Friday, April 29, 2016


John 3:16-21 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.

John 4:23-24  But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

John 8:31 If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

John 14:5-6 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

The Truth will set you free! These are the words of Jesus. I’m putting the words of Jesus in red today to emphasize that these are the words of Jesus. I was surprised to realize that he, himself, said the familiar passage above – John 3:16 – about God loving the world so much he gave his only Son (Jesus) not to condemn us but to set us free. Read the scripture again and be amazed. If you don’t know Jesus or haven’t believed in him read the entire book of John and be further amazed. And ask him into your heart.

Father, We thank you for your Son who lived and died to show us your love and to save our souls. Remove our worldly skepticism and help us seek you more and trust you more and even test the words above by seeking you to find out if you really are the one and only almighty God.

In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Friday, April 22, 2016


A. My adult son lied to me several times. He said he had sent a check for money he owed. When it didn't arrive he made excuses about why it hadn't come. That was two weeks ago and I've still received no check. I'm upset by my son's lying. I've lost trust in him. Why is he lying? What should I do about it?

A. “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” We all lie at times. We tell little white lies that seemingly don't matter. But lying has serious consequences. It erodes trust in relationships which leads to distrust and distance. Lying is a national sickness. Commercial hype and political dishonesty are the rule. Research shows that 91 % of Americans admit they lie routinely! 
Lying serves many purposes. We lie to avoid obligations. "I wish I could help but..." We lie to end conversations. "I have to go now because..." We lie to avoid hurting other's feelings. "I love your new dress." We lie to avoid conflict. "The check is in the mail." We lie to keep others at a distance. We say, "I'm fine," when we're really feeling terrible.
We lie by omission. We hide information from our loved ones. The wife hides purchases from her husband. He hides the fact that he lost money betting on his golf game. Many adults hide from their parents the fact that they smoke. The lies we tell others are often the tip of the iceberg compared to the lies we tell ourselves. We hide from ourselves traits that we feel ashamed of or wrongs we have done. We deny and rationalize or project blame onto others.
Lies drain energy from us. They cause us to put up walls and hide who we really are. One lie leads to another and then we must remember every detail of our stories. We struggle to maintain this false self. Lying affects us physically. According to polygraph experts we breathe faster, our hearts beat harder and our blood pressure increases when we lie. Scripture says “The truth will set you free.” And it will.

Your son lies to achieve his own ends and to avoid hassles. He avoided a confrontation by saying he would send the money he owed and later by saying that he had sent it. You need to confront him about this. Otherwise the lies will continue and he may grow more and more alienated from you. Do this in person or, if that's not possible, write him a letter. 
Do not say "You lied to me." Even though this is true, an accusation will cause him to put up more walls. Instead, “speak the truth in love.” Tell him about how his lying has really disturbed you. Tell him you find yourself wondering whether you can trust him any more. Tell him of your sadness and hurt about his lying.
But don't act "holier than thou" in telling him. Give him examples from your own life of a time you lied to your parents or to someone close. Tell him that you want your relationship with him to be different. You want to be open and honest with him and hope for the same from him.

It's important also to insist on him paying the money he owes you. He may have learned that lying enables him to avoid responsibility. I hope these ideas will encourage us all to give up our tangled web of lies and face the truth about ourselves. And speak the truth in love to our friends and loved ones.

Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.” Proverbs 12:19

Blessings, Dottie

Friday, April 15, 2016


Q.  I’m angry and bitter about my life. I was physically and sexually abused as a child by several male relatives. I thought I’d escaped all of that when I got married but I still have nightmares about the abuse. My family doesn't understand how hurt I’ve been. I’m afraid to trust anyone. I opened up to a friend and she told me I had to forgive and forget. I’ve tried to do this, but the nightmares continue and so does my bitterness. What can I do to get over all this trauma? How can I forgive all this?

A.  Forgiveness is a lofty and important goal but not a simple one. Being able to forgive and also forget is questionable. If we were able to forget, forgiving would be easier. But the hurts and traumas of the past are buried in our unconscious. They creep out in our nightmares. They affect our self-esteem and our relationships. They are never forgotten.
No one feels content while tied to these past hurts. No one feels content while bitter and resentful. We must begin the road to forgiveness in order to help ourselves. Forgiveness is the goal we aim for in order to overcome our anger and bitterness about hurts and traumas.
Well meaning friends often urge us to forgive and forget instantly. They do not understand that forgiveness is a process; not something we can do immediately.  Nor do they understand the extent of our pain. If you are attacked and beaten by a thug, even if you forgive him instantly, it will take weeks for the bruises to disappear. Healing takes time. No one would tell you to give up your black eye, or to snap out of your broken arm, would they?   
Some of us might be able to forgive instantly an unkind remark made unintentionally by someone we know really cares for us. No one can instantly forgive physical, sexual or emotional abuse received in childhood. The deeper the wound the longer it will take to work through the painful emotions connected with it. 

To overcome your childhood traumas, the emotions connected with the hurt have to be re-experienced and acknowledged. It is necessary to talk about and "relive" your victimization. When we deny or minimize  this kind of pain we are apt to remain bitter and distrustful. 
Some of us have difficulty forgiving because we misunderstand forgiveness. We think if we forgive, we are saying to the person who hurt us, that what he or she did was OK. Forgiveness does not condone the hurtful, abusive behavior. Rather, the person who forgives, gives up their right to be angry and resentful - even though it is justified. 
Eventually you will be able to let go of resentment and bitterness. I recommend you see a Christian counselor or pastor for help in forgiving the abuse you experienced as a child. You have been through devastating traumas and have suffered long enough.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in God through Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32         

Blessings, Dottie

Friday, April 8, 2016

Help for a Dull Marriage

Q. My marriage is rather dull. We care about each other but we never talk about how we feel. We also never disagree. We talk about the kids, the weather, and our jobs. I hate to say it but I'm sometimes bored when we're together. Though this isn't a big problem I'd like to know how to change things.

A. All of us long for authentic relationships in which we can be open, honest and even vulnerable. We want to share our true self with the person we love the most. We want true intimacy, but we don’t know how to achieve it. 

Often marriages reach a “ho-hum stage” after the initial idealistic "honeymoon stage.” This happens because we’re afraid to be honest. We try to avoid conflict. We want to keep the peace and please our partner. This avoidance leads to a pattern of denial, rationalization and suppression of our true feelings. It also leads to a dull, boring inauthentic relationship. We also may take each other for granted and stop showing as much love and affection as we did in the past.
God designed us to want open, honest, authentic relationships. We choose peace-keeping over truth-telling and taking-for-granted over showing love, so we end up in shallow or inauthentic relationships. Misunderstandings, hurt feelings, frustrations and doubts are never shared or resolved. Our marriage deteriorates under the weight of these hidden issues. We become detached, distrustful, and cut off.
The only way out of this inauthentic pattern is to take risks and be real. We must enter the area of our painful, secret feelings and share these. We must take the risk to tell the truth and to hear the truth. This is not an easy task for any of us.

If you are taking each other for granted and not showing much affection you may want to change this first. This can be done even in non verbal ways. Here are some ways to do this.       
•Let your eyes light up when you see each other.
•Look into your partner’s eyes.
•Listen, really listen.
•Acknowledge feelings. “That must really hurt.”
•Hold hands.
•Give hugs and say “I love you.”
•Give compliments. “You look nice today.”
•Give appreciation. “Thanks for taking out the trash.”
•Smile and enjoy each other.

As for being open and honest in sharing hurts or differences plan with your husband to meet together for an hour a week. Set aside a specific time. Each week talk about how the week has been. Tell each other thoughts you haven’t shared about mundane details of your life or about things that troubled you that week. Since you are both fight avoiders even when sharing something you disagree about you will do so peacefully.   Be open to hearing what your partner tells you. Be slow to react and don’t rush to deny, rationalize or disagree.

A weekly meeting gives a format for talking over large and small issues. Keep a list of what was talked about and go over these the next time.

One of the most helpful things a couple can do to deepen their relationship is to pray together every day. Praying together bonds us with each other and with God. A prayerful connection opens our hearts to Him and to each other in a new and almost magical way. If you’ve never prayed together begin with sentence prayers and progress to a time of prayer together when both of you pray. Some couples start their day with prayer and some end their day this way. Do what works for you but take risks and gain the rewards of knowing God and each other better. Praying together is an intimate, authentic experience. It heals and grows us. When we mover closer to God we also move closer to each other. 
“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12:10 NLT

Blessings, Dottie

Friday, April 1, 2016


John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him.

John 5:24 Whoever hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

John 6:40 My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:47 He who believes has everlasting life.

John 8:51 If anyone keeps my word he will never see death.

John 10:27-30 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father who has given them to me is greater then all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.

John 11:25-26 I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.

Many people believe they will go to heaven as long as they are “good.” They think if they do good deeds they will be in heaven eternally. Many Christians believe it is their good works that save them. But Scripture says we are saved by faith.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Not everyone goes to heaven. Believing in Jesus secures us his holiness to cover our sins and presents us blameless before God.

In today’s secular, politically correct world it’s hard for many to realize that God has a different agenda. To gain greater understanding of this read the book of John and the book of Romans in the New Testament. Salvation requires we commit our lives to Jesus. We must acknowledge our sins and repent of them asking his forgiveness. We must learn all we can about him and join his Body on earth – the Church. These things are not optional to gain the promise of eternal life with Him.

Dear Father,
We thank you for the promise you offer us of eternal life in your marvelous presence. It’s thrilling, reassuring and amazing to imagine – and we believe it’s true. Your word is Truth. Help us be heavenly minded while here on earth – yet also be grounded in our providential role on earth fulfilling your plan for us here. We thank you and praise you.
In Jesus name we pray. Amen.