Uprising, Part 3: Forgiveness

Here’s the final segment from Uprising!

Page 122

When you refuse to let go of the past, you lose all hope.  When you walk backwards into the future, you cannot see anything to hope for.  This is one reason why a person who is embittered ultimately cannot be encouraged into a new frame of thinking.  Until he is willing to let go of the past, he is not ready to take hold of the future.

Bitterness will not only rob you of the joy of the present, but will steal from you all the promise of tomorrow.  When we refuse to forgive because we do not want to let those who have hurt us move on to a fresh future, we sacrifice our own future in the process.  Forgiveness is like a breath of fresh air.  You must inhale it and receive it and also exhale it as you give it.  As we grow in gratitude we find ourselves forgiving more quickly and more freely.  Our readiness to forgive will draw others to ourselves in that we will be known as a safe place to fail.  When you are grateful, to not forgive is unthinkable.  How could you even consider holding something against another when you yourself have had so much forgiven?  When you are the worst of all sinners, to withhold forgiveness from another is inconceivable.  Matthew 18:22-35

To receive the grace of God and yet treat others ungraciously is an act of wickedness.  No matter how much we are required to forgive in others, it pales in comparison to what God has forgiven in relationship to us.

The end of 2007 challenged me to really evaluate forgiveness and what it looks like to “forgive.”  One major thing that I needed to remember was that forgiveness does not mean that one has to fully trust the other person again/right away nor does it deny that his/her actions were indeed wrong and hurtful.  In fact, sometimes just saying the words “I forgive you” permitted me to lull myself into a false state where I denied the actions/words and pretended they did not happen so as to avoid pain.  This technique works for a while, but for me whatever happened keeps playing in my head and eventually I twist it into something I did wrong…back to the whole “why me, why not me, what did I do, was I not enough, ect.”  Such a fixation trapped me into a self-made prison and prevented the freedom that the above passage includes.

I find that forgiveness must consists of so much more than just the words.  In the past, I have said the words and then turned around a few days/weeks/months later to find myself holding onto the offense and using it against the person in an argument.  Our hurts are real and should not be taken lightly, yet holding on in a negative way fosters bitterness and resentment.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32

“I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin” Acts 8:23

–Christ forgave so much and came so that we might have “abundant life.”  By denying others forgiveness, I trap myself in bitterness and restrict the fullness of life in Christ.  In the same way, I must also see myself as forgiven and forgive myself to find freedom.  Forgiveness and repentance (180 degree turn).

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:15-16

–How radically different would forgiveness look if we each thought of ourselves as “the worst” sinner…

-Katy Rose

Uprising, Part 2: Memories

I’m sure you all have been anxiously awaiting Part 2. 😉

So here it is:

Page 126

Part of the process of moving toward wholeness for me was remembering my past differently. I had established memory ruts. I would go back to the same places over and over again. Like the open would you can’t help but touch. I would continuously take myself to a place that resulted in self-inflicted pain. The original wounds were not of my doing, but no one but me kept choosing to go back there. My whole life seemed to be defined by less than a half dozen memories, but the memories I had chosen were all negative. I remembered a life filled with pain and disappointment, not because that was all I experienced but because it was all that I had brought with me.

Memories have a way of defining not only who you were, but who you are and who you will become. One experience can become pervasive. It can shape your entire view of reality. It can become the filter through which you experience everything in life. I started to re-remember. There were great memories in my past, but I had to blow the dust off of them….The painful memories were no less real but no longer dominant.

There is something even greater that God longs to do with your memories. It’s important to remember all the good that has happened in your life and there is great healing power in creating new, positive memories. Yet the real miracle comes when you can look back at even the most painful experiences in your life and find the good that God has brought out of it. Until you can see the work of God in the worst of circumstances you have not yet begun to see your life from the eyes of God. When gratitude does its greatest work within us, we are able to celebrate who we are becoming even when we have passed through experiences we would wish on no one. No tragedy or hardship can rob from us the joy that is always before us when our eyes remain on Jesus.

Looking back on my life, I easily go back to the hurtful words, actions and circumstances. I often fixate and dwell on these memories rather than the happy times as people who know me well will attest. Unfortunately, I would even go so far as to say that sometimes I derive my identity and worth from these times. Fixating on why me, why not me or hurtful defining words simply gives me a foothold for self-pity and self-loathing. I easily fall into these traps and do not seek God’s perspective right away. In the past, seeing memories from God’s perspective takes months or years. At the time, I easily and readily will say, “I’m curious to see how I will look back on this” or “God better make something crazy good out of this.” But hardly ever expect to be able to see circumstances from God’s perspective right away.

I also resist “forgetting” or not dwelling on things because in my head this tactic denies reality and being realistic. The events or words happened. They are a fact. But as said above, they do not have to be dominant. They do not have to define me or my life. Sometimes I need to move on and focus on other things in order to be able to look back on those times with God’s perspective on how they molded and transformed me hopefully into a better person.

All of these thoughts serve as a powerful reminder of how damaging words or actions can be to another person. Especially to the ones we love the most because around them we can “get away with more” and be more real.

So, go make some happy memories with those that you love!

Working on seeing my life from God’s perspective,

Katy Rose

Uprising, Part 1: Integrity

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed it thoroughly! I spent mine completing a puzzle and reading. Although, last night was definitely a highlight…I played broomball! If I could play broomball everyday I would be ridiculously happy 🙂

On a more “serious” note, I decided to include some quotes from a book my friend, Carrie (see her blog on the side…I still don’t know how to direct link yet. oops!), gave me to read. I finished the book, Uprising by Erwin McManus, last weekend, but of course some of the ideas have stuck with me. I sent an e-mail to a friend with some passages, so that also makes for easy access.

Here’s the first passage:

Uprising, page 72

“Even those who hated Him knew He was the same person with everyone He met, regardless of context.

“When we lack integrity, we might alter our decisions based on who others are or even how we feel about them.

“Jesus had only one face. When we show different sides of ourselves to different people, we become two-faced at the very least. When we lack integrity, we find ourselves being several people, depending on the circumstance. We subdivide our lives and justify our differing value systems based on the context. Our character becomes a product to be sold. We become personality salesmen rather than people of substance.”

“Jesus was always the same person, and this is exactly what God both desires and requires of us.”

Hello my name is Katy and I’m a personality saleswoman. I struggle with this so much in part because I am a people pleaser. I alter the topics I talk about depending on the people I’m with at the time. I slip back into old habits and conversations and personalities so easily. Even when I’ve changed, grown, and learned so much, I can still fall right back into who I used to be. Also, I avoid conflict at all cost. Even friendly debate puts me on edge. As such, I tend to drop the subject, leave, fall asleep 😉 or give in and agree with the other person. Part of this I know stems from my fear of failure and perfectionist tendencies. I wholeheartedly see this as a area where I need a lot of growth and transformation.

Yet, I struggle seeing how I can live a life of integrity. How do I stay true to myself and my personality yet adjust to the circumstances around me? I find the concept hard to grasp…I find the idea of not adjusting almost ridiculous. Can one adjust and still remain the same person? Don’t circumstances sometimes require a tempered personality or appropriate subjects? I’m still working through these questions and figuring out how to be the same person in a variety of situations…

Even harder, though, is figuring out which “person” is the true authentic me. The person created and defined by God.

I wonder how different my life would look if I cast aside my changing personality. Would my friends still like me? Would my family still want to be around me? Would I talk about God more often? Would I want to go back to the “easier” me?

Well, that’s more than enough blog-worthy thoughts for one day. I’m off to go on a walk and then go sledding. Hope you get to enjoy the snow today too!

-Katy Rose


p.s. sorry my blogs seem quite long lately. I’ll try to fit in a shorter one sometime 🙂 maybe a picture!


Eighth grade English class brought my first taste of wanting to write a book. Throughout elementary school, I was adamant that I would be a lawyer like I read about in John Grisham books. But by eighth grade, I was ready to add writing to my career as a lawyer. I decided I could do both. In my spare time, I created storyboards, plot lines, character names and outline after outline. I created a 74 page “novella” by the end of the year. Of course, the story revolved around a lawyer since I still embraced that side of my passions. Eventually, I put these desires on the shelf and focused on other areas like tennis and actual school work.

I write that introduction as a segue into the topic of conversation that has held my interest the last couple of weeks. The first came between my roommate, Carrie, and I as we decided we should be the next “Boyd and Eddy.” We’re still working on it 🙂

The other conversation resulted when a couple of my friends and I got on the topic of purity books or just “girly” books. The obvious few included And the Bride Wore White, Captivating, and For Such a Time as This (only one of us had read this). We all agreed that these books definitely effect and can dramatically change some girls’ lives. However, two of us felt that the books tried too hard to make girls all into “princesses” and focus just on feelings. We connected much more with Wild at Heart. Writers and speakers alike have to deal with the problem of addressing a wide range of personalities and experiences especially when it comes to subjects such as purity or purpose. So, our first thought how could we write a book on purity differently. Then, I began thinking about how I personally have never seen a purity book outside the Christian/Religious section…have you? The shelves include books about how to find Mr. Right, how to date, romance books, and the like. So, now we’re on a quest to discover how to write a book on purity that goes beyond the Christian/Religious and the Self-Help section. Not sure if this will even happen, but the thought sure is fun to entertain.

Hope everyone has a lovely Christmas Eve!

Thoughts on blogging…

While surfing the internet this morning, I found this amazing post about blogging and community. It really resonated with me and fits with how I see blogging. I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on blogging and community in the future, but this is a start. So here’s the post:

“It is impossible to truly know someone via the internet. Yes you can get glimpses of them, see parts of who they are and how they want to be seen, but it is not possible to know them through this medium. Authenticity is a valuable commodity in a person, and only relationship and community can unveil it. It is easy to be deceived by how someone is projected or projects themselves over the internet. I, for instance, have a lot of self-preservation in mind when I put up words or art for anyone to see. I only want you to see what I think is cool or attractive, like a list of seemingly random items in a bedroom. Is it inherently wrong? Of course it isn’t, but it can be deceiving. The internet is a place where everyone puts the things out there that they want to be known, for obvious reasons.

This is fine, as I am not one who thinks that the internet is a place for full disclosure. If you find someone that unveils everything about his or her own life on a blog, then it can be assumed that there are some deeper issues. This space, my blog, is not a place for you to know me fully. Rather, this is a place to be vulnerable in small doses with hope of inspiring thought as well as it being a place for me to create, which we were all born to do in one way or another. I put out discerned amounts of information and you interpret it and take it further in your mind.

It happens naturally. I do it when I read blogs, listen to music, view pieces of art, et cetera. I look at someone’s photography, make a list of of the things I see, interpret them, and then I make assumptions as to whom I believe the artist to be. If I see a lot of empty space as a theme in their work, maybe I’ll interpret some loneliness or betrayal in their past. If there is a lot of drama then I’ll go one direction, and if there are always bright colors then I’ll go another. If it’s a female photographer then I’ll wonder what she’s like and how she smells and what books she reads and blah blah blah. (And you, reading that previous statement, naturally interpret it to mean something.)

The artist lies somewhere in the art, but is never fully disclosed.


I have to constantly remind myself that community doesn’t happen here in the way it was created to happen. Often the internet is a catalyst for community, or at least a starting point, but it can never develop until relationship is moved away from this place and into the realm of the physical. The internet is an addicting space to live in because it is so easy and comfortable. You can assume what you want about others and be incredibly selective about what they know about you. Authentic relationship in a one-on-one or community context is anything but easy, but I believe that it is good.

Of all of the things I have learned in these past few months, one of the greatest lessons has been this:

If you want to know yourself, let others know you. Let them know the good, the bad, the incredibly misshapen and ugly parts that embarrass you. Let them see your scars and wounds, and let them reexamine those wounds, which will be painful. Let them know your hopes and where your hopes have been killed. Allow them to hear the dreams you had of saving the world when you were a child. Let them speak into your life, and find people that will value your voice and will let you speak into their lives as well.

If you do this, with faith that they will not abandon you, then you will begin to see who you are, and you will be known.

December 16th, 2007, file under Uncategorized

All Content © 2007 Joshua Longbrake. He loves you. http://www.thelongbrake.com/blog/


God’s Whirlwind Response

First blog…I thought about starting out with a bang and talking about sex like Greg Boyd has written about lately, but I decided to save that for a little later.I also thought about writing on trust, but that too seems a little daunting for the first blog.So, I turn to the paper that has consumed my semester. “Reorientation of Creation Care: In Light of Wisdom Literature and Select Psalms”

Thomas Aquinas insists that each entity reaches perfection through an active desire to fulfill its place in nature.Specifically, “every entity has been created by God and it is therefore fundamental to every creature to seek God naturally in its own way.”Furthermore, each entity should participate uniquely in God to help reveal God to humans and to give glory to God.

These thoughts blew me away when I first began to process them.I am the type to “experience” God through nature, yet I often relegate nature to a lower position and embrace my tendency to have an anthropocentric worldview.Yet, Job 37-40 serves as a reminder that God created in ways far beyond our understanding.God responds to Job’s questions with a detailed account of a created order without humans.Only when Job worships God without expectation, predictability or reward does God rescue him from his affliction.Job realizes his insignificance and “smallness” in comparison to God and His glorious creation.


Then Job answered the LORD:

“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?”

Hope you enjoyed these thoughts to ponder.


p.s In case you were wondering…B’Ahava=with love