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That saved a wretch like me

Years ago I watched a dark comedy starring Bert Reynolds. In it the character he was playing, feeling sorry for himself, decides to end his life. Going to a beach he dives in the water and swims far out into the ocean. As he swims he justifies to himself why he is taking his life, until he becomes exhausted, and unable to take another stroke he stops, sinking into the water to breathe his last.

How do you handle a critic?

Have you ever had someone curse you out, disrespect you, and throw stones at you? David did! In 2 Samuel 16:5–14; 19:18–23, David experienced criticism in the highest degree.

Grace be unto you

When I was young my grandparents would gather our family together in Nags Head, North Carolina. They would rent a cabin on the beach for two weeks - grandparents, parents, cousins, uncles, aunts, it constituted quite a household - but we loved it.

What is salvation?

Salvation is a rescue operation. When God made humans, he made them “in his own image,” which includes intelligence, creativity and power over creation.

Amen

The word “Amen” is translated the same in Hebrew, Greek, Latin and English. In fact, it is the same in every language. The literal meaning of it is not “so be it.” This may be the popular definition but the literal meaning is “truth.” When you say “Amen” you are saying “that is the truth.”

I am not there yet

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye [Matthew 7:1-5].” Similarly in Luke 6:37, we read: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”

Choices

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” Deuteronomy 30:19-31.

Resurrection power at work in us

After what has seemed to me a long, dark, and cold winter, I can finally see the hopeful signs of spring coming forth. All of creation around us — the trees, and bushes, the flowers, the grass — everything that seemed dead only days ago is springing to new life. Even the birds and animals seem to share in this Canticle of Resurrection.

When things don’t go as planned

Ever have one of those days when things didn’t go as planned? All of us have had small things go wrong in our lives. But, sometimes, it is bigger than burned toast and lost car keys. Sometimes, the world around you is falling apart.

God’s love and wisdom re-routes our lives

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14.)