WORD – Part 2: The Ultimate Whipping Boy

 

I have the ultimate whipping boy.

Do you have a whipping boy?

Do you know what one is?

It is one who takes the whipping punishment for another, as is poignantly shown in the children’s classic story The Whipping Boy.  All childish things aside… figuratively speaking, I am not lying, I do have the ultimate whipping boy, and so do you; He took a whipping and a beating and he submitted even to death for me…and for you.

WHY did He do that?

I will explain by giving meaning to the “L” in the WORD: LIFE…

L = LOVE.

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But God demonstrates his own love for us

in this: While we were still sinners,

Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Friend, do you know you are loved that much?

The first step in having that “life to the full” is acknowledging that you are loved so very much, that Christ died for you.

Friend, YOU are LOVED.

Do you feel it?  Do you know it?  Will you accept it?

When you accept His love – there is but one thing for you to do: LOVE OTHERS in the same way as Christ loves you.

L = LOVE.

When it’s neat and easy – love.  When it’s messy and difficult – love.

When the gifts are used or exchanged and decorations packed up for another year to wait in the attic… when

winter cold is set in and we move on with the routine of the days.

Remember, L = LOVE in LIFE.

Being loved, and being love, fills your life to the full!

 

He Saw Me in the Future!

Have you ever had the experience of someone coming up from behind you, clamping their hands over your eyes, without warning, exclaiming, “Guess who!”  For a moment you are confused, caught unaware, and then by scent or voice recognition, you take a guess.  Sometimes it is clear, other times it is a surprise – either way, the hands are lifted off your eyes and there is perfect revelation and joy as you recognize the playful spirit behind the mystery.

That’s how it was for me when I gave more thought to an all too familiar passage of scripture: Romans 5:8.  Jesus died for me, while I was a sinner.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.  How many times had I heard this read from the pulpit or proclaimed by a fellow church-goer on communion Sunday.  Like hands clamped over my eyes, I had guessed at the meaning nonchalantly.  I get it. I am a sinner and Christ died for me. Plain and simple on the surface, I thought I knew whose hands were covering my eyes.   Aaaaah! – but when the hands came off, I saw so much more –  recognition of truth in this all too familiar passage.

Do you see?

While!

It’s in the word while…..

WHILE I was a sinner….HE SAW ME IN THE FUTURE!  He saw past me – the sinner – and chose to pour grace out on me and save me from the punishment of my sins….this is the revealed mystery.  Jesus sees us beyond our sinful state!  Before we were born, before we physically sinned, He saw us through it all and died for us; Grace poured out in faith and love, abundantly. 

In turn, we ought to do the same.

We need to see beyond people’s sin. No avoiding, no judging, but instead: pour grace abundantly.  The mystery paid forward: we need to see others as Jesus sees them – just as he sees us; God sees all of us as His children.

Friend, Jesus sees you in the future as well and He died for you too.

What an awesome verse! 

Quoting the words from a recent conversation with Bill Vanderbush, “Jesus is even better than we think.”

 

 

 

 

Give Hope: Carry!

Traditions, and everything-as-usual, flies out the window when you are suffering with illness or disease during the holiday season. I should know because I suffered greatly through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter in 2010 & 11.  I am a cancer survivor.

Over the next five days, I want to share with you how you can help ease the sadness and pain of a suffering friend or loved one during this holiday season.  God has equipped you for this good work: you have opportunity to be His hands and feet and give the comfort that is so dearly needed.

“Carry each other’s burden, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:2

Illness is  a burden.

Disease is a burden.

Both renders  the one afflicted, weak.

And the one afflicted needs help carrying the weight of the every day life that is suddenly too heavy to carry alone.

What does this mean?

Meet your loved one at their level of  need.  Often times that means making yourself available to do the mundane – the physical load that they are too weak to do.

The laundry, the dishes, the shopping, the meals.  There is no mystery about it.  It is the daily-do’s.

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“…we received at least one hundred and four meals,…my hands could not run under cold water or manipulate knives very safely,and as my nausea and fatigue plastered me to the couch more days than I liked, I was blessed by the hands of many, many people who prepared and labored to ensure that my family had good meals to eat.” P.47 Towdah:A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope

The simple act of offering a meal had more impact than you might think.

 It gave me peace of mind; one less thing for me to think about.

I was able to take that nap I needed.

The burden of meal making was lifted off of me!

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Do you know someone who needs a burden carried this holiday season?

Pray.

Consider how God has equipped you to help carry the burden. Be God’s hands and feet.

In this simple act you will fulfill the law of Christ, loving your neighbor as yourself, and give hope to the one who is suffering.

TOWDAH

Be the first to comment on my blog today and I will send you a free autographed copy of my book and  a letter of encouragement to your friend or loved one who is suffering this Christmas season.  Message me on FB with your address & details –

Sheryl

Merry Christmas!

Where am I? Part 3 of 3: “Driven to Know”

Have you ever been driven to know something and you bug someone and nose your way in to a conversation to find out?  Have you ever been driven to finish a project and even though your eyes are tired, your back is aching, and you haven’t eaten for 6 hours, you just push on until it is finished?

As I lay down my losses I am driven to know Christ more.  At the point of releasing profits and counting them as loss I am in a low place, yet I am driven to continue on…. I am casting off the old and putting on the new; the new position of being in the palm of my Father’s hands.  He is in control. Laying me down brings me to my knees and I am in want of my Lord’s hands opening the eyes of my heart.  I have been directed to three ways I can know Christ more.

#1 I can know Him by seeking Him intimately through His fellowship and calling on Him in prayer and reading His Word.  The more I read His Word and think on it and claim it in prayer, the more my eyes are opened to His love for me.  The more I am enabled to see of His grace and mercy poured out for me.  His truths become grafted into my heart.

#2  I can know Him by depending on Him and drawing upon His strength and not my own.  Drawing near to God in difficult times has given me a practical knowledge of the Lord; He is good for His Word and always keeps His promises.  He is my Help.  Through my suffering and choosing to rely on Jesus, I have experienced a deeper knowing of Him that I was unable to attain otherwise.

#3  I can know Him by serving Him in willingness to be filled and used by Him. This is why I claimed my drivin’ in the open jeep (see Part 1 of 3 blog) !  Surrendering to His will for my life each day gives me a new freedom; with my eyes open I wait for the open doors He is pointing me towards and I am ready to step through.

I can add three adjectives to the open air jeep visual:

I am open.  Open to the calling and adventure — where He leads I will go.  This is not a comfortable place necessarily – but it is an enlivening place!

Growing.  I am growing in deeper understanding of who God is and who I am every day.

I am thankful for the privilege of knowing Jesus and gaining in wisdom and stature.  I am thankful for the little and big graces He allows for me each day — I call these God Sparkles and I love to share them with people in my writings and on my FB wall.

But, like Paul, I have not attained all these things — I strive for them every day.

(Philppians 3:12 – 14)  “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, 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 count my losses I can push forward to take hold of knowing Christ and gain.

Where am I?  I am pressing on.  Pressing on with thanksgiving and praise and I find myself entering into the presence of the Lord.  (If you have been blessed by hearing my testimony over these last three days via this blog — please pass this link onto your friends and family.  I seek to be a blessing and shine for the Lord. Click on the LIKE button below…  Share as you can and join me in spreading the fame of our Lord.)   Sheryl