Category Archives: Forgiveness

Spread the Love Friday – What’s Right?

You spread out our sins before you— our secret sins—and you see them all.
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭90:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Happy Friday!  Do you ever find yourself looking around and wondering what is right and what is wrong?  I understand this question because the news media and the world tell us one thing, and the Bible tells another.  I see some people who legitimize a compromise between the Bible and the ways of the world.  Others legitimize what they are doing as being right.  What is right?

One thing I know to be true is the Bible.  Whenever you come across a question that you can’t decide, pray and read your Bible.  The answer will come.

Have a great day!  God bless you!

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Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Invite Others

I sought the Lord, and he delivered me from all my fears.            Psalm 34:4

Good Morning.  It is a cold Wednesday in northwest Florida this morning.  I am so blessed to have a warm coat, gloves, and heated seats in my car.  As you go out today, remember there are others who are not as fortunate.  Maybe they have lost sight of where they need to be, or maybe they have given up all hope.  Do what you can to help them.

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This morning while I was getting ready for work, I was planning our Sunday School Christmas Party!  I’m so excited. I have prayed that God will send me more people, and I am optimistic that maybe I will see some of them on Sunday.  As I was praying, I felt like God was telling me to invite people I wouldn’t normally invite.  You don’t have to be homeless to need help.  There are people who have money, but are misguided.  Then, it occurred to me that you could do the same at your church.

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So, if you are in my area, join us for Sunday School. If not, be sure to go this week and invite some folks to join you.  This time of year is a wonderful time to worship God and fellowship with others.  Trust me when I say, it will enrich your life beyond measure. I plan to invite everyone I see.  If you take on the challenge, let me know what happens.   God bless you!

Try Something New Tuesday – When Is It Important To Be Right?

We must keep our eyes on Jesus.  Hebrews 12:2

Happy Tuesday! I don’t know about your life, but mine has been busy during the holidays this year.  I was thinking this morning about all the Christmas seasons I’ve seen come and go.  Some years I was meeting myself coming and going, and others were too quiet.  Neither is good. When our lives are too slow during the holidays, we tend to become depressed.  When we are too busy, we become overwhelmed.  It’s really difficult to enjoy this time of year in either state.  An alternative choice is to be moderately busy with life’s tasks, but take time to enjoy Christmas.

Have you ever been in a meeting and been engaged in an argument?  You probably haven’t, but I certainly have.  As a matter of fact, it happened to me last night.  This morning I find myself pondering the question, when it is important to be right.  What do you think?

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I was reading an article from Psychology Today  where Schwartz, the author, explained that from an early age we are rewarded for being right (Schwartz, March 7, 2011).  I found this to certainly be true in my life.  When I was in grade school, I was rewarded for good grades and punished for bad.  The competitiveness of our society encourages people to continue in this pattern.  Schwartz asked couples in counseling if they would rather be right or happy. He goes on to say that while everyone says happiness, the couples continue to fight.  So, when is it important to be right?

I have found while teaching Sunday School that there are many ideas thrown on the table.  Each person thinks his or her idea is right.  I want to encourage discussion, and gently guide members to what the Bible says.  Often to avoid conflict, I say “there’s no right or wrong answer.”  But, wait a minute, there clearly is a right answer.  When is it important to be right?  In this case, proving a point could steer others away from Christ.  So, what I try to do is ask questions that lead the class to seeking the information where they can find the right answer.

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So, is being right even important?  Being right in the right manner earns respect.  Being right aggressively is sometimes seen as bullying. Conversely, being wrong is just embarrassing, and we all want to save face.  In my situation, I’m not sure who was right, but I just let it go.  I laughed it off.  However, it is still in the back of my mind and I know sometime today, that I will find out who was right.  Will I bring it up again?  No. There’s no point.  If I was wrong, I don’t want it to happen again.  Oops.  What did I just say?  The only answer I have is to pray about the question and trust God. However, when you know the answer ask yourself, is it important to tell anyone.  If you were right, let the other person save face.  If you were wrong, be kind to yourself.

So, today I encourage you to let go of arguments.  No one really wins.  I look forward to reading your comments.  God Bless you.

 

 

Schwartz, Mel LCSW.  Why Is It Important To Be Right, March 7, 2011, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shift-mind/201103/why-is-it-so-important-be-right.

 

Follow up:  I was the one wrong.

The Rest of the Story

The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.  Proverbs 11:25

After posting yesterday, I quickly set about cleaning up our thermos. At that moment it occurred to me that we didn’t have any milk.  I had spoken to my husband the evening before about needing to pick up milk for Our grandson.  How would I make hot cocoa without milk? I searched the pantry for dry hot cocoa packets. Having found none, I paused for a moment to make a cup of coffee.  That’s when I saw  some k-cups of hot cocoa pushed to the back of the shelf.  So, I began filling the thermos.  Then, I packed up my car and headed out.

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In my type of work it’s easy to know where to find those in need of assistance.  I’ve seen people living in deplorable conditions, and every year at Christmas I’m reminded of how blessed I truly am.  I’ve done the best I could to eliminate the worst dilapidated buildings in town and provide opportunities for affordable housing, but realize at the same time some of the worst buildings provide shelter from the elements for people who are down and out.  So, I figure it won’t be so difficult to help someone.  I found the opposite to be true.

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There was little traffic.  I drove from one place to another, and didn’t see as much as a construction worker or police officer to warm up.  I drove by the churches and other locations where the down-trodden go for assistance.  I drove behind shopping centers and grocery stores, but I couldn’t find anyone to help.  Then, I drove up on an area of town where a group of men hang out.  There were two or three out there smoking, huddled by a fire.  I stopped, rolled down my window and reached for the thermos, which had rolled under the passenger seat in my car.  One of the men came over to me.  He called me by name.  I didn’t know him personally, but had driven by many times.  I handed him thermos and simply said, “I see ya’ll out here when I drive by, and thought you might enjoy some hot cocoa this morning.”  He replied, “yes we could” as he leaned in the window and checked out my car.  With those words I was stunned by the stench of alcohol from his breath at 7:30 in the morning.   I wished him a good day and drove away.  Then, when I turned the corner, I saw a homeless person walking on the sidewalk.

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So, what can be learned from my experience?  Trust God, but use common sense and don’t put your life in unnecessary danger.  Was I in danger?  I don’t think so, but I feel like I need to remind you to be cautious.  As I reached down to pickup the thermos in the car, I realized that one action could have been confused with reaching for a weapon, which wasn’t very smart.  Second, trust God.  When I saw the homeless person, I questioned whether I helped the right one.  Remember, I said I couldn’t find anyone to help.  God clearly led me there.  I think the homeless person was just a reminder that there are many who need different types of assistance.  Which brings me to number three.  Helping others isn’t for just one day in your life.  Finally, be careful not to complain or brag about your actions.  Jesus taught in Matthew 6:3, to keep the amount of your giving between you and God.

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I hope you have a wonderful Saturday. Please share your experiences and keep blessing those around you.  God bless you.

 

Forgiveness Thursday – Grudges

He reached down from heaven and rescued me; He drew me out of deep waters.  Psalm 18:16

Happy Thursday!  I’m posting at lunch today.  It’s a little later than usual because for some reason, I just can’t get my act together. Ever been there?  In Florida it is getting colder by the minute.  It was raining and 56 degrees when I took my dogs out this morning.  Now, it is still drizzling rain and the temperature is dropping.  There is a chance for snow on Saturday.  We actually get a few flurries once in a while in Florida, believe it or not.  However, it is the exception, not the rule.  I was wearing shorts and flip flops just a couple of days ago.

Have you ever gone somewhere and everyone was talking wonderfully about a person that has been especially mean to you publicly on more than one occasion?  Have you ever found out that your friends all like someone you don’t?  Did you feel angry at them?  Have you ever been around people who just get on your nerves.  I’m talking about their hygiene, mannerisms, style, etc.?  Hmmm.  I’ve got some good news and some bad news.  First, the bad news is the problem is with you.  Ouch!  Don’t feel bad, because I was enjoying this bitter tea earlier this week.  I had to stop what I was doing, go somewhere quiet, and get right with God.  Why?  Well, first we know Jesus taught that loving our neighbors as ourselves is the second most important commandment (Matthew 22:39). It doesn’t matter what they do or say.  You are responsible for you, not them.  Everyone has different gifts to bring to the table.  We need to love them for who they are and avoid judging.  Do you remember what Jesus says about casting stones (John 8:7)?  As the story goes, the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman before Jesus who had committed adultery.  Under the Old Covenant, the punishment for adultery was stoning.  Jesus explained that only people who had never done anything wrong (sinned) should cast stones.  The ending is good.  All the accusers left her and Jesus told her to “go and sin no more” (John  8:11).  How many times have I gotten caught up in this type of behavior?  Too many to count! Sound familiar?  Jesus taught that we are to forgive others just like God forgives us (Matthew 6:14).

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The good news is we can start right now.  Just bow your head and get right with God.  You can do it anywhere, and usually without anyone knowing.  Forgive those who have done you wrong, and let go of grudges.  While you are forgiving others, ask for forgiveness.  Dismiss bitter talk and gossip.  It makes matters worse.  Don’t wish bad on someone who has done you wrong.  That makes you wrong.  Forgiveness is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.  It frees your heart from bitterness.  One of my favorite and most comforting verses says “and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians‬ ‭4:7‬).  Every time I hear or read these words, I feel tremendous comfort.  It’s peace beyond our understanding that we receive when we forgive.  Isn’t that great!

Today and every day, join me in letting go of grudges and asking God for forgiveness.  God bless you!

 

Try Something New Tuesday – Giving and Learning Tuesday

and there they continued to preach the good news.
‭‭ACTS‬ ‭14:7‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Good morning from chilly Florida.  It’s a beautiful and glorious day here.  It’s Try Something New Tuesday, but I also discovered that it is Giving Tuesday.  Apparently the Tuesday after Cyber Monday is Giving Tuesday on the YouVersion Bible App.  This is one of the apps I enjoy using.  If you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to try something new and try the YouVersion Bible App.  Please know that I do not receive any compensation for sharing this information.

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I enjoy reading National Geographic and Biblical Archeology.  This morning I had a notice pop up on my cell phone about an upcoming special on National Geographic about the Tomb of Christ.  The special will air on the National Geographic Explorer channel on December 3rd at 9/8 central.

Have you ever been at a loss for words when someone is asking you questions that could make a difference in a faith decision?  Have you ever known a phrase that was in the Bible but didn’t know where?  When I was a child, I memorized Bible verses in Sunday School.  The ones I learned as a child have stuck with me through time.  Then, I went through a very long period of time that I didn’t bother to memorize verses because I didn’t like it when people would quote Bible verses out of context.  I still feel that way, but now I realize it is important to not only study, but know the Bible.  I realize that there are people who can quote the entire Bible, but aren’t Christians or the type Christian that Jesus would want us to be.  However, I also realize that when Jesus was being tempted by Satan, he used God’s words.

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So, it is also important for us to use God’s words in prayer, and to know which words to use in which prayer.  So, today I’m going to try something new.  Every Tuesday I will start challenging you and myself to learn one verse a week.  Just think if you accept the challenge, in a year you will know 52 verses.  Isn’t that great!  Many of the verses you probably will already know, it will just be a refresher.  I will be starting a group in the ScriptureTyper App.  If possible I will call it Hisperfecttiming.  I will provide more information on this later.

So, today the verse is “so that He fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: ‘HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES [upon Himself] AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES.’”  ‭‭MATTHEW‬ ‭8:17‬ ‭AMP‬‬

I challenge you to take on the Bible verse challenge and also be kind to people today.  I think many people are extra stressed this time of year.  Let someone go ahead of you in line.  Pay it forward in the fast food drive through.  Say something kind to everyone you meet regardless of what they say to you.  God bless you.

Be Thankful in Everything!

Happy Thanksgiving!  F4FA94D0-F726-4063-BCFB-BB5645025F78Every year I am reminded of how someone we love will not be around the next time we gather.  It’s usually someone we least expect.

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So today, count your blessings and enjoy your family and friends.  Tell everyone you love them.  Let the little things go, especially grudges.  Give back to others if you can.  God bless you.