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No “Delete Button”

Sometimes I wish there was a “delete button” in life.  To be able to “backspace” the words I have spoken; to delete the deeds I have done.  I can be forgiven, but I can’t change the fact that I spoke the words or did the deed.

And sometimes, that is where we get stuck.  That’s where we dwell.

We believe that God has forgiven us, but we struggle to forgive ourselves.   We dwell on the memory, like a dark cloud hovering over our life.  No matter the joys of life, they are dampened by the regret, dampened by hurt we have caused.  But God doesn’t want us to dwell on what He has forgiven.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”  (Isa. 43:18)

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” (Isaiah 43:25)

Yes, the Lord wants us to learn from our mistakes. Yes, we need to repair relationships by asking for forgiveness from those we have hurt.  Yes, there may even be consequences we have to accept.  But, God does not want our past to keep us mired in despair and regret, robbing us of peace. – hindering us from moving forward.

Sin nailed Jesus to the Cross and that precious sacrifice miraculously makes forgiveness a reality.  Forgiveness, when embraced, brings peace and joy – the joy of one perfectly forgiven, though we live imperfect lives.

Don’t dwell on past mistakes.  Dwell on His mercy, His grace, His love.

Just a Thought



A Compassionate Embrace

Exhaustion.  A word that summed up what I was feeling on a day filled with purging and packing 25 years of living.  We had sold our home and in just a few days the new owners were scheduled to move in.

Needing a few more boxes and some cleaning supplies, my husband Joe and I, along with our 7 year old grandson, Joel, piled into our car and headed to Home Depot.  Since Home Depot is not my favorite shopping venue, Joe said he would just run in and get what we needed.  Gratefully I accepted his offer.

Alone with Joel in the car, I turned to him and with a deep sigh said, “Joel, your grandma is sooo tired!”  Sensing my weariness, Joel unbuckled his seat belt, jumped up to the front and sat on the armrest next to me.  Then he put his arm around my shoulders and leaned my head against him.  Not a word was said.  The embrace said it all.

I was still physically exhausted, but my heart and soul were refreshed by his loving and thoughtful act of compassion.

That day Joel reminded me of an important truth.  The power of a simple act of loving compassion.  Seeing a need and responding to it – not with grand gestures but with quiet compassion.

When you look at the ministry of Jesus, at the heart of his great miracles is compassion.

You see it when Jesus touched the leper before he healed the man.

You hear it in his kind response to the woman who touched the hem of his garment.

You observe it when Jesus tells the widow of Nain, “Don’t cry!” before he resurrects her son.

Sometimes while we focus on His miracles, we miss out on seeing how Jesus was moved by compassion – a compassion we are to emulate.

It doesn’t matter whether God has called you to be pastor or a greeter; an evangelist or a nursery worker.  It doesn’t matter whether you are called into full time or volunteer ministry in a church.  What we are all called to be is compassionate.  Not just with words but with simple, yet genuine acts of compassion.  Sometimes all it takes is just a compassionate arm around a weary shoulder!