Getting Even

imageWhen someone intentionally hurts me–after I stop hurting–it’s my time to fight back, right? Surely, God knows my motive to “teach them” is pure, right? Wrong. We can all find ways to justify revenge. Just one problem…it’s not our job. It may FEEL like our job, but by the FACT of God’s word, it’s not. Simply put, God said, ” Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” A few years ago, I had to decide if I was going to trust this or not. I had someone deliberatly do something wrong to me, that also hurt my family. After praying and seeking counsel, I decided: if I sought revenge (which, mind you, is different than seeking justice), I had to be OK with elongating the pain. My choice of revenge was going to take it out of God’s hands and put it in mine. The problem was that my hands weren’t made to hold revenge. I would elongate the pain by now choosing to carry something too big to carry, in time and burden. It left me wrestling with one question, “Is it worth it?” I decided it wasn’t. Interestingly enough, I did learn how to pray for that person. In a weird way, forgiving was winning. See, they hurt me once, but I could pray for them a thousand times! Their deliberate act mighta meant they could write me off. But I was just getting started writing them ONTO my prayer journal! Today, I still can’t profess that I have this all together. But I hope that what I did learn will help or encourage one of you reading this.

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Am I Staying in my Lane or Staring at my Neighbor?

from John 21:21-22

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Resting is not the Same as Quitting

I’d like to propose a difference: resting is not the same thing as quitting. Resting is temporary, quitting is permanent. Resting is godly, quitting (if it’s not God’s will) is not.  Resting keeps you from rusting. Quitting is rusting. Resting helps you not quit! But quitting doesn’t help you not rest. Resting is not regretful, qIMG_2358uitting can be. I think we can get deceived that resting will mean “I am quitting,” or “I am weak.” But this is a lie the devil is trying to sell you from the clearance section in hell. GOD rested on the seventh day. JESUS got away in the mornings and rested in the Father. I get a lot of things wrong. But one thing I can stand behind is I find time to rest. After I was found in a bloody, psychotic mess in a parking lot, and locked up for it, I told God I will do whatever HE needs so that NEVER happens again. And a big part of it not happening again is is my conviction to rest. We CAN tell people no. We can build margin into our lives. There is no way God wants us to run so hard we go crazy.  Because God needs us! But we need to rest so He can use us! As a new week begins, I hope you enjoy it…and find time to rest in it.

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Ain’t No Shame in my Counseling Game

Have you ever noticed we never tweet that? We tweet about going to work, school, church, vacation…but we don’t tweet about going to the counselor (or therapist). If you know me at all, you know I have a big-mouth for Christian Counselimageing. If I ever write a book, one of the four people I will dedicate it to, is my Christian counselors. There is no number I give out more than the counselors’ contacts I have in my phone. As long as God gives me the ability to communicate, Christian-counseling is what I’ll be shouting. And I’m not just an advocate…I’m an avid member! I started seeing a Christian counselor when I was a kid. So truthfully, I never developed a stigma toward it because it’s all I know. At the end of the day, if we can agree that there is no shame in going to a doctor for a hurt lung or a leg, then we can agree there should be no shame in going to one for a hurt brain. And hello, it’s biblical! Proverbs 15:22, “Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established.” I hope this encourages someone today. And if you have a Christian counselor or therapist, thank them. And if you need one, email me.

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Mean Cheeseburgers, Mean People

Unbeknownst to me, instead of DJ eating his cheeseburger, he was making faces with it. Normally this would warrant a “talking to” but since it inspired a blog post, he got away with it. When I was in high-school and college, I was as mean as a snake. I justified it by saying, “it’s just the way I am.” When I was in my 20s and 30s, I softened a little–-I learned to curb verbal outbursts, but still spoke volumes through mean facial expressions and thoughts. Then one day, the tablimagee turned. In a united assault, I had three people be mean to me. It was ugly, unexpected and consequently spiraled me into a heavy depression. Now that I’m 42, and at the beginning of a new decade, my prayer is to leave my mean heart behind (because it is out of the heart, the mouth speaks). I’d like the last half of my lifespan to be from a heart that’s kind. I’d like it one day to be said, “she started mean, but finished kind.” If you have the propensity to be mean, don’t accept that. God didn’t make you that way. We lie to ourselves when we say “it’s just the way I am.” God is kind. We are made in God’s image. So we can be kind. Kindness IS a virtue that God has put in you. Sometimes, some of us need a little more aging to unleash it!

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Maybe Broken is Better

IMG_1500Someone dear to me went through a season of deep brokenness.  The kind where you cry on the floor and shout to God, “How could you!?”  The kind where you don’t want to love people, but you don’t know how you won’t.  The kind where you wish there were hearts for sale at Target, so you could get a new one.  Been there? It’s been a couple of years now,  and the broken parts, though no longer bleeding, are still sensitive to the touch. Sensitive? And the broken parts are no longer wounds, but scars that tell a story. Story?  And the tears have stopped but start up quickly with compassion for someone else in their brokenness. Compassion?  So the brokenness bred sensitivity, a story and compassion. Hmm… They say never touch a butterfly in a cocoon, it needs to go through that metamorphic process to become beautiful. And they say the only way to get amazing gold is to put it through the fire. And it is glass that is stained, not purified, that makes beautiful cathedral windows. Do I wish brokenness on anyone? Heck no. Admittedly, I wish I could have been spared of some of my own. But if broken makes us better, then maybe it’s OK. Because the world IS a better place with the broken things of God living within it: butterflies…gold… stained glass….and you and me.

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3 Eazy-Peazy Don’t’s, part 3

“The Lord said to me in the strongest terms: ‘Do not think like everyone else does.  Do not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you. Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty.'” Isaiah 8:11-13

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3 Eazy-Peazy Don’t’s, part 2

“The Lord said to me in the strongest terms: ‘Do not think like everyone else does.  Do not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you. Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear Him, you need fear nothing else.'” Isaiah 8:11-13

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3 Eazy-Peazy Don’t’s, part 1

“The Lord said to me in the strongest terms: ‘Do not think like everyone else does.  Do not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you. Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear Him, you need fear nothing else.'” Isaiah 8:11-13

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Peace Out.

W3jlf45459252sLately, I’ve been marinating on this verse in Romans, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” I’ve heard people surmise that the operative word in this verse is “peace.” That’s valid. But it’s not the operative word to me. To me, it’s “everyone.” Do everything I can to live at peace with everyone. Who’s everyone? The family I live with, the friends I socialize with, the family I come from, the neighbors I live by, the strangers I run into, the people I work with, the people I worship with, the people I do business with. Live at peace with them. And to live at peace with everyone, means I have to make changes on MY side because God’s saying this verse TO me.  Ownership is understood, here. And with ownership of this command, comes responsibility.  How can I live at peace with everyone? I can’t. Enter God. God can do anything. And if God lives in my heart, God is in my impossibilities. THROUGH me, He can live at peace with everyone…even enemies.  Let God move peace through you. Don’t let it depend on you.  Move out of the way and let God’s peace flow through you so much that you overflow it. That you and I would take enough ownership in this, that we can look at ourselves and say, “Self, get out of the way, cause God’s peace is a’comin!”  Lastly, in this verse, God’s like, “if it’s possible…” So He gets it.  There may be a time where it will not work out to be at peace with someone.  But if we do our part (get out of the way) and let God do His part (fill us with peace), I think we will find ourselves more at peace with ourselves because we are living more at peace with others.

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