God Archives - Pearls of Promise

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How to Love Unconditionally by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

It’s been one of those stretches. People I was trying to book for our television show didn’t get back to me. Hurtful things were said by a couple others and another person I know complained about one of my personality traits. Combined with the underlying stress of COVID, ministry deadlines and an approaching final at school, the dam broke. After our POP Chat event on Wednesday night, I had one of those ugly cries and I couldn’t stop crying. Swollen eyes. Mascara streaming down the face. I hadn’t cried like that in years and one of our team members, a leadership coach, had to guide me out of the abyss.

But it was like the flood of tears did something miraculous. It washed away the negative thinking and gave me a new perspective on all that happened.

God then put the people who I was “offended” by in front of me again as if to say, “Give them another chance. See them through My eyes.” The people who didn’t respond to my emails about the television show, finally did, and now they are booked for the program. They had a good excuse for their silence. I actually saw one of them randomly at a restaurant. What are the odds? Once again the LORD spoke, You didn’t choose these guests for your show. I did, and now I am confirming it.

Meanwhile I was reminded that oftentimes, when individuals are sharp or less than complimentary, it often comes out of their own woundedness. God says “love is patient” and that means to have a heart of compassion for them, not judgment.

I read a verse this week that really spoke to me, especially since I am in school. It say, “But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church” (1 Corinthians 8:1). At that moment, I prayed, Lord, please don’t let me get so caught up in my studies that I don’t have time to love Your people. And it was after this prayer that God gave me the practical experience in unconditional love.

Jesus commands us in John 13:34 to love others as he has loved us. I know that I have probably offended Jesus, irritated him, turned my back on him, haven’t given him the time I should—so many things. But He still loves me and that is how we need to care for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

If there is someone in your world that gets under your skin, ask God to see this person through His eyes and to help you love him or her like He loves them. I promise it will be a valuable lesson you will never forget.

Categories: Blog

It’s Never Too Late by Rosemary Legrand

Today as I was cleaning up and going through papers that I need to get rid of, I realized this time of isolation provides a great opportunity to discard of things no longer needed.

While tearing papers, I came across a letter my husband wrote to me 37 years ago. He was acknowledging his undying love for me, his beautiful flower (He called me Rose), and how happy he was that we were together. After reading this thoughtful and sentimental letter, I cried!

My husband passed away six years ago. Until today, I did not realize how much I missed him. Yes, I grieved for a while after he was gone, but a flood of grief engulfed me after I read his letter. You see, I had forgotten he wrote it to me and the fact that I was not looking for it touched the core of my heart. Was he trying to tell me something? Was he thinking about me today? Was he saying, “I miss you.” “I am so proud of you.”

I am reminded of a scripture. Hebrews 12:1 assures us (the faithful), that “we are surrounded by … a great cloud of witnesses.” The cloud referred to as “great” indicates that millions of believers have gone before us, each bearing witness to the life of faith we now live.

Yes see, it was just yesterday I was offered a position as Chair for a Christian organization that I am connected to, and I accepted. This is a great opportunity but I am holding onto God’s hand as I move forward because he has put me in a place of responsibility beyond my experience. I believe my husband was saying to me: “Rose; you can do this. I am cheering you on.”

Once we say yes to God’s will and to His ways, no telling where he will direct us to be his hands and feet. “Since the Lord is directing your steps, why try to understand anything that happens along the way” (Proverbs 20:24). We have to simply trust Him.

You are unique and God has blessed you with a special gift or gifts for His will and purpose. It’s never too late to serve Him. “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (Proverb 16:3). We just have to remember to let him lead.

My God richly bless you.

Categories: Blog

Seeing the Good in the Bad by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

I was in my home office doing an interview for our POP Talk radio show when I heard water gushing outside the study window. At first I thought it was a sprinkler head that been severed off by a lawn mower, but after Dr. Lynnette Simm and I completed the taping of the show, I ran outside to look. A stream of water was flowing rapidly down the street from the side of our house. I shouted to my husband, working upstairs. “We’ve got a problem!” He was busy preparing for an important meeting. The timing was not good, but he checked it out and also found water seeping through the ceiling of one of the rooms upstairs. After more investigation, he realized our hot water heater had gone out and that was causing the problem. We needed a plumber—and fast.

As I thought about this scenario, I became thankful. Thankful that I was in my office so I could hear the water flooding out of the relief valve on the side of our house. Otherwise, we might have been oblivious for a while and there would have been damage upstairs. Thankful this happened while we were home. We had just come back from a trip to Galveston and could have easily been away when it occurred. I asked my husband, “What would have happened if we had been out of town?” He responded, “I think part of the ceiling upstairs would have collapsed.” I was also grateful a plumber was able to respond day of.

Sometimes, when we go through the difficult things in life, we can press into the bad, but I believe God will always provide something to be thankful for in the midst of the worst of scenarios.

This week, my brother-in-law of thirty years, Jim, passed away after a long battle with something called “Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.” It’s called “idiopathic” because doctors don’t know what causes it.

I have fond memories of going up to Jim and my sister-in-law Sue’s lake house near Coldwater, Michigan where we boated, had “Corn Hole” competitions, and late night conversations by the fire pit. Jim was in great shape. He cycled, worked out and was an outdoorsman. He did not smoke. But then the progressive disease struck his body, and it took him down.

This past week when Jim was in hospice, I was receiving regular text updates from my sister-in-law about how he was doing. Before they gave him his first dose of Morphine to ease the pain, he said, “Let’s get the party started.” He was a believer and ready to see Jesus. He saw his transition out of this world to Heaven as a celebration. That scene, and all the memories from our time at the lake, is the good that I want to remember and hold onto.

When we are in the thick of the bad scenarios of life, do we try to find the good in them? The next time you endure a trial, it’s important to see the scenario from above. Ask God to show you the positive.

Categories: Blog

Being a Caterpillar by Dr. Lynnette Simm

I was up unusually late last night because my head and heart were spinning. Try as I may, I couldn’t get my mind to lay all my stress and worry over to the Lord without detailing every detail. So as my husband was sleeping deeply, I picked up my phone and texted my friend Crystal. I know she’s a night owl, and I needed some help. I started with the usual text of: “Any chance you’re awake?” She was quick to reply, “Yes.” Then she asked, “What’s up?”

I explained to her all that was spinning in my head. Moving, selling, building, My youngest wants to get an apartment next year. My eldest seems, sadly, okay without us. Madison is still having many side effects and very fatigued after his heart attack. I could go on and on. I explained to Crystal that while I know I’m in the Lord’s hands, I’m feeling dizzy with all the possibilities, and overwhelmed by all the emotions. Crystal was quick to give me a beautiful piece of scripture to help me focus: “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, power, and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). That is your inheritance! Not anxiety or fear. I responded, “Way up here in God’s arms, it’s dizzying, especially because I don’t know which direction He is going.”

And that’s when she shared with me about the caterpillar. “In a butterfly chrysalis you are hidden away—the caterpillar can do nothing. It is glued, stuck upside down in what would feel like a horrible situation but it’s completely at peace! And God has given that caterpillar everything it needs while it is in there. He never left it.”

Wow! Just re-read that and let it settle in. Bound up, upside down, with no control, but with faith and knowledge that what the Lord has planned will be amazing, the caterpillar stays completely at peace. This doesn’t mean that the caterpillar didn’t wiggle a little, experience discomfort, or plan for its safety, but once wrapped up in the cocoon, the caterpillar surrenders to the Lord’s plan.

That’s is how we are all feeling. Life is hard, on any given day, but especially for us all because of the virus, election, and economy. We feel trapped inside our homes, inside our stresses, inside our own minds, filled with what-ifs, and our struggles are real. But what would happen if we submit to the Lord’s plan with the same peace as a crystallized, cocooned caterpillar, waiting patiently glued, upside down and hidden away with the knowledge of the amazing transformation coming?

Let’s do a reality check. It is true that this amazing transformation will take time, sometimes way more than we want. And it’s true that for some the transformation will occur once we ascend to Heaven. But the other truth is that it will happen! We will be transformed. We will be beautiful inside and out. We will spread our wings with the glory of God lifting us up. And here is another truth: “And God has given that caterpillar everything it needs while it is in there. He never left it.” God promises to provide all that we need, in His timing, and He never leaves us. Wow, again. I’m in awe at how awesome our Lord is.

When I replied to Crystal after her story I said, “Well, thanks for the butterfly 🦋 story. Does help. But upside down and waiting sucks, God. But I guess He already knows…lol.” It is hard. It does require effort, patience, and faith. So reach out to a friend. Make that late night text or answer one and share each other’s burdens during this time and throughout life. God gave us community for this purpose. Calm each other as we hang upside down being caterpillars because our butterfly hearts are in there.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”‭‭ 2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Categories: Blog

Refuse to Worry by Rosemary Legrand

Have you ever seen the picture of a cat looking in mirror and seeing a lion?

I used to be that cat but for a while, I did not see the lion. That’s because I suffered from depression.  No one chooses to be depressed. I did not want to be down in the dumps, but depression came so fast, I did not know what to do. Life can change in a minute. I thank God that I am totally healed.   .   

I am reminded of Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” And  2Corinthians 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receives for God.”

Those are encouraging words from God. We can believe that all things may not be for good but God has promised that it will work out for the good of those who love him. I trusted God’s word and looked to him for healing during my time of depression and guess what? He did heal me.

Today, God is using me as a trained speaker to encourage God’s children about his faithfulness, and to let them know that what he has done for me he can do the same  to all who put their hope and trust in Him.

Let me encourage you. I gave myself a gift that I want to share with you and that is “I Refuse to Worry.” This is my personal reminder that I will not walk that road of depression again.  Accept that gift from me—Refuse to Worry—and hold onto the word of God in Mathew 6:33-34: Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously and he will give you everything you need.  So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. And when worry starts to creep in, claim Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

May God richly bless you. 

Categories: Blog