Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Safe Place with Ruth Graham

A New Day

posted by Ruth Graham

The country has decided. Mr. Obama will lead this country for another four years. Whether you voted for him or for Governor Romney, please pray for both men. They campaigned hard for their vision of America and gave their all. Unfortunately in any contest there is a winner and a loser. Mr. Romney lost. His family and Mr. Ryan’s family need  our prayers as they put their lives back together.

Pray for the President that he would look to God for wisdom, depending daily on Him. Pray for our nation to come together and heal the divisions that this political season has exacerbated. We are a great nation with many challenges ahead and we need to come together under God’s good grace that has brought us this far. 

None of us know what the future brings but we do know that God is in control. I wrote a book entitiled, Fear Not Tomorow, God is Already There. That is truth. He stands in the future in all His majesty and holiness. He is still on the throne and our trust must be in Him. “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will trust in the name of the Lord, our God.” (Psalms 20:7)

 

Election Day!

posted by Ruth Graham

Well…at last the day is upon us! I don’t know about you but I am weary of the political season that seems to go on full time…never ends. As soon as tomorrow is over – if it is over tomorrow – they will begin the campaigns for 2014…then 2016. The time and money spent ona campaign is obscene. In a world like ours with so many need and so many hurts…I am quite sure Jesus’ priorities would be very different!

But we live here and now and deal with what is in front of us. Tomorrrow we will make a decision. When we get up we can decide to vote or not. I pray you will vote – that you exercise your right, privilege and obligation. Yes, we are all busy…but this is critical. Not many people in the world have this opportunity to decide the future of their country, children and grandchildren.

We have a great country and the vote tomorrow is not so much about differing policies but differing philosphies. We have clear options. As I see it, one man’s philosphy is that government is the answer and we as a people are the tools. The other man’s philosophy is that we as a people are the answer and government is the tool.

We can make our choice. Tomorrow. Vote. And praise God we live in a free country where we can vote. We live in “a safe place”!

God bless you.

 

Historic Storm – Does It Mean Anything?

posted by Ruth Graham

Wow! We are being hit with an historic storm of major proportions. Apocalyptic? That word has been used. It is an important question to ask.

What is going on?

Have we ever seen so many troubling things at one time? Everything is in “historic proportions”. Earthquakes. Epidemics. New diseases, old ones returning. Greed and corruption. Storms. Floods. Financial crises. Famine. Disputes and quarrels. Wars. Terrorism. Disintegration of morals and families. An proliferation of war making machines. Lack of absolutes and truth. 

Yes, some of this has happened all through the ages but when all these things seem to happen together at the same time we need to take heed. Read Matthew chapter 24. It is very insightful.

 

 

What Happened to Confession?

posted by Ruth Graham

It takes courage to be honest about your failures and flaws. I admire those that can take ownership of their “stuff”. If we are honest, most of us like to put on the “I’ve got my stuff together” face and think we are fooling folks. Well, we may get away with it – for a while. But we are all flawed. We have all messed up somewhere along the way and if we think we haven’t, we are fooling ourselves.

Anyway, I like to be in the company of people who have messed up and are able to talk about it in appropriate ways. When talking about our stuff we can only talk about our own stuff – not someone elses’. That turns quickly to playing the victim blaming, gossipping, bitterness, resentment. It’s not a good place to be. (I read a great quote about resentment from Rick Warren, “When you hold onto resentment you let people live in youur mind rent free.”) I don’t know about you but I have only so much space in my mind and  can’t afford to let resentment use any!

Perhaps you have tried to be honest about your failures and got burned in the process. It is scary to open up to people – its a risk of being black-balled or marginalized. Someone once said “The Church is the only army that shoots its wounded.” My comment is that they are lucky if they  get shot  - usually they just get buried alive and are left to suffocate!

But last week I had a great experience with a roomful of strangers at the 3rd “Life-Giving Leadership Round Table”. It was held in Annapolis, hosted by Dr. Fred Antonelli and facilitated by Dr. Ted Haggard. I suppose there were about 50 folks there. Mostly pastors, counsellors, teachers…all concerned about how the Church can best minister to those who have messed up – especially leaders. It was great to be with folks that share my passion.  And each one had a story – we all do – some are messier than others but they are all messy – like mine. So many shared from their pain, their hearts – not for the sake of themselves but to showcase the outrageous grace of God.

Anyway, I have often though that Protestants should get back into confession. We were made for it. Not too long ago I had been emailing back and forth with a wise, seasoned pastor/counsellor friend of mine as I struggled with some issues. At one point he wrote, “You are forgiven in the name of Jesus”. How healing that was for me! The Bible tells us, “Confess your sins to one another that you may be healed.” Why do we ignore that? Or think maybe if it is for anything we think it’s a last resort for physical healing. When was the last time you confessed? It’s important to find a safe place. Ted told us that he was told by a wise pastor, “Never confess your sins to someone who won’t confess theirs to you.” Good advice.

But I learned about confessionbooth.com. What a great idea! Wish I had thought of it. A place on the web you can go and remain absolutely annonymous and confess whatever you need to. Try it and let me know…was it awkward? Was if helpful? Would you do it again? Did you hear from God in the process? Did it make a difference to you?

Remember God doesn’t have a junk pile but a restoration workshop and display case. Isn’t that great news?!

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