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Month: June 2014

I HATE MY STINKING SIN: Devotional from “Am I Okay, God? By Lorilyn Roberts

Do not let the sun go down while you are angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Ephesians 4:26b‑27
We will never be free of our sin until we get to heaven. Satan will never give up taunting us, bullying us, and shaming us. As long as we live here he is the “prince of the air.”
From Seventh Dimension – The Door, a Young Adult Christian Fantasy:
We climbed the stairs to my room and a veil of darkness shrouded me—Fifi’s dead body appeared to me in a vision once more at the bottom of the stairs. I had hoped the memory wouldn’t torture me anymore, that the king would heal me. Why hadn’t me? I grabbed the post to catch my balance. Rain started to fall.
—Shale Snyder, chapter twenty-nine
Satan prowls around like a roaring lion hunting down unsuspecting victims. In I Corinthians 10:13, Paul tells us that “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”
For many years, I hated many things about my life. I even hated myself at times—the fact that my father left me, that I grew up in a broken home, that I failed the first grade, that I had a speech impediment, and that I was clumsy. I felt misunderstood and unappreciated by others. I had no self-worth. I was an outcast in social circles at school. No one liked me except the smart kids, once they figured out I wasn’t dumb, and so I hung around with a bunch of nerds.
I preferred to be alone with a good book or playing the guitar. I didn’t care about loud parties or drinking or concerts or smoking or any of those things in which teenagers get involved—to their detriment. I was a loner because—well, I liked being alone. My parents thought something was wrong with me.
When I got married, I expected my husband to fix me. After all, he was going to be a doctor and he should be able to be all that I needed—to make up for what I lacked in the past. The truth is, the only thing that could fix me was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
The sad part is this: nothing was wrong with me. I wasn’t flawed or defective or weird or antisocial or stupid or bad. I actually was and still am very creative, brilliant in some ways, self-sufficient, and uniquely made in God’s image. And so are you. I was and still am a sinner. And so are you.
Unconditional love covers a multitude of sins. That kind of acceptance and validation can only come from Jesus Christ. There’s no pill, no lover, no vacation, no job, no friend, and no food that can fill that spiritual void and remove the sting of lies and false accusations—only the healing power of our risen Savior.


If you’re like Shale, a victim of circumstances, if you’ve been hurt, go to God in prayer. Take your Bible and cover it with your tears. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to lift your crushed spirit. Corrie ten Boom once said, “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still (The Hiding Place).”
After you’ve poured out your heart to God, find someone in whom you can confide.
Allow God’s healing in your life. Allow him to fill every nook and cranny of your heart with his love and surrender your life to him. Choose to spend the rest of your life living in forgiveness— sometimes just one moment, then one hour, then one day, then one week, then one year, then five years, then ten years. And then a lifetime.
Focus on this moment—that’s all you have. Let God worry about the tomorrows. Be set free from your unresolved anger by focusing on the process of forgiving. The outcome is in God’s hands.
Dear Jesus, I know you love me, warts and all. I have sinned against you and others. I am separated from your love because of my sin. I know that you’re the only way to eternal life.
You made salvation possible through your death on the cross. Your resurrection is proof that you’re who you say you are. I accept you into my heart. Thank you, Jesus, for coming into my life right now. Thank you for forgiving me of my sins.
if you would like to hear me tell my personal testimony, I appeared on a television show in Atlanta, Georgia, “Family and Friends.” You can listen to it at the following link.
Am I Okay, God? Was a finalist in the International Book Awards for best nonfiction cover and best Christian inspirational book for 2014.

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THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS: Devotional from “Am I Okay, God?” by Lorilyn Roberts

But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up his garments among themselves.
—Luke 23:34
The root cause of hate, I believe, is the lack of forgiveness. We must forgive. If we are unable o forgive, the hateful feelings will destroy us. Not forgiving separated me from God. How could I feel forgiven by God if I was unwilling to extend that same forgiveness to someone else? Even if I said in my heart, “I forgive my ex-husband,” my lack of forgiveness would re-emerge later when something triggered the return of painful memories. I couldn’t get forgiveness to stick. I soon realized I had to commit to the process of forgiveness—a lifestyle, a mindset, a choice. Every time I started to become bitter, I had to go through the process of forgiveness all over again. In my case, forgiveness took me a long, long time.
Without the Holy Spirit’s help, I would not have been able to forgive my ex-husband. Fortunately, after a period of time, I realized my love for God was greater than my bitterness and regret over mistakes I had made in the marriage—strong enough to overcome my intense sadness and depression. Through God’s love and power, I was at last able to forgive completely.  

Our model for forgiveness is Jesus Christ. Jesus forgave us as he hung naked on a cross. We don’t deserve his forgiveness or grace. He simply loved us that much. We deserve to die and pay the price for all the mistakes and sins we have committed, but instead, Jesus died and paid the price for us.

There’s nothing more powerful than seeing someone who has been hurt exercise his will to forgive. If we choose to hate, the devil will be our master. If we choose to follow the example that Jesus set for us, we will love, and he will be our master. To love in these circumstances is not a feeling. It’s a choice.
From Seventh Dimension – The Door, a Young Adult Christian Fantasy:

 “I’m nothing more than a worm, like that worm lying on the sidewalk that Judd wanted to crush. There’s nothing good inside me except that which was put there by the king. Just as I rescued that worm from his tormenter, my king will rescue me, too, and crush your head [the serpent]. The king promised, if you forgive others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. I am forgiven.”
—Shale Snyder, chapter thirty-five
More from Seventh Dimension – The Door, a Young Adult Christian Fantasy:
Magical stirrings from deep within bubbled forth and overflowed. Freedom beckoned me.
I countered their lies, “He’ll always live in my heart. You can’t hurt me anymore”…suddenly, the demons began to shrink—smaller and smaller they became, right before my eyes. As the underlings shrunk, they underwent a metamorphosis. They shrank smaller and smaller and we grew larger and larger. Soon the underlings had shapeshifted into nothing more than puny snakes. Even though they hissed, their voices became like a little mouse’s before a taunting cat.
—Shale Snyder, chapter thirty-five
Forgiveness is never easy. With great forgiveness comes great grace. Great grace is never cheap. Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price to forgive us by shedding his blood on the cross. We can’t give him back his life—Christ willingly allowed himself to be crucified so that he could give us eternal life. It was a choice he made. It’s a choice we must make—the choice to forgive.
Sometimes it requires a recommitment—as in my case when I recommitted my life to Jesus Christ. I knew I needed more faith to forgive. I was running on an empty gas tank, and the only way to fill it up was to allow God’s Spirit to work in my heart. I had to make a conscious choice to forgive my ex-husband. I had to ask God to help me do it. I couldn’t do it on my own. I couldn’t conjure up enough goodness within me to do it without his help.
God is gracious and loving. We are forgiven by God, and we must extend that forgiveness to others if we want to be like Jesus. If forgiveness was cheap, it would not have cost Jesus his life. But our forgiveness couldn’t be bought with anything less.
We must lay down our rights, lay down our hurts, and lay down our desires to retaliate. We might have to go back to God and ask for his help many, many times to enable a lifetime of living in forgiveness. And each time we recognize our need for him, he gives us everything we need to abide in him.

WHO IS MY FATHER: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

I stared out the window looking for him—mother said he would be home soon. I was celebrating my second birthday.

I waited for him, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, and year after year. Birthdays and Christmases came and went—thirty years passed.

I finally met my father for the first time when I was thirty—after my husband walked out on me. I wanted to know why. What was wrong with me that all the men in my life abandoned me?

For twenty years following our initial meeting, my birthfather and I had a good relationship—meeting a couple of times each year at airports or halfway between our homes that were separated by two days’ travel. After all, we had thirty years of catching up to do. During that time, I learned a lot about myself—I wasn’t like him in every way as my mother had been apt to point out in moments of anger. I did look like him. I did relate to him better than I did with her. I discovered we had similar bents.

My father confessed spiritual healing, that he had prayed the Alcoholics Anonymous Serenity Prayer. I was thankful he had been delivered from alcoholism and freed from the prison of the bottle.

I rejoiced that we shared a similar spiritual path. Perhaps I longed so much for that spiritual connection I overlooked some things that later made me question the authenticity of his conversion. But he introduced me to C.S. Lewis, a gift in itself—I still have the Narnia books he gave me over twenty-five years ago.

My mother never understood my need or desire to connect with him, but deep thinkers are prone to ask unanswerable questions. When I went through my painful divorce from a man I deeply loved, I wanted answers. I was afraid I would never be able to love again—unless I knew myself. I couldn’t see that happening without connecting with the birthfather I never knew.

When I asked him why he left, he said he couldn’t get along with my mother. That was sufficient for me at the time, though I should have asked him how he could leave me also—or more in keeping with how I felt, how could he abandon me?


Three years ago, I was in the process of publishing my adoption memoir, Children of Dreams. He found an excerpt of my book on YouTube. Late one night, I received a call from his wife, “Your father did not abandon you. If you put this in your book, we will sue you. In fact, as we speak, he is talking to an attorney on the other phone.”

I suppose notoriety has its downside when you want to write about your past. That night will always be a turning point. I realized then, that some things aren’t fixable. I took that one sentence out of my book in reference to adopting my two daughters from Asia—the correlation that I understood their loss, losing their family, their culture, and their heritage.

Adopted children must grieve that loss, and as adoptive parents, we can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. Even though adopted children will have a future and a hope they would not have otherwise, they still have suffered a loss that will become a part of their psyche. That can’t be denied—adopted children need parents secure in who they are to allow their children to become everything they were born to be in Christ. With acceptance, love, and prayer, most will flourish.

We cling to what is unseen to embrace the Lord’s future for their lives. We need to show our children God’s unconditional love—if we fail to do that, we will have squandered the greatest gift we could give them. I knew from my broken past and dependency on God, I could help two orphans begin anew in America.

I will spare you most of the emotional turmoil I dealt with—the only gift my father gave me as a child that I still had were three bunnies in a ceramic egg that arrived broken. I crushed it with a hammer into a gazillion pieces, raging that I had been rejected a second time.

I threw out all his award-winning pictures that hung on the walls and all the books he had published. I wanted nothing of his, not even his camera that I had taken all over the world during my traveling days. Someone in the church later found all the books and pictures and removed them from the dumpster—they knew they were mine because of the name Roberts on the books. My pastor kept the camera. I never wanted any of it back.

I had hoped someday to write a wonderful memoir about my birthfather and how God had restored our relationship after thirty years. What story could I tell now, other than grieving at the horrendous emails his wife sent me that broke my heart—who was she to tell me what is truth? I lived it and had been shaped partly by his absence from my life. I finally told her not to email me again or I would write a book and call it The Other Women in my Father’s Life. He had four wives.

Four years have passed and I have not seen or spoken to my birthfather. Recently I went on Amazon and looked up his name and saw the listing of all his books. My heart broke once again. I am now an author and can’t even share with him the one trait we have in common—creativity. He won enough awards to fill a closet, so many he gave me several of them because he didn’t have a place to put them all. I threw those in the dumpster, also.

I sat in front of my computer and wept. Meeting my birthfather made my life more difficult in many ways, not the least of which my mother never understood. Her second husband, who adopted me when I was ten, felt hurt as if I had betrayed him. I never told him about meeting my birthfather. He knew, though, and before he died of a brain tumor, I spent every moment I could with him, 350 miles away, to assure him he would always be my father. God introduced to me through him the powerful, life-changing concept of adoption.

Is there any wisdom I can impart or any encouragement I can share? At fifty-eight, reflecting on my past, my complicated family relationships, what would I do differently if I had known years earlier what I know now? Should I have even opened that door, risking being rejected once again? This road may be less traveled by some, but it’s an all too crowded one for others.

God created families because we need that connectedness. Children need to feel loved. They need to know they matter. They need the security of knowing someone will be there for them—forever. Usually, that is the mother and father. That is what God intended. Because we live in a fallen world, however, that doesn’t always happen. Look at Africa and all the children who have been orphaned because of aids.

God gives us guarantees. Because He is perfect, He honors all those guarantees. Because He is love, He carries us when we are weak and wipes away our tears. Because He is just, He sets every path straight that is crooked. Because He is the great physician, He heals our broken bones and broken hearts. Because He is in control, He protects us in good times and bad, not allowing us to suffer more than we can bear. Because He is the alpha and the omega, nothing catches Him by surprise. My dependency on Him makes His power perfect in my weakness, past, present, and future.

Above all, God has given me Himself—He is my father, my husband, and my children’s father and future husband. Earthly fathers may fail us, even the godliest, loving ones, but God never will. He loves me (and you) so much that He adopted us into His family through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.

There is no pain so deep, no hurt so great, and no conflict so vast that God, our heavenly Father, can’t embrace our beating hearts and heal our infected wounds. Our Father is never too busy. He doesn’t leave us for other women, alcohol, drugs, money, or selfish ambitions. God fills the void that earthly fathers can’t, and even more so.

I would not have adopted my two daughters as a single mother if I didn’t believe that. Can I meet all of their needs?  No—but God as their heavenly Father can. When I fail them. God picks up the slack. He knows us so intimately that He provides what we need even before we ask.

Letting go of those things we can’t change is part of the healing process. It’s not a one-time decision. It’s a lifelong commitment. Part of our nature, because we are created in the image of God, longs for that earthly father because that was God’s intent. But if we keep our eyes on God in fits of depression for what we never had or when we mourn for what we lost, God will walk alongside us and give us Himself. He will point us to eternity, our forever home and forever family, where we will walk with Him, dance with Him, and commune with Him, never to be separated by sin or death or earth’s physical or spiritual limitations.

My losses here on earth quicken within me a longing for the approval of my heavenly Father. I feel His acceptance of me from heaven and His assurance that He will never leave me or abandon me.

As I grow older, I discover more and more of my identity in Him. The more I see of God in my life, the more I am convinced that those losses I once grieved are as chaff, tossed by the wind into the sea of cleansing. Who longs for inferior rubbish when he has tasted superior manna?

I count it as all joy, knowing God is sufficient to overcome my past. Not only have my felt needs brought me into deeper communion with God, but my suffering has produced empathy and compassion for others that is beyond my human ability—I take no credit for God’s blessing on my life that encourages those around me.

Who is my father? He is the Great I Am. When that day comes of the King’s return, my heavenly Father will wipe away every tear. I know my fleeting separation from Him now will be worth the wait—I look forward to dancing with Him at the wedding feast of the Lamb.

As it says in Psalms 30:11-12, “You have turned my mourning into dancing. You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” (New American Standard).

Read Lorilyn Roberts’ Young Adult Fantasy Novel, Seventh Dimension – The Door, with a similar theme that will speak to those who struggle with bullying and broken families. To learn more about her book, visit her website



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UNFORGIVENESS HURTS: Devotional from “Am I Okay, God?” by Lorilyn Roberts

Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. God gives us the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, our feet fitted with readiness, and the shield of faith. We have the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
—Ephesians 6:10‑17
 If you are unwilling to forgive others, how can you expect God to forgive you?
From Seventh Dimension – The Door, a Young Adult Christian Fantasy:
“I hate you, God—you hear me? You send me broken toys and take away my best friend, give me parents that don’t understand me and teachers that hate me. That’s fine. I can take it. You hear me? Then you tease me with a dog I can’t have.” The bare walls were silent and I buried my face in my arms and sobbed.
—Shale Snyder, chapter four
There is only one person whom hate completely destroys. The person who hates. Hate is so all‑consuming that it drives people to do horrific things they wouldn’t normally do.
Hitler hated the Jews, and as a result, over six million Jews were slaughtered during World War II. 1.6 million Russians died when Lenin came to power. How many people died under Stalin’s regime? At least 20 million people were killed.
This is hate at its worst. When hateful men are in positions of power, they are capable of inflicting the most horrid and despicable acts on others. Many of those victims were flogged, beaten, raped, maimed, and mutilated for no reason—just because of hate.
You may not have done something as horrid as one of these men, but whenever you hate, you’re giving the devil a foothold into your heart. Hate robs you of joy. It steals from you the blessings of God. Remember, the devil wants all of you—including your soul.
Jesus said to Peter, “Satan has asked to sift you as wheat (Luke 22:31).”

These words by Jesus are astonishing. First, they reassure me that Satan has no power except that which God allows him to have. Second, they remind me that the battle I fight is a spiritual one—a battle that I can’t win without Jesus coming to my aid. While we are human, Satan is a real spiritual being with immense power. Our only protection from him is to arm ourselves with the spiritual weapons of war.
Dear Jesus, even when I don’t feel like forgiving, help me to forgive anyway. Even when the world says I have my rights, help me to forgive anyway. Even when I can’t forgive in my own strength, help me to forgive anyway. Even when the person whom I have forgiven doesn’t recognize the cost, help me to live in forgiveness anyway.


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