Seeing the green army men

Here you are sitting at the table, talking to your teenage son about his future goals and it hits you, the realization that you can’t protect him anymore. It’s naive to think you ever were truly protecting him but in … Continue reading

A C.S. Lewis find

“Mere improvement is not redemption

‘Niceness’—wholesome, integrated personality—is an excellent thing. We must try by every medical, educational, economic, and political means in our power to produce a world where as many people as possible grow up ‘nice’; just as we must try to produce a world where all have plenty to eat. But we must not suppose that even if we succeeded in making everyone nice we should have saved their souls. A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, looking no further, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world—and might even be more difficult to save.”

C.S. Lewis-Mere Christianity

“That person”

Don’t you hate being known as “that person”? 

“That person”, the one who loses it at the end of the day in tears. “That person”, the one who loses it because of someone else’s actions. “That person”, the one who everyone is waiting to see when the fuse will be lit. “That person”, the one who they expect some kind of reaction from. “That person”, who collapses due to insecurities and weakness. 

What if I could be known as “that person” who is known for the positive instead of the negative?

“That person”, who overcomes the day. “That person”, who rises above the challenging person. “That person”, who doesn’t accept defeat but accepts victory through grace, kindness and love in response. “That person” who smiles in the face difficulty. 

I so desire to be “that person” who exemplifies Christ’s grace, mercy, love, kindness, and forgiveness. I also desire to be “that person” who exemplifies Christ’s strength in me where I do not fall apart and I do not crumble in my own insecurities. The only way I can truly be victorious is through Him so I can become “that person” who He has created me to be, not who I have created, in and through  Christ, His strength will be seen.

 Look for me, I am going to become “that person.”

Death Sentence

Prison-Cell-Stillwater-SOURCE-Public-Domain

Have you ever given yourself a death sentence or felt as though someone else has?

Has there ever been a time when you have done something, been ashamed, committed a wrong, and thrown yourself into your own prison?

Have you committed yourself or someone else to this death sentence?

Whether you have wronged someone or been wronged yourself, one of you might have, unknowingly been committed to a death sentence. You or someone else have done something that has caused such great pain that your lives will never be the same.

For the one who caused the pain, they feel forever sentenced to their wrong doing. It is as though anything they did before or will do, that might have been “good”, will be forever erased because they will constantly be known by their stripes. They will always be seen behind the prison bars and sentenced to a life of “death” to who they once were and forever chained and known by their “sins”. They daily encounter remarks or actions that are like lashes, continually beating them down, reminding them that they will never make an escape from the cell that they are in.

For the one who received the pain, they forever sentence themselves to the other person’s wrong doing. They put themselves behind the bars of their own fear, hurt, insecurity, and self doubt. They refuse to free themselves from pain that has placed them there. They hold so tight to the sentence that has been given to them that they can not see a way out. They feel so alone, weak, and hurt that they become enveloped by the cell that has been placed around them.

Before we begin to drag ourselves, or lead others, to the execution chamber, we need to know, or be reminded, that someone has already paid the sentence. Our “death” has been taken care of and our freedom has been paid for in full. No matter how far you have fallen, how greatly you have been wronged, how deeply you have hurt, Jesus Christ has gone to the execution chamber in your place and your sentence has been wiped from your records.

Jesus Christ died on the cross in order to pay the costly price for those hefty wrongs we have committed. He has shown us grace, love, and mercy by dying for us. Once we have accepted that, knowing it is nothing we have done but it is everything He has done, our sentence has been wiped clean.

So if He has taken our death sentence why are we still held up in that prison cell? The bars have been opened and we are still sitting in the cold, empty cell, alone in our imprisonment. The guards are gone and yet we refuse to leave, move, or accept our freedom. Why? We are our worst enemies. We are our prisons. We are our Wardens.

Stop looking down! Look up! Jesus is there, waiting to free us. Take His hand and escape from that prison cell. You have been set free! You no longer have a death sentence, you now have pure and beautiful freedom that only Christ can give.

Enjoy the warmth of the Son, you have been set free!

Forgiveness

Forgiveness, what does that mean?

What does forgiveness look like?

Who truly forgives?

When I think about forgiveness, I have to ask myself, “Do I forgive?” I mean of course I say the words but do my actions follow through with what I have said?! As much as the person that has wronged me needs to make sure their actions/words are pure, I need to make sure that mine are as well.

Forgiveness doesn’t change the circumstance and doesn’t erase the pain and choices that have come with the actions. Forgiveness frees me, and the person that has wronged me, from the chains that have come with the circumstance.

What does forgiveness look like? Forgiveness looks like Jesus. Jesus died for me/you on that cross and forgave me/you of our sins and that is what true forgiveness looks like. Now, am I Jesus?! Of course not! I am a human, filled with sin, who fails constantly at life but am trying to learn from Him daily so my forgiveness will not look perfect.

So how do I do this forgiveness thing? Some things that I have learned forgiveness not to look like is where I can start.
-Forgiveness does not rear up in anger whenever it feels like it.
-Forgiveness does not give the silent treatment.
-Forgiveness does not keep a mental record of wrongs to bring up for another time.
-Forgiveness does not make verbal or physical jabs.
-Forgiveness does not keep emphasizing the weight of the situation over and over again.
-Forgiveness does not slander the other in public.

So how do we do this forgiveness thing? Some things that I have learned forgiveness to look like are where I can end.
-Forgiveness means to pray for those that have hurt you.
-Forgiveness means to help the other with whatever struggle they might have wronged you in.
-Forgiveness means to encourage them.
-Forgiveness means to protect the situation from future harm. Not by building walls but by believing that God, who began a good work in you and in them, will be faithful to complete it. Trust Him while creating boundaries but not walls.
-Forgiveness means to love them as God has first loved us.

Forgiveness- spread the wealth!

Matthew West – Forgiveness (Official Lyric Video) from matthew-west on GodTube.

 

October 15th- Finding loss and believing in hope

"Pregnancy and infant loss awareness day"

“Pregnancy and infant loss awareness day”

October 15th, today is the day when the world recognizes the loss of infants and babies to death, too soon (“pregnancy and infant loss awareness day”). Of course as mothers, we recognize that loss every day. I am one of those as I know many very close to me are as well. If you have had a miscarriage, a still born baby, or a baby that only had a short moment on this earth, let me tell you, you are not alone! You are not alone and they are not alone. God is holding you and your babies in His arms, in the grip of His grace and He won’t let go. I have the hope that I will see my baby again because I have hope in a God who has promised me I will.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

I am sorry for your loss, pain, and for many of you empty arms, but if there is any smidgen of hope to be had, put it in the Creator who hasn’t forgotten or overlooked you or your baby, knowing you will be reunited once again, with your faith in Him. You are and always will be a mother whether you miscarried a child 6 weeks along or 6 days old. I do believe life begins at conception!

“….and to think, the first thing he saw when his little eyes opened was the face of Jesus.“- Author unknown