Sunday, March 28, 2010

Photo Catch up and Musical Things

So this past week I've been working hard to "clean out" my computer files. In doing so I realized that I had put a lot of my own person edits on the back burner, in order to keep up with my workflow. Actually my workflow has needed help as well!! I'm feeling like I'm getting a handle on things now.

Photography is a beautiful thing, however, until someone does the creative editing...they won't know at all what a photographer goes through. I sure didn't!! It requires a LOT of time. Now that I have established better workflow (and computer memory that can handle photoshop better) I'm getting better organized.

Last few nights I've worked hard and late into the early AM to get caught up on some of my own personal edits, as well as edits I've done for close friends. In doing so I came across a photo from months back.

This one below is where I practiced (one time lol) a technique called "reverse lens macro" or "poor man's macro". Which means...taking your lens, and turning it backwards...handholding it to your camera backwards to achieve a macro effect. There are also lens mounts you can is threaded so you can connect your lens backwards. It's a pretty neat thing, but if you do not have the lens mount it is quite tricky to focus. (quite frustrating too HAHA) But in a pinch for say a macro ring shot at a wedding, or snowflake on a's neat to do.

Here's my first attempt:

My subject was real patient (sleeping) but I wasn't. lol. I think I'll spend the few bucks to invest in the reverse mount ring before I fool with it much more.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well, for our son's birthday he received a "classical" guitar. Not just any guitar, but a very special guitar that used to be his grandfathers...he was affectionately called by his grandchildren, "GaGa". Our boy is graciously allowing his sis to learn on it as well. She's been taking piano for about a yr, but has always had a love of the strings; Violin and guitar.

She took electric guitar for about 6 mons a few yrs back, but we had to cancel lessons while husband did a chaplain residency. Also, electric guitar strings have nickel in them, which she is allergic to. Metals cause her to break out all over with skin rashes and itches.

The classical guitar on the other hand, has 3 nylon strings. You can even get ALL nylon strings and it will still have nice sound.

Right now she is doing alright with using the guitar we have (which has 3 nylon strings and 3 steel strings), because she is only practicing 5 mins at a time. In the beginning of learning guitar, you have to do a lot of 5 min practicing to build up those calluses on the fingertips. When she begins practicing more, we may need to purchase her a very inexpensive all nylon string guitar (they have them on ebay for like $35). Since she's had some guitar training, she is picking it up very quickly! She also has nice long fingers that are GREAT for playing instruments.

They're both even showing me a thing or two on guitar!!

We have a wonderful guitar instructor who is a christian and worship pastor here in the city where we reside. :) I'm staying focused with learning piano, and have a beautiful christian woman piano instructor. God is good!

Here is a photo of our girl practicing on guitar.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Sun, not Rain; Joy, not Happiness

Well the weatherman was calling for rain today in our area, but instead we got sun. YAY, I'm so glad!! We may get a late afternoon shower...right now I hear the birds singing because our windows are open. :))

A friend of mine had a photo shoot, and needed the natural light. So I hope all went well for her today. :)

The effects of the sun and the rain have been tangible ways for me to learn to overcome the spiritual and emotional aspects of my heart. Mainly differentiating between happiness and joy.

For instance; When it is rainy and cold for too many days, I "feel" down right depressed..not too happy! You know it too! haha! When it is sunny, I feel happy inside. :))) You know that too! (for those who know me well)

Joy is an expression...sometimes one of happiness, but not always. When I am joyful, it many not always be expressed outwardly in the happy exuberant way. I can have joy in the midst of painful or uncertain times...even if I don't express "happiness" outwardly. Most of the time I do express it though! :-D

After talking with a new friend (who is also a Pastor's wife), she shared something that really gave me a new perspective of happiness and joy. She shared that happiness and joy are really not the same thing.

Happiness is often times our moods, and feelings based on our situations effecting us. Whereas true joy is something only the Lord give us. It is that assurance and inner peace deep down that you know God is truly caring for us; that everything is going to be alright.

Being happy...or the expression of happiness can be an outward expression of joy. However, the outward expression of joy is not ALWAYS "happy looking". If that makes sense. One person can show outward expressions of grief and sadness, yet still have that inner peace of joy within that only comes from the Lord. Another person can show they're joy by exuberant praise! Both persons have joy, only expressing themselves differently.

It really helped me to hear this.

I'm learning to let myself off the hook more, and let others off the hook too. Sometimes I may not like a situation, or situations that have brought me great pain, disappointment, or sadness, but I've never lost my joy; my hope in Christ. I've always held on to Jesus, even if it is only by a thread at times! ;)

In the past, when I've not been able to express "happy happy-dancing and singing" all the time, I've felt guilty about that. I think sometimes christians believe you are supposed to walk around with a fake smile plastered on the face. I don't think people should walk around glum all the time. However, there are just sad times in our lives, there are HARD is OK to feel it and express it. God gave us these emotions!

My new friend and I talked about how Jesus was very sorrowful and sad at times during his walk on the earth. I mean, he actually sweated drops of blood from his emotions!! Yet, he still had joy and peace in knowing that He was doing the will of the Father God. He got frustrated, and even angry...there was still joy in doing the will of the Father. He was God in flesh, and still experienced and expressed His emotions. What makes us any better than Jesus, that we put pressure on ourselves and others to walk around trying to act like we are happy all the time...when we are not.

The Bible speaks to us in many scriptures about how in our weakness, in our sorrow, this is when GOD is STRONGest in our lives!

If we read the Psalms, not ALL of the writings are happy happy joy joy, but there is inner joy and peace in the writer as the common remaining thread throughout the scriptures. There were times that joy was expressed in "happy" ways...and there were times when David was down right distraught and sorrowful. He showed it AND spoke it! This is true of many of God's chosen in the Bible. Even though the change of emotions were expressed, God was always the sustaining joy and strength. I love that!

Through the years I've learned there is a lot of guilt that is carried for things that I shouldn't even feel guilty about! (like for taking a stand when people misunderstand and mistreat me, yet I end up carrying the guilt for it!!! ) Even though deep in my heart and spirit...I've got joy in knowing the truth...that Jesus and serving Him is my life!! Sometimes I'm just not happy about a situation or the way a person is behaving....or most of all how I am behaving!! It is OKAY! We all screw up! We say things we shouldn't, etc. If any person denies they ever do, then they are basically saying God is a liar...because when it comes down to it...we are ALL guilty with sin! No one is exempt. :)

Proverbs 20:9
9 Who can say, "I have kept my heart pure;
I am clean and without sin"?

1 John 1:7-9
7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

It could be a season of sadness or difficult times that God will walk with us through. If so, he will teach us things if we allow Him to do so (as we study God's Holy Bible and pray for Him to reveal truth). God will lovingly and patiently deal with us. The main thing is to be patient in loving ourselves and others through situations and circumstances. Everyone's time table is different. Especially God's timetable!

Job 6:8-10

8 "Oh, that I might have my request,
that God would grant what I hope for,
9 that God would be willing to crush me,
to let loose his hand and cut me off!

10 Then I would still have this consolation—
my joy in unrelenting pain (Job still had is JOY in the unrelenting pain)—
that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.

Psalm 94:18-20

18 When I said, "My foot is slipping,"
your love, O LORD, supported me.

19 When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.

John 16:21-23
21A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

Don't get me wrong...99% of the time the Bible is describing JOY as exuberant, happy, feet dancing...however, joy is still in the midst of the sadness and grieving times. Joy remains, even in times of hurtful times. Should we expect christians to walk around dancing and smiling all the time?? If they are sad, be sad with them and pray with them. See what God does! :)

John 11:33
33When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.

Romans 12:14-16
14Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Life's a Beach

This weekend we had a friend come visit us. It was such a nice surprise for us that she wanted to come and hang with us!! Yay!

Friday we took her to one of our favorite spots on the water of the Pamlico Sound. Then Sat we headed to the beach for the day.

We love Nags Head Beach, but have found a new wonderful spot that is even closer to our new place of residence. :) Our family plans to visit there as often as possible this summer! It is absolutely beautiful!!!

There is something about the beach, waves with the sea mist, lovely salt air winds...after being there, we return being relaxed and refreshed.

Would LOVE to live closer to the beach. Ahhhh! :)

Here are a few shots from our weekend.






Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Heart Language

Every Christian has their own personal relationship with Jesus. He IS the christian's BEST friend! :))) If we allow Him to be, He is truly our EVERYTHING!

Christians have their own personal way of communicating with the Lord...journaling, intercessory prayer, being still and quite, praying in tongues, dancing in the spirit, talking with him as if He is right there with us (after all, HE IS right there with us).

All of these ways of communicating our love to the Lord.

Most importantly, being in the word of God draws us nearer to Him, because HE IS the word. This is the most important thing we can do as christians. Stay in God's Holy word.

I am in the word of God regularly, and in prayer regularly. I've journaled in the past. However, my deepest communication with "heart" language to the Lord...especially during times when I don't even know how to pray or what to pray, is through worship and praise in song.

The Bible talks about how praise drives out the enemy. It changes the atmosphere! I turn on a praise song, or even get on my keyboard and play something that makes no sense to anyone else (keep in mind I have my headphones on. haha). Yet, it is my beautiful praise and cries to the Lord from the inner most places of my heart and emotions. I'm changed from who I was before sitting down at the keyboard. My mood may be very sad and grieving, but after my time of praise I'm so uplifted by the Lord! The presence of the Holy Spirit is so real during those times alone with God, and brings peace and clarity.

Why am I surprised? Most of the worship songs ARE scriptures made into songs. :) Pretty awesome!

Since I was a little girl, the Lord has called me into praise and worship through song. When I was as young as 6-7 yrs old, I would walk the streets of our neighborhood making up song to God, and singing them to Him. Since I was a little girl, I've also had this desire to learn piano.

For YEARS I've wrestled with the Lord concerning my calling. Saying to Him things like, "you don't want me, I'm not good enough, not smart enough...can't even read music! When I try to learn the music, it is like a jumbled mess and I end up picking it out by ear because I become so frustrated that my brain won't process it!

I've run from the responsibility of this calling for years. Seriously, it took me 10yrs (in my 20's) of being in choir before being brave enough to sing a solo, or even in a small ensemble. When it gets too difficult, I walk away from it all together. Sometimes for months, or years. Yet, God always brings it back to me.

I remember trying out at Mountain Grove Church, and how scared I was. At that time I had two children, and had been singing for several yrs at the previous church we had attended for almost 8 yrs. This was the first time I ever had to "try out".

God moved us to Mountain Grove as "stepping stones" for our family in ministry. The song I sang was "God Loves You". I sang it, walked off the stage, and said to God..."Ok, I did it, it is up to You if I make it because honestly...I think I did a TERRIBLE job!". Well, I not only made it, but the music minister asked me to sing for one of the first services to kick off our church's discipleship classes. It was a PACKED HOUSE that Wed night! Whew!! If that isn't God, I don't know what is!!! Only by HIS strength!! I know some of you out there know what I mean.

God places these huge callings, that we do not feel equipped at all to do, and it is a bit frightening when we are standing in the midst of a challenge that is wayyyyy bigger than ourselves!! That is how HE gets the glory though!

I'm getting pretty old now...42, and God keeps speaking to me in these past few weeks that NOW is the appointed time!! I'm hearing Him because I am diligently in HIS word, and truly believe it is time to quite living in fear, and quit playing games with God. He has been way patient with me!!!

It's like Moses, and so many in the Bible who did not feel adequate to be the mouthpiece of God. However, it is time for me to let go of all of the reasons why I can't do this. To quit walking in my old wounded ways. To get my heart right and rid of bitterness. To rid myself of anything that binds me and keeps me from my true calling. To rid myself of past mistakes and failures. To MOST of all, completely surrender to what God has for me in this calling. To be diligent to continue to "study to show myself approved", and not give up or give in.

These past weeks I've been studying music, and learning (together with my children even), about music. It has been a real blessing!!! Some of the sweetest times have been worshiping in our living room with David and the children...(and with a friend on occasion ;) They are all teaching me things and I LOVE It!!

I've learned 5 chords on guitar this week. Ouch, my fingers. haha! I now know over 40+ chords on the keyboard and will be learning more theory beginning next week. All of these things that have always seemed like GREEK to me, are coming together!! That is because GOD is doing it, and it isn't anything I personally can do in my own strength. I've got to commit the time to doing it...yet, God is redeeming the time!

I mean, there are people out there whose brains just SOAK these kinds of things up, who are naturally gifted and logical things come easy for them. Their brains remember things. There are some who have to work REAL hard, and can comprehend it, but have to really work HARD at it to grasp it. I'm neither one of these. The thing is, my brain does not comprehend or remember things well, and it does not process things well. I've got to work TWICE as hard as even that hardest working person to "get it"! My brain just processes things differently. That is OK, I'm not sad about that, it is just the way I'm wired. :) Nothing is too great for God though!! Nothing!!! Our whole family is a living testimony to this!

My husband and I are reading a book together that my friend Christina gave us. It is called "Lifestories" by Mark Hall (the lead singer of Casting Crowns). Who happens to have similar challenges. He actually entered as a MUSIC major at the Florida Baptist Theological Seminary in FL...without EVEN being able to read a single musical note. He did not even know how to spell the different terms of music. He only knew FOUR CHORDS!! Yet God called him. God chose and wanted him. Now look at what God has done through His amazing!

This is what it is all about!!! God using our "weaknesses", even failures to make us strong in HIM. God gets the greatest Glory in that!!! "So NO Man should be able to boast, except for boasting in what the LORD has done".

I think of how shaky the knees are when I sing, and how my voice shakes often times when starting out, however, when there is a true "letting go"...and GOD takes over in the moment..HE does something GREATER than myself!!!

THAT is when I think to myself. We cannot hold back ourselves, or others because we get into carnality and judge things by what we see or hear. God does something GREAT through weaknesses. We have to get out of the way, and see what God can do. I have to do this in my own life, and we as christians need to do this in the lives of others.

Sometimes what "we see and think" is not the bigger picture. So, who are we to deny another brother or sister of living their God dreams. He can redeem someone in the blink of an eye! It only takes ONE person to come along side someone, and let them know that they are not alone, and they are significant in Christ...that they are for us...but most of all GOD is for us!!

God can do this great thing in and through us! Even if the dream is much much bigger or better than you could ever be...when HE does it, HE shines and receives the greatest glory.

So, before we judge ourselves, or another person who says they are called by God in certain areas. We should step back out of the way, and just see what God does with a little encouragement. :) God is sooooo soooooooooooo awesome! It IS all about Him. When someone doesn't seem confident or knowledgeable enough...don't be so quick to judge. God may be doing His best work through what seems to appear to be the weakest of souls.

I love this about God! He's full of surprises and unexpected miracles!!

What is your Heart Language? What is your God calling? What is holding you back? Every calling is just as purposeful! From being a friend to the friendless, an encourager, a teacher, giving a cup of cold water in the name of Jesus (feeding the needy), or preaching from a pulpit! We are all ministers when done in the name of Jesus! He has a specific God purpose for us all!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

30 Mins with God

This morning's Bible study was so wonderful! Here are a few things Beth Moore shared:

From Beth Moore The Inheritance:
I love my children, husband so dearly...they are so precious to me. However, nothing...NOTHING matches 30 mins alone with God in His presence because...:

- He makes me different that I am. His presence is stronger than our moods, and only HE can truly turn them around in a matter of 30 mins of time getting alone with HIM and His word! No amount of positive thinking can do what change God can do in a matter of minutes!

-When I do my "self-loathing" thing, God is still willing to love me. When everything and everyone gives out on me, He still says, "I love you"...He NEVER gets tired of saying it either!

-He comforts me when people hurt my feelings.

-He convicts me and does not let me get away with any "bull". You cannot kid or get away with anything in your life when in the presence of God!

-He can take a scripture that is spoken or read, and give me a sense that He is speaking directly to me.

* I love that he loves us to love others! Especially if the others are the most unlovable to love!

There is so much I learned in this study today. One thing that "enlightened me" was...The LORD is my complete inheritance!! It isn't money, land, success, a successful position, or a name for is that HE, MY full full inheritance.

Under the old covenant...the inheritance is about land, riches, etc. to prove God's favor. In the NEW covenant...our inheritance is GOD himself! God is my strength and my portion forever and ever!!! I could be living in a van down by the river...and I am truly blessed and favored because JESUS is my portion and true inheritance!!! I love that!!! The "riches" are in HIS GLORY, not in "tangible" things!!!

I never "got that" until I heard her explain this in proper context. NOTHING does it like Jesus!!! No one can fill that void! He has to be more important then ANYTHING! :) Our plans become HIS and it isn't about money, success or fame. Those are "world view" mindsets.

She shared many scriptures, however this one REALLY touched my heart with the hot stick! I took this Psalm into my a way I've never done so before. I LOVE reading God's word in many translations. The Message translation is one of my favorites and I love how it reads here...

Psalm 73

An Asaph Psalm

1-5 No doubt about it! God is good— good to good people, good to the good-hearted.
But I nearly missed it,
missed seeing his goodness.
I was looking the other way,
looking up to the people
At the top,
envying the wicked who have it made,
Who have nothing to worry about,
not a care in the whole wide world.

6-10 Pretentious with arrogance,
they wear the latest fashions in violence,
Pampered and overfed,
decked out in silk bows of silliness.
They jeer, using words to kill;
they bully their way with words.
They're full of hot air,
loudmouths disturbing the peace.
People actually listen to them—can you believe it?
Like thirsty puppies, they lap up their words.

11-14 What's going on here? Is God out to lunch?
Nobody's tending the store.
The wicked get by with everything;
they have it made, piling up riches.
I've been stupid to play by the rules;
what has it gotten me?
A long run of bad luck, that's what—
a slap in the face every time I walk out the door.

15-20 If I'd have given in and talked like this,
I would have betrayed your dear children.
Still, when I tried to figure it out,
all I got was a splitting headache . . .
Until I entered the sanctuary of God.
Then I saw the whole picture:
The slippery road you've put them on,
with a final crash in a ditch of delusions.
In the blink of an eye, disaster!
A blind curve in the dark, and—nightmare!
We wake up and rub our eyes....Nothing.
There's nothing to them. And there never was.

21-24 When I was beleaguered and bitter,
totally consumed by envy,
I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox
in your very presence.
I'm still in your presence,
but you've taken my hand.
You wisely and tenderly lead me,
and then you bless me.

25-28 You're all I want in heaven!
You're all I want on earth!
When my skin sags and my bones get brittle,
God is rock-firm and faithful.
Look! Those who left you are falling apart!
Deserters, they'll never be heard from again.
But I'm in the very presence of God—
oh, how refreshing it is!
I've made Lord God my home.
God, I'm telling the world what you do!

Thank you Beth Moore for being obedient to share what God puts on your heart to share. If you haven't done this study, "The Inheritance" should get a group of gals together to do this! :)

God, you are truly ALL I want!! Love your daughter, Jenn

Hurt People, Hurt People

I've been thinking a lot about sermons my pastor preached back home. Oh how we miss him!!! He's an amazing man of God, not perfect, but loves the Lord. He does his best to encourage.

One thing he shared that was so profound to me, and that I've found to be so true in my own life is:
"Hurt People, Hurt People"!

I've tried to do my best to remember this phrase over the years. There have been so many times in my life that I've hurt people or people have hurt me. Sometimes it was intentional or a reaction out of hurt, sometimes it wasn't intentional at all, however often times was "born" out of hurt.

A wise friend said recently on her Facebook that we must deal with our past, so it won't effect our future. I've shared this kind of statement in the past as well...but wasn't really "living it" myself.

In past weeks I've been asking God to rid me of my painful past. To show me the areas I need to allow Him to touch with his healing touch.

Also, I always keep in mind....when I hurt someone or someone hurts me, to remember that it isn't always about me. It is most often times coming out due to some pretty painful stuff in the heart.

So, instead of reacting, I pull back, sort of lick my wounds, and pray for them and for me. I remember that actions toward me are not about me, but about the pain in their heart coming off. Same with me, I've got to examine my heart when I hurt people.

"Hurt People, Hurt People". So remember this, and try to look past "the masks" of pain then next time you are wounded by someone else. :)

I'm doing a Beth Moore Bible study called, "The Inheritance"! It is such a wonderful Bible Study and God is revealing more of His heart to me through the scriptures she is sharing through it. Such a great group of women who are willing to be open and real.

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Beginnings

Here I am on the blog again. Don't really have time for it, but making time because it is good for me to write and blog. Sort of a silent "therapy". Plus, I do not really like putting personal things on my business photography blog. I must confess, that while I enjoy writing and sharing, I'm not real good with keeping up with everyone's blogs.

I'll begin with totally random thoughts here:

I've had my thoughts on "New Beginnings" in past weeks.

A new day for me some time back, was realizing and feeling totally relaxed with who I am in Christ, the good, the bad and the ugly of it...mainly learning that I don't have to PLEASE everyone!! I should be most concerned with pleasing God first!

All of my life I've been a "people pleaser". Not any more. I don't know if it is old age, or just pure deliverance from the Lord, but these days I am into pleasing God and not people. As I've come to this place in my life, a few things are brought to my being a word of advise that our pastor from back home gave to David and I...

Out of 100% of the people in your life...20% will love you no matter what you say or do wrong. They are FOR you and will love and support you unconditionally. Even if you say or do something wrong, they will be quick to forgive and still be an encouragement in your life. 20% of the people will come against you not matter what. They will stir up trouble intentionally. No matter what, they are going to be offended by most everything you say, and find fault in everything you do. They are quick to judge, will keep records of wrongs and try to keep you manipulated, held down and oppressed. You could try and try to make things right with them, but underneath the surface they will always be seething about something you've done. (and aren't we all at times??)

60% of the people are totally undecided. This is a HUGE percentage of people in our lives that we brush arms with that we can impact...especially as christians. This is the larger that we can impact for Christ in a positive way. These are the people who observe us, who are casual acquaintances, who haven't really made a sure thought about us either way. However, we are influencing them. It maybe be for positive or negative.

Our pastor back home, Cliff Black, is a wise man. He told this "percentage thing" to David and I many years ago...when God was calling us to service. These words have never left me, and always come back to remembrance through the years.

He further said to us that we spend 75% of our time wasting our energy to change the minds of the 20% of negative oppressors in our lives! He said preachers spend this same percentage of energy on sermons to "preach to" those negative try to get them to "see the light" of the error of their ways. Or, to try to get them "won over". :)

So his advise? Live your life sold out to Christ, be who you are, speak (or preach) your convictions, and live to impact the 60% who are undecided...who are open to knowing/learning the truth about Christ or truth about who you are. :)

It is just an interesting dynamic that I believe to be so true in my life, and have observed to be true in others.

I'm pretty open about my feelings and thoughts...very straightforward too. Which is ME, and MY choice. People may not like that I am so open with my life, and put myself out there. People may actually hate this about me. That is their problem, not mine. :-D

I will do what God puts on my heart to do. I'm going to live my life in the way God is leading me. Whether it seems right or wrong to someone else, it is something I will work out with the Lord. I love Him, I'm in His word, and He will work out any and all of my imperfections as I draw near to Him.

Also, I'm not going to quit sharing just because something I share "might" offend someone else. Because seriously, there are people out there who are going to get offended by anything and everything (remember the 20% who is going to do this no matter what???)

That is how I feel about it, and guess if others can't handle what I share, then they need to move on to other blogs, or don't read mine. :)

It is time for New Beginnings in my life!

God has really been speaking to me in my quiet times about "New Beginnings". Part of this is "letting go". It is difficult as humans to let each other off the hook and allow them to be new again..or even just allow them to BE. It is MOST difficult for ME to let myself off the hook to be new...let alone think about what others think of me (which honestly has paled and faded into the distance :).

I've learned by reading God's word, that any attitude that does not allow someone to be new or holds someone to their past, is not an attitude that comes from the spirit of the Lord. The Lord is all about NEW beginnings! I'm talking about NOT using someone's past to condemn them with. Or constantly bringing up their mistakes as a purpose to remind them of how much of a failure they are! Sometimes we do need to encourage one another to deal with our past in order to move forward. Yet, this is something done because you care for that person, and want to encourage them to break free!

Part of New Beginnings is forgiving...letting go, and forgiving. If someone comes to me and asks for forgiveness...or even if they never do confess they've hurt me...I should still forgive. It is my job to immediately forgive an pray for them and forgive them. Let them off the hook. :) It isn't my job to keep holding them to the offense for weeks, months...years. This has been hard for me in the past, but not anymore. I am making a decided choice to DAILY die to self in this area!

If someday, someone who offended me comes to me and feels they need to ask for forgiveness (for them), I'll welcome them with open arms. However, I don't need them to do this in order for me to make a decision to forgive. There is nothing in the Bible that says I must have an "I'm sorry" from someone to forgive them. I mean, how do I know their heart? They may have repented and asked the Lord to forgive them, and who am I to keep holding them to an offense? :) If I hold them to the offense, I am being no different than the person who offended. Sin is sin.

To me, it is just a huge blessing when someone does make wrong a right, however, not necessary in order for me to love or move forward from it.

These are a few things God has been working out in me. I've been holding onto things for YEARS...things that have offended me and hurt me....hoping and waiting for those people to come to me and make it right. I release those offenses, and choose to spend my energy worshipping and praising my Lord and Savior!!! :)

The mental energy it takes to stew over an offense can be quite draining. It can be a stronghold and grip our lives with oppression. Plus, it almost sets that person up as an idol in my life...because I'm giving more thought to it than even to the Lord at times!! I want my obsessive thoughts to be about the Lord. As Steven Curtis Chapman says, "Jesus, Be My Magnificent Obsession"!!! If I am more concerned about pleasing God, I won't be too concerned about what others are doing or not doing...or concerned with holding on to an offense. :)

Mark 11:24-26 (NIV)
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

John 20:22-23 (NIV)
23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."

Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)
12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I wonder....

...if anyone is still looking at this blog.

I'd made a decision months back to close it. However, realized there is a lot of information on here that I would not want to lose.

So...I don't know. I may actually get inspired to blog again here. It would probably be better to keep my other blog mainly business.

It just take so much time to blog. We'll see...