Saturday morning found me zooming along on my bike to the butcher shop for my weekly shopping. There’s something freeing about relying on your own power to get you around the city, and I love pedaling along the Monon Trail whenever I can. A wrong turn on the way home brought me through this neighborhood. [Read more…]
I recently spent two weeks in Uganda, Africa on a mission trip. Being my third trip to Africa, I have seen more poverty than I imagined existed in this century. I have watched women bake rolls in an underground oven lined with handmade bricks. I have also had the humbling privilege of helping place brand new Bibles in the hands of nearly 200 Africans. Before we gifted the Bibles during my latest trip, my team leader asked if any of them already had a Bible of their own and, out of forty kids, only two raised their hand. When they bowed to thank us, their knees nearly touched the ground. [Read more…]
“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life, I will advise you and watch over you.’” Psalm 32:8NLT
Learning that God had a plan for my life was a relief to me.
I hadn’t done such a good job at it myself, making mistakes along the way, living in fear that I’d never get it right. I soon discovered, however, that knowing He had a plan and following it were two different things. I still felt like something was missing. And it was. [Read more…]
Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord. Psalm 25:7 NLT
These words resonated with me a few mornings ago as I was reading them. I had to stop and go over verse 7 a few times to let it sink in deeply.
You see, for years I struggled with seeing myself as the same girl I was during high school, college, and my young adult years. Even though I was changing, moving on, and growing in my faith, when I thought about myself, the image of who I was in those teen and early 20s seemed to haunt me. While spiritually I was growing, my mindset was not letting me fully embrace those changes and was holding me back. It took me years to let go of this faulty thinking.
I hope this verse will convince you to not wait as long as I did, because … verse 7 is a life changer. Perhaps I can explain it this way.
Photographers will often set the F-stop of their camera to a low number for artistic effect. It brings the desired object into sharp focus but everything in the background becomes a fuzzy blur, like in the picture of the brown-eyed Susan you see here. And you know what, that’s exactly what God does when He looks at each one of us. He sets our F-stop to a low number! Who we are now in Jesus, as one of His beloved children is in sharp focus.Those things we did in the past? Well, to God they’re a blurry blip in the background of our lives. Yes, we may still suffer some consequences from those choices and decisions, but Jesus has removed the stigma from them. When we trust Him to forgive our sins, God now sees us in the light of His unfailing love.
It’s time to move on from old, dead thinking. If you’ve confessed your sins and placed your trust in Jesus to bear the penalty of your sins, then God isn’t the one holding you back. You are. When God looks at you, He doesn’t see the junk in the background of your past. He sees His lovely child standing in front of Him in clear detail. Bask in His love and light today as the person you are now.
Feel free to share your thoughts below, or you can also contact me.
Jane VanOsdol’s work has appeared in Pockets, Small Farmer’s Journal, Woman’s Day, Warner Press publications and numerous online publications. Jane and her sister Mary Kane are the authors of OnlyByPrayer.com and speak together at women’s retreats and seminars. She loves gardening, knitting, reading, biking, and gluten-free goodies. Jane is married to Mark and has a son, daughter, and a son-in-law.
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3
When I take the time to talk to God in the morning and read His word, it makes all the difference in my attitude and heart.
I am at peace.
One of the other Bible versions uses the words “and I look up” instead of “wait in expectation.” This photo taken in my yard this morning is a reminder to me to do just that.
The cardinal creeper is climbing up reaching for the sun. I need to reach for the Son every morning too.