Monthly archives: July, 2016

Forgive and Forget

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Forgiving equals forgetting…right?  Isn’t that the cliché?  Well, it may not be the right thing. Forgiveness is, however, such a huge part of our spiritual walk with Jesus. It’s essentially the foundation of the story of Jesus, as He died on the cross to forgive our sins.  How could we ever repay him for what he did for us?

In practical terms, forgiving someone is choosing to let go of someone’s offenses, and not holding it against them. However, that doesn’t mean that we will forget someone’s offenses. If we simply forgot someone’s offense, there really isn’t a need for forgiveness. While we are instructed not to keep a record of someone else’s wrongs, the act of forgiving can be very freeing in our own heart and mind. Holding on to emotions such as anger, bitterness, and malice, can do more damage to ourselves as we hold it inside. When we hold grudges, we create a barrier between our hearts, and God.

One of our favorite verses in the Bible is Luke 23:34 “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” What did Jesus mean when he said that on the cross? The soldiers that stoned Jesus, had no idea who he was. Jesus prayed that they be forgiven, in spite of who they were unknowingly crucifying. He paid for it all, in spite of our sins.  Jesus demanded we forgive others, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Forgiving someone that has wronged you is very hard, and it can often take a long time to achieve. Sometimes just saying the words “I forgive you”, can take a load off our hearts and open them up to receive more of what God wants our hearts to be filled with. Try it with a friend, a co-worker, and even your spouse! Even if the person doesn’t ask for it, or deserve it, just do it.  See how your heart feels afterwards!

 

 

David and Beth Moss have been married for just over 4 years. David in an insurance executive and has three children from a previous marriage. Beth has been teaching kindergarten for fourteen years.  Together, they have two cats, a dog, a bearded dragon, fish, and they love to travel the country! They hope to be expanding their family very soon!

 

David Moss

 

 


Loving Our Mad World

 

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Our headlines over the past several weeks describe scenes of rage and utter chaos. Our hearts grieve the pain and loss of life. Our emotions over current events range from grief to anger. People are set against other people – group against group, religion against religion, race against race, party against party, country against country. We live in one seemingly mad world.

 

We often feel that surely someone should do something; but when considering what part we could have in contributing to the solution to such madness, we feel inept. This leaves us with more anger that we seem to be stuck. The problems feel way too big for us to come close to impacting positively, so we do nothing. And doing nothing adds to making things worse.

 

You’re right. We are not single-handedly going to stop a Turkish coup. Give ISIS what it deserves. Turn around the political non-sense between parties. Cool tensions between races.

 

But, here’s where we CAN do to make a difference. At the risk sounding like a huge Christian cliché, I say that we are called to be gentle in this angry world. We are called to love.

 

Stay with me.

 

We are called to be patient. We are called to be kind. We are called to not envy what others have. We are called to encourage. We are called to be humble. We are called to honor – put each other first. We are called to be selfless. We are called to forgive. We are called to not lie, but be truthful. We are called to protect each other. We are called to not be suspicious, but to trust. We are called to not be hopeless as we stare at the ugly face of evil, but hopeful. We are called to persevere; to not give up on our desire to make this a better world. We are called to be gentle and not angry in an easily angered world.

 

Just think of the altered outcomes of so many situations over the last few weeks had these traits been integrated. Although we cannot change what already has been, I want to say we can change what happens every day forward in our world around us. Fellow Christ-followers, with God’s strength, we have the power to change what we see. Change what we are. Change what we pass down to our children.

 

How about you and me? Are we fueling or squelching the flames of anger around us? “When the world is on fire, we look inside and see if we’ve lit a match.” – Jen Hatmaker

 

May any anger we feel only make us more determined to make the world a better place. Let it be what propels us to love those around us with fierce, unconditional, Jesus kind of love. May our soft answers turn away all kinds of wrath.

Don’t give in to worry or anger; it only leads to trouble. – Psalm 37:8


I’m Going To Be Better At This Than You Are! (And God Wants Me To)

 

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Competition.

Whether we realize it or not, even as adults, we are all a part of a little competition every day. In one way or another, there are moments that we try to outdo each other. Just think about it with me.

We try to outdo our neighbors by having the better looking house. The most precisely manicured yard. The grandest Christmas light display. We try to outdo our co-workers by getting the promotion. Getting the corner office. The accolade. The boss’ compliment. The job title.

We try to outdo our Facebook friends by looking like we have the better summer vacation. The bigger boat. The faster 26.2. The best dressed kids. The cutest pet. The happier looking family.

Sure there are times when there’s “healthy” competition. A little fun and games never hurt anyone, but making it a practice to try to outdo those around us in areas that are futile really is a waste of our time.

So is there a time that trying to outdo each other is a good thing? Yes, I’m so glad you asked! Paul tells us to, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10 – ESV)

Honor has several synonyms: “esteem, respect, pay homage to, assigning value to.” The Greek word translated “honor” in our English Bibles, timao, means “to prize, fix a valuation upon; by implication, to revere” (Strong’s Concordance). Showing honor, then, means treating another respectfully because we value them highly.

Can you imagine if we tried to “outdo” each other at showing honor? What would that look like in everyday life? It might look like when you’re at a restaurant or place of business, being overly courteous and tip generously when appropriate. When you have the opportunity, let someone go ahead of you in line (yes, this includes when driving, too!). Hold the door open for people. What if you saved the last piece of dessert for your husband or filled up your wife’s gas tank? Pause and be creative. I’m sure you’ll come up with more ideas if you’re intentional. These are just seemingly small things that really do show the kind of love and honor that is talked about in 1 Corinthians 13 (Love is not rude…it honors).

“Living with honor reminds us of who we really are, who God is, and how much He loves those around us. When we place our selfish egos on the altar of honor, we become aware of the value that God places on each and every life, including our own. Honor is a gift you give freely.” – Craig Groeschel, Altar Ego

Leslee and family

Leslee has been married to her elementary school sweetheart, Jeff, for 21 years. They have two children: Lauren and Garrison and one adorable dog, Potato. Their family loves taking walks, traveling, going to Disney World and just about anything that allows them to spend time together.