January 30, 2018 – Forgiveness
Sometimes we find it hard to forgive, especially if someone has hurt us deeply. Whether it is a superficial, emotional wound or an actual, physical injury caused by another person, we are a race of people who tend to hold onto every negative experience we have had.
Some of us feed on the negativity of our hurts. We milk others for sympathy. We make others feel guilty about something they may have done or said in a moment of weakness or anger, and we harvest that guilt and often bring it out to hold over their heads when we think they need to be reminded.
For years I hung onto the negative things from my past life, often reliving them in my mind, over and over again. I wanted vengeance, I deserved retribution, or I thought I did. I needed to get even with those that hurt me, I wanted to hurt them back, often going over scenarios in my mind on how I could get even with them.
But as time passed, so did any opportunities to hurt someone. I had to weigh the consequences of what my actions might cause. Even so, I still hung onto that need to remember and relive every hurtful word or event.
Then I met Jesus. Then I released all my pain, all my sorrow, all my need for vengeance. Today I am thankful that through him I have learned to forgive.
Mark 11:25 – And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
January 31, 2018 – Home
I have lived in many houses during my life, some good, some not so good. I’ve lived with other families, with friends, with relatives and loved ones and by myself. I never considered any of them a permanent home. I never thought of any of those places as where I would stay for the duration of my time on earth.
There is a saying that I have heard many times “Home is where your heart is”. Many people believe that it means home is where you came from, where you grew up at or where your family originated. For many that would mean that their home is in another country or state and for others it may be just across town.
I was born in Chicago, but it was not and is not my home. I was raised for a good part of my childhood in Colorado but it is was not and is not my home. I lived in Ohio for many years, spent a year in Vermont, eight months in Arizona and five years in Florida, but they were not my home.
I live in Missouri now and I love it, but as I have gotten more and more into reading God’s word, I realize that even though I call it home, it is only temporary. Home is where Jesus is waiting. It is in Heaven for now, but someday it will be here on earth. Home is where your heart is and today I am thankful that some day I will be in my true home with Jesus.
February 1, 2018 – Friends
I was an introvert when I was young. I was never really good at making friends. Sure, I wanted to be accepted by other kids in school, especially the “cool” ones, the popular ones, but I didn’t fit in with them.
I was a “nerd”, often the only one in my classes that received awards for Merit Roll, Honor Roll, Deans List, Presidents List and Citizenship, so I didn’t fit in with the popular kids. Truly, it never bothered me much, for I lived in my own little world with a few friends and all my books.
As I grew older and made other friends, I found out that true friendship was hard to find. There didn’t seem to be very many people you could trust. Some hung around with you because on that particular day, they had no one else to hang around with, but as soon as their other friends came around, you were forgotten or talked about.
I’ve had people who called me friends, but mostly they did that for selfish purposes, usually on the job where I had some influence and they thought if they were friends with me it would be to their advantage.
Then I had my church friends, many who I looked up to when I became a Christian, only to discover that they were no different than the ones outside of church. Some were gossips, others were friendly just because that was the face they put on for everyone on Sunday.
But, over the years I have had some true friendships. I still have two life long friends from junior high. We’ve been friends for over 50 years – wow!! I never thought of that before. Over the years I have met some truly wonderful people and friendships have developed and grown. Today I am thankful for the trued friends I do have.