The Intent of This Blog

This blog is intended to be a tool for the growth of whoever wants to use it. It is a daily journal intended to help us be more introspective. Every day I will do my best to supply a motivational quote, a Bible verse, a vocabulary word, and a personal message from myself. Use these if you like as motivation to improve yourself. Then, simply answer the daily questions provided honestly and see if it has an impact on your life. Zig Ziglar said, "If you don't have daily objectives, you qualify as a dreamer." Lets not be just dreamers but doers. Remember Martin Luther King Jr not only had a dream, he also had an objective. Thanks for reading, Jake

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Forgiveness Is An Amazing Thing!

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.”  Alexander Pope

But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed.  Isaiah 53:5

Punitive:  “serving for, concerned with, or inflicting punishment”

“Alex, the commander is here to see you.”
Alex was a technical sergeant in the US Air Force.  At least he used to be.  He was about to be a Staff Sergeant once again, and it was killing him.
“It was just one time.  Don’t they realize I always follow the rules?  Don’t they realize that some of the rules are impossible?”
Alex thought to himself.
A couple weeks earlier he had been caught taking a shortcut in a job he had done a thousand times.  In fact he’d taken the same shortcut about 999 times without ever a repercussion.  But this time an inspector saw him an now this...  A reduction in pay, a demotion, humiliation.  
“I could take a reduction in pay.”
He thought.
“But all my co-workers...  My family...  The people I’m supposed to lead...  What are they going to think of me?  Are they going to make fun of me and talk behind my back seeing one less stripe on my sleeve?”
The room came to attention as the commander walked in.  Although it was just Alex and his immediate supervisor
The commander began.
“Because you willfully disobeyed a lawful order, as your commander, I am fully able to reduce your rank effectively immediately.  However...”
“However...  that word could mean so much.  It could mean more than one stripe.  It could mean a reprieve.  It could mean he’s going to discharge me completely.”
Alex’s mind was spinning.
“However...  I’ve decided to limit my punitive action in this instance to verbal reprimand.”
The commanders words were like a ray of sunshine after an long dark cold night.
“A verbal reprimand.  That won’t even stay on my record!”
Alex was now rejoicing in his head.
“A verbal reprimand!”
The words were having trouble keeping themselves contained inside his head.
“A verbal reprimand!  I will never mess up again.”
Alex told himself.
That weekend Alex found himself with his family at church.  This time he had something to be really thankful for.  He still had his dignity.
“By His stripes we are healed”
The minister quoted from Isaiah 53.
Then it dawned on him.  
“Jesus gave up everything for me.”
He thought.
“Riches, glory, power, honor...”
Alex realized something in that moment.  He was going to mess up again.  Maybe not at work the way he had before.  But he would fail at something nonetheless.  And maybe next time it wouldn’t be something his commander could forgive.  However, it would always be something his Savior could forgive.  At the crucifixion Jesus didn’t just give up a stripe.  He gave up His life.  And along the way gained some stripes of His own.  But not the ones that signify rank, power, or honor.  He gained some stripes that signify humility, weakness, pain, suffering, and despair.  
“And He gained them all so we wouldn’t have to give up ours.”
“What was that?’
Alex’s wife asked.  Wondering what her husband was mumbling to himself.
“Oh nothing...  I’ll tell you later.”
Alex said with I smile.
He hand’t realized that the words weren’t stuck inside his head anymore.  They were starting to come out.  And in the light of what Jesus did, they would continue to come out.  
“Forgiveness is an amazing thing.  It’s restorative, regenerative, and renewing.  Forgiveness gives us the ability to be more than we could ever achieve on our own.  Forgiveness is the reason Jesus died on the cross.  Let me tell you a little story about my career in the Air Force.  Let me tell you something about Jesus.”
Alex shared...

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,

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