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Pieces of Opinion

I wonder, back in biblical times if there was a lot of judgement and opinion making of others.  I’d have to believe that people were petty even back then.

We can be one of the most thought provoking, upstanding and prayerful person, yet inside – judge others with our thoughts or even eye rolling.

What we tell ourselves is equally as bad as what we tell others (gossip for example).

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ALWAYS BE KIND

Proverbs 11:13
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
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Pray, hope and don’t worry

I have a rubber bracelet I received in the mail at the four month mark of my chemotherapy treatments.  It was such a delightful and encouraging reminder.  I have never taken it off.  It inspires me greatly and reminds me what is important in the journey of my life; not just with regards to cancer, but to all of it; where I’ve been, where I’m going.

What inspires you?  Please comment! 

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Pieces of Truth

When we were little kids, we often had to “fess up” for something we said or did that wasn’t right or nice.  Our parents usually instigated the apology or retribution.

Our Heavenly Father does this with His grown up kids too.  He pushes on our conscience until we know what has to be done.  We ultimately need to confess and/or apologize to another grown up for the wrong we committed.  Perhaps we were very judgemental, spewing our opinions on another, or we did or didn’t do something that really hurt that person.

Not very Christian.  And not very human.

I’ve heard countless stories about little kids who stole a candy bar and ended back at the store with tears in their eyes and a big apology to “never steal again.”

It’s not quite that effective when we are adults and have harmed someone with words or actions.  Because we are sinners, we will likely do again; and again.  Not to the same person hopefully, but we will hurt another person whom we love and after awhile it creates a cycle of shame.

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But God doesn’t intend to shame us, or use the shame to straighten us out.  He loves us.  No.  Matter.  What.  We.  Do.

But He wants us to learn.

How do we learn?  By apologizing first.  Praying forgiveness.  Learning not to continue the sin.  We often bang our heads against the wall for years.  Why can’t we stop hurting people?  Why do we have to be so self righteous?  Why can’t we see the sin?  Why can’t we learn from it?

Because we are attempting to heal a hurt with a human solution.

We need God’s solution.  It’s called TRUTH. 

Webster defines truth as:

a (1) : the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality
(2) : the state of being the case : fact
(3) often capitalized : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality
b : a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true

We know what is true in our own lives.  We know even truer when God is the center.

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Comparing Sin

I believe, as human beings, it’s easier for us to compare sin than deal with our own.  You may think the sin of another is far worse than yours; after all, you didn’t have to do jail time or go through an ugly divorce.  All you did was A, B or C.

In my own life, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve made some whopper mistakes (i.e. “sin.”), it’s easier to call them mistakes, isn’t it?  Or to downplay the seriousness of the sin.  “I only ate an entire bag of licorice,” or “I’ve told quite a few small white lies, but they don’t really hurt anyone.”

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Sin is sin is sin.  God sees them all the same size, way and type.  God judges us equally.

Psalm 51:4
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
Romans 7:18
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
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In your daily life, attempt to avoid sin, ask for forgiveness as it rears its ugly head (and it will, no one is devoid of sin), be mindful of the sin in your life, purge it, pray for yourself, ask for prayer, relearn the bad habits, get right with God.
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2014 Pieces

I found my first “Pieces Journal,” dated January 22, 2014.  It seems so long ago, but it also shows me the walk I’ve taken along Jesus; is just a moment a time, and my faith has continued to grow; year after year.  I’d like to share with you some of the earlier “scraps of paper, devotions and musings” from my journal.  May you find your own special “pieces.”

It’s in the act of faith that courage becomes reality and the Lord’s grace rushes in to supply divine power.

Dear God, I want to be gracious and lovely in Your sight.  Open to receiving.  Take me away from the things that waste my time and rob me of meditative time with You.

I am encouraged by the mighty works of God.  “Prayer” has become a powerful word in my vocabulary, and one that gives meaning to my life.  I pray for HOPE, what a beautiful gift; and, it is free!!!  He walks with me in the garden of my life.  We talk, I learn, I am blessed to know Him as my Father, and Friend.

Keep your defense strong, trust in God.  Pray when anxiety seeps in.

Take it to God.  When you are low or upset, even when it feels contrary to do so; tell Him, share your heart.

I see so many parallels in my past and current life; except now I am grateful for all of it – the hard, hurtful times along with the peaceful.  I believe it’s more than ‘equal parts,’ rather how Jesus wants to live in me; “Grateful for all of the pieces.”  In this way, everything is a subject for witnessing.

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Impossible situations are opportunities for the Lord to teach us valuable lessons that we’d never learn any other way.

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Forgiveness

Much is written and talked about regarding “forgiveness.”  It’s a difficult concept for the human being to comprehend, all situations that need forgiveness are difficult.  It’s AS hard to forgive, as it is to be forgiven.

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My Christian walk had been littered with plenty of unforgiveness, until through bible study and my own personal devotion, did I realize what I was saying to God.  “I’m expecting/asking/hoping you will forgive me for everything I do wrong on a daily basis, because Your Son gave His life for mine, but I’m unwilling to forgive “A, B and C” because they don’t deserve my forgiveness.  What they’ve done is WAY worse than you can imagine.”  OH THE GALL (of me)!

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Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
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For God So Loved the World

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We have a promise of eternal life; but not because of the “good” we do or how righteous our life appears to others.  Because eternal life is a gift; for believing that God gave selflessly, His own Son; His life, for our life.  But why?

Easter is around the corner, and we know it’s not about chocolate bunnies or egg hunts, it is instead about the life, death and returning to life; to walk as a man until He was reunited with His Father once again.

It all seems so unreal doesn’t it?  But that is what walking in faith means, believing the unbelievable.  It’s the mystery of faith. 

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May you be blessed with unbelief this holiday season, may you be lifted in faith to a deeper level of learning, may you lean against Your Heavenly Father for strength, love and hope.