Monday, April 04, 2016

Sin, Repent, Repeat

It has been a while since I have written.

After my father and I reconciled, I learned more about the disease he has (which will likely kill him).  He had a heart attack in May of last year. Upon his release from the hospital he came to live here, with my husband and I and we began to plan what we thought might be his last birthday party. I just have not had the time to sit and write like I would like to. Other things have taken priority, and those things have been good things.

It has been a busy almost year for me. I have missed writing though.

 My unfinished study calls to me, and while I have finished reading the book,I have not yet put pen to paper. Any of you who were following along may be frustrated, and I apologize for that, but life happens, and family is important, and I have learned to listen and prioritize. While I have not written out the remaining blogs for the corresponding chapters (there are just a couple) the information is there floating around my head and heart and it WILL come out.

My dad is doing well enough to be out on his own again, and while we are reconciled there remains much work to be done in our relationship.

Isn't that true of all human relationships though?

I, too, have had a few health scares, and ended up in the hospital with an NG tube up my nose, just before Thanksgiving.. If you've never experienced this I pray you never do. It was awful. Thankfully I am doing better, and with a few tweaks to my diet, will continue to do so.

Which brings me to the topic of this blog.

Ya'll may or may not know that I live in close proximity to the city of New Orleans, and I love it.

 I love the food, I love the music, I love the people, I love the history, I just love everything about it, but Mardi Gras has to be my favorite. It is just a big fun party. It's family and food and fun. All of the things I love, rolled into one fun filled day where (bonus!) you get to dress up! Whats not to love about that?

I will grant that there are those who are extreme in their merry making, but I am not talking about that. I am talking about what ~I~ do with ~MY~ friends.

While out shopping with friends I passed a shop which had a shirt that I believe sums up our walk as believers. In Mardi Gras colors emblazoned across the front, words stacked neatly one on top of the other: Sin, Repent, Repeat.

I bought it.

I hesitated to wear it Mardi Gras day because I was concerned some of my more legalistic friends would think I was making a mockery where I was not, but I realized I have come too far in my journey as my daughter recently reminded me.

So I wore it.

Not that we seek to be sinners and blithely continue to sin knowing if we repent we can repeat the process...that's not what the message is. That's not how I took the shirt's "message". That wasn't my intention as I wore it and received many approving nods that day. My intention  was to remind  people that God remembers our frame and He knows we are dust. (Psalm 103:14) and to remind them and myself that when we sin (and IF I read correctly I will continue to do so until I am freed from this body). I need to repent of my sin,recognize my need for grace, and then approach the throne of GRACE boldly and LAY down my guilt, because it's already been taken care of. That debt was paid, my part is really pretty easy if I can just get out of my head. That word repeat is there to remind me that it WILL happen again...I AM a sinner, it IS my nature.

You know what else I thought about as I looked at those three words neatly stacked upon each other in my city's colors of purple, gold and green?

The refiner and His fire.

Those of you unfamiliar with how a silversmith purifies silver, let me tell you what my understanding is, it is that the smith would take the silver, crush it down to little bits and place it in a crucible. He would then take that crucible and place it in the very hottest part of the fire. After a bit He would remove it, look at it and pour off any impurities that had risen to the surface, then back into the fire it would go. Over and over he would repeat this process until at last when he looked into the crucible he saw his own reflection. Then he knew he was finished.

Sounds a lot like "He must increase I must decrease" (John 3:30)

That's exactly what happens in this life. For some of us it takes a long time. Whatever is going on in your your life to the fullest, enjoy every day and remember, whatever you do, do it all in His name, and give thanks for it.