Thursday, October 27, 2011

Forgiveness Talk (Part 2 of 2)

May the Lord raise us up into women (and men!) who are known for extending grace to the world. Enjoy part 2 of my notes....and again....forgive the random messyness.


Point 1: Know that forgiveness is for YOU. On many levels.
   *Level 1: The obvious....He forgives you. Of it all. Yes...of it ALL. Get that.
   *Level 2: It's for your well-being. (Emotionally, Physically, Spiritually, Mentally)
          - As I considered this point, I got another picture in my mind. (Sounds weird, doesn't it?) It was of me....holding a tiny little animal. It was a gross and vile looking little thing. Yet, I was petting it, loving it, protecting it. And I understood that this nasty animals name was 'Unforgiveness'. The problem is....this animal bites. And it bites you, not your offender.
          - Sometimes we believe that holding onto unforgiveness works more to our advantage than being healed of it. But unforgiveness will NOT allow us to have the life we want.
   *It will however, allow us to live a life of torment. Again, on many levels.
          *Emotionally: Unforgiveness can cause bitterness, depression, anger, fear, resentment, etc
          *Physically: Unforgiveness can cause high blood pressure, disease, heart problems, etc
(These ailments can derive from other sources as well - but we all too often overlook the effects of our inner turmoils on the human body.)

   *Jimmy Evans quote: "The poison of unforgiveness damages the vessel it is stored in worse than anything you can spit it on. It's killing you. The most self-loving thing you can do is forgive."

Point 2: Know that forgiveness is for THEM. (Your offender.)
   *Spurgeon quote: "He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust...he overlooks 10,000 of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks 20,000 in his own case."
(Warning: We forgive people unfixed...before they act like they deserve to be forgiven. However, forgiving doesn't mean we go back and expose ourselves to abuse. Sometimes, we have to forgive from afar. In edition, if you are married and experiencing any type of abuse or danger....get to safety and seek wise, godly counsel.)
   *Sometimes, us forgiving them - will eventually bring them to salvation. Seeing a heart change in us - can, at times, make them seek the Heart Changer, themselves.
   *Matthew 6:9-15 (The Lord's prayer.) Notice verse 12: 'Forgive us our we have also forgiven our debtors.' And then notice verses 14 and 15: Look what Jesus decided to expound upon. He could have explained any part of the Lord's prayer - but He chose to dive deeper into our topic. Forgiveness is for them...because it circles back to you. Your forgiveness, depends on your forgiveness.
   * We can't withhold grace from others and get it from God. Life without grace from God is torment. (See emotional and physical ailments mentioned in Point 1.)

Point 3: Know that forgiveness is FROM HIM.
   * We have a tendency to think, "if only my offender would show true repentence....then I could fully forgive." Or sometimes we think, "If only I could give them a piece of my mind...then I could fully forgive." Both...are lies. The sting of what our offenders have done to us - will usually overpower their remorse (or your revenge) for it. Our offender, no matter what, can't make us forgive from the heart. The only way to reap a harvest of forgiveness is by His power alone.
   *Revisit Chapter 10 of Hosea. The whole chapter is about the Lord's people having false hearts...having thorns and thistles in their fallow ground. Verse 12... is God's perscription for His people. It's His council for those with hard hearts.
   * He is capable. He is capable of healing our hearts, of helping us extend forgiveness to those who don't deserve it, of breaking up our hard ground and reaping a harvest of forgiveness in us. US....broken, wounded, afflicted, tainted women like you and me.

I closed with some stories. And then we offered prayer during worship.

I truly enjoyed delving into this topic with the ladies of my church. It's an honor to serve them through our women's ministry. May He spur us onward in faith and in forgiveness. Blessings and love to you all :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Forgiveness Talk (Part 1 of 2)

Sometimes we strangle our own selves.

A tree was dying in my parent's yard, and upon's very own root was wrapped around itself. All twisted and tight and blocking goodness. As the tentacle was loosened - the tree thrived and produced and lives, still.

And I think about this tree - how it's own apendage of sorts reaked havoc on it's life. How on the surface - the viscious entanglement went unseen. But under the dirt, deep down, compressed and silent - the tree's very own ways caused it to just about cease.

In that tree - I see this woman.

Hello, friends :) I told you I would scribble out a blog post containing some of my notes from Friday's forgiveness event - and I'm here to deliver. I'll post half of my notes today and half on my next post -for lengths sake :) And perhaps some anticipation? :) The story above was my intro. May the Lord stir all of us into a deeper, more real, more meaningful, more steadfast walk with Him.

(Forgive the random messyness of these notes, please? It was meant to be spoken, not typed :) Grace!)


*I too have a root that threatens to strangle's called unforgiveness.

*None of us would have to go far for material on this topic. We all know pain. We all have wounds. And we all need healing.

*Unforgiveness has a harvest. It's a diseased and a corrupted one...but it has a harvest. The good news? Forgiveness has a harvest, too - a good, fruitful one.

*Hosea 10:12 - Sow for yourselves rightousness. Reep steadfast love. Break up your fallow ground. For it is time to seek the Lord - that He may come and rain rightousness upon you.
       - 'Break up your fallow ground' - that's what we began doing Friday night
       - 'Fallow' in the Hebrew is 'niyr' - it means hard, untilled ground, yes - but it is tillable!
       - Notice how the Lord provides. He tells us in the first lines 'sow rightousness, reap love' and then He says, 'seek Me....and I will provide the ability to do that for you, child.'
       - His power alone is the only way we forgive....from the heart. The Forgiver Himself, alone.

*I began prepping this talk by asking, "God, what do you want to teach me about forgiveness?" And I instantly got a very clear picture in my mind:
       - It was the front of my body....with my torso opened up to expose my heart and belly. And I understood that the heart and belly I saw were healthy. And the Lord whispered, "Katie, I want you to know forgiveness HERE. In your depths. In those places only I can see and only you can feel, child. Through and through. And by the way, the only way you can have this is by ME."
       - Forgiveness is a heart issue.

*Luke 6:37-38: Judge not and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
       - Notice the word 'lap'. That's the ESV version. The NKJV uses the word, 'bosom'. Both words are translated from the Greek word, 'kolpos'. (Now keep in mind the vision the Lord gave me before I ever cracked open the scriptures on this topic.) The word 'kolpos' means: the front of the body between the arms. Is the Lord not confirming that He yearns for us to know forgiveness in.our.hearts? In our inner most places? Indeed, He is.

*Luke 6:45: The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
     - Notice the 'of the heart' in this verse....the Lord speaking it yet again.
     - Before we can mean forgiveness in our faces, before we can speak it with our mouths, we have to mean it in our hearts.
     - God's calling everyone to forgiveness - from the heart. He's made it clear.

*At this point you may be thinking, "Okay, I get it. The Lord wants us to know forgiveness in the the heart. But what does this look like? How do we go about doing this?"

Good question.

Won't you check back real soon for part two? To find out what God has revealed about this whole forgivness challenge? Oh, please do. Because He has done some revealing, friends! Until then, seek His face and you'll find it.

Love to you all :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Request for Prayer

Ah yes. Things have been quiet in my corner - in my little nook of the Internet.

Here's why:

The Next Current Event

I've got a women's event coming up this week. And I'm teaching on....forgiveness. Come to find out...the Lord has a lot to say on this topic. To me especially, it seems :)

(If you don't want to be messed with in a certain area - don't teach on it. God knows the only way you can effectively, lovingly, and humbly speak something - is if He has spoken it to you - and you have been in need of it.)

And let's just say - He has been doing a lot of speaking :)

So kind friends, as I prepare for this event - would you go to the throne with me in prayer? Oh - I do need for it to be lifted up. Forgiveness is a deep, unworldly, anti-cultural thing. It's a serious thing. A God thing. And so prayers lifted up on behalf of all the ladies attending - is much needed. And prayers are never wasted on this lady, either :)

Perhaps I'll post my notes from the event this very weekend?

Love and grace and laughter and joy and peace and contentment and faith and warm hugs to you all.

"The call to follow Christ always means a call to share the work of forgiving men their sins. Forgiveness is the Christ-like suffering which it is the Christian's duty to bear." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

That's so hard, Lord. Help.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Sometimes, we have to see it in others to see it in ourselves. The vileness of it is only considered violent when we're the victim.

Ungratefulness. Entitlement. A scoffing directed right at you.

When our actions towards another are met with a shrug, a lofty grimace - it runs deep and stabs at the center of us.

At the center of me.

And while I'm reminded that my offerings should not be fueled by reactions....that what I pour into someone probably won't be poured back - I still sink.

But why?

Look at my Christ.

All stretched out, spit-adorned, man-mocked, nailed and hanging.

Yes, for me. Me, the follower, etched on the mind of the Forgiver as He takes it all on in my place.

And I, mortal woman, boil at the sight of another's sin. All the while blind to the same sin in self.

Perhaps it's the plank. The plank in my very own eye - casting darkness into my very own vision. And in this state I spot a speck in my offender. But who's really the offensive one here?

This is hard, though. That sin speck in the other - pains me. Pains me at my core. And while yes - I am plank-ridden myself - that speck ails me. So what is an offenderer to do when offended?

Look at her Christ.

For perspective, yes....but for power to forgive and forge onward, peace to just live, provision to give....

And plank removal.

Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, when you yourself do not see the plank in your own eye?
..... Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye.
Luke 6:41-42