Tuesday, January 31, 2012

forgiveness is a process


I think one of the hardest aspects of being a Christian is when you are called to forgive and walk in grace and love toward those who have hurt you.  I know that I have been writing so much on this topic, but...hey, its where I am at!  It is actually keeping me accountable before the Lord about what is in my heart to put it out there in the great vast world of the internet.  So, thanks for rolling with my punches.  
It is a difficult thing to realize that there are those who are a part of the body of Christ, yet will purposefully do you harm.  WHY!?  I don’t understand it, truly I don’t.  All I know is that the scripture is SO CLEAR on the mandate to love and show mercy and kindness.  The battle my soul is facing right now is the temptation to NOT defend myself, but to simply keep my mouth shut.  To take simple acts of obedience and to PRAY!  God has made it is clear to me that this is going to be a defining moment for me.  Am I going to let God be God in all things....the hurt, the pain, the betrayal, the heart ache....or am I going to take matters into my own hands and try to make all things right when they have gone wrong?  The fact of the matter is that it isn’t my responsibility to make things “right”.  It is my responsibility to LET GO!!  Flesh dictates that it is my RIGHT to hold onto the hurt and make the other one suffer, but when I become a part of the body of Christ I have relinquished my right haven’t I?  So, therefore doesn’t that mean that I have relinquished my right to hold a grudge?  
What happens if the hurt comes again?  Do I have the right to bring it all up and start rehearsing it all over again?  Or do I take a step of obedience and pray for those who hurt me?  PRAY FOR GOD’S LOVE AND GRACE TO BE POURED OUT ON THEM!  NOT FOR GOD’S WRATH!!!!  I have to take my thoughts CAPTIVE to the obedience of Jesus Christ!!!  
I want to be free in Jesus!!  I don’t want to take up a yolk of slavery again!  The price that was paid for my freedom was to precious for me to just toss it to the ground and stomp on it in a fit of rage and anger.  
Free is Jesus!  Free to walk whole and pure and in the plan God has for my life, that is my goal and my aim!  Free to be more like Jesus!!  
FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST THANK GOD ALMIGHTY I AM FREE AT LAST!!!  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Forgiveness in a genocide

Just this morning I was reminded of a story I read.  There was a certain  young woman whose family was butchered during the genocide in Rwanda.  She survived the three month journey into hell by taking refuge along with some other women in a local pastor's bathroom.  There she stayed for the duration of the war, forced to listen to the brutalities being played out on the other side of her little fortress.  

After the genocide was over and she began to rebuild her life she was given the opportunity to confront one of the men responsible for her families death.  

Before the war this man had been a part of her families life.  Taking part in celebrations and just being part of their life rhythms.  Her family had been very influential in the community.  

Did she rant and rave and try to hurt him as he deserved?  NO!!!!!  She FORGAVE him!!!!  SHE FORGAVE HIM!!!!!!!!  And then she simply walked away.  

The man wasn't released from the consequences of his actions.  He still had to "pay the piper".  BUT this incredible young woman was able to go on and live a free and productive life.  Life full of LIFE, joy, new family, adventure........She was able to be free from carrying the awful burden of bitterness.  

What that man did to her family was NOT her responsibility to make right. It was hers to release him to God and let the One who is wisdom, love, justice, grace, mercy and holiness deal with it. 

Chew on it and tell me your thoughts

Friday, January 20, 2012

Torches

Now that we have our work permit we are fighting to temptation to DIVE into work head first.  At least I am...Luis is more easy going than me, which is why we balance each other and are happily married after 10 years!  LOL  All God has told us to do is walk the streets every Wednesday and pray.  DONE!  Simple enough! 

Had a good chat with my DAWLING friend Amy today.  We were talking about how so many of us missionaries get involved in the project and forget the people.  Because we are surrounded by so many people who are doing so many great works, it is easy to try to find a project to get involved in.  To be honest with you, it is easy!  I mean, WE ARE IN AFRICA FOR PETE AND PITY'S SAKE!  You wanna work with marganilised children, EASY, just walk three blocks down and you will find them!  You wanna work with AIDS patients, simply walk into the local clinic and volunteer.  You wanna work with orphans.  Take your pick of orphanages.  The project isn't the issue, it is the individual person!!! Amy was just asked what her vision for Zambia was and she said "I don't have a VISION, my heart is to help and serve the people!  If I can help you build a vbs I will, if I can help you develop a sunday school program I will." 

I think she nailed it!  Is my vision to simply serve or to make a name for myself?   Do I spend my time with street kids because it looks good on a monthly report or because it is God's will for my life?  Are we willing to do the thankless and un-noticeable for the glory of God? 

This was read last night at our Bible Study and it shook me to the bones.  I don't want to end up in torment because I got ahead of God and didn't wait for him to light my torch.  

Isaiah 50:10-11

New International Version (NIV)
 10 Who among you fears the LORD
   and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
   who has no light,
trust in the name of the LORD
   and rely on their God.
11 But now, all you who light fires
   and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
   and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
   You will lie down in torment.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Forgiving is RUFF

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Why is forgiveness easy one day and hard the next?  I must admit that I have been struggling with this one very hard today.  We get hurt and our natural instinct is to protect ourselves and defend what has been harmed, usually our sense of preservation and our rights.  Someone we love is falsely represented and the mommy bear in us wants to fight back with all we are worth and protect those we hold dearest.  After all we are humans right?  HOWEVER, what does God's word have to say about all this??
 Turn the other cheek....
Forgive or the Father can't forgive you....OUCH
if at all possible LIVE AT PEACE
> Here is the peace that I am finally coming to in my heart...something I have always known in my heart, it has just taken a while for it to travel to my heart.....forgiveness is about me, not the person who has harmed me. God requires me to forgive because he knows that if an hold onto the pain and want revenge that it will eat me alive and keep ME from the peace that Jesus won for me at such a great price.  God sees the wrong  that is done and he isn't happy about it.  However he is very clear on the fact that dealing with wrongs is his problem and NOT mine.

Could it be that when I hold onto bitterness and anger that I am throwing the work he did on the cross for me back in his face and telling him that I don't care?

> I read a good quote the other day
          " holding a grudge is allowing someone to live rent free in your head."

Friday, January 6, 2012

Brookies face


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I know for many of us 2011 was TOUGH!  And many of us can say HALLELUJAH IT IS OVER!! 
What does 2012 bring for us all?  We heard an awesome sermon on Sunday about challenging ourselves in our walks with the Lord.  If we keep Jesus the priority, if we give him the first and the best of everything then we will have the best year spiritually.  He didn’t say anything about it being an easy year, but the most prosperous SPIRITUALLY!  Isn’t that what we want anyway?  
In light of this I made a list of resolutions for the year. 
I am going to read my Bible everyday.  Cause, honestly, I DON’T!  
I am going to read the Bible with my kids everyday!`  Cause, honestly, I DON’T
I am going to drink water EVERYDAY!  ( thought about giving up coffee, then thought,,NAW!)
I am going to loose 20 more pounds.  I would love to be in a size 14 by May.....can she do it folks?
A couple of days after Christmas I read this
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,  whose hope is in the Lord his God, the maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them THE LORD, who remains faithful forever.  He up holds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.  The Lord sets the prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind.  The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.  The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the father less and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.  The Lord REIGNS FOREVER!  You God o Zion for ALL generations!  Praise the Lord!!!!                               Psalm 146:5-10
I think that this Psalm is an excellent definition for who God is.  
The maker of heaven and earth 
He remains faithful forever
He upholds the cause of the oppressed 
He feeds the hungry
He sets the prisoners free!  HALLELUJAH!
He gives sight to the blind
He gives us hope and love
He protects and is a father to the fatherless and a husband to the widow
He doesn’t put up with whooey from the wicked
Let me leave you with a photo of brookie, it will brighten your day

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