You’re NOT Too Screwed-up – For God


Good morning folks! It’s a great day out there. We’ve had some massive storms come through overnight. Everything is rain-washed and cool. Blue skies and birds singing – probably ’cause they get to gobble up the worms cast out of their homes by the rain. Ah, life is good.

No, I’m not deterring from the point of this blog post – in fact, my morning workout in the great outdoors is a perfect segue into why I – and you – am not too screwed up for God. I read about this issue in Tell Me About God.  Two and a half months ago, I would have ended today’s lesson in a watershed of tears.

Not today! Thanks to Priscilla Shirer’s The Armor of God (#ArmorofGod) and a class full of women of all ages, races, backgrounds, and life experiences, I have learned much about God’s love for me. But I’ll share this lesson for those of you who aren’t there yet. And y’all will be the ones shedding big ‘ole raindrop tears.

Day 43 – Can We Give Our Lives to God?

“Many of us are reluctant to forgive ourselves because we are unable to fix the things we have done wrong. Maybe we feel the sin is too big to fix – therefore we feel we shouldn’t be forgiven. BUT –

  • God knows our life and the difficulties we face each day.
  • He knows the injustices we have suffered.
  • He knows the frustrations and defeats we suffer each day.
  • He knows the handicaps and limitations we are saddled with.
  • He know how tough it is to get by.

Hasn’t the unfairness of life punished us enough? Isn’t it time to give our un-forgiveness to God?” ~~~Compilation by Jack Berryman . Edited by Randy Haas and Helen Lewis.

If this just slaps you in the face, because it so abruptly and jarringly gets your attention – that’s awesome! So if you watch this awesome video clip and can understand, then it’s way past time to hand over these feelings to the Lord.

People might tell you that nothing is too big for God to handle; that nothing you’ve ever done is too much for Him. But who can believe that, right? Wrong! Something I learned lately boils down to this: God predestined you. He chose you. Not because of what you will become but because of who you are RIGHT now.

Go forth this day and celebrate! Despite negative and troublesome circumstances and people in your life at this very moment, celebrate! Did you feel momentary joy when you read this? Don’t let go of that! That’s what God wants you to feel and experience!

So, as my Mama would say, tuck your knot – and for you non-Southern readers out there, bless your lil ole hearts, that means “bow your head” –

Father God, I pray that whomever reads this, on whatever day, finds comfort, grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, and absolute joy in You and what You have done for him or her. Christ, step into this person’s heart. Heal, protect, and guide this person to the Father. Spirit, move in GREAT ways in this person’s life. Let there be no mistake – if he or she is in despair, for whatever reason – let this person know in a forceful and unmistakable way that the Godhead is in LOVE!! Amen.

Blessings y’all!

Advertisements

Repentance Isn’t Painful


A wonderful illustration of repentance from Lily & Light describes it as the following:

Repentance is simply 
comforting and healing our weariness and pain
by changing the course of our thoughts.

It is turning from sin and to God. 
It is securing our peace, and our place with Jesus.

 

When you think of repentance as comforting, does that change the tenor of the act for you? It does for me. As a daily exercise, repentance can absolutely feel like a real bummer. Who wants to start, end, or meet God in the middle of their day with a heavy heart full of self-loathing? Not me. Yet I have done it for as long as I can remember, even if only moment-by-moment.

Yes, repentance involves feeling badly about something. Otherwise you wouldn’t realize or care that whatever it was, was wrong in the first place. But here’s the key that I think Kristin was making: that’s where feeling badly ENDS.

After that initial feeling of wrongdoing, and turning that sin over to the Lord, it’s time to be comforted. Imagine yourself a child who has been punished and is crying because you feel sad about disappointing a parent. What does that parent do? Turn around and walk away? “Glad you’re crying, you horrible kid!”

Of course not. You wrap your arms around the hurting child, despite being angry at what they did – and maybe you still are! You don’t let that feeling overcome your desire to show your love to your child.

I believe it works sort of like that with God. He doesn’t like what we did; He didn’t want us to choose sin over obedience. But He isn’t holding it against us when we’ve sincerely repented. He’s ready to wrap His arms around us!

So our thoughts have turned in a different direction. Now we have our second choice to make: to keep sinning or stop. It’s that simple (to say – in actuality stopping that sin is often incredibly difficult).

Therein lies the rub, yes? If we have decided to trust in our loving God and repent, and be welcomed back into a complete relationship with Him, it’s just as hard to stop doing what we were doing. The following are some examples that are problematic – to say the least – to disengage from:

  • Rage – to stop letting your anger emerge against yourself or others;
  • Lust – to stop letting your thoughts wander towards that man or woman, especially if you’re married; to stop wanting ANYTHING more than God;
  • Greed – to stop thinking you need to make more money if you can’t afford what you want – because the more you make, the more you’ll want;
  • Laziness – to put down the remote and get up and do what needs to be done; to get off Facebook (AFTER you’ve read this post, of course), and get back to work;
  • Addiction – to put down that drink, that drug, that food, etc.;

These are just some of the many obstacles that separate us from God. You have your own, private ones, and the public ones you can’t hide. At any rate, they gotta go. If you can decide to put them down and turn away and never do them again – awesome. Congrats. But most of us have to put them down A LOT before they’re fully gone. And even then, we have to be watchful for the prowling lion from 1 Peter 5:8. We cannot let it beat us.

Some of these sins require more than a promise made to God, to yourself, and/or to family and friends. Some of these sins require significant outside help. Do it. It’s worth it. Anything is better than hating yourself for what you’ve done and continue to do.

Let Jesus set you free! Blessings y’all!

 

How To Follow Romans & Renew Your Mind


There’s this wonderful verse in Romans 12. It says, “Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.” (v. 2, THE VOICE version from BibleGateway.com).

The wording inspires me. To be transformed – well, we women know transforming ourselves is an innate quality. We desire it before we become Christians. We are born knowing change is part of our makeup.

To renew my mind – wow – if you’ve never felt it going a million miles an hour, you won’t get it. If you don’t desperately want your mind to be “normal” then this might not jump out a you.

To be good, pleasing, and complete – for God – how beautiful!

Yes, wonderful. But the more I try to change my mind – to renew and – oh yeah! – be TRANSFORMED into that good, pleasing, and complete person? The more I fail. Epic fail. Eternal fail. Stick-a-fork-in-my-eye fail.

Thank you Jesus for Matthew Henry’s Commentary! (Also found on BibleGateway.com). Here’s what it has to say on this verse:

” The mind must be renewed for him. This is pressed (Rom. 12:2): “Be you transformed by the renewing of your mind; see to it that there be a saving change wrought in you, and that it be carried on.” Conversion and sanctification are the renewing of the mind, a change not of the substance, but of the qualities of the soul. It is the same with making a new heart and a new spirit—new dispositions and inclinations, new sympathies and antipathies; the understanding enlightened, the conscience softened, the thoughts rectified; the will bowed to the will of God, and the affections made spiritual and heavenly: so that the man is not what he was—old things are passed away, all things are become new; he acts from new principles, by new rules, with new designs. The mind is the acting ruling part of us; so that the renewing of the mind is the renewing of the whole man, for out of it are the issues of life, Prov. 4:23.”

What I believe Matthew Henry meant – and what God means – is that transformation and renewal are not acts WE complete. They are done by the Spirit, y’all! What a huge relief. Sure, my behavior has to change – and it has, over time. But sanctification can ONLY be done by God, so I can relinquish control here.

The commentary goes on to say: “What is the great enemy to this renewing, which we must avoid; and that is, conformity to this world: Be not conformed to this world. All the disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus must be nonconformists to this world. Me syschematizestheDo not fashion yourselves according to the world. We must not conform to the things of the world; they are mutable, and the fashion of them is passing away.”

Y’all, this is GOOD NEWS! This is amazing! When we just decide that enough is enough – what we’re doing isn’t working – and we give the control of betterment to the only One who can actually do it right – we are refreshed, renewed, and transformed! And while that last commentary reference might sound a little – ah – boring – it’s really not. The things of this world will become things – and I swear it because I’ve felt it – we don’t want after all. They will seem trivial and trite and petty and uninteresting.

Blessings today, y’all.