I also realize I have not perfected morality in my life.
No, I don’t lie, steal, kill, nor engage in sexual sins.
But, I do make mistakes. I fail to forgive. I talk about people. I act on my anger. I hold grudges. I justify myself. I forget to pray. I forget to read my Bible. I fail to witness. These are sins, as well. According to the Apostle Paul, to him who knows what to do but doesn’t do it, that is sin. I know what I should do about all of these failures I’ve listed. So it is sinful when I don’t do what I know to do.
Though I’m not sure I’m correct, I don’t think there are levels to sin. I have never believed one can get by with just a little bit of sin while others go to hell over big sins.
But I’m not the judge of what is “little sin” or “big sin”. And I don’t decide how God judges. As a matter of fact, I hope there are people in Heaven I didn’t expect to see. That might be how it will be. Maybe I’ll be the unexpected one.
It took God less time to change me than it took for me to become who I had become. But it cost me more to change than it did for me to become who I had become.
God’s work in me and my sacrifice to accept what He was doing in my life is too great of a price for me to succumb to the pressure to go back to who I was. I can’t jump back over the paradigm shift that happened to me — the span is too wide. But the push is there, and it’s uncomfortable.
But God says, “Stay steady and be ready. I will use both your change story and your faithfulness story to make a difference.”
So, I’m doing what I know to do when I don’t know what to do. I’m staying faithful to who He has called me to be (steady), and I’m studying to show myself approved (ready).
Hurt people hurt people because of our drive to preserve self. We live and learn then feel justified with our actions that are intended for self-protection.
I’ve discovered one of the most difficult challenges of human nature is living unscathed by hurt from others. The truth is, we can’t live unscathed, which is why we struggle. We strive for an untouched life when that is impossible for people who are living life. So, life happens and hurt people hurt people. They hurt us and we hurt them.
But God gives grace to the humble!
It’s easy to call out and negatively judge others when they hurt us. But we tend to find easy excuse and be unwilling to acknowledge and take ownership when we are the one being hurtful.
True humility acknowledges our own wrongful behaviors and embraces the journey of change. In this God gives grace to overcome both others and self. He helps us rise above becoming hurtful people out of the hurt we have received. He teaches us how to be better.
Recognizing there is a problem and identifying that problem is the first step to change. The second step is willingness to change. The third step is activating change.
Chronic offense is running rampant in our world, today. It seems everyone is offended about everything. Unfortunately, I have found myself to be among the offended, and I am prompted to consider why. I am also compelled to change this about myself since I am an advocate for change in others.
Offense happens for a variety of reasons: self-centeredness, pride, the hurtful behavior of others, lack of empathy, misunderstanding, prejudice, differences of opinion, etc... Upon reflection of my own offense, I have asked God for answers. Why am I offended and how do I stop being offended? How do I stop being self-centered and prideful? How do I ensure that I never engage in hurtful behavior towards others, never respond with lack of empathy, or never misunderstand another’s words or actions? How...
The Lord gave me exactly what I asked for — what I dreamed about as a young girl planning my future. He gave me two children — a boy first and then a girl — just as I asked.
But I didn’t end up being the kind of mom I thought I would be. And, through the years, I have battled a lot of shame over my mistakes. Of all the things I wish I could do over, I wish I could redo my early years of motherhood.
I read the “What To Do...” books that were supposed to give me all the answers to my mom questions. But those books didn’t have the answers to what needed to be fixed in my life.
Thankfully, along with all of the other attributes I asked Him for with regards to my husband, God gave me a man who was willing to pray for me and stick with me through the long haul until God could reach me and heal me of my brokenness.
Today, in spite of my regrets, I bask in the blessings of motherhood. My kids have grown into wonderful adults who love me and who, most...
Upon reflection of how my life has unfolded thus far, I am thankful for God’s work in me.
Back when I was transitioning into adulthood, there wasn’t as much pressure to have a set plan in place like there is now. At least, I didn’t feel the pressure like how my kids have experienced. So, I didn’t know where I was headed beyond my few small hopes. Yet, here I am, at 51 years of age, successfully living out purpose.
I have a BA in Psychology and MA in teaching, I’m a full time Special Education teacher, I’m a mom to two young adults, and I’m the wife of and co-minister with a successful husband. Now, I’m going for my doctorate.
I never planned any of these things for myself. I only hoped to marry a tall, black-haired, blue-eyed preacher who could play the piano and then, eventually, have two kids— a boy first then a girl. I’ve come a long way from that young girl.
So, I’m amazed. God’s work is perfect even when we don’t have our own plans. I certainly can’t take the credit for who I have bec...
I was awakened in the middle of the night by a thunderous storm blowing through and was momentarily unsettled by the flash of lightening. But I soon fell back into a peaceful and restful sleep because I knew it would pass. The storm wouldn’t last forever.
I awoke to a quiet sunny morning, and my patio beckoned me as I brewed my coffee. After my hectic week, I felt anxious to enter my sanctuary. After the tumultuous weather, I was thankful for the clear day awaiting me.
The impact of the storm was evident in the glorious green of foliage, the brightness of blooms, and the cheerful sound of chirping birds. The air felt clean. The rain and lightening had done their work effectively.
I sat and watched the birds partake of my provisions and basked in the beauty surrounding me. It was the moment I needed for meditation on God’s goodness and mercy.
Life storms are unsettling — unexpected thunder and lightening crash into our world. Momentary panic can cause questions about what the storm will l...
According to Mark 16:15 and Matthew 28:19, Jesus commanded His disciples to go into the entire world and tell every person about His good news.
According to Peter in Acts 2:39, the promise of the good news of Jesus was for those in Peter’s day where Peter was preaching, it was for those who were not present while he was preaching, it was for those who lived afar off from where he was preaching, it was for those who were too young to read, it was for those who were not yet born, and it was for future generations.
Just think, after being raised in America, after so many generations have passed, and after being so far removed from the days Jesus walked the earth and the day of Pentecost, I am able to know the good news of Jesus.
How unfortunate for me if I had been required to understand the original languages in which the Bible was written. But it was translated so I could understand. Not just for me in my language, but it has been translated also to Mandarin, Spanish, French, German... The...