Saturday, December 9, 2017

Act of Kindness...

"Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else." I Thessalonians 5:15

 An act of kindness towards a person has lasting effects, I know because after over 20 years, I still remember when lying on a gurney in a hospital hall waiting to have some post-op tests done after having a major brain surgery; and as I waited I shivered from being cold with only the gown and a thin sheet to cover me. The attendant had walked away for something and after a while I overheard the passing staff talk about what they were having for lunch, I felt so all alone in my state...did anyone care that I was so cold? Right after that thought, one of the passing staff returned with a blanket and covered me, saying, "You looked cold." He noticed...when I thought no one cared. I cannot remember the face, but I do remember the concern in his voice and how it touched my heart...not only for the warm blanket, but that someone cared. I was not physically able to rise and hug him but I surely would have, because to me, at that time, a simple covering of a warm blanket was life...was hope.

 I was reminded of that today because at Aerobics class we were learning a new line dance and me being a klutz (but a lovable one I guess) could not get the steps right. I was going to give up when one of the ladies near me said, "Here, follow me.", and with patience, she coached me through each step. Now some would say that's stupid, but that simple act of kindness, really blessed my heart. She did something that she did not have to do. Maybe she WAS tired of me looking like Klutzy Lucy, but I so appreciated her kindness and it made my day!

 It takes so much energy to get revenge on folks for wrong things done to us...why not use that energy to doing something good, something kind. It would have lasting results AND would make this world a better place...maybe not on a national or international level, but it sure would make it a better place around you and the folks that you come in contact with. Let's be the "warm blankets" that cover people that are hurting and need to know that someone cares, let's be the coaches that come alongside the ones that need encouragement. Do something good for someone else today and have a great day!


Monday, December 4, 2017

The Power of Forgiveness

"The next day John (the Baptist) seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.) John 1:29 "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:15

We often have an image of Jesus (Yeshua) as a soft, beautiful dove, a strong Lion and in this season as an innocent babe, but I am reminded this morning that He was thee sacrificial Lamb, He was the great sacrifice for all of our sins when He willingly allowed Himself to be stripped of all His heavenly power to suffer the penalty that paid for the debt we all owed but could never pay. I cannot fathom the depth of that kind of love. We may never be able on this earth to comprehend the magnitude of that kind of sacrifice. The power of forgiveness goes beyond my realm of reason, but that's where faith steps in...

I had a conversation with my teenage granddaughter when she was visiting, we talked about the atrocities, prejudices and injustices that have been done over the centuries and even to this day to people. Some things that have happened seems to have been absorbed into and even hidden in our history; spoken in hushed tones, shame ridden and even shoved under the proverbial rug for generation after generation. She wondered how could God forgive someone who would do such awful things to another human being. In her youthful passion she questioned how could God have paid the price for THEIR sins, as awful as they were and are. How could He forgive THEM... Those of us that are grandparents, I believe that the Lord has given us a certain patience/grace towards our grandchildren that we did not have with our children, maybe it is because we are a lot older, or maybe we have just been around longer and have heard and seen more in this life...that is why we have the reputations of being more lenient and more generous when it comes to things, which includes all
types of goodies by the way. 😉 In this case it was the patience to hear her out and not criticize for even asking that question. My granddaughter is a loving, kind girl, and I felt honored that she would be transparent with what was in her heart, because to be honest it was in my heart at one time.

Forgiveness is a powerful thing. Yeshua died for the sins of the world, He has already paid the price for all, no matter what the sin is. There is no "degree" of sin, God is no respecter of persons and if He was, He would be unfair, unjust and I dare to say... prejudice! That may shock you to hear that but it is true! If God favored one person over the other He would not be the loving God that He is. Now here is the key, He loves us ALL the same, He paid the penalty for ALL...but we each have to receive the gift of that sacrifice. When we come and surrender our lives to Him, then we are asking and receiving that gift that covers and forgives all our sins and unrighteousness; but if we choose not to surrender and receive that gift of forgiveness then He has no other obligation to fulfill for us. Yet even when we reject His gift He love us still...but our choices do have consequences.

If we have received such awesome forgiveness for our sins, then we have to forgive others. Unforgiveness is a sin. To forgive others does not mean that we have to hang out with them and be chums, but it is a heart condition. We may never understand why someone do or did what they do or did, but here is where faith comes in, we ask God to help us to forgive them not because of anything we can do but because of HIS sacrifice that He gave for ALL. He has already taken it upon Himself, so we give those people to Him. Forgiveness is a powerful thing, if we ever withhold it, then we are only hurting ourselves. Someone once said, that not to forgive is like pouring a glass of poison for the person and then drinking it yourself... Trust the Lamb of God today...if there are people or a person that you have not forgiven, trust Him to help you forgive them today...that act of forgiveness will be the best "gift" that you could give to yourself and them this season.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

No Way!

I really just noticed how much I write about anxiety and depression...well you guessed it, those are 2 things I have dealt with the most. No shame in saying it, I find that the older I get the "filters" seem to get flimsier and there is something so freeing about being transparent. All that pretend stuff is so tiring. I think that my "mask" has almost completely come off, or at least my grandchildren (teens) think so because they always say "MeeMaw I can tell what you are thinking by looking in your face!" So when they ask my opinion, they know what's coming.:-)

 I have this thing with dread, now don't laugh, I'm being wide open here...Yeah dread (pronounced DRED), which according to the dictionary is to "anticipate with great apprehension of fear". Yep, that's it. Its like even when something good is about to happen, you still have this feeling like you better not get too happy because you never know what may blindside you! Dear Lord! Am I a wacko or what? To be honest I am getting a lot better. I've gotten to understand God's character a whole lot better and also through prayer and by submitting to God, whose ways are higher than mine, and just trusting in His unconditional love.

 I am learning also to catch those feelings of dread early, before they can spiral off and become full fledge depression. Sometimes even saying aloud (even in public) "Nah uhh" translated means "No way". Even though this act may scare an unaware bystander, it helps me to shake off those feelings and thoughts that try to do a sneak attack. I don't recommend it for everyone, because there IS a risk that you will be escorted to the nearest exit. lol Recognizing and admitting your limitations can be a sobering experience, but surrendering to God's limitless wisdom, power, and justice is a great beginning to getting stronger. I can't have my hands in everything, so I release and entrust it all into His Hands. Not easy, but I'm working diligently on it. :-)

 The Scripture below also talks about a "kind" or a good word given makes your heart glad...so true. So sure, if someone gives you an encouraging word it certainly snaps you from those foreboding feelings of dread, but also if I give someone a kind/good word, it distracts me enough to realize that it is not all about me! There are many people that are experiencing trials and need a good kind word...something that we all have to give.

 So! now that I've spilled my guts on social media, I pray that if you are experiencing anxiety, worry or depression, be open about it and know that you are not alone, there are others, BUT there is HOPE! Submit yourself and all that comes with it to the Lord, entrust Him with whatever is causing you to feel dread, and encourage yourself by giving someone else a kind and good word...it will bless your day.


Monday, November 20, 2017

I Need Him...

" I need Thee Oh I need Thee, every hour I need Thee..." This song is ringing in my heart this morning, not out of sadness or turmoil, but rather out of gratitude because I know that the Lord is there to cover every need. It is a declaration that He is always near and willing to help us to be what He has ordained for us to be.

 Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:38-39 while in the midst of persecution "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." So either he was crazy or he had learned the Truth of God's character...that God's love is so strong, so forgiving, so everlasting and so unconditional that NOTHING could ever separate us from that Love. To put it bluntly, and I will... Anyone is a fool if they don't want to be a part of that kind of relationship.

 So as I sing that old hymn this morning, (I even got the jump on the birds this cold morning lol); as I sing, I sing it as a declaration that I need Him y'all...yes in the hard and scary times, but I need Him ALL the time! It sort of grieves me when I hear folks brag about not needing God and how they can do it all by themselves...I pray for them, seriously... that their eyes and hearts will be opened to receive His Gift so freely given. As the song says: I need Him every hour...and you know what? To be without Him I would surely be lost and a really pitiful lil somebody... so I pray today...

 Father, I thank You for Your love that we can never be separated from. Even as David declared in Psalms 139 that nothing can separate us from Your love... we thank You for that today. I pray this morning for those that cannot make this declaration, open their eyes to see You, so that they can experience this awe-inspiring, life changing Love. We need you Lord, whether we all know that or not WE. NEED. YOU. and I am so thankful that You never give up on us and will be always cheering us on to come to that realization. In Jesus' name Amen


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Growing up!

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." II Peter 3:18

From the looks of me I need to do a LOT of growing to catch up with these two young men (grandson on the right, family friend on the left, taken Thanksgiving 2 years ago)...and I believe they are STILL growing!
During a physical exam, when the nurse told me my height, I totally denied it. Surely she must be mistaken, I used to be several inches taller than that...then I finally figured out that the inches lost in my height, must have gone to my width! 😲 Let's face it, at this age I am not getting any taller, the growing process subsided ions ago. But the good news is that I am still growing and I don't mean my girth (I can "hear " the wise cracks) lol. I am still growing in grace and knowledge, YAAAAY God! That's not being braggadocios, it's just what comes as you learn to seek and serve the Lord and it's free!
After retiring , one of the biggest things I had to overcome was the answer to the question, "Now what do I do, what is my purpose?" Whenever there is a major change in your life, whether a job change, loss of a spouse, aging or even moving to a new residence, that question may pop up. The Lord helped me to answer that question by reminding me that as long as I have a teach-able mindset, there will always be room to grow...in Him. Ever see someone that thinks they know it all and you know that they don't after listening to their excruciatingly, embarrassing conversation? Well I don't want to be like that, though I'm sure I have been called a "know-it-all" at some time in my years. ;-) The point is, no matter how educated, informed or even how old you may be, there is ALWAYS room to grow.
In the scripture reference above, the letter written to Peter, was advising him that no matter what or how things were going on around him, and if it appeared that God's timing in keeping His promises was not happening fast enough...just keep seeking to be more like Christ, remember and walk in His teachings, to do what is right in God's eyes, to keep learning His ways through His Word...to keep on, keeping on. Now I am sure that Peter did not hit it every time, but I believe that was his goal, as it is mine.

I'm not the same person I was many years ago, matter of fact I'm not the same person I was 3 years ago, 1 year ago and even a couple of months ago. By the grace and mercy of God I pray that I will forever be learning more and more about Him, and to Him be all glory both now and forever <3 span="">