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Posts Tagged ‘restoration’

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Happy New Year! Yes. We mean it. We wish happiness for ourselves, but not ours only. We say Happy New Year to our family, friends, and even strangers. We hope for it.  We wish the coming new year could be a smorgasbord of everything that is good, decent, true, and dependable for every living soul upon this earth. If only our lives could be filled with happiness. Oh, what a wonderful world this would be.

Sometimes, in the grand scheme of things, we wonder if God is so far above the earth that he can’t see us, feel our pain, or make us happy. With all the big important things that are going on in the universe, does He really know us? We are but a speck of dust or grain of sand that happens to live on the earth. Does He really care? If I’d go out on my deck and wave my arms toward heaven, would He see me? Can He really number the fish in my pond, the blades of grass growing in my yard, and tell me how many spiders are hiding in my very house? Better still, does He really know my name, my thoughts before I think them, and the number of hairs on my head? Am I for sure engraved upon the palms of His hands? Does He ordain every beat of my heart, and exercise His authority over each breath that I take? Is He really that involved in my life? If so, why does God allow so many things to happen that I don’t understand? Why does He allow our country to teeter on Godlessness? Why do innocent children suffer? Why does evil seemingly go unchecked? Why do we constantly struggle with thoughts and actions that are just wrong? If God loves us, why has He allowed our hearts to break so many times? Why is it that family strife never ends, children hurt the parents who love them dearly, and loved ones suffer with physical and mental illnesses that will never be healed. Where is God’s power in our everyday, nitty-gritty lives?

If that’s our view of God, I can say with much assurance that we will not be happy in 2013. What lofty ideas do we have of happiness anyway? If we seek happiness above growth, principles, and honesty, we do not seek true happiness. Living under the principles of God will not make us popular, which can be grievous at times, but will bring true happiness. Happiness is not a deliriously knee-slapping, rollin-on-the-floor happiness, even though those times are a great experience, but rather an indescribable peace that others cannot understand. We possess a calmness, when the world thinks we should lash out, and confidence that God doesn’t need eagle-eyed vision to see us, because He lives within us. His Holy Spirit is a part of us. Every time we shed tears, feel alone in the world, are hurt by loved ones and friends, and just simply don’t know what to think or how to respond, He is there. Each time we suffer a broken heart, don’t know how to pray anymore, and feel like giving up, He is there with abundant comfort. Current events may cause us to fear the year 2013 that looms ahead in the unknown, but God is never asleep, and His watchful eye is upon His children always. Even when we fall into sin, rebell against God, go our own way, and live and curse as though we don’t know Him, He is still there. During the times we least deserve it, God continues to bless, sustain, and convict. We hear that still, small voice as if it is loudly ringing in our ears. It’s impossible to block it out, and He speaks to us in an irresistible, intimate language that melts our cold hearts and draws us into His arms again. Eventually, if we belong to God, we will fall before Him and ask His forgiveness, because His is the only forgiveness that truly matters. He is quick to forgive, restore, and grant us happiness instead of the grief of guilt. I’m awe-struck at God’s grace, and the mighty works He accomplishes in us while we feel we are much too weak. Why do we continue to ask meaningless questions that we wouldn’t understand if God explained the answer to us. God is God, and without Him we can do nothing. It’s His power that keeps the earth hanging in the heavens without support. He beautifies the sky with twinkling stars, turns the sun on everyday, and clicks on the nightlight every night. God indwells us, and it’s His power that energizes us to live everyday of our nitty-gritty lives, and live it victorious.

We will not be totally happy in 2013. We won’t be totally sad either. Like the daily changing weather, we will experience sunshine and rain, and laughter and pain alike. Life is not a party. However, we can celebrate each moment of it, good or bad. Afterall, each day brings us closer to our eternal state. Now that’s happiness!

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Early on, I was hopeful Governor Mark Sanford would be forgiven for an affair and could continue his job as Governor of South Carolina. Watching  his tearful confession of cheating on his wife, I thought he would never shut up! The more he talks, the more rope he gives himself for his own political hanging, humiliates his family and exhibits a lack of good sense.

Mark Sanford’s amazing wife is, or at least was, willing to forgive him, keep their marriage together and the home they have made for their four boys. She is a woman of grace. Reading her public statement portrayed how fortunate Mark Sanford is to have a woman like her by his side.

Mark Sanford’s situation gives Christianity and conservatism a black eye, as he continues blathering on and on about his lover, Maria. However, Maria has a boyfriend other than Mark Sanford. Does the plot thicken or what? Yet, he will not shut up!

The beginning hope is all but gone as he becomes increasingly unlikeable with each shared detail of the other woman.  He says it is probably more information than we ever imagined getting. He can say that again! We were enlightened with more information than our hearts could stand. Forgiveness and restoration is for those actually wanting forgiveness and restoration. Speaking of his love for another woman, is not someone wanting to reconcile with his family.

Then there are the conveniently leaked personal emails between the Governor and the mistress. Mistress Maria says it was an evil act by someone she knows that hacked into her email. She will not name them because she can’t prove it.  She says nothing of the affair being an evil act.

Affairs happen all the time. Many marriages survive them and become sweet and precious again in time. The Sanfords could survive this as well. However, if he is kicked to the curb, that will be okay  too.

Thankfully, this has all come out now, instead of when he may have been running for President of the United States, in the next election. Sadly he speaks as a 13 year old boy, gushing about his new love, without any regard for his position as Governor of the great state of South Carolina. No one is above making such a mistake. Mark Sanford apologized and now he needs to… please… just shut up.

Governor Sanford will most likely be forced to step down as confidence in his ability to make wise choices dwindles. Through repentance and restoration, he can emerge one day as the man he wants to be remembered for.

 The Sanford family needs prayer, not reveling in this human tragedy. God specializes in hard cases such as this and there is no telling what good things will eventually arise from the ashes of this time of desolation. Some times, we learn valuable lessons by walking through the fire of circumstances that burn beyond description.

It is painful to see attacks on Mark Sanford by so many who undoubtedly are or have been guilty of the same thing. It has created a media frenzy as they smell blood in the water. Great and small, we are all susceptible to falling.  However, those in leadership risk having their sin flashed on TV screens all over the world. It won’t last much longer. A new scandal is always on the horizon. The public will forget this episode and get involved in the next tryst.

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