Jesus Archives - Pearls of Promise

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Redeemable by Dr. Lynnette Simm

I have often lamented about my past. I believe most people do. Daydreamed about going back in time so I could un-say something, undo an action, or not have taken that risk, opportunity, or challenge. Unfortunately, there are rarely any do-overs. Yet there are so many, “I wish I hadn’t said that and/or done that.” No one is free from mistakes or regrets.

Recently, a friend of mine was attacked for something they said over thirty years ago, during the time in our lives when we are still learning and discovering the world outside our small bubble. Thirty years ago, there were no internet, social media, or the ever-present cell phones, and yet this person was dragged through the mud, nonetheless. I guess we should have expected it, high profile people, who make history, are easy prey for ridicule and judgment. All that she had been working on for nearly a year crumbled after her past mistake was not only thrown in her face but also blasted on social media for world judgment.

You know what I’m talking about—it’s called cancel culture. Unfortunately, we have seen this all over. Jobs have been lost, lives have been threatened, and people nearly destroyed. The idea that every mistake, or perceived mistake, you have made will define and affect you your whole life is only partly right.

Yes, there should be consequences from our actions, but hopefully, we learn from our mistakes. Hopefully, we mature, grow, and gain wisdom from our mistakes. This can happen when we accept personal responsibility for our actions. This is the part when our past can help define, redeem us, and positively affect our future.

The part of this phenomenon that is wrong, is the all-consuming punishment and disgrace people are being inflicted with. Also, when people are not charged, judged, and convicted by the same standards, then you have some people being ruined and others are given a pass. The crushing part of this cancel culture is that it leaves no room for redemption and no room for grace and forgiveness.

As a woman who does all she can to follow Christ, I am determined to do my best to give grace and forgiveness. I try to help others see where they may have made a mistake, how to rectify it, and how to also give grace and forgiveness. I love reminding others that our Lord, Jesus Christ, forgives and redeems us and continues to help us daily to make the right decisions. And when we don’t and we make a mistake, He allows the consequences to help us learn and grow in His grace.

John 1:29 reminds us that Jesus took the sins of the world for us all. Leviticus 16:30 speaks of a day of atonement where we get to be cleansed of our sins and as Christ-followers, we can do this daily. Psalm 51:10 follows Leviticus by letting us know that He can create a good heart in each of us and renew us with a steadfast spirit. Psalm 103:12 tells us that he does this by removing our sins as far as the East is from the West. 1 John 1:7-9 explains that when we walk with Him, He can purify us. For no one can claim that they are without sin. But He is faithful should we confessed to Him; He will forgive and redeem us. And finally, in Hebrews 8:12 we are reminded that the Lord will forgive each and every one of us and will remember our sins no more.

There is no need, no purpose, and no grace when we cancel a person’s life for mistakes they have made. Our communities, world, and families would be better served learning from our mistakes, growing, and sharing grace and forgiveness, for we are all redeemable.

Categories: Blog

The Steady Foundation by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

I have these bar stools situated near my kitchen. They look good, but I put them together over a year ago, and question their stability. We were having an event in our house (pre-Covid) and my husband was out of town so I took care of the assembly myself, even though the task was overwhelming. I was determined to have the new stools for the party! I realize now that I should have hired a handyman or some kind of an expert to put the furniture together because this type of construction is not my gift. Some parts did not go together right. I forced others, but in the end, this over achiever put the chairs together—yes—but to this day I never sit on them because I know the foundation is a little shaky.

This analogy made me think about our spiritual lives and the foundation we’ve laid. In the midst of the continuing Pandemic, and with word that there are new strains of the virus popping up worldwide, is our construction strong enough to endure added turmoil? What are we doing to shore up our spiritual strength on a daily basis?

The answer is that Jesus is our firm foundation. In Luke 6:47-49, Jesus said, “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

So what does it look like to build a solid foundation? First of all, we need to give our whole being to the expert builder, instead of trying to do life in our own strength. We have an incomplete skill set without Him. Now, more than ever I wake up in the morning and immediately thank the LORD for another day, acknowledge His all encompassing greatness, then worship Him. I also ask Him to provide the strength I need because it’s not easy right now. I want to be more like Jesus.

How did He treat people?

How did He handle crisis?

What was His primary mission?

The only way we can know this is to study His life in the gospels. And most importantly, I desire to stay connected 24/7, seeing all that is going on through His eyes rather than my own. I want to provide hope to others even when hope seems far removed. We can only be lights in the world if we fill ourselves with the light of Christ.

So on what kind of foundation do you have? Maybe you look good on the outside, but inside the parts are not connecting, creating instability. Is the blueprint your own or are you surrendering to the Master Builder? It’s not too late to pour the slab.  

“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).

Categories: Blog

Inner Warrior by Lara Ingram

Picture it. A mom lugging a diaper bag and a baby carseat with a kid and bringing out another toddler to the car. Warrior.

A more mature woman helping nurse her elderly parent. Warrior.

A single woman being a shoulder to cry on for a friend, or an aunt to her nieces and nephews. Warrior.

A retired woman who spends her time volunteering to mentor younger women. Warrior.

A single Mom who has lost her job and discovers her child has a health issue but keeps up the fight. Warrior.

A recent widow stands with her arms raised during worship in front of her kids and grandkids at her husband’s memorial after he suddenly passed from COVID. WARRIOR.

Wonder Woman looks good on the big screen and I’m so glad they gave Linda Carter a cameo appearance in the recently released big screen movie. However, I see real life wonder women everyday as I’m sure you do. 

Doctors, Physician Assistants and Nurses come to mind. My family members and friends are warriors serving in the medical field. In the past year, we have collectively grown in appreciation for them and many others. I think about teachers, daycare workers, and counselors. These women help us do our job to raise little humans.

By “warrior” I mean that we are strong, brave, nurturing, passionate, and relentless in our pursuit to care for one another. 

What would the world be without women? It wouldn’t survive.

There is no day off. Women care for the family and the elderly as well as for one another. We are the social ones who look in on neighbors, host parties and call on the downtrodden. 

There is nothing short of awe-inspiring respect and admiration due women for all that goes on in caring for another human being.

Here’s to all the women out there who are, or have been mothers. To those who may not have biological children, but who have taken on the role of mother to love and care for another. I’m so proud to be on this side of the gene pool and walk among the women warriors. 

There is nothing like being a mother and watching a little human grow in personality and develop in physique and speech. The selfless and constant giving and taking care of children is something to be truly admired. I have a brand new appreciation being on this side of womanhood as a mother.

It makes me take note and think back on all the women who were around me in my early years and now as an adult. I would not be who I am or have accomplished all I have done without women at each stage of my life. I have been encouraged, counseled, held, helped, housed, fed, taught and nurtured by women.

I just want you to simply be reminded of how great of an inner warrior you have! We have so much love to give. If you ever feel you are running short or have hit a wall, Jesus is always the fuel.

Even after all these years, I am learning more about what it really means to have Jesus. He lives in us and does for us. “And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’” (Acts 17:25–28).

When it feels like we are running on empty or tired of giving, STOP DROP AND LET GO! Haha. Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Remember this, you are not alone in this world. When the inner warrior needs to be the nurtured, you have that!!! 

“For we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10)

He’s got you and me! He is not surprised nor can He not handle anything on our plate. 

And let us not give up. In his Christmas message at Gateway Church, special guest Max Lucado said, “We are lights to a broken, hurting world. Don’t give up!”

Let’s celebrate together that God gave us such love and compassion to share. Be blessed my fellow Warrior Women.

Rest in Him. Rest precious Warrior. 

Categories: Blog

Learning from the Wise Men by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Whether it’s Christmastime or the heat of summer, three wise men remain planted in my office. Why? Because it’s a reminder that I desire God’s wisdom every day of the year, 24/7.

But this year, the wise men will carry an additional meaning. Every time I look at them, I want to be prompted to have a heart of worship as they had. I desire to lay all my gifts and talents at the feet of Jesus, in an act of humility and reverence.

According to the U-version devotional “She Works His Way,” the wise men were the ones whom people of influence sought when they needed counsel. They were respected. They were leaders. They were successful. And as they bowed down to worship Jesus, they laid what was valuable to them at His feet.” The magi were probably trusted advisors of a king.

In the article “Five Common Myths about the Three Wise Men Story,” Dwight Longenecker adds more detail. “Kings were in the habit of gathering the best and brightest into an advisory body of wise men, stargazers, and dreamers. Magi are consulted in the book of Daniel, and by Pharaoh in the time of Joseph. The Greek word ‘magi’ indicates these men were astrologers and interpreters of omens—following a star and dreaming dreams.”

Yet, the brightest of the brightest—the best of the best—humbly bowed before Jesus and gave Him their precious gifts.

It’s how I feel about my communication skills. At one time in my life, I used my gifting in the secular world, but God has called me back to media to glorify Him through television, radio and writing. It is an act of worship in which I pray I never take credit.

How has God gifted you? Financially? Artistically? Intellectually? Strategically? Learn from the wise men. Do you seek out Jesus so you can lay your gifts at His feet? Do you pray, Have your way, LORD. These talents are from you in the first place. Show me how to help others and honor you through them.

James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above” so as our celebration of Christmas comes to an end, and we pack up the ornaments in their respected boxes, there’s nothing stopping us from continually seeking Jesus and “re-gifting” our talents back to Him on a daily basis. I cannot think of anything wiser than that.

Categories: Blog

A Christmas Adventure by Betty Brown Simm

Advent was the beginning of adventure. God came to earth to meet us where we are. He asked us to follow out of our weakness, despair, and apathy of the world. 

God shared Jesus, His way for us to find forgiveness, constant love, and heavenly strength. 

Advent is the beginning of adventure, an inner journey of the soul. Challenged by human frailties, we hesitate to step out in faith upon God’s unseen promise. But we follow Jesus, one who has been before, who reaches down, redeems, and restores our worth. 

Advent will always be the beginning of adventure. By listening, learning, believing Jesus we will follow God’s path with His spiritual strength through peaks and valleys, darkness and light. What an AWESOME eternal adventure! 

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By Betty Brown Simm, Beloved Wife, Mother, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother.

Categories: Blog