Tag Archives: forgiveness

Unpleasant Repercussions

Carl was in a fight and lost. It wasn’t with another dog or even a cat. It wasn’t with a squirrel or even a bird. But a frog! Carl thought he would take a good bite out of the brown bumpy reptile but was immediately horrified by what he experienced next.

Apparently, frogs have a toxin on their skin that keeps them safe from all the Carls out there. And it was definitely effective. Immediately, Carl released the frog. He began to foam at the mouth and his eyes began to water. Our little Frenchie was clearly unhappy with his decision.

How often do we make quick decisions that are not thought through and have unpleasant repercussions? How many times do we wish we could go back and redo what has been done? All of us can think of regrettable moments that we wish we could erase from our memory. If only we had a huge eraser that could take away all our regrets.

And that is exactly what happened when Jesus chose to die for us on the cross. During the hours that He hung there dying, he took each regret and gave it over to God to forgive. Jesus did this so we could move forward in our lives with humility and gratitude.

It was clear that Carl wished he hadn’t bothered the frog this morning. His eye drained all day and he slept more than he usually does. But thankfully, dogs don’t dwell on their bad decisions like humans. My guess is that tomorrow Carl will wake up ready to go out into the world and take on whatever comes into his path.

Could Carl Be Possessed?

I used to think that Carl could be demon possessed. I couldn’t trust him and wasn’t sure if we would growl or nip at me. The months that followed his tail removal surgery were difficult for all of us. We didn’t know if Carl would grow out of his distrust for us and we had to even question if we should keep him. InkedIMG_1328_LI

The months have now turned into years and other than a couple of occasions when he has been awakened by a nightmare, Carl has become a gentle little boy. We even commented the other day about how sweet and obedient he has become.

Being demon possessed has been a controversial topic since the beginning of time. Since it is mentioned many times in the Bible, I must believe that it is a real condition that plagued people, particularly before the innovation of modern medicine.

Mary Magdalene was one of these individuals that was stated to be demon possessed. And not just by one demon but by seven! Just the thought of the torment she must have lived through is incomprehensible. Today, she would probably be homeless, distrusted by her family, and living on the streets.

We don’t know the time or day that Jesus healed her but we know from Luke 8:2 that He drew seven demons from her. But it isn’t so much the fact that she was cleansed from the demons that is so amazing but what she did with her life after she was healed.

This woman is mentioned several times throughout the life and death of Jesus. She apparently turned her life around and not only hung out with Jesus but also helped finance his ministry. She was so grateful for what He had done that she devoted the rest of her life sharing the Gospel and how He had changed not only her physical life but also her eternal life.

Luke 7:41-43 states, “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.”

Mary Magdalene had been forgiven much.  She knew there was nothing about her that deserved the loving kindness that Jesus extended to her. And in response, she spent the rest of her life sharing what her savior had done for her.

I have a lot to learn from this woman.

As for Carl, he has been reaching up and literally yanking on my shirt with his teeth. I am not sure what he wants but his annoying persistence is making it difficult to write.  Maybe I am wrong about the demon being totally gone.  It just comes out less often. Got to go.  Carl won’t stop pulling at my arm.

 

Carl wants young kids to be healthy, and to get subscribed for Cora’s new book launching on 5/24 – get on the list here

Stuffings from the Heart

I knew it was coming. I looked at the clock and wanted to close my eyes for just a couple of minutes. But like most mornings, I waited for Carl’s quiet whimper to change over to the piercing howling that we had grown to tolerate. After a couple of minutes of hearing the annoying noise, I got up and opened the door to find my two little dogs looking up at me. How could I be mad at Carl? Even as I discovered the stuffing that he had pulled out of his bed littered all over the floor, I couldn’t stay angry for long.

When I think about this situation, I come one step closer to understanding how much God must love each of us. I know if God, who is love, can forgive me when I continue to sin, I can forgive my little dog. There is a statement that Jesus said in Luke 7:47 that captures the relationship between love and forgiveness. He states, “I tell you, her sins–and they are many–have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

Sometimes, I believe that God placed Carl in my life to demonstrate how I must look to him. I might not howl out loud but I definitely scream out when I feel like I have been neglected or even rejected. I might not pull the stuffing out of my bed but I do pull out sinful thoughts and negative attitudes from my heart.

I have come to realize that comparing myself to others leaves me hardened to my sins and only provokes me to be unforgiving. But if I compare myself to Christ, I quickly realize that I am far from perfect and am in need of a loving savior. This attitude helps me as I approach others in my life. If I see that I am unworthy of forgiveness, I am much more willing to forgive those around me. Which leads me back to Carl and the morning routine of placing my pillow over my head to deafen the howl that just won’t go away.

It’s All in a Number

As I open my eyes, the thoughts start to flood back into my consciousness. The same rehearsed dialogue rushes through like a wave crashing on the beach. I try to change my thoughts but the injustice of the situation can’t leave my mind and heart. It has been days of continuing this dialogue in my head with nothing but feelings of anger to show for it.

I know I must stop the feelings and thoughts that keep pounding in my brain. But how? To receive healing from the unforgiveness that has bound me like a tight rope around my throat, I need to go to the only source that has power.

I opened my Bible and turned to Matthew 18:21. Peter is asking Jesus the same question that I have asked. How many times do we have to forgive? It states: “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’

Then Jesus answers him with words that initially I don’t want to hear. How many times do I have to endure the injustice by the same person before I can justify these feelings? “Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:22

Seventy- seven times! Why seventy-seven? There is something in the number that just came to me yesterday. Seven is an extremely important number to God. Didn’t God create seven days in a week? Weren’t there seven churches, seven angels, seven seals for the seven scrolls addressed in the book of Revelations?  Didn’t Joshua and the nation of Israel walk around the walls of Jericho seven times before God tore the walls down? I could go on and on but what I discovered when thinking about the importance to forgive is that even this word has seven letters. How cool is that?

Another insight that was given to me about the importance to forgive has to do with the Biblical meaning of the number seven. This number represents completion, totality, or divine perfection. In the same manner, I believe Jesus used this number regarding forgiveness because he wants us to know that without it, we cannot feel complete in who we are as followers of Christ.

I finally feel equipped to move on and truly forgive from my heart. Not because I have to, but because I want a relationship with Christ that can’t exist in my previous state of incompleteness. If I truly trust in him as my Lord, than I need to be convinced that he wants what is best for me. And I think he has made it abundantly clear that it starts with forgiveness.