Living life without regrets

Godly sadness produces a changed heart and life that leads to salvation and leaves no regrets, but sorrow under the influence of the world produces death. ~ 2Co 7:10 (CEB)

It is hard to live without regrets. There are things that follow me around. Things I wished I hadn’t done. Things I wished I had. Things I should not have said. Things I should have had the courage to say. One thing I have to keep reminding myself is that regrets are not from God. Regrets are from Satan whose aim for us is death. He doesn’t want us to live in victory so he reminds us of our mistakes. He likes to play that old familiar tune called guilt and shame. Guilt and shame are traps which produce death.

In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians there is a verse that could easily be overlooked. But this one verse says so much! Godly sadness produces a change of heart and life that leads to salvation leaving no regrets. What is Godly sadness? Godly sadness is when we realize that we are not living in the way that God wants us to live. Our eyes have not been on Him and His will for us. When we repent of our sins it means that our eyes have been opened and we are choosing to line our lives up with God’s will.

The good news is that Satan only knows one tune. Once we realize this truth we can beat him at his game. Christ came into the world so that we can know God’s truths. Christ came so that we could know how to live a life without regrets.

I thank you Heavenly Father for sending your son into the world so that I might have life. Help me to remember that you want me to live a life of joy and that when I have lined my life up with Your will for me that I can live that life free of regrets. Amen.

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Getting lost

Jesus answered, “Whoever loves me will keep my word. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. ~John 14:23 (CEB)

This time of year it seems that I just run, run, run. My schedule is changing moving from the school year into the summer months. Classes are ending, year-end programs and award ceremonies are crowding into the schedule. Sometimes I look at my calendar and wonder just how I can be three places at once. Truth is I can’t but I still will stand there hoping for a miracle so I won’t have to choose between all of the seemingly equally important commitments that I have gotten myself into. On paper my schedule always works, until May or December.

On a regular basis I am easily distracted. I get so caught up in my cares and errands and worries. I forget what matters most. So easily I can get lost, wander off. It is even worse during those hectic times. All of a sudden I realize that God is not with me. Did He leave me? No, He didn’t go anywhere. I am the one who wandered off. Have you ever noticed that it is much easier to get lost than it is sometimes to find your way back. If I am paying attention I may only stray just a little and within a couple of turns I can find my way back to the road I am supposed to be on. Sometimes though I am so busy with life, talking with my children, running them places, doing laundry or working that I don’t notice that I haven’t only missed one road but several turns. By the time I look up I am hopelessly lost once again. Being lost physically or spiritually is a very scary feeling.

Often when I have found myself lost again, I take a deep breath and realize I am really okay. I know what to do. Put time with God back in my day. John 14:23 tells me if I love God I will keep His word. When I keep God’s word in my heart He will find me. He will make his home with me. Once I stop panicking, I realize God will never leave me I just need to be still for a moment, take a deep breath and look up.

Heavenly Father, save me from myself. Rein me in when I wander off. Help me to keep my eyes on you and not my circumstances. Amen.

“We pray for the big thi…

“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things?” ~From Life together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Solidarity in Weakness

Joy is hidden in compassion. The word compassion literally means “to suffer with.” It seems quite unlikely that suffering with another person would bring joy. Yet being with a person in pain, offering simple presence to someone in despair, sharing with a friend times of confusion and uncertainty … such experiences can bring us deep joy. Not happiness, not excitement, not great satisfaction, but the quiet joy of being there for someone else and living in deep solidarity with our brothers and sisters in this human family. Often this is a solidarity in weakness, in brokenness, in woundedness, but it leads us to the center of joy, which is sharing our humanity with others. ~Henir Nouwen

The Cup of Life

When the mother of James and John asks Jesus to give her sons a special place in his Kingdom, Jesus responds,  “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?”  (Matthew 20:22).   “Can we drink the cup?” is the most challenging and radical question we can ask ourselves.  The cup is the cup of life, full of sorrows and joys.  Can we hold our cups and claim them as our own?  Can we lift our cups to offer  blessings to others, and can we drink our cups to the bottom as cups that bring us salvation?

Keeping this question alive in us is one of the most demanding spiritual exercises we can practice.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen

Sharing Freely Our Knowledge

Often we think that we do not know enough to be able to teach others.  We might even become hesitant to tell others what we know, out of fear that we won’t have anything left to say when we are asked for more.

This mind-set makes us anxious, secretive, possessive, and self-conscious.  But when we have the courage to share generously with others all that we know, whenever they ask for it, we soon discover that we know a lot more than we thought.  It is only by giving generously from the well of our knowledge that we  discover how deep that well is.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen