Psalm 66:18-19 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Isaiah 53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray; each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
Acts 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Galatians 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
1 John 1:8-10 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
I am abundantly blessed. I have a wonderful people in my life, came from a great and loving family, and had everything I needed growing up and throughout all but a few blinks of my life. I liked school, and although I have to study to get good grades in most areas of learning, I liked it, so it usually was not drudgery for me. Many friends probably thought I was a weirdo finishing assignments that had a six-week timeframe, a few weeks early, delving into subjects we were not yet learning about, enjoying writing.
As a child I did not ever have good running ability, so although I did not excel in that area, I had some good friends and we all would pal around. The mothers shared information back and forth when some of the kids misbehaved, so all adults were kept up to date as to what we were doing–including who was misbehaving. It was a close-knit neighborhood, and discipline was somewhat shared. If I was caught misbehaving, sneaking a cigarette, a neighbor would scold me, but my mother would know about the incident before dinner time. We learned respect for all elders, and we kids were a tight bunch of friends; for a few years we were respected as the ‘Robin Road gang.’
The only gray cloud that hung over our lives when we (my siblings and myself) were young was the fact we knew our father was going to die at a young age. Due to severe asthma first appearing in his life at the age of 25, he was put on steroids for the rest of his life (this was the mid 1950’s). Although it was known this was a wonderful drug for short term usage, at that time it was also known to be dangerous for long term usage. There were no substitutions or chronic care medications for this then.
So, a young father with a toddler and a newborn, he decided to take the medications and live his fullest life. And he gave us his best; I walked away respecting honesty, always doing your best even when you don’t feel well, being involved knowing what is happening in your children’s lives, and when physically able, he was out throwing a football or baseball. He couldn’t run the bases or the field, but he could encourage you to. We knew he loved us.
I think many don’t know that kind of love and life, especially now. As much as I am thankful for immediate internet knowledge at the press of a few buttons, I resent seeing people out to eat, and each has a cell phone in hand and yet they are not talking to one another. There seems to be no relationship. Seeing that always hurts my heart. There is no communication, full expression, listening and understanding, or at least trying to understand.
When I am out with friends, phone usage is not part of the table. We are there to visit, to communicate face to face, and listen to one another. It is not the time for being involved with something on a cell phone.
While during this time, with the COVID segregations we have had, it has been awesome to have the technology to be “with” and see the folks we share bible studies, attend church services long distance, get other online learning in a multitude of different subjects, to keep up to date with distant friends and relatives, and to be able have some contact with friends and family although things were certainly different during 2020-2021.
Entertainment is a touch of a few keys on a computer, cell phone or tv control. Many of my friends are admitting to being closer through technology, and spending more time with God, as there seems to be more time to read, listen and study. This is an adaptation of our once normal coming-and-going, and now there needs to be thought and planning to go out to do errands and to shop.
So although I had a very blessed childhood, I must admit, I was frequently a brat. I was self-righteous, selfish, self-centered, and very spoiled. I was always trying to scheme to figure how to steal jelly beans over Easter, or chocolate over Halloween, and had no problem trying to use bribery or any other means to get my desire from my siblings.
Thankfully I learned this was so wrong and hurtful. Initially, I was sorrowful and overwhelmed to learn what Jesus had done for me. But once saved, I thought, ‘okay, I’m going to change and be good all the time.’ It didn’t take long before I was being called out for something I had done. To my shame now, I remember trying to excuse the behavior, there was a reason, a really, really good one…..hmmmm, no, Kathy, you were wrong. You need to acknowledge your sin, not decide it had an excuse.
And immediately that bratty, self-centered, selfish person was there arguing and carrying on. . . until I heard myself. Maybe He gave me His ears for a few moments. I’m not sure, but I was appalled and ashamed of myself. Perhaps, I had still not fully believed in His power of love and forgiveness, but I was heart-broken. I just knew I had lost my connection with God, and justly, I would spend the rest of eternity in HELL.
I was fearful, apologetic, and full of “I know I am not worthy,” but I was still sure I was no longer heaven bound. He had closed the door, the narrow door anyway, so I was out in the courtyard.
Thankfully, I have biblical people in my life, I have persons I can discuss this with, I enjoy listening to different theological teachers, and learned that I was redeemed, and I would never be perfect, and worthy to enter the kingdom. I was IN because of what Jesus did. It has nothing to do with me, although God wants to see progress in our lives. He wants us to be repentant, confess our sins, and continue in a relationship with Him—all of Him; the Father, Jesus the Savior, and the Holy Spirit.
Part of that progress is admitting when we are wrong, or when the Holy Spirit corrects us for something we did not realize, such as making a comment that is snide, or perhaps gossip, or we are not even sure if it is true. We do wrongs that are slight to us until they are pointed out and then we are conscious the next time. I know I do not want to offend God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit in any manner. But I am a work in progress.
I do not have to worry about spending eternity in HELL, because He has saved me, redeemed me, and is never letting me go. I believe this through faith in Him. How awesome. I don’t have to be perfect and never will be. I want to live obediently because I love Him.
All of my life, I have been blessed. You are so vital to my life and mybellaviews.