Tuesday, October 25, 2016

There Is Hope For Everyone. Jesus Gave His Life For All.

You might feel that you are beyond hope.

Maybe you feel that you have done too many wrongs in your life, and that you might as well give up on thinking that God could ever love you.

But guess what? He does love you.

He cares for you.

He wants you to seek him and ask for forgiveness. And he is always willing to forgive.

There is hope for everyone in every situation and circumstance because God loves everyone.

God wants what is best for us. He wants us all to find him and to accept his gift of life, of salvation.

Jesus died on the cross for sinners. Any sinner who comes to him asking for forgiveness will get it thanks to his grace.

So never believe the lie that there is no hope for you.

Never think that it is too late.

If you want to accept God's gift today, then do it. Allow him to take away your sins and make you new.

It is not too late for you. He loves you and wants you, no matter how many mistakes you have made.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Standing Up to Help - Ready to Change the World - Part Eight

She drew in a deep breath and looked out at the crowd before her. She felt her knees shake as she realized just where she was and just what she was about to do. These were her classmates, students who had been by her side as she worked through homework problems and took exams. These people were a part of her life each day. How could she stand up in front of them and share her heart?

How could she not? These were the exact people who needed to hear the message that she had to share. It was teens like the ones in front of her that she wanted to talk to, that she wanted to help.
After her own school, there would be other schools that she would speak in front of, other groups of students who would hear her message.

She watched as a girl in the front row of the audience fidgeted on her seat, the girl next to her obviously playing a game on her phone. These teens didn’t want to sit through a lecture. They didn’t want to hear another speech. These kids would rather be anywhere but in the seats that they were in.
She sighed. Somehow she was going to have to make her message something that others would listen to and that they would think about. She needed to find a way to touch the hearts of those who were listening to her today.

She turned her gaze to the woman sitting at the side of the crowd. That woman stood with her completely and understood all that she was about to share. That woman knew the pain that suicide could bring. She had lost her son.

Turning her gaze away from her boyfriend’s mom, she took in another deep breath. She said a quick and silent prayer. It was time to get started.

She cleared her throat then looked out at the crowd, meeting the gaze of one student, then the next. “Suicide is not the answer, and it will never be the answer. Suicide does more damage than those who choose it will ever know. The pain that is left behind after a suicide is pain that does not go away. It might fade, but it does not disappear.”


By Emily Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Check out part one here!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Trusting God Even When We Feel Like We Know More than He Does

"...Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10

Awhile back, I wrote about the need to trust God with our lives and the peace that comes about when we trust him. I was thinking on this some more, though, and I know that this is something that is hard for most of us. Because, even when we think that we're trusting God, a lot of the time we are still doubting him in our heads.

"I trust you to take over my life, God." Wait, wouldn't things be better if you helped me be more successful? I could touch more lives if you helped me get famous.

"I trust you to make everything work out in the best way, God." Don't you want her to be doing something different with her life? Don't you think that things would work out better for you if you changed that person?

We can say that we trust God, but there are times when we feel like we know more than him and we can figure things out in a way that will better help him. We ask God to lead our lives, but we don't always actually let him do that. We need to be all in when we are trusting God, and we need to trust him even when things don't make sense to us.

God knows more than we know. He can look at the big picture and make things work out in the way that is truly best. Trusting in him is important, even when we are not sure why he is working in the way that he is.

By Emily Acker, author of No Longer Broken

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pain that Lasts - A Girl Trying to Move On - Part Seven

How could he do this to me? How could he leave me? We were in love. She lay in her bed, staring up at the ceiling. She felt like someone had reached inside her and taken hold of her heart. It felt like someone was squeezing that heart. Pinching it. Twisting it. They wouldn’t let go.

She rolled onto her side. She had never felt the kind of betrayal that she felt now. He had left her and she would never be the same.

What did I do wrong? Did I fail him in some way? She felt tears fall down her face and she ignored them. They had been falling off and on since she got the news. I must have done something wrong, otherwise he wouldn’t have chosen to leave.

A quiet knock came at her bedroom door, and she sat up on her bed as her dad moved into the room. He had concern written on his face as he approached her. “Sweetie…” He reached out and wiped her tears with his thumb.

“How could he leave me?” She whispered, falling into his arms as he knelt beside the bed. “How could he just go away? How could he be so selfish?”

“I don’t know, sweetie. I don’t know.” Her dad held her close, his hand running up and down her back. “If I could take your pain…”

She swallowed hard. Her dad didn’t know how close she had been with her boyfriend. If he knew, he wouldn’t be acting as comforting as he was now. She had done things with her boyfriend that he never would have approved of, and now her boyfriend was gone.

“I don’t know what made him make the decision that he did, sweetie,” her dad said softly. “But I do know that he messed up. He had a beautiful girl like you loving him, and he chose to leave that behind.”

“He chose to die,” she whispered. “Why would he choose to die? Did he know that it would hurt me like it does? Did he know, and he still did it?”

“Sweetie, I don’t think he was thinking about you when he made his decision,” her dad said. “He needed help, and he didn’t get that.”

“I wish that he would have told someone, that he would have gotten the help that could have saved him.” She closed her eyes, her body resting against her dad’s. She wanted to turn back time. She wanted to help her boyfriend. She would give anything to be there for him, to stop him from giving up on life.

She drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly. She had to believe that her boyfriend hadn’t known the kind of pain that he would cause in dying. She had to believe that if she was going to go on. He had loved her. He wouldn’t cause this amount of pain knowlingly. He cared about her too much to do that.

By Emily Acker, author of No Longer Broken

Scroll through the blog to find the earlier parts of the story, or find Part One of the story here and work your way through it from the beginning.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Faith Is Being Sure Of What We Do Not See. It's Trusting In Someone Greater Than Us. And Faith Is Difficult.

Faith is so hard. It's believing what we can't see. It's trusting in Someone greater than us.

Faith is difficult because it means letting go.

It means allowing God to take over. It means no more stressing. No more planning and thinking about the what-ifs in life.

Faith means that we believe in something bigger than ourselves, and while faith can be comforting, the thought of it can be confusing and hard.

There are times when we will want to make it on our own.

There are times when we will lose sight of our faith and we will start doubting.

And those times will be challenging.

Because no matter how much we feel that we can make it on our own, that we can plan out the future and make everything work out for ourselves, the truth is that we can't.

We need God's help.

We need the love, the care, that He offers.

We need to believe in Him and have faith that everything will work out for the best. When we do that, everything will be alright.

Believing without seeing is not easy. Letting go of our future, of our lives and our aspirations, is not easy.

But with God, with true faith in Him, our lives will be better than ever before.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Girl Loses Her Love - A Life Shattered by Loss - Part Six

She looked over at her mom, who stood in her bedroom doorway. The expression on the woman’s face wasn’t good. It looked as if her mom might have been crying. Her gaze was haunted.

She watched her mom move into her bedroom, longing to send her away so that she wouldn’t have to hear any horrible news. She didn’t want to find out that something had happened to her dad or to her brother. She didn’t want to deal with a loss of any kind.

“Honey…” Her mom lowered herself onto the bed beside her. “Honey, there’s something that I have to tell you.”

“No.” She shook her head. “I don’t want to hear it.”

Her mom wrapped her arms around her. “I received a call…”

“No, Mom.”

“Honey, he’s… he’s gone.”

She knew right away just who her mom was talking about. She felt like she had been punched in the gut as she tried to process what her mom had said. Gone? What does that mean?

“I’m so sorry, honey. I know that you loved him…”

She wiped at her eyes, at the sudden tears making their way down her face. “No. He’s not gone. No.”

“I’m sorry.”

She leaned into her mom. “I just saw him. We were together earlier today.” She closed her eyes. She couldn’t tell her mom all that they had been doing earlier that day, but she could remember it. He couldn’t be gone. She couldn’t lose him.

“His mom’s distraught,” her mom whispered. “He was her only child. Not that it would be easy, anyway… suicide never is, but still…”

She pulled away from her mom and pushed to her feet. “Suicide?! What?!”

Her mom swallowed hard. “He… he took a bunch of pills. And drank… there were alcohol bottles with him…”

“No!” She shook her head vigorously, trying to erase what she had just heard. There was no way he would kill himself. There was no way he would cause his own death. He loved her. He wouldn’t do that to her.

“I’m sorry, honey. I really wish that you didn’t have to deal with this…”

She ignored her mom’s words and made her way over to her bedroom window. She stared off into the dark night. He wasn’t gone. He wouldn’t kill himself. He would never do that to her.

By Emily Acker

Part One can be found here!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

This Is Only Our Temporary Home.

So many times in life we forget the big picture and instead focus on the moment. We ignore the fact that earth is only home to us for a short time, and we instead live like it is all that we've got.

We long to buy a bigger home, a better car, and expensive clothes. We want our careers to be good, and we want to feel successful. But does success really matter?

Sure, we should be doing everything to the best of our ability. And yes, success can be a good thing. But is that all that we should be living for?


Success on earth is only temporary.

The things that we buy are only temporary. Fame, money, happiness, it is all temporary.

The things that really matter in life are faith. Love.

God wants us to set our minds on things above. He doesn't want us focused on earthly things.

Over and over again in the Bible it tells us that this is not our home. Earth is not where we belong.

As the Carrie Underwood song says, this is our temporary home.


And we should live like it.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

A Boy Without Hope - A Life-Ending Decision - Part Five

He thought of his girl as he walked down the street, but thoughts of her only brought him more pain. She was perfect and everything that he could ever want, but she wasn’t enough. The girl that he loved was not enough for him.

The time that he had been spending with his girl had brought the two of them closer than he had ever been with any girl. He had done things with her that he had never done before. Still, she wasn’t enough. Nothing was enough.

He kicked at a stone on the sidewalk and sent it shooting off in front of him. There were some people who seemed to have life figured out and who were happy no matter what. He had never been one of those people.

He frowned. It was crazy that it had come to this. Despite all that had come about for him recently, a beautiful girl falling into his lap, someone actually choosing to be his partner in a project - even if that choice had been forced on the guy - it wasn’t enough. Nothing was ever enough.

In his hand, he held a bag. He clutched the paper handle as tight as he could. That bag held all that he needed now. That bag would take him away from here, away from a life that was never good enough.

Everything is about to change. It’s all going to end. He stepped into the cemetery, the place he had chosen as his spot to do the deed. He walked through the gravestones, wondering at the lives that had been lived by these individuals. What had caused them to die, and had they longed to live a little longer? If he could give them his life, he would. If they simply wanted to live a little longer and he could help them with that, he would.

Pulling a bottle from the bag he had carried with him, he sank down onto the ground. He had a mix of supplies in the bag, not sure what it would all take to do the job.

He twisted the cap on the bottle, ready to escape the emptiness, the pain. He was done with it all. He didn’t want to face anything anymore.

His eyes stung as he thought about his mom, his girl, his school. Everyone would be better off without him. They wouldn’t miss him. It wasn’t like he was breaking any hearts. No one needed him.

“They won’t even know I’m gone,” he whispered into the night. “No one will care.”

By Emily Acker

Check out part one here: http://ackerandacker.blogspot.com/2016/09/alone-in-crowd-boy-living-in-pain-part.html