And Jesus said, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Sometimes we pray and pray and then pray some more, but do we know what we are asking Jesus to do for us?

I am often praying for forgiveness.  Forgive me for this, forgive me for that, forgive my sin from yesterday, forgive my sin from 15 years ago, etc.  This morning I was praying for forgiveness for something yet again, and I thought to myself or He said, “I have forgiven you, and I will forgive you again, and I will continue forgiving you as many times as you request to be forgiven, but when will you release your sin and give it to Me?”

When will I release my sin, when will I give it to Him?  He has already accepted it, He has already died for it, but have I let it go and actually given it to Him by accepting His forgiveness?

Have I become comfortable wallowing in my sin, remembering it, begging forgiveness and then returning to wallow in the comfort  of being an unforgiven sinner yet again?  I am not sure…. maybe?  I am not saying that we shouldn’t be praying for and begging for forgiveness often and more than once, but I think I have been missing a very crucial part to this prayer, a prayer asking Jesus to help me release my sin, give it to Him and enter the unknown territory of forgiven sinner by accepting His forgiveness.

Sweet Lord, sweet Savior, sweet Jesus I am in awe as I see Your amazing work more clearly than ever before through more specific and focused prayers.  I want each beat of my heart to be filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for You and I beg You to please keep opening our eyes to our sins so that we can beg forgiveness, repent and release our sin to You!

The Ancient Paths

Just as impurities should be removed from the original metals during the process of making an alloy to increase the strength and durability of the alloy (the new metal), our impurities should be cleansed and removed before He melts our hearts into one new heart through marriage.

If our hearts are full of impurities, then how can we ever hope for our new heart to be strong.  These impurities will cause our new heart to be brittle, weak, and easily damaged requiring constant attention and surgical repair.

Sweet Lord, we have neglected the need to seek cleansing and purification through reflection, prayer, fasting and confession before the many celebrations of our lives, but most of all before our marriages.  We have turned the time of engagement and preparation into yet another party rather a time of reflection, prayer and a time to seek You.  Please forgive us and help us seek the ancient paths, where the good way lies.

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus says the Lord:  Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.

Forgiven!

A father will always forgive a son!

This is why Jesus had to literally bear our sins for each sin to be forgiven.   His Father forgave each and every sin only when they became His.  If we try to seek forgiveness from the Father without Jesus, the sin remains ours.  If we offer it to Jesus, Jesus will accept it as His and the sin will be forgiven by Jesus’ Father because Jesus is His Son and a father will always forgive a son!

Maybe this is why we can only come to the Father through Jesus, through the loving relationship of a father for a son!

He is the way!

Thank You Jesus!

Tonight as He bleeds…

On this night our Lord will pray in the garden of Gethsemane, suffering in agony as He prays to the point of sweating blood.

What was flashing through His mind in those moments?  What caused Him such great emotional pain  that He physically sweat blood?

Maybe as He knelt there praying, life flashed before His eyes, but instead of seeing His own life, He saw all of our lives flash before His eyes. Our lives became His as He lived each of our lives in His mind, in those moments.  He saw every sin each of us has ever committed as His own sin.

He watched Himself committing these grievous, selfish, terrible and sinful acts. God, His Father, watched Him committing these grievous, selfish, terrible, and sinful acts.

He literally, physically, emotionally, and mentally bore our sins, and yes, I believe watching Himself commit our sins made Him sweat blood.

He Himself bore our sins… – Peter 2:24

Oh my Jesus…  please forgive us, thank You, please forgive us, thank You, please forgive us, thank You, thank You, thank You…

In a flash…

I know Christmas is coming and we are preparing to celebrate His birth, but over the last few weeks all of my thoughts have been of Him in the garden of Gethsemane, suffering in agony to the point of sweating blood.

What was flashing through His mind in those moments?  What could cause such great emotional pain that it transferred into physically sweating blood?

Maybe as He knelt there praying He had a moment of life flashing before His eyes.   Instead of seeing His own life, He saw all of our lives flash before His eyes as His life.  As He lived each of our lives in His mind, He saw every sin each of us has ever committed, but instead of seeing us He saw Himself committing these grievous, selfish, terrible acts.

He Himself bore our sins… – Peter 2:24

Thank You, forgive me, and I love You seem to be the only prayers that come to mind when I think of His agony.

Say it!

Have you ever been flipping through the channels and come across the end of a preacher’s sermon as he asks you to accept Jesus into your life?

When I was little I was in the kitchen eating a snack and a preacher was on our TV.  I started watching and became quite engrossed in the show.  At the end he asked everyone who truly believed to stand up and say it.  I stood up right there in the kitchen and said it. I was little, but I truly believed it in my heart.

Am I saved, am I filled with the Holy Spirit?  Many would say yes you are saved and this is all that must be done, but in the many years since this incident I fallen over and over again.  I have let false gods dominate my life many times, even now.  I have wandered far from God to the point that I have completely forgotten about Him for long periods of my life.

Yet through all of this, I have come full circle and again believe the answer to this is a resounding Yes!  I have strayed far, but looking back I see that Jesus has brought me back.  I have fallen, but looking back I see that Jesus has picked me up. I have sinned and still sin often, but so gently Jesus shows me my sin helps me to see how it is an assault against Him, a thorn in His head, a slash on His body and a nail in His hand, and I know any desire to repent and change is inspired by Him for me.

For almost 3 years I have been asking you to say, live and believe “It is our best life” with full faith that if we do this then it will be!

I am now asking you again with full faith to literally say (Out Loud)

Dear God I know I’m a sinner and I want Your forgiveness!
I believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for my sins. 
Please wash me clean from all sin, shame, and guilt.
Jesus come into my life to be my Lord and Savior.
I ask this in your name Jesus. 
Amen!

If you pray this prayer or another prayer of surrender from your heart then I believe it is not the end of your story resulting in an immediate and easy road to your salvation, but instead the beginning of your part, your role to be played, within God’s great story in The Book of Life with Jesus as your Lord, your Savior, your Friend, your Beloved!

Say it out loud my friends!  We can’t even imagine the awesome power that our God has entrusted us with even before we decide to follow Him.

I have forever struggled with how God selected the names within The Book of Life.  Why would my name be written instead of anyone else’s name, how could He choose one child over another?  As I have written this blog, I think I am finally starting to understand!

He has given us the power to add our names to The Book of Life. Through a prayer of surrender, we surrender our individual stories that we have been writing and we add our names to His book so He can begin writing our stories within the grand story of His Book, The Book of Life!

One moment at a time…

The other morning I fell yet again.

It was the one day of the month when parents can walk their children to their classrooms, see their artwork and help them unpack and get ready for their school day.

The girls were eating slow, laughing a lot and having a ball at breakfast.  I interrupted their little party to tell them them to hurry up.  It didn’t phase them, they kept enjoying their breakfast and each others company.  I rushed them again and again they continued to slowly enjoy their breakfast and their sweet little jokes.  Then I continued complaining about the fact that we were leaving 10 min later than I wanted to leave while brushing their teeth, getting their socks on and urging them into their shoes.  At one point I asked my youngest to please put her shoes on and she started laughing at me and told me that I had already put them on for her.

When we finally arrived at school, I realized that we had forgotten their folders.  My sweet oldest was finally upset.  She is so studious and organized and was very upset about coming to school without her folder.  I felt so bad, but even in the midst of my guilt I didn’t say the right thing.

After getting them to their rooms, I ran home to get their folders.  I then waited at the office while my oldest came to pick up her folder and I finally apologized for being so impatient earlier that morning.

As we hugged she whispered “I forgive you” into my ear.

I think I have finally realized that God did not make me the mother of these three sweet little blessings because of anything I have done, but instead because how strong they are to withstand all of my mistakes and because of everything I still have to learn about patience, goodness, forgiveness and love from them.

God thank You for Your forgiveness every time I fall and thank You for these three blessings in my life who so willingly forgive me as You do!

Please continue to open my eyes to all of their wonderful teachings and keep reminding me to slow down and take everything one moment at a time!

Who is in the way?

I joined a gym recently and a few weeks ago I took a body combat class.  It was a great class, but I didn’t like focusing on an imaginary opponent.

About halfway through the class I decided that my opponents would be some of my own personal vices.  With each punch or kick I focused on pushing out things I don’t like about myself and then tried breathing in virtues I would like to replace them with.

By the end of class it finally hit me…

Imagine standing in a room surrounded by mirrors.  As the mirrors reflect back on each other their reflections go to infinity, but as you look you can only glimpse the edges of infinity because YOU are in the way.

I am my only obstacle.

The only way to truly follow our sweet Jesus is to get out of our own way, deny ourselves.

For every wrong done to us I think we need to recall a wrong that we have done to another and then suffer through that memory rather than stew over what has been done to us.  I don’t think it is easy and I think this is just the first step, but the only way to get anywhere is by taking the first step.

Jesus thank You for waiting so patiently to take this first step and every other step along the way by our sides!