Posts tagged ‘mercy’

May 31, 2013

Day 507: Pardon Me Please

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Today’s positivity is, yet again, perfect timing! After yesterday’s conviction through my son (Day 506: Childish Conviction) in which he inadvertently called me out on my sin and altered the course of my approach to this covenant and then yesterday’s positivity just “happened” to be I am free (Day 506: A Slave No More) it was only fitting that today should be…

POSITIVITY: I am pardoned.

Now, those who are in Christ Jesus are not judged guilty. Romans 8:1

All of my self-centered attitude. All of my pride. All of my gluttony. All of my food-lust. God will judge me not-guilty for all of it because Jesus stands in my place. And what’s really cool, is that because I am “in” Christ Jesus, God will just dismiss all that has happened, AND He will reward me for returning to Him. He will reward me for jumping off the road most traveled and getting on the road less traveled. (Thank you Mr. Frost for that.)

PRAYER:

God, You ARE Grace and Mercy. Just the fact that You even still interact with humans is evidence of that. And You are the Best of Grace and Mercy because you are also the Judge and the Eye that sees everything. Only You could fairly judge a person’s heart.

I am blessed that You have offered me Your Mercy. I know that given the state of my heart and my motivation, I didn’t deserve it, but you gave it to me all the same. I am blessed to have been treated with such kindness by You… when I think of some of the other ways that you could have tried to get my attention, I know that Your Grace gave me the easy way out.

Thank you for staying so close to me today. I have sensed You and Your Holy Spirit near me several times. Please stay near me longer, God. It is only with You that I am strong. Thank you for my pardon. Forgive me for my sin. Forgive me for being so focused on myself. For thinking I knew what was better than You did. For shoving my face with something other than what would fulfill me. For longing after something other than Your Greatness to sustain. Thank you that I am not guilty. Thank you.

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May 7, 2013

Day 483: Way, Way Out

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Looking back at my last post, Day 481: Black Sabbath, I realized that there were so. very. many. “outs” that God gave me to not have to take that downward plunge.

My husband saying “Get a pizza for you.”
Not previously having had any wine in the house.
The moment at the store where I thought “I could get something else entirely.”
When my husband hung out in the living room longer so I had to wait to sneak out the cookie dough.

God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13

He was all over it… on my behalf. And, honestly, I saw the signs then too. I knew that He was giving me a way out, but I was so determined to do wrong at that point that I just ignored all the lifelines He was throwing at me.

But Monday was another day entirely… a new day… with new mercies. And then this morning I was going back through my bookmarks and came across this one:

God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. Philippians 2:13

It’s so cool when the Word of God expresses just what you need to know, just what you need to hear, just what I needed to be reminded of.

And ya know… this post is pretty short and sweet, but honestly, there isn’t a whole lot more to say about it! That last verse is what I’m gonna focus on today.

November 4, 2012

Day 299: Holy Honeymoon Hours

More than any verse that has to deal with spending time with God, I am really drawn to the ACTIONS of my Christ:

“Before day break the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.” Mark 1:35

He had been casting out flippin DEMONS and HEALING people for crying out loud… but He got his rear out of bed and found that peaceful place of solitude to pray.

As a stay-at-home mom (and even more so when I was a working mom) finding a time of the day for solitude is nigh impossible. And even when I do find a time for that, my mind is so full of to-do lists and grocery lists and that mental list that is always running of all the ways I am inadequate… it is hard work to make room for a Word from the Spirit, and so I get less out of it because I spend so much time clearing my mind that I have less time to absorb His Truth, His Hope, His Mercy. But in the morning… His mercies are new and fresh and my mind is “empty” and open and relatively free from the cares of the day.

It’s almost like the holy honeymoon hours of the day… like, in marriage before you have learned all those strange idiosyncrasies and seen what your spouse is REALLY like… and there is just… love. In the morning, you have yet to see all the tiny nuances in the day of earthly things. You have yet to see your hopes for the day crushed by a four-year-old with the stomach flu or realizing that you are out of the eggs that you need for that breakfast casserole you are to take to bible study, or that the drier has dried its last towel and ain’t no Maytag man gonna be able to revive it.

There is only… Faith. Hope. Love. And those things are just about the best things to start the day off with.

November 3, 2012

Day 298: Some Friend You Are

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Well, whadda know… I went a whole big chunk of time again not blogging. I am on a retreat this weekend called MomsAway (THE most amazing retreats I have ever been on…) and because I am away is probably why I have time to write. I suppose, though if I am really honest with myself, that I could MAKE time to write again if I were home. You see, writing is a bit like personal bible study or prayer: there MUST be a time every day set-aside for it, you must have solitude, you must set aside your to-do list (or have yet to have looked at it), and you must be deliberate about it.

Annnnnnnnd I have been none of those things lately for bible study, prayer, or writing.

And I think to myself now, How will I explain that to Christ? ……Wait. No…… How, at this very moment, how DO I explain that to Christ?

Can I truly look him in the face and say, I didn’t meditate on Your Word or pray to write about you because I wanted to sleep in???

But that is what I must say to Him now. And I am embarrassed to say it to Him. And ashamed. And regretful.

I am reminded of that song right now… What a friend we have in Jesus… But would Jesus say the same of me??? Would he say: What a friend I have in January? Hmmmmmmm, likely not. But as I look further into that hymn I am grabbed by the lyrics that follow…

What a friend we have in Jesus.
All our sins and griefs He’ll bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.

O what peace we often forfeit
O what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

I am struck over and over again by those lines “O what peace we often forfeit… O what needless pain we bear.” How my life has danced around those sentences. When I think of the times in my life that I have carried burdens… that is where my gluttonous eating was able to bloom and grow. But I forfeited peace when I turned to a brownie. I carried needless pain when I turned to a bowl of cookie dough. or a milkshake. or a bag of chips (Cheetos… if we’re getting specific!). I traded the truth of God for a lie… I relied upon the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of all praise! (Romans 1:25)

And so I am keenly reminded (againnnnnn) of how important that daily connection to Him is in my life. And I am reminded of how “the faithful love of God never ends! His mercies never fail… never stop.” (Lamentations 3:22) And so now, againnnnnnn, I ask Him to “satisfy me each morning with His unfailing love.” (Psalm 90:14)

And I smile to myself… knowing that He will.

August 30, 2012

Day 233: Dare To Hope

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I am kind of amazed today with myself. That after 233 days of this I still will turn to things that cannot fulfill. things that have proven to let me down. things that will hurt me.

Even after an awesome three-week hard-core Daniel Fast.

So, after I have all this wonderful spiritual enlightenment and peace, what do I do?

I drink three cups of coffee this morning.

I get myself all sorts of addicted to getting on Facebook again and again and staying up late checking the dad gum thing (even though it is scooched down to the last “page” on my iPhone all by itself).

I make a fresh loaf of bread and knock out half of it before it’s even had a chance to cool.

I eat when I’m not hungry. Several. times.

I ignore God when He tells me to pray and stop working on my to-do list (oh yeah, there was a pretty immediate consequence for that one… not a good idea to ignore God).

Honestly I’m getting frustrated with myself just writing this post!

But

I still dare to hope when I remember this:

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord.Lamentations 3:21-26, 31-32, 40

May 5, 2012

Day 116: Christian Closet

A couple of days ago, my good friend and former co-worker was coming over to chat while my oldest was in preschool and my youngest was napping. Even though she and I have been friends for a lonnnnnng time it’s been difficult to see each other as we go through the crazy stages of raising kids and so I was really extra excited to see her since it has been, like, five years since we last hugged each other’s neck.

And as I woke up that morning, I thought to myself, “Well, Rhonda’s coming over… I should do my hair (even though Thursday isn’t a day I usually “do” my hair) and I need to wear an outfit that makes me look extra skinny since I haven’t seen her in a while.”

And then I just sorta stopped myself. I thought, “Whoa. That is entirely off of the focus here. You need to just wear whatever you pick out in the morning and roll with it. No trying on 53 outfits to see which looks skinniest.”

And it wasn’t because Rhonda would love me no matter what (although she would!) but it was because Jesus loves me no matter what. Because Jesus looks at my heart.

And I saw a glimpse of myself having the potential to be one of those girls that I have always admired that looked comfortable and cute in whatever they were wearing but never seemed caught up in their looks. And I realized that I really don’t care about fashion or cute-clothes. I never really have. And that’s cool because…

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12

So now, when I wake up in the mornings, I would love to spend a moment focusing on one of these qualities. Asking God as I dress in my earthly garb to make my humility stand out far more than the jeans I’m wearing. That my mercy would “bling” more than my necklace. That the kindness I show someone will show off Christ more than a shirt will show off my figure.

I would love for someone to think about having seen me during the day and not be able to recall a single item of clothing but be able to remember my gentle spirit.

Now, that would be one great outfit.

March 31, 2012

Day Eighty-One: You can’T do it!

A friend of mine (who is so much like me it’s a little weird) is doing a mini-covenant. Well, mini in the sense that it is not a full year, but HUGE in the sense that it could be the start of something completely freeing and ground breaking for her.

Anyway, I am so excited for her… well, I am excited when I think about the freedom that is ahead of her. Based on what she has said, she seems to struggle in a very similar way with sugar that I have dealt with over the past few months. And so when she mentioned to me yesterday that she had started her own covenant, I was like pumped all day long! And I love how she told me too… she sent me this text (and yes, I have changed her name):

“Hi. My name is Christy and I am addicted to sugar.”

Haha! She’s so funny! See… she is a lot like me! Haha!

But anyway, and so God has totally got her stuck in my mind and I have had the opportunity to pray for her a bunch this past day because I remember a) how incredibly difficult it was to start, and b) how awesome it was once I got a few days in. So, earlier this morning I was going to send her a text that said “I believe in you… you can do it!”

And then I stopped… because I was like, that’s so… opposite of what is really going on here. Now, I do believe in her commitment to Christ. I can tell that she lovvvvvvvves her some Jesus. And that’s why I believe that she will go through with her covenant. But, what I want to say is, “I believe in Jesus! Jesus can do this in you!”

But why doesn’t that have the same ring to it? Because that’s not the phrase that the world would say to her. The world would say “I believe in you! You can do it!”

But what it really takes is not a belief in self (in fact, belief in “self” can be more detrimental than helpful in my case) but what it really takes is a belief in the POWER OF JESUS.

Recall the time in which a father brought his son that was possessed with an evil spirit to Jesus’s disciples. They could not heal the boy, and so the father asked Jesus directly and ended his request with… “Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:22-24

So, if anything, my message to my friend is to believe. If she does nothing else, it is to believe in the Power of Jesus. in his desire to show us mercy. in his desire to heal us. in his ability to do both.

So maybe I’ll just text her this post instead! Haha!

February 22, 2012

Day Forty-Three: Obedience Is Bliss

(FYI: I am writing this on the evening of February 21st around 9:10pm. It was a post that I needed to write immediately before the awesomeness of it wore off, but since I already posted for day forty-two then I’m scheduling it to post on day forty-three.)

I had a blunder tonight.

Hmmmmmm, perhaps that is putting it lightly. Perhaps that is me not choosing the right word. Perhaps that is me trying to go easy on myself. I’m going to try again.

I broke the covenant tonight.

Yep. Broke it. Shattered it. Demolished it.

Cause that’s what happens to an agreement when one side “breaks” their oath… their bond. The “agreement” is null. void. pointless. non-existent.

Okay, okay, I’ll stop being over dramatic (not that me being over dramatic is a shocker to anyone who knows me). Here’s what happened: I planned a nice meal for us and I even reveled in it during day forty-two’s post: potato and carrots in an onion sauce, baked apples, and a salad. Only, let me just tell you that the baked apples weren’t so much just “baked apples”. It was a Baked Apple Crisp. And I think that any foodie out there is well aware that a Baked Apple Crisp has quite a lot of brown sugar in it.

At dinner, I did a great job of not eating everything on my plate (cause I had gotten an old-me-sized portion… as in, a big ol’ honkin serving). So I stopped when I felt a little bit of pressure. I only ate a few bites of the apple crisp. And that was that. It would have been a perfect evening… except I left out the remains of my meal while I bathed the boys. And then afterwards I came in and ate a few more bites even though I was not hungry. And then after I got both boys down, I snuck (and yes, I say snuck because I walked down the hallway extra quietly so that my husband wouldn’t know that I was finished putting down my oldest) into the kitchen and started chowing down on the leftovers in the baking dish. Oh my gosh. Sooooooo good.

And then… the war began.

Stop!!! January, stop! This is not right. This is breaking the covenant. This is gluttony. This is not what God wants. It’s not what you want. Yes it is… are you kidding me, this is flour and sugar and butter and more sugar. Why would I not want this? Why would God not want this? It’s not gluttony… it’s just enjoying good food. It’s not really breaking the covenant, I mean, it’s got apples in it for crying out loud! This is fine. I don’t need to stop. January. Stop. Think about tonight. Think about five minutes from now. Think about tomorrow. Stop. I. can’t. stop. It’s too good. I. can’t. stop.

And then the moment that I have been hoping for these past forty-two days… here was my next thought…

God, make me willing to obey.

And it worked!

It’s was almost as if my fork was stuck in the next apple. I didn’t want it. I didn’t want to disobey. I wanted to obey. I wanted to be willing to obey. I was going to obey.

And I will admit that I broke into tears at that moment. Because God is so great. Forty-two days in and He is greater than I imagined He could be. His Word… that one verse from just one day… written on my heart… swooped in and connected me to God in a way that saved me. And I stood in that kitchen by myself and raised my hands in thanks to the Almighty Of The Universe for His mercy. His compassion. His adoration. His Love. His help. His salvation.

And I knew that immediately I had to come sit down at this computer and write this post.

THIS post is totally going to be one of my memorial stones. I have been wondering what I could do… well, here was a moment where I needed to cross a river and God dried up the water so that I could pass… and here is a stone that I am picking up to remember that He is faithful and He is just to forgive me of my sins and to cleanse me from all of my wrongdoing and wickedness.

Today has been the best day of my covenant experience… which is SO JESUS… because today is the day that I broke the covenant and therefore should have been my worst day. Today though… today was mercy at its best. And hope at its best. And forgiveness. And all things new. Because today He lifted me from the pit and He “turned my wailing into dancing; He removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing His praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise Him forever.” Psalm 30:11-12

Read your bible peeps. Read it. And you will. be. changed.

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February 7, 2012

Day Twenty-Eight: Shout Out

It’s actually happening.

My craving for chocolate is pretty much… gone.

Seriously. Like I almost never think about it unless I am presented it right in the face. And honestly, unless I were to go searching for chocolate, there are not a lot of times that it gets presented right in my face. Which is weird… I felt like it was there all the time before but now it’s like I’m not even sure if we have any.

I guess because I don’t think about it much any more since it’s gone as an option. And since I don’t think about it, I don’t go looking for it. And since I don’t go looking for it… the chocolate might as well not be there.

Oh the freedom from that stuff! That and the freedom from no longer weighing myself… ahhhhhh! I think if nothing else changed and I stayed in this spot the rest of the year it would still be worth it because those two things have been a huge “weight” on my soul.

A weight that I have been carrying around even longer than my extra sixty pounds, to be sure. A burden that I have begged, and begged God to have mercy on me and to take the burden off. And something in my reading today in Mark 10 caught my eye in relation to that.

Jesus is walking through the town of Jericho and this blind guy named Bartimaeus calls out to him “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” A bunch of people yelled at him to be quiet, but here’s what it says that he did in response to their shushing… “But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stops, tells them to call him over, and he heals the guy and tells him “Go, for your faith has healed you”.

You see, all those times I was calling Jesus to remove the burden, I think I was sorta like using my “inside voice”. I wasn’t ever really loud in my soul. I think in a way, I was kind of in denial that I really needed help from God Almighty. I guess that I wanted to believe that maybe I could do it on my own.

Until… the cookie dough incident. That’s when I realized… I was blind. I needed mercy. I needed salvation. I needed Holy and Divine Intervention.

And I tell you…at that point, I shouted louder. Louder than I ever have. My soul was screaming at the top of it’s lungs “SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!!!!!!!”

And He did. And I am being healed. In so many ways, I am already healed.

But, one more thing that I think is interesting to look at…

When Jesus heals Bartimaeus, note how He tells the guy “Go, for your faith has healed you.” I find that so interesting. Along with so many other times in the Bible, people’s faith heals them. Like, they didn’t necessarily need the physical body of Jesus to come over to them and touch them. They just needed the faith.

And with that in mind, I find it interesting that I knew months and months ago what to do in order to get healed of this addiction. My faith could have healed me. But I guess I was like so many others in the Bible… I needed Jesus to show up. I needed Him to answer me when I shouted louder. I needed to know He would take the time to stop and heal me.

And He did. And now I know that from now on, if I need Jesus to listen. to stop. to call me. to heal me. that He will.

Sometimes… I think He just wants me to shout!

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You know You make me wanna SHOUT!

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