Forgiven and Free

Even though I know I’m forgiven, sometimes I don’t feel forgiven.  Satan loves to bring up the past and try to get us to wallow in shame, condemnation, and self-judgment. Old mindsets try to creep back in and we find ourselves vulnerable to temptations we thought we had overcome. Sin lurks at the door – as either a temptation or as a heavy shadow from the past.  But Jesus has conquered sin! Not only has He redeemed you from the shame of sin; He has freed you from the grip of sin. I… Read More

Turning Up the Radio Won’t Fix the Engine

Remembering my own sin keeps me from judging other people bound by sin.  Sin is a touchy subject because it is attached to the deepest parts of our lives.  I recently heard a minister point out that the middle letter of the English word “sin” is what best defines it – “I”. Sin is always about me, my wants, my selfishness, my way, me over anyone else, including God.  With sin comes guilt and shame – these things are built in. However, we often create workarounds. We find someone who will justify… Read More

Joy on the Other Side of Sorrow

There is kind of joy only found on the other side of sorrow. It is a deep, satisfying, enriching joy that only comes to those willing to muddle through the mire of sorrow.  Too often we avoid grief. We run from sorrow. We fill the emptiness with busyness. We drown out the silence with noise. We drink, smoke, medicate ourselves, or eat as an escape. We’re constantly running, but from what? The people of Israel lived that way for years. They had run from God – He was too strict. Year after… Read More

The Power of One

Carrie and I had just gotten married and were both working at the Cracker Barrel. The summer before my senior year of college we were asked to go to another state and help salvage a struggling store.  It didn’t take long for Carrie and I to realize why this particular location was doing so poorly. One of the managers was unprofessional, apathetic, and the chief cause of the high turnover rate among the employees there.  Have you ever heard the term, “one apple can spoil the whole bunch?” I’m always amazed at… Read More

Overcoming Regret

There’s no grief like the kind which is mingled with regret.  How did things get to a point in David’s life when his own son, Absalom, stole the hearts of the people and led a hostile rebellion to usurp the throne? The path that leads to such dysfunction is marked by poor decisions, bitterness, pride, and secret sin.  King David’s loyal followers took to his defense, pursued the rebels, and brought swift justice, killing  Absalom in the process.  It was a definitive and significant victory over a powerful enemy. But the king… Read More