Tuesday, December 31, 2013

God's Will and God's Grace

During the course of 2013, my daughter and I have experienced many changes. In many ways, we do not yet know what lies ahead. God is providing what we need from day to day, but I believe He still has more ahead.

2014 is here with all its potential and possibilities. I look forward to seeing what God has in store. Whatever He has in mind for us, I anticipate this coming year will be full of opportunities to grow in faith and draw closer to God.

Every day at work, I pass a wall sign that is for sale. I love the message.

I think we all can hold onto that truth throughout the year ahead.

God bless you all.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Life That Brings Love - Revisited

In the beginning was the Creator.
     In the beginning was the Father.
In the beginning was Life.
     In the beginning was Love.

The Creator loved His creation.
          Love without limits.
          Love without conditions.

But His creation could not understand 
          that Love.
     They could not comprehend 
          the vastness of it.
     They could not understand 
          the depth of it.

So the Creator stepped out of His infinite world
     To enter... (read more)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Life That Brings Joy - Revisited

Dark night under starry skies.

Humble shepherds huddling ‘round 
     a fire’s warming blaze.

Quiet conversation

     Shared struggle …shared frustration

          Shared hope…shared hopelessness.

               Shared sorrow.


     Bright light illumines the night sky!

     Bright beams of joy blaze 
          'round about them!
     Heaven’s shining visitor brings the news.

          “Good news of great joy 
               for all people.”

The Life has come!

The long-awaited Life is born!

     Leave behind your sadness!

     Release your ...(read more)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Life That Brings Peace - Revisited

Into a world of chaos…
Into a world of questions…
Into a world of conflict and dissension…
Into a world like ours…
Came the Life.
Into OUR world…
          Came Peace.
Peace not dependent... (read more)

We Interrupt This Series...For a Flood

Back in 2007, my hometown was inundated with a record level flood. This flood was significant enough for a photo of downtown Findlay to make it into the Jakarta Post, a major Indonesian newspaper.

Main Street bridge over the Blanchard River
Yesterday, we had quite a lot of rain, following some major snow the week before. There has not been so much rain today, but still some.

Yesterday, when I went to work, there was a major leak in the ceiling of Hobby Lobby. The cashiers worked around half a dozen plastic bins set up to catch the water.

Flood waters encroach on a gazebo in a park on the river bank.

I have plans to fly to Missouri to spend Christmas with my brother and his family. My parents and Rachel already are there, after a travel misadventure of their own. But that is another story. Before I could head to the airport, I had to make it back to my grandmother's house to pack my clothes and Christmas presents for the family there.

The trouble is that as the water rose, most of my options for roads that could reach her house were closed off due to high water. There really isn't much danger of the flood waters reaching the house itself. Even in the 2007 flood, the water never reached that far. Even so, the one route in that did not yet have some part of it underwater seemed likely to be closed within an hour or two.

The view down Main Street looking north. People were busy
at Dominos Pizza (just out of sight) placing sandbags.
Rather than wait there to leave for the Detroit airport sometime in the early morning, and risk not being able to get out, I hurriedly packed my suitcase and got back out of the flood zone.  I am now at my parents' house, thankful to be well away from any possible flooding, and will head to Detroit in a few hours.

About 5:00 this afternoon, I went down to Main Street and got some pictures of the river. I thought I'd share a few photos with you.Not as spectacular as the flood photos from 2007, but still...at least my readers who know Findlay, Ohio, will be interested.

I pulled this quote from an article in The Blade (https://www.toledoblade.com/local/2011/04/26/Findlay-officials-brace-for-more-rain-that-could-mean-Top-10-flood.html)
This photo was taken from
It shows an areal view of the 2007 flood in Findlay.
Thankfully, the situation isn't so dire this time.
"While the Blanchard River’s worst flood occurred in 1913 when the river reached 18.5 feet, that record was followed closely by an August, 2007, flood in which the river crested at 18.46 feet. This past March 1, the river crested at 16.42 feet, which is listed as the city’s sixth worst flood."
This same article claims that the best estimates for the current flood is 15.5 feet sometime on Thursday. My prayers go out to those who are currently dealing with chilly, dirty floodwaters in their homes and businesses.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Life The Brings Hope - Revisited

Down through the ages, the eyes of creation have been focused on one Life. This Life was promised long ago when death first extended its ugly tentacles to squeeze life out of a perfect Creation. This Life would bring light and hope back to a broken, shattered world.

Throughout history, many did not acknowledge this Life. Many did not realize the significance of this Life. But the promise of this Life, still reached out with hope to all.
Many others awaited the coming of this Life. They looked for it. They longed for it. They didn’t completely understand it, but they waited anyway – longing, hoping for its coming.
Then, the glorious news was given. The Life was about to... (read more)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thankful for the Life

image found here
During this month, I have written several posts about things I am thankful for.  Here are a few of th things I am thankful for.
If you haven't had a chance to read those posts, you can click the links above to read them now.

image found here
In these final days before Christmas, with everything getting predictably busy, I hope you will bear with me if I share again with you several of the posts I wrote last year. I wrote them to coincide with the weeks of Advent as celebrated in my international church in Bali. I realize that there are a number of different ways of using the Advent candles to celebrate the birth of our Lord. Last year, the candles were used to represent the following:
  • Hope
  • Peace
  • Joy
  • Love
I hope you will re-visit these posts with me over the next few days, and reflect on how the coming of Jesus -- the coming of that Life -- brought all these precious things into our lives.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thankful for Someone Close Beside Me

In only ten days, Christmas will be here. In the midst of all the hustle-bustle busy-ness of preparation for this holy day, we might tend to lose sight, practically speaking, of the significance of the birth of Jesus. 

image found here
As I wrote in the previous post, by coming with the vulnerability of a baby, God invited us to come close to Him. It is also important to note that He actively came near to us. Jesus came to live among His creation. He came to walk alongside broken humanity. He came to touch those who hurt, to heal those who are sick, and to set at liberty those who were bound. He came to celebrate with the newlyweds and to cry with the bereaved. Jesus was "God with skin on" to the people of His day.

Even though Jesus is no longer with us in the flesh, He is still with us as His Holy Spirit works through His children. As I thought about this, I remembered a piece that I wrote in one of my newsletters back in May 2012, in a section I called "Things I Have Learned From My Little Girl". Please allow me to share it with you here. 


 I Want Someone Close Beside Me

Rachel, my social butterfly,
with several friends shortly before leaving Bali.
That is a familiar cry from my little social butterfly.  I guess some kids actually enjoy spending time alone…for a while…, but not Rachel.  She needs to learn to do it, so I insist on some quiet time on a regular basis where she can learn to play on her own and entertain herself, but this virtually always meets with resistance. “I want someone close beside me!”  I remind her that Jesus is always with her.  “But I want someone I can SEE!”  Rachel knows Jesus is always with her, but as a human being, sometimes she just wants someone she can see and touch. 

image found here
That is a common human condition. Yes, God is with us always.  His Holy Spirit can speak to us in our hearts in ways that no human being can speak.  But I believe he also understands that there are times when we need “God with skin on”.  That is why we...the church…the body of Christ is here.  God wants us to reach out to those who are hurting – to those who need to know that someone is close beside them.  God is always there, and He is perfectly capable of touching hurting hearts all on His own, without us.  But often, He chooses to offer comfort through the hands of His children reaching out, through the eyes of His children that can cry with those who hurt, and through the feet of His children who will go out of their way to offer practical help.

I wonder, who around you needs someone to be close beside them?  Will you be “God with skin on” to someone today?

**Originally shared in newsletter dated May 2012.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thankful for a God Who Came Near

As I watch my customers pass through my cashier line at Hobby Lobby, the sight of new mothers with their babies brings a smile to my face. Not always, but often, I see a gentle smile on the faces of these these first-time moms as they gaze at the tiny miracle snuggled safe and warm in the infant carrier perched up on the shopping cart. This tiny little person is so helpless, and so dependent on her for everything. Miniature hands reach out to grip her finger...and her heart.

I remember how I felt that moment I first held Rachel. She was so tiny. She felt almost frail there in my arms. Her very vulnerability invited me to open up my heart to her. She needed someone to take care of her, provide for her, protect her. God had brought her to me, and I gladly took her into my heart.

It is an awesome thing to ponder that the Creator of the universe, the One Who holds the world in the palm of His hand, chose to come to us in the way that He did.

  • Had He come as a general, people might have been afraid of Him.
  • Had He come as a wealthy businessman, people may have been jealous of Him.
  • Had He come as a celebrity, people may have admired Him, but they couldn't have gotten close to Him.
image found here
Instead, He came as a baby.
     No need to be afraid of Him.
          No need for jealousy.
               No need for guards to keep His "fans" at a distance.

I am so thankful that God made Himself vulnerable. I am grateful that He came near to us. The Creator became utterly dependent on His creation. In doing so, He invited His creation to take Him into their hearts.

He invites us still. God is near. Is your heart truly open to take Him in? Is mine?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thankful for Smiles

In case you didn't know, during this stage of my life, God has me running a cash register at our local Hobby Lobby. It is a far cry from the kind of ministry I had for the past twenty years, but I am thankful to have employment with a company that holds strong to the same beliefs I have.

image found here
One of the things I enjoy most about my work is seeing the people pass through my check-out line. Many of them seem happy and content. In the few moments we connect, we share a bit of joy.

Some are tired and seem to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. I do the best I can to serve them with kindness and efficiency. Sometimes, a person who came to me with a somber face leaves with at least a little smile. Others walk away still grumpy.

I'm not ignorant. Whatever problems weighed my customer down when he or she arrived will still be there when they leave. Whether my customer leaves with a smile or not, they will still have to grapple with those problems. Even so, during those few moments when our paths cross, I hope that in my smile, people can see a glimpse of my Lord Jesus. 

I may not be engaged in full-time ministry right now, but I still see my work as a type of ministry anyway. I am thankful for the ministry of smiles.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thankful for "Automotive Mercy"

When we think of the word "mercy" in a biblical context, we think of how God spares us in some way from the consequences we deserve. We usually think of those consequences having some kind of relationship to a particular sin. When the consequences are applied, justice is served. When we are spared the just consequences, mercy is extended to us. I am indeed thankful for that kind of mercy.

image found here
A couple weeks ago, I experienced another kind of "mercy". It didn't involve being spared the consequences of sin. Consequences of stupidity, yes. But sin, no. Let's just call it "automotive mercy", for lack of a better term.

My nephew agreed to help me out by changing the oil in my car. He checked to see how much oil was there. The dipstick was absolutely dry. I have no idea how long I had been running my car with no oil. By rights, my engine should have been totally wrecked. But it wasn't. After refilling the oil, the engine is still miraculously running smoothly.

Oh, there are other things wrong with the car. The air conditioner doesn't work, but I won't care about that until next summer. In the meantime, the heater works. The dashboard lights that allow me to see the speedometer at night don't work. That is, I admit, a bit more problematic, but the car still runs. The radio doesn't work, but I can live without that.

The fact is that God provided me with an affordable car that gets me where I need to go. On top of that, He extended "automotive mercy" to me when I actually deserved the just consequence of a major repair bill.

So right now, even while I am thankful for "automotive mercy", I will also be careful not to presume upon that mercy in the future. How so? I think I'd better be a bit more diligent about making use of the dipstick between oil changes or else one of these days, I could expect to experience a bit of "automotive justice" instead.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thankful for New Beginnings

Image found here
 I have been notoriously slow about posting new material on this blog, especially through the month of November. Life has been interesting and full...and time slipped away faster than I realized. It also didn't help that I was in the middle of a series of posts that required a significant amount of time and effort for each post.  I hope to do better this month by writing short posts more often.

Thanksgiving is just past and the Christmas season lies ahead. Throughout the month of December, I will focus each post on one thing that I am thankful for. I'll try to keep the posts short and sweet, and just maybe, I can end up with a nice list of things for which I am thankful

Image found here
For today, I just want to say that I am so very thankful for new beginnings. As we launch into the month of December, I am thankful for the chance to begin again and get a fresh start on something that had been lagging.

This new beginning brings with it a chance to:
  • reestablish better and healthier routines.
  • refocus my passion for writing.
  • consciously use a God-given talent for His glory.
"...whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31b

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Box of Secrets - Dallas Meets Alan

Image found here
In the first post of this series, Andy was no help to Dallas with his box of secrets. He didn’t even try to help.

In the second post, we looked at Jesus’s response to a woman whose own box of secrets spilled out into the street for all to see.

Next, Dallas allows Chris to get a glimpse into his box. The reaction was not pretty.

In the previous post, Dallas meets Celine. This kind and gentle, woman does nothing to help Dallas deal with his box of secrets.

Is there no one who will meet Dallas as Jesus met the woman caught in adultery? In this final post of the “Box of Secrets” series, we will see what happens in one final encounter.


Meanwhile, Back at the Church…

Dallas sat dejectedly on the floor in the hallway outside the Sunday School classroom where Celine had disappeared moments before. With his legs stretched out in front of him and his head resting on his arms that were crossed on top of the box, he was the picture of discouragement.

“What am I even doing here?” he whispered. “No one can help me. I hoped someone could help me, but…”

Slowly, Dallas became aware of a shadow blocking the light from the window across the hall. He squeezed his eyes shut for a few seconds and took a deep breath as he prepared himself for this newest encounter.

Image found here
Dallas looked up, not sure what to expect. He was surprised when a heavily-accented Australian voice greeted him. “G’day mate!” The tall, thin man squatting beside him said. “Name’s Alan. How’re ya goin?”

“Um…I’ve been better, I guess,” Dallas responded.

“Yeah, looks like it,” the man said. He took off the baseball cap he was wearing and stuffed it into his backpack. “Looks like you’ve got a bit of a problem there, mate.”

“Yeah, you could say that.” Dallas gave a small, humorless chuckle.

“Does the trouble have anything to do with that big old box you’re holding?”

“It has everything to do with this box,” Dallas admitted.

“How long have been carrying that thing around?” Alan asked.

“I can’t even remember.” Dallas answered. “Most of my life, I guess. Ifft’s getting heavier and heavier every day…and I don’t know what to do about it. For years, I’ve never let anybody see inside this box. I never wanted anyone to see my secrets.”

“Bummer,” Alan sympathized. “Ever try just putting it down, or letting someone help you figure out what to do with it?”

“I tried that…twice,” Dallas shot back.

“And how’d that go?”

Image found here
Dallas gave a soft snort of disgust and shook his head. “The first guy took one look and got all shocked and gave me a big lecture, and the second person tried to tell me that it wasn’t even a problem, and not to worry about it, but I KNOW this is a problem.”

“Do you really want to be free of all this?” Alan asked, motioning toward the box on Dallas’s lap.

Dallas was silent.

“Do you?” Alan asked again.

“I wish I could. I mean, I want to, but I’m not sure I can take another lecture…or someone trying to say everything is OK when it isn’t.”

“I know, mate, I know,” Alan said. “But are you game to try one more time?”

Dallas looked up doubtfully and studied Alan’s face. Could he be trusted? Or would trusting him be another mistake? Finally, he reached a decision. “OK, I’ll try…one more time,” he said.

“Good on you,” Alan responded. He reached out and grasped Dallas’s hand, pulling him to his feet. Dallas almost dropped his box, but managed to hold onto it.

The two men walked to one of the hallway windows that had a deep window ledge. “Why don’t you put the box down here and let me see what is inside it?” Alan suggested.

Dallas hesitated a moment, but finally placed the box on the ledge. With shaky hands, the young man opened the lid of the box. He stepped back, closing his eyes, ashamed of what was in there and afraid of what his new friend might say.

Alan took a long, serious look inside the box, and nodded his head. “Well mate, that is a heavy one.”

Dallas looked up in surprise. No lecture? No platitudes? This was different.

Alan continued, “There really is only one place you can go with a box of secrets like this.”

“Where is that?” Dallas asked.

Image found here
“To the cross,” Alan answered simply.

“The cross?”

“Yes, to the cross of Jesus. Why don’t you come with me a minute?”

Dallas closed up his box again and followed as Alan led him to a nearby room that had been set up as a small prayer room. In it were a bookshelf with several Bibles and hymn books, a couple chairs and a small table below a simple cross that hung on the wall. A red cloth and a white cloth was carefully arranged along the ledge at the foot of the cross.

“Why don’t you put that box down on the table?” Dallas did as Alan urged.

“That cross is just a symbol, you know. It doesn’t have any power by itself. It is what happened on the cross of Jesus so long ago that makes the difference.”

Dallas nodded. He had heard the story of the death of Jesus on the cross before.

“Now, if you are willing,” Alan suggested gently, “you can open your box right here, at the foot of the cross, and tell Jesus you don’t want to carry it anymore. Ask Him to set you free.”

Dallas studied the cross for a long moment. Then, with desperation and hope rising up together in his heart, in an act of confession, Dallas slowly opened the box, exposing the ugliness inside.

Alan smiled. “Jesus did a wonderful thing for you and me when He died on the cross. The blood He shed there covers over all our sins, all our shame, all our secrets that we carry in our boxes.” He took the red cloth that was arranged on the ledge and covered the box with it until the box could no longer be seen.

Dallas stood staring at the spot where his ugly burden had been, his eyes blurred by tears that threatened to spill down his cheeks.

“But Jesus didn’t stop there,” Alan continued as he pulled the white cloth over the red one. “He not only forgave us for our sins and washed away our shame, but He gave us new, clean hearts. That is what He did for you, Dallas. For you and me.”

Image found here
Dallas dropped to his knees, humbled and awed by such great love and forgiveness. Alan knelt beside him as Dallas talked with the One Who had set him free.

When at last, Dallas looked up with a light of hope and joy in his eyes, Alan helped him to his feet. They stepped back from the table and faced the cross.

“One more thing I need to tell you, mate,” Alan added. “You’re free now from your box of secrets. But later on, you may be tempted to start keeping a new one. Don’t do it. Keep close to Jesus. He died to set you free. He rose again to keep you free. With Him, you never need to carry a box of secrets again.”

Time for Reflection

As I said in an earlier post, this series isn’t really about encouraging people who are carrying their own “boxes of secrets” to open up those boxes. The main point of this series is to encourage us as the church to consider how we respond to others who let us see their boxes.

As this series concludes, I challenge you to ask yourself these questions in regards to your own response.
  • Do you refuse to engage, like Andy?
  • Do you react with shock and harsh judgment, like Chris?
  • Do you wash over the situation, and try to reason away the seriousness, like Celine?
  • Do you, like Alan, go with the person to Jesus, the only One Who can set them free? Do you respond with both parts of Jesus’ response:
 “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11b)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Box of Secrets - Dallas Meets Celine

Image found here
In the first post of this series, Andy was no help to Dallas with his box of secrets. He didn’t even try to help.

Two posts ago, we looked at Jesus’s response to a woman whose own box of secrets spilled out into the street for all to see.

In the previous post, Dallas allows Chris to get a glimpse into his box. The reaction was not pretty.

Let’s return to the church where Dallas—quite shaken—is heading to Sunday School class, still carrying his heavy load.


Meanwhile, Back at the Church…

Dallas sighed as he watched Chris disappear around the corner. His stomach tied up in knots, Dallas stood outside the classroom door, hesitating to go in.

“Dallas?” a kind voice called softly. “Are you OK?”

Dallas leaned against the wall. He braced his foot on the wall behind him and balanced the box on his knee. Shaking his head, he mumbled, “Not really.”

“Is it this box?” Celine asked, pushing her long blonde hair back over her shoulder. “It looks really heavy.”

“It is,” Dallas agreed.

“Why not just put it down?” Celine suggested kindly.

“Can’t do it,” Dallas said.

“Can’t…or won’t?”, the young woman's voice was gentle.

“Both, I guess. There is some stuff in here I don’t want seen. I have to keep it with me.”

“Have you ever tried to let someone see inside?” Celine asked. “If you did, maybe someone could help you.”

Image found here
“Actually, I did try that. I let someone see what is inside. He got all shocked and angry, and gave me this big lecture. I don’t ever want to go through that again.”

“Why not try me?” Celine offered. Dallas raised an eyebrow quizzically. “Seriously,” Celine continued. “I don’t shock easily, and I never lecture.”

Dallas looked doubtfully at the petite woman, contemplating her offer. “I don’t know. I mean…I don’t know.”

“Come on, Dallas. You can trust me.”

“Well—OK,” Dallas finally agreed. “But promise you won’t be shocked.”

“I promise,” Celine reassured him. “And no lectures.”

Dallas opened the box. He took a step back, drew a deep breath and closed his eyes.

Image found here
Celine leaned over the box and looked inside. “Oh Dallas,” she said with a smile in her voice. “This isn’t so bad. Lots of people have things like this in their lives. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

As Dallas looked at Celine, his forehead creased into deep lines over the bridge of his nose.

“Seriously, Dallas. You need to stop worrying about this. You’re making yourself miserable over nothing. My advice to you is to just forget all of this and go one with your life. It isn’t even a problem.” Celine patted Dallas kindly on the shoulder. With a glance back over her shoulder, she opened the classroom door and disappeared inside.

“Not a problem?” Dallas muttered as he closed up the flaps. With the heavy burden in his arms, Dallas leaned against the wall again, and slowly slid down until he was sitting on the floor. Crossing his arms on the box, he rested his forehead on this hands. “Believe me, I KNOW this is a problem.

Kindly Captivity
There is a big weakness in Celine’s response, especially when dealing with sin committed by our friend, even moreso than when dealing with sins committed against our friend. This response, while appearing to be very kind, does nothing to actually deal with the problem.

If we compare this response to that of Jesus, we see that it is very strong when it comes to the first part. This response clearly conveys the idea of:

Neither do I condemn you.

It does nothing with the second part:

Go and leave your life of sin.


Image found here
Time for Reflection
What do you think about Celine’s response?
  1. How does Celine’s response compare to Jesus’s response?
  2. Was Celine helpful to Dallas? Why or why not?
  3. How does Celine’s response compare to your own when confronted with someone else’s “box of secrets”?
 “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11b)

In our next post, the final one in this series, Dallas will meet Ted. How will he resond to Dallas? Will his response be like Jesus? How does your own response compare?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Box of Secrets - Dallas Meets Chris

image found here

Two posts ago, we met Dallas, a young man heavily burdened with a “box of secrets”. Dallas comes to church with this box, unsure what to do with it, feeling very out of place because of it, and reluctant to let anyone see what is inside. Andy was no help. Like many church-goers, he was too busy with his own program to get involved in the messiness of someone else’s life.

image found here

In the last post, we saw how Jesus responded to a woman whose “box of secrets” had finally spilled open for everyone to see. Jesus gave this response. “Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.” The woman left that place forgiven, freed, and with hope that a new life was possible.

Today, we will return to Dallas standing there in the church hallway with his box of secrets. Will he find the help he so desperately needs?

Meanwhile Back at the Church...
With a deep breath, Dallas shifted the weight of his box and trudged on down the hallway. Just then, Chris approached from the opposite direction. His shiny black shoes and expensive suit proclaimed him as a successful businessman.

Chris frowned critically as he approached Dallas. “What in the world are you doing?” Chris asked, motioning toward the box.

“What does it look like I'm doing?” Dallas retorted sarcastically.

“Don't get mad at me! You're the one who is making life difficult for yourself,” Chris shot back with a small smirk.

“I know.  I know.,” Dallas admitted with a sigh. “But I've been carrying this box around for so long that I've almost forgotten what it is like to live without it.”

“What's in the box anyway?” Chris asked curiously.

After a long silence Dallas finally answered. “It's something I've never shown anyone before, but I can't keep going on like this.” He hesitated a moment longer. “If I let you see what's in the box, Chris,…maybe you can help me figure out what to do with it.”

“OK, why not. Let’s see what you’ve got,” Chris agreed.

Dallas set his burden on a nearby window ledge and hesitantly opened up the box. “Here.  I'll show it to you.”

image found here
The businessman looked into the box and gasped. “Dallas, I never imagined you would do something like this!  I thought you were a Christian…or at least pretty good guy. I know I’ve seen you around church every once in a while. You shouldn't be like that!  Remember what the Bible says.  "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has gone.  The new has come."  You've just got to stop this, man! That's all there is to it. You should be past all that by now. Stop living in the past and get on with life!”

Chris made a hasty retreat from Dallas and his box of secrets. Dallas closed up his box, and silently picked up his burden once more.

The Judge Condemns
In this story, Chris represents one possible response that can be encountered in the church when people take the risk to let someone see their “boxes of secrets”. I have to give Chris credit for at least trying to offer help. But his reaction to whatever ugliness was in Dallas’s “box of secrets” so shocked him that he failed to respond as Jesus did to the woman caught in adultery.

Chris got the second part right. He was really strong on “Go and leave your life of sin.” That is, indeed an important message for Dallas to hear. But he completely missed “Neither do I condemn you.”


Time For Reflection
What do you think about Chris’s response?
  • How does Chris’s response compare to Jesus’s response?
  • Was Chris helpful at all to Dallas?
  • How does Chris's response compare with the way you would respond when faced with someone else’s “box of secrets”?

 “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11b)

In our next post, Dallas will meet Celine, a lady from the church. Will she respond differently than Chris did? Will she respond like Jesus? How will her response compare with yours?

Gadgets By Spice Up Your Blog