Let Him Have Your Scars

Sharing a bit of my testimony with a group of ladies last night reminded me of some things I know to be true, but often forget in the healing process of life.

Your scars are not meant to be shameful.

Your scars are not meant to be hidden.

Your scars are not meant to be concealed.

If you’ll give those scars to Jesus, He will not only bring His glory from them, He will heal the wounds you have left as well.

Our scars tell a unique story, owned by no one else.

Our scars bring glory to Our Creator because He’s brought healing and strength.

Our scars show someone else how to respond to the pain and how to win.

Our scars show someone else they too can survive.

So, wear your scars humbly and confidently.

Our Lord does.

He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:3-5

Flush It

Start this new year by flushing those things you don’t need.

Flush the anger. Flush the pain.

Flush negative thinking and self degradation.

Flush laziness, apathy and procrastination.

Let it all flow away from you and embrace those things that are best.

Embrace love. Embrace peace. Embrace joy.

Embrace positive thoughts and self evaluation.

Embrace determination, tenacity and advancement.

Let it consume you and propel you to a better tomorrow, a higher mountain top.

The valleys may come. The storms may rage.

But if you are pressing forward toward the best ahead, you can learn to dance in the rain.

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14

Everyone Has a Prison

No matter who you are, where you came from, where you’re going,

We all have a prison to live in.

It may be your career, your education, your ambition that demands your concentration, your dedication.

It may be your possessions, your economic status, your greed for more that commands your toil, your allegiance.

There is a prison, and it beckons your name.

It may be your pain, your heartache, your past that haunts your thoughts, your recollections.

It may be your anger, your temper, your impulse that forces your allegiance, your agreement.

There is a prison, and the door is open wide.

It may be your children, your spouse, your family that claims your devotion, your approval.

It may be your health, your well-being, your countenance that orders your commitment, your adherence.

It may even be a wall of bars you’ve allowed someone else to control the size, the depth, the yielding of your attendance that confines your submission and your surrender.

We all have a prison waiting, which one will you choose?

You can also decide love, joy, peace, and goodness will be your eternal home.

This prison will bring more freedom than you can ever imagine.

Then, you’ll want to lock the door and throw away the key.

Choose well. For once the latch is turned, you may never leave your abiding cage…

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Galatians 6:7

Bluesy Christmas

By the time you read this, the big day will be over, and will have moved on. We will be readying for the next as they new year is barreling toward us.

But I’m gonna post it just the same. I didn’t want to share during the festive season. I didn’t want to bring any gloom or despair. Yet, maybe some one needs to hear we all can have a bluesy Christmas sometimes…

Today was Christmas Eve Eve, meaning the day before Christmas Eve, and I’ve honestly struggled throughout the day to be cheerful. If I’m being honest, the struggle hasn’t been just today, but it seemed to be most prevalent through these past few hours.

We had our family gathering, and so many had returned. It was so great to see, and really fun to watch the littles jump and squeal with delights of grandeur and thrill.

Yet, I felt so out of sorts.

I didn’t mope. I didn’t whine, shed tears, or even frown. My sole remained solid. We chatted, laughed, and engaged.

No one knew. Not one even guessed. But the heaviness over my heart was so hard to turn around.

And I’m searching deep to find the reason why.

Nobody died. The bills aren’t overwhelming, and the kids aren’t sick. Our family is doing fine, and our marriage is at its all time best…even the in-laws are amazing and sublime.

Yeah. Don’t squint your eyes at me. It really is the truth!

So, why am I so down? What’s making my heart blue? I’m reaching down in the depths and crying out for the Father to reveal what’s true.

It’s like walking through a mountain park on a crisp, cool, fall afternoon. The sun is shining down beautifully. The leaves rustle in the wind, and the birds are chirping, getting ready to head to warmer lands.

And all of a sudden, your boot sloshes in the mud puddle that caught you unaware.

It’s not at all a tragedy. It’s not really even a shame. It’s simply a muddy bootleg, but it’s disappointing all the same.

And try as you may, it puts a little damper on the moment. Now, you can choose to let it ruin your day, or you can choose to shake it off and simply keep on skipping through that field. Yet, you do look back at that splash dirt and grime, wondering where it came from and what its purpose was lying so your fate was sealed.

That’s a pretty good picture of my heart today. I will choose joy, and I will choose peace, even if I have to fight to obtain it. But I’m still exploring the edges of my soul, hunting for that foul stain that is seeking to bring forth the rains.

And then all of a sudden, the name reappears, and the memories present themselves like a flood. That old wound which I thought I’d forgotten. That lost emotion which I try to keep hidden, even from myself, crashes in with a loud thud.

Some things are lost forever which can never be recovered. Some connections can not be reconciled. Some relationships are better left where they were placed and never riled.

But the pain in a little girl’s heart sometimes just creeps back and is secretly worn like an old cellar door left unlatched in the night to catch the wind in the middle of a storm.

Grief appears unannounced. Grief comes in all shapes and sizes. It might be a loved one lost; it might be a broken heart that can’t find amends. It may be a concord that has been shattered.

Grief has no time limit, and it has no bounds.

But I will choose joy. I will choose peace. And He will help to bring healing, as I bring it and lay it down again and again.

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

Merry Christmas to You in 2022!

No matter where you are or where you’ve come from,

No matter your lifestyle, your home life, or your family dynamics,

No matter your persuasion, your religion or your traditions,

We pray you have a very blessed and Merry Christmas!

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 2:13-14

Merry Christmas Eve!

Spread some holiday cheer today and enjoy a smile and friendly greeting!

Savor the hugs and laughter and all the happy feelings of the meeting!

Settle in for a peaceful sleep, snuggle deep into your bed.

And drift off to dreamland tonight with sugar plums and sweet delights dancing in your head.

Merry Christmas Eve to all!

Praying blessings and joy come to call!

…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.

Luke 2:10

Milk and Cookies, Coffee and Cake

No matter your persuasion, no matter your choice,

Get ready to celebrate. Get ready to share some joy.

Even in the hardest moments, even in the deepest grief,

Someone needs your smile. Someone longs for your love, even if it’s brief.

No matter your tradition, no matter your religion,

Get ready to shower love. Get ready to share some cheer.

Even in the hustle and bustle, even in the busiest season,

Someone desires your embrace. Someone yearns to hear the true reason.

So, pour a glass of milk and set out the cookies.

Brew up the cocoa and drain a hot cup of Joe.

Share the purpose of peace and show them how to cope.

Share the story of Christmas and show them The Hope.

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.

Luke 2:10-11

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Matthew 1:20-23

Lock the Door

I do not own or possess this pic. Google search.

Ok, so this meme is posted to be funny, and I hope you’re laughing.

But honestly, there’s a little bit of truth here, and realistically, on both sides.

We can’t go around “locking people out” of our lives every time we dislike what they say or do.

Yet, for our own well being, there may be times that we need to lock that door.

If you’re feeling quick to agree or disagree with me, I’ll urge you to pause.

Your feelings of justification or accusation may not be accurate once you hear my thoughts…

In this culture we are living, it seems everyone can be offended, and everyone is demanding tolerance and acceptance.

In this modern society, everyone screams to “let me be me,” and if “you don’t, you hate me!”

Candidly speaking, this is a dumb statement on both ends of the spectrum.

If you are in the camp of those who are quick to gain offense and demand acceptance, in actuality, you are forcing that of me, but yet, I’m not allowed to do the same of you (because then, I’d be intolerant).

If you are in the camp who states emphatically that my disagreement proves my hatred, then in reality, you have just pointed the finger to the very thing you are doing to me (because now you are “hating on” me).

Both responses are unfair and unreasonable.

Both reactions are illogical and quite biased.

If you are truly desiring relationship, these expectations are one sided and selfish, and they only bring toxins and codependency.

If you are truly looking for companionship, these pressures are pompous and even narcissistic, and they only bring death and destruction.

If you are truly seeking connection, then you’ve got to have some give and take.

If you are truly pursuing friendship, then you’ve got to become less demanding and a little more understanding.

And this is when the decision to open the door or close it becomes essential.

Not because we need to go around locking out every controlling or domineering person we encounter,

And not because we become people of the Igor rules and regulations; there must be second chances for mercy to flow.

But rather, we need to open the door wide to those who welcome, warm, refresh, strengthen and challenge the heart.

And we need to close it to those who demean, ridicule, imprison and manipulate the soul.

Learning when to lock the door and expand it takes a lifetime of wisdom, love and self-control.

Learning takes a lifetime of failing and succeeding.

It’s a hard lesson, but it is attainable.

It’s a arduous journey, but it is worth it.

Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?

Amos 3:3

Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

1 Corinthians 15:33

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:17-21

Walk On

Sometimes, you’ve just to walk.

When you’re in the middle of those toxins that are choking you, walk.

When you find yourself surrounded by the dunes of hostility and anger, walk.

When all you can see is the fiery darts of bitterness and hatred, walk.

Sometimes, it’s just better to remove yourself than to expect the other to change.

When you realize you’ve landed in the center of their pain, and they refuse to care, walk.

When you recognize you’re not helping, and those receiving refuse to give, walk.

When all you hear is the negative, the criticism, the accusations, walk.

You don’t have to stay to prove you’re right.

You don’t have to remain in the mud to express your love.

You don’t have to maintain the relationship when the abuse and jealousy are the weights.

This is not your punishment nor reward.

This is not your purpose or calling.

This is not your destiny.

Walk on, my friend.

Walk on.

But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

Matthew 12:48-50

Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate; For the Lord will plead their cause, And plunder the soul of those who plunder them. Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul.

Proverbs 22:22-25

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