The enemy is us

pogo-met-the-enemy.0This is so true that it is scary. We are the person who get ourselves into trouble. We are the person who doesn’t follow the path of Jesus. We are the one who passes by the homeless person on the street. We are the person who judges others. We are the person who tells malicious stories about our acquaintances. We would like to blame someone else but we can’t.

We HAVE met the enemy and he is us!

Loving God, help us to take the log out of our own eye. Remind us that what we hate most is others is frequently one of our own failings. Teach us to love. Forgive us and grant us your mercy. AMEN

Keep quiet—walk away

Conflict cannot survive without your participation. ————-Wayne Dyer

The Bible shows us how to avoid conflict. It tells us to turn the other cheek. Not an easy thing to do. For most of us it has nothing to do with physical violence but instead using words (that may not be too kind). A person can’t argue by themselves. If you can’t keep your temper walk away. Words can hurt and cannot be taken back whether out loud or on social media.

walk away

Gracious Lord, you have called us to kindness and love. Help us to remember this when faced with unpleasant situations. AMEN

Mercy

Pope Francis insists that mercy is at the very top of the Christian hierarchy of great truths and everything falls apart whenever mercy is displaced by anything else or anything less.

The dictionary defines mercy as: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

The Old Testament. Mercy: A Part of God’s Nature. Although people have the capacity for showing mercy, especially toward those with whom they already have a special relationship, a lack of mercy is more natural to the human condition. Mercy is, however, a quality intrinsic to the nature of God. It is for this reason that in some situations “merciful” was a sufficient description of God. from: Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

Mercy is something we don’t always see as related to us. We think of a courtroom with a judge. But sometimes we are the judge. We can choose to be hard-nosed or forgiving. Notice that the dictionary includes forgiveness in the definition. Forgiving a hurt is mercy. We have opportunities to forgive and it is sometimes difficult to do. We may have to show forgiveness but work for a while on really forgiving.

In-todays-society-in-which-forgiveness-is-so-rare-mercy-is-ever-more-important.

Merciful God, you have forgiven us so much. Help us to show the mercy that you so readily give. AMEN

Forgiveness

Real human progress depends upon a good conscience. ———-Albert Einstein

We are not perfect….so we can’t always do everything right. This means that we will make mistakes and do things that we are not proud of. Thankfully, God has granted us a way to continue to have a good conscience. It is called forgiveness. All we have to do is see the error of our ways and ask forgiveness.

forgiveness-9

Loving God, you never stop forgiving us. Thank you, thank you. AMEN

God forgives—others can too

Eve left the garden and wondered if God was still hurt by her betrayal of His love for her. ———————-Suzanne Boyd

We often do things that hurt others. If we care about them we regret that hurt. We wish we could take it back. We also do things that we know makes God dismayed and disappointed. In both cases we need to seek forgiveness. Genuine regret can be seen and felt by the person we hurt. By acknowledging our regret and asking for forgiveness we can begin to set things right.sorry

Be sure to say you are sorry when you hurt someone.

Forgiving God, we know that when we ask forgiveness we will receive it from you. Help us to also seek forgiveness from those we hurt. AMEN

There is still a chance!

A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.————–Carl Sandburg

All the news about the world around us is so bad. There is so much evil and pain. I Don’t know if it really is worse or just that we learn about it so much quicker. Sometimes it is hard to believe that there is any hope for mankind. Yet good things still happen and babies are born. I guess God hasn’t given up on us yet.

good things

Than you, loving God, for continuing to give us a chance. We just don’t seem to learn. Forgive us our sins. AMEN

No Judging!

Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all. ————William Shakespeare

It is so easy for us to judge others. Gossip is usually some form of judgement. Often the things we are quickest to judge in others is the one we don’t see in ourselves. We have not walked in another person’s shoes. We don’t know the whole story. No judgement!

pot and kettle

Forgiving God, remind us that we too are often wrong and quick to judge. Help us to walk with compassion and love. AMEN

Lent, what to do?

joan-quote1_edited-1Lent is a time to take stock. A time to look inside ourselves. Each of us may find a different way to observe this time. Some will give up something that is meaningful to them such as sweets or something electronic. Others might take something on such as reading a spiritual book, being kinder, visiting someone you have neglected. Whatever you choose doing something makes the time meaningful and helps to make Easter a joyous occasion.

Remove the stone

Holding a grudge is a stone in your heart.            TV show “The Good Doctor”

I would like to think that I don’t hold grudges but I can still find myself remembering some people with anger. If I do that I am still holding a grudge. It is so easy to hold onto things that hurt us. We remember with pain. The thing is we are the ones that are still being hurt by ourselves. That remembering is a negative feeling that we have to let go. We have to work at getting the stone out of our heart.

Loving Jesus, help us to forget the hurt and remove the stone. AMEN

heart of stone

memoryDo we remember to ask God’s forgiveness for the wrong things that we do? Sometimes I think we just push them to the back of the mind and let it go. God will forgive us if we ask. Then there is the challenge of believing that we have, in fact, been forgiven.

Loving God, you are ready to forgive us. All we have to do is ask and then believe it. AMEN