What we Deserve, is God's judgement, since none of us is perfect, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves otherwise. But what we get instead, is mercy through Christ. We need not fear what we really deserve, but accept the gift of life instead.
On my father's 18th birthday he got $20 and a new pair of shoes from his parents. That meant he was now on his own and had to leave the family home.
Right after I graduated high school, I dated a man who's parents told their children when they had to move out. They did so by turning your dinner plate upside down. That meant you could have dinner that night, but from then on you had to be an invited guest to have a place set. His plate was turned over before he graduated high school.
Have you ever been thrown into a situation you were not prepared for? Something that was frustrating, or even frightening? When have you had to step up and do something you weren't ready for?
Job layoff? Death of a spouse or a child? Afraid to be alone? Bankruptcy? Car accident? Health problems? Cancer? Perhaps you are facing your own mortality.
The fact is, this happens all the time in life. People and circumstances are often thrown at us with little or no notice of what will come next. This can be a trying time for many. But God said, "I will never leave you. I sill never forsake you." No matter what happens in this life, we can count on the promises of God. This is undeniable, and unmovable.
God said it. I believe it. That settles it.
This phrase was very popular a few years ago. While it may have rubbed some people the wrong way, it is a solid truth. He has promised to be there and to take care of His people. Sometimes we have to open our hearts and minds to see it, but it is always there.
So the next time you find yourself in some trying circumstances, just remember, God will never hand you a $20 bill and a new pair of shoes, and send you out into the world all by yourself. He is walking with you all the way. We are not alone.
This book changed my life. After a lifetime of beating my head against the wall, not understanding how and why people do the manipulative, controlling things they do, I bought this. I cried when I read it, because for the first time, I got it. Their control and their behavior wasn't about me. The biggest thing I remember about this book, is the FOG. Manipulators walk around in a FOG, using Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to keep you in line with what they want. It has case studies, and goes into the reasons why our controllers do what they do. It gives you the tools to recognize what they are doing, and the keys to unlock the behavior. Because, believe me, they won't stop on their own. And, believe it or not, they - knowing full well that they do it - have convinced themselves that they are not the problem. Highly recommended reading. Bring the tissues.
Don't hate. Ok. How? Because I gotta tell ya, when someone hurts you, deliberately, repeatedly, some real ugly feelings start growing inside of you. Feelings that are almost impossible to suppress. And then the questions come. How can they be so stupid? How can they hurt me like this? That was on purpose.
Or my favorite - Get over it. Get over it is nothing more than dismissal of your feelings. Yes, I know I hurt you, and I don't care. You don't matter. I'm more important than you are anyway. But you do matter. You matter so much that one man gave His life so that you can live. The Bible tells us to forgive. I have learned that this is not a one-time thing. To heal those deep hurts, the feelings that we just can't let go of - the ones that morph into hatred without us even realizing it, it takes a lot more. Make a list - yes, I have a list. Keep it with you. Every single time that a negative feeling creeps back into your thoughts, forgive them again. And again. And again. Do it until the hurts are no longer a part of your daily routine. Do it over and over again. Do it until it hurts. Say it out loud. Give that person to God and let Him deal with their faults the same way He has dealt with yours - in love. Tough love maybe, but still love. Only when you can let go completely can you truly heal. Remember, this isn't for them. Most people will never admit what they have done, or acknowledge the hurt they have caused you. This is for you, and is between you and God. Do it for Him and Him alone.
I sighed with satisfaction as the latest episode of my favorite television show ended. I'd become addicted to watching it every week. It's not that I watch a lot of TV, but this show had me hooked. It was an ongoing drama, carried on from week to week. Like a soap opera, nothing was neatly tied up in a one-hour time slot.
A week or so later, I heard my Life Coach telling me I needed to be more careful about what I watched on television. Mind you, the show wasn't violent, it didn't have questionable language, but most of the characters engaged in all kinds of sexual behavior. No better or worse than other shows on prime time. Why was my Life Coach trying to ruin my fun?
I tried ignoring the advice. I must have heard wrong. Surely that was the enemy wanting to trip me up.
Then I tried reasoning. Come on, it's not that bad. It doesn't affect my life in a negative way.
This morphed into downright rebellion. "I'm going to watch it anyway." That worked for a few weeks, until my Life Coach recruited help in the form of one of his assistants, AKA my pastor. The sermon was about giving everything to God. My Life Coach must have been sitting behind me because I heard Him whisper, "Are you listening?”
Well, shoot. When you pull out the big guns, I guess I better sit up and pay attention.
"Fine," I muttered. "I won't watch it anymore." If I were twelve years old again, I'd have stomped off to my room and slammed the door.
It's now a few weeks later. True to my word, I haven't watched that particular TV show. Has my life changed? Am I now more holy, more spiritual? I wish I could say yes. But nothing's changed. At least outwardly. But I'm sure my Life Coach knows what's best for me. Even when I don't agree. Even when I can't see the point. I must believe he knows more than I do. After all, He's the coach. ~Jane S. Daly Jane S. Daly http://www.janesdaly.com
"I'm here to show you how you can get everything you want out of life. I'll help you be the best version of yourself." Who doesn't want that? I'm listening to my networking group's guest speaker, nodding my head in agreement.
"Grab that 3x5 card in front of you. Now list the five things that are important to you. Five things you want to do, to be, to accomplish. Dream big, people!"
I look around the table. Everyone's heads are bowed over the white card. The sound of words falling onto the paper is almost audible.
I write the numbers 1 through 5 along the left edge of the card, stalling. What do I want out of life? I know I should have an answer, or five. How can I be the best version of myself, if I don't even know what I want?
A new car.
Too shallow. As soon as I've written this, I scratch it out, wishing for a backspace key. Delete!
Enough money to retire comfortably.
Still too shallow.
I turn the card over, its reverse side pristine as new snow.
My desires are simple. My needs are few. I am already becoming the best version of myself.
I begin to write:
1. I want to become more like Jesus Christ
2. I want my marriage and friendships to continue to thrive
3. I want to learn instant obedience to my Father's voice
4. I want to die knowing I've changed at least one person's eternal destiny
5. I am already the best version of myself. Because Jesus is my life coach. ~ Jane S. Daly Jane S. Daly http://www.janesdaly.com