The Refiner’s Fire & Reforming Hammer

Is your surrendered-to-God life being heated almost to the melting point, and then being beaten upon seemingly without mercy?

Stay on the anvil of God. Your outcome will be beautiful, powerful, and glorifying to Him! He isn’t punishing you, He is forming you into the greatest person that you can be.

He didn’t say that you would love the sculpting process, but you WILL love the final RESULT of His sculpting process!

#PastorsTip

 

Impassioned through Pain

A Daily Thought Provoker Quote
from Heart & Path Journal at HeartPathJournal.net
Online Publications of David J. Hall

Some passions can only be learned through pain.”

( Max Lucado / from his book: “A Gentle Thunder” )

#PastorsTip #DTP

God’s Grace for Joy in Pain

A Daily Thought Provoker Quote
from Heart & Path Journal at HeartPathJournal.net
Online Publications of David J. Hall

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“In a sense, the pain is almost surreal, but God’s grace is so real, and is provided through His tangible Presence! His grace does not take my pain away. His grace does however equip me physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually to endure the pain, and to do so with a heart that is filled with joy and is established in peaceHis peace!

( David J. Hall / from article: “The Chronic Grace of God” )

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#PastorsTip #DTP

Experiencing a God-Vacuum?

A Daily Thought Provoker Quote
from Heart & Path Journal at HeartPathJournal.net
Online Publications of David J. Hall

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“My friend, regardless of what you are going through, regardless of how much pain you are experiencing, regardless of how deep and dark the depression might be, regardless of your sensation of a God-vacuum from His seeming departure, He has not left you alone. He is with you!

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

( Isaiah‬ ‭43:2‬ )

( David J. Hall / from article: “I Will Be With You!” )

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#PastorsTip #DTP

The Fellowship of the Saints

Defining Fellowship:

Koinonia’ (Greek term in Acts 2:42, et al.), translated as:

  • fellowship, relationship, association, community, communion, joint participation.
  • The beneficial outcome of relational interaction with others.

Our fellowship with the saints (the followers of Christ, also called the Church) is a powerful and integral part of our being healed, renewed, and discipled in our life of faith in Christ. Fellowship, our interaction with other people through relationships is so important that 6 out of the Ten Commandments deals directly with our relations with other people (the other 4 out of the Ten Commandments deals with our fellowship with God Himself).

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Suffering

A Daily Thought Provoker Quote
from Heart & Path Journal at HeartPathJournal.net
Online Publications of David J. Hall

“It is natural (and even a sign of a healthy mental state) to take evasive action to avoid suffering. However, our life’s primary purpose is not to avoid ALL suffering at all costs. Our life’s primary purpose is to bring glory to God in ALL situations at any cost, even if it involves seasons of suffering.”

( David J. Hall )

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#PastorsTip #Suffering #Pain #GlorifyGod #Life #PrimeDirective #PrimaryPurpose

Peace & Grace For A Couple’s Pain & Void

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I wrote this article in 2011 for a Father’s Day cover-story at the request of a website that ministered to couples who experience the heartache of infertility.

Prayerfully, I hope it will again provide a measure of comfort and encouragement to heartbroken couples who are today experiencing the pain of loss and infertility.

God offers us Peace that is greater than our void, and Grace that ministers to our pain.

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“Dave, come quickly, by the time you arrive at the hospital, your wife will be in emergency surgery!”

What? Not exactly the opener to a phone conversation with our doctor and family friend, Dr. Chris, that I would ever have expected. He went on to explain briefly about my wife, Teresa’s medical emergency.

Three Early Trimester Miscarriages…

My wife and I had barely been married two years by this time, and while we had been hoping to build a family, we had already experienced the heartache of three miscarriages in their first trimesters. The second and the third losses were just as traumatic to our hearts and dreams as the first loss.

Now, my wife was pregnant a fourth time and had seemingly been progressing well. She began to experience some pain in her right side, so she made an appointment to see our doctor just to make sure everything else was fine with her health.

Ultrasound Scans…

Our doctor ordered an ultrasound to gain a perspective on the pregnancy and on her internal organs from where the pain seemed to emanate. The ultrasound technician did a fairly thorough exam of her abdomen and womb, and though the pregnancy tests had been positive some time earlier and again on that same day, he could not locate a pregnancy with the ultrasound scans.

Prior to releasing Teresa from the ultrasound lab, the technician called our doctor with his results. Nothing was found, wrong or otherwise. The scans were all normal, except no pregnancy was found.

Anticipating there was a problem, our doctor instructed the technician to keep looking, to keep scanning, and to not let her leave the lab until the pregnancy was located. He was certain she was pregnant, and he wasn’t going to release her until he could understand her symptoms and condition, pregnant or otherwise.

Forty minutes more of ultrasound scanning and probing and the technician said, “There it is!” He called the doctor with the results, both good and bad news.

The good news was that the doctor had been correct in his insistence for the ultrasound scan to continue until something was found. The bad news was that it was an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, very advanced, and on the verge of rupturing. A woman in that condition will almost always die of internal bleeding if the tubal pregnancy ruptures.

Emergency Surgery…

Upon reviewing the results, the doctor immediately ordered emergency surgery, and he picked up the phone and called me at my place of work. He informed me that he and another specialist were preparing for her surgery, and for me to hurry the approximate 30 miles from my location to the hospital in which she was already located.

My mind raced as I tried not to race my car to the hospital. To this day I hardly remember the drive, other than trying not to speed and be stopped for a ticket, thus making my arrival even later.

I arrived at the hospital and a nurse was waiting for me at the front door to guide me through the small maze of hallways to where my wife was being prepped for surgery. I arrived and had about ten minutes with her to talk, and pray, before they wheeled her out of the room.

Providential Timing…

Several hours of waiting followed. Finally Dr. Chris came into the waiting room where I was, and he said that Teresa’s surgery went very well. He said the timing of opening her abdomen was providential because just as they reached the ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, it began to rupture. They were able to tie off the bleeding with no time to spare.

Peace & Grace for Living with Infertility…

My wife and I have now been married almost 30 years, and we have four children in heaven awaiting our arrival. It has been difficult not being able to bear children. Though we have been involved in foster care, and at one time came very close to adopting a young girl at the specific request of the courts (a heartbreaking story of its own), we still carry a void in our lives.

Though the void of being childless remains, there is a Peace of our Heavenly Father that exceeds the emptiness of that void, and a Grace of His that mitigates our pain. Do we still feel the void? Oh, yes, we do! However, the Grace and Peace of our Father provides something that is greater than that painful void.

As for me personally, I thank the Lord so, so much and so, so often that He spared my wife, Teresa, on that fateful day when our doctor and family friend called and said, “Dave, come quickly…”.

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#PastorsTip #Marriage #Parenting #Pregnancy #Birth #Children #Ultrasound #TubalPregnancy #EctopicPregnancy #Miscarriage #PeaceOfGod #FosterCare #FosterKids #Adoption #Courts

For God And Kingdom!

To carry our own Cross of Pain & Shame is to give up the comfortable life, and to pick up the sacrificial life. It is to do what we know to do, even if God has not yet revealed all the why’s or any of the purposes. It is to do what is right, regardless of the pain and shame that will come crashing down upon us.

“Jesus said, ‘… You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns… Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me and for the gospel will save it.’”

~ Mark 8:33-35

To carry our cross of pain and shame is not just referring to suffering as a result of a public ministry, though we definitely are surrounded by witnesses. Our suffering can be anything that the enemy might use to try and kill our hope and tempt our destruction of our own integrity.

The carrying of our own unique cross of paining and shaming is a ministry all in its own. Not what we suffer, but HOW we suffer is the most honest portrayal of our love for God. Few, if any, will endure great pain and shame for something or someone they don’t believe in. Regardless of what and why we suffer, it is HOW we suffer that is solid evidence for the witnesses of our lives (on earth and in Heaven) of our love and wholehearted commitment to living For God And For His Kingdom.

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#PastorsTip #Mark8 #Pain #Shame #Suffer #SacrificialLife #ComfortableLife #Carry #Cross

Thriving In A Life Of Pain

Are you suffering unjust pain in your body, mind, or emotions? Are you having to endure some kind of physiological suffering? Has your world grown small because of how debilitating the pain has become?

It can be very discouraging to experience the loss of unfulfilled dreams, and even dreams that had come true and that you were living in, but have had that dream disappear.

For those of us who live in chronic pain from some kind of hyper-sensitive physiology (body, mind, or emotions), our Primary Purpose has been clearly defined for us.

“For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God… if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.’”

~ 1 Peter 2:19-22

“Unjust suffering” isn’t just that which is caused by evil people in response to our living for Christ. “Unjust suffering” includes that which we face in life that is not a consequence of our own actions. It afflicts our body, mind, and/or emotions, things like chronic illnesses, diseases, paralysis, depressions (chemical or circumstantial), mental health disorders, bi-polar emotions, etc.

Personally, I have been “unjustly suffering” for over 15 years with a very debilitating case of Fibromyalgia with Chronic Fatigue, and a few other less afflicting things. I too experienced the loss of dreams, including the necessity to resign from a pastorate of a church that had really wonderful people in it. For the last decade my world, from the vantage point of my bed 18-24 hours per day, has become very small.

At first I really mourned and grieved quite hard at my sense of losses. However, I discovered that–for now–my primary purpose in life was for me to be transformed into the example that Jesus gave to us when He suffered. My life (my body, my brain, and my emotions) took on a whole new meaning: to thrive and to become “commendable before God” as I suffered.

Job is another wonderful example of a person who suffered greatly in every area of his life, yet his integrity thrived and he was commendable to God. He suffered the loss of all his grown children, all of his wealth, and all of his health. He was just healthy enough to stay alive, but sick enough to suffer immensely in his whole person, in his body, mind, and emotions.

If you are suffering, if you are debilitated, if you are in constant chronic physiological pain because of the hyper-firing of your nervous system, be of good cheer! (When I say “be of good cheer,” please remember that I am a fellow sufferer in pain and raw emotions). Even while stuck in your bed or in your wheel chair, your primary purpose has been clearly defined: thrive and be commendable to God in every motive that is behind everything you think and say, and that your countenance radiates.

We can do this! We can be this! Let’s thrive in spite of the pain.

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#PastorsTip #1Peter2 #Thrive #Chronic #Pain #Disability #Suffering #Commendable #God #Physiology

Healing for Cutters

People who cut themselves, and use other forms of self-harm, are in dire need of God’s healing.

Cutters don’t need disciplinarians, their pain is already 1,000 times greater than the pain of any possible disciplinary action.

Instead, being soul-wounded and lost deep inside a dark wilderness, they need brave and compassionate people who will venture deep into their dark world.

Upon finding where they are at, and with unconditional and persevering love, then lead them step by step into the realm of healing and light.

If you are a cutter, God is going to send someone to you. He desperately wants you to go from being wounded to being healed, and from being lost to being found, and from languishing in a dark realm to living life in the realm of His Light.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up…
Do you not see it? I am making a way in the wilderness…”

~ Isaiah 43:18-19

And if God cares enough to know the name of every distant star, He certainly cares 1,000 times more about you… He knows your name! He knows your pain! He is going to rescue you and heal you!

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.”

~ Psalm 147:3-5

Cutters, you are loved to the max by God and by those who love God. You may not feel their love yet, due to your high level of pain and the depth of your darkness, but be patient with God and people. Your healing may be just around the corner.

In my own way, I am very experienced in the realm of pain. I am also very experienced in God’s love and provision for healing. I know what darkness feels like too. But, I also know what God does when we invite Him to help us, welcoming His invasion of our life!

You will not be disappointed! 🙂

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