Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

Damning the President to hell, cussing out gay people in news feeds, burning abortion clinics, calling every dark colored person you see something I can’t even type, tweeting “hell’s happy now that so and so died”, gagging on public media when you discuss same sex marriage, blaming gays for 9/11, hateful speech because you think the Bible justifies your hate of certain people, calling teen girls who “sleep around” terrible names, wishing someone’s child dies because it was conceived out of wedlock, jumping in on the face book bandwagon of several who bash our leaders with wishes to murder or “take them out” – we call ourselves Christ followers??? Seriously! What’s the difference between us and the world who we’re supposed to be converting, praying for their lost souls, showing God’s love and being an example of Christ in all that we say and do! Shame on us! Arrogance, slander, hate, etc. does just the opposite and God hates our sins in doing all this too! Yes, I know God got mad but that’s a whole other topic: righteous anger. He doesn’t condone us using our anger to inflict hate or hurt. You’ll have to research that personally. I never said I agree with everything everyone does on this earth and I do call sin what God calls sin but I can’t justify my hate, bullying, hurtful and mean speech against anyone else just as I don’t justify theirs against me – a Christ follower. No, this won’t totally stop the way we’re treated or looked at as Christ followers but for cryin’ out loud, let’s practice what we preach, what Christ preached and show others His Truth in us, our lives and our words! Others deserve the same choice at grace, mercy, love and forgiveness as we got! None of us are worthy but Christ died for all of us!
Never, once, will you hear a lost person proclaim, “Yes, I’m so thankful for the cruel ways I was treated and all the hate. All that is what showed me my need for a personal relationship with Christ.” I love my fellow Christians, just as I love lost people, and I’m not hating on you fellow Christians, but I am asking you, like I have to do, to “look in the mirror” and see if your testimony: your words, actions, life, even your thoughts are furthering His kingdom or running off the lost! We should want what God wants for each and every one of us to know Him, His love, forgiveness and how He can change us and give us an eternity with Him! Let’s humble our hearts before God, ask for forgiveness, ask for His love to flow through us as we change the way we defend our faith, take part in political discussions, take our stands and live as an example of Christ in everything we say and do!

“What’s on your mind?” Ever notice that question before you automatically start posting on facebook? There’s way too much on mine these days and it’s mostly about hurt, sadness, meanness, arrogance, pride, lack of forgiveness, superiority, acting like others’ feelings don’t matter and knit picking. I’m emotionally drained from all of it and I’m not capable of fixing it for anyone else, let alone myself but it continues and it worsens. The only hope I see is Christ but even those of us who know He’s the Only Hope are still discouraged and heart broken by His people who resist forgiveness and humility. I know better than to limit God and I’m not giving up on Him even if it seems quite understandable to lose faith in some people who claim to know Him. Ever heard the saying, no one cares what you have to say until they know that you care? Well, it certainly applies and we need to take a long, hard look in our own mirrors before thinking we know others and their hearts. My Daddy used to say, “Don’t worry about anyone else, take care of number one, that’s a big enough job.” I get it and he was right. I have no business and neither does anyone else to think I should have all the answers, do everything right and everyone answers to me. We answer to our Creator and His Word is where I go for what’s right or wrong (and sometimes I still mess up) and His love is what I’m commanded to show others along with forgiveness not a Pharisee type attitude. I can’t change the way others treat me (regardless of their relationship with Christ) but I can & only with God’s help, make sure they see Him when they see me. My heart’s heavy tonight and it’s taken a while to get here but I know God is in control, see’s the end and know’s exactly how this will turn out. As hard as it is to go through I still don’t resent this heart God has given me for my family and friends and all their realities & mine right now. I’ll continue to be here for them because God knows we need each other.

“Wow! Look at that sinner over there! I’m glad I’m not THAT kind of sinner!” (thots you & I may not admit we’ve thought but maybe have?) While reflecting on God’s love for us & His call to obedience as He calls us to show that same love to others, I am reminded of just how He sees us. When He looks at me He doesn’t see me as my worst sin! My sins don’t label me as that sin! He doesn’t instruct me to love only those whose sin is on a “lower scale” than mine but to love every sinner as He loves this sinner-me! See, there is no scale to God! He sees all of our sin as the same! Even as Christians in the everyday church today we still tend to measure our sins by a scale of better & worse sins. Then we attempt to point out the “worse” sins of others & totally disregard our “mediocre” sins. Just because we haven’t been outwardly caught in our sin or we haven’t had our sin paraded out in front of the whole world or even our own church family doesn’t mean that our sin is any different to God! We are all struggling with our sins, some may seem more than others only because maybe they’re being more transparent than we are. Could you imagine all your sins (mine included) being on a screen in front of your church family? How would that make us feel? I’m so thankful they aren’t but more importantly I’m thankful what God has shown me about my sins & His love for me in spite of those sins. I know it sounds like a cliche’ but ever heard “love the sinner, hate the sin?” That’s God! My identity is not based on my sins just like yours aren’t either! It’s based on who I am to God and His amazing love for me! So I hope you’re encouraged by His love for you too! There is NOTHING, absolutely nothing you could ever do that would change His love for you! The same goes for me too! As a Christian I’m expected to be holy as He is holy & to love as He loves. Then with the guidance & power of His Holy Spirit, and allowing Him to bring my sin into the light, through His grace & forgiveness I am able to receive His love and resist the temptation to act on my sins & I’m able to resist the lies of the enemy-Satan-who “seeks who he will destroy!” Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart deviseth his way: But the Lord directeth his steps.” I may not choose my sins or desires that tempt me but I do have free will to choose whether or not to act on them. Prov. 16:3 assures me that if I set out to resist a specific sin that God will establish that plan. (“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”) Galatians 5:17 says, ” For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. ” Galatians 5:16 tells us how to win: ” But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. ” The Holy Spirit gives us victory. So before we go out and mistreat or hate someone because of their sin we need to check ourselves against God’s definition of sinner and admit that we’re all in the same boat! Satan finds what we’ll believe, tells us lies about who we are and that God could never love that kind of sinner and we miss out on the amazing & powerful love of the Heavenly Father! Accept that love from God and then watch how the closer you get to Him the more resistance you’ll be able to exercise toward submitting to the specific sins you’re struggling with today. You won’t turn perfect but you’ll have the advantage over sin that you won’t be facing it alone any more in your own limited power, just like me & mine. The depth of God’s love – John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” In obedience to His Word I share His love with you & pray you find the true meaning of love – His love and then allow Him to direct your paths.

broken_heart-1508Why is it just so hard to forgive certain people?  They just keep on hurting me, treating me disrespectfully and just plain “rubbing me the wrong way”. No matter how many times I’ve resolved to forgive them, (no apology given either), it just keeps happening. No one should be a doormat but seriously? How do I move on and quit letting them have this power over me? Woah! Maybe that’s it.

WHY do they have power over me?

WHY does it matter what they think or do?

WHY do I let them continue to get under my skin?

I keep ending up back at this place & am surprised by it every time. Not by their behavior but my reaction. I give them the benefit of the doubt, trust them again & again, try to see them thru God’s eyes and not my own, and the all-time hardest – pray for a love for them! Just when I think I’m there – they do it again – we’re right back to them occupying my thots and being the cause of my heartache – AGAIN! This vicious cycle HAS to end!!

In BSF this week, I’m studying Genesis, specifically chapters 18-21 and we’re covering Grace right now.

“The essence of grace, though, is to show that kind of favor to those who are completely undeserving of it. That is the quality of God’s grace.”

It has forced me to search my own heart – quite humbling and convicting, to say the least. I know we’re supposed to forgive & forgive according to scripture but what does it say about GRACE? True grace isn’t extended only once, is it? I think of so many instances where God gives grace to both Biblical characters and us living beings on earth. He is the true example of GRACE, obviously, but we’re supposed to do the same, and to follow His example. Not ours.
Each time I’ve read the BSF lesson for this week God brought me to convicting tears – pleading with me to submit to His healing of my brokenness: “God’s grace to His people and His faithfulness to keep His promises shines brightly against the backdrop of our selfish choices that conform to the world around us and seek our agendas rather than God’s purposes.”
I end up feeling like it’s my job to teach them a lesson or force them to admit their wrong. This is about when the self thots and heartache begin.

As quoted in my BSF lesson:
Matthew 12:34 “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Hebrews 4:12 His Word “judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”

I battle back & forth over extending them grace for fear they’ll take it as permission to continue treating me this way. Will they see that it’s grace or think I’m a doormat?
Just a few examples that show God’s amazing grace through people I know and people in Scripture:
Abraham, in Genesis, because of God’s covenant with him, he was still allowed to have a son bore to him & Sarah, in spite of the fact that they took matters into their hands. They sinned before God by allowing Sarah’s handservant to get pregnant with Abraham’s child.
Lot, in Genesis, because of that same covenant and His promise to Abraham’s family, God gave Lot a chance to save his life and the lives of his family before destroying Sodom, in spite of the fact that Lot sinned by staying in Sodom when God told him to leave.
King David, who sinned over & over again, once even having the husband of his mistress killed so he could have the wife as his own & even having a child with this woman, God extended him grace both as a King and saving his life numerous times.
A big one to me: God showed amazing grace to all by allowing His own Son to die for EVERYONE who is a sinner by nature & continues to sin against Him but instead God showed them (us) a way to have eternal life through His Son. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” Yeah! I didn’t deserve that one. God didn’t try to teach me a lesson or punish me for my sins. He provided a way out and some kind of amazing grace like never seen before nor will ever be seen again by anyone on this earth! There’s tons more of examples but those are just to name a few.
Now for an example in my life by a very loving man I know – I was shown an amazing example of grace by our recent pastor when he resigned from our church. This man was the epitome of grace both to our entire church body and to a select number of members he knew had personality conflicts with him in an attempt to have peace and unity in our church. Knowing what he did about their feelings toward him he chose to leave after treating them with love and forgiveness in his final goodbye. He was sincere in his previous desire to swallow his pride and allow them to see his heart of love for them instead of revenge, punishment and arrogance. Even though others showed him exactly those traits. I was in awe of the God who supplied him with the love and grace to extend to the hurt he obviously experienced. The church is not exempt from sinful & fleshly desires to hurt others inside the church but our reactions do matter to God.
The world encourages us to cut our losses but to always go out with a vengeance, seeking revenge and teaching others a lesson for messing with the wrong person. That’s not God’s way. What prevents us from handling similar situations like God wants us to handle them? Pride, arrogance, sinful/fleshly desires of the heart. When I look at it that way I’m sickened by my heart for some people. I’m just as sinful as the next guy. If I truly hate what God hates I can’t act-just like-what I hate. I’m normally pretty quick to forgive and overlook, giving the benefit to most. God doesn’t command us to love those who are EASY to love, but to love EVERYONE!
There are certain people in my life who, over the years, have treated me with superiority and like I’m not a priority unless it’s convenient for them. That is a hurt that I keep allowing back into my life because of situations forcing us together. I can’t just walk away from all hurtful people. I’m still dealing with the hurt I’ve experienced in those situations too but they are no different. I have to extend grace to them too.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all these people, I really do. I don’t wish them harm nor want to see them hurt. I do see good in most people, even in people who rub me the wrong way. I am constantly searching scripture to find out how God wants me to proceed.

It can’t be-what if they continue.

It can’t be-what if they don’t listen to me.

It can’t be-will they go unpunished?

By the way, God doesn’t allow that last one to happen. My job is not to point out the faults of everyone who has hurt me or disrespected me. My act of obedience, to my Heavenly Father, has to trump my desire to make them hurt too, make them admit their wrongs, & show me some much earned respect. I HAVE to care more what He THINKS of me rather than what they DO to me!

~when you know your brokenness is so very close to the healing stages & yet it’s still scary & hard to obey & take that final step & let God do what He’s so able to do – bring you to the other side of your journey & show you real freedom – that only comes from Him & trusting His sovereignty~

~total surrender~

in need of prayers tonight-thanks ♥

“Friendship is a Two Way Street.” What does it mean?
Recently, I was asked this question so for the fun of it, I googled it: “Best Answer – Chosen by Asker
It means that friendship, like most other relationships, takes an effort from both people to work. (as opposed to a situation where one person just gives gives gives all the time, and the other just takes)” http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090104204557AAx6LwR
I think I agree with this person’s answer! I do see how others would think it might also mean that friendship is determined by the direction a friendship could go – 2 different ways.
I know I seem to be focusing on friendship lately but when you are going through something with someone you call a friend, it’s normal to blog on it too, lol.
I’ve accepted that time being put into this friendship isn’t going to be what I ever dreamed it would be. But I guess if you have a history with someone that involves some heartache, that, even though both have forgiven and tried to move forward, Satan, their true enemy, will only continue to bring conflict between the 2 friends for years to come. I don’t know how to stop it permanently but I have been growing closer to God and the closer I get the less I desire to even participate even one more time in any disputes, arguments, etc. that might propel us forward to another wall between us. I can’t choose what makes others mad and I can’t walk on glass around them either but when they don’t communicate without yelling or defenses, then we go nowhere but backward. I don’t have to do the same. I can keep the peace, at least on this side. But how many times will I be willing is the question I guess. As long as God holds me up because I can’t do it on my own. I don’t have the heart and strength left. It’s too hard and happens way too frequently than I’d like it too. If it were up to me, I’d quit trying. God has brought us through so many things and some really hard times together but I can’t keep going through a hurtful relationship if there’s not more good than bad and more time invested in the good. I’m human too and it does hurt to be hurt! I’ve asked God to help me with removing drama from my life this year and stop me from getting in the middle of it so I may seem hesitant to pursue conversations that seem to be heading to an argument but I have to handle it this way. I know the consequences and I refuse to put myself in those spots again, to the best of my ability. Once you’ve said or done something to someone, it’s hard to take it back. You can only expect to be forgiven so many times for your insensitivity and meanness. You can’t blame the devil for everything you say or do that’s mean but you can determine, with God’s help, to not submit to his way but to submit to God’s and to show love and have peace between each other.
Ephesians 4: 31-32 NIV
31-32 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
I remember my mom always saying “It takes 2 to fight but the 2nd person could stop it by not going further with it.” I guess I’m finally listening and trying to be the 2nd person who didn’t go further.
Pray, with me, that as Christian brothers and sisters, still having to live in this world, that we focus more on God’s way of handling things rather than Satan’s.  God wants us to have peace with each other but that, too, is a 2 way street!

I feel like I should be the main character, at times, in one of Stephen King’s horror movies! Wait! Don’t freak out on me, let me explain: Turning 40 was a great time in my life but the years since have been quite a challenge dealing with my “multiple personalities”. I say this in jest but let me add a disclaimer here: I do not believe in mocking people who really have to deal with this real problem. I’m simply borrowing the description to help explain a little of who I’ve become. Now, back to me: For the last couple of years, especially this past year, I have watched myself become someone I can’t stand a few days out of every month. No, it’s not PMS. It’s so different. Out of the blue, when no one expects it, appears the wicked witch of the Hughes’ household! I have become down right mean and evil. I’m not outwardly destructive, physically abusive nor do I use language that God would hate but I do show absolutely no patience, look for fights among my family, push buttons, assume the worst about everyone, jump on everyone for absolutely no reason and defensive – WOAH! I act like the whole world is against me and feel I can’t do anything right! Who is this person? Where did she evolve? How do I send her to the other side of the planet? I finally broke down and went to the Dr. looking for some sort of medical answers to explain away my uncontrollable fits of rage! There must be a name for it! A “good” reason I seem so psychotic and tend to go “from Angel to Witch in 60 seconds or less”! Well…….even if you find it hard to believe, there is a name for it! I wasn’t sure if I was comfortable accepting that or not but like a friend told me, “at least you’ve got a reason now, that would make me feel better!” I have mixed feelings about having a name for it and accepting that this Christian, me, doesn’t have the kind of self control in those areas when God tells me I need to have self control! You know…. when I have to accept something, out of my control, and I’m told that’s just the way it is and you can’t do a thing about it, I get so stubborn and think otherwise! Only to have it slammed right back in my face that “No, YOU don’t have control over this situation!” However, and this is really big: God is the One who is in control! He knows the crazy, outraged individual I become sometimes and He, in His infinite wisdom, has quieted my children at those times, given gentleness to my husband during my episodes, and surrounds me with the love of my family to help me endure those times! The same family who is on the receiving end of my rage and outbursts? They are the same ones who shower me with hugs and so much love that I melt in their presence and I come back to being the person they are praying returns quickly, “pleeeeaaase Dear God!” Don’t think for one minute that it happens as quickly as they, or I, would like but it does happen and I do calm down and realize they were never the reason so I apologize, they forgive and we go on. What a vicious cycle for them to have to go through to tolerate me sometimes. But they’re willing as long as I come back humble and loving! How could I not? This family of mine accepts me with all my faults and my emotional outbursts! What am I teaching my kids? Ooops, did I really go there? Yeah, that’s a big guilt trip I put myself through every time it happens! Then I realized that I’m teaching them that even Mom needs more self control, more humility, more love, more dependence on God, more forgiveness, more acceptance and understanding, and always, more of them in her life! So, for right now, the “angel” is here but when the “wicked witch” returns, and I’m afraid she will, my wonderful blessing of a family will welcome her with loving arms until she “melts away” again into their LeeAnne/wife/mom! I just pray the acceptance, on my end, comes quickly! Probably not!

BTW: if you really want to know the name I spoke of, just ask sometime in private! It’s not blog worthy:)