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Aw, God, Do I Have To?

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? (22) Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Mt 18:21-22)
I had a bad day. You know, one of those where even the dog doesn’t cooperate? Well, ‘round about 10 a.m., I exploded. I screamed at everyone within a two-mile vicinity. And regretted it afterward.

You know the drill. “I should never have … and now they will always think of me like …”

Regret is a good thing, though, because it got me thinking about forgiveness and repentance. “Lord,” I said, in a sort of prayer, “Seventy times seven is REALLY hard to do.”

It looks good on paper. As Christians, we should be all “turn the other cheek,” “love the unlovely,” etcetera. Except I’ve seen anger and offense creep into the church. Someone lit into me the other day over something trivial, and I was taken aback. But struck harder by the thought I was supposed…
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Blindly Planting Flowers

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Rm 8:1)
There is no condemnation in Christ, but there is a lot of it in the church, and frankly, at times, I’d rather talk to my unsaved friends than self-righteous saints. Instead of gentle guidance to obey Christian “rules” … jump this high, but only on Sundays … with them, the smallest infractions become the cost of one’s soul.

But look at who Jesus hung out with. A collection of rabble-rousers. Look at who he ministered to. The sick and dying. The outcasts. Those society had ignored and overlooked.

In writing, these ministers of sanctification come out with their red pencils to circle every transgression. How dare a hardened criminal, say a curse word? How could a mail-order bride have sex with her husband? Or a teen in a book fall short of grace and drink or pop pills?

Cabbage-patch Christians, I call them, ensconced in their overstuffed pews, uncomfortab…

Where's Your Edge?

The edge is the point of almost falling off...from friends, family, life, a job. You're done or want to be. My edge is what makes me stumble, fall, grip tighter or want to give up and it's different for everyone.

I wonder how many people are hanging off the edge right now, barely able to hang on.

Some are calling out for help, others have given up and are contemplating letting go.

And then there's the church, most of us at the top of the cliff and a safe distance away from danger.

God's given each of us a talent, whether you know what that is or are continuing to search. Others choose to ignore and don't care what their "calling" is.

Jesus told stories that people of his time related to...crops, inheritance, stones, foundation, temples.

Our stories are relatable. Some will preach. Many will cause you to fall on your face (and I will not define that). Demons will flee, depression lift, the call of God louder than the worlds to an individual who's b…

I Feel Better

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Mt 18:21-22)
Have you seriously tried that?

Which time did that insult spat from careless lips sit right with you? Number forty? Number two-hundred and twenty nine?

Speaking from my own experience, it gets harder and more painful each time, not easier, until hearing the same person make the same negative remark becomes too much, and I start to wonder at what point is God going to step in and make them stop?

Am I supposed to sit there and take this again and again, my heart being ripped further and further to shreds each time? Pounding and pounding, each blow making that place inside a little more tender than it was. And me more afraid it won't stop. That it'll happen again. Unpredictable.

Me always on my toes, head turned, eye squinched, waiting for those words to hit me b…

Book Spotlight - THE GREAT THIRST BOXED SET - Mary C. Findley

http://amzn.to/2gJ2Add
https://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com/
“Come on. Come on. Come on!” Talia chanted, until the messaging application appeared. The characters she typed were not English.

Arrived stateside. Keep your word.

The response came after a long lag.

How many lies told to pull that off?

Talia ignored the taunt and repeated her message.

Location of artifacts?

Proof of life first.

You withheld dive info.

Proof of life.

A video link appeared after some delay, time-stamped to within moments of the current time in western Syria. Talia forced herself not to react to the sight of her aunt and uncle in a small room half-filled with sand, lit only by slits near the roof, and no apparent water or food. Remmy paced like an angry bear, but very slowly and clumsily, slipping on the sand. Sophia sat huddled in a corner. The video clipped off abruptly. Talia typed in co-ordinates of the dive site off Ugarit.

What recovered? the question blinked into view.

Nothing. 5 witnesses can confirm. You sea…

Book Spotlight - ALL THE ANGELS STOOD - Laura J. Marshall

Amazon www.LauraJMarshall.com
 Also in audiobook!
Rush saw that look in Staci when he picked her up, still hopeless. She looked gorgeous, as only she could look. Her long black hair accentuated her fair skin and dark eyes. He could tell she was nervous and…weary. It was the vibe he had gotten, like she was beyond caring. He had tried to joke with her in the car on the way over, but he swore it fell flat. This wasn’t just about the evil surrounding her anymore; this was about Staci...the person. He was falling for her. On one hand, he wanted to protect his heart. On the other, he wanted to wade full on in and make her care as much as he did…about herself…and about him.

“Adam’s in the band,” Rush said, leading the way into the sanctuary.

“Band?” She asked with her eyes wide. She really seemed to have no idea what all this was about.

“Yeah, we do praise and worship before the lesson, just a few songs.”

He could feel Staci trying to adjust to this information as they moved down the aisle …

Whosoever

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (1Sa 16:7)
God send the prophet, Samuel, to anoint a king for Israel, and he arrived with some preconceived notions of what kind of man that should be – tall, stalwart, muscular. But instead, God picked a boy, a shepherd of ruddy complexion, who spent his days guarding sheep.




This wasn’t the first time nor would it be the last time God chose someone out of the ordinary. He used a harlot to save two spies. He married a prophet to a whore. His richest, most influential king had wives from many non-Jewish nations. That king’s father, the previous king, killed a man after sleeping with his wife. (Heb 11:31; Hos 1:2; 1Ki 11:1-2;2Sa 11:15)

He used a prophet who hid in a cave out of fear. Protected a murderer. Blessed a youth who lied about being his brother. …

I Know I Am

And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.(Mt 9:10-13)
Jesus ate dinner with the outcasts of society, the people that others, wrapped in their feather-padded pews, went out of their way to avoid.

He wasn't afraid to be seen with a tax collector, a group of lepers, an adulteress, a Samaritan in an unmarried relationship, a mad man who cut himself with stones.

This thought convicts me. I've seen more than one group of well-dressed "Christian" saints, ensconced in their perfect bubbles where the air is cl…

I Feel Better

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Mt 18:21-22)

Have you seriously tried that?

Which time did that insult spat from careless lips sit right with you? Number forty? Number two-hundred and twenty nine?

Speaking from my own experience, it gets harder and more painful each time, not easier, until hearing the same person make the same negative remark becomes too much, and I start to wonder at what point is God going to step in and make them stop?

Am I supposed to sit there and take this again and again, my heart being ripped further and further to shreds each time? Pounding and pounding, each blow making that place inside a little more tender than it was. And me more afraid it won't stop. That it'll happen again. Unpredictable.

Me always on my toes, head turned, eye squinched, waiting for those words to hit…

Book Spotlight - All the Angels Stood by Laura J. Marshall

This is the last week in Staci Schofield's life. Her birthday is on Monday, which is also the day she plans to die. Poetic, seeing as her mother disappeared on the night of her own birthday. But when a popular guy from school, Rush, befriends Staci, will her plans change?

Rush sees demons clinging to Staci and nothing has worked so far to help her. What will make a difference in her life? A friend, an intercessor? How do you help someone move from 'take my life' to 'Lord, preserve me'?

Excerpt: