Forgiveness

Marketplace of the Heart

Marketplace of the Heart

Encouragment, Forgiveness
Jesus’ first act after entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday was to clear the temple.  Whether this occurred on the same day as hinted at by Matthew, Luke,  or the next day as specified by Mark, or earlier in His ministry as John records doesn’t really matter.  What does matter is what Jesus did, why He did it, and what that means to us?  Mark records it this way, “Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made
Where Does It Hurt?

Where Does It Hurt?

Encouragment, Forgiveness
If you've spent any time around young children you've seen “the moment.” Something happens, a young child perhaps just beginning to walk or maybe a few years older and able to race around the yard, trips on a toy or falls off of a swing. There is this moment when they look to see how Mom or Dad are reacting to their tumble. It's almost like they’re asking “am I hurt or am I ok?” They can be perfectly fine but if someone reacts with concern they cry or if someone (seeing that they are not really hurt) reacts with laughter or celebration they smile and go about their business. They haven’t yet learned to interpret pain. Pain is a part of our everyday lives. It's like the red warning light on our dashboard telling us that something is wrong although we may not understand what that somethin
The Most Powerful Tool in the Universe

The Most Powerful Tool in the Universe

Encouragment, Forgiveness
I’m convinced that the most powerful tool in the universe is the humble eraser. Many tools can be used to create something, other tools are designed to destroy, cut, tear, and plow. But the eraser is the only tool that can “un” something.  Words cannot be unspoken, bells cannot be unrung, actions cannot be undone, texts, letters, and emails cannot be unsent but the eraser can unwrite. Sure, hammers can pull nails, in a sense unnailing something, but a scar is left behind.  Paint and White Out may give the appearance of “un” but they only cover over, they do not restore to a previous condition like an eraser. There is only one other thing that rivals the eraser’s power to restore - forgiveness. Only forgiveness can “un” bitterness, anger, guilt, distrust, and heartache. Forgiveness can e
Pardon Me

Pardon Me

Encouragment, Forgiveness
Have you ever had one of those moments when you’re reading the Bible and one word leaps out to shakes your world?  Reminds me of Groucho Marx’s old TV show “You Bet Your Life” where saying the secret word would win the contestant $100.00. The secret word for today is “pardon.” Not in the modern sense of “pardon me, do you have have Grey Poupon.” Or in the western sense of “pardon me ma'am.” But in the judicial sense of “you have been pardoned by the Governor.”  Jesus said,  “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in ret
There’s a Mouse in the House

There’s a Mouse in the House

Encouragment, Forgiveness
My wife Betty hates mice.  She is not happy until every attempt to eradicate and seal them from the house has been accomplished. And of course, every year at about this time new evidence of their infiltration appears. Or worse yet, one dares to run across the floor in broad daylight. Yesterday was that kind of day. This particular mouse was not content to sneak around and leave presents, it had to visibly scurry around and loudly gnaw on things. This, of course, led to great frustration and a litany of condemnations against the small rodents. Traps were set and the execution of the invader was successfully carried out. I write this not to poke fun at Betty, although her passion against mice does grind a bit. My mindset is more along the lines of “Ok, mice happen, we’ll do what we need t
Increase Our Faith!

Increase Our Faith!

Encouragment, Faith, Forgiveness
One day two guys, let's call them Mike and Pat, were walking down a road with Jesus.  Pat, for reasons unknown, slides closer to Mike and trips him.  Mike sprawls face first on the gravel and gains a nasty road rash on his right elbow.  “Why’d do that,” Mike sputters as he lifts himself from the road. “I don’t know what came over me. I won’t do it again, please forgive me.” Pat responds while helping Mike brush off the road dust. “It's okay, I forgive you,” Mike confirms as they resume their journey. It doesn’t take long, less than a hundred steps, before Pat gets the urge again.  Like before he moves closer to Mike and trips him.  This time Mike doesn’t go completely down but land on his hands, rocks scraping into his palms. “Hey!” Mike shouts, “watch where you are going.” “I’m s