Monthly Archives: April 2016

God’s Gift to the World

4:28:16 God's gift to world

“Oh, she thinks she’s God’s gift to the world.”

Have you ever heard someone say that? Or said it yourself? I know I have. When I have made that snarky comment, I really mean, “She is soooo conceited. She is totally self-focused. She only cares about what matters to her. She never thinks about anyone but herself.”

HMMM. “Self-focused”? “Always thinking about herself”? Sounds a lot like me sometimes, especially when I am having a pity party. (BTW, my pity party may have many invitees, but only one person will show up: me!)

God’s gift to the world.
In my prayers this morning, I learned to see that phrase, “God’s gift to the world,” in a whole different light. I was sharing my discouragement and discontent with God, (OK complaining ☺ He is such a patient listener!) and then I felt Him telling me:

“You are my blessing to the world. To the people you touch, the lives you reach. You alone can touch and reach people in your own unique way.”


You know, when you look at it like that, every person is God’s gift to the world. We are each unique creations. No one can love someone else exactly like we can. And no one else will have the encounters we have this day. Because we will never pass this way again.

Each person is unique, and each moment is unique.

Each encounter is an opportunity to love someone in our own unique way.

You, my dear friend, are God’s gift to the world. So today, have a blast blessing those around you in your own unique way!

Enjoy who you are. Love the person in front of you. Live in the abundance of God’s love.

I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

Catch & Release

4:21:16 SM Catch & ReleaseCatch and Release

by Lydia Floren

My friend Derek is really good at catching fish. He actually enters fishing contests (I didn’t even know there was such a thing) and wins. One time he won a truck—a new truck, mind you. In a fishing contest. Amazing. Now me? Not so much. I can literally count on one hand the number of fish I have caught in my whole life. (And not for lack of trying.)

Catch and Release

So frankly I have never quite understood the reason for catch and release rules – where you actually catch a fish and then throw it back in the water. This makes no sense. If I manage to hook a fish, by goodness I ought to be able to do whatever I want with it. (Not that I really know what to do with one when I catch it!) But apparently there are lots of people (like Derek) out there who actually catch enough fish that someone had to enact this “catch and release” rule, just to keep the fish population at a healthy level, so all of us other poor shmo’s might have a fighting chance of hooking our third or fourth lifetime fish.

My personal catch and release rule

But I have my own personal “catch and release” rule, that makes infinitely more sense to me. Here’s my logic: if I catch a fish, and I just leave it lying around – I don’t either cook it and eat it or put it in the freezer – pretty soon the whole house will start to stink. There are very few smells worse than the stench of rotting fish. My catch and release rule is very pragmatic:

If by some miracle you catch a fish, and aren’t going to do something with it, you better release it, so it doesn’t stink up the house.

Catching sin, releasing guilt

Lots of times, when I “catch” the truth that I have sinned, I let it hang around, stinking up my life with guilt and shame. Why? Maybe

  • Pride. I can’t believe that I could do – or did do – something like that. So I deny it.
  • Self-punishment. By some warped thought process, I think if I keep it around, and beat myself up enough, maybe that will make it OK.
  • Control. I am trying to fix it myself. I worry over it, trying to figure out how to make it go away. Instead of fixing it, it just sits there. Stinking.

God wants us to catch, and then release our sin – to be free of it – every day.

Today, ask God to show you where you have sinned, and then catch it:  Admit it to yourself and to Him. Choose to receive His forgiveness. Let Him take it – and you – off the hook.

And then release it. Let it go. Let go of guilt and shame, of regrets and should-have’s. Let go of the idea that you can make this right on your own. Let go of control, and let God lead you in how to be permanently rid of this sin-habit, so it doesn’t stink up your life.

God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong. 1 John 1:9

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36