Before and After

Before and After

I looked into her eyes and she stared back at me, yet I hardly recognized her. When had that happened? The years had taken their toll. Her skin was no longer as smooth, and creases were worn deep at the corners of her eyes and lips. She no longer had that youthful glow, but it was okay because she looked back at me with eyes of knowing and wisdom that came only through experience. Her face told the real story: that “after” only comes when there is a “before.” [more]

Ask Dr. B: How To Overcome Discouragement in Prayer

Ask Dr. B: How To Overcome Discouragement in Prayer

Dear Dr. B,
I feel like God didn’t answer my prayers and I’m so discouraged. How can I restore my faith and hope in God when I’m devastated?
Sincerely,
Prayed but Discouraged

Dear Discouraged,
I’m so sorry you’re discouraged in your prayer life. I have been there several times in the course of my life, and it’s a painful place to sit. Because I’ve been there, I can assure you that you aren’t alone, although I know that that is only mildly encouraging when you are actually going through it. And let’s be honest, shall we? When we pray, we want God to answer our prayers the way we want them answered, when we want them answered! [more]

God Offers Hope (the When & Will of Trust)

God Offers Hope (the When & Will of Trust)

“My heart is breaking for you,” came the compassionate words of a friend as she held my hand while my shoulders heaved and sobs caught in my throat.

I found myself in circumstances that I could never have predicted nor imagined. In fact, I had tried to obey all the rules, do everything right, and tell the truth, yet it didn’t serve to make me immune from trial or heartache. Quite the contrary, I came to realize that many don’t value the truth. [more]

20 Practical Ways to Help a Friend in Need – Part 2

20 Practical Ways to Help a Friend in Need – Part 2

As a natural encourager, it’s always my desire to instill hope in the hearts of those who are hurting. Yet sometimes this is harder to do than others. During a recent prolonged bout of illness I found that some seemed to instinctively know how to help, while others did not. Some words and deeds helped, others actually hurt.

As I thought about the ministry of Jesus, it didn’t take long for me to realize that Jesus got dirty in doing good. In order to heal, He frequently got His hands dirty – both figuratively and literally. He spit in the dirt and made mud to heal a blind man’s eyes. [more]

Practical Ways to Help a Friend in Need – Part 1

Practical Ways to Help a Friend in Need – Part 1

“I trust this morning you are feeling much better!” were the words that greeted me via a text from a friend. Unsure of how to respond, I waited. Strangely enough, that text did not encourage or lift my spirits as I’m sure it was intended. It also didn’t give me much opportunity to provide an honest response.

You see, I wasn’t feeling any better. In fact, I was feeling even worse and had just returned from yet another visit to the doctor to find out that that not only was my originally diagnosed pneumonia not improving, but I had also picked up the flu somewhere along the way. [more]

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