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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.”

Self-Control

When I’ve asked people what is the number one fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) they struggle with, I usually am told self-control. Everyone wishes they could take back that destructive thing they said or some action that caused another pain.

Faith and practice/pride and prejudice

As young people growing up in a small town we often visited one another’s churches. While there was broad religious teaching in these mixed groups it was never doctrinaire nor used as a tool to proselytize.

I need no man to teach me

Whenever someone quotes a certain part of 1 John 2:27 (always out of context) to me I know they are using it as a license to interpret the Bible any way they like – twisting the Holy Scriptures to support their false claims.

Fear not, He is with you always

As a clergyman, people often ask me if I am afraid to die, or, conversely, if I really believe all those things I say about death in sermons, particularly at funerals. To the first question the answer is no. However, the process of dying, and certain ways of dying, pain, and all the accoutrements of dying may bother me when I think upon the process of leaving this earth… I don’t want to die, because I am only learning to live more fully. I love life, family, friends, and the Church here on earth, most of all, I love God, and He gave me this life as a gift, so I cherish it. As to question two, do I really believe those things I say about death, the answer is a resounding yes!

A hindered prayer life

How effective are your prayers? Are there certain things that can harm the prayers you pray? All of us want prayers to be answered. Why else would we pray them?