Monday, October 25, 2010

Keep Us Forgiving

This past weekend, I was the guest speaker at a Lutheran Women in Missions Fall Rally. I was given 40 minutes to speak and used every last one of them. When I finished speaking, I looked at the timer and it said 1 second. The 40 minutes were packed with scripture, personal testimony, and lessons to learn and encourage us as we desire to live lives of worship. I had my speech written out as a guide, but knew it well enough that I was not tied to it; some things were added and some things were left out as the Lord lead me.

The one thing that struck me this day was one of the thoughts that I spoke passionately and with conviction that the Lord brought out of my mouth. They were words that I had not written down and words that I had not even thought about as I prepared, but they were words that are ministering to me this day and hopefully to anyone that the Lord put there to hear them.

What I said, when talking about releasing bitterness and un-forgiveness that we harbor, was this. . . "Ladies forgive, It could change someones life, It changed mine!"

My main viewpoint in un-forgiveness that day was the need for us to be obedient and to show grace as God has shown us, but the turn it took at that moment was the effect that our forgiveness to others can impact their life. This hits me tenderly and deeply, because my life would look very different today if people, if my family, if my husband, if my children had not forgiven me for what I had done to them.

My life is different this day because of what Christ did once and for all and because others followed his call to forgive.

If you (if I) have people, that to this day, we are separated from because of un-forgiveness that we have refused to show them, lets start following the example of Jesus Christ and forgive. It can and will change someone life. If not theirs. . .then ours.

Luke 11:2-4

"When you pray, say,
Father, Reveal who you are. Set the world right. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil." The Message

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Proper Place

This was my prayer today. . ."God, put me in my proper place so that I have a proper and right perspective of how You want me to view things."

How often do I ask to be "put in my place?". Most the time "putting someone in their place" takes on a negative connotation; it's like knocking them down a few pegs, forced humility of the sorts.

But lately (and often) I have been asking this of God for myself. When I get out of place and follow my desires and my own will, my view tends to get obscured. I can very easily rationalize why what I am doing would be for the good, but I have a blocked view of what God is calling me to when I do this. I'm viewing the prize from the wrong angle. God can not be fooled, God will not be mocked, God knows my heart and my motives.

How often I recite Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

And how lovely it is when He searches my heart and leads me back into his will. Quickly and swiftly He straightens out my motives and my desires, and takes away my anxious thoughts. He plucks me out and leads me in His way everlasting. Daily. . . . daily crucified. . . . daily.

Because of what Jesus Christ did on the crossed, because He allowed the Father to put him in his proper placed, because he humbled himself on the cross and had the perfect view of OUR sin, because he took it all on, conquered death and rose from it, I. . .WE are redeemed when we put our faith and trust in Him. He made us holy, sanctified, justified and righteous. He became sin, He who didn't even sin, EVER. He knew no sin so that we could become His righteousness. Thank You Jesus.

Oswald Chambers writes "Receive Jesus to be made sanctification to you in implicit faith, and the great marvel of the Atonement of Jesus will be made real in you. All that Jesus made possible is made mine by the free loving gift of God on the ground of what He performed, my attitude as a saved and sanctified soul is that of profound humble holiness......The effect in me is obedience and service and prayer and is the outcome of SPEECHLESS THANKS and adoration for the marvelous sanctification wrought out in me because of the Atonement."

Believe in Him this day for the salvation of your soul. May we all be put in our proper place, standing clothed in the righteousness of Christ, loved and adored by the Father, received into life everlasting!!

Mmmmm, thank You Lord.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Curly Toes

One of my nick names when I was young was "Curly Toes" because I had curly toes. They weren't long and straight, they were just cute little baby toes. I am resigned to the fact that my feet are not one of my greatest beauty assets and I'm ok with that.

Now as my daughter comes into her teen years, she increasingly says (as she did a minute ago, which prompted me to document this) that she wishes she had prettier feet. Yes, she inherited my feet! What she said to me this day is "Mom I wish I had beautiful feet." So with that I simply said "You know the Bible says 'How lovely are the feet of those who bring Good News, so if you want beautiful feet, Go tell someone about Christ and the promise of forgiveness"

With that she responded "ok, but how come your feet aren't beautiful yet?" She always makes me laugh!

What is our definition of beauty, Aren't the beautiful feet those that are worn from walking it out for Christ. Aren't the beautiful faces those that are carried with wrinkles from the years of smiles that they shared. . . . our hands, rough from the years of service. . . . . and our hearts so full from the joy that God fills us with until that last moment when they cease to beat and we are instantly in the presence of God . . . .

Yes, "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" ~Isaiah 52:7

When I look at this picture of Mother Theresa, I pray that same beauty upon myself and to you.
I had the opportunity to serve at Mother Theresa's Home for the Sick and Dying in Port Au Prince, Haiti. There are no words to express it and no cameras allowed inside to capture it, but as a dear friend told me "The people who come here, do not come to die, they come to live" Those words made it possible for me to enter, to serve and to have engraved in my heart beautiful tears of life.

Peace Out! I'm off to do a beauty check!