Tag Archives: Christianity

Scarred for Life

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bandaged ladyHave you ever seen anyone who has terrible scars due to illness, accident, or trauma?  I remember seeing a young woman on a talk show who was terribly disfigured because her father poured acid on her face and hands.  The burns healed but she would need numerous plastic surgeries. Through her tears, she said, “I’ll never be the same on the inside or outside.”

This courageous lady, broke down and cried when she talked about her life. She openly admitted that the hardest part was going out in public where others could see her scars.  She said people either gasp and stare, turn away shocked, or they approach her, ask questions, and offer her their compassion.

Not many of us escape this life without an event or trauma that leaves us changed forever. All of us are scarred in some way. For most of us, our scars are on the inside, not visible to others. I wonder what it would be like to go out into public where everyone’s internal scars are exposed? Imagine walking down the street and actually seeing the visible scars of mental abuse, failure, public sin, disappointment, loss, depression, and persecution.

How would we respond and react to one another if, we knew their scar filled story?  Would we stare and secretlyhands compare our wounds to theirs?  Would we be thankful that our hurts aren’t as bad as theirs? Would we turn away shocked to see someone so exposed and vulnerable? Or, would we take time to approach them, ask questions, and extend heartfelt compassion and care? 

I pray I would be like Jesus. He was an advocate for the down and out.  He came to the rescue of those with internal, as well as, external scars. He reached out to the demon possessed, those caught in adultery, and even prostitutes who sold their self-esteem and reputation for a bit of bread. Psalm 145:9 says, “The Lord is good to all, and His compassion is over all that he has made.” May we follow the example of Jesus, the one who extended compassion with perfection.

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5.6, 10:53, 11/5 (All Shook Up)

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No, the title of this post in not an error and no, it is not my Dancing With the Stars cumulative score and it’s certainly not part of some marathon I ran! But if you live in Oklahoma, it won’t take you long to figure it out.

On Saturday night, November 5, I was studying and preparing to lead a Precept Class. The passage I was studying was Isaiah 24-25. The study material was weighty and yet, full of rich teaching. Isaiah 24 deals with the judgment of the Earth. God is specific in telling us how this will happen. Isaiah 24:18c-20, “…the foundations of the earth shake. The earth is broken asunder, The earth is split through, The earth is shaken violently. The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard and it totters like a shack, For its transgression is heavy upon it, And it will fall, never to rise again.”

After I finished the preparation to teach, I closed my Bible and went to bed about 10:30. But before I could shut my eyes, I thought I was living Isaiah 24! I heard a low rumble and roar but it wasn’t thunder, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. As the seconds ticked it became louder and not only did I hear it, I felt beneath me what I was already hearing. The roar become louder and stronger. The ceiling fan shook, the mirrors shook and I SHOOK!

I immediately thought it would be just like God to let me in on Isaiah 24 and then give me a living illustration. As scary as it was, it was awesome, too! An earthquake in Oklahoma, REALLY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME, LORD? To witness another of the Lord’s displays of power was incredible. I have been in hurricanes, I have seen tornadoes, but this was so different. There was no way to get away from it or to prepare for it. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usb0006klz.php

The good news, no one was injured and our home was fine. We escaped with a crack in the bathroom floor. The next day or two we had minor aftershocks but the next time, I knew how to recognize the earthquake.

God warns us about what is going to happen in the future. His prophetic Word informs us of the things which are to come. He lets His children in on His future plans not to scare us but to prepare us. Do you know God’s Word well enough to recognize the coming events that are promised? Are you scared or prepared when it comes to the future?

Heavenly Father, Open our eyes to ALL Your Word including Your prophetic promises. Shake us up and out of our complacency. Use the Truth to create a sense of urgency in reaching others with the Truth. In Jesus Name, Amen

Sometimes Choose Amnesia

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Last week on several of the daytime television shows, the guests were Scott Bolzan and his wife, Joan. Scott has amnesia due to a brain injury. His amnesia is not the temporary kind but the permanent (so far) retrograde type.

Amnesia is medically defined as a defect in memory, especially one resulting from pathological cause, such as brain damage or hysteria [via New Latin from Greek: forgetfulness, probably from amnēstia oblivion] simply defined it is forgetfulness.

After his injury, Scott didn’t remember his wife or children. He also didn’t remember how to do many ordinary things. He and his wife wrote a book that chronicles his recovery and efforts to rebuild his life. It is titled My Life Deleted. While the couple told hysterical stories about their new reality, they also openly communicated their daily trials.

http://www.amazon.com/My-Life-Deleted-Scott-Bolzan/dp/0062025473/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318281241&sr=1-1

I listened to the interview and thought to myself, boy there are somethings in my life I wish I could forget. Things like harsh words I can’t take back, stupid mistakes I can’t change, forgiven sins that pop back into my mind, bad memories, hard times, etc…

In Scripture we are told not to forget the Lord, His Word, His work in our lives.  But did you know that forgetting is actually a Biblical concept, a sort of spiritual amnesia? Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV) says, “Forget the former things do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing!” While in this context, God is speaking to Israel. He is reminding them to forget their years in exile due to their sins. The lesson for us is forget your old sins, you live under God’s mercy and grace. This is a new day.

Paul in Philippians 3:13-14 chooses spiritual amnesia for himself and encourages us to do the same. “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But, one thing I do; Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

As I age, I find it both encouraging and freeing to learn that sometimes we can have selective memories. God’s Word tells us to remember and forget. The Bible is full of that kind of paradox.

I want to cheer you on today! Forget the former, what’s behind you and press on toward the new thing. Practice spiritual amnesia and win!

What from your past do you need to forget? What sin do you remember that the Lord has already forgotten? What is holding you back as you move toward winning the promised prize?

Heavenly Father,  Show us what we need to forget and reveal at the same time what we need to remember. In Jesus Name, Amen

Archived devotionals available at: http://circleofsavings.com/Devotional.aspx

Pippa’s Behind

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Okay friends and new blog followers, every now and then I can’t help myself; I have to speak to the absurd. So hang in there with me as you read today’s post.

Last week I was watching Good Morning America while I was getting ready for work. GMA used to be a serious news show but not so much anymore. They actually spent several minutes discussing this new surgery fixation. Women all over the world are getting plastic surgery so they can have a “behind” like Pippa Middleton (sister of Kate, new wife of Prince William).  Pippa’s backside received worldwide acclaim because her God-given derriere looked so nice in a bridesmaid dress.

They interviewed a beautiful seemingly confident young woman who had the surgery. It was disclosed the procedure costs several thousands of dollars and is extremely painful. They actually take fat from another part of the body and insert it into the backside in order to mold and shape a patient’s bottom. The young woman stood during the interview. Imagine that?

What’s wrong with us? We look at others and we want to imitate them. I had to ask myself first, who do I desire to be like?

Then, the Lord whispered, “Child, remember Ephesians 5:1”, “Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children.”

Is it possible we can draw a little application from Romans 9:20, also? “Who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this” will it?

Now, before my friends who have had plastic surgery get offended let me say this, I DO NOT have any problem with plastic surgery of any kind. It is not the surgery that is the problem, it is the motive. The wrong motive here is the desire to be like another. There is only one Pippa. Anytime we start imitating others we are settling for less than God’s creative best.

Who do we long to imitate? Our Heavenly Father or an earthly idol? Where should we look to find the perfect example to imitate?  

Heavenly Father, help us to be sensible in our pursuit of good looks. Give us hearts that look to you for each motive and decision for our lives. When we desire a new look, mold us into Your image from the inside out. In Jesus Name, Amen

abcnews.go.com/GMA/pippamiddletons-derriere-plastic-surgery-fixation/story?id=14617782.

Cindy Molder’s archived blogs are available at http://circleofsavings.com/Devotional.aspx

Mirrors, Swords, and Tiaras

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Last week I was invited to speak to the ladies basketball team at Oklahoma Wesleyan University okwu.edu. Not because I am special but because I am the head coach’s mom. I thought to myself, “what an incredible opportunity and honor.” I couldn’t  figure out what I was supposed to say to  thirty young student athletes. So, I decided to tell them what I wish someone had told me. I knew I had their attention when I handed out mirrors, swords, and tiaras.

The main points are below. As you ponder the verses, you can fill in the white space.  There are four distinct lessons to learn. Genesis 1:27, You are created in God’s image. You are an image bearer. Genesis 2:18, You are created for a specific purpose. You are an ezer (helper). Genesis 2:22, You are special because you are a woman. You are hand-crafted by God.  John 3:3 and Revelation 19:7-8, You are royalty. IF you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, then you are born again into the royal kingdom, and someday you will marry into the royal kingdom.

I bet you are asking yourself, what about those mirrors, swords, and tiaras?

I told the young women to look in the mirror and remember who they are: Image Bearers, Ezers (helpers, strong and mighty defenders), and Royalty. I challenged them to pick up the sword of an Ezer and to defend and help one another. Finally, if they are believers, I encouraged them to put on that tiara that marks them as royalty and to hold their heads high because of their royal position.

After I finished with a short prayer, I looked at those image bearing, royal ezers and  I saw pure potential. It’s going to be a fun basketball season but it’s also going to be a great year! Join me in praying for these young women, Heavenly Father, help them to  remember who they really are, so they can live with fearless passion. In Jesus Name, Amen 

 archived devotionals are available at http://circleofsavings.com/Devotional.aspx

And the Lord Heard It!

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Have you ever read one short sentence in the Bible and the Lord lifts it straight off the pages and aims His Word directly at your heart? That happened to me on Sunday. Five little words got my attention. “…And the Lord heard it.” (Numbers 12:2)

When Miriam and Aaron spoke against their brother (Moses) for marrying a Cushite woman, “the Lord heard it.” What did the Lord do when He heard their criticism? Well, what would any loving father do?  The Lord called  an immediate  family meeting and He met with all three siblings at the doorway of the tent. He gave Miriam and Aaron a huge piece of His holy mind (Numbers 12:6-8). His anger burned against them as He defended His servant Moses. He left Miriam with a visual aid to help her remember. When the Lord withdrew His presence, Miriam was as white as snow with leprosy. She was kept away from others, isolated outside the camp for seven days. Then, the Lord  healed her as a result of Moses’ prayer.

How did Miriam get to this place of sin? This is the same Miriam who led worship after the Lord dried up the Red Sea. (Exodus 15:20-21). The same Miriam that once had lips filled with praise used the same mouth as a weapon against her brother.

Isn’t that just like us as women? We use so many words. One minute our mouths are praising and building up and the next minute they are criticizing and  tearing down? I’ve fallen prey to women using hurtful critical words. Being a non-confrontational person, I embrace the situation by not saying a word and stuffing it deep down within my heart knowing that ultimately the Lord will deal with it. BUT NOW! NOW, I know that when someone criticizes, gossips, or murmurs against me, I can know for sure the Lord will hear it.

Somehow that gives me great comfort. Maybe the next time I am confronted with undeserved criticism, I will whisper to the Lord (as I turn and walk away) Hey Jesus, did you hear that?

Have you ever been the victim of unwarranted verbal criticism? How did you respond? How will you respond now? How carefully do you weigh your words? What will you remember when you are tempted to murmur and criticize another?

Heavenly Father, Guard our lips and let no unwholesome words proceed from our mouths, help us to use our words in a manner that honors others and glorifies you. (Ephesians 4:29) In Jesus Name, Amen

archived devotionals:  http://circleofsavings.com/Devotional.aspx

In the Gutter

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Sunday afternoon was so warm and breezy that I had the screen door open to the patio. I was reading and I heard a scratching noise. I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from so I ignored it. In a few minutes, I noticed a little wren up on roof right by the gutter. She was pecking and pulling at the wire cover. She became extremely agitated and pretty soon there were other wrens who joined her. They too, pecked and pulled at the gutter screen. When I would go out to the patio, the birds would fly away but the scratching sound became louder.

Mark  got a ladder and found a little wren was trapped down in the gutter under the mesh. It was fighting but without Mark’s help there was no way the bird would fly free. Finally, Mark gently lifted her to safety.

As I watched, I couldn’t help but think about what I saw. The birds were desperately trying to free their feathered friend but it didn’t work. But, as they cried out, they alerted us to their dilemma and we were able to help them. I asked myself, what would I do if I had a friend in the gutter of life, trapped in a hopeless situation? Would I come to their aid? Would I cry out for the help they need. Odds are my first reaction would be, “I shouldn’t get involved” or “they need help that I’m not qualified to give” or “I wouldn’t know what to say.”

Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friends loves at all times, ”  I think ALL includes the “in the gutter” times of life. Look at your friends, is there anyone in the gutter? Maybe the gutter of depression, addiction, illness, or loneliness? How can you love them and help through this time where they feel trapped and helpless?

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of friendship. Teach us to be friends who love at all times,  during the good times and in the gutter times.  Amen

archived devotionals:  http://circleofsavings.com/Devotional.aspx