Daily Spiritual Task List

Daily Spiritual Task List

I wrote this daily spiritual task to try to encourage myself and others to really be intentional about pursuing and enjoying God. One of the things that stuck with me at church was how pursuing a relationship with God should bring us joy and peace but it never comes easy. Like any relationship you have to invest in it and be willing to push through when things are difficult. Anyway, I hope it encourages you and blesses you!

Planting to Product: How Two Churches Are Bringing Others to Christ

Planting to Product: How Two Churches Are Bringing Others to Christ

In an age full of churches dying left and right, there is a church that stands out among the rest. Redeemer Community Church located in Birmingham, Alabama has a story like no other. Brought to Birmingham by God’s calling, lead pastor Joel Brooks uprooted his family from Atlanta and decided to plant a church in Birmingham. The church started in 2008 and began with 150 members. The interesting part of this church is that now, less than ten years later, they are pressing towards 1,000 members. This church is growing exponentially, but why are some churches like Redeemer Community Church and the Church of the Highlands growing on a weekly basis but other churches are struggling to keep their members?...

Will Millennials Ever Come Back To Church?

Will Millennials Ever Come Back To Church?

The words that typically come to mind when the word “millennials” is mentioned usually deal with entitlement, laziness, fearlessness, self-centeredness, etc. No one has to explain what is meant when using the term, and most of the time the word brings a negative connotation. One word that has never been used to describe the millennial generation is Christian. If you look back into the late 1800’s and early 1900’s you see the Christian movement at an all time high. Then you get to the late 1900’s and early 2000’s and there is less of a presence as ever before. Why did this trend begin and what is to blame for the lack of church participation by millennials today?...

Has God Forgotten About You?

Has God Forgotten About You?

Those whom the Lord has called to Him cannot run forever, for one cannot truly find rest in anything but God. I wish I had the ability to alleviate suffering. Whether you live a faithful life with God or faith is something with which you struggle, in the end you must accept that life does not

Power Pride and the Fall: Reflections on our leaders and the Easter Message

Power Pride and the Fall: Reflections on our leaders and the Easter Message

Becoming powerful is not inherently wrong, all of us should seek to use our influence to make this world a better place, but we must realize that seeking power for its own end is as frivolous as chasing after the wind, because we can never obtain enough power to bring us peace, nor receive enough praise to find joy. The message of Easter is that

Purpose Driven Faith: Why life will pass us by if we don't open up our eyes

In the heart of all of us is the desire to find a purpose in the things we do. Yet, we waste so much time on the things we deem to be insignificant. I think somewhere in our heart, there is a constant feeling that that life would be so much better if we only had achieved more of the things we had dreamed about when we were younger. The constant search for significance is something that all of us struggle with on some level, and even when we achieve the thing we worked so hard to obtain, we are met by the feeling that we need something else to satisfy our hearts. If you look at the lives of many of the rich and powerful, you will see that often they are deeply unsatisfied and find little joy in the things that they have obtained. As Christians, we understand that joy and peace can only be found in the Lord, and as much as we understand this in our minds, it is so hard to live in reliance on the Lord rather than ourselves. In church they teach us that it is the purpose of man to glorify God and enjoy him forever, yet we still tend to look for satisfaction in the things apart from God and we wonder why it is so hard to find contentment. The song “Wake me up” by Avicii illustrates this point:

Feeling my way through the darkness, guided by a beating heart. I can't tell where the journey will end, but I know where to start. They tell me I'm too young to understand,
They say I'm caught up in a dream. Well life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes,
Well that's fine by me. So wake me up when it's all over, when I'm wiser and I'm older.
All this time I was finding myself, and I didn't know I was lost.

            The song talks about how life will pass us by if we don’t open up our eyes and that is ok with us. I think the way we find our peace in the Lord is realizing that he is enough to satisfy us, and that there is no rest until we find it in him. Of all the truths in the scripture, the one I desire the most to live by is to understand that God is enough. The gospel is more than the way in which we may find our salvation; it is also the way we may find our rest. I am a restless person by nature, and yet I find no matter how much I accomplish it is never enough to satisfy. As an attorney, my clients put their trust in me and although I find this to be a great honor, I also see that sometimes I measure my value by how successful I am in my profession. I try and find my rest my ability, and no matter how well I perform… there is no rest in it. I don’t know what it is you do that you seek satisfaction in, but I do know that if you know the Lord there can be no peace in. I would encourage all of you to remember that this life is short, and that God gives us the resource of time so we can fulfill the purposes he has set for us. So if you seek to find contentment…remember that in Christ you will have peace, but in this world you will have trials. I write these devotionals not only to encourage you, but to remind myself of these truths and so that I would not waste my life on things that don’t matter, nor give my time to the things that are frivolous. Of all of the regrets I have the one that is the hardest to bear… is realizing how much time I have wasted on things that do not matter. I challenge you to not waste the life God has given you, and to seek your satisfaction in the Lord. We all do the things we think will make us happy, yet so many of us lack contentment and joy, and the reason is those things really aren’t what fulfills. Only in the power of the gospel can we find rest. All we have is today, so even if you feel so far from the lord…. remember he never will leave nor forsake. God doesn’t love us based on who we are but on who he is, and he that started a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. He is not finished with any of us yet, and he will find a way to bring you back to the path he has set for you. I encourage you to let him rule and reign in you, so that you will find your rest. May God bless you and may you find your deepest rest in him.

About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is reidfirm@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com.

Does Your Faith Actually Matter?

John 10:10-11 I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

            In the heart of almost every man is the desire to understand what is the meaning of his existence. We all confront this in a different way but at some point we realize that we are mortal and our time is limited so we have to ask ourselves is there something beyond this world and if so what that means for our lives. In my practice as an attorney, I see people in very difficult circumstances so it is not uncommon for them to ask me my thoughts on matters of faith. I think sometimes as Christians we can often be so quick to give answers that we forget that sometimes what people really need is for someone to listen (See James 1:19). As I have gotten older I see the value in not being too quick to give answers because sometimes what people really need is to consider things for themselves. However, no matter what the problem is that a person is dealing with the ultimate need of every human is to find their rest in God, often though it takes a person trying to find their fulfillment in everything else before they are at point where they realize that God is the thing that would have satisfied them all along. The question we must ask ourselves as Christian is how to do we show the world that what we have is different than what the world offers.

The scriptures teach that the world will know us by how we love each other, and if there is no appreciable difference in the way we relate to one another then why would someone consider what we have of any value (see John 13:35)? Jesus says to be fishers of men and in order to do that we must go to where the people are at and be willing to love people who are very difficult to love. I have heard so many sermons which state accurately that our country is in a state of moral decline and while I don’t deny the culture is abandoning absolute truth, I still see that the gospel reaching people. It is so easy to just assume that because the abandonment of God in the culture that our efforts to share our faith won’t make a difference, but this thought is based on the false premise that we are somehow involved in the changing of someone’s heart (See John 17). As Christians we are just called to love and share the hope that is in us with those who the Lord puts into our lives and leave the results to him However, if we are not being intentional with this then the question becomes whether we actually believe in the gospel ourselves. I don’t see how it is possible for Christ to be in someone and for their never be any desire in that person to share the hope that they have with people in their lives. I do believe we all can serve in different ways as the scriptures teach (See 1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

However, if all we do is go to church on Sunday and hear a sermon then go about our week, then it seems like we may be wasting our time. I do think that all Christians go through times where they are closer to the lord than others, and all of us stumble and fall and make foolish sinful choices… But there is a difference between someone stumbling while running and someone who never participates. The truth is that the gospel is true and it can bring joy to every heart that receives Christ. Jesus won’t necessarily make it easier for you and in fact he states that you may be hated for loving him, but he does that that in him you will find peace. As someone who knows the daily struggle of chronic pain that comes from arthritis I realize that knowing Christ doesn’t mean he will take away your pain, but it does mean he can give you joy in it if you let him. I don’t write this devotional to condemn anyone nor to say I have figured it out because that’s not true. I struggle every day to practice my faith correctly and I fail many times, but I sometimes do get a chance to share Christ with others and I am thankful for that opportunity even though I am an imperfect messenger. That’s the point though we don’t have to pretend that we have it all together when we share with other we can be honest about our failures whether past or current and sometimes if we will stop playing this stupid game with people that we have it all together people will actually be willing to listen to what we have to say (see 1 John 1:18).

Christians have to stop attacking each other every time they see someone sin as if we should rejoice in the failings of others, how will people ever come to repentance when they are fearful of being attacked by people in the church? We must lovingly and privately confront those who sin and never disparage them as if we have perfect lives. When the world see’s us do this to each other it discourages them from wanting what we have, because they fear what will happen if they come clean about their own sins. So if we want to have faith that matters we must be intentional with people in our lives, but also show grace to each other and grieve when someone stumbles rather than rejoice in the suffering of others. If we can show the world the Love that God has shown us then we can truly have faith that matters.

About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is reidfirm@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com  our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personal a qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com which contains my contact information. God Bless.

Success Through Failure: How Faith Can Make You Well Even In Tragedy

19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

The most difficult yet comforting thing to accept is that God is in control. Though our lives can seem disorganized and off path, we know that our detours are God’s straight lines. The life of Joseph is a perfect example of how a seemingly random string of unfortunate events brought Joseph to exactly the place God wanted him to be. He was sold into slavery by his brothers at a young age, and though this was difficult, God gave him favor in the eyes of his captor and he rose to prominence. In this position he was falsely accused of rape by an evil woman…. Though he did no wrong he was put in prison… again this was a horrible situation to be in, but God provided him favor in the eyes of the guards and he was given responsibility in handling all the affairs of the prison. Till one day, two men came into the prison and he correctly interpreted their dreams and asked them to remember him before the king so he could be released…. It was two years later before it was brought to the king’s attention, but soon after that Joseph was promoted to become the second most powerful man on the earth and was able to prevent a great famine from destroying Egypt and also save his family from starvation. Yet, I have no doubt that in those moments of darkness in jail Joseph must have wondered what the purpose was in all of this. He was a righteous man who was faithful and yet he kept getting the raw end of every deal for most of his adolescence. His plan for his own life probably was to live a quiet life as a shepherd and worship God with his family… God’s plan was different and though the path to glory was through pain I know that Joseph doesn’t regret any of it now.

Faith is tested in the prison of trial and character is what comes out of it if we surrender to God. Many of us give into bitterness and anger, but the ones who yield to spirit are made new and able to be used to do great things through the Lord. Most of us won’t ever rise to a position where we will be remembered in any history book… But there is a greatness to be attained through daily consistency that comes by depending on the spirit of God. Ultimately we must know that God doesn’t need us though he does love us… and his love is greater and more meaningful because of the fact that he has no need for us. He loves us not for who we are but because of whom he is and if we understand that we can break free of the need to be “significant”. Joseph lived a faithful life and he humbled himself and was exalted… It doesn’t matter what position you are in, whether you are a business leader, a student or a mom trying to keep her sanity raising kids… God has you were you are for a reason and that reason is to depend on him and yield your heart to his. Once you realize the God we serve is significant and he loves us you don’t have to try to be great. Now you still have to faithful with the time God gives you and make the most out of the opportunities he puts in front of you… But I have found that God has given me plenty of opportunities and maybe instead being angry because I don’t have more I need to be faithful with what he has given me.

Having a thankful heart, even in pain, is a great blessing and though circumstances often don’t change quickly… a surrendered heart to God can give you great perspective which will make the pain less relevant. Trial, difficulty, sorrow and pain will always be with us in this life, but if we are Christians we will also have joy, peace, patience and hope… I have found that the last four of these traits mean very little unless you have experienced the first four. So in our trials we can trust God will bring us a greater joy than we could imagine had we not suffered. I don’t know what many of you are going through and I don’t imagine that this simple explanation of God’s providence is going to radically change your life. It isn’t a good lesson or a sermon that makes a difference… it is only a surrendered heart. I cannot teach you how to do this as it is something I don’t fully understand this. all I can say is keep praying for it and in time he will answer. And who knows, maybe the very point of your trials is so God can accomplish the saving of many lives both here and in eternity… So please don’t lose heart or give up… just yield and surrender yourself to God

About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is reidfirm@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com. Our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors, many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personally qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with, and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com, which contains my contact information. God Bless.

Finding God in suffering: How my pain taught me trust him.

1 Peter 5:10

*10 *And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Trusting God is easy when life makes sense. For many years I

did not have chronic pain due to a rare arthritic disease, and in that time I took for granted the blessing of health that I had. During those first few years after I was diagnosed with AS getting through each day was such a challenge. Being in constant pain is hard enough, but during that time I also had to start of business, manage a social life and do a lot of work in the area of politics. I was amazed at how much I use to complain about the smallest things that truly didn’t matter. I wish I could say I always handled it well, but the truth is there were times when I just wanted to get away from people because I let the pain control me and not the Lord. Sometimes when you have major suffering in life you think that it is ok to be self-focused because you have something that makes your life more difficult than everyone else around you. But the truth is, no matter what you are going through or what’s been done to you, it is still your job to love and serve others in the capacity that you can. In time, I did get treatment for my arthritis and most of the time in the last 2 years it has been manageable except when there was been severe flare ups.

I think the biggest mistake I made was letting the pain cause me to resent God, because I could not see how this level of suffering can do any good. I understood theologically that suffering can make us stronger and make us more dependent on God, but I never anticipated that the Lord would ever allow this to happen to me. I used to love to run and lift weights and I just took so much pleasure in being physically active and having these limits placed on me has been the hardest challenge of my life. I also was very social and would go out with friends all the time but this disease has made that more difficult. To be fair though, this disease has also made me appreciate things in a way I never did before. The days where the pain is limited have been so much more meaningful to me than they ever could have been. It is easier for me to see the things God has given me, and though there are times where I lose heart; God has been faithful to me no matter what. I value my work as an attorney more than I ever would have because I actually see my job as a blessing, and it allows me to serve others who are going through difficult times and to care about their suffering in a way I never would have before.

My advice to you and myself is to never lose heart nor give up. The same God who gave his son so that we may have eternal life in Heaven, is the same God who has allowed the pain to come into your life. I know sometimes it seems like he isn’t there and I too have struggled to believe that when the suffering was at its worst. But I want to encourage you to remember that all pain is temporal, and the same God who blesses you with so much, is the one who is testing you in your trials to bring you closer and help you find joy no matter what. I would ask for your prayers not just for healing but that through this I am able to love others and serve God.

About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is reidfirm@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com. Our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors, many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personally qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with, and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com, which contains my contact information. God Bless.

 

Overcoming sin by pursuing joy: How you can live a life of purpose

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

In the trials of life it is so easy to forget that Jesus came

to give us abundant life. When I was younger I didn’t understand why the bible was restrictive about certain things. I didn’t understand that Lord wasn’t trying to keep me from pleasure, but to prevent me from experiencing the pain that sin causes. As a Christian, there is no joy in sin and though it feels good for a time, it always only leaves us feeling empty. Yet, sometimes we can get so overwhelmed from our own struggles that we lose hope and we start to think that what the Lord has for us isn’t enough. In my own struggle with chronic pain that comes from a rare arthritic disease, I often find myself being frustrated that every day I have to deal with pain that never fully goes away. I have learned that by exercising, eating right and stretching I can manage my pain but sometimes I get so tired of dealing with my condition that I just fail to deal with it as I should…. And that is when the pain comes intensely. This is how sin works in our lives. If we learn to pursue God daily through prayer, studying the word, sharing with others and seeking accountability, we can diminish sin’s hold on our life. But if we neglect to pursue the Lord, then sin will once again become dominant in our lives.

As a Christian, I to grow weary of fighting sin, and I sometimes don’t pursue the Lord as I should. But lately I have realized that seeking the Lord is the truest way to find rest in my life, for in him I find great peace, though in this world I have trouble. If I could encourage you to do one thing it would be to pursue the Lord with all your heart and realize that in him you will find joy and purpose. I have often pursued the Lord because I wanted him to give me the things of this world which I thought would make me happy, and though the things I wanted were good things (like health), I sinned because I wanted those things more than I wanted to know the Lord. It is good for us to go to the lord with our requests and cast our worries on him, but we have to remember that fellowship with the Lord is the greatest gift we could ever have. In this world of uncertainty and pain we can remember that in Christ we can be assured that he is good and he is in control. Don’t ever forget that you have a friend in Jesus and that though he won’t always take away your trials, he will always walk with you in them. I know what it is like to have pain, but so does the Lord, and he showed me that I can have a full and fulfilled life even if I have a disability. Whatever it is you are seeking to find comfort apart from the Lord will never meet the needs of your heart like he does. God is going to take care of all your needs so stop running from him and run to him. He will never leave you nor forsake you and he will comfort you and give you the power to overcome. Just remember to seek him every day because he is going to bring purpose and joy to your day and I know if you do then you will find your rest.

About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is reidfirm@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com. Our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors, many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personally qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with, and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com, which contains my contact information. God Bless.

Are you secure in the love of God?

*1 John 4:9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.*

There is a wonderful truth in this passage and that is that God

loved you long before you loved him. The world teaches us that we must earn everything and that people’s value is solely based on what they can produce. Yet the scriptures teach us that our salvation is 100% because of what Christ did on the cross, and not because anything we could do to earn our salvation. I take great comfort knowing that God loved me not because of anything I did but because of what he has done. We don’t earn our salvation, but if Christ is in our hearts then our lives should be changed by him. We are all sinners which is why we must forgive each other as we have been forgiven. Yet, I would encourage you that Christ’s love for you isn’t contingent on what you do, and there is no sin that he will not forgive. Sin always has consequences and the worst thing about sin is it puts distance between us and God, and it can stifle our communion with him. However, God passionately pursues his children who run away and is able to catch them because he is gracious. Some Christians really struggle to understand that God will love them no matter what. I hope that they never fall into deep sin but the fact is that all of us at times in our lives have periods were our walk is not as consistent as it should be, and it is the knowledge of the depths of God’s mercy which often can bring that Christian to repent. The Scripture teaches that “it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance” and therefore we should all be secure in the love of God. Paul teaches that we should not keep sinning so grace should abound, so I would encourage you to take your faith seriously and to pursue righteousness with your whole heart. However, some Christians are so fearful of God that the picture they see of his character is incomplete. God is perfectly just but also perfectly merciful. His mercies are new every morning and he loves his children with an everlasting love.

John 6:37-39 teaches that “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” What an amazing truth that all that the father has given the son are forever secure in his love. I can tell you that as an attorney the word “shall” has binding power. Anytime the word “may” or “should” is used in a contract it carries no actual force… but when you use the words “shall” or “must” those things carry enforcement power. The application of this point is that if you are faithfully walking with Christ than continue to walk with him…. But if you have strayed away then know that the same God who gave his only son for your salvation has not forgotten you, and though he may discipline you he will never stop loving you. So be secure in his love and walk in faith but know when you fall it is Christ who will extend his hand of mercy to pick you up.

About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is reidfirm@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com. Our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors, many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personally qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with, and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com, which contains my contact information. God Bless.

Finding purpose in life: how to live life to the fullest!

Finding purpose in life: how to live life to the fullest!

*Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.*

There are many things that cause men to despair; Physical Pain, heartache or boredom that comes from the routines of life. Yet through all of that if man can find a purpose he should be able to handle it. Paul suffered greatly at the hands of his captors and had to deal with the early church which created its own headache. However, he never lost sight of the reason for all the hardship he was facing and it gave him great strength. He too struggled with a thorn in his flesh that gave him chronic troubles and though he begged God for the grace to take it away God choose not to relent. How frustrating that a man who was given the power to raise the dead and cure all manner of disease couldn’t cure himself. It isn’t that God lacked the power to help him, but God’s will was not that Paul find alleviation. What did Paul do wrong to deserve such harshness from God? He obviously wasn’t without sin, but he did dedicate his life to the spreading of the gospel and though he was faithful to God, his prayer for comfort went unanswered. We know that this is something that Paul wrestled with, because he tells us that three times he asked for relief and all three times God said his grace was sufficient for him. Maybe we are able to understand some of the suffering in this world and even in our own lives but when the pain goes on too long or it is too severe, then we wonder what he is doing. Many men step back from their faith for a time because the difficulty is too great and the pain caused by unanswered prayer makes talking to God seem pointless.

Yet, those whom the Lord has called to him can’t run forever nor can they find rest in anything but God. I wish I had the ability to alleviate suffering in people lives and maybe through teaching I can encourage some people to avoid some common mistakes that can lead to pain. But whether you live a faithful life to God, or you are constantly going back and forth between wanting the things of this world and the things of the world to come….. You will have to accept that something’s in life aren’t as you wish them to be. The goal shouldn’t end at accepting our troubles but learning to see that all of the suffering we face has a divine purpose. When you’re going through trials though you sometimes have trouble seeing that purpose, but with just a little bit of faith you can find the strength to continue knowing that God hasn’t stopped loving you and all the pain he allows must first come through his hand of love and mercy. Don’t ever stop asking him to work in your life or to alleviate the pain. Sometimes it isn’t about getting the answer you want but constantly going to the God who has the answers can bring you a great deal peace. Paul found his purpose in the service of the gospel and loving those Christians who caused him so much frustration.

Learning the purpose God has for you can help you through the rough times for if we believe that hardships have meaning then they don’t seem to overwhelm us as much. Like I said in an earlier devotional some of those desires we bring to God aren’t meant to be met this side of eternity but they will be met one day. God created heaven because he wants to bring pleasure to his children and seeing those he loves suffer brings him no joy. But sometimes the only way we grow is through trial and it is better that we amount to something and suffer rather than have no pain and let life pass us by. He knows what he is doing and though I struggle daily to believe that truth it is something that gives me hope and it just takes a little bit of hope and faith to do great things

About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is reidfirm@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com. Our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors, many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personally qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with, and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com, which contains my contact information. God Bless.

Trusting God to Shepherd us

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff,

they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

When I was in high school my youth pastor led us through a study of this psalm based upon the perspective of a shepherd. It made the passage much easier to understand but the thing I remember most is how dependent sheep our on their shepherds. If we are children of God and we trust him then we truly shall never be in want. That isn’t to say that suffering won’t be a part of our life, but that is to say that God has promised he won’t leave us, because the greatest desire of our hearts is to find our fellowship in God. His love does make us lie down in green pastures and resting in his peace can lead us to still waters, even when the whole world around us seems unsteady. He restores our soul. No matter what we have been through or what we are going through, we can trust that he is going to restore us regardless of what we walk through in this life. And even his discipline is a comfort to us. It is so hard to trust that the deep trials of this life are meant for our good because when we go through them it is hard for us to see the good that can come from the suffering that we face. Yet, we know that everything we go through in this life has passed through the sovereignty of the God who loves us unconditionally.

I often write about my own struggles with Chronic pain due to arthritis, because it has been the thorn in my side that has made me see my need for God. I recently spoke with other friends regarding the suffering they face and I realize how easy it is for me and all of us to get lost in our own struggles and forgot about the struggles of others. Life is so complicated and when we try to live Godly lives and it wears us down, and even when we desire to do good often the selfishness of our hearts comes out. Sometimes it feels like our shepherd has left us because things in life aren’t working how they should. Our health isn’t what we had hoped it would be, or relationships are more difficult than they should be or our work is constantly wearing us out and it seems like things continue to get harder as times moves on, but the truth is the reason we are so exhausted is because we aren’t finding our rest in God. I often seek God when it is really rough but then take my foot off the accelerator when things get better and it seems like a constant cycle. My deepest prayer and strongest desire is to truly depend on the Lord and not myself. The truth is the Lord is good in all his ways and if we come to him with repentant hearts he will accept us. God never stops loving us and his mercy is new every day. No matter what situation you are facing give it to him and trust him. It is hard when we want things so bad to go to the Lord with open hands and tell him that we desire his will over our will, but if we are going to thrive in this life we must do that. The Lord is a good shepherd and no matter what happens in this life he will always be there for us. Trusting in him is the only we can find the joy we seek. How I wish I would just seek him consistently as I should and how often do I make excuses for giving him half-hearted effort. Yet, the person I hurt the most when I fail to seek him and love him as I should is myself. The Lord doesn’t need us but we do need him so if we want to thrive we must surrender. I would ask that all of you would pray for me because I need it. Prayer does make a difference so if you have enjoyed these devotionals please don’t forget to lift me up in prayer. God Bless.

About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is reidfirm@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com. Our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors, many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personally qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with, and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com, which contains my contact information. God Bless.

Holiness and Happiness: A recipe for a fulfilled life

1 Sam 15:22-23

*"Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king."*

When I was a kid I remember singing a line from a hymn which

stated “trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus… than to trust and obey”. I think modern Christianity does an excellent job teaching us about the infinite love of the father, but it often is lacking in its teaching on why we should trust and obey him. As I have gotten older I have learned that the reason that God gives us commands is not to burden us but to bless us, for in his commands are the instructions to live a joyful and fulfilled life. The Lord created us and he knows more about who we are than we ever will, which is why he desires us to trust him… not so he can rob us of pleasure but so he can reward us with peace. In the scripture above, I am reminded that Saul is not so different than we are…. We all sometimes think that what God wants from us is some grand sacrifice, but we learn in this passage what God really wants is a daily devotion to him. As an attorney, I have sadly seen my fair share of divorces, and one thing that I have seen in the marriages that work is that both parties are committed to putting their spouses needs above their own. I see a lot of bad husbands who on a daily basis ignore their wives, and then do some grand gesture every now and then to prove to them that they love them. But all the wife wanted was for the husband to be there for her and to daily show her small acts of love.

I think it is great when people do mission work or share their faiths in distant places, but the Christians I have seen who make the most difference are the ones who try to share their faith with the people in their life, and look for opportunities to love and serve others. I see younger Christians often trying to do great acts of sacrifice because they really desire to be significant ,and though I applaud and encourage them, I have seen many of them get burned out because it is so hard to maintain that level of intensity. I think all believers will get some great opportunities to share their faith and spectacular ways, but I know that what will keep believers faithful is that consistent walk with God. In the illustration I used about marriage I think it is wonderful when a man makes grand romantic gestures toward his wife, but that is only wonderful when it is coupled with a daily devotion to serving and loving her and putting her needs above his own. All of us are aware that we could be doing more to serve and love God and others, but sometimes we forget that all we need to do to begin the journey is to set aside a few minutes in prayer and in the word each day and build on that. If you don’t know where to start I recommend James because it is so practical and has so much useful teaching about what a life devoted to Christ should look like. In my own life, I have found that the times I was distant from God where the times I was “waiting” for him to do something. But faith is never passive it is always active and if we wait around until we want to seek God we never will. Pursuing God is a daily choice and sometimes we don’t feel like it, just like that good husband may not feel like pursuing his wife everyday…. But when we choose to do the right thing regardless of how we feel God often blesses us with such a deep sense of peace and joy that it makes serving others a blessing and not a burden. I challenge you to spend time in prayer this day and seek the Lord. Every great journey starts with a single step and if you will take that step the Lord will walk with you all the way.

About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is reidfirm@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com. Our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors, many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personally qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with, and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com, which contains my contact information. God Bless.

How you can achieve greatness through failure: How faith makes all things well.

*How you can achieve greatness through failure: How faith makes all things well.*

19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people[a] should be kept alive, as they are today.

The most difficult yet comforting thing to accept is that God is in control. Though our lives can seem disorganized and off path, we know that our detours are God’s straight lines. The life of Joseph is a perfect example of how a seemingly random string of unfortunate events brought Joseph to exactly the place God wanted him to be. He was sold into slavery by his brothers at a young age, and though this was difficult, God gave him favor in the eyes of his captor and he rose to prominence. In this position he was falsely accused of rape by an evil woman…. Though he did no wrong he was put in prison… again this was a horrible situation to be in, but God provided him favor in the eyes of the guards and he was given responsibility in handling all the affairs of the prison. Till one day, two men came into the prison and he correctly interpreted their dreams and asked them to remember him before the king so he could be released…. It was two years later before it was brought to the king’s attention, but soon after that Joseph was promoted to become the second most powerful man on the earth and was able to prevent a great famine from destroying Egypt and also save his family from starvation. Yet, I have no doubt that in those moments of darkness in jail Joseph must have wondered what the purpose was in all of this. He was a righteous man who was faithful and yet he kept getting the raw end of every deal for most of his adolescence. His plan for his own life probably was to live a quiet life as a shepherd and worship God with his family… God’s plan was different and though the path to glory was through pain I know that Joseph doesn’t regret any of it now.

Faith is tested in the prison of trial and character is what comes out of it if we surrender to God. Many of us give into bitterness and anger, but the ones who yield to spirit are made new and able to be used to do great things through the Lord. Most of us won’t ever rise to a position where we will be remembered in any history book… But there is a greatness to be attained through daily consistency that comes by depending on the spirit of God. Ultimately we must know that God doesn’t need us though he does love us… and his love is greater and more meaningful because of the fact that he has no need for us. He loves us not for who we are but because of who he is and if we understand that we can break free of the need to be “significant”. Joseph lived a faithful life and he humbled himself and was exalted… It doesn’t matter what position you are in, whether you are a great business leader or a mom trying to keep her sanity raising kids… God has you were you are for a reason and that reason is to depend on him and yield your heart to his. Once you realize the God we serve is significant and he loves us you don’t have to try to be great.. Now you still have to faithful with the time God gives you and make the most out of the opportunities he puts in front of you… But I have found that God has given me plenty of opportunities and maybe instead being angry because I don’t have more I need to be faithful with what he has given me.

Having a thankful heart, even in pain, is a great blessing and though circumstances often don’t change quickly… a surrendered heart to God can give you great perspective which will make the pain less relevant. Trial, difficulty, sorrow and pain will always be with us in this life, but if we are Christians we will also have joy, peace, patience and hope… I have found that the last four of these traits mean very little unless you have experienced the first four. So in our trials we can trust God will bring us a greater joy than we could imagine had we not suffered. I don’t know what many of you are going through and I don’t imagine that this simple explanation of God’s providence is going to radically change your life. It isn’t a good lesson or a sermon that makes a difference… it is only a surrendered heart. I cannot teach you how to do this as it is something I don’t fully understand this.. all I can say is keep praying for it and in time he will answer. And who knows, maybe the very point of your trials is so God can accomplish the saving of many lives both here and in eternity… So please don’t lose heart or give up… just yield and surrender yourself to God

About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is reidfirm@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com. Our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors, many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personally qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with, and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com, which contains my contact information. God Bless.

How you can achieve greatness through failure: How faith makes all things well.

*How you can achieve greatness through failure: How faith makes all things well.*

19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people[a] should be kept alive, as they are today.

The most difficult yet comforting thing to accept is that God is in control. Though our lives can seem disorganized and off path, we know that our detours are God’s straight lines. The life of Joseph is a perfect example of how a seemingly random string of unfortunate events brought Joseph to exactly the place God wanted him to be. He was sold into slavery by his brothers at a young age, and though this was difficult, God gave him favor in the eyes of his captor and he rose to prominence. In this position he was falsely accused of rape by an evil woman…. Though he did no wrong he was put in prison… again this was a horrible situation to be in, but God provided him favor in the eyes of the guards and he was given responsibility in handling all the affairs of the prison. Till one day, two men came into the prison and he correctly interpreted their dreams and asked them to remember him before the king so he could be released…. It was two years later before it was brought to the king’s attention, but soon after that Joseph was promoted to become the second most powerful man on the earth and was able to prevent a great famine from destroying Egypt and also save his family from starvation. Yet, I have no doubt that in those moments of darkness in jail Joseph must have wondered what the purpose was in all of this. He was a righteous man who was faithful and yet he kept getting the raw end of every deal for most of his adolescence. His plan for his own life probably was to live a quiet life as a shepherd and worship God with his family… God’s plan was different and though the path to glory was through pain I know that Joseph doesn’t regret any of it now.

Faith is tested in the prison of trial and character is what comes out of it if we surrender to God. Many of us give into bitterness and anger, but the ones who yield to spirit are made new and able to be used to do great things through the Lord. Most of us won’t ever rise to a position where we will be remembered in any history book… But there is a greatness to be attained through daily consistency that comes by depending on the spirit of God. Ultimately we must know that God doesn’t need us though he does love us… and his love is greater and more meaningful because of the fact that he has no need for us. He loves us not for who we are but because of who he is and if we understand that we can break free of the need to be “significant”. Joseph lived a faithful life and he humbled himself and was exalted… It doesn’t matter what position you are in, whether you are a great business leader or a mom trying to keep her sanity raising kids… God has you were you are for a reason and that reason is to depend on him and yield your heart to his. Once you realize the God we serve is significant and he loves us you don’t have to try to be great.. Now you still have to faithful with the time God gives you and make the most out of the opportunities he puts in front of you… But I have found that God has given me plenty of opportunities and maybe instead being angry because I don’t have more I need to be faithful with what he has given me.

Having a thankful heart, even in pain, is a great blessing and though circumstances often don’t change quickly… a surrendered heart to God can give you great perspective which will make the pain less relevant. Trial, difficulty, sorrow and pain will always be with us in this life, but if we are Christians we will also have joy, peace, patience and hope… I have found that the last four of these traits mean very little unless you have experienced the first four. So in our trials we can trust God will bring us a greater joy than we could imagine had we not suffered. I don’t know what many of you are going through and I don’t imagine that this simple explanation of God’s providence is going to radically change your life. It isn’t a good lesson or a sermon that makes a difference… it is only a surrendered heart. I cannot teach you how to do this as it is something I don’t fully understand this.. all I can say is keep praying for it and in time he will answer. And who knows, maybe the very point of your trials is so God can accomplish the saving of many lives both here and in eternity… So please don’t lose heart or give up… just yield and surrender yourself to God

About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is reidfirm@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com. Our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors, many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personally qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with, and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com, which contains my contact information. God Bless.

The joy in trial, understanding how God uses pain to heal us

The joy in trial, understanding how God uses pain to heal us

*John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”*

What a blessing it is to know that the Lord has overcome. When life is challenging and our world falls apart, it a wonderful assurance that no matter what we face….. we can find peace in God. As an attorney, I always want to find the answer to things and sometimes in life we just don’t have the capacity to understand why things happen the way they do. I think in our minds we have a script of how life is supposed to go and when it veers off that script we are filled with despair. Trusting the Lord means that we have to yield control of our lives to God and though we don’t always understand his purpose we can remember his goodness. God has blessed me with so many things but he has also taken away things from me that I loved, and sometimes I sin by focusing not on what he has given but what he has taken away. All of you understand on some level and it does no good to spend time condemning ourselves about things we cannot change. I have struggled with chronic pain for 10 of the last 15 years and it has been hard for me to see Gods love in it. I understand it theologically but practically on days when work is hard and relationships are difficult, being in physical pain can be overwhelming. But even in this trial God has blessed me with Good doctors and a degree of healing that has allowed me to have a full life though he has given me some limitations.

I have learned that though it is good to pray for healing it is a sin to worship it because if God allows this then it is for my good and his glory. The goal of this life isn’t for us to always be comfortable but to be devoted followers of Christ. Jesus had to take up his cross in order for us to be free and everyone has unique trials which are meant to bring them closer to God. I think we spend so much time trying to escape pain that we miss an opportunity to let it teach us something. Our bodies sometimes produce pain so that we know what things to do and what things we shouldn’t do. Pain can train us or as the Army says “pain retains”. If we love God we know that sin always produces pain and though it can temporarily give us pleasure it ultimately harms us more than we realize. Pain can be a good teacher but we must be humble and listen to what it is teaching us. It is good to remember that both pleasure and pain are temporary and God gives us both in this life. My encouragement is to not grow bitter in pain but ask the Lord to use it to draw us to him. The Lord endured pain for us and because of his pain we know that our destiny is place where pain is no more. Whatever is going on in your life God has a purpose in it, and though it is good to pray that he takes away the pain, I would ask that you pray that he uses it for his good purpose. The Lord will never give you more than you can handle and when the trials come he will be there with you. I would encourage you not just to endure but to thrive. If you can endure a trial that is a good thing but if you can find peace and joy then you truly have victory. Comfort others who are hurting and when you need comfort be open to the people God has put in your life.

About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is reidfirm@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com. Our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors, many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personally qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with, and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com, which contains my contact information. God Bless.

Should we stop trying to change the world?

Should we stop trying to change the world?

*Romans 15:5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.*

So much time and energy is spent in Christian circles trying to

change the world…. And while many of the things we strive for our laudable, they are not of ultimate significance. God teaches that they way the world will know us is how we love each other and if our love for each other is no different from the world then they will not desire what it is that we have. Some people think the best way to change people is to lecture them on what they are doing wrong and while correction can be a good thing, it often isn’t the thing that changes people. The bible teaches that it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance and it is only by kindness we can hope others will repent. In my own experience, I have found that the more time we spend with God the more like him we become. It is only when we have allowed God to conform us into his image that we can begin to be effective ambassadors for our faith. Many teach effective ministry strategies or ways to make arguments in defense of the faith, and while both of those things are useful they cannot be effective apart from a deep and abiding love that comes from knowing God and fellowshipping with him. We spend so much time seeking after God to get him to change things in our lives that we don’t like…. instead of asking him to conform us into his image. Transformation is always a painful process, but it always yields great results that make the pain worth it. How foolish is it for us to want the world to change when we ourselves do not want to make those painful changes that are necessary for us to grow. It is only be changing who we are that the world can change. The world is the sum of all of the people in it and when the Christians begin living lives that make a difference the entire world changes. But if we are too lazy to come to God for change than what hope is there for the rest of the world? We have access to the throne of the creator and heaven and earth and we so often neglect it for the business of this world. My friends don’t waste your time or your life because it is short and we are here today and gone tomorrow and when we go it is unlikely we will be remembered. It is only in the people we choose to love that our lives can echo into eternity. All of us have gone through broken relationships and that is always a difficult thing. But I have found that often what we have destroyed through our sin and pride….. God rebuilds with his grace and mercy. Never give up nor lose hope that God cannot reconcile you to those you have hurt and have hurt you. If you have friends or family who has wronged you my best advice is to forgive them…. For life is too short for bitterness and unforgiveness. Forgiveness isn’t easy and it can take a lot of time but it will comfort you like nothing else can. How great is God that while we were his enemies he still died for us…

About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is reidfirm@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com. Our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors, many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personally qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with, and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com, which contains my contact information. God Bless.