Monday, July 25, 2016


I've done something wrong.  When confronted I can hang my head for a moment, then nod in agreement and--then what?  Make a false promise to never do that again, make an earnest promise to never do that again and hope for the best, or make the earnest promise that I won't do it again and put plans in to place to help keep that promise.  

I've done something wrong.  When confronted, I can squeeze my watering eyes, give my head a shake and dig in my heels before speaking.  I can be defensive.  I can explain and excuse what I've done because of this circumstance or that one.  However, one problem with being defensive in this scenario is, if it's wrong, should it be defended?  If I defend wrong or sinful choices is that to my benefit?  Will it make me better?  Will it make the situation better? 

Ugh!  Defensive.  It seems like a good idea.  But--sometimes it's harmful.  Actually, a lot of times it's harmful.  It seems good for the moment, but in the long run, it just reinforces the poor choices and makes it harder the next time I'm faced with this same choice.  

I'm looking forward to reading James next week :) 

Father God, I need to make changes in my life.  I need be quiet and listen for Your call in the little things.  Jesus, I am dependent on Your grace, I can't make it through one hour without having a selfish thought, feeling defensive for things I've done or left undone, said or left unsaid.  I am reminded through Your Word that I can do all things through You who gives me strength.  Your Word doesn't say I can do all things easily or I can do all things without a hitch.  It does say I can do all things through You who gives me strength.  It doesn't say I can do all things without problems.  It does say I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  Holy Spirit, lead me where I need to be today to do what I need to do and say what I need to say, keep me from going where I shouldn't, doing what I shouldn't, or saying what I shouldn't.  As I look forward to beginning James next week, please prepare my heart and mind for what You will teach me.  Jesus, I pray in Your name.  Amen.

Thanks for chasing my wandering thoughts with me.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Shackles of Shame Dissolve by Grace

"You are tripping me out, woman," he said.

I glanced at his reflection in the rear-view mirror.  I was quiet, then turned to face him.  "What do you mean?" I asked. 

"I thought you'd be cussing me out."

I was confused.  "Why?" I asked. 

"Because of what I did to you 30-something years ago."

My heart lurched in my chest, he needed the truth.  

"If I had to stand under the weight of all the sins I had ever committed, of every bad thought I ever had or every bad word I had ever said about anyone, I couldn't stand.  I couldn't possibly stand under the weight of it all."  These words tumbled out.  "Only by grace can I stand.  Only by the grace of forgiveness, the grace of Jesus can I stand."

I am not a good person, I know that.  I am a forgiven person though.  It is only by the grace that I have received that I am able to extend grace to others.  Grace is not mine to keep, but to live in and to extend.  

It is my prayer that he will be set free from the shame that has kept him shackled for the last 30-something years.  

Know that you can be free from these shackles too.