Stop Doubting and Believe

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I’ve always appreciated the honesty of Thomas. It mattered not when he heard the reports of others who had seen Jesus face to face the morning he rose from the grave. This doubting disciple wanted proof, and declared he would not believe unless he could see the nail prints in … Continue reading

Good-bye Guilt and Shame

I will remember my song in the night—Psalm 77:6
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I don’t claim to have visions, but I’m a
visual learner. Maybe that’s why the Lord
put some very descriptive pictures and
thoughts in my mind in the wee hours of
the morning many years ago.

It wasn’t a dream. I was fully awake and
aware of two scenes that unfolded in my
mind’s eye. 

I found myself in the first scene, among a large crowd where Jesus stood
before Pilate. I heard the mob shouting. “Crucify him! Crucify him! Give us
Barabbas and crucify Jesus!

Feelings of guilt and shame flooded my heart and I cried out, Lord that could
have been me.

The moment quickly passed as a strong impression interrupted my horrified
thoughts. Your guilt and shame were nailed to the cross.”

Tears of release flooded my aching heart as I remembered the love poured out
on Calvary’s cross for sinners. Just. Like. Me.

Another scene followed. A woman caught in adultery lay on the ground, fear-
ful of the religious crowd about to stone her. I felt her shame as though it was
my own and I cried out, “Lord, that could have been me.” 

Once again I heard the words“Your guilt and shame were nailed to the cross.”

Then something like a symphony of beautiful music began flooding my heart
and mind, healing my soul with a new found joy that’s hard to explain.

The following Sunday morning I was amazed when I heard the same words
spoken from the pulpit. In the midst of his sermon, Pastor John did an about
face, pretended to hammer a nail into the wall, and shared the same message
that had now taken root in my heart.

“Your guilt and shame were nailed to the cross.”

How could he have known what had been repeatedly etched on my heart and
mind? I believe there’s no other explanation than to believe God’s Holy Spirit
placed the message on my Pastor’s heart.

If you struggle with feelings of guilt or shame over something from your past,
dare to embrace Jesus and believe this good news.

“He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it
to the cross” (Colossians 2:14).

Prayer: Father in heaven, how can we ever thank you enough for nailing our sins
to the Cross of Calvary? I pray for the one who struggles to be free from feelings
of guilt and shame. May we all continue to find sweet release and forgiveness at
the foot of the cross. In the Savior’s name we pray. Amen.

 

My Soul Takes Wing

 And he said to them, “Come, we shall go to the country alone and rest a little.”
Mark 6:31

I once had the privilege of walking on
a little country road in the Shenandoah
Valley in Luray, VA. The place we lived
for six wonderful years before we moved
to wild and wonderful West Virginia.
The road was flat and easy to walk on,
and the backdrop of the mountains was
a beauty to behold. A fore-taste of heaven.

I’m grateful for those times,  yet I’ve discovered I can take that walk every day, right
here in the privacy of my home. A quiet private place where I sit in my comfortable
chair with an open Bible and a pen.

It’s called walking through the Bible. I start with praise, followed by a prayer
that God will take my heart, renew and restore it as I meditate on the greatest
love letter ever written. All along the way, I can stop and tell the Lord what’s on
my mind. And He responds with a sure word of encouragement, instruction
or counsel. Sometimes reproving a wrong attitude. Sometimes giving wisdom
as to how to handle life’s situations that affect my day.

I love the exchange that takes place when I give God my burdens and He
gives me His peace. It’s like a walk in the country where my soul takes wing.

I walked with God today,
listened to his voice
so sweet,
and laid my burdens
at his feet.
Now trusting him
with every-thing,
my soul takes wing
and 
soars and sings.

When Flowers Fade

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Seems like the older I get the
faster the seasons come and go…
and the challenges that accompany
them. This has been especially true
this year. Two sudden deaths in
our family left us heart broken.
A special niece the day after Christmas, followed by the death of a brother-in law just six months later.

We traveled to South Alabama both times, wanting to give support and comfort as
our family grieved the loss of loved ones together.

Now months later, we are about to witness another changing season. Soon flowers
of summer will fade and fall as the heat of summer gives way to shorter days and
cooler temperatures. Winter is soon to follow.

I don’t feel ready for another winter. Seems like we just got through the last one.
Yet I love this time of the year when Autumn’s vibrant colors cause me to pause
and reflect on the faithfulness of God during the changing seasons of our lives.

Even the season of death and sorrow cannot take away the hope of seeing our
loved ones again. We believe they are just beyond the thin veil that separates
heaven and earth. What a great reunion in heaven awaits those who place their
trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our lives may seem like fading flowers on this earth, but we believe we will bloom
again in heaven for eternity.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, so that whoever
believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)