I “know” the gospel. I know it factually. And while that may be good (we need to know the gospel) I realize I often do not live in the good of the gospel. I regularly do not “own” it. Whenever, I find myself seeking to self-atone (seeking to earn God’s favor and salvation), I have lost my way from the truths of the gospel. Don’t misunderstand. I believe in “effort”! Paul said to the Ephesians that we were saved “for good works.”
Recently, my wife Kim and I were on a plane returning from Minneapolis, MN when we began to hit our fair share of turbulence. You know that feeling when the plane unexpectedly drops and suddenly jerks itself back into place.
Pictured above is the Paris – “Love Bridge”. While I have walked this bridge with my wife, we never “locked” in our love. The bridge is actually called the Pont des Arts. Pictures do not do it justice! The bridge is famous due to the endless padlocks placed there by lovers. Lock in your love and then throw the keys into the Seine river. Romantic right? And, in Paris no less!
The problem is that the guardrail of the bridge was not designed to hold all that extra weight. The government and local Parisians have been asking tourists to stop locking in their love. It is ruining their bridge! The “Love Bridge” is collapsing under the weight of…. “Love”.
I have been unable to blog these past few weeks. I hope to explain why in my next post. For now, a post from Acts 4.
Recently, Orlando’s news included the needless shooting death of Christina Grimmie. Christiana was, by everyone’s estimation, set to become the next vocal superstar. Then, roughly twenty-four hours after Grimmie’s death, a gunman walked into the Pulse Nightclub and ended the lives of 49 people. Then, a few days later, a mother and a father were lounging on a beach while their two-year old son played in a mere foot of water when an alligator attacked and killed him. Unthinkable – Tragedy!
The ice maker has not been working at my house for quite a while now. First, the ice dispenser broke, so the ice no longer fell conveniently into my glass. What a hassle! I had to OPEN the freezer door and grab ice with my hand! Well, horrors of horrors; what followed next was the ice maker died a slow death.
Have you ever said something and wished you could get those words back? Of course you have, we all have; words spoken out of anger or disgust, words of pride, jealousy, or bitterness. If we are honest, these words flow all too fluently from our lips.
Grace, she takes the blame She covers the shame Removes the stain It could be her name
What once was hurt What once was friction What left a mark No longer stings Because Grace makes beauty Out of ugly things
All of life teaches us to earn. We earn a paycheck, a grade, or even a reward… all are based on our performance. Performance, Performance, Performance. When it comes down to it, our culture says, “This is what matters.” Parents, marriages, workplace, churches, and all the rest wraps itself in rewards. Society shouts performance. Evaluations by peers and evaluation of ourselves is all blanketed in performance.
And so, when we come to an understanding of grace, it is not surprising that we hiccup!
Have you heard another company is threatening to pull its business operations in North Carolina? Have you heard that company has recently announced they will block North Carolina citizens from their business? Have you heard who the latest business is to protest HB2 (The public facilities privacy and security act)? I can’t make this stuff up!!
Easter has, once again, come and gone. It was a weird Easter for me. I was on the tail end of a crazy illness that had me laid up in bed for several days leading up to Easter Sunday. On Easter Sunday, I managed to physically go to church and celebrate the truth that death could not keep Jesus in the grave. However, I am not so sure I was cognitively all there. I also wanted to write a blog post about the resurrection, but that too fell by the wayside due to being ill.
It is that time again where we, here in America, are inundated with reasons to stay away from the mailbox, tv, and voicemail. Tis the season for empty promises, shallow arguments, and overused talking points. Do you remember the last time you took the time to read that shiny flyer in your mailbox? Neither do I, for it seems that the 30 seconds the flyer requires is far too big an investment of time. And so, we drown in political junk mail, campaign commercials, and voicemails to “remember to vote”.
A quick post this Friday afternoon for you to consider.
I like my comfort! I like it when things go as planned and when I say “planned”, I am talking about MY plan….of course! I like things to run smoothly. Work, family, vacation, and all the rest, should run smoothly and as according to MY plan. And when it doesn’t, others, including God, may receive my displeasure.
The start of another year kicks off with yet another disappointing Presidential debate. More, Ridiculous banter, pathetic ridicule, and pre-planned talking points. Ugh!
In the midst of the presidential banner, the turn of the calendar also has me preparing sermons on racial unity and the Sanctity of Life. Sadly, in 2016, babies continue to be born clinging to life as a result of a botched abortion. Born living and breathing, these babies are then denied proper care and are left to die and ….it’s legal! Pouring over Psalms 139 and mingling among the massive statistics of dead babies leaves me angry, sad, numb, and oddly enough…. full of hope.