forgiveness, Jesus

Clean as Pure Snow

When I was a young teenager I got the brilliant idea to bleach a pair of Levi’s. I filled the bottom of the bathtub with bleach and soaked my jeans. Everything was going great until I took the bleach soaked jeans out of the tub and carried them, dripping, down the hall, then all the way down the stairs to the laundry room. Our house had forest green carpet, so I left a path of bright white dots with each drip. I had no idea any of this transpired because I was focused on my project.

My mom noticed and she was not happy, at all. I was shocked and felt awful. I tried quickly wiping up the spots, but it was too late. The carpet was stained. We tried everything to get the spots back to their glorious 1980’s forest green, even a dark green marker. Nothing worked. The spots were less noticeable, but they remained until we sold the house, and the new owners replaced the carpet. 

Sin leaves a stain that cannot be removed with our own efforts. No matter how hard we try, our sin remains. Our good deeds will not take our sins away. We can’t clean them, but we sure try. Maybe if we are good, and do as many nice things as possible, then no one will notice our stains. There is no magic cleaner, or good deed to remove the stain of sin. There is only one way for sin to be removed. Only one can remove our sins. His name is Jesus.

“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool.”

Isaiah 1:18, NIV

The scarlet described in Isaiah is a bright red color. This vibrant red was created from the eggs of a small insect found on oak leaves in the Mediterranean. Fabric would be dipped in this red color twice to ensure it was set. No washing or cleaning could remove the scarlet that was deeply embedded in the cloth. Much like our sin, our human efforts cannot remove what’s been set in our heart. 

Only Jesus can make us clean as pure white snow. He can remove the stain of sin in our hearts. White represents purity and innocence. It’s clean, unblemished. Have you ever stood outside as fresh snow falls? It’s bright and untouched. The snow makes everything new again. As the snow comes down it covers the dirt and muck. All you see is glowing white. 

The crimson of our sin is not just covered, it’s removed. Once we have repented and believe in Jesus, we are like wool that has never been dyed. Our sins can seem like they are part of us forever. They don’t have to be. That bright scarlet is gone when Jesus makes us new like pure wool. The sin stain is permanently removed. 

There is not a single person on this planet, nor has there ever been, who has not sinned. Every one of us has sinned.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23, NIV 

There’s good news! Jesus already paid our sin debt in full. The stain is removed for those who are in Christ.

“but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”  1 John 1:7, NASB 

There is no sin too big that Jesus cannot remove. He can make you clean and new like pure snow. Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Today would be a great day to change that. He is waiting for you with open arms.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,  Acts 3:19, NIV 

Love you all, 

Meghan 

 

Father God,

Thank you for Jesus, and the sacrifice He made on the cross for all of us. Thank you for the newness you give us when we belong to you. Thank you for taking away the stain of our sins and making us pure in your sight because of your son, Jesus. Thank you for your perfect love and freedom that you give. Draw people to Jesus today. May many come to know Him as their Savior. We thank you and praise you God.

Amen 

 

If you need prayer please go to my contact page. 

 

Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

Reference:

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/barnes/isaiah/1.htm

Bible, Faith, Family, God, Jesus, Uncategorized

I love you Dad!

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When I was a little girl, the thought never crossed my mind that my parents were ever once children themselves, let alone babies. In my child mind, parents are just grown ups, and they had never been anything else. This sweet picture is proof that parents were once babies. That’s my dad as a baby. I have no idea how old he was. Leo John Whitney was born on May 29, 1943 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the youngest of three boys; a surprise baby for my middle aged grandparents. They already had sons who were 17 and 13 by the time my father arrived in the Whitney household. Lee was the precious youngest. My uncle Mack, the middle son, would tell me stories of “the prince”, my dad.

Lee grew up in Braddock, Pennsylvania. A borough in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. His father, Michael, sold Chesterfield cigarettes and Ann, his mother, took care of the home and children. My dad was doted on and dearly loved. Some, my uncles, may even say he was spoiled. I would have to agree with that argument. My dad was raised Catholic, and went to parochial school all the way through high school. While in college he met my mom, and they married in 1963. He graduated from Penn State in 1965. Shortly afterwards, my parents decided to move out west to California. They got jobs and began to get settled in the Golden State. The Vietnam War was in full swing. My dad received his draft card and decided to join the Marines. Oorah!

Dad was a proud Marine. I know this because I heard, “From the halls of Montazuma, To the shores of Tripoli,” every time he drank too much; which was often. As a little girl I loved my dad. I would ask for sips of his beer. I had no clue he was an alcoholic. He would tell me I can be anything I want to be. These “speeches” were done while he was drunk. Again, I didn’t know what “drunk” was, or alcoholism. In my mind, Dad was strong. I would put my arms around his neck and he would dive into the pool. We’d go under the water, and I’d hold on tight. He’d flex his biceps and my sister and I would grab on and he’d lift us up. He was the strongest man I knew.

He loved when we had horses and got us all cowboy hats and boots. Dad rode Tasha, our part Arabian horse. I think he liked playing “cowboy”. I saw him try to get on the horse a few times and fall off. Drunk again. I still had no idea what that was. I watched my dad fall in the pool when he was cleaning it. Drunk.

Dad accepted Jesus Christ as his savior August 1982. I remember watching him get baptized. We got involved in our church. Dad was an usher but still struggled with his demons. We’d stop at the liquor store on the way home from church. Dad was saved, but not set free. He finally went cold turkey in the late ’80’s which was great. The down side was him trying so hard to stay sober on his own; he’d fall off the wagon at times. I never saw him drunk again like when I was growing up. So, praise God for that.

My memories from when I was a little girl are good ones. But, all addictions get worse, and his alcoholism did. By the time I was in  high school his drinking was out of control. I knew what alcoholism was now, but never told a friend. I didn’t know what to do with it. Anger built inside of me. The dad I loved, I now despised. I hated him. I hated alcohol. I hated what it did to our family. It tore us up.

The summer after I graduated high school I heard a sermon at church on forgiveness. I had probably heard many teachings on forgiveness up to that point. That day was different. The words cut to my heart. I knew I needed to forgive my dad. I was 17 and I forgave Dad for all the years of drinking and the pain it caused. I never came up to my dad and said, “I forgive you”. It was done in my heart and Jesus set me free of that burden. I began to see my dad differently. As a person with a past, and problems. Just like me. I loved my dad again, like when I was a little girl. God is so good.

Dad loved the Lord. He was not a perfect man. I am not perfect either. I tell this from my view. My four siblings have their perspectives, and memories. My mom has her memories too. This is my way to honor my dad. My story is one of forgiveness, and the redemptive work Jesus did on the cross and in my dad’s life.

Dad passed away exactly twenty one years ago today, March 30, 1998. After his grim cancer diagnosis, he lived the best life he could. He loved running the Gresham Bike Store, that my parents had bought a couple years prior. He hugged us every time we saw him. He was hugging everyone, my husband,  the mailman, and probably the dry cleaner. Time was short, and Dad knew it.

My dad loved me. At the very end of his life, when he was in the hospital at only 54 years old, I had a sweet moment with him. I came by the hospital to visit him and my cousin Tommy was in the room. I told my dad that I would come back later. He said “No. Stay”. He took my hand and said these words, “This one. She’s special”. There were other words said but I don’t remember them. That was the last coherent conversation we had, before the morphine took over. It was like I got this final blessing from him.

I look forward to seeing my dad again in heaven. I will end with his favorite verse. I Love you Dad!!!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
 Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

(NASB)