Tag Archives: Forgiveness

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My Greatest Sin

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Writing down what our sins are may not always be something we’re comfortable with. However, if you keep a personal journal it may be helpful to jot them down as writing can help you reflect on them. I recently tried to think about mine, keeping in mind to make sure I’ve:

  • confessed my sins to God
  • asked God for forgiveness
  • offered my sincere apology to the people who I have committed sin against, and sought out their forgiveness
  • repented, trying to see my sins in God’s way, and sought to experience true change.

I believe that I’ve done this, and am very thankful for the body of believers that have stood by me and helped me through this process.

As I’m thinking about this I also tried to identify a core issue…

… is there something going on that I can say is central to all of my sins?

… is there a common thread?

"Chief, this is 86, I think I'm on to something here!"

Sure enough I did find a common thread, and found enlightenment in the Bible…

the common thread for me is all of my sins can be summarized as doing something foolish. I’m referring to this as my greatest sin. Yep, I needed to “Get Smart.”

The book of Proverbs offers us wisdom that is useful to understanding our sins, as well as helping us avoid the pitfalls of falling into sin as we head on down the road:

“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
for attaining wisdom and discipline;
for understanding words of insight;
for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,
doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young –
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance –
for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

Proverbs 1: 1-7

Do you feel you’ve done what you need to do to follow through with your sins?

How can we encourage each other to keep from committing sins?

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The Forgiveness Prayer

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I few weeks ago I wrote “Having A Heart,” inspired after reading Andy Andrews “The Heart Mender.” The jist of it was to try and provide help forgiving someone after they have hurt you. Remember, forgiving is for YOU and doesn’t have anything to do with the person who offended you (unless you would like to restore a broken relationship, then by all means ask for forgiveness!). It is through the power of God’s loving acceptance for us that we can have the peace of true forgiveness. At the time I wrote “Having A Heart” I couldn’t put my hands on The Forgiveness Prayer. I originally found it in the sidebar of the Transformations handout for LifeGroups at Chets Creek Church last fall (when I really needed it, I repeated it over 100 times, and for months.) After following up with Glenn (I love that dude!!) Reese at Chets this week I was able to come up with the following prayer on the internet, which is very similar to the missing forgiveness prayer…

Father God, I choose, as an act of my will, to forgive ____________(name) for _______(specific offense). Father, I ask that you forgive them as well, and not hold these charges against him/her on my account. Father God, if there are any more stored up negative feelings in me toward _________, I ask that you cleanse me. I will be open to replace these negative emotions with the fruit of your Holy Spirit. Father, Your Holy Word tells us that we overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, and the word of our testimony. I now plead the blood of Jesus over this offense and over my unforgiveness. Lord, do not allow Satan to interfere with my testimony. Heavenly Father, I ask that you help me regain the ground that I gave up when I held onto these offenses. I ask that you take back this ground and no longer allow Satan to operate there. Give me wisdom to deal with this situation in the future. Father, I ask that you heal now the wounded places in my soul.  Heal my memory of those offenses so that I can look back on them realistically, knowing that You have healed me. Now Father, I ask that you bless ____(name) with Your abundant mercy. Prosper him/her in every way: body, soul, and spirit. AMEN.

Again from Andy Andrews’ book…

“If you’re mad at someone you have to forgive them for you. You have a choice to make, either think about them all day long and let them keep hurting you inside… or give them to God. We are products of our past but we don’t have to be prisoners to it. Practicing forgiveness is less an act than a determined way of living. True forgiveness only comes at the conclusion of an inner struggle.”

Keep on Smiling, Loving and Living 🙂

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Having a Heart

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Just blazed through Andy Andrews’ new book, The Heart Mender. In less than a day during my spare time. I’ve never been one to do this, but this one is truly a masterpiece that I couldn’t put down.

The subtitle, a story of second chances, shines the light on this true story of war, faith… and forgiveness. Here’s the jist of it… Andy uncovers artifacts from the second world war in his own back yard, along the coast of Southern Alabama. Through some research, he’s able to piece together an incredible story of two people reconciling their pasts and hatred to move forward with their lives. I can’t really say much more without spoiling this tale.

From the book…

“If you’re mad at someone you have to forgive them for you. You have a choice to make, either think about them all day long and let them keep hurting you inside… or give them to God. We are products of our past but we don’t have to be prisoners to it. Practicing forgiveness is less an act than a determined way of living. True forgiveness only comes at the conclusion of an inner struggle.”

I found a forgiveness prayer not too long ago, and have experienced that forgiving someone that has really hurt you badly takes time. A lot of prayer (I’ve prayed my forgiveness prayer over 100 times!!!). And a whole lot of God’s love. And this alone frees the human spirit.

Thank you Andy once again for sharing this amazing story. I can’t wait for the next!!!

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Clouds In My Coffee

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Andie: Unattached?

Ben: Currently.

Andie: Likewise.

Ben: Surprising.

Andie: Psycho?

Ben: Rarely, Interested?

Andie: Perhaps.

Ben: Hungry?

Andie: Starving.

Ben: Leaving?

Andie: Now?

How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days. It’s the 2003 movie about Andie and her Bennie boo boo… boo boo boo. And is full of quick-witted humor. Romantic Comedy. If your man doesn’t like them just hope that they put Kate Hudson or Sandra Bullock in the movie. He’ll go. He’ll act like it’s torture. It’s not. He’ll want to negotiate for more time in The Man Cave. Don’t buy his tomfoolery.

This is “Nutter Butter’s” favorite movie. She can rattle off the tag lines better than Wikipedia. I think she digs Matthew McConaughey. Just a wee bit. She’s a Burberry girl and great friend!! I’m digressing…

The movie is about vanity, love and forgiveness.

First, vanity… Andie and Ben were both on top of their game.

A game? Like Backgammon? I love backgammon!! No, not that kind of game… these two play a different sort of game.

That’s the story line… it’s all just a game. For Andie, make a guy fall for her, and then loose him, by doing all the things that men dislike, all within 10 days. Then write an article about it for her job. Ben’s game was even more simple, a cocky bet that he could make any woman fall in love with him. Andie was chosen as the attractive subject in a bar.

I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee… You’re so vain… You probably think this blog is about you… from You’re So Vain, the catchy Carly Simon song that rings loud through this movie. I had no clue what “clouds in my coffee” meant. Carly says: “Clouds in my coffee” are the confusing aspects of life and love. That which you can’t see through, and yet seems alluring…until. Like a mirage that turns into a dry patch.”

Vanity. One of those harmful virtues, an example of pride, which is considered the opposite of being humble. Vanity, arrogance and pride can lead to a hardening of the heart that condemns those who refuse to accept anything greater than themselves.

When Andie and Ben found out about each other’s game, they were deeply hurt. Owie!! The movie easily could have ended right there. Game over.

Instead of vanity, let’s focus on the good, the positive, and the things this blog is about: “Think, at all times, on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.” Philippians 4:8. Amen.

Back to the movie. Fortunately, something else happened along the way: Andie and Ben fell in love. Ok, for the sake of the Romantic Comedy, can I add more God here? I’m sure this next part could conceivably happen without God… in the movies.

Here’s the best part of the movie: Love endures and overrides vanity. Team God wins… again!

Love overrides vanity is not a given, no-brainer, or slam dunk. Now comes the tricky part… forgiveness. A crazy scramble near the end of the movie. Andie and Ben swallow their pride, not an easy thing to do… but necessary for their forgiveness. And for their love to endure.

And for the fairy tale ending…

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