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A ‘Come-to-Jesus Meeting’

3 Jun

Trevor Lund, an encouraging pastor who I (Dawn) follow on Twitter and through his Computer Parts in Boxnewsletters, tells this  funny story about his daughter, Taiessa, when she was young:

Taiessa was just over two-and-a-half. She and I were downstairs in the crawl space looking through some boxes. She asked me what was in one of the boxes.

“That’s a box of computer stuff.” I stated.

“My puter?” she said, missing the first syllable.

“COM-puter,” I said stressing the part of the word she missed. “Say, COM-puter.”

COM-puter, COM-puter, COM-puter,” she repeated with perfect syntax.

I was just starting to congratulate myself for correcting her vocabulary so easily when she turned to me and said:

“Daddy, my puter’s not coming! *

LOL!

I think that my computer’s not obedient sometimes, too! In fact, if you’re like Pam and me, you have a love/hate relationship with your computer. The last time my computer was in the process of crashing, I tried coaxing it ~ “Come on … come to Mama … behave … you can do it.” My computer failed to cooperate and I had another expensive “fix” with a technician. I ended up totally frustrated and close to tears, because my computer did NOT come to Mama!

I know that there are days that I must make God grieve because I will not “come” to Him. He has such great plans for me, but I will not respond with a yielded heart. I go my own way, independent and uncooperative, and I ultimately “crash.”

Truth be told, there are days that I make God grieve. Yes, God gets sad. He grieves over the sins of His people.

Do you know how I know? Jesus, the Son of God, wept over the city of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). It is one of the most touching scenes in the Scriptures. Imagine a strong man weeping. Imagine God weeping. It reveals His heart, doesn’t it?

I read that when Jesus wept Continue reading

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Do I Stink?

26 May

Sandwich in SaranShannon Perry’s book, Grace in High Heels, reminds me of some of the stories we tell in our book, LOL with God. She’s a funny lady!

In one chapter of her book, Shannon tells the funny story of receiving a turkey sandwich on an airline on one of her speaking trips.  She tucked the wrapped sandwich in the outside pocket of her purse, saving it to eat at her hotel.

Several weeks later, in a restaurant with her husband, she noticed a “foul smell” that came, she said, “from my waiter. “ She wondered whether anyone had told him about his “problem.”

The next morning, when she opened her closet, an awful smell almost knocked her over. She checked all of her clothes and couldn’t find anything. Eventually, she wondered whether the smell was coming from her.

“Do I stink?” she asked her husband. Puzzled, he replied that he didn’t think so.

Later, as she drove to a luncheon, the smell was with her again, reinforcing the thought that it must be her.  She even considered going to a doctor! At the luncheon, as Shannon sat at the table, all she could think about was “the stink.”

When it came time to pay the bill, she reached into her purse to retrieve her cash and her hand hit something squishy. Yes, it was the turkey sandwich.

She’d carried that sandwich for THREE WEEKS in hot cars, planes, and hotels!

In the restaurant, relieved that the smell was not emanating from her body, Shannon said, “I thrust my hand into the air and screamed, ‘It’s not me!'”

Shannon ended her tale about the awful stink with these words: “My purse Continue reading

Ask for Forgiveness Later?

12 May

Sneaky Thief

Amanda Brown was the winner of the book drawing for “One Tough Mother.” Congratulations, Amanda!)

A man went to see a counselor. “I’ve become a compulsive thief,” the man said.

The counselor replied, “You really should stop that and ask for forgiveness.”

“I’ve tried to stop,” the man said, “but I just can’t!”

“Oh, well, in that case,” said the counselor, “could you get me a wide-screen television?” *

Kathy Sanchez, one of my (Dawn’s) friends at church, recently wrote on her Facebook page:  “When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way. So,” she joked, “I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.”

Later, when I wrote and asked Kathy if I could quote her, she wrote, “Go ahead. I stole it from someone else. And I will ask for forgiveness about it later.”

Now I know Kathy’s heart, and that she was kidding around. We tend to laugh at that concept. I hear it all the time. Maybe we’re puzzling over whether we should do something ~ weighing the pros and cons, the benefits and consequences. And then we get this “helpful” advice: “Oh, go ahead. You can always ask forgiveness later.” Or another version:  “It’s easier to get forgiveness than to ask permission!”

In our daily interactions, that might be OK in some circumstances when we are sure we’re not sinning, and it’s just part of choosing the better of two options.

But it doesn’t work spiritually. And I want to make a quick spiritual point, because we all want more joy in our lives … joy in God and in our relationship with him. But there’s something that can really steal that joy…

There are sins that we do in ignorance, sins that we commit in moments of weakness … and then there’s this other kind of sin that’s u-u-u-u-ugly. It’s premeditated.

David calls this premeditated sin “presumptuous” (Psalm 19:13), and he prayed that he’d be kept (put in check) from this kind of wicked thinking. A presumptuous sin is one that we commit willfully when we know better ~ we do it deliberately. We rationalize it away. We might even devise a plan. And we reason that it’s somehow OK, because God will forgive us.

We all have that little flicker of rebellion deep in our hearts. We want our way, and we’re willing to ignore the Spirit’s voice within, saying, “No. Stop. This isn’t right!” But we go on planning and scheming how we’re going to move ahead and get away with it … knowing full well that it’s wrong.

I’ve found that presumption can take place in any area of life. It can take place in our area of deepest weakness, or in our area of greatest strength and pride … and sometimes in both!

I found this true one day when I clearly heard the Spirit of God speaking to my heart about not buying a necklace for an outfit I had. I knew that He wanted me to wait for Him to provide the jewelry another way… or to do without. Jewelry wasn’t in our budget at that point. But having a necklace that day seemed so irresistible (a point of weakness). So I found myself driving to the mall.

Again, the Spirit spoke:  “Don’t even go near that jewelry counter, Dawn!” But I thought I could resist (and there’s the pride), so I said, “I’ll just look.”

Long story short, I ended up finding a pretty little thing and taking it home. I disobeyed the promptings of God. And wouldn’t you know it, Continue reading

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