God Loves to Love Messy!

Embrace the messy, sweet sister. 

Our perfect God loves to love messy women like us. I’ve stuggled with anxiety. Even panic attacks. And maybe you have too. But God is with me. I know this because he keeps his promises! Always. Don’t you have messy struggles too?

I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5b

Have you experienced messy emotions? How about loneliness or messy relationships? Maybe your adult child ignores you. Maybe a dear friend won’t return your phone calls. Perhaps your gasoline tank is on empty and you have no idea where you’ll get money to pay for gas.

Remember, you are not alone!

In this short article, you’re reminded of 3 truths for every Christ follower:

  1. God values you.
  2. He understands your hurt.
  3. He offers healing.

God Values You

God gets it, this hurt that weighs you down. And he offers you peace through Jesus Christ. Your past failures don’t push him away, nor do your present mistakes. Do you have any idea how much God values you?

Soak in God’s truth that you are valued, significant, and loved. Our God is tender toward you. He is Emmanuel — God with you. He calls you. . .Beloved.

Would you like my free ebooklet “5 Amazing Names God Calls You”?

To get it, click here. Fast, simple. And no spam. Ever.

God Understands Your Pain

Everyone has a story of pain. I’ll share one of mine. Would you like to share one of yours with me too? Feel free to send me a message.

Back in the early 1990’s, depression clawed my mind and darkened my mood. Anxiety rattled me too. Difficult memories storm-surged. Yes, there was my parents’ divorce but something even worse. Something I had never told anyone, not ever. And then I sought counseling.

I asked myself, how could I tell anyone my pain? Especially women in the church who seemed to have it all together?

Fast forward to 2000, the year of God’s specific call on my life.

A summer day. Sunny, a soft breeze. Me alone, in prayer. And God impressed on my heart this . . .

“Lucy, comfort my sheep who are hurting with the comfort you’ve received from me.”

“Who me?” I asked

“Trust me, Lucy.”

“I don’t know what to do.”

“Trust me.”

Like the fuzz of a dandelion, my worries flew away. “Okay, Lord.” Just as God understood my pain, he understands yours too. And he offers healing. Sometimes God’s healing comes quickly, but sometimes it seems as slow as molasses, don’t you agree?

And sometimes God heals us this side of heaven.

God Offers Healing

God cherishes you and wants to heal you. He is our hope. Will you choose hope?

To help hurting Christian I went to seminary, read shelves of books, and became certified in biblical counseling. Now I’m furthering my education, working toward a doctorate in biblical counseling.

Over the years I’ve counseled Christian women and the leaders who serve them. Fearful women. Lonely women. Abused women. Women caught in addiction: shopping, alcohol, pornography. Women who’ve committed adultery. Women with hard pasts.

Women like me. Like you. We’re messy, right?

God accepts you just as you are. Like the woman at the well (John 4), an outcast among outcasts, you are loved by the One who ribbons the sky with rainbows. He want to embrace you, to heal you.

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” John 4:13-15

Are you thirsty for living water? Do you ache to know the answer of hope for your heart?

Contact me with your questions and prayer requests. There’s hope.

Sharing Hope with Your Heart,

 

If You Feel Abused, Were You Abused? (Part 2)

abusedAbused? Were you abused, phyically or sexually, in your marriage? In part 2 of this multi-part series on domestic violence, guest writer Jim Newheiser carefully looks at common assertions and takes a balanced view. This post appeared first here at the Biblical Counseling Coalition website and is reprinted with permission.

Read Part 1 here: When to believe the victim, when to believe the abuser

heart

I am thankful to God that many necessary and important books and articles are being written to increase awareness of physical and sexual abuse. Abuse affect both the society at large and the Christian community in particular. Spiritual leaders have been rightly admonished for their failure to protect at-risk women and children.

Battered wives have been wrongly told that if they were just more loving and submissive, their husbands would change and the abuse would stop. They are then wrongly sent back to take further verbal and physical beatings. Many church leaders need to repent of their failure to “rescue the weak and needy; [and] deliver them out of the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:4).

While I affirm the importance of understanding the dark nature of abuse and protecting the victims of abuse, I am concerned that some, in their zeal to correct the failure of the past, have swung too far the other way. This can lead to false accusations and unnecessary family breakups.

I would like to give a few examples of what I believe to be common overstatements, and for each one, I will describe the good intention behind the statements, the harm which can be caused because of imbalanced thinking, and a more balanced way of expressing the same concerns.

If You Feel Abused, Then You Were Abused?

ASSERTION: If you feel abused, then you were abused.

  1. The valid concern: This statement is often made to express the reality that abuse may have taken place even if the abuser does not recognize or acknowledge his behavior (yelling, pushing, bullying, coercion, threats, and intimidation) as wrong.
  2. The harm that can be caused: On the other hand, the Bible teaches that it is possible to wrongly interpret the words, actions, and motives of others (1 Corinthians 2:11).

For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11

For example, Eli falsely accused Hannah of drunkenness because her lips were moving as she prayed (1 Samuel 2:12ff). We cannot judge one person merely by the subjective feelings of another. For example, a man may be in a rush and accidentally bump into his wife (with whom he had had a recent conflict) as he turns a corner. She may accuse him of doing it deliberately to harm her when that was never his motive.

Words also can be misunderstood. What is taken by one person as angry and abusive might have never been intended as such. Nor might it have been interpreted this way by an objective third party.

Scripture reminds us: “Love hopes all things” (1 Cor. 13:7); in other words, love seeks to assume the best.

3. It would be better to say: A person who feels abused should be helped to objectively evaluate what has happened and to get assistance if genuine abuse has taken place. Part of this objective evaluation involves considering the ongoing pattern and cumulative effect of the accused person’s behavior, as well as the immediate accusation at hand. Proper evaluation over time keeps us from wrongly escalating the consequences for one individual incident while also not dismissing the whole situation because one incident wasn’t deemed as abusive.

Sometimes a Victim Has a Sin Issue Too

ASSERTION: It is never the victim’s fault.

  1. The valid concern: Many abusers claim that their victims are to blame because the victim provoked him or failed to be as good a wife or child as they should be. Many victims suffer from false guilt. There is no valid excuse for physical or sexual abuse.

Even if the abuser believes that he was provoked, he is never authorized by God to take physical or verbal vengeance.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

2. The harm that can be caused: Some victims have sin issues which also need to be addressed. I counseled in a case in which a wife would berate and insult her husband, saying “Come on Jesus man, hit me!” She admitted that she felt that she had won the argument when he finally struck her. Again, I emphasize there was no excuse for him hitting her. But she also needed to address her personal sinfulness.

There have been cases of sexual assault in which the woman got herself into an extremely compromising and dangerous situation (i.e., drunk, alone, and making out with a man with whom she is not married). Again, the man should have stopped when she said, “no” (also see Habakkuk 2:15). If he assaults her, he is guilty of a crime and should be punished. But she also needs to acknowledge before God her personal sin in the situation. Deuteronomy 22:23-24 addresses situations like this.

3. It would be better to say: Abuse is never justified, but victims may need to examine themselves to see if they have any sin for which they also need to seek God’s forgiveness.

(Friend, if someone has abused you, please seek help from a caring pastor, a spiritually wise woman at your church, or from a biblical counselor, who counsels the compassionate, effective Word to your hurting heart. Learn more about biblical counseling by Skype.–LAM)

Sharing Hope with Your Heart,

 

 

5 Reasons the Resurrection Brings Hope

ressurection imageAs Easter Sunday approaches, have you wondered about the resurrection of Jesus Christ? How does the resurrection bring you hope?

Hope is something God knows all of us needs. Aren’t we in a world of hurt? From hearing of terrorist bombings to learning of a neighbor’s divorce, you and I are tempted to become discouraged, aren’t we?

If the hurt is close to home, we may respond with sadness, anger, fear, or other emotions.

Thank God for Easter and the hope the resurrection brings!  

While Holy Thursday recalls the Last Supper and Good Friday remembers the crucifixion and death of Christ, Easter Sunday celebrates his resurrection.

We have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

through whom we have gained

access by faith 

into this grace

in which we now stand.

Romans 5:1-2

Here are 5 reasons the resurrrection brings hope to followers of Jesus.

1. The Resurrection Means…We’re Justified

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.  (Romans 4:25)

Incredible, isn’t it? To imagine that Jesus dare to die and rise again. . .ffor us. . .me. . .you.

By his resurrection, we who follow Christ are justified. Justification is a Bible word that means to “to be put right with.” According to Scripture, all of us are “objects of wrath” because we break God’s law and thus deserve eternal death. But God has a glorious and gracious plan of redemption.

Jesus!

God laid our punishment on Jesus on the cross. Why? So we could be justified before him. The resurrection proves that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for sin.

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentence.

Luke 5:32

2. The Resurrection Defeated Death

For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. (Romans 6:9)

Truly free.

Yes, death is the just punishment for sin. But wonderfully, Jesus rose from the dead because the grave could not hold him. Death had no mastery over him. Therefore, you and I need not fear death. We also do not need to fear eternal punishment.

Truly loved.

Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:25

3. The Resurrection Means…Union with Jesus 

 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. (Romans 6:8)

God loves us higher and wider and deeper than we can possibly imagine.

By our faith, you and I received the righteousness of Christ because we are united to him. This means that when God looks at us, he does not see our unrighteousness, but the righteousness of Christ.

Now, as new creations in Christ indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we can walk in the way of love.

His grace was given us in Christ Jesus

before the beginning of time. 

2 Timothy 1:9

4. The Resurrection Gives…Living Hope

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)

We Christ followers have great hope. Not a false hope. Not well wishes. Rather, we have a trustworthy hope based on faith. We have been justified before God. We are no longer his enemies headed for hell.

We are blessed, chosen, forgiven, redeemed, and sealed by the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing eternal life. Also, we can now live according to our identity as children of God. As the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Colossae,

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your[a] life,appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

And God is able to make all grace abound to you. 2 Corinthians 9:8

5. The Resurrection Means…We’ll Be Raised Too

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Cor.15:21-22)

Jesus is described in Scripture as the firstfruits of the resurrection from the dead. This signals that his resurrection is a precursor to that of all believers.

Christians will enjoy the resurrected life just like Christ did, with glorified bodies raised in power (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). We suffer in this life with pain and illnesses. Indeed, in the counseling office, we comfort those who have been sinned against as well as the grieving.

But in the life to come, you and I will not suffer. Truly we will enjoy our life in Christ forever and ever.

I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26)

He has risen. He has risen indeed.

Amen and then some.

Sharing Hope with Your Heart,

WEBINAR: What Is Biblical Counseling?

webinar

Please join me for my free live webinar “What Is Biblical Counseling?”

Have you wondered what biblical counseling is and how it helps? Would you like to learn about a compassionate, effective method of counseling?

You are invited to join me and a bunch of other women on Tuesday, November 15, at 11AM CST OR on Wednesday, November 16, at 7PM CST for the live webinar.

Click HERE to register.

What Does Biblical Counseling Help Heal?

Biblical counseling can help you or a loved one with many of life’s difficulties.

  • marital struggles
  • depression
  • loneliness
  • anger
  • worry, anxiety, panic attacks
  • addictions, eating disorders
  • abuse

How Does Biblical Counseling Work?

In the webinar you’ll learn that in biblical counseling, the counselor and counselee look to God for his answers to life’s problems. You’ll also hear the process and method of biblical change. You’ll discover the centrality of the heart — or your inner person — well as the importance of getting rid of junky ways of living that aren’t working and replacing them with godly alternatives.

It also is highly affordable, convenient, loving, and effective. It uncovers the root issues of a problem and provides practical, God-honoring solutions.

Why This Webinar? 

God has called me to help hurting women through biblical counseling.

I have a favorite Bible verse that gives you an idea that I’ve known pain too. It is this:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

lucy-home-pageThe word comfort is used four times, for our God is a God of comfort and compassion. This means a lot to me because, like you, I’ve stumbled into some of life’s troubles.

Here’s an idea:

Depression. Panic attacks. Sexual abuseMentally ill parent. Broken homeInfertility. Child with a birth defect. Recurring negative thoughts.

Through biblical counseleing, I’ve learned God’s secret to contentment.

Where Do I Sign Up for the Free Webinar?

To sign up for the webinar, click this link and choose the day and time that works best for you. When you sign up you’ll receive a link to the webinar. All you need is a computer, tablet, or smart phone and. . .you. Thank you!

Counseling Hope to Your Heart,

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Laugh: It’s Good for Your Soul!

laugh

Laugh your head off! It’s good for your soul!

Have you seen a hilarious YouTube video and laughed so hard you nearly peed in your pants? Laughter is medicine to the soul.

The other day my teenage son sprawled on the couch in the loft and was laughing so hard that I had to find out why. John was watching Impractical Jokers and saw Joe pull a good-hearted prank on Sal. His chuckles rolled into laughter as infectious as the common cold. I laughed too, and it felt good.

Listen to this:

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

And this:

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:13)

Laugh with Jesus

Jesus laughed too. Soon after healing many (Luke 4:40-41) including a man with a skin disease (Luke 5:12-13) and a paralytic (Luke 5:24-25), Jesus sought the lowliest of the low–a Jewish tax collector, hated other Jews–and said, “Follow me.” At once this man left everything, even his bags of coins, and asked Jesus to come to his home where he threw Jesus a party.

Can you hear the laughter? As Jesus and the tax collector and a gaggle of his low-life, raucous sinner-friends gathered, don’t you this they grinned and joked and laughed? Jesus was a scholar and had fun. Can you imagine how the party-goers responded? The God-man was with them, just as he is with you, when you’re crying and giggling.

Oh how they laughed in the home of the tax collector. Laughter of freedom from chains of sin, laughter of breaking bread at a party for the best known rabbi in town at the home of a sinner. The wine flowed. Platters of food made the rounds. Laughter rang.

Scandalous!

Beautiful!

Healing!

To the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who tsk-tsked Jesus for laughing his head off with tax collectors and sinners–imperfect people like you and me–Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Luke 5:31-32)

Healing Laughter

We each have a testimony — a story of how Jesus became real to us as Savior–and every story is a reason to smile, to laugh, for God broke in to a sorry life and made it whole. Angels celebrated. Can you imagine their joyful laughter? Another one belongs to Jesus. And another one. And another one.

This one an adulterer, that one filled with jealousy, and over here a woman dripping self-righteousness. Yep, the latter is me. You can read my testimony here.

5 More Laughs

As you probably know, medical science has uncovered the laugh-your-way-to-health truth in study after study. Google laughter health and you’ll find umpteen studies to peruse. That said, here are five belly-laughing sure bets:

  1. Watch your favorite funniest sitcom.
  2. Play with your toddler. Don’t have a little one at home? Scout out a park bench at a popular park and little-people watch.
  3. Visit the zoo. Skip the reptile house and head straight for the baboons by way of dolphins.
  4. Read a joke book.
  5. Roll down a grassy hill, blow bubbles, or play Hide-and-Seek.

Laugh at the Days to Come!

Just as Jesus laughed and enjoyed himself,  you too can laugh because you have the best reason of all. Do you know what it is?

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come. (Proverbs 31:25)

Christ is your strength (Ps. 118:14). Christ clothes you with his righteousness (Romans 13;14). Christ is your good shepherd who will never leave nor forsake you. He overflows your cup. Whether you’re facing the hardship of bad health or the loneliness of loss or the scary emotions of fear or anger or despair, you CAN delight in Christ.

Yes, you CAN laugh at the days to come. You CAN laugh your head off.

Need help finding your laugh? I’ll help. Contact me.

Sharing Hope with Your Heart,

lucy-signature-blue

 

 

The Big Lie Satan Tempts You to Believe

truth and lieCan you guess the big lie Satan wants you to believe?

It’s NOT that you’re not good enough, though he tempts you to believe that one too. It’s NOT you’re unsuccessful or unattractive or a total mess-up or a waste of space, though you and I have fallen for some of these lesser lies, haven’t? 

Can your believe I bought the lie that I was a defect?

This isn’t the big lie either. It destroyed my peace, though. God — through life-giving Bible truths and uplifting Christian music as well as counseling — showed me the truth: that I and every believer in Christ is his precious child and God also revealed the big lie at the core of my shame lie.

So what’s the big lie?

The Big Lie Is. .

The big lie Satan tempts you to believe is the same one Adam and Eve ate up in the Garden: God is holding back, that he couldn’t care less, that he’s not. . .good.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to the lying nature of Satan, then I’ll give you a strategy to overcome the big lie if you or someone you care about believes it. I learned much of this material while reading the Bible, Randy Alcorn’s book If God Is Good, and Billy Graham’s book Angels — all of which I highly recommend.

The Genesis of the Big Lie

You probably know the fruit-chomping choice of Adam and Eve that caused sin to enter the world. You can read Genesis 3:1-6 (NIV) as dialogue here.

Satan: Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

Eve: We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’

[FYI: Eve adds words to God’s commands. He did not command them not to touch the tree.] 

Satan: You will not certainly die, for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,knowing good and evil.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

God created Adam and Even without sin but they chose to rebel against him, just as the great archangel Lucifer (who became Satan) had chosen to rebel, and as you and I also choose the big lie over the beautiful truth of the gospel.

Like all angels Lucifer was created good, for everything God created he called “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Yet at some point after the creation of the universe, some of the angels rebelled against God (Jude 6). Some scholars believe that Isaiah 14’s account of the demise of Babylon’s evil king may also describe Lucifer’s fate:

How you have fallen from heaven,
    morning star, son of the dawn!…
You said in your heart,
    “I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
    above the stars of God…
    I will make myself like the Most High.”
But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
    to the depths of the pit.

This great, pride-filled, fallen angel is now called the devil, which means “slanderer,” and Satan (“the accuser”) as well as “a liar and the father of lies.” Jesus said in John 8:44:

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Other revealing names of Satan’s true nature are described in Matthew 13:19, John 12:31, Revelation 12:10, among other Bible verses. The other fallen angels are now referred to as demons (Luke 8:30).

A Strategy to Overcome the Big Lie

Now you know the lying nature of Satan, I want to the remind you of a crucial truth before revealing the strategy to overcome the big lie.

That is, God and Satan are NOT equals. This isn’t Batman versus the Joker.

Satan is a created being with limited power. He is not omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent, but he is intelligent and has been studying human behavior for thousands of years.

Here’s the strategy:

Tear down strongholds by recognizing them and replacing the lies with God’s truth.

Easier said than done, I know. God can and will smash strongholds as use the weapons God has given you to overcome them.

Here’s the verse I shared in my last post and it’s worth re-sharing:

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (ESV)

To destroy the arguments and lofty opinions that are against God, you need to take every thought captive to obey Christ, just as the Apostle Paul said. I often share with my counselees — whom I meet with in person and by Skype all over the United States and the world — a valuable tool that helps them replace lies with truth. As counselees make this exchange, they experience a new way of thinking leading to peace-filled emotions and God-honoring behavior.

I want to give you this truth tool. See this post for the truth tool.

You can begin your path to the promise of the abundant life here and now.

This is the abundance of knowing God’s love for you and loving him and others. It’s better than the so-called abundance of a garage filled with BMWs, a house filled with flat screens, and a passport filled with stamps proving your worldwide travel.

If you want helping smashing the strongholds in your mind, please send me an email at Lucy@LucyAnnMoll.com and I’ll get you a downloadable version of the truth tool.

Sharing Hope with Your Heart,

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5 AMAZING NAMES GOD CALLS YOU!

Blessed, Daughter, Saint, and more!

In this delightful, four-color ebook, you’ll discover the precious names God calls you. Today so many Christian women don’t fully know their wonderful identity in Christ. Isn’t a time to know yours? Filled with scripture, photography, personal stories, and encouragement!

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