Tag Archives: forgiveness

Forgiveness: The Fragrance of Life


From the beginning when God created a perfect world and sinless people to walk with Him in His garden, sin entered that perfect world through Adam and Eve’s foolish decision and their resulting disobedience. Hence, our nature to sin has been passed down through every generation.

But God cannot look upon sin, so He sent His Son to this earth to pay the price for our sin and win us back into fellowship with Himself.

That journey to forgiveness began over two thousand years ago when God placed His Holy Seed into the womb of a righteous young virgin named Mary and said His Son would be called Jesus, meaning “Jehovah saves.”

As a youth, Jesus astounded the religious leaders of the day with the depth of His knowledge and understanding of the Holy Scriptures. But then again, He should know them. They were inspired by His Father, with whom He’d already spent eternity past.

Finding Himself in human form, Jesus stayed in close personal contact with His Father to follow His will, saying and doing only what His Father told Him to say and do. He was the one and only perfect human being. Without sin. Obedient to death.

Because He was without sin, He paved the way for our sins to be forgiven. His obedient journey on earth led Him to His death on the cross and crying out, “Father forgive them…” and minutes later, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”

Describing that harrowing moment, Pastor Tony Evans said, “Jesus became sin, severing Himself from the fullness of the intimacy He had always known with His Father. As the sin of the whole world shot through His body, God the Father turned His back on His Son…Jesus endured the distance, the desertion, and the rejection for us.” For us!

Thankfully, our journey to forgiveness isn’t nearly as painful as crucifixion. It only requires a humble heart, a desire to be cleansed of all unrighteousness, and bowing the head or bending the knee. Pretty simple, huh; but mandatory if we want peace in our lives here and on the other side of eternity.

But seeking forgiveness does not come naturally to us. Sinning does. The apostle Paul said, “I do what I don’t want to do, and don’t do what I want to do. What a wretched man am I.”

I know how he feels, don’t you? Thankfully Jesus provided the way to rid ourselves of the burden of sin.

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Wow! All we have to do is ask with a sincere heart. When we forgive people who’ve done us wrong, our heavenly Father forgives us of the wrongs we have committed. If we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven. In other words, what goes around comes around. What we send out boomerangs back to us.

During this season of forgiveness, we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus–the One who loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God for the forgiveness of our sins. So let us also take time to forgive those who have hurt us and to seek forgiveness from those whom we’ve hurt.

That simple act of forgiving will release burdens, rejuvenate friendships, restore our fellowship with God and add the sweet fragrance of peace to our lives.

From Rescue to Redemption


Kissing Mac (2)

My dear sweet Mac entered his final sleep last month. He was my love.

Mac bounded into my life as a happy, energetic rescue. Along with Bo, Mac was one of the dogs I wrote about in Happy Tails: Inspirational Stories for Dog’s Best Friend.

At the heart of Happy Tails is the story of their rescue, restoration, and adoption and how it parallels the testimony of all believers who have been rescued, restored, and adopted into God’s family and the permanent, loving home He has prepared for us.

Their stories mimic ours in other ways too. Bo was chained to a tree for five years before his owner turned him over to English Springer Spaniel rescue. His message is one of freedom with his master.


Mac’s story of rescue began with his being hit by a vehicle and left on the side of a busy street in Atlanta with a broken hip. A “good Samaritan” took him to the vet for hip repair and an owner search. When no one came forward to claim him, Mac was offered to us. We discovered right away that Mac was a runner and usually found trouble, so his theme is one of forgiveness.


Bo and Mac both found a permanent loving home us, just like the one promised to us on the other side of eternity. And maybe when “creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21), I’ll be united with them both again. Till then I have wonderful memories of the unconditional love and faithfulness we shared together.

Rest in peace, boys. Mama loves you.


To order Happy Tails, a gift book from Thomas Nelson, in paperback or the Kindle edition, click or copy and paste http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Tails-Inspirational-Stories-Friend/dp/1404175741/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418262565&sr=1-1&keywords=Happy+Tails%3A+Inspirational+Stories+for+Dogs+best+friend.

To order a signed hardback edition, email me at lhwinn@comcast.net. $15 includes free shipping.


Right Now


A few months ago, I posed the question, “What’s so great about being a Christian?”

While some people responded quickly with one or two word answers, some pondered it awhile. Recently, a friend replied, “There are so many overwhelming reasons that make being a Christian so great, I have a hard time coming up with just one. My brain keeps pinging around with ideas like I’m an arcade game. However, one thing has come to the forefront, and I realize that this reason is the most important in my life right now.”

“Right now.” That’s the way God works. He’s ever present. He’s always there when we need Him; He’s always there when we think we don’t; and He’s always there in our “right now” moments whether we are aware of His presence or not.

She went on to tell about her relationship with Rose, her 88 pound Sicilian mother-in-law. Here’s her story…

“Recently my husband’s mother, 92, passed away. It’s been a rocky road since January 25th when she fell and broke her hip. She had been up and down physically because of age, C.O.P.D., infections, and the break itself; but we sat by her bedside and listened to her longing to be released from this earth and railing against her circumstances. She has been loving, exasperating, mean at times, and above all frail.

“Rose and I didn’t always see eye to eye. Over the years she said some very hurtful things to my face and behind my back. I apparently wasn’t the daughter-in-law she would have chosen for her son whom she loved with all her heart. I never spoke back to her because my parents raised me to be respectful of my elders. Instead, I listened to her words, went home, and cried. To be fair, she didn’t always treat me in this manner. Sometimes she would cling to me and say I’m her daughter.

“These past weeks have taught me a bit more about Christ’s love for those who wronged Him. HE LOVED THEM. And through His love for her, I realized I loved her, too, and I forgave her for the unkindness. I’m not sure a person without Christ could do that. Perhaps they can. I know that being a Christian and having His great example of true love is what brings me to this place right now. Forgiving, loving, and mourning her passing. What a great gift He has given me!”

And what a great gift this example of Christ’s love and forgiveness has been for me. You see, my mother-in-law was ugly to me, too. I was not a practicing Christian while she was alive; and it never occurred to me to love her or forgive her for her many acts of unkindness toward me. My response was always to just walk away. To be truthful, I’ve rarely even thought of her since she died in 1986. But now, through the sharing of this story, I realize that it’s time to forgive my mother-in-law for all those years of ugliness.

So, thank you my friend, for resurrecting those memories and for reminding me that because Christ loves and forgives me for all of my transgressions, I can love and forgive my mother-in-law, too. Christ used you to reach me, and I am truly blessed.

Perhaps you, too, have been treated unkindly by someone close to you. I hope you’ll remember that love never fails and make amends “right now.” Love forgives, heals, and restores broken relationships. That’s what’s so great about being a Christian.