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!”
I’m a New Yorker. More specifically, I am from the very forgotten borough of Staten Island. It’s a small place, and growing up here my whole life means that there aren’t too many places that I haven’t explored. This also means, and forgive the imagery, that in the course of my young life, I’ve spread enough sins from one end of the island to the other. I don’t dwell on it regularly, but a quick trip running errands about the island brings me past too many old familiar places. They are places that cause this mind to quickly wander into all of the “what I used to do’s.” It seems, once the memory is sparked, those past sins play out like a video in my mind. It’s amazing that I can forget a name in seconds, but like a file saved on a hard drive, those memories can boot up in record time.
Whatever level of sin you’re rummaging around in, forgiveness and grace is yours.
I really could stop right there, and most Christians would get the point, but as I’ve said before this topic hits home for me, and its important for me to be reminded that whatever I’ve done, if Christ is my hope, there is truly no condemnation that can overwhelm you, and leave you unforgiven and unrestored. This is not a green light to sin with reckless abandon, and we know the Bible nowhere encourages that. Being both sinful and justified means we don’t revel in our guilt and shame, but trust in the forgiveness of God, through the finished work of Christ. We trust God as we turn to Him in repentance and faith, which we all need to do regularly, and I stand unashamed at the front of the line. I feel the need to express these things because of the different levels of sin that exist. The ones that we may excuse away because they’re so small, or the others which make us feel so guilty that we think forgiveness is beyond God’s ability or maybe desire. Below are examples of those levels:
A friend obtain these letters at extreme danger to himself. He then passed them on to me, and I hereby submit them to my entire blogging audience for the purpose of hopefully grasping the idea of God’s Grace as displayed by Bob, the father of this wayward son. The names, have of course, been changed to protect the parties.* Continue reading “Letters To Bob…”
I am a hypocrite.
For so many reasons that I don’t care to mention, it’s what I am. Right now, in this moment, I’m a hypocrite for calling you one for calling out other people as hypocrites. The irony is tangible. This will probably go down in the decades, years, umm, months of blogging as a “rant”. I can live with that. I’m just a little tired of all the people who love to assess a person, group or situation without first looking at themselves so that maybe they might choose their words wisely or wisely just shut up! Again, I know I’m just as guilty and probably more so. Continue reading “Hypocrisy From A Hypocrite (or Just Another Nut Talking!)”
..but I wasn’t the worst kid.
This is a statement that most of us can probably look at and tack on to the history of our youth when we think fondly about it. Sure, some kids were worse than others, and then there are some we’d probably chuckle at saying, “that wasn’t even close to being bad.” Either way, none of us are angels, and if we were lucky we had parents that disciplined us for our own good and loved us for our best good. This is a story of that best good and how my mother displayed that to me. Continue reading “What My Mother Didn’t Know: A Story Of Mercy And Grace.”
This post is a little different. This is a sort of poem I wrote about Paul meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. It’s a sort of, “what Paul might have thought”. It reminds me also of how God has the complete and final say in calling us to Him.
Light blinding all around, so suddenly without a sound.
What could be responsible?
My companions? Where are they and did they see what I did?
Weak, so weak, can’t stand, to my knees I fall.
Is it truly the end of it all? Continue reading “Paul’s Conversion (A Poem)”
There is not one unforgivable sin that you can commit while breathing. Whether people care to acknowledge it or not, God is always providing us with opportunities to bend a knee in humility towards Him. Some recognize God’s call as good and take that knee. Other’s see that call and defiantly reject God’s graciousness poured out for them, standing high from the tower of their own lives screaming words of rebellion out to him. Most who have bent a knee know what that’s like as God systematically dismantled our own towers. Even still, He might have a few floors to go for most of us.
Continue reading “Cain’s Mark, God’s Mercy”
Most Sundays, when I go to church, I’m alone. I am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses to be sure, but still, I sit alone. We repeat liturgy, sing hymns and worship as a whole, but make no mistake about it, I am utterly alone. I walk in alone, and except for the occasional handshake or conversation, there is clearly some kind of force field around me that separates me from the others. My wife attends a church different from mine and my son seems to be against all things God. So, many times, when I walk in, I do so hammered with doubts and fears and all sorts of worries. I am a wreck, but here I am, by myself, except for my thoughts that never seem to go away, so I guess I’m not completely alone. Sometimes, in regards to my racing mind, I wish I were.
Continue reading “First Sundays… “