Sunday, August 17, 2014


Forgiveness is difficult for many but I never really thought that I ever had much of a problem with it.  Could I be wrong?
I've always considered myself very tolerant of others shortcomings knowing I had plenty myself.  Even if someone did me wrong in some way, I am rarely angry and fairly quick to forgive. I guess I do not take things personally and that is why you have to be a very close friend to ever have a chance to get me angry.
Resentment blame and bitterness are quiet smaller friends of anger. When the anger is gone, or even if you never let it in, anger will leave his little friends behind. They will sit quietly in a corner and you'll hardly know they are there. But they are there.
I've been praying to find forgiveness in someone else's heart.  But I heard a sermon from Pastor John Pollock of Freedom Life Church that made me realize I may be praying for the wrong thing.
Pastor John was speaking about John 8 when they brought in a woman caught in adultery. "... But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger." As the woman likely stood with her had held down in shame facing the ground, Pastor John conjectured what Jesus may have written. He may have written her name. He may have written "I Am Jehovah."  The conversation in the sand continued in my mind; "I am your creator and I made you beautiful. I made you to be more than this."
If you think about what it was like for that woman to not just stand before her whole community but to literally stand before her maker.  Well that's what I was thinking about and how tremendous is His grace to say to her "Then neither do I condemn you."
For Him, the offense was personal and she deserved her fate yet He held her blameless as He does me. I could relate to that woman as one who is in awe at the forgiving grace of God.
Then Pastor John said something that shook me like I was woken from a dream.  He asked if I could relate to Jesus!  If we could all follow the calling to be more like Jesus.  To forgive when it's the most personal.  To hold blameless those to whom blame is due.
That is when I caught a glimpse of what I have allowed to live quietly in the dark corners of my own life.  I cannot do anything more than ask forgiveness from others.  Once asked I needn't even be concerned.  But of those whom I would ask accountability I shall instead offer forgiveness and hold blameless.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

God never stops talking.

I have often felt frustrated & said to myself "why has God stopped talking to me?" When I finally get around to being honest with myself I think back on when I last thought I may have heard from God. Usually it was a conversation something like this:
me: "God what do you want me to do with my life?
God: "Love Me & allow Me to love you."
me: "I know, but specifically? Do what?"
God: "Okay, do this one thing..."
me: "right, okay but then what?"
God: "then these two things..."
me: "okay, but where will that take me?
God: "Where I want you to be" 
me: "for what?"
God: "for Me to tell you what is next."
me: "What will I do after that? I mean what's this leading to? This doesn't make sense. Is this really God?"
God: Sigh
After long pause,
me: "God tell me what to do."
God: "Do these three things..."
So it usually goes & even on the occasion that I am able to remember I had such a conversation, I'm usually less clear on the things that I was supposed to do or even how many things it was.
If you too ever get to a place where you don't hear God speaking to you and you can't even remember the last conversation you had with God, do what I do:  Go all the way back to the one where God said; "Do these ten things..." and then, actually do them.

Monday, July 7, 2014

I have no horse.

Many Christians can point to the salvation moment, that single point in time when they were reborn in the spirit, their own Damascus road experience.  I've told the simple version of the story before. Mine was not a single moment but a long process in which I stubbornly held onto the reins against loved ones and circumstances as they repeatedly swung at me like branches and pushed and scrapped at me like a thick forest brush.  I clung steadfastly to my high horse insisting I was too smart for religion.  Then like slowly waking from a dream that seem so very real I began to realize that there was no horse beneath me.  I was just in the thick brush clinging to nothing but my own pride.

I never have expounded on that description, perhaps because no audience has asked me to, or more likely, that I nor any audience cared for the sharing of uncomfortable details.  Since all the specific incidents are really far too numerous due to my painfully slow learning curve, I will continue to spare us both of much of it.  Those who love me can share story after story to attest to my stubbornness.  I was always the cynic and looked for the rational explanation dismissing everything as coincidence.

From a young age I was curious about the meaning of life and why we are all here.  I felt that I could really only trust myself and my own reasoning. I thought I could find the answers to life's questions if they could be found.  I had been jaded by all the contradictions and hypocrisy of religious organizations. All the church had proven to me is that they could not possibly hold the answers.  I considered all philosophies though finding at least some truth in most of them, but none held the whole truth.  None held an explanation of everything that could stand up to reason, (my reason.)  I had pretty  much resigned myself to the idea that there was no answer, that we as humans, could not possibly ever know the meaning of life.

So you see then the picture of me, like Saul, on my high horse striking down the Christians in my life, trampling over anything or anyone who could not stand up to my reasoning.  Then see me knocked from my horse, albeit much much more slowly, and even mercifully stricken blind for a while so that I would not immediately see that path that I had wrought. Now you may see me as if I am still riding high but I can assure you that if it appears so, it is because His grace has lifted me just out of reach of the daemons of regret that would devour me as I look back at all the hurt I have caused my loved ones and worse, the deeply trodden path I've made that cause others to fall into the same footsteps.

As for as picturing me like Paul, you may, in that once I released my reliance on my own reasoning, I now have a much greater understanding of the meaning of life than I even thought was possible.  And like with Paul, God uses every single situation in my life to continue to grow that understanding and knowledge of Him, albeit much much more slowly.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dimensions of God’s Love

What is love?  We each have experienced at least some kind of love in our lives, be it love between a man and a woman or such partners, love between a parent and child, the love between friends or love of family.  We are all capable of many types of love and may have many loved ones in our life.  If we were to lose a loved one or even if we are just missing one of these many types of love in our own lives, there is emptiness that is felt.  It’s like a hole in your heart, a void that longs to be filled. You feel it no matter how you want to avoid it or try to fill the void with other things.  There is still the longing.  We may have a little love in our lives or even a lot of love and yet there is still a longing.  It’s like there is at least one hole yet to fill.

Now consider the image of God in which you were made.  If we as men and women are capable of love for many, how much more is The Creator of the universe capable of?  So if we expand what we know of love to infinity, we begin to imagine God’s Love!  If you cannot quite imagine this sort of infinite love think of it this way:  You probably know what it feels like to have that one void in your heart.  Then surely I say before there was you, God felt the same desire to love you.