ForGIVEness is a choice and command
When the Lord says that we will only be forgiven as we forgive others, once again he is looking out for our best interest. Have you ever wondered what life would be like without forgiveness? The truth is the Law of Moses was given to offer people a guide so they could have the best life possible.
If you think back when you were a child and your parents told you not to do something, you can see now that it was because the loved you and were trying to protect you. I will never forget putting my Mom’s card keys in the electric socket when I was about 3 years old. Needless to say, I remember it vividly.
Thankfully, she had a wooden key ring (it was the 70’s) which probably saved me from having some major damage. Of course, that’s debatable. I just remember a powerful shock and followed by tears and crying. My mom ran to my aid promptly reminding me of why she told me not to do go driving in the wall.
Think about rules and guidelines. Often they are for our own good; however it is our human tendency to push the envelope and go our own way. God’s directive to forgive others is also because he loves us. Forgiveness is not a feeling . Forgiveness is a choice. You may ask yourself, “How can I possibly forgive this person after what they did to me?” The truth is that without understanding Christ’s ultimate sacrifice and love for us, it is hard to ever imagine the possibility of forgiving the unforgivable. I am so grateful to have a God that loves me regardless of my short comings. We all fall short of the glory of God. A God that sees me as his creation and one that is continually striving to grow and mature.
We are foolish to think that we can wade through the challenges of life without the covering of the Holy Spirit. When we trust in Christ we can do things that at one time seemed impossible. It is through Christ’s love that we can forgive those that have hurt us. This does not mean we have to continue to have a relationship with this person, it just means that we are no longer a prisoner as a result of what has happened.
Forgiveness is the key to freedom. We must remember that freedom has not and has never been free. Let’s not take this gift for granted.
Grace and peace to you!
Published in the St. Claire News-Aegis, Thursday, October 2, 2014 [Download]
Be you, and be willing
Have you thought about the trials in your life as the pressure that God is using to mold you into a precious metal? Like fine jewelry or precious pottery, our life is our story, our journey to wholeness. Our unique perspective can only been shared through our experience and allows us to relate to others as they are walking a similar path.
Did you know that God is molding you? As believers we have various natural and spiritual gifts, but God can use our past to help others that may be facing the same life challenges. It is during the times of struggle that we often seek God. Think about how you approach your relationship with God when things seem in control. We think we have it covered, that we don’t really need to seek God because obviously we are taking care of business. Are we really?
The truth is that when we find ourselves in the valley of life, God is pruning us. He is shaping us into the Christians that can be his hands and feet here on earth. When we seek him with all our heart, mind and soul, he will never fail you.
The Bible tells us that we should not lean on our own understanding, but acknowledge the Lord in all our ways and he will direct our path. There is such a comfort in knowing that if you put God first, he will direct your steps.
Are you willing to trust God with your life? He knew you before you were born. In fact, you were born for such a time as this. He is waiting for you to just seek him and trust that his love is unfailing. God is love. What are you waiting for?
All that is required is your ability to BE YOU and to BE WILLING. Be the you that God created you to be! Shine your light in the world for the Kingdom. The body of Christ needs you.
Grace & Peace to You!
Published in the St. Claire News-Aegis, Thursday, October 9, 2014 [Download]
Just because we can doesn’t mean we should
Today I was faced with making a decision to attend an out of town conference early next week.
The truth is that while part of me wanted to attend, the recent travel and stress surrounding my mom’s unexpected passing has taken a toll on my system. There were so many things that seemed to lead me to ignore what my body was saying and go regardless to seek God; however, I really had to ask God what I needed to do.
After I truly considered all the logical reasons why I should go, I had to get quiet to listen to what the Holy Spirit was telling me.
You see, in my logical mind I began to think about the opportunities to connect with other ministers in the southeast. I began to reason with myself in light of recent gestures offered (of which I am very grateful) that even made this decision seem more difficult.
The lie is that if I didn’t make the trip I would miss my opportunity to connect with God. The lie is that if I don’t make this conference I will miss the chance to meet others at a future event or different means. The truth is that sometimes even though something may be available for us to do it doesn’t mean that we should.
While asking God for direction and wrestling with the questions, that small still voice reminded me that I don’t have to go somewhere special to meet up with God. In fact, God is always with me, always accessible, moment by moment.
Once that decision was made peace returned, and my migraine slowly began to dissipate. I know I must remain in the rest of God so that I can be healthy and whole to do what I have been called to do. Being busy is not always being fruitful. If you recall, we are told in Psalms 46:10, we are called to be still.
What do you need to decline so you can truly focus on what is important in life? What are you doing that is not adding to
Ask God and listen for the answer. It may not be what you want to hear, but it is certainly what you need to hear. The decision is up to you to listen.
Grace and peace to you!
Published in the St. Claire News-Aegis, Thursday, October 16, 2014 [Download]
As the tree sheds its leaves, what lessons can we learn?
Have you ever wondered why you are here at this specific time in history?
I have been asking the Lord for years to show me my purpose. It wasn’t until recently that I found my passion for writing and encouraging others something that could be my purpose.
The ultimate joy for me is to help others get “unstuck” and move forward towards the abundant life awaiting them in Christ Jesus.
God uses all of us regardless of our age. From the very old to the very young, everyone we meet offers us a chance to learn and experience lessons in life.
Often we encounter people in our life that serve as sandpaper people. Dictionary.com states that sandpaper is a heavy paper coated on one side with sand or other abrasive material and used for smoothing surfaces.
It is easy to question why these experiences are necessary; however it is in the sandpaper moments in life that we grow closer to God.
The real goal is to learn from these moments and remember that no matter how good or difficult life is God’s promises never change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God will never forsake you.
What are you doing that’s not working? Perhaps what has worked in the past is now just a habit that no longer serves you.
What do you need to remove or add to your list of priorities? Where is your relationship with God on that list?
When Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, God still called out to Adam.
He is asking you the same question, “Where are you?” He still desires a relationship with you. If you know your best life can start today, why would you wait?
Rekindle that relationship with the Lord and learn what it is like to live in the Tree of Life.
Your life is like a garden. With proper pruning, you are sure to create a bouquet of flowers throughout your journey.
Published in the St. Claire News-Aegis, Thursday, October 23, 2014 [Download]
Are you sitting in your valley? It’s time to get up
We are in times of change and uncertainty.
In fact, the only thing we can count on is that things will change. The way we respond to our current situation will set the course for our future.
Perhaps life has thrown you for a loop. Whoever said life is fair? Jesus certainly
Often, I think life is made up of moments in time to test our resolve, polish us and make us stronger. When things get tough, our true nature is called forth. Are you going to stand up and walk through your valley, or are you going to sit there, have a pity party and be buried in a mudslide?
Decide today that you are going to walk through this valley period.
Remember all you need is one step at a time. Don’t let your end goal overwhelm you to the point of inaction.
Often we get caught up in the symptoms and ignore the root. If you feel stuck and you don’t know where to start, you might consider working with a coach.
Someone to work with you to keep you on task and remain focused. Many of us miss our window of opportunity while choosing to sit in the valleys of life waiting for things to change.
The Bible says that God will be with us during the good times and bad. However, we must have the faith to know that as we walk through the valley, He has a plan for us. We may not see it today or years to come, but in time you will be grateful for the amazing work that is doing in and through you. You must understand that there are times in life when we all need help. Seeking help is a standing in the courage to believe for something better. Isn’t that what God wants for us all?
Why don’t you decide to make things change in your world today? Stop thinking about what you can’t do and focus on what you can do. In the end, you are the only person that can help you.
Published in the St. Claire News-Aegis, Thursday, October 30, 2014 [Download]
Are you speaking life or death?
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
Wow, this saying we learn as children is so far from the truth. Perhaps it is true in the physical sense; however, our spirit and soul can remain wounded by the pain inflicted by these so-called harmless words.
We can live our life under these negative words for years, never really understanding it is our belief in these words that can bring life or death.
Jesus came to show us unconditional love – love that we could never earn. Often people say things without thinking
about the implications of their actions. When we have love in our heart, it will overflow into our thinking and manifest in the way we treat others.
When we receive the ultimate gift from God, his truth will begin the great work in you. You will begin to see yourself and others as Christ sees them.
What do you say to yourself? Do you feel that you are not worthy? Are you trying to be perfect? Although you should try to be your best, we will never be perfect in the eyes of the Lord.
The great news is that God knows that. He is well aware we are human and fall short of the glory – no matter how good we area.
How do you think God feels when you are putting down his creation? Stop picking yourself apart. Begin to focus on your gifts and not your shortcomings.
There is no one else like you or that has your unique gifts and abilities. Embrace your talents and begin to use them to be God’s hand and feet on earth.
Remember the words you say to others and to yourself can either bring life or death.
Published in the St. Claire News-Aegis, Thursday, November 13, 2014 [Download]
At a time such as this, believe big and stand up
This fall on Monday evenings, I am involved in a ladies Bible study group.
We are enjoying the friendship and connection so much we decided to create a Chick Night. Our thought was to have a more social time where we could fellowship and just have fun being girls.
Tonight we gathered for our first Chick Night to have dinner and a movie. Much to my delight, we watched One Night with the King. Although I had seen it before, tonight I saw it through new eyes.
What was Esther’s ( born Hadassah ) purpose ? As she walked out her journey obeying the protocol of the time, she also found the courage to believe much and stand up when it mattered most.
During the movie, she is told that although she may perish, perhaps God’s divine design gave her position and influence with the King for such a time as this.
What circumstance can you recall during your life where you had the opportunity to make a difference? Maybe you were not called to stop the annihilation of a people, but maybe you were called to be an answer to someone else’s prayer.
Your unique gifts and abilities will always be used if you are willing to believe big and stand up. No one said it would be easy.
Faith is the belief in things unseen. When you know, that you know, that you know the truth, nothing can stop you from taking action.
Published in the St. Claire News-Aegis, Thursday, November 20, 2014 [Download]