Category Archives: Deep Healing Series 2018

And another thing…. <3

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For those of you who wonder why I pick the pictures I do…this critter was resting on the path as I walked in beautiful Miami last year.

Here I was, enjoying the sun and warmth and green of Florida in February when this thing, that was just being what it is, kind of added a new element of yuk to my happy.

If you are cool with snakes and lizards and all things reptile, God bless you. In my rational mind I know they serve a purpose and were created by the same amazing Creator as I was…but I would prefer they stay completely out of my sight and presence.

Thank you very much.

And now I am going to jump to the topic of today which is forgiveness and just keep that visual of my scaly, path-sharing nemesis in mind.

Today I did a Facebook live thing on Session 6 from Finding God Faithful and shared about the video teaching this week.

Kelly opens with a conversation she had with a young participant in the Joseph study who asked her when she thought Joseph forgave his brothers.

As she pondered it with this teen, they mused if it was when he was making the trek to Egypt as a purchased slave…was it in Potipher’s house…or in prison? Was it when Pharaoh got involved and Joseph could begin to see God’s plan working out? Or was it when he saw the brothers standing in front of him asking for food for their families?

Kelly shares that they agreed it had to be all of the above.

She talks about how at each stage along the way of the 22 years between the time the brothers first threw him into the pit until he faced them again in the role of Pharoah’s right hand man, Joseph would have worked through a process of forgiveness.

He would have had to go to God over and over with the hurt and the questions and the pain of what had happened and what might have been; facing what was taken from him and yet keeping his heart tender and renewing his trust that God was still sovereign.

She states what we all know but sometimes need to be reminded of…

Forgiveness is a process.

Often when the hurt rises up again in some of my personal stories of betrayal, or I am reminded, because of an old photograph or a conversation, that a choice was made by another person and now I live with a loss of some kind…I tend to berate myself and consider that my “forgiveness” was phony.

Like that lizard up above, I can be going on and think I have moved past the pain and am walking in forgiveness when suddenly something pops up along the path and reminds me afresh of what was taken from us.

I love the way Kelly’s study and video remind me that our stories are on-going and even when we forgive someone, there will be places where we have to lean back hard into God and deal with a new reminder of how we were wronged.

I think of the ways I have hurt others or let them down and I would hope that when they remember my offense, they would not hold it against me all over again but would find the strength in God to forgive me and extend me grace and mercy.

I want to do the same.

And the reason for all of us to do this is because Christ died ONCE for ALL.

Think about that.

He doesn’t die every time one of us sins.

He died ONCE.

And we live in THAT amazing grace and forgiveness all the time.

So that out of that mercy, we can extend mercy, grace and forgiveness…

every time we are reminded of the offense.

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One baby step at a time until we finally make it home <3

The Gospel according to Graham <3

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Yesterday we gathered with an overflowing crowd of love and support to remember and grieve and celebrate the gift that was Zach Berry and the gift of eternal life he received.

We packed the church and then the lobby with way too many bodies and we consoled and were consoled. 

For some it was too close to their own recent losses and for others it was probably odd and strange to see how we, who follow Christ, grieve with Hope. 

The waiting in line got to be too much for some wiggly boys so I took them up to my class room where I teach adults every Sunday morning and in a complete and humbling reversal of roles, I became the student. 

The lesson was “The Good Nuse”…apparently in second grade we spell by sound…and thankfully I am fluent in phonetics so I was able to read the message…but I could have figured it out by the pictures…

Because as Graham explained it….

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Our hearts are broken.

But Jesus came and died on the cross.

And fixed us. 

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And even though he thought he wrote that God is the savior of all…

I particularly love that He is the …

Saver…

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of…

All <3 

To remember this when you weep <3

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It’s a grey and rainy morning here on the prairie and all I can share with you is this assurance on my heart today for those who need to hear it. 

When Jesus stood outside the grave of Lazarus, knowing in about two seconds He was going to turn this whole mourning scene into a day of celebration…we are told…He wept. 

Why?

Commentaries and people far more educated than me have ideas that make sense, but today I can just say I think it was to let us know.

He knows when our hearts are breaking beyond the point that we can bear it. 

And it matters greatly to Him. 

Even though He knows He has overcome death and sin and the grave and the fall of man and our worst mistakes and our missing the mark and our ignorance….He cares. 

Our grief does not go unnoticed nor unaccompanied by His matchless love. 

He didn’t just dress up in our skin. 

He allowed Himself to feel exactly what we feel and when we hurt, He cries real tears with us. 

May the God of all comfort bring comfort to each of you this day. 

He is faithful. 

He is good. 

He is kind.

And He has robbed the grave and one day we will all rejoice together, but until that day…He walks the journey with us. 

Step by step. 

Tear by tear.

Grace by grace <3

Lessons from a child…<3

In the band of brothers…

this one…

has added some interesting dimensions to the spectrum of personality.

Little man has a smile that covers over a multitude of dynamo energy and third child antics…

But the weekend before Easter, his mommy discovered what appeared to be an abscess on his gum.

Seems that sweet little mouthful of teeth had taken one too many tumbles…

pc Rachel Maxwell

and as much as we all loved that gap-toothed Joelybear smile…it was not going to make it to Kindergarten as we had once assumed it would.

A visit to the dentist proved the tooth was no longer living and would cause problems to the permanent tooth still incubating up above the long root.

So our brave little toaster and his equally brave parents scheduled the procedure.

He did great and his parents made it through as well, but for a long while after it was pulled, he kind of kept it private.

Didn’t really want to talk about it and…

if you asked him about it, he pulled his lip down and just covered the empty place.

But time heals all wounds…and now…

pc Rachel Maxwell

he not only shows it to you…he is willing to share the story.

Any mention of it and he looks you straight in the eye and proclaims loudly…

GAVE SHOT HERE! as he motions to his mouth

PULLED TOOTH! as his hand does a huge yanking motion for extra effect

GONE!!!!  as he asserts with a firm nod of his head and decisive sweep of his hand …

before he moves on to tell someone else.

It’s his testimony.

He has survived.

He is thriving.

And he wants everyone to know.

The whole thing didn’t defeat him.

It’s part of his story and he is making the most of it.

Oh man…come on…tell me that doesn’t preach to your heart like it does mine.

I look at that little bundle of snuggleness and my Lola heart is encouraged right down to the core.

My soul knows…stuff happens…

but God heals and when we are ready to tell our story…

let’s do it with joy and faith and hope…

as we journey onward surrounded by the love and support of the brother and sisterhood of our family that stood with us through it all  <3

pc Rachel Maxwell

TGIF…and that’s a wrap <3

They say the Christian walk is a marathon not a sprint and if you have hung with me through this series, I am hearing a rousing AMEN!! coming through the atmosphere.

I have called you to go deeper still into the wounds and the healing.

It’s a common theme out there, I have noticed …must be a lot of hurting people who are desiring to heal well.

I just got a devotion in my email this past week that had this quote from Andy Stanley about grace and how it relates to our topic Deep Healing….

Grace.    

It’s what I crave most when my guilt is exposed. The very thing I’m hesitant to extend when I’m confronted with the guilt of others — especially when their guilt has robbed me of something I consider valuable.   Faithgateway.com    The Story of Grace    Andy Stanley             Feb. 6, 2017

It’s what we have been talking about, isn’t it?

Forgiveness..receiving mercy and grace…extending mercy and grace…the cycle that we work through as God heals us down in the depths of our pain and loss.

We can trust Him when we can’t trust others or even ourselves.

I want to close this series with a beautiful quote I got from A. W. Tozer’s book Tozer on the Almighty God.

He uses a quote from Rev. Dr. Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661) who would cry out in “serious and painful trials”…

“Praise God for the hammer, the file and the furnace”

Tozer expounds on these for the devotionals that cover October 14, 15 and 16 in this book.

He speaks of how the hammer is a useful tool, but the nail must view it as harsh and cruel.

Strike after strife falls upon the nail as forceful blows drive it deeper into the surface.

He describes the nail’s view of the hammer to be “…an opponent, a brutal, merciless enemy who lives to pound it into submission, to beat it down out of sight and clinch it into place.”

He acknowledges that while that is an apt description of the hammer….

“The nail forgets that both it and the hammer are the servants of the same workman. Let the nail remember that the hammer is held by the workman and all resentment toward it will disappear. The carpenter decides whose head shall be beaten next and what hammer shall be used in the beating. That is his sovereign right. When the nail has surrendered to the will of the workman and has gotten a little glimpse of his benign plans for its future it will yield to the hammer without complaint.”

Harsh language, and it goes without saying…but I WILL say it…this is not saying if someone is being physically or emotionally abused they must submit to the abuser!

This is saying that life//other’s sinful choices/our own errors in judgment will bring about times when we feel beat up…defeated…crushed.

And our first inclination will be to curse the circumstances and fight back or give up or give in to our human natures and the world’s systems of dealing with pain.

But as children of the Most High God…there is a better way.

Part of our inheritance is the gift of being one of His own and entitles us to surrender to the Creator who made us and sustains us in the MIDST of it all.

Our loving Father  is well aware of the pain we are enduring and yes, could have stopped the source, but for some reason unknown to us…He has allowed it.

And to acknowledge this is to comply with the hammer because we know it is simply the servant of the Master…as are we <3

And so we lift up to Him our brokenness and our sorrows, our grief and our pain, our sense of loss and our loss of joy…to God, who is Sovereign over us, over them, over yesterday, today and tomorrow.

To ask Him to show us how to move toward healing…and to be obedient to His directions as we simultaneously kneel before Him, lean on Him and yield to Him.

It has been a special blessing for me to walk through some of my stuff with you these past few days.

You all make wonderful travel companions on the Journey…

Have a blessed weekend and I’ll see you on Monday <3