“Undo” {1.3.17}

I don’t know about you but I was thrilled when I first saw the “undo” key on my computer! undo-buttonIt allowed me to play with formatting and if I didn’t like it, just “undo” and try another. If I made a mistake or just didn’t like the way something looked or was worded, I could simply click the “undo” button. Easy. No consequences, just a new start. It quickly became one of my favorite keys. Unfortunately, we don’t have an “undo” key for life choices. I’m sure that most if not all of you are like me in that I hate to make mistakes. Make them I do but I don’t like it for sure. There are always consequences.

Today I had one of those times. I was working on a quilt, sewing strips of fabrics together into sections, staggering them (one group staggered one way, the other group staggered the opposite way). Unfortunately, when I had finished the very last set, I realized I had staggered all of them the same way. YIKES! I tried but there was no way to “fix it” without ripping out all of the seams and starting over. Time wasted. The good news is that I do have a seam ripper and can easily (even if it does take a lot of time) remove the seams and begin again.undo-mistake

Unfortunately, life’s choices can’t so easily be undone or removed and started again, can they?

  • A bad choice can’t be undone.
  • A harsh or hurtful word can’t be taken back.
  • A cut finger can’t be uncut.

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” (James 1:19-21)

We could all list a million things that can’t be undone because all we do and say have consequences. The good news is that we can be forgiven. We just need to ask for it (repent) and try our best not to do it again (turn from it). We can be proactive and try not to make the same mistakes again or at least not make as many mistakes. God will give us a way out of temptation to sin. We simply have to look for, recognize, and take the escape route.

Well, the thing about my mistake today is that it was a direct result of prayer. Rarely are my mistakes a result of prayer. At least I can’t remember another time I could say that but here’s what happened. undo-button-pencil-eraserI was praying as I started to work on the quilt, “Father, please give me a message today. I want to hear what you have to say to me that I can share with others.” Unfortunately, sometimes I’m slow on the uptake. I didn’t remember that prayer at first because I was too busy being frustrated with myself. However, as I began removing the stitches, my prayer came back to mind and I had to laugh. God answered my prayer alright. He gave me a message I won’t soon forget because it’s going to take me quite a while to fix this mistake.

That saying “be careful what you pray for” comes to mind. Actually, I don’t mind so much because I have a lot to learn and God can teach me any way He sees fit. But, I’m going to be careful what I “do” so I don’t have to look for the “undo” button quite as often.

Outside our Control vs. Out of Control {2.25.16}

This week we have seen things in the news that are totally outside our control. Tornadoes and blizzards are certainly things of which we have no control. Only God can control the wind and rain, sky and stars, ocean waves, etc. We can try to be prepared for possible trouble but it is outside our control. We are totally dependent on our Creator. His power is evident in nature.

There are other things outside our control. We can’t control what other people think, say or do. We can’t control whether or not disease or disaster come our way. What we can control is how we deal with situations that are outside our control. Our attitudes and heart are within our control. We can show hope or despair. We can bring a smile or a frown. We can love and forgive or hate and grow bitter. What do we want people to see as they watch us live your lives? Light or Darkness? I believe that many times our greatest witness is when we go through trouble and don’t lose our hope or joy because it is in Christ and through His power. People notice that.

There are also things in our lives which are totally out of control. When I look around me I see that families are falling apart by any number of sins. Sometimes it’s drugs, sometimes greed, sometimes infidelity, sometimes selfishness. You name it – sin is out there in full force. It seems to me that everyone I know either has these issues within their own families or the family of someone they know. When we turn on the TV we see many examples of people whose lives are out of control. We sensationalize it. We have many TV talk shows to exploit it. They wouldn’t be on if we didn’t watch. What is it about those types of shows and news stories? Do they make us feel better about ourselves? It’s an illusion if we do. We are often our own worst enemies. It’s sometimes hard to really look in the mirror of our hearts and souls because what we see isn’t pretty. But, it’s necessary to be real with ourselves, isn’t it? After all who are we deceiving? God already knows and probably others do as well.

Satan is a deceiver and he can be very subtle. Sometimes we don’t even realize our behavior is a sin because we justify it. We also tend to judge other people by our own lives instead of judging our lives against Christ, our example. Murder is a sin. Theft is a sin. Gossip and gluttony are also sins. Hmmm. We don’t like to look at sin that way, do we? It is hard to understand another person’s sins if we don’t struggle with the same things. I don’t understand how a parent can choose drugs over their children. But, I don’t walk in those shoes. What I do know is that if we give sin a chance, it will rule our lives. I think the old saying is, “Don’t give Satan an inch or he will take a mile.” The good news is that we don’t have to give in to sin.

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

prayer in hands of godWe must be in prayer asking God to help us each day to choose well. We must also pray for others to do the same.

“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.” 1 Samuel 12:23

So whatever it might be in your life that seems outside your control or out of control, give it to God and watch Him work in your life, as you surrender it to Him. If we do our part, He will certainly do His. Keep on praying…