Tag Archive | loss

twitter-new-year-resolutionsWe are in that blessed month where the emphasis is on making ‘new resolutions!’   To activate in a positive way our resolve and use it on something that will add value to our lives.
There has grown a multi- billion pound industry around the big five Jan resolutions: more exercise, lose weight, improve diet, save more & pursue career ambition! (courtesy of Nat west via recent email!).  The bombardment on our minds and hearts, is staggering and along with this systemic barrage , there is a subtle strategy: to remind and to prompt!
To remind us of those moments we could of and should of said no, and to prompt us to use this word no, more often this year!

Culturally, January is the reminding and prompting month and by the end of it, here in England at least, we’ve had enough!  Along with the reminders and prompts are the necessary products we will need to remind us of what it is we say we want, and to help us achieve our goal!

The purpose of this blog is not to encourage you to make a new year’s resolution but to break one and to use a Father given product that will bring instant weight loss, fresh energy to our bodies and much needed peace to our minds and hearts and lead to better and deeper sleep!
What is this Father given product?  Grace.
the-grace-card.001Grace is the unique product of Christianity and yet many Christians know grace but struggle to live in and from this truly liberating truth and reality.  Grace is our USP (unique selling point) no one else has it and it still saddens me, that it has taken me years to get into the ‘now grace zone,’ but now I am here, I am not leaving!
The realities of Father’s grace are wide and varied, and  affect every aspect of what makes us human and empowers every ability we have been given.  Although grace is a massive subject, not one I ‘ll try to cover here, there’s an aspect of grace that is really vital to experience, in the midst of the bombardment of the ‘remind and prompt month,’ –
      grace keeps no record of wrongs! 1 Cor 13:5
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Grace erasers from its memory, those times we know we have fallen short of His and our standards, and we have asked for forgiveness.  The question is have we forgotten and have others?
I have conducted hundreds of funerals and experience grief up close and personal and I have learnt many things, one that’s in the top three, is the place and power of memories. In the context of bereavement memories become a  gift and a curse.  A gift because of what has been but a curse because of what would have been!
Within every memory is energy,  a power that can, will and does moves us!
The problem is some memories are toxic and are slowly draining the life, energy, sleep and hope out of us!   So, in this reminding and prompting month, is it time to stop re-visiting a memory that weighs you down, condemns you and has frozen your potential and abilities?
Shame, Guilt and Regret are all weights Father never created us to lift, hold, carry or rep with.
These weights are not putting muscle on us, quite the opposite, they are sapping our strengths: physical, emotional, volitional, psychological, seeking to eradicate any and all sense of hope.
Guilt says I did something wrong.  Shame says I am wrong.  Grace is the answer to both!
Grace makes us both deserving and worth at the same time! Still find this mind blowing. What a product and it’s free!
We may lose weight, improve our diet, exercise more, save more, change jobs but still carry around inside a weight which nothing seems to shift.  Grace will shift it and that’s when we’ll experience instant weight loss, energy gain and better and deeper sleep.
Forgiving others is not easy!
Neither is forgiving ourselves!
Both, said Jesus,  are necessary because both release us from a yoke and burden that we were never meant to carry!
One purpose of a yoke was to tie the inexperienced ox to an experienced one, so it could learn, grow and develop its potential, capacity and skill.
jesus
  He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Ish 53:3  
Jesus has experienced all that life and men can throw at us!
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted. v4 
Took up: a massive Hebrew thought – remove and utterly destroy!
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed. 5
Wounds: internal, that is bruises & external, that is blows; are both  healed by and through His blood on the cross!
Peace has been made available by grace, all that remains is a choice.
Do I want His peace?  Will I yoke myself to this ‘experienced’ Jesus?
Some memories are devastating, despicable, depressing and yet even into these, He longs to bring His peace and one day also, His justice.
May 2016 be a ‘weight loss’ year!

Pennies!

oldpennies
A granddad was showing his five year old daughter his porcelain collection and she was fascinated with the colours.  The granddad got temporarily distracted and at to momentarily leave the room.  When he returned he was shocked to see and hear his granddaughter in pain and her hand stuck inside a priceless vase. He tried to pull her hand out, no joy.  He tried all manner of lubricants to see if her hand would budge.  It didn’t.   He finally realised that he’d have to smash the vase, and so, reluctantly he took a hammer and freed his granddaughter’s hand.
What he saw next amazed him.
His granddaughter’s hand had made a fist and was almost white in colour.
fist         What’s in your hand?
She opened her hand and there was an old penny, which the girl had seen at the bottom of the vase, grabbed but could not get her hand back out whilst her hand formed a fist around the penny!  pennycoin
What she clung to eventually destroyed the surrounding environment
Her clinging perspective was catastrophic to her surroundings
What she deemed as valuable had destroyed what was ‘priceless!’
“What may we be clinging to that seems valuable, which might be  destroying that which is priceless?”
The penny and the fist!
The penny could represent many things
  • a mindset
  • a tradition
  • a attitude
  • a loss
  • a grudge
  • pride, vengeance, bitterness, offence
The vase for me speaks of the core people in our world, our family & loved ones.  It is difficult to watch someone you love cling to stuff that’s just not helping them.  In fact it is detrimental to their mental, emotional and relational health.
chinese_vaseThe intensity of clinging can sometimes be seismic to all that’s around us and affect the strength and integrity of the vase, the relationships that make up our core!
This week two politicians clashed and then both clung to the need for the other to apologise first.  It took the intervention of the leader and some key information being shared before one of the politicians apologised unreservedly.  At first, the ex-mayor of London said in effect –
when he apologises for what he said about me I’ll apologise to him!
 In this moment, the politician valued his pride and his will was clenched around his choice like an iron fist.
It’s logical that we cannot receive if our hand is full and that what we need to pick up, sometimes starts with putting something down.  Now, I’m not saying this stuff is easy because it’s not but that which is priceless is being forfeited if we don’t let go of what we deem as valuable: our pride, reputation, standing etc..
Jonah found this lesson out the hard way – fish puke is not an attractant!
Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit grace that could be theirs.      Jonah 2:8
What Jonah was forfeiting was grace.  What he was clinging to is described as an idol, whose value was classified as worthless!
In today’s culture, particularly in the West, we have idle talk but not much talk about idols.
sumerian_idols
An idol is any person, possession or position, that we value and esteem above all, and from which we draw our sense of worth.
This might sound crazy but hear me out – some people draw their sense of worth and their identity and meaning from wrapping their fist around past problems, pains, losses, hurts, injustices, betrayals.   And in the same way an object tightly held in the hand will impress itself into the skin, leaving a mark, so it can be with us!   It makes its impression and until removed, leaves its mark but worthless means is as no value!  Therefore, it adds nothing of value to our lives.  No positives, no enrichments!
If these  ‘penny issues’ are clung to, they inevitably  become our hallmark: setting the standard and authentication of our identity
victim, betrayed, reject, loser, second, last, over-looked, abused, old, past it, lost it!
Victor Frankl never lost his hallmark, even when exposed to heinous and incessant evil.
Viktor_Frankl2
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Victor Frankl
A human being is a deciding being. Victor Frankl
When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves. Victor Frankl
I believe that our hallmark is not drawn from what we have, possess or the positions we hold or what we do but from being made in Father’s image. His hallmark, is the standard for our worth and value and authenticates our identity.  He never changes; life and people will and do.
Father never moves the goalposts!
His unmerited love and unrivalled power are always there, regardless. 
This is grace and He desires that it makes a lasting impression on us but it can be forfeited.  
The enemy comes to rob, steal and destroy said Jesus (Jn 10:9) both the the image they bear inside and them as an image bearer!
Is it time to fling and not cling?
Time to forgive and release ourselves?
Time to come back to grace and be stamped afresh?