He Forgives & Forgets #WilcoWednesday

7 Days Time

Welcome to Wilco Wednesday! If you are a new around these parts, “Wilco” is Army-speak for “Will Comply.” Think of it as saying “Roger, God. Got it. Will do.”  So that is what Wednesday here at 7 Days Time is all about– exploring his decrees and seeking guidance for what complying with Him looks like in everyday life. The best part? He loves us for who we are, not what we do.  Remember: He doesn’t want perfection, just obedience. Share. Enjoy. Interact. Please help me welcome a passionate follower of Jesus, dear Sammie, as she shares a beautiful poem she wrote in 1980.
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The phone rang and after sprinting through the house to catch the call before the message machine engaged in its soliloquy, I was greeted by a friends warm voice whom I hadn’t seen in many months.  After a few moments of lively conversation, arrangements were made for her to come visit the next day so we could have time to indulge in an afternoon of fellowship and catching up on events.

The next day when she arrived, the teapot was nestled in its “cozy,” the cookies were on the tray and the English tea cups decorated the Garden Room table like miniature flower bouquets.  Does life get any better than this??  Our conversation that afternoon manifested the ever present “essence of the Unseen Guest” as the shuttle of our thoughts and comments wove evidence of how the Lord was moving in the warp and woof of our personal lives.

Forgives ForgetsThen, quietly my guest said, “I don’t know what to do with the guilt I feel for the things I’ve done wrong in my life.  I feel so useless to the Lord!”  I asked if she had taken those sins before the Lord in prayer and confession – to which she answered… “Oh yes, I keep confessing and confessing them but the guilt feeling doesn’t go away!”  My heart ached seeing her emotionally caught in the web of the “Deceiver.” She was temporarily unable to “lay hold of the freedom of the forgiveness through our Messiah” (Prov.4:4)

Today, I was repairing the hem in the sleeve of this jump suit when, as cutting the thread, I accidentally snipped part of the fabric itself.  I mended it and the garment is whole once again, still of value and capable of continued use; yet, you can see the “scar” where the mending was done.   Although I feel sad the episode happened, whenever I look at the repair,  I don’t need to keep bringing it back to the sewing machine and ‘re-mending’ that spot.

When we confess our sins, God Forgives AND Forgets them (AKA, separates them from us – (Ps 103:12). Through confession, we are washed in the righteousness of Jesus work on the Cross (Rom.10:4)   However, like the garment, our lives often carry the scars of our wrongful deeds.  Our freedom in Christ is  knowing HE has mended/healed those damaged parts (1 Peter 2:24) and made us whole again!  Often we confuse what God does – Forgive and Forget, removing the sin completely, (Heb. 10:17) with the reality that here on earth, we live with the consequences of our sins.  In that confusion we tend to take our eyes off Jesus and instead dwell on the scar (sin) and what caused it!

Looking at the mended part of the sleeve of my garment, I think how unfortunate the event took place – but it is mended and therefore taken care of!  When we feel sad about a past sin, the Accuser (Satan)  likes  to whisper in our ear… “Ah Ha, see that scar – you’re guilty…you’re guilty.  Look what you did!”  And at that point, we assume feeling bad means not being forgiven.  So, based on feelings, we drag our emotions back to the Cross to be forgiven (mended) at the same spot over and over.  (Like taking the garment back to the sewing machine for the same repair.) And, in the process, we hinder moving on in our walk in the Lord.  Satan likes to muddle our thinking – especially in the Forgiveness process – and delights in getting us focused on feelings rather than Scriptural Fact!

You see, our part of the Forgive could be likened to the pain experienced in child bearing.  We lived through the pain; can’t deny it happened.  In fact, we can look back and recall the experience of that pain; but, as it is in the past and done with,  we release it and move on with our lives.  To forgive in the form of release is to be set free from that event’s bondage!

God graciously calls us to live in the freedom of His forgiveness of confessed sin and walk in the newness of Christ (1John 1;7) – not heed the lies of the Accuser trying to keep us from realizing our victory in Christ!

My friend and I prayed together that afternoon and I encouraged her to experience the freedom of seeing those scars as reminders of the Joy of our Salvation (Ps 51:12).  Knowing that like a mended garment, we can see the mended areas of our lives and rejoice in the healing ministry of our Lord.  HE who mends hearts and minds, making us whole in Him, Redeemed, Renewed, and still of value in His sight.  (Luke 1:68).

Does life get any better than this?  That we could dwell in the presence of our Lord in praises and encourage one another/to taste and see the Lord is good!(Ps 34.8), She left that day pondering her new perspective of freedom in Christ!  And, as I waved goodbye, I purposed in my heart to pray both of us would continue to grow in His Grace.

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” ~2 Peter 3:18  

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Think back on your darkest hours… How do the words above encourage you? Leave a comment and join the conversation.

Sammie headshotSuzanne (Sammie) Gray has been a Bible Study leader with PWOC,  International  Women’s Club, and  Campus Crusade for Christ ministries for over 42 years.   Her passion is teaching women how to walk in victory in their knowledge of our Jesus Christ.  Her hearts calling and personal ministry Scripture is Is. 61; 1-3 helping women to discover Christ’s Divine Design and calling on their lives.

She has two children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.  She spent 15 years in the Corporate  world,  has owned/operated three  businesses, and traveled the world extensively.  Her hobbies are gardening, music, and studying Paleo-Biblical Hebrew interpretation of Scripture.  

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Linking up today with my friend Kristin over at Three-word Wednesday and having a little Coffee for your Heart with Holley.  

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Leadership Riches

Leadership is a funny thing.

It’s awesome. It’s challenging. It’s uncertain. It forces us to grow in ways we never considered. It reaches hearts. It touches lives.

And when we put the “Christian” spin on it, it brings Jesus to those who need it.

When I started my leadership journey over 16 years ago, I had no clue that God was already involved in that process.

Back then, it was all about ME.

Now, it’s all about HIM. (Well, mostly. I still have MY days. I’m working on it.)

But for me, leadership is one of the more enjoyable, rich, and unpredictable aspects of my Jesus journey. [Read more…]

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Made with His Loving Hand #WilcoWednesday

Welcome to Wilco Wednesday! If you are a new around these parts, “Wilco” is Army-speak for “Will Comply.” Think of it as saying “Roger, God. Got it. Will do.”  So that is what Wednesday here at 7 Days Time is all about– exploring his decrees and seeking guidance for what complying with Him looks like in everyday life. The best part? He loves us for who we are, not what we do.  Remember: He doesn’t want perfection, just obedience. Share. Enjoy. Interact. And let’s respond to God’s call with  a hearty “Wilco, Lord!” Please welcome our PWOC sister, Kornelia (aka, Konnie.)  

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7 Days Time

Over the years, I have noticed that many woman and girls have a very negative view of themselves, especially when it comes to looks. This has always made me very sad.

I too have struggled with insecurities as a teenager and later as a young woman.

But when I found God, I slowly, very slowly,  learned to see myself in a healthier way. I remember reading Psalm 139:16…

“…For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

I had a tough childhood. Maybe you had one too—one that left you scarred. Maybe you still hear the lies in your head from days long past. But the good news is that God heals.  We can bring those old wounds to Jesus, who faced suffering when he was on this earth too.

Loving HandIt took me a while, but one day I realized that I could say no to the negative voices in my head and replace them with God’s word. Consider this: there is no one in this whole wide world that looks like you do. GOD made you and created you with His loving hand.

Honestly, I have had my bad days. You probably have too.  But I refuse to listen to the lies of the enemy anymore. Time is precious.  I will not waste it.

I also would like to encourage you to find out what God given talents you possess.  Once you know and work in these gifts, you will feel so blessed. Just look back on the things you loved to do as a child, as a teen and as an adult. You will get an idea what brings you joy. When I do what I love, and use the gifts God gave me, I feel happy and it makes me feel beautiful from the inside out. We woman are such an awesome creation. We ROCK!

The world would want us to believe that we can be happy only if we look a certain way. But we can look to God and what He says about us. I can’t count the many times I have gotten ready in front of the mirror years ago and did not like what I saw. Sometimes I felt even hatred for myself. But with Christian counseling and spending time with my awesome Papa Jesus, I can say now:  I am wonderfully made.

The more time I spend with Him the more I get to know Him and His love for me.

So please embrace the beautiful, wonderful you that God intended you to be. Don’t waste another minute listening to the lies. Look in the mirror and say. “Girl, you rock!”  Say it as often as needed until you finally believe and feel it.

We have a great power living in us.  If we ask God to help us to see ourselves the way He sees us, He truly will set us free. We are no longer victims.  We are victorious through Jesus Christ. Embrace the beautiful, wonderful you.  The you that God created you to be. When we really start to believe how much we are loved, we will carry ourselves differently.  We walk as women who know who we are in Christ. Remember the enemy came to kill and destroy, but Christ came so that we can have new hope for a better and brighter future.

You were made with His loving hand… it is certainly wasn’t by accident.

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Kornelia (Konnie) Brown is from Germany, but has lived in the USA for 25 years. She has been married for 28 years and has three grown children and five grand kids. Konnie has enjoyed writing stories, poems, and songs since her teenage years.

 

 

Linking up today with my friend Kristin over at Three-word Wednesday and having a little Coffee for your Heart with Holley.  Oh! And be sure to join our #EverydayJesus link-up community right here at 7 Days Time every Thursday!

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A Book to Heal Your Heart (Giveaway)

In my three decades on this earth, I have been blessed with relatively good health.

But you know, not everyone can say that.

My online friend Shelly is one of those gals.

For the majority of her life, she lived what society might call “normal.” But a few years ago, her health took an unexpected turn.

It’s kind of a long story, but in short, sweet Shelly is now what she calls “chronically ill.” She struggles daily with things/tasks/life experiences that I can’t even comprehend.

However, that hasn’t stopped her from sharing about all things Jesus.

She has recently written her first book– and I have the incredible privilege of reviewing it.  [Read more…]

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Just a little Respect (in Marriage) #WilcoWednesday

Welcome to Wilco Wednesday! If you are a new around these parts, “Wilco” is Army-speak for “Will Comply.” Think of it as saying “Roger, God. Got it. Will do.”  So that is what Wednesday here at 7 Days Time is all about– exploring his decrees and seeking guidance for what complying with Him looks like in everyday life. The best part? He loves us for who we are, not what we do.  Remember: He doesn’t want perfection, just obedience. Share. Enjoy. Interact. And let’s respond to God’s call with  a hearty “Wilco, Lord!”  Welcome my talented and insightful friend Ande! 

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When I was pregnant with my first, I was involved in a business that did home shows. I met all kinds of ladies talking about all kinds of things. One day I was discussing my product with several women over the age of 50. I had been married almost seven years and very excited to be a new mom. It struck me as odd that these women had very little to say that was nice about their own husbands! They told me to “just wait, you’ll see” as they explained how lazy, old and fat their husbands were.

NO! I thought, and even said aloud at one time, “I really like my husband!”

But who hasn’t complained about her beloved? Just blowing off steam? I wondered. This is a temptation from the king of lies, Satan. He wants to destroy our marriage. Marriage, though, is a gift from God – the first gift that Eve receives after the gift of life. [Read more…]

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How To “America!” (Army Wife Network)

If you ever have a face-to-face conversation with me, it will likely take you all of six minutes to realize I have some very “unique” language and vocabulary.

I use words like “fantastical” on a regular basis. I occasionally throw a “fo-shizzle” in there, although I know it is soooo 2011. I call my three-year-old daughter “My Tiny Human” and have said the phrase “That’s my jam” so much that my friends are now insisting that I change it up and say “That’s my marmalade” or “That’s my jelly.” (I talk more about this on the Army Wife Talk Radio show I recently hosted for AWN. Listen to it here.) [Read more…]

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Holy Spirit, You Are Welcome Here #WilcoWednesday

Welcome to Wilco Wednesday! If you are a new around these parts, “Wilco” is Army-speak for “Will Comply.” Think of it as saying “Roger, God. Got it. Will do.”  So that is what Wednesday here at 7 Days Time is all about– exploring his decrees and seeking guidance for what complying with Him looks like in everyday life. The best part? He loves us for who we are, not what we do.  Remember: He doesn’t want perfection, just obedience. Share. Enjoy. Interact. And let’s respond to God’s call with  a hearty “Wilco, Lord!” Welcome today, my good friend BriAnn as she shares a snippet of her testimony. 

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In life, we all make choices. Apart from God, these choices are driven by our inner desires. When our inner desires aren’t being met by God’s love, protection, provision, meaning, and purpose for our lives, we’ll find ourselves looking for love in all the wrong places.

And that’s exactly where I found myself at age 19. Marrying a man I had dated for six years, but didn’t truly know, having a child when I was still a child, moving 2600 miles away from my family and friends, into an absolute mess of a situation, all while looking for my identity in the man that I believed should meet all of my needs. [Read more…]

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Leap (Year) of Faith

Over the years, God has changed me in dramatic ways.

He has called me out of the corporate world working for “real people” dollars to working for “Jesus Dollars.”

He has brought me to my knees, face-to-face with my own sin and slowly been transforming my heart for His glory. (That’s been a “fun” process.)

He is (gradually) softening my heart and tongue. He is showing me how to set healthy boundaries with my emotions and work.

But one thing He has yet to change? My fear of heights. [Read more…]

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Hold On to Your Joy! #WilcoWednesday

7 Days Time

Welcome to Wilco Wednesday! If you are a new around these parts, “Wilco” is Army-speak for “Will Comply.” Think of it as saying “Roger, God. Got it. Will do.”  So that is what Wednesday here at 7 Days Time is all about– exploring his decrees and seeking guidance for what complying with Him looks like in everyday life. The best part? He loves us for who we are, not what we do.  Remember: He doesn’t want perfection, just obedience. Share. Enjoy. Interact. Welcome a very Godly, loving woman, my friend Bobbie. 
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“Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!”               ~Psalm 32:11

It is quite natural for us to be moved and influenced by what goes on around us.  When someone is sad, we want to be sensitive, compassionate and supportive.  We might naturally suppress our exuberance over something great going on in one’s own life.  If we learn that a friend’s lost item (wallet, phone, keys, military ID) is recovered, even if we are struggling with hard things, we freely enter into the joy of that person.  Paul says in Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.” [Read more…]

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The (Real) Rich Life

Confession:

Some days I daydream about money.

It’s nothing TOO serious, just me imagining what I would spend the dinero on if it suddenly showed up in excess. Silly things, really. Fitness gadgets. Inky pens. Journals. A fancy, customized new Bible. Buying all of my friends their favorite lunch/flowers/gift just because it’s Thursday.

I recently saw a comic floating around on Facebook that had a person in a church praying. The speech bubble said, “Please Lord, let me prove to you that winning the lottery won’t ruin my life.” #UmYesPlease [Read more…]

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