Tag Archives: restoration

Human Failure

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Only human.  This quote accurately portrays humans as imperfect beings vulnerable to failure.  As we travel through life, it is clear that some of these human failures can be devastating.  Thankfully, relationships we have made with others as we journey provide the necessary framework needed to make forgiveness and restoration possible.  In matters with eternal consequences, it is a personal relationship with God, not a membership in religious institution that provides authentic hope for forgiveness and restoration of the human soul.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.  Hebrews 11:1 NLT

 

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He Restores my Soul

img_20161004_0909145_rewind_kindlephoto-1385025841I finished reading a nail-biter by Terri Blackstock called, Trial by Fire.  Granted, it was a fictional tale but Terri is a Christian author who is compelled to share her faith in her writing.  In the Afterword section of the book, Terri shares her devotional experience from a phrase found in the 23rd Psalm.  He restores my Soul

“Always before, I dwelled on the verse before it, about his leading me beside the quiet waters.  That is, after all, a wonderful thought in such a stressful, noisy world.  And I’ve pondered the verse after it, about the Lord guiding me in paths of righteousness.  That’s particularly important to someone like me, who has no sense of direction.

“But this is the first time I’ve lingered on his restoring my soul.

“And I realized that he does, in such a merciful way.  He has restored my soul when I’ve beaten and bruised it through my careless actions and terrible choices.  He has restored my soul when I’ve allowed it to run empty, and he’s restored it when I’ve filled it up with things it wasn’t meant to hold.  He has restored my soul when others have crushed it.  He has restored it when there was no hope for restoration.

“And I wondered what my life would look like now, if I had never allowed that restoration.  What if I had pushed God away when he reached down for me like a daddy reaching for his toddler?  What if I had not reached up to him, allowing him to lift me?  What if I had not laid my head on his shoulder?

“Where would I be if I’d had to take the punishment I deserved for the sins I committed, and if I’d had to walk through life without that perfect, unconditional love?  What if I’d had to face a future eternity with only hopelessness and fear?

“Thank God for Jesus Christ, who loved me so much that he took that punishment for me, cleaned my slate, restored my soul…”

Terri Blackstock, pp 339-340

I am continually amazed at the number of places one can encounter God’s food for the soul.

Something for nothing!

Anyone with a Kindle is welcome to pick up a copy of my book, Junior’s Hope, available free of charge from October 4th (today) through October 8th on Amazon.com. My way of saying thanks to 51B5mNZSEjL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_those who have supported me in my writing endeavors.

Restored

Our Adirondack chairs were in terrible need of refinishing last summer but I put it off. Having done similar work on my deck a number of times, I knew first hand the amount of work involved. So far this summer was proving to be no different. Yet, I would harbor no guilt until probably mid-January when the snow began piling up on their oversized arms.

More than a decade of exposure to the elements left the screws rusted and many nails loosened. The wood itself was cracked in some places and heavily grooved throughout where the softer portions were more easily worn away. There was a certain charm to the chairs’ rugged, aged appearance. I could see them being used as subjects in a painting or housed in a museum. But, since we planned to keep using them something had to be done.

Last week my wife plunged into the restoration project. I joined her in time to apply the finish and sealer. While we were working together, a song came on the radio, Flawless, by Mercy Me. Have you heard it?  It has one of those choruses that stay in your head…

IMG_0349No matter the bumps
No matter the bruises
No matter the scars
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless

No matter the hurt
Or how deep the wound is
No matter the pain
Still the truth is
The cross has made                    
The cross has made you flawless

Restoring the chairs to their intended purpose while listening to inspirational lyrics made it hard not to do a little personal reflection. I was reminded that when God makes us right with him, he is in effect restoring us to our intended purpose. In my mind that purpose includes loving God with all that is in us, and loving our neighbors as we already love ourselves. (Matthew 22:40)

Later, I found another couple more verses…

This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. Colossians 1:21-22 NLT

I guess I need stop and ask myself once in a while, am I letting the storms I encounter in my life fashion me into a charming, but unusable museum piece or am I letting God work in my life restoring me to the purpose for which I was made?