Why Promising Prosperity Delivers Despair

10 May

I sat quietly in the back of the room, cringing at every word.

“God is not the author of sickness! God is not the author of disease! He has already healed you—Isaiah said ‘By His stripes we are healed!’”

Used with permission

Used with permission

She paused to take a breath.

“Ladies. Stop asking for healing and start walking in the healing He has already given you. He will heal you if you have the faith to believe it!”

The room broke out in a chorus of “Hallelujahs” and “Amens” as I sank lower into my chair.

My thoughts turned to Ethan Hallmark, a brave young warrior who lost his earthly battle to a brutal cancer that ravaged his body. As he lay in his hospice bed, he beckoned his mother to lean in. Later, she told me what he said. He was afraid, not of dying, but of something else.

He was afraid that people would blame God for his cancer.

Ethan Hallmark had great faith.

So why did he die? Why wasn’t he healed? How can his faith possibly be reconciled with the prosperity message?

It can’t.

It doesn’t have to.

The prosperity message is not in the Bible.

The prosperity message needs one important component to succeed: (more…)

Melissa’s Pen ~ Broken Places

4 May

I checked my phone after a long meeting and found several missed calls, voicemails, and texts from my son’s school and from my mom. “Gavin has hurt his arm and I am taking him to the hospital to have it checked out. There is no need to worry, but please get here as quickly as possible.” I knew two things from the tone in my mom’s voice:
1. She was worried.
2. His arm was broken.

And it WAS broken.

He had fallen on the playground at recess and broken both the radius and ulna in his left arm. Gavins arm

He spent Halloween in a red cast and dressed up like Superman. At a follow-up appointment, I looked at the x-ray and realized his bones were not going to set exactly straight. The doctor told me to wait and watch. He said the bones would not set straight, but that over time new straight bones would form. I was NOT convinced.

But on the doctor’s visit before Christmas, I saw what I can only describe as astounding.

Gavin’s bones looked straighter! This x-ray showed that new bone was beginning to form around the broken ones. It is not just that the bones were healing together – it is that new areas of bone were growing above and below and around the bone to make the broken places stronger.

God not only created us—He designed us to heal.

After Gavin’s cast came off (oh, happy day!), his left arm looked a lot different than his right. After months of not using those muscles, his left arm was much smaller and weaker than the other. It was about this time that Gavin was invited to a trampoline park birthday party. He was afraid he would hurt his arm again, but I convinced him that his arm was stronger now and that he should not be afraid to go play. He had a blast.

Months later, in the middle of a broken-hearted moment in my life, God began reminding me that He has designed my heart to heal too. I just have to remember to trust in Him, rest my broken heart, and allow it to heal. Time after time he uses the Word, friends, family, and even time to gather around my broken places and heal my wounded heart.

I found that healing my heart followed the same process that Gavin went through:

  1. Get to the doctor quickly. (Seek God)
  2. Let him set your broken places. (Surrender to God)
  3. Follow the doctor’s orders. (Trust and obey God)
  4. Isolate what is broken until it heals. (Rest in God)
  5. Use the healed part again. (Serve others)

Proverbs 3:5-8 says it this way, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. Don’t consider yourself to be wise; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. This will be healing for your body and strengthening for your bones.”

Using what has been previously broken is never easy – it is usually painful at first. But you have to use that part again—AFTER you allow yourself to rest and heal. (more…)

The Cryptic Text

28 Mar

“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

—Psalm 46:10-11

The cryptic text haunted her all day.

Sarah and I need to talk to you about something tonight. It’s very important and can’t wait. It’s very private and very necessary. We will pick you up at 7:30. I promise it won’t take long.

With hours to go and nothing to do, her mind went in all sorts of directions. Was it one of the kids? Something she’d done? Something she’d said? For the life of her she couldn’t think of a thing.

At exactly eightextingt-seventeen, they dropped her off. She paused before turning the doorknob. Maybe she could pretend nothing had happened. Maybe she could turn and run.

She opened the door, went upstairs, washed her face, and kissed her kids goodnight. The next day she called me.

I sat there silently, taking it in. In the span of forty-seven awful minutes, her heart had been ripped out and her world turned upside down. She was out of her league and in over her head with no idea what to do.

“I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. Where do I even start? I don’t know what to do.”

You don’t know her story, but perhaps you know how she feels. One minute everything is fine. Life is business as usual with the usual ups and downs.

And then the phone rings.

Or you find an e-mail.

Or receive a diagnosis.

Suddenly, the bottom falls out and the walls cave in, and the air is sucked out of your chest. What do you do, where do you go, when you don’t know where to start?

We cried together, prayed together, and then I told her this:

“Look at me. You will get through this. We will get through this. So let’s start with what we know.”

Here is what we know: (more…)

Why We Can’t Quit the Bachelor

16 Mar

As a morning radio show co-host, my day typically starts with coffee and the news. My first stop is always msn.com. This particular morning, two competing headlines flashed across the screen, both related to the Bachelor:

7 Things We Can Expect from JoJo Fletcher as the Bachelorette

and

‘The Bachelor’ Finale: Ben Engaged, Runner Up Left “Speechless”

I should show my hand. I do not watch the Bachelor.one rose

Anymore.

But I used to.

After season four or five I had to quit. It was too hard watching the same thing play out over and over again: Twenty-five women, desperate for love, competing for the heart of one man who claimed to have “strong feelings” for at least four or five girls at a time. Meanwhile, back at the estrogen cave, alcohol and isolation provoked tears, back-stabbing, and sometimes, all-out war.

No more.

Unless, of course, I “accidently” land on ABC while folding laundry at seven o’clock on a Monday night.

That morning, I couldn’t resist. I clicked on both headlines, noting that the latest Bachelorette hails from my city – Dallas.

So what is it about this show that sucks us in? Why do the girls keep going back for more and why do we keep watching?

I have a theory. (more…)

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