About Me

Friday, September 23, 2016

FORGIVE MYSELF?

“You just have to forgive yourself,” my friend told me.  I sinned against God and a close friend.
My heart broke.  I know God forgives, but forgiving myself?  Somehow that did not sit right in my spirit.  However, I would repeat the phrase to others when they felt the lack of forgiveness.



You just have to forgive yourself.
 What does this mean?  Is it biblical?
 Through prayer and study, the Lord revealed to me why my spirit was unsettled about the statement.


As a believer, I know sinning against God is inevitable.   Even the Apostle Paul confessed his struggle.
"For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing" Romans 7:19
What did the apostle Paul do when he encountered his own sin?
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"  Romans 7:24-25
He acknowledged his sin.
He acknowledged the need to be rescued from it.
He thanked God for Jesus' deliverance.

He did not forgive himself.
As I continued to study I heard these questions echo in my head.
Did you hang on the cross?
Was the sin of the world put on you?
Did you endure excruciating pain?
Are you God?
Tears filled my eyes as I exclaimed
“NO! NO! NO! NO!”
You did, Lord, You were the one.”
I remembered the following verses.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;”1 Peter 2:24
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people."  1 Timothy 2:5-6

Why do people say, “You must forgive yourself?”   In my case it was ignorance. I repeated what I learned. 
I claimed 1 John 1:9- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But, I still felt tormented by the guilty feelings of sin. I sincerely repented, so why the angst?
A former pastor helped me to understand, "When we sin against God, it leaves a spiritual wound. The wound needs to heal. The feeling is the healing process. God is not condemning us."

I no longer say, "You must forgive yourself". I acknowledge my sin before God and claim His promises of forgiveness and acceptance.
I thank and praise God for the finished work of Christ on the
Cross.   I run into his arms and  receive the healing.  
 I would love to know what you think about this topic.
Have you ever told someone or yourself, "Forgive yourself?"
Join the conversation.


Friday, September 2, 2016

WHAT WERE YOU EXPECTING

Unmet expectations can cause angst, as we discussed last week

My son is autistic. When life does not go as he expects, the closest object can become a projectile and his body shakes as he sobs.
His therapist stated,
"Michael is already at the playground sliding down the slide in his mind, his expectation becomes a reality to him before the activity occurs."
My heart broke for my son. I understood. 
I visualized situations playing out in my head, only to have my hope dashed against the rocks of disappointment.
With help from his therapist and Scripture, Michael and I began to realize the difference between reality and expectation.

In the Bible, the word expectation is interchangeable with the word hope.
Hope is not wishing,  it is a quiet confidence in knowing.
I did a Bible study on the word expect. Holy Ghost goose bumps appeared when I found the word in the least likely place...
 Rahab the prostitute expected great things after she met the spies in Jericho  Joshua 2
The spies made a promise to her, they would rescue her only if the red chord remained in the window upon their return.
Her situation did not immediately change when they left, men probably still wanted her services. She waited at least three weeks but kept her focus on the chord.
The word for chord here in Joshua is Tiqvah
My son has named one of his stuffed animals Tiqvah.
Blue letter Bible has another meaning for it besides chord

 hope, an expectation

Nowhere else in the bible is Tiqvah used for chord or rope.

God is so good to use the word expectation and chord together.  Rahab's expectations were not dashed against a rock or torn down when the walls around her fell at her rescue. Her expectation became reality.

Rahab stated  in Joshua 9 &11 -I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the landmelt away before you. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.
Her story continues

Matthew 1:5-6   Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. 
Jesus was in the lineage of King David.

Rahab looked to God for her hope not the actions of people or situations.
I want to learn from her.
How about you?
What do you put your hope in?
Join the conversation.

  

Friday, August 26, 2016

MAMA DIDN'T RAISE A FOOL


I LOST IT!   It’s gone.   I was so upset I refused to look for it.
However, If I did not find it, my family would be in dire need of emotional repair.

What did I lose?   What is this thing that could bring pain and destruction to my family?




My temper… My Self Control. ….my mind!

  I pray you will continue to read this knowing that I am a flawed follower of Christ.  
I crush the fruit of the spirit because I want my own way.
 I  long to react to every defiant answer from my child, or flippant remark from a loved one, with a gentle answer;
Even when they don’t.

Our family verse is
  “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1


  So why did I lose it this morning?  Why did I yell?  
I asked my son three times to brush his teeth. His reply,
"Not right now."
"You're  going to be late for school."
"Just one more minute." he said as he turned the tv louder.
"NO, NOW!"
I shut the TV off mid-show. "No more TV before school."
He stormed out of the room, brushed his teeth and left for the bus stop.

I felt horrible.
I searched my Bible for verses on anger,


“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9
A FOOL!
 I don’t want to be a fool anymore.

Wait!   The verse says “resides in the lap of fools”,

There still may be hope for me after all.
The Hebrew word for “resides” is


  nuwach  -    which means  rest, settle down, remain.        

Anger does not need to remain. 


I visualized the anger falling from my lap crashing to the floor.
 I need to stand.
Stand up against foolishness. My foolishness.


So how do I stop acting like a fool?
Anger goes deep. Getting to its root is vital for change.


My friend, Cecil Murphy, describes it this way”


.
I get angry when my son does not act as I expect .
I get angry when no one listens to me.
Lord, I expect respect, is that too much to ask?
I continued my prayer with Psalm 139:23-24


“Search me, 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.’ Psalm 139:23-24
God revealed my sin to me.  That morning my anger was seeded in unmet expectations. 
I expect my son to behave and respect my request every time. When he disobeyed, I resorted to screaming. Instead, I needed to be firm with my words and give consequences.  

I endured verbal wrath from my biological father. I don't want to parent like him.

I am glad God doesn't treat me like I treated my son that morning. 
When my son returned home, I asked for forgiveness. 
God and I are still working on my unbalanced expectations.
Next week I will go deeper into what He's teaching me.
What makes you angry?

Join the conversation.






Friday, August 19, 2016

WHEN ADHD MEETS DISCIPLINE

“STOP!” I screamed as I grew more frustrated.  “I can’t focus! How am I going to get this book done?"
 I have ADHD.   I did not realize I had it until my son was diagnosed with it 10 years ago.  
Finally, I had an answer to my fidgeting, lack of concentration, unfinished projects (Tweet this)
and my urge to blurt things out during a conversation because I'm afraid the words will escape me.
 I knew I needed focus and discipline to finish the book.

   What happens when ADHD meets discipline?  I liken my thoughts to a squirrel scrambling to collect nuts.  There are so many that he stops in his tracks.  “Which way do I go?”  “Which nut do I focus on first?  Which one is the biggest?"
  I am that squirrel, with  a hundred  thoughts flashing around in my brain.  What chapter to I focus on today?   What will touch the reader’s heart?  What Bible verses do I use?  LUNCH!

“Lord, I need your help!”  I knew God would not call me to write and then leave me scurrying about gathering up words that don’t make sense.
Image result for SQUIRREL My biggest problem is finishing a task.   I continued to pray.
 A friend of mine mentioned a Discipleship Counseling Course that he completed through Eternity College.  The course was free.   I like free.   I signed up and found myself with ten hours of homework each week.  Homework that would change my life forever.
 We had to complete the book, “You Can Change” by Tim Chester.  The book states to pick one thing you want God to help you change. I chose Procrastination.  Working through the book helped me figure out why I procrastinate.  It is not just ADHD.  I lost that excuse.
It is disobedience. I know God called me to write. 
I can’t blame the squirrel for everything.  I searched the scriptures. and the next verse became my marching orders.
   
  “Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.”
 2 Corinthians 8:11

I try to apply this verse daily, trusting God will keep His promise from the Scripture.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me Philippians 4:13

I made a schedule and follow it.  This keeps me focused.
Squirrels still invade my day, I have even chased a few but God gently reminds me to focus. 
Instead of chasing them I try to learn from them.
 They chase each other up and down trees, scurry across the yard, hang from the bird feeder, and gather nuts like it is a relay race.  Seems like a bunch of craziness to me. However, their work gets accomplished and they have fun while doing it.

I accept my ADHD and give God the glory for using this squirrel chaser to further His Kingdom.(tweet this)
Do you chase squirrels? What distracts you?
Join the conversation.

Friday, August 12, 2016

NEED PATIENCE NOW?

"I have no patience when it comes to you fooling around, I told you to clean this room," I said to my then five-year-old son as he sat on his bed.  
"I don't know where to put my books; I don't remember where anything goes," he said as his body shook and tears wet his favorite cowboy shirt.
The Holy Spirit reminded me that I am to teach and guide; not to expect my son to know the task after showing him one time. 
Now who was the foolish one? 
I apologized and prayed  THE PRAYER for both myself and my son.
Oh to have God's love sweep the cluttered rooms of my heart, (Tweet this)
filling each shelf with patience, kindness, and joy.
 There would be fewer tears and more understanding in my life.

I pray THE PRAYER daily. I have seen changes in those I bring before the throne.  I admit I was surprised at how soon it occurred.
Those I prayed for seem happier like a burden had lifted from them.  Thank you, Lord.
However, mild depression clouded my heart.  I did not pray daily for myself.  Silly me.  
The cloud lifted when I began to include myself in prayer. 
Let's continue to look at THE PRAYER

"Your love that is patient and kind; love that does not envy, boast, is not arrogant or rude. Love that does not insist on its own way, not irritable or resentful." 
 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (adaptation) 

All definitions are adapted from Blue Letter Bible  ESV version.
Patient- makrothymeō: to be long-spirited, longsuffering, endure, slow to anger, and slow to punish

Kind- chrēsteuomai: to show oneself useful, act benevolently.

Envy- zēloō:  to have the warmth of feeling for or against, affect, covet, be jealous over.

Boast- perpereuomai: a self-display, employing rhetorical embellishments in extolling one's self excessively, brag

Arrogant- physioō: to be puffed up, to bear one's self loftily, be proud

Rude- aschēmoneō: to act unbecomingly (not according to standard)

God's love toward us reveals itself in this prayer.  If you struggle with self-loathing, bitterness, anger or any sin, put your name in the prayer.

Your love that is patient and kind with Cherrilynn...not rude, irritable or resentful toward Cherrilynn.

Prayer helped me to love others as I accepted God's love for me. He gives me the power to love and be loved.




and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:5








Knowing that I have God's love in me gave me hope. 
 I can
 love the unlovable,
 forgive the unforgivable,
 and pray for what seems to be a hopeless situation.
The living Word of God has gone deep into my bitter soul and eradicated the hate and replaced it with love.  (Click to tweet)
I'm shedding my rude, arrogant behavior and replacing it with kindness and patience.
Is there someone you need to love more? Someone who has violated you, hurt you, lied to you or slandered you?"
Will you join me in aligning our hearts with the heart of God?
God wants us free from the burdens of bitterness, guilt, anger and pain.
Let's leave bitterness and anger behind.
We no longer need to be jealous when someone gets the job, car, or relationship we want.  We will be happy for them because we love them with the love of God.


This will happen when we pray THE PRAYER.

What do you struggle with?  
Join the conversation.

Friday, August 5, 2016

I PUT THE "PRO" IN PROCRASTINATE

I procrastinate.   I don't know why I put things off.  Maybe it is because I have a fear of failure or I am just plain lazy. 
Clutter overtook my workspace, a good excuse not to write.  
My son needs me, another good reason.
Excuses hindered the progress of my book.
I knew God called me to write it.
People invested time and money to help publish my work, so I had to do something about this procrastination.

I researched potential reasons for my inability to complete this task. 
Fear of failure
Perfectionism
Lack of Reward
The list goes on.

I could blame my behavior on the abuse from my father or other childhood events.  (My research  proves this theory)
The biggest thing I have learned about procrastination when it comes to obeying God,
Procrastination is a sin.  There, I said it.  Now, if I only could put off this guilty feeling.

After many days of prayer, self-examination, and study of the Scripture, procrastination began to release it's ugly grip on me and peace calmed the raging sea of guilt.

 I now claim this Bible verse every morning.
It is my marching orders from God.

Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 2 Corinthians 8:11 NIV

God is good to teach us from the Word.

I think of the ten virgins with oil lamps.  Five had oil and five procrastinated and did not get oil.  They were called foolish and missed the life changing event. You can read the story HERE


The outcome of those who waited was tragic (Tweet This)


On the opposite end of the spectrum, King Solomon built a Temple for the Lord. It took 20 years. His patience and dedication are recorded in 1 Kings


Thus, all the work that King Solomon did on the house of the LORD was finished.  1 Kings 
7:51

Finished.  That is a word that most procrastinators long to hear.


I repented of my sin.  I remind myself daily that God loves me, He is patient with me, and gives me everything I need for life and godliness. 

 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 2 Peter 1:3 NIV.

God gives me the power to do it.  How can I fail with the Creator of the Universe on my side! 
If we move forward with God's purpose, we no longer need to procrastinate (tweet this)
 Do you procrastinate? 
Join in the conversation.   

Thursday, July 28, 2016

MY BIRTHDAY CHALLENGE

How do you celebrate your birthday? 
 I love parties with friends and family.  I admit, I love the gifts too.   
My birthday was my day.  A special day set aside just for me.  
Something changed on my 45th birthday.   
We lived in NH.  My husband was out of work, money was tight.  My husband was sad because he could not get me a birthday present.  We rarely exchange gifts anyway.  I had a long talk with God about this whole gift giving idea.  

A person should never feel pressured to give a gift.(Tweet This)

I continued my conversation with my Abba as I drove to the grocery store.  
While in line, I noticed the woman in front of me as she fumbled through her purse. She did not have enough money and looked embarrassed.  
I've been in that same situation. I usually put items back.
"Here, take this."  
I handed a ten dollar bill to the young man at the cash register, knowing I could not afford to.
"No! I can just put the ice cream back." the woman said without making eye contact.
"Not the ice cream,  it's my birthday today, the best present I could get is to buy Ice Cream for someone else."  The words came out before I could stop them.
"Happy Birthday!"  The young man at the register and the woman said in unison.
"Thank you!  Now, you would not want to deny me this present on my birthday would you?"
I loved the confused looks on both of their faces as the woman walked away, with her groceries, including the ice cream.
I purchased my groceries and headed home. 
Joy filled my heart and I thanked God for the wonderful Birthday gift.
I shared the story with my husband and son.
"From now on I am going to give on my birthday.  The gift I get in return is far more precious than anything money can buy!"
I rarely tell anyone that I do this.  I am not trying to promote myself or get an atta girl.
But, how can I keep such a wonderful blessing from you?
I want to challenge you to give on your birthday. 

'remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 (ESV)

Don't tell anyone that you are doing it.  See how God blesses you for it.

I know many of you already give to the poor and needy.  God sees that.  
Will you go one step further? 
Will you join me and give on a day people least expect you to? I would love to hear about it. All the Glory goes to God!

Join the conversation.