Monday, April 26, 2010


I can't count the number of times I've read this over the last couple weeks.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
- Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)

"Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." There it is! What else is there to say? It's a requirement. You MUST forgive others. The end. There are no conditions to said forgiveness or circumstances in which it's an option. Forgive.

"Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you." I read that and start throwing out excuses. Man, that's not easy. And right now, I just don't want to. I'm mad. I'm still hurt. Look how I was wronged. Oh, but wait a minute...I start to hear God screaming, "IT ISN'T ABOUT YOU!"  

"Remember, the Lord forgave you..." That's right, He sure did. And look what I've done to hurt Him and wrong Him and upset Him. I promise you it was more than once...and I promise you it was much bigger than any wrong that will ever be done to me, any hurt that I will ever feel, or any anger that's stirred inside my being.

That's why God is God and I am not! His response to everything I've done is mercy and kindness and gentleness and patience and LOVE. He doesn't look my junk. He's FORGIVEN me. To Him, I appear perfect and without fault. How do you even begin to wrap your head around that one.

And that's the kind of love and forgiveness I am ordered to extend to someone who has "offended" me?

Well God, fill me with that love. Make me able to forgive. Let me be merciful. Humble my prideful heart and stubborn mind. Give me words and thoughts and actions that speak kindness and gentleness and nothing more.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Trial & Error...

I said this in some sort of joking manner...and in reference to photography, but in all reality I use the "trial and error" method all too often. It hit me as soon as I clicked send. I suppose using this approach to certain things may work. I, however, wouldn't recommend it as a means by which to live life. Now...if I could just take my own advice from the previous sentence I'd be in much better shape.

Although, if I were to be completely honest, my method isn't really "trial and error"'s more like "trial and error and re-trial and same error and re-re-trail and saaame error..." on and on and on. Then, I usually end just up feeling hurt or saddened or defeated. You'd think I'd learn, right? 

The first time you try touching a hot stove is usually the last time you try touching a hot stove, is it not? That will cause a decent amount of pain and teach a lesson awfully quick. But I'm willing to bet that at some point in time, before touching that hot stove, someone told you not to. Maybe they'd touched it themselves and been burned, maybe they'd watch someone else touch it and get burned, or maybe they were just passing along a message they'd heard. Either way, there was warning or instruction or advice...however you want to look at it.

Okay, so life is a little more complicated than whether or not you burn your finger on a stove, but  I guess you could draw some parallels. Like that person warning you not to touch the stove...what if that 'person' was the God of the universe! The one who created you! The who created everything, ever! The one who loves you more than you could ever understand! What if He cared for you so much that He wanted to protect you from that hurt and that pain? And I don't mean a blister on the tip of your finger. I mean the pain that comes from an addiction, a break-up, a job loss, a shame-filled past, anger, hatred, loneliness, jealousy or whatever it is that makes you ache. Whatever is it!

He's given all of us all the warning, instruction, and advice we could ever need. His word is sufficient for each of those purposes.  But without reading those pages or opening our hearts to hearing what God is trying to tell us, we're stuck with our method of "trial and error".

So, maybe it isn't the most convenient thing in the world and maybe it takes time, but God will show you a clear path and an unmistakable plan if you are just willing to read the instructions and listen to His warnings. 

I wish I could, but I just can't explain the amazing joy I feel when, instead of trying to do things my way and ending a situation with an "error", I choose to be obedient and the situation ends with the feeling of being pleasing and glorify to the most high God!

So...thank you Lord. Thank you for your word and your love and your open, merciful arms that we can always, always run to!           

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Need A Little Help...

Not too long ago, I wrote a little bit about my friend Eric getting into housing, which is still so exciting to me! But there is some more AWESOME news...another friend, Mike, ended up getting into the same apartment building the following week! What's really neat about where they have ended up is it is literally a couple blocks from the evening service my church just started...and both Mike and Eric have gone to church with me the last couple weeks! I have no doubt that me meeting them under a a bridge almost a year ago, our friendships, and their new apartments are nothing short of God's doing! :)

Last week after church a friend and I went over to check out the apartments and we've put together a list of what they still need to get them going! So, if you've got anything on the lists or anything else you think may be useful, please let me know. 

Mike's List
Recliner/Living Room Chair
Coffee Table
Small Kitchen Table & Chairs
Trash Can
Mini Blinds (I Have Measurements)
Dish Soap
Laundry Soap/Dryer Sheets
Cleaning Products
Groceries (I Have A Small List)
Light Bulbs

Eric's List
Small Kitchen Table & Chairs
Mini Blinds (I Have Measurements)
Area/Throw Rugs
Full Size Bed Frame
Tacks/Nails (For Hanging Pictures On Plaster Walls)
Mop & Floor Cleaner
Desk/Office Supplies (Tape, Paper, Etc.)
Ice Cube Trays
Light Bulbs

Mini Blinds: Dining Room - (2) 25x57; Living Room (2) 33x57, (1) 38x57; Bedroom (2) 37x57

Feel free to e-mail me for more information! Thank you so much from the guys and from me! :)