Saturday, December 31, 2016


I must admit, even after God's forgiveness of my sins, I still question whether I was truly forgiven.  My human understanding of God bars me from accepting the true forgiveness of the deep love of God for me.  Perhaps it is also part of my own forgiveness, or lack thereof, to others whom I have said to have "forgiven."  I apply the same lame concept to that of God.  In assessment of such situation, I only minimize the great love of God for us.  It also further minimizes the sacrifice of His only Son and the death of Jesus on the cross which is an insult to both in and of itself.

But how do we truly accept forgiveness?  Well, there are several ways to do so.  For one, we need to make a paradigm shift in our minds about the process of forgiveness.  We need to understand that we are fallible people.  The key is to understand that absolute moral perfection will only be attained in heaven.  The Bible reminds us that "as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him;  for He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust" (Psalm 103:13-14).  The scum of sin covers us.  We have no control over it.  We were born with it, the original sin.  God understands that about us.  But just like our bodies get sick, we are not in perfect health all the time.  But the body has its way of fighting infection or healing wounds.  The self-repair itself is a sign of life and health.  In the same key, our awareness to sin and our willingness to repent is proof that our spirituality is alive and well.

Jesus Himself went through despair just like we do .  It is imperative for us to understand that we are forgiven because our awareness of God's absolution of our sins will become the catalyst to resist temptation when faced with opportunities to sin.  The more we resist, the stronger we become in fighting it.  Slowly, we will grow in our relationship with God.  The greater the relationship with Him, the more blessings come our way, and the closer we become Christ-like.  We can trust that God will use each of our failures to bring us new growth, with His grace and acceptance supporting us.

Let's practice.  

When do you find it most difficult to accept God's forgiveness?  In your journal, what would you say to another person who does not feel forgiven?  When you finish, read the letter aloud to yourself.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Sunday, December 25, 2016


Sharing a devotional.  I couldn't have written it better.


The angels rejoiced at the beginning of time, reveling in God’s awesome creation, perhaps the most beautiful thing they had ever seen. How sad it must have been, later, for the two of them who were chosen to guard the garden gate against reentry by those two people whose sins we are all now born into. But the angels, because they live in his presence, know the character of God. And so they waited. They longed to look into the mysterious promises that the prophets were bringing, the coming grace of God, but they were mostly silent. They longed for the day of our redemption, yet they were mostly invisible. They sometimes appeared, one or two at a time, throughout the Old Testament when God sent them as messengers or sometimes as heavenly hosts in great spiritual battles. But mostly they waited . . . eagerly.
So when one of them was sent to tell the shepherds that the news of God’s grace had reached them too, that a baby had been born, the Messiah, who would bring great joy to all people, the angels could remain quiet no longer. All heaven broke loose. And for a moment, in that field, the supernatural broke through the barrier of our natural world in a glorious celebration of our salvation.
Before we knew that God was coming for us, the angels knew. And they interrupted our earthly monotony with song: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). What was so wonderful to the angels that they could not restrain their adoration should be a wonder to us too. This Christmas, let us remember that the miracle of our salvation is truly that, a great and glorious miracle, one that sent angels into glorious raptures of praise. And let us pray that our God will interrupt our lives with the joy of this message, just as he did for those shepherds in the field.


Lord God, you are the sovereign, majestic and transcendent ruler of all things, both visible and invisible, past and present. The angelic hosts of heaven serve you continually to accomplish your perfect will. Break into our lives, interrupt our routines, open our blinded eyes and stir our calloused hearts to reveal how amazing your plan truly is. I recognize that in this life I see so little and know only part. Yet the time is coming when I will see you face to face. The joy of my salvation is my strength. In your holy name I pray. Amen.
Taken from Once a Day 25 Days of Advent

Sunday, December 18, 2016


Lying.  It is a sin that God hates.  Since hate is a strong word, maybe we need to pay attention.

King Solomon names seven things that God hates.  Lying was mentioned twice.
He mentions that God hates a lying tongue and a false witness who pours out lies.

It is important for us to avoid lying of all kinds.  Our lies do nothing for us except hurt us.  Most significantly it hurts God!

Lies lead to more lies to cover up the one before it.  Before you know it you can't keep up with the lies that have snowballed.  It is better to come clean and accept the consequences than continue with the exhaustive process of making up falsehood. 

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!

Sunday, December 11, 2016


Jesus is indeed the gift that keeps on giving.  No matter how much our sins keep recurring over and over again, God forgives us in the same way, over and over again.  

There are some people, however, who, no matter how many times they have been given a second chance, but, for whatever reason, did not accept such chance.  There are numerous biblical stories of people who have rejected the second chances given by God.

Jezebel rejected her second chance and deliberately disobeyed God. (2Kings 9:30-37).  Bernice heard the gospel message preached by Paul yet there was no indication she accepted it (Acts 25:23; 26: 30-32).

Even though we have temporary consequences in our disobedience, we can still be forgiven and given the assurance of life because our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus.  Even after we sin again, there will still be consequences because God's justice allows consequences for forgiven sins but His forgiveness and mercy continues to offer the protection of a gracious and forgiving heavenly Father.  It is no different than a loving earthly father who takes away privileges after we have disobeyed him but the love never goes away and continues to forgive us no matter how many times we screw up.

Until my next rant....  LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Deceit in one's innermost circle might be the highest level of betrayal one can ever experience.  When the closest person to you deceives you, the hurt you feel sits so deeply entrenched in your heart and you reel from its impact when discovered.  As difficult as it is to trust once again, God always finds a way to heal and speak to one's heart so we can find peace and comfort.

Consider the story of Don Richardson, an anthropologist/missionary who traveled from America in the hopes of bringing his Christian message to a nearly stone age tribe called the Sawi tribe in New Guinea.  Richardson's message to the tribe was absorbed in a very unusual way.  

Because the highest virtue of this tribe is deceit, Richardson's message of the values of love and forgiveness had no appeal to them.  The only story that they related to from the Bible told to them by Richardson was the story of Judas Iscariot, the story of betrayal.  To the Sawi, Judas was a true hero because he was able to penetrate the trusted inner circle of the disciples before turning against Jesus.

Despite Richardson's unsuccessful attempts to share the message of Jesus Christ, the bloody battle between the Sawi and the Haenam tribes continued right outside his home.  After the fourteenth battle, Richardson then decided to leave New Guinea despite the Sawi's pleas for him to stay.

In a sincere effort to convince Richardson to stay, both tribes staged an elaborate ceremony in front of his home.  It was their final effort to convince Richardson to stay.

In the deafening silence of the entire village watching, the Sawi chief's wife held her six-month old baby in her arms.  She screamed loudly when her husband, the Chief, seized the baby from her arms, held him high in the air and gave him to his enemies.  One member of the tribe explained that the Haenam tribe would rename the baby and raise him as one of its own.

Despite Richardson's distrust of the Sawi, believing that any action by them could be just a part of an elaborate deception, that very act of peace offering could be the exception.  In a flash of understanding, he realized that a Chief's giving of his own son to the enemy was a profound and painful act that would overcome all suspicion.  As mutually agreed between the tribes, as long as the peace child lived, there would be no more wars fought.

This sparked an analogy for Richardson, a parallel story, woven into the Sawi's culture that could impart a message of a forgiving God.  He gathered the tribe members around him and told them of God's peace child.  God sent His own son, Jesus Christ to live among His enemies to make peace with humankind.

"Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.  But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:7-8 NLT

So despite satan's attempts to steal, kill and destroy, God finds a way to make us whole again.  In His own way.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!