Thursday, August 6, 2020
Home Authors Posts by Wendy Grages

Wendy Grages

Are you mad at God?

How do you react when things don’t go your way? Do you find yourself blaming God, resenting God or maybe even being mad at Him?

I think many people find themselves in this type of situation. When things go wrong, it often reveals what we are made of and what our relationship with God is made of.

When my kids were little, they often refused to hug me or give me kisses if things didn’t go their way. Children often withhold affection when they are disciplined or disappointed in a decision you’ve made.

How do you react when things don’t go your way? How do you feel when it seems like your prayers haven’t been answered?

Do you spend less time praying? Do you stay away from church? Does your Bible begin to collect dust on the shelf?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these, welcome to the club! You are not alone. I think it’s a human tendency to feel this way and react this way. But we don’t have to live in that space. It doesn’t have to be that way.

There’s a beautiful verse in the Bible that says that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called for His purposes. It’s difficult to see how the hurts, pain and disappointment in life can work out for our benefit. But all I can tell you is that I have seen it be true in my life and many other lives and I believe you will see it be true for your own life.

Don’t lose heart.

Don’t give up.

Don’t turn your back on God.

Instead, dig deep and get your brave on! We were never promised an easy life but God did promise us in the Bible that we can get through anything if we lean on Him.

It’s often in the worst of times that we can hear God the clearest and see Him move the most. Listen out for that still small voice that will comfort your soul and give you peace that makes no sense.

God always has a way through every trial, every heartache. We just have to seek Him and He will show us the way.

If you feel far from God or maybe you’ve turned your back on Him, can I encourage you to turn to Him one more time? He really is the only hope we have in this life and He is eager to get involved in your circumstances. Won’t you open your heart to Him by clicking on the pop-up or link below? I am praying for you, friend!

Should I wait to have sex?

So you may be in a relationship and are weighing up your decision to have sex now or wait until you’re married. Or maybe you’re single now and wonder how you will ever be able to wait until marriage. You are not alone!

I think these questions – “Should I wait?”, “How do I wait?”, “How far is too far?” – are big ones that many people are wrestling with. Last week we looked at why we should wait to have sex until we are married. But deciding to wait until marriage and actually making it to your wedding night without regret and disappointment are two very different things.

Here are a couple of practical steps to help you keep your relationship pure:

  1. It starts in your mind: No one just falls into bed together. It starts long before that. It starts with a thought that leads to action. So, keep your mind clean. If you catch yourself starting to think about sex with your boyfriend or girlfriend, switch gears. Maybe go for a walk, put on some worship music, read your Bible or call a friend who can keep you accountable.
  2. Set clear boundaries: Have the conversation with your partner, and decide on some strong, clear boundaries. For example, no lying down together; keep room doors open; don’t be home alone; don’t pull off into an isolated place; hands stay above the neck at all times. It might seem silly at first, but if you draw up good boundaries and stick to them, you will succeed in keeping sex for your marriage.

One of the most frequently asked questions from young people regarding this is “How far is too far?” Well, the best way I have found to explain the answer is this: You can go as far as you would go if one of your parents was sitting on the couch with you.

If you use that as a guideline, you will stay far away from sexual activity in your relationship and you will be so glad you did when you stand before your husband or wife on your wedding day.

Just remember, your current boyfriend or girlfriend is potentially someone else’s husband or wife; they are some little child’s father or mother. So treat them accordingly!

No matter how much you may have missed the mark on this in the past, you can start afresh today. Start by asking Jesus to help you make great decisions and stick to them.

To find out more about a real relationship with Jesus Christ, click on the pop-up or on the link below.

Honouring your parents

Do you get along with your parents? Navigating your relationship with your parents when you are an adult can be tricky. Honouring your parents can become more difficult as you start living your own life. Here’s some tips on keeping your relationship great.

What does it mean to honour my parents?

When we were children living at home, honouring our parents meant that we did what we were told even if we didn’t agree with it. It meant that we loved our parents and submitted to their authority. But what does honouring your parents look like when you are an adult, living your own life?

Respect does not mean agreement

As an adult, you can respect your parents without agreeing with them. Your parents may not approve of a decision you are making and that is okay. You are not required to obey your parents every wish the way you were when you were a child. You can still respect your parents and love them, but ultimately, your decisions are yours to make.

Honouring your parents as an adult means that you love and respect them. You love them with all their faults and annoyances (just as they love you with all yours) and you think of them and consider their feelings and beliefs as you navigate your own life.

The Bible says that if you honor your father and mother, things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth (Ephesians 6:3). That’s a pretty cool promise from God!

If you would like to know about living your life according to God’s way, click on the link below or on the pop up.

How to sleep better

Do you sleep well at night or do you toss and turn? Some people seem to fall into dreamland as soon as their heads hit the pillow. Unfortunately, many others spend more hours staring at the ceiling than they do snoring. Here are a few tips on how to sleep better.

Find the cause of your sleeplessness

One of the most common causes of sleeplessness is anxiety. There are a number of people I know who can fall asleep but inevitably wake up after a couple of hours and are up for the rest of the night. This is often caused by our brains not being able to shut off. Anxiety is a real thing and needs to be managed in order to sleep better.

Get moving

Experts agree that exercise during the day can help you sleep better at night. Exercise has long been known for its ability to de-stress our minds and release relaxing hormones into our bodies.

Wind down properly

Many new parents will know that the key to getting your baby to sleep through the night is to establish a bedtime routine. When we do the same thing every night before bed, it signals our brain that it is time to sleep. It may help to make sure your room is dark as this assists in the release of melatonin which regulates your sleep. It’s good to bear in mind that cell phone use before bed is a major contributor to a restless mind. People who stop watching screens at least an hour before bedtime and read instead, seem to fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer.

While I am no expert in this field, I do recognize that it is a real struggle for many people. Being able to manage our anxiety is key to experiencing a fulfilling and happy life.

One of the most effective ways I have found to manage anxiety is being able to turn to God in my time of need. Do you feel like you can turn to God or does He seem distant and far off?

The truth is that God is close to those who are struggling and is never more than a whisper away. Releasing your stress and burdens to God is an amazing gift.

If you would like to know more about how you can reach out to God, click on the link below or on the pop up.

When people hurt you

Have you experienced this in your life? When people hurt you it is such a difficult thing to go through. People hurt us for different reasons. It’s impossible to work out why people do what they do. One thing I have seen for certain is this: Hurting people, hurt people.

The truth is that we have all been hurt by people. Not only that, we have all hurt people too. I don’t think that any of us wake up in the morning and say, “I know what I’m going to do today. I’m going to hurt my friend (or family member).” None of us deliberately set out to hurt people. It’s just one of those things that happen as part of life.

So what must we do when people hurt us?

Don’t let it get in you

When people hurt us, we take it personally. We let it creep into our hearts and it affects our thinking, our moods and our speech. Of course, there is nothing easy about not letting it get in you. But we must work hard to not let it get in our hearts. Otherwise, the negative words that have spoken to us will replay in our minds like a stuck record. The mistrust and betrayal will taint all our other relationships. The hurt will cover us like a blanket and rob us of the great moments all around us.

Choose what you will do

Regardless of how the hurt has affected us, there is something we all can do. We can choose. You can choose to not accept what people are trying to put on us. We can choose how we will react and respond. And we can choose to fire the most powerful weapon at our disposal; LOVE.

Jesus lays out this challenge in the Bible. Here’s an excerpt from what He said from the book of Matthew, “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.”

When people hurt us, let’s choose to pray for them and not let the hurt get in us. Be kind, knowing that you are loved by God and He is with you to help you navigate every season of the soul.

If you would like to know more about the love of God towards you, click on the pop up banner or on the link below.

Sticking it out at work

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Have you ever had a bad day at work? Or are you going through a season that makes sticking it out at work seem impossible? Our jobs are a huge blessing but sometimes things can happen that make us want to quit.

Perhaps your boss blamed you for something that went wrong. Or perhaps your colleagues are annoying you or are difficult to get along with. Maybe you were overlooked for a promotion yet again and you feel like you are wasting your time. Regardless of the circumstance, we have all been there.

Often times, the answer is not to resign. Oh we may feel like we want to, but the truth is we need our jobs as they help provide for us. In most parts of the world, jobs are hard to come by. With so many people unemployed, we need our jobs.

So how can we get better at sticking it out at work?

Shift your perspective

Most of the things that drive us crazy are quite small compared to major world issues. Sticking it out is a lost art. We want a quick fix and if things aren’t going right, we want out. Unfortunately, that thinking will not get us far in life. Try to step away from the circumstances and look at things from a bigger perspective. Chat to a friend or family member and ask them to help you see the situation from an outsider’s perspective. That should help you to put things into context and keep on going.

Find your purpose

Although your job is a big part of your life, it’s not the only reason you’re alive. God created you for a purpose and you can out work that in whatever job you do. Find out what aspects of your job really make you come alive. Find the joy in the everyday aspects of what you get to do. Look for ways to improve your skills and look for ways you can make a positive impact in the lives of those around you.

By sticking it out, you give God an opportunity to work in your life for a great outcome for your future. You can trust Him!

To find out more about God’s purpose for your life and how you can trust Him, click on the link below or on the pop up.

 

Getting along with difficult people is impossible

Have you ever had to deal with a difficult person? Perhaps at work or at school? Maybe even in your family? People can be awesome but also difficult. They can be moody, unhelpful, sarcastic or even rude. Getting along with difficult people can seem impossible.

We all may encounter people like this wherever we go. So what should we do? How can we get along with them?

Be patient

This is so difficult to do. When people are rude or difficult, the last thing we want to do is be patient. But think of it this way; when someone is being difficult, they are like a match that has been lit. When we respond to them in a negative way, it can be like throwing petrol on that spark. It often erupts into a bonfire. The Bible says that a kind word can turn away a sharp tongue. What that means is that if we remain calm and patient with difficult people, it may just cause them to calm down and realise how they are behaving.

Put yourself in their shoes

This can sometimes be called empathy. Empathy is trying to imagine what it would be like to be where they are in life. We never know what people are going through. Perhaps their home life is challenged or they have pressure at work. We don’t always know what people are facing but it often comes out in how they treat us and react to us.

Try to not take it personally

This is a tough one because if someone is rude to you, it feels pretty personal. What I mean by this is, don’t let it get in your heart and your mind. Whatever rude thing they may say to you, don’t accept it. Let it go in one ear and out the other.

The truth is that God loves everyone and His kindness is towards all of us. Try to remember this when dealing with difficult people. And if they have hurt you or made you angry, forgive them. You are loved by God and He has a great plan for your life. That is true everyday, even on the days when people are rude and difficult.

To find out more about God’s love for you or if you need help to forgive others, click on the link below or on the pop up.

A letter to my social media friends

Do you love social media? Do you hate it? Social media can elicit a number of responses when it comes to mind. It can be a powerful, positive tool but it can also bring much angst and devastation. Nevertheless, this is a letter to my social media friends (and perhaps to yours too.)

You are respected but you are not renowned

I respect your opinion and even your likes and dislikes but I will no longer be ruled by them. Followers are not so important that their opinion should dictate how we express ourselves through social media. I once heard someone say, “No I can’t post it like that, people will unfollow me.” Now don’t get me wrong, there is a social etiquette in posting on social media. I certainly don’t want to annoy people by posting a hundred pictures in 5 minutes. However, I will not be held bound by people’s opinions. If you don’t like what I post or how I post it, please feel free to click the “unfollow” or “unfriend” button. I didn’t ask you to follow me and certainly won’t force you to stay (smile). We can so easily get paranoid about how we posts things or what we post that it can become a bondage.

Your likes and comments are appreciated but have no power over me

I’ll never forget it. I had posted something on social media but then a short while after that, someone else posted something similar. I saw that I had a few likes and no comments while this other person had a flurry of likes and comments. Immediately my heart sank and I felt rejected and unimportant. But in that instant, I sensed God nudge at my heart. What God says about me is what is really important. The opinion of others should not hold power over me.  Have you ever gone back to a post to see how many likes it got?  I certainly have. And guess what, it absolutely doesn’t matter if you have 1 or if you have 10,001. Social media ‘likes’ and comments do not determine your worth or who you are as a person. Posting on Social media is like putting out an advert. It’s only a picture of your best day, living your best life, taken at the perfect time, with the perfect angle and perfect amount of light.

Live your life to the full. Enjoy every day. Like yourself and be the best version of you. Be kind to others and smile, a lot. Let social media be a positive, life-affirming tool in your life.

If you would like to know more about what God says about you, click on the link below or on the pop up.

When your family believes differently

Are you thinking about exploring more about Jesus? Maybe that’s why you found yourself on this site? Does your family believe differently? This happens to many people. Perhaps you grew up believing a certain religion and now you have begun to explore Christianity. Being afraid of how our families will react can play a major role in how we move forward on our faith journey.

Can I just encourage you to not let anything or anyone come between you and your relationship with Jesus. Life is only worth living when Jesus is at the centre of it. Here are some things you can do when your family believes differently.

Remember that you love them

Well meaning people can say hurtful things. Try to not let what your family may say get the better of you. Realise that everyone is on a journey and they are entitled to their opinion, just as you are entitled to yours. At the end of the day, they are still your family. They love you and you love them. Let love guide your actions and your words. Jesus said that the way people would be able to tell who His disciples are is by our love for others.

Pray for them

Prayer is one of the most powerful tools for change in the world. Pray that God would speak to the hearts of your family. Pray that they too would come to know Jesus in a real way. If they are hurtful or spiteful, pray even more. The Bible says to love those who hate you and do good to those who mean you harm.

Let your life speak

Living our lives in a way that honors Jesus is a very effective way to reach people. Your family may not listen to what you have to say but they will watch your life. Your life may be the only Bible people will ever read. Have you heard the saying, “Actions speak louder than words”? Let your life show your words to be true.

It is not easy when your family believes differently to you. But hang in there. Loving them and praying for them can go a long way in seeing their lives turn around for the good.

If you would like to know more about putting Jesus at the center of your life or if you need courage to make the decision, click on the link below or on the pop up.

What is prayer?

What comes to your mind when you think about prayer? I used to think that it was really serious, was only for really holy people and involved reciting words from a book. So what is prayer really?

It’s quite simple. Whatever your experience with it may be, here are some things that are true for me regarding prayer.

It is conversation

Some may think that praying is bringing a long list of demands to God. Other may think it’s only a grovel session where you admit how small and worthless you and hope that God doesn’t strike you. This could not be further from the truth. Rather, it is a conversation between friends. It’s a conversation between you and God where you are able to be completely open and honest. Prayer could be one of the most amazing aspects of our life if we understand what prayer really is.

Telling God how you are feeling and what you are going through is a great way to unload. Instead, many of us turn to our friends. The big difference is that our friends can give us advice from their perspective while God can give us advice and wisdom from a heavenly perspective.

It changes things

I don’t know exactly how it works except that it does. When we pray, things begin to change. What I have found in my life is that when I pray, either the circumstance changes or I change. Either way, something changes when I pray.

Have you given much thought to having a conversation with God? He created you and loves you and wants to talk to you through prayer.

To find out more about having a conversation with God or about beginning a relationship with Him, click on the link below or on the pop up.

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