Archive for April, 2013

Posted on: April 29th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment
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When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2 Two options were set before me when called to forgive Anthony (the man who murdered my dad): I could either choose to remain prideful––failing to see error in my perspective––or I could choose to humble myself before God and recognize that my “truth” was not God’s truth. Truth is, forgiveness requires humility. [Tweet that] It requires us to recognize that we may have some culpability in the situation or, at the very least, that we’re not seeing as we ought. We need to recognize that not all of what we believe to be the truth is ultimately God’s truth. When forgiving another of a sin committed against us, we must take a moment to examine ourselves as well. We need to understand that our perspective may be askew. We need to ask ourselves some very important questions….

Posted on: April 25th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment
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I had a feeling something was still there. Some residual scarring caused by my dad’s murder. In a way, I wanted to go there. Get it all out. Heal completely. But at the same time, I feared what would be found. I sure hope I’m not really screwed up, I thought. But I knew some soul work needed to be done. Digging would have to take place. And the root of whatever was left behind would have to be excavated and restored. I tried to do this on my own for nine years after Dad died. I tried to “pick myself up by my bootstraps” and move on, reasoning that Dad would have wanted it this way. He wouldn’t want me to succumb to the wave of despair that threatened to swallow me whole. So, I moved on. Each time the thought of Anthony came into my mind, I chose…

Posted on: April 22nd, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I can serve my readers better. On my blog (and throughout life), I strive to be transparent because I know that transparency is the only way to help others. Truly, if we are to be an encouragement to one another, we need to be real. We need to draw alongside one another knowing that none of us have it all together, recognizing that God has given each of us beautiful nuggets of truths that we can collectively benefit from, all of which spurs us on toward Christ-likeness. Following Jesus can be difficult at times (and anyone who tells you otherwise is either greatly deceived or hasn’t been walking with Jesus long). The truth is, we need each other. I am called to share my heart with you. I know this much. Yet, I’m still trying to figure out what that looks like and how…

Posted on: April 18th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment
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I’ve written about misconceptions about forgiveness before. But I believe one of the largest hindrances to forgiveness is a misconception that stems from childhood. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve negotiated peace between two children who are mad at one another. Regardless of what caused the issue, our peace talk usually goes something like this: Me: “Tell her you’re sorry.” Child (usually one of my daughters): “I’m sorry.” The other child: “It’s okay.” But it’s not okay. Many children are told by their parents (as I mistakenly did as a new parent) to respond to an apology by telling the other child that it’s okay. But it’s not okay to bite one another. It’s not okay to hit one another. Simply put, it’s not okay to sin against one another. And when we tell children to say “it’s okay” in this context, we are not teaching them forgiveness, but instead,…

Posted on: April 15th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment
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Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children. – Deuteronomy 4:9 Anthony claimed he was a Christian at the time of the murder, and I had a real problem with this. As a non-Christian and even after coming to Christ, I didn’t understand how someone who professed faith in Jesus could do something like this. Doesn’t a sin of this magnitude disqualify you from being a Christian? You can’t claim to be a Christian and commit murder, I thought. Recently, however, when telling me about a book he was reading by Kyle Idleman called Not a Fan, Anthony said, “I wonder, had I not come to prison would I have stayed a fan of Jesus or become a follower?…

Posted on: April 11th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs
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Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17 A couple months ago, I found myself sitting at a small table in Starbucks. Across from me sat my leadership coach. “I don’t think I can do this any more,” I told her. “I’m burnt out. I’m doing too much, and honestly, I don’t think I’m doing anybody any good at this point.” I came to this meeting to quit. I had been leading a small group of women from my church in a weekly meeting for over two years. But at this point, I was exhausted. I didn’t feel I could do it any longer. After I explained the situation, she said, “Honestly, I don’t think you know how to receive very well.” Yes, I do. I thought, perplexed. “You’ve done a great job of making yourself a commodity,” she continued, “but you don’t allow others to pour into you.” Ouch. I…

Posted on: April 8th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs
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I’ve been talking a lot about repentance, and I know it can become a weighty topic, to say the least. But I feel like God has empowered me in this area recently, and I just have to pass this along. I’ve been feeling convicted lately about several sins in my life. And maybe it’s just me, but do you ever feel like you need to repent but you need to wait for the empowerment of God to do so? [Tweet that] Well, this is where I found myself last week. During my quiet time with God, I decided to begin reading Romans. I opened it up, read the first paragraph, and that was just about enough for the day. I needed to digest what I read, so I read it again. And again. Toward the end of that paragraph, Paul says, “through [Jesus] we have received grace and apostleship to…

Posted on: April 4th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment
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I have had to take responsibly, have been humbled by the selfishness of what I did and have to live with the consequences every day. – Anthony (January 3, 2011) Sin wrecks havoc on our lives. Ultimately, every sin has a consequence. And since we don’t live completely unto ourselves, there’s a ripple effect produced by our sin that cannot be retracted. [Tweet that] Every action has a reaction, and this is true with sin as well. Even when we do finally receive grace to come before God and receive His mercy and forgiveness, the effects of our sin remain while living in this fallen world. Now, I’m not saying God doesn’t redeem our sin and ultimately use it for good and for His glory; He does (see Romans 2:28). And when forgiven by God, He remembers our sins no longer. We are washed clean and will not suffer consequence after…

Posted on: April 1st, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 2 Comments
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For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 No doubt about it. We are loved. Truly loved, despite all our shortcomings. The Feinberg Challenge Over the last 40 days of Lent, leading up to Easter, I joined Margaret Feinberg (along with thousands of other Christ followers), in her 40-Day Bible Reading Challenge. Together we read through the Bible. Yep. The whole thing.  Honestly, it was crazy, but it was amazing at the same time! Beginning in Genesis and ending with Revelation, we read an average of 30 chapters a day (though I’m a day behind, so I’ll be finishing up today). When first presented with all this craziness, I was intrigued, but I didn’t think I could do it. After all, I have children who need their mommy and a husband who needs his wife, but God…