A Little Bit of Normal During the Abnormal

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Right now, in our world, we are faced with a situation that we have never had to deal with before. We have a virus that is worldwide, and there are lockdowns with specific instructions that are given, and each set of instructions are different for each region.  No matter what these instructions are, we have been asked to stay home.  Unless we have essential jobs or errands to run, we are told to stay put for the safety of ourselves, our loved ones, and the extremely vulnerable.

During this season, we have all felt a little bit of some form of anxiety or fear.  Change brings anxiety.  Sicknesses/Diseases bring on fear and anxiety.  And lastly, but definitely not least, the unknown brings on anxiety.  One unknown is that we don’t know how long the worldwide lock downs will last.  We don’t know how long the shortages in the grocery stores or hoarding/panic buying will last.  We don’t know how long it will be till we feel a sense of normal again.  To be honest, when we think about it, will things ever really be “normal”?  Those of us who haven’t had to deal with trauma are now having to ride these waves.  Those of us who already have PTSD are dealing with compounded trauma.


There is one thing that we can focus on in all this madness.  And it is found in Hebrews 13:8:Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. All hope is not lost. We can have what I call a little bit of normal during the abnormal.

One of the best things that we can do for ourselves during this time is to come up with a schedule that we can stick to in order to keep our bodies/minds/souls rested, renewed, and refreshed.

This is a good time for creativity.  There will be times that we’ll get stuck.  The important thing is us coming up with a schedule and sticking to it for the sake of our own, emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health, as well as that of the other members of our household.  There will be times that we’ll have to just stop and have that cry or meltdown.  It releases the trauma hormones, stress, and anxiety from our bodies and will definitely help us to feel better.  This is an area that I have to remind myself of over and over again.  “Get the cry out.  Have self-compassion and empathy for all you have gone through.  Then move forward.”  Sometimes we might have to rinse and repeat several times a day. 


So, what are some of the things that I have been enjoying during this time?  1) Getting to spend some time with my almost 22-year-old son.  2)  Listening to the birds in the morning and then again at 8 at night when they are rounding up for the day.  3) Baking banana bread, zucchini bread, and cookies.  4)  The creativity juices to write poetry as I sit on my bed among my pillows in the morning.  5)  Extra time to read.  6) Time to work on writing two books.

Here are snapshots of today’s baking process:

Photos by Katina Horton

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cookies, oatmeal almond raisin cookies, healthy eating, healthy living, almonds, simple functional grace-filled living, simple functional grace-filled news, katina horton, food photography, food, lifestyle blogger, simplicity, normal, abnormal, COVID-19, pandemic,
cookies, oatmeal almond raisin cookies, healthy eating, healthy living, almonds, simple functional grace-filled living, simple functional grace-filled news, katina horton, food photography, food, lifestyle blogger, simplicity, normal, abnormal, COVID-19, pandemic,
cookies, oatmeal almond raisin cookies, healthy eating, healthy living, almonds, simple functional grace-filled living, simple functional grace-filled news, katina horton, food photography, food, lifestyle blogger, simplicity, normal, abnormal, COVID-19, pandemic,
cookies, oatmeal almond raisin cookies, healthy eating, healthy living, almonds, simple functional grace-filled living, simple functional grace-filled news, katina horton, food photography, food, lifestyle blogger, simplicity, normal, abnormal, COVID-19, pandemic,

I pray blessings upon each and every one of you!

Until next time,


Episode 65: Dissection of “My Blackness”

Healing Our Brokenness
Episode 65: Dissection of "My Blackness"

I just recently released a book entitled, “My Blackness” over the weekend. This podcast episode gives you a little bit of background on the book, along with a reading of four different poems coming directly from the book. Just in case you missed the last episode, here is the link: What will they say about you and me?

My Blackness Podcast Outline:

  • The Why and How of Writing “My Blackness”
  • Reading of Four Poems

If you are interested in purchasing “My Blackness”, here is a link to the book on Amazon. The kindle version is available for free until midnight, August 6, 2020. Purchasing this book means that I will receive a commission.

Have a blessed, restful week!


Episode 35: The Value of Prayer

prayer, value, the value of prayer, healing, healing our brokenness, Jesus praying, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living, katina horton, podcast, podcasting
Healing Our Brokenness
Episode 35: The Value of Prayer

In case you missed our last episode on surrendering, you can find it here. Today’s episode is Episode 35: The Value of Prayer. What are some of the things that you value in life? Why do you value them? Have you ever thought about prayer having value? Tune in to our latest episode to find out why prayer should be at the top of our list.

The Value of Prayer Podcast Outline

  • Necessity of Prayer
  • Examples of Prayer
  • Praying for Our Children
  • The Act of Praying Over Food
  • We Can Pray Alone
  • Podcast Transcript

Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness. Today’s episode is entitled, “The Value of Prayer”.

prayer, value, the value of prayer, healing, healing our brokenness, Jesus praying, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living, katina horton, podcast, podcasting
Photo by Brodie Vissers

Value of Prayer Breakdown

Prayer is necessary in developing our relationship with God.  Sometimes the hardest part about doing anything, including prayer is getting started.  Satan fills our hearts with so many excuses as to why we aren’t doing something, when the bottom line is that once we are willing to start, God can give us the desire, strength, and perseverance to finish: “For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.   (Philippians 1:6, BSB)  Jesus’ prayer life was a perfect example of the who, what, when, where and how’s of praying. 

Luke’s Account

Luke gives us an account of the impact placed on one of Jesus’ disciples from watching him pray, and witnessing John teaching his disciples.  He wanted in on this action:  “Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.  And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. “(Luke 11:1-2, ESV) When we pray with earnest hearts and conviction, it rubs off on other people, and they want what we have.

Jesus’ Example

Jesus showed us how to pray for our children:  “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.” (Matthew 19:13-15, NIV)

When our children are little, there are so many ways that we can pray for and with them.  We can place them on our laps and pray for them, and as they get older, we can pray for them even as they are sleeping.  Sometimes I have found myself praying with my kids before they leave out the door on the way to school, or as we are literally pulling out of the driveway to begin our day. 

There is no better example of showing that there are no restrictions when telling our children about God, his goodness, and his Word than in Deuteronomy 11: 19-21:  “You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.”(NKJV)

How to Pray

Jesus showed us how to pray over and give thanks for our food.  He showed us that even though he was the one distributing the food, the fact that he had it to give himself was God’s grace:  “After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat.” (Acts 27:35, NIV) 

The two fish and five loaves of bread multiplied after he said the blessing.  This was a pure reenactment of the story of Elijah and the widow at Zarephath.  Jesus showed us the results of what the power of praying and trusting in God with the little we have can do:   “And he directed the people to sit down on the grass.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.  (Matthew 14: 19-21, NIV)

Jesus showed us the importance and power of praying with others.  Luke 9:28 tells us, “About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.”(NIV)  There is something about experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirt as we pray with others.

Jesus also showed us the importance of praying alone: “After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.”  (Matthew 14: 23, Holman)  In order to avoid suffering burnout and spiritual emptiness, there is a need for us to pour into ourselves before we can pour into others.  Once we are filled up, we are ready to go out and serve.

Dear Father,

We thank you for your grace and power of prayer.  Please help us to remember that prayer reaches the doors of heaven, and changes things.  We also ask that you would help us to get into the habit of developing a routine for prayer, whether it is by ourselves or with others. 

In your name we pray,


Thank you for visiting Healing Our Brokenness, and if this episode has blessed you in any way, please tag a friend on Social Media, share it, review it on Itunes, and pray for the show as well.

Until next time,


Episode 28: Bad Advice

advice, emotional health, mental health, Rehoboam, Jeroboam, stoning, bad advise, katina horton, pdocaster, podcasting, blog, blogging, blogger
Healing Our Brokenness
Episode 28: Bad Advice

In case you missed our last episode, Episode 27, Simply Grace, you can check that one out first. Click here. Today’s episode is entitled, “Bad Advice”.

advice, emotional health, mental health, Rehoboam, Jeroboam, stoning, bad advise, katina horton, pdocaster, podcasting, blog, blogging, blogger
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Bad Advice Podcast Outline

  • Dissecting Decision-Making
  • Younger Adult Advice
  • Same Age Group Adult Advice
  • Older Adult Advice
  • What the Bible Says About Advice
  • Bad Advise
  • Rehoboam’s Advice
  • Solutions for Advice
  • Our Charge

Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Episode 28, entitled, “Bad Advice”.

Dissecting Decision-Making

When it comes to making decisions, some of us take way too long.  Others of us make decisions too fast.  We wish that we had thought things over well.  A lot of times, bad decisions can’t be erased.  The domino effect can be felt for years.  When we make decisions, sometimes we include God and other times we leave him out.   God also uses other wisdom-filled people filled with discernment to help us make decisions.  Ultimately, we have to decide what we are going to do.  Other people can’t make us decide to do what’s best.   

Younger Adult Advice

It is good to gather advice from our younger friends.  These friends are more than likely raising children younger than ours.  They can cause us to have a come to Jesus moment about some of the crazy perfectionistic moments that we had with our kids when they were little, use this advice for our grandkids, and see how it is when younger adults are active in community.  Some of our younger friends have been through a lot, and they have old souls.  They can give as much advice as an older person. 

Same Age Group Adult Advice

The next group of advice can be given from same age-group friends.  These friends can give us a different view than we are currently using in raising children, making friends, and living in community.  Since God hasn’t made any two people the same, our same-age group friends can help us to reframe what we are thinking regarding life, and vice versa.  We tend to share parenting kids of the same age group, and thus we can share similarities and differences.  If we are in community with safe friends, then they will go there and tell us what we need to hear.

Older Adult Advice

Our older friends have been there and done that.  They have years of advice and experience to give us.  They can serve as mentors for the younger and middle-aged adults.  They can tell us the lessons they have learned from their struggles in life.  Older people are less into the comparison trap and caring what other people think.  They have more of the you do you and let me do me.  They help us to be more at ease.  I praise God for my older friends who are indeed old enough to be my mother.  They have helped me in parenting, living life, and being me. 

What does scripture say about giving advice/training different age groups?

In Titus 2, it reads:

Titus 2 New International Version (NIV)

Doing Good for the Sake of the Gospel

You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

Bad Advice

 We’ve all had times when we’ve gotten bad advice.  And this is where we have to use discernment and proceed with caution.  Healing advice from a person who has been stuck in self-pity or blame for 15 to 20 years and is seeing no way out wouldn’t be in our best interest.

Getting advice for how to deal with your spouse from a person who hates all men or all women because they were wounded by one wouldn’t be in our best interest as well.

Rehoboam got advice from the younger men in his age group.  And it was the worst advice ever.  Jeroboam had expressed to Rehoboam that his father Solomon had a heavy labor load on them.  They wanted the load to be lightened.  The older men who advised Solomon said to lighten the load. The younger men who were Rehoboam’s friends, said to increase the load.  Not only did he deliver this awful news to Jeroboam and the people, but he was filled with contempt and nasty with the message’s deliverance:

Let’s listen in:

1 Kings 12 New International Version (NIV)

Israel Rebels Against Rehoboam

12 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from[a]Egypt. So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”

Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.

Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.

They replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”

But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”

10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, “These people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11 My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’”

12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, 14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourgedyou with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the Lord, to fulfill the word the Lord had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijahthe Shilonite.

16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king:

“What share do we have in David,
    what part in Jesse’s son?
To your tents, Israel!
    Look after your own house, David!”

So the Israelites went home. 17 But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.

18 King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram,[b] who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

This one bad decision that king Rehoboam made caused a domino effect. 

So, the question is:  how do we combat bad advice?

  1. Remember God’s advice is the best advice.
  2. Pray!!!!
  3. Don’t forsake the advice of our elders, especially when they have proven that they possess wisdom and discernment.
  4. Test the spirit as the scripture said.  God often uses what we think he is telling us by giving us confirmation through other people.

The question that I want to leave with you today is: “What bad advice were you given that you are still paying the price for today?

Thank you for being a part of our listening audience for Healing our Brokenness’ Episode 28:  “Bad Advice”.  If this podcast is making a difference in your life, please submit a review, tag a friend, subscribe on YouTube, iTunes, or wherever your podcast medium is located.

God bless and have a good week!

Entertaining Toxic People

psychology, emotional health, mental health, toxicity, emotinal abuse, emotionally drained, gossiping, discernment, entertaining, podcaster, recording, blogger, author, author life, katina horton, valley of grace

Weekend Food for thought.

When it comes to toxic people, it’s not a matter of if they will gossip, judge, or criticize others, it’s a matter of when. Have you ever entertained a toxic person? If you did, what were your reasons? Did you have a lot of regrets afterwards? Do you remember other people being hurt?

Chime in. Would love to hear your thoughts!!!

Simple Split Pea Soup

katina horton, simple split pea soup, soup, recipe, healthy eating, vegan, spinach, tomatoes,

Simple Split Pea Soup Book Exploration

A couple of days ago, I starting reading the book entitled, “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown. I have only read a little bit so far. However, there is a story that Brene tells in the beginning that deals with a shame reel after she has given a presentation. I am very familiar with that reel myself.

We all have a series of events that happens when shame knocks at our door. When it comes to mine, it is usually trauma-induced. When a traumatic memory comes up, it may or may not be foreknown that this memory was traumatic for me. Not only does shame play itself out, but anxiety comes in.

I feel embarrassed, start self-protecting, anxiety sets in, and then I start wondering if I should be vulnerable and discuss this issue with my therapist. My shame reel plays by replaying how I will tell my therapist, what I will say, how she will react, and what she will say. This will keep playing until I am vulnerable and get the issue out. Shame is reduced at this point.

I think of it like God chipping away at a brick wall of my shame with a hammer when I allow vulnerability to take over.

Katina Horton

“Simple Split Pea Soup” Recipe

katina horton, simple split pea soup, soup, recipe, healthy eating, vegan, spinach, tomatoes,

Now, on to the recipe. I wanted to make something quick, and with adequate protein, and so, Easter weekend I made what I call, ” “Simple Split Pea Soup” .

This recipe only requires a few ingredients. The longest length of time is spent on the split peas boiling. Other than that, everything else is straightforward. As you are learning by now, I love using the combination of spinach and fire-roasted salsa tomatoes to add into a lot of my concoctions.

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:

1 hour 45 minutes


1 can of cut-leaf spinach

1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes

1 16 oz bag of split peas

3 tablespoons of oil or vegan butter

1 container of vegan broth

onion powder- 3 tablespoons

curry powder- 3 tablespoons

parsley – 3 tablespoons

cumin – 3 tablespoons

chili powder – 3 tablespoons

turmeric- 3 tablespoons

1/2 cup of quinoa


  • Boil the bag of split peas for 1 hour 45 minutes after quickly rinsing them off.
  • Boil the quinoa for 18 minutes.
  • While the split peas are boiling, saute the spinach and tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of oil or butter.
  • Add the saute mix and quinoa to the peas after 1 hour and 10 minutes, along with 1 tablespoon of oil.
  • Add the broth after 1 hour and 20 minutes, along with all the seasonings.
  • Let the soup boil for another 25 minutes and enjoy.
katina horton, simple split pea soup, soup, recipe, healthy eating, vegan, spinach, tomatoes,

Other Recipe Posts

Vegetarian Bean Party

Black Bean Mishmash


poetry, katina horton, podcaster, author, poem, emotional health, mental health, connecting, heart matters, vulnerability, trust, safe people, unsafe people

Today’s poem, “Vulnerability” discusses the apprehension and reward that occurs when we embrace vulnerability. Enjoy the journey!

poetry, katina horton, podcaster, author, poem, emotional health, mental health, connecting, heart matters, vulnerability, trust, safe people, unsafe people
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com



With People.

Go Deeper.

Be Strong.


Them in.

Is it Safe?

Am I Wrong?

poetry, katina horton, podcaster, author, poem, emotional health, mental health, connecting, heart matters, vulnerability, trust, safe people, unsafe people
Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com


Is A Journey.


They’ve Proven.

They Are Safe.


Our Path



Helps Us


Our Own Race.

Other poems:

The Work of the Potter

Refusal to Heal

Episode 26: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2

emotional health, mental health, psychology, spiritual health, katina horton, podcasting, podcast, blog, author life, scornful, prodigal son, Jonah, bitterness, resentment, cynical, sin, anger
Healing Our Brokenness
Episode 26: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2

In case you missed last week’s recording, “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”, you can find that here. Today’s recording is Episode 26-The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2.

The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2 Outline

  • Reflection on Part 1
  • Dissection of The Older Brother
  • Jonah’s Rights
  • Our Rights
  • Solution
  • Closing
  • Podcast Transcript

Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Part 2.  Today’s recording is episode 26:  The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2.  Just as a quick recap from Part 1, we discussed the fact that Cynicism has several factors that lead up to its brokenness as a state of mind:

Reflection on Part 1

Those factors are:

  • You have experienced a lot of issues with betrayal.
  • There are historical patterns of things not working out in your favor, or working out in a way that is undesirable to you.
  • You get to the point of seeing too much and hearing too much to think that things will be different.
  • Most of the people that you trusted let you down.
  • The few times that you thought things would turn out good, they turned out bad, and you lost faith in believing that things could be different.

In the case of the two stories that we are going to look at today, the two biblical characters carried out the sin of cynicism because of two main reasons:

  • The historical pattern of character of the authority figures.
  • The lack of legalism that existed for these authority figures.

The two men that we are going to dissect is Jonah and the older brother of the prodigal son. 

Their reasons for cynicism contradict the normal factors.  Cynicism set in with both of these men because of the recognition of the good qualities of the father and God.

Dissection of The Older Brother

  • Let’s explore the story of the prodigal son first.
  • The dad was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, kind, forgiving, accepting, non-judgmental, long-suffering, and compassionate.

After the prodigal son returned home penniless, hungry, and exhausted from wild living, the father could have greeted him with judgment, coldness, and distance.  Instead he accepted his son, welcomed him with a grateful heart that he was safe and sound, and embraced him for who he was. 

The fact that he ran to meet him to diffuse being shamed by the community was a bonus.  It showed the son that he was going to be welcomed.  There is nothing worse than messing up big time, and not knowing what other Christians are going to say as you reenter the house of God or run into them while you are in public.

Luke 15 tells us:  But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

The father knew that hitting rock bottom was enough of a consequence for the younger son.  He didn’t need to enforce further punishment.  He also possessed enough self-acceptance that he didn’t worry about being embarrassed in regard to the reaction of the community.

Oh Self-Pity

The older son dwelled on his sin of cynicism that is evidenced through dialog that is filled with scornfulness, bitterness, and resentment.  He felt that he had been failed.  He didn’t focus on his younger brother’s condition of going from “lost to found”.  Along with his cynicism, he was filled with self-pity and envy: Luke 15: 28-31 reads:  “28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.

29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:

30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

32 It was meet that we should make merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

The father tried to get the older son to go in twice.  We are left wondering what eventually happened.  Did he stay outside and continue to sulk?  One thing this clear about the brother’s dialog is that not only is he resentful, but he is filled with broken thinking.  Two words suggest broken thinking when resentment is present: “always and never”.

Our dialog goes something like this: 

“I always have to clean the house.”

“She always gets to do something special.”

“I never have the opportunity to do anything.”

Nine times out of ten, these statements aren’t true.  If they are true, there is some type of dynamic that has been setup that needs to change.  Or, perhaps, the financial situation has changed that allows you to do more for the younger child than you were able to do for the older child.  Whatever the case may be, broken thinking is present.

First-born children tend to be rule-followers.  With that thought in mind, the older son definitely felt that he was cheated since he was the “rule-follower”.  However, one thing about rule followers is that they can get caught up in being legalistic because they follow the rules.  God is more concerned about our hearts than checking off boxes to say that we did something.

Let’s explore the story of Jonah.

Jonah was told to go to Nineveh to warn them about their sin and God’s judgment for their sin if they continued going in the direction that they were going.

Jonah decided that he knew best, and so, he skipped out on the trip altogether, and took a boat ride to a different part of town.  God had a fish to swallow Jonah.  And Jonah prayed inside of the fish for God’s mercy and grace, and the fish released Jonah. 

Let’s discuss the character of the authority figure in Jonah’s story.

In Jonah’s story, this figure is God.  Not surprisingly, the dad in our first story is actually a representation of God.

What are the characteristics of God that Jonah was familiar with?

  • God was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, kind, forgiving, accepting, non-judgmental, long-suffering, and compassionate.

In Jonah’s story, Jonah was bitter, resentful, and cynical because God proved that his heart was all of those characteristics that were just mentioned.  It was okay for God to have all these attributes when it came to saving him.  However, it wasn’t okay for him to possess them when it came to saving the Ninevites.


God gave Jonah a chance to get it right.  He sent him to Nineveh a second time:


Jonah 3 King James Version (KJV)

And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying,

Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of theLord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

Part 2

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:

But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

The Ninevites didn’t have to suffer consequences because they repented right away: 

Jonah 4: 10 says:

10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Like the older brother in the prodigal son story, Jonah was so angry that he didn’t know what to do with himself.  God tried reasoning with him.  Unfortunately, Jonah wasn’t haven’t it.

His cynicism showed up in verses 1-2, when he basically said, “See, this is why I didn’t do what you told me.  I know this is how you would respond.”

Here are his exact words: “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

God told Jonah that the people were lost, just as the father tried to help his older son to understand about the prodigal: 

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Jonah 4: 7-11, KJV

But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.

10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

Jonah and His Rights

Jonah pouted outside of the city underneath the tree just as the older brother pouted outside of the party celebration that was going on inside for the prodigal son.  Both men felt that they were right.  Both authority figures tried reasoning with them twice.  Both were caught up in anger, bitterness, resentment, and cynicism.  And both missed out on blessings because of it.  But why?  They ignored the sovereignty of God.  We have all been in both of their shoes.  WE know best.  WE know what justice should look like.  WE can play God and have mercy and grace poured out on us, and others should not.  When we don’t adhere to God’s plans, his timing, and his will, we trade whole faith for broken pieces of bitterness, resentment, and cynicism every time.

When cynicism becomes our brokenness, it becomes our idol, and we began to scorn God directly and indirectly because of our trials and other peoples’ success.  This is how Satan works.  If he can get us to lose trust in our faith due to our trials, others’ brokenness, and the hurt and pain of “church hurt”.  Then, he has got us.


So, the question is, how do we get out of this sin.  Prayer.  Lots of it.  Cynicism is spiritual like all other sin.  Getting grounded in our identity.  Getting rid of our broken thinking.  Changed thinking equals changed talking and changed talking equals changed behavior.  Accept that God is sovereign.  Pray and ask God to help you to be able to trust again, knowing that we can’t live in this world without it.  It takes time to heal, but it is possible.  Trust God’s sovereignty and plans for our lives.

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s episode.  Thank you for listening, and if today’s episode has impressed upon your heart, share it with a friend or coworker.

God bless! 

Healing: Lisa Allen’s Weight Journey

Today is the debut of our new weekly series entitled “Healing”.  This is Lisa Allen’s Weight Journey.

My name is Lisa Allen. I live in Lake Villa, IL, and have been a single mother for the past 16 years. I have two kids: my daughter is 17, and my son is 21.  Just to let you know, I am a pastor’s kid too! My dad was a Methodist pastor.  He passed away in 2015, due to a myriad of health issues such as diabetes, heart issues, high blood pressure, and gout.  I have struggled with my weight since as long as I can remember.  If I had to think back, 9 years old is what comes to my mind.  My parents were divorced when I was 9 years old.  This was really painful since my dad was a pastor. They had been married 23 years.  My mom, brothers, and me moved to a new town and started over. My oldest brother hated apartment living, so he moved back with my Dad. We had a two bedroom apartment, and my brother and I could not share a room, so I had to share my mom’s king size bed. It was awful not having my own room.  This even went on in my middle and high school years.  I watched my mom emotionally eat after her divorce, and gain 100 plus pounds, and so my brother and I picked up her poor eating habits. I was always trying to lose weight and very insecure.  Another thing that was difficult is that I was bullied over my weight.

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Fast forward to the time I got married, I had worked hard to lose weight for my wedding day.  I gained a lot of weight with both pregnancies.  Then after I had both of my kids, I struggled to lose the weight. My ex-husband made me feel bad about the weight I had gained. I did find out it was related to my thyroid.  It did not matter.  He still did not like that I had become overweight.  He eventually cheated on me and asked me for a divorce. Then I repeated the cycle that my mom showed me.  I emotionally ate with the stress of becoming a single mom.  My daughter was 22 months old and my son was 5 when their dad left.  I felt worthless.

I was so overwhelmed and so depressed.  I just ate and ate, till one day I reached my all time high of 354 pounds. The weight on my knees was so horrible that it hurt to walk and get up off the couch. I felt so old and wondered if this was how I was going to live out my life.  I had no energy, and was exhausted all the time.  I was on high blood pressure and anti-depression medication.  I prayed so hard.  I begged God for a solution, so I could get the weight off, and get healthy for my kids and myself.  My kids are also overweight.  I just felt like I was a failure as a mom.  I had started Weight Watchers and lost 10 pounds, but I still had no energy, and I felt so bad.  I was up 4-5 times per night.  Filled with exhaustion, I was falling asleep behind the wheel on the highway on my way to work . I needed something, but I just did not know the answer.  I just kept praying.

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One day, a friend of mine posted information on a weight transformation program.  I liked her post.  She reached out to me, and asked if I wanted to learn more about this health and wellness system she and her husband were using.  I agreed to listen and learn more.  I had tried so many things in my life and failed them all.  I was not confident in myself.  I kept thinking to myself, “If I tried something else, would I fail again?”

I listened to my friend, and then I understood how the system worked. I told her I was headed out of town to my father’s house in Wisconsin for our 4th of July family reunion.  I needed to pray about this and get back to her after my trip.  While I was at my dad’s home in Wisconsin, I prayed about it.  What is so sad is that my dad would have lived so much longer had he taken care of his health.  I miss him so very much, and just wished he had led a healthy life so he could still be here with me today.

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I was so worried about failing again. I just asked God, if this program is right for me, then let me know, and I will trust in you and go ahead and do it.  I woke up in the morning with this incredible peace that came over me.  I knew I needed to move forward, and get my body healthy again.  So I called my friend and told her yes, and I asked her what my next steps were for getting started.  I began this journey on July 14, 2017, about 6 weeks before my BIG 50th birthday! I was headed to Vegas at the end of August to celebrate my birthday with a high school friend who had moved out there.  I was feeling amazing just after 5 days of this system!  I had energy again!! For the first time in my life, I felt really alive!

When it came time to leave for vacation, I packed a suitcase with all my healthy products! I did not want to blow this on vacation.  On my past vacations, I ate poorly, and I would cheat, cheat, cheat!  I was determined to stay on course.  I even taught my friend and her daughter how to healthy food prep while I was there.  We had a couple evenings where we did eat a meal out, but I kept it to moderation and made good choices.    We went out on my birthday, and I even enjoyed two glasses of wine and a nice seafood dinner.  All the other days, I stuck right to my program. I  returned home from my vacation maintaining my weight.  It was the first time in my whole life that I succeeded on a vacation! So I just kept going when I returned  home.

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When wintertime came, I think my body was hitting a plateau. I was not losing pounds, but I was still losing inches. So I just kept pressing on.  In the past, I would have given up if the scale was not moving.  I knew that the system was still working because the inches were still coming off!

At this point, I was taking high blood pressure, anti-depressants, and thyroid medications.  My health insurance was awful.  In January, I needed to refill my prescriptions, and I could not afford to go to the doctor.  I went off of them cold turkey.  I knew this could be dangerous, but I did not have a choice. I decided to start exercising in January with a friend.  It began with three days a week, riding the bike for thirty minutes.  I wanted to make the exercise into a habit, so I made the small goal of three times a week.

Once I made that a habit, then I would increase my goal.  I was doing 3 x a week, 30 minutes in the evening after work.  It was a struggle because I worked 10 hour days.  After working out for two months, I decided to ask my friend if we could change our workout time to 5 am, before I started work.  Honestly, I could not imagine working out this early, but I knew it was the best time to get the workout done!  This now meant that three days a week I need to get up at 4:20 AM.  I was really stretching myself!! So I started working out three times a week at 5 am! Then one day my friend could not work out with me.  I panicked, and I had anxiety walking into the gym by myself.  I knew I did not want to miss my workout, so I prayed.  I asked God to give me the courage to walk through the doors by myself.  I need to do this for myself! After all, it was up to me to succeed in my new lifestyle.  So I walked in with my head held high, and went into the gym and did my workout.  When I was riding the bike 🚲, I listened to “Overcomer” by Mandisa(Christian song). I felt God’s presence with me as I did that workout alone that morning.  Little by little, my confidence in myself was coming back! Praise God! I would say I kept this three times a week going for 3-4 months, and then my body was asking me for more! Now my friend could only do the three days. So I started working out 5 days a week at 5 am,and two of the days were by myself!  Again I was stretching myself! I listened to upbeat music and got those workouts done! This was a huge accomplishment for me! I know God was walking along side of me through this whole journey.

church, Methodist, weight loss journey, Lisa Allen
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Meanwhile, the scale was still not moving, so I knew that being off my thyroid medication was most likely messing with my metabolism.  I called Lake County Health Department and scheduled them to do blood work on me so I could get back on my medications. They took my blood pressure, and I was nervous because I had been off the medication 3-4 months cold turkey.

The whole time that I was off the medications, I just kept praying to God.  I said to him, “God protect me while I am off these medications. Please protect me from any health complications over being off the high blood pressure medication.  It would be devastating if I landed in the hospital with any complications being off these medications, because I don’t have good health insurance.”  I said “God, I will continue doing my part with this great nutrition. I am using and continuing my exercise routine.” So I just kept saying,” God’s will, my effort! I will be healthy, and no health complications will come from being off these medications.”  I was sitting in the doctor’s office, and the nurse said, “Wow, your blood pressure reading is really good”! I was so over the moon happy! I told her I was so concerned being off the medications, but I also told her that I had been on a health journey since last year, and I had lost 50 pounds and 69 inches! She said,” WOW, that is so awesome!! Keep that going, that is awesome!!  The doctor came in and said, “Lisa we don’t have to put you back on the blood pressure medication anymore.  Your healthy lifestyle is paying off.” I seriously did a happy dance in her office.  She also asked me if  it was safe to say that I didn’t need my antidepressant anymore.  I said, “No I have felt great and happy”!  So the only medication I have to take now is my thyroid.  This was HUGE news for me!

The lesson here for the ladies is that it’s NOT all about the scale.  There are so many victories over my one year journey! 50 pounds gone off my aching knees, and 69 inches lost.  Getting off my blood pressure and antidepressants were HUGE victories!! So I continue with my journey of my healthy living.  My goal this year is to lose 60 pounds by August 2019, which will give me a grand total of 100 pounds lost! Then, I can cross the stage at the company’s Celebration Convention, and enter into their 100 pound club!

It’s a HUGE  goal which I know I will do!! God’s will, my effort! I am a work in progress. I remind myself to love myself right where I am! God made me in HIS image! I am beautifully and wonderfully made! I pray that God will use me to help others who might me in a dark place praying for a solution to get themselves healthy.  I hope and pray I could inspire someone else to make the decision to get healthy, and live in the body God intended you to live in! I thank God everyday for this journey! It is never too late to re-write your story! I am living proof at 50 years old.  I made a decision to get healthy! God is so good! He answered my prayer! My journey is still going and I now have the confidence and belief in myself to see this through! I am so blessed and grateful!


Praise God for Lisa’s story! Every week we will feature a new story, a new woman who overcame struggles, and exemplified God’s faithfulness.  If you would like to share your story, please email us your story at thorton479@gmail.com.  Have a blessed weekend!