Refined Family Articles

The Heartbreak of a Prodigal

by Kerry Tittle and Butch Walker
There is just something gut wrenching about seeing a weeping parent begging for salvation on behalf of a child. Whether the child is young or an adult the experience is equally as painful. Sometimes the very words, “I will pray for you” can hurt worse when it seems your own prayers have been ineffective.

Problems, Prayer, Paradise and a Platypus

by Kerry Tittle
I keep thinking that at some point in my life I am going to quit being surprised at the things God does. He is insanely unpredictable!
I look through the Bible at the odd things He uses in the lives of people. A donkey, pots, trumpets, frogs, locusts………but for me… a platypus? So what does my life have to do with a platypus?


by Kerry Tittle
As I am desperately trying to crawl to the edge of this chasm that separates me from God, Romans 8:38 echoes in the corners of my mind. But when you are in the pervasive throes of grief there is an overwhelming sense of abandonment.

Rescued from the Brink

by Christa Sue VerHoeven
Where it started, I don’t know. Maybe it was a result of a bad childhood, or the bullies of my early adolescence, or maybe I invited it in during the rebellion of my teenage years. All I really know is that it’s there. It’s been there for a long time, and it has pulled me down, deeper than I ever thought I could go. This “it” I’m talking about, is hopelessness.

The Good Portion and Single Parenting

by Kerry Tittle
Recently, I have struggled being a single mom. I have a whole new respect for single parents who have to juggle the load of being two people. Its tough!

Go Away Mara

by Kerry Tittle
This week will close on the fourth anniversary of the day that shattered my life. There is always a dread that escorts me to this day. Obviously, the disturbing memories are difficult, but I deal with those daily. There is another dread: the dawning of a “New Year” that puts yet another dark year behind me without a clue of what lies ahead.
But I believe the hardest part of this journey is the fight for Truth.

No Walk in the Park

by Kerry Tittle
I’ve noticed that the word walk comes up often in the language of “Christianese”. We refer to our “walk” with the Lord or maybe simply our “walk”. When people hear this, it somehow gives the impression of a delightful stroll with our Savior – serene and uneventful.
If we were to be honest, walking with God is rarely, if ever, a walk in the park – especially when it involves journeying through a wilderness.

My Friend Peter

by Kerry Tittle
During my journey in the valley I have developed a love hate relationship with Peter.
In my earlier days, I would mentally scoff at him, standing around that campfire, cowardly denying Christ at such a crucial time. He was such an obstinate brute, and now look at him. That was until my world was turned upside down and I began to avoid suffering with Christ in the very same manner.

Guy with a Funny Name (but a Great Story!)

by Kerry Tittle
Before my world collapsed, I was fairly certain that my faith couldn’t be shaken. After the trial, the reality of that disillusion exploded. The truth was I never had anything to offer God.
This brings me to a beautiful story.
Mephibosheth is a guy with a funny name but an amazing story.

Asking Like a Child

by Butch Walker
I’m starting a new job.
That is a momentous statement for me as it comes on the tail end of two months of searching for one, an experience which I had mercifully never had before. As is often true, the heat of unemployment revealed other significant dross in my heart.

The Merciful Fire of Trials

by Kerry Tittle
Merciful? When I was younger I was always told that mercy was being spared of what you really deserved. It seems counterintuitive that trials can be merciful.

The Day My Box Was Crushed

by Julie Hurlburt
In February of 2010, I was in a happy and contented place. I was a foster momma, and content to work towards the reunification of the children in my home. Then, one day I realized I was pregnant. It made me nervous. I vividly remember saying “God’s ways are better than my ways. His plans are better than my plans, so I will trust Him in this pregnancy”.
And then, twelve very short weeks into my pregnancy, I began to bleed.

I’m Not Leaving!

by Kerry Tittle
In the wilderness, there are two questions that are universal. “Why”? and “Where is God in all this?”
There was a turning point for me when I spent several despondent hours at the graveside of my family. The loss. My life seemingly was falling apart. I sat on the hood of my car with tears steaming down my face. In my stubbornness I looked up and said (maybe loudly) “I am not leaving here until you show up!”

Life Support

by Kerry Tittle
This morning an odd prayer escaped while I was pouring coffee.
“Lord, how much longer must I be on this spiritual life support?”
I was surprised that came from me. Was that really what was tucked away in my heart?

Control Panels

by Kerry Tittle
Science fiction shows always seem to have these insanely-overdone control panels. But recently, I have come to realize that my heart looks a lot like that Sci-Fi control panel. But when situations go wrong, I always felt I needed to jump into action. You don’t just let go and let God, right?
Maybe sometimes.

The Masterpiece

by Kerry Tittle
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Eph 2:10
Those words have become so beautiful to me. They are a secure reminder that a sovereign Father has already written my story long before I was ever born, and I can quit striving for a different story. I am His masterpiece. But it didn’t always feel that way for me.

Having both nothing and everything

by Isabella Tittle
I recall the morning of April 28th like I do no other. I remember opening my eyes only to see an unfamiliar ceiling. I tried to look around but I was unable to move my head side to side. I finally recalled why I was there. I remembered the tornado. I couldn’t believe it. I had nothing. I lost my Dad and two older sisters. I lost everything I owned.

My Unwanted Guest

by Kerry Tittle
Depression. I will never forget the day we met. You were intrusive, unwanted and refused to leave.

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