I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

An Exceedingly Gracious Gift

This summer, in our women's Sunday School class, we have been studying Biblical Womanhood. My eyes have been opened to many things during this time, but the one thing that stands out like a shining star is the FACT that God has given us a great gift in REPENTANCE.

My idea of repentance has always been a typical Webster's definition: "to turn from sin and resolve to reform one's life. to feel sorry for (something done) : REGRET."

And while this definition is correct, it's not nearly that simple. Repenting can become a ritual, like saying "I'm sorry" just to avoid further conflict. Repentance can be mere words with no heartfelt reversal of actions or it can be temporary, a fleeting moment of conscience.

It's no fun to repent. It means you have to bare your soul. If it's to another human, it's humiliating. But if it's to God, it can be downright heart rending. In prayer, repenting used to be so painful that I dreaded "that part". It was especially hurtful when you kept confessing habitual sin. (Which, of course, means that you said "I am sorry", but didn't take the next step....actually reform.)

Saying all that brings me to the point here...repentance is a continual process in a Christian's life. God has done His part. He has "imputed my sin to my substitute (Jesus), and hast imputed His righteousness to my soul..", but in my day to day earthly Christian walk, I am still stained with sin. I am so sinful that sometimes (most times) I don't even repent for the right reason.

 BUT, God is faithful and every day He rewards me with His incomparable grace and allows me to approach His throne and REPENT. As I do so, I receive His forgiveness and His strength, through the Holy Spirit to persevere. What a gift to a Christian...to be able to recognize sin, call it what it is and ask for forgiveness. And the "cherry on the top" is that we are given renewed strength day after day.

" Grant me never to lose sight of
the exceeding sinfulness of sin,
the exceeding righteousness of salvation,
the exceeding glory of Christ,
the exceeding beauty of holiness,
the exceeding wonder of grace."

(The Valley of Vision, p. 136-137)

Grace and peace to you,

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Don't Let the Sun Set On Your Anger...

It is true that you don't know how much you appreciate something until it's gone. That's the case with rain! We have been without rain for weeks now. Summer in the south has been humid and dry at the same time. And did I mention, HOT?

For two days in a row, we suddenly received super showers. They weren't prolonged periods of rain, but what a blessing of refreshing they were.

 Have you ever had periods in your life like this? The problems seem like they will never end? You are "parched" and need just a cup of water. (Sometimes, I'd even settle for a drop.) That's where I found myself not too long ago. I wanted to share this "thorn in the flesh" in the hope that maybe it would be encouraging to you in some small way.

God's Word is ALWAYS correct. We can dodge it, try to hide from it, deny it, but in the end, if you know anything about God's Word, you know it's right. Case in point here. Several years ago, I got my feelings hurt...not only at the work place but also at church. People I thought were my friends, weren't. People I trusted, disappointed me. People I loved deserted me when I needed them most.

Now, if you are a friend, don't try to decide if you were one of them. That's not the point here. Just stay with me and let me get this out there. I have been a Christian for over 60 years, I know the Bible is clear about how to handle situations like this. You are to go to that person who has offended and speak eyeball to eyeball. You are to try and clear the problem up before it becomes a festering sore. You are NOT to let the sun go down while still being angry. You are to go in love and try to restore peace....even if it is NOT your fault. You are not to pout or try to get people on your side. That is called dissension and it is a destroyer.

And that is exactly what I did....I pouted, I misspoke, I got so angry that I dreaded going to work and worse, I didn't want to go to church. Did my actions make things better for me..or for anyone? Of course not. I felt as though I was walking in a desert. I needed just a drop of water. I needed a Friend.
(Read Ephesians 4.)

Then it happened. I went back to church. And one day, I went back to Sunday School. And the next thing I knew I felt refreshed. I felt pardoned. I felt forgiven. My prayer life, while not perfect, has been a Godsend. I have had a paradigm shift.  The way I face the day is completely different. I have no desire to relive the events that shattered my confidence and my friendships, except to help someone out there who might be struggling in this area. Do I care what you think of me as I write this? Certainly, but not in the way you might imagine. I was given the thirst quenching drink of forgiveness...maybe not from man but more importantly from our Heavenly Father. I want you to feel that forgiveness also.

People are people. They are sinners. Some have accepted that Jesus died for their sins and are saved from those sins. Some have not yet accepted Him. Some will not. But that's not my call. All I can do is to use the Bible as my "playbook". Read and study it and find the answers to problems that seem to be swirling all around. Whether there is or isn't a definite answer spelled out...give it to God. He knows best. He is my Savior and Friend...even when nobody else provides rain (provision)...He Will. He answers prayer...I believe it, I have seen it, I am a witness to you...He answers prayer.

A forgiven friend,