Tuesday, January 26, 2010


"God's gifts and his call are irrevocable."  Romans 11:29

    Continuing on with "Leaning Into God When Life Is Pushing You Away" by Robert A. Schuller we come to the chapter on regrets.  In his writings Robert suggests that "regrets and remorse are a part of the fabric of everyone's life".  He goes on to point out that there are two kinds of regret:  debilitating regret and incorporated regret.    The first kind of regret anchors you to your past;  it haunts you and holds you back from becoming all that you were made by God to be.  It causes you to hold on to the ideas and the images of "what could have been."    I recently experienced this kind of regret and I thank God that through his mercy,  the power of prayer,  a faithful and strong husband, great kids, and the support of many friends worldwide, I did not dwell in it for long.  For months after we left the Crystal Cathedral I actually had dreams (nightmares) where I would analyze and try to figure out the "what-ifs".   Those thoughts could have become obsessions and the obsessions could have paralyzed me and held me back from my life's purpose which is to "connect people one to another for common, worthwhile, God-centered goals."   Instead of being debilitated by my painful regrets I made a conscience decision to incorporate my regrets and to use them to grow closer to God and to the many people who still loved and supported me.   My twenty-four years of experience as a pastor's wife has allowed me to connect with people on a global scale and has further assisted in my appreciation of people's diversity yet similarities in their struggles and triumphs.  Some days I had to pray and dig deep to believe these things.  I reached out through this blog that I started in March 2009 and this too has been a major source of eliminating debilitating regret.   I cannot speak for my husband Robert but during the later part of 2008 and most of 2009 I witnessed months of emotionally and spiritually challenging times for him.  Throughout he kept true to his calling and he relied on the mercy of God to see him through.   Today you can read where his new show, "Everyday Life" has been nominated for the "Epiphany Award" by MovieGuide (movieguide.com)  I am certain that his faithfulness and his patience through prayer saw him through.
God doesn't hold on to regrets and he doesn't want you to hold on to them either.  Instead he covers them with his mercy which is never-ending.   If you have debilitating regret today you can translate your  past into incorporated regret.   One spiritual exercise that has worked well for me and for the groups which I have led is this:  Find an undisturbed place where you can find about fifteen to thirty minutes of solitude.   Sit with your eyes closed, your legs uncrossed, your arms relaxed at your side.   Concentrate on your breathing and as you inhale imagine inhaling the peace and mercy of God in Jesus.  As you exhale imagine all of the regret in your life disappearing.  Continue to inhale and exhale as you purge your mind, body and spirit of all the past regrets that might have a stronghold over you.  You should do this as often as you can and you will see how easy it is to accept the grace and mercy of a loving God.
  Remember God does not change his mind about you and His purpose will be fulfilled.  Leave your regrets at the foot of the cross.     God is blessing you always, Donna

Schuller's TV show nominated for $100,000 award | schuller, television, life - News - The Orange County Register

Schuller's TV show nominated for $100,000 award | schuller, television, life - News - The Orange County Register

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Our Newest Family Member!

Hi All!  I did a video yesterday which continues our discussion on "Leaning Into God When Life Is Pushing You Away."  Bobby will put it up soon, I'm sure.  In the meantime I thought you'd like to see a photo that was taken on Christmas Eve.   I am joyfully holding Haven Claire Schuller, born December 14 and my youngest, Anthony, is "holding" our dog Royce.  
Just yesterday we got to spend several hours with Haven while her mommy and daddy went out on a date.  It was a lot of fun!   God is blessing you, Donna

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Redemption and a New Start

Happy New Year! It's 2010...can you believe it? It seems like we just ushered in the new millineum and yet when I look back over the past ten years I see how many things have radically changed for me and my family and I know it took years to arrive where I am today. I bet you can say the same. Interesting thing about the New Year is it represents the traditional time when many people re-evaluate their lives and themselves and make resolutions to become better persons with more productive habits. I know for my husband and my kids we always put together our individual lists entitled "goals for the new year". Somehow setting goals makes more sense to me than getting rid of old habits or trading them for new ones. The good news is this: it doesn't matter how you approach it, goals or resolutions, we all have a chance to start over. And not just on January 1st! Christ came so that we could have a new start minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, or year by year. In Philippians 3:12-14 St.Paul shares with us how he regarded his past and faced his future: "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Are you holding on to something from your past that is keeping you from a brilliant, productive future? Maybe it is time to clean out the cobwebs of your soul and start fresh.
Before the Christmas holidays we were discussing my husband's new book, "Leaning Into God When Life Is Pushing You Away." We talked about guilt and how it can keep you from a close relationship with God and others. Today I will address the issue of shame. The psychologist Norman Wright wrote that the difference between guilt and shame is that guilt says "I made a mistake" while shame says "I am a mistake." I have also heard it said "I did something bad" vs. "I am bad." Shame can cut us to the very core and it can draw a deep line which separates us from our loving God who wants to have a relationship with us. It can make us feel like we are unworthy of such a relationship and so we continue to hide or run away from God instead of leaning into Him.
The first people to ever deal with shame were Adam and Eve. I'm sure you know the story. They disobeyed God by eating from the tree of good and evil and then they felt deep shame. It was so bad that even they hid from God but of course no one can hide from God for long. He knows everything. God opened their eyes to the fact that they were without clothes but He also provided a way out for them by providing them with clothes. He always provides a way to escape from our shame. In the new testament Peter denied Christ and yet when Jesus first saw Peter again following the betrayal how did Jesus respond to him? He told him to " take care of my lambs, take care of my sheep, feed my sheep." John 21:15-17 He was telling Peter not to waste his time on the guilt or shame of his past mistakes but instead he told him what to do so that he could face his future with a purpose for living.
I believe a major way to get rid of the shame in your life is to make sure you are fulfilling your God-given purpose. (I also must say, depending on the your circumstances you may even need to seek psychological counseling) Once you know your purpose you will be so busy fulfilling it at work, with your family, with your friends, and in all aspects of your life that you won't have time to entertain the negative thoughts of your past failures and mistakes. If you aren't sure what your purpose is I want to encourage you to take the steps necessary so you can find out. From there you can write your own personal mission statement. My life's mission and purpose is this: "Connecting people one to another for common, Christ-centered, worthwhile goals." Since I know what my purpose is I can rest assured that no matter how my outside life circumstances might change as long as I follow my calling, I can find purpose. A book that helped me write my mission statement was "The Path" by Laurie Beth Jones. I did this a few years ago and I am sure by now there are plenty of other good resources. Although it might take you some time to get your mission statement down to something meaningful yet concise. Believe me , it will be worth the effort.
Discover the purpose for your life and you will grown even closer to God knowing that He is your partner through all things. Also, remember that God keeps no record of wrongs so each minute you can start fresh. Wishing you great things in 2010 or "Begin again in 2010."
God is blessing you always in all things, Donna