Thursday, October 13, 2011

Life Lessons from The Help

Life Lessons from The Help 
Pain Happens in a Broken World
By Poppy Smith
Have you read or seen the movie, THE HELPIf you have, you know it is a story about racism and the treatment of black maids who worked for white people in the South. People’s reactions range from outrage at the humiliation blacks have often received, to charges that it was biased and untrue.
I came out of the movie grieving. I not only felt wretched at the pain racism causes, but also at the hurt and suffering that comes when people mistreat others. Pain Happens in a Broken World. Being cruel to others, whether by actions or words, happens in every culture for many reasons: because individuals think they are superior for some reason due to their skin color, gender, position in society, wealth, or education. Whatever the reasons, they all flow from a sinful heart.
Have you been hurt?
  • Have you known what it is like to be looked down on, dismissed as unimportant, or made to feel unwanted? Have you experienced cruelty of some kind? How did it make you feel?
  • Have you wrestled with anger, wanting to get revenge, or feeling crushed and of no worth? In The Help, one of the poorly treated maids gets her revenge in a startling way. But revenge is God’s prerogative, and not ours to take (Romans 12:19).
  • Your pain might have come from someone you work with, live next to, or go to school with. Its source could be a relative or close family. Even fellow believers hurt others when operating in the flesh and not the Spirit. But no matter where your pain originated, it is something God wants to heal.
  • God Cares About You. Why should He care? Why does He call you to forgive those who have harmed you? Because He loves you and wants the appalling power of bitterness, hatred, and inner rage to stop poisoning your heart and your life.
  • God’s Path to Healing. How can you and I, followers of the Lord Jesus, indwelt by His Mighty and All-powerful Spirit, find freedom from pain? Only by forgiving the one, or many, who caused our pain.
    Three necessary principles for dealing with pain:
    • Reject blame and bitterness. It doesn’t move you forward. It chains you to the past.
    • Pray for willingness to forgive. It is a process that often requires time to work through.
    • Forgive the offender. Be willing to release that person from your desire for revenge, or even for an apology. Realize they most likely have moved on and forgotten the incident. Remembering is only hurting you. Let it go.
      Remember something else: the Lord is our Healer. He wants you to experience joy, no matter how much pain you have experienced. He wants you to THRIVE in every aspect of your life. And He has provided a way for this to happen! Will you walk in it?

      Author Bio
      Poppy Smith
      With her fun personality and passion for communicating life-changing truths, Poppy Smith inspires believers to thrive spiritually and personally. Poppy’s practical how-to messages (in print or in person) uses colorful examples from her own struggles to be more like Jesus. She encourages women (and men, at times) to grow in every kind of situation—whether joyful or painful! Poppy is British, married to an American, and has lived in many countries. She brings an international flair seasoned with humorous honesty as she illustrates Bible truths. A former Bible Study Fellowship Lecturer, Poppy’s teaching challenges women to look at their choices, attitudes and self-talk. As a result, God’s speaks, changing hearts, changing minds, and changing lives.
      The above article comes from Poppy’s recent Thrive e-newsletter.
      Receive Poppy’s Ten Tips for Saying “No” by signing up for her newsletter at:

      "Life Lessons from THE HELP" is loaded at If for some reason you have difficulty copying or downloading the article, we will be glad to email the article in .pdf or .doc format.
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      Wednesday, October 12, 2011

      Destined to Live, Despite Me by Yolanda Shanks

      What was your purpose for writing and who is the intended audience for Destined To Live, Despite Me?

      I thought my intended audience was solely attempted suicide survivors, but as the book progressed, it became clear that absolutely every person as a breaking point. Another’s breaking point just may not manifest itself the same way.  

      My purpose for writing this book then became to simply use my testimony to assist others, regardless of their story. Assisting others in choosing to deliberately live life in abundance ... I am not speaking of an abundance of things or money ... but I am speaking of abundant joy, peace, and hope found in Christ Jesus.

      You discuss having a breaking point. Will you share more about that?  

      I definitely had a breaking point. We all do. My particular one is not the important issue. The important issue is … that everyone has one. It can be any emotional event that leaves a person broken and destroyed. For someone else, their breaking point can be:  
      • a car accident
      • a divorce after 20 year and the wife has to find a job
      • a child blaming themselves for the divorce
      • financial difficulties

      That is why it is so important to understand the signs. Understanding the signs to save your family members, your neighbors, and your friends; obtaining knowledge in order to allow God to use you to help another. I have a list of warning signs on page 131 of the book.

      In your book, the stats reveals that suicide is the third leading cause of death in the age group 15 to 24. What message of encouragement would you give to our young people today?  

      Know WHO you are and WHOSE you are. If I can elaborate, I want our next generation to NOT define themselves by the standard of this world, you know – not by the cars, clothes, only the tangibles – let’s consider our whole-man: mind, body, and soul. Chose to use the standard in which God defines you. 

      If you have surrendered your life to Christ, you are His child, a co-heir with Christ.  You can stand on all of God’s promises in the Bible because you are sons and daughters of the Creator Himself. So do not walk defeated!

      Chose to live this life deliberately – know that each morning you are alive, God has purpose for you. 

      Suicide should not be an option ... it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem! If you’re hurting now, let God love you back to wholeness.

      Now if you have not surrendered your life to Christ, I encourage you to not simply dismiss the fact that you are hearing this message right now – God is calling you personally to live this life and the next to come in His presence.  Stop dismissing Him.  

      Will the struggle ever end for people who have survived? Or, is it always a constant that they could fall-back into feeling the hopelessness? 

      Struggles are a part of life. What matters most, is how we learn respond to life struggles! 

      For anyone still considering suicide, first there has to be an elimination of this mindset as a workable alternative. Assistance is available by contacting a mental health professional or by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

      For those who have survived a previous attempt and no longer struggle with thoughts of suicide but continue to live under the guilt and shame associated with their past actions; I am here to say that there is freedom in Christ Jesus! It is time for you to build a spiritual foundation for deliberate living. Pick up my book, learn how to shake off the unnecessary baggage, and gladly receive the Lover of your soul ... Jesus Christ ... who offers you hope, joy, and peace. 

      For those who have not considered suicide but are trapped in feelings of constant negativity, pick up my book as well. We are a hurting generation and people who have been hurt tend to hurt others; let’s chose to receive healing. I am a living proof that one can overcome the battle with feelings of hopelessness to the point of despair.

      How would you sum up the book?

      The book is my story, written for you. I am sharing my private life, my disappointments, my fears, my un-loveliness. Yes it started out hard for me, but the Lord poured out of me some of the things that had been holding me down.

      • I know now, that I can be alone; but I don’t have to be lonely, 
      • I sometimes feel unloved; but God loves me unconditionally. 
      • I can be financially broke; but God will provide. 
      • I can be friendless; but Jesus is longing to be my friend. 
      • My life can be broken; and He will put it back together again. 
      • I can be a sinner. Jesus died for my sins, and your sins. He already paid the price

      I will sum it up…….BUT GOD!

      Where can we find out more about you, your ministry, and your book? 
      Please visit my website at

      I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (