My Response to the Resurrection

“For God so loved the world, He gave his only Son that whosoever believes in him, should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so individuals might be saved through Him.”  John 3: 16-17. The first twenty-one years of my life were lived without Jesus as my personal Savior. I had been raised in a home by loving parents, but did not have the privilege of attending Sunday school and church services. Then I married and my husband was not a believer. But he had his parent’s Bible, sometimes I read portions of …

Search and Forgive

  “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts. And see if there is any sin in me, and lead me to life everlasting.” Psalm 139: 23-24 It appears that the psalmist thought God already knew his heart, but for his own sake, he needed to be sure what was in his heart and wanted God to try him as gold is tried in the fire.  But he appeared grieved with hatred some felt toward God, and wanted to be certain no evil was in his life as some had accused him. Therefore, he appeals to God to search his heart, that his integrity and innocence might be seen by all others. …

To Forgive or Not To Forgive (Part 2)

When I was asked to write a Victim Impact Statement before my final court appearance, I immediately understood the weight that went with it. I knew that it would be shared with other victims who had gone through similar circumstances and that it would be used as an example. I wanted to be a voice for women, while still asking myself what Jesus would do. I mean, He was betrayed by one of his top twelve, His body was broken, He bled. But in the end, He forgave. I’m a flawed human with bitterness and anger. Could I do the same? To …

The Light that Shines in the Darkness

Hey everyone- Carissa here! One of my favorite Christmas passages comes from the words of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist and the one who held the honor of hearing a word from the Lord for the first time in 400 years. “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke [1:78]-79) The mercy of light in the darkness… anyone who is sitting in suffering today understands …

An Eye for An Eye

When God gave Moses the law recorded in Exodus, He did say if men strive and mischief results, then they should give life for death, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. Also in Leviticus 24: 20 and Deuteronomy 19: 21, this same law is stated and to be practiced. Therefore, during the earthly ministry of Jesus, the Pharisees, who not only taught the law, but added many of their own laws to Moses’ Law, made it impossible to keep them. Then in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus challenged this former teaching. He did …

Jesus Gives a New Law

Jesus knew about the teachings of strict Pharisees and one time said they strained at a gnat but swallowed a camel. He also said they should remove the speck from their eyes before trying to remove the beam from the eyes of others. In other words they avoided slighter sins but practiced weightier ones such as their hatred for Jesus and His teachings. Jesus not only condemned their teachings but during His Sermon on the Mount, gave a new law, or as He once said, He didn’t come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it. During that lengthy sermon, Jesus taught several moral principles: among them not …

Revenge Brings Alienation and Hurt

Throughout the ages there has been conflict between individuals and families. In the first Biblical family one brother killed his brother because of jealousy and perhaps resentment. There was conflict between Sarah and Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, Joseph and his brothers, Saul and David, and the list could continue. During the earthly ministry of Jesus, there was conflict between groups and individuals including His twelve disciples: one example is their arguing about who would be greatest in God’s Kingdom. Conflicts continue during our time and usually they begin over some trivial matter and last a lifetime causing all involved alienation and grief. Suppose …

Jesus Taught Forgiveness

Are you struggling to forgive one who has harmed you? Has your inability to forgive turned to bitterness and is eating away at the center of your life? Or maybe you have learned how to forgive? No doubt many are somewhere between revenge and true forgiveness; if so, trust these comments will be helpful. After Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, He gave the Model Prayer. In this prayer were these words, “And forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.” I suspect this part of Jesus’ model prayer caused the disciples to feel somewhat uncomfortable because they were not perfect and especially Peter; once he asked Jesus: “How many …

The Holy Spirit Helps Us Forgive

Forgiveness does not come naturally as mentioned already. The natural impulse is to get even or bear a grudge against one who has intentionally or unintentionally offended us. And I might add here that many individuals wear a chip on their shoulders and take offense when no offense was intended.Such individuals usually suffer from poor self images and it takes little to further damage their images. On the other hand there are those who appear to boost their own pride by hurting others. For example the school bully and leaders of gangs. In between are those who unintentionally hurt another, but in each case …

Forgiveness Brings Healing

If you have suffered a harmful offense by another and finally forgave that person, you are experiencing a sense of healing in your life. Usually such a wound inflicted does not heal overnight, but we should begin by praying for the offender and asking God to bless him or her. I must remember that my offense probably was not intentional: if harsh words were spoken that caused my hurt; perhaps they were spoken in haste, or that one was dealing with his or her own problems. If my hurt was feeling rejected by not being included in some activity, reminding myself there was a reason I was not …

Spending Time Alone

“When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself” (Lam. 3: 28–29 The Message) I was hurt and felt sorry for myself. How could she say those mean thing about me? Were they true? Weren’t we friends? Yet she was devaluing our friendship for some reason. Should I lash back at her unkind words and defend myself? Instead, I retreated to a place where I could pray about her comments. I knew I shouldn’t say anything to anyone while angry, especially the one who had attacked my character and integrity. In the solitude, a still, small voice whispered, “Forgive.” …