Monday, December 18, 2006

To Forgive or Not to Forgive

To forgive or not to forgive, that is the question.
Whether it is easier to dwell upon an offense,
And grow hurt into anger and bitterness.

Or forgive the offender,
Whether repentant of their deed,
Or cold hearted and unresponsive.

To focus on the pain,
Feed a gloomy countenance,
That looms like a thundercloud overhead.

Or obey my heavenly Father’s command,
To forgive my fellow man,
That I too might be forgiven.

To believe the lies of the enemy,
Be controlled by that, which is temporary,
Fail to recognize that this too shall pass.

Or trust Jesus Christ my Savior,
Think upon that which is true, lovely and pure.
Seek that which is praiseworthy and of eternal value.

by Susan Bunts – December 18, 2006

This year has been not only a year of clarity…but one with many lessons in forgiveness.

I’m a pretty straight shooter in life…and when confronted with something that’s not right…I will likely speak my mind in a very direct manner. Not leave a lot of wiggle room. If I don’t speak my mind…then I hold onto that which bothered me and I can’t even look the person in the eye and I loose respect.

I don’t know quite what to do when I get no response. It’s hard…I’d prefer a response of “Go pound sand!” than to be ignored.

But when I’m met with silence…I have a choice. God calls me to forgive. That forgiveness should not be dependent on someone acknowledging an offense, apologizing or choosing to ignore me. If let my reaction and choice to forgive be dependent upon them…then I’m held hostage.

Instead my Father in heaven…has made it abundantly clear that I need to walk in present, everyday forgiveness. It is only by His strength and wisdom I can do that which goes against my nature…forgive.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” – Matthew 18:21-22

Saturday, December 09, 2006

My Emmanuel…God with me

When uncertainties abound,
He was my steady Rock.

When friends were scarce,
He never left me, nor forsook me.

When my faith failed me,
He remained ever faithful.

When anxiety was my lot,
He invited me to cast my cares upon Him.

When my soul was inconsolable,
He comforted me.

When joy eluded me,
He arranged an appointment with joy.

When the phone did not ring,
He remained a friend…who sticks much closer than a brother.

When the road ahead was dark,
He was the light unto my path.

When understanding was absent,
He provided clarity and insight through His word.

When disappointment swamped my soul,
He was my bright and shinning hope.

When tears were shed in solitude,
His nail pierced hands wiped my eyes.

When fear gripped my heart,
He was my courage to forge ahead.

When my prayers failed me,
He interceded for me at the right hand of the Father.

When this little lamb strayed into the thicket of doubt and unbelief,
The Good Shepherd rescued me from the ravenous wolf.

When ready to live a settled for life,
He challenged me to come up higher.

When I stood firm and waited,
I saw the deliverance of my Lord…Emmanuel.

by Susan Bunts - 12/7/06

Many folks compose a letter each year to be enclosed with their Christmas cards. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with this tumultuous, roller coaster of a year. Even if I attempted to put pen to paper…goodness only knows the words…would soon be a novel, not a mere letter.

That being said…when all else failed me…Jesus Christ my Emmanuel remained with me each day, each step of the way. May this poem be my praise and thanksgiving to my faithful, loving Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I also want to say thank you to those of you who prayed for me during this difficult and challenging year. Lord bless!