The Blog

26 Apr

The Path of Grace: Walking Toward Forgiveness and Healing

I recently spent two rainy and beautiful days at a retreat with 25 young women between 17 and 24 years old. I felt so honored to be invited to join this retreat to share about inner healing. It’s one of my favorite ministry and teaching topics!

As I entered the room the first morning it struck me just how young these girls were. I had been praying and remembering what being in my twenties was like. (Not so long ago, by the way! At least in my mind.)

28 Mar

Suffering That Produces Life in God's Kingdom

I had a vivid moment when I was growing up. My parents were pastors and they were struggling significantly in their marriage. I was young, maybe six years old, and felt a lot of uncertainty, fear, and pain in seeing them struggle and not knowing what the outcome was going to be. Would they stay together? Would they divorce? I remember kneeling at that age and asking Jesus to come and help—just kneeling in my room by myself—and receiving a lot of comfort. It was a really sweet moment. Things did not get resolved right away, but my parents’ marriage was eventually restored and there was a lot of fruit that came out of that crisis. So I was able to see God’s restoration firsthand, and how he was hearing my prayers and accompanying me all along. That was a key moment for me. Later in my life, while praying, I felt the Spirit saying, “I planted devotion through that suffering.” Although there was a lot of struggle in my suffering, there was something deep being planted about relating to Jesus in those difficult moments of my early life.

21 Mar

God, Where Are You?

Three. The number of shootings in our neighborhood in the last month.

Three. The number of students inside the school room pierced by a stray bullet.

Three. The number of middle school girls I spend time with on Thursday evenings.

Three. The number of times I run each week, giving me ample opportunity to wonder and question and grow soreness in my aging knees.

Questions whirl in my head like a tornado. Doubts creep in like the ants feasting on our dining room floor. Feelings of overwhelmedness hang on me like a tired three-year-old.


12 Mar

My Beloved: Identity in the Ashes

This post is part of our series on walking with God in suffering. If you are just joining us, learn why we are sharing stories of suffering in this introduction.

After serving nearly two years with InnerCHANGE in Little Haiti—a community in Miami, FL—the intensity of spiritual warfare, transitions, and ministry/personal challenges brought us to a place of distress.

We found ourselves, a family of six, preparing for an unplanned ministry sabbatical. It felt like my heart was torn out and shredded.

07 Mar

Enlarging Our Hearts Through Grief

Tune in to the news. Look around. Listen to people around you. Consider the experiences of your own life, your family, your friends.

We can’t go far without seeing or experiencing the impact of suffering and loss. None of us are exempt. We meet suffering and loss in lots of things—like the death of a loved one, a broken relationship, or the loss of a job. We might meet it in the form of sickness or diminished capacity, a dream unfulfilled, or through our own sin or the sins committed against us. We might not always recognize it, but we sometimes meet it as a result of transition—even a transition to something good, because we’re leaving other things behind.

And wherever there is suffering or loss, there is grief.

05 Mar

How to Stay in When It’s Hard: Making Disciples in Difficult Places

Many staff in CRM experience levels of suffering in their work and ministry. This is a unique kind of suffering, because it is a choice our staff make to live in challenging contexts. Today’s post from InnerCHANGE staff Jim Bloom gives guidance on how to keep following Jesus when your call leads to places of pain.

As followers of Jesus, we all share together his great call to disciple the nations (Matthew 28:19). We all share his great promise that he is with us to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). But some of us are called to make disciples in very difficult places, where Satan has long held sway and the brokenness of our world is especially evident.

I serve with a group of kindred-hearted men and women who focus on making disciples among the poor and marginalized. Some of us live and minister in intense places. Helping Christian workers stay in such places is crucial for what we do. We’ve learned that going to a hard place is one thing, but staying there is another.

What is it, then, that has helped my wife and me stay where Jesus has called us?

26 Feb

From Head to Heart: What Do You Really Believe About Suffering? [Video/Download]

We're taking a two month journey into the heart of suffering and how to walk with God in the midst of it. If you're just joining us, you can find the reasons why here.

Last week we asked CRM's Staff Care and Development team leader, Alex Galloway, to help us grapple with a biblical view of suffering by sharing his knowledge and experience. If you missed the first part of that conversation, you can watch it here. Today we're asking Alex to explain a tool that can help us examine our hearts to see what we really believe about suffering at our core. It's a "Theology of Suffering Continuum" that lists a biblical view on suffering and a corresponding false belief that many Christians hold. Take a look at the continuum and then listen as Alex guides us through using this tool to realign our hearts with God's truth.

View the Theology of Suffering Continuum

20 Feb

Why We Need to Talk About Suffering: Biblical Perspectives [Video/Download]

We wanted to continue our journey of walking the road of suffering with God by talking to one of our staff who's helped a lot of people on that journey—CRM's Staff Development and Care Team leader, Alex Galloway. In this interview, Alex speaks to why it's so crucial for believers to examine their beliefs about suffering and develop a biblical perspective. He's also shared a Bible study on suffering with us, which we've made available to you here.

Open the Bible Study 

09 Feb

Learning to Lament: A Biblical Response to Pain

The New Year is off to a solid start. January has passed, February is here, and while some cherish Valentine’s Day, everyone can savor those chocolate sales, right? Winter will thaw soon. Whew!

I for one do not long for 2017. It was an intense year for me, with not a few bittersweet transitions and losses. My beautiful home of 22 years in Minnesota was put on the market. The low-level grief that snuck in with my decision to sell and move across the country kicked into high gear as the goodbyes and “last times” collected. During this same season of goodbyes, my mom approached death; I was with her as she died. Returning from the memorial to the overwhelming task of vacating my house piled physical exhaustion on top of the emotional avalanche of grief. Only with much help from many friends did I get through those tough last days.

But that was 2017. New year, new you...right? If only throwing away the calendar could take the grief and hurts of last year with it.

01 Feb

A Biblical Theology of Suffering: Overcoming Our Mistaken Mistrust of God [Video]

We wanted to begin our journey of walking the road of suffering with God by talking to a CRM staff member who has guided many people to connect with God in the midst of difficult life circumstances—times where our understanding of God can become clouded.

In this video, Bill O'Byrne speaks about the biblical foundations of suffering, why we so often blame God in our pain, and how we can overcome our tendency to distrust him when we suffer. (Bill has written a devotional book for Lent which delves deeper into this topic of knowing God's love in the midst of suffering. You'll find links to the book at the bottom of the post.) 




CRM works to create movements of committed followers of Jesus in nations all around the world. This blog captures our stories, learnings, photos, videos, and more. Welcome!

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