God will forgive

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.

Psalm 86:5 NRSV

We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. Free will gives us the ability to make wrong choices. Sometimes those choices hurt other people. Sometimes the mistakes hurt us. The fact that we made a mistake is not important. What is important is that we acknowledge the mistake and learn from it. God knows that we will err and forgives us.

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Clean up your act

Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

We are called to not judge other people….but we often forget that. Criticizing others can make us feel important or somehow”better than.” ‘m not thinking about the big things but the little everyday things like “why do she choose to wear that color” or “he always acts likes he’s in charge.” It is so easy to have these thoughts or make these comments.

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God has told us to watch out about this. He has laid it on the line. If we do this then we will be judged also. We are better off cleaning up our own ideas and being careful to be kind. There is enough to clean up in ourselves to last us a lifetime.

Discard hurts and grudges

We cannot embrace God’s forgiveness if we are so busy clinging to past wounds and nursing old grudges.

T. D. Jakes

let grudges go

It is so easy to hold onto grudges and past hurts. We can actually enjoy chewing over the hurt and savoring our pain. We can think back and relive the emotions and it gives us a kind of satisfaction.

This kind of thinking is toxic. The only person being harmed by it is us. God has promised us forgiveness of our own mistakes. How can we approach him with these thoughts foremost in our minds. To heal ourselves we must let go of hurtful memories and discard grudges. That healing will bring us to God ready for forgiveness.

Nothing can trouble

Matthew 6:34 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

I don’t know how many times my grandmother quoted this verse to me. Of course it was the King James version but the meaning is the same. I don’t know why it is in my nature to worry but I know that I am not alone. This is one of the things I am trying to change in myself. When I fall into a worried state I sing or listen to the Taize hymn. Here are the words. I have posted the Spanish sung version because it is so beautiful. Listen and sing along using the English words. (unless of course you speak Spanish)

Nothing can trouble,
nothing can frighten.
Those who seek God shall
never go wanting.
Nothing can trouble,
nothing can frighten.
God alone fills us.

 

God in Jesus is unchangable

Religion tends to prefer and protect the status quo or the supposedly wonderful past, yet what we now see is that religion often simply preserves its own power and privilege. God does not need our protecting. We often worship old things as substitutes for eternal things.

Richard Rohr

I-Change-Not-CLCBCOnline-www.clcbconline.com_

A study that I attended was about  how people view God. Each of us has our own view and to define it can be difficult. There are some people for who God is part of something visual. They may feel closer to God in the church they have attended all their lives. The only difficulty comes when something in that building is changed. The connection can be shaken. That is why changing something we have associated with our faith all our lives can be so distressing.

We can’t stay connected to the past. We have to live in the present. The words of the service may change, the building may change but our faith must stay connected to Jesus Christ himself.

Peace! Be Still!

Mark 4:39 

He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.
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Finding calm in the midst of a storm is not easy. For those who experienced Dorian know this for certain. But Jesus calmed the storm. Just his words did the job. Resting in the promises of Jesus is the way to find the calm. He has told us not to worry. God is in charge. Be still and be calm.

Nothing has changed

Psalm 12

Plea for Help in Evil Times

Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;

    the faithful have disappeared from humankind.
They utter lies to each other;
    with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
    the tongue that makes great boasts,

The psalmist must have written this yesterday. The very same problems are still around.

nothing has changed

How often do we say the wrong thing?….saying something that really hurts someone. We gossip about others and don’t think about how the gossip can damage lives.

People in the public eye lie and cheat and no one thinks anything about it. I guess it was the same in the psalmist’s day. Why else would he have asked God to “cut off all flattering lips and the tongue that makes great boasts.” Nothing has changed. That is really sad.

The only way for things to change is one person at a time. Begin with yourself!

It’s not fashionable

Today it is fashionable to talk about the poor. Unfortunately, it is not fashionable to talk with them. –Mother Teresa

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This is so true! Most of us would prefer to avoid the homeless or those begging on our streets. We see them as “less than” us. It’s as if we are concerned about becoming contaminated by them. We have to begin to look through Jesus’ eyes and see them as children of God just like us. Then we will be willing to talk with them.