The ability to hear one’s heart thru all the stuff
~ Mr. Doug
Thoughts from a painter about: “O-Fence” (offenses)
Offenses will come to all of us. If left unchecked, they can build a fence of hurt accompanied with a cynical entrusting view on life. We become carpenters – adding a picket for each life event and person that has let us down until we are completely walled in spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and relationally.
Here are some trade secrets that have helped me:
POWER WASH IT! Look at the “O-Fence”. Blast it with high pressure! Pour your heart out passionately to God about the injustice. If you created the problem, and we usually do, ask forgiveness… Psalm 62:8. Also, vent with a wise objective friend.
LET IT DRY! Give it some time to gain perspective. This happens in our quiet places with God.
PAINT IT! Cover it in God’s Word. The event never goes away. How we respond to it, is our choice.
Scriptures: Ephesians 4:31-32; 1 John 1:9; Luke 17:3-4; Matthew 6:14-15; Colossians 3:13
If you have constructive ways that you have dealt with offense, please share. I know it will help others.
~ Mr. Doug
I gazed out the patio window longing to catch a glimpse of the beauty of God’s creation as it always lifts my spirit and fills me with peace.
When I moved to Sault Ste. Marie, I had to get an apartment quickly. I did not have time to be fussy, so I claimed the first one I could find. It was the middle of an extremely cold winter, and when I looked out the patio window, all I could see was snow.
When spring arrived, the snow began to melt away, and the scene changed. With revulsion, I looked on as a junkyard materialized. My balcony view would not be one of beauty. Doug and I had a few laughs when comparing my view in the Sault to the view in the backyard of our home in Alpena, Michigan overlooking Lake Huron.
As the snow melted away and the leaves began to grow, the balcony view changed again. Breaking through the junk were daubs of beauty. The grass grew, and the lower bushes flourished. Now the junk is almost covered by lush greenery, and only a few places showcase the ugliness of rusty car parts advertising that junk is still in the mix.
Beauty in the junk is like our lives. We all can choose where we focus our attention. Do we focus on the junk or the beauty in our lives? When we focus on junk, it steals our joy. When we focus on beauty, joy arises.
Daily we encounter hardships and blessings at the same time. We wake up in the morning, and a distressing situation in our lives steals our joy. We do have a choice. We can awake and thank God for another day, a bed, food, family, and so much more.
While touring North America with an evangelical band, one of the team always had a knack of seeing the best in whatever was around us. One night we pulled into a run-down hotel; immediately, this young lady was looking at a beautiful tree beside the RV. Her focus was not on the junk hotel but the beauty of God’s creation. I watched her through the months and consistently saw that no matter how ugly or negative a situation was, she saw beauty and would thank God for it instead of complaining and focusing on the junk.
If you want to change your mood or attitude, consistently focus on the beauty in the junk, and you will notice a transformation in your life. Our perspective changes who we are and how we feel. When we are thankful for the beauty in the junk, our minds don’t have time to complain and feel sorry for ourselves. Instead, a heart of thankfulness for beauty and good things fills us with joy.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-10 NLT)”
~ Lady Esther