Monday, March 30, 2009

Forgiven!

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
Luke 7:44-48


Many sermons have been preached about the woman in the Bible that bathe the feet of Jesus with her tears, anointed them with the contents of an alabaster box and dried them with her hair. A beautiful song has even been written about it. But it was this morning that I really understood the depth of her worship.

You see I believe that this woman had been forgiven much because of her former lifestyle (it is taught that she was a former prostitute) but greater still; she was forgiven of the things that people could not see. The fact that Jesus could look beyond all her exterior and even see her inner most thoughts and still love and forgive her was an astonishing revelation! Jesus could look into her eyes and into her heart and see all the times that she had been hurt, the times that she was rejected, the ugly words that were spoken to her and about her. He saw her distrust of mankind, her fear of not being willing to take a chance to love again, her unwillingness to live again.

It would have been so easy for her to receive her forgiveness and salvation from Jesus and then lead a life of seclusion, never venturing out in public again. But it was her desire to worship the King of kings and the Lord of lords that brought her into this public, unseemly place to show her gratitude.

When she began to think about what the Lord had done for her, not only had He forgiven her, but also He had accepted her from where she was. She didn’t have to clean up first for Him to receive her, she came as she as was. And she knew that He could see EVERYTHING about her and He STILL received her into the beloved. Oh how grateful she was as she washed and kissed His feet. Oh how she worshipped her blessed Redeemer and Savior.

And that is how I feel this morning! The Lord has not only forgiven me, but He has looked beyond all faults to see my need! He knows my hurts, my rejections, and my fears, even my most ugly thoughts and He STILL loves me! When I come to Him as I am asking for forgiveness, for acceptance, He NEVER turns me away. I am His beloved and He is mine!

Thank You Lord for receiving me, for loving me, and for helping me to fulfill my purpose in this life. It is with great humility and in the legacy of the woman that went before me; to bathe your feet in my tears and to kiss your feet as I worship You! I worship You…

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sunrise


"From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD's name is to be praised. "
Psalms 113:3

I LOVE music and it is how I start my day. Christian artist Alvin Slaughter's new CD "Overcomer" is in my CD player in the car and I worship with him as I travel on my way to work. One of the songs he sings has the lyrics of the psalms above; and it has been going over and over in my mind.

I'm a morning person and no matter how tired I am or how many hours of sleep I've had (or NOT had), I am the most energetic in the morning. So seeing the sunrise is a celebration for me. If I knew that I would not get arrested, I would stand in the middle of a field and do a fancy dance when the sun comes up! I rejoice at seeing a new day AND that God has allowed me the opportunity to be His instrument to be His light in this world.

I've seen the sun burst through the clouds causing them to shimmer like silver. This morning however it was cloudy and a light rain drizzled; but the sun still shone through the clouds in rays as if to say, "I'm still here!"

Psalms 113:3 says that we should praise God from sun up to sun down...why? Because He is worthy to be praised. When I think of all He's done for me (now don't get me started) I want to do the Electric Slide! LOL Im a crazy person in the morning, I get lots of sideways looks when I bounce down the halls smiling and cheerfully saying "GOOOOOOOOOD Mornin'" to the sleepyeyed staf f and students. But I honestly am enjoying the new day and the "Son Rise" in my spirit! Thank you Lord!

But by 6:00PM I begin to wind down. And all that dancing in the fields stuff...I'm still praising God but I'm thinking more in the lines of doing it in my comfy chair by the fireplace...so glad He understands me. (smile)

In your lifetime, if you haven't already, catch a sunrise and relish in it's beauty. it promises a new day .. a new day to worship Him!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Letting go

"You are only responsible for the choices that you make", these are the gentle words I heard in my heart several years ago as I laid prostrate on my living room floor. The weeks preceeding this gentle message from the Lord were filled with worry and concern over some decisions that a family member had made. In my desire to see them have what I felt was God's best, I panicked when I saw them making decisions that would not have positive consequences...or at least in my perspective. I cried out to God day by day asking Him to change their minds, put up a roadblock, open their eyes, etc, etc. I was allowing myself to get so worked up over the situation until I actually began to feel physically ill.

You may read this and say, "Boy this chick has some real issues!" but for the sake of clarity and before you label me a lunatic or a manic depressant, let me explain. In a rapid sucession, I had lost one of my closest friends, my daughter-in-law's parents, both my parents, my closest cousin and then my beloved husband. The passing of these people was preceeded by their illnesses, in some cases, long term. It was like the rug was pulled out from under me and I was left standing in the midst of uncertainty. Now don't get me wrong, I knew God was with me, and that He loved me very, very much, but let's just say that I felt "whupped". (smile)

It was not long after this and during the process of my emotional healing journey that the situation that I mentioned above came into play. I had worked myself into such a worry about my family member until I could not see straight...until the Lord spoke to me that "you are only responsible for the choices that you make". simple yet so powerful to me.

I was worrying about something that I had nothing to do with. When we make decisions (right or wrong)then we become responsible for whatever consequences come from it. But we cannot take that responsibilty from another adult. If they decide to do something, even after they have been warned, then they are saying I accept whatever may come of this.

A good example of this is I Samuel 8 and 9. The people wanted a king, God warned them, but they insisted on getting a king; so bascially God gave them what they wanted. And we know the rest of the story about King Saul.

I had to learn through those simple words spoken to me that day that God will allow us to make wrong decisions. So I have to allow those that I love to do the same. God in His love and mercy is always there waiting to "pick up the pieces" of our bad consequences. And so instead of worrying about other people's choices, I should pray that God will give them wisdom and leave the rest to Him. Letting go can be so very hard but aaahh I feel so much better now...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Attitude

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossian 3:17

Whew! What a weekend this has been. Spring has sprung and my yard needed some TLC. I take full advantage of the mild sunny days here in the Northeast. A couple of weeks ago we were blessed with 60 degree weather and I pruned shrubbery. This past weekend the temperature skimmed the 60 degree mark and I worked on the grass. Boy! little did I know what hard work it would be! But once it was done I relished in knowing that my lawn was prepared for seeding and fertilizer.
I had read in my devotional about having the right attitude. And how if you have the right attitude, no matter the situation, you can "bloom where you're planted". I thought of this while I was "planted" raking my front lawn. It was a tedious and tiring job, but as I began to turn my thoughts toward God and remember how far He has brought me, my attitude toward my work began to change. Even when my neighbors stopped by to ask if I was going to have a backache after doing all that work, I still managed to smile.
Because I am a widow, there are tasks and decisions that I now must do and make alone. To be honest I still have times ( though not as often) when I have a pity party and wonder "Why me?". But as I meditated on the Lord while I did my work, I realized how truly blessed I am. He has helped me so much these last 7 years in my journey. Helping me to see that as I keep my eyes on Him, I can accomplish things I once thought I could not.
So the task that I dreaded doing ended up being a wonderful time spent with the Lord! And I'm going to have the best looking lawn on the block!