Regrets

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He sat up in bed, saying his goodbyes, grey eyes staring right into mine. I stared back as I was being pushed out the door. I did not get to hug his neck or tell him I loved him. We continued to stare at each other until I was out of sight. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. My heart screamed out to him and my head filled with fear. I would never see him again.

This happened when I was thirteen years old. My granddaddy was the man sitting up in bed; a hospital bed. Cancer had taken over his lungs and he lost his battle a few nights after my last visit with him. I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not give my granddaddy a hug before saying goodbye. After visiting with him and my grandma at their house, they would walk my mom, dad, brother and I to our car and he would always tell me, “Come hug my neck.” And I would reach my tiny arms around this seven-foot tall man and hug him with all my strength. He was my best friend. We did everything together. I was by his side at all times. I loved this man with every bit of my heart. But that last night – my last time every seeing him – I did not hug his neck.

Regret. What a powerful word. Our sermon yesterday at church focused on this word. The pastor spoke of regret and disappointment and described the difference between the two. Disappointment is when you wish something would have turned out differently, but you had no control over its outcome. Regret is something you know would have turned out differently had you made a better choice. Regret will paralyze you. Regret will imprison you. John Ortberg said, “Hell is human regret consolidated.”

Matthew 26 tells us the story of Peter’s promise to Jesus that he would never desert Him (Matt. 26:33). However, Jesus knew that Peter’s promise would be broken. He told Peter that he would deny Him three times on that same night. Yet once again, Peter insisted that this was not true.

When Jesus is arrested by the traitor Judas, Peter waits outside in the courtyard. A servant girl tells Peter that she saw him with Jesus. Here is where Peter’s first denial comes in. In front of everyone in the courtyard, Peter denied knowing Jesus. He denied knowing the Lord. He denied knowing Jesus a second time to another servant girl who claimed to have seen him with Jesus. This time his denial was done with an assurance. The bystanders knew that he must have known Jesus because he spoke with a Galilean accent. Yet again, Peter swore he did not know the Lord. Three denials in the same night. Then the rooster crowed.

Imagine Peter’s shock as the sound of the crowing rooster entered his ears. Oh how his heart must have stopped at that very moment. The Bible says that Peter went away and wept bitterly (Matthew 26:75). He was overwhelmed with regret at what he had done. He denied the Lord! He denied knowing his own creator.

In Psalm 38:4-8, David speaks of his own regret. He says that his guilt is overwhelming because of his own poor choices. His heart is grief-stricken over the choices he made. He is spiritually imprisoned.

Our pastor ended our sermon yesterday with three ways in which we can be set free from the prison of regret. One, we can accept our second chances. We can be set free through the forgiveness of Christ! (Psalm 32:5) We just need to be honest and come clean with God (Proverbs 28:13). Second, we need to clarify our values and think about what is really important. Think about what your life looks like to you when you are on your deathbed. Are you happy with how you lived? Do you have any regrets? Third, we need to pursue God’s plan for our lives with all of our heart, mind, and soul.  The Lord gives us a great promise in Isaiah 43:4-8. He tells us not to dwell on the past because He is doing something new. What a wonderful promise from the Lord! Isn’t He amazing?

What about you? Do you have many regrets? I would love to hear from you in the comments section below. May you have a very blessed day. Do not dwell on the past!

Psalm 81:10

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt.

Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.”

Psalm 81:10, NLT

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In Exodus 20, years before the book of Psalms was written, God gave instructions to the people which included the duties to God as well as the duties to man. He started His instructions with “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery,” (Exodus 20:2). He is Jehovah, the only God to be worshiped. No other God is to be recognized. In Psalm 81:10, God once again says the same thing: “I am the LORD your God who brought you up out of Egypt…” He is making it clear in announcing who He is that He is the only God to be worshiped. This God brought the people out of Egypt, something none but God could do. In doing this His name was glorified and His power and existence was shown.

By saying “open wide your mouth and I will fill it,” more than likely God means that He can supply your needs. You do not need to seek out another God to fulfill your needs. God does not lack in power, nor does he lack in resources. He will supply more than enough. We just have to ask Him. Psalm 37:3-4 tells us to “Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” 

Psalm 81:10, to me, is saying that we need to put our trust in the Lord and ask Him to fulfill our needs. Only He is capable of doing this. Only He is worthy of worshiping. We need to open our mouths wide and tell Him our needs. Only then will He fill us with blessings.

 

 

P31 OBS Blog Hop

#StickWithIt

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Life can be challenging. There are so many things to do and not enough time to do them in a day, or sometimes even a week! My six-year old daughter has cheerleading twice a week – Monday and Thursday. Wednesday nights are Awana nights. Saturdays are early morning football games where she cheers. Sunday morning is church, and then sometimes in the evenings we have dinner with my family. That leaves a Tuesday open and everybody knows that Tuesday is that day of the week that we are already exhausted! I’m not complaining because secretly I like the go-go-go of my life. (Shhh…don’t tell anybody!)

I am currently in a Bible Study through Proverbs 31 Ministries. We are working through a book by Lysa TerKeurst (whom I adore!) called “What Happens When Women Say Yest to God.” This book has changed my perspective on quite a few different areas in my life. Last week, the third week of the study, I was feeling a little down because I was reading about my other sisters in Christ and how they have heard God speak to them. They all had amazing, touching stories about their walk with God. I loved this. However, I still had not heard from God and I was sort of wondering when it was my turn. I thought maybe I was doing the study wrong, perhaps not putting enough time and passion into it. But then, Sunday at the end of church service, I heard it. God’s voice.

In our church bulletin there was a card called Vision Sunday. On this card were places to check for you to help with the church. Now this is not my home church and we are not currently members there. However, we’ve been attending for a while. So in my mind I did not feel comfortable enough to check any box on that card. However, at the end of service, while standing in prayer, I kept hearing, “Nursery Worker.” I thought, “Say what? A nursery worker? ME? I do not feel comfortable working with other peoples’ children. God, is that really You?” I kept hearing the words repeat themselves until I looked back at the card I had so nicely tucked away into my bag. There at the bottom of the card were the words “Nursery Worker” with a small check box placed just to the left. I found myself taking my pen and checking that little box. After clicking my pen closed, I no longer heard the words “nursery worker” and I swear I could feel God smile.

Honestly, week one and two of the study were so fresh and exciting to me. But by week three I was feeling a little drained and down that I still had not heard from God. But then at the end of the week, there He was, speaking to me and calling me out to help in the nursery. I had thought of giving up. However, now I am chosing to #StickWithIt because I know that I am going to hear from God more often. I am learning how to find a peaceful place and just be quiet and listen. Psalm 37:7 tells us to “be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.”

I could have quit, I could have just given up. But I feel like giving up on the study is giving up on God. In her book, Lysa says, “It isn’t going to be easy. But we have Jesus and His power and that power is able to completely change our outlook on life.” How amazing is that statement? We have the power of Jesus to change the way we see our lives! When going through hard times, we sometimes feel all alone. However, we can lean on Jesus and #StickWithIt!

Are you going through something now in your life that you would like to quit because it isn’t easy? How do you see yourself getting through it?

 

“Rejoice in what God is doing in me through difficult times.” ~ Lysa TerKeurst

P31 OBS Blog Hop

Psalm 23 – Day 4

Psalm 23 – Day 4

Psalm 23:4

Verse 4

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Even when I walk through the darkest valley,

I will not be afraid,

There are many times in our lives when we are frightened by experiences we face. However, as the Lord’s sheep, we can walk with the Lord with pure trust and not be afraid. Sometimes we are tested, but we will be protected. There is no reason for fear when we walk with God. The Lord never leaves us. He is always with us. There is no reason to fear. I don’t know about you, but I find great comfort in that.

For you are close beside me.

Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.”

The rod was used to drive away wild animals, protecting the sheep. The staff was a thin pole used to assist the sheep. The use of these two instruments can be very important in helping us to understand God’s character. He is always willing to help His sheep and to guide them. God disciplines us with love always.

Reflection

I have had many experiences in which I have been terrified. Before I knew the Lord I lived my life in fear that things would only be terrible for me. However, I know have trust and faith in the Lord and I walk with Him. I am no longer afraid. I do not fear the tests that come my way because I know God is behind them and He will protect me. With His rod He will scare off the things I cannot handle and with His staff He will guide me. I am comforted by Him.

Prayer

Dear Lord,

Thank you for walking with me and protecting me during frightening times. Thank you for comforting me with your rod and staff. Lord, please continue to protect me during trials and tests. I will walk with You always.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

Psalm 23 – Day 3

Psalm 23 – Day 3

Psalm 23:3

Verse 3

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“He renews my strength,

The King James Version reads, “He restoreth my soul.” Oh the power of these words! When our souls grow weak, God strengthens it. When our souls become sinful, God purifies it. When our souls grow sorrowful, God revives it. The power of God over us is shown here and it is such a comfort to know that He can restore our souls. Sheep are wonderful at straying and getting lost. However, the Lord – our Shepherd – brings them back, showing them how they have erred. Repentance is given and the soul is restored.

 

He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.”

We are to follow in His footsteps, so to speak. He leads us to the right path so that we can follow the example of Christ. Sometimes as His sheep we stray, yet God prods us back to the right path. The Lord does this so that His name may be honored. He does not do it just so we can be saved, He does it so His name is honored.

Reflection

I am broken. I am exhausted in all ways. I have been these things before, yet God has renewed my strength. He has restored my soul. When I strayed off the path, God helped me find my way back. He let me go through trials so that His work could be seen in me. He let me become weak so that He could restore me. He did this all for me so that His name could be honored. And I praise Him and thank Him for it all!

Prayer

Dear Lord,

Thank You for all that You do for me. Thank You for restoring my weak and sorrowful soul. Thank You for bringing me back to the path of righteousness so that Your name may be honored. Lord, continue to bless me so that Your name will be honored through me.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 

 

Psalm 23 – Day 2

Psalm 23:2 – Day 2

Verse 2

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“He makes me lie down in green pastures,

He makes me lie down. God does not suggest that I lie down. He makes me. The Lord knows that we need to rest. Sometimes we get so into whatever it is that we are doing that we believe we can simply keep going. But the Lord knows better for us, therefore making us rest. And that’s okay. We need to rest! Rest is nourishment for our bodies. We all need to take time to rest in the Lord. Resting in God is very important because the best part of our life comes after rest. Even if we refuse to rest, the Lord will make us.

He leads me beside quiet waters.”

The words ‘quiet waters’ put together brings such a peaceful feeling to me. To me, this verse represents the peace and harmony coming from resting in the Lord. God knows that we need to rest and we cannot do so standing beside a raging river. Therefore He makes us rest beside quiet waters.

Reflection

I have had many storms blow through my life just over the past month. Some of you know the story about my son. I am in my resting period now. The Lord made me rest and I know that soon He will lead me beside quiet waters. I have faith that my peace will come and my anxiety and depression will be swept away under the current downstream.

Prayer

Dear Lord,

Thank you for making me rest. Sometimes I feel like I can keep going and I think I can do it all on my own. But I know that I need You and You understand my need for rest. You know when it is time for me to rest. Thank you for the peace you bring into my life after the storm has passed. Lord, I pray that I can continue to walk beside quiet water with You.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen.

Psalm 23 Bible Study

Psalm 23:1 – Day 1Image

I want to try a little something different. I have been praying on Psalm 23, reading it every day when I wake up, every night before I fall asleep, and in between when I am feeling like my world is crumbling. The more I read it the more I see the verses working themselves out in my life. So I want to do a little study on the meaning of each of the six verses throughout the Psalm. I would like you to also study Psalm 23. I would like to see how the verses are playing out in your own life. Perhaps you can start a prayer journal and write down a verse a day and explain what the verse means to you. Either way, I would love for you to be a part of this journey. Let’s get started!

Verse 1

“The Lord is my shepherd;

God is like our shepherd, protecting us from evil and helping us to find all that we need. When we step out of line, or off the path, God gently prods us back to where we need to be. This is our relationship with God. He is there to guide us, like a shepherd guides his sheep.

I have all that I need.”

If we allow the Lord to be our shepherd, then He will provide. We shall have all that we need. He is our supplier.

Reflection

I have read and reread Psalm 23 many times before verse one stuck out at me. I was going through a very difficult time and came across a website that mentioned this verse. It was as if God was highlighting it for me. I knew by just this first verse that I would be okay. Everything was going to be fine because the Lord is my shepherd and with Him I have all that I need. Have you seen this verse work for you? How?

Prayer

Dear Lord,

Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for prodding me when I stray from Your path. Thank you for supplying me with all that I need. I pray for your continuous protection. I pray that You nudge me back onto Your path whenever I stray so that I may walk with You forever.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen