Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I grew up in a church that taught you could lose your salvation and at a time when legalism rather than grace was the mood in most churches. I went so far as to develop a list of "thou shalt nots" that was largely regional and temporal and thought that, as long as I obeyed those rules, I didn't have to fear losing my salvation. God performed major surgery on my heart to show I am not only dead to sin but also alive to Christ, and I should live in freedom.

Add to all of that, an abusive childhood made me think that if only I could be perfect, I would not suffer abuse. False thinking, but it branded itself on my heart.

Needless to say, perfection is word I shy away from.

But in reading about the kings, it seems like so many almost got it right. They began well until at some point late in their reigns, they slipped up.  After they messed up, God sent judgment and military defeat, illness, family troubles, and in some cases, death.

In other words--unless they were perfect, all the years of their lives--they didn't please God.

I have to ask . . . if that is what  God expected of the kings . . . does He expect the same thing of me today?

I've talked before about subjects I'd rather not approach. This is one I'd really rather avoid, because it hits too close to something that has had me worried upside down and inside out this week. My son confronted me about some poor choices that I've made, making me wonder if I've "squandered" my life writing. I've let so  many truly important things slide in the pursuit.

I know that no man (except Jesus Christ) is perfect. I know that conviction is of God, that I will suffer the consequences of my choices, but forgiveness is mine if I but confess.

A friend shared this list with me, which helped me to see the difference between my reaction (I'm so terrible, I should stop writing altogether) to how God would correct me:

The truth was obvious, clear--and it stilled and reassured me.

Perhaps in summary, the best strategy is to follow King Jotham's example: Jotham's strength was rooted in his steady and determined life of obedience to God. 2 Chronicles 26:6  Not perfect, but steady, determined. Perhaps I can hope for that.

P.S. The list isn't original with me. It was sent to me by Leslie Sowell, but I don't believe she wrote it either. So, thank you, anonymous encourager!


  1. Love the list!! Thank you or sharing! Sending you a big hug and a ton of peace.

  2. Darlene...I tried to encourage you, and yet you have encouraged me just now! Great insight. I shared on my FB. Bless your openness!

  3. Marti, Linda: Thanks for stopping by and leaving a word.

  4. That hits very close to my OWN heart - in so many ways. THANK YOU - and sons (who know everything) don't know everything. They are not the still small voice that kept encouraging you. xoxo

  5. Kathleen, I am so glad this encouraged you.

  6. Steady and determined. Those are two qualities that you truly have, my friend. Sometimes I think of how consumed I get with my writing, to the exclusion of other things I find, at times. I think of how in my quest to write, as the perfectionist that I am, how easily I could fall into the trap of getting sucked into the vortex. Sometimes in our quest to do something so well and diligently we can lose sight of other things. When someone gives me a challenge or calls me on something I have to be careful to train my thoughts not to go to such an extreme that I feel defeated. That list is great! God's truth is what should guide us when we take our concerns to Him.

  7. Nope, I didn't write it. Its clear that someone was journaling (on the original image shared its clear that there is writing on the back of the page) but I have absolutely no idea who it originated with.