The Flow of Grace

I was sitting in a church business meeting which happened to fall within the last month of the year. Yes, I’ve heard those horror stories about church meetings. Apparently, I have been extremely blessed because I have found that the difficult meetings are few and far between. And, they are also necessary. Continue reading

Hopless Hoper

It is always risky business to boast about others. I mean, what if they don’t live up to the boast. That might look like you don’t really know people or that you’re easily bamboozled. Years ago I received a request for a reference for a friend that was applying to the sheriff’s department in California. I could not in good conscience recommend my friend without stating some reservations I had. Continue reading

Rescued Through Grief

Was what Judas did worse than what Peter did? I know that Jesus said that it would have been good if Judas had never been born. But was that because of what he did or because of his response to what he did? Look at what Peter did for a moment. He denied Jesus. I’ve heard many people say that as he denied Jesus he used bad language, but what he actually did was much worse. The words “curse” and “swear” have absolutely nothing to do with what we call bad language. Continue reading

Restored Relationships

Pain lay between you. Accusations were made; disappointments expressed; hard feelings unleashed. Wouldn’t it be easier to just walk away? But this is family. You don’t just walk away from family. And there was this matter of some things still needing to be done. The pain that lay there turns those every day events into uncomfortable drudgeries. Continue reading

No Harmony Meal

There is this tension in the Bible. We are called to follow Jesus who ate with sinners; who touched the lepers; who allowed a woman of questionable background to anoint his feet. And people changed because they came into contact with Jesus, not so that they could come into contact with him. Continue reading

Wispy Accusations

Have you seen the show Doc Martin on PBS? Martin is a doctor in a small coastal town in England. He is brutally honest and has zero bed side manner. He has little patience with what he considers to be stupidity. Often, in the show, he is accused of not caring about people. Continue reading

Empty Grace

Grace is empty if it is earned. And grace is cheap if it doesn’t change us. This may seem to be a paradox, but it isn’t really. A prisoner, we’ll call him John, told me that he encountered a fellow prisoner that was working himself to death. He was going to every Bible study; he was volunteering for everything he could think of; he was constantly doing or studying. Continue reading

Beyond the Rust

What are your thoughts about the Millennium Falcon? O sure, Hans Solo loves his ship, even when he has to coax it into achieving hyper drive. But everyone else sees a bucket of bolts; a rusty piece of junk held together by scrap metal and Wookie ingenuity. But that hunk of rusty metal got the heroes of Star Wars out of many a tight space, if just barely. And now my son has a Lego model. Continue reading

Deed Hammer

In Frank Perreti’s “The Oath” sin becomes a visible black inky oozing mark that spreads out from the chest and attracts this dragon like beast in for the kill. Deeds leave marks. Good and bad. I may not be able to see them, but there is one who can and you will stand before him one day all marked up. Continue reading