Monday, March 30, 2009

He Heals The Brokenhearted

PS 147:3 "He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their sorrows. "
I was writing on my other blog this morning and I quoted this verse and the application is so fitting for divorced dads. (And moms) The psalmist tells us that God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their sorrows. The visual image is applying bandages to wounds. The gem that jumped out at me in reading this today is that nowhere in the verse does God tell us He only heals our broken heart or bind up our wounds if someone else did it to us. Many times, our wounded heart is the result of someone else's actions toward us, and other times it's because of actions we took. Sometimes too, it's a combination of divorce. It's almost never just one person's fault. But God doesn't differentiate between the two. He simply says he heals our broken heart and binds up our wounds. Period. I am learning that most of the time, our sin is punishment enough. The consequences of our actions are more than we can bear most of the time...God doesn't need to add anything to that pain. Occasionally we are stubborn or we blame someone else and don't take responsibility for what we've done and He has to add some punishment to get us to understand. But for the most part, the shame, hurt, pain, wounds, and long term consequences are so heavy that He needs to give us mercies that are new each morning. Probably because we use up our supply every day. (It was figurative when He described His mercy that way...and I do know this)
Yesterday was difficult for me. It always is when I have Morgan for the weekend and she has to go home on Sunday night. The house just screams of emptiness. This is a result of our divorce and the divorce was the result of two people who sinned against each other. But God doesn't hold that against me nor does He measure out His mercies based on what I have done. He only sees my wounded heart and He only has healing in mind. That is a result of His unfailing love. He heals the matter how they got that way.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Special moments...

These are tough times indeed. I see folks losing their jobs and their homes and their livelihoods all around. When you have young children, you want to shield them from this as much as possible. But how? What can we do to resist the downward spiral we see around us and instill faith in our children? There is only one possible answer...the eternal. Last Wednesday evening, we had our monthly prayer service at church. The children's classes also met and taught on prayer and they had small group prayer with the kids. ('s a special place!) My daughter was telling me about her experience after the service. She said she was praying for her dear friend Shirley and that she felt God "take over" her prayer. She said only the first five words or so, came from her mind, the rest were the Holy Spirit praying through her. It was English, it was intelligible, and it was a wonderful experience for my daughter to have. She said she prayed in a way she never had before. It felt very forceful to her and very effective. That is a moment that no economy can steal. That will stay with her and keep her grounded more than anything I can do in my own strength. Forgive me if it sounds haughty...My remaining consistent in her life, and remaining a consistent force for her spiritual growth, created a door of opportunity for an event like this. I didn't do anything except be obedient to God's commands to bring up a child with the knowledge of the right path, and I remained on the job when quitting was an enticing option. God did the miracle.
Hang in there dads. These are tough days but God honors committed dads.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bless Those That Curse you...

Jesus gave us this command:
Mat 5:44 but I say to you, Love your enemies; bless those cursing you, do well to those hating you; and pray for those abusing and persecuting you,
Mat 5:45 so that you may become sons of your Father in Heaven. Because He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and unjust.
Mat 5:46 For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same?
Mat 5:47 And if you only greet your brothers, what exceptional thing do you do? Do not the tax-collectors do so?

It's a hard thing. Especially when there is emotion involved. I have been asked quite often about why my book didn't contain more bitterness and bile towards my ex-wife, the court system, the judge who presided over our hearings, and the inequities of the way the entire thing is set up. Well it's partially because of the verses above and partially because I know myself too well. I tend to brood sometimes. If I let bitterness creep in, it will wreck my day and my week. My ex and her husband have pulled plenty of stunts that have hurt me and wounded my soul. But my daughter is watching. I have to respond in a Christ-like fashion regardless of how I think I want to respond. I can't teach her about the loving grace of Jesus if I spew my venom in retaliation for something that has happened between her mom and I. I have tried to avoid going there as much as possible. I have not been perfect in that pursuit but I have done better than I ever thought I would have. I don't want that bitter root to take hold in my heart. I wrote about that before.
So I have begun to pray earnestly for Holly and her husband. It's difficult to pray for their happiness and really is. But if they are happy, it will create a happy environment for my daughter, and ultimately...that's all I care about.
I've been asked to speak to various dads' support groups from time to time and I've turned down many opportunities. The reason? Because those that I declined were very bitterness based. They were vengeance minded and absorbed with fighting the "system" and dwelling on hatred. I know where that comes from, and their basis is justified. But I know me..if I go there I might end up staying there. I choose forgiveness and graciousness because I have to stay Christ-like in this mess. "Father forgive them...they just don't get it" was Jesus' plea from the cross. I pray the same things sometimes for my ex. I find that spending a few minutes in sincere prayer for them mellows me a bit, too. It's hard to take the high road but I see Jesus walking there so frequently. Join me on the path.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Taking some time off

This weekend was a marathon...seemingly endless proofread and revision for book number two.
"Nowhere To Lay My Head" is done! I will give you details in the future but I've already scored a coup with the Foreward. It will be written by a nationally syndicated radio talk show host. Details to follow.
So...I am TIRED of writing and I am taking a break for a few days or maybe a week.
Be back before you know it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Calling for input

Hey's my request for the day. I am trying to put together some revision chapters for the book and I am looking for some input. If you've read the book, or if you've been a regular here at the blogsite, send me an email or comment here with a sentnece or two about a topic you'd like to see me include in the revision.
Here is a list of what will be included in the revision
"Sexual purity after divorce"
"Dealing with anger and avoiding bitterness"
"Dealing with her new husband"
"Admit hurt. Learning how to stop hiding your pain"
"Life goes on...what the future holds"
"Helping other guys"
"When do I start loving again?"

I'm open to suggestion so lets here from you!

Monday, March 2, 2009

SDC announcements

Hey gang...a few updates to share with you all
First...thank you, from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have written or emailed or commented here telling me how the book has helped. I am very excited about how God is using this book to help and heal.
On that note, here are some important upcoming items of interest.
The book is going to undergo a slight revision. There are a few small items I am going to remove and actually quite a bit I am going to add to the content. In my discussions with folks as they've read it and here on the blog, God has shown me a few more areas that could stand to be addressed before I make the move to an ISBN number and worldwide distribution via Borders, Amazon et al. I'm not changing the content or the tone too much, more like just fine tuning it and there were one or two areas that I decided made this sound too much like an autobiography and not enough about an all-inclusive story.
On another very exciting number two is done! At least the first draft. The title is "Nowhere To lay His Head" and I am sending out pdf's for proofreading tomorrow. I expect to have it ready for sale on LULU by next week if all goes well and I can get the cover shoot lined up. I's about my story of homelessness as it relates to the mortgage meltdown...and more importantly what I learned about Jesus' own homelessness. It was life changing just writing it and I hope it will be that to readers as well.
Several men have suggested a daily devotional book for divorced dads or divorced folks in general and I am seriously putting that into planning stage as well as a companion workbook for SDC. Those are likely "next year" projects.
Your prayers are always appreciated as well as your insight and comments here or on my site at
Thanks to everyone!