Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Guest Post on Forgiveness by Curtis Coleman

Curt Coleman teaches a fantastic Bible study at Santa Cruz Bible Church. He's a scholar, and he expounds God's word on a super deep level. I'm very grateful that he agreed to share these beautiful insights about forgiveness on my blog. Thanks so much, Curt and Catina!



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Grace and the Skeleton in the Closet

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit. – 1 Peter 3:18-19

Happy Easter! I hope your day was wonderfully blessed! We had a lovely day visiting a small, local church where the mood was joyful and the praises heartfelt. Next, we had lunch with our beloved Grandma and Grandpa. And we studied a map of Manhattan Island, figuring out the best way to get to Times Square Church on our trip next month.

Are you thankful for your citizenship? I love being able to walk into any Christian congregation and feel at home, among family. If you’re longing for relationship with God and you’re not sure you’ve ever really understood the Gospel’s message, click on my Jesus and You page. There’s a place for everyone in God’s family.

Here’s an allegorical story about the grace God gave us at the cross.

There was once a gentlewoman named Grace. She had a way of relieving people’s fears. When she walked away from a conversation, people felt unburdened, light, and free. Grace was amazing. Many believed she was sent by God Himself.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Forgiveness

The Lord sets prisoners free. – Psalm 146:7

No one knows the dark path to forgiveness like a divorced parent. The natural response to an offense against our children is to retain our anger bitterly, never forgetting what has happened. But unforgiveness is a prison built for one. It does nothing to repay the person who hurt our kids. Instead, it nourishes bitter thoughts, which torment us like steady drips of water. It stunts our growth and, ironically, it can damage the lives of the children we hope to avenge.



Friday, April 1, 2011

A Reason to Smile

Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. (Psalm 16:5-6)

Ever noticed that single parents don’t always have the same opportunities that married parents enjoy? Of course, that’s a huge generalization, but statistically it’s somewhat true. Maybe you’ve watched a friend live your dream, and you’ve felt frustrated, even envious. This malady affects many demographics – spouses of alcoholics, disabled people, victims of prejudice – anyone whose situation exposes them to unfair treatment, misunderstandings, or hardship. It’s very easy to fall into the comparing trap. One woman put it this way: “Metaphorically, my friend lives in Hawaii and I live in Ethiopia!”


Be Prepared

The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. 2 Chron. 16:9

Mary’s response to the annunciation (see Luke 1:46-55) is one of joy, humility and surrender. She does not dwell on the problems she will face as an unwed mother. Instead, her song focuses on what God has done for her. Clearly, she has practiced trusting God with the big events of her life while exercising obedience in her daily life. Therefore, when God calls, she is ready.

Most successful people testify that there’s no substitute for being ready when opportunity knocks. If our heart’s desire is for a fruitful life, the first lesson we must learn is to be occupied with our part and trust God with His. God doesn’t ask us to bring about the opportunities. That’s His department, and He’s very good at it. Instead, He looks for people who are surrendered to Him. If we practice trust and obedience in the simple, day-to-day activities that make up our lives, we’ll be ready when God presents a new phase of ministry. We can trust Him to bring it to pass.

Lord, forgive me for the times I’ve worried about Your design for my life, while neglecting the simple things You’ve asked me to do. Thank You that You are able to prepare me perfectly for Your plans for me.