Monday, December 8, 2014

The Power of Forgiveness

The Power of Forgiveness
Guest post by Bailey Barnes

I think the hardest thing I have ever had to do is forgive. 

It's even harder to forgive when you're not asked forgiveness. The one who hurt you didn't apologize and probably doesn't care if you forgive them.

Forgive them anyway.

In the recent months, I've learned a lot about the act of forgiving. I've been holding onto a lot of grudges. I've been holding on to all the fear, anger, pain, and heartache that people have caused me.

Recently, my friends and I were sitting in one of their dorm rooms crying over a situation that we could't control. Our hearts hurt and there was nothing we could do to fix them. 

So we prayed. We all sat in the chapel and prayed. It was in that moment that I decided that all my fears and frustrations were out of my control. I had to put my fear, anger, pain, and heartache into God's hands. 

Matthew 6: 14-15 says, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."
Holding onto the sins committed against me isn't going to make me feel better. They don't care and it only makes me upset. 

Doing something to intentionally make them sad or make them "pay" for what they did to you won't solve anything or make it better. 

But forgiveness can make it better. 

Forgiving them means that they cannot get to you. Holding a grudge and being afraid means that they win. Show them that they can't break you. Forgiving is the ultimate sign of strength. 
It's not easy, I know. I really struggle with forgiving, but I know it's necessary if I ever want to feel better. 

Romans 8 says, "The pain that you have been feeling cannot compare to the joy that is coming."
It's difficult to let things go without an apology. Forgive anyway. 

It'll always get better.  

With love, 
Bailey Barnes

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Christmas Playlist

I have to admit, I started listening to Christmas music around Halloween...what can I say? Holiday spirit has been in abundance this year. There is something about Christmas music that brings me back to my childhood, and fills me with an excitement and eagerness to create my own holiday traditions as I grow older. 
One of my favorite memories from being a kid is Christmas Eve. My dad would read my siblings and I The Night Before Christmas and then my sister and I would put out the milk and cookies and hide the Baby Jesus somewhere for St. Nicholas to find; we would then make our way upstairs and turn on the radio (back when we used radios, right?) and found the 24/7 Christmas station. We had separate rooms so we put the radio in the hall on the floor and fell asleep listening to the melodies of all our favorites. We still carry out this tradition every year, and it is one of the things I am most looking forward to when I return home in two weeks. 
These are my favorite Christmas songs, tried and true. 

Christmas Canon by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra 

Believe by Josh Groban

Where Are You, Christmas by Faith Hill

All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey

Happy Christmas (War Is Over) by Maroon 5

The Christmas Shoes by Newsong

Last Christmas by Wham!
What will you be listening to this Christmas season? Do you tend to stick to the classics or do you like to discover new favorites each year? 
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