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(in)courage is a virtual living room where we build community, celebrate diversity, and become women of courage.

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  1. Mary,
    I look back over the things I said to my children, and I know that my words attached conditions on my love. I had expectations and when those expectations weren’t met, I know my words could be cutting. I too often assigned my humanness to God. If I had these conditions, surely God must have those conditions on loving me? Not so!! Like you, I read through the Old Testament, and to me it’s a testament of just how patient and long-suffering God’s love is for us. Time and time again, the Israelites make promises and no sooner have they promised, they are messing up again. But, God…in His unfailing love, forgives them every time they get to the end of themselves and finally repent. He forgives seventy times seven and then some. Oh that I would be more like my Heavenly Father – to not hold grudges and have conditions on my love. I try, but I know I’ll fail. Yet, God continues to love and forgive me in hopes that I would extend the same mercy and grace to others. Convicting, yet hopeful post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  2. Mary, I’m glad I don’t remember all the hurtful things I said to my 3 girls when they were growing up. I do remember enough that the recollections make me feel ashamed. I am 67 and I’m still learning to love everyone unconditionally. It is way easier to forgive and accept, though, when we already know we are forgiven and accepted. I’m sure you’re learning things every day and, meanwhile, you are loved unconditionally even if you stumble. God is so good!

  3. Mary,

    I praise God daily for His forgiveness. We all mess up constantly. I am no exception. I can start out the day doing good & then something happens & I say something I shouldn’t or get upset with someone. One of my biggest problems is judgement. I am quick to look at people & judge them for what they wear, how they look, etc. Last Sunday I had to pray the devil away cause I was judging people in church. I said to myself Hey, at least they are here hearing the word of God. Reading through the Old testament you wonder if God ever got frustrated with the Israelites. If He did He never ever showed it. He poured out unconditional love on everyone. Skin color, sex, good or bad nothing mattered to Him. He would rather hang out with sinners than the “religious” of the day. I am thankful at the end of the day that I can pray, confess my sins & be forgiven. I need to go & forgive like He does. Loving everyone unconditionally like He does.

    Blessings 🙂

  4. My favorite is Psalm 139 because it’s a reminder how fearfully & wonderfully we’re made! <3

  5. Thank you for this wonderful reminder! I find myself asking for forgiveness daily as I catch myself doing or thinking things that are not loving or kind and I can just picture satan and his demons smiling! It makes me sick with myself until I stop and pray and talk with our loving Father or Jesus and read my Bible and ask for forgiveness, again. What a wonderful savior we serve! He always forgives and loves us. Thank you for this and saying what we need to hear, always go to Him. He loves us!

  6. I love Psalm 23 — every time I see different Bible versions, I read a few of them to understand the message even more fully. In November 2001, when we landed on the ground in Siberia to adopt our son, I recited it out loud so I was more able to overcome my fears and anxieties at that moment.

  7. Psalm 1 has been my favorite as of late. It is a great reminder to keep my mind on God’s word.

  8. My favorite Psalm is the old standby Psalm 23. It is also my 90 year old moms favorite. Mom and I have had many trials during the years my dad died suddenly and then mom fell and broke her hip. Psalm 23 is comforting, soothing and healing for us. In fact I traced mom’s hand in my In courage bible on Psalm 23 to remember her and our peaceful Psalm forever. Our Heavenly Father never leaves us broken and alone he soothes our souls and comforts our pain.