Introduction



The family is not an institution designed by man. 


According to Genesis 2:22-24, the first institution 


God established for human interaction was family.


We see from Scripture that family was created by God 


for the benefit of man, and man has been given


stewardship over it.


Clearly the earthly family, intended by God 


as an institution for spiritual instruction, 


is very important in God's eyes.

We can also see that families are close to God's heart.

 

From the beginning, when God created man, 


He said, ““It is not good for man to be alone”,” 


so He created woman as a ““help-meet, suitable for him””


(Genesis 2:18). Then, He blessed them and told them,


““Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish 


[fill] the earth”” (Genesis 1:28). 



Even after they fell into sin, God continued 


with His plan for families, and even spoke prophetically 


of the salvation that would come through the seed 


of the woman (Genesis 3:15).



Later, after the Flood, He reiterated His plan to Noah 


and his sons, ““Be fruitful, and multiply, 


and replenish the earth”” (Genesis 9:1). 



God continued His plan when He chose Abraham 


and miraculously gave him a son in his old age 


(Genesis 21).

Despite the corruptions family has suffered 


throughout humanity's past,


family is widely considered as the oldest 


and most indispensable institution 


where civility is first taught.



It is the first educational institution.


It is the first social unit for developing qualities 


of the heart.



Family is the core of all humanity. 


Family is the cornerstone and one of the primary


building blocks of our society.



The family is the basis, the backbone, 


the foundation, the framework, the infrastructure, 


the root of civilization, our sanctuary, and the bedrock 


from which all other communities and nations stem from.



If the family does not provide the basics 


for its members... 


it delivers to the doorstep of society... 


an under-developed person.



May we protect, maintain,


and strengthen families.



This project is about broken pieces 


and God's power to turn those broken pieces


into masterpieces.



The genesis of this project was born in prayer and 


from a cry deep within my spirit while, once again, 


in the classroom and season of pain.



Problems can occur in the process 

of bringing God's vision to birth! 

Whether God has called us to bring forth

 a vision or a purpose, obstructions can arise.


We have no right to believe that God will do 


or allow anything to hurt or hinder 


our Spiritual growth.



We believe that life's difficulties and troubles


are not intended to impede our progress,


but to catapult us to greater heights.



Adversity, trials, tribulations, and suffering


can shape us better than anything else.



Strength of character is shaped through trials. 


It is like a good fertilizer for the mind, body, and soul.


It can stimulate tremendous growth


and bring out the very best in us.



“And we know that in all things 


God works for the good of those who love Him, 


who have been called according to His purpose.”



This verse says to those who love God 

and are doing their best to respect and 

adhere to God’s commands, 

even when foul, wicked, vicious, heinous, 

vile things touch our lives... 

God will use those people, places, and/or things 

to ultimately bring about His good and our good.


Our family, since dad passed, has been  


filled with conflicts. 


Dad strived to make our home a worthy place 


for God to make His abode. Despite our family situations 


he tried to help us to maintain a Spiritual environment.



Although spirituality must come from within, 


we can sometimes nurture Christlike qualities 


through external influences. We can surround ourselves


with reminders that God has a place in our homes.

 


Dad was good about steering us towards activities 


that would allow us to pray, spend quality time 


with family, to be kind and considerate, to show 


gratitude, respect, humility, and responsibility. 


He was pretty keen at setting a Spiritual tone 


for the home.



When he passed it was much like the hub was removed, 


and the spokes flew in many strange directions.



Although stress and disagreements in families are 


common, they can become destructive… especially 


when conflicts and clashes are pushed and pulled 


in many directions and they get out of hand.



Sometimes, indifference and misunderstandings 


 in families can metastasize into toxic resentment.



Consequently, what my family is now realizing is... 


toxic resentment, no support system,


no safe haven, 


sibling estrangement,


and what some may consider as... 


'Cold war'.



I believe this story has a purpose. 


I have come to realize that the afflicted can be most 


effectively used by God. 



Afflictions, as painful as they are, can benefit us 


greatly. Some may think they are above getting hurt, 


or they may think an admission of problems and pain 


is an admission of weakness or failure. 


The truth is... 


God uses the problems in our lives to teach us 


to depend on Him and to help us grow into 


the spiritual maturity of Christ.



In the Spiritual realm there must be growing pains...


just as in the physical realm.


It is important when pain comes our way 


to honor the experience, as it is usually a great teacher.



Honoring the experiences we have in our lives 


is an invaluable way to communicate with God, 


our greatest Teacher.



Consciously acknowledging the events of our lives


 can deepen our relationship to our experiences. 


This is important because it brings us into closer 


connection with God, life, and the moment.

 

Only when we acknowledge what's happening to us 


can we truly benefit from life's teachings.



Afflictions stir us to pray and keep us dependent on God. 


As long as we can handle things in our own strength, 


we won’t see God’s power. 



It’s when the burden becomes unbearable... 


that we see God's power made perfect 


in our weakness.


 2 Corinthians 12:9


I don't believe suffering is indicative of God's disfavor,


but of God's favor.


I believe God permits sorrow, grief, tears, and heartaches.



Through the seminary of affliction, I believe,


God grooms, prunes, molds, and shapes us


in wonderful, much needed ways we would have 


never learned or known any other way.

I believe one can learn, grow, know and do better


after going through the, humbling, seminary of affliction.


I know God can do things far beyond our puny 


comprehension.



I believe, through my own knowledge, observation, 


and experience that God is able to reach down


and touch the point of our greatest need, 


and in due season He will make all things right.

God has a purpose for every trial 


that comes into our lives. 


Nothing happens to us without God’s 


approval or purpose.



When we are faced with a crisis, trust...


there is nothing God can NOT do. 


God will help us, heal us, protect us,


and uphold us... bringing us through whatever 


the trial may be.



Troubles point out our weaknesses 


and prompts us to rely on God.


Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities,


 in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, 


in distresses for Christ’s sake


for when I am weak, then am I strong”


(II Corinthians 12:7–10).



Adversity is a call to re-evaluate our priorities.


Adversity is the catalyst for self-discovery 


and new growth.



The problems we are encountering, have a purpose. 


We are not going through the desert


 or wilderness in vain. 


It is during those barren desert 


and wilderness experiences...


God is at work doing something in us...


with us... and for us.



Adversities motivate us to have a closer walk with God, 


and they help us to grow to be more like Jesus, 


and less like our carnal-selves.


God's ultimate purpose for us is to grow 

more and more into the image of His Son.

Romans 8:29


Adversity gets our attention.


Adversity is designed to strengthen our faith.


Every step in life prepares us for the next one.


We may not realize it, 


but where we are now is providing us with 


vital life lessons for our next adventure.



People who have proven themselves to be more powerful 


than the opposing forces and have managed to get to the 


other side of adversity, more likely than not, discovered a 


part of themselves they did not know existed.



Trials and tribulations are inevitable.


James did not say...


 “If we encounter problems consider it joy,” 


but... 


When we encounter problems


 consider it joy.”



Regardless of the circumstances we are facing... 


God can make all things work to our good 


and to our benefit.



When we can see God's hand


in our trials and tribulations... 


we can become empowered by crisis


rather than impaled by them.


We can become victorious rather than victims.



God's purpose for us is that we grow and experience 


the life He intends for us.


May we continue to grow in His grace

knowing that with God...


no matter what our trial or test may be...


no matter how severe or destructive the storm…


it can never be big enough


to prevent God from accomplishing His purpose.

By the grace of God, I have been bountifully blessed

 

to benefit and glean from the life experiences of many 


determined people, nations, cultures, and generations. 



I've been truly blessed by mentors who generously 


passed-on wonderful pearls of wisdom 


 and treasure troves of truth, beauty, 


and pragmatic advice. 


Their rich experiences and deposits sown... 


have been invaluable to me.



Some of the important and painful life lessons 


I'm learning more about and have learned... 


I simply cannot afford not to pass them on. 


It is my prayer these offerings will be encouraging, 


useful, and substantial for anyone who may be 


experiencing worry, heartache, pain, regret, and 


family dysfunction.



 I am sharing my story in hopes that it may help you and 

me to patiently endure and see God's hand 

working all things together for our good.

These messages are from my soul to yours, 

from my spirit to yours, from my life to yours.


May you find within the following twenty-eight,

virtual, pages... at least a morsel that will 

speak to your heart and to your concerns.


In His Love,