Looking Unto Jesus

Angela's Blog

A Bit About me

Welcome to my personal weblog! I have many areas of interest as a Christian wife and home schooling mother of 6 girls: writing, poetry, website design, digital photography, a home business (sewing); however, this blog will focus more on the wonderful journey the Lord has brought our family through and what the Lord has shown me in His Holy Word.


I know that my devotionals don't often speak of specifics in our lives, but I want my readers to know that what I write comes most often from what the Lord is doing in our lives, or has done. I don't just repeat words by this preacher or that one. My devotionals are often written through a haze of tears, sometimes in grief, sometimes in peace at God's goodness for what He is doing for our good. At other times, after a flood of tears over my lack of faith in His great plan for us, especially after I've seen Heaven's gates open in another miraculous answer to prayer. What I write is what God shows me through those trials which He brings because of His great goodness as He works out His perfect plan. - Angela.


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I Stand Redeemed

With Canada Day (July 1st) having just passed, and Independance Day (July 4th) for the USA tomorrow, I began to think about the birth of these two nations. They began as Christian nations, but have generally degraded into nations that only have a vague semblance to Christ. Worse than that, there is little difference between the world and many who claim the name of Christ.

The Bible talks about this happening to the world in the last days.

2Timothy 3:1 ¶ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

It is vital that each and every one who is a blood-bought, born-again, child of the living God, daily make a conscience decision to follow the Saviour who gave all for us. Like the Apostle Paul who spoke of submission to Christ, we must also say: “…I die daily. 1 Corinthians 15:31

Titus 2:11 ¶ For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

The above texts may seem to have little to do with the title of this devotional, but they were meant as a reminder. Although the hour in which we live becomes consistently more wicked, the peace and assurance that can only come from God can remain steadfast in the simple knowledge of our redemption! Our God has not changed!

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8

Titus2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

I Stand Redeemed!

1) When I think of all my faults and my failures;
When I consider all the times I’ve let God down.
I am humbled by the grace He has extended.
I’m amazed at the mercy I have found.
I could never earn His love on my own,
Yet every time I come before His throne:
Chorus:
I stand redeemed, by the blood of the Lamb.
I stand redeemed, before the great I am.
When He looks at me, He sees the nail scarred hands
That bought my liberty.
I stand redeemed.
2) Even at my best I am unworthy;
I have nothing precious I can give.
A broken life is all I have to offer,
And yet it’s a priceless gift to Him.
The bitter marks of sin will never fade away,
And I can come before Him unashamed.

The Comfort of the Scriptures

Romans 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

It amazes me how much we can put ourselves through simply because we don’t take our cares to the Lord. Our lives have always been pretty typical, having one disturbing major issue happening at a time, but it seems like this time around it has been 4-5 at the same time. I can honestly say that the last 6-7 months have been the hardest trials I have gone through in my entire Christian life with some things being personal and some affecting our entire family. At times I felt overwhelmed and it seemed I barely had a grasp of the hem of the Lord’s garment, yet, there was still a peace that kept me going as I knew the Lord was going to see us through, again. When I took our cares to the Lord, that peace was the strongest, and of course when I focused on the issues, that peace seemed so dim, but it was always there.

Taking all our cares to the Lord is exactly what He expects us to do!

1 Peter 5:7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

It truly is a blessing to be able to write down what I learn from the Scriptures and the lessons learned from what God brings into our lives.  Several years ago, I did a full blown lesson on “Depression”, and God used it not only to calm my troubles heart, but to be an encouragement to others as well. If any of our trials help anyone to go on for Christ, the I count those trials a privilege.

2 Corinthians 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Yet God has also given us an even greater comfort that to me makes any and all trials worthwhile.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Our Lord is coming back one day! All our trials will be over and we will see the one who redeemed us from our sin! What greater comfort is there?

1 Peter 1:18-19  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

I couldn’t find a vocal rendition of this hymn that I liked, but at least I can post the words and music. The music player is at the bottom of the lyrics.

When We See Christ

1) Oft times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear,
We’re tempted to complain, to murmur and despair;
But Christ will soon appear to catch His Bride away,
All tears forever over in God’s eternal day.

Refrain
It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

2) Sometimes the sky looks dark with not a ray of light,
We’re tossed and driven on , no human help in sight;
But there is one in heav’n who knows our deepest care,
Let Jesus solve your problem – just go to Him in pray’r.

3) Life’s day will soon be o’er, all storms forever past,
We’ll cross the great divide, to glory, safe at last;
We’ll share the joys of heav’n – a harp, a home, a crown,
The tempter will be banished, we’ll lay our burden down.

Our God of Second Chances

How many times have any of us done something really stupid, and realize it right after, or right in the middle of it?

Do you ever get to feeling like you can’t do anything right, wondering why you bother trying as your going to fail anyway?

You really didn’t mean to hurt someone, yet you did, and you figure it can’t be set right.

I must admit, I’ve been there some days. It just seems like no matter how hard you try, things just don’t seem to work out, or not that often anyway.

I could use all kins of cliches right now about getting back up on the horse, “try, try again”, etc., but I’d rather just seen how God views the efforts of His children:

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Proverbs 24:16

In other words, the child of God shouldn’t give up trying to do right, regardless of the failures. As I was looking into this whole idea of not giving up, or rather, God not giving up on us – giving us chances upon chances as we stumble and fall –  all of Psalm 103  has been a huge blessing to me.

Ps 103:1 ¶ A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

This is where our focus should be! Regardless of the circumstances!

Ps 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

God blesses us so much! Not always monetarily….what is peace in your soul  for this life and all eternity worth? – Christ’s death!

Ps 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

When God saved me, I was bound by the chains of my sin…..yet He forgave me then, and continues to forgive and guide me now!

Ps 103:4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

He’s spared me from the punishment I deserved: Hell; and then crowns me as His child in love and mercy!

Ps 103:5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Just when I think I can’t go on, He gives me the strength to continue to live for Him!

Ps 103:6 ¶ The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

I have the Great Judge on MY side! He is not partial in judgement. He is not a respecter of persons! He will judge rightly!

Ps 103:7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

He’s given us His precious Word so that we can know His ways!

The next verses are so incredible! What mercy! What grace! He knows we will fall, but the LORD loves us anyway because He knows what we are made of! He continuously extends His mercy to those who seek to do things His way. What a wondeful God we serve!!!!

Ps 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
Ps 103:9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
Ps 103:10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
Ps 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
Ps 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Ps 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
Ps 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
Ps 103:15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
Ps 103:16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
Ps 103:17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;
Ps 103:18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

He certainly deserves our praise!

Ps 103:19 ¶ The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
Ps 103:20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
Ps 103:21 Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
Ps 103:22 Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.

After reading that Psalm, the following verse also came to mind. I hope this has been a blessing to you as well.

Psalms 119:103  How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

He Chose the Cross

This song helps to show the reality of what Christ did for us.  Another rendition can be listened to via the MP3 player on the site’s sidebar.

He Chose the Cross

1. To some it’s just an emblem a formality.
It’s a symbol that’s been used so frequently.
Many blaspheme and despise; though it’s ancient, it abides.
A shrine to death, it stands for life to me.

Chorus:
There was a cross made for the Son of God at Calvary.
Two pieces of rough timber on a hill.
Through His hands and through His feet,
He took the nails for you and me.
Angels watched as He did for the lost.
Though He could have walked away, He chose the cross.

2. You see why this old emblem is so dear to me.
It stood for suffering and it brought us peace.
It bridged the gap for man, of cleansing for our sins
An icon that reminds us that we’re free!

Chorus:
There was a cross made for the Son of God at Calvary.
Two pieces of rough timber on a hill.
Through His hands and through His feet,
He took the nails for you and me.
Angels watched as He did for the lost.
Though He could have walked away, He chose the cross.

Bridge:
God forbid that I should ever let my memory fade.
But forever keep the cross in view for that’s where I was saved.

Chorus:
There was a cross made for the Son of God at Calvary.
Two pieces of rough timber on a hill.
Through His hands and through His feet,
He took the nails for you and me.
Angels watched as He did for the lost.
Though He could have walked away, He chose the cross.

Though He could have walked away, He chose the cross.

Just One More Soul

This song is very dear to my heart, and I know the message is very dear to our Lord! He thought Calvary was worth it all for Just One More Soul!

Lyrics:

Just One More Soul

The preachers are weary
The singers are tired
The church as we know it
Is losing its fire
Some are discouraged from bearing the load
But we must determine to keep pressing on

‘Cause if just one more soul
Were to walk down the aisle
It would be worth every struggle
It would be worth every mile
A lifetime of labor is still worth it all
If it rescues just one more soul

So preachers, keep preachin’
And singers, go sing
Laymen, keep sharing
That Jesus is King
The angels have gathered, they’re surrounding the throne
And they’ll start rejoicing for just one more soul

Charlie Coulson: The Drummer Boy

This true story really blessed my heart, and I hope it will yours. – Angela

The following is abbreviated from “Charlie Coulson: The Drummer Boyâ€? by Doctor Max L. Rossvally (1828-1892). See this link for copies.
_____________________________

During the American Civil War, I was a surgeon in the Army. Following the battle at Gettysburg, there were hundreds of wounded soldiers needing immediate medical attention. Many were wounded so severely that a leg or an arm, or sometimes both, needed to be amputated.

One of the wounded was a boy, who had only been in the service for three months. Being too young to be a soldier, he enlisted as a drummer. My steward tried to give him chloroform before the amputation, but he turned his head away and refused it. He was told it was my order. He said, “Let me talk with the doctor.”

“Young man, why do you refuse the chloroform? When I found you on the battlefield, you were so far gone that I almost didn’t bother to pick you up. But when you opened those large blue eyes, it occurred to me that you had a mother somewhere who might be thinking of you at that very moment. I didn’t want you to die, so I had you brought here. You have lost so much blood that in you’re weak condition you might not live through this operation. You’d better let me give you the chloroform.â€?

He laid his hand on mine, looked me in the face and said, “Doctor, one Sunday afternoon in Sunday School, when I was nine and a half years old, I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I learned to trust Him then, I know I can trust Him now. He is my strength. He will support me while you cut away my arm and leg.â€?

“Won’t you at least take some brandy?â€? I begged.

Again, he looked at me and said, “Doctor, when I was about five years old, my mother knelt by my side with her arms around my neck and said: ‘Charlie, I am now praying to the Lord Jesus that you will never know the taste of strong drink. Your father died a drunkard, and I’ve asked God to use you to warn young people against the dangers of drinking.’  I am now seventeen years old and I have never had anything stronger than tea or coffee. I am in all probability going to die and go into the presence of my God. Would you send me there, smelling of brandy?â€?

I will never forget the look he gave me. At that time I hated Jesus, but I respected that boy’s loyalty to his Saviour. When I saw how he loved and trusted Him to the very end, something deeply touched my heart. Despite the urgency of the moment and all the misery around, I did for that boy what I had never done for any other soldier. I asked him if he wanted to see a chaplain.

“Oh, yes, sir!â€? was his answer.

When the chaplain came, he recognized the young drummer from his tent prayer meetings. Taking his hand, he said, “Charlie, I’m so sorry to see you in this sad condition.â€?

“Oh, I’m all right, sir,â€? he answered. “The doctor offered me chloroform, but I declined it. Then he wanted to give me brandy, which I didn’t want either. So now, when my Saviour calls me, I can go to Him in my right mind.â€?

“You might not die, Charlie,â€? said the chaplain, “but if the Lord should call you home, is there anything I can do for you after you’re gone?â€?

“Chaplain, here’s my little Bible. My mother’s address is inside. Send it to her and write a letter for me. Tell her that since I left home, I have never let a single day pass–no matter if we were on the march or on the battlefield,–without reading a portion of God’s Word, and daily praying that He would bless her.â€?

“Is there anything else I can do for you, my lad?â€? asked the chaplain.

“Yes, please write a letter to the Sunday School Superintendent of the Sands Street Church in Brooklyn, New York. Tell him that his many prayers and moral counsel I have never forgotten. His lessons have helped and comforted me through all the dangers. And now, in my dying hour, I ask my Saviour to bless and strengthen my dear old teacher. That is all.â€?

Turning towards me, he said, “Now, doctor, I’m ready, and I promise I will not scream while you take off my arm and leg.â€?

I didn’t have the courage to take the knife in my hand, without first taking a quick gulp of brandy to nerve myself to perform my sad duty.

While cutting through the flesh, Charlie Colson didn’t even groan. But when I took the saw to separate the bone the lad, through clenched teeth, uttered, “O Jesus, blessed Jesus, stand by me now!â€?

He kept his promise. He never screamed.

I couldn’t sleep that night. Despite the constant moans and weeping of the wounded, all I could see was Charlie’s soft blue eyes. Even his words, “Blessed Jesus, stand by me now,â€? kept ringing in my ears.  Between twelve and one o’clock, a strong urge came over me to see that boy again. When I got there, I was told that sixteen of the badly wounded had died. “Was Charlie Colson one of them?â€? I asked. “No, sir,â€? answered the steward, “he’s sleeping as sweetly as a babe.â€?

When I came to his side, one of the civilian nurses informed me that at about nine o’clock, two members of the U.S. Christian Commission, accompanied by the chaplain, came to read Scripture and sing hymns. She said that the chaplain knelt by Charlie and offered up a passionate prayer. Then they and Charlie sang the sweetest of all hymns, “Jesus, Lover Of My Soul.â€? I couldn’t understand how this young lad, who suffered such horrible pain, could sing.

Five days after his amputation, Charlie sent for me. “Doctor,â€? he said, “my time has come. I don’t expect to see another sunrise. But thank God, I have no fear and I’m ready to go. I want to thank you with all my heart for your kindness to me. I know you are Jewish, and that you don’t believe in Jesus, but I want you to stay with me, and see me die trusting my Saviour to the last moment of my life.â€?

I tried to stay, but I could not. I didn’t have the courage to stand by and watch a true Christian die, rejoicing in the love of Jesus whom I had been taught to deny. So, I hurriedly left.

About twenty minutes later an anxious steward found me and said, “Doctor, Drummer Colson wants to see you again.â€? “I’ve just seen him,â€? I answered, “I can’t see him again.â€? “But, Doctor, he says he must see you before he dies.â€?

So, I made up my mind to see him, say a few kind words, and let die. However, I was determined that no talk about his Jesus was going to influence me.

His condition had worsened. Asking me to take his hand, he said, “Doctor, I love you because you are Jewish; the best friend I have found in this world was also Jewish.â€?

I asked him who that was, and he answered, “Jesus the Christ, and I want to introduce you to Him before I die. Will you promise me, Doctor, that what I am about to say to you, you will never forget?â€?

I promised, and he said, “Five days ago, while you operated on me, I prayed to the Lord to save you.â€?

His words pierced deep into my heart. I couldn’t understand how, when I was causing him the most intense pain, he could forget all about himself and think only of his Saviour and my spiritual need. All  I could say at the moment was, “Well, my dear boy, you will soon be all right.â€?

I started to leave, hearing him sing softly, “I’m going home to die no more.â€?

Twelve minutes later he fell asleep, “safe in the arms of Jesus.â€?

During the war thousands of soldiers died in our hospitals, but I only attended one burial, that was for Charlie Colson the Union drummer boy. I ordered that he’d be dressed in a new uniform and like the burial for an officer, arranged that his coffin be covered with the flag he nobly served.

His dying words made a deep impression upon me. I remembered thinking how gladly I would have given all I possessed, if I could have felt towards Jesus as he did. But with the continuation of the cruel war and my company with worldly officers, I gradually forgot his prayer and my promise.

After the war and for nearly ten years, I fought against believing in Christ. But God continued to bring faithful and godly people into my life that spoke of Jesus’ love. Finally, the drummer boy’s prayer was answered and I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour and Messiah. It did come at a high cost. My family, in-laws and dear mother rejected me. Psalm 27:10, was a great comfort, “When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.â€?

It was eighteen months after my salvation that the Lord had a special blessing for me. One evening while traveling through Brooklyn, I felt led to attend a prayer meeting in a small local church. It was a meeting when believers testify to the loving-kindness of the Lord. After several had spoken, an elderly lady stood up and said,

“Dear friends, this may be the last time I have a chance to publicly share how good the Lord has been to me. My doctor told me yesterday that my right lung is nearly gone, and my left lung is failing fast, so at best, I only have a short time to be with you. But what is left of me belongs to Jesus. It’s a great joy to know that I shall soon meet my boy with Jesus in heaven. My son was not only a soldier for his country, but also a soldier for Christ. He was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg, and was cared for by a Jewish doctor, who amputated his arm and leg. He died five days after the operation. The chaplain of the regiment wrote me a letter, and sent me my boy’s Bible. I was told that in his dying hour, my Charlie sent for that Jewish doctor, and said to him, `Doctor, before I die I wish to tell you that five days ago, while you operated on me, I prayed to the Lord to save you.â€?
As I heard this lady speak, I just couldn’t sit still! I left my seat, ran across the room, took her hand and said, “God bless you, my dear sister. Your son’s prayer has been heard and answered! I am the Jewish doctor that your Charlie prayed for, and his Saviour is now my Saviour!

________________________

“Having been frequently asked whether all the details of this story are strictly true, I take this opportunity of stating that every incident occurred exactly as related.â€? Max L. Rossvally

Known facts

* Rossvally became a worldwide Evangelist.
* His wife, daughter and son eventually became believers.
* He started a Hebrew Christian Association in NYC.
* He is buried in Lawnswood Cemetery in Leeds, England.
* His story has been translated into many languages.

Shortly after his conversion to God, Dr. Rossvally resigned his commission in the United States Army and opened a Mission for the conversion of his Jewish brethren. He met with much opposition at first, but persevered, and finally had the joy of seeing quite a number –rich and poor, old and young Jews and Jewesses–exclaim, with one of old: “We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, THE CHRIST” (John 1:41).

He afterwards made a prolonged evangelistic tour, and visited many cities in Europe, America, Canada, Germany, and many other lands, preaching the glad tidings of a free and full salvation in his forceful way to large audiences, his ministry being owned of God in leading not a few–Gentiles as well as Jews–out of darkness into light and from the power of Satan unto God.
A few years of happy service, a few months of severe suffering, and M. L. Rossvally was called to the higher service of heaven in October, 1892.

“He being dead yet speaketh,” for several millions of “Charlie Coulson, the Drummer Boy,” and some of his other tracts, have been scattered over America, Britain, India, Australia and New Zealand, France, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, and other lands, leading many to “know Him whom to know is life everlasting.”

Surely this true and touching narrative of real life in our own day re-affirms the words of the most noted Jewish convert–Saul of Tarsus–who said: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).

Notice it is not the Gospel of Christianity or Judaism, the gospel of any church, creed, or party, but the Gospel of Christ, the Gospel concerning the peerless Person of THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, Who died for our sins according to the Scriptures … was buried, and … rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4).

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name: that at the Name of JESUS every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

The great question for each of us to consider is, Have I, like the drummer boy and the doctor, as an individual, realized my lost condition as “dead in trespasses and in sins” (Eph. 2:1) and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my own personal Saviour? And do I know that “God for Christ’s sake has pardoned my sins?” If not, why not, like Jew and Gentile recorded herein, put the matter to the test? “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), and you will be able to say, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).

The Award

It is my turn to receive an award. Yup! A very special award, and even though most of us are earn it one time or another, most are quite reluctant to step forward and accept it. Well, reluctant or not, I accept the award as I think I have excelled at it better than anyone for quantity and quality in conversation with one individual. Do I sound boastful or proud? Well, I’m not, just being truthful. You see, this not so prestigeous award is the least-coveted:

“Open Mouth, Insert Foot Award.”

No need to clap, as the award speaks for itself.

Surely someone else wants to claim it, but too bad cause I’m No. 1!  However, I am more than willing to share it.

No, takers….hmmmm…..I must have succeeded in opening my mouth wide enough….

Sorry for the satire, but I thought it quite apt for this post, and sadly true. I tend to earn this award frequently, especially at times where I truly had nothing but the best intentions at heart. We’ve all been there….saying too much, too little, or saying something that came out so totally opposite of what we meant.  Amongst friends, this isn’t usually an issue, as they know you well enough that they typically burst out laughing at the “faux pas” (or social mis-step). However, when speaking with someone new, or knows you less, the end result can be disastrous.

In the last few months, I’ve been berating myself over this very thing. I seem to have very little problems with forgiving those who hurt me, but I’ve always been quite hard on myself when the shoe fits on my foot, or in my mouth, as it were.

In conversations/letters with someone who didn’t know me well enough, I used an expression that obviously had a different meaning to both of us, and also didn’t explain myself well enough on other points, came across wrong, and the list goes on. I ended up hurting the other person, realized some of it then yet didn’t know how to fix it, and didn’t even realize the rest of it till a month or so later.  I’ve given this person some space, and have been praying and praying for an opportunity to approach them to explain and apologize, but the opportunity just hasn’t been there. It also seems that a simple “I’m sorry” isn’t adequate. However, after my “perfect performance”, I’m almost afraid I will just make things worse.

The thing that bothers me the most about winning the award this time, is that I was trying to reach this individual for Christ. Whether or not I manage to remove the blot off my name isn’t the important part. If a person rejects me, they really haven’t lost anything, but if a person rejects Christ, they lose EVERYTHING!

Truth be told, this is an award I’d rather never win again, but it does have a way of making its rounds. The only way I see to remove some of its stigma is the chance to patch things up with the one who witnessed and endured my greatest performance. I have been getting an occasional smile again, but I’d give just about anything for a chance to set things right. Maybe the solution is as simple as directing the person to this post….maybe, just maybe they would read it.

I think you’ll understand when I say I hope you’re not the next person who wins this award!

If anything, I’m so thankful that there can be no misunderstandings between my Lord and I. He always knows what I really mean, even when the words don’t come out right.

“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10

I’m also thankful that He is the God of love, justice and compassion, and of not just second chances.

“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23

Why, Lord?

Lord, I have learned so much of you,
Yet how little do I truly know.
I know I should not ask you “Why”
Yet these things I would have you show.

Why, Lord, can you stand to look at me,
When my sins nailed you to the cross?
You endured such pain and agony;
For me you suffered such loss!

Why, Lord, have you made me your child,
When my heart is so prone to wander?
Perhaps you see in me the prodigal,
Who does return though I falter.

Why, Lord, do you still love me,
Though I fail you day by day?
I stumble and yes I fall,
Yet by my side you stay.

Why, Lord, do you hold my hand,
Through my temptations and trials?
You even give me strength to stand,
Though my faith fails you so often.

Why, Lord, have you prepared a mansion,
Where I will dwell with you eternally?
Walking through the streets of gold,
Lord, a wretched sinner like me?

The answers still elude me, Lord,
Though I’ve pondered this in my mind.
Yet seeing your arms open wide at Calvary,
Glimmers of understanding begin to shine.

Your mercy withholds from me,
The judgment I so much deserve’
And your grace bestows upon me,
Your great love that I could never earn.

Angela Trenholm
October 15th, 2007

“The Wounds of a Friend…”

Recently, a dear friend sent me a note that was one of the sweetest I’ve ever received, and yet, one of the greatest rebukes, and I needed both!

Dear Angela,

From your recent posts I am gathering you have a lot on your plate. Just wanted you to know I am praying for you today! You and your family are in my prayers.

Hugs,

My reply:

You are such a dear! Thinking of me when you are on your way to bury your father-in-law!

I know you never meant for your sweet, sweet, sweet! note to be a rebuke, but the Lord sure used it as such, and I needed it!

With all that has been happening, I’ve kinda be withdrawing from most people, especially my dearest friends, and that is flat out wrong. I’m not the only one who is pre-occupied, hurt, etc. but I’ve had tunnel vision and am only seeing our family’s problems when others are hurting too.

Oh dear! I feel a devotional coming on….LOL

Thank you dear friend! Your precious note is extremely timely! **thanks**

I am so grateful the Lord sent me this sweet rebuke, and especially thankful He didn’t have to do more to get my attention!

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend;” Proverbs 27:6

It is so easy to get “wrapped up” in our own lives and our truly small problems, that we forget that others are going through their own fires & floods. They too need the encouragement that we are begging God for at those times.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.”
Isaiah 43:1-3

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness”. Isaiah 41:10

Praise the Lord for His grace and mercies and for Christian friends who let the Lord use them!

“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. ” Lamentations 3:21-25″