Tag: forgiveness

Three Stories, Three Sins

Three Stories, Three Sins

Series, Three Stories
Marie was minding her own business when she noticed the red and blue lights in her rearview mirror. Instinctively she lifted her foot from the gas pedal and glanced at the speedometer. “Oh dear,” she said to herself as she realized how far over the speed limit she was going. Once stopped on the shoulder the officer, a State Trooper, walks up and taps on the window. “I’m sorry officer I wasn’t meaning to speed. Could you let me go with a warning?” She pleads.   Bob stared at the Facebook post in horror. The post showed two shirtless men, one of them with his face, raising glasses of beer behind a sign that read, “Coming Out Party.” The poster of the apparently altered photo was Carl, a classmate in the same dorm.  Bob ran to Carl’s room and pounded on the door. “You idiot, take down that
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
The Overlooked Sermon

The Overlooked Sermon

Encouragment
There is a sermon in the Gospel’s that is often overlooked because it’s not red letter. The sermon begins.  “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? “Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. “Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”” (Luke 3:7–9, NASB95)  Now the last time I checked the manual on excellent speech making insulting your audience right out the gate is a no-no. Calling someone a brood of vipers and minimizing their specialness is certainly no way to win friends and influence people. But y
Walking the Waves

Walking the Waves

Encouragment, Seeing
   At the moment of this writing, I’m on a cruise ship in Alaska with about 1900 other passengers. For most of our voyage we sailed the Inside Passage which is protected, peaceful, and calm; almost lake-like. But last night, as we near the end of our adventure, we entered the Pacific.  On top of that, a weather system was generating 10’ swells, causing our large ship to pitch and sway. Now, in the grand scheme of things 10’ seas is of little consequence to a vessel this large.  We were nowhere close to sliding dishes and the water level in our cups barely showed any movement.  Even so, it was difficult to walk in a straight line as the swells caused the ship to slowly rock side to side. Many, most in face, angled through the halls as if they had drunk just a bit much at one
Apple Seed Gospel

Apple Seed Gospel

Short Stories
One autumn afternoon Matt decided to pedal his bike around the section to see how harvest was going.  Well, that's what he told his ma.  His real objective was to check on Mr. Bright’s apples and possibly “borrow” a few. Along the way, Matt did check on the neighbors fields.  Of particular interest was Mr. Patterson’s pumpkin patch. Soon the factory workers would flock to the field to row the pumpkins with one kind of machine and then lift the pumpkins into the back of trucks with another strange looking machine.  Mr. King already had his corn in Matt noted as he turned the northeast corner.  But across the road old Johnny Darst’s corn was still standing. Another mile, a few more fields, and Matt came upon Mr. Bright’s place. Laying his bike in the ditch Matt carefully climbed the wi
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
How to Receive God’s Love

How to Receive God’s Love

How To
Receiving God's love and forgiveness can be expressed with 4 R’s. Repent of your sin and its results: To repent means to turn away from. God did not reject you, you rejected God by choosing to go your own way. There are two parts to repentance.  The first part of this is agreeing with God about your mistakes, failures, and sins. The second is turning around - not simply feeling sorry, but a decision to turn your back on all the selfish things you've done. Repentance is simply saying, "God, I've made a mess of things. I need You." Romans 3:23 Recognize that Jesus paid the penalty for your sin: Know that you are incapable of repaying God the penalty your sin justly deserves. But, that God so loved you that He sent Jesus Christ, His only Son, to pay the penalty on your behalf through Hi
You’ve Got Mail: An Invitation

You’ve Got Mail: An Invitation

Archive, Encouragment
““Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18, NASB95) A few months back my wife and I received an invitation in the mail.  It was an invite to our granddaughter's birthday party. Like all invitations it provided the specifics concerning the time, place, what to bring, and a general idea of what was going to happen.  This verse is God’s invitation to us, it also contains specifics regarding time, place, what to bring, and what will happen. Time and place: God’s place and now.  The Lord’s invitation is to “come now”. He invites us into His presence.  This is not a legal summons that forces us to appear.  It is an invitation that places the choi