Forgiveness is not Reconciliation

I choose to forgive because unforgiveness keeps me bound to you.

I choose forgiveness because unforgiveness consumes my thoughts and builds a prison of you.

I choose forgiveness because unforgiveness eats away at my peace, my joy and my quiet knowing and turns my focus to you.

I’m trying to forget what you’ve done; so, why would I choose unforgiveness that would just make me remember?

I’m trying to live and love in freedom; so, why would I choose unforgiveness that would bring your bondage and chains?

I’m watching my children thrive while enjoying my own. So, why would I ever go back to choosing your way of reconciliation.

Forgiveness isn’t reconciliation, and reconciliation isn’t always forgiveness.

But knowing the difference…

Oh, that has made all the difference!

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

Mark 11:25

Everyone’s Crazies

The holidays always bring with them interesting family dynamics and semantics.

For some, it’s just simply dealing with the edges of uncomfortable scenarios and conversations, but nothing real out of the way.

No harm. No foul.

For others, it’s complete removal from the dysfunction and toxic environment which accompanies family, celebrations and traditions.

Survival of the Fittest or Crabs in a Barrel.

For most, it can just be learning to navigate between the two extremes.

The Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Wherever you find yourself during your yearly festivities, strive to do better.

Better yet, don’t just strive to survive.

Learn to thrive!

Your thriving isn’t going to look like another’s.

So, do what you can do to succeed.

Their crazies aren’t yours, and yours aren’t theirs.

They don’t have to understand.

Happy Crazy Holidays.

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
To declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Psalm 92:12-15

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider thatthe longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they doalso the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know thisbeforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

2 Peter 3:14-18

Survival Guides Were Meant for Sharing

*I do not own or have rights to this pic.
Google search/Fb repost*

You weren’t made to stay in the valley.

You weren’t made to remain stuck in the mire.

We all feel pain.

We all have heartache.

We all experience tragedy.

The brokenness of life was never meant to be a trophy we wear nor a badge we frame for the wall.

The hardship didn’t come for you to create a fortress around and hail the crisis as king.

We all feel the rain.

We all have tornadic seasons.

We all experience death, sorrow and grief.

You weren’t made to linger in the basin of despair.

You weren’t made to hover in canyon of defeat.

Look up. Cry for help. Claw your way out.

Write your survival guide and pass it along to the next to-be survivor.

Your destiny is waiting, and your little ones are watching.

Thus says the Lord to His anointed,
To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—
To subdue nations before him
And loose the armor of kings,
To open before him the double doors,
So that the gates will not be shut:
‘I will go before you and make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.
For Jacob My servant’s sake,
And Israel My elect,
I have even called you by your name;
I have named you, though you have not known Me.

Isaiah 45:1-4

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 2:9-10

Holiday Blues

A memory popped up today through technology in one of those ways that it can these days.

It was just five years ago, but the changes that have come would make it appear it’s been at least a decade.

It seems the holidays bring such highs and lows to my heart these days, that at times, I feel distracted.

And my heart is grieved.

It’s not really that I’m altogether down; yet, the grief I feel in those moments seem to bring clouds to the happiness of the season.

My arms ache for those who are gone, and I long to embrace.

The day of thanks came and went with less people gathering around the table, and so many shifts have occurred.

My eyes fought back the tears.

The morning after used to be filled with laughter of little ones as we went out on an adventure, but those boys are all grown and flown away now.

My smile resisted the complaint.

I decided not to cry. There’s too many things for which to be grateful.

Yet, the holiday blues are knocking at the door.

Don’t let them in today. For if we do, they’ll be tempted to stay.

So, I’ll pick up my step and go decorate the tree and hum those Christmas carols once more.

For even through grief, my heart can sing as I remember His grace, and let Him wash away the pain.

Today, I will embrace the goodness that God has given and the hope He has promised.

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 26:3

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3

Magic or Madness

Sometimes, a self evaluation is in order.

Am I bringing out the best or worst in you?

Sometimes, a friend evaluation is in order.

Are you drawing out the magic or the madness from me?

The answers to these questions should reveal truth and reality in a way that causes our hearts to long for perfection.

Too often, we are seeking comfort of sedation so much that we settle for chaos and pain.

If I am creating turmoil and injury for your heart, I need to change or leave to bring the calm.

If you are stirring turbulence and tumult for my soul, you need to halt or be removed to bring rest.

Too often, we search for a cease fire when we should be waging war or removing ourselves from the battleground.

Peace is more important than popularity.

Stability is more important than the spotlight.

Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 34:14

Nevertheless the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you. 6 You shall not seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days forever.

Deuteronomy 23:5-6

Healing Brings Clarity

I’m not sure if there’s a statement that could be more true…

Well, I’m sure there are others, but this healing business is serious, and it’s needed by more than is realized.

When you are wounded, clarity is almost impossible to find.

When you are in pain, certainty can be so cloudy, so evasive.

You can be looking straight at the problem but never see the face staring back at you in the mirror.

You’re blinded by the agony, but you claim all is well.

You can speak with words, yet the emotions are lost within the anguish of grief.

It’s like trying to walk through a crowded room with your arm in a sling, hoping no one will bump it, all the while acting as if nothing is wrong, and the room is empty.

It borders on insanity.

Yet, every one of us stands with the accused.

Every one of us has lived in this ludicrosity.

Every one of us has chosen the absurd from time to time.

But if we can simply grasp the moment to receive healing,

If we can simply accept the bandage,

Embrace the cast,

Take hold of the remedy as if it’s a lifeline,

The vision we achieve will be amazing.

Then He [Jesus]said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other.

Matthew 12:13

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

James 5:13-15

Father’s Day…What a Day

Father’s Day…

What a day to celebrate.

What a day to contemplate.

Is a father one who rules with an iron fist?

Is a father one who grants every wish list?

Father’s Day fills the heart with love, fear, hatred, and confusion.

Father’s Day fills the heart with suspicion, wisdom, laughter, and illusion.

What a day to let the soul ponder.

What a day to let the mind wander.

Is a father one who encourages, advises and cheers?

Is a father one who avoids, neglects and jeers?

Father’s Day can fill the heart with strength and admiration.

Father’s Day can fill the heart with joy and appreciation.

What a day to let accumulate.

What a day to let captivate.

A true Father is one who admires, enwraps, uplifts and esteems.

A true Father is one who confronts, forgives, purifies and redeems.

Thankful for My Heavenly Father on this Father’s Day that is tough on my heart and so many others…

Penned – MG – 6/18/22

A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, in God in His holy habitation.

Psalm 68:5

Striving to be Kind

I have read so many articles from those declaring we must love the addict, regardless of the hell they bring to you.

We must strive to be kind.

Be loving. Be sincere. Be gracious.

For they are hurting people, simply misunderstood.

I’ve read stories from daughters and sons who were straightforward and blunt with their parental addict.

Yet, once that parent is gone, the adult child grieves the loss and the “lack of love” they gave.

He states, “You never have that moment to return and be helpful.”

She states, “Once they’re gone, you live with the regrets of what you could’ve done, what you should’ve done.”

We must strive to be kind.

Be loving. Be sincere. Be gracious.

For they are hurting people, simply misunderstood.

Well, I personally must disagree with your memes-life approach.

I adamantly oppose your proclamation of fantasy.

Is not true love when we protect those most vulnerable among us?

Is not true sincerity when we call good, good and evil, evil, not the other way around?

Is not true graciousness when we recognize truth as it is and remove danger from the innocent?

I will never argue the merits of forgiveness and grace. That is what we should all give and receive unconditionally.

But truth must be embraced above all else for true healing to come.

Truth doesn’t rescind love.

Truth doesn’t nullify kindness.

Truth will bring recognition, repentance and regeneration.

Truth will bring forgiveness.

Forgiveness doesn’t always equal reconciliation, and grace doesn’t mean tolerance for depravity.

Sometimes, the kindest action of love is confrontation and consequences.

Sometimes, the kindest action of acceptance is refusal of evil and encircling good.

For in confrontation, mending of hearts can begin.

And in consequences, recoiling from harm can start.

So let us never strive for kindness at the expense of truth.

For the truth will always set one free.

And you shall know the truth, and the truthshall make you free.”

John 8:32

Twisted Heart

You say you love me, and my heart twists in a knot.

Butterflies fly and my head is light.

My mind wants to believe, but my heart has been deceived.

So, I pray your words are true while I doubt their veracity.

I find myself desperate for your affections, yet shielding my emotions.

I hear myself reply to your promises with longings of my own,

Yet, I don’t trust you to be faithful.

I don’t trust you to be true.

Why does my heart twist and turn and refuse to accept yours?

Why does my heart twist and turn your words to mean ill-will to mine?

Oh God, forgive my betrayal.

Please, forgive my unbelief.

You are my Creator, my Source, my eternal King.

You are the mender of my heart, untwist this vile thing.

Return me to my first love, and purify my soul to sing.

Penned – MG – 6/13/22

The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

Jeremiah 17:9

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

Psalm 51:7-12

Run Away

My heart wants to run away from all the chaos, all the pain.

My mind wants to shut down from all the turmoil, all the chains.

My soul wants to hide from all the torment, all the insane.

So, I go to the solitude place.

The place to hear my heart beating again to the rhythm of Your waves.

The place to see my mind clearing the clutter, to remember You hold my days.

The place to feel my soul settle the wandering, to understand Your peace that guides my way.

The solitude place where the noise stands still in the beauty of Your face, where the crowds fade in the light of Your grace.

Penned – MG – 6/12/22

Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalm 46:10

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Colossians 3:15