BEST HOPES, WORST FEARS

WorryDo not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Look at the birds of the air….your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:25-34

 

I have always said my spiritual gift is worrying. Being raised by an alcoholic mother and co-dependent father, I grew up assuming the worst would always happen in my life because that’s all I ever knew. I’m working to grow and change, and I want to share some things I’ve learned.

 

Matthew 6:25-34 was one of the verses my husband and I used in our marriage ceremony. The passage reminds me that it is human nature to worry some of the time, so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. But Jesus is saying that God cares even for the little birds in the sky, so why would we doubt that He cares for each of us? Yes, bad things happen in life, but our faith will and does sustain us, even in the worst of times. A friend said recently that, when a bird lands on the highest branch of a tree, the bird doesn’t trust the branch; he trusts his wings. And another friend, who happens to be a retired biology teacher, added that a bird’s wings are porous so they can be both light and strong. A third friend added that our attitudes and perceptions are “an inside job.” In other words, it’s not the branches in life that we trust; it’s our own wings—the strength we possess inside—that keeps us afloat.

 

Mark Twain once said, “I’ve been through some terrible things in my life, and some of them actually happened.” Worry must be viewed as a tremendous waste of time. If we worry in advance, we tell ourselves, we will somehow be more prepared if something bad does happen. But our best hope is just as likely to occur as our worst fear. We would do well to think, “What is the most productive thing I can do at this moment?” In the words of A.J. Cronin, “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow; it only saps today of its strength.”

 

Lord, when I start to worry, remind me of those birds You care so much for and strengthen my wings of faith. Amen

 

Both candid and humorous, insightful and ponderous, Meg Blaine Corrigan’s memoir, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, takes the reader through her chaotic childhood with an alcoholic mother and enabling father to a violent assault that nearly ended her life. She populates her tale with vivid descriptions of her parents, other influential adults, the attacker, and her disastrous first marriage. But this story has a happy ending, when Meg finds solace in a God she didn’t think she’d ever believe in, when He gently helps her heal from her past lives and move into the best times of her life. Meg has also written a novel, Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, about said first marriage, as well as a Christian devotional, Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, comprised of blogs from this site. Stay tuned for sequels to her last two books! All of her works may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

TELL YOUR HEART

Open Heart Surgery 2Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke Your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring My name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel.” Acts 9:13-15

 

Musicians Phillips, Craig and Dean recorded a song in 2012 called “Tell Your Heart To Beat Again.” The song was inspired by a heart surgeon who was attempting to massage a heart to make it beat again following open heart surgery. The heart wouldn’t start, and more measures did not help. The surgeon finally did the most incredible thing: he knelt next to the patient, removed his mask, and spoke directly into her ear. “Miss Johnson,” he said, “This is your surgeon. The operation went perfectly. Your heart has been repaired. Now tell your heart to beat again.” The heart began to beat immediately.

 

This story reminds me of Saul’s conversion. A zealous Jew who did not believe Jesus was the son of God, Saul was on his way to Damascus, with written authority to arrest and even kill followers of Christ. But Christ met Saul on the road, asking him “Why are you persecuting me?” Then Christ caused Saul to lose his sight (Acts 9:109). He had to be led into Damascus, but Christ had more surprises for him. A righteous man named Ananias saw a vision from the Lord telling him he was to find Saul and teach him about the risen Christ. Ananias objected strenuously because he feared Saul’s wrath against Christ’s followers. But the Lord insisted that Saul (later called Paul) was the one He had chosen to carry Christ’s name and message to the people (Acts 9:13-15). Ananias met with Paul, and “immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored” (Acts 9:18). The Lord could have given back Paul’s sight and shown him all he needed to learn. But like the heart surgeon speaking gently to his patient, the Lord chose a person to bring Paul into the wonderful light of Christ’s love and forgiveness.

 

Lord, thank You for the people in our lives who bring us healing and hope with their words and their faith. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan finds ideas for her devotional blogs in everyday places and events, from comic strips to magazines and books, comments on the fly from people she meets, ancient memories of her childhood, and nigglings from God. Meg has written a Christian devotional blog for several years that has been read in over 40 countries by 9000 people. A compilation of blogs, Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, was published in 2015. Meg is working on a second book (Saints TWO) which she has hopes of completing by Christmas, 2020. Her first book, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, is a memoir about her childhood with an alcoholic mother and a co-dependent father. The book also chronicles Meg’s astounding rescue from the hands of a gun-wielding rapist, a tragedy turned holy, a powerful message of hope in her darkest hour. Meg is a retired college counselor and former social worker. Meg enjoys spending time with her husband, their four daughters and spouses, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, as well as their rescue dog, Bassett/Beagle mix Ginger. Meg and her husband Patrick play and sing in the contemporary worship band at their church, Christ Lutheran in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. She also volunteers with sexual violence/sex trafficking prevention and education. She speaks to groups whenever she if offered the opportunity. She is a voracious reader of other people’s writing, which gives her lots of ideas for more devotional blogs. Read more about her at www.MegCorrigan.com or contact her at MegCorrigan@comcast.net .

DANCING WITH RATTLESNAKES

rattlesnake

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Make me to know Your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in Your truth, and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all day long. Psalm 25:4-5

 

When I was young, I had a “bomb proof” horse named Lito. Nothing bothered that little horse; she never fussed or bucked or reared up or even tried to nip me. She was as trustworthy as the day is long, but I didn’t really appreciate her until one day my friend and I were riding on a trail in the Colorado mountains near where we lived. I was enjoying the smooth gate Lito always delivered, until suddenly, she did a “Boot Skootin’ Boogie” sideways for about ten yards, into the grass and brush off the trail. I started to scold her when my friend said, “Look! There is a rattler crossing the path where she was!” Sure enough, Lito had dodged a true disaster without dumping me off her back in the process. A Western Diamondback Rattlesnake was slithering across the gravel into the grass. Since rattlers always travel in pairs, my friend and I reigned our horses in a different direction to avoid both the snakes. And I gave Lito an extra measure of grain that evening in appreciation for her quick and safe reaction.

 

How many times in my life has God intervened when I didn’t even realize I was in danger, or that I was about to make a foolish choice with dire consequences? I can think of dozens, beginning with God’s mighty rescue when I narrowly escaped with my life from the hands of a gun-wielding rapist. Throughout my days, God has steered me away from opportunities that might have looked good from the outside but would likely have been disastrous if I had chosen the wrong path. Potential job opportunities that fell apart, boyfriends that were obviously not a good fit for me, purchases that I didn’t make, and on and on. Time after time, God has been there to divert me from metaphorical rattlesnakes in my path (often traveling in pairs!).

 

Psalm 25 is a testimony to the wisdom of following God’s path. The psalmist asks God to make known the truest ways to follow, and the wisdom that only God can impart.

 

Sweet Lord, save us from rattlesnakes and wayward ways. Amen

 

Both candid and humorous, insightful and ponderous, Meg Blaine Corrigan’s memoir, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, takes the reader through her chaotic childhood with an alcoholic mother and enabling father to a violent assault that nearly ended her life. She populates her tale with vivid descriptions of her parents, other influential adults, the attacker, and her disastrous first marriage. But this story has a happy ending, when Meg finds solace in a God she didn’t think she’d ever believe in, when He gently helps her heal from her past lives and move into the best times of her life. Meg has also written a novel, Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, about said first marriage, as well as a Christian devotional, Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, comprised of blogs from this site. Stay tuned for sequels to her last two books! All of her works may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

TOLERANCE FOR AMBIGUITY

Tolerance for AmbiguityWho is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to Me. Job 38:2-3

 

In my master’s program for counseling, we studied “tolerance for ambiguity,” or the ability to manage uncertainty in which an outcome is unknown. Life is full of situations when we are not certain what will happen. A 2018 study at Brown University found that people who can handle uncertainty are more likely to trust others and cooperate in seeking solutions to problems. This makes sense because trusting others means we have to take a risk that what they say to us is true and what they say they will do, they will do. This trust allows us to work with others to solve problems, within our families or work or church. Embarking on group projects automatically means we don’t know the exact outcome, But sometimes the outcome can be much more than we expected or hoped for.

 

A case study in tolerance for ambiguity is the Bible story of Job. Psychology Today Magazine columnist Dr. Mark Banschick has an interesting commentary on how Job, a man with faith, health, wealth, wisdom, and a large and close family experiences numerous undeserved traumas. The book opens with God telling Satan what a good man Job is. Satan challenges God that surely Job will not maintain his faith if he loses everything. God says, “You’re on,” and the tragedy begins. Job loses livestock, possessions, family, his own health and much more…but he never once denounces God. Then Job’s “friends” arrive. They argue, “You must have sinned (really bad),” “There’s a grand plan (and you don’t know it),” “You’re really mad at God (so admit it).” But still Job persists in his faith. He asks God what’s going on, and God answers him loud and clear. In fact, in Chapter 38, God wallops Job: “Who do you think you are? YOU didn’t create the universe and set the world in motion!” Job might have been terrified of God’s judgment, but what this faithful, good man saw was that God cared enough to come down and be with Job in his sorrow and pain. And that’s what He does for all of us when we experience trauma.

 

Almighty God, we thank You that you comfort us when we are afflicted and traumatized. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

GONE!

Etch A SketchHe will again have compassion upon us: He will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19

An Etch A Sketch is a mechanical drawing toy that has a thick, flat gray screen in a red plastic frame. According to Wikipedia.com, “There are two white knobs on the front of the frame in the lower corners. Twisting the knobs moves a stylus that displaces aluminum powder on the back of the screen, leaving a solid line. The knobs create lineographic images. The left control moves the stylus horizontally, and the right one moves it vertically. The Etch A Sketch was introduced near the peak of the (post-World War II) Baby Boom on 12 July 1960 for $2.99 (equivalent to $26 in 2019). It went on to sell 600,000 units that year and is one of the best-known toys of that era. In 1998, it was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York. In 2003, the Toy Industry Association named Etch A Sketch to its Century of Toys List, a roll call commemorating the 100 most memorable and most creative toys of the 20th century. The Etch A Sketch has since sold over 100 million units world-wide.” I think the most fun thing about the Etch A Sketch is that, when you make a mistake or you are tired of looking at one creation, you can invert the entire toy and all the aluminum powder disappears from the screen. You can then start a new design as if the old one never existed.

I like to think about the forgiveness we have with God as an eternal Etch A Sketch toy. When we repent of our sin, when we come to God to say we are sorry and we are ready to begin again, He always tips us upside down and allows our sin to fall out. Like with the Etch A Sketch, we can remember the designs—or the sins—we create after they have been forgiven by God. But Micah says God will “cast all of our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19). Some theologians refer to God’s complete absolution of our sins as a “sea of forgetfulness.” God forgets and our sins are just…gone!

 

Lord of Life, thank You that You grant us new mercies every morning! Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

COUNTING TO TEN WHILE PRAYING

counting to ten while prayingAbove all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

 

I have a great marriage. This does not mean things go smoothly all the time, as anyone who has been or still is married can tell you. Some days, it takes all I’ve got to remember the wonderful reasons I fell in love with him. He is good looking, smart, sensible, trustworthy, kind, practical, and he loves dogs. He could probably come up with a similar list for why he chose me too, and on a good day, our good lists are all we see. But throw in a sleepless night, a bunch of things in life going wrong when they were expected to go right, and dinner getting burned, and we become less compatible. That’s the nature of a long-term relationship, the nature of life. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trials, but I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

 

Counting to ten while praying saves me. I have learned that doing both together can get me out of an awful mood and make me more willing to forgive. The results are even better if I also list the reasons I chose my husband while I am praying and counting to ten. It’s a package deal. The more you work it, the better the outcome.

 

So does love cover (or excuse) a multitude of sins? I believe it does. But obviously no one deserves to be physically or emotionally battered to the point where people are in danger of getting seriously hurt. Ephesians 5:21-33 describes an ideal marriage. But the passage is often misinterpreted to mean that a woman must obey her husband no matter what. The 21st verse clearly says, “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” The remaining verses provide a standard to live up to: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church” (v. 25) and  “Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord” (v. 22). Both of these statements compare marriage to our individual relationships with God. We are to strive to have the same relationship with life partners—and everyone else—that we have with our Lord. And counting to ten while praying helps all of us!

 

Jesus, help us model all our relationships after our relationship with You. Amen

KEY WORDS

Key WordsLet My teaching fall like rain and My words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. Deuteronomy 32:2

 

In this day and age, most of us are familiar with the concept of “key words.” Searching Google is possible because, for almost any topic known to humans, key words have been linked on the Internet to that subject in a logical way. If you want to learn about climate change, for example, you can enter a few words you already know about that topic—such as global warming, ice melt, rising sea level and greenhouse gases—and you will find a long list of resources about the subject. Enter words like tropical paradise, warm weather destinations and winter getaway to begin planning your next cold weather vacation. As an author, I use key words to interest people in reading my weekly Christian blog. Courage, daily living, faith, grace, gratitude and humility are just a few of the words people might search to land on my blog site. Key words are a marketing tool, but they are also an easy way to help us navigate the vast information highway and find answers that used to take us many hours perusing the Encyclopedia Britannica or the card catalog at our local library.

 

One might say that every single word in the Bible is one of God’s key words. In the Deuteronomy passage I used today, I love the visual of God’s teaching falling “like rain” and His words “descending like dew, like showers on new grass” or “rain on tender plants.” I just searched through Google for Isaiah 55:11 by entering the words, “My word will not return to me.” I didn’t know the entire verse, but a Bible commentary showed this: “My word will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” In this passage, God clearly says that His word will find its mark, in many unpredictable ways and for many divine purposes. Those who study Scripture find that there is a message for everyone, in every circumstance, and not one of God’s words is wasted. The Bible is more than just a “marketing tool” for God; the Good Book has just the right “key words” for each of us.

 

Lord, we marvel at Your book of key words! Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors. Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

YOUR BRAIN ON JESUS

Fried EggDo not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

 

This Is Your Brain on Drugs was an anti-narcotics campaign launched in the United States in 1987. According to Wikipedia, the first public service announcement (PSA) shows a man in a kitchen asking if anyone out there still doesn’t understand the dangers of drug abuse. He takes an egg and says, “This is your brain,” raises a frying pan, adding, “This is drugs.” He cracks open the egg, fries the contents, and says, “This is your brain on drugs.” After a pause, he says, “Any questions?” The campaign was revived, with modifications in 1997 (“This is your brain on heroin,” showing not only the egg being fried, but the entire kitchen being destroyed by repeated blows from the frying pan.); 2016 (After the narrator says, “Any questions?” teens mount several queries, prompting the narrator to say, “They’re going to ask; be ready.”); and finally a 2018 version about the brain on cannabis (followed by a montage of skillful chopping and advanced chef techniques, prior to a reveal of a gourmet egg dish).

 

The campaign’s impact was mixed. “This is your brain on drugs” became part of the American lexicon, but parodies abounded. Homer Simpson declared, “This is your brain on donuts.” Saturday Night Live produced a “This is your brain on drugs, with a side of bacon” skit, winning the Fifty Best Commercials of All Time Award in 1997. And who could forget the Beverly Hills 90210 episode with the friends acting out the PSA in their favorite diner, with Jason Priestley delivered a serious anti-drug message of his own.

 

Why not a “This Is Your Brain On Jesus” PSA? Romans 12:2 says we should abandon our fascination with worldly things and allow Christ to transform our minds. Then we would understand the Lord’s “good, perfect and pleasing will.” Instead of the image of an egg dropping into a pan, how about a brain growing and morphing into a perfectly formed, intricate flower? Or a brain becoming a beautiful sunset or mountain scene? Can you write your own PSA depicting your brain as Jesus would transform it?

 

Lord, transform our brains…and the rest of us too! Amen

 

Alone on a Colorado mountain, Meg Corrigan faced the unthinkable, a situation that almost ended her life. Hear the details of her astounding rescue from the hands of a gun-wielding attacker and how she walked off that mountain. Hers is a story of tragedy turned holy, a journey of sorrow and healing, a powerful message of hope in the darkest hour. In her memoir, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, Meg credits her resilience to the grace of God. She is also the author of Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, tales based on her years as a drummer in a Hawaiian show band; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. The sequel, Saints With Slingshots TWO, will be released by the end of 2020. Meg is a retired college counselor, author, speaker, trainer and sexual assault survivor. She speaks to churches, civic groups, college students, mental health professionals and law enforcement personnel, as well as youth in juvenile facilities. Corrigan lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota with her husband, Patrick and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. She loves to coax seemingly dead plants out of the soil in her yard. The couple have four daughters, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Contact her at MegCorrigan@comcast.net or www.MegCorrigan.com .

THE POWER OF FOOD

Dessert BuffetNow the serpent…said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

 

According to the most recent reports from Market Data Research, the number of active dieters is estimated to have fallen 10% since 2015, to 97 million, due to a “growing size acceptance movement” and “dieter fatigue.” About 80% try to lose weight by themselves, but many fail. This fits in perfectly with where I am: the harder I try, the harder it is to keep the weight off. I am definitely in the “dieter fatigue” category. Just the thought of dieting wears me out!

 

Then I read a book called Naturally Thin: Lasting Weight Loss Without Dieting by Jean Antonello. The author says that restrictive calorie dieting causes out bodies to go into starvation mode, protecting to every calorie we eat. No wonder people hit a “plateau” when they try to diet! And the minute we end a restrictive calorie diet, the body wants to put back on the weight to stop starving our bodies! Antonello’s book confirmed one thing for me: if I just eat sensibly and don’t obsess about food, I am in a much better frame of mind than if I try to lose weight because I might look/feel/function better. I have not counted a single calorie since I read her book, and guess what? I have not gained any weight! Would I like to lose some weight and look like I did when I was twenty? Sure. But I’m not twenty anymore and maybe I’m okay the way I am. I know there are life-saving reasons to keep our girths smaller than the circumference of a small planet, but starving ourselves and paying some program to help us do that is something I think needs some serious scrutiny.

 

The serpent was already busy in the Garden of Eden making people feel guilty about food. And thousands of years later, diet programs pull in an astounding $72 billion dollars a year in the United States (AP News). The Apostle Paul admonishes, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

 

Lord, help us stay healthy in sensible ways. Amen

Meg Blaine Corrigan finds ideas for her devotional blogs in everyday places and events, from comic strips to magazines and books, comments on the fly from people she meets, ancient memories of her childhood, and nigglings from God. Meg has written a Christian devotional blog for several years that has been read in over 40 countries by 9000 people. A compilation of blogs, Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, was published in 2015. Meg is working on a second book (Saints TWO) which she has hopes of completing by Christmas, 2020. Her first book, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, is a memoir about her childhood with an alcoholic mother and a co-dependent father. The book also chronicles Meg’s astounding rescue from the hands of a gun-wielding rapist, a tragedy turned holy, a powerful message of hope in her darkest hour. Meg is a retired college counselor and former social worker. Meg enjoys spending time with her husband, their four daughters and spouses, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, as well as their rescue dog, Bassett/Beagle mix Ginger. Meg and her husband Patrick play and sing in the contemporary worship band at their church, Christ Lutheran in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. She also volunteers with sexual violence/sex trafficking prevention and education. She speaks to groups whenever she if offered the opportunity. She is a voracious reader of other people’s writing, which gives her lots of ideas for more devotional blogs. Read more about her at www.MegCorrigan.com or contact her at MegCorrigan@comcast.net .

 

FIRST CHURCH OF THE SINS OF THE FATHERS

Dysfunctional FamilyI, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments. Exodus 20:5-6

 

I know a wise and compassionate young man whom I will can Ben, who was raised in a household of horrors. His father drank non-stop and was cruel to his wife and children. The mother tried to raise her children the best way she knew how but failed because of her own fears, anxieties, and poor behavior. Ben remembered his grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins all seemingly caught up in a sick family dynamic that never improved, leading Ben to eventually become addicted to alcohol and drugs himself. Thankfully, Ben saw the light as a young man, went through drug and alcohol treatment, and began attending Alcoholics Anonymous on a regular basis. He said it was as if his family had forced him to “wear a dirty suit,” and he no longer wanted to do that. It was necessary for him to separate completely from his family of origin in order to survive.

 

Ben’s situation reminds of the passages in the Bible which say in several ways, “the sins of the fathers are visited on the children to the third and fourth generation.” Ben’s family certainly seems to fit this description. But neither Ben nor I believe children are destined to turn out like their wayward parents. Ben and I broke the pattern. We both decided, for a variety of reasons, not to live as our parents had lived. Ben’s situation was far worse than mine, and I admire this young man greatly for the courage it took for him to change his life.

 

But does God really mean he will “punish the children for the sin of the parent?” In today’s Scripture, Exodus 20:5-6, the next few words are critical: “of those who hate Me.” Ben and I were able to seek our “Higher Power,” and we admitted we were powerless without Him. We chose to love and trust God and we are now reaping His “love to a thousand generations.”

 

Lord, I’m so glad to know You and to know Ben and others who have chosen You instead of death and destruction! Amen

 

Both candid and humorous, insightful and ponderous, Meg Blaine Corrigan’s memoir, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, takes the reader through her chaotic childhood with an alcoholic mother and enabling father to a violent assault that nearly ended her life. She populates her tale with vivid descriptions of her parents, other influential adults, the attacker, and her disastrous first marriage. But this story has a happy ending, when Meg finds solace in a God she didn’t think she’d ever believe in, when He gently helps her heal from her past lives and move into the best times of her life. Meg has also written a novel, Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, about said first marriage, as well as a Christian devotional, Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, comprised of blogs from this site. Stay tuned for sequels to her last two books! All of her works may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .