Wednesday, October 31, 2012

paying forward

Let all bitterness
and wrath
and anger
and clamor
and slander be put away from you,
along with all malice.

Be kind to one another,
forgiving one another,
as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:31-32


Monday, October 29, 2012

embracing accusation
the artistry and the message. :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

confession and repentance

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them
will obtain mercy.
Proverbs 28:13

facing the truth
about my wrongs,
no longer self-justifying,
turning to a path
of doing right instead,
this requires courage
and strength.

facing and forsaking 
sometimes requires
more strength and courage
than i think i have.

but there are resources 
outside myself
that are available to me--
and his redeeming grace.

good news for the truly guilty

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement 
that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Friday, October 26, 2012


i just realized that i haven't written anything for two days.

should i feel guilty?


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

i wonder. . .

i wonder why
we associate shame and pain
with guilt?

i wonder why
we don't associate words like
and words like these
with guilt?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

what to do with shame and pain

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison 
to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,

and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lordthat he may be glorified.

Monday, October 22, 2012

forgiving oneself

from the lovely priscilla shirer:  delete

Saturday, October 20, 2012


God. . .
*his* forgiveness

it is.


After a full work week, I'm finally catching up on my blog following.  Here are some of the posts that *coincidentally* surfaced about guilt:

The Joy of Being Forgiven: Grace (from Roy Lessin at Meet Me in the Meadow)

The Joy of Being Forgiven  (also from Roy Lessin)

It's OK, Just Turn Back (from Lisa Croker at Christians Under Construction)

Guilt Perfectionism (also from Lisa Croker)

How Do You Know When You've Done Enough?  (from Holley Gerth at {in}courage)

Friday, October 19, 2012


so before the last council of friends,
i searched the bible program i used:

there were 109 results.
102 in the old testament,
all of them referred
to an objective
or guilty/not guilty kind of guilt,
or to guilt offerings
to be given as a result
of certain offenses.

in the new testament:
7 occurrences,
6 of which refer to Christ
as not having any guilt.

 so i conclude from that
that the hebrew and greek concept of guilt
is narrower than our english one:
it doesn't seem to be related
to a guilty feeling/emotion.
 it seems more objective:
you either did the bad thing
or you didn't.

so i asked the friends what words they associate with that guilty feeling, and here is our short list:
fear of being found out

what kind of words do you associate with that "guilty feeling"?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

guilt transformed

once a person faces
the magnitude of his guilt,
the immensity of the offense against his Creator,
he shatters.

once a person faces
the magnitude of God's love for him,
the immensity of God's forgiveness,
he mends.

How far IS the East from the West, Lord?

Since my blog friend Lisa from Christians under Construction was following along with our quest to overcome feelings of guilt, I invited her to write a guest post of the things God is teaching her about it.  Her message is healing and liberating, and I'm thankful that she was willing to contribute.
     *          *          *          *          *         *
I was so glad Tammie asked me to participate with you all by writing a guest post on what the Lord has shown me in my battle with guilt. This series 31 Days from Guilt to Grace was perfect timing for me personally; Guilt has been a huge area of emotional pain in my life! Although it has significantly changed over this last while I am ready to deal with this issue of lingering guilt once and for all, thank you Tammie.

 I have so much to say on this issue as I tease it out, inspired by my sweet friend, Tammie. So, I am going to be noting some things over on my own blog over the next while. Instead of going over Tammie’s foundational work here on guilt and the same scripture and so on, I am sticking to one point that builds on what she has shared and hopefully adds a little too it.

This scripture is the basis for my post today, it is one we have heard so many times and I know myself that it is one of those scriptures I used to rhyme off and hear a lot but never stop and think “what does that actually mean?” 

 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

To be honest until I really thought about this I thought that was just a nice saying “As far as the east is from the west”... it had no relevance for me. Then, after I allowed my mind to see it as a reality to be understood and not just a pretty expressive saying, I first imagined my arms outstretched as a measure of the distance and to be honest (I am small) it’s not that far is it? So, I pooh-poohed that length of my own short arms example and thought a little bigger... Open a map and go Asia to America.... but that still was finite in my mind, I could still go and retrieve my sins that way lol, it might be a trek but it was doable to a human! Do you ever think this way? 

This scripture reference – so often quoted – began to get under my skin, but in a quiet annoyance type of way. I just did not see how amazingly supernatural this was! How could I ever see the end of my guilt when, I truly repent of my sin and then God just throws it over my shoulder to Asia where I could retrieve it should I really want too... or I would at least know it was not GONE even if I didn’t actually go retrieve it-it was just over there, not too far away!! I thought it was finite! It only takes 3 or 4 hours to get from the East (where I live) to West of Ireland!  [Disclaimer: I did not think God was actually sending all my sins to Asia!]

If I am the only one who thinks backwards like this and has had trouble understanding this practically, I am sorry... and I hope you don’t mind amusing me while I continue? ;)

How far IS the East from the West, Lord?

Have you heard the Casting Crowns song East to West? Let me link it here and post a link to the lyrics below, would you listen to the song and ponder the lyrics with me now? And then we will pick up with my concluding points.


If you have struggled with guilt, especially false guilt, then you understand “But today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from You leaving me this way” 

The song beautifully puts the distance from east to west represented in the incomparable sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for us ... “From one scarred hand to the other”

Jesus paid with His life blood and His broken body for us to be able to hand Him the burden of this worlds system and this original sin carrying flesh we are wearing! When we exchange Our Guilt for His Grace in true repentance, we can be free! We don’t need to carry the guilt of what He has taken from us (in fact taking guilt back and holding it falsely must be like spitting in our Saviours face! If you paid a fine for me and I was set free but stayed in prison despite you that would insult you, wouldn’t it?). He helps us by His Grace, to live each day! Repent and give Him the original burden of sin – take his yolk, then try our best daily with His help and keep a short account! It’s so simple but we complicate it! 

Give it to Him, then.....LET.IT.GO!!!!

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Praise the Lord for this awesome exchange!

So, do you want to know how far, east actually is from the west? I can show you 

I believe the Lord made it very clear for me and I am a visual learner so this exercise will help me to remember in my walk away from carrying unnecessary guilt and into understanding Grace! I pray this visual will help you also and that it blesses you greatly! 

John 8:36 (NIV)

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

guilt redeemed

One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”

“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Luke 7, ESV

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

guilty of breaking God's law

1. don't have any other gods other than the true and living God.
2. don't make or admire imaginary gods or an imaginary idea of the true God.
3.  don't use God's name(s) lightly or flippantly.
4.  have a day of rest and worship.
5.  honor your parents.
6.  don't murder.
7.  don't commit adultery.
8. don't steal.
9.  don't lie.
10.  don't crave other people's stuff or relationships

and our motive?  loving God with all our being, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.

our motives matter.


Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked any thing.

"A guest," I answered, "worthy to be here."
Love said, "You shall be he."
"I the unkind, ungrateful?  Ah my dear,
I cannot look on Thee."
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
"Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marred them:  let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.

George Herbert, 1633

sorrow and guilt

The council of friends met again yesterday morning, bright and early. Over coffee and tea, we discussed our findings of the past week.

First we reviewed Psalm 51, which we had been meditating on.

One friend commented that she had kept her Bible open in her quilting room and read the psalm whenever it caught her eye.  She asked about contrition, which I tried to explain as sincere sorrow over wrong-doing.  In the context, David recorded: a broken and contrite heart [God] will not despise.

Interestingly, I had been also contemplating 2 Corinthians 10:8-10:
For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while.  As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
I read the comment that Lisa made on the post about different sources of guilt (after I gave a bit of her back story for the past couple years to establish her credibility):
I think we should not respond to [sources of guilt] all the same way as every source isn't necessarily truth however, I think the Church at large have removed true guilt as the baby with the bath water type situation - we need to know we are sinners and feel the wrong from right when we actually are guilty so we can be broken before God about it and repent! yet learning we are then forgiven so guilt has been washed from us and we shouldn't carry it away with us...

I think because we don't often know how to deal with our true guilt - we end up with a guilt complex which is then put on situations it shouldn't be - feeling guilty when a situation isn't actually our fault, blaming ourselves cos we feel we have to, or accepting Satans lies in our ear

it's a tough one isn't it xx 

I also shared the quote from the Going Beyond facebook page which is the body of the previous blog post.

 Another friend shared how in her meditation of Psalm 51, God had been showing her that she only had control over herself in her circumstances, and not  over the circumstances or the other people involved.

May God have mercy on us all, and free us to live in joy and freedom.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

discerning the difference

I gleaned this treasure from Going Beyond with Priscilla Shirer on Facebook:

“The Enemy’s voice can cause you to feel guilt with no clear means of relief. Nothing but heaviness and hopelessness, often with no specific connection to a particular sin. Just...there. Take that! But when the Spirit brings conviction - which is many times the purpose of His personal message to you - He will also bring you a road map, a way back, a way out. He has no desire to pummel you and
prevent you from getting up again. Far from wanting to harm you, He is initiating freedom and blessing in your life.

With Him, there is “no condemnation” (Romans 8:1). No ridicule.

Total love. Love for you.

You’ll know the Spirit is speaking to you personally about your sin when the feeling you get is not despair but a fresh desire for holiness and purity. You’ll know it’s God when He’s calling you back to His side, not tossing you out like yesterday’s garbage.”

- Discerning the Voice of God, p. 100


guilt was the grace
that taught my heart to fear.
symptom of a deeper problem,
guilt made me examine
the crimes that i had committed
against the Ruler of the universe.

love was the grace
that relieved my fears.
the sacrificing mercy
and embracing affection
brought reconciliation
with my Father in heaven.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Create in me a clean heart, 
O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
and sinners will be converted to You.

Friday, October 12, 2012

sources of guilt

The first week, as I meditated and prayed about understanding the source of guilt, I came up with the following:
*breaking God's law (principally thinking of the 10 commandments)
*breaking government laws, school rules, employment policies
*failing to meet people's expectations or ideals and facing their criticism or disappointment
*failing to meet my own ideals, self-made rules, perfectionism.

Later I remembered another:  the accusation of Satan in our spirits.

Should we respond to all these sources of evil in the same way?

Should we be motivated by guilt?

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part 
You will make me know wisdom.
Purify me with hyssop,
and I shall be clean;
Wash me,
and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have  broken
Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.

David, Psalm 51, ESV

the council of friends

I asked a group of my friends together for a council on what is the mental burden that most weighs us down, crippling our ability to think and act productively.

I had two-fold motivation in gathering this council.  First, I was growing increasingly aware through a series of articles on the {in}courage that I was in need of integrating in a community.  Second, the thought-provoking Bloom book club selection currently is a book by Jen Hatfield titled 7.  The book is about reducing the excess in our lives to make more room for God and others.  The impetus to blog about this topic came from The Nester's 31 day challenge for October.  As you can see, I'm a little late, but I'm hoping to complete 31 blog posts even if I don't make the 31 days.  :)

I invited friends whom I trusted to be honest and kindly and whom I perceive as seekers of Truth.  When I began the discussion with my council of friends, I assumed maybe anxiety or fear would be our topic, since it can be a big one for me.  However the overwhelming response was that preoccupation with guilt burdens our thoughts and emotions.

So I began my inquiries.  My goal is to understand God's mind and heart about our guilt.  The resources are prayer, scripture, meditation, and the wisdom that can be gleaned from those who are further along this path than I am.

So.  I'm looking forward to growing through both the highs and lows of this adventure from guilt to grace.


Be gracious to me, O God,
according to your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of your compassion
blot out my transgression.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when you judge.

~David, Psalm 51