Tag Archive: devotional


Throwing Stones…

Someone who has been so influencial in my healing is Amy (my former youth pastors wife). Below she shares a spiritual principle that is so vital in our journey toward healing and ultimately our relationships with God and others. Many of us have been hurt and think forgiveness is something so far out of reach. But as Amy reminds us, we are all sinners and no one has the right to judge or codemn anyone but the Lord. So who do you need to forgive? Your abuser? Your friend? Your sibling? Your parents? YOURSELF? Amy reminds us what the scriptures have to say about forgiveness.

“Two of my most favorite passages in the Scriptures both talk about forgiveness and speak to the awesomeness of the free gift of salvation. The first passage is a story in John 8 – a story about a woman accused and rightfully so…she had sinned and broken God’s law. When she was brought to Jesus by her accusers for judgement – he rebuked her accusers and offered her forgiveness. He was the only one who was without sin and could have stoned her, but He said “neither do I condemn you, Go and sin no more.

The same thought is echoed in Psalm 130:3-4, “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You that You may be feared.” No one can stand before Him in our sin, not the woman accused, not her accusers, not me, and not you – except for His forgiveness so that He may be feared – respected, awed, magnified and worshipped.”

God has chosen to forgive us. CHOSEN is the key word. We have the choice to forgive or to not forgive. One leads to peace one leads to misery. We also have the choice to accept God’s gift of forgiveness and salvation or not to accept it. One leads to death and one leads to life. What’s your choice going to be?

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Spiritual Eating Disorders

 I know many of you struggle with physical eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia but is your spiritual life also disordered? There is a book that I have recommended on the Speak Don’t Bleed website called “Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves” by Erin Davis. As I was reading through this book, something stuck out to me. In the book Erin talks about our beauty and how it’s affected by media. Erin talks about her struggle with a distorted self image. One of the chapters in the book is about Eating Disorders. One thing stuck out in this chapter of the book…in the chapter Erin parallels physical eating disorders with spiritual ones! So I wanted to devote this devotional to talking about how we can have a spiritual eating disorder and what we can do to be spiritually well nourished.

Spiritual Bulimia

In the book, Erin asks these questions that I think we all need to consider…“Do you binge on Jesus? Do you get filled up at camp or weekend retreats or on Sunday morning and then purge so that you can live the life you want to live? Instead of getting a steady dose of Christ through His Word, do you count on filling feasts of God every once in a while?”

We need to be constantly fed through God’s word, prayer, worship, and fellowship with other believers. This will give us the proper Spiritual nourishment that our mind, bodies and hearts need!

So consider this, are you a spiritual bulimic? What steps do you need to take to make sure you are getting spiritual nourishment?

Spiritual Anorexia (Col. 1:9-11)

Consider these questions, “Do you starve yourself of Jesus altogether? Do you go weeks and months without seeking Him in prayer, fellowshipping with other Christians, or digging into the Word? ”

I don’t know about you but I have had this experience. I have just gotten away from God. Let me tell you, missing one day of spending quiet time with God can throw you off and that one day can turn into a few days and then weeks. We need to be consistently, daily in the Word of God so that we can come to know Him more. He is our Father! What would happen if you didn’t spend time with your earthly father? You feel like you don’t really know him and you aren’t developing that relationship with him, well that’s the same way it is with God!

Are you a spiritual anorexic? How will you take action and get your spiritual nourishment?

Spiritual Stress Eating

Are you a crisis pray-er who runs to Jesus only when the going gets tough? Do you neglect Him when life is smooth but seek Him with urgency when the road gets rocky?

So many of us struggle with this one, don’t we? We just go to God when things get tough or when we need His help. But is this really growing a relationship with your Heavenly Father? How would you feel if your friend just came to you when they needed help and didn’t talk to you any other time?

So are you a spiritual stress eater? What action will you take to grow in your relationship with God?

Just like physical eating disorders can destroy your body, spiritual eating disorders can keep you from having the kind of relationship with God that God desires for us to have.


Interview with Erin Davis about her life experiences and her book “Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves”.

1. What was your purpose in writing the book “Graffiti”?

“Graffiti” was originally written as a Bible study for a small group of girls I mentored. One of the girls in the group said that she would really like to learn how to feel better about her body. I started doing some research and couldn’t find a resource that approached the issue with the depth and Biblical insight that I knew was necessary. So, I wrote my own study. That six-week study changed my life. It changed the lives of the girls in that small group, and God has been so faithful to multiply that message. Ultimately, my desire is to see young women understand their value from God’s perspective. They can do that by really digging into His Word to see what He has to say about their value. It isn’t as simple as “God loves you just the way you are.” But He does love you, He did create you purposefully, and He does dedicate a lot of time in His Word to assuring you of your value. My purpose is to use those assurances found in Scripture to help girls develop a sense of value that isn’t shaken by the world’s standards or the opinions of others.

2. What has been the biggest struggle in your life and how have you overcome?

“Graffiti” is really the depths of my heart written down for all of the world to read. By far, my biggest struggle has been to see that I have value that isn’t dependent on what I weigh, what I accomplish, or what others think of me. That struggle has manifested in many different ways in my life including destructive relationship patterns, self-hatred, and disordered eating. Even though I accepted Christ at the age of 15, I still spent years battling anxiety and frustration because I didn’t understand my value. It wasn’t until I really began to study the Word of God that I found freedom in this area. It really didn’t matter what others told me about how God saw me, I needed to read it myself. God’s Word truly is living and active. Once I started reading that living Word and discovered all that God says about me, those chains really started falling off.

3. What advice would you give to girls who are struggling with their relationship with God and understanding their worth to Him?

Read His Word, read His Word, read His Word! That seems like a simple solution for me just to say “read your Bible more,” but I truly believe that His Word has the power to free us like nothing else does. Start reading it with the specific intention of learning what it says about you. It is no overstatement to say that from Genesis to Revelation, God declares your value to Him. I would also encourage you to be very careful what alternate messages your allow into your heart. Everyone knows that the World is pushing for a standard of beauty that isn’t real. But that doesn’t keep us from striving for it does it? Obviously we can’t hide in a hole and never see another airbrushed model again. But you can take some steps to guard your heart. Did you know that 70 percent of the women who look at fashion magazines reported feeling depressed, guilty, and ashamed of their bodies after less than five minutes of flipping through the pages of those magazines? Additional research has linked exposure to the unrealistically thin, young, and often airbrushed female bodies consistently portrayed in the media to depression, loss of self-esteem, and the development of eating disorders in women of all ages. That doesn’t seem like harmless entertainment! Make a conscience effort to get rid of as much of the World’s beauty messages as you can. That may mean that some magazines, television shows, or movies need to go, but I promise it is worth it! Finally, I would encourage girls to find a mentor who loves the Lord and can be a truth speaker when they are wresting with something. I have had mentors in my life ever since I came to know Christ and they have had a huge impact in my development of a women seeking to know and please the Lord. Believe it or not, your mom might be a great mentor (she wasn’t always your momma, she has been where you are!) If not, a friend’s mom might be great. Or your pastor or youth pastor’s wife might be a good fit. Just find a woman who is faithfully serving Christ, is committed to the Truth found in His Word and who you wouldn’t mind sharing a few cups of coffee with. And then…get talking!

 (This devotional blog was written by Amber)

Hey Girls! I’m so excited for the opportunity to write this month’s devotional! Since trusting God was a topic for a chat we had a few weeks ago and since many of you seemed to really be encouraged by the Overcome video that I recently posted on the forum, I thought I’d combine the two to tell you a little about my experience with both. For those of you who have watched the video (and for those of you who haven’t I’ve attached it below) you know that my church over the last two years has endured scandal, murder and terror…and it all happened within the span of 13 months. It started with waking up one morning to find my pastor plastered all over the media and our church, the top headline on just about every newspaper and TV site nation-wide. The details that follow were grueling and are still sometimes hard for me to talk about because the trauma continued for so long before resolution came. But in that moment…in the midst of grief and pain, I had a life-changing decision to make. Would I walk away from the anguish and humiliation we were walking through as a church and find another place to call my house of worship, or would I, with my church family, walk through the valley pained with trauma and fear of not knowing what was to come? I had no idea how long it would take before the trauma ended…I certainly never dreamed it to be a full 13 months, nor did I have any idea that a year into it a gunman would come into our building right after services and murder two of our teenage girls. I’m actually thankful that I didn’t know how long it would endure when I internally agreed to walk it out because I don’t know if I would have made it. But all I could do is walk through one awful day at a time convicted deep inside somewhere by the fact that we were a family, and families stick together.

Through it all, I was in a way forced to lean on God for my strength, because I certainly didn’t have enough on my own.

But I’ll tell you what…I found a new capacity and depth of trusting God during that 13 months than I‘ve ever known before. It took huge faith for me to believe that the humiliation we faced, the reputation that was destroyed, the pain we endured would somehow dissipate and that one day God would lift us out of that place and allow us influence once more. And it was by no means an instant process. A few weeks ago, we experienced the 1 year mark since the shooting and while we’ve healed as a church tremendously, many of us are still walking through the pain on a personal level, trying to decipher how we can ever trust another human, another pastor after such deception for so long. And how you can ever know if a person is truly who they claim to be if the person with the most Christian influence in your life who, in my case had been my pastor for over a decade, had been leading a double life.

How do you trust then?

One of the biggest things we’ve learned as a church is to not put our trust in man, but in God and God alone. And I think that’s something we have to learn on a personal level over time and by experience, but if I can in any way encourage you and bring you a long a little farther so that perhaps you don’t have to experience quite as much pain as I have to get there, I beg you to learn from my experience.

See…it was out of our pain that the song “Overcome” was written and has since become the anthem over our church. Taken from Rev. 12:11, it says, “We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony…everyone overcome!” And I believe the family and core people at our church have done that. It completely amazes me to go to church on Sundays and still see thousands of people gathering to worship God, because according to statistics, with all that happened, our building should be closed down and used for storage. But God had more in mind and how thankful I am.

You too can overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony.

Prov 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” On another worship song (I’m a big fan of worship if you can’t tell) it says, “Here in your presence, everything bows before you.” And as I’ve thought about it during this season of life, it’s become a very comforting concept to me. Think about it…EVERYTHING bows before God…all circumstances, all relationships, all situations…your work, your family, your schooling…all your hopes, your fears, your dreams…the mountains, the seas…your pain, your emotions, your desires to self-harm…everything.

Ultimately EVERYTHING must bow before the name of Jesus.

And when I start to think about all that ‘everything’ includes, I find great comfort. I encourage you girls also, to begin thinking about everything in your life that must bow before Christ. Maybe make a list, surrendering them each individually to God. Recently I’ve found myself laying prostrate on my living room floor telling God (and reminding myself) that everything in my life bows before Him. If you’d like, I’d love for you to join me in doing the same. I think it’s a process…a constant proclaiming to God and reminder to ourselves as we let the truth sink deep into our hearts and lives. I would love for you girls to join me in this journey of trusting God. It’s tough…you must be willing to risk it all. But I promise you it’s worth it.

Lay your life before Him, allowing everything to bow before His name. And together, let’s everyone, overcome!

You can find the Overcome Video on Youtube by following these links:

Overcome Story….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9yoKNzBq3g

Overcome Song….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sjYWrpNoCs

The bible says “His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts aren’t our thoughts.” Yet He is wiser than any of our foolishness. God loves us so much that yes, He does hurt when we hurt  and understands our pain, but He loves us enough to allow us to go through some really tough stuff because He has a purpose in it. He knows that many times we don’t see the fullness of that purpose unless we struggle. Unless we go through the uncomfortable.

He doesn’t like to see us suffer but sometimes we need a little suffering to see the big picture and help us to grow in Him. He provides a way of escape for us though, He provides the comfort we need to make it through the tough places. I encourage you to read Psalm 18. It is an awesome chapter in the bible. It starts out with this “The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled aroun d me; the snares of death confronted me.” Have you ever felt that way? That your life was being taken from you. That the problems you faced were so horrible and huge that you just were in complete despair. And when we are in despair we ask God alot of “Why?” questions. Well continuing on in Psalm 18, verse 6, it says “In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into His ears.” The question shouldn’t be “Why is all this trouble happening to me? Why do you let bad things happen?” but rather “What do you want me to learn through this circumstance in my life? And how can I come through this with a different outlook on my life?”

The whole chapter of Psalm 18 comes from the experience of David in the bible and how Saul (the king) was chasing Him and out to kill David. David could have asked the “Why?” question but He used His bad experience to turn around and get the big picture on the situation. Yes, I’m sure he was scared, I’m sure He was desperate, I’m sure He was confused at why God allowed Him to be in this place at this time….but He went back to what He knew to be true of God and says in verse 32…”It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect….He enables me to stand on the heights…..You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me so that my ankles do not turn.” God pushes us through trials and hard times to make us grow. To make us depend on Him. That’s “Why?” as we would say He allows bad things to happen. He isn’t a malicious God who is out to get us at every turn but He is a God of tremendous love and He knows what we need at any given time, even if it hurts! So next time you are struggling with something big in your life instead of asking God “Why is this happening?”, ask Him…”What are you trying to teach me?” It’s a hard thing to ask but the answer might just knock your socks off.

I wanted to say hello to all of our current Speak Don’t Bleed girls and welcome those who have found our blog through the website or from a search engine! I’m glad you found us! If you have any concerns or questions please email us at speakdontbleed@yahoo.com. I will be posting old devo blog entries so that you have the to reference back to!

Steph Lampman
Founder of Speak Don’t Bleed
http://www.speakdontbleed.com