No More Shortcuts

Greetings from a sickling :)

I rejoice in the times of feeling ill because I truly do feel closer to my Savior during these times. No worries, apart from sniffles and sneezes, I will surely live :) What is really cool is that since I have been on the Makers Diet, I have not gotten sick at all! BUT, I overexposed myself and Philip this past weekend to the lovely land that is West Texas. West Texas dirt can kill ya ;)

Now onto the juicy stuff, the Lord has been teaching me a few key things in the past months including 1.) the importance of His word and writing it on my heart, 2.) recognizing the Holy Spirit at work in me and guiding me, 3.) being bold as I walk in His light and make disciples, and lately he has been teaching me 4.) the act of FORGIVENESS--in a whole new way than I have ever experienced before. All of which have contributed greatly to my writings as I strive to write for His glory. So today as I have been resting it up and taking advantage of this time by being more in His word and meditating on something that I will share more in depth below :)

Philip and I have been courting for 2 1/2 months now and goodness gracious has it been beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. BUT see, that is my God :) He can write one heck of a love story if you let Him! Now, this is another blog topic for another time but I wanted to lead into how the Lord has been showing me the act of forgiveness. See, Philip and I are doing a 9 week couples devotional and this weeks topic is forgiveness (and by no coincidence at all).

At the same time, I have been leading a woman's devotional at work on Francis Chan's book, The Forgotten God and the topic of forgiveness has come up time and time again as we have studied how the Holy Spirit guides us and equips us.

One morning during our devotional, something quite substantial (for me) clicked--Christ didn't take any shortcuts to the cross, so why should I even try to take any shortcuts in my walk?

This is what has been weighing down on my heart today. Forgiveness isn't easy by any means; it takes deciding that you will forgive, acknowledging the pain and situation, and then releasing it to our gracious Heavenly Father. Forgiveness takes some ultimate courage, humility, and work. But as new creations in Christ, we are called to do this just the same as He did for us. "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do." -Collosians 3:12-13

Christ made that ultimate journey in order for us to be forgiven. He carried the cross up to Calvary, was whipped, beaten, spitted on, cursed, and then nailed on the cross until death--all so that we can be forgiven. "...who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed." -1Peter 2:24

Praise God that Christ did not take any shortcuts to get to that cross because then where would we be? So how dare I think that forgiving anyone, including myself, could be accomplished by any sort of shortcut? What a MIGHTY God we have!

I encourage you today to quit trying to take any shortcuts in your relationships with others--friends, family, loved ones etc when it comes to forgiveness. Be transparent, rebuke when necessary in love (Luke 17:3), acknowledge the pain and situation, but then give it God and FORGIVE. He loves us so much that He cast out all of our sin, wipes the slate clean! "For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."-Psalm 103:11-12

Now, being mindful of the past is different than dwelling and not forgiving. We deceive ourselves with the saying, "forgive and forget" but truly only God can do that. BUT, we can truly forgive and press forward, enabling for us to walk in His Spirit and have the best He has lined-up for us :)

Lastly, I have been digging-up some of my old writings in journals and I found this short poem that is very fitting for this. Let me know what you think!

[Untitled] written July 2, 2008

I am crushed in spirit

Tears fall down for you
I believe in the Almighty
He's always been faithful and true

Please Lord, show kindness

Because my heart is full of tears
My lungs feel drowned out
My mind is anxious and in fear

But You have equipped me with armor

And on these grounds I will fight
All for Your name and glory
To show Your wisdom and might

It's a struggle nonetheless

But certainly worth the cost
There is something greater than death
And I have found it at the cross

Forgive someone today,