Tuesday, 31 January 2012

In Spite of the Fact...

Ugh! this is a difficult one to write about...

The word spite is such a venomous word. It has such an abruptness and curtness, and the way it is pronounced it sounds to me like it is being spat out, and it also has a bite (because it rhymes with bite?) to it. It's a word that came to mind today as I was on my way to work. Spite.

Recently we had a "compliance" meeting at my place of employment. In this meeting we were told that the company is very open to hearing all of our complaints so they can correct the many problems besetting our workplace, cut waste, and get rid of the problem people. They promised it would be completely confidential, and told anecdotal stories of people that got justice and then some by calling the compliance hotline. What a temptation to tell this new company the things that have happened to me, and how I had failed to receive my deserved justice....and not only that, but that the person who did me such injustice has been placed over me as a "lead"....now's my chance to get back...Spite.

When I first thought of this opportunity, it seemed delicious. Ahhhh yes, I can finally get justice...but there was a little something that didn't feel quite right, so I put it to prayer and asked for God's input, because to me it didn't seem wrong to finally get the record set straight.

So as I'm driving to work, the word "spite" pops into my head. I mull over the word, and think of the people that have really wronged me, and that I have spiteful feelings toward. There are 3, and I named them, and I placed them before the Lord, and asked the Lord's help to release it truly...because I've tried, and then I see it come back once again with a vengeance.

Jesus suffered the greatest injustices ever experienced, and yet completely without malice He asked the Father to forgive them (and me)....and He says to me:

Mat 18:33  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
Mat 18:34  And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
Mat 18:35  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

(for those who love works, there it is... all the works God requires of us is to forgive others as He has forgiven us, 
that's the whole ball of wax)

Friday, 27 January 2012

Daily Bread

A few days ago I awoke with the thought of BREAD.  We had just gotten back from a marvelous vacation to visit with Ken's sister in the Bahamas. While we were there, she had spoiled  us with some delicious breads at a new grocery store they recently opened. Give me some good bread and butter, and I am a happy camper! :)

So as that thought of bread popped into my consciousness, it brought to mind my "daily bread". I haven't been consistent (far from it) in Bible reading, and although this thought was not in a blaming, nagging, accusatory tone, I still felt a slight twinge of conviction. It made me think on how good it is to eat a good, wholesome bread, and how we need good food to stay alive..... EVERY DAY,  if we want to be healthy anyway... and it brought to mind the manna of the OT, and the complaining of the Israelites to eat heavenly food every day (I cannot conceive of that...but the Bible is heavenly manna, and I admit that I am slack to get my daily portion).

God generously supplies us with our daily manna...are we like the early Israelites loving our Egyptian (fleshly) foods more than the heavenly? I guess it's like the writer of Ecclesiastes said: "there's nothing new under the sun". Thank the Lord for His mercy and graciousness. :)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

The Pain in Looking Back

The end of the year had me reassessing...not just 2011, but looking further back, looking back on regrets and mistakes, and sins....alot of regrets, alot of shame. I don't really like looking back because it is painful for me to do so, and I feel there are still lots of unresolved hurts that I am responsible for and haven't ... resolved. I know the truth is that Jesus did pay a tremendous price for me....once something is done, it can never be undone, just like a word that has been spoken can never be unspoken. There can be (and thankfully, there is) forgiveness....but the pain and the consequences of past troubles follow me still.

I think about Adam and Eve, the very first ones to make a terrible choice, to feel the guilt and the shame of it, and to have all the future generations paying for it, the price of submitting to satan. I think of them being cast out of the most beautiful garden we could ever imagine, into a cold harsh world where the ground needs to be tilled and weeds want to choke out your flowers and vegetables, and of having one son murder the other. The grief and the pain, and the sorrow they must have felt for those 900+ years of their mortality....but they had joys also. They had many other children, and the promise of the One who would come that would set all of creation straight again.

I cannot undo what I've done...that train left the station long ago, and I cannot go back and redo. If I could, I would be able to give myself the credit for righting myself and being my own savior. I cannot, but God told me He can do what I cannot. He can, through His forgiveness and healing, right all of my wrongs, and cross out the death sentence that is written against me, with His blood. He can take me in His arms, and love me, though my sins are like scarlet. He isn't ashamed of me, although I am so ashamed about the truth about me.

DebbieLynne brought up her thankfulness to Jesus, and she reminded me that the best way to thank Jesus is to tell others how thankful I am for what He has done for me. Is there a better way to say thank you to Jesus than to tell others that I am thankful of Him?

This is my New Years resolution, and my prayer:

That I will be a better listener
that I will tell others of the good things Jesus has done for me personally
and that I am truly thankful

Mat 11:28  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Mat 11:30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Faith vs Fear

Simple and concise, and accurate. Those are the three components of these charts  (link removed at NehemiahMinistries website owner's request) which compare a life lived in faith, and one that is lived in fear. The "SELF CYCLE" always results in fear. The "LIFE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT" results in faith. Seeing that so simply and elegantly put makes my heart sing and rejoice in the truth of it!

That is the component (fear)  which bothers me so much from those who try to impose their methods of worship onto others. Where is it coming from? Is it coming from a place that longs for loving fellowship? Well, on some level, I do believe that they do desire loving fellowship. Are their methods  coming from a place that imposes subtle threats, and stirs up fear in others, fear that God will punish those who don't follow the prescribed rituals for obedience? That is how it is perceived by me anyway...

Jesus said what He did to us because He loves us. He did not come to condemn the world (John 3:16-17), but to stir us to follow Him, and not a church organization or a system of doctrines and rituals. Jesus desires a relationship with us that is based on truth, an honest one, where we admit our failures, and accept His mercy and life-giving intervention working in us and through us. It is His light that needs to shine through us, not our fear-based efforts to try to placate an angry God

Hebrews 4:15-16  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.   Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.