Tag Archives: Revive Our Hearts

15 Ways Technology Has Improved My Spiritual Life

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Technology.  There are days I love it & other days I really wish I was born in Laura Ingalls’ time & could live in a cabin in the woods, milk the cow, sweep our dirt floor, & tend the stove all day.  But, then I remember I couldn’t do all that while listening to my iPod & quickly thank God I live in this day & age!

I think we all know the huge pitfalls of it in our spiritual lives: it can eat away at our time with frivolous nothingness between gaming, pintrest, twitter, etc., it feeds any perfectionist tendencies (you could make that photo perfect if you just run it through the photo editor one more time…), and can be a huge trap for porn of all kinds if you don’t put serious barriers on your devices.  But I got to thinking this week of all the really great ways technology has improved my spiritual life.  I list them here to give ideas if you’ve never thought to use it these ways.  Please add to the list if you have ways not listed here.  Let’s swap ideas!

1 – The last few years we finally gave in & started texting.  It has been SO encouraging at times we have needed immediate prayer to be able to text my Circle of Sisters &/or Keith’s Band of Brothers to pray for the situation.  The return text alert rings, even if we can’t read them right away, brings such encouragement knowing we are being covered! And my friends & I occasionally get so excited about a passage, we’ll text it to each other for encouragement.  Or a prayer for each other “out of the blue”.  It’s nice to be able to move as the Spirit moves without calling – they can read it when they get a chance.  It always makes my day when I get those kinds of texts!

2 – Speaking of prayer, every Tuesday we can join around the country on a phone conference call to pray for revival in our nation.  How cool is that??  One week I was privileged to pray with a man in Texas, woman in Mass, another in Michigan, etc.  So exciting!  For info on how to join in on the action, click here to visit the One Cry page.  Another great thing about these prayer conference calls is that even when I can’t join them, I signed up to get a text alert to remind me every Tuesday about it.  It’s amazing how fast a week goes by & I think, “Man, is it Tuesday again?”  It makes praying for our nation’s spiritual awakening a priority.  If I have gotten too busy that week to remember to pray for our nation, that little alert gives me the needed reminder.

3 – Our church has a facebook page as well as a ministry trailer in a trailer park.  The lady that coordinates things like after school tutoring, Good News Clubs, coat distributions, etc. posts needs every now & then.  Last week, a neighbor in the park needed a stove so she posted on our fb page.  It’s a great way to get the word out, spread the news for help, & allow others to pray for & contribute.  And you can pass the good news quickly when the prayer is answered.  Love it!!

4 – The last few days there has been a prayer summit in Colorado.  We could join Joni Eareckson Tada, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Shirley Dobson, David Jeremiah, etc. in the 27 hour prayercast in the comfort of our own home for free!  Amazing.

5 – Family worship rocks!  A surround sound home theater system is not out of the norm these days.  Twelve years ago, we had a small group that started using it for worship time.  The leader at that time made power points, but these days, Keith leads our family regularly with ease using YouTube playlists.  Can’t get any easier.  If we need the words, we just put one on with the lyrics.  And it’s so fun to crank the sound up & praise the Lord together!  Keith has lately been putting our family Bible reading up on the TV each night for our evening family devotional time.  He has it set up to mirror our computer (Air Parrot), & we can then read together on the big screen from whatever translation we wish (BIble Gateway), & we can even hear it read to us in various voices using the audio Bible found there.

6 – Can’t say enough about podcasts!  You become who you hang out with & thanks to podcasts, I can “hang out” with some really great people.  If you’ve never been to OnePlace,  go check it out & find some new “friends” to fill your mind with Truth on a regular basis.  We can get anything from daily encouragement from Joni Eareckson Tada & Revive Our Hearts, to our pastor’s sermon if we missed a Sunday or our national missions conference sessions from two years ago.  Keith likes to listen to the messages each week from our Virginia pastor we had when we first got married.  There’s kids programing, Focus on the Family, Phil Vischer now has a weekly podcast, etc.  You can listen on your own time: while mowing the lawn, baking a cake, or grocery shopping.  Plus, you can start & stop it as needed, like when you’re needed to stop & kiss a boo-boo!  Genius invention, that little Shuffle clipped to my collar.  Brings me encouragement daily.

7 – Our worship leader recently started posting new songs she wants to teach the congregation on our church facebook account.  What a great idea!  Now we can listen at home & get the tune & words down so we are freed up to worship in cooperate worship time.  I enjoy new songs, but hate that awkward first few weeks when I can’t sing along because I don’t know the tune or words.  Those of us who can read music REALLY Do miss hymnals at times like that.  This eliminates that frustration.

8 – When I led our church children’s group, I started a blog to keep parents informed on what we talked about, up coming events, pictures, etc.  It also worked well to keep my stuff organized as a leader.  To see what I mean, click here.

9 – I’ve seen church sites feature testimonies for a few reasons. First it gives a way to share that testimony!  Secondly, it’s a great way for new members to get to know others in the church.  I love the idea & wish more churches did it.  Click here to see how one church does it.

10 – It’s so easy these days to just click & get a monthly prayer sheet to print & pray.  Here’s the pdf for October 2013 for an example.  Or find a great Bible reading plan (Click here for the one we use).

11 – It’s great to be able to get book, game, and movie reviews with a Christian perspective.  Plugged In is our go-to source.  We don’t watch a movie without first checking it out here.

12 – You can get things put daily into your email to remind you to pray, or give you a devotional from your favorite devo writer, etc.  We’ve gotten My Utmost For His Highest, Prayer Challenges from Revive Our Hearts, Commands of Christ, Unreached People Group of the Day, etc.

13 – There are some GREAT websites for kids these days: Adventures in Odyssey for free on line listening, Studio 252 for weekly Bible stories that connect with monthly character qualities all rolled into a cool TV show format, G.C. Kidz Club is a great missions site for kids, & Club Jelly Telly for fresh Christian children’s programing to name a few.

14 – The every day DVD is still amazing.  The fact that I can “travel” with my family any night of the week to the Holy Land & get top notch teaching at the press of a button is incredible.  If you’ve never seen Ray Vander Laan, the next 22 minutes you have free, treat yourself here then go watch more.   We watched the lesson linked below last night with the kids.  I dare you to watch it without being moved to tears by the end.  They never disappoint!  Just one of so many great resources we have at our fingertips these days.

15 – It is so easy to get $$ to people when they need it.  Last year, we had a friend pass away who had a loved one living 2,000 miles away in seminary.  Rather than give flowers, we really wanted to help him get home to be with his family.  Within 24 hours, we were able to get the news, pass the news around to friends all over the country, collect $$ via paypal, & put the gift electronically in this brother’s church fund (they have a way you can give on line) so the pastor was able to personally hand him the love gift with a note from all of us & start making flight arrangements!  Simply amazing.  Most charity organizations now have sites were you can give monthly, one time, it keeps track of what & when you gave for tax purposes for you, too.  And if you have missionaries you support, you can do it all on line & many save oodles of money having their prayer letters on line, too.  My, this list keeps getting longer…

So which of these do you use?  In what other ways has technology bettered your spiritual life?  Do share!


Podcast Potpourri & Job

Just a quick check in to share a few podcasts that have really spoken to me in the last few days..

  • Prayer & the Sabbath – interview with Jack Hayford.  Well worth the listen.  Great ideas on prayer & thoughts on the Sabbath.
  • the physical & spiritual health connection – two part interview with Gary Thomas.  Well put!  Encouraging & insightful.
  • Forgiving – David Meece shares his testimony on how God delivered him from bitterness.  (There are two parts but if you’re short on time, the second gives you the meat of it.)
  • Is God Really Good? – fits well with just finishing up the book of Job.  Sooo many truths in this 25 minutes!  Psalm 119:68 – “You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.”
  • Heart for the Disabled & the power of words – Joni has been sharing various families to encourage all last week.  Listeners are invited to send notes to gather & have sent for Valentine’s Day for them.  I’ve been so blessed & encouraged all week, had to share this one, too!  Encouraging & blessing others is one of my themes for 2013.  Perfect!  Proverbs 25:11 – “Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.”
  • New fiction trilogy in the making – Can’t wait to read this one, Fatherless, by Kurt Bruner & Dr. Dobson.  Next up, Childless then Godless.  “You want to convince the unconvinced?  Don’t call to arms, call to art.” (Paul Harvey)  Part two of the conversation is excellent, too!
  • A Vision for Revival in Your Church – A panel of ministers talk about praying for revival in the church: Byron Paulus (from Life Action Ministries), Dr. Erwin Lutzer, Pastor Michael Catt, & Pastor Jim Cymbala.  Two part podcast, but well worth the time to listen.  Joining them!

Reading through Job these days.  Just finished so want to jot down a few reflections.  Lessons learned:

  • Wisdom – Seek it!  Make it a lifelong priority.  Be intentional about it.
  • Job’s friends were pretty good; even came a long distance to sit for a full week in silence before speaking!  They had a lot of great things to say, but much of it was honestly poor timing.  In the end, God was angry with them (42:7, 8) & God told them they were wrong about Him.  Praying for more ability to choose wise words & right timing.  Convicted about my words, timing, & tone.
  • Judgmental – don’t be!
  • God’s response to Job – There are times & situations were things just don’t seem right.  It can really be frustrating.  But even when things seem “unjust” or “wrong”, I can trust 100% that it is in the Lord’s safe hands & under His control.  Sometimes, no matter how wise you might be, it is impossible to see God’s perspective on a situation.  Job was completely innocent, but there was no way he could know what was going on in the heavenly realm.  It was frustrating to Job & baffling to his friends.  God doesn’t have to explain Himself to us.  Once Job heard God, he stood humbly silent before His Maker.  Good response.
  • Once again, PRAYER!  In chapter 42, God told Job to pray for his friends & THEN they would be accepted (vs.8).  Sobering.  These guys were godfearing yet wrong.  I find it interesting that God accepted Job’s prayers on their behalf.  Points out the power of prayer – beyond our understanding.

Great quotes heard lately & not to be forgotten…

  • “Show me that you are redeemed, then I will believe in your redeemer.” – Nietzsche
  • “God is good whether of not His choices seem right to us, whether or not we feel it, whether or not it seems true, and whether or not He gives us everything that we want.” – Nancy Leigh DeMoss
  • “What are you believing that’s not the truth? How do we counter that?  We always counter lies with the Truth. We replace the lies; we displace the lies with the Truth.”  (Goal in ministry – help your children & those to whom you minister learn to council their own hearts according to the Truth.)
  • “His name was known all over the empire. He was Caesar.  The whole of the Roman world bowed to his will.  The life of that mighty empire revolved around this man, Nero Caesar.  Then there stood before him this obscure little Jew, Paul the Apostle, from a despised Roman province.Paul stood in chains before Nero…  Yet today we name our sons Paul & our dogs Nero.” – Pastor Ray Stedman
  • “That happens.” – Jack Wayne, when his game chair rocked all the way back & he lay on the floor staring at the ceiling.  Hilarious!!
  • “I love you because that’s Who I am.” – a man said to his wife after her double mastectomy, reflecting how/why God loves us.  Beautiful.

Knitting, Greek, & Podcasts

Sorry, but these days it’s mostly links I’m passing on quickly. With all the snow days, you’d think we’d be on the computer. My knight in shining armor got things running super smoothly again with the router, external hard drive, etc. so I actually got less time on it. But we did find a few cool things on the off times. Here are a few gems found recently I wanted to pass on…

1 – Callie has inspired me to get back to crafting. One of the things we did during all these snow days was get out the knitting needles & crochet hook. Knitting is my thing. I have yet to get crochet to work for me. BUT, after the first two scarves, we wanted to get a little fancy & do some different stitches. I thought knit 2 purl 2 would be an easy place to start. Tried a few stitches & just couldn’t get it to look right. Got on line & found a short tutorial on knit 2 purl 2, watched a lady actually do the stitches, found the little step I was forgetting, & bingo! We’re knitting happily away again! Simple! Here’s the link I found to get you started, but there are all kinds out there. Just put what you’re looking for specifically in the search bar. Next up: crocheting.

2 – Nate is suddenly interested in learning Greek! Perhaps it’s the old seminary books Keith has sitting on the shelf, three days of snow days with his siblings, mixed with his love of making up secret code languages. Btw, the story is often told how Keith took three weeks of Greek, but dropped out of the class when he met me & found out the class was over my lunch hour. He gave up Greek for me. : ] I always end up reminding him how much more fun those lunches were than Greek classes. He agrees, then always says, “But I still want to learn Greek someday.” The kids enjoy our little romantic story. Seminary geeks!! Anyway, we found two seminary classes on line that Nate can watch for free! Amazing! It’s just like sitting in class! So now he’s checking his pronunciation, etc. & picking around at Greek! I share because it really is amazing all the things you can learn on line these days. Stretch your imagination & see if that hobby you’ve been wanting to learn is there. It just might be! If you’re interested in the links, I’ll have to get back to you on those – can’t seem to find them at the moment. I’ll ask Keith.

3 – On Family Life Today the last few days, Reggie Joiner from Basics 252 has been talking with the guys. EXCELLENT!!! If you get a few moments to listen, please do! Here are the links to part one & part two. I *heart* Reggie Joiner & his orange gang!!

4 – I also had time to catch up on Revive Our Hearts. Nancy has had Carolyn McCulley on. She speaks to single women, but I found SO much valuable stuff in her talks! Here are the links to part one and part two. These, along with what Reggie has been saying, are so what I KNOW to be true & would love to be able to remember & put in words as concisely when counceling others, but probably won’t be able to, so I’ll send them to these links to hear. It is so exciting to hear people putting these truths into words. Good stuff! I want to tuck these “single lady” talks away for when – in the blink of an eye, I’ll be up to my ears in nieces & a daughter going through all this crazy but SUPER important time of waiting for the man God has for them. Makes me extra appreciative of the wonderful man God gave me! AND makes me excited to see what stories God will unfold in my girls’ lives in the not as far off as we might think future. : ]


A “GREAT” Response & Three Freebies

Sorry to be so quiet lately. It’s been pretty busy around here, but among the many goings on has been both a Thirst Conference & an Anger Resolution Seminar in the last month. So much to share, but only time to pass on a bit. The Lord keeps bringing the following little nugget up in my life a lot lately so I thought I should type it out. Maybe it’s something you will find useful in your life, too. This is from the Gothard material I’ve been studying lately; both the Anger Resolution conference & the Commands of Christ curriculum (Command #3 – Rejoice).

Have a “GREAT” response to trials/suffering in life. This little acronym is handy for me; I can carry it with me & it sticks. It’s easy to pull up in my mind whenever needed.:

G – Give thanks – This is not a feeling, but rather an act of obedience. I need to recognize this circumstance as from God’s loving hand. Whatever it is! God brought it into my life for my good. (Romans 8:28, 31-32, 35-39) If nothing else, He is using it to build godly character in my life making me more in His image which is the goal anyway, isn’t it? He cares much more about my long-term well being than my temporary happiness. He does not mean it for evil. Giving thanks for it, no matter what, requires FAITH. (Hebrews 11:1-2,6) My reward for giving thanks as we are commanded to do in ALL circumstances (1 Thess. 5:18) is peace, joy, & love that only comes from God & that the world can’t offer. It stands out! (Hebrews 13:12-15; Job 1:21, 2:10; Phil. 2:14-15; Phil. 4:6-9; Psalm 107:22; Gen. 50:20; Jeremiah 29:11)

R – Rejoice – This is where the feeling part comes in. Rejoicing involves emotions. The ONLY way to be able to do this in horrible situations is to think of all the ways this situation could be beneficial. This requires looking at it from God’s perspective. Could He be working in someone else’s life who is looking on? Is He building a character quality in my life I need to strengthen in order to be the godly person I long to be? Is He using this to keep me on my knees & totally dependent on Him? Than that’s good! That’s where I need to be anyway. It is also helpful to remember that even in those times when a bad situation is mostly my own stupid fault (we all have them), God is graciously able to use even those bad situations to turn it around & get the glory in even that! Whatever that is! Isn’t that wonderful?! (Phil. 4:4; Hebrews 10:34 – read vs. 32-39; Matthew 5:12; Isaiah 55:8-9; Psalm 119:71, 19:8)

E – Engraft Scripture – In other words, transform my way of thinking by drenching my mind in God’s Word. (Romans 12:2; 10:17) Satan will undoubtedly be whispering lies in my ear about this trial I’m going through, no matter how big or small. DON’T listen! Even more than that, actively pursue the Truth! Whatever the situation, find applicable verses in God’s Word that speak to this area. Seek them out & collect them. Write them out. Meditate on them. Post them where they will be before my eyes multiple times a day. Mull them over. Engraft them into my life just like a horticulturist ties new branches onto a tree to make them literally grow into & become a part of the tree. (John 15:5) Memorize them. Have them ready to throw back at Satan whenever his lies pop up, day or night. (Ephesians 6:16-17; John 15:7; Psalm 119:25-29)

A – Appeal to God – Literally cry out to our heavenly Father. He knows what I need! He has given me the authority to do this! I am His child & He has promised that He hears my cries. Isn’t that amazing?! (Psalm 50:15; 55:16-17; 56:9; 107:13; Hebrews 10:19-23; 1 John 3:1, 21-22; Romans 8:15-18)

T – Triumph over evil with good works – Overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). This is what I am commanded to do as a Christ follower (Matthew 5:43-48). This goes against everything humanly natural! This only happens as I allow God’s grace to flow through me. This is where the Holy Spirit’s fruit is produced & evident in my life (Galatians 5:22-25). Jesus is our example in this – He did this for me! He took the initiative in forgiving me & changing my sinful self for His glory. I can in turn, by the power of the Holy Spirit, pass forgiveness on. This is where the world sees Christ in me! (Hebrews 12:1-4)

I’ll close with three free resources God has been using greatly in my life. Maybe you would be blessed in them as well…

Commands of Christ – a 49 week discipleship challenge. If you click the window on the right that says “select a command”, a drop down window will allow you to click through all 49 & select whichever one you want to study. You can have daily emails sent with links to help you dig daily into the wealth of materials here.

– Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ Revive Our Hearts radio program – You can listen to past programs here, or set yourself up to have it come into your iTunes or email automatically every day. I have enjoyed these daily broadcasts SO much! If you’ve never heard it, might I suggest you start with this series. I give it three sessions & you’ll be hooked!

– Oswald Chambers’ daily devotionals from My Utmost For His Highest – You can read it free daily here, or have it sent to your facebook page by clicking “like” there. I really love his short but challenging thoughts & have for years. They are always applicable & worth reading. It also doesn’t hurt that he looks a lot like my Keith – easy to love him. : ]


The Bigger Family, Part 2

“Everyone’s a little off except you & me. And sometimes I wonder about you!”

church-family

That being said, I list here some of the things I appreciate about these men/ministries in the Bigger Family. I’ve heard at least one warning about every last one of them, even the Donut Man! I do not list the complaints here to avoid promoting fodder. Although I don’t agree 100% with any of them, I love each one & I’m sure if we had the time to sit & chat, they’d find things to disagree with me about & perhaps would, as iron sharpens iron, straighten me out on a few things I’m “sure” I’m right on. If you haven’t heard any their contravercies yet, you either will in time, or perhaps you’re in a crowd of folk that have a “whatever you believe is nice for you” attitude which is somewhere between unloving due to apathy & so far watered down they don’t amount to anything (no salt & light left). Go find some friends who will challenge you to dig a little deeper spiritually. Start chatting it up with your friends about spiritual things. The old saying about not talking politics or religion is for the birds. That’s where all the good conversations take place! That being said, here’s my list of brothers/sisters & things I appreciate about them…

Michael & Debbie Pearl I love her book Created to Be His Help Meet. Their writings on parenthood have also given me the courage to do what I need to do at times when everywhere else, we hear tenderfooted parenting. They say some things out there that no one else has the courage to say. I like that.

Voddie Bauchum is another one of those who stir the church thinking pot a bit & it’s what I like about him.

Bill Gothard Next to my parents, this man has had the most influence in my character, etc. I am so grateful my parents took the effort to get me to his conferences through the years! Those seven principles have had a huge impact in my life & in who I am today.

Doug Philips His promotion of getting back to family & family based worship is wonderful. I appreciate his celebration of the genders, too. It’s great to be a woman & I want my daughter to embrace that early on. I want my boys to be all boy & love it! That’s been lost in the last generation & Doug’s reclaiming it. Thank you!

Ken Ham Can I just say I LOVE teaching Genesis? I’ve loved it since before I heard Ken’s phrase “back to Genesis”.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss Honestly, I haven’t heard one negative thing about her. I keep waiting. She’d be the first to say she’s not perfect, but usually someone who says the things she says can’t stay under the radar too long without someone getting their toes stepped on & dissing her. But when I do hear it, I will still respect her right up there at the top. She is showing us how to be a woman (single or married), Godly, under authority, serving the Family in so many ways. I just love her, can you tell?

Billy Graham He has faithfully been sharing the Gospel message for decades. He has lived a God-honoring & long life, never once disgracing the Gospel with scandal. He has been used to reach Presidents when no one else could. I so admire & respect him for that!

James Dobson Adventures in Odyssey, That the World May Know, Focus radio, The Truth Project are just a few of the many ways he has blessed my family. Thank you, Dr. Dobson, for doing the ministry God put before you.

Jerry Falwell Keith & I wouldn’t have met, I wouldn’t have spent four years in Korea to name just two ways this man has probably more personally changed my life than anyone besides my own dear parents. Two of my three sisters-in-law are mine due to his ministry. My husband was discipled through his ministry. My life would look completely different if he hadn’t “taken that mountain”. I will be forever grateful!

Rick Warren He’s kind of the Billy Graham of our generation. See above – same as for Billy G. Actually, Keith & I have discussed how similar Rick Warren & Jerry Falwell are. People wouldn’t normally say that, thinking Jerry was always wearing a suit & Rick always wears a Hawaiian shirt, but they both are willing to try great things for God, are reaching out to the lost with a smile, take a lot of hits from Christians & non alike, & dream big!

The Donut Man My family has been so blessed by his ability to put God’s Word to music in a fun way. Music makes it stick! God definitely gave him a gift & I’m thankful he is using it.

Anyone have others to add to the list?


“Now That I’ve Held Him In My Arms…”

simeon-anna.jpg

Simeon & Anna have long been huge heroes of mine. In high school, a duet was written about Simeon that Dad & I sang together, “Now that I’ve held him in my arms…” It touches my heart even now. Dad sang the Simeon part. If our next baby is a girl, we want to give her the middle name Ann after Anna (with Victoria as a first name, the extra “a” is a bit much!).

During our Seoul Union years, one Christmas we were asked to write a devotional before Thanksgiving & Pastor compiled them all into an advent booklet, complete with children’s drawings, etc. I love that idea! We still have that booklet from way back in 1996. I wrote on, you guessed it, Anna.

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:36-38
Key Verse: “…and (Anna) continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” (verse 38)

An ordinary couple came with an “average” baby to the temple for their routine sacrifice. Yet Anna was walking with her Father so closely & watching so intently for the Saviour of her people to come as promised that she recognized Him immediately.

Those around her talked of a king who would kick the Romans out of Israel. “When will He come and avenge us?” they asked. Others had given up hope that He would ever come. Still others said they were watching & waiting, but lived their lives as if He never would. But not Anna! She was very old & yet still she watched daily for God’s promise. So when He did come, she knew His face instantly. She recognized the same spirit in that Baby that she communed with every day! She couldn’t stop talking about Him!

Are we eagerly waiting for our Saviour’s return? Will we recognize His glorious face when we stand before Him? Or are we as those around Anna, speculating our own ideas of how & when He will come? Or, have we given up hope altogether that He’ll ever return? Do we live our lives as if He won’t be back any time soon?

Anna challenges me to anxiously await my Lord’s return daily. And always be so “in tune” with God that I won’t be surprised when I see him. If we really believe He’s returning, we can’t help but “continue speaking of Him” to those around us until that day.

Prayer: Lord, may I be faithful as Anna was in watching for You. Remind me that You do keep Your promises; You will come back, and there are those around me who’ve not heard. Give me Anna’s sense of joy at communing with You daily, her sense of urgency to share You with those around her, and her keen spiritual awareness to see You in the “Ordinary” things in life. Amen.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss is talking about Anna & Simeon today at Revive Our Hearts. Gonna download that one & listen in!

PS – Just listened. She has the old song Dad & I sang!!! She found it!! 🙂 It was Michael Card – I remember that now. Love, love, love that Michael Card. Thank You, Lord, for that extra special little blessing today.


The Three Sides To Forgiveness

Nancy Leigh DeMoss spoke Wednesday on forgiveness in her revival series. It’s interesting that the Club verse last week was “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” & I talked to the children about how Jesus forgave & we need to forgive. God knows what’s best for us & he told us to do this, so even though it’s sometimes hard, it is for our own good. It’s also interesting that I had the worst “run in” with the library nazis last night. I’m processing all this to glean what God wants to teach me.

Nancy broke forgiveness down into three categories: the offended, the offender, & the peace-maker. In the story of Onesimus, he was the offender, Philemon was the offended, & Paul was the peace-maker. We are all three at differing times. Shoot, I’m pretty much all three on a daily basis!

As the offender, just as most of the time when I am offended & nobody else knows about it, that should lead one to think about all the times we offend people & never know it. I guess that’s why Jesus said it the way He did, “for they know not what they do.” I am sure I have offended often without having a clue. That’s what I need to remind myself when others blindly (or blatantly) offend me. I need to give them the benefit of the doubt & give it to God; not dwell on it. Rush talks about how you shouldn’t give people that much power to offend you. That’s true! They aren’t bothered; you are. Why do that to yourself?

Nancy said, “…the Christian life is about relationship—our relationship with God and our relationship with each other.” Just look at the depths to which He goes to restore our relationship with Him? And He was the offended; we the offender! He gave His Son to bring us back to a right relationship to Him. When you see it in that light, what do I have to EVER get offended about, really? Some right I feel I have to something? The way I was treated? Money? Something not being fair? If I live according to Jesus, none of it’s worth it!

What big or little thing am I carrying around? Remember: 1) I am no doubt offending someone else today unknowingly, and 2) Nobody was more offended than Christ & look how He reacted. He pursued peace. I go around telling the kids to do that, “Depart from evil & do good; seek peace & pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14) That’s a good one to remember!

Lord, give me Your heart for others. Help me be the peace-maker more often than the offender or offended. Thank You for Your incredible love for me in spite of my stupid self-centeredness in so many areas. Give me Your eyes & heart on this issue today & every day. Amen.

“You’re never more like Jesus, you’re never more like God, than when you are forgiving and pursuing reconciliation.” – Nancy Leigh DeMoss