May 22, 2017

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When Confession is Delusion

When Confession is Delusion

“Confess your sins to one another” (James 5:16) In this month’s devotion I want to deal with the question, “Why is it so much easier to confess our sins to God than to one another?” Since God is righteous, just and without sin and hates sin -while on the other hand fellow man knows himself intimately and, therefore, knows she/he is a sinner- why do we chose to only confess our sins to God? I also ask myself, if I have confessed to God, then why do I keep relapsing into the very sins that I think I have confessed? When I ask myself these questions, the disturbing answer I get is that in such instances we may not be truly interacting with God, but are actually be confessing only to ourselves and then granting ourselves self-absolution! When that is what we are doing, what a travesty that is! Our Christian obedience is then failing precisely because self-forgiveness is not real forgiveness and can never lead to breaking with the sin “confessed.” For this very reason the...

May 22, 2017

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Begging for Bread

Begging for Bread

“He [the LORD] raises the beggar from the dust; He lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honour” (1 Samuel 2:8) Who wants to be a beggar? Not many people. And that’s for sure! The modern man or woman with 2 cars and a home and a mortgage considers him/herself middle class and doing OK. Thank you very much. On the other hand the man who lives in a completely paid off $ 5 million dollar home with 3 cars and a yacht thinks the person with only 2 cars and a mortgage is socially/economically far below him. And the person who lives by dumpster–diving looks up at the person with 2 cars and knows that he/she is amongst the beggar class in North American Society. What is more, and in clear contrast to the myth of upward mobility, more and more poor and middle class people are economically trapped in place or are on a downward spiral. To-day, as in Jesus’ day, many rich people tend to despise the beggar class. Read the story of the Rich...

May 7, 2017

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Heads I Win

Heads I Win

“The things which are done in secret are things that people are ashamed of; but anything exposed to the light will be illuminated and anything illuminated will turn into light” (Eph. 5:12-14 italics added) “Our courteous Lord does not want his servants to despair because they fall often and grievously, for our falling does not hinder Him in loving us” (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love) My friends, Satan has set a “head’s I win, tails you lose” type of trap for us and we keep falling into it! On the one hand, because we don’t want people to really see who we feel we are, publicly, we present a false self in which we pretend to be honest, hard-working, and happy people; but as a result of this deception- if we still know right from wrong- we often despise ourselves. On the other hand, internally, we often feel we are unacceptable and un-loveable to others and to God. Satan’s greatest psychological weapon is our own gut-level feelings of inferiority,...

Mar 27, 2017

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Making All New

Making All New

“Behold, I will make all things new” (Rev. 21:5) “Behold, I will make something new spring forth” (Isaiah 43:19) Easter is a season of re-birth and of second chances. Illustrating this gift is the story of Chuck Colson. The 1960’s-70’s was a time when I was politically interested in American politics, and in my college days I became acquainted with H.R. (Bob) Haldeman, who later became President Nixon’s Chief of Staff. I actively read the papers and was following events at the White House at the time of the Watergate Break-in. But, for me, more interesting than the story of Bob Haldeman was that of his associate, Chuck Colson. Let me remind you – or if you are younger, paint you a picture- of Chuck Colson in the White House. Chuck was quoted as publicly saying: “I’d walk over my own grandmother to re-elect Richard Nixon” and he also had a sign on his wall reading “Once you have them by the balls their hearts and minds will follow.” Eventually both men...

Feb 22, 2017

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Lenten Fruit

Lenten Fruit

“Either make the tree good , and its fruit good; or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33) and “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person brings good things out of good treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure”(Luke 6:45) Recently our family decided that each of us would spend some time looking at all the boxes of junk we have stored up in our basement with a mind to getting rid of all this tired old stuff we have collected over the years. In other words it’s time for a good Spring cleaning and why not on March 1st Lent begins this year. But friends it’s not just time to clean out the dirty old boxes of junk, it’s also time to clean out our hearts of all the grievances, the anger, and mistrust we each have accumulated over time. We need to listen to our hearts to know where we stand. What sorts of things do we say to each other? What sorts of things do we think...