Regret

Have you ever uttered words that you wish you could take back?

I often find myself saying hurtful things to the people I love the most.  Maybe it’s been a long day at the office.  Perhaps I’ve had a bad night of sleep.  Maybe I’m just frustrated with the kids.  Whatever the reason- I can be pretty insensitive.

Oh…it’s not yelling.  It’s much more subtle.  It can be a snippy, sarcastic remark. I excel at those, I’m afraid.

And later- I always regret those occasions.

I studied about regret this week.

Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, when to the chief priests and said “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?”  And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.  And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.  Matthew 26:14-16

Judas was one of the original disciples.  He had traveled with Jesus.  He had witnessed the miracles and heard the teachings.  He loved Jesus.

But greed overcame him.  Judas delivered Jesus to the men that would eventually kill him.  All over thirty pieces of silver.

Judas soon experienced remorse over his decision.

And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.  Matthew 27:5

It was too late.  He let greed, jealously or any number of emotions overcome him…and delivered Jesus over to an angry crowd.

I can’t imagine how he felt.  I know I never want to experience regret like that.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

My personal prayer this week is to be more tenderhearted- and live with less regret. Jesus wants it that way.

And let me know how I may pray for you.

God bless.

 

 

 

Standard

Doubts

IMG_6869

I’ve got a good friend that asked for prayer last week.

He had a friend who developed a life-threatening illness.  His friend was facing death in his mid-40’s.  His friend had doubts…doubts about his mortality…doubts about his treatment.

My friend was heartbroken.  How can this be fair?  Why could this happen to someone so young?

John chapter 20 chronicles the empty tomb and the resurrection of Jesus.  It also described doubt and the need for faith.

Thomas, one of the twelve Disciples, hadn’t been around when Jesus initially appeared to a small group of followers.  As a result, Thomas publicly voiced his doubts about Jesus being raised from the dead. A week later the Disciples, including Thomas, were gathered and Jesus appeared again. This time he asked Thomas to feel the holes in His hands and the scar in His side.

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” John 20:27

We have to do that too. We have to pray for our faith to increase so we can stop doubting.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Through prayer and study, we can grow our faith and experience Jesus.  Faith brings assurance over doubt…and confidence over fear.

Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’   John 20:29

That’s faith. When we can believe in that which we cannot see.

Please pray for me to have an increase in my faith.  I want to feel, experience Jesus more.

And let me know how to pray for you.

God bless.

Standard

Now that I know how you really feel…

IMG_6923

I experienced a tough situation recently.

I was forwarded an email by a friend.  As I read through the email, I realized that there was a large portion of the message that I probably wasn’t supposed to see.

Near the bottom, there was an exchange between my friend and another person that wasn’t flattering toward me.  This third party (also a friend)  was venting about a decision that had been made, but it got a bit personal.  I realized that a) our relationship wasn’t what I thought it was and b) she was freely sharing her opinion with a large audience.

At first I was frustrated.  Why hadn’t she called and let me know how she felt?  We interact often, so the opportunities to talk were frequent.  Frustration then led to disappointment.  I wished that my friend would have talked to me rather than airing it to others first.

But I’m truly no better than her.  Truly.

Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.  Psalm 139:4

While I might not write it down, I have those same thoughts from time to time.  I’m frustrated with the actions of others…disappointed…and let my emotions get carried away.

But God knows.

In 1 Chronicles chapter 28 the writer tells us that God searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought.  We don’t have to write down our thoughts- God knows what’s written on our hearts.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

I’m called to forgive.  I need to forgive, because God has forgiven me- a chief sinner.

Please pray for me to be a better example of grace with others.  I need it.  And let me know how to pray for you.

God bless.

Standard

Extra Steps

IMG_3552

The Carvers have started taking extra steps each day.

Call it fitness or competition, but all of us have become increasingly aware of how much we walk.

We’ve all gotten activity trackers, and while some of us are more obsessive about the numbers than others- all of us are working hard to move more often each day.

We’re parking further away from buildings.  We’re taking the stairs at school and work.  The little things add up quickly.

I need to take extra steps in my spiritual life, too.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Romans 12:12

I’m not constant in prayer.  I’m not even consistent.  Some days are filled with rushed prayers…quick words offered up as I drive to work, tuck the kids in bed or rush toward a deadline or meeting.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  Psalm 119:105

God’s word is to be used to illuminate our daily walk.  A lamp.  Unfortunately, I don’t study the Bible as much as I should.  Work, activities and even family get in the way of my personal study.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  1 John 4:11

It’s hard to love the unloveable.  I don’t often have the patience or desire to truly love those difficult people in my life.  And if I’m completely honest with myself, I know that I’m often perceived as the unloveable one…and need to be given grace.

I need to be diligent in my prayer life.  I need to be more disciplined in my personal Bible study.  And I need to be more forgiving of others- just as I need to seek forgiveness.

Pray that I work harder to make the extra steps in my spiritual life.  And let me know how I may pray for you.

God bless.

 

Standard

Anchors

britton track

Britton was chosen by his school to participate in the Knox County Elementary School Track & Field competition.  B’s teacher selected him for the tug-of-war team.  While B is just 10, he’s a solid little guy…with broad shoulders, strong arms and powerful legs.

B was told he would be the “anchor” for the event.  He was happy with this role, as his teacher explained that he would be the critical support at the very end of the line.

The role was simple.  He was told to not let go of the rope- no matter what.  He had to keep moving his feet backward against the opposing pull.  He was instructed to keep the line tight and encourage his teammates to pull with him.

The stabilizer.  The base.  The anchor.

The book of John discusses an anchor that we have available every day- the Holy Spirit.  In chapter 14 Jesus was comforting the disciples.  They were worried about his upcoming persecution and death.  Jesus told the disciples of a counselor that would be present to bring them peace:

All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  John 14:25-26

When we are distressed and hurting, we only need to pray and ask for help.  It’s there.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26

My prayer this week is for awareness to call upon the Holy Spirit to provide an anchor for my life.  Please let me know how I may pray for you.

God bless.

Britton dad

Standard

Favorite things

IMG_3279

The countdown has started.

Carson is finishing up her junior year of high school and is making decisions about where she’ll attend college.

It doesn’t seem possible.  This little girl has become a young woman overnight.  Hollianne and I are trying to enjoy every day with her before she leaves for college in a year.

I’ve realized how much I’ll miss having her in our home on a daily basis.

To celebrate this milestone, I’ve started collecting a list of the little things that I’ll miss about Carson.  Included on my list are:

  • watching her compete on the soccer field
  • enjoying her homemade chocolate chip cookies, often made late at night
  • watching her build the perfect s’more in our backyard fire pit
  • experiencing college football and basketball with her.  Her commentary is always insightful and hilarious.
  • seeing her enjoy her Bible studies with her friends
  • hiking new trails with her
  • attending music concerts with her

Jesus has his favorite things that He loves about each of us.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  Luke 12: 6-7

He knows the number of hairs on our head.  He knows our struggles and our strengths.

And he loves us anyway.  He loves us in the most personal, intimate way possible.

My prayer this week is to focus on the aspects of my life that make Jesus happy…and to have the strength to confront those things that aren’t constructive.  Please let me know how I may pray for you.

IMG_6312

 

Standard