Monday, May 24, 2010


I have been going through Seeking Him, Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Tim Grissom. In lesson 9 the topic is "Forgiveness: Setting Your Captives Free." I really like the first line, that is sadly true:

"Forgiveness. The gift everyone wants to receive but finds hard to give." I just made that statement my status on my Facebook profile. It will be interesting to see some of the comments that will trickle in from it. I believe we can all relate to that desire and need to be met in our own life, whilst being rather unwilling to dole it out to others. Sometimes nursing our wounds feels so good! It is so easy to justify!

Yet, when we look at the treachery, the iniquity and the sin of our life and see how generous and gracious God has been towards us, we are without excuse to not offer forgiveness to others. We all know that is easier said than done. As the saying goes, forgiveness is divine. We are NOT divine...(thought I would point out the obvious in case you haven't noticed).

However, we are a new creation in Christ, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, He will enable us to do what we cannot do for ourselves. I heard a pastor say once that, "only God can forgive and forget, but we can forgive and remember it as forgiven!" That is a powerful truth. 

"Who is a God like You, removing iniquity and passing over rebellion for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not hold on to His anger forever, because He delights in faithful love. He will again have compassion on us; He will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea." Micah 7:18-19

"But God who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. By grace you are saved!" Eph. 2:4-5

"But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." Luke 6: 27-28

(Just a thought to interject: does it sometimes seem easier to forgive the stranger that wrongs you than the one you love and have a relationship with? Is it just me? I think we tend to question why the loved one would hurt us, if they really love us. We feel undeserving of such treatment and take it upon ourselves to offer back what we feel they now deserve: unforgiveness.)

"Then Peter came to Him and said, 'Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?' 'I tell you, not as many as seven,' Jesus said to him, 'but 70 times seven.'" Matthew 18:21-22.  Jesus then goes on to tell the parable of the wicked servant who was forgiven of a huge debt by his master, only to go and hunt down a fellow servant that owed him a small debt. When the master found out what the forgiven servant did to the fellow servant, he threw him into jail. Verse 35 concludes with, "So my heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from the heart." Ouch!

I know I am preaching to the choir here so I will wrap this up with one more quote out of the Seeking Him study:

"Forgiveness means that I fully release the offender from his debt. It means fully cleaning his record. It is a promise never to bring p the offense against him again (to God, to others, or to the offender himself)."

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At the Intersection of Creation and Evolution: A Dream

The alliterating story below is based on a dream I had several years ago. Please contact me for permission to reproduce.

Darkness devours me.

I am enveloped in emptiness.

Are my eyes open or are they closed? I strain against this shroud of night and still see nothing.

What is this place?

An image illuminates in front of me. A large, leafy tree streaks past and vanishes.

It deserts me to the darkness again.

In a moment, more images appear. A rapid succession of snapshots and thoughts clamor before my eyes and mingle in my mind.

I see seedlings. Several supple shoots have emerged before me and then swiftly stream away.

“The first trees on earth were not seedlings”, my mind observes. “They were not created as small insignificant saplings.”

That thought is rapidly replaced with a vision of a man.

He’s maybe 30; he is muscular and needs to shave.

He fades away.

In his place I see an infant.

A tiny bundle of pink skin upon a soft blanket flickers briefly in my brain.

“Man was created with age,” is the next statement I hear. “Adam did not begin his life as a baby, he began as a grown man.”

The voice seems like my own.

The thoughts do not.

Reeling before me now is a blur of rivers, forests, mountains and even layers of the earth. It is like a movie rushing rapidly before my retina.

The soundtrack of this epic is proclaiming a peculiarly plain concept:

“The earth was created with age. Creation and evolution are not in total opposition. There is a reason that science finds the earth to be quite old: it was made that way.”

Thoughts continue to tumble through my mind; pictures parade before me. I listen in amazement to what seems to be puzzlingly profound and yet rather apparent all at once.

“Adam was created as an adult. Trees and plants were made fully grown.”

I suddenly feel quite certain that, if I were to chop down some of the trees that had been spoken into existence, I would find a range of rings running through their trunks.

“The earth was brought to life with age built into it… just like Adam. He did not begin life as an infant. The earth came into being with what it would need to sustain the life that was created. It was old when it was young. The world was
made with maturity; it was also produced with purpose.”

These thoughts are thrilling. Why had I not seen this before? It seems so simple. Obtusely obvious. Had others not observed this correlation? If they had, why wasn’t it being candidly conveyed?

In the span of thirty seconds I have been ravaged by a radical revelation. I feel the weight of its worth resting on me; it is tantamount to tangible.

I am neither a theologian nor am I a scientist. I don’t claim that the ethics of evolution are completely compatible with the Bible’s account of creation. But certainly Science can come concurrent to creation and affirm our faith with facts.

Of course, the Omnipotent Originator of the Universe is exceedingly elusive to what our mind could ever envision. Above what science could ever extensively elucidate.

Accordingly, creation is confounding too. Each diverse discovery deems it more marvelous to grasp. Many scientists have reluctantly relented to the theory of Intelligent Design.

That’s why, alongside those facts, we also need faith.

Lying inexplicably at the intersection of those two essential elements is an exceptional endowment: the intermittent insight of our dreams.