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Archive for the ‘forgiveness’ Category

Memories


196524-it-s-nice-to-have-someone

I got a message yesterday from someone I went to high school with, what a  plesant surprise it was. The amazing thing is that she still remembers a “Tweety Bird” I gave her back then. She said that everytime she sees “Tweety Bird” she remembers me. Funny how something so small can stick with someone for so many years. I had forgotten all about it until she brought it up to me again. Thanks Theresa.

Small acts of kindness never go unnoticed. My hope is that in my lifetime I will be able to leave some eternally significant memories with those I am around so that they will never forget the gifts that God has given us. I hope that I leave more good memories than bad ones. I think we would all like to be remembered for the good that we do and not the mistakes that we made. Believe me I have made some dandy mistakes in my lifetime. I can only pray that I am the only one who remembers them.

The wonderful thing about God is that He will forgive us for those times when our thinking is messed up which causes us to take actions that are inappropriate. The real key to His forgiveness is when we realize what we did wrong we repent and ask for forgiveness. Being right with God is the greatest gift that anyone can receive.

After receiving forgivness we are once again able to feel the joy that comes from knowing God and being in His presence. Before we understand that we are forgiven life can be a nightmare that will not end. Admitting what we have done wrong and walking away from what caused us to do it are the strongest actions anyone can take in this life. These actions lead to a glorious eternity.

Staying in the Word of God will help us recognize right from wrong. It helps us remember and understand what is important to God and therefore should be important to us. So the challenge of this week is to read the Word and ask for new revelation and understanding. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Mess Ups


future good driverPicture yourself driving on a two lane road with a speed limit of 45mph, there is traffic going both ways and it is marked as no passing. Now you are driving around 40mph and about to accelerate to 45mph when a car pulls up behind you and decides to pass. Three car lengths in front of you in the oncoming lane is a car. The driver behind you pulls out into oncoming traffic. You realize this could end up badly and move your car over toward the shoulder to make room for the terrible driver who appears to want to wreck their car. Somehow there is no collision and you watch as the car reenters the correct lane and then pulls up onto the next car in line and proceeds to once again pull out into oncoming traffic.

Imagine your relief that there was not an accident but your fear that someone might be killed by this driver if they are not stopped. This was my experience yesterday afternoon as I headed to the store. I wondered what the problem was with this driver and why they would risk their life and the lives of others to get one more spot.

I once made a similar mistake on a two lane highway. It was just after my mother’s funeral and my children and I were returning home. Early in the morning I pulled out to pass a very slow moving vehicle and realized someone was coming toward me about a mile or so away. I managed to get back into my lane but only after I entered a no passing zone. I was then pulled over by a police officer who happened to see the bad decision I made. After a warning he let me go and I no longer cared how long it took me to get there I just wanted to get home safely.

So when the driver of the car made their first mistake to pull out in front of a car I expected them to realize their mistake and not do it again, however that is not what happened. Usually I make mistakes because I am hurrying or not paying enough attention to what I am doing. I pray that my mistakes don’t harm anyone and that I learn from them. My most valuable lessons have been learned from mistakes. I thank God that He gives us grace to learn how to live in a manner pleasing to Him.

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

When it comes to sinning against God, we can mess up once in a while and still be forgiven. But we must recognize that what we did was a sin in order to confess it as such and receive our forgiveness. My prayer this week is that we will recognize our mess ups for what they are and change our behavior in order to avoid them the next time. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

When All Hope is Gone


when all hope is goneWhen your life hasn’t gone your way, what do you do? The answer can be found in John 20. This takes place after the suffering and death of Jesus. The disciples and women who followed Jesus were in mourning. The disciples plan was for Jesus to become King of Israel on this earth now, to deliver them from any and all oppression of the Romans, to set the Pharisees/Sadducees straight on doctrine, to continue to heal and deliver people from their personal issues. Their plan failed and Jesus died on the cross and was buried in a tomb with a big stone and guards. All their dreams had ended. They were mourning and confused how this happened.

Before we go any further, let’s explore our own lives. Have you ever had a situation where you put everything you had into what you were doing and then suddenly had it all taken away from you?

This is what happened to the disciples. They had it all and were living the dream. Healings and deliverances followed Jesus and His disciples.

  • Maybe your dream is a certain job. You are at the top of your game. You are putting everything into what you are doing. You work extra hours to complete all that is before you and you don’t complain because this is what you want to do. You pour 100% of your energy into what you are doing. And suddenly, out of nowhere—it seems—you get fired. Maybe they say it is downsizing, maybe they have another excuse, but those things don’t matter, they have taken away your dream. What do you do?
  • Maybe it is your life. Suddenly out of nowhere you have been falsely accused of a horrible crime and your freedom has been taken away from you. You know you are innocent, but it seems no one who is has the power to help you will believe you. You have been framed and suddenly your life is over—or so it seems.
  • Maybe it is a relationship that has gone bad. One day you are happily married and what seemed to be overnight you are divorced. Life is hard and you are mourning the loss of the relationship. Or maybe the person you were in a relationship with suddenly died. Your life is filled with grief and suffering because a part of you is missing. You don’t know where to turn.

I believe that most of us have suffered great losses in our life, whether the losses were people who are no longer with us, or jobs or our reputation. They are all losses. What matters when we experience a loss is how we react. What can we do?

Lets look at John 20:1 “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.”

Mary had unfinished business that she was going to do at the first opportunity. So she went to the tomb early so she could put the embalming oils and spices on Jesus’ body. She had a purpose that was brought on by the death of Jesus. But she couldn’t complete her duty. Her purpose had not changed since Jesus’ death. She was still serving Him as she did when He was alive. This was to be her last act of worship of her savior. Honestly she wasn’t sure how she was going to get the stone moved when she got there. And then she saw that was not a problem, the stone was rolled away. Good, one problem solved, but now there was no body. How could she complete her duty, if there was no body?

Verse 2: “Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.’”

Ok. She overcame the stone obstacle. Now she has gone for help to overcome the missing body obstacle. Do you ever have days like this? You know it is going to be rough and then things just keep getting worse. You have your heart set on finishing well even though things have ended abruptly and not in the way you planned. You set out to finish, but someone changes the game. Suddenly your plans once again have been rendered useless. What do you do?

Mary goes for help from some people who are in the same condition she is. Maybe she thinks they will be able to figure this out better than her.  It is great to get advice and help when you are in a situation that has really thrown you out of your comfort zone.  But you need to look outside the area of people who are experiencing the same thing you are.

In verses 3-10 her help comes and goes. They came, they saw and they left. They gave her no explanation and no help in finding Jesus’ body. She found herself, once again standing and weeping. Do you ever get into that position? You are confused and grieving. All the people that come around you offer you no real help, they just come and go. They seem to be just as confused as you are. They bring no comfort into your situation. You are once again left by yourself to weep and wonder.

Look at Verses 11:-18. But Mary decided not to just weep; she decided to look inside the tomb. She looked to the last place she knew her savior had been seen. And when she sought, she found her answer. Mary tried to get help from people, but they left her short of her answer. So in her wondering and wandering she stumbled onto the answer. She didn’t know that looking into the tomb would answer her question.

She saw the angels and explained her problem to them; someone had taken her Lord’s body. And as she turned she found her answer. Jesus didn’t tap her on the shoulder. He made no move to call her to Himself. But she turned and saw Him. Sometimes we need to go where we know God was last time to get our bearings and then turn in order to find where God is now. Looking to the past will not always take you to the future, but if you retrace your steps and then turn you can go the right way.

She didn’t recognize Jesus when she turned. She was so focused on finding His dead body she didn’t recognize His live body. She didn’t even recognize His voice. (Jesus said my sheep know my voice. She was so distraught that she didn’t recognize the voice of her master. She was not expecting His voice—but the voice of a gardener.) So she asks if He has removed the body. Now Jesus must reveal Himself to her, he sees her anguish and her confusion—to the point of not recognizing Him. (John 10:4 &27)

Sometimes we get so confused that we cannot recognize the Lord when He stands right in front of us. We let the fact that our plans have been destroyed send us into such anguish on how we will accomplish our goals that we don’t see Jesus in our midst.

I have been in this position. It is very difficult to find your way when this happens. You cry out to your friends because the pain you feel is so intense. They come around, look and leave. They may say a few words, but they can’t remove the pain and anguish. They don’t help you navigate through the confusion. Your mind gets so caught up in what your plans were that you can’t see Jesus, even though He is standing right aside of you. You cry out and weep and mourn because the old is gone. You cannot see the possible good of the new. All you can do is look at the past, when things were the way you wanted them to be. Now things just hurt and you feel disappointed. You used to feel appointed—anointed and set in place, but now that is over. You just hurt and you turn from person to person to try to get your bearings on life. But life keeps sending you into more confusion.

Then comes the moment in verse 16 when Jesus says her name, “Mary.”  This makes all the difference in the world. The confusion is gone. She found what she was looking for, but now her sorrow and confusion has turned into joy, unbelievable joy. Personal recognition from the Master changed her whole perspective and brought her out of her confusion. She had a clear direction. She spoke “Rabboni” which acknowledged that she recognized Him. Then she clung on to Him for dear life. She wasn’t about to lose Him again.

Encouragement from others and prophetic words that confirmed what I felt in my spirit, let me know that I was hearing God’s voice. All the confusion in the world is gone when God speaks. When Mary heard Jesus, her heart melted. Then Jesus gave her clear direction on her next step. There was to be no doubt in her mind what to do. Jesus made sure He gave her specific directions. She had been confused and lost but now she knew exactly what to do.

It is time to clear the cob webs from our minds and hear the voice of God. He has never left us or forsaken us (Hebrews 13:5). He has been right by our side all the time. Today is the time for the confusion to leave and the voice of the Lord to come. One word from the Lord will drive away all confusion. We must remember that the plan that we live by must be His plan. If we live by a plan that we conceive we will end up in confusion. Jesus is the Lord, we are His servants. Servants do not tell the Lord what to do, the Lord tells the servants. Mary may have had her plan, but that was not what Jesus’ plan was. Jesus plan had to do with life; Mary’s plan was contingent on there being a dead body.

God’s plan always has to do with life. God’s plan has to do with abundant life. Abundant life is multidimensional it includes body, soul and spirit.

Join me in this prayer. Father today, this moment in time, we want to give up our plans and take on your plan for our lives. We acknowledge that any plan that was not birthed in your Spirit is not a plan of life but a plan of death. We ask that you give us clear direction and life. Forgive us for our failed plans. Help us to walk in your strength and peace. Forgive us for walking only in our strength. Lead us in your path and open our eyes to your direction. We pray this in the mighty name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

 

I am a daughter


jacquie and kittyPhysically I am a daughter of my parents and I have been blessed to have a daughter of my own. Spiritually my Father is God and I am His child since the day I accepted Him and the works of Jesus, His son, who came to this earth and live a sin free life, shared healing and deliverance with sinful people, suffered and died on the cross and then rose again to everlasting life.

There were some major sacrifices and sufferings that occurred in order for me to become a daughter. Physically my mother had to suffer through pregnancy and labor to bring me into this world. Spiritually God sent Jesus to give His life that included suffering, praying, healing, teaching, dying and rising again, in order that I might become a daughter.

Wow that is a lot of suffering and pain and struggle for me to be able to say I am a daughter. And as a mother myself I can say that I suffered in order to bring forth my children, some more than others. But I would not change a thing about bringing them into the world. The sacrifice was worth having others live and have the chance to make decisions and show in their lives what God has done.

I am sure Jesus believes that His sacrifice was worth it when He sees one of us come to know Him and live our lives as sons and daughters who will live eternally with Him and the Father. Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth and help us make the right decision in life to give the most glory to God the Father.

My daughter and I just spent two days at a women’s retreat (Pink Impact). We had time to talk about spiritual things. I have watched her grow up into a beautiful woman inside and out. I watch her deal with situations in her life and I see the love of God flow out of her toward everyone. She is not perfect and neither am I but the love of God compensates for all of our flaws. As daughters of God we are allowed to make mistakes and move on. We are given forgiveness when it is needed and most importantly we can trust that God will take care of our lives.

It is time to think like His daughter. I plan on spending time this week reminding myself that I am God’s daughter until it is sealed in my heart. Whether you are a daughter or a son of God join me this week in changing your mindset to understand that this is what we are. Read the word and pray for revelation.

2nd Corinthians 6:18

“I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Choices


IMG_2676As I think about my life I realize that life is really a series of choices and every choice has a consequence. Some of the choices I make have really good consequences and some of them have bad consequences. Sometimes I make choices based on pressure from others and sometimes I am perfectly at ease and make choices. I would imagine that your life is about the same. I seem to do better without the pressure but sometimes the pressure helps me make a quick decision, however my quick decisions are not always the best.  Is there a solution to this problem?

The only solution to this problem of being able to make quick correct decisions is vigilance in prayer for direction and keeping the scriptural examples in the front of my mind to help guide me. It is a matter of immediately sizing up a situation and listening to the quick guidance from past experience and past studies that will keep me on the right track.

Will I always make the right decision? I can tell you the answer is “no” because I am human and make judgment errors based on limited information that I have.  Sometimes I have more information but forget to take it into account when making a decision. I feel my life has been about training myself to follow certain regimes that will help me through each day. I hope that this process will allow me to succeed more than I fail.

I have a good example of using judgement in making decisions. For two weeks in a row I have spilled left over fruit salad on the refrigerator and floor in my kitchen. The first time I guess I put the container on a full shelf that it did not fit on and it was easily knocked over when I was reaching for something and it fell out. I should have learned to be more careful but I guess I didn’t. The second time I was trying to take a tray out of the fridge to clean it and when I tilted the tray to remove it the tray knocked the container on the floor spilling the salad. These are two different situations with two different decisions but both of them turned out badly. Now maybe these decisions are not earth shattering and they don’t affect my salvation but they did cause a loss that I would like to avoid in the future. So I must become more vigilant when moving things around in the fridge and try to be more observant to avoid another potential sticky mess.

I thank God for his Grace and Mercy that allow me to continue with my daily training and forgive me when I mess up.

Psalm 32:1

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered.

This makes me want to look back over my life to remember those things that have gone wrong and God covered me and those things that have gone right because God blessed me. I can use this to give myself another reason to praise God. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Shocked on the Highway


love glory hopeIt is great to be alive. This week I had a rather disturbing encounter on my way home from work.  After a long day at work it is refreshing to think that I will be on my way home. As I get myself ready for the drive I usually call my husband to check the traffic so I can figure the quickest and safest route home. After deciding my route I head out on my way. On Thursday evening this took me on a slightly longer route but one that is more relaxing than going through downtown Dallas. I take some side streets and then take a series of four highway/interstates with all the regular interchanges and ramps that go with the winding route I chose.

As I was driving the ramp from Spur 408 to I-20 East something happened that took my breath away. I had my radio on a news channel catching up on the daily national and local news. The ramp is one lane with two small shoulders. As the ramp turned left I veered slightly to the left almost reaching the shoulder, this should not be a problem. Suddenly there was a loud noise of a fast approaching motorcycle on my left. The sudden sound shocked me and in my surprise I jerked the car to the right. I looked over and the driver looked into my window as he was inches from my mirror. All I could do was thank God that I did not accidentally jerk the wheel to the left. My heart raced for a good two minutes and I tried to catch my breath and compose myself to complete my ride home.

Not far behind him approaching on my right was another motorcycle coming up fast but not as fast as the one that scared me. This one passed everyone on the right where there was more room. I prayed as I traveled the rest of the way home for people who do not understand how they risk their lives for a momentary thrill. I have to tell you it has left me a little shy of driving and on the constant look out for motorcycles.

I could be angry. I could want vengeance. But all I want is for people to value this life that God has given us.

This week I felt inspired to compose a new prayer that has helped me.

Lord let your LOVE be our guiding light, let your GLORY be our direction and let your HOPE be our perfection.

Take some time to ponder what it means and I will be back next week with more.

Light in the Darkness


nightlightHer bedroom was dark. And as she looked out the bedroom door, down the hallway she noticed a small light coming from the bathroom. It amazed her how a tiny nightlight could make so much brightness. Sometimes night was the worst time of the day. When sleep eluded her, she would stare into the darkness wondering when the pain would stop. Tossing and turning just made her body more tired and awakened more pain in other areas.

Her eyes were drawn back to the light and she began to realize it was a sign of hope. Her mind raced back to the year of her salvation when after a surgery had failed to relieve pain, God healed her.  “Forgive me Lord for forgetting your grace and mercy. Forgive me for forgetting a miracle in my life. I have walked for around 24 years without that pain,” She prayed. “I know that no matter what all these medical challenges are you can heal me. You can walk me though this trial and I will put my hope in you.”

As she lay in the darkness a light shined in her mind. She turned on the lamp and opened her bible.

Philippians 4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

As she read this passage a new found strength took over her mind. She was still in pain but knowing that through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving she could pray and God would heal. Her heart began to rejoice and her mind to think on the pure things. And then without effort she was fast asleep.

Sometimes the smallest thing is the biggest sign of hope. I pray that this week you will look around and find the light of God shining and giving you hope. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

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