Posted in Accepted, Accountability, Bigotry, Change, Confidence, Fear, Forgiveness, Free Will, freedom, Garden of Eden, God, guilt, Life, Politics, Progress, Racism, Self, Success, Taking Responsibility, Truth

Accepted

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This past week saw the taking down of the confederate flag in South Carolina and it was not without its controversies. Highlighted in that week was congressional sparring about the event and a much choosing of sides by political pundits.

There was also a huge buzz on social media where some felt South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley made a decision that would make or break her political career. There was talk about this event thrusting her into the national political scene and perhaps even a vice president bid. Others felt that she had ruined her career and she even received cowardly death threats.

I was not that vested into whether the flag stayed up or came down and I did not even watch it. What turned me off was this: Our country has an acceptance problem. Many of our troubles and struggles come from our inability to accept one another.

So, in our initial relationship with our heavenly Father, we were separated from the commonwealth of God by our sins. It is impossible for us to be accepted by God on our own. Despite many failed attempts over thousands of years, we only proved that we are sinners and lost forever in darkness.

Then, Jesus comes and dies for the sins of the world so that we have the opportunity to be “accepted in the Beloved.” Now, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we who believe live to bring this joyous occasion to others. Acceptance not only says that you belong, but it also says that you belong just the way you are. Acceptance is the bridge that allows the sinner in darkness to fellowship with the light. Without acceptance a connection cannot be made. And it’s in that fellowship that the magic happens. The apostle John wrote that if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanses us from all sin — that’s a pretty powerful fellowship! But if I am not accepting, it’s all for naught!

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Have you ever felt like you did not belong? Have you ever been in a situation where others have made you to feel that way? It’s a horrible feeling, but do you know we do that whenever we decide that another person does not matter. I don’t have to conform to the way you think to accept you. You don’t have to look like me, live like me or eat the same things I do for me to accept you. I accept you because I have been accepted. And the thought of me cheapening my acceptance or taking it for granted because I don’t accept you, is not an option for me. My acceptance of you is my judgment of you and as for me and my house, we choose to accept.

Posted in Change, Death, Discipleship, Fear, Forgiveness, God, helping, Honor, Life, Obey, Pain, Prayer, Racism, Religion, repentance, Trust, Truth

Another letter to God

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Dear God,

It now makes sense to me why people don’t like to examine themselves: Our image is broken!

I feel bad sometimes when I realize that I live in a country that treats animals (primarily dogs and cats) better than poor people. I live in a country that does not forgive or forget.

I live in a country that is racist, bias and hypocritical. And I am sadly a part of this country. I represent those who point fingers both ways. I represent those who realize that they are the things they hate.

Father, l need you to search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Teach me a better way Lord that I might let your light shine through me.

I am not worthy of your light. I am not fit for your use. I need you, Father, to cleanse me enough to say amen. Give me your words that I may never thirst.

Heal my heart. Make me an instrument of righteousness that I may serve you with gladness. Help me not judge those who are not where I am. And please let me not covet those in the place where I want to be.

Forgive me O God for I have sinned. Make me invisible so that those who see my good only see you and not me. Save all of my credit for heaven father. Don’t allow people to ever praise me here.
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Thank you father for my gifts and I vow to do your name good with them.

Heal the hurt I have caused and turn my negative to positive. In the name of the one who chose the cross for me!

Amen.

Posted in Change, Faith, Forgiveness, Giving, guilt, Happiness, Jesus Christ, Relationships, repentance, Resurrection, society, Success

Letter to God

To my Father in heaven,

It is with love and gratitude that I write this blog in dedication of your devotion to me. You have gone far above the call of duty in being my God. I am in awe of you.

I make horrible decisions at times. Some of my infractions are purposed and I still struggle with negotiating right and wrong. There are people who I have such an issue with that they consume my thoughts. There are people I need to forgive.

And in spite of my stupidity you do amazing things in my life. You make me want to be a better person. You make me want to seek after the higher parts of me. I want to do the right thing, Father, but I am weak.

What I really want to say to you Father is thank you. Thank you for loving me when I didn’t want to love myself. Thank you for showing me the way to the light when I was lost in darkness. Thank you for forgiving me when I am weak. Father, thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for saving my soul and for being long suffering with me.

Thank you for another day to praise your name. Thank you that I’m healthy and in my right mind. Thank you most of all for Jesus who made me a partaker of his cleansing power.

I actually don’t want to ask you for anything. I just wanted to express my love for you and say thanks.

Sincerely your servant,

Clyde

Posted in Accountability, Change, Faith, Fear, Forgiveness, guilt, Jesus Christ, repentance

The prodigal son has many children

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There are some people in this world who learn from other people’s mistakes. This is great if you are one of these people because it means you will avoid a lot of your own hardship because you could learn from the lessons of others.

It seems there are not many people with this gift. For the rest of us, we just have to learn the hard way: By using every last one of our senses to experience our struggles. Is it really important that we touch trouble? Yes! And we really have to see calamity up close? Definitely!

Well, it seems as though the prodigal son had many children because his seed is all around today. Many of us keep getting caught up in trials and temptations without having or experiencing a learning curve. And true to our heritage we go way out into foreign territory to do our “stuff” and when we get into trouble we always go to the wrong source for help. Then we stay out there until we land in the pit.

The question of the day is: Why do we stay out there so long when we know that God is looking and waiting for us to return?

I bet you know someone out there right now. You may be the one out there. It’s not cool to stay out there. Don’t  you want to come home? Stop letting your senses dictate what you do and start using the intellect God gave you. His call to all of is this: It’s better back at the palace! Please, come home today!

Posted in Forgiveness, God, Jesus Christ, Relationships, Truth

A new beginning?

Starting all over again is rough.

When you reach the stage of starting over, it is normally when you realize that you’ve made a mess of things and it’s time to regroup.

Reflection becomes your best friend during this time as you attempt to understand what brought you to this point and how to avoid it the next time.

You know that things can be replaced, but the people…it’s hard dealing with the people. It’s hard to expect someone not to respond with “I told you so” if they actually told you so.

It’s difficult to deal with people who choose not to forget your mistakes and maybe even want you to suffer.

I struggle dealing with this because I know we are supposed to be a Christian nation. A nation who claims to believe in Jesus Christ and accept him as the savior of the body.

But we have forgotten his teachings.

We who claim to be Christians live under a different creed than the rest of the world. We say that we are different, but when it comes to allowing, helping or accepting someone who is trying to change, we struggle.

Despite the fact that Jesus teaches love and forgiveness, to us a thief is always a thief, a murderer is always a murderer, a drug user or dealer stays the same, and a sex offender is just that.

Where did all the permanent categories come from? Why do we only understand forgiveness one way — God forgiving us? Why on earth do we expect a righteous God to be blind towards the way we treat one another?

Dear reader, I pray that you grant people in your life a shot at a new beginning. Shouldn’t we honor God by allowing our neighbors, family, friends, enemies and anyone else we’re not speaking to a chance at a new beginning?

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Bigotry, Change, Children, Confidence, Determination, Discipleship, Faith, Forgiveness, freedom, Giving, God, Happiness, helping, Honor, Jesus Christ, Justice, kindness, Life, Love, Perseverance, Prayer, Progress, Relationships, Resurrection, Sharing, society, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Time, Trust, Worship

Some day at Christmas

Some day at Christmas we won’t be farmerry-christmas

from making friends no matter what color they are.

We will be color blind and our hearts will see

that God made you and me.

 

Some day at Christmas we won’t be rude

and pass out to everyone who has a need for food.

We will not covet all the things that we see

because we live for him who died on that tree.

 

3142505786_793baeb9a7Some day at Christmas all wars will cease.

Our heart’s desire will be to seek peace.

We’ll take responsibility for all that we do

and make this world better for me and you.

 

Some day at Christmas the deed will be done.

Our lives will be judged by God’s only son.

We lived our lives for Christ and stood in his Grace

and spread love thoughout the human race.

Posted in Discipleship, Forgiveness, God, Love, Relationships, Time

Covet the best gifts this year

While we are in the mist of shopping and making sure we  get that special gift for that special someone in our lives, it’s always good to reflect on the best gifts we can give.

After all,  this is the season for giving.  And while everyone is in a festive mood – and probably more receptive to hear things during this time of the year, I’d like to weigh in on the best gifts of the year.

Now, of course, there are experts in the retail business who can predict which toys will be top sellers and what line of clothing will make you the talk of the town. There are also specialists in the gadget department that can tell you about the best of the best in iPhones and Mp3 players, computers and Blu-ray brands and, of course, flat screen TVs.

I am interested in other types of gifts. The gifts that I’m talking about are more precious than silver or gold. These are the gifts that change lives. Wait for it … wait for it …

The first gift is love. There are many people living with anger, racism and hatred. These people hurt others because they have been hurt. And you know how misery loves company. If we would give these people unconditional love – for as long as it took – it would change their lives for the better. Only special people can do this. This gift requires you to love the un-loveable and allow your love to cover a multitude of sin. This requires you to love like Jesus.

Can you do that?

The second gift is that of forgiveness. How many people live guilty, waiting to hear those three words – I forgive you? How many of us are holding someone at bay, not forgiving them and making them feel really bad because they did something wrong?  And then we turn around and attempt to celebrate a holiday like Christmas. I wonder if I looked up the word hypocrite whose pick would I see by that word. Giving the gift of forgiveness requires us to forgive like Jesus.

Can you do that?

And finally, the last gift is the gift of your time. It’s always easier to write a check and let someone else to the work. The gift of your time requires you to actually stop living for yourself and give that time and energy to someone that needs it. People like kids that are growing up without a dad; single mothers who are having a hard time raising their kids alone; or a widow or widower. There are many people who are lonely, afraid to be alone and depressed. Image if the last person you knew or read about who committed suicide. Do you think they needed someone they could trust to talk too? Giving the gift of time requires us to give our time like Jesus.

Can you do that?

I’m thinking we would be a stronger nation if we coveted these three gifts. Now, I’m off to practice what I preach!