Sunday, February 21, 2010


I had an opportunity to forgive someone today. And I did.
And no, it's wasn't simply for my benefit.
I've heard it said, and I've said many times, "forgiveness isn't for the other person, it's for you." And while I agree with that statement, I must admit that I believe it needs some revising.
"Forgiveness isn't just for you or just for the other person. It's for both people. It's for freedom from the bondage of bitterness."

While having lunch today I realized that I needed to forgive someone, and in my mind I said I needed to forgive them so that I wouldn't feel bitter about the situation. I don't really think that's what Jesus had in mind when He hung upon the cross.

His death wasn't so He wouldn't feel bitterness towards His children. It was for atonement. Justification. Redemption. It was for our freedom; it was because of Love.
Forgiveness is something that we as Christians should be willing to do, not so we can feel better about ourselves, but because we have been shown the ultimate forgiveness.

Moral of the story: don't make forgiveness a selfish thing. Love because He has loved us. Forgive because He has forgiven us.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Outsider

So I visited a new church today. Mainly because I have to evaluate 7 different sermons from 7 different churches/pastors for an Oral Communication in Ministry class. I went by myself, sat by myself, and felt like I was going to worship by myself. It wasn't until right before the service started-mind you, I had been there 20 minutes early-that a lady and her son sat semi-close to me and she said "Good morning."

Those were the only words spoken directly to me before the music started playing.

There were hundreds of people there.

Needless to say, I felt very alone in the midst of a crowd. While feeling self-pity at the beginning of the service, I started to think about how I treat those that visit my home church. We do have a VERY small congregation, especially compared to what could be called St. Louis' "mega-church", but people still visit.

And I treat them the same way I was treated this morning.

I overlook people, telling myself that someone else will welcome them and make them feel at home. Maybe if they come back a couple times, I'll go introduce myself and maybe we can be friends. How prideful can I be?!

If every 'Christian' has that thought, no wonder people are turned away from the Church. If everyone has the mindset that "someone else will cover it", nothing will ever get done. And I think that could be a big problem in some churches today-no one is willing to step up in faith and say, "I'll love/serve/give/pray like Jesus did."

One of my favorite motto's is-"Blessed to be a Blessing". It a favorite that I very rarely live out.

My challenge to myself, and to the Christian reading, is to love unconditionally. From this day forward to serve with the heart of Christ; love as He loved; comfort and encourage 'the least of these'.

1 John 3:16-"By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."

Be intentional. Love well.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Not So Typical Rainbow

I saw a rainbow today. Some might not find it odd. It was odd though; it was sunny out, it hadn't been raining, and the only way I could see it was with my sunglasses on. I caught a glimpse of it while driving to work. It was placed parallel to the sun and if I took my sunglasses off, it disappeared. I was amazed.

Then I got to thinking.

Isn't that kinda how it is with God sometimes? The most beautiful things come when He is shading and covering us; when He is protecting us from the "violent rays" of the world. However, we always have to take our glasses off and see if it's any better with less of His help. We find the result blinding.

The rainbow was awesome and encouraging for me this morning; a beautiful reminder of God's covenant with Noah, and His love for me.

Sometimes I question God as to why He hasn't revealed certain things to me, such as the exact direction for my life and who my future spouse is.

Today I realized I need to see and savor the beauty in the "covering" of my life; in the unseen. In the promise that I am His no matter what.