Tag Archive | Forgiveness

Out of an Horrible Pit

“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.”—Psalm 40:1-3.

thJ31WTDLF  bottomless pitThere are times in a Christian walk when the Believer finds himself deep down in an horrible pit. Whether it happens because of sin, illness, financial woes,  the condition of the world or a multitude of other reasons, the person suffers from a myriad of spiritual and emotional turmoil.  Perhaps it is a combination of these culprits or even all of them, nevertheless  it leaves one with the feeling of desolation to the point that they feel forsaken by God.

Plagued by self pity, depression and sorrow, one of the first things that tempts the flailing soul is whether to trust in self NazarethBrowOfHill1  hillsor to trust in God.  Sadly many choose the former.  Prayer and Scripture reading is forgotten and even church attendance suffers because of the circumstances thrust upon the backslidden saint.  Floundering around in the mire and dirt, the bruised Christian neglects to look up to the hills from whence cometh their help.  Psalm 121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help

Sadly, the tendency exists to blame God for the sad state of affairs that one finds themselves in.  Psalm 10:1  Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble  Granted, God does allow testing to come into ones life, but it is up to the Believer as to the proper way to respond.  
All the while that the Saint is wallowing in the mire of their afflictions, the Holy Spirit is wooing them back into the fold and prompting them to cry unto the Lord in their distress to deliver them out of their troubles.  God never gives up on His sheep even if they give up on Him.  He knows their foolishness and their sins are not hid from Him.  Without calling upon the Heavenly Father to deliver them from their troublesome circumstances they continue to plunge deeper and deeper into despair.
Thankfully the Lord is patient and longsuffering and has promised that He will never leave of forsake His own.  He continues to woo them until the day that they call upon Him to “turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.  The troubles of my heart are enlarged………..bring me out of my distresses and look upon my affliction and pain and forgive all my sins.  And hide not thy face from thy servant, for I am in trouble.  Thou knowest my foolishness and my sins are not hid from thee:

The Ultimate Prodigal!

Man Bible Pick-up_cropI cannot begin to comprehend the distraught a man must sense when he first discovers that his son has become involved in a homosexual life style.  For a Dad who loves the Lord and believes in the Bible this has got to be a most devastating realization.  Painful emotions most assuredly must grip his heart; hurt, anger, disbelief and even guilt.  How much more is the disbelief when it is the mans first born son, his heir, his pride and joy?

The seems to be a special bond between a man and his son.  A camaraderie of sorts that women often share with their little girls.  Anticipation of having him grow up, play sports, find a good wife and bring forth the next generation are a few of the many visions a Dad has for his male child.   There is often that noticeable pride in the voice as a man shares the accomplishments of his budding protegé so to speak; let alone the way his chest seems to expand as he talks (boasts).  This scenario is shattered, literally destroyed when the Dad discovers that his son practices sodomy.

There is a problem with the term homosexuality.    A murderer is a murderer and a homosexual is a homosexual.  Both are lifestyles that people choose to follow, and both are sinful practices.  No one is born a murderer and no one is born with a genetic make up for being a homosexual.   It would be similar to having a horse born with a pig head.  It just does not happen.  God intended for a man to be a man in every sense of the being.

So where does a Dad go from here?  He love for his son is so great that he wishes he could just erase the sin and get on with life.   Some Dad’s have literally disowned their misfit of an offspring, perhaps to salvage their male pride.  God fearing men have not been exempt from this life trauma and even Bible preaching Pastors have had to deal with a son who chose to participate in a homosexual relationship.  The struggle within the souls of these men must be agonizing to say the least.

We know from the Bible that God hates sin.  The sinful practice of sodomy is especially an abomination to the most Holy God.  The practice is totally unnatural.  The Lord Jesus has set forth the example that we are to hate the sin but love the sinner.  It is ok for a Dad to continue to love his son who is involved in a homosexual life.  God commanded his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners……………..Regardless of the sin, God continues to love the sinner.  Understandably God cannot ‘look upon’ the sin, nor condone it, nor make excuses for the practice of the sin, and neither should the Dad involved in the same type of situation.  Oftentimes God allows harsh circumstances to evolve in ones life to bring them to himself, thereby setting the example for Dad’s to follow.   This is like ‘tough love’.  When a Dad learns of his son’s homosexual practices, he needs to prayerfully consider initiating specific guidelines or restrictions for the expressed purpose of guiding his son toward repentance.

Men who love the Lord usually keep an open door of communication with their son to reassure him that he is still loved.   The son could be included in family gatherings but the ‘friend’ is not.  Just as God cannot tolerate sin in his house,  the wayward son should not live at home, nor should the parents provide financial assistance that would sustain a homosexual relationship.  It is imperative that the Dad seek wisdom from the Lord and be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in dealing with his son.   The Lord gave the example of a man being won to the saving knowledge of Jesus by the Godly example of the wife and so much more so the example of the Dad to the son.  Oftentimes, verbal witnessing or admonishing will fall on deaf ears and create unnecessary tension.  Some things can only come about by fasting and prayer, with a Godly example.

For those of us who have not been subject to this particular trial in our life, may we ever be mindful to lift these Dad’s before the throne of grace, that they might one day rejoice in the repentance of their prodigal son.

The Saving of the Marriage

7196060-a-couple-at-odds-with-each-otherDear Readers. The following is not an original composition of my making.  It was posted on Facebook by a friend.  The story and the message is of such importance that I felt led to share it with you.  As I finished reading the article tears were streaming down my cheeks.  May you be blessed also!

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said “I’ve something to tell you.”  She sat down and ate quietly.  I observed the hurt in her eyes. I didn’t know how to  open my mouth.  But I had to let her know what I was thinking.  “I want a divorce”.  I raised the topic calmly.  She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, “why?’

I avoided her question.  This made her angry.  She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, “you are not a man!”  That night we did not talk to each other.  She was weeping.  I know she wanted to find out what happened to our marriage.  But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer;  she had lost my heart to Jane.  I didn’t love her anymore.  I just pitied her.

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she would own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.  She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces.  The woman who had spent ten years of he life with me had become a stranger.  I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly.  Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see.  To me her cry was actually a sense of release.  The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table.  I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.  When I woke up she was still there at the table writing.  I didn’t care so I turned over and went to asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions; she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce.  She requested that one month we struggle to love as normal as possible.  Her reason was simple:  our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me.  But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day.  She requested that each day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning.  I thought she was going crazy.  Just to made our last days bearable I accepted her odd request.I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions.  She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd.  No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed.  So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy.  Our son clapped behind us, Daddy is holding Mommy in his arms.  His words brought a sense of pain.  From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked with her in my arms.  She closed her eyes and said softly; “Don’t tell our son about the divorce.  I nodded, feeling somewhat upset.

On the second day, both of us acted much more at ease.  She leaned on my chest.  I could smell the fragrance of her blouse.  I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time, she was not a young woman anymore.  Our marriage had taken its toll and at that moment I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her, I felt a sense of intimacy returning for this woman who had given me ten years of her life.  On the fifth and sixth days, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again.  I did not tell Jane about this.  It was becoming easier to carry my wife as the month slipped by.  Perhaps the every day workout made me stronger.  Then one morning I watched as she tried on a few dresses, she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger.  I suddenly realized that she had become so thin and that that was the reason I could carry her more easily.  I reached out and touched her head.  At that moment our son came in and said. Dad, it’s time to carry Mom out.This had become an essential part of his life.  As I held her in my arms, her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally; I held her body tightly just like on our wedding day. Her much lighter weight made me sad.  On the last day when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step.  I held her tightly and said, “I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.”

I drove to the office,………..jumped out of the car……..ran up the stairs .  Jane opened the door and I said to her “Sorry, Jane, I do not want a divorce anymore.”   My marriage had become boring because we did not value the details of our lives, not because we did not love each other.  Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day that I was supposed to love her till death do us part.  On the way home I stopped by a floral shoppe and bought flowers for my wife.  I hastened home, flowers in my hand, and a big smile on my face.  I ran up the stairs to our bedroom and found my wife lying in bed ……dead!  My wife had been battling cancer for months but I was so wrapped up in Jane that I hadn’t noticed.  She knew that she would die soon and wanted to spare me the negative reaction from our son if we divorced.  She wanted our son to remember me as a loving husband.

The small details of our lives are what really matter in a relationship.  It is not in the mansion, the car. the money in the bank.  These do create an environment conducive to happiness but cannot give happiness  in themselves.  So find time to be  your spouse’s friend and do those things for each other that build intimacy.  If you are not in a relationship now, remember this should you ever be blessed.

Duct Tape!

9-17-12-pyramid-of-print-duck-tape-1024x610During a recent Missionary Conference it was pointed out by the Missionary Evangelist that we ought to get a vision of sorts for the needs of the Missionaries that we support.   So often we take for granted that their needs are being provided when in reality they do not even have the necessities that we take for granted.   That day, many within the church family were brought under conviction by the Holy Spirit to make a concentrated effort to be better providers of those who have gone into all the world with the Gospel

In times past I have learned from various speakers that God’s people can be down right stingy when it comes to giving for Missions.  Granted, there are those who either do not have the financial where-with-all to give or they lack the spiritual maturity to step out in faith that the Lord will provide the money in a pledge offering.  Although the financial needs of a missionary is most important, there are other avenues of giving that can be employed.

The talents that the Lord has bestowed upon his people can be used to provide necessities of Missionaries.  For instance, a lady who sews can make dresses, curtains, or aprons.  I once provided a large bundle of colorful wash cloths for a Missionary in Mexico.  The Mexican ladies used these to wipe the perspiration from their faces during the services.  Non-perishable cake and cookie mixes are a great treat as well as chocolate chips!  These items cannot often be purchased in foreign countries.  Recently, I was amazed to discover that many missionaries desire to have rolls of duct tape.

We are all aware of the many, many uses for duct tape.  Now that there are a plethora of colors and prints, their use has multiplied.  In the past duct tape has been mostly used as  a tool for mending, fixing and reinforcing,  Today, however this adhesive wonder is being used for decorating, clothing, cleaning, cosmetic and myriads of other uses.  Many have been the jokes and teasing about using duct tape to fix just about everything.  Thus it is not difficult to understand why Missionaries would desire to have this product on hand.

My Friend, it is true that duct tape has many uses and it can be employed to fix many things; make them look attractive and function in a purposeful manner, however, it cannot fix a wayward heart.  A heart dressed up in the duct tape of a professing Christian does not make one a redeemed saint.  Duct tape cannot aid a sinful heart to function in a righteous manner.  The broken contrite heart cannot be repaired by the adhesiveness of duct tape.  These things of the heart can only be addressed by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked and there is not a roll of duct tape in the world that can fix it.  This is why God sent his only Beloved and begotten Son, the Lord Jesus; God in the flesh, to die upon Calvary.   He died for the sins of the world, but this was not a blank check on mankind.  Many who believe that there is an actual heaven and hell think that all good people will eventually end up in heaven when they die.  WRONG!  God says that all of our righteousness are a filthy rags; there is none that doeth good, no not one.   The truth is that through Adam, all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  Do not be discouraged, although the god of this world (Satan) has blinded your eyes to spiritual truth, the Holy Spirit can open those eyes so that the Light of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ will shine unto you.

God has promised that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  Notice that it does not state that you have to do penance, remain single and celibate, or donate money to the church coffers, or even join a church.  The Bible states that he who seeks Him, the Lord Jesus, will find him.  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.  Once you realize that you are a sinner deserving of going to the Lake of Fire, ask God to forgive your sins and to save you.  Remember, God states that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  There are no exceptions.

In closing, may I encourage you to send a periodic care package to your supported Missionaries and just tuck a roll or two of duct tape in the package……………………….

Suffer the Little Lass to come unto Me

75016_4832534166438_2029575679_n (1)Being a Registered Nurse has it’s advantages, one of which is the ability to understand what the Physician is talking about when you are in need of his intervention.  Many friends have turned to me over the years for assistance in deciphering what they have been told at the Doctor’s office.  This has been a ministry of sorts and I would like to believe that I have alleviated some of the apprehension associated with their illness.  My skills have enabled me the pleasure of caring for my Dad and my Stepmother as they battled the torments of cancer.  There developed a bond during those months of palliative care that have given much comfort as I reflect on those days.  After retiring, my stethoscope sorta got hung on the back of the closet door.   Well, it seems that the Lord has given me the need to hang the stethoscope around my neck once more.

The death of a parent can be most devastating especially is there was a close bond.  My friend had a special close relationship with his Mom and even wrote an article commemorating her passing. (http://jpfinn7,wordpress.com )  Since I was a survivor of an abusive childhood, I did not share this type of deep emotional attachment to my parents.  As a young mother though, I often broke into tears over the thought of losing a child.  A dear sweet Aunt lost two of her sons, three years apart at Easter time; one of cancer (age 17), one from injuries sustained in a car wreck (had been home from Nam  two weeks)  It aged her tremendously.  And the Lord God said,  Diann, it is your turn!

Recently, my sweet firstborn granddaughter developed some black irregular growths on her left foot and her back.  She is preliminarily diagnosed with metastatic melanoma.  As she begins this year she will turn 16 on January 3rd.  The potential challenges which she could face are extremely difficult for an adult let alone a young lass in her prime years of youth.

The process of her treatment began with the successful removal of the tumor on her foot.  The Podiatrist was pleased that he was able to remove all of the affected tissue.  On the 8th of January she will be examined by a Dermatologist specializing in melanoma’s and an Endrochronologist to assess the tumors on her thyroid.  Although this Clinic is noted for its aggressive treatment of cancers, her Mom has wisely decided to seek confirmation of any adverse diagnosis via a second opinion.

Our family is holding these truths to be divinely evident; 1 – That God is in control and he knows all about this trial of our faith; 2 – Our Heavenly Father is the Great Physician and should the final diagnosis confirm the presence of metastatic melanona he is still in the business of miraculous healing, and 3 – the promise of Romans 8:28 is still in the Living Word of God, and the Lord is allowing this difficult time in her life to show forth his glory and honor.

It is not unusual in clinical settings to discover that in the process of treating one disease, other ailments rear their unsightly head.  The Physician is then bound by his promise within the Hippocratic Oath to render appropriate treatment.  In my granddaughters case the Great Physician has already began to heal  ‘spiritual’ ailments within her and also in our immediate family.  In allowing this trial in her life, the Lord is not only using this as an opportunity to deal with malignant tumors of sin in the lives of others, but also as a catalyst in helping us to draw nigh unto Him.

The Holy Spirit reminded me that I needed to keep short accounts with God in order that my prayers for my granddaughter would not be hindered.  As I diligently bring her before the Throne of Grace I am pleading with the Holy Spirit to reveal to me those sins which the tempter has caused me to conveniently forget.  In doing so, I was given the opportunity to make things right with a Sister-in-Christ that I had offended years ago.  It will be most important that the Holy Spirit has free reign within my heart!

For those of my Blog family that know the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior, I covet your prayers as Tori and our family begin this New Year with challenges from God.  May we face them with His strength and grace as our mantle.