A promise was made to my older brother roughly 50 years ago. He was just an infant and had no idea that this promise was being set upon him. It was a promise that wasn’t his to fulfill. It carried with it no stipulations or loopholes that could void it. It was a one-sided agreement to protect and keep him. The most he could ever do was reject it, but even that would be difficult to do. When the water poured out down over his infant head at baptism, the promise was sealed. God would call this child-my brother-His own. Continue reading “The CHF Articles: Baptism’s Promise”
I came across a “deep commentary” in the form of a Facebook meme, extolling the frustrations of the natural man’s inability to understand the things of God. It starts by quoting (or mocking) someone saying, “I’ve tried to read the bible, but I just can’t understand it.” They related the problem as to someone being born spiritually, like a person being born to a specific culture. They are then raised in that culture, so that they can understand the language of that culture. They say once you’re born again with God’s Spirit in you, then the Bible makes sense!
Source: Understanding Grace (5/9/16)
If you’ve been in church long enough, you might have seen the worst of someone’s unrepentant sin get them kicked out, cast out, excommunicated or “handed over to Satan so their flesh might die and their soul might live.” Maybe, you’ve been the one cast out or you quietly “pumped a fist” (at least in your head), happy to see someone, “get what they deserve.” This casting out may have even been a leader or a pastor who fell into grave misconduct. Whatever the case and however it’s done within the local church body, once judgement rightly falls, and the person, now confronted and broken by their sin, repents, what next? Continue reading “The CHF Articles: Repentant Enough?”
I started writing this article about a friend, her struggles through cancer, and the pain of an unfortunate and severe fall that landed her in a hospital, requiring months of rehabilitation. I also wanted to tell you in detail about the estranged relationship between her and her husband, and their adult daughter. A relationship so broken that both her daughter and their grandchildren are no longer in their lives.
Source: The Prosperity Of The Gospel (4/20/16)
I was thinking back to an old devotional I read (and probably never finished), Holiness: Day by Day, by Jerry Bridges I really liked reading his works, and this was no different. He has a way of focusing everything on the Gospel and the cross, as well as God’s mercy and grace in such a way, I sometimes wonder if he isn’t snatching the thoughts right from my head so he can speak directly and exclusively to me. Continue reading “The Performance Trap!”
So, Father’s Day is here again.
I’m sorry, but I just can’t be excited about it. Maybe it’s because of all my faults. Maybe in a sea of screw ups, a few life preserver moments of manly clarity and wisdom doesn’t inspire me towards feeling accomplished as a husband or father. I just don’t think it’s necessarily something to relish in or put on a pedestal. It doesn’t seem like it’s something to be highly regarded from a fatherly point of view. I’m sorry, but I’m just not feeling it and frankly I never do. I am a father simply because and only because, my wife blessed me with two children. I am a father because that’s what my children call me. I feel more privileged and honored by that than by anything I’ve ever done in my role as a father. To be honest, if they still love me and if my wife still loves me and I think they do, then they have shown me the face of God and I have probably failed to adequately acknowledge it.
Continue reading “Just Another Father’s Day…”
Early on in my Christian walk, I was told exposing your sin is the only way it could be robbed of its power over you. So I did it. I told people. Lots of people. It was hard, and it hurt, and it was tough on my family, especially my wife. When the smoke cleared, I didn’t feel better, or freer, or more holy. The only thing I knew now was the people knew what a horrible sinner I was, and after the initial pats on the back, it seemed as if I hadn’t said a word. Continue reading “We Sin. God Forgives. Grace Reigns.”
One of the most regular, and familiar parts of the current contemporary mainstream evangelical church service is the altar call.
Whether for first time believers walking the aisle wanting to hand their lives over to Jesus, or old mainstays in the church that go up for prayer for some sin or struggle in their life. Inevitably, and without fail, there will always be those repeat offenders that return week after week. Those repeaters run the aisle after every service, needing prayer for the same thing again. Continue reading “We Need Forgiveness, ALL THE TIME!”
*This was written last winter, but it still applies… I hope you enjoy it.
While in the midst of cursing this winter that never seems to end, I was confronted in my mind with a particular insight as I watched the snow come down this morning. As snowfalls go, this has been one of my favorites. The giant drifting snowflakes gently coming down remind me of the manna falling from heaven to feed God’s own people. The flakes so large, look as if they’re of a greater, tangible substance and not just water that melts away in the warmth of your hands. There’s no wind blowing violently to turn it into an icy sheet and the weather is just warm enough for you to stand outside and enjoy it without having to rush back in. This is the kind of snow you want to see on Christmas Eve. It is “Postcard Perfect” in the way it falls and in the way it lies on ground before people go about the business of brushing it all aside. Continue reading “A New Snow, A Saving Grace*”
*I wrote this post last year. The lesson learned from it still stands today. Whether there is snow, sun, or rain.
It’s Saturday and I’m lazy. Instead of getting right to the morning devotional and prayers(Please don’t hear that like I normally do it well), I spent a quiet early morning fiddling around with Twitter, Facebook, and E-mail, with some candy crush thrown in. I take a look out the big bay window in the living room and see that the forecast was spot on. We’ve got a few inches of snow. It’s not the soft powdery kind, but the kind that’s mixed with rain. The heavy, “heart attack” type snow. So I finally get dressed, and prepare to attack the wet wintry mix when I decide to sit a few minutes more and complain to the fellow patrons of Twitter about how much I don’t want to do this. Continue reading “Snow Covered Grace*”