Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

Don’t Make Mountains out of Molehills

Friday, December 5th, 2014

“All the days of the despondent are miserable–but a cheerful heart has a continual feast!” Proverbs 15:15

There is a class of little annoyances such as we make for ourselves by a complaining, or an overly fastidious temperament. There are some who make such a fuss about trifles, tormenting themselves, and worrying others by a perpetual fault-finding and discontent–as every trifling irritation is magnified to a mountain–that all pleasure is spoiled by their presence!

It is a good rule in little things, as well as great things, that “what can’t be cured–should be endured”–and endured cheerfully!

I am not advocating slovenly and careless endurance of little vexations which may be remedied–let them be set right by all means, and the more quietly as well as quickly, the better. But I have observed people who were most ludicrously discomposed by trifles which neither they nor anyone else could remedy, and which should have been overlooked with a smile, if noticed at all.

There are many overly finicky people in the world, who groan over such trifling irritations. It is really ludicrous to hear the gravity with which some people will allude to the fact of the road being dusty, even alleging that as a reason for not going a walk; others are as much afraid of a shower; others of too much sunshine; some are terrified at the idea of being over-heated.

There is no end to these idle fancies and fears! If you laugh at these miserable people–then they think you are unfeeling. If you sympathize with them–then they multiply and increase their petty annoyances!

Let us all beware of making much of little irritations. Let us learn to laugh at them, remembering how very annoying such complaints are to others, as well as bothersome to ourselves.

A cheerful person who refuses to notice trifles or be aggravated by them–soon ceases to feel them! While to those who seem to find a perverse pleasure in dwelling on, and being daunted by them–these little discomforts will actually become real cares, and will eat out half the comfort of their lives!

(Henrietta Wilson, “Little Things” 1852)

Does Your Spouse Love You?

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

 “Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5:28

You probably know a domestic violence victim, or you may be one yourself.

Unfortunately, domestic violence occurs in so called “Christian” homes. Batterers use “submission” as their excuse to abuse their spouses. Domestic violence can be verbal, emotional, physical, or financial.

As today’s Bible verse says, “Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.”

If a man loves his wife as his own body, he has neither reason nor excuse to punch, kick, spit on, curse, threaten, humiliate, or hurt his wife in any way.

A woman, who loves and respects her husband and herself, cannot allow her husband to be abusive. That gives him permission to sin against her and God.

In addition to sinning, the abusive spouse also breaks the law and commits a crime.

If you want a Christian home, you teach your children by your example how to love and respect each other. That way, little boys won’t grow up thinking it’s all right to batter women to get their way. Little girls won’t grow up thinking it’s all right for men to humiliate and hurt them.

Dear God, help me love and respect others and myself. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to be a role model of love and respect?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Copyright by Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

Look Around You!

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

“Be kind and compassionate to one another” Ephesians 4:32 

Look around you, first in your own family, then among your friends and neighbors, and see whether there is not someone you can show kindness to–someone…
whose little burden you can lighten,
whose little cares you may lessen,
whose little pleasures you can promote,
whose little wants and wishes you can gratify.

Cheerfully giving up our own pleasures to minister to others, is one of the little kindnesses and self-denials of Christian living. Doing little things that nobody likes to do, but which must be done by someone, is another.

It may seem to many, that if they avoid little unkindnesses, they must necessarily be doing all that is required. But it is not enough to abstain from sharp words, sneering tones, petty contradictions, or daily little irritations. We must be active and earnest in kindness–not merely passive and inoffensive.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12, 14

Do You Speak Kind Words?

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Proverbs 12:25: “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”

I don’t like to take medicine. If a natural remedy is available, I prefer to take it. How about you?

With allergies to several medicines and experience with side effects to many of them, I don’t want to have surgery unless it is absolutely necessary. Can you relate to that?

Before my eye surgery two years ago, I struggled with an anxious heart that weighed me down. My only child had passed away after eye surgery, and I didn’t want to be the next one to die.

My friends promised to pray for me. Their phone calls and prayers cheered me up. My Sunday school teacher took me to the medical center and prayed for me during surgery.

After a successful surgery, I felt relieved. Friends sent cards or called me. Others brought me meals or a healthy protein drink. I appreciated their kind words and deeds, and they cheered me up.

This morning a friend from my Sunday school class had knee surgery. The members of the class signed a card for her yesterday, and we will take her dinner on Friday.

Do you know someone who could benefit from your kind words?

Dear God, help me be sensitive to a friend with an anxious heart. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to cheer up that person with an anxious heart?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Copyright by Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

How Can You Diffuse Resentment?

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Judges 8:1: “Now the Ephraimites asked Gideon, ‘Why have you treated us like this? Why didn’t you call us when you went to fight Midian?’ And they criticized him sharply.”

Do you sometimes think you can’t win even when you do the right thing? Gideon obeyed God and fought Midian with the 300 soldiers God allowed him. He knew God won the battle for them.

The Ephraimites were jealous of the victory of their fellow Israelites. Their jealousy and pride prevented them from acknowledging the success of Gideon and the 300 soldiers without their help.

Gideon had a choice to make. His first option was to say they were jealous because they didn’t take part in the battle and couldn’t claim the victory.

His second option was to praise the Ephraimites for all they had done. He chose that option. With a humble heart, Gideon said in verses 2-3, “What have I accomplished compared to you? Aren’t the gleanings of Ephraim’s grapes better than the full grape harvest of Abiezer? God gave Oreb and Zeeb, the Midianite leaders, into your hands. What was I able to do compared to you?”

With divine wisdom and humility Gideon didn’t let the situation escalate. The end of verse 3 says, “At this, their resentment against him subsided.”

How will you respond to criticism?

Dear God, please help me answer with your wisdom and humility when people criticize me. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to diffuse resentment as Gideon did?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Copyright by Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

How Can You Diffuse Resentment?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Judges 8:1: “Now the Ephraimites asked Gideon, ‘Why have you treated us like this? Why didn’t you call us when you went to fight Midian?’ And they criticized him sharply.”

Do you sometimes think you can’t win even when you do the right thing? Gideon obeyed God and fought Midian with the 300 soldiers God allowed him. He knew God won the battle for them.

The Ephraimites were jealous of the victory of their fellow Israelites. Their jealousy and pride prevented them from acknowledging the success of Gideon and the 300 soldiers without their help.

Gideon had a choice to make. His first option was to say they were jealous because they didn’t take part in the battle and couldn’t claim the victory.

His second option was to praise the Ephraimites for all they had done. He chose that option. With a humble heart, Gideon said in verses 2-3, “What have I accomplished compared to you? Aren’t the gleanings of Ephraim’s grapes better than the full grape harvest of Abiezer? God gave Oreb and Zeeb, the Midianite leaders, into your hands. What was I able to do compared to you?”

With divine wisdom and humility Gideon didn’t let the situation escalate. The end of verse 3 says, “At this, their resentment against him subsided.”

How will you respond to criticism?

Dear God, please help me answer with your wisdom and humility when people criticize me. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to diffuse resentment as Gideon did?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE

Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !

Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!
Copyright by Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of
Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website:
http://YvonneOrtega.com

Where Do You See Jesus?

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Sometimes the simplest questions are the best.

The pastor asked one of those simple questions when Becky and I visited a new church with our FREEDOM TOUR teammate Andrew Thorne last weekend. He began the message by asking, “What would change if you saw Jesus in the person next to you?”

The pastor shared a parable. I won’t get into the entire setup, but the result was statements like these:

If your buddy messed up, you might be quicker to cut him some slack or give him the benefit of the doubt if you saw Jesus in him.

You might not notice the homeless woman’s disheveled appearance if you saw Jesus in her.

You’d likely be less judgmental toward those who see things differently…

You might not be “too busy when someone needs help…

You get the idea.

Jesus said it plainly.

“Then those sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25: 37-40 Msg)

He wanted me to see Him in the person next to me.

I don’t know about you, but I can get awfully wrapped up in making faith difficult. I need to be reminded regularly that Jesus is a person, not a collection of complicated ideas. Following Him is really about knowing Him.

It’s a relationship, not graduate school. I can start by seeing Him…in you.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Dixon
Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

We’re supposed to love everyone. “Yes, but…”

Friday, April 25th, 2014

“We’re supposed to love everyone, aren’t we?”

“Yes, but…”

“I don’t think we can add a ‘but…’.”

As I understand it, the conversation pretty much died at that point.

When it comes to stuff like love, grace, and forgiveness, there’s no such thing as a “but…” And if you’re like me, that’s tough to get your heart around.

I don’t want the cold-hearted serial child molester to receive salvation and have his sins wiped away when he accepts Jesus. I really don’t want to love the person unconditionally who does things or holds views with which I strongly disagree.

Every bit of logic screams that some cases demand a “but…”

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:32-36)

Jesus proposed a different sort of logic, one in which there’s no such thing as “love, but….”

What would happen if we all found places where we put strings on love and worked to remove them?

No more “love, but..” Just love.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Dixon
Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Why We Need To Remember Less

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Grace doesn’t forget. Grace chooses not to remember.

question-marks1Can God really “not remember” my sins?

He’s God, right? He knows everything. And if He knows it all, how can He not remember?

I’ll bet it’s been debated in countless all-nighters at every seminary over coffee and, depending on the seminary, other adult beverages. Because if God’s all-powerful, then He can “not remember” if that’s what He wants to do. But wouldn’t He remember that He didn’t remember?

More coffee, please.

I raise the issue because it’s the sort of question that sidetracks the guys in my ongoing workshop. So we chase it around for a few minutes, but we have a go-to phrase to get us back on track.

I DON’T KNOW HOW THAT WORKS.

It’s good to seek understanding where we can. But faith involves accepting a certain measure of mystery. On this side of eternity, it won’t all make sense.

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

So there’s wisdom in acknowledging what I don’t know and leaving that to God. If He says He chooses not to remember, that’s good enough for me.

The real question isn’t—or shouldn’t be—God’s capability. We really ought to ask about our response.

If “grace chooses not to remember,” perhaps our public discourse (and our Facebook timelines) might reflect a less acute memory and accounting of wrongs.

I know He said I’m supposed to love my enemies. You don’t suppose He meant I’m to avoid publically criticizing people I don’t like, do you? Or, even worse, actually looking for something kind to say?

Nah. That’s just crazy talk.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Dixon
Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

What’s With All The Lines?

Monday, February 24th, 2014


Everywhere you look, someone’s drawing a line.

The line identifies us. You’re either on my side, or the wrong side.

You see the lines everywhere. I scrolled through my Facebook feed yesterday and realized I skipped a lot of items because they were about drawing lines.

I’m tired of lines.

Drawing lines is beyond discussing ideas or expressing opinions. I appreciate new information and different perspectives. Problems arise when one creates a rule that condemns and demonizes those who disagree.

Line-drawing is especially popular among Christians. We draw lots of lines around theology, liturgy, worship, and lifestyle.

Almost all of our lines are human creations. They’re unnecessary false dichotomies intended to force personal preferences on others.

I hear the objections already. “Wait a minute, Rich. Don’t you believe in truth?”

Of course I believe in truth. I also know legal experts were always trying to trap Jesus and get Him to draw lines and list the rules. And He stubbornly refused.

He did respond once when lawyers brought a woman caught in adultery. He wrote in the dust, and suggested they proceed with their planned execution—with the caveat that the sinless man among them should cast the first stone.

Instead of drawing a line, He asked that, for once, they abide by the lines they’d drawn for others. We know how that turned out.

Do I believe in truth?

Jesus said, “I am the Truth.”

He’s not a collection of ideas, a list of rules, or a bunch of lines. So I don’t believe any of that stuff.

He said, “Love.” That’s not a line, it’s a circle and an invitation to bring everyone inside.

So I’m looking for places where I draw lines. I’m doing my best to see and erase them.

I invite you to join me.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Dixon
Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com