When Bad Times Produce Good Results…

Sometimes the bad news in life is really good–or, at least it produces good results.

I worked in the Product Marketing department for a systems software company in Princeton, NJ for a couple of years. I was hired to write product brochures, direct mail pieces, and more.

A few months after I started in that job, there was a reorganization in our department and one of my peers got promoted and became my manager. We had always got along well and so, at first, I thought this was a great thing.

I was wrong.

Soon after assuming her new role, Bev became insanely jealous of my friendship with her boss, the VP. He and I attended the same church and used to go jogging together, etc. She became obsessed with the idea that we were talking about her and that I was going to try to take over her job. Honestly, I didn’t want her job—hated the thought of it—still, she couldn’t get past this.

Despite my reassurances to her, she decided to make my work life a living hell. She started assigning other people to do the same tasks she had already given me. She cut me out of the loop in meetings where I would normally need to be involved in order to do my job. She was constantly critical and always irritated.

I almost quit. However, a position opened in the field and I grabbed it. I had wanted to be in sales and this was both my escape and my opportunity. Little did I realize that what seemed like a trial would lead to me more than quadrupling my income over the next 12 months.

When Bad News is Actually, Good!

What seemed like a loss turned into one the the greatest victories of my life.

Whatever you’re facing right now, keep in mind that God can and does

work all things for our good (Romans 8:28). If your relationship is struggling and you feel like a failure, remember that the lessons learned and the faith produced is priceless and may produce an amazing blessing.

Don’t quit! Keep moving forward. Keep believing. Your greatest victory may be right around the corner.

To that end,

Pastor Joel


Is the Grass REALLY Greener?

Is the Grass REALLY Greener? Is your friend’s marriage REALLY better than yours?

I played a lot of sports in college including intramural flag football on artificial turf. Our school was one of the first to get artificial turf and it was really cool…until you played on it. In other words, it looked great, was easy to maintain, and was 100% even with no potholes, bumps, etc.

So what was the problem?

Well, in those days, it was stiff. It was like thousands of little green plastic needles. Furthermore, it was mounted on a wooden platform which sat on top of a concrete underground garage. Falling on it would both bruise you and often, slice you open. I don’t mean a clean cut—like from a knife or straight edge either. No, it would burn you open like the scrapes you got on your knees or arms as a kid when you face-planted on the living room carpet at a dead run!


I remember walking into the locker room after a game and thinking I had been teleported back into a medieval torture chamber. Guys were screaming and moaning and cursing and yelling at the tops of their lungs. Often, we wouldn’t notice how raw or how numerous our wounds were until we stepped into the shower. When the hot water hit those open cuts…


So…while it looked better on the outside and seemed easy to maintain when compared to natural grass fields, our artificial turf really wasn’t a dream. For players, its was more like a nightmare.

Marriages can be like that too. I know many couples who APPEAR to have the “perfect relationship.” Still, behind the scenes, things are often difficult–even painful.

My advice is to focus on growth and improvement instead of making odious comparisons to others. Truth is, you’ll never know whether or not they have it better than you anyway. So, instead of wasting time idolizing a false image, pray for and implement changes that will bless you and your spouse.

If you’d like help and some practical questions to ask each other as a couple in order to improve your relationship, click here to get my popular book, “The Crucified Couple.” I pray it will make your grass truly greener :).


In Christ,

Pastor Joel