JAMES CRUISE Ministries Blog

God chooses what we go through. We choose how we go through it.

Archive for the tag “Difficult Times”


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Family is family, no matter what you are going through.  We all need family no matter how much we believe that not to be the case.  Family is about blood and blood is as they say, thicker than water.  Family is about loving even in times of disagreement and discontent.  It’s about caring even when it’s last on your want to do list.  Family is not just about birth relations, it’s about much, much more.  Family is a feeling, a comfort level, a wanting to be a part of and wanting to be with.  Family is more than just about money, grades, stuff, feelings, jealousies and missed trusts.  Family is never perfect, none ever are.  It’s about forgiveness, helping, needing, growing up, learning, sharing, making mistakes and saying “I’m sorry” and “I love you”.  Family is about life.  Life has its ups and downs; family has its ups and downs.  Family is about accepting, no matter what.  It’s about reunions and shared experiences and stories that last through generations.  Nothing perfect, that’s what family is. US and WE!

“Families are like fudge – mostly sweet with a few nuts.” Unknown

“The family.  We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.”

Erma Bombeck

“To us, family means  putting your arms around each other and being there.”   Barbara Bush

“In time of test, family is best.”

Surviving Tough Times

Become a Super Single Parent

Just to let you know where you stand in the world of stress…

Most Stressful Changes

  1. Death of spouse
  2. Divorce
  3. Marriage separation
  4. Jail term
  5. Death of a loved one
  6. Injury or illness
  7. Marriage
  8. Job loss
  9. Pregnancy
  10. Retirement / Change of financial status

Recommended Books for Difficult Times

The Bible – The Word of God

How to Survive the Loss of a Love by Melba Colgrove, Harold H. Bloomfield & Peter McWilliams

When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner

Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb

90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper

Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D.

The Best Question Ever by Andy Stanley

The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley

Rebuilding—When Your Relationship Ends by Dr. Bruce Fisher & Dr. Robert Alberti

The Grace of God by Andy Stanley

Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

What To Do On the Worst Day of Your Life by Brian Zahnd

Hope For The Separated—Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed by Gary Chapman

Melissa—A Father’s Lessons from a Daughter’s Suicide by Frank Page with Lawrence Kimbrough


A Message from a Fellow Sinner

This letter is to you, if you are tired of your life as it presently exists now.  If you need help to walk out of your darkness and into the light of a new and better life.

Hi, my name is James.  I am a serial sinner.  I walked in a very dark world for many years.  My sins were many, and with each one my distance from God grew and my destructiveness increased.  Why am I interested in you?  Because I learned of God’s acceptance of me when I decided to repent (to re-adjust my way of living in order to please God) and be baptized into the family of God.

Faith in God, not man, is the key.  I attempted to get my life straight by myself.  I would set out to do better.  That’s where my spiritual effort would hit a snag.  The basic problem had to do with who was in control of my life – I was.  And it wasn’t working.  God was not allowed to be Chief Architect.

Every time my halfhearted repentance failed, I grew more deeply ashamed.  Does this cycle sound familiar?  Until we overcome the sin that enslaves us, we will be powerless to effect positive change in our broken lives.  The fact that you are reading this demonstrates one thing: you have a desire to change.  Somewhere in your heart is the longing to come home.  Relationship with God is what you are longing for.  He is calling you to be part of his kingdom.  God wants you to come home.  The question is how?  It’s easy to feel defeated.  This feeling of being defeated comes from Satan’s influence.  He wants you on ice, helpless under his control.  But you must not let what other people think keep you from pursuing a relationship with Jesus Christ.

The first step is to realize that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  The reality is we are all sinners, and salvation (deliverance from destruction and sin) is offered to all of us.

The second step is the recognition that we are helpless.  No matter how much we want to be better, we can’t in our own strength.  What can we do?  We can claim God’s redemptive power and love and rely on His Spirit to help us change our lives.

Step three is the tough one: repentance (remorse, to re-adjust my way of living in order to please God).   The Samaritan woman at the well (John 4) and the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8) were both made whole through faith in Christ.  The departing words of Jesus to one woman still ring in my ears: “Go and sin no more.”  But that is so tough.  Whether your habit is alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, workaholism, or just plain laziness, God and only God can lift it.  The miracle of salvation does not protect us from future temptation; that is the daily battle.  To win, we must arm ourselves with God’s words, surround ourselves with fellow believers, and pursue God with greater enthusiasm than we pursued evil.  We must walk away from the activities, life-styles, friends, and habits that led to sin.  This distancing of ourselves from these things is a crucial element in beginning to becoming who we really want to be.

Does this guarantee success?  No.  Am I holding myself up to say, “Look at me”?  Hardly!  I live in shame of my past and in hope of my future.  God has promised salvation from my sins, but not the absence of consequences in this life for my sin.

I love Jesus and you can to.  I truly believe he has come into my life and has changed me.  God accepts us as we are: dirty, hopeless, scared, and alone.  He has the power to change death to life.  The path is simple: confessing your sins, ask the Lord of lords to make His home with you, repent of your sins, and die to yourself in the grave of baptism.  Then work harder for you than you ever have at anything before.  Strive for the goal of Christ-likeness.

I have wasted years serving selfish impulses and being a member of Satan’s army.  I hope that reading this gives you the courage to walk toward Jesus, taking those you love with you.  No one person alone has the power to effect lasting change.  Our belief and hope must be in God.  He alone has the power to bring hope out of your hopelessness, life out of death, and light into your darkness.  God has been reaching out to you with love and care for all these years.  God has not placed limits on His ability to forgive; man has done that.  God is waiting to forgive and to build something special inside every human being – even you!  A fresh start is available to each of us.  God is with you in the journey.

James Caldwell

Jesus on the cross

Faith and You – Part 3

Read God’s word daily and with your children, if possible.

Do all you can to take your children “by thee hands and lead them in the ways of the Master”   Ephesians 6:4

Does the way you treat your children glorify God?

As you first go through your new life as a single parent you will probably find that your faith is not what you thought it was.  You will question God, yourself, your children and others in your life.  You will question them ALL.  Eventually everyone does.

But as you work through your new found single parent life your faith in God, in yourself, in your children and in others will grow and become stronger.

Faith inscription on a granite block

Faith and You – Part 1

Communication with God is a good first step.  You will certainly find the guidance you need.

Try to keep your eyes on God whatever happens.

God sees the whole picture, He knows everything.

You must intentionally create a culture of faith within your home for the sake of your children’s well being.

Without a personal relationship with God, your tough times will be even tougher.

If you will listen to God’s voice and do what is right in His eyes, He will heal you – He will make you whole again.

“A faith untested, is no faith at all.”

Faith inscription on a granite block

Memories – Make New Ones

No matter what your situation in life is now.

It’s time to move forward again!

When you move forward you make new memories.

But you have to move forward.

Making new memories can be fun!  Surprise, surprise…

There is nothing wrong with old memories.  It’s just that new memories are needed now.

You need new memories.  Your children also need new memories.  You both need new memories together.

New memories can be just as precious as your old memories.

Get the focus off of what no longer is and pave the way to building new memories.

Transform a day of painful reminders into a day of pleasant memories.


“A memory is what is left when something happens and

  does not completely unhappen.”    Edward de Bono


“So live that your memories will be part of your happiness.”  Unknown






Anticipate a Positive Outcome

Focus on a positive outcome.

Expect it.

Anticipate it.

Plan for it.

It will happen.

You will make it happen.

Yes, definitely.

Positive is always better than negative.

Good comes from thinking positive.

Be Positive – for both you and your children.

If you think you can, you can.

If you think you can’t, you can’t.

“You’ve done it before and you can do it now.  See the positive possibilities.

Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive,

effective, unstoppable determination.”  Ralph Marston Positive-Attitude


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