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Welcome to readingremy.com

Welcome to readingremy.com. If you scroll through my posts you’ll find words of faith to help you overcome whatever you might be facing.F. Remy Diederich

This blog has evolved over the past two years based on what I was working on at the time. As I launched my first book, Healing the Hurts of Your Past …a guide to overcoming the pain of shameI offered many posts taken from the book. If you are looking to learn about how faith in God can help you overcome insecurity, shame, depression, and addiction, you can search these key words.

The next set of posts are based on my second book called: STUCKhow to mend and move on from broken relationships. The posts during this season of my blog dealt with understanding anger, how it gets you stuck in the past, and how forgiveness releases you to reclaim your future.

The last phase of this blog is geared for hurting pastors but really relates to anyone suffering loss and grief. I wrote “Out of Exile”a forty day journey to make a comeback from a setback. I hope to turn this journey into my third book. Click the link to start the forty day journey. You might want to forward the link to pastor friends going through a hard time right now.

I’m currently not posting regularly but I respond to every comment on this blog or emails you send me directly. I’m happy to answer questions about your specific situation that you might be struggling with.  I hope to hear from you. – F. Remy Diederich

Are You STUCK in Anger? Audio Book

I’m happy to announce that my book, STUCKhow to overcome anger and reclaim your life, is now out in audio format.

STUCK Cover

Now available in audiobook format

SPECIAL OFFER: This audiobook is available as a free download with a special offer from Audible.com. You can check it out here, as well as listen to a free sample of the reading.

Why get a book on anger? Because everyone has anger. But few know how to deal with it.

Anger is something people like to ignore. When it happens, they think it will never return. But sure enough, it does.

Anger often has more control over us than we have over it.

It doesn’t have to be that way. You can overcome your anger. Better yet, if you understand your anger, you can use it to find your emotional weak spots and get the help you need.

Don’t give away any more of your life to anger. STUCK will help you overcome it. Learn more here. 

 

Let God Define Your Identity

Too often we let our failures define us. We let our bad experiences tell us who we are. But Isaiah reminds us that God is the one who should define our true identity: 

Too often we let our failures define us. We let our bad experiences tell us who we are. 

The nations will see your righteousness. Kings will be blinded by your glory. And the LORD will give you a new name. The LORD will hold you in his hands for all to see — a splendid crown in the hands of God. Never again will you be called the Forsaken or Desolate. Your new name will be My Delight and My Bride, for the LORD delights in you and will claim you as his own. Isaiah 62:2-4

Isaiah said that when they looked in the mirror, the name stamped on their forehead was: “Forsaken” or “Desolate.” Maybe you’ve seen those same names written on your forehead. But God says:

No, that’s not how I want you to see yourself. I’m giving you a new nickname: My Delight, My Bride. I’m going to restore your glory and so you need to look in the mirror and see what I see.

Start living out of this reality and see if things don’t change for you.

Reframing Your Losses

Regrets can devastate you. Paralyze you. To get your life back, you have to come up with a new way to think.

Regrets have to do with the poor choices you’ve made. But the same is true of offenses done against you. In both cases, the temptation is to believe that the losses you incurred are insurmountable: you are forever damaged and disqualified from the life you assumed you’d have.

The key to moving on is to see what you’ve gained instead of what you’ve lost. WHAT? Gained something? IMPOSSIBLE! 

Your loss is a “gift.” It gave you a greater understanding of life. Something you didn’t have before.

Think of it this way: if you were going to see a counselor, would you want to see someone who has experienced your loss or not? Mostly likely, someone who has experienced it. That means the counselor has something the other doesn’t: more wisdom, more insight, more depth and breadth of understanding of life.

If that’s true of them, it’s true of you too. Your loss, whether done to you or by you, caused you to gain something. It’s a “gift.” It gave you a greater understanding of life. Something you didn’t have before. If you tap into that gain, you can use it to your advantage and resume moving forward in life.

Reframing your losses will help you get your life back.

Healing the Hurts of Your Past On Audio

Healing the Hurts of Your Past

Healing the Hurts of Your Past

I’m just stopping in to give you a news flash: my book, Healing the Hurts of Your Past a guide to overcoming the pain of shame, is now available as an audiobook.

I’m very pleased with the quality. The reader is also a psychologist and I think that helps him get the nuance of how the book should be read. You can listen to a sample of it by clicking the link above and then clicking the icon below the picture of the audiobook.

Special Offer: The audiobook is free when you sign up to be a member of Audible.

One more update: I am editing my blog series, “Out of Exile” into a new book, due out this summer. If you are interested in reading through a draft copy to give me feedback, that would be great. Just post a comment or click the email icon in the margin to let me know.

The Desert Prepares You for a Comeback

I spent the last several months talking about “exile”. Once I came upon the theme of “exile” in the Bible, I started to see it everywhere. It’s like when you buy a car and you start seeing that make and model all over the road. 

No matter what your situation is today, no matter how remote, how harsh, how isolated…God can use it to make you grow and become strong. 

I just started a study of Luke’s account of Jesus. The last verse in chapter one seems like a “throwaway” verse…a simple statement that wraps up a long chapter. But on second look, I saw another truth about exile. Luke is talking about John the Baptist:

…the child grew and became strong in spirit and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel. Luke 1:80

Where did he grow and become strong?  In church? In seminary? At the university? No. In the desert…the last place we think good things can happen. Our view of the desert is a place where your strength is drained. But not in God’s economy.

God can make you grow and become strong any place he wants to do it. No matter what your situation is today, no matter how remote, how harsh, how isolated…God can use it to make you grow and become strong. It can be the place he prepares you to make a comeback.

Father, help me to see my desert as a place where I can grow and become strong. Help me to not limit what you want to do in my life by my circumstances. Thank you for the good things you have in store for me. 

Out of Exile: Day 40 – Goodness and Mercy

Today marks the end of our 40-day journey in, through, and hopefully out of exile. Thanks for walking with me over these months as I’ve sought to help you process the losses, betrayals, setbacks, and outright rebellion that landed you in exile, far from anything that looked remotely familiar, wondering if you’d ever find your way back. 

My hope in writing for these 40 days, and my prayer for you now, is that you would experience the fullness of God’s goodness to such an extent that it would overflow you and into the life of others. After all, isn’t that what God is working into all of us…a generous heart to reveal his goodness to others? 

Let me quoted Richard Rohr one last time:

The soul has many secrets. They are only revealed to those who want them, and are never completely forced upon us. One of the best-kept secrets, and yet one hidden in plain sight, is that the way up is the way down. Or, if you prefer, the way down is the way up.

In Scripture, we see that the wrestling and wounding of Jacob are necessary for Jacob to become Israel (Genesis 32:26-32), and the death and resurrection of Jesus are necessary to create Christianity. The loss and renewal pattern is so constant and ubiquitous that it should hardly be called a secret at all.

I hope you see by now that loss, or what I’ve been calling “exile,” is not a misnomer…it’s not an aberration that hits people God is upset with or just “bad luck.” Loss comes to us all. It’s a part of life that we need to learn how to recover from and even dance with it gracefully.

When I lived on our farm, one of the many things I learned about farm life is that death is as much a part of the farm as was life. You think of a farm as a place with many living animals. But when you are there 24/7, you begin to realize that death happens all around you. There is almost a rhythm of life and death. I’d imagine people who work in hospitals experience the same thing.

We live in a sanitized world where we quickly remove pain, suffering, death, or anything that makes us feel uncomfortable. We have lost our ability to suffer, learn patience, grieve and then recover well. As a result we become shallow, self-absorbed people who get stuck in exile, having no idea how to return.

But I’m confident that God not only provides a way to return from exile but longs to restore and prosper us.  David was convinced that “goodness and mercy” would “follow him all the days of his life” even though he walked through the valley of the shadow of death. Psalm 23

When my wife and I moved off of our farm, into town and back into ministry, I was surprised at how quickly the blessings of God came back into my life. That was in 1997, and they continue today. One day I was reading through Psalm 31 where it says:

How great is your goodness that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you have given to those who trust you. You do this for all to see. Psalm 31:19

I felt like God was speaking to me directly, saying: Remy, you think you wasted seven years. You think the world passed you by and life will never be what you hoped. But all the time you were enduring hardship, I was storing up the goodness that you were missing. And now I’m bringing that goodness out of storage for you to enjoy.

I find it hard to believe that God would want any more for me than he wants for any of his children. I have to believe he has goodness stored up for you as well.

My hope in writing for these 40 days, and my prayer for you now, is that you would experience the fullness of God’s goodness to such an extent that it would overflow you and into the life of others. After all, isn’t that what God is working into all of us…a generous heart to reveal his goodness to others?

I haven’t gotten as many comments since I took a break for the holidays. But I’d love to get your final thoughts now that the journey is over. Please leave them below or email me directly.

I’m not sure how much I will be posting in days to come. Much less for sure. But I’d love to post the thoughts and stories of people who are either going through an exile or have found their way out…especially if you are in ministry. People in ministry have their own special exiles and we need to hear from our peers to gain comfort and insight.  Click the mail icon in the margin to email me.

Thanks again for traveling with me. God bless you in your journey.