Category Archives: Forgiven

The Keys to Forgiving Yourself

Are you still carrying the burden of shame, guilt, and condemnation from your past? In your mind are you replaying the foolishness of your prior decisions?       If this is you, then it is afd3e179afa73a6b279129f4fe046f4ftime to surrender and move towards forgiveness.

If you don’t learn how to forget former sins, you will always live in the past. Bitterness and guilt will continue to grow within you.

When you look in the mirror, do you love and accept the person that Christ made you to be, or do you see a broken person in need of forgiveness?

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

If you have repented of your sins, then you are forgiven. Take a minute and let that sink in. Realize the power of the work of the cross and the shed blood of Jesus. Your debt has been paid. God is able to forgive you, even when you can’t forgive yourself.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.                         2 Corinthians 5:17

Don’t associate your failures with the new creation you have become. Your past does not define you, but it contributes to who you are today. Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different. Realize you did the best you could at the time considering the circumstances.

God knows your name, and He calls you His own. Here are just a few of the names He has given you:

  • Chosen (Colossians 3:12) cdf08e10c8ec744a88a0eb9d508d5436
  • Child (1 John 3:1)
  • Beloved (Deuteronomy 33:12)
  • Holy & Blameless          (Ephesians 1:4)
  • Friend ( John 15:15)
  • Daughter (2 Corinthians 6:18)
  • Heir (Romans 8:17)
  • Blessed (Psalm 65:4)
  • Redeemed (Ephesians 1:7)
  • Treasured Possession   (Deuteronomy 7:6)

Give yourself grace and move towards loving yourself. Begin to see how your Lord and Savior sees you!
Pray-Button

Thank you, Lord, for your precious shed blood that has paid for my sins. I am so grateful for your forgiveness and love towards me.

 

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I appreciate your comments – Have you noticed how you can hold onto past mistakes and regrets long after they occurred? Can you let your past make you better – not bitter? The Lord is willing to guide and direct you to embracing the new creation you have become!

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Love and Blessings,

Maureen

 

The Key to Living Free

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The key to living free is to forgive those who trespass against you. God commands us to forgive, but it requires a conscious choice to do so. It is not a feeling, but an action. Are you willing to surrender embedded memories of shame, pain, and suffering to God?

You do not have to live in the past with a heart full of bitterness and guilt. The longer you carry resentment, the heavier it becomes. Isn’t it time to accept reality and move forward? Are you willing to open old wounds and let God show you the offending person as He sees them? Through His eyes of compassion and grace, you may just get a better understanding of why an individual acts the way they do.

Forgiveness is a prominent theme throughout the Bible. Unforgiveness and self-righteousness will block restoration. The Bible has over 101 verses referencing the action forgive.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15

0e1273bff3ccc2a036ced1eee90e61a0Forgiving someone does not mean that what they did was ok. Instead, it is about setting your heart free from the chains of unforgiveness. Forgive them even if they are not sorry. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Most times, forgiveness is a slow process. We see this in The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant: Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” 

Jesus knows that forgiveness is not easy. It is not a one-time choice to be made and then we automatically live in a state of forgiveness. While that may sound great, forgiveness may require a lifetime of continuous forgiving.

We forgive out of obedience to the Lord. Our reward is called freedom.

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25

Pray-Button Thank you, Lord, for forgiving me for any resentment and bitterness I hold against another. Where there has been an injustice, I choose to let you be Judge. I put my trust in you. Your power and grace are at work in me.

Are you holding unforgiveness in your heart? Are you willing to lay down your unforgiveness to receive freedom?

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Love and Blessings,
Maureen

 

 

 

Are You Willing to Give the Lord the Key to Your Heart?

key to my heartHave you spent too much time in the valleys of life? Wouldn’t you like to walk in the freedom of Christ? Jesus’ shed blood on the cross paid the price to set us free.

Scripture tells us in Psalm 44:21b, For He knows the secrets of the heart.” God wants you to surrender control of your heart. I know this to be true because Jesus waited patiently for me, drawing me close to Him, at times lovingly chastising me along the path to discovering true freedom.

There was a time my heart had become hardened from pain and brokenness. My heart was locked inside walls of sorrow. I kept it protected from future pain, and I vowed never to let anyone or anything hurt me again. But, the Lord required me to hand over the key to my heart. He wanted access to all the locked doors.

Healing is a process. At times, I felt shackled to the weight of my sin. Guilt, shame and condemnation separated me from God’s healing. A hardened heart cannot yield to God’s plan of redemption. Jeremiah 29:11 states, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Your hope is secure in the Lord’s hands.

God knows the secrets of the heart Slowly, God’s light came into the wounded places bringing with it hope and healing. At times the healing was painful, but I was never alone. Jesus was with me and bringing me out of captivity one step at a time.

Firsthand, I experienced the Lord’s steadfast love and His compassionate heart. He healed my broken heart, one shattered piece at a time. All that was required of me was to trust Him with the key to my heart.

Pray-ButtonThank you Lord for your compassionate heart to bring healing and freedom into my life.

Has your heart become hardened as a result of life’s trials? What areas do you need to surrender to the Lord?

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Love and Blessings,
Maureen

 

What’s in Your Hope Chest?

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Do you have a hopeful expectancy about your future or do you fear the unknown? Scripture points us to the hope we have in God’s plan for our lives.  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

Be Strong, Take Heart, All Who Hope in the Lord Psalm 31:24

Be Strong, Take Heart, All Who Hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

Traditionally, a Hope Chest is full of items dedicated to the hope of having a future. The chests were used for collecting and storing items for younger women to have when they got married. Typical items included; dishes, silverware, linens, towels, family mementos and a big chest of dreams.

Today, Hope Chests have all but disappeared from modern day family life. While most of us own a chest, more often than not it is used for general storage at the foot of the bed.

From a spiritual perspective, here’s some treasures to have and to hold in your own Hope Chest:

BIBLE – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

JOY & PEACE – Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

LOVE – And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16

FORGIVENESS – For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14

PRAYER – Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:12

FAITH – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

REDEMPTION – In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7

Pray-ButtonThank you Lord for the hope we have in you!

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe and recommend my site to other broken people!

I appreciate your comments – The NKJV Bible mentions Hope 151 times. What’s in your Hope Chest?

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Love and Blessings,
Maureen

 

 

Glimpses of God’s Heart

Guard heart - Prov 4-23

 

Your heart is at the core of your identity. The NKJV Bible refers to the heart in 926 verses. God’s Word sets a top priority on keeping our hearts pure. The more we walk in righteousness, the closer we are to God’s heart. Proverbs 4:23  

Often, our emphasis is on the outward appearance rather than the inner condition of the heart. It is easy to judge and condemn others when all we see is their outward actions or behavior.  For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 

We may not understand our own hearts, but God does. God is willing and able to forgive us because He knows our heart and understands the cause of our sin. For He knows the secrets of the heart. Psalm 44:21

Create in me a clean heart

So how then should we live? Love unconditionally and freely forgive others. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Let God love you. Give Him your love in return, and share His love with others. There are many waiting for you to show His heart to be steadfast and true.

ThankPray-Button you Lord for knowing my heart and loving me unconditionally in spite of my sin.

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe and recommend my site to other broken people!

I appreciate your comments – Where is your treasure? For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

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Love with your Heart

 

 

Love and Blessings,
Maureen

 

 

 

 

 

Out of Brokenness and Into Wholeness

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Brokenness is a reality for all of us. It is natural for us to resist the heartbreak of grief, disappointment, and pain. Even so…the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ remains – there is hope and healing in yielding a broken, contrite heart to be molded by the hand of God. Your part is to give God all the pieces and to trust Him with His plan and purpose for your life. God’s part is to bring restoration. (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

I was a young teenager when my parents divorced. My mother left us in search of a better life. Consequently, my father had the task of caring for three children. Physically he was there, but he was absent in heart. Being the oldest child, a lot of household responsibilities were forced upon me.

I carried an overwhelming loneliness and emptiness in my heart. I sought escape from the pain and rejection by numbing myself with drugs.

In my quest to seek and find love and acceptance, I met Viggo, a member of an outlaw motorcycle club. The gang offered me a promise of excitement, drugs and a sense of belonging. I embraced the camaraderie of many new brothers and sisters, and I became Viggo’s property.

I carried an illusion of freedom within this new family. It wasn’t until I witnessed many injustices against others, that I realized I was slipping into a dark world without hope. I had no idea how I would escape the control the gang imposed on my life.

One evening, we quickly and discreetly fled from NYC authorities. With each passing mile, we were closer to entering a volatile gang war in Texas. Six nights later I would become a victim in their war.

In the early morning hours, several members of a rival gang stood outside the house where we were staying and opened fire. I was standing in the doorway facing the front windows when the shooting started.

Silhouetted by the light, they took aim at me and when the first shots rang out, I was hit immediately in my left arm. Fortunately, while I reached for the light switch, my arm crossed over my heart and became a protective shield. The bullet’s impact had thrown me, and before I hit the floor, another bullet lodged in my right thigh.

Hours later, I awoke in the intensive care unit of a nearby hospital. My right leg hung elevated in traction; my left arm was covered in a plaster cast. I was sure God was punishing me. As I lay motionless and silent, it occurred to me that all my searching for love and acceptance had brought me to this place. There was no escape from the pain and suffering or the uncertainty of the future.

For the next six months, I was completely bedridden. In another attempt to fuse my shattered bones, my doctor wrapped me in a body cast of plaster from my chest down to my ankle. It proved to be a futile attempt. Eventually, a surgeon fused the bones in my leg together using a bone fragment from my hip. As a result, my leg is permanently two inches shorter.

Determined to start a new life, I severed all ties with the gang. I was transported back to NJ and started a year of intensive rehabilitation therapy. Today, I have a limited range of motion in my arm and leg. Gradually, I learned to live with my disabilities. In fact, my doctors declared me a miracle!

When a friend invited me to attend a baptismal service at her church, I agreed to go because of the transformation I saw in her. Listening to the testimonies of others, the good news of the gospel filled my heart with hope. That night I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.

In time, the Lord healed the bitterness and anger I held in my heart. Sin had its consequences, but His love has transformed my life. The Lord blessed me with a Godly husband and two precious daughters. I am rejoicing in His provision as He prepares the path before me.

*This post was first published as a guest post on Aug 11, 2015                Testimony Tuesday – hollybarrett.org

Pray-ButtonThank you Lord for the salvation you have provided for us. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

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Love and Blessings,
Maureen

 

 

Why Jesus Loves Bikers

Two weeks ago the news was filled with reports of biker gang shootouts in Waco, TX. Viewers were given a glimpse into biker culture.

Gangs

The U.S. Department of Justice defines Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs) as organizations whose members use their motorcycle clubs as conduits for criminal enterprises. OMGs are highly structured criminal organizations whose members engage in criminal activities such as violent crime, weapons trafficking, and drug trafficking. (Read More: Gangs in America)

Jesus Loves You

You may ask how can Jesus love bikers?

  • He came to seek the lost –  For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost (Matthew 18:11)
  • He came to reconcile man with God through the life, sufferings, and sacrificial death of Christ –  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7)
  • He desires for all men to experience abundant life – The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10)
  • We all have gone astrayFor all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
  • Salvation is for all mankind – Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me (Revelation 3:20)

I once lived inside the world of biker gangs and became a wounded victim in a biker gang war. A painful journey through emotional, spiritual and physical trauma led me to an encounter with God’s transforming love. (Read: My Testimony)

I’m so glad that Jesus meets us where we are. He didn’t ask me to change before I came to Him. All he wanted was for me to trust Him with my life. He offers His abundant love, His amazing grace, and His endless mercy to anyone who will receive it – and that includes bikers!

Is there someone in your life you are praying for that seems too far away from Jesus? In your heart you wonder could they ever be saved? Keep praying; I am so grateful that someone prayed for me! Pray-Button

Prayer – Lord, thank you that we can confess our sins and you are faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.                                                            (1 John 1:9)

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Love and Blessings,
Maureen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose to Become Better, not Bitter

Root of bitternessWe will encounter injustice in our lives. No one is immune from a harsh word spoken, an act of deception, a broken relationship, slander, unfair treatment or a host of other offenses. Bitterness has a strong root and it can become stubborn to pull from a burdened heart. The root is heavy and can last  for years. So what is the solution for overcoming bitterness and resentment? Pull out the root and you will remove the offender’s power over you.

While you may be able to hide the bitterness in your heart from others, the Lord looks at your heart. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7b (NKJV)

The Bible sets high importance on keeping our hearts pure: Keep your Guard heart - Prov 4-23heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23 (NJKV)

To overcome bitterness and resentment you must first ask God to forgive you and then ask Him to forgive those who have caused the injustice against you. Pray daily for God’s healing. He will bring justice. Allow God to help you forgive and forget – You probably can’t do it on your own.

Choose to focus on the good in your life and not allow the bad that has happened to keep you from God’s best.

Always PRAY to have eyes that see the best in people,                              A heart that forgives the worst,                                                                            A mind that forgets the bad,                                                                                 And a soul that never loses faith in God!

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:  looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled. Hebrews 12:14-15 (NJKV)

Prayer – Lord, my hope is in you alone, not in my circumstances or earthly justice. I release all my bitterness to your healing power. Thank you that justice is in your hands.

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe! I appreciate your comments and I hope you will recommend my site to other broken people.

Love and Blessings,
Maureen

Shame is not Welcome Here

shame Shame is a painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, or ridiculous; done by oneself or another. Often times shame is placed on someone by another person’s judgement of them. Shame no longer has a foothold when forgiveness is allowed to complete its restoring work. Shameful thoughts must flee when forgiveness comes in like a flood. 

Here’s some idioms about shame: perhaps, some of these have been directed towards you.  Shame on You (you should feel embarrassed by something you have done), Crying Shame (a very unfortunate situation), Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil (to tell the truth even though you have strong reasons for concealing it), Fool me Once, Shame on you; Fool me twice, Shame on me (after being tricked once, one should be wary, so that the person cannot trick you again).

dogs-dog-shaming1We laugh over dog shaming photos; why would we want to humiliate our furry friends? Yes, dogs do some foolish things, but don’t we all? Let us not let our judgements result in hurtful feelings for others.

 Judge not, that you be not judged. Matthew 7:1 (NJKV)

Whatever pain and shame you may be carrying, you can trust that the Lord is big enough to restore your soul. He will come in the midst of your mess and lovingly enlarge your heart to forgive those who hurt you and to give you strength to forgive yourself.

no condemnation

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1 (NKJV)

Prayer Father, thank you for your restoring love that sets me free from shame and condemnation. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (NJKV) Amen.

Join the conversation! I invite your comments and hope you will recommend my site to other broken people.

Love and Blessings,
Maureen

 

 

Glimpses from the Heavenly Father’s View Master

viewmaster Did you have a View Master as a kid? This photo brings to mind many memories of clicking the lever and delighting in the next photo. Thin cardboard disks, called a reel, contained seven images. Through the years the View Master has remained popular, but now comes in new and improved models.

What images do you think the Heavenly Father’s reel would look like for you?

Here’s what I would like to see on my reel:

sheep - green pastures    For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand. Psalm 95:7

LOVE

We love Him because He first loved us.                 1 John 4:19

bible

 

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

cross

 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

 

Faith + Believe

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.        Jeremiah 29:11 

 

Human Trafficking

 

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.  John 8:36

 

broken heart pieces

 

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

 

 

Submission Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You have made me in Your image. Today, I confess the sin of believing lies that have distorted my Godly Identity and caused me to see myself as less that who I am in You.

Join the conversation! I invite your comments and hope you will recommend my site to other broken people.

Love and Blessings, Maureen