Broken

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Lazy rays of afternoon sunlight stretched across the beach, the relentless waves strewing shell and stone along the shoreline. I bent for a beautiful shell partially buried in the whirl of sea and sand encircling my bare feet. It was broken. Disappointed, I flung it back into the angry waters. As it left my hand God spoke to my heart.

“Aren’t you glad Jesus doesn’t treat you like that?”

Jesus walks through the sea of humanity, intentionally seeking the broken, the flawed, the less than perfect. He sets out to rescue and redeem the lost, those battered, even shipwrecked, by the storms of life.

Jesus, perfection personified, gave Himself to bring us to Himself. There’s no need to bury my brokenness, or my wrong thoughts, or feel condemned because of them. God is Holy, but I believe He prefers our honest uncensored prayers to an act, or rote religious dialogue. He knows me; He sees me. I cannot hide from Him. I can let Jesus uncover my sin.  He won’t cast me away when I stumble and fall. He loves me anyway.

He loves you too. Do you need to be found?

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalms 34:18 (NKJV)

Sometimes, through no fault of our own, life beats us, leaves us breathless, lying on the ground.

I can give Jesus my sin, myself, and what I’m not meant to bear. He carries me when I can’t walk on my own.

My God is a restorer. That’s why He likes to show up when things are broken. Sometimes He needs to break us, so He can make us again.

It’s by way of the road called broken that I am mended. I am made whole as I place my battle weary sin scarred heart in the hands of my Maker.

He brings purpose to pain. With a touch from His healing hand my heart is made whole.

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3 (NKJV)

He is the designer of our destiny.

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

We are His treasure.

Do you want Him?

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. John 6:37 (NASB)

I want You, Jesus

I want all of You

Have all of me

Thy will be done

Have Your way in me

You fulfill me

But I am not satisfied

Empty me

Fill me

Teach me your ways

Oh God, I want to know You

You are my sustenance

My life, my breath, my strength

My friend

My God.

“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 7:6 (NKJV)

Matthew West – Broken Things 

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

In Step With My Father

I remember Daddy holding my hand as we entered the gates to the botanical gardens, Wrigley’s gum, Elephant Ear pastries, Matchbox cars, him carrying me when I was hurt, and scraping every speck of black pepper off my food. And bumper cars. I hated them, but I never told him because I liked to hear him laugh—and we were together.

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Daddy was pale and shaky after riding the corkscrew roller coaster. We made kites with bamboo and tissue paper. They always crashed, but that was okay. He drove way too fast on the windy island mountain roads in his little ultramarine Triumph Spitfire. He got upset when I fared better with a drop line than he did with his expensive fishing rod.  Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Fishing Boat_Jamaica

*This piece, In Step with My Father, was originally posted on 6/10/2016. Some revisions and additions have been made.

You gave her the tie dye set. You get her cleaned up!” said Grandma as she pushed us outside. A bucket of soapy water, a scrub brush and our stifled laughter under the mango tree. Pinned to the clothesline, my brightly colored creation flapped happily in the breeze. I loved that hat!

He gave me a piano, like Schroeder’s in the Peanuts comic strip. I  played it as loud as I could because I thought it would make him visit sooner.

I pretended I didn’t know him when he took me to Disney World. I walked several feet ahead, or behind, because I thought his camera bag looked like a purse and I feared someone might recognize us. Tears coursed down my cheeks when he wouldn’t let me run off for the day with the boy I met at the resort. All the boys were afraid of my daddy.

He was a businessman. He laughingly called me his “rapacious little capitalist” for running my underground fudge business at school. I made over $1000 before they caught me. We were proud of the “F” I received for my class presentation on a controversial topic: I did a good job on it and I stood for what I believed. When I ran away he followed me.

Daddy had his problems, but he loved his children and grandchildren. Sometimes he missed the mark. We all do, some more than others. But God uses imperfect fathers, imperfect people, to guide our lives sometimes if we let Him.

Then, one day he was gone. Just. Like. That. —No warning. I didn’t know that was our last “I love you.” I wasn’t ready. But God is the one who numbers our days; He said it was time. We have a finite amount of time to love, to know, to understand and reconcile with each other. He wasn’t a perfect father. None of them are, you know? Except for one.

God is the only perfect father. He is a father to the fatherless. Jesus went to great lengths to meet us where we are. He left his throne in Heaven, donned human flesh, and died to save us from our sin, and reconcile us to Himself, to God. He loves us in spite of ourselves. But we have to accept Him.

A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. Psalms 68:5

“Daugh-tah, come here. Child of mine, I love you so much, yuh see.” my father would say in his accent. God calls me daughter too, he calls me to himself. He wants to call you son or daughter too. God wants to do life with us. And when people fall short of our expectations and our needs aren’t met, God is always there for us. He is our sufficiency, the difference maker. He is enough.

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭3:26‬ ‭NLT‬‬

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.   ‭‭John‬ ‭1:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”   Romans‬ ‭8:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Father, daughter, son, is there a breach that needs mending? Will you start the journey to restoration? Just take one small step. May I suggest the first one be to pray; and the second, forgive? Maybe you won’t get where you’d like to on this side of eternity. Maybe you are only able to take those first two steps. That’s okay. Just start, and let God be God, the mender of hearts. Extend grace like God does for us, even though we don’t deserve it.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”   ‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”   Matthew‬ ‭6:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!”   Matthew‬ ‭18:21-22‬ ‭NLT‬‬

SONG: 70×70 – Chris August (Official video) 

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.   ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:31-32‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

SONG: The Blessing – Jim Trick

Dads- your children, your wives, your country needs you. Will you step up to the plate?

“Here I am Father. Forgive me. Help me to forgive those who hurt me. Help me to step in Your footprints, and walk a little closer with You Jesus.”

SONG: Lead Me – Sanctus Real

Yeah, you are probably going to mess up sometimes, stumble and fall in the process. But God will pick you up. He’s like that.

SONG: Good, Good Father – Chris Tomlin

LINK TO: The Father Effect, Movie – 3 Minute Trailer (*Warning: Contains some sensitive material) 

John Finch grew up the youngest of 3 boys in a suburb of Dallas where he lost his father to suicide at age 11. As a young man, John did anything he could to avoid confronting the wounds he suffered as a result of being fatherless. His craving for affirmation from a father who was not there to provide it, led him to…  http://thefathereffect.com/about 

RESOURCES

Encouraging Dads Project- Stories and resources to encourage dads Creating a community where we can share positive stories and ideas about becoming better and stronger fathers.

Encouraging Dads: 30 Short Stories That Inspire & Encourage Dads Kindle Edition

 Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. We provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God’s design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles.

To speak with a family help specialist, request resources, make a donation over the phone, inquire about general information, or to report a problem, contact us at the number below.

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Family Life Ministries -Help for today. Hope for tomorrow

Link to my post entitled, Forgive   

©2017 Rachael M Colby

Tattoo It On Your Heart

Forgive

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Relationship problems are the result of sin played out in that forum. Sin is the culprit- our own brokenness, the gap in our relationship with Christ- where we are, as opposed to where Christ would have us to be.

Sometimes I catch myself praying for God to change circumstance and behavior when what is needed is for God to change hearts. Our actions and reactions are merely a symptom of the problem. When God transforms a heart, the change will spill out to influence all circumstance and relationships. We need to treat the root, not the fruit, if we want true and lasting change.

When I focus on my unmet needs, nobody’s needs are met, because no one is serving. I’m just having a self serving pity party. If I want to see change, then I must change, and the only way that will happen is if I let Christ have His way in me. I must give Jesus the reins of my heart.

“Will the tears ever stop, Lord?”

You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? Psalms 56:8 (NKJV)

“Sometimes I think that must be a really big bottle, Lord.”

But to forgive the incessant provocations of life- to keep on forgiving the the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son- how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning what we say in our prayers each night,“forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.” -C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Forgiving means letting go of offenses, not holding it against the person. It means wiping slate clean, canceling the debt, not retaliating.

What if I dared to speak the words I’ve never said?

What if I set them free from the captivity of silence?

Would the chains of pain be broken?

Or would the weight of regret be too great?

For once let loose I cannot call them back.

 “Lord…?”

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.Isaiah 53:7 (NKJV)

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-  …A time to be silent and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 7 (NASB)

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.Psalms 141:3 (NKJV)

Extending forgiveness requires humility, putting aside my pride, emotions. It means valuing relationships and being right with God over my rights.

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”Matthew 18:21-22

Life is too short and eternity is too near to be easily offended by those I am called to love. Bitterness is like barbed wire around a heart. The walls I build to protect my heart are the same walls which keep Christ and His healing out.

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.Ephesians 4:31-32

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.Psalms 147:3 (NKJV)

Rather than trying to fix others, I need to fix my relationship with Christ. When I let Jesus overhaul my inward man, the core of me, many of my relationship problems resolve themselves. He is the restorer.

Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Matthew 7:4 (NKJV)

As the old song goes, “It’s not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”

I’m guilty, Lord.

Here I am

Forgive me

Heal my divided, renegade heart.

Deliver me from myself, my sin.

Change me, Jesus

I long for one accord with You

But I fail; I fall

Remember,

I am dust, Lord

Help me

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. II Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)

You are The Way

Have your way in me

Burn up the dross

Make me pure

I want to love like You

Refine me until I reflect You

Jesus, my heart’s desire and delight,

Song of my soul

Form Yourself in me

I want to be one with You

Standing In The Need Of Prayer (Live)

I must extend forgiveness if I want to be forgiven, even if the other person is wrong and unrepentant. This requires a supernatural enabling.

How I forgive others = God’s grace extended to me in forgiveness

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15

To be Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because Christ forgave the inexcusable in you. -C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Many times what God asks of us is impossible. He knows we will fail in our own strength. He want us to acknowledge our brokenness, failures, our need, so He can change and empower us.

Matthew West – Forgiveness (Lyrics)

Jesus didn’t just die for those who would accept Him. He paid the penalty for all the sins of those He knew would reject Him too. The sins of all humanity were borne on the shoulders of the great I Am.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

Jesus did His part. He paid the price and provides forgiveness- it’s available up front, but we must choose to accept or reject it.

We must let go of unforgiveness, of sin, if we want to receive the forgiveness He offers. We can’t hold on to both.

The reason people mistreat others is because of what’s broken in them. If I focus on their need for healing, the injustices I receive will be so much easier to bear. When I really pray for someone, not just for my vindication or relief, I find God gives me the heart, the grace, to forgive them. And besides, I need forgiveness too.

Regardless of the behavior of others, if I forgive them and yield to God’s refining of my heart and character through the circumstances in my life, I will be rewarded with a closer walk with Jesus and the peace that comes from a right heart.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. Psalms 28:7 (NKJV)

Love is forgiving. Love is serving. We are commanded to love. When I set my heart and mind to love and serve others as Christ calls me to, even if it is unrequited, Jesus will fulfill me. There is joy and contentment when my heart rests in Jesus’ hands and I walk in His ways.

Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7 (NASB)

Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 (NKJV)

Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 (NKJV)

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The Story Behind the Song, Forgiveness –Matthew West

Robin & Spencer’s Story

On January 26 2002 my life changed forever. My son Spencer Macleod was brought into the ER where I was working as a nurse, barely clinging to life from a stab wound to the heart. He was pronounced dead fifteen minutes later. It was then that I discovered his identity. He died coming to the rescue of…Continued at:  http://spencersmom.com/the-story/

©2017 Rachael M Colby    Tattoo It On Your Heart

Am I Enough?

“Am I enough?” He said.

“Yes, Lord. Of course, You are enough.”

“Then stop making excuses. Whatever you lack, whatever your nTattoo_it_on_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Jesus_Wants_Your_Worsteed, I am enough. Come to Me.”

“I am ashamed Lord. I’ve done wrong. I’ve been hiding my sin, my self.”

“I see all. Come to Me, just as you are. Let Me cover you, clothe you in My righteousness.”

“But Lord, I failed You. I failed myself, I failed others.”

“I know, but I want you”.

“I want You, Jesus. But I’m broken.”

“That’s what I’m for. Give Me yourself. Let Me make you.”

“Lord, make me whole. Make me holy and wholly Yours. You are enough, Lord. You are intoxicating.”

“Yes.” He said. “I Am. “

You don’t have to be a victim of your failures, shortcomings, or circumstances. Every obstacle, every failure, every defect, every unmet need is a chance for Jesus to move on your behalf, to prove Himself in your life, and bring Him glory. Your defeat is Jesus’ opportunity to bring victory if you give yourself to Him. He is the God of the turn around, the God of a new beginning.

Sometimes it’s like digging deep and climbing and failing and falling and finding I have landed at Jesus’ feet. But then, He reaches down, and pulls me to Himself.

God is easy to please, but hard to satisfy. 

But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense… You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage; but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself. – George MacDonald

God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man.

The more we get what we call “ourselves”  out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become.

Nothing of you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead.     – C S Lewis, Mere Christianity

Rachael_M-Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_OfferingMy best is a gift from Him. My worst is an opportunity for God to do miracles and testify of His grace. I bring a lot to the table for Jesus to work with. I  just keep laying all my raw material, my broken pieces, on The Workman’s  table, putting my whole self, my life, in the Master Builder’s hands.

Jesus is my pleasure, my joy,

But I am not satisfied. I want more of Him, and Him to have all of me.

I never tire of Him.

He occupies my mind.

He’s the winner, the captor, and ruler of my heart, tattoo_it_on_your_heart_rachael_m_colby_do-_you-remember_when

Rescuer and lover of my soul.

I am His.

© 2017     Rachael M Colby                 Tattoo It On Your Heart

Reasons Aren’t Excuses

DSC_0895-001Reasons aren’t excuses. God is fully aware of all my circumstances, but He doesn’t believe in situational ethics. He wants me to keep my attitude and responses in alignment with His Word, regardless of who is right or wrong.

I hear Jesus say, “Do you want Me to defend you, or do you want to defend yourself?” He lets me choose. Why do I  struggle with this? Why do I rush in and react, instead of waiting on God?

I know The Lord  is my defender,  and if I keep my heart right and stay out of the way, He will fight for me. In His time, He will right the wrong and truth shall prevail.

“But Lord,” I say, “this is hard, I just can’t seem to do this. I keep tripping over myself.”

Life is hard. It is bigger than I. I can’t bear it on my own. I’m nothing on my own, but His Word says,

My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.     2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

Jesus knows me, with all my failings, and loves me anyway. He expects me to fall. That’s how I’ll learn to walk. When I call, He hears my cry. He picks me up and says, “Lean on me. Try again.”

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.     ‭Psalms 141:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.‭‭     Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NKJV

© 2016 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On Your Heart

One Day in October

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I built an altar in the field that day and put myself on it. I don’t know if I understood how pivotal that moment would be when I turned aside from everything screaming for my attention. Jesus did though, and He was waiting for me. I didn’t ask Him for anything that day, except to keep me. I gave myself to Him. Again.

You can be new again.

I choose You Jesus when the way is clear… I choose You when the storm rages on… keep my mind stayed on You… I choose You… when the blessings flow…. when the obstacles loom and I’m not sure which way to go… when everyone walks away… Because at the end of the day, it’s all about You, Jesus.

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Scroll down for song: Breathe- Jonny Diaz or click here to open in new window.

© 2016  Rachael M Colby                Tattoo It On Your Heart