Posts that find “grace at the end of disgrace”.


by Larry Hehn on May 23, 2013

renovationRENOVA’TION, n.  [L. renovatio.]

1.  The act of renewing; a making new after decay, destruction or depravation; renewal; as the renovation of the heart by grace.

2.  A state of being renewed.

Over the last few days, we’ve been renovating our 40-year-old bathroom. Gone are the old bathtub, toilet, sink, vanity, flooring, light fixture, and even the drywall. Rather than put lipstick on the proverbial pig, we gutted the room and started from scratch.

It hasn’t been easy or comfortable. Frankly, it’s been quite costly and inconvenient. But the end results will be well worth the sacrifice.

Whether it’s a room in your house or a facet of your personal life, here are some things you can expect from a renovation:

  1. It will cost more than you thought. Even though we carefully researched materials and assembled a budget for the project, some expenses popped up that we hadn’t anticipated. Expect personal renovation to cost more than you planned.
  2. It will take more time than you hoped. The further we got into the project, the more items we found that needed attention – some plumbing fixes, electrical work, walls and ceilings that needed to be straightened out, etc. Some things just take time, and can’t be crammed into a shorter period. Be patient and give them the time and attention they deserve.
  3. Things will get “worse” before they get better. Through the demolition and construction, our house has been a cluttered, noisy, dusty mess. Plus we’ve been without a bathtub or shower. In the middle of the renovation, it’s easy to look around and complain that things were better before the whole process started. But again, be patient and persist. The end results will be worth it.
  4. At times it will appear like no progress is being made. When the mud, paint, adhesives and grout are drying, it’s as tedious as…well…watching paint dry. As much as you’d like to rush on to the next step, you must take the time for things to settle and cure. Otherwise you risk undoing some of the work that’s already been done.
  5. It will reveal other areas that need work. Even before our bathroom renovation is done, the rest of our house is looking shabby in comparison. When one facet of your life gets cleaned up, other areas begin to show their rough edges.
  6. Cosmetic changes won’t cut it. Slapping a fresh coat of paint on something that’s falling apart is a waste of time and effort. If you do your best to look good and smell good without fixing the problem, it will come back to bite you. As Canadian contracting guru Mike Holmes says, you need to “Make it right”.
  7. It’s a continuous process. Once the bathroom is done, the next step will be replacing the main floor ceiling that was damaged by a leak. Then carpeting through the entire upstairs. Then replacing all the bedroom doors. Then remodeling the kitchen. There will always be work to do, whether it’s your home or personal life. There’s always room for renovation.

What’s on your renovation list?

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. – Ephesians 4:21-24


Asking for Help

by Larry Hehn on May 12, 2013

Dear Dad

It’s my pleasure to welcome my friend, author Sundi Jo Graham, to Christian in the Rough. If you haven’t read her latest book Dear Dad, did you know I was a Princess? you owe it to yourself to follow the link at the end of this post and check it out!

Take it away, Sundi Jo…

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up” – James 5:14-15

From Dear Dad…

I wanted this to all be over. I sat at my desk twirling a pencil around, trying to figure out how to make sense of everything. No one else was in the office yet. I was extremely grateful. I was going to talk to my friend Jammie.

Maybe she would help me make sense of everything. Then I saw her e-mail:

“I was reading this morning and came across these scriptures and wanted to share it with you:

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up” – James 5:14-15

“I love you and hope that you can meditate on these, and maybe they will help you want to seek help from our church family.”

Seek help from our church family? I had no idea what she was talking about. They had dragged her into all of this, too.


Allow me to introduce you to the word denial. The definition? The action of declaring something to be untrue: “she shook her head in denial”.

Have you ever convinced yourself the truth really isn’t the truth? Ya, me too. I had myself convinced that I was ok. Friends were trying to reach out to me, but I wasn’t ready to face the truth.

Instead of asking for help, I dug myself into a deeper hole, convincing myself that everything was just fine and dandy. Malarkey!

I don’t believe the above verse just applies to the physically sick. We don’t have to be diagnosed with cancer to seek out prayers from our church family. I was emotionally sick and I can’t imagine the power prayer would have brought to the situation had I allowed myself to be vulnerable with those whom loved me.

The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up. Vs. 15

The prayer of faith applies to our minds, as well as our bodies. Don’t let pride, fear, or denial keep you from seeking prayer. It’s the key to healing.

What’s getting in the way of your healing?

Sundi Jo is an author and speaker. Her first book Dear Dad, a memoir of gritty redemption, offering hope to the broken, is available now. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.


God, my children are driving me crazy!

by Larry Hehn on May 6, 2013

frustratedSilently I screamed my prayer. “God, my children are driving me crazy!”

“They have this attitude of entitlement. Whenever they approach me with a need or want, they expect me to drop everything and give it to them NOW.”

“Sometimes it isn’t even a request; it’s a demand. Heck, sometimes they expect me to meet their petitions without even bringing them to my attention.”

“They’re ungrateful for just about everything I do for them. It’s like they expect me to hand them the world on a plate. And when I don’t, they whine and moan that it isn’t enough.”

“When I ask something of them, no matter how simple, they roll their eyes and grumble about how ‘unfair’ things are. They don’t want to lift a finger in return.”

“When I let them experience hardships, in hopes that they will learn and grow, they complain that I’ve abandoned them, that I just don’t care.”

“They ignore my instruction. It’s as if they think the rules I lay out for them are only to inconvenience and torture them. They don’t seem to realize I’m pointing these things out because I care about their well-being and want what’s best for them.”

“Seems like no matter what I do, it’s wrong in their eyes. I’m their advocate, but they view me as their enemy. They don’t want anything to do with me. I wish they could understand how much I love them.”

“God, my children are driving me crazy!”

God whispered in reply, “I know. I have children too.”

“About 7 billion of them.”

“One of them is you.”