Saturday, September 01, 2018

Start Forgiving. Start _____.

When we stop accusing and start forgiving, we "switch sides" so to speak. The "accuser of the brethren" is a role attributed to the devil (Rev. 12:7-12). In contrast, Jesus' words reflect forgiveness: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34 NIV).

The power of compassion and forgiveness is seen throughout Jesus' life on earth. It brought release and freedom. FREEDOM! That's what we cry out for.

Maybe the release you seek is not out ahead of you. Maybe it is within ... in your heart and in your words.

Stop accusing.
Start forgiving.

Consider all the roadblocks that are present in our lives. How many of them are connected to disappointments or other things that we hang on others: hurts, lack of grace, infringement of our rights or privacy or any other thing that makes us feel violated?

When will we take those trials and circumstances off of their human hooks? When will we forgive and move forward? What if the one way to make the path straight is to forgive? Will we give others the grace we so desperately desire? When will we stop railing against others for what we are not willing to give? We become both the accuser and violator in one.


My heart shouts it. STOP! My heart prays it. Stop.

Let's release one another. Let's release ourselves. There are powerful desires and dreams within us. We have voices to be heard. We have significant lives to live. What is that "thing" that burns in you? Is it a message? Is it a cause? What is in your future that seems so far away?

I believe that if we are stuck behind hurts, there is a way we can be released: start forgiving. And that's not just toward others. It's toward yourself, too.

Stop accusing.
Start forgiving.
Start living.
Start _____(whatever is in your heart)_____.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Three Dads and an Uncle (Plus a Super-Texting Mom)

Three smiling faces. Two hybrids. Two blessings: one is to me, one is through me to my daughter. But that's just the surface. The best blessings are people.

Gratitude is my goal of expression here. When last year's blessing (2000 Toyota Camry driven by my daughter) died on the highway, it wasn't long before people started getting involved. The whole story is too long for a blog post, but let's just say it wasn't the best time to navigate such a situation!

Considering that my preferred course of action was to buy bicycles for the kids and keep driving my Honda Civic hybrid FOREVER, it feels like a miracle that I am the one in a practically new car! 

Miracle. What kind of miracle is buying a car? I could go on and on. Maybe I'll separate the lessons I've learned in this short little exercise into bite-sized morsels to write about later on. But for all practical purposes, let's just say that every blessing outside of a practical living expense has got to be inspired by God! (Not that living expenses aren't! I believe it is all His provision along the way. It's just that the planned and known provision is already stretched to miracle status to meet planned and known expenses. LOL)

Car shopping was something I would have laughed off until my dad got involved. Now it was real. His help was pledged, so the quest began. There's something for all of us to learn about trust and God if we have fathers like mine. :-)  Love you, Dad!

Car shopping is also overwhelming! The calls! The texts! The emails! The web cookies that bring cars on to every web browser page! Who knew I would need so much help? Evidently God did. People were alongside all the way. Even when car lots seemed more like a field of vultures, one of my dearest friends was there to help shoo them away or simply get me out of there! Thank you.

Before long, my mom and step-dad were researching cars. Then my uncle stepped into the ring and was plugging in VIN numbers as fast as my super-texting mom could conduct traffic between all of us.

Let me just say to all of you: THANK YOU. While I bumbled around and spent every available moment researching cars, you were all there for me to bounce options off of and offer information. Let me also say: I'M SORRY for inundating you with all the fragments of my mind! But I'm SO VERY THANKFUL that you were all there.

Now if you read the title of this post and have reached this point, you may have wondered (if you have a mathematical mind) where is the third dad?

Papa God is the other "dad" involved in this story. There is no way I can adequately thank or brag on Him, of course. But I do want to give glory to Him for seeing us through a difficult situation and making sure that we are better off on the other side. Only He knows how much I have wrestled with this blessing and the tears I have shed receiving such a wonderful gift.

So what does "give glory" really mean? I went to look it up just now in biblical terms. Interestingly enough, most of the ties I see involve money or wealth! That sounds like another subject to search out. We use words so loosely in modern culture!

But one word that applies (which is part of "kabowd" in Hebrew and translated "glory" in the Bible) is this: honor. That I can do! 

I honor You, Papa God.
Every blessing You have inspired
   I gratefully receive.
I acknowledge You ...
   Your love
   Your generosity
   Your majesty
   Your brilliance
Discovering Your blueprint in my life
   is my greatest adventure.
Thank You for every idea You have that involves me.
Your way of life is the greatest!
And thank You in particular
   for this unexpected bright blue blessing.
It's my "jubilee" car!
Thank You for all the help you inspired.
Bless every life and gift involved FAR more than they could ever dream.
(And even to the car lot vultures, I speak Your goodness and peace over them. May each one know the joy of life with You.)

A - Abide (Resilience A-to-Z Blog Challenge)

I intended to write through April. It is April 7. Why have I not yet written? I forgot! YEP. It just left my mind until I was in my notebook...