Category Archives: Possibilities

Why Do Bad Things Happen?

In the past few months, there’s been flooding, fires, hurricanes, as well as a mass shooting! It’s a lot to process.

Of course I wish that bad things would never happen but there is another side to them.

When catastrophes happen, people come together. People help. People pray. There is no racism. People simply help other people. And…this is where you see God even in the midst of bad things. God helps people get through bad situations and He uses people as His hands and feet.

Bad events help us to realize just how vulnerable we are as human beings. When things are going good, we forget. We feel strong. We do whatever we want. We even argue over petty things. But when things turn bad, we feel hurt deeply—our own and other peoples’. Our only thought becomes, How can I help? And this is a very good thing! Helping people is an important part of life.

Life is precarious and precious. Cherish it with all your heart. Honor the Creator and love people through the good times and the bad.

 

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Repentance is a Gift

People really don’t want to let Josh Duggar off the hook for his past sins. What he did as a young teen was very wrong but, from what I know of it, I don’t think it should be called molestation. But it was still very wrong and his parents sought help for him, first with counseling and then with the police. They didn’t treat the situation lightly. Maybe they didn’t do enough but I’m sure at the time they thought Josh was fully repentant.

Fast forward a few years when Josh Duggar was in a leadership position. His sexual addiction proved to be too much for him and he either tried to have an adulterous affair or did have one or more. The details should stay between him, his wife, and God.

He resigned from the leadership position which was a sign of outward repentance. Then he checked into a long-term facility for his sexual addiction which was a sign of some inward repentance. Pride and ego won’t let a person do something like that unless they feel there is a real problem. During that process and after, I’m sure that there was also intense marital counseling for Josh and Anna. I don’t think that Anna would have stayed unless that had happened. More signs of inward repentance.

Of course, I don’t know all the details because it’s none of my business. But the news media places this story in all our faces when they refuse to let it go.

Josh and Anna Duggar recently welcomed their fifth child and it seems that true repentance and a loving and forgiving God have transformed a problem marriage into a redeemed one. And…I celebrate that!

King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers, Uriah. Bathsheba came up pregnant and David tried to hide his sin by bringing Uriah back from war so that he could sleep with his wife and the adultery would be hidden. Uriah said that it wouldn’t be right for him to do that while his men were fighting a battle so he went back to war. Out of fear, King David had Uriah moved to the very front lines of the battle where he was killed. King David tried to cover up the sin of adultery, first with a scheme and then with murder.

After some time, David’s servant and prophet, Nathan, confronted him with his wrongdoings. And…David finally repented completely. His heartfelt words are recorded in Psalm 51.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so, you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely, I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

 

 

True Christianity is not about people doing the right thing all the time.

True Christianity is about messing up, confessing sin, and then coming to true repentance.

Romans 3:23-24 says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

And as Jesus wrote in the sand:

Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone (John 8:7).

 

 

The ability to repent at any time came about because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. It fully paid for our sins and mistakes and paved the way for restoration and repentance.

Isn’t God’s love and grace miraculous?!

 

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Enjoying the Moments

This morning, my husband came in as I was taking clothes out of the dryer and folding them. He was excited because he saw that the morning temperature was a very comfortable 68 degrees and asked if I wanted to go outside for a bit and enjoy it. My response was no because I had too much to do and I hadn’t finished getting ready for the day yet. He persisted. I said okay.

 

I hurriedly got dressed and we sat outside in the front yard. It was indeed the perfect temperature and felt wonderful!

 

The Lord brought to mind that just a half hour before I had read about Martha and Mary. Martha was distressed and complaining that Mary wasn’t helping her. Jesus said, “Martha, you are worried and upset about many things. Mary has chosen what is best and it won’t be taken from her.”

 

Sometimes it is much better to take a few moments away from your busyness and just enjoy the sky, the temperature, the company. For this is worship of your Father in heaven. Those moments will not be taken from you.

 

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Erasing History?

Monuments to history are meant to be seen—all of them—good and bad. We need to learn from the past.

I want to remember the bad as well as the good.

I want to remember the fear of 9/11 so that we can work to prevent it from happening again.

I want to remember the holocaust of the 1930s and its horrors so that hatred and prejudice will always look ugly.

I want to remember people being treated horrendously in slavery so that I can work to release bondages so that it never gets that bad again.

I want to remember war so I can cherish freedom.

I want to remember the 10 commandments as a good boundary to live by.

I want to remember the cross so that I can live with love and gratefulness for my Savior.

The bad needs to be remembered, not erased from history books, so that it never happens again.

 

The new Ten Commandments monument outside the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., is blocked off Wednesday morning, June 28, 2017, after someone crashed into it with a vehicle, less than 24 hours after the privately funded monument was installed on the Capitol grounds. Authorities arrested a male suspect. (AP Photo/Jill Zeman Bleed)

The new Ten Commandments monument outside the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., is blocked off Wednesday morning, June 28, 2017, after someone crashed into it with a vehicle, less than 24 hours after the privately funded monument was installed on the Capitol grounds. Authorities arrested a male suspect. (AP Photo/Jill Zeman Bleed)

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Keep on Asking, Seeking, & Knocking

Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come. ~ Jeremiah 33:3

 

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. ~ Matthew 7:7

 

God will never disappoint. He even tells me to come to Him and ask questions. He wants me to bring all of my concerns to Him. And…He wants me to keep on asking…keep on seeking…and keep on knocking. Then I will receive.

But…there is a catch. I have to come to Him with an open mind and heart. I have to be willing to see things His way. I need to be willing to do things that I may not want to do such as being nice to someone that hurt me or walking up to a stranger to see if they need help.

God’s ways are about the greater good not necessarily my good only. But the funny thing is that when I actually obey and see things His way, I also get what I need as well.

 

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Take a Few Moments to Relax

Relax

In this busy world, it’s imperative to take moments every day to relax and breathe. A few moments a day can get you back on track for the important things in life and prevent burnout.

  • Meditate

Clear your mind of everything. You hear this a lot. But it’s not a good thing to do. Instead of simply making your mind a blank slate, do this instead:

Clear your mind of the lies of the enemy such as worries and fears.

Then refill it with the promises and hope of Scripture. Never leave it empty!

  • Breathe Deeply

You hear this a lot too but it’s actually a great thing to do. When we’re stressed, our breathing becomes shallow. Instead, inhale from your abdomen, through your nose, then exhale completely through your mouth. Repeat this whole process for a few minutes. Your heart rate and blood pressure will slow and you’ll feel calmer. When your physical body relaxes, so does your mind.

  • Be Present

Focus simply on today’s tasks–not tomorrow’s, not next week’s, not next year’s–today’s tasks only. Also, don’t focus on the things you should have or shouldn’t have done yesterday. Just today. Focus.

  • Reach Out

Take a short break. Talk to a trusted co-worker. Call a friend. A lot of times, outside perspective can take away quite a bit of stress. Too much of your own thinking can limit you at times. Invite others’ opinions and perspectives in.

  • LOL

A good laugh lowers your stress, increases endorphins in your brain, and generally lifts your mood. Watch a favorite scene from a sitcom or a funny video on YouTube.

  • Listen to a Favorite Song

Music can lower your anxiety and singing can let out some of that stress.

  • Move

Take a walk around the block. Walk up a few flights of stairs. Moving your muscles helps decrease your stress levels.

  • Count Your Blessings

Grateful thoughts seem to erase negative thoughts. Remember a loved one’s smile, a child’s laugh, a sunny perfect temperature day, a precious memory of a special event, etc. The good things in life are often too numerous to count but try anyway.

  • Remember: God Loves You

God can take bad circumstances and turn them around for your good. Draw closer to Him and see the bigger picture.

 

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Focus Ahead

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. ~ Ephesians 6:10-12

 

It will ALWAYS take prayer to live victoriously.

 

My struggles won’t be conquered simply by trying harder.

 

I need to pray harder.

And focus on God and His ways each moment.

 

God and His ways are the road set before me.

The devil and his schemes are the worrisome obstacles alongside of the road.

If I focus on those obstacles, I’ll end up driving right toward them.

If I focus on God, I’ll keep travelling forward. Even when there’s a curve in the road, I’ll still be on the road.

 

How can you make it your habit to focus on God each day?

Focus

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Bullying Mentality

Forgive others their trespasses.

For they know not what they do.

 

People may have knowingly or unknowingly hurt me in the past but I want to forgive them wholeheartedly. If people put me down, ignored me, or made me feel unwanted, they did so out of their own hurts. They were seeking to make themselves feel better.

 

There’s something about the human condition that feels better when we size ourselves up against other people. If we can push someone down, we feel like we’re standing taller.

 

People act wrongly toward others because something is hurting in their own heart. Everyone has hurts in their heart, after all it’s a fallen and imperfect world. No one hurts someone out of loving feelings. They hurt people in order to feel justified in some way. Pushing people down makes them feel like they are pushed up in the process.Ruler

 

Acting out of hurts isn’t a conscious thing but it’s there nonetheless.

 

When you push others down in order to feel better about yourself, it only briefly raises you up in your own mind. But that feeling will fizzle down like a balloon that’s just been pricked. And you will subconsciously want to find another victim for another momentary high.Deflated balloon

 

 

 

 

 

 

The real way to lift yourself up is to begin to consciously lift others up. Encourage them. Make them feel better. Soothe their hurts. Then you will feel better in the process. Your own hurts will heal and you will be able to increasingly live a more fulfilled, more abundant, and more free life.

 

The way up is to lift others up!

 

Sizing Up

 

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Unhappy Mother’s Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I was a bit weepy. I haven’t lost my mother yet. She’s still alive and well. Although I was a little sad for others who have lost their mothers, that wasn’t the only thing that made me uncomfortable.

I was uncomfortable because the older I get, the more I lose my chance to be a mother. I have always wanted to be and it just hasn’t happened.

Mother isn’t just a noun. It’s also a verb and I have had a lot of opportunities to mother others and there will be even more opportunities in the future. I am not left without options just because I’m not a biological mother.

You may not be wondering about the possibility of being a mother but I’m sure that you have waited on something. God is with you in this waiting. You are not alone.

Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is His faithfulness. ~ Lamentations 3:23

God also offers incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7).

Even if what you’re waiting for does not happen, there will be other treasures to take its place.

 

 

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Walking in Freedom

I feel like I’m sitting on the cold, hard floor of a dark and dirty dungeon cell. I look up to see a one foot by one foot window with bars on it. Through the bars, I can see sunlight and clouds and I can even hear birds. I see a glimpse of hope and freedom.

But it seems so far away. Thick metal chains lay across my body preventing me from moving very far. I’m stuck.

Suddenly, I see the Lord on the other side of my jail cell bars. The light emanating from Him blinds me and I look slightly away from the beauty.

“My child.” I hear Him call to me.

I force myself to look Him in the eyes and see only love—immense love.

“My child, why are you still here in this dark cell?”

“Lord, I’m stuck. These chains are holding me. I can’t go anywhere.” My voice is only a whimper.

“Look closer at those chains.”

I’d been staring at the chains for days, months, even years. They seemed impenetrable. I looked again though. I felt the heavy weight of them across my chest and grimaced.

I followed the chain with my eyes to the wall they were connected to. But…they weren’t connected that wall.

The chains that had held me for so long weren’t connected to anything!

The Lord looked at me and smiled as if He could see my realization.

“But…but…I thought I was stuck…” I whispered.

He shook His head. “The power of those chains was in your head. Your fears were imagined. I disposed of your chains a long time ago. You are free and I am always with you. You have nothing to fear.” He smiled again.

I sat up to test His hypothesis. The chains fell to the floor. They contained no power. My captivity was in my head. I walked toward the cells bars.

“But these heavy steel bars still won’t let me go anywhere.” My hope was again deflated.

The Lord looked at me again and nodded toward the lock on the door. I pushed on the latch and it wasn’t locked. The door opened instantly.

I tentatively stepped through the open doorway.

I heard the Lord’s voice once more. “You’re not imagining things. You were only stuck by your own fears. Go forth now and walk in the freedom that you had all along. When I am with you, you have nothing to fear.”

I walked out of the dungeon and into the sunlight, ready to start a new adventure.

 

So, if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. ~ John 8:36

Walking in Freedom

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