To my gorgeous wife…I am immensely thankful to God for you…
[The following was a post by Dr. Steve Maraboli on Instagram recently… it speaks very loudly and very clearly to me.]
“How would your life be different if you learned to let go of things that have already let go of you? Your life is a blend of the ingredients you add to it. Whether you feel energetic or drained, nourished or poisoned, free or burdened, enthusiastic or indifferent; your subjective experience of life is a result of the ingredients you allow to stew in your mind and body.
From relationships long gone, to old grudges, to regrets, to all the “could’ve” and “should’ve,” to the dead friendships you still hang on to, to all the broken resolutions; these are all expired life-moments that continue to be factors in the experience of your current life.
Let today be the day you consciously take inventory of the ingredients you ingest in your life’s stew. Empower yourself to get rid of the elements that have long spoiled and no longer nourish. You wouldn’t drink spoiled milk. You wouldn’t eat rotten food. You wouldn’t butter moldy bread. We all know that if you did any of these things, you would feel ill.
So, just as you wouldn’t allow yourself to take in expired things for your meal; don’t allow yourself to take in expired things for your life. Could that be the reason you feel spiritually or emotionally ill?
Do not let yesterday’s events spoil today’s moments. There is so much goodness around you. So many things that can nourish your mind, body, and soul. Allow yourself the nourishing fuel that today has to offer. Nourish your life with empowering ingredients. Make peace with the hurtful past. Stop letting it be part of the recipe for your daily life and let the past be what it is; an expired moment in time.“
without action, is dead.
“You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” James 2:20-22
Actions, not just words. Walk it out, be faithful in word AND in deed, and give praise to the Father for His mercy.
This morning, I went down to the kitchen in my office and started working on cleaning out my coffee mug of the leftovers from yesterday’s coffee. As I normally do, I ran some scalding hot water into the cup from the tap on the coffee maker, and started scrubbing it out with a scrub brush that sits on the sink. It didn’t take long before I had sloshed some of the hot water out of the cup and onto my hand, which prompted a painful exclamation and some blowing on the burned skin. But then I stopped and looked at the cup and remarked to myself that in order to truly CLEAN the inside of the cup, sometimes some uncomfortable, and even painful circumstances had to occur.
As humans, we are creatures of habit and emotion. Unfortunately, living by emotion gets us into some severe difficulties at times. And those emotions are habits that we seem to run back to without a second thought when things get stressful.
It is inevitable that at some point you will run into circumstances that are going to cause you to have to make a decision to do the right thing or the wrong thing – it’s just a fact of life. If you choose to do the wrong thing, it will cause damage somewhere to someone. Sometimes you decide to undo what you’ve done and do the right thing, to try to put things back to right. This is where the habits come in. Your emotions can be involved in what has happened, and they are going to swing you wildly all around at the drop of a hat. It is crucial that you can step back from whatever is tripping your emotions and to look objectively at the entire situation. In this way, you can remember your ultimate goal of doing good, and can act accordingly instead of impulsively.
Do good, because good fosters more good.
“For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:17
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” I John 1:5-7
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:8-14 ESV
…even when it’s hard.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5
I’m not feeling terribly original in my thinking this morning, and this devotional by Paul David Tripp says it much more clearly than I could anyway.
“Quit being paralyzed by your past. Grace offers you
life in the present and a guarantee of a future.”
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”” Jeremiah 17:9-10
I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty sobering to me, not to mention terrifying on many levels…
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:17 Continue reading
I’ve spent the last couple of years working through some pretty serious life issues and how to not only reconcile those in my own life, but how to stand up and walk forward after a lot of pain and betrayal. So, instead of leaving all of that material here, I decided to clean house and look forward, not back. This quote is apt for the beginning though: Continue reading