Tag Archives: forgive

Dandelion Lives and Mashed Potatoes

Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
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Like the seeds on a dandelion stem we are but skeleton remains of what we were before Jesus began to heal us.  We are but a ghost of the image of what once was our self.  As we begin to seek God for answers on how to be healed and become whole it’s like we just keep blowing on those seeds and soon they disappear into the wind until all that is left is a stem.  This is where the dying process should begin but we as self-help gurus, want to start right at the beginning and kill the life out of our weeds.  For you see a dandelion is a weed to a beautiful, well kept lawn and the first thing we do is get our the spray and begin to annihilate life before it can begin.  But to God there is beauty to be beheld in the dandelion.
We as humans do the same thing to ourselves sometimes when we come to know Jesus.  All of a sudden there is an awareness of the sins which have surrounded us.  We start a no smoking program.  We join the nearest AA to control our drinking issues.  We do our best to stop swearing.  We stop gossiping about others.  We try to be nice to all people.  We try to fix all the wrong relationships in our lives all at once.   We begin to forgive our mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers, aunts, uncles, teachers and the multitude of people who have hurt us since birth.  What do we forget in this process?  Our very own selves.  We tend to misunderstand that all of the sin natures we have will begin to dissipate as we allow God to heal our wounded hearts.
We get so caught up in getting our lives in order and in line with God and trying to live right that we completely forget that we need to heal.  We need to forgive ourselves.  We need to right the relationship with ourselves.  Some of you are scratching your heads right now because this seems so backwards.  Some of you are saying that it could never happen because you have done so many wrong things.  Others of you are saying, what does loving myself got to do with anything?
Loving yourself is the center of who you are.  God created you to have an intimate relationship with and if you are not in tune with who you are because you don’t even want to approach you because of all the unlove, then how will you ever have a right relationship with God?  If we are always running away from our own issues, how are we ever going to be healed?  I think that we are so busy trying to figure out life that we forget it’s all up to God.  We were created by Love itself.
We need to come to this realization that God does all the healing and fixing of us.  We just need to surrender our will to His plan.  We need to be obedient to that still small voice.  We have to begin to believe all of the promises God has for us in the Bible.  We need to come to the full understanding that God loves us and will never leave our side.  Healing is a process.  Somethings can be healed instantly while other issues in our lives just take time.  We live in a society of instant mashed potatoes and I think we expect that if we just had water, butter and some heat to a heap of flakes our lives will be all back together in a matter of minutes.
Stop running.  Just stand still.  Rest.  Relax.  Hear God say. “I love you”  ” I miss you”  “Come spend some quiet time with me”  He is waiting for you to just give up.  To finally be able to say to Him, “Here I am Lord, fix me, I am broken and unable to put me back together.”
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Plugging in ALL of My Lights

1 Corinthians 2:9 [Full Chapter]

We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him. But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit hasbrought it all out into the open before you.
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What does it mean to give it all? Webster’s dictionary says GIVE means: to make a present of, to grant or bestow by formal action, to put in the possession of another for his or her use, to administer as a sacrament, to commit to another as a trust or responsibility and usually for an expressed reason, to transfer from one’s authority or custody. And the definition of ALL is: the whole, entire, total amount, quantity or extent of.  Hmmmmm, so giving it all when you are following after God simply means:

 All of me as a present to God in a formal manner, putting me in His possession as a living sacrifice, committing myself to His authority, trusting that when I give my all to Him I am allowing Him to have my entire being, mind, body and soul.

Wow!  Until today as I am writing this to you, I think I was deceived into believing that I could just give God what I thought He needed of me at the time.  I am beginning to see the light!  The light of truth.  If we could only come to this place where we just give it all at one time we could see changes in us that may have taken years come to reality in a shorter period of time.  Think about it, if you have a string of Christmas lights and it has 300 bulbs that fit in it and you put only one in each day it would take you 300 days before you could enjoy the lights! But if you put all the lights in it the day that you received it, the light would be on from that moment forward.

Now don’t get lost here, I have a point.  When we come to know Christ in that one moment of acceptance, He gives us everything we need to survive this world, He gives us salvation and grace and unconditional love and the blessing of the Holy Spirit.  What if He only gave it to us one piece at a time?  Some of us would be stuck in the mud for a very long time before we came to see the fullness of Christ in our lives!  But when we choose Jesus we get it all, it is that moment we should come to believe that we are to give it all to Jesus….all of our garbage:  addictions, rejection, insecurities, desires, any brokenness or ungodliness.

However, this is a difficult from the standpoint of how many of us come to meet Jesus.  So many of us come with such a hunger for something different yet we are too broken to figure out what part of God we should take part of first.  As we grow and mature we soon discover how massive God’s love is for us and we begin to give Him more and more pieces of us.  Sometimes we are so overcome by His love that we decide to just give it all to Him.  This is what is happening to me right now.  I have this overwhelming desire to give every tiny little but of myself over to God.  I have come to this place in life where nothing else matters but God and His agenda for my life.

So I am choosing to put all the light bulbs in the string and plug into what God has for my life, are you willing to do the same?

Burn Those Bridges!!!

Luke 11:33-36

“No one lights a lamp, then hides it in a drawer. It’s put on a lamp stand so those entering the room have light to see where they’re going. Your eye is a lamp, lighting up your whole body. If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don’t get musty and murky. Keep your life as well-lighted as your best-lighted room.”
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Do you remember people in your life telling you, “Don’t burn that bridge?”.  Well, I am hear to say in my own opinion…Burn Them!  And here are the reasons why I feel it is the right thing to do in order to move ahead in your walk.  One:  It’s the past.  Two: It’s not worth walking back into.  Three:  Moving forward means forgiving and forgetting what is behind you.
There are so many things in this world which lead us to our own bridges.  Sometimes bad marriages lead us to bridges. Other times it’s a work related issue.  Maybe the bridge is simply becoming more like Christ.  Whatever our bridge is, once we choose to walk over it, we have to decide not to look back and I feel to keep our minds away from looking back, we just need to burn those bridges after we have crossed over.  Does that make sense to anyone else?
Often times our bridges from disaster to perfect peace are long, tedious walks.  Sometimes there is so much pain in taking the next step that for just a moment our flesh just wants to go back to the familiar, less painful edition of our life.  I remember the EXACT moment when I started out on my bridge away from my ex-husband.  I had 22 years of destruction behind me, that mind you, I was quite comfortable in for whatever reasons.  When God told me to get an order of protection instead of picking my husband up from the physc-ward, I wanted to stomp my feet back to the beginning of that bridge because my natural mind could not understand how I could live without him.
Do you see my confusion between flesh and spirit?  I knew in my heart of hearts that I had no desire to return to the mess I was in before God gave me a way out, yet my flesh did not know how to live any other way than how it had been.  My spirit on the other hand, knew there was freedom on the other side of that bridge and it wanted nothing to do with what my flesh desired.  It knew there was something better just ahead.  So, I did what I knew best and forgave.  Yes, forgave my ex-husband first and then I forgave myself.  As I began to feel the release, the beginning of the bridge just disappeared and I no longer wanted to go back to my comfort zone.  I was ready for my new edition of life.
So to me, burning those bridges brings freedom.  It allows our flesh to die and our spirits to thrive.  Forgiveness is the match that starts the flame.  Freedom comes from forgiving not only others by ourselves.  Once we lose the temptation to look back, our steps become easier and the desire to be renewed is so strong.  A passion begins to burn in our spirit for God that nothing will put out, not even our past.  So, go ahead!  Burn those Bridges!  Move forward in the things of God one bridge at a time.

Unmerited Favor

“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.

 Matthew 18:15 NLT

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So what do you do when someone does something wrong to you and seems to not want to have anything to do with fixing the issue?  What kinds of emotions are running through your mind?  First your anger rises and then bitterness might set in.  Then comes the explosion of emotions that you really did not want to happen.  Pretty soon you probably have said or done some things that really were not so pleasant and a complete misrepresentation of the new you in Christ.

 

This type of incident just happened to us.  John took our car to a dealership to get a deal on an oil change.  When we then discovered after four days of driving it that the oil light came on,  John popped the hood and found the car to be 3 quarts low on oil.  Upon further investigation it was discovered the dealership had placed the wrong filter on the car at the time of the oil change.  Now, needless to say John and I were a bit steamed.  The final payment on the car was just paid.  We really had no way of getting a new vehicle if the engine blew up in this one, so we were a bit angry when we called.

 

John spoke to the manager and she said for us to bring it to them and they would take a look at it.  Well, that was not how we wanted it to roll.  We wanted them to come get the car, knowing the dealership was in another town 30 minutes away.  We did not have money for a tow charge.  Some words were exchanged and we even threatened to get a lawyer for it seemed as though the dealership really was not going to doing anything. So John bought the right filter and put oil in the car and had decided to just not deal with it.

 

How many times do we do that with relationships?  We figure it’s just not worth dealing with because nothing will be resolved.  John waited a day to cool off and then drove to the dealership where he first apologized and asked for forgiveness.  When he took the time to humble himself about the situation, then God could step in and show us just what favor was all about.

 

John left the dealership with a full refund, a 3,000 mile warranty on the engine, a new oil change with the best oil and the satisfaction that some times it takes humbling ourselves and repenting for our actions for God to do something awesome in our life.  This goes back the one commandment Jesus left us with, love your neighbor.  When we begin to let go of our own issues and accept that people make mistakes everyday, then we can be open to that love.

 

Is there some anger in you today?  Have you pushed aside something that you feel won’t ever change?  Maybe today, search your heart.  Choose right now to look at some situations in your life that perhaps need some humbling.  As for John and I, we are a work in process and sometimes we have to just take a deep breath and trust God to take care of all of our circumstances so that we can be ready to love and forgive others.

Who Says?

2 Corinthians 5:17

        This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

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Did you ever have someone tell you that you can’t do something?  That your goal was not achievable?  Maybe you always wanted to be something in life but for some reason there was obstacle after obstacle in your way?  We all have heard the “if you can dream it, you can do it” catch phrase but how many of us dream of things we know somehow just won’t happen.  I think this really goes back to my earlier blog about Matter Over Mind, if we have the mindset that we will not amount to anything, well, then there lies our fate.  If, however, we choose to allow Jesus to rule our thoughts and actions, who knows where we will end up.

I know, it’s hard to wait.  I feel like I have been waiting for something to happen in my life forever!  Just when I think something is about to really getting going with my books, something gets in the way.  One delay after another it seems, but the more I seek after God the more the reality sets in that perhaps I cannot see what God has in store for me and He is waiting for me to be fully ready to take on such a responsibility.  God will never give us anything before we are ready for it.

So I encourage all of us to get rid of the “so and so said I can’t do that” attitude.  Maybe we need to begin to forgive some people in our lives for speaking lies into our subconscious.  Maybe we need to begin to believe in ourselves for just a moment and look to God for some answers.  God did not deliver us from the hand of Satan to just accept His salvation.  He has great plans for us and He even says He wants us to prosper.

Begin today to seek God on this issue.  Ask Him what His desires for your life are, I can almost bet it’s exactly what you have been dreaming about doing.  If it His will, He will give you the tools to complete the task.  Yes, you can have those dreams if you choose to listen and obey what God speaks to you. Anything is truly possible with God.

How Long Will it Be?

Psalm 119:81

 I am worn out waiting for Your rescue, but I have put my hope in Your word.
Psalm 69:3

I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping,waiting for my God to help me.
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I have been blogging a bit about giving it all up and carrying luggage around.  I have shown how these things work in my life and now I am moving forward step by step, little be little into the realm of my destiny just like God promised me.  How long did this take….hmmmmm..YEARS!  I went through some experiences and had some valley walks which made me stronger in the Lord and more at peace than ever before.  Sometimes we get caught up on the how long God? and the when it is gonna happen Lord? that we can’t wrap our minds around what is going on.  We live in a now society and sometimes we think God should be that way all the time too!
When we are surrounded by our life and it is not going so well, what are we doing to change our circumstances?  How do we change our positions so that God can actually work on our behalf?  Why do we think that it is always God that needs to do something?  Perhaps we fail to realize that things sometimes just take time.  Maybe there are other factors which are related to your circumstance that you cannot see.  Let’s just use my past marriage as an example.
I stood by my husband year after year wanting things to change.  When he stopped drinking I was excited until I saw what drugs was beginning to do to him.  Man, I felt stuck so what did I do?  I quit on God.  Yup, gave Him up like it was Lent and I was fasting something I really needed!  I was willing to give up the one thing that would get me out of the mess I was in just for the sake of trying to keep my family together.  I was in a place where I felt guilty that I had chosen against God’s will.
So how did things change?  Well for one it still took time for my miracle to occur.  I had to position myself with God again and as soon as I realized that I needed God, He began to change me, not my situation.  So many times we just want a quick fix and do not realize we might have been part of the problem.  We expect God to fix those problems in our lives, not seeing that we are the ones in need of fixing as well.  As God begins to heal your brokenness , He starts showing you the people and circumstances that you need to forgive.
With me the startling factor in the working of my miracle was that I needed to forgive myself.  Yes, myself.  I had to realize that I was beating myself up daily for the mess I had gotten in to.  Once I decided to forgive me, that is when things began to change.  I was able to receive God’s love.  I was able to forgive people in my life.  I was able to love again because I was beginning to love myself.
Are you waiting for God or is He waiting for you?  Are you wondering when your miracle will happen or if it even will?  I challenge you to stop looking at your circumstances and trying to figure out what God will do next or when He will actually move on your behalf, instead, look at you.  Do you need to forgive yourself? Do you need to let some luggage go?  Do you need to stop giving in and start giving up?  What is your next move, God is waiting to see what you will do.