the message they were to proclaim to others…..For those who come to Christ with self-renouncing faith, there will be true and eternal life.”

Eternal life is only promised to those who truly give their heart to God. Surrendering all to Him is a difficult and a daily decision we must make. It brings many rewards in this life as well!

Dear Father,
We thank you for the promise of eternal life, the promise of heaven. What a promise! We will see you in glory! We will worship you and live in your presence. We thank you that the Holy Spirit lives in us now. Help us love you with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Help us recognize our failures to follow you and quickly repent. Help us surrender to you daily. We thank you and praise you in Jesus name. Amen