Tag Archive | forgiveness

Being Brave

iStock_000011800840XSmallOur church is back to that time of year, the all church journey.  From the nursery to senior pastor, we all take the journey together.  All teaching, worship etc, takes on the same direction.  Again this year it is called the Brave Journey.  It’s about going places you haven’t before, following God out of the boat and on to the water, being brave to let Him make some change(s) in our life, our faith, our walk with Christ.

Step one is finding your heading, the direction you want to go. The direction very well may change as you go along, it is how God works.  But you cannot get OUT of the boat until you get IN the boat and off of the shore.

For a while now I’ve debated writing a non-fiction book about how God found me, the faith I had, lost and now have again.  The story of me.  It would mean being very vulnerable, confessing things my kids know nothing of, heck few folks have a clue of the darkness, and could risk my relationship with many I love.  But it isn’t really about me, it is about how God can change our lives and make something beautiful of our sin, beauty from ashes as the bible says.

My heading?  Well, to write that book.  I’ll publish it independently, most likely.  While there is a publisher, a Christian one, interested in this story, I’d rather put it out myself. But I’ll see about that.  First it must be written.  It will mean pulling back the layers I’ve neatly covered things under, allowing myself to go back through the pain.  It might be difficult, but it might also help other women trying to find forgiveness with God and a life away from sin.  A real look without the ‘buzz’ words and special talk, a down to earth, where the soles of the shoes meet the dirt of reality, as a life trying to mend.

I’m in a small group, it is part of the whole Journey, and they are a safe place.  My daughter and her husband are a part of that group, which means this could be extremely difficult.  But it is time I use what I’ve been told is a talent I have, writing, to move closer to God and help others.

So, you can pray for me if you don’t mind, while I step out of the boat on a rocky sea, keeping my eyes on Christ and moving toward the next level in my spiritual walk.

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Loving My Enemies

love your enemies

Matthew 5:43-48

New King James Version (NKJV)

Love Your Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,[b] 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren[c] only, what do you do more than others?Do not even the tax collectors[d] do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

It IS easy to love those who are in our camp, who love us and support our view.  Those who rally around us telling us what we want to hear even when we may be dead wrong.  But when it comes to loving those who do not like us, maybe hate us, speak evil and unkind words about us…those we’d consider enemies.  Well that is a much more difficult task.  Seemingly impossible, and maybe it IS within our own strength.  But then nothing we do is to be in our own power, it is from God that we find the ability to forgive and let go of grudges.

I know, I’ve been there.  For several years I had harbored bitterness in my heart.  And bitterness takes root and if you’ve ever tried to kill weeds you know how tough that can be to remove them for good!  But I also knew it was what I had too do.   Once I released the hold I had on that bitterness, and yes you read that right, I had hold of it,  I was the one not letting go, it died.  An emotion only has power over us if we hang onto it, nurture it and help it grow.  Every time an unkind thought came into my mind toward the persons I felt bitter, I would refuse to think it, and replaced it with a positive one.

Don’t misunderstand, it wasn’t and some days still isn’t always easy to pray for an enemy or someone who has hurt me.  When  I reach out and try to extend an olive branch and it is shot down, it is very difficult not to go on the defense and lash out.  Sometimes I do trip over the issue and post or say unkind things.  But this work in progress manages to let God’s spirit speak to my heart and I again try to right the wrong.

So, I keep praying for my enemies, and love them from a distance.  No matter what they do or say, they cannot stop me from doing this, and in the end it isn’t really about them.  They will answer for what they do, I have to worry about answering for what I do.

Ever Seeking

Being sick derailed me a bit, I missed church 2 Sundays and a Wednesday thanks to the cold/sinus infection/flu bug…whatever that was.  But today I was there and SO thankful.  Great Sunday school lesson on eschatology and a great sermon on the two cups, one of God’s wrath and one of the blessings to the believer.  I was so thankful pastor opted to preach first today, and hold  communion until after the sermon.

I really needed to think hard about the wrath that was poured out on Christ for my sins, a cup He prayed and asked the Father if there be any other way at all to let it pass when in the garden the night before He was crucified.  God’s wrath toward our sin must be unimaginable.  Equally the cup of blessing to those that are redeemed by the blood that was spilled under that wrath, must be unimaginable.

The teaching time was very important to my considering if I take my sin too lightly.  The answer of course is yes.  I needed that  focus before  communion, to pray and refocus on my walk.  The more I seek God, the more I will see my sin for what it is and turn from it.  I will not do it perfectly.  I will slip, stumble and fall.  But I will keep brushing myself off, standing back up, and continuing to walk on the road less traveled.

Ever seeking.