Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: Grace

Baseball coach instructing young player

Keeping Out of Majoring in the Minors

Baseball coach instructing young player

Criticism can be a painful pill to swallow. I’ve lost sleep over bad reviews. One person called into question the proper use of an English courtesy title used with one of my characters. There’s a good chance that I got it wrong, even though I’ve done extensive research to stay as historically accurate as possible. When to use which English title is confusing. However, the discrepancy caused the person to stop reading halfway through the story. Her inability to see past the minor errors caused her to miss the book’s message of forgiveness, fortitude, and faith, which saddens me more than the bad review.

I know I can’t please everyone. I’m human and make countless mistakes daily. (Some are funny. I tend to type shutter instead of shudder, which I know has something to do with my husband being in the home improvement industry. Or there was a time that I wrote neckless instead of necklace. The poor heroine had no neck—how terrible.) I will re-read a blog after it’s released and kick myself over errors that I know better than to make. There may even be some in this blog, but my hope is that my mistakes don’t overshadow the message.

I’ve seen this happen in churches. Pastors, too, are human. They aren’t infallible, but many of us have unrealistic expectations for them. We are quick to criticize if they do something with which we disagree. We move on to greener pastures only to discover that our new pastor is human also. The church in Pennsylvania, where I gave my life to Christ, divided over trivial things because they lost sight of the grander purpose. When we major in the minors, as my pastor calls it, we make the devil’s job easy. The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Focusing on mistakes instead of the message steals purpose, kills trust, and destroys unity.

2 Corinthians 8:7 states, “But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.”

Luke 6:36 says, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

Baseball player sitting on bench

God asks us to excel in grace and mercy. This means giving the benefit of the doubt, forgiving mistakes, and repenting of a critical spirit. I realize this isn’t easy, but it can start with turning off the film in our head that plays different retaliation scenarios and stopping our fingers from sending a snarky retort. Take a second and ask ourselves if this helps or hurts God’s greater purpose. Bitterness, judgment, and a critical spirit can blind us to the great works God is doing, block us from receiving a message we need to hear, and do damage to our witness.

Are you bogged down in the trivial? What’s keeping you from God’s greater message? Let’s not make the devil’s job easy. Ask God to show you what you need to move past and how to move beyond it so that you can get to the happily-ever-after.

I’ll be on my knees doing the same.

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Man yelling

Dead People Don’t Get Angry

Man yelling

We have a neighbor who spits at us. (He’s a neighbor at our commercial property. We have lovely neighbors at home. Hi neighbors.) This man has many times hurled foul language at our crews while they loaded their vans. He’s threatened our workers, spit on them, and tried to incite them into fights. You’d think we’d done something horrendous to get this man so fired up.

We purchased a large mostly-vacant warehouse across the street, renovated the dilapidated building, and now have provided fourteen small businesses with an office location close to home. However, for several decades the building had sat dormant on this commercial street. Our neighbor had become accustomed to the sleepy, dead-end road where he works and lives. The new activity coming down “his” public street infuriates him.

My husband (God bless him) listened to the neighbor’s complaints, installed fencing, and lowered the angle of lights. He even hired a paving company to create a road on our property so that our vehicles no longer drive down the public street. However, the neighbor can’t be appeased. He still calls the town accusing us of things we haven’t done. The town sends over an official (at the cost of taxpayer dollars) who finds nothing wrong and leaves.

I have a hidden fiery side that erupts especially when its to protect my family and friends. When somebody spits at my husband and workers, I see red. I want to lash out, call the police on him, send him the bill for the changes he demanded. I want him to know he’s gone too far, and as the Hulk says, he’s not going to like me when I’m angry.

The Hulk action figure

But I have no right.

Dead people cannot be angry, and that’s what God has asked us to do—to die daily.

But God, you saw what he did. You know what he’s done. It’s not right.

Jesus never said it was going to be easy. “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).” There’s more than one reason why we’re asked to take up our cross and to die daily to ourselves and our sin. It’s not just to show the grace and love of Jesus toward those who persecute us. It’s also to save our hearts.

When I allow anger to fester, it hardens into bitterness and hatred, forming a callous on my heart. It may at first apply to one situation or one individual but like a contaminate it spreads. I have to daily ask God to soften my heart—to help me see others through His eyes—as His beloved children. It’s become even harder as of late, where it seems as if the media is baiting people to become angry. It’s a battle to keep my heart soft and malleable for God, to love instead of hate, to pick up that heavy cross, and die once again.

…Because dead people don’t get angry. 

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Future robots and life on the moon

Would You Rather…?

Would you rather move fifteen years into the future and receive 50 million dollars or go back to the age of ten but with all the current knowledge you have now?

My son and I heard this question posed on the radio while driving to lacrosse practice. Immediately, my son chose fifteen years into the future with 50 million dollars. I asked him why, and his answer made sense because for him ten years old was only three years ago, so going back wouldn’t gain him much. He’d know the outcome of the Superbowl, but he’d be too young to place any bets. (I reminded him he shouldn’t be placing any bets.)

I thought over my answer and came up with neither, to which he told me neither wasn’t a choice. Nevertheless, it’s what I chose, and I got to explain to him the reasoning. I wouldn’t want to progress 15 years into the future even if they paid me 50 million because I wouldn’t want to miss my sons’ graduations, their weddings, and even maybe the birth of a grandchild or two. Those are precious moments. And even though it means dealing with the teenage years and some of the struggles of standing by while my children learn to make life-changing decisions, some wrong and some right, I want to be there to support them and help them navigate their way when and if they need me.

Lorri age 10
Lorri age 10

I also wouldn’t want to go back to the age of ten, even if I could return with all the wisdom and knowledge I have now. Yes, it would be great to go back and correct some of my mistakes, but I wouldn’t want to risk changing the outcome of those mistakes. What if it was those mistakes that led me to God. What if I changed something and then never met my husband, not having my children, or having different children. (Plus, I’m not sure I hold the patience to re-live the potty-training phase again.)

My mistakes have made me who I am today. Even though they are painful to remember, I can rejoice over the outcome. The would-you-rather question got me thinking about how God gives us just the right amount of wisdom and strength for each moment when we need it. He doesn’t give us too much so we become prideful and think we can handle things all on our own, and He doesn’t forsake us and leave us to fend for ourselves in our time of need.

God’s wisdom and grace are sufficient for each moment.

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