70 x 7 = Endless

I have come to realize that when Jesus spoke to Peter concerning forgiveness, He wasn’t giving him a cute little math equation to complete. He wasn’t giving him a rule to follow and a number to which to count that solves all those moments when someone hurts you again and again. Jesus wasn’t even giving him a bit to memorize; so, he could add it all up after the offense, and then, somehow magically, as if rubbing your hands together to get a bit of dirt off, all could be resolved and forgiven in a certain situation or relationship.

No, truthfully that’s not how forgiveness works. That may work for some petty argument , one in which you really shouldn’t have started anyway. That might work for those little pokes and prods that spouses or close friends go through simply because of a difference if personalities or because of individual likes and dislikes.

Yeah, those formulas might works for these exchanges…

But when your heart wrenches at the betrayal and lies… when your mind returns to the offense over and over again because the perpetrator has brought the wound so deep… when your very soul is constricted, and it’s hard to take in a cleansing breath because the knife that cut so deep is still wedged between your spine and shoulder blade…

These are the times in life when you have to go back to this Scripture time and again and realize what Christ was saying.

To truly forgive, we don’t just forgive 490x a day, or 490x per person or even per incident. To truly forgive, from the depth of your being, you must forgive 490x per moment that you need to forgive that person.

Because sometimes, the pain is so incredible, and the offender keeps bringing the knife of pain to stab again and again until the pain is so excruciating that it’s suffocating.

That’s when we have to ask God to help us to forgive as He forgave on the cross. That’s when we may have to pray every minute of everyday, “Oh Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!“

Yes, when the pain runs deep, and the wounds seem never ending, our Heavenly Father can and will help us to fight give.

Yet, understand…forgiveness never means perfect reconciliation. As we are not God, and the offender isn’t a spirit being either.

Sometimes, the offense, while forgiven may not be reconcilable. The wound, while healing by His divine hand, may not allow for the sword to be drawn against it again.

Sometimes, broken things stay broken.

Sometimes, cheaters cannot redeem the betrayal. Abusers cannot redeem the abuse. Liars cannot redeem the lies.

Sometimes, forgiveness just doesn’t bring reconciliation…but it can bring peace.

And that is okay.

“Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Matthew 18:21-22 nkjv

Sometimes, Severing is Survival

Wow. Came across this song tonight and felt it tug on my soul.

Sometimes, severing a relationship, a friendship, a bond, a soul tie is a must.

If simply for survival…

For a life to once again thrive…

Unless, you’ve been to the point of silent pain, irrevocable destruction, or heart wrenching betrayal, this concept may seem foreign, even ludicrous to your ears.

But if you’ve cried yourself to sleep at night over words that were spoken against you…

If you’ve hidden your face in shame for deeds you never committed…

If you’ve stood in utter shock and amazement as one who promised to defend nonchalantly walked away,

or lied to your face,

or spilled slanderous gossip to cause heads to turn…

Then, you might begin to understand.

Sometimes, severing is simple survival.

And healing brings a heart to thrive again.

“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.”

Romans 16:17-18 nkjv

“Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them; For their heart devises violence, and their lips talk of troublemaking.

Proverbs 24:1-2 nkjv

“We sever the tie of constraint; the leash that keeps us cohering to someone else’s plan rather than stepping out and realizing our true potential,” says Anthony of the impetus behind the single. (per ccmagazine.com)

*this song nor the quote, I do not own nor possess. Simple google search.

What Do We See and Who Do We Seek?

Today’s been one of my reading days…

I’ve been catching up on articles that have surprised, challenged or even overwhelmed my thoughts on normality and what “being good” is all about… no, I don’t look at life through sheltered eyes, and sin really doesn’t “surprise” me.

Yet, what overwhelms my heart is the truth of Scripture that tells us (paraphrased), “The fields are white with harvest, but the laborers are few.” …and they are SO few. We are so burdened with the cares of this world, I’m not sure how many lost we actually see in our day-to-day, and if we do see them, do we just keep on walking by trying not to offend?

What boggles my mind is the rampant demand in our culture to call good evil and evil good. There is a new “common norm” that is flowing like a rushing River. All those opposed to it are hailed as evil, trying to build a dam to stop the flow, and some in that parade even give the confusing claims to Christ while shouting everything He hates is good and everything He loves must be from hell itself. Others stand on the wall of the dam screaming at the water, describing all the nastiness in the liquid but never giving it hope to see that the dam isn’t there for its detriment but rather for it’s transformation to something better.

What challenges my soul is how I can reach out in love AND truth to share His story, even if it might be just one life at a time. How can we create a culture that loves God, hates sin, seeks His perfection while compassionately love the imperfect-ed around us?

Can’t it start with just one? Doesn’t it start with me and you turning our accusing fingers back at our own hearts and kneeling at the foot of a bloody cross and repenting?

Oh God, help us to have eyes that SEE the lost. Help us to have a heart to CARE that they’re lost, and help us to have the courage to SPEAK Your Truth! Your children have been silent for far too long…

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven , and I will forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

Merry Christmas to you!

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Luke 2:8-14

Monday Musings: Lessons Learned from 2020 and COVID-19

This has been quite a year for so many, and some would say this has been the absolute worse year ever, others would just say it stinks. I’m not sure there’s many at all who would say it’s been the best year; yet, maybe a three year old could have this perspective.

I will say it’s not been an amazingly wonderful year; it’s certainly had it’s challenges. However, I’d have to admit, it’s not been the worst year I’ve ever experienced.

Some of the worst years of my life were the year after my grandfather passed away, or the year we lost our first child after trying to conceive for 13 months, or the year I battled depression for a good half of the year… yeah, perspective always brings sunlight into the day.

Yet, there are some things this year of 2020 has taught me, and I thought I’d add it to my previous lists written near the beginning of all this

1. No matter what comes into my life, with God, I can walk through fire and I can stand in the rain…even if I have to grab the fire extinguisher and maybe a boat paddle!

2. Regardless what the days bring, you still have a choice to take another breath and move forward or clamp down on oxygen and lie down to die…I choose to breathe.

3. Despite the ugly, the tornadic, the chaos or the devastation, there is always hope, you just have to search for it…often times, it will be buried deep within.

4. Although, there may be confusion and uncertainty, if you know the right source from which to draw strength, you will have an endless supply…the Source is your key.

5. Life brings with it all kinds of ups and downs, doubts and fears, turmoil and challenges, questions and very few answers; yet, when you have a firm foundation, those specific answers may not always become easier to find, but the principles to these will be as sure anchor doe your soul.

6. Everyone needs a friend. Choosing to live out your life in isolation and avoidance is just a waste of life! … choose friends carefully, but choose them.

7. Having the courage to call out when you’re in trouble can be scary, and it definitely will make you more vulnerable than many of us like to be, but honestly, having moments of vulnerability brings humility back into our prideful flesh…and the courage it takes to ask makes us all that stronger.

8. Life has been known to bring us lemons, and sometimes, they can be the sourest ever grown, but if you’ll add a little sugar, you’ll find that lemonade to be quite refreshing… mind you, sometimes, you better add a lot!

9. No matter the clouds that brew overhead, always remember, there is a sun still shining. You may not see it today or tomorrow, but keep looking up, and it’s bound to eventually burst forth and warm up your skin.

10. If you believe there is no hope to ever be found, just stop in your tracks, take a deep breath, and place your hand to your heart to feel that beat…if there is still a rhythm, then there is always a glimmer of hope.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

1 Peter 1:13

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…

Ephesians 1:18

Saturday’s Musings of Whimsical Fun Days

It’s been a bit since I sat down to write, and my fingers have aches for the pen and paper (or in this case, the keys of the keyboard). It seems life has become a bit of a whirlwind, and other things take priority over the enjoyment of my blogging right now. It kind of makes me sad, but more, I’d have to admit it makes me frustrated.

Writing is when my mind relaxes and my soul pours out to become a settled peace. Taking pen to paper, or even my fingertips to the keys, has a stabilizing, relaxing effect to my mind.

My thoughts can be swirling, tossing and turning, and I will pick up my pen and journal and begin writing until my heart is content. Sometimes, that only needs to be a half hour, yet, at other times, I might linger for hours, but when it has all been spent, my head is clear, and my breathing steady.

I do believer I may have to write for my own sanity, at least, for my own tranquility. Yet, these writings have to mean something as well.

They cannot be frivolous words written in a frantic that have no meaning, no strength. They have to come from deep in the soul, and first and foremost, they must be a nod to my Creator.

For after all, He placed the desire in my heart. He buried the longing deep within the recesses of my mind, and when I start penning, He is always there, as if my writing becomes a one-on-one conversation to His heart.

So today, I say, “Thank You.” Thank you to my Creator for breath, and life and grace. Thank you for joy, and peace and hope. All the things with which You overwhelm my life.

And thank You for this longing, this unquenchable desire to send You a love letter from the depths of my being. For without You, I am nothing.

But with You, I can conquer any fear, I can scale any mountain, I can slay any giant. For You within me are a mighty force with which to be reckoned. Thank You! ❤️

I will cry to God Most High, Who accomplishes all things on my behalf [for He completes my purpose in His plan].

Psalm 47:2 (AMP)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

Happy Thanksgiving!

No matter how you slice your Turkey this year, we are wishing you a very delightful and joy filled

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! 🍁🦃🍽🍁

Monday Musings on a Whimsical Wednesday

What brings you JOY today?

What brings you JOY at Thanksgiving?

What brings you JOY on the “off days” when the holidays are through, and the workweek begins anew?

Can you even describe it?

Is it too lofty to grasp, or do the words overwhelm as your tongue struggles to form a word?

JOY cannot be found in circumstances or possessions.

It cannot be obtained in people or holidays or even in feelings.

It must be held deep within one’s very soul.

It must be allowed to live and breathe, as if it is a living being inside.

JOY can overwhelm and consume…

If you will simply let it.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

You will show me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

Friday Fun Day

Sometimes, in order to have a Friday Fun Day, you have to remember where you’ve been rather than where you find yourself today…

And you have to find the joys in the truths that exist…

Like having your son return from college to bring his piles of laundry home for you to wash…

Like having a husband who’s worked hard outside, clearing brush and a fallen tree and brought his clothes in for you to wash…

Like having your son love the outdoors so much that he gets out there as much as possible and brings his dirty, smelly clothes in for you to wash…

Laundry might not seem like a joyous celebration, and I’d much rather be on top of that majestic mountain on a beautiful day like today…

But I will make it a moment of joy as I remember this delightful date day with my man and hold the sweet love of my sons in my heart as I know they’re all safe and secure under one roof today.

Gratefulness is an attitude.

Thanksgiving is a lifestyle.

Appreciation is a perspective you choose to live out, or you find yourself missing out!

…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Whimsical Wednesday

How close to the fire do you dare to stand?

How close to the flames will you live out your life?

The closer to the Light you venture, the warmer you will remain.

But you also risk the heat from the blaze.

Is it worth it?

Yes.

…their work will be shown for what it is,because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.

1 Corinthians 3:13

And you said, “The LORD our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire. Today we have seen that a person can live even if God speaks with them.

Deuteronomy 5:24