Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ice Storm

As I sat in my warm house
 looking out at the glistening branches covered with ice,
 it all looked so beautiful!

Yet, a closer look showed
amidst the beauty and sparkle
of the ice covered branches,
 trouble lurked.

The younger, more pliable branches
 bent slightly with their burden of ice.

However, the older branches,

and especially the evergreens,
almost touched the ground under this burden.

 Further still,
 I saw a few branches simply fell off under the weight of the ice burden and lay upon the ground.

They could not endure.

What about me? 

      When burdens come, am I the young branch,
                                                                                the older branch or
                                               am I the branch that falls off?

I have had seasons of being each of these branches. I prefer to be the young branch who endures under the weight of the burden without bowing low or falling off!

How do you carry your burdens? Do you know the One who wants to carry those burdens for you?

Here is his invitation:

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, 
and I will give you rest. 
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,
 for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
 and you will find rest for your souls. 
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

English Standard Version (ESV)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Twists and Turns of Forgiveness

As with most things in life, forgiveness is learned as we journey and grow. Early experiences with forgiveness usually include being told "Say you are sorry" as a child. Honestly, don't most of us wonder why we are saying "Sorry" when the other kid was mean to us?

Further along in life, we begin to seriously wrestle with our hurts. In the twists and turns of trying to understand forgiveness, we learn there are choices to be made. Here are a few:

We can ignore them.

We can bury them deep.

We can be angry.

We can seek revenge.

Eventually we discover that none of these choices comfort our soul.
Only one choice does that...forgiveness!
But how exactly does one forgive a hurt and especially a hurt that no one said "I am sorry for..."?

Here is what I have learned over the decades of my life:

  • Forgiveness is something I choose.
  • Forgiveness is between me and God.
  • Forgiveness brings freedom.
  • Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation.
  • Forgiveness is only possible because I have been forgiven. 

Remembering how much (like ALL of my sins from the past, present and even the future!) I have been forgiven by God through His son, Jesus....enables me to grant forgiveness to others even if they do not say
"I am sorry."

And then, my soul is comforted and I am free. 

See Matthew 18:21-35

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Where are you?

After a 6 month break from blogging in which I served in Bible Study Fellowship, an International inter-denominational Bible study where we spent 9 months in the book of Genesis, I want to share nuggets from the "book of beginnings', as Genesis is called. It is "where I have been".

A phrase from Genesis 3 grabbed me this morning. It is "they (Adam and Eve) heard the sound of the LORD GOD walking in the garden" [Genesis 3:8 NASB].

Adam and Eve lived together in this wonderful garden God had created for them. It was their home. They had probably heard God walking there daily. He lived with them. What was different this time? Why did the "sound" matter this time?

It mattered because this time they had done the unthinkable...they had eaten from the one tree God had forbidden and they felt SHAME for the first time.

SHAME that they were naked.

                SHAME that they had disobeyed God.

So they hid from God....or they attempted to do so. I understand. I try to hide too!

Things would never be the same and they knew it! This would be an incredibly sad story BUT GOD!

GOD who loves so much who rather than SHAMING them asks a question "Where are you?" Did He ask because He did not know? He asked because He wanted Adam and Eve to come to Him, to share with Him what had happened. He gave them a chance to confess and they did! God listens, answers, disciplines and then provides a covering for them. BUT GOD!

As I ponder this verse....I ask myself....
   Do I listen for God walking in my life?
   Do I talk with Him when I feel SHAME?
   Do I let Him remind me that He has covered me too?

 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness

1 John 1:9

New International Version (NIV)