Lisa is a counselor here with the Center for Biblical Counseling. She is married to Csaba Leidenfrost who for the past 25 years has been a translator for Wycliff Bible Translators and the Bakwe people, in the Ivory Coast. For the past several years Csaba and Lisa have been stranded here in the states because of civil war in the Ivory Coast.
For the last several years of their time in Africa Lisa was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Shortly after their arrival in the States she found out that she had sleep apnea. She and Csaba purchased and began using a CPAP machine and her strength and stamina began to return. Now she has so much energy she is difficult to keep up with.
While waiting to go back to Africa Lisa is ministering to several women in the church who are going through times of suffering. Lisa presented the following devotional to the women yesterday: read more…
Grief is the word we use referring to the variety of emotions we feel when dealing with loss. There are generally three kinds of events that can cause grief: The first is when someone close to us dies; the second is when we lose anything at all; the third is when we don’t receive something we were expecting. The most obvious cause of grief is when someone dies, but it also happens when our pet dies, we lose a job, fail a class, don’t get picked for a team, or realize our child is growing up. Any time we suffer a loss, we experience grief.
Some might notice that I included “realizing our child is growing up” in the list of things that we experience grief over. That’s because growing up means leaving the past. And leaving the past involves losing the past. When children grow up, they leave their parents’ home. That is a time of loss in the home, causing a type of grief. This means that we can experience grief when anything new happens. The Bible tells us that when new things come, old things pass away (1 Cor. 13:10). And when old things pass away, we can experience the collection of emotions we call grief. read more…
“Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, declares the LORD” (Jer. 9:6)
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD” (Jer. 9:23-24).
This is [John] Bunyan’s message [in Pilgrim’s Progress]about his experience of the Christian life: that god reveals himself to his people as much in times of temptations in times of peace , and that both will lead them nearer to the glory Which is unchanging” (Owen C. Watkins in Puritan Papers Volume One 1956-1957, ed. J.I. Packer, p. 129-130).
by Lisa Leidenfrost
What happens when life goes in a direction that you don’t want it to, that wasn’t supposed to happen to you? You have to yield your ideal of what you had wanted for your life and give it to God, offer it up as a sacrifice to Him. Then leave it there, release it.
Of course there will be a mourning period of what you had wanted but after the mourning, comes acceptance of the new state because it is now God’s will. What if you made a mistake? Well, confess it and roll it onto His shoulders to let Him now bear it. It is His now and the situation at hand is now God’s will for you. He can assume your mistakes and carry them, just like He assumed your guilt at the cross and set you free. Now you must look to Him to know what to do. read more…
“Sinner, thou thinkest, that because of thy sins and infirmities, I cannot save thy soul; but behold my Son is by me, and upon him I look, and not on thee, and will deal with thee according as I am pleased with him.” From The Works of John Bunyan
In the midst of promise, Jesus guarantees we will suffer. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). “You’re gonna’ get squashed!” is a fair vernacular paraphrase. Hemmed in, harassed, and distressed. Oppressed, vexed, and afflicted. Both internal and external afflictions are in view in the word “trouble,” the former covering that, anguish, and anxiety, the latter persecution by enemies and such troubles as illness, poverty, abandonment, and the like (Robert Kellemen, Soul Physicians, p. 293).
“I offer the following description: Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition” (Jeremiah Burroughs, Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, p. 2).
“… all God cares for, works for, plots for it is to do His people no more hurts than this—to advance His grace in them and by them, all His hewings and hammerings of you, nay, His knocking you to pieces and new melting and casting of you, it is that you may be vessels of His glorious grace, that you may be able to live in the air of God’s grace; to suck in and breathe out grace, and let all the power of hell seek to blur it, yet grace shall conquer.” Thomas Shepherd