Monday, April 24, 2017

The Freedom Of Forgiveness


"What I have forgiven....I did it for your sake
in the presence of Christ"
2 Corinthians 2:10

Forgiveness is a deliberate act.

It is not an easy thing.

But, it is a choice a believer can make.

Matthew 18:35 explains that
even though we enjoy living in Christ's forgiveness,
we may, at times, not be willing to forgive.

Christ came as The Peacemaker 
to reconcile us to God
and to one another.
Matthew 6:14

Unforgiveness is like a prison.
We lock people we cannot forgive
in a place in our heart, 
a jail of our own bitterness and rejection.

This dark prison exists within our heart every day
that we carry unforgiveness.

Jesus offers us a key that will release
each inmate.

Yet, in our pain we may refuse,
 we turn away from doing what He asks us to do.
And we discover to our own sorrow
that we are trapped along with those we cannot forgive.

Unforgiveness, anger and bitterness,
make us captives as well.

We learn that freedom is dependent upon our forgiveness.


Making a decision to forgive takes time.

It seems there are many dangers and risks 
involved in forgiveness.

What if they will not admit to their sin?
What if they are not sorry?
What if they feel justified, and place blame on you?

It's important to understand what forgiveness is
before you decide to offer such a gift.

Forgiveness does not absolve anyone of blame.

It does not clear their record with God.

*It just clears you of having to worry about how to punish them*

When you forgive someone,
you're not turning them loose.

*You are turning them over to God*

He can be counted on to deal with them 
His own way.

You save yourself the trouble of arguing 
and trying to be understood.
It's not about winning or losing anymore.
It's about freedom....and letting go.

This is why those who forgive feel a great burden
has lifted from their shoulders.

For the first time in a long time
there is a feeling of release and peace.

How do we go about this?

To begin with,
release your anger and your judgment.
God is responsible for judging people.
Leave room for His wrath, for it is written,
"Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord"
Romans 12:19

How will you know when you have done this?
The thought of their name no longer causes anger 
to rise in your heart.
You pity them and hope they turn to Christ.

And remember,
we do not have to
 build close friendships or relationships 
with those we forgive.

This is  step to consider carefully with 
people who will help us build safe
 and healthy relationships.

I recognize how painful this step is.

I pray for each reader that they will have 
the courage and faith to forgive those
who have wounded them,
and that you will enjoy the freedom
of forgiveness and letting go.
**

Lord Of Eternity
Fernando Ortega

Jesus Paid It All
Fernando Ortega







Monday, April 17, 2017

As Far As It Depends On You Live At Peace With Everyone


We are not to repay evil for evil.

We are told not to take revenge,
but to do good to those who persecute us.

Such a difficult truth,
yet 
God's Word 
and
 Christ's living example
clearly mark the way.

Even if our enemy is not softened 
by our persevering kindness
we are not to seek vengeance.

Vengeance belongs only to God.

In all strife and contention
those who take revenge
are conquered.

Those that forgive
are conquerors.

Be  not overcome by evil.

We defeat the enemy
and preserve our own peace
when we forgive, 
do good,
and
 leave all results in the Hands
of Him Who died for us.

It can be difficult to live in a state of peace 
with neighbors, friends and family.

But the one who loves God must labor after this.

We cannot have misunderstandings with others
without having our own peace disturbed.

To be happy
we must be at peace in our hearts 
with all men
even if they are not at peace with us.


The Word says
"as much as it lieth within you"
be at peace.

We are to do all we can to preserve peace
without dishonoring God,
and seek to help others with their feelings of anger.

And we are not to begin a quarrel.

But peace doesn't always depend on us.

Others  may oppose us
they may hate the Truth we love,
they may slander and revile us.

We do not answer for their assaults, 
but 
we do answer for our conduct 
toward those who assault us,
and
 we are never to begin a warfare with them.

It may not be possible to prevent others from
injuring or opposing us,
but it is possible for us
 not to begin a contention with them.

We are never justified in our revenge, anger or slander of others.

We are here to be vessels  of healing.

God will take care of the behavior of others
as we leave all in His Hands.




Be Reconciled To Them


If you remember someone has something against you
leave your gift at the altar,
go, and be reconciled to them
then come and offer your gift to God.
Matthew 5:23-24
*
Anger and judging others
is a poison that kills secretly and slowly.

We will be judged one day 
by the sins against others that we take so lightly.

We are to have Christian love and peace to all.

We are to confess our faults
and humble ourselves to those we have harmed and wronged.

We must do this quickly
because our communion with God 
will be hindered until we seek to 
reconcile and be at peace.

We are not promised more time to  
forgive others.
Today is the day and time
to humble our hearts and seek to do good.

Forgiveness does not depend upon
others forgiving us.
It does not depend upon them 
seeking forgiveness from us first.

Forgiveness happens
when we take responsibility for our 
actions or reactions to situations and people.

Romans 12:18 says,
If it is possible
so far as it depends on you
live at peace with all men.

Sometimes it is not possible to have peace
or relationship.

Some may not be ready to forgive.

Their relationship with God
may not be developed to a place where they
understand forgiveness and reconciliation.

Other times,
the one we need to forgive or be forgiven by
has passed out on or out of our lives.

The important thing is
forgiveness in the heart and a willingness
to  put aside any bitterness or lack of forgiveness.

We are not to expose the weakness
and infirmities of others.

Just as we long for Christ to cover
and not expose our weaknesses and sins,
we are to forgive others and not speak of their 
sins in slander or gossip to our own hearts
or in the hearing of others.

This is not to say we do not bring sin to light
or allow sin to go on.

We don't allow our hearts to become
bitter and share the sins of others for retaliation.

We all have sinned.

May we 
be the one
to take the first step.




Friday, April 14, 2017

Not A Care In The World


We all remember Andy, Aunt Bea and Opie.

Those lovely Mayberry folks who
knew how to live life in the slow lane
and keep family as priority.


Sittin' on the front porch was everyday life.
Hurrying and scurrying was not a part of the plot.

It wasn't that long ago when children had little to do
other than school work, a paper, job or play time with the neighbor friends.


There were no tight schedules to rush off to
every day of the week.

Bought toys were far and few between.

Cell phones and social media were unheard of.

 We weren't bored though.
We thought up things to keep our  minds and bodies busy.

Nobody hurt kids at school.


We had Bible and prayer daily.

The playgrounds were for playing,
they were safe even with no armed guards.


We came home to mom and dad.
Dinner cooking,
prayer before bed....family times.



I remember......
I was there.
**
Andy Livens Up The Neighborhood



Little Church In The Wildwood

















Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Fresh Apron

The strings were tied, it was freshly washed, 
and maybe even pressed.
For Grandma, it was everyday to choose one when she dressed.
The simple apron that it was, you would never think about;
the things she used it for, that made it look worn out.
She may have used it to hold some wildflowers that she'd found.
Or to hide a crying child's face when a stranger came around.
Imagine all the little tears that were wiped with just that cloth.
Or it became a potholder to serve some chicken broth.
She probably carried kindling to stoke the kitchen fire.
To hold a load of laundry, or to wipe the clothesline wire.
When canning all her vegetables, it was used to wipe her brow.
You never know, she might have used it to shoo flies from the cow.
She might have carried eggs in from the chicken coop outside.
Whatever chore she used it for, she did them all with pride.
When Grandma went to heaven, God said she now could rest.
I'm sure the apron that she chose, was her Sunday best.




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Beautiful Springtime


I was reminded today that
there is much to be concerned about in the world.

It's true, yes.

However,
the beautiful world we live in
reveals God's invisible qualities.
His eternal power and divine nature are 
clearly seen and understood
through all He has made.
Romans 1:20

It's best to focus on the goodness of the Lord.

The world has always been in an upheaval,
and we are told in the Word that perilous times will
be a part of the ending days.

But that does not have to stop us from enjoying
the beauty of His creation and the goodness that is a part of each day.


Jesus told us that if we have
food and raiment to be content.

If we have Jesus we have all we need.

It's okay to remain simple and focused on the tasks of each day.

He has promised to guide and lead us
no matter what may come.

So for today,
enjoy the simple and good things He has entrusted to you.

Spring is here again.

The trees are budding,
the little birds are raising new families,
flowers are blooming.

Your Father knows.

He has given us a beautiful new Spring to enjoy.

I hope you will take time to enjoy the blessings
that surround you today.

**
The Red Robin


Spring,Spring,Spring
















Monday, April 10, 2017

Morning


The windows were open 
to morning air embroidered with bird song.....


"Cause me to hear Thy loving kindness in the morning,
for in Thee do I trust"
Psalm 143:8


There is One Voice that can cheer the heart-
Lord allow us to hear Thy Voice every morning
at the first dawning hour.

To hear His Voice first thing in the morning
brings comfort to the soul and joy back to the heart.

Only He can take away our cares.

Don't allow hope to sink,
rise up daily and seek His Presence and comfort,
for He will not fail you.

Each new morning
brings a fresh new start.

Just put your hand in His 
and follow His voice.

"My sheep hear My Voice
and I know them
and they follow Me"

He knows the way dear one.

*
Morning Has Broken









Sunday, April 9, 2017

Whatever Plans He Has


When I commit myself to God
I will find Him working out the details
of whatever plans HE has for my future.

I simply cooperate with those plans as He
begins to reveal them.

I'm  never to draw up my own plans
and ask Him to bless them.

I can rest in peace
because
God will not fail me.

Inevitable


I have learned how to cooperate with the inevitable.