Out of the Ashes

Why would I post a photo of a house under construction?

I’ll get back to that.

It’s been a rough week.

A friend from high school passed away yesterday. I was in the middle of a group of new friends when I found out and it was embarrassing when I couldn’t hold the tears in.

This morning I heard from another old friend. He and his wife are now going through a divorce. I know that pain first hand. My heart breaks for him and his kids.

I once asked the boys I teach at church if they had gone through any tough times. Some said yes. There’s some pretty tough stories out there. Most said no. I probably sounded pretty negative when I told them that

tough times will come.

I didn’t leave it there. I told them of the hope and peace and joy that comes from trusting Jesus. God is close to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18).

The two families I described above and many others are going through broken-hearted times. I have no simple answers for them except to stick close to God through the tough times. I can speak from experience about how

The love of God has brought me out of the ashes of my severely damaged life.

So why the house under construction?

Last December, we had very dry conditions and a day of hurricane force winds. By the end of the day, nearly a thousand homes had been destroyed or damaged by fire. (Our city escaped damage). This house, across the street from the Louisville, CO Police Department is one of the first being rebuilt. It has literally risen out of the ashes.

You might feel like your life is damaged or in a pile of ashes. The roof has collapsed and you feel injured and exposed.

You can be rebuilt!

There is healing and power in the Name of Jesus! I seen it time and time again.

The closer you get to God, the closer you get to healing.

If this sounds a little preachier than normal, thanks for hanging in there and reading to the end. If you have any questions about how to turn to Jesus or just want to complain about my “religious” post, feel free to contact me.

Awkward Thanksgiving

I didn’t want to be there. Yes, I loved my mom but my step father….

It was my junior year in college. I had spent the last two Thanksgivings at my dad’s in Fresno. Now Dad had moved to Southern California and Mom had moved back from Virginia to San Bruno, just an hour north of me.

I had to go.

To be honest, I remember almost nothing of that holiday. I don’t even remember if any of my siblings made it there.

The food was good. The conversation polite if strained. I declined the invitation to spend the night. My little quiet room in Mount Hermon was far more appealing.

Life almost 40 years later is different. I cherish the time with family. I may not see eye to eye with them on everything, but our love for each other far outweighs any differences in opinion. I want to be with them as much as I can.

Did I handle that Thanksgiving of 1984 correctly? I don’t know. I know the fact that I spent so little time there hurt my mom, but she knew that she wasn’t the reason I kept the visit brief.

I did manage to avoid arguing with my stepdad. But that was more because I knew I couldn’t win any arguments with him. That man was more stubborn than, well, than even me. And that’s saying something.

So why would I share this story of my dysfunctional family Thanksgiving? There’s a couple of reasons.

First, if your family is full of love, peace, and forgiveness, be sure to give an extra round of thanks to God and to your family. (Thanks Fam!)

Second, if your family is dysfunctional, you’re not alone! I would urge you to come to your family get-togethers with as much love and patience and forgiveness as you can muster with God’s help. Love heals, though it may take time.

If your family is at a point where getting together is not an option, I urge you to get together with someone. I heard earlier this week of a couple that just moved to a neighborhood from another country. They posted on Next Door that they would like to share Thanksgiving with a local family if anyone would open their home to them. They got over 200 invitations!

So, if you are alone this Thanksgiving, reach out to those around you. If you make the effort, you may just find the true meaning of family love.

Feel free to share in the comments on the social media posts for this blog if you need a place to celebrate Thanksgiving or if you are willing to open your home to those in need this Thanksgiving.

I confess I feel a little like a hypocrite writing this because, with an at-risk daughter visiting us that day, I cannot have people outside the family over on Thanksgiving. But if your situation allows you to share, you may be amazed at the blessings sharing will bring!