Q and A

William from Bend, Oregon asks...

Hell or Not?

Dear Junebug: Recently a renowned coach was being witnessed to by a Pastor. The coach, who grew up in a non-Christian household, was receptive, but stated, “If you are going to tell me that my deceased father, who was a good man, is in hell, then our discussion is over!" The Pastor responded with the standard, “We don’t know all of God’s mysterious ways and God is the only judge .…”, which didn’t satisfy the coach at all. Junebug, is there anything else that could be said to this man to help steer him toward Jesus? 

Posted in Religion on Fri, Jan 21st 2011

The Truth IS...

Dear William:

When I initially heard your question, I was standing in my kitchen overlooking a pristine nature preserve and with all seriousness prayed, “LORD, how in the world can I provide Your truth, Your insights and Your comfort to this dear man who is seeking You, but has reached such an impasse?” I thought of the pastor’s honest answer - that no one knows how God will judge a person. Yet that answer didn’t seem to console nor provide the coach with what he was seeking. As if I were standing directly in the presence of the Lord, the answer became precisely clear to me. Luke 16:19-31 describes how a rich man dies and goes to Hades while Lazarus, a diseased beggar who sat at the rich man’s gate, died too, but was taken by angels and put into Abraham’s bosom. In the rich man’s torment, he begged Lazarus to go to Earth and tell his five brothers about Jesus, Heaven and Hell. Of course, Lazarus could not. The man’s yearning was that his brothers' know Jesus while on Earth. From this Biblical account, I know without question that the coaches’ father would give anything for his son to know the truth about Jesus and come to love Him personally. This I know for the Bible tells me so….

As difficult as this is to digest, it is the truth. There is but one way to eternal life, and that is through Jesus Christ our Lord.  I suggest you have the coach read the above passages from the Bible; for the truth will set him free.

Junebug

Matthew from Nashville, TN asks...

Not Good Enough

Dear Junebug: This past January my fiance called off our engagement. Throughout the year I've been praying and God has answered specific prayers to whether she is still the one. The problem is we were in constant battle with her parents throughout our relationship. Her parents didn't respect me and they looked down on me because I didn't have money. Please keep in mind I've worked my way through college and I'm currently in Grad school getting a degree in Occupational Therapy. So, full time work has not really been easy to come by. My fiance is scared of what her parents think and always pleases them. I tried to meet with them multiple times just to talk things out, but they would always cancel on me at the last minute. I wasn't going to ask for her hand in marriage, but after being put down and not respected and believing that my fiance was the one for me, I went ahead and proposed to her without asking her parents. I realize I was wrong. But now she is graduating this December and her Father doesn't want me there even though it is a public graduation at Belmont University; and he doesn't want to have anything to do with me, although he has never told me so directly or at any time throughout my relationship with his daughter. I have been my fiance's rock and support through her under grad and now graduate school years. even while we have been broken up. Even still, as I've prayed, I believed that I would be honoring God if I didn't go to the graduation so that her father could have a peaceful visit. Junebug, am I doing the right thing? Should I still keep being faithful? I'm sorry its so long, but there is so much more.

Posted in Broken Relationships on Fri, Dec 10th 2010

Priorities in Order?

Dear Matthew:

First, let me say how sorry I am that you are in this conflict, especially with someone you truly love and want to spend your life with. I can relate somewhat to your situation for initially my future in-laws did not accept me for religious reasons; it was a difficult thing to deal with and to accept. Thankfully, God was present throughout. HIS hand carefully orchestrated all aspects of our relationship, even amidst the challenging times. That being the case, I'd like to give you a few pointers to help you though this trying time.

First, stay on your knees before God. Ask Him for direction and forgiveness so that the root of bitterness will not drive a wedge between you and your future in-laws. You do not want the enemy to steal the joy from that potential relationship.

Second, remember that "this too shall pass." What is going on today will most likely be smoothed out tomorrow if you can offer unconditional love and forgiveness to your fiance's parents. God has always insisted that I be the one who forgives, loves and understands regardless of what has been "done" to me. Through this, I know He is teaching me to be humble; He is teaching me how to love even those who seem to hate me, and He is teaching me to be more and more like He is!!!  I have to admit that I am not a quick learner. Most of the time I put up a good fight to do what I want to do rather than what He commands me to do. Thankfully, I am still learning and He is not done with me yet!

And last, you need to have a heart to heart talk with your fiance to remind her of your place of priority in the marriage relationship. I would advise you to begin your discussions with the Scripture passages from Ephesians 5:22-31. Read them aloud to her, holding her hand and letting her know that your desire is to love, nourish and cherish her the way God intends for you to. That also means you will respect her parents even if they don't respect you. Matthew, when you are in God's family, He requires you to always do what is right regardless of the hurt others may be inflicting upon you. Ask your fiance if she can put God first, you second and her family in third place. It is very important that she understands the priority order of where her family will have to be once you two are married. If she doesn't grasp this concept ordained by God, then I suggest you step back and wait on marrying her.

It may be a little late on whether you should attend her graduation, but in my view, that decision is entirely up to you and your fiance. You could skip it if you think that would keep the peace, or on the other hand, you could go and stay away from her family watching the event from afar. Either way, I believe the final decision has to be made by both of you.

God's blessings on you Matthew. Keep doing what is right by HIM!

Junebug

Cindy from Cleveland, TN asks...

Raging Bull

Dear Junebug: How do you get rid of anger/rage that surfaces from stress and so many problems happening at once? How do you become less critical of others mistakes and behaviors when you're in a lot of pain?

Posted in Anger on Sat, Nov 13th 2010

Change Your Mind

Dear Cheryl:

First, you must never base your responses on the behavior of others. I learned a long time ago that my friends, family and co-workers will push my "anger", "bitterness" and "unforgiving attitude" buttons as long as I continue to react to their actions. As long as I allow someone to "make" me react a certain way, then I am giving that person power over me; and the only One that I want to relinquish that power to is JESUS! 

Cheryl, in the past, my feelings were hurt very easily. Sometimes it was warranted and at other times it was not. But now, I realize that I must receive all my love, self worth and value from my FATHER GOD and no one else! I have found that by giving it all to HIM I no longer live in bondage to others; always reacting to their behavior rather than acting like I'm a child of God's. With that knowledge, I became a confident, loving daughter of THE KING of KINGS and rarely allow the behavior of "other's" to determine mine! Praise God I'm free from all that and only react to the LORD; letting all the other junk slide right off my back. I refuse to let derogatory comments or slander define who I am!   

On a more practical note, I suggest you read many Scriptures on anger and controlling your temper; absorb them in your mind by constantly reading and meditating on them. In Romans 12:2, Paul tells us NOT to be conformed to this world, but to BE transformed by the renewal of our minds. Transformation comes from taking an active role in removing the old mind sets of hatred, anger and unforgiving attitudes and replacing them with God's truths, His word and His desires. The minute the enemy gives you a negative thought about someone, immediately begin to quote God's word. If you will follow these suggestions, these negative emotions of anger and rage will begin to subside and I trust you will notice a change of heart that will bring a peace you haven't had in years; maybe in your lifetime. 

Cheryl, I speak all this from first hand experience. This is not theory it's reality. I personally know how wonderful it feels to be set free from the bondage of others. For today, I know who I am in Jesus Christ and no one can change that!  Amen!

God bless you as you move closer to Him and further away from the grip of the enemy.

Junebug

Nichole from Franklin, Tn asks...

Their List is Endless

Dear Junebug: My husband and I currently have his children living with us on a full-time basis until their mother moves into her house this fall. After that we will do shared parenting. I'm running into a "HUGE" roadblock when it comes to feeding the kids. I have a picky household all with the exception of me. One child eats no fruit (huh?) the other no veggies (scratching my head) and a hubby who prefers sweets to most anything else. It amazes me how difficult it is to get them to eat. One likes fries but not potatoes, and the other only likes sweet potato fries. They both hate broccoli and the list goes on and on. I am not going to bend on good nutrition and yet I am failing at finding something they both will eat and is nutritious. Junebug, I need your help, wisdom and any advice you may have. Have a blessed day!

Posted in Children on Tue, Aug 17th 2010

Camouflage the Food

Dear Nichole:

I have raised four children and have dealt with these same issues. I have a few suggestions that worked well for us so I will pass them on to you.

Our 21 year old son has never eaten a vegetable in his life and still is quite the picky eater. I quickly learned that I would have to outsmart him for I couldn't justify his poor eating habits as "something he'll have to outgrow".  No, I'm much too conscientious to calmly settle for that. So I bought a commercial grade food blender and blended up vegetables to include in my chili, spaghetti sauces, soups, and even my taco meat! I liquefied the "green monsters" and he never knew the difference. I put carrots, onions, green peppers, celery, garlic and mushrooms into that blender. He ate them all without a second's hesitation. Success!

Another nifty idea I happened upon is this. I do not like fruit but I know how healthy fruit is, so I used that same commercial blender and started making real fruit smoothies for my children and me. I toss in any fruit I have - bananas, strawberries, blueberries, etc. - add a tablespoon of yogurt, a bit of honey, juice or milk and ice. Once you blend this nutritious drink together you have a fruit milkshake. Everyone loves the smoothies,even the picky eaters. They make an excellent breakfast too!

So, Nichole be creative, and remember you can always add any vegetable to most any dish, just camouflage it. 

I'm hungry now talking about all this food. Time for lunch? Yes, lunch it is! 

Junebug

Bo from Bronx, NY asks...

What Does God Look Like

Dear Junebug: What do you picture when you speak of GOD? One that resembled man? An apparition? Space? A vision? Your inner self? Thanks!

Posted in Religion on Wed, Aug 18th 2010

All of the Above

Dear Bo:

I believe the answer is all of the above, as outlined below:

1. "One that resembles man?"

When God sent His Son, Jesus, He sent Him with flesh and bones, as a man, just like you. John 1:14, found in the new testament of the Bible, says, "And the Word (God's Word) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

2.  "An apparition?"

I believe there is no better place to see Him in spirit form than in the beginning of creation! Genesis 1:2 says, “The earth was without form, and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."

Moving to the New Testament, Romans 8:9-11 says, "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." Clearly we can see He is also Spirit, aka apparition.

3. " Space?"

Again a more literal interpretation is found in Genesis 1:16-18. "Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good." I believe you can deduce, the creator is in all the things He has created! 

4.  "A vision?"

 God spoke many times to His people in visions and in dreams.  i.e., Ezekiel, King David, Job, Paul, Abraham, Peter, and Daniel.  

      "And it shall come to pass afterward

       That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;

       Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

       Your old men shall dream dreams,

       Your young men shall see visions.

       And also on My menservants and on My 

       maidservants

       I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

       And I will show wonders in the heavens

       and in the earth:

       Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.

       The sun shall be turned into darkness,

       And the moon into blood,

       Before the coming of the great and awesome

       day of the LORD.

       And it shall come to pass

       That whoever calls on the name of the

       LORD

       Shall be saved" (Joel 2:28-32).

5.  Your inner self?

Bo, just the other day, I was reading in the gospel of Luke 17:21, where Jesus was asked by the Jewish religious leaders where the actual place of the kingdom of God was located, to which He replied, "...For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."  Ironically, I received your question shortly thereafter. So my answer is, yes HE is your inner self in a way; if you have invited Him to be LORD over your life, then He takes up residence within you. As others look at you it will be obvious, for the evidence of Him living in you will be manifested through a drastically changed life. That's why I read the Bible daily so that I can be transformed more into HIS image!  Why not strive for perfection?

And lastly, most of the Scriptures I have given you are from the Old Testament, several of which are from the Torah. I hope the information I have provided will help answer some of your questions. God bless you.  

 Junebug

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