Tag Archives: mistake

Thought For The Day 03/06/14

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The Treasure Inside The Package

Post 1088

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present-1

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The world is governed more by appearance than realities so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it. 
 
Daniel Webster
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How often do we stop dead in our tracks as we spy one of the beautiful people passing by us? Whether male or female, those whose external appearance seems to catch our eyes may or may not have just as much substance as they do fluff. And yet, it is exactly the fluff that draws our eyes to them as they pass us by! Now, what about those whose packaging may not be quite ideal? Do we give them the same attention that we do the first group? Do we bother to take the time to discover if they are more than just what we see? Do we seek out the inner beauty in everyone before we focus on the outer beauty?
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I am someone who fits more into the second grouping of people. I am middle-aged, with the seemingly ever-expanding waistline that accompanies many who share my years. The greying hair, masked by the miracle that is modern-day hair color, still seems to emerge as greying around my ears, despite my best efforts to banish it away! I am blind as a bat without my glasses and I walk with a limp, on legs still numb today from a disease I developed in 1998 which caused paralysis, for a time. I sometimes use a cane. I sometimes use a walker. I even sometimes use a wheelchair. I have a brace on my right lower leg. I sound a bit like the “Debbie Downer” character from Saturday Night Live, with vocalizations that sound a bit “whining”, even though that is seldom my intent, and is something I had to work on to overcome for my weekly radio show which aired on Blog Talk Radio a few years ago. Now knowing what you do about me from the way I have described myself, would you give me a second glance, if you were passing me on the street? Probably not!
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Several years ago I discovered a short story that takes the adage, “Never judge a book by its cover” as step farther. It is a story that proves that what we see seldom tells the whole story. And I share it as a reminder that all that glimmers is not gold, and sometimes gold exists in a less than sparkling package, if we but look carefully enough!
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PAID IN FULL 

(Author Unknown)
 
How many times do we miss God‘s blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?
 
 
A young man was getting ready to graduate college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.
 
 
As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had …purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box.
 
 
Curious, but somewhat disappointed the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible. Angrily, he raised his voice at his father and said, “With all your money you give me a Bible?” and stormed out of the house, leaving the holy book.
 
 
Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care things. When he arrived at his father’s house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart.
 
 
He began to search his father’s important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. As he read those words, a car key dropped from an envelope taped behind the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words…PAID IN FULL.
 
found on the Facebook page of “My Life With God”

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“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 
 

1 Samuel 16:7 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/01/13

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Who Are You Turning Your Back On?

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http://slodive.com/inspiration/pictures-of-a-cross/

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The twentieth century seems afflicted by a gigantic… power failure.  Powerlessness and the sense of powerlessness may be the environmental disease of the age. 

Russell Baker

New York Times, 1 May 1969

http://www.quotegarden.com/society.html

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I was sent an email yesterday and it was one I knew needed to be shared. I read it over…..once, twice, three times. And as I let the words wash over me I realized that they were ones I had read before. So I decided to enter a few of them into my WordPress search engine, and I discovered that I did know them quite well. In fact, they were part of a post I wrote in 2012. And it was then that I knew that I needed to share them with you all once again. So here is an encore posting of “Who Are You Turning Your Back On?”

Mandy

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Once upon a time there was a church in a middle class community. It was small but beautiful with the most beautiful stained glass windows imaginable and a marble baptismal font lined with a silver bowel. The adult choir wore crimson robes made of satin and embroidered with golden threads. A golden cross adorned the altar and engraved on its face were the initials I.N.R.I. which means “Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm” in Latin and translated into English means JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. No expense had been spared.

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It was a Sunday in early fall and worshippers were entering the sanctuary, dressed in their warmest Sunday best, well protected against the cooler temperatures. They were all greeted at the door by one of the church elders serving as an usher this day. Services were due to begin when an older man wearing a threadbare jacket  and scuffed shoes with no socks opened the door. You see, he had seen the sign in front of the building announcing a special musical presentation featuring both the adult and children’s choirs. He dearly loved hearing the melodic voices of youngsters singing their praises and he decided to enter and worship with the rest. Finding his way barred by the elder, he was told that this was a special occasion and that his presence might just be a distraction to the children and that he would therefore need to leave the building.

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Face crestfallen and shoulders hunched, he turned around and left the sanctuary without a word. However he decided to sit on the steps in front. Perhaps he would be able to hear just a bit of the service! Shivering against the cold, and hearing very little of the service, he had finally decided to leave and find some place warm when a young man suddenly appeared and sat down on the steps next to him. Glancing over, he noted that the young man had longish hair and his toes peeked from beneath his long outer garment which was tied by a cord around his waist. His sandals were worn and his feet were dusty as well!

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The young man greeted his companion on the stoop and asked the older man what he was doing there. The man replied that he had so wanted to hear the church service and listen to the beautiful music but that he had been prevented from entering the church. The young man looked deeply into the beaten face of his companion, he sighed deeply and turning to the older man, replied, “I know exactly how you feel, my friend. My name is Jesus and I’ve been trying to get inside this church for years!”

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So consider the next time you make a conscious decision to turn your back on your fellow man for any reason at all. Make sure you take a second to ponder just who it might be you are choosing to ignore. You may well not recognize the face of an angel or of Christ himself, should He decide to confront you. In fact, we know that the face of God is hidden from all except His Son. In John 6:46 CEBwe are told, “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.” However, make no mistake whatsoever. The face of the Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ, will become crystal clear to us all come judgement day!

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God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.

Exodus 6:2-3 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/20/13

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The Perfect Love

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Perfect-Love

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Since marriage is a spiritual relationship involving husband, wife, and God, prayer together keeps communication flowing among all three.

Dennis and Barbara Rainey

http://thisdaysthought.org/dennis-and-barbara-rainey-since-marriage-is-a-spiritual-relationship/

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Relationships that are forged with that someone special we envision spending a lifetime with, are perhaps the most complicated and difficult ones to cultivate. They are far more involved that your typical platonic friendship, where secrets can be kept from the other without damaging the integrity of the relationship. But not so when the nurturing a relationship where the bonds of true love are burgeoning. You see, we must be comfortable enough to bare those skeletons in our closets, because if there is one thing that every human carries with them, it is baggage! And if there is one thing that baggage carries, it is the inevitable hurt and resentment that can erode even the best dreams for a shared future with another.

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Just as the wise man built his house upon a rock, we must work toward establishing a rock solid foundation that is capable of supporting an intimate relationship for a lifetime. And to do this, we must bare all, and feel free enough to talk about those painful embarrassments. We must somehow reach, if not an understanding of these things, at least a capacity to put them into their proper place in the general scheme of this hoped for shared life!

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We are always to remember that it was God’s perfect love for us that gave us salvation’s promise through Christ. It is also this same perfect love that asks us to cast from us the fears that we will be rejected by Him for our sins. 1 John 4:12 NIV tells us, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.” And since we model the love we share with our life’s partner after God’s perfect love for us, and if we have chosen well, we need not fear being rejected by the one we choose as our mate, when we bare our souls to them. According to the “Family Life Marriage Bible”, written by Dennis & Barbara Rainey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FamilyLife), just as God’s heart embraces this imperfect being that is man, so should the love we share with our partner speak these things to us, “I embrace you. I receive you. I accept you. I cherish you. And, yes, I forgive you” when those difficult days descend!

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A thank you to Nancy Salazar, author of the blog post on WordPress, “Love Your Spouse” (http://loveyourspouse.wordpress.com), for inspiring today’s “THOUGHT” and introducing me to the “Family Life Marriage Bible”!

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4) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5) It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 05/14/13

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The Island Of Misfit Toys

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Misfit-Toys

http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4741657804802032&pid=1.7&w=237&h=188&c=7&rs=1

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“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Apple, Inc.

http://www.apple.com

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On Sunday, a friend and colleague, not to mention someone I consider a great mentor, Pastor Brian, posted his Sunday sermon to his WordPress site. It was entitled “Being A Misfit…..” (1). And while he was referring to the all too prevalent thought that Christians have always been misfits, especially those who seek to share His message in an alternative setting (such as the way I, and others like me, do), as soon as I read the title, my mind was instantly transported back to a time of my own childhood, and a Christmas TV special about a reindeer with a shiny nose. Rudolph made his television debut on NBC in 1964, which became a popular hit then, and which is re-broadcast annually, even today, some 50 odd years later. Then, in 2001, a fourth in the series was released entitled “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys”, and it was always this episode that tugged at my heartstrings more than any other in the series, because it was the one that, even as an adult, I could empathize with the most, having spent a good portion of my own life feeling like a bit of an outcast. You see, I was the “Band Geek” in High School….a not unattractive but definitely 15 pounds heavier than what was considered normal, teenage girl who LOVED singing and playing music on the piano, clarinet and saxophone!

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By all adult standards, I was probably ideal, but not by teenage standards. And while the incidence of tormenting those who are different is more widespread and definitely more tied in with the proliferation of the information highway and cellular communication which can transmit messages and photos of hate in the blink of an eye, the feelings inside and the erosion of self-esteem was every bit as hurtful back then as it is today and as it will be, when experienced by another, tomorrow. And I must wonder how it is that we have devolved into a race of people who seem to sow disrespect and intolerance at every turn, instead of respect and tolerance for all? How is it that today, this verse is as profound as it was when it was written? “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:4 ESV.

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Did you know that a study conducted in 1999 showed that four out of five middle school students say that they act like bullies at least once a month? (2). And despite the fact that there are not just laws and regulations in effect everywhere, from schools to our very streets, that are intended to stop this behavior, it is seldom enforced…..not really. People can and will find ANYTHING to make fun of you for, whether it be your looks, race, sex, religion, or even how wealthy (or poor, for that matter) you are. Bullying, both the perpetrators and the victims, are of both sexes, and come in all ages, shapes, sizes and socio-economic backgrounds. But what those who bully are doing is a cry for help because they can not or will not deal with and fix their own issues. And rather than working to solve their own problems, they hope to make themselves feel better by causing others to feel alone, isolated, miserable, scared, sad, small, worthless, unloved and stupid!

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Now in this movie, Rudolph chose to help all of the toys who were relegated to isolation on “the Island of Misfit Toys” by recognizing the worth and value of every one, thereby guaranteeing a place for them with a child who would love them, just the way they were. Just as Rudolph made it his responsibility to act, so must we become proactive in our communities by doing the same thing for all of the misfits out there. Let’s understand some of the things that make people bully in the first place such as the following (3):

  • It makes them feel better that they have power over others.
  • They get bullied by others.
  • They are stressed out and they don’t know any other way to let out their anger.
  • They are exposed to violence.
  • They don’t feel good about themselves.
  • They aren’t used to compromising and/or sharing.

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So what can we do? The next time you see a child or an adult being victimized by a bully, don’t let the abuse continue. If you feel you can not directly intervene, make it your personal responsibility to notify the proper authorities. Stop it cold. Then followup to make sure that there were consequences for the perpetrator, and help for the victim either through counselling or a referral to a church or social agency who can provide services, if any are needed. Your actions to stop bullying will help victimized people have hope again and will pave the way for yet others still, to stop letting senseless bullying harm the lives of their friends and neighbors. Make a difference. What you can do, does matter and can change the life of someone….perhaps even someone you know intimately well. It might be a son or daughter, brother or sister or a neighbor, but know that for that one person, you changed their world! “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2 KJV.

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(1) http://devotions4reallife.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/being-a-misfit-2/

(2) http://www.cnn.com/US/9908/20/bullies/index.html?_s=PM:US

(3) http://library.thinkquest.org/TQ0312169/intro.html

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And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Matthew 25:40 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 05/05/13

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Temper Control

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Angry-man-001

http://bigmentaldisease.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Angry-man-001.jpg

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“It is only our bad temper that we put down to being tired or worried or hungry; we put our good temper down to ourselves”

C.S. Lewis

http://thinkexist.com/quotes/with/keyword/bad_temper/

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If ever there was something I could comment on these days, it might just be the subject of this post. No, not because I have been successful at temper control, but because I have not! That is what dealing with crisis situations of health seems to bring to the family dynamic. When faced with those critical days that all too often, seem to attach themselves to a health crisis, like some malignant tumor, we are often tired, always confused, generally stressed and perhaps, most of all, absolutely scared, and generally, that just naturally breeds the worst part of us that we somehow managed to keep well hidden from the prying eyes of everyone, save God’s! But they are also almost always those parts of our character that are reserved for those closest to us, simply because we know exactly how hard and which buttons we think will make us, somehow, feel better if we but push them! And while I am certainly not proud of my role in this drama, I am not performing solo, either. And therein lies the biggest problem. You see, once a hurt escapes our or our partner’s lips, it can never be returned. Yes, it may be forgiven, but it is never forgotten, which is why the story I’m going to share with you all, is so timely. In fact, I discovered in only yesterday!

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“Temper Control” is a story whose author is unknown, but just read a few lines and you instinctively know that it was written by a very wise person with a deep and abiding faith! But once I read it, I was immediately compelled to put to bed not just my anger at my spouse, but also the things that he said that hurt my heart, as well. I hope it does the same for you! After all, isn’t marriage a mirror, in many ways, of God’s relationship with us? Ephesians 5: 15-17 NIV sums it up for us pretty well. Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
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Once upon a time there was a little boy who was talented, creative, handsome, and extremely bright. A natural leader. The kind of person everyone would normally have wanted on their team or project. But he was also self-centered and had a very bad temper. When he got angry, he usually said, and often did, some very hurtful things. In fact, he seemed to have little regard for those around him. Even friends. So, naturally, he had few. “But,” he told himself, “that just shows how stupid most people are!”
As he grew, his parents became concerned about this personality flaw, and pondered long and hard about what they should do. Finally, the father had an idea. And he struck a bargain with his son. He gave him a bag of nails, and a BIG hammer. “Whenever you lose your temper,” he told the boy, “I want you to really let it out. Just take a nail and drive it into the oak boards of that old fence out back. Hit that nail as hard as you can!”
Of course, those weathered oak boards in that old fence were almost as tough as iron, and the hammer was mighty heavy, so it wasn’t nearly as easy as it first sounded. Nevertheless, by the end of the first day, the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence (That was one angry young man!). Gradually, over a period of weeks, the number dwindled down. Holding his temper proved to be easier than driving nails into the fence! Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He felt mighty proud as he told his parents about that accomplishment.
“As a sign of your success,” his father responded, “you get to PULL OUT one nail. In fact, you can do that each day that you don’t lose your temper even once.”
Well, many weeks passed. Finally one day the young boy was able to report proudly that all the nails were gone.
At that point, the father asked his son to walk out back with him and take one more good look at the fence. “You have done well, my son,” he said. “But I want you to notice the holes that are left. No matter what happens from now on, this fence will never be the same. Saying or doing hurtful things in anger produces the same kind of result. There will always be a scar. It won’t matter how many times you say you’re sorry, or how many years pass, the scar will still be there. And a verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. People are much more valuable than an old fence. They make us smile. They help us succeed. Some will even become friends who share our joys, and support us through bad times. And, if they trust us, they will also open their hearts to us. That means we need to treat everyone with love and respect. We need to prevent as many of those scars as we can.”
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A most valuable lesson, don’t you think? And a reminder most of us need from time to time. Everyone gets angry occasionally. The real test is what we DO with it. If we are wise, we will spend our time building bridges rather than barriers in our relationships, especially our relationships with those who least deserve our wrath and who most deserve our unwavering love and support! ALWAYS!

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“For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.”

Proverbs 30:33 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 04/09/13

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Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men

(`et in terra pax hominibus, bonae voluntatis)

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globe

http://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/world_globe.html

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“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

Albert Einstein

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/world

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As a child who lived through the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, I was a child who watched my father build an underground fallout shelter for our family, and I was a child who learned to crawl under my desk in school and under the bus going home from school. I thought that the days would one day arrive, when the human race would learn to live in harmony, residing on the same earth, and breathing in the same air….brothers under the skin. Well, I guess I was wrong. It seems that the magnificently evolved human being has learned about as much in the last 50 years as he learned since the first moment he drew breath and opened eyes against the glare of the sun….which is to say, very little. Oh yes, we have learned to defeat predators with four legs, we can now treat and cure diseases, we have even learned to co-habit a tiny man-made oasis that circles high above terra firma. But what we can not seem to overcome is diversity of culture and of religion. And until we do, there will be no such thing as “`et in terra pax hominibus, bonae voluntatis”!

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Now we can go through our days being afraid of everything that moves. But that does not change anything. Instead, all it accomplishes is to allow us to wallow in our own fear and impotence. And fear nearly always rears its head not in retreat but in wrongly aimed accusations…as if they somehow empower us against the misguided and erroneous actions of others. Generally our fear and anger is not righteous anger and rightfully so, the Bible reminds us of the error of yielding to an anger borne from the feelings we experience from other people’s words or deeds. James 1:20 NIV reminds us, “Man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires”. In other words, God does not want us to simply react from our gut, but instead, to become proactive in healing ourselves using our hearts and our minds and our convictions….and our FAITH! Because as we do so, something wonderful happens. As we heal, so grows our capacity to heal not just others, but the world, as well! And just in case you need some evidence in black and white, here are two dozen Bible verses that offer guidance and yes, even warnings, about anger!

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  1. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil (Psalm 37:8).
  2. A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult (Proverbs 12:16).
  3. Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Proverbs 12:18).
  4. A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless (Proverbs 14:16
  5. A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly (Proverbs 14:29).
  6. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1).
  7. A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel (Proverbs 15:18).
  8. A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered (Proverbs 17:27).
  9. It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel (Proverbs 20:3).
  10. Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you (Proverbs 20:22).
  11. Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control (Proverbs 25:28).
  12. Mockers stir up a city, but wise men turn away anger (Proverbs 29:8).
  13. A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control (Proverbs 29:11).
  14. You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment … first go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:21-24).
  15. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
  16. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).
  17. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions (Galatians 5:19-20).
  18. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:26-7)..
  19. Let your gentleness be evident to all (Philippians 4:5).
  20. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips (Colossians 3:8).
  21. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful (2 Timothy 2:24).
  22. My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires (James 1:19-20).
  23. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9).
  24. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Ephesians 4:29-32)

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/16/13

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Is Your Life a Lie?

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That Lie You're Living

http://awesomepictures.me/

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Never try to do anything that is outside of who you are. A forced smile is a sign of what feels wrong in your heart, so recognize it when it happens. Living a lie will reduce you to one.
Ashly Lorenzana

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Living a lie! Whether it is because we are choosing to remain closeted because of our own inner demons (which can range from fearing rejection because of sexual orientation all the way to the need of some people to act on what might be considered “unnatural” behaviors), living a lie defeats us and often renders us saddled with self loathing and guilt. And if there is any weapon that Satan enjoys using on the human race, it is GUILT! Not only can guilt make us feel dirty and unworthy, but it can also stand between us and our faith and seeing God’s love!

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The quote I included above is a prime example of living a lie. The woman quoted is someone with a brilliant mind. She is also a published author. It seems like her life must be easy, right? There can’t be any reason for her to live a lie, can there? The answer is YES! You see, Ashly is also a methamphetamine addict who supports her habit by prostituting herself….all begun when she listed her self services on a famous buy and sell website, in the now defunct “Erotic Services” section. Prostitution was all she knew, after all, having modeled her behavior after her mother. And it was through notebooks she wrote that chronicled her life, that “Sex, Drugs & Being an Escort” was conceived and given life. And still, despite some success because of her talent outside of the bedroom, her life path has not altered one iota and she seems content with her choices. But I doubt most of us could say the same thing!

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The Bible talks of two types of guilt. The first is what might be termed as “Godly”, because it is the guilt of someone whose heart understands the wrongness of the act. This guilt finds the sinner whose life is a lie, choosing repentance and seeking forgiveness for their transgression. It is the guilt talked about in 2 Corinthians 7:10 ESV, “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” This is the guilt whose stain is wiped clean by the sacrifice made by Christ on the cross, and this is how we mend this life of living a lie!

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The second guilt is more insidious. It is the guilt where our actions are condemned on all fronts by those who desire to torment us by holding our sins out for all to see! It is a guilt that erodes our sense of self. We feel ashamed and dirty and unworthy. And it robs us of our capacity to turn to faith and God. It is the same guilt that caused Adam and Eve to seek to clothe themselves in the garden. Genesis 3:7 NLT, “At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” It is the guilt that is heaped upon us by the father of all lies…one who has opened the door of torment for the sole by intentionally trapping us in the mire of our own self loathing!

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The solution is an easy one but it is also a choice we must make. If we allow ourselves to be made victims of Satan, then victims it all we will ever be. We will never know the joy and love and peace that can be ours if we choose to live and act using our conscience and best judgement, and it is what we are promised if we but take that first step away from our life of lies! Isaiah 43: 25 ESV says it best. “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake and I will not remember your sins.” Now if God can find a way to forgive us our transgressions, why can’t we?

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Remember the words that Jesus tells us, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

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The first days of a brand New Year have passed, and while it may be hard to believe, there are still people living in the area devastated by Superstorm Sandy that remain without power! Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer from the effects of horrific event. Please consider sending a Gift Card to the following organization. A thousand cards have been distributed since November but millions more are needed. Give as much as you can, as often as you can! Your gift might just mean a family who has lost everything might just have something to smile about!

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Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
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For information, visit
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