Forgiveness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends.” Proverbs 17: 9

Have you been hurt by a friend in the past and it was impossible for you to let go of the hurt? Does it seem impossible to forgive them when whatever they said or did hurt you deeply? Part of true forgiveness is releasing the hurt, letting go of the pain. When we don’t, it becomes a constant spiritual and emotional drain, robbing us of joy and peace. When we refuse to release people from the hurt they have caused us, we are gluing them to their mistakes. When we cling to pain they have caused us, we are refusing to see them as more than something that they have done to cause us pain or anger.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6: 14

When we accept the forgiveness of God, He separates us from our sins. Then He calls us to do the same with the people in our lives. He doesn’t say that we have to feel like forgiving. He just commands us to forgive. Our obedience is what matters. Forgiveness is an independent act between God and us. It is totally separate from the response of the person we are forgiving. We are not responsible for their reaction; that responsibility belongs to them and to God.

“Now it is time to forgive him and comfort him. Otherwise he may become so discouraged that he won’t be able to recover.” 2 Corinthians 2:7

Our responsibility is to forgive. When we refuse to forgive, we not only harm ourselves, we become a hindrance to God working in the lives of those who hurt us. Anytime that we impede the work of God we are in a dangerous position. To experience the power of forgiveness, we have to quit fishing in the emotional waters of our past. It is time to let go of the hurt. Choose to love your enemies and bless those who have harmed you. You will both be rewarded with peace and happiness and leave room for healthy relationships to grow.

Sweet Blessings

The Source Of My Strength

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“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

I am one of those women that never say’s ‘no’ to anyone. I don’t really know why except that I have a heart to serve. I love being busy. On occasion, I find my ‘yeses’ extending beyond my ‘no’s’ Before I know what has happened! I am completely out of fuel, emotionally and mentally tired beyond belief. Sometimes I even feel a little spiritually depleted. It’s during these times, when we allow ourselves to become so exhausted, that we feel insecure and vulnerable. Things that wouldn’t necessarily bother you before are getting to you now because you are sensitive and you don’t understand why. Maybe we find ourselves reacting to situations with a more defensive attitude, feeling impatient or angry. How many of us experience these moment in our lives,? When we realize that we ‘did it again!’ We found ourselves with empty cups at a time when we need them full the most.

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16

Remember this…I am weak. He is strong. Being reminded of your weakness is not a bad thing. It is not a personal message that you are not good enough. Rather, being reminded of your weakness is a call to spend time in God’s presence. It is a personal message of our need for him. It’s through His grace that you can continue to run the race of life. We can relish those times; sit and dwell in the fact that despite ourselves, despite our inabilities and inadequacies, our God makes us strong. He gives us energy for the day. He prepares our body for our needs and He sustains our mind with peace. He restores our soul with confidence. He prepares our heart and wraps it over and over in love.

Are you tired? Exhausted? Drained and just ready to take a nap and call it quits? Meet with Him. He will refresh and renew you, enabling you to go out into the world to serve your family and friends filled with a newfound sense of His peace, love, and joy. I encourage you to cherish this time because it reminds us that when we are vulnerable, we have a source to go to that will make everything right. Instead of beating ourselves up for letting our cups get empty, let’s be thankful, it’s during these times that reminds us who refuels us, who restores our soul and replace’s our weariness with strength, our resentment with thanksgiving, our irritability with patience, and our anxiety with peace.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” Isaiah 40:28

Sweet Blessings

Pressing Pause

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Ephesians 3:17-18

Sometimes I get so busy and caught up in looking ahead and preparing for things to come that I miss what the Lord wants me to hear right now. There are times in our lives that we need to ‘press pause’ for further instruction while remaining in our present circumstance. We need to be still and focus on God. To choose to be still and quiet our hearts. The Psalmists says “I have stilled and quieted my soul.” Psalms 131:2} This pause doesn’t mean that we are to wait for events to work out as we want, but, for God’s will to be done. Pressing pause leads us to the season of sowing. Jesus frequently taught on the principles of sowing and reaping.

“A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,” Ecclesiastics 3:2

It’s usually during those busiest times in our lives that warrants a pause and reflection. This is when we need to look for spiritual refreshment. Life is like a garden. We reap what we sow. I like to invision my life as a garden. Sowing brings a gentle, calm rhythm to the daily chaos of life. It teaches me that every step is important, vital and has potential. Sowing brings me a spirit of patience and peace.

“Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” Ecclesiastes 11:6

The greatness of God is everywhere. Most of all, his greatness is in us. So many times he comforts us, helps us, protects us and guides us. He is always there with us through each crisis, not merely watching but actively and lovingly taking care of us. He has sprinkled treasures in our lives, gifts just waiting to be noticed. Be still and embrace each moment. Learn what Gods will for your life is and where your treasures are by…Press Pause.

“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15

Sweet Blessings

Wisdom Of Patience

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness Love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7

AAH… Patience. If you were to ask me the top things I struggle with in my life, patience would definitely rank at the top. I am not sure why, but I definitely struggle with patience. Patience is one of those attributes that you cannot learn by reading about it in a book. It’s a quality that can only be acquired by persistent enduring. It is a form of peace, the very result we so often seek but struggle to find. When we are patient, we are still, we are at rest. Patience is a virtue, a gift we give ourselves. There is no limit to patience and it costs nothing. It has nothing to do with the physical body; it is purely a state of mind.

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4

It is very difficult to truly and honestly serve God faithfully and obediently without being a patient person who is willing to wait for the right thing at the right time. We often make many wrong decisions without patiently waiting for God’s answer that results in a bigger mess then when we started.

Our frustrations in life can give us a glimpse into our relationship with God. The Holy Spirit shows us what an important element in the christian life and character patience is. The waiting is to teach us our absolute dependence upon God’s mighty working in our lives. Being patient is a consistent faithful service to God. Learn how to hone your patience and witness the perfect harmony and balance of patience in your life that God has planned for you.

“We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy.” Colossians 1:11

Sweet Blessings

Living in God’s Will….

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him”. -1 John 2:15

Heavenly Treasures or Earthly Stuff’…Words that sum up my husband and my experience when we felt like God was calling us to ‘Get our house in order’! We took this to mean to get our finances inline with his word. That call resulted in our selling our home our business and all our belongings. We had no idea where God was taking us or why. After three months of traveling we still had no answers. With exception of family, we had completely closed the doors to our past and were trying to find that ‘aha’ place that we could both fall in love with. We have always been attracted to a little coastal town that we had often fished for Salmon in. This is where we ended our quest to find God’s will in our life. This is where we learned to live by faith and found perfect peace in every fiber of our being.

“Be very careful then, how you live— not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the day’s are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lords wil is”. -Ephesians 5:15-17

“We had both always been Christians but never lived completely in God’s will. This change in our lives has taken us to a different realm of our Christianity. To be completely obedient with God’s will, we have learned how to put Him first in our lives in every way. We have found a church that welcomes the presence of the Holy Spirit in every service. A church family that lovingly embraces us. A surrounding environment that satisfies both of our favorite hobbies. A beautiful landscape that allows us to hear God’s whispers in the gentle breezes. We began to Daily feed our spirit on his word. Today we are happier then we have ever been before… God blesses us on a daily basis with heavenly treasures and all that it cost us was obedience to his will and giving up at whole lot of  stuff’.” 

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

Open Handed Advice

by Georgia Kent

“Warn those who are idle, encouraging the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone”. -1 Thessalonians 5:14

It is a huge challenge to learn how to properly give advice to others without being too pushy. It can be a struggle to offer advice when you feel that someone that you love is making a wrong decision.

I read a beautiful depiction about how to give advice with ‘Open Hands’ as a gift and not a judgment. Sometimes, when we give advice, we come across as judgmental and accusing. We need to be more timid and cautious. In the words of Thessalonians 5:14, the verse is clear that we should warn, encourage and  help others, but to do it with patience. We need to remember that when we give advice to someone that it is ultimately their journey to discover and grow in.

God places us in each other’s lives to be helpful and not hurtful. A dear friend once told me that “perfection is only in the individual”. That statement has come to play many times in my life when I am asked to give advice. What I think as perfect is not necessarily perfect for another person’s situation (just like the saying “one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.) Always pray before giving advice and ask God to give you the words that will ultimately bring honor to Our Father in Heaven.

“Whatever you do, do it with all your heart as The Lord and not as man”. -Colossians 3:2