Forgiveness

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A friend has been battling in this world of late and needed some encouragement so I though I’d put pen to paper OR fingers to iPad and write about our conversation a little.

The big question was; when do nasty people become nasty and how could she deal with a particular situation? Would you consider a nasty person to be your friend or foe? I’m not going to mince words or pretend life is a fairytale. Because life can be hard sometimes and people can be mean. Yup, this can even be a co-worker, or a Christian person, or a friend, or perhaps one of your well meaning (or not so well meaning) family members. When does hurtful, cruel, gossip and mean-ness become part of who they are? Or is it just an innocent mistake? Sure and of course there are lovely people and are genuine and can make mistakes. I know I sure mess up even when I’m trying not to. But this is more about people who actually do mean to be, well mean, and gossip, be cruel and plain nasty. People can be mean and horrid with out words too, with an action or lack of action or even a simple look. A look can talk far more than words sometimes. When does that one lie or twisting of the truth become so entrenched into someone’s daily life and speech that their words are all but lies? And then there seems to be no truth left in them where they seem to live unfulfilled and barren lives. My friend is trying to navigate through a difficult time and wanted some advice, help and a sounding board.

I have often joked and said “I’m not the nasty people whisperer”. I can’t wish, will or talk someone out of being mean and nasty by some magical whispering. In the end it is none of my business, if people want to be unkind, nasty, jealous, competitive, gossip or lie about me, my family or friends. Really someone else’s opinion isn’t up to me to be concerned about or want to change. Sure it would be great if everyone was kind to one another. But we live in the real world where some people just want to be nasty no matter what you do or don’t do. They may choose to be your enemy or perhaps behave like the are in battle with you, but you don’t need to join in. All I can do is to give them and their mean spirit, lies, cruelness and nastiness up to God to sort out. I can choose to pray for them to be blessed and guard my heart so I do not let bitterness take away any joy and love God has given me. I am still surprised that people who don’t even know two sides of a situation can adopt a mean spirit toward you, your friend or family because of what someone else has told them half a story. This has happened to me over the years especially as a Pastorswife where you are suppose to be perfect and live up to everyones expectations. Really can anyone person meet someone else’s expectations all of the time? I don’t think so. And it probably wouldn’t be healthy if you could. Has this ever happened to you?

I tried to encourage my friend to genuinely feel compassion for them and I feel so sorry for them. Especially when you see that their lives are messed up and that they are unhappy. Some people do want to cause hurt or pain because that is all they know. If that is all they know then how are they going to change without someone like you or I showing some kindness. Haven’t all of us been messed up one time or another in our lives? When I was in my teens and twenty’s I was a complete mess! Even with the best intentions we too, can upset or hurt to others sometimes without even knowing. Remember if there is someone who is unkind, cruel, nasty or plain mean to you, that they are hurt people, going around wounding and hurting those around them. Sadly it does seem misery does love company. And do you or I want to become apart of the misery group. No way. Sometimes the kindest thing to do is to walk away and leave them to their gossip, assumptions and nastiness. They may or may not know any other way to live. Be thankful and grateful that you do know another way to live and that God has shown you a way to live in the truth of His love. A dose of grace, mercy and love from the Saviour can heal our brokeness so we then in turn can give love, show grace, mercy, kindness and forgive others. In Matthew 6:14 (NIV) says; “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Forgiving benefits us even more than it can benefit or help the person we are forgiving. Isn’t that the way of Jesus? By forgiving we actually receive far more.

Sometimes showing love is keeping the peace and not telling your side of the story. Sometimes it means being quiet and letting people think badly of you when you have done nothing wrong and walk away. Sometimes it is having a direct, awkward and uncomfortable conversation to sort the problem out. And sometimes all you can do is pray and give it all to God. What helped my friend and also what has helped me over the years is realising that satan is the originator of sin and father of lies. And sure some people like to give him a helping hand but often times they get dragged into places they never intended to go. It helps to see the person who is causing the issue as being misused by Satan and if you need to blame someone then go ahead and put the blame on Satan who loves to cause trouble. The important thing is the One person who needs to know the truth, does. God knows you and He knows your heart. God knows the truth of your life. God loves, loves, LOVES you and He has your back. No one is prefect, and we all can live wonderful, happy, joyous, for-filling, and blessed lives with a clear conscience even while dealing with difficult circumstances or people. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:4-5 “My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” Stay strong through these trials in this world and look forward to receiving praise from God in heaven. Remember God loves, loves, LOVES you!!!

With love & blessings always
~ Sarah xxx

© Copyright 2013

Never Too Old

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
– C.S. Lewis

Remember those moments of dreaming about meeting the “man of your dreams”? Or dreaming about seeing your baby for the first time. Will it be a girl or boy? What colour hair or eye’s will he/she have? Or perhaps it is a dream of being able to hold a long awaited baby of a dear friend. There is such joy in dreaming!

What about nature? Is there anything you have longed to see or experience here on earth? I remember seeing Niagara Falls for the first time with my family. It was a dream I had since I was a little girl. Who would have thought a little girl born in New Zealand miles away from the USA would ever get to see Niagara Falls? Niagara was more beautiful and powerful than I ever could imagine. It sure is a testament to God’s majesty, creativity and glory. I’m grateful our God is a big God who also is interested in the very smallest of dreams of a little girl. Our God is interested in the smallest of desires, goals and details of our lives.

What about your dreams and your firsts and your lasts? Saying hello to a new friend and saying your goodbyes to old and dear friends. How about your big dreams and your small ones! Do you still have them? Or have they been tainted by time, circumstance or life? Maybe it is time to re think and let go of some unhealthy dreams and goals? BUT also it might be time to enjoy setting new goals and dreaming new dreams and perhaps take some sage advice from C.S. Lewis and remember that “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

One Thousand Gifts

So I have read the first chapter from “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. It is completely and utterly captivating. I can’t wait to read the rest of the book. Ann is a talented and gifted writer. If you want a revelation and a life changing read then this is the book for you.

If you want to do what I did and read one chapter for free before you buy.

Or you can buy the book from Amazon.com and also Dayspring.com
The video is from YouTube and is a trailer for Ann’s book.

When the ground shakes

I am reminded of Romans 15:13 scripture… “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

This scripture is a beautiful reminder that in spite of circumstance or what we see around us or our frame of mind, we can trust and rely on God and know that He is our joy and peace. Even when it doesn’t feel like it and the ground is shaky.

My home town in Christchurch, New Zealand had another earth quake today. This one is far worse than many other after shocks and earth quakes Christchurch has had previously. In school at age 5 you are taught about earthquakes and you are taught to hide under school desks in an emergency. Our immediate family currently lives in Australia and we have recently come through floods and Cyclone Yasi. But of course we still have friends and family who still live in Christchurch are going through a hard time right now. I have heard from most of my loved ones and they are safe but I haven’t heard from my oldest friends yet. We started school together at age 5. Her family live in the city in an apartment so I am very concerned for her and her young family at the moment.

I don’t have the answers to this devastation but I know the one who does. What do you do when the very ground underneath you can’t be trusted and shakes? What do you do when the ground is swaying and rattling. When buildings are turning to rubble in front of your eyes. What do you do? What can you say? All I can think is that we can hope and trust in the Lord through the Holy Spirit. When devastation, fear or hard times hit sometimes you can’t get your head around it all and you don’t have the answers. During these times all I can do is to surrender my head, heart, fear to God and trust in Him and know He is always good no matter what. I can’t do it in my own strength only through the power of the Holy Spirit.

My love, thoughts and prayers are with Christchurch today.

God loves us PERFECTLY

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will… Ephesians 1:11 (NIV)

for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13 (NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:11-12 (NIV)

Don’t you love those scriptures full of promise. Love how God works on you according to his purpose and his will. He wants us to know him and to want to live out his will in our lives and share his love with those we come across in our daily lives, our family, children, friends, people at the grocery store and work colleagues. I’m not talking about preaching to people but living along side them in the way God wants us to.

Sometimes life gets tough but remember God is working on us even when we are not thrilled with the process or hardship life can bring. God is more interested in developing our Godly character in us and he sometimes uses hard times or difficulties to do that. Hardship can help us turn to God and reach toward him. Often when we are living on easy street and when everything runs smoothly we trust ourselves and our own resources rather than God and his resources. God can turn any situation or life around. Often God’s way can seem topsy turvy. Your know the first shall be last. And that Christ came to serve. And how when we give up our life we then truly gain it. But ya know what… God knows what he is doing with each of us!

GOD WILL EQUIP US WITH HIS GODLY TOOLS, TO DO HIS WILL, IN HIS TIME, IN HIS WAY. All that is required from us is a little FAITH and KNOW that he is GOD.

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his… Psalm 100:3 (NIV)

Did you know that the most common command in the bible is “Do not be afraid.”  It can be scary doing God’s will especially when you can’t see the future like God can. “Perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18 And lets face it, God loves us perfectly.