Posts tagged ‘forgiveness’

June 20, 2010

lessons I learned from my dad

Never Give Up On People — I learned this lesson by example. My dad forgives, again and again and again. He never stops giving second chances, least of all to his family. And he’s been tested, thoroughly, by all of us, many times over and often through the same mistakes. But he never gives up on any of us. Thank God, he never gives up on us. My dad never has never forgotten what it feels like to be forgiven, and he is quick to offer that to everyone else. In this way, he models our heavenly Father, making it very easy for me to believe in a loving, gracious God. I will never be able to thank him enough for that.
Marriage Is For Life — and your word is your bond. If you commit, you don’t break that vow. I watched my parents struggle through some very difficult years in their early married life, and many years later I witnessed them both verbally commit to never divorce and to always work through whatever challenges came along. Since that day, I’ve watched their love grow and their relationship flourish. I’ve seen them trudge through pain and anger and fear until they could finally make each other laugh again. Their example is a powerful one. I understand the truth of enduring love because of my parents, and I understand how a woman should be treated because my dad has modeled it with my mom. It’s a high standard of excellence, to be sure.
You’re Never Too Busy — For family, for friends, for people in need. You might have other plans or thoughts about what you want to accomplish, but God is in charge of all your time and when He creates an appointment for you, nothing else is more important. This is especially true for grandchildren and daughters who can probably handle things themselves but really want Daddy to do it instead. It’s easy for us to take advantage of our dad because he’s so willing to rearrange his agenda to accommodate almost any request. But I think he does this because it makes him feel necessary and irreplaceable. Which he is. In every way.
The Love of Jesus Is Overwhelming — My dad has a soft heart, but he’s not necessarily prone to tears. Except when he speaks of his relationship with Jesus. When my dad considers the sacrifice of our Lord and the depth of His love and grace, he can barely speak about it. The words always catch in his throat. His eyes fill with tears, and his heart swells to capacity. He has to stop and take several deep breaths before he can speak again. It was this way when he first began his relationship with Christ, and it is exactly the same (perhaps moreso) 25 years later. Nothing affects him the same way; not even his family. And at the same time, my dad bursts with true joy when describing that intimate relationship with Jesus. Nothing in life brings him more delight. Which is why I know that…
The Greatest Character Trait Is A Sense Of Humor — My life is full of hilarious episodes, and most of those are directly tied to my family. My dad has always modeled a joyful life. He finds humor in everything. And he is quick to laugh! He has a quirky sense of humor and a subtle, dry wit, and he analyzes every situation until he can find something to laugh at. Even when things are the worst you could imagine, and especially when things just keep going downhill, my dad will always find some small goodness in the midst of it and find a way to make it funny. It may only be funny because it’s so ridiculous, but he will find the dark humor in the midst of the terrible. I’ve learned to laugh instead of cry, or at least to laugh in the midst of crying. I always think of my dad saying, “Yes, it’s terrible, but that’s the darlin’ part.” And after a time I can always see that he was right.
My dad, himself, is the darlin’ part of our lives. He shows us how to love and how to live life fully. Without regret and without turning around to focus on the past. He leads by example, and we gladly follow. And I am thankful every moment of every day for God’s great gift to us in this man.

July 1, 2009

one word: release

I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. …Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 3:13a, 14
The idea is simple: Let go. Release. Put the past in the past and look ahead to what is coming. Why, then, is it be so hard for us to do? Why can’t we simply release what we can no longer do anything about? Why can’t we forgive what has been done to us? Why can’t we forget what didn’t turn out as planned? Why can’t we move forward and try again without feeling the weight of our past upon us? These are the questions that continue to plague our weary spirits and continue to bring us to anxiety and fear. And if we’re not careful, that anxiety and that fear will paralyze us in the mire of our pasts.
My own personal struggle has been one of anxiety and regret over the failures of my youth, and it has been my greatest accomplishment to truly let go of that girl who once was. I make conscious effort to release her, to release myself from the guilt of my past and to press forward into becoming a new creation in Christ. Satan is crafty, always reminding me of that girl and making me feel like I have to continue paying for those sins, but I have come to understand that God forgives and He forgets, casting my sins as far from Him and me as the East is from West. That I would continue to dwell on something that has been released is the same as telling the Father that He doesn’t know what He’s talking about, that His promises are false. But I know that’s not true. I know my God has released me from the chains of my past, so it’s simply up to me to believe Him. And I do believe Him. And that frees me. Releases me. To love my God and to love myself, which then allows me to love others as Jesus does. The act of releasing is the beginning of the future, of my service to a just LORD. Who am I to deny Him that?

This post was derived from the list of inspiration words gathered on Ali Edwards’s blog and from the concept of writing about one word.

May 11, 2009

5 things I want to be known for at the end of my life

1.  I loved passionately.
2.  I maintained great relationships with my niece and 3 nephews, as well as my sisters and parents.
3.  I never stopped learning, no matter how old I got or how challenging it became.
4.  I saw the best in people, and I always gave second (and fiftieth) chances.
5.  I expressed my truest self, without reservation, whether in printed words or visible behaviors. I want there to be no doubt as to who I really was in life.
P.S. You don’t need to remember that I let the grammar slide in that post title. Ha!

April 10, 2009

it’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’

He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.Isaiah 53:5

meditation and communion - Easter 2009

It’s Friday. The Romans beat my Jesus. They robe Him in scarlet. They crown Him with thorns. But they don’t know that Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. See Jesus walking to Calvary. His blood dripping. His body stumbling. And His spirit’s burdened. But you see, it’s only Friday. Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The soldiers nailed my Savior’s hands to the cross. They nailed my Savior’s feet to the cross. And then they raised Him up next to criminals.
It’s Friday. But let me tell you something… Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. He’s hanging on the cross. Feeling forsaken by His father. Left alone and dying. Can nobody save Him? Oh, it’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. Hope is lost. Death has won. Sin has conquered. And Satan’s just a-laughing.
It’s Friday. Jesus is buried. A soldier stands guard, and a rock is rolled into place.
But it’s Friday. It is only Friday. Sunday is a-comin’.
from a sermon by S.M. Lockridge, click to hear the entire passage

click image below for the story of Easter,
as presented by First McKinney in Texas

Good Friday meditation - April 10, 2009