Forgiveness

I am not an expert on things of the Bible.  I don’t think I pretend to be.  I am not afraid to admit that there are some things that are tough to swallow when following the ways of Christ.  However, despite all of that, I am eager to learn more about Him and I trust Him to know better than me.  His ways are higher than mine.  My lack of understanding is because of my imperfections, not because of His.

One of the things many Christians struggle with is forgiveness.  It is pretty easy to forgive someone for an accident, but I am talking true ‘lay down the sword’ forgiveness.  My biggest struggle isn’t forgiving people who hurt me, but rather people who hurt those I love, or people who hurt children.  But we must forgive.  And we must pray that they change.  We are called to minister to them just as much as we are called to minister to the little old lady next door who always bakes us apple pies.

Whenever I think about murderers, abusers, etc, I think of a few things.  First of all, it is not my place to judge where they will spend eternity.  While we are not called to condone, accept, or agree with their choices…in fact we are called to speak truth against their choices and hold them accountable…we are not the judges of their forever fate.  Second of all, I am far from perfect, and the deepest sins that Jesus knows about me are no better than the ones that we all know about public sinners.  Third, while some people are completely aware of the evil they do, others are not completely…some were raised from birth to think it okay to hurt those who don’t agree with them.  Some have not found Jesus yet and do not realize how wrong they are.  This doesn’t make them innocent.  No…none of us our innocent, but prayers and forgiveness are for everyone.  I also thank God that by His grace alone, I am not under the mindset that murder and abuse is the right path to take.  Finally I think about the length of eternity.  We cannot even comprehend the length of time eternity is.  And for someone to suffer for that long helps me pray for everyone.

Again, please know I am not condoning these people or their actions.  I have not been in the position to have to forgive someone who hurt my family in a severe way.  I have had to forgive people who have hurt my family in a less severe way though.  I don’t know how I would respond in the situation, but I pray that I would be able to forgive and love as Jesus would call me to do.  I am not at all claiming it would be easy.

When I think about people around the world hurting others, especially children, the only way I can make it make sense is if I relate it to “Divergent.”  Yes, my favorite movie!  There is a part of the movie where people are put under a trance and in this trance are programmed to do things that they normally would be against.  When they come out of the trance they are appalled at what they have done.  I think of the unsaved as being in the trance and if we can reach them, maybe they can come out of the trance, stop hurting people, and help save others.

In a world of Sauls, let’s pray for some conversions to Pauls.

11.6.14

Yes, yes, yes, I know.   Promises to be here every day.  I know.  But, I have been saving up verses and will tell you why in a moment.  I am not making any more promises to be on here every day, but I will try very hard to be.  😉

We have had 3 pipe semi-flooding incidents in the last 3 weeks…none connected, all annoying, all time consuming.  I have been knocked down for the past week with gall bladder issues, which has made the eating and exercising thing a bit tricky.  Ironically it hit when I was eating my healthiest, but I am not usually unhealthy (I do not deprive myself of a good burger or milkshake on occasion, but I am generally not in those situations), we are the typical chicken, fruit and veggie family.  Boring, yes, healthy, yes.

So health first…I have not exercised in about a week.  Hoping to start today.  I hadn’t been sleeping…like, at all…so getting on a treadmill was daunting and lifting weights…well, let’s just say I feared dropping things on my head.  😉  I have been great with calories now that I am afraid of food, which you would show on the scale.  I am not worried about losing weight right now…truly…but ya know, an added perk to being sick is usually losing weight.  I think I lost an ounce.  My body is just quite out of whack these days.

Enough about me, I have had some wonderful verses (yes, they are all wonderful) come to my email through my daily verse website and I wanted to share.

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.  2 Corinthians 3:6

Jesus is the only way we can enter His Kingdom and have eternal life.  Following every law to the “T” will not get us there.  Now, that does not mean you should break laws just because His forgiveness abounds.  If we are one with Christ and know the sacrifices He has made for us, we should want to make choices He wants us to make and reach even those who treat us or those we love the worst.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  1 Peter 2:9

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

10.28.14

Yes I am still here!  Life just recently exploded (nothing serious, just time crunches all around)  🙂

First of all, I want to start with this verse that came in my email a few days ago.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

Talk about a convicting verse!  All of our thoughts and attitudes are judged by our SINLESS, PERFECT, Master and Creator.  If only we could remember that every day.  Remember that not only do we not have any right to judge another no matter how “bad” that person may seem, but how do we stand before our perfect maker knowing that He knows our innermost thoughts, feelings and secrets.  We are not called to judge, but we can hold each other accountable…there is a fine line there we must be careful not to cross.

Something else I have been convicted by for quite some time is prayer for children.  I have been a pro-life advocate for as long as I remember, but it goes beyond that.  We need to do everything we can for children all over the world.  Some of us can help them in a tangible way, some in a monetary way, some with prayer.  I feel that kids need to be the forefront of prayer…our own childrens’ eternity, babies not to be aborted, girls who are sold, children who are bullied, children who are abused, bullied, taken advantage of, and even killed.  Children need to know real love, real hope, real faith.  They need to know their loving Father through Him and through us, through prayers and through hugs, through warmth and through clothing, through kindness and through honesty, and through safety.  Let’s keep them in solid and consistent prayer.

Now, I also was supposed to put health and fitness on here too, so moving onto that, which is significantly less important than what I have typed above…BUT…we do need to take care of our temples, too…so here we go…

I have been doing pretty well with calories and workouts…I now have a Christmas party to add to the motivation list.  😉  Even if your calories don’t change, you will feel so much healthier if you switch soda for water and add some green veggies.  Health is the key, remember.  Health and toning is the goal!  If you have ever heard the saying “Abs are Made in the Kitchen” that is correct.  Granted you have a bit more leeway if you are working out hardcore, but part of being toned is what you put in your stomach.  Some foods will help shed fat, while others will put a nice fat layer over those muscles you worked so hard to achieve.  Switching up workouts also keeps your muscles on their toes.  I have been adding some cardio boxing into the mix, which has been great!  Constant moving, squats, arm and back muscles active, and very fun!

OK, off to tackle the day!  Enjoy yours!

OCTOBER 15TH

OCTOBER 15 IS REMEMBRANCE DAY

On October 15, at 7:00 pm in all time zones, families around the United States will light candles in memory all of the precious babies who have been lost during pregnancy or in infancy.  Too many families grieve in silence, sometimes never coming to terms with their loss.

If you or someone you know has suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss due to SIDS/SUID, prematurity or other cause, we hope you will join us in this national tribute to create awareness of these tragic infant deaths and provide support to those that are suffering.

Help us create a ‘wave’ of light across our nation!

Learn more at www.october15th.com

Tidbits from daily life

Life has been a bit of a whirlwind since school has started, but here are a few things that have been happening:

* My husband and I are in a bible study with some of our friends, Sacred Marriage, and it is so refreshing to be in a room filled with people who are married and want to be married.  🙂

* Without babysitting 2 little ones, and now being in a routine with school, I have a lot more time to just be with the kids uninterrupted.

* In the craziness of work, higher education, school and kid schedules, date nights are wonderful! 🙂

* I began reading “Undaunted, The Josh McDowell Story” and while it is a difficult read so far, I have high hopes of it being a great book!

* I am looking forward to going to see “Unbroken” after Christmas.  If you have not read it yet…read it!!!!

* Minnie Driver may be the best actress ever…I am watching “Return to Zero” as I type and it is incredibly well made.  For those of you who don’t know about the movie, it is about a couple whose baby was stillborn.  It is based on a true story.  I haven’t seen this issue portrayed since ER did an episode on it.  They depicted it very well, also.  Amazingly, in the ER episode “Midnight” the situation was almost identical to mine…even down to the baby’s name.

* My kids ran their first mud race and it was awesome!!!!

That’s all the updates for now!

Enjoy the weekend!

God and the world

The world is a mess.  I don’t know of many people who deny that.  Morals have become distorted, God is forbidden in some places (apparently by those who think He can be told what to do), and people are more selfish than they have ever been it seems.  In the midst of the craziness our job is to TRUST HIM.

We trust Him in our lives, with our marriages, with our children, with our homes and our jobs.  We need to TRUST HIM.  That does not mean that our lives will go exactly as we want them to go.  He has warned us in His Word that we will have trouble in our lives.  It does mean that when everything falls apart we still trust that He is good all the time.

When families crumble, when people leave, when children die, when loved ones do not turn to Him, when commitments are broken, when our hearts our broken, we still hold onto His promises that …

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

and

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)

In this world that is a crazy mess, He has already overcome.  Our job is to trust Him, to let His light shine and to take as many people as we can to Heaven with us…where the pain will stop…where we will be forever if we know Him and follow His ways.

Perfection

I am glad I am not perfect.  I am glad I am so far from being perfect that I have no place to judge others.  Of course we all do at times, wrongfully.  But…I am glad that is not my authority.  (note: Christian accountability and malicious/flippant  judging are very different things)  I am thankful that God can see past even the ugliest of sins and see how He can use that for His glory, in many cases taking the sin away and creating a whole new person from the trials.

Right now there are some people in my life that are choosing very different paths than the ones in which they started.  I have Christian and non-Christian friends trying to take control of situations that need to be given to God.  Someone asked me yesterday why I want them to be in Heaven.  My heart breaks over each situation.   I pray that God changes their hearts quickly.  I am a sinner, too.  Perhaps their sins are more noticeable than mine because they are on display right now.  That makes them no worse than mine.  So while I pray dramatic changes in their lives, I also pray dramatic ones in mine.  Though I will never be perfect on this side of Heaven, I pray that I (and everyone) will grow closer to Jesus, and His will, everyday.

Praise God who gave His only Son.  Praise Jesus that His perfection reigns and that He took our place on the cross, so that when God looks on our lives He only sees the perfection of His Son.

5.16.14

Another great devotional from Bible Gateway NIV devotionals for moms.  🙂

Listen to the Stones

Luke 19:38–40

Additional Scripture Readings: Proverbs 1:5

Habakkuk 2:11

When Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, crowds cheered, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38). The Pharisees ordered Jesus to tell the disciples to be quiet. Jesus replied, “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40). Surely Jesus meant that the good news of his coming was so overwhelming that, if human voices failed, the most ordinary, inanimate objects of the earth would have to shout his praise.

In the same way, if we miss God in the big picture, he will be sure to make himself known in the plain, the small and the near. The ordinary stones of our lives are ready to tell us something important. They praise a God who is ever-present. They bless the name of a God who cares.

Like the unexpected note that picks up our spirits. Or the nearby parking space when we’re in a hurry with a baby and toddler in tow. Or the hug from a friend that says, “I understand.”

In life’s tough times, evidence of God’s care may seem to evaporate. But his presence in daily moments is there nonetheless—if we’ll just listen to the stones.