Broken Windshield…

I took Big Momma into the shop today to get her windshield replaced. (Big Momma is the name of my vehicle.) A few months ago, a rock flew up and smacked the windshield right in the corner of the driver side. Since then, a large crack developed from the “injury” and started creeping across the entire windshield, tainting the clarity of the view when driving. We successfully put off taking Big Momma to the “doctor” for as long as possible. But, that annoying crack just kept on getting bigger and bigger.

Sin in our lives is so much like that crack in Big Momma’s windshield. So often, it can fly up out of nowhere and smack us, causing injury in our lives. The longer we take to confess the sin, the larger it gets. And before we know it, the sin has crept across our lives, obstructing our view. In fact, the narrow lens of that sin becomes our focus, rather than the bigger picture seen through the windshield.

Praise God that He is the ultimate Physician for our lives and souls. He has the final say on sin! When we confess our sin, He tends to the original injury. Even if we try to ignore the sin and it creeps into other aspects of our lives, He can fix it. In fact, He can replace the windshield of our souls and make us brand new! Through his redemption and forgiveness, hope shines through the windshield again, making our focus as far east and west as the eye can see!

Oh, if we would only confess our sins quickly and often, the view would be so much clearer! Lord, help us be people quick to repent and ask for forgiveness. Help us extend forgiveness to one another more often too.

Be joyful!

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15 NIV

A Kit Kat…

My husband and I laughed so hard at the family Easter Egg hunt in our back yard yesterday. You have never seen grown people act such a fool over hidden plastic eggs! My daughter’s beloved Nana actually tossed a plastic bowl at her head to try and distract her at one point. I’ll put it this way, we have a very competitive family!

The angel dog was also part of the hunt, barking and cheering on the hunters. And he was close by when each participant went through their eggs. He proudly brought a small Kit Kat candy bar back to me and was very proud of his found treasure. Before I knew it, he was eating his treasure, wrapper and all. I immediately told him to “drop it”, which made him choke it down even faster. You see, he wanted that candy bar even though it was not good for him.

We have so many similar temptations in life, don’t we? We find ourselves caught up in the moment and before we know it, we have gobbled down that thing that is not good for us. Even when we hear our Father telling us to “drop it”, we quickly devour it in hopes that it won’t hurt too bad this time.

Thank God that we have a Father that understands and was willing to send his Son, Jesus, to conquer death and sin. So when we find ourselves with a mouthful of sin, wrapper and all, we can repent and bask in his forgiveness. He also provides a way for us to stand up against that temptation the next time, even if it is a yummy Kit Kat candy bar!

I hope each of you delighted this Easter in the overwhelming sweetness of that empty tomb and all that it means for you. And I do hope that you enjoyed a little something sweet to eat, minus the wrapper of course!

Be joyful!

“The angel spoke to the women: ‘There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.'” Matthew 28:5‭-‬6 MSG

Forgiveness…

crossI have been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately. In fact, I truly believe that God has been laying this powerful word on my heart to ponder for about two weeks now. My teenage daughter has a hard time admitting when she is wrong. (She gets this solely from her father. Ha!)  She also has a hard time saying that she is sorry. I have tried to point out to her many times that forgiveness has to do with her own heart. And that it is often one of the most freeing, uplifting things that we can do. It’s funny how your own words can come back to haunt you.

We recently had an argument within our family. I wish I could tell you that we handled it calmly, with complete understanding, calm heads and voices, and resolved it in a Biblical manner. But, I am trying to practice transparency and honesty with this blog. It was quite the opposite. Harsh words were exchanged, doors were slammed and resolution was left for another day.

I think God often uses family relationships to teach, refine and refocus. This has truly been the case for me since this unfortunate incident. What I realized is that the right and wrong of the situation at the end of the day really doesn’t matter. But, what does matter are the hearts involved, starting with mine. You see, I have been harboring unforgiveness. I have been justifying my own thoughts and feelings, replaying the fiasco over and over again. Then, I started to realize that I felt horrible inside. And that the more I justified, the more I felt God pressing in on me to repent and to allow Him to handle the situation. And not only was God asking for me to repent; but He was asking me to extend grace; regardless of whether that grace was deserved. He put songs on the radio, scriptures, words in my Bible study, messages from the pulpit, all whispering the same thing to me….it is time to forgive and be forgiven.

So, I did. I gave it all to my Father and asked Him to renew a right spirit within me. And just like that, I felt free, uplifted and my conscience was clear. Grace and love became easier to extend too, imagine that! Why did it take me so long?”

Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.'” (Luke 23:24 NLT) Our Savior pleaded for our forgiveness from the cross. He demonstrated from that excruciating vantage point the importance of forgiving one another. He then gave up His own life for my sins and yours. For my stubbornness and yours. For my pride, and yours. For all of my short comings and yours. He conquered the cross, so that we could stand before our Father, forgiven and redeemed.

I want to be more like Jesus. I want to extend His grace, love and forgiveness more. He placed me here, within this generation to do His work. He wants me to shine bright for Him. Sometimes, we have to get our “self” out of the way.

And sometimes the first step is forgiveness.

Be joyful!

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NLT)

The Back Scratcher…

20180306_171414Monday nights have become one of my favorite nights. First, I get to spend time with my Sisters in Christ in Bible Study. Then, a new tradition has formed in our home. My man, daughter and angel dog pile on our bed and we watch the television program, Kids Baking Championship. Now before you all conjure up false impressions of my man; this is not his show of choice. He is a fishing, hunting, rough and tough, Texas man…you make no mistake! I truly believe that the main reason he succumbs to this ritual has everything to do with the back scratcher.

Honestly, my man is obsessed with the back scratcher. He received an upgraded “model” in his stocking at Christmas. It extends to different lengths, is shaped like a metal hand and has a nice cushiony grip. What I have observed about the back scratcher is that it can be used to scratch lovingly or it can be used to annoy. And usually the rule of thumb is that you get exactly what you give, which typically ends poorly for me. For some reason, try as I might, I can’t resist using the back scratcher to annoy more than love when it is my turn. I have also observed that my daughter keeps track of the amount of time that angel dog gets scratched. And, God forbid, that she is given any less time! My man gets the most time with the back scratcher and we are amazed that he doesn’t sustain flesh wounds on his back from the intensity of his scratching.

Aren’t we lucky to have a God who doesn’t give based on what He receives? “For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8 NIV) We continually sin and fall short; yet His grace and forgiveness is extended again and again. His love is more than abundant!

Aren’t we lucky that we are never beyond God’s reach? Psalms 138:7 reminds us, “Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies, You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me.” His reach is deep and wide and He has the ability to forgive and forget our sins, as far as the east is from the west.

Aren’t we lucky that God loves us all equally? He extends the same love, hope, forgiveness, and grace to each and every one of us. He doesn’t play favorites! “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NLT)

God is the ultimate back scratcher!  I will never look at our Monday night ritual the same again.

Be joyful!