Month: January 2016

Recovering from Failure

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Karen Ball & Erin Taylor Young

12 – Recovering from Failure

The New Year is a time for reflection and review, but too often we find ourselves falling into a trap of feeling like a failure. How can we set new goals when we haven’t achieved our old ones? In this episode, we give you simple steps to avoid the snare of failure and move forward with confidence.

Show Notes

How often do we look on New Year’s Day as a time to set goals? To determine what we will and won’t do this time around? And how often do we find ourselves taking stock…looking back at the year that just ended, at the goals we made a year ago, and focusing on…

Our failures.

At some point in our lives we’re all going to fail at something, so we need to understand how to handle that with grace and move forward.

Too many of us allow failure, especially if there’s repeated failure, to chip away at our spirit and undermine what God really wants to accomplish in us. We focus on the failure and end up entrenched in garbage.

Steps to moving forward:

Realize God is rooting for us.

He’s thrown away the garbage and He doesn’t want us to keep digging it out.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12

Ask ourselves:

  1. What should I learn from this?
  2. What changes should I make as a result?

Get the right perspective to move forward.

  1. Living in our failures can be comfortable.

It’s easier to maintain the picture we already have of ourselves then to re-create our image. We need to realize that it will take effort to move passed a failure that may be defining us and be willing to do that work.

2. Sometimes we believe God forgives us, but we can’t forgive ourselves.

Who are we to not forgive where God has granted grace and forgiveness already? When we do that, we’re saying our verdict counts more than God’s, and we’re perverting God’s justice.

“Always think carefully before pronouncing judgment…..Fear the LORD and judge with integrity, for the LORD our God does not tolerate perverted justice.” 2 Chronicles 19:6-7

3. Sometimes we have lingering consequences from our failures, and that makes it hard for us to forget them and move past them.

All we can do is deal with these consequences with a sense of grace and peace. God’s grace is there to sustain us through them. His power is made perfect in our weaknesses.

Moses is a great example of coping with lingering consequences. After all his faithfulness and all the things that he put up with in dealing with the Israelites and leading them out of Egypt and through the wilderness, he had one failure when he did not honor God as holy and follow His directions accurately. Because of that, Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. If anyone had a right to be upset by consequences, it was Moses. And yet his life wasn’t defined by that. Instead, Moses is listed in Hebrews as one of the great examples of faith. Moses moved forward from the failure. His life wasn’t consumed by the consequences.

“…But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Final Thoughts:

In this new year, as you look back at the year that’s just ended, it’s okay to consider what you wanted to accomplish, what you did accomplish, even what you didn’t accomplish. But as you do so, fix your focus not on the garbage on the counter. Instead, look with God’s eyes. Look at what the successes and failures have taught you. What they’ve developed inside of you. If the overall message is one of discouragement, surrender that to God. Let Him throw the garbage away. And remember instead that He is for you! And He will use all of what’s happened—the good, the bad, even the ugly—to transform you into a truer reflection of His Son. Learn from the failures, but don’t be defined by them. Instead, be defined by what God says about you:

Jeremiah 31 (Karen’s paraphrase)

“You will find blessings even in the barren land,

for I will give rest to you…I have loved you with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.

I will rebuild you…

You will again be happy…

Tears of joy will stream down your faces,

and I will lead you home with great care.

You will walk beside quiet streams

and on smooth paths where you will not stumble.

For I am your father…

You will be radiant because of the LORD’s good gifts…your life will be like a watered garden,

and all your sorrows will be gone.

I will turn your mourning into joy.

I will comfort you and exchange your sorrow for rejoicing…will feast on my good gifts. I, the LORD, have spoken!”


We’d love to hear from you!

Have you been able to move forward after a failure?
What helped you?


Don’t let your failures define you! (Click to tweet this)
Failures: Make them work FOR you! (Click to tweet this)
You are more than your failures! (Click to tweet this)

Emotional Battlegrounds

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Karen Ball & Erin Taylor Young 11

11 – Emotional Battlegrounds

Emotions are an amazing gift from God, but they can also take us on a wild ride when we least expect—or want—it. Come listen in while we identify three key emotional battlegrounds—and the practical ways you can not just endure but win the fight.

Show Notes

At no other time of the year do we experience such highs and lows. So how do we avoid those holiday blues? How do we maintain an even keel in the face of emotional ups and downs? In this episode, we’ll learn how to build a foundation of truth to rest on when we’re weary and down and prone to believe the enemy’s lies.

Three battlegrounds that Especially come to life during this time of year:

1. A sense of disappointment in who and what you are.

This battleground is brutal. And it’s often so deep-seated we don’t even realize that’s what we’re struggling with. We think it’s all these external things going on, when in reality it has to do with what’s going on inside of us.

Our tools to overcome this:

  • God knows us deeply and intimately.

Psalm 139:1-5; 13-16  “O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in behind and before, You have laid Your hand upon me…For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”

  • God loves us.

Ephesians 3:18-19  “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

  • We have value.

Romans 5:6  “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.”

2. A sense that nothing has changed or improved with your writing.

Our tools to overcome this:

  • Nothing that is happening to you is a surprise to God. He is sovereign, and He’s got you where He wants you.

Psalm 139:16 “…all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”

  • Patience keeps our focus on God, rather than everything else. We rest in God. We trust in God. We focus on the task at hand.

Habakkuk 2:3 TLB “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!”

3) A sense of not being able to deal with another year of the struggle.

Our tools to overcome this:

  • God knows our needs on this battleground and supplies us with the strength we need. We don’t rely on our own strength, but on His.

Ephesians 6:10  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”

  • We need God’s strength to trust and persevere. The enemy knows that by wearing us down he can take us out of the fight. But God knows that persevering builds us up.

James 1:3-4  “Your faith will be tested. You know that when this happens it will produce in you the strength to continue. And you must allow this strength to finish its work. Then you will be all you should be. You will have everything you need.”

Galatians 6:9  “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

We’d love to hear from you!

Are you in the trenches? What tactics are working for you?

Got a topic you’d like us to cover? Let us know!


How do writers survive, and even triumph, through emotional ups and downs? (Click to tweet)

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