Saturday, January 28, 2006

"Hey, I resemble that remark!"

And I believe it is sad, but true.

Ted Haggard: "Pastors are the Single Fattest Group of People I Know"

brought to you courtesy of Monday Morning Insight Weblog, by Todd Rhoades on For What It's Worth.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

True Forgiveness

My husband, a pastor, both preaches and lives the concepts of true forgiveness. I have heard him pray for people that have deeply hurt him, with words of blessing, grace, forgiveness, and love.

"Lord, help me to love _____ the way you love _____."

I, on the other hand, struggle greatly with holding on to offenses that really were not even directed toward me, but toward my husband. I need to stop reading his "hate-mail" because it really is hard for me to look at people in church on Sunday knowing what they wrote on Thursday in an e-mail to my husband!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I'm still working on this... step further
I heard an interesting addition to the process of forgiveness today. I was watching "Luggage", a Rob Bell NOOMA DVD, and he suggested that until you are able to look at someone who has wronged you and wish them the best in life, you haven't truly reached a state of forgiveness. It's one thing to say "I forgive you". Not that that's an easy step either. That step alone could take years. But to then look at the person (either figuratively or literally) and tell them that you want the best for them and that you hope their journey is 'blessed'--that's a whole different thing. Our natural inclination is to wish they get what they deserve, and not in a good way. We usually want that person to suffer for what they've done, or at least pay the toll. But that's a call for vengeance. That's a sign that you haven't truly let go of your bitterness or resentment. You haven't really forgiven them. Would we want God to treat us that way after we've completely disappointed or hurt Him? Would we want Him to forgive us and then say, okay, now hopefully something bad will happen to teach you a lesson? Doubtful. We'd want Him to forgive, let go of the wrongdoing, and move forward with good things for us. It's a good final step and a good test to see if we've truly reached a state of complete forgiveness. Not sure if I've reached that place in all areas of forgiveness in my life.
posted by Kelvin @ 1:23 PM

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A Beautiful Testimony

This is a very good description of what it feels like to be depressed. It is taken directly from a post entitled, "Diving for Pearls" which was posted on my birthday.

I was hit with a wall of depression. I was physically and emotionally exhausted. It was at this time that I experienced the real grief and loss of my Dad in addition to all the other areas of loss I was dealing with. I had no experience with grief of this magnitude. I felt like part of myself was gone and it caused me to question myself in all area of my life.
-Who am I now?
-How am I living or not living my life?
-What is important to me?
-Where am I in my relationships? Etc., etc…

I was overwhelmed. I felt like a cat hanging from a cliff by its fingernails. I wasn’t sleeping or eating well and I was losing weight. I remember being afraid, confused, sad and hard on myself. With the help of counseling, medication, the support of friends and my faith, I slowly came out from the weight that was holding me down.

I searched the bible and wrote down every verse I could find on fear. Courage was my theme! I hung on to scripture and especially these words from Isaiah 43:1-5 “…this is what the Lord says – He who created you ….He who formed you…”Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; and you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass though the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior….since you are precious and honored in my sight because I love you….do not be afraid, for I am with you.”

Anne Lamott, in her book “Plan B”, says “Fear is the worst part….but underneath the fear I keep finding resilience, forgiveness and even grace.” She also says, “When God is going to do something wonderful, He starts with a hardship. When God is going to do something amazing, He starts with an impossibility.” She urges us to “practice radical hope.”

I remember praying one night asking God to take controls of the veritable “plane” that was going down again, surrendering it all to Him. I thanked Him for His power and presence in my life and for His unfailing love even thought I didn’t know where all of this was going. It’s at this point that you hang on to God’s promise that He has a plan for you and that it is good. I had a visual image of a “pilot light”. I thanked Him for keeping the pilot light on in my soul. That is all that I felt was there but it as there.

Another quote describes what I was experiencing come from a book by Ann Grahm Lotz called “Why?”, It says, “The burden of suffering seems to be a tombstone hung about our necks, while in fact, it is the weight necessary to keep down the diver while he/she is hunting for pearls.” During that time, God gave me the power to hang in there and remain deep as I searched for these pearls. Even though I was in a depleted and sort of “suspended” state, God was good. In the midst of my pain, I experienced a new capacity to trust God and know His grace!

I have received so many unexpected gifts during this season of loss ; too many to mention, but here are a few:
-A new appreciation for the support of women friends. They are critical for our survival!
-The importance of the gift of music in my life which brings me joy and connects me to God.
-The ability to slow down and look for God’s presence in all areas of my life.
-A depth of appreciation of simple moments of beauty and the presence of “the sacred” in “the ordinary”. It is like my vision and heart have been expanded for these things.
I loved the beautiful illustration of suffering as a "weight" that is necessary for divers to find pearls. I may have to do a study on the "weight of suffering".

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year!

Top Five Priorities:

1. Read the Word
2. Pray
3. Worship
4. Witness
5. Love

Goals and Dreams:

1. Continuing Education: maybe start a M. Div. or work towards a counseling license or degree.
2. Finding More Treasures in the Darkness: the treasures are God's jewels, His people.
3. Seeking more inner healing and soul-care; to learn more about how to reach out to others.
4. Get a Hysterectomy: or at least, fix some of my "female problems".
5. Get more physically healthy. I HATE the word, "diet" as much as the act of dieting. But, I hate the consequences of ignoring genetic propensities even more: the ultimate consequence, of course, is to "die".

"To diet, or not to die: that is the question."
"Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow--we diet!"

Prayer for Loved Ones:

1. Deeper commitment and stronger faith in God.
2. Growing desire to serve: to get "beyond ourselves"
3. Wisdom for life's decisions and courage to make the right choices.
4. A greater love for each other: how can we say we love God if we hate our brother?
5. Spiritual Fortitude in troublesome times. When all things that can be shaken will be shaken... to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand fast!