Passing It On

As I packed boxes for our upcoming move, and looked around at the chaos that is my home I saw an email in my in-box from a woman I had the pleasure of ministering to a while ago. When I decided to write this today I asked her permission to “talk” about her in a general way, and she has consented that I can share these things with you. When she came her life was in crisis, she had been caught up in some devastating sinful habits. Her openness and bluntness about her sin life was actually refreshing. She was able to look at herself honestly and believed that she was beyond hope. Her situation required endless hours of counseling, sometimes daily input that amounted to thousands of small little encouraging communications, and hundreds of hours of prayer. In the end, the ideal was not achieved and “life” did not go the way we thought or hoped it would. However, she remains obedient to God in leaving the sin of the past behind. In spite of her newfound freedom in life, she has continued to be faithful to God and He been glorified by her response to the Truth and by her commitment to Him and living for Him. In her posting to me today, she shared with me that she is passing on what she has learned in...

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Dealing With the Past (Part II)

Yesterday we began to look at how to deal with the past. Today I would like to begin by reminding you that God has freed us from the past! Therefore we have to reason to be bound by it. Some of the most encouraging words in the entire Bible are: Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers—none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NLT) Do you really understand what this means? That regardless of what you were before you were saved, regardless of your prior sinful habits, you have been changed. Isn’t this tremendously encouraging to you? The Bible, which does not and cannot lie, tells you and I that we are not slaves to our past, and we have been freed from the power sin had over us in the past. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)...

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Dealing With the Past

If I gave you the opportunity to give me your life story in 15 minutes, what would you say? When you think about your past, does it bring back warm and fond memories, of a loving and caring childhood gentle and loving a parents and siblings? Or would your story contain memories of a past that was primarily bad? Would your life story revolve around how you have been mistreated in the past; what has been done to you by someone? What was said/done, or not said/done? Maybe you have very few memories of your past, but regardless of what you remember, you have one! Therefore, I believe it is imperative that we understand what God’s Word has to say about properly and biblically handling our past. God gave us our memory – He gave us the ability to retain and store information in our brains. Therefore, He must have a purpose and plan for those memories. All you need to do is pick up the newspaper or turn on the nightly news to see that the issue of dealing with the past is primary in how the world deals with interpersonal problems, marriage and family issues, and behavioral matters such as in a legal trial for assault, or murder, or neglect. Although it is not a popular view, I do not like to excuse poor behavior done as...

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The Weight of Dreams

There is an old Amy Grant song that has been quite meaningful to me over the years. I don’t even know the name of the song, but the lyrics are embedded within today’s post. When the weight of all my dreams are resting heavy on my head,Tonight the weight is heaver than it was a few hours ago. The things that have been placed before me are challenging, yet not new. I have done this before and God has been faithful to surround me with people who fill the deficits I have in all areas. And yet, the weight is heavy because the responsibility is great. I know to mess this up affects more than me; it affects those I serve by His grace. The weight is made of having an understanding of the challenges of unity, the challenges of change, the challenges of cooperation, the challenges of leadership. And the thoughtful words of help and hope have all been nicely said,There is plenty of encouragement to go forward with this plan, compliments that I am the gal for the job, I have the right idea and message to take… But I’m still hurtin’ wondering if I’ll ever be the one I think I am…I think I am…This is dangerous and scary territory for me. There is personal risk because people can be so difficult! It has been said...

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Psalm 42:5

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and Psalm 42:5 We find ourselves at the crossroads of life. Most of our children grown and gone, and one nearing that precious point in time when he too will leave to begin to fulfill his own destiny. I have always believed that you raise children to let them go, so that is not so much causing the disturbance within my soul; it is much more what comes next. We are, or actually I am in the “Sandwich Generation” as I care for my elderly and ailing parents and finish raising my family. God has richly blessed me with all these people to love and minister to however I know that these days are rushing to a close on all accounts. My spirit is disquieted within me as the “then what?” question. It is not as though my ministry opportunities will be gone, as the counseling and discipling of women never ceases, I will have my husband and family to love until we all go to the Lord. There is just a quiet ache today. Perhaps it is because we are preparing to sell the home that we raised all our children in. The only home our youngest has ever known. The old walls...

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Living In Saturday

This is an expression I recently heard at a training conference I was attending. Living in Saturday is in reference to the Saturday after Good Friday and before Resurrection Sunday. It is a place all of us dwell. Many Christians appear to be spending their time on earth treading spiritual water. They are not living totally in the world nor are they practicing holiness. Christian disciplines are lackadaisical and are done halfheartedly. There is little devotion to the imperative of “Be holy as I am holy” (1 Pet.1:16) therefore very little spiritual growth. This Christian lives a rather defeated life frequently looking at the lives of other believers in comparison to their own and evaluating that they come up way short. Does this describe you today? It has from time to time described me. I get so lazy sometimes! The thought seems to be that I can somehow “skate” through my days without Him, as though my continual connection with Him is somehow optional! What a fool that makes me! That is when I live in Saturday. I live as though Jesus is no longer in the picture that He is gone and I am once again living for myself. This leads me to think and then act as though I am no longer a slave to righteousness, that I have been released from my bondage to Him. The...

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Respectable Sins Revelations

What does this say about the power of Christ in me if this is the case? It says that the power of Christ is not sufficient, and that is a lie from the pit of hell. If is not the case, if the power of Christ in me is not enough for me to overcome sins like lying, swearing, gossiping, coveting, impure thoughts, cheating, anger, selfishness, laziness, slandering, immorality, idolatry, and any other sin you can think of then what is?! To say He is not enough, and that His power is not enough makes Christ a fool and a liar! He is either enough, or He isn’t and if you believe (and I believe) He is enough then we ought to start living like it!

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Tragic Day After Day

The news is just tragic day after day. Pregnant women, little children, teenagers graduating from high school all victims of horrible crime. It seems every single day there is a new report of a missing woman, mother, child, you name it.

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Who Owns You?

As Christians we are given tremendous liberty. In Christ we are free from condemnation and free from the perils facing unbelievers. This often leads people to the ditch opposite of legalism, which is the abuse of God’s grace. Romans 6: 1 says, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” The implication there is that we have been freed from the bondage of sin, and freed from its domination over us- so why do we continue to live as though we are still powerless over sin? Why do we live as though it still owns us? I would like you to think about this question- who owns you?You will quickly see the answer to this question as you reflect on the following:Do you want to glorify God with your life more than you want to breathe?What decides how you act? Is is the Word of God or how you feel today or in the moment?What is the motive for the things you do “for God?” Is it self or the glory of God? How you answer these questions is the beginning of determining where your heart is focused right now. Are you living for Him or for you? We have not been redeemed to be self-serving,...

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The Revelations of My Heart

Not too long ago I was hit full in the face with the horrific nature of my sinful heart. I had a situation occur in which I was bitterly disappointed. The details are not as important as my actions which were initially not glorifying to God, but the situation is one that God used to reveal my heart. Over a period of years I had been working to extricate myself from a certain state of affairs that were like bondage to me. I had made progress but this time I had the solution all planned out. Part of the problem with my solution was that I was tempted to be temporarily dishonest. When I realized where that was headed I was in the moment – sorrowful. The solution meant freedom and I rationalized that any dishonesty would be only temporary. The scenario that I envisioned did not pan out the way I wanted it to and my expected freedom did not come to pass. Once again, God said “nope.” I did not understand this – not one bit. I was so angry at God that He continued to frustrate my attempts to gain my freedom from what felt like slavery to me. This enraged me and I gave full vent to my anger at God over how the situation had worked out. My tirade at not getting my way...

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