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RubyMARCH2017


Prayer

Who’s Having The Last Laugh Now?

 
Do you like watching America’s Funniest Home Videos? I do. It never gets old watching people’s antics, especially when they go wrong.
 
Most of the situations are harmless, although I’m sure some have led to an ambulance ride or two.
 
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It’s one thing to laugh at someone else’s expense for giving their six year old a bat for a piñata and then standing too close when the boy starts swinging.
 
It’s another thing to laugh at someone’s misfortune or pain.
 
Think about the recent divorce of Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The media have made a joke of their family’s crisis because, as some have claimed, Brad and Angelina started seeing each other while Brad was still with Jennifer Aniston, costar of the mega hit 90s TV sitcom Friends. Suddenly,  we hear…
 

  • He had it coming to him.
  • What goes around comes around.
  • Serves him right.
  • Karma is a (blank).
  • Jennifer’s having the last laugh.

 
I don’t know whether Jennifer is having the last laugh. But when I feel wronged, my initial response is to lash out, to get the final word, to see the person get what’s coming to them.
 

I want to have the last laugh.

 
Normal? Yes. Healthy? No.
 
When we rejoice in the misfortune of others–however small or great, we hurt still. We have not recovered. Our wounds are infected and need healing.
 
We know we’ve recovered when seeing the misfortune of those who’ve hurt us saddens us too.
 
Compassion, not criticism, reveals healing.
 
Compassion doesn’t come quickly. It delays. It meanders its way to us. Compassion remembers what pain feels like.
 
What to do? Ignore the hurt? Pretend it didn’t happen? Shrug it off? No. Feel the pain. Voice it out to God. Expose your feelings of betrayal before Him. Trust Him with your raw hurt.
 
Then…and you’ll know when, pray for them, that God will draw them closer to Him, that He would meet their needs, that He would heal their wounds. That He would bless them.
 
Yes–bless them.
 
For example, Job prayed for “friends” who criticized, insulted, and blamed him for all the tragedy in his life. The Bible says “the Lord released Job from captivity when he prayed for his friends” (Job 42:10a).
 
Our hurts hold us captive when we want to have the last laugh on those who’ve hurt us or our loved ones. God can release us from that captivity just like He did for Job.
 

 
The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part…. Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so Job died, an old man and full of years. (Job 42:12, 17)
 

 
Job lived peacefully. He enjoyed life. He laughed–a lot.
 
Can you hear his laughter? It isn’t a “you’ll get yours” type of laugh. It’s a laughter of healing, freedom, and compassion.
 
Job chose his last laugh. You can too.
 
 
Come alongside… Has someone hurt you or a loved one? Are you waiting to have the last laugh? How can you start healing from this hurt? How can you pray for the person who hurt you or those you love? Do you have a story of a time you prayed for someone who hurt you? Comment below in the box that says, “Leave a reply.” Remember you can comment anonymously.
 
 

Forgive and forget? Not really. (Part 1)

 
Hi, friends!
 
forgiveforgetrev1
Do you “forgive and forget?”
 
 
Lately, I keep seeing and hearing people tell each other to “forgive and forget” wrongs others have committed against them. Although I’ve heard that saying since I was a wee one, the more I hear it, the more I don’t agree with it. Well, part of it, anyway.
 
 

Should I forgive? Absolutely!

Choosing to forgive doesn’t mean the other person did nothing wrong. On the contrary! It means yes, he–or she–wronged you in one way or another. When you forgive, you acknowledge that someone did hurt you.

  • They lied about you.
  • They abused you.
  • They took you for granted.
  • They ignored you.

 
Forgiveness says…
 
 

“You hurt me!”

 
 
But forgiveness goes further. It also says…
 
 

“I’m not going to hurt you back.”

 
 
When you forgive someone, you tell yourself, “I won’t let what so-and-so did fester. I won’t let myself get bitter. I won’t let myself take revenge. (Yes, revenge includes giving them the silent treatment.)”
 

Don’t pay back evil with evil. (Romans 12:17)
 

 
Forgiveness says you have suffered from someone’s words or actions. It doesn’t mean you deny or diminish what you’re feeling:
 

  • “Oh, it’s okay.”
  • “It’s no big deal.”
  • “I’ll get over it.”
  • “Whatever.”

 
Forgiveness says, “Oh, I feel it… Every. Single. Day. But today–for this moment, I will not get them back. I will feel all of this pain. I will cry, I will kick, I will scream. And when I’m done, I’ll be a little more free.” Yes, free!
 
Our hurts are alive. We can’t bury them. They need to come out one way or another; that’s why God tells us not to ignore them.
 

My people are broken – shattered! – and they put on band-aids, Saying, ‘It’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine.’ But things are not ‘just fine’! (Jeremiah 6:14)
 

 
When you let out your hurts, when you thrust them up to God, you move one step closer to being released from the burden of that pain. Forgiveness makes that happen. Forgiveness helps you to process those feelings for however long it takes. And yes, sometimes, forgiveness takes a long time; it doesn’t all happen at once. But when it does–when forgiveness is complete, after umpteen times of crying, kicking, screaming, praying to God, you’ll suddenly realize…
 
 

“Hey, it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it did before.”

 
 
That’s what forgiveness does. That’s what God wants for us all. That’s what He wants for you.
 
 
 
 
So… yes, I agree with the “Forgive” part of “Forgive and forget.” But do I agree with the “and forget” part? I’ll address that in my next post. In the meantime…
 
 
 
Come alongside… Do you have someone to forgive? Will you? Why or why not? Please comment in the box below. Remember, you can comment anonymously.
 
 
 


Related Products

 
 

The Five Languages of Apology (Audible Audio Edition)


List Price: $17.95 USD
New From: $10.95 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

 
 

I Just Want to Hear Your Voice

 

Last night, I tossed and turned. Stared at the clock. Tried to get comfortable. Fluffed my pillow. Snuggled up in a fetal position. Still couldn’t seem to get there.

 

 

1:05

 

1:30

 

2:15

 

2:45

 

3:10

 

 

Sigh.

 

I guess that’s what I get for drinking coffee, which is not a “regular” thing for me. I’m usually a decaf person. 😉

 

In the past, I’ve breathed deeply, tried to clear my head, counted sheep. Even cried.

 

Although I’m not always consistent with it, one thing I’ve started to do whenever I can’t sleep is to pray. Have you tried praying when you can’t sleep?

 

  • For your husband.
  • Family.
  • Children.
  • Friends.
  • Work.
  • Finances.
  • Missionary friends.
  • Pastors and church leaders.
  • Situations and circumstances—you know, the stuff of life.
  • Oh, and for yourself.

 

You can also thank and praise God when you can’t sleep.

 

  • For His faithfulness.
  • Forgiveness.
  • His love.
  • Jesus Christ.
  • Food, shelter.
  • Protection.
  • Not giving me what I deserve.
  • Giving me blessings I didn’t—and couldn’t—earn.

 

God doesn’t sleep, dear one. He still works when we are fast asleep—or wide awake.

 

 

The one who watches over you … never tires and never sleeps (Psalm 121:3-4).

 

 

Isn’t that reassuring? God watches over you! Even during the nighttime hours, He’s working things out for your good, for the good of your family, for someone you might not have thought of in years. Sometimes, He wants to hear from you in the middle of the night: What’s on your mind, what’s worrying you, what’s exciting you lately. So he gently nudges you awake. “I want to hear your voice. Can we talk?” Or if you’re already tossing and turning, “Hi, wanna talk?” He longs for it!

 

 

O my beloved, lingering in the gardens, how wonderful that your companions can listen to your voice. Let me hear it, too! (Song of Solomon 8:13)

 

 

Let me hear your voice. Your voice is so sweet. Your face is so lovely. (Song of Solomon 2:14)

 

 

 

Wow! God longs to hear from you. He desires your heart–and your voice–during your busy day and restless night. To Him, “Every syllable you speak [is] a delicacy to savor” (Song of Solomon 4:11). Oh, how He loves you!

 

 

 

I could’ve had too much coffee. Or maybe God wanted to talk. Or both. Regardless, He wanted to hear my voice. And I, His.

 

 

Afterward, sweet dreams.

 

 

Come alongside: How do you handle insomnia? Do you pray when you can’t sleep? Do you have a testimony of unknowingly praying for someone during the night, later learning that, at that very moment, they needed prayer? Or maybe you were on the receiving end. Please share with us in the comments. Remember, you can comment anonymously if you so choose.

 
 


 

Related Products

 

 

S.T.E.P. away from bad habits

Do you have an unhealthy habit? You know… The one that makes you say, “Ugh. I did it again!”

 

  • I ate the things I told myself I would not eat.
  • I acted out in anger when I vowed I wouldn’t.
  • I stayed inside all day when I told myself I would—at the very least—take a walk around the block.

 

Those are some of mine. What are yours?

 

Listen to Paul—a great man of faith:

 

I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate.

 

I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong…

 

But I can’t help myself….

 

When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. (Romans 7:15-19)

 

 

Talk about frustration and disappointment.

 

Sometimes, the mere idea of changing an unhealthy habit seems daunting, doesn’t it? After all, I can’t throw away all my food and start all over. And I can’t keep silent all day so I won’t spout out in anger. And walk around the block? That’s just too much effort right now.

 

 

So how can we tackle our unhealthy habits, then?

 

S.T.E.P. away.

 

Swap it out.

Many times, we pick up our unhealthy habits again because we didn’t replace them with a healthier habit. And when we do give in, the Bible says it’s usually worse (Matthew 12:43-45). For me, that means replacing processed foods with more wholesome, natural foods. That way, when I get a craving for something sweet, I have a natural alternative that I can turn to—not empty calories that I’ll later regret. What can you swap?

 

 

Thank your supporters in advance.

Sometimes telling our closest friends or family members what we’re trying to do and thanking them in advance for their support can help us change our unhealthy habits. When our loved ones see we’re trying to improve ourselves, they can be our biggest cheerleaders. That might not always be the case, so it’s important to choose our cheerleaders carefully. For me, that could mean sharing with my family that I’m trying to work on my anger and I would appreciate any support they can give me. Who can you recruit as a cheerleader?

 

 

Easy does it.

It’s difficult to make drastic changes to our ingrained habits. So it’s best to start small. In my example, instead of saying I’m going to walk around the block, I can break that down by focusing on the things that need to happen before I can walk around the block. I could say, “Today, I will simply put on my shoes.” It might not be a big deal to some, but for people who struggle with depression, putting on our shoes can be that step in the right direction to get us outside and then to walk around the block and beyond. Celebrate these small victories. Remember Zechariah 4:10: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.” What is your small beginning?

 

 

Pray, pray, pray.

Unhealthy habits are bigger than we are or else we would have already given them up. But thanks be to God that He is bigger than anything we could face—including our bad habits. The key is continuous communication with our Higher Power, Jesus Christ. With Him, all things are possible. Without Him, we are powerless.

 

 

It won’t be easy, but when you S.T.E.P. away from your bad habits, you’ll soon change your “Ugh, I did it again” to “Yes, God did it again!”

 

STEP away from bad habits

 

 

Come alongside…. Do you have an unhealthy habit you would like to change? What is it? Which S.T.E.P. can you focus on today? Remember, you can comment anonymously.

 
 


 

Related Book

 
 

 

Comfort… Coming Right Up! Er, Down!

 

Ever have someone tell you just what you needed to hear—without your asking?

 

It happened to me just a few minutes ago.

 

I’ve posted about my fear of publishing my very own book. I start then I stop. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. Right now, I’m stopped.

 
Comfortrev
 
I’ve been praying about this because I know that this is what I’m supposed to do–and I want to do it! So I’ve been cuddling up to God the way I’ve posted before so that He’s the only One I see and hear, cheering me on the way He knows best. That’s when I’ve been able to start again.

 

This morning, a writer friend shared this on Facebook:

 

Say it to yourself!

Note 2 Self: No matter how afraid, indecisive, uncomfortable or anxious I am about my path, as long as I keep moving I will always make progress.

 

 

I really needed to hear that!

 

I didn’t expect anything more because I had already received the comfort I needed to take another step toward my goal. But when I thanked her, she comforted me even more.

 

All it takes is one step at a time. That’s how you get to your destination! It took me awhile to write my book. I’d be inspired one second and then once I got closer to completing it I would stop. Once I put aside my fear and anxiety over who would buy it, how would it be perceived, etc. and just finished and published it for the simple fact that it was something I set out to do, then everything else was easy. Most times the voices in our head that keep feeding us doubts and fears don’t know what they’re talking about! LOL

 

 

This is just what I’ve needed to get up, head to the office supply store, buy a pack of printer paper, and print out what I have so far.

 

 

What comfort!

 

 

Dear ones, God places people on our paths for specific reasons. Sometimes, we comfort them. Today, I was the one who needed comfort—though no one knew.

 

Isn’t God good? He knows just what we need even when we can’t put it into words ourselves.

 

Also, the Spirit helps us with our weakness. We do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself speaks to God for us, even begs God for us with deep feelings that words cannot explain. (Romans 8:26)

 

 

Once He hears us, He goes into action.

 

I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking to me about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! (Isaiah 65:24)

 

 

Dear ones, He answered my prayers–yet again!

 

I pray blessings on that special person who used her passion for helping others to speak comfort and inspiration into my life just when I needed it most.

 

Today, someone came alongside me. And today, I come alongside you: God is listening–hang in there. Comfort’s coming right up–er, down!

 

 

Come alongside… Has this happened to you? Has someone shared with you something you needed to hear at the very moment you needed it? Scroll down and share it with us in the comments section.

 
 


 

Movies about Encouraging Others

 
 

 

Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Life is Good, Positive Promotions, BloomThat, CesarsWay, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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