Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Each new year before tax season, I review my bills and try to eliminate some debt and future taxes. Large debt reminds me of a terminal illness, once you realize how serious it is, the time is up. At some point, you realize you’re over your head and there is no quick way out. The debt problem today is rampant in our area partly because of the high unemployment rate.

There are many kinds of debt; there is financial debt, a debt to society, or a personal debt. Each debt has their own term and conditions for repayment. The larger the debt, the higher the payment and interest charged. You search for options and solutions to remove the debt. Most credit counselors and businesses offering assistance only talk about debt consolidation, rarely about immediate elimination.

Debt can be devastating. It can force you into many levels of depression and alter your behavior significantly. When a debt is overwhelming, you sometimes feel it could never be repaid, so why try. This cycle of behavior forces you deeper into debt. The get rich schemes are scams. They feed on the desperation of the people in need. Creditors benefit from our debt. The interest continues to eat up any payment we make and the late fees keep the debt at its original amount. The only way to eliminate a debt is for it to be paid or forgiven.

Filing for one of the several types of bankruptcy has become the option for many to eliminate their debt. You must obtain an attorney to represent your case and your debt must be substantial. A judge gives the final ruling to remove your debt.

This reminds me of the debt we owed to God for the sin of Adam, passed to all generations. The wages of sin is death and the only release or payment was an acceptable blood sacrifice. No one met the conditions.

When we understand the gravity of our debt to God and the penalties associated with nonpayment, it can overwhelm us.   We can be flooded with feelings of helpless and hopelessness. This is true, until we consider Jesus.

God recognized our inability to pay our debt. Jesus came to become the acceptable blood sacrifice for the sin of Adam. He came to die so that we don’t have to die in our sins (Romans 5:7-20).

At Calvary the debt was settled.  Jesus rose again, returned to heaven, so another comforter could come (John 14:26) to keep us until He comes back for us. He was our attorney who successfully pleaded and won our case to be free. The only fee required to receive this release from our debt to God is repentance and acceptance of Jesus as our savior.

There is a source that benefits if we continue in sin and derives a certain satisfaction from our weakened condition; this source is Satan. He always makes us feel as if we can play now and pay this debt later.

During this New Year, let’s not forget the debt that was paid on our behalf at the cross. Don’t waste our opportunity to be debt free in the sight of God. Accept the mercy and grace of the cross and follow God’s way and remain debt free. We are free to love and adore a God who loved us enough to give His life to redeem us.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


As I look back, I realize the weight of facing some of the worst hardships and life altering challenges during the past two years.  I survived emotionally numbing blows in recent years, and because of the holidays, only to relive some incidents afresh.  I lost loved ones and friends dear to my heart.  I saw the true colors of many, left abandoned and like my grandma use to say, up the creek without a paddle, on several occasions. 

It seemed that at every turn, another door was either closed in my face or at my back.  I felt boxed in and forced in a state of bondage.  There were times I called out asking God if He saw me.  I felt as if He was watching me suffer these things as He watched the guards beat Jesus beyond recognition.  I felt my old nature rise and a bit of old Chris resurfaced; the one that jumps into action to take care of Chris and handle people and situations.  I want to keep that old girl under control because she’s dangerous.  The last time I let her have free reign for just 1 hour, it took years and several attorneys to get things resolved.  The reborn Chris just kept saying be still, do nothing, God is not blind nor has He turned His back on you.  It’s God that has brought you to this place and time in life.  Wait on God, my spirit would say.

I started to imagine my situation.  My spirit was feeling as if I’m standing in a paneled room boxed in with no visible way of escape.  Each wall of this room is touching me on the front, the back, and the sides.   I wait with my hands folded behind my back.  I kept hearing a familiar clicking sound.  Familiar in that I know I’ve heard is somewhere before, long ago.  Then I remembered our old camper.  The cabinets and closets in it didn’t have handles and the surface look streamlined and you had to know where to press them to get them to open.  I had trouble with a few of them, just couldn’t seem to get the press right to make it open until several tries. 

Then I heard God say to press with my hands behind me, and a door opened.  I stepped back and God began to give me insight into why things happened this year.  No great mystery, it was His will and it was what was best for all involved.  He showed me how the past two years were a proving year for me.  He showed me how much He loved me and had invested in me.  It was a year during which I was being branded for His purpose for my life, to write of His glory, as John was banished to the Isle of Patmos to write the book of Revelations.    One mistake was to believe in the word of people and depend on them for help and not look to God first then He would send the help I needed.    

 I found myself back in that paneled room and I was instructed to press again on a place in front of me.  As I did, a door opened.  As I stepped out the way wasn’t clearly marked and a bit foggy and unstable in places.  God whispered, if I trust Him, He’ll lead me and show me the way.  To be successful, I’d have to get rid of the useless baggage from the past year that would hold me down or cause me to fall.

Beyond the love and investment God has placed in me, I take away from this image that even when people and situations seem to have us boxed in, all we have to do is look and wait on Jesus; then press, and He’ll open a way of escape.  If we trust Him, He will lead and guide us through our day to day life.  To be successful, I must press the door closed on the past and focus on today with Christ. 

For 2015 join with me in my resolve, like that of the Apostle Paul described in Philippians 3:1-15, to forget those things which are behind, and reaching for those things ahead, then press the mark, for the prize, which is the high calling of God, in Christ Jesus.  Let’s do a New Year Press.