Autumn Leaves 3 Column

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bitter or Better

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Eph. 4:31

God’s faithfulness has always been a source of wonder and blessing to me, especially in the face of my sinful knee-jerk reactions! A few weeks ago, my husband and I disagreed over a subject which elicited tears and hurt feelings from me and as well as frustration and hurt feelings from him. As we ended the discussion on in conflict, I found my heart becoming bitter and I could feel myself withdrawing from my relationship with him, my typical reaction to a disagreement that I don’t “win”!

Yet, I knew my all too human reaction was counter to how my precious Jesus would react in the same situation. Therefore, I needed God to change my heart. So, I prayed about my bitterness and asked my adult daughter to add her prayers that I would intentionally put my bitter feelings aside to obey my Savior and respect my husband’s wishes on the subject about which we disagreed. Later that very day, God in His faithfulness presented me with an opportunity to discuss the quality of love and compromise that sustains a marriage or any other vital relationship.

As I shared the kind of love that God had cultivated in my husband and I for the last eighteen years, I could feel my Lord’s presence and the reminder of the Holy Spirit within me of just what a blessing my husband has been to me. The fact is, he’s really an awesome guy; human, flawed like everyone else, but awesome in my estimation. He is thoughtful, far more patient than I ever am and he has a gentleness that I would do well to emulate! As I continued in the discussion with my friend, I realized just how minor my disagreement with Bob was and that it really was not worth wasting the time and energy in disagreeing. While that is not always the case, in this instance, it was the truth. My willingness to respect his opinion and restore relationship was far more important to me than holding on to my bitterness and “winning” my case.

I had a choice. I could choose to let go of the bitterness, or allow the bitterness to take hold and spoil the precious relationship we shared. God in His grace and faithfulness, reminded me of my choice when He allowed me to share just how much my relationship with Bob meant to me. He demonstrated through my own testimony why I should not choose bitterness. His grace in showing me why I should let go of the bitterness was tender and merciful in the extreme. My heart was overwhelmed and the bitterness disappeared like fog in the sunshine.

Thank you Lord for your faithfulness in showing me my bitterness and then giving me the strength to let it go. Amen.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gathering a Harvest

To all of my blog followers:

I must extend my most humble apologies for my absence. Please forgive me as I have been working on structuring my latest venture: a ministry in partnership with my dear friend, Susan Silva. New Spirit, Healed Heart Ministries is a ministry devoted to our goal of joining God in the work that He is already doing in the lives of His people: giving God’s people a New Spirit and a Healed Heart. Targeting the population living on the South Coast of Massachusetts and greater Rhode Island, we are based out of Middleborough, Massachusetts. Those of us serving in this ministry recognize living and ministering in New England requires a thorough knowledge of the culture, people, and mind-set of this region. We have lived and worked and worshipped here for a minimum of fifteen years and love God’s people here in New England. Yes, we may be the “frozen chosen” but our fire for the Gospel of Jesus Christ has allowed us to thrive and pursue God with purpose and joy! If you would like more information, please go to and please remember we are still building the webpage, so have patience with it.

I would also like to send a “Hello” to the women of Church-in-the-Pines of West Wareham, MA. What a great group of women! I would especially like to thank Michelle Humphrey and Flo Boc for inviting me to speak at the wonderful retreat they put together last month. Our topic was “Living Life Worthy of the Lord” and I spoke on Colossians 1:10-12, “Pleasing God or Pleasing to God”. I was grateful for the opportunity to share some of the convictions and promises that the Lord had placed on my heart. To all of you who attended, I have prayed over your requests and I have confidence that the Lord is already answering some of those prayers! His faithfulness is far beyond what we can ask or imagine.

As I prepared for the conference, I was pondering; what does a life worthy of the Lord look like? As I prayed and searched the Scripture, I realized that Colossians 1: 10-12 was pretty precise. We are to be bearing fruit, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened by His might so that we can endure, and giving thanks to God for our salvation. I realized very quickly that to find my way to that goal of living such a life, I needed a map…well marked! Think about it. An unmarked map is of no help in following directions to a destination. With Jesus as my point of reference, my life map is clearly marked so that I have less of an opportunity to stray off of the path! In the final analysis, unless Jesus is where I start, live through, and finish my day, I will not be pleasing to God.

As we are preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, may we all be cultivating a spirit of gratitude for the fantastic salvation which Jesus has so generously provided for all of us who call Him Lord! May that spirit of joyous gratitude be evident to all with whom we come in contact!

“…so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” Col.1:10-12