When Life Is Beautiful & Ugly On The Same Day

Happy Wednesday!

This has been a strange week for me. Simultaneously, there are two scenarios taking place in my life right now. One is beautiful, the other is ugly.


I’m in Lexington KY (@ Bethel Harvest Church) having the time of my life with dear friends Pastor Marion and Stephanie Dalton. Sunday’s services seemed to be phenomenal. Yesterdays leadership meetings were just the same. The leaders (and Church family) at Bethel Harvest Church are brilliant, loving, and legendary.


Then, there is a terrible war going on with something that is very important to me. Since I can’t give you the details of the situation without downing the other people involved, I’ll just generalize for the sake of this message.

Sometimes, this is the way things turn out for us. Isn’t it? One the one hand, we want to celebrate like a rockstar for the VERY good things happening. Then, on the other hand, we’re fighting back the tears more than anyone can imagine.

Yesterday was quite likely the most vivid moment of emotional contrast I’ve ever known before.

Life was


and ugly

on the same day.

I’m not sure if I have a spiritual lesson about this… just figured I would write transparently and see where it goes.

Here are the verses I meditated on yesterday (Isaiah 54:11-17 NLT):

 11 “O storm-battered city,
troubled and desolate!
I will rebuild you with precious jewels
and make your foundations from lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your towers of sparkling rubies,
your gates of shining gems,
and your walls of precious stones.
13 I will teach all your children,
and they will enjoy great peace.
14 You will be secure under a government that is just and fair.
Your enemies will stay far away.
You will live in peace,
and terror will not come near.
15 If any nation comes to fight you,
it is not because I sent them.
Whoever attacks you will go down in defeat.

 16 “I have created the blacksmith
who fans the coals beneath the forge
and makes the weapons of destruction.
And I have created the armies that destroy.
17 But in that coming day
no weapon turned against you will succeed.
You will silence every voice
raised up to accuse you.
These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord;
their vindication will come from me.
I, the Lord, have spoken!

As cliché as this will sound, vain is the help of people in times like these. Thank God for all of the handshakes, hugs, and helpful words. But there are some days when there is no breakthrough to be found in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire. (1Kings 19:11-13)

Only a small, still, VOICE from our Father.

God’s written word is His living voice.

I’m still not feeling too victorious at the moment, but, the more I meditate on my loving Father’s SMALL STILL VOICE (The verses above from Isaiah 54), the better I will feel.

More than that, God is attracted to faith… and by faith, the mountains always topple.

Here is a great video for the moment: My Hope Is In You – Aaron Shust


I prayed for you this morning while I wrote this message. Maybe it’s been good to know that you’re not alone in the valley today. Even better, to know that we’re not going to die in the valley either. With much love…

Hold On To Your Dreams,


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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16 thoughts on “When Life Is Beautiful & Ugly On The Same Day

  1. Chuck,
    One of the things I love about you is your honesty and openness. That makes you human. Makes you real. I can’t stand fake Christians that JUST spout scriptures all the time, speaking fluent “Christian-ese”, professing to be perfect, saying one thing but doing another, saying they love but turn and stab people in the back.
    We live in an IMperfect world, we are only human and we ALL live life on a roller coaster ride. There are highs and there are lows for a very good reason. My faith in God’s ways and thoughts being higher than mine, tells me that. I may not always understand the why, but my faith tells me that God does, so trust Him. Trust Him that when we go through those trials, it is to teach us something, to strengthen us so we can then turn and help others going through the same affliction!
    We all live in days of beauty and ugly at the same time. There is a spiritual battle going on around us at all times, and it’s not of the flesh. The more you do for the glory of God, the more that our Enemy will target us to try and take down. But only “try”… he’s more like a gnat on a donkey’s behind, b/c we are children of God, empowered by God and nothing can change that.
    Whew… I don’t know where all that came from… was just going to say I love what you wrote and I’m praying for you to feel His arms carrying you through the valleys.
    Ok, sermon over… off to work! 🙂
    May God shower you with blessings and peace ALL day, and FEEL HIS LOVE!
    Teri Starbuck

  2. I hope things even out for you on the beautiful side and the ugly fades. It seems like the victory moments sometimes get distractingly (don’t know if that’s a word) over shadowed by something or someone trying to steal the thunder. Can’t it just chill?

    It makes me think of an expectant mother (my situation). Everyone is celebrating the beautiful news, but some of the pregnancy side effects are ugly and miserable in the first trimester. When the second trimester gets here, (in most cases) the nausea subsides, and mom feels less fatigue and can focus on celebrating the news.

    There is a season for everything, I keep telling myself. And that all things work together for good so I guess God uses the ugly even though we don’t understand how or why. I’m not trying to make this about me but I read something that encouraged me, I read that the nausea in early pregnancy meant that I had less of a chance of miscarrying and that the baby is getting what it needs from me. I don’t know how metaphorically this fits in but it came to mind lol.

    Enjoy Kentucky:)


    • Mel, it’s exactly as you say it is… like carrying a child and giving birth. We have to fight for our dreams just as a mother fights for the safe delivery of her child. The devil wants to take away our dreams before they grow up to challenge him. For him to do this, he must go through us… and thus is our purpose… to carry the dreams, to give them life, to make them big and strong! And by God’s grace we will do this. 🙂

  3. Life has been beautiful and ugly nearly everyday for 10 months….but its when you can see beauty in even the broken places that helps you get through. Thank you this afternoon

    • Deborah, that’s beautiful. I’m preaching a message about this tonight at Bethel Harvest Church in Lexington Kentucky… Never Lose Focus – There Is Life Beyond Your Loss

      I’m praying for you again right now, friend. Have a beautiful Ireland evening! 🙂

  4. Thanks so much for that encouragement. It was from the Lord to my heart. You never know what circumstance God might use to bless somebody else. Thanks for shining a ray of light!

  5. As a child, we love scrambled eggs and are continuously amazed by how they have a fluffy, risen composure when fixed on a plate with bacon, scrapple, grits or other things. Yet, as we get older, we tend to eat fried eggs more often. Nevertheless, as we mature with life, we sometimes wish that we could “unscramble” eggs like God does with our lives, whereby He helps us uproot and deal with cause of many problems.

    Truly, I’ve learned to grasp to my faith (in God) like a life jacket thrown out to me as I swim across “the ocean of life”. Without a doubt, I too, know what it’s like when life is pretty on one side and ugly on the other. Just like I know what it is like when it’s storming on the inside of me, and pretty on the outside. And, I feel so torn and exhausted as if I am the lightning bolt that shakes the fragile sky.

    Yes, I’m young, but I’ve endured countless storms…Thankfully, the wisdom that the elderly shared with me (past and present) serve(d) as an umbrella of protection from the unknown storms and as compass of direction considering what they saw on the horizon. It was reinforced not so much because of what I did or did not do, but because of the inevitable circumstances that they saw were heading my way. Also, it was in doing so, that they taught me to endure and not to run everything based on its appearance.

    So, in response to what you wrote, these are the things it reminds me even as I ride the tides of life, both low and high…

  6. For some reason this song came to mind while reading your blog. Sometimes things are “ugliful” and “beaugly”- ugly and beautiful, but you can’t know what one is without the other. Sometimes it takes a combination of the two to make sense out of a situation. The song by SIXX AM says it all….

    You can’t quit until you try
    You can’t live until you die
    You can’t learn to tell the truth
    Until you learn to lie

    You can’t breathe until you choke
    You gotta laugh when you’re the joke
    There’s nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive

    Just open your eyes
    Just open your eyes
    And see that life is beautiful.
    Will you swear on your life,
    That no one will cry at my funeral?

    I know some things that you don’t
    I’ve done things that you won’t
    There’s nothing like a trail of blood to find your way back home

    I was waiting for my hearse
    What came next was so much worse
    It took a funeral to make me feel alive

    Just open your eyes
    Just open your eyes
    And see that life is beautiful.
    Will you swear on your life,
    That no one will cry at my funeral?

    Just open your eyes
    Just open your eyes
    And see that life is beautiful.
    Will you swear on your life,
    That no one will cry at my funeral?

  7. Yeah when the doors are opened the adversaries come running. Keep moving forward Pastor Chuck God will help you through. Rejoice in the good and pray that God will turn the ugly to good. God bless