A Story Nonetheless

Some time ago I had a dream, a vision of sorts. Only, I didn’t realize it until some time later. With the dream being so vivid, I truly believed it to be a Bible story. When I told a friend of mine the story, I told him that I would find the passage in the Bible so he could read it for himself. I was surprised to find that there is no such story! Lost, I went to my pastor and former youth pastor to ask them if they have heard of such a story. They had not. Following is the dream that I had, for what I can recall, I regret not writing it down at once.

I saw a grand temple, with a great number of people gathered there. The High priest of Israel was there accompanied by the Sadducees and pharisees. They were preparing to enter the temple to perform a ritual to atone for the sins of Israel. In order to enter undefiled, the High priest began to take multiple bathes. (I am uncertain of the number, I am going to assume twelve for each tribe.) After each bath, the wash tub made of gold was drained and washed out to prep for the next bath. The High Priest would say a prayer between each one while a white sheet was held up to cover him. After the bathing and prayers had come to a conclusion, the High priest entered the temple.

Nearing the altar, a flash of light swept the room and the priest found himself covered in vomit. Crying aloud he ran out from the temple. From the Heavens a voice called out. (my memory fails me, but I know the jist.) “You approach being physically clean, yet your heart is as repulsive as vomit.” Upon this I awoke.

The lesson I got from it and told to my friend, is that it does not matter how a person may appear. Even the most seemingly holy of people are not worthy before God, one must be covered by the Holy Spirit in order to be near God. By this, our hearts are made pure through Christ and not on our own merit. Our merit is like vomit before God, useless.

 

 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 7:14-16

Breathing, Not Beating

I’ve decided to write a little about my past and include a story about a friend I made in Nicaragua. My title, “Breathing, Not Beating” I hope to make a bit more profound as I write. Now, my life does not include some tragic life event or poor upbringing, but hardships have still come my way. Many who read this will relate to some degree. I am glad to say that my past remains in the past. Much of the hardships, with the Lord’s help, have been overcome. This is essentially my testimony, leaving some detail out. No need to post all my sins on the internet, the impact is just as powerful.

I’ll begin by attempting to briefly describe my fourth grade school year. Many issues steamed from this point, but actually fourth grade was one of my favorite times in school. The situation was, I went into the year with no friends in my class. I would see them during free play and the such, but I didn’t interact a whole lot with the other students assigned to my teacher with me. at first I was upset, but then had a thought! “I know no one in this class, they don’t know me, I can be myself!” Problem is, when I’m acting like myself, I tend to become highly obnoxious. I love to laugh, especially in my younger days I could barely get through a joke due to laughing while trying to say the punch line. I had no care in the world what my classmates thought of me, I was myself, if they didn’t like it, then oh well. the year went on rather well. My classmates viewed me as the class clown I suppose. jokes weren’t really my thing, it was more of what I did. Putting my feet behind my head and walking on my hands, (yes I could and still can somewhat do that) putting my pinkie toe in my nose, (yes I did that too) and doing somersaults into the class while making a finger gun and humming the James Bond theme song.

My classmates weren’t the problem for me that school year. It was actually the students from other classes. During free play I didn’t change my behavior and still ran around the school grounds like a mad man. Some friends and I did start a very intense game of “keep away” which is nothing more than tackling whoever has a kickball in their hands and then taking it for yourself until YOU get tackled. It got banned. Anyway, one day while waiting in line to play an actual game of kickball, I had a student from another class say they didn’t want me on their team. A little hurt I asked why? They said because I was gay. Honestly, not knowing what that meant entirely as an eight or nine-year old. I still walked away knowing I was just insulted. The following days I discovered others were calling me the same thing. No one from my class however, only those from other classes. After some time of this, I greatly reduced my levels of hyper activity and became much more calm. I tried to act like everyone else, I still laughed and enjoyed life. However, all of a sudden, others opinions drove my actions.

Skipping forward to sixth grade, I found myself in another situation of where I knew few people in my class. This time I had a new thought “I know no one, if I keep to myself and say nothing, then they can’t use anything against me.” Thus, I literally went days at school saying nothing. Friends aren’t exactly easy to come by when you say very little, if anything at all. Needless to say, it was a very depressing year. I sat alone at lunch quite often, if someone were to speak to me, in most occasions it was to mock me. I would smile when people stared at me, not sure why, I guess I figured I needed to do something in order for them to look away.

Being trapped within your mind can become very scary. For hours a day I simply thought to myself. I bothered no one, yet bullies would go out of their way to bother me. A lot of hatred was birthed from that. It appeared to me that no one liked me, or cared for me. Of course not everyone hated me, but when no one seemed to care that others mocked me or no one sat next to me at lunch, it caused the appearance of that. Obviously I was sad, you could see it in my eyes. My smiles were always fake, and if conversation ever started I would quickly end it. Seeking to talk, but fearing it at the same time makes sense to anyone in any similar situation I would say. I suppose, if someone were to persist on speaking, and make it known that they really did want to talk, then most would open up. On the other hand, often times the first thought is, “oh they feel bad for me, it’s the only reason why they’re talking to me.” People don’t want others to feel sorry for them. If you want to be a friend, then be a friend. Saying “sorry that you’re so sad, I wish I could help.” Then walking away is the equivalent of saying nothing at all. So, here I was, a rather sad sack who closed himself into a tight shell. speaking softly when I chose to speak and had clenched fist ready to swing when enemies approached. I did have one saving grace however.

Everyday after school a friend and I would run from each others homes to meet at the entrance of my neighborhood. A grade higher than I, we never saw each other at school very often. Playing Rec park soccer and knowing him since elementary school made us close friends. Being able to open up and talk to a true friend each day, I swear kept me from total devastation. We had this crazy idea that we were going to break school records for our P.E. classes. Each day we trained for our end of the year physical test, so we could attempt to shatter a record. We started by doing a quarter-mile warm-up to meet each other, then we walked back to my home while eating fruit, followed by sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts and a half mile run. Then, we played. This continued for quite some time. As soon as we arrived home we were out the door ready to go.

Now, this is where my testimony really begins, I hope you enjoyed the back story! Let us begin. I was raised in a Christian home, very good upbringing, wonderful parents and my siblings and I got along for the most part. My friend had a good home life as well, but he wasn’t raised in a Christian home. One day, while playing soccer, he posed a question to me. “Why do you believe in God?” He asked. a little off guard I simply said, because I do. After a little more discussion, I went home thinking, “why DO I believe in God?” After getting home I started to help my mother with the dishes and I told her what my friend had asked. After talking with her I felt confident in my belief in God and was ready to confirm that with my friend the next day. He had another question for me though, “Do you love God?” Do I love God? I thought…Well of course I do! Questions such as these continued everyday…everyday I had a new question and he a new answer. I washed dishes with mother happily at this point. It gave me a chance to discuss my newly posed question. My questions always demanded answers, not just for my friend, but for myself as well. As his questions increased in difficulty, my answers became more defined and confident. My knowledge of the Bible had increased and my love for God was at new heights. One day, as I came onto the school bus, he turned to me and demanded to know if I truly loved God. I quickly and fully sure of myself answered yes, of course I do! I believe that somewhere along this time span, the Holy Spirit truly entered into my heart. Being about twelve years old at this time, my water baptism three years prior became very obvious to be a safety net and not a true change of heart. I know now that I was Baptized by the Spirit in my time of growing with the Lord. No longer did I partake in communion just for a little juice or bread, but now I partook with gladness and joy in the knowledge of my Lord!

I first heard this from my mom, but I know it comes from another source, a poem perhaps.

“Sometimes people come into your life for a reason, and for a season.” 

After some time, the questions became very tiring. No longer did I question my faith. Being asked if I truly loved the Lord followed by worldly views became more of a heated debate. We would argue for hours and the final blow was basically a choice between God, or our friendship. Choosing God of course, our friendship faded away and I suppose, our season ended. I like to tell people that I was saved by an atheist. I’ve even had one person confuse it to mean an atheist saved me from Christianity. I told her, oh no, I quite literally mean an atheist converted me to Christianity. You would think that losing my only friend at the time would’ve led me into an even deeper depression. However, God had it all under control. I became much happier even in the current situation of loneliness. Soon after our friendship had faded, God placed another friend into my life. My pastor’s son who is extremely funny and talented became a dear friend of mine and stayed that way up into high school. Where once again I had to forged new friends.

In my current state I face constant fear, not for my own sake, but for my Brothers and Sisters in Christ. I’m currently working on that and am trying to learn to leave matters in the Lord’s hands. He saved me from despair, he can save others as well.

On my mission in Nicaragua one of our team members gave her testimony. It was of a rather dark past with much tribulation. It spoke to one of our translators who after hearing our team members testimony decided to share his as well. Aneriam is his name. He put a name to what I felt in my loneliness. He told us that he never felt so lost that he wanted to end his own life. However, he had been dead inside for years. “My mind may not have said I am dead, but my heart did.” That hit me, I can’t say I was so consumed by despair that suicide seemed like a reasonable escape. However, feeling such intense sadness in my heart it was as if I were dead inside and yet alive. I had breath in my lungs, yet my heart ached.

When the Holy Spirit entered me, I was filled with the breath of Life. No longer was I simply breathing in air, but the word of God and the Spirit stirred within me as well. My lungs will one day cease, my heart will stop beating, and my body will fade away. The Spirit however, will continue to live on. We are either filled with the breath of Life, or filled with the breath of death. I thank God for filling me with life and assuring me of life everlasting! Now, I live with gladness and with life! May the Spirit’s breath overflow within me and fill those around me!

I encourage anyone who suffers in whatever tribulation they face to look to God and to pray upon the Spirit to fill them with life and to make a new creation out of them. Dead to your old self and arising anew. Filled with life everlasting!

 

 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.” – John 3:5-7

 

Beauty IN The Beast

We all know the story of Beauty and the Beast, especially the more popular rendition done by Disney. Belle, comes upon a castle while searching for her father. Unaware of the Beast that rules the dark fortress. She enters the castle finding her father a prisoner of the Beast. In exchange for his freedom she agrees to live in the castle forever. We know the rest of the story, the Beast must find true love before the last petal of the rose falls and Belle and Beast find that love just in time. While talking to a friend of mine, we were discussing the deeper meanings behind stories and came up with our own renditions for many. Looking at Beast, we came up with some interesting points.

At first glance, the curse of the Beast may appear that he was transformed into a monster by the enchanter. I propose however, that the Beast was always there within him. Not just in his behavior towards his servants and outsiders, but a deeper Beast, a more powerful Beast, one he wished to keep within himself. The curse brought out this inner Beast and exposed what he truly was to the world. He could no longer hide his sins, believing to be a monster to all who set eyes on him, he hid away in his fortress.

Isn’t that how we feel a lot of times? We all have deep secrets we wish to conceal from others. Imagine if they were exposed for all to see. Suddenly our mask are swiped off our faces and the Beast within is revealed. Hiding away tends to be our first reaction. Skipping school, avoiding the public, not talking to friends for a time, we feel like the world sees a Beast.

When Belle finds her father he tells her to run from the Beast, to leave the castle. Belle refuses to leave him behind, when confronted by the Beast she offers herself over to him before seeing him. Talking in the darkness the Beast is taken aback by Belle’s offer. To sacrifice herself for her father’s sake surprised him. Belle, only hearing his voice asked him to come near the light. When the Beast made himself known she expressed shock, yet she remained.

I believe the beast was drawn to Belle, insisting that if she does take her father’s place that she must remain forever in the castle. Hearing her offer showed him that Belle was pure of heart, placing others before herself. even after seeing who he truly was, though shocked, she remained as promised.

In our own lives we see this. there are certain people that we are drawn to, the reason isn’t always known. I would say most of us have our own view of friendship, but all of us operate in just about the same way. You have your acquaintances, just someone to talk to, to pass the time. Your friends, people you spend time with regularly, yet I think most of us wear mask when with your everyday friends. Then there are your close friends, those who you can trust with all your heart. No matter what you expose to them, there they remain by your side.

Belle tries her best to remain in the castle, however the Beast frightened her to the point that she flees the castle. Beast knowing that she is one person who can see past the monster goes after her. Belle finds herself surrounded by a pack of wolves in the forest and Beast comes in and rescues her. They both realized something at this point. Belle, after seeing him come to save her knows that he cares enough for her to risk his life for her. She realizes that there is beauty in the Beast. Beast comes to a similar revelation. Formerly he only cared about himself, he would never place others before him. He now knows, that Belle needs him to be pure of heart, just as he needs her to be pure. He found Beauty in his own Beast.

For us, we sometimes place too much onto a friend all at once. It may frighten them for a time, but with an outstretched hand and an understanding that you need each other to remain strong for one another, then together you can find Beauty in the Beast. The sins of our lives may taint our souls, but Beauty can be found even in the darkest of places. With each victory over a thorn, there is much to celebrate. For at the end of the steam, there blooms a Rose.

Belle and Beast continue to grow in understanding and love for one another. When they dance on the ballroom floor, they take hold of each other and Belle embraces the Beast; Clearly sending joy to the Beast’s heart. How could anyone express love for the Beast? Belle can clearly see what he is, yet she embraces him, proving she possess unconditional love.

Unconditional love is one of the hardest attributes to take hold of, let alone understand it. When someone expresses unconditional love towards others, people are drawn. The closest people in your life will be those who express this type of love towards you and all they meet. Even when you take off your mask, even when the Beast is revealed, there they remain.

 

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part;  but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.  When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13

 

Interpretation: It’s not that Belle sees past the Beast and sees him for who he is on the inside. Rather, she sees who he is on the inside, on the outside, and still finds love for him. The Beast became Beauty.

Please comment any thoughts!

Evenly Yoked

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14

 

To be evenly yoked, do you know what it means? Often times oxen were used to thresh wheat, barley and other grains. The oxen were yoked to one another in order to work together and make the burden light. If however, the oxen were not evenly yoked, then the yoke must be corrected and made even, otherwise the yoke would break. With two strong oxen working together much can be done. When two strong oxen pull against each other, then nothing is done and the bond is broken.

You can take Paul’s teachings and apply them to many aspects. Paul is speaking of relationships between the Godly and ungodly. How can two with different Lord’s be evenly yoked? One Lord being God, the other an idol or even their own desired path. The two would continually pull in different directions until one of two things occur. One, the two correct the yoke and become even; they both desire the same path, following the orders of the same Lord. Two, they pull apart the yoke and become separated. The workers who lead the beast of burden had to find which oxen worked well with each other. Certain oxen would only work with certain oxen. You could not force two to work together for long, they must each desire to work alongside the other.

Paul contrast this with light and darkness. When you flip your light switch, you will not find a random circle of darkness in the middle of the room. Darkness flees at the will of the light. Darkness has no dealings with light, just as light as no dealings with darkness. The two will never be found together.

Taking both examples, look at your relationships, on any scale. Friendships, Family, your significant other, and especially your relationship with God. Are you evenly yoked in your relationships? Do you try and force light into darkness or darkness into light? Reflect for a moment, consider your own desired path…now consider the path of the one you’re yoked to. Are you even?

 

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

 

The first relationship that must be made even, is your yoke with Christ. All other yokes will be uneven otherwise. The path of your Lord your God MUST be the same path YOU desire. If it is not, then you will either pull your other relationships apart, or lead your friends, family, etc. down a wrong path away from the Lord.You must determine however, which path the person you’re yoked to is taking. If it is away from the Lord, then it must be immediately realigned and made even. If it is not, then breaking the yoke in order to follow the Lord would be the right move to make. It would be better to thresh the wheat alone than to be pulled down an undesired path. God is faithful, He will send another ox that will yoke well with you. Together, the new bond can progress down the path of righteousness.

Your yoke with Christ will be light, so long as you continue to desire as He does. Your heavy loads are light for the Lord, He will take your burdens and make your path easy. Break away from Him and you will find yourself trying to force two yokes that don’t belong. You desire light, yet yoke with darkness, you desire righteousness, yet yoke with ungodliness. Yoke with Christ first, then He will make your path straight. For you, and all who yoke with you. He desires light, He will lead you there. He desires righteousness, he will lead you there. If you were to ever break away, He will wait for you. He knows that YOU YOKE WELL WITH HIM, and He desires you to yoke with Him.

Apart from Christ, you are broken. together, you are made Holy. The Holy spirit dwells within those yoked with Christ. Heed His guidance, He will show you the path of righteousness. Born anew, Baptized in the Spirit. Live your life following the path of your Lord your God, yoke well with Him and He will make straight your paths.

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:6 (NASB)

“With weeping they will come, And by supplication I will lead them; I will make them walk by streams of waters, On a straight path in which they will not stumble…” – Jeremiah 31:9

“and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” – Hebrews 12:13

 

We Are Family

I’ve recently been granted the opportunity to go on a mission trip to the country of Nicaragua. This is a mission that I have been on before a few years prior, yet this time around was more than just an experience or an adventure, it was a calling. Much was learned on this trip, about my brethren, about myself, about my God. My God is a marvelous God, a God of Compassion, Love, Mercy and at times Wrath. He is also full of understanding and knowledge. He had a purpose for each of my companions going on this trip, I pray we all discovered the reason. 

Upon my return, I learned that no matter how far apart, my brethren in Nicaragua are family. The family of God covers this planet in all of its expanse. No matter the language barrier, culture, or any other difference, we are all family. Speaking to the people we visited wasn’t our goal, for our language means nothing to them. Showing the love of God through not just our own personalities, but also through the personality of our family, was our goal. Laughing and playing with the children in the villages, seeing the parents smile, and providing a meal to the families was of great joy to me. They did not care if we could understand each other, for the tongue sets fires, while a smile calms the stirred spirit. Smiling at a young child and hearing them giggle brought joy to my heart. All we may be able to get across through word is our names, but the love of God can shine brightly in a heart of compassion.

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1 (NASB)

Unconditional love, that’s what God has towards all of His creation. We need to model this type of love and compassion. To show love towards the unlovable, compassion to the cruel, a hand of friendship to the outcast. Unconditional love towards everyone. With a heart that understands what true love is, God can work wonderful things through that person’s life.

God is working in mighty ways with the ministry we worked alongside. On Eagle’s Wings Ministries is spreading the love of Christ to thousands and showing what unconditional love truly is. Over 10,000 children are fed by the ministry! They are working with local sports teams and getting the youth more involved in church activities. The people working with the ministry are all very loving people. Everything they do is out of love for the people of Nicaragua and for God. The leader, Oscar, coming from a rough background has through countless blessings granted by the Lord, built a wonderful ministry. Placing the people of Nicaragua and their needs before his own, God blesses his heart of compassion abundantly. I miss the friends that I’ve made there dearly, but I know I will see them again. They are praying for me as I do for them, apart physically, together in spirit. It was of great honor and blessing to see it all unfold over the years. Work is still at hand, there is much to do for the Kingdom of God. The mission trip may have ended, but the mission is still ongoing, day by day.

I feel that God has reserved a peculiar plan for me. I keep wanting to go down certain paths of life that aren’t necessarily bad, just not where God leads. I desire to join the United States Air Force, yet I have been working towards that goal for nearly a year. When I decided to join the mission team, I figured I could give my spot to another if I was accepted to serve before our trip. God had other plans and caused my process to be delayed by several months. Upon return, I thought I’d be gone by the end of this month…further delay. Even now, more delay. Try as I might, this door will open on its own timing, or perhaps not at all. At first I fought it, always trying new ways to unblock hold-ups and requesting assistance from higher ranking personnel. Now, I’m told there’s another issue, my reply…okay, in God’s timing. He had a plan in mind for me with this mission trip, I just didn’t know how important it was until now.

I was blessed to strengthen bonds with my team members and hopefully each of us strengthened our bonds with God as well. My fellow team members, none of which I would’ve said were very close to me, became near and dear to my heart. For each I would do anything humanly possible to help them in times of need. One of my closest friends now, expressed that they were glad God caused delay in my enlistment process, because if He hadn’t, we wouldn’t be such close friends now. That being true, I am glad He delayed it as well. If my purpose is simply to be there for those who need a brother by their side, then so be it, I will be a brother. A heart full of compassion and love is what I desire. I believe God has granted me that wish. To lead the ones I love wisely is the next step.

Being home since the trip has been very odd indeed. Old friends I haven’t seen in a long time are coming back into my life. These past few weeks back home have been a blessing, as well as very perplexing. I do not know what the Lord is doing fully, but I feel that many friends are there as encouragement to me, others I am to be of encouragement to them. I wrote in my post “Only The Potter” that I have been granted a small flock. These friends I feel are my small flock. Some are church goers, others are not, all seem to be seeking guidance in some form. I’ll admit that taking upon myself some of the burdens of my Christian family, just as we are instructed to do, had me worried for a time. With guidance from the Lord and other Christian family members, I am certain He will give me the strength and wisdom to lead those who wish to learn under me to the Son Jesus Christ. This is the reason why I think I remain where I am. My end goal in all of my desired paths is to be a missionary. Chaplain in the Air Force would be ideal in my mind, but if my friends need me right where I am, then here I will remain. God has a plan in mind, I’m sure it’s going to be great when I see it unfold!

“People come into your life for a reason, it may be for a season, or a lifetime.”

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

 

Trinity: Our Guide

Lead me O God,

God my Father, right me in my wrong.

Discipline me, reproof my steps.

Light the path of righteousness, cast a shadow upon the wide road.

Where you lead, I will follow.

Lord Christ, Be by my side in all that I do.

Lift me up when I feel alone, bear my pain along side me, for it is too great.

My brother, who died for my sake, rising again you light my way.

Where you lead, I will follow.

Holy Spirit, Convict me of my sins, save me from Satan’s grasp.

Keep me from temptation, Stir within me when I choose the wrong path.

Comfort me in my darkest of days, and show me the way to the Light of Our Father.

Where you lead, I will follow.

Lay To Rest

Today is the final day in the year 2016, the new year will soon be upon us. When reflecting back on the year, some will be glad to see its end, while others will miss the experiences they had in this year. This is also the most popular time that people try to wipe the slate clean and start afresh in the New year. New year resolutions will be set, for a time they may be kept, daily routine hasn’t changed though and most will go back to what they were doing before. Wanting to change your lifestyle for physical health or for spiritual health is always a good desire, just hard to maintain with the worries of life. What I would encourage for anyone trying to change for the better, in whatever capacity, would be to leave your worries of the past, in the past.

 

“I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” – Isaiah 44:22 (NASB)

 

The past does not take long to occur, in the blink of the eye the past has occurred. With a blink you can decide to live in the past, or live in the future. You can live in fear of the past, or in the hope of the future. Everyday we have choices to make, we will have proud moments in our lives due to our choices. However, we will have many regrets as well. What do you do then? Dwell in the past and think of what you’ve done wrong? Or, live with hope for the future and try your absolute best to avoid your regrets of the past?

Often times when I think back on stupid things I’ve done, I laugh and shake my head saying “I can’t believe I did that.” Thankfully, the Good Lord has kept me from what I would consider severe mistakes. Yet, I have my thorns. Pain is not a stranger to me, but I know others have experienced much more severe pain than I. When I see my friends battling their own thorns, I can see the suffering that they go through. Perhaps, the Lord has spared me of a heavy burden, in order for me to take upon the burdens of my brethren.

 

“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. …” Galatians 6:1-3 (NASB)

 

In my post prior to this one “Only the Potter” what I am saying now is more accurate to the feelings I felt while writing that post. The broken pot being a broken spirit, we are all broken. To help each other along the path of righteousness, to help bear one another’s burdens when we are able, to possess unconditional love; those are but a few of the characteristics that we should follow, but perhaps, the most important.

 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NASB)

Love bears all things, just as Christ loved us and bore our sins upon the Cross. We should bear one another’s burdens and help each other along life’s path to the only one capable of healing our broken spirits. Jesus Christ, our Lord, our savior, our ultimate friend who loves us so deeply that he laid down His life for us.

As you start off the New year, take one last look at your experiences in 2016. Take what is good, what is pure, what is true and leave the rest behind. If you dwell on what is bad, then the darkness of the world will appear to be more than one can handle. Dwell on what is good, look to the Light found in Christ Jesus and allow those around you who love you deeply, to help lift you up and the things of this world will grow strangely dim. Lay To Rest the evil of the past, look to the future for what is bright.

 

Work cited

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NASB)

 

Galatians 6:1-3 (NASB)

 

Isaiah 44:22 (NASB)