When God Teaches Us Difficult Lessons

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”
1 John 3:1-3 NIV

Working with children can be exhausting, exhilarating, and everything in between! Our son is old enough to start sleeping in his crib. If he sleeps on mom or dad he wakes often, cannot get comfortable, and as a result gets very poor, interrupted sleep. I know he is not getting the rest he needs to grow and thrive. So after feeding him and changing him, I put him in his crib making sure he is comfortable. Then comes the difficult part: watching him learn. He cries, he struggles, he wails. Often he cries so hard I can go into his room and put his laundry away. He is so focused on his unhappiness he doesn’t even notice me.

Maybe his thoughts are: “Why am I alone? Did I do something wrong to deserve this? How can I get out of this situation?” My heart breaks to watch him cry, but I love him and want what’s best for him even though it is painful for both of us. When my son finally accepts being in his crib, he is calm. He plays quietly, he rests. His circumstances have not changed. He accepts mom has placed him in his crib and it is time to be still.  Once he accepts being in his crib he sleeps peacefully. I know his body is getting the rest it needs to build and help him grow.

Do you see the comparison coming? When God sees us having a difficult time growing, He knows it is time for a lesson. It breaks His heart to see us suffer, but He knows we need to learn the lesson to have a deeper, more resilient faith. He hears us cry out, “Why am I alone? Did I do something wrong to deserve this? How can I get out of this situation?” Often, we are so focused on our own misery and circumstances we can miss seeing what God is doing!

We can change our attitude even though we cannot change our circumstances. It is certainly not easy learning the lessons God teaches us. My own reaction is always to focus on my own suffering first. I must constantly examine my heart and adjust my attitude. I am a work in progress!

What tough situations are you currently facing? How are you coping? Is there a heart attitude with which you need God’s intervention?

In Him,

Amy Horton

What’s Your ‘Tude?: Gratitude

“It’s a good day for my bad attitude!” If that slogan’s speaking your language right about now, perhaps you should consider joining me this week to discover what the Bible says about attitudes. Could be a ‘tude adjustment is in order!



“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

Luke 7:47, NLT

We’ve looked at the role our attitudes play in allowing us to show God’s love to others. We’ve seen how sinful attitudes are ineffective for reaching others with the love of Christ and harmful to our Christian growth.

Today, let’s consider one of my favorite ‘tudes—gratitude. As I have a natural tendency to take blessings for granted, I appreciate the work of the Holy Spirit in my life to remind me to stop complaining and start remembering the wonderful things God has done in my life.

Friday_Day_Five_Pic#2-Woman_oils_Jesus_FeetRead today’s Dose verse. It refers to the story of a woman who the Bible describes as having been immoral. She crashed a party at a Pharisees’ home in order to get close to Jesus, who was invited to dine with the Pharisees.  “When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them” (Luke 7: 37-38). The Pharisee was indignant that this immoral woman was not only at the party but that she “wasted” expensive oil on washing Jesus’ feet and dried them with her hair. Jesus reminded the Pharisee that he’d not even bothered to greet Jesus properly, let alone, anointed His head or feet with everyday olive oil!

He told them a story about gratefulness. (vs.39-46) This woman was so grateful for Jesus’ forgiveness that she went toFriday_Day_Five_Pic#1-grateful what looked like extreme measures to lavish her love and gratitude on him. But, she was so grateful because she’d been forgiven of many sins. She didn’t think she was too good to acknowledge her sinfulness. She valued the forgiveness extended to her. The Pharisees acted like they only had a few, if any, sins to be forgiven. Jesus said this is why they showed little love.

Showing an attitude of gratitude is important in our walk with Christ and relationship with others. It shows others that we appreciate their assistance and recognize we’ve grown with help, not on our own efforts.

God desires for us to have the attitude of Christ Jesus. Through Christ’s obedient sacrifice for our sins and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can. Now that’s something to be grateful about!

Grateful for forgiveness,


[Read the story of the woman with the alabaster box in Luke 7: 36-50.]

I’ve referred to Believers a lot this week. If you’ve not yet come into peace with God and would like our help to find out how you can, please contact any member of our ZMI team. We’d be honored to assist you.

What’s Your ‘Tude?: Servitude

“It’s a good day for my bad attitude!” If that slogan’s speaking your language right about now, perhaps you should consider joining me this week to discover what the Bible says about attitudes. Could be a ‘tude adjustment is in order!



“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right…. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.” 

Romans 6:20-22, NLT

Thursday_Day_Four_Pic_#2-broken_chainYears ago, when I’d ask a certain acquaintance to help me with various tasks, she would more often than not reply with the quip, “What do I look like, your slave? Do it yourself, I’ve got more important things to do!” These days, I hear people say, “I’m nobody’s slave!” Or, “I won’t be anyone’s slave!”

But the truth is, it’s impossible to be middle-of-the-road regarding servitude. Everybody serves a master, so everyone’s somebody’s slave! The question is whose? Read today’s Dose verses. Before we surrendered our lives to Christ Jesus, we were easily consumed by an attitude of idolatry and self-centeredness. We were free to do what we wanted, when we wanted, and how we wanted, because we were guided by the fulfillment of our own desires.

This type of freedom was a freedom from doing right because all we were capable of doing was wrong. Our behaviors were wrong because our motives were wrong. Our motives were wrong because our hearts were wrong. Our hearts were wrong because our master wasn’t God; it was sin. Serving the master of sin may have appeared effortless and fun for some time, but focusing on our own desires gets old after a while. We have no power from the Holy Spirit to change our hearts so we’re caught in the grip of serving self and neglecting to find a bit of concern for others. We easily modeled the old adage, “I’m not much, but I’m all I think about!” The result of this type of attitude was agony and destruction. We weren’t equipped to serve anyone with the love of God. Thursday_Day_Four_Pic#1-Jesus_On_the_Cross

But once we surrendered our lives to Christ, we experienced an attitude change. Mastered by God and following the desires He placed in our hearts, we turned from our idolatry and self-centeredness to serve Him ahead of ourselves. In turn, we are able to let His love show through us in service to others. This is an attitude of servitude.

Christ modeled the best example of serving others to the point of laying down His life for our sins. He served God, the Father, in perfectly obedience.  When we’re willing to serve Jesus Christ, we have the Holy Spirit’s power to serve others around us, with a godly heart. This is how our lives are rebuilt and attitudes changed. Love does not demand it’s own way (1 Cor. 13:5).

Serving the Master is the sole way to a life of holiness and eternity with God. Whose slave are you?

Servitude over self-centeredness,