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Six year old Brandon decided one Saturday morning to fix his parents
pancakes. He found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter,
opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour canister, spilling it
on the floor. He scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his
hands, mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a
floury trail on the floor which by now had a few tracks left by his
kitten. Brandon was covered with flour and getting frustrated. He
wanted this to be something very good for Mom and Dad, but it was
getting very bad. He didn’t know what to do next, whether to put it all
into the oven or on the stove, (and he didn’t know how the stove
worked!). Suddenly he saw his kitten licking from the bowl of mix and
reached to push her away, knocking the egg carton to the floor.
Frantically he tried to clean up this monumental mess but slipped on the
eggs, getting his pajamas white and sticky. And just then he saw Dad
standing at the door. Big crocodile tears welled up in Brandon’s eyes.
All he’d wanted to do was something good, but he’d made a terrible mess.
He was sure a scolding was coming, maybe even a spanking. But his father
just watched him. Then, walking through the mess, he picked up his
crying son, hugged him and loved him, getting his own pajamas messy and
sticky in the process.

That’s how God deals with us. We try to do something good in life, but
it turns into a mess. Our marriage gets all messy or we insult a friend or we can’t stand our job or our health goes sour. Sometimes just stand there in tears because we can’t think of anything else to do. That’s when God picks us up and
loves us and forgives us, even though some of our mess gets all over
Him. But just because we might mess up, we can’t stop trying to "make
pancakes," for God or for others. Sooner or later we’ll get it right,
and then they’ll be glad we tried...

Please pass some of this love on to others..........
The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.
Thomas Szasz (b. 1920), U.S. psychiatrist. The Second Sin, "Personal Conduct" (1973).

Comment: True forgiveness wipes the slate clean, as if nothing occurred at all. From Christ we can have true forgiveness. Even if we cannot erase memories from our brain, we can, with God’s help and intervention erase the hurt, pain, suffering, and angst put there. Let us all strive to be in Gods arms and always naïve according to Mr. Szasz’s definition of naive. PK

Forgive! How many will say, "forgive," and find
A sort of absolution in the sound
To hate a little longer!
Lord Tennyson (1809–92), English poet. Sea Dreams.

Comment: A lot of people are like Lord Tennyson. But we are burdened by our own unwillingness to forgive. It is bad when another hurts us. It is worse when we cannot let the hurt go into the hands of God.

Letting Go

This is no place in our lives for bitterness, hatred, rancor, anger, even
being displeased or frustrated with others. There is no place in our lives
for any of these dark spots in our soul. These dark spots want a small place
in your life and soul so they can grow and eventually take over. The
anti-dote to these dark spots is to pray and forgive. If you cannot let go
of past hurts the hurts will keep on hurting you. Just the kind of thing
Satan would do to you, isn't it? We must not blame or keep a record of who
and what did what against us. Praying to Jesus to help you erase totally the
record of these dark spots will help you. You can also, by the force of your
will, just let them go. God is forever trying to pull these areas away from
your heart and soul. We make the mistake of keeping them in our lives. And
we do exert ourselves to keep them in our lives. Foolish of us? Indeed.
However, we can let go. If you let Jesus place His nail-scarred hands on
every hurt, the hurt will disappear. May you find His love, peace, and grace
today in even the smallest of things.PK
In His Love and Grace,
Pastor Patrick

Forgive you?—Oh, of course, dear,
A dozen times a week!
We women were created
Forgiveness but to speak.
Ella Higginson (1862–1940), U.S. writer, journalist. Wearing Out Love.

"To forgive oneself"—? No, that doesn’t work: we have to be forgiven. But we can only believe this is possible if we ourselves can forgive.
Dag Hammarskjöld (1905–61), Swedish statesman, secretary-general of U.N. Markings, "Night is Drawing Nigh" (1963).

We all like to forgive, and love best not those who offend us least, nor who have done most for us, but those who make it most easy for us to forgive them.
Samuel Butler (1835–1902), English author. Samuel Butler’s Notebooks (1951, p.236).

Youth, which is forgiven everything, forgives itself nothing: age, which forgives itself everything, is forgiven nothing.
George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. Man and Superman, "Maxims for Revolutionists: Stay Sayings" (1903).

One can’t relive one’s life. Forgiveness is not what’s difficult; one’s always too ready to forgive. And it does no good, that’s obvious.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (1894–1961), French author. The narrator (Ferdinand Bardamu), in Journey to the End of the Night (1932; tr. 1934; repr. 1966, p. 186).
Comment: Little did Céline know that forgiveness lets one out of spiritual and emotional prison. It also sets a lot of the other inmates free. PK

Absolute virtue is impossible and the republic of forgiveness leads, with implacable logic, to the republic of the guillotine.
Albert Camus (1913–60), French-Algerian philosopher, author. The Rebel, pt. 3, "The Regicides" (1951; tr. 1953).
Comment: What distorted and baseless logic. Absolute virtue is possible with Christ who forgives all our sins, and without the absolute forgiveness of Christ we are headed for an eternal guillotine experience. PK

Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast.
Marlene Dietrich (1904–92), German-born U.S. film actor. Marlene Dietrich’s ABC, "Forgiveness" (1962).

It is a very delicate job to forgive a man, without lowering him in his own estimation, and yours too.
Josh Billings [Henry Wheeler Shaw] (1818–85), U.S. humorist. Josh Billings, His Sayings, ch. 39 (1865).
Comment: Forgiveness requires you to wipe away the mistakes on the blackboard which requires work on your part as well as a lot of humility on the part of the person who made the mistakes. The person who made the mistakes must ask you to wipe the slate clean for the mistake maker cannot do the job on his or her own. In Christ, we have someone who totally erases all the mistakes we have ever made if we are willing to just ask for His nail-scarred hands to do the erasing job for us.


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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Entire contents copyright © 1999 - 2007 by Patrick Kelly, All rights reserved.
All content is presented on behalf of Shepherd’s Care Ministries. Shepherd's Care Ministries reserves no right or claim upon content.

Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018