It’s easy to tell someone to forgive until you’re the one who is wronged.
It easy to tell someone to forgive until you’re the one who is falsely accused.
It’s easy to urge that one to forgive until it’s your baby who’s wounded.
It’s easy to urge that one to forgive until it’s your baby who’s wrenching in pain.
It’s easy to say forgive when it’s not you seeking justice.
It’s easy to say forgive when it’s not you seeking revenge.
But when it is you…
But when it is yours…
But when it is all encompassed in your house, your home, your heart…
That’s when the Golden Rule isn’t so clear.
That‘s when the “seventy times seventy” is harder to reciprocate.
Yet, He said it for a reason.
He said it for your freedom.
He said it for your release.
For when you truly forgive, regardless of the apology, that is when you are truly free.
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.”
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Even if it’s only in your mind’s eye or in your memories.
Enjoy the warm breeze on your face, the cool sand on your toes.
Breathe deep and exhale slowly.
Receive the reprieve for the moment.
Just sit and soak and let all the worries and cares wash away with the tide.
Then, open your eyes, realize your reality, but don’t dread it.
Know that your strength has been restored, and you can escape away again tomorrow.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
It will wash away the sorrow. It will wash away the pain.
For music is a healing song that will woe the flesh to bend.
Music is a song of peace, an anthem to the derelict.
And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.
1 Samuel 16:23
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
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.”
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever amansows, that he will also reap.
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.
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.
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”).