Just Give Me Jesus

Today at A Holy Experience we are writing about: The Practice of New Habits

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Jesus

This is the time of the year when I, like so many others, think about habits. Resolutions. Disciplines. What will my priorities be for 2013? It can all seem so overwhelming. By nature, I tend to be an organized person. I make lists and I try to accomplish all the things that are on those lists, but to do lists are easier to complete than habits, or more so, change.

Change. I’m not sure how I feel about that word. It is uncomfortable, it makes me worry.  What if I make a mess of things? Worse yet, what if I fail?

So, with those thoughts in mind, I set out to see what God says about habits.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV My strength comes not from me. I know myself all too well. I give up, become frustrated, throw in the towel. My strength in life comes from the One who never tires, who is a wonderful encourager and knows my faults yet still loves me.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2 ESV —There are times when I feel guilty because I don’t spend enough time meditating on God’s word. I need to not only read more, but truly think about what I read, after all this Word is God’s letter to me.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galations 6:9 ESV– Don’t give up doing the right thing. Not the easiest thing…not the most available thing…but, the right thing. How do I know what is right and good? Go back to God’s word (previous verse). What would please Him? How can I do things with, and in, my life that would glorify Him and edify others?

 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 ESV–Grow in grace. Grace, that amazing grace. It is a wonderful thing. Each day, as a believer in Christ Jesus, I live in that grace. What a privilege to be able to grow in that grace and knowledge of Jesus. I forget that sometimes. It is easy to do, take it for granted, not fully comprehend. A grace filled life, does not mean perfection, nor does it mean a perfect life…but, it is a humbling experience.

I want to live my days in thankfulness to the One that knows no bounds.

My desire this year, is to grow closer to Him.

Just give me Jesus.






My B-I-B-L-E

It’s cover has faded from a rose pink to more of a faded blush. The once new leather, is now soft to the touch. There is only a faint bit of silver

Cover for a NIV Bible

left on the embossed letters of my name. The binding is broken, and the books of Ephesians through 1 Peter have to continually be tucked back in. There are pages that have tape and creases that can’t be fixed. It’s not really much to look at anymore…….

And yet, it is one of my most prized possessions.

This Bible of mine, is precious to me. It is personal. It is real…. from God to me. It’s a law book, a life manual, a treasure trove of wisdom, an adventure story,  a romance, and an autobiography. The past, the present and the future collide in a heart pounding, mind blowing, life changing book.

I write in my Bible. Some would reprimand me for this. Others would say that they do the same. Regardless, if anyone were to pick up my Bible they would see my life story mingled among the pages of God’s Word,  laid out before their eyes.

Notes scribbled in margins, words from various pastors. Quotes that meant something to me. Questions next to particular verses. The baptism of my son in 2002. The death of my late husband in 2000. Scripture underlined for emphasis. Other words boldly highlighted. The Wednesday night service after 9/11 happened….when I was crying and didn’t understand. Other times I wrote my thoughts when the words deeply resonated with me. I added my wedding date to my second husband. I had written in margins, words that reminded me that, although life might not have gone according to MY plans, life is still good and God continues to be Sovereign. I am blessed. Really, blessed. Far beyond what I deserve.

Above all else, my Bible reminds me that I love a God who did not create me and then leave me forever.

He is coming back for me.

It won’t be over. It will just be beginning.

And I can’t wait to read that next chapter.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 109:105  NIV

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Today I am thankful for:

* bright glowing, fiery sunrise

* morning quiet

* late summer coolness in the air

* purring cats

* a new school year

* being able to teach

* helping others

* a car that runs

* A God who is involved

* Jesus who is preparing a place

* laughter

* birds swooping through the sky

* a clean dining room table

* getting a good deal at the store

* a happy sister

* good kids

* a husband who reminded me that we are “stuck” together for as long as we both shall live

* fresh eggs from my own chickens

* looking forward to family visiting

* life

Are You Freed By Forgiveness?

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Today at A Holy Experience, we continue to discuss forgiveness…..not an easy subject for me. I considered just skipping this post today, but changed my mind. There might be someone out there that needs to hear what I have to say.

As one who loves to write and who has made it a life long habit to put my thoughts into words, I would like to share this excerpt from one of my many journals.

These words echo back to me, from a journal that I kept for an entire year after my first husband died. A decade ago, but I remember writing this as if it were yesterday. The last page of the journal, and it frees me as much today as it did back then.

” November 21, 2001

…… I choose this day to forgive you for lying to me.

I forgive you for hurting me. You were wrong in doing that.

There was no excuse for your behavior, but it is in the past and I am going on.

I choose to learn from the past.

I choose to put my future totally in the Lord’s hands.

I choose not to be bitter and hardened by my experiences.

I will live my life and be content….

I forgive you even now.”

Forgiving is freeing.

It is liberating.

And it is necessary.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”  Matthew 18:21-22 NIV

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Are you freed by forgiveness?