Shadow Mission – Temptation

SHADOW MISSION –November 10th
As we make our daily pass by the mailbox, filled equally with bills and “junk mail”, we quickly scan them and in some manner, sort at some point thereafter. Inevitably, there before us, stare one or more congratulatory envelopes awarding us with an extreme credit limit!
Credit. What a sweet word. What a freeing word. What a tempting word.
Just as easily as we can swipe our finger under the flap of that envelope and begin writing involuntarily our personal information, it is just as easy to engage in selfish and sinful acts.
At first, acting immorally and against God’s will can feel freeing and pleasing, but the consequences can run deep and the damage done at times is irreparable—all because we feel we deserve it. We choose to thoughtlessly give in to short-terms rewards, which momentarily are satisfying without loyalty, integrity and courage to do what is right in God’s eyes.
As it says in James 1, “12 Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life. 13 Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. 14 The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust.” (The Message)
When you are conflicted…when you are tempted with a “quick-fix”, just remember, God is With You…and He will be with you always and that is the most magnificent of all treasures!
-Aideen Carrick

Shadow Mission – Self-Alignment

There have been times when we all have reacted to a situation without thinking about the words flying out of our mouths….without thinking first: How may this affect the people around me? Is what I want to say productive or positive? Does this situation truly warrant these words and phrases thrashing within my head?! And undoubtedly, we have all reacted to something without demonstrating grace and humility, but instead with spite, stereotypes, accusations and all within a matter of a second!
In 1890, Charles Sheldon, a pastor from Kansas, included in his sermon a plea to his congregation…to think about what Jesus would do if he were faced with their fears, quarrels and temptations. Although it took a century for the phrase, “What Would Jesus Do?” to evolve into a popular acronym (WWJD) for Christians, the question has been relevant for ages. In 1 John 13:15, Jesus says, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you,” and in 1 John 2:6, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”
You don’t need to wear a bracelet as a reminder of who Jesus is and who he made you to be. You simply need to live in faith, grace and patience…listen, reflect, and ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?” the next time your emotions get the best of you. We are all His children and we all deserve each other’s love, as we are ALL created in His image.
God is with you.
~Aideen Carrick

People of Second Chances

How many times have you started a diet or a new workout routine? Maybe you decided to “put away” some money for the future…or had a grand idea for a road trip across the country…Most of us have good intentions and a determination to keep consistent; however, when temptation draws near, we frequently succumb unintentionally. Before we know it, we are eating fast-food and watching a succession of football games to keep up with our fantasy teams, and spending the money we were going to save at a moment of materialistic vulnerability. Once we realize that we have fallen, we try again to save a dollar, to begin a new workout regime and to cut calories…some of us many more times than others.
In Isaiah 55, Jesus affirms God’s love and patience for all mankind. “6 Seek God while he’s here to be found, pray to him while he’s close at hand. 7 Let the wicked abandon their way of life and the evil their way of thinking. Let them come back to God, who is merciful, come back to our God, who is lavish with forgiveness.” (The Message)
No matter how small, we all have needed a second chance and God has given us the gift and the opportunity to live a new life. If God has given us endless compassion and understanding when we lose our focus, when we lose our faith, and when we give in, we should, in turn deliberately give all of His children a second chance.
God is with you no matter who you are or what you’ve done.
-Aideen Carrick