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Pieces of Forgiveness

I have struggled personally with the act of forgiveness.  Some resentment harbored over 30 years of my life.  Imagine.  Withholding forgiveness to another human being when Jesus forgives ME every day, sometimes many times a day.  I am not without sin.  How did it ever become my place to judge the actions of another?

It is not.

What does the bible say about forgiveness?

Wow, the bible says a lot, doesn’t it?  🙂

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Pieces of Discernment

Oftentimes we are given a scripture or thought to spend time figuring out.  Maybe it was easily understandable — but other times, we can’t make heads or tails over the meaning, or if it’s even a message for US.

This is when spiritual discernment steps in.  Find a trusted advisor, someone who is spiritually sound, they do not have to be a minister, sometimes a good friend can help sort it out WITH you, not for you.

As a wise friend recently told me — it’s my seeking/understanding that matters most.  But sometimes we all need a little help!

Proverbs 2:3-5  Yes, if you want better insight and discernment, and are searching for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure, then wisdom will be given you and knowledge of God himself; you will soon learn the importance of reverence for the Lord and of trusting him.

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Questioning Pieces

(From my personal meditation journal)

I spent decades asking God why my mom had to die.  I finally – let it go.  There are circumstances we will not know until we meet Jesus in person.

I don’t know how to pray when “I” have pain; so I say The Lords Prayer and it comforts me  I may still have the pain, so it’s another circumstance I won’t know or understand — maybe ever.  And, I’m actually, finally –  okay with it.

A lesson is sometimes part of a plan we didn’t see.  And/or closure from a situation we couldn’t see.  Trusting You is all the vision I need.

For the reverence and fear of God are basic to all wisdom. Knowing God results in every other kind of understanding.
He reveals profound mysteries beyond man’s understanding. He knows all hidden things, for he is light, and darkness is no obstacle to him.
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Holy Week Pieces

This is the week of great miracle.  Jesus rode a donkey through Jerusalem to his final death.  Parts of the journey were lovely, palm branches waved in the air, coats laid on the ground, our version of a red carpet.  Hallelujahs shouted, prayers said, celebrations made.

The Last Supper

The people angered for justice to prevail.  Arguments had, angry voices demanding justice.

The cross.

The blood.

The finality.

Burdens carried to the cross.  Crown of thorns.  Blood.  Exhaustion.  Defeat.  Burial.  Mourning.  Great sadness.  Disbelief.  Sorrow.

HE LIVED.  HE DIED.  HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD.  HE LIVES.

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The stone rolled away.  How?  Where is Jesus?  He has risen!!!  Our Lord reigns, loves, forgives, is exalted!!!

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Scripture Pieces

Matthew 5:6-10 spoke to me in my morning bible study.  It is half of the Beatitudes (the beginning focus on humility, mourners and the meek and lowly).  It continues on to “those who are happy.”

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The entire book of Matthew seems to be a guide — how to live a life that is pleasing to God, and how to be a light in dark places for others to find Christ.  We are often the only positive example of Christianity a non-believer might see.

I, myself have overreacted in various life situations, I have hurt others with my words and I have been hurt by the words and actions of others.  We are human, we are not perfect and imagining a life that is; sets us up for failure.  I see each day as a new start, a new beginning, a new opportunity to change the heart of another.  We are not put on this earth to merely live and exist, we are ultimately here to share the kingdom of God with all people, to live righteously (not perfect) and to love God with our heart and soul.

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Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.’

Romans 1:6-7 And you, dear friends in Rome, are among those he dearly loves; you, too, are invited by Jesus Christ to be God’s very own—yes, his holy people. May all God’s mercies and peace be yours from God our Father and from Jesus Christ our Lord.
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Pieces of Poetry

Often quoted, but rarely interviewed, Mary Oliver is one of our greatest and most beloved poets. She’s just released a new volume, Felicity, at the age of 80. And so we’re revisiting the interview she granted us earlier this year on the wisdom of the world, the salvation of poetry, and the life behind her writing.  (the interview link)

I was more moved by phrase: “the salvation of poetry” than by the entire article!  It spoke to me on a very spiritual level.

The Psalms, Song of Solomon, even Proverbs are similarly — pieces of poetry scattered throughout the bible.

There are very few actual verses relating to the word “poetry” but I did find one that was appropriate (the other was on the act of war).  Acts 17:28 For in him we live and move and are! As one of your own poets says it, ‘We are the sons of God.’

Psalm 95:2 Come before him with thankful hearts. Let us sing him psalms of praise.
Ephesians 5:19 Talk with each other much about the Lord, quoting psalms and hymns and singing sacred songs, making music in your hearts to the Lord.

 

 

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Pieces of Love

1 Corinthians 13  If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise. If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do? Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love.

Love is the ultimate gift, when we profess our faith – share it with the love of Jesus.  The heart of Jesus; we are for many — the only bible they will ever see.

Let your life reflect that love.  Go in peace, live in harmony.

It is not our place to judge or demoralize, I am no better than you, I do however, have a heavenly promise – my fate is sealed, nothing I can do or say now or ever will remove me from the love of my Father.  Having a relationship with God is like no other.  It guides my life, refreshes my spirit, gives meaning to the ordinary and brings out the extraordinary in many circumstances.  I am blessed.  I am loved.

Romans 3:21-22  But now God has shown us a different way to heaven—not by “being good enough” and trying to keep his laws, but by a new way (though not new, really, for the Scriptures told about it long ago). Now God says he will accept and acquit us—declare us “not guilty”—if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like.

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The pieces of mystery

God is omnipotent.  What does that exactly mean?  I found so much good information online, I am posting a link for your further reading:

Click here!

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We do not have to struggle with the hows and whys, just know that your heavenly Father is now, and ever will be.  The Omega, the beginning and the end.  All you ever need.

No where in the bible is the word “trinity” but this verse in Matthew sure spells it out:  Matthew 28:19  “Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit….”

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Pieces of God’s Breaking Heart

Another shooting, today it’s in San Bernardino, California.  People with guns are killing people.

This isn’t about gun control, it’s not even about violence, it’s about the desire to love like Jesus.  To.  Love.  Like.  Jesus.

There aren’t exceptions for Jesus; He doesn’t pick and choose who to love, who to care for, who to forgive.  Bad guys with guns are right up there with social workers and teachers, office workers and babysitters.

If you ask God to break your heart-for what breaks His, be prepared for sorrow, grief, heartache and tragedy.  Nothing good is present in evil.  But out of evil, can come good.  Along with healing and forgiveness and peace.

We cannot imagine the incredible sadness God feels when He watches His creation destroying itself.  Some will say — God created the world, He is responsible for all of this.  I would say – yes, God created the world, people have been using free-will since Adam and Eve, making their own decisions, such as they are.

Deuteronomy 4:29

But you will also begin to search again for Jehovah your God, and you will find him when you search for him with all your heart and soul.

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Pieces from my childhood

I have been inspired by this book; since it sat on the nightstand table of my mother’s side of the bed since I was a little girl.  I used to hold the book in my hand, flip through the pages, look at the various drawings of seashells and wonder why it was so important to my mother.

It was written in 1955 by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and rewritten 20 years later.  it could have been written today, in 2015.  If you’ve ever walked on a sandy beach, for the sole purpose of picking shells, you’ve ‘lived’ this book.

I won’t spoil the book for you, now that your interest has been piqued, and I do encourage you to read it; request from your library!  Let me just say that it is incredibly simply written, it will move you to understand the hand of God much clearer than maybe you do now.

Secondly, from my childhood, is the bible we gave mom on Mother’s Day 1975.  I am so blessed to have this book in my possession now, in fact -it is the only bible I use now, each day I thumb through the pages as part of my bible study; perhaps in the same way mom did.

My mother died in 1978, I was 14 years old.  The reason I wrote “The Pieces” and why I blog here is it was through her passing to 25-some-odd years later that I returned to our Heavenly Father, relieved to be the prodigal daughter – accepted and loved as if I never had left.

I encourage you to find pieces from your childhood that bring joy and look at them again, as an adult with adult eyes.  You may be pleasantly surprised to feel some of that happiness again!

I understand now, why my mother enjoyed this book so much and why it was at the top of her book pile.  It is on my bookshelf with only my favorite books.  Full circle.