Forgiveness

“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love.” Luke 7:47a NLT

Overflowing love is the natural response to forgiveness and the appropriate consequence of faith. But only those who realize the depth of their sin can appreciate the complete forgiveness God offers them.

Do you appreciate the wideness of God’s mercy? Are you grateful for His forgiveness?

Your faith has saved you; go in peace. Luke 7:50 NLT

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Toto, we aren’t in Kansas anymore…or California…

On Monday evening, my cousin, Willie and Uncle Jerry flew in from California. They were here to visit my family and grandma for a week. Tuesday, May 24, was Willie Rose’s 22nd birthday, BUT she got a very different birthday present, because on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, multiple tornadoes tore through Oklahoma leaving at least eight people dead and dozens more injured. The main massive twister left a trail of damage 50 miles long.

Read more: http://newsok.com/oklahoma-tornadoes-8-dead-60-injured/article/3570916#ixzz1Nq4qTAJy 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Willie Rose! We were planning to take her to dinner and celebrate, but the weather changed our plans. She experienced the scare of Oklahoma weather. AND she still wants to move here and live with us! Amazing! BUT there were not just tornadoes in Oklahoma, but Kansas, Texas and Arkansas as well, all on the same night. Storms raged through Dallas and Denton, and also Hugoton and Great Bend, Kansas.

On Wednesday evening, our Lifegroup went out to Piedmont on Northwest Expressway and helped a family of 6 clean up debris and try to put their life back together. We assisted the Piedmont Church of Christ group at this home.  The sweet man who lived there spoke very little english, and every time someone spoke to him, tears welled up in his eyes. It was so surreal and sad to speak with him but see the appreciation on his face to have the help with the cleanup. (Photo below by Eric Urbach)

(Photos below taken by myself)

Lifechurch-OKC had several families who attend our church and live in Cashion, that lost everything and our church has rallied together and provided shelter, food and cleanup the past week and will continue to do it throughout the coming weeks. I am in awe at the servant hearts of our church members. Praise God for each one of them. (Photos below by Sunny Thomas)

The devastation that stretched across our state was unbelievable and I pray for each family and life that was affected by these massive tornado storms, prayers for strength as they rebuild their lives and thank God for the ones who survived! Thoughts and prayers for each family that lost loved ones for comfort and healing.

Getting past your past…how hard is that!?

There is a series that Craig Groeschel is preaching right now about getting past your past…and he shared an amazing lesson last week, the first week of the series, Breaking the Labels that Bind. We all have a label or labels that we have been given. If this had been years back I would have been reluctant to share my label (s). But by being a member at Lifechurch, I have learned to be transparent and real because I am not judged or ridiculed by doing so.

I have been labeled: Melissa the Rebel, Melissa the Blacksheep and Melissa the people-pleaser. I have a very sad but victorious past, and those are my labels that I have heard others call me and I have called myself. If its something rebellious, I have done it. “You can’t make me follow your rules, I am my own person.” Hmmm…I needed to listen to God’s rules, and not try to set my own. With the people pleaser label, when I was young, I wanted everyone to like me, so I tried to do everything in my power, good and bad to please everyone, but was not pleasing to God, who is the most High and the only one I should be worrying about pleasing.

So. as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, …anyone who belongs to Christ has become a NEW PERSON. The old life is GONE; a new life has begun. (NLT).  That is what I have in Jesus Christ! A new life!

The day that I heard Craig talk about this, I thought that he was talking one on one right to me. It was so close and personal to my own experiences that I had to sit and thank God for his grace and mercy that led me out of that pit into HIS light. And then God is going to use those experiences to  save others, I just know it.

The next day, I was listening to K-Love and the DJ was reading out of a devo book that they are doing every day. I had the book and started reading along with K-love as they go on this journey. The book is Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. In this book, Sarah takes scripture and puts it into easy words, words from Jesus talking to you. This is what was on the next day, Monday, after I heard Craig speak on Labels.

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, I can bring good even out of your mistakes. Your finite mind tends to look backward, longing to undo decisions you have come to regret. This is a waste of time and energy, leading only to frustration. Instead of floundering in the past, release your mistakes to ME. Look to Me in trust, anticipating that My infinite creativity can weave both good choices and bad into a lovely design. Because you are human, you will continue to make mistakes. Thinking that you should live an error-free life is symptomatic of pride. Your failures can be a source of blessing, humbling you and giving you empathy for other people in their weaknesses. Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me. I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes. TRUST ME, AND WATCH TO SEE WHAT I CAN DO! Romans 8:28

Powerful! Trust God and see what He can do in your life!!

When you feel inadequate or discouraged, just remember this..God has always thought of you as precious and He has a very special purpose in mind for you!

He has great plans for you!! Jeremiah 29:11

Forgetting what is behind…Philippians 3:13-14

Oklahoma City, April 19, 2011

Photo taken by http://lifephotographylove.com

The Survivor Tree at the Oklahoma City National Memorial

“We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace hope and serenity.”

The inscription around the inside of the deck wall around the Survivor Tree reads:

“The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated, our deeply rooted faith sustains us.”

We will never forget…Sixteen years ago…9:02 am…

The Oklahoma City bombing was a bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. It was the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19 children under the age of 6, and injured more than 680 people. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a sixteen-block radius, destroyed or burned 86 cars, and shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings. The bomb was estimated to have caused at least $652 million worth of damage.

On April 19, 2000, the Oklahoma City National Memorial was dedicated on the site of the Murrah Federal Building, commemorating the victims of the bombing. Annual remembrance services are held at the same time of day as the original explosion occurred.

We will never forget…may the Lord be with everyone that was affected by this tragedy.

WEiRD

So, our pastor at Lifechurch.tv, Craig Groeschel is kinda weird. You say, hey don’t talk about him like that! Really, I am not being mean. He likes to be called weird! I want to be weird too. Weird in “God” way!

Craig just wrote an amazing book, called WEiRD, because normal isn’t working.

It sets out the lifestyle that we should all be living. A “GOD” lifestyle, not a wordly or normal lifestyle. It teaches you how to think differently about your time, money, relationships, sex and values. Because what we think is what we become.

Craig shows us that it is not just okay to be different, it is BETTER! 1 Peter 1:16.

It is better to please God, than everyone else. So that is what we should strive to do. Please God! Becoming obsessed with what people think about you is the best way to  forget what GOD thinks about you. Proverbs 29:25

Pick up a copy of the book, you will not be sorry.

My life is my message.

My life is my message. ~Gandhi

I am a child of God~a fully devoted follower of Christ, a wife, mom, mentor, coach, volunteer, friend…many roles. What can I tell you about me? I have had an interesting life with that has its good and bad, its ups and downs. I guess you could call me WEiRD? or could you?

I used to think that I was just a “Normal Person” but now I strive to be more…

I want to use my life and be an encouragement to women to live in holiness based on God’s word; following His guidance to live a radical life of service. My Chazown…my purpose.