Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Perspective

I was able to connect with this post over at (in)courage today. It just reminded me that while my hurts are real, it always helps to keep things in perspective.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Threatening Sarcasm

I believed the lies running rampant in my heart. They stirred my feelings of insecurity. As my self-confidence waivers, sarcasm is my coping mechanism. When sarcasm rears its ugly head, even the very best of relationships are threatened.

You are not in competition with your best friend. I had to remind myself. It seemed silly really. She didn't even know there was a contest. The confusion on her face revealed her lack of understanding as to why my tongue was laced with mockery.

Immediately, I knew that my words had the potential to damage our friendship. The receiving end of a sarcastic comment is never a fun place to be. God began convicting my heart instantly as I worked on gaining control of my tongue. While I rehearsed an apology in my head, I wondered why I am so dependent on scornful words; especially when I know the misunderstanding it creates.

Unfortunately, I allowed my friend to walk away from our evening bewildered. I needed to identify the reason behind my insecurity so I could apologize sincerely. Even with the confidence that my dear friend would forgive me, “I was wrong” always turns to cotton in my mouth.

I went to sleep with a heavy heart. Friends do not behave the way I had. Waking up, I knew my apology needed to be extended not only for her benefit, but mine as well. My uncontrolled tongue most certainly left my friend perplexed and fighting her own insecurities. Thankfully, one honest apology broke the cycle. It is never easy to seek forgiveness but it was certainly necessary.

Few have had to forgive the magnitude of my wrongs the way this friend has. We’ve had our rough spots and it is certain that we will face more in the future. My friend and I are in agreement that the hard times have been more than worth the effort. Facing our tensions head-on has only strengthened our relationship. I’ve become quite the expert at apologizing and she is teaching me to forgive.

Here’s the bottom line: Our words and actions impact those around us. All our hope for things to blow over will never fix the problem. Unaddressed conflicts will leave our relationships failing to thrive. We need to start living with love. True love is more than talk. Sincere love always involves apologies and forgiveness.

My children, we should love people not only with words and talk, but by our actions and true caring. – 1 John 3:18

Monday, August 29, 2011

Psalm 139 (NCV)

Lord, you have examined me and know all about me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know my thoughts before I think them.
You know where I go and where I lie down.
You know everything I do.
Lord, even before I say a word, you already know it.
You are all around me—in front and in back— and have put your hand on me.
Your knowledge is amazing to me; it is more than I can understand.

Where can I go to get away from your Spirit?
Where can I run from you?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there.
If I lie down in the grave, you are there.
If I rise with the sun in the east and settle in the west beyond the sea,
even there you would guide me.
With your right hand you would hold me.

I could say, "The darkness will hide me.
Let the light around me turn into night."
But even the darkness is not dark to you.
The night is as light as the day;
darkness and light are the same to you.

You made my whole being;
you formed me in my mother's body.
I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way.
What you have done is wonderful.
I know this very well.
You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother's body.
When I was put together there, you saw my body as it was formed.
All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was one day old.

God, your thoughts are precious to me.
They are so many!
If I could count them, they would be more than all the grains of sand.
When I wake up, I am still with you.

God, I wish you would kill the wicked!
Get away from me, you murderers!
They say evil things about you.
Your enemies use your name thoughtlessly.
Lord, I hate those who hate you;
I hate those who rise up against you.
I feel only hate for them;
they are my enemies.

God, examine me and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any bad thing in me.
Lead me on the road to everlasting life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Timely Reminder

Do you ever get tired of trying to keep up with the Joneses? If you do, jump over to Jill Savage's blog. I needed this timely reminder for my life as summer comes to an end.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Celebrations of Few


Just yesterday, I was thinking about my dad. Actually, just this morning, too. I often think about the first man who held the center stage of my heart... for many reasons.

I received an email from FamilyLife today. It was an excerpt from Moments with You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. The story was of a young navy couple who, only 10 months into their marriage, were in a car accident. The wife, was left as a quadriplegic, legally blind and unable to speak. For 50 years, the husband has remained committed to his wife. He has taken care of her every need.

This month would have been the month to celebrate my parents' marriage union. "Would have" because cancer made it impossible for my parents to ever celebrate another anniversary milestone... let alone reach 50 years. Milestones are something to be achieved. It is sad because so few make the commitment for life these days. My parents, I was certain, would have been in that few.

Hearing stories of the faithful who make the commitment for life encourages my heart. While reading this story, my mind reflects on the love my parents shared. Cancer left my mom faced with the decision to show her love for my dad by caring for him in ways people usually train for. This decision was not a difficult one for my mom to make. My mom's decision was predetermined the day she spoke the words "I do". For better... For worse... In sickness... That's what love is. While some may have only been aware of her sacrificial love displayed during my dad's year of cancer, I witnessed it every day.

When a boy broke my heart in high school, my mom wrote me a poem. I imagine the reason she gave it to me was so I would understand God's message about guarding my heart. "I love you" is a phrase that can rock your world; both when used sincerely and when used without much forethought.

"I love you" - means I want your very best
"I love you" - means I chose you o'er the rest
"I love you" - it's not just some romantic phrase that I'll say while in a phase
But it's commitment; my promise to you

"I love you" - means I'll stay right by your side
"I love you" - is what Christ said when He died
"I love you" - means I want you to share how Christ my sins did bear
'Cuz it's commitment; His promise to you

"I love you" - are more than words I'll say today
"I love you" - will endure along life's way
"I love you" - whether happy, sad or mad, it's not just some passing fad
No, it's commitment; my promise to you

"You love me?" - Then together we will grow
"You love me?" - Christ in us His fruits will sow
"You love me?" - You'll forgive me when I'm wrong, we'll pray God will make us strong
Yes, it's commitment, this love 'tween me and you


We won't be throwing any 40th anniversary celebrations this year. However, I still celebrate the love my parents shared. My mom and dad may not have loved perfectly, but they knew that Jesus was the source of perfect love. They passed that love onto me and gave me a love to live secure in.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I look forward to meeting the Apostle Paul

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord...

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me — everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

- Philippians 4:1a, 4-8 (NLT)