Rescue From Regret

dear-God
Have you ever made a colossal blunder? A mistake so shameful you can’t even stand to look at the offender in the mirror? Personally, I wish I could say no, but I can’t. I often carry an immensely heavy and heartbreaking load of shame and frustration with my stupid self. I am haunted by the immensity of my mistakes, imprisoned by my innumerable and irreparable failures. This life has an iron clad, no take-backs policy and it is a truly disagreeable state, one in which we can all find ourselves.   However, in this infuriating and painful condition I know I am never alone, for at any given moment we are surrounded by the pain and sorrow of countless individuals drowning in their self-made pools of emotional quicksand. They are often so consumed by their shame and humiliation, they can’t even muster a voice to cry out for a much...
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Be Ready

boy-blue-sky
“Daddy, why is the grass green and the sky blue?” Not since my 8th grade final science exam did I think I would every have a need to use that information again. But there I was, taken aback by the question for a moment. Standing in front of me looking up was my young redheaded boy, with the wonder of the world filling up his beautiful brown eyes. His query to me was with compete expectation of an answer. He was looking longingly to his father to help him understand as questions filled his heart about the world he was in. He made the assumption I had the answer, which I did. As you and I live out our Christian faith with boldness, there are those around us who might be looking in with wonder and asking the same question, “Why?” Are we ready and able to give them the...
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HOPE

HOPE
Well, we are still here. For almost 30 years now I have been hearing that the end of the world is coming. They prognosticate over and over of it’s coming on this day here, or in this month there, but, in the end, we are still here. Instant access to social media is a fan, to the flames of this type of dooms day doctrine. To be honest I have become weary of main street media using this garbage to take a shot at my faith in their closing remarks. Christians are not looking for the end of the world and we shouldn't be. This tabloid type of biblical misrepresentation is a clear distraction from what is important. We should be looking for our coming Savior, without question. And Jesus told us to be doing something quite important until the day of His return. He said,  “All authority has been...
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Being An Example

spending
  “Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.  But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.” (Colossians 3:22–25)  I understand for many of us watching a generation protesting over and over again and not producing anything worthwhile but a fresh sound bite and new images for our 24hr news cycle can be disheartening. Many are frustrated and want change, I get it. Yet if they truly desire change in their culture they have backed themselves into a difficult predicament. They have an abundance of rhetoric without an actionable direction of...
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Conflict

Conflict
There are times we don’t get along with each other. Probably more often than any of us would care to admit. Husbands and wives have difficulties and disagreements over the most insignificant things all the time. Brothers and sisters fight and squabble over a cheap plastic toy. Children choose to argue with parents over their need for personal freedoms as if they are Scotsmen on the brink of war with England. The examples of what we fight about are a deep well of disparaging conflict that plagues our human existence. So, why do we fight? Well, that’s simple. Pride. Our pride promotes strife. James wrote, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have...
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Making Choices

choices
“The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.” (Proverbs 15:31-33) Throughout this incredibly brief lifetime you and I have been given, we can’t hide from the choices that must be made, some easy, and others life changing. Each one of those decisions moves our life for better or worse, or can end our lives in an instant all together. Life is balanced on the razor’s edge of the decisions we make. Yet most of us do not seek out healthy counsel when we are faced with these choices. Why? I have no idea. Maybe we have become so self-confident as a culture that we have actually lined up in the parade of fools, marching to...
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Unplug

Unplug
So, when you get up in the morning, what wakes you up, your alarm clock or your passion? The happiest of us would say our passion, but is it really true? Are we actually living for what we are passionate about, or are we settling for the second-rate leftovers this life dishes up by settling for any less than God’s very best for us? Yet, at the same time, we need to be, without question, positive our passions are in line with the heart of God. Is it quite possible we are blindly existing in a self-made, self-promoting, borderline narcissistic delusion, built upon new perversions of social norms? We all would do well to remember the wise counsel of Solomon as he wrote, “There is a way  that seems  right to a man, but its end  is  the way of death.” (Proverbs 16:25)  The way we are going may  seem...
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Children of Light

children-of-light
We have all heard at one time or another, “Come on, it’ll be fun!”  That short sentence has been the key to unlocking numerous doors of trouble for most of us. Going to the “party” we know we should never go to. Taking the first drink of alcohol, holding in the first drag, watching pornography, or getting involved in physical intimacy with someone we are not married to. Most of us do not wake up one day and decide to be completely self-destructive. We have an abundance of help most of the time. Solomon wrote to his son,  “When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things, from those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness…” (Proverbs 2:10–13) ...
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Your Choice

thumbs-up-down
It only takes one bad choice to wreck a life and bring disaster on countess others. Peer pressure is not just a difficulty that haunts the young. Every generation under the sun suffers from the mounting weight laid upon them by our media driven culture. Pressured to buy this, have that, lease the newest car, purchase the roomiest house, mow the greenest yard, and all at 0% APR for the first 12 months. We all must be wary of the deceptions that are out there in the world. We also need to be acutely aware of those around us who would lead us down a path to destruction in the name of power, pleasure or money.  “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait to  shed  blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; Let us...
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Actions Speak Louder

actions-speak-louder-than-words
I understand for many of us watching a generation protesting over and over again, and not producing anything worthwhile but a fresh sound bite and new images for our 24 hour news cycle, can be disheartening. Many are frustrated and want change, I get it. Yet if they truly desire change in their culture, they have backed themselves into a difficult predicament. They have an abundance of rhetoric without an actionable direction of effort.  Solomon wrote “ In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter  leads  only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23)   Words without actions are empty. Words without the right kind of actions exist in the same shapeless void. We can scream and yell about what we want all day every day and still have nothing. We need to invest focused exertion to fulfill the expectation of our goals. Change requires the daily investment of action. Maybe it’s...
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Guard Your Mouth

zip
“Son, you need to think before you speak!” Those are words that were burned into my mind by my dad as a teenager. Most of us, if not all of us, have at one time or another said something we wish we could erase from existence. The foolish, and often painful, things we’ve said have left permanent scars on hearts and minds of the unfortunate recipients of our explosive emotional meltdowns. However, if the unpleasant truth be told, we can never “unspeak” words that have been spoken. We may have felt justified in the heat of the moment, be it anger, bitterness, envy, frustration, maybe even physical pain. Yet our personal justifications will never erase the pain that has been inflicted upon others and the destructive consequences that will come back upon us as the result of the words we have used. Salomon wrote, “He who guards his mouth preserves...
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Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Ironworkers
Have you noticed we live in a time of which, I am sure, historians will reflect upon as when men and women, at least in the Western culture, look at hard work as something beneath their dignity? Do they actually feel, corporately and individually, they are owed something for simply breathing air? I honestly don’t have an answer. One thing I do know is that we as Christians are to have a work ethic that sets the standard and, I might add, a Godly standard for all to see . “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among who you shine as lights in the world…” (Philippians 2:14-15)   We should not be complaining or whining about our need to work, but rejoice that we are physically and mentally...
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Sojourners

hiker
Have you ever been overcome by the distress of a broken heart, as you slowly watch the world around you slip deeper and deeper into the bottomless pit of hopelessness? I have. But we should all try to remember that this world is not our home and it is passing away. The writer to the Hebrews wrote, “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” (Hebrews 13:14) The reality is this is not our reality. We are sojourners in this strange and backward land of compromise and cruelty. We should constantly be longing for our heavenly home and know we are not long for this world. Every heartbeat takes us one moment closer to the revelation of a new land in which we have our permanent citizenship in a place prepared by God.   Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe...
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All Words Matter

words-matter-banner
  I would like to start by stating I’m not sure if this will actually apply to anyone but myself, but if the shoe fits, please feel free to try it on. Have you ever had a moment when you are so upset you lose all control of civil decorum? That moment when a powerful eruption of your emotions explodes forth out of your bitter and damaged heart with harsh words mashing together into a free flowing, vomitus rage. As you’re venting the deepest frustration of your broken and dark heart, your mind is screaming to your human spirit for a total recall, however, the carnage keeps pouring out in an uncontrollable flood. Yep, me too.   Solomon gave clear instruction in this area when he wrote,  “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the...
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Stirred Up

Stirred Up
I have been staring at my computer keyboard for hours with the desire to write, but my mind is being choked out with the overwhelming shadow of all that needs accomplished in each day. You could say that I’m overwhelmed, and you might be right. You may choose to even put yourself in the place of judgment, thinking, I need to slow down, do less, or just let things slide.   The solutions often seem simple to the outside observer who has not walked a day in our shoes, but they are quite willing to proudly share their opinions with us nonetheless. You and I should never judge someone else in their zeal to bring glory to God. They very well may be burning the candle at both ends and in the middle, at the request of God Himself. Paul wrote , “Yes, and if I am being poured out...
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Reach For a New Beginning

Reach For a New Beginning
How many times have we been caught red-handed? I mean really caught. The kind of busted that happens when the fire department has arrived and there we stand, still holding the matches.  It would be fair to say we have all, at one time or another, been caught red-handed. Yet, what about all the things we’ve done that have never been brought into the light and found out? The burden we carry in the shameful backpack of our guilty conscience. We know it’s wrong, but do it anyway, all the time lying to ourselves, saying it is not a big deal. But the overwhelming fear of being discovered starts to affect every part of our life.   King Solomon wrote, “He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known. (Proverbs 10:9) There is a confidence and peace that comes from walking in integrity,...
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Time Wise

Time Wise
Many of us, including myself, have become so overwhelmed by the tyranny of the urgent that we no longer slow down long enough to keep our priority clear and set reasonable goals with which to reach them. We are franticly running from one thing to the other, most of the time late, and we have little or nothing to show for it in the area of things that really matter. We have been fooled into thinking the crazier our life, family and kids are, the more successful we have or will become. That is just not true.    What we have done is thrown away countless hours into activities, social media, television and well, you can fill in the blank of things I’ve missed that best fits your particular brand of crazy life. As easy as it is to make excuse after excuse as to why we are so busy,...
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Forever Changed

Forever Changed
For many Christians and non-Christians alike, Resurrection Sunday means the Easter bunny, candy, lots and lots of candy, and a day of food, fellowship, and family. It is also the semi-annual obligatory church-attending holiday for most, after which life continues to go on as usual with no change at all regarding their sin and their relationship with the Almighty Savior.   How tragic that we forget so quickly the powerful truth of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We walk out of church services into an application void, never really appropriating the incredible truth of the power of the Resurrection to our daily lives. We declare, “Our God reigns! He is alive!” Yet, do we actually live it out in our daily actions or do we simply neglect from year to year the message of The Risen Christ?    So by way of review, Yes, Jesus Christ died. He died on...
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Don't Waste Good

Don't Waste Good
From a young age, we are all taught (at least I was) to reach for the brass ring, run to win, and do your best to succeed in everything you do. “Second place is the first loser.” was a common mantra of my generation. I was told to follow my dreams and I could do anything my young heart desired. Well, that is  so  not true. Reality has come to bare its teeth and has devoured up my innocent dreams on more than one occasion. That kind of pain is not as rare as I wish it was. I have found there are numerous things I’m no good at. For example, I humbly will admit, I can’t play an oboe, a clarinet or a saxophone. I tried a few times, but the sound of running a small animal through a broken blender was just not appealing—to anyone, including myself. I...
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What Gets You Out of Bed?

What Gets You Out of Bed?
There are days in a writer’s life when staring at the vast, formless expanse of a blank page feels like an overwhelming and daunting task. From within its shapeless existence, it mocks the writer, taunting him to make the first move. So, with stern determination, slowly crafting one word upon another, new thoughts turn into many, and the power of the written word begins to communicate ideas of love, joy, hurts and sorrows moving within the heart of the writer. With every key stroke, or stroke of the pen, new life is brought to the once desolate landscape of missing creativity.    As a writer faces a new page each day, so we also face a wonderful and gracious gift of God in the newness of each day we are given. The preacher wrote, “ Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new...
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