Archive for the ‘Sorrow’ category

You Will Mess Up, What You Need to Know When You Do

September 27, 2011

The Devil really loves to blind us to simple truths. When he can get us to forget the nature and work of God he can discourage us enough to give up. Don’t let that happen. You should treasure these thoughts in your heart so you never forget them.

  • You are loved by God (Eph 5:1; John 3:16)
  • He showed his love when we deserved it the least (Rom 5:8).
  • There is nothing in this world or the heavens that can separate us from God’s love (Rom 8:38-39).
  • The sacrifice of Jesus blood covers all the sins we confess before God (1 John 1:7-9).
  • You can repent of any sin and God will remove it from you (Acts 3:19).
  • Once a sin is forgiven it is gone for good you’ll never be held accountable for that sin again (Psalm 103:12).
  • It’s not to late to change and follow Jesus (Heb 7:25).

Confession and asking for forgiveness brings back the “joy of God’s salvation” (Psalm 51:23). It restores us to God’s grace and mercy. Sadly, we can easily forget that when we head away from God into sin.

The Devil is a liar (John 8:44), he deceives you into living below the privileges given by Christ. Don’t let him win when you falter and sin. Instead, turn your heart toward God and bask in his forgiving grace. God loves the contrite and penitent (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 66:2). He is overflowing with love for all of us (Psalm 51:1). He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), including those who have fallen back or fallen away.

Restoration and full fellowship comes to all who seek God’s forgiveness. No matter what your sin is God’s kindness, grace and mercy is greater.
God is calling today, he is pleading with us to come partake of His mercy and love. What are you waiting for? Come home today!

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I Am Sorry! Three of the Most Powerful Words

June 3, 2010

When was the last time you heard a true apology?  Not one of those “If I have offended anyone at anytime in any place, for any reason, I apologize.”  What ever happened to coming right out and confessing the sin and asking for forgiveness?  Without confession and petition for pardon, wrongs are not righted.  This is a Biblical concept that many of us fail to remember.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:9)

Pardon is based upon confession.  Perhaps it takes a different frame of heart and mind to be willing to admit fault than to just generalizing about our failures and misdemeanors.  There is a great cleansing that comes from admitting shortcomings and infractions against God and fellowmen.  The contrite spirit finds joy in expression of that contrition.  Saying I am sorry brings reconciliation and forgiveness.  Quite a trip for just three little words.  The journey to the penitent heart and broken spirit is a hard one though.

When I was a boy it always hurt me physically to be at odds with my siblings or my playmates.  Nothing was right when I knew we were not getting along because of something I had done to hurt them or vice versa.  That child like spirit is so easily lost as we grow tougher hides in the dog eat dog world. Some lose all sensation of broken fellowship and the pain of losing friendship.  It’s time to go back and learn to say “I am sorry for ___________” and truly repent of whatever it is we have done.  This is true in our relationship with God and with men.

“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.
(Joel 2:12-13)

In Sickness and In Health

May 19, 2010

Tenderness and devotion are two words that are easier seen than defined.  There really is no way to explain these two words with more words.  However, when you see them in practice their meanings are profound.

Life brings with it some of the saddest consequences.  Tragedy can beset and plague someone without warning and change everything about their life.  I am thinking about a recent visit I had with an elderly couple.  Her mind and body are failing, Alzheimer’s disease has changed most of who she used to be.  Fear, confusion, anger and violence has replaced confidence, surety, compassion and gentleness.  The loving, compassionate woman of past years is gone sometimes so far away that remembrance of her is nearly impossible.

It amazes me that tenderness and devotion remains in a relationship that is now only seemingly one sided.  A husband devoted to caring for the woman he committed to in “sickness and in health.”  These last years of their life together are challenging and filled with determined caring love.  I’ve met in this man a husband who cherishes this woman so much that no matter how hard the difficulty, he finds joy in giving and caring for his wife.

I pray for this elderly couple.  But I don’t really know what to pray.  Its so hard to comprehend that what I see as tragedy is bringing such beauty and deep soul changing lessons on love, tenderness and devotion for a world to witness.  This is only one of many examples of true love going on all around us.

Do you have a story about people who are devoted even during hardship?  Please share it with us.

Lonely No More

April 19, 2010

Loneliness plagues us even though we live on a planet with over 6.5 billion people. In fact some of our loneliest times are when we are in a large crowd.

Paul stood alone on several occasions yet he tells us that he was never abandoned or forsaken by God.

“At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth”
(2 Timothy 4:16).

God abides with those who abide in Him. His interest in us is deep. All of our needs are known to Him before we ask for help.

If you are lonely today take time to remember that God is nearby those draw near to Him (James 4:8).

Tomorrow May Mean Goodbye

October 20, 2009

Even as a lad I was keenly aware that death arrives unexpectedly and too soon. My grandpa died when I was only nine years old.  Mr. Bowdie, a close family friend died just a few days before my seventh birthday.  Both of these deaths pchild_cryingrofoundly affected me.

When Mr. Bowdie died, we were supposed to spend the weekend fishing, just like the week before when I had caught my first fish ever.  It was almost a miracle that anyone could catch a fish that day. Mr. Bowdie had a worn-out boat and motor that refused to start that day.  Dad stuck a cane pole in my hand while he and Mr. Bowdie wrestled with the old Evinrude. The boat was half in the water half on the bank. We were making more noise than any fish would brave being around. Somehow a huge old carp happened to swallow the tomato worm on my hook.  I pulled him in with shouts of joy and pride over my first trophy.

Mister Bowdie laughed and jumped up and down more than I did. He promised that the next weekend he would have the motor fixed and we would learn what it was like to catch a whole boatload of fish, together. Sleep didn’t come easy that week as I visualized everything Mr. Bowdie promised.

When the phone rang, I was lying on the floor near dad’s chair watching “Gunsmoke”.  I could tell from dad’s hushed tones that something was wrong.  When he told us that Mr. Bowdie was dead my whole world went dark. I could feel the tightness and lump in my throat. Tears poured uncontrolled down my cheeks.  My tender little boy heart broke for the first time, leaving the harsh promise of many more breakings to come.

I knew there would be no more sitting in the boat with Mr. Bowdie. There would be no more watching him saucer his coffee, no more digging in his huge tool box. There would never be a time to sit in his lap listening to his fish stories. Mister Bowdie was gone. We would never have those special times together again.  Anything we planned to do could never be done because death stole our future.

Fast forward a few years and my world would be vastly different. My parents divorced. My sister and I moved to Illinois with our mom.  We lived in a few rooms above our landlords the Elluel’s. They owned a telephone and we did not.  We had to go downstairs if we ever got a phone call.  Usually, that only happened on birthdays and Christmas. Phone calls from Texas were precious and seldom came.  I treasured every talk with my dad. My feet didn’t  touch the treads as I leaped down the stairs to the lower floor landing. When I got to the phone I heard the same voice that announced death once before. Dad told us how, “Grandpa had been very sick and just wasn’t strong enough to recover from pneumonia.”  I could feel that familiar ripping of my heart, the heavy cloud of darkness overshadowing me. Oh, how I wanted to run and hide from Dad’s sad voice and the words he spoke.

Cemetery

This time the pain was a little different. At nine years old, I had time to make plans to go to Dickens, Texas and help Granny and Grandpa. I even dreamed about shining his shoes and taking him squirrel hunting.  I promised Grandpa in the summer that I would come help him take care of Granny who was unable to walk any more.  This time I had made the commitment that death would break.

Death is a robber of future plans. Death comes at the worst time and steals our dreams and intentions. Death is certainly cruel but fair in that it hurts everyone it leaves behind.

I’d like to say that I learned not to put off the important matters in life. I wish I could say that I’ve made the memories, fulfilled the promises and lived the dreams I have with my loved ones. I haven’t. Like most every person I know I am leaving undone the simple things like saying I love you, taking my nieces and nephews fishing, writing that special note to someone I know I hurt in the past but have been too stubborn to ask forgiveness.  Today would truly be the time to do those things.

Someday a little boy or girl is going to hurt because I am gone. Will I at least leave them with a completed promise, dream or desire?  There is a song we used to sing in the old country church that reminds us of the suddenness of goodbye.

Tomorrow may mean goodbye
We never, know when or why
God calls us away, when life seems so gay
Our bodies in dust to lie

Tomorrow our souls may sigh
For beauty we let slip by
Oh, listen to me today
Fall down on your knees and pray


Cause tomorrow,
May mean goodbye
–J.B. Coats

Now that I am a man, death’s tragedy hurts just as much as it did when I was a boy.  I have learned that there is a tomorrow where the “saved and the blessed”  join a heavenly family, united together where death will never part.  My decision is to live my life making certain that I’ll be happy on that day.

“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.” (1 John 2:28).

Even as a lad I was keenly aware that death came unexpected and too soon. My grandpa died when I was only nine years old. Mr. Bowdie, a close family friend died just a few days before my seventh birthday.  Both of these deaths profoundly affected me.

When Mr. Bowdie died we were supposed to spend the weekend fishing just like the week before. I had caught my first fish ever.  It was almost a miracle that anyone could catch a fish that day. Mr. Bowdie had a worn-out boat and motor. My dad stuck a cane pole in my hand while he and Mr. Bowdie wrestled with the old Evinrude. The boat was half in the water half on the bank making more noise than any fish would brave being around. Somehow a huge old carpe happened to eat the tomato worm on my hook.  I pulled him in with shouts of joy and pride over my first trophy.

Mister Bowdie laughed and jumped up and down more than I did. He promised that the next weekend we would have the motor fixed and we would learn what it was like to catch a whole boatload of fish, together. I couldn’t sleep all week thinking about what Mr. Bowdie promised.

When the phone rang, I was laying on the floor near dad’s chair watching “Gunsmoke”.  I could tell from dad’s hushed tones that something was wrong.  When he told us that Mr. Bowdie was dead my whole world went dark. I could feel the tightness and lump in my throat. My tears poured uncontrolled down my cheeks.  My heart broke for the first time, leaving the sad promise of many more to come.

I knew there would be no more sitting in the boat with Mr. Bowdie. No more watching him saucer his coffee no more digging in his huge tool box. Mister Bowdie was gone and we would never have those special times together again.  Anything we planned to do could never be done because death stole our future.

Fast forward a few years and my world would be so different. My parents divorced. My sister and I moved to Illinois with our mom.  We lived in a few rooms above our landlord. They had a phone and we did not.  We had to come downstairs if we ever got a call.  Usually calls only came on birthdays and Christmas. Phone calls from Texas were even fewer and farther between.  I treasured every talk with my dad. My feet didn’t even touch the treads as I leaped down the stairs to the lower floor apartment. But when I came to the phone I heard the same voice that announced death once before. Dad told us how, “Grandpa had been very sick and just wasn’t strong enough to recover from pneumonia.”  I could feel that familiar ripping of my heart, the heavy cloud of darkness overshadowed me and I wanted to hide from what Dad was saying.

This time the pain was a little different. At nine years old, I had time to make plans to go to Dickens, Texas and help Granny and Grandpa. I even dreamed about shining his shoes and taking him squirrel hunting.  I had told Grandpa in the summer that I would come help him take care of Granny who was unable to walk any more.  This time I had made the promise that death would break.

Death is a robber of future plans. Death comes at the worst time and steals our dreams and intentions. Death is certainly cruel but fair in that it hurts everyone it leaves behind.

I’d like to say that I learned not to put off the important matters in life. I wish I could say that I’ve made the memories, fulfilled the promises and lived the dreams I have with my loved ones. But I haven’t. I am like most every person I know I am leaving undone the simple things like saying I love you, taking my nieces and nephews fishing, writing that special note to someone I know I hurt in the past but have been too stubborn to ask forgiveness.  Today would truly be the time to do those things.

Someday a little boy or girl is going to hurt because I am gone. Will I at least finish with a completed promise, dream or desire?  There is a song we used to sing in the old country church that reminds us of the suddenness of goodbye.

Tomorrow may mean goodbye
We never, know when or why
God calls us away, when life seems so gay
Our bodies in dust to lie

Tomorrow our souls may sigh
For beauty we let slip by
Oh, listen to me today
Fall down on your knees and pray
Cause tomorrow,
May mean goodbye
–J.B. Coats

Now that I am a man, death’s tragedy hurts just as much as it did when I was a boy.  However, I’ve learned that there is a tomorrow where to “saved and the blest” will join a heavenly family, united together where death will never part.  I’ve decided to live my life making certain that I’ll be happy on that day.

“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.” (1Jn 2:28).

Thoughts On Losing My Mother

October 17, 2009

Zinnia15Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
(Psa 39:5-6)

It has been thirty years now since my mother passed away. I’ve lived past her age when she died. Although the intensity of the sorrow has diminished with time, there is still a void in my heart and life that will never be filled. This time of each year is always sadder for me because of the memory of losing my mom. There are a few things that I am driven to think as I recall this event in my life.

    Life can change drastically in minutes. Tragedy and Joy can happen without an announcement preceding it (James 4:14). My mom was in the prime of her when she suffered a massive brain bleed and died within a couple days. She wasn’t sick prior to this. I am not saying we should be terrified to live for fear of dying. Rather we all need to be living every moment to its fullest (Job 9:25-26). Take the needed time to enjoy your time here, make the most of the joy-filled days you have.

    We will leave a legacy behind (1 Cor 15:58) Our families and friends will remember us with fondness or with aversion. How we treat others is the key to how others remember us. Each of us leaves a part of ourselves in the lives of others. Our interaction with others molds who they are. Make sure that we are building up and not tearing down.

    Life goes on. Sorrow is a powerful emotion. It has been thirty years and I still hurt. I can cope with sorrow much better now than at the beginning. It has been the same with other sorrows that I’ve experienced. It is never easy and each sorrow impacts me a little differently. In each case life keeps happening. Other people won’t feel your pain like you do and they mean no harm by continuing their lives while you are hurting. Eventually you will learn to cope with your pain and be able to join the rest of the world again.

I miss my mom and have many unresolved emotions that won’t ever have closure. I suppose every year about this time I’ll relive my hurts and in some ways I think that is good. The sorrow brings with it other memories too. Each year, at least for a few weeks, I remember my childhood; happy and sad times, kisses and spankings, all the pieces of life that my mom fabricated into me. I am also reminded that soon I’ll be leaving my loved ones with a sorrow they will bear. I hope I give to others more fondness than hurt.

Joseph D. Chase
Missionary to Jamaica


chasejoseph@yahoo.com
(940) 536-3325
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