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Mercy versus Judgement

Last week, I referenced a thought from the book of James. While I was studying those exhortations, my eyes caught these words “Mercy triumphs over judgement.”.  I have found that my mind keeps coming back to those 4 words over and over as the week progresses.  That’s funny, as I am sure I have read those words many times, but I think I have lived a life that is opposite of that many times.  What I find fascinating is how liberating that thought pattern is.  And well I guess that is actually backed up by the whole thought; let’s  back up and look.

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! James 2:12-13 (NIV)

Live today according to the laws of freedom and let mercy reign.





Daily Post

Lessons from Parenting

I mentioned early this week that the toils of having a 15 year-old son in the house is teaching me a lot about mercy, and grace, and that I would tell more about that later.  Here’s the later.  Hope it’s worth the wait! (it was a whole day!)

Any of you who are parents have experienced those days when your children take you to the edge, either through behaviors, or ( in most cases) attitudes.  I have discovered it is in those times where once you regain you right mind great opportunities for growth are to be found.  In those instances we can understand so much about our relationship with God.  Try this on.

You as a parent tell your child to do X or probably Y will happen.  He doesn’t.  Tomorrow, you tell you child to do X and remind him about Y. He doesn’t.  And the next day and the next day and the next day.  And then finally Y occurs, and your child is absolutely stunned and upset. And blames you!

I hope that sounds familiar to two of your relationships.  ( in case that is confusing, I am talking about you as a parent and you as a child of God.)

But what happens next is the most confusing and where the lesson really is.

As a parent, you love them anyway.  You offer them grace and mercy, and forgiveness, because you want them to be successful.

Sound familiar?

37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8

Hm.. That probably wasn’t worth that wait, but I hope you that are parents consider how your parental relationship can teach you about how God is and that you can use that to emulate both as a child and as a parent!

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Table Of Mercy

At the church I worship with each Sunday, we partake in a memorial we call communion or the Lord’s Supper where we “remember Christ’s death of the cross, and proclaim his resurrection until he comes again”.  Sometimes before that time, we will sing a song called “Come to the Table of Mercy”.

Anyway, that song has rumaged through my head all morning, as the idea of giving and receiving mercy seems so strong with me today.  (Especially living with a 15-year-old son – more about that later this week.)

Today, since the topic of extending mercy seems right on the tip of my mind, it seems appropriate to remind you of the benefits of being a merciful person.  Oh, and quite simple reminder of a definition I found this morning – Mercy is like a judge finding you guilty, but then withholding any punishment.

17 The merciful man does himself good,
But the cruel man does himself harm. Proverbs 11:17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

   7 “Blessed arethe merciful, for they shall receive mercy.  Matthew 5:7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

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40 + 500 = more wood, less arrows

I saw this phrase on a Google article a few months ago.  It was stuck in the middle of an announcement from Google labs about a change in their direction. To describe their change they said they were”putting more wood behind fewer arrows.”  I have spent time since then trying to figure out what that really means.  I think it means something about placing more time and energy on less things, but I am still looking for someone you can fully explain this metaphor to me!

But anyway, today I will roll with it, as I roll through a very significant milestone age wise and post the Buffet’s 500th post. And today, I am thinking that I want(need) to put more wood behind fewer arrows and really really focus in on the important things in life.

As you now, there is one certain thing about birthdays – they keep coming, until they don’t.  And there is no going back – only going forward.  I sorta of sit in the middle of life today, strengthened by my past, but faced with the heavy realization that I don’t have as many days to waste as I had when I was 15.   I have referenced these few verses many times in the last few months, but they seem best to help describe the arrows that I (we) should put my(our) wood behind.  Not those of career advancement, not those of accumulation, not those of entertainment, but these.

 8But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,

   what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously.  Micah 6:8 The Message (MSG)

and then this one about number our days

 12-17 Oh! Teach us to live well!
Teach us to live wisely and well!
Come back, God—how long do we have to wait?—
and treat your servants with kindness for a change.
Surprise us with love at daybreak;
then we’ll skip and dance all the day long.
Make up for the bad times with some good times;
we’ve seen enough evil to last a lifetime.
Let your servants see what you’re best at—
the ways you rule and bless your children.
And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us,
confirming the work that we do.
Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!  Psalm 90:12 The Message (MSG)


It’s very similar to what my father use to say to his sports teams  – “Go out, have fun, do the right things and winning will take care of itself.”  If we focus on love, mercy and humility, those other things will take care of themselves.Those are the arrows I want to focus my self on.

So today I am putting more wood behind fewer arrows, I am numbering these days, and I am looking forward to what life as a mature person actually is.!!!!!  🙂

And as Coach Gundy says “I’m a man, I’m 40!”


Daily Post

hm.. This is one of those mornings when I wish this were my thought:

“I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.” Psalm 119:14 NIV

Instead, I am not sure that I have even thought about any of those things this morning as the house was busy with preparations for another day.  Interestingly enough rejoicing, great riches nor following his statutes has entered the vast emptiness that sits between my two sound catching devices.

So today here is a simple yet somewhat complex reminder of the pleasure and satisfaction that awaits us when we are joyful because we have surrendered to the teachings of the Christ.  It’s quite a paradox, but one I plan on dwelling on today.  Think about this. Sometimes, when I see the 220 million dollar Power Ball sign I imagine what I could do with that money – and the projected happiness it would bring him.  Well, I know I have never sat and imagined what it would be like if I actually followed the Lord’s statutes and the various rewards that come from that.  Ones that actually have long term value.  Try that little exercise today.