Lifted Lines

Last Sunday I drove southwest on 59 from my home in southwest Houston into the suburbs, almost into the country. In Richmond, I exited the freeway and turned right, down a paved road, another right into a dirt parking lot. The gravel crunched beneath my tires, and I found a spot near a chicken coop. Through the poultry netting and in addition to chickens, I discovered peacocks. On the other side of the coop, sunlight shone down on baby goats with their mothers. Beyond all of that lies a beautiful lake with ducks on the water and then River Pointe Church.

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I always say, “You can choose HOPE, or not.” And churches and cathedrals, temples and holy places, farm animals and wide open spaces give me HOPE. I find God in these places—and myself, like the me I hope to be.

Life is heavy. I don’t believe any of us are exempt from challenges, but I do believe in the power of prayer. I keep a list of friends and family in my prayers for surgeries and illnesses, dependencies and dysfunctional relationships, the trials of life and inevitable death.

I believe in the power of believing, and I believe in the power of words. Sometimes the wrong words and the wrong beliefs become trapped inside our heads. That’s when I like to have an arsenal of the right words and the right beliefs. I lifted some lines from church last week—for my arsenal—because they lifted me:

  1. Nothing has been wasted, no failure or mistake.
    When I doubt it, remind me I’m wonderfully made.
  2. When the world starts to blur and your soul feels heavy,
    know that you’re loved.
  3. It’s gonna be alright.
    It’s gonna be okay.
  4. We often believe that admitting we’ve failed makes us less Christian.
    Confession makes us more Christian.
  5. “Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16)

If the words above don’t lift you, go find words that do and places that do and people who do. You don’t have to believe everything you think, especially the bad stuff. And if you find yourself dwelling in the negative, find a new place to dwell.

Sidenote: A couple of weeks ago the pastor challenged us to read Samuel 1 and 2. These books contain the history of Israel leading into the story of David, as in the chosen-by-God David, who slayed the giant Goliath with his unwavering belief and a single stone. This same David later became king and committed adultery with Bathsheba who became pregnant. King David had Bathsheba’s husband murdered to cover up the sin. The sequence of events displeased the Lord, but King David confessed, and the Lord forgave.

Now, I am no bible scholar, and I don’t understand all of the wartime killing and all of David’s wives and concubines in the context of the Ten Commandments. What truly displeased the Lord was that King David took something that didn’t belong to him amidst everything he already had. Based on this temptation, David is probably the most relatable character in the Bible. (Hello, my name is human.) If an adulterer and a murderer can be forgiven, well then, there’s hope for you and me.

Confession to God grants us forgiveness. Confession to one another makes us whole.

 

 

33 thoughts on “Lifted Lines

  1. Love the photos but also the truth behind this post! I really needed it today. I have some big guilts and being reminded that confessing to God brings healing and forgiveness was so comforting. Don’t worry … I’m not confessing anything like a murder 😉 sorry… maybe that was dark humor a bit. But truly … I needed this post today. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so happy this post was here when you needed it. I wrote the words down for me and ended up sharing them with a friend last week, and that conversation (much guilt involved over nothing like murder) inspired this post. I don’t think you have to confess everything to everybody, but someone needs to hear. Thanks for reading. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I actually was going to come back and apologize for that bad joke. I didn’t want it to take away from the seriousness of your post. Sometimes I just have weird thoughts pop into my head and then I write them or say them before I think. Sigh. Thanks again for sharing such an honest post!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I like your little road trip and the pictures of the animals. Wonderful. Also enjoyed your very relatable thoughts about being human and forgiveness.
    More than one paragraph struck home. I think that confessing that we are human, and imperfect is a much more helpful way to be a friend to our friends.
    When we say everything is fine to the ones who care for us, we make it hard for them to be honest with us when they need to.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful, Crystal! The delightful initial discovery of the peafowl, blossoming upon realization goats were in the picture too, and finally reaching sublimity when spotting the church on the horizon.

    Magical.

    One of life’s happy accidents, or a message from above, beautifully illustrating the lesson you learned previously?

    You tell me. Actually, you have, an in a style fitting the message.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, TAM! A collection of gratitude with a side note of taking time to observe the miracles of life. I snapped photos of the goats the week before, without minding the chickens, so the peacocks took me by surprise. There are donkeys in the distance, too. If I walk that way, I wonder what else I might find. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Great post, and great trip. Love the Pics. God is everything. Everything is exactly the way it needs to be. I suffer when I forget that. I forget when I think I’m running things. You would think I would know that I’m not in charge but being human means I forget and come back again and again. I love the opportunity to do just that.

    Liked by 2 people

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