Saturday, February 25, 2012


One writer compared our hurtful, mis-spoken words to a bad golf shot. You know immediately the ball is off target and you may mutter "come back here",  but it is too late.  My golf partners will often say they wish for a "do-over" on shots like that. The ball has been played and now all you can do is chase it down with the intention of making things right again. The same with ill-spoken words, once they are out of your mouth and you realize the damage you just caused, all you can do is make things right again.

How easy it is for me to fall into a conversation about another and before I  realize it I  am not saying anything that resembles helpfulness in building that person up. In fact, I often find myself in the rough, so to speak, shamed and  contrite while my words play back in my mind.

In life, just as in golf, making things right may be easy or it may be difficult. How much trouble are you in? Is this going to cost you one or two penalty strokes(or penances)? I know that in the game of golf I have little choice if I want to continue with the round. Take my medicine and play on. In the game of life, however, the options are many and one such option-avoidance, is the easiest. Avoiding the destruction your words just created might be the easiest, but it can be the costliest as well. 

God wants me in place where I recognize my sin almost as soon as it leaves my mouth. He would prefer it never roll off my tongue in the first place, but being human, perfection is still a goal! God forgives these human frailties, but He also instructs us on watching our tongue. Words can be so hurtful, even in the most innocent of situations. I pray for guidance and help in this area. I would much rather be known for qualities like being helpful and building up others than as one constantly chasing after thoughtless words and wishing for "do-overs" that may never come. 

We do best when opening our mouths to follow Paul's pattern as taught to the Ephesians: "[Say] only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen" (Ephesians 4:29).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lenten Prayer

I haven't written on here in a long time. I would come here and write sometimes and realize it was just therapy for myself and never post the blog.

Since we have just started the Lenten season I thought it appropriate to write about something that has hit me hard in a lesson we are studying in my small bible study group. We are studying David with Beth Moore (my hero, haha). If you have never done a study led by her I highly recommend it. She is amazing.

During one segment Beth is talking about David's reaction when Uzzah mishandled the ark of God and was immediately struck dead by the Lord (2Samuel 6). So one minute David is celebrating and leading a parade of worshipers and then tragedy strikes. Beth points out the scripture says David was angry and then he was afraid. Beth's next question was do we ever remember a time when we were angry with God and then afraid.

Yes, I do remember a time when I felt anger toward God and yes, I was then fearful. When Mom died so tragically at a young age I was, as were many of my family and friends, caught off guard. I remember getting angry with God because I didn't understand how He could allow such a thing to happen to my family. But being raised Catholic, I became fearful of that anger with Him and over time the fear turned to a mistrust and a doubt. It was not an openly noticeable distrust, it was just a small, back in the recesses of my heart distrust.

My life began to reflect that turn from God. I made poor choices, I did things I would never have believed possible of myself and I found myself anxious and fearful of moving forward. I still battle with anxiety, self-doubt and self esteem issues today. The difference, 30 years later, is I turn to God now with these battles instead of away from Him and He is there despite my anger with Him, despite my doubts and fears of Him and most importantly despite my sins against Him.

Beth points out we can spend decades refusing to budge an inch with God because of something that happened where we couldn't reconcile our beliefs of who we thought God was at the time with what had just occurred. She says the Cross of Christ is so large and far reaching and does work for all who put their trust in Him. But if we choose to remain where we are (angry and fearful) for the rest of our lives-every inch we refuse to take with God, we surrender to the enemy. Satan has too much to gain by us hanging on to those emotions and we have too much to lose. We make his agenda much easier when we continue to wrestle with questions about God's goodness and trustworthiness.

Deep down in the recesses of my heart I know I do not want to spend the rest of my life angry, afraid, and in the same old place. I want to step up and step forward with God. Though I don't have all the answers as to why things happen the way they do, I do believe He has never left me and never ceased loving me (despite a very sinful life) and He certainly has never shut off His goodness from me.

So I pray that all who read this will have a blessed Lenten season and discover in themselves the love and goodness of our Lord and Savior living and at work in their hearts. If anger and fear describe your heart, I pray you will take the first steps in leaving that old place and move (even inch by inch) toward a new place with our God and the promises He has in store for us.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blundering through Life

I made a big mistake. I mean it was HUGE! I can't go back and fix it and it will never go away. It was one of those fall off a cliff things that leaves you thinking what minute all was good and the next...BAM! I know it all sounds very negative doesn't it? It was a lesson, a God one, so that is good right? I hope I can come to that conclusion...the sooner the better.

I have found myself starting my prayers lately with "I am struggling with...." or "God, you know I struggle with..". God I'm sure is thinking yes, dear one you are and you have been for a long time. He and his heavenly saints are probably also thinking and "when will you finally get it!!" I may well be getting "it" (or at least a portion) as I turn to Him more and more. The "it" I am coming away with is to always, always go to God first with everything I am struggling with. He will listen, He will not judge and He will answer.

For some that may sound pretty elementary. It is not for me. I want to trust God with every portion of my life, but with all the horrible things happening in the world, I can't help but think my stuff is so trivial. The more I talk to God through prayer and His Word, however, the more I have come to realize He is interested in me and my life. He is living in me and can use me for so much. I can spread His goodness and love just by the way I live my life and the attitude I bring to the people I come in contact with daily (right here in Lubbock, Tx). He is taking care of all the details. Pretty amazing.

I can't go back and fix my blunder, I know that. But I have learned that to confide in another human with something very personal and humbling is a risk. They are human just like me and they make mistakes as well. So I will take it as a lesson learned and go on. I have learned that God is my confidante and all I say to Him stays between us. He will guide me and direct me and He will comfort me and support me. Hopefully my blunders will become fewer, or at the very least, maybe the fall will not be as far.