Friday, October 1, 2010

I Just Want You to Know

"In I Just Want You to Know, Kate reveals a less familiar spiritual side. She is a grateful and faith-filled mother who only wants the best for her children and is willing to sacrifice to make that happen.”

Since the inception and moral decline of the popular TLC show “John & Kate Plus 8,” many questions have come to me. Upon finding Kate’s book I Just Want You to Know in a local Christian bookstore, some new questions have come to mind: has Kate's faith-filled life led her to the cover of publications like: Star, The National Enquirer, People, and others? Has her faith-filled life led her to the multi-million dollar divorce between her and her husband, John? Has her faith-filled life led her to search results on Google such as: botox, blog, bikini, new man, surgery, plastic surgery, new show, new hair, parents, dancing with the stars?  In other words: does she ascribe her success in this life to God, or something else?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Do what is right; master sin

As a follow-up to a previous post on sanctification (the continuous infilling and inward spiritual growth from the Holy Spirit; post-salvation), I wanted to expand a little on the role God can play in our lives when we continue to earnestly seek Him and by faith, live for His will in our lives.

The Lord came into my life in a very profound manner. It happened on a Friday evening; Friday September 5, 2008 at 4:40 P.M. to be exact; maybe 4:45. There was a feeling of warmth; new breath; a new beating in my heart; a newly revived purpose in life that can only be somewhat explained via the limited vocabulary of this sixth-grade spelling bee runner-up.

Once this sinner was cleansed (saved) and thus forgiven for the things of old, I began questioning seriously whether the temptation(s) of this world was going to be the new status quo, or whether I could “master” sin in my life? Even deeper: were the buzz words and phrases I heard from those, in church, claiming to live a holy life – that is to say, set apart by the Holy Spirit from  sin or further yet, the mere tempation of sin, in this world – really possible? Or was that just lip service? Were they just wanting to stand out from everybody else, and not really wanting to do the dirty laundry they had been ignoring?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A new prescription

“We live in a fallen world and we’re all sinners; we just need to keep remembering that,” said the host of the morning Christian radio broadcast I recently heard. While the belief is that the world is fallen and we are all born into sin, the tone and manner with which we approach and discuss this topic is what is concerning to me. The tone that was in this broadcaster’s voice was a tone of defeat. And quite frankly brothers and sisters – I don’t want to subscribe to it any longer.

John Wesley spoke of Christian Perfection. In his book A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, right from the beginning he says:

“Let us strongly and explicitly exhort all believers to go on to perfection. That we may all speak the same thing, we ask once for all, shall we defend this perfection, or give it up? We all agree to defend it, meaning thereby (as we did from the beginning) salvation from all sin, properly so called, by the love of God and man filling our heart."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Realizing the importance of family

Often times I gloss over things like: talking to my parents, in-laws, even really close friends, because of our ‘I had somewhere to be 20 minutes ago’ way of life. While praying with my son the other night before bed, I asked him if he wanted pray for us. He did, and quickly began rattling off names of his friends from Sunday school, his playgroup, classmates from his preschool, even our house and dog!

His innocence made me stop and realize that too often I overlook the important thing in life: family. I asked him, "Do you know why it is important to remember and be thankful for our family?" Two year olds don’t have much theological or introspective analysis for a question like this. Perhaps the real reason is: because there are so many people – young and old – that don't have a close network of friends, family, or even a place to call home. All of this in some way makes up what I call FAMILY.

What are you thankful for? Now think of your answer like this: if your answer were taken from you today, how would it affect your life tomorrow and going forward?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I fought for you

Here's a great video -- paying tribute to our service men and women; past and present.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Under New Management

I received the following story from a professor this week. I thought the message was so great that I wanted to share it with all of you. It resonated with me as I celebrated my TWO YEAR birthday of being a Christian this past Sunday. I hope you enjoy it.

For a few years I had the privilege of working with The Salvation Army where I heard a story of an illiterate man who was converted through the work there.

This man went regularly to the Salvation Army citadel. One day he came home rather disconsolate. His wife said, "What’s the matter?" He said, "I’ve just noticed that all the people in the Salvation Army wear red sweaters, and I don’t have a red sweater." She said, "I’ll knit one." So she knitted him a red sweater.

The next Sunday after he went to the citadel, he still wasn’t happy. His wife said, "What’s wrong this time?" And he said, "I just noticed all their red sweaters have yellow writing and I don't have any writing."

They were both illiterate, but she said, "Don’t worry about it. I’ll embroider some writing for you." The man’s wife had no idea what the letters read, but began copying a sign from a store window opposite their home. She then embroidered the words of that store sign onto his red sweater.

When he came back the next Sunday, she said, "Did they like your sweater?"

"They loved my sweater. Some of them smiled at me when they saw my sweater."

What neither of them knew was that the copied sign off the store window read:

“UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT!” Says it all, doesn’t it?

God is still in the life transformation business!

Courtesy of Rev. James Carder

Friday, September 3, 2010

Great site for Nazarene blogs: aptly titled

It's not as if there aren't enough websites and blogs for you to find exactly what you're looking for -- I still thought I'd share this one with you.  Cleverly titled "Nazarene Blogs" (blogs for nazarenes) this site offers many blogs that range from: Scripture devotions to holiness, God and theology -- you get the idea.  If you get a chance, stop by and check it out.  God bless.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Acts church as a paradigm? Part 2 of 2

Speaking as one who has not been a pastor, I think pastors are afraid to speak biblical convictions to their parishioners. Afraid how exactly? Let's keep in mind the pressures pastors are under these days: 1) worship attendance, 2) Sunday school attendance, 3) tithing, 4) meet and/or exceed missions giving goals, 5) spiritual council for their flock, 6) building maintenance, 7) vehicle maintenance, 8) meet and not exceed a budget, 9) prayer requests, 10) hospital visits, 11) nursing home visits, etc. What happens if you begin seriously holding people biblically accountable by saying, “Stop gossiping, that’s not biblical!” Or, “Hey! Ananias & Sapphira, you didn’t tithe this month!” Either their parish will go bye-bye, or they could be in jeopardy of losing their job.

Do we have a biblical example for my second point? I say “yes we do” – and I think that example is found in John 6 – the feeding of the 5,000 miracle. However, it’s not the miracle to which I’m comparing – it is what happens after the miracle which is where the analogy comes into play; the example is Jesus’ response. Let me explain and analogize.

Once Jesus feeds the crowd, and only once the crowd is happy with what Jesus did “for them,” do they recognize Him as the Prophet (v. 14b). Then, He flees to the mountains and then to Capernaum. Suffice it to say, that’s the gist. The crowd travels to Capernaum & finds Jesus, where He tells them (in a nutshell) they are following Him for the wrong reasons (v. 27). After a thorough rebuke, what happens? “On hearing it, many of his disciples said, ‘This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it’” (v. 60)? Now, a thorough analysis on the different use of the word “disciples” and the phrase “the crowd/people” may be necessary here, but semantics aside the larger point remains: what Jesus truly requires of us is a hard teaching; one that most cannot do or drill a finer point, are not willing to do.

Is our church today the 5,000 crowd? Are pastors today capable of doing what Jesus did? Are we as a church spiritually not getting it? I understand that pastors are not Jesus, but in light of how the American culture has softened people, this further supports my reasoning for stating it is “virtually if not completely impossible” to be the church of Acts.  What are your thoughts?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Acts church as a paradigm? Part 1 of 2

Should the Church in the book of Acts be used as a paradigm for the church today? In short, I will say “yes.” However, one thing that occurred to me while thinking about this is how we only see small aspects of the church in the Scripture (cf. Acts 2:42-47). In saying that, there are significant changes that must be made today which I think – because of Western culture – would make it virtually if not completely impossible to do as such. Keep the following items in mind: I have only been attending church with a personal relationship in Jesus Christ for 1yr-11mos. Additionally, I have never been pastor of a church; I have only attended 2 church board meetings; I have never provided spiritual council to an individual/couple in crisis; I have never (to my knowledge) led anyone to church and/or to ask Christ into their life. Shortcomings or lack of professional experience aside, here is my first supporting statement behind saying why it is “virtually if not completely impossible:”

We (Americans) are too concerned with materialism to set “everything” aside for Christ; are we not? (cf. Mark 10:21) I do not say this as if I’m one of the only who will do as such. However, I find myself asking, “Is it possible in my life; to sell everything and follow Jesus?” I have a job that supplies our mortgage payment; food, clothes, health insurance, home insurance, auto insurance, et al.

What does that have to do with Acts as a paradigm? Read the account of Ananias & Sapphira in Acts 4:32–5:11. I am one who, to be honest, is an Ananias. Thankfully the Lord has not brought forth His judgment on me in the same manner; otherwise you would not be reading this. Before citing my second reason as to why I believe it is “virtually if not completely impossible” for the church today to be the Acts church of the Bible, take a moment and read the story of Ananias and Sapphira. (Ac. 4:32-5:11)

Scripture references:
Bible Gateway. (2010). Retrieved August 26, 2010 from site;

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rick Warren & Gregory Boyd on Charlie Rose

Pastor Rick Warren (Saddleback Church) sits down with Charlie Rose to discuss the direction of the Christian movement; globally as well as internationally.

The second half of the interview is with Pastor Gregory Boyd (Woodland Hills Church) discussing his book The Myth of a Christian Nation.

While this interview was conducted four years back, take some time to review it and ask yourself: How are things now compared to then?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Are you good fruit or bad fruit? Think about it.

Next, I felt was extremely important to examine, briefly, the fruit that makes us who we are; a follow-up to ‘Yes or no? Which is it?’ This Scripture comes to us, again from Jesus, in Matthew 7:15-20. Jesus says, “Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matt. 7:17, NIV).

Throughout the entirety of this teaching, Jesus uses very harsh rhetoric to address the crowd. Words and phrases like: false prophets, ferocious wolves, thornbushes, and thrown into the fire, are certainly designed to grab the attention of both the disciples and the crowd – YOU!

From this Scripture, it is implied that from the ranks of even our neighbors – whom we are to love – many will seek to undermine God’s authoritative Word to fulfill their own selfish desires. And those that seek to undermine the Word of God will not do so gently. This passage tells us that we must always carefully evaluate a person’s motives and ambitions; being fully on-guard against teachers that aim to deliver false doctrine. Moreover, we can apply this today, even in the very Body of Christ. While Sunday morning faces and fancy clothes fill the sanctuaries and fellowship halls, from the tongue will spew both slander and gossip that will tear-down the Body like none other. This infilling of ‘fire’ as James describes (Jas. 3:6) is more detrimental to the Body than anything. For this very reason, we must be ready at all times.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jesus-pod ministering in the Haute?

That’s right folks, at this minute God’s Word may be ministering to a petty thief in the Haute. This morning I walked out to my car – which was sitting on the street – and noticed my glove box open, dome light on, and door slightly cracked open. Short of dusting for prints, I believe this adds up to nothing short of the handy work of a common criminal.

But this servant found the sliver lining through it all. That $149 Jesus-pod (iPod Nano) was chocked-full of nothing but Jesus music, sermons, and inspirational leadership speeches by some of the best writers and speakers of our day. So even though I was robbed, could it be that somebody was saved? Will this common criminal turn my Jesus-pod on and hear something that will bring him/her to the Cross? Rather than being infuriated by this callous act, I will rejoice in the name of Christ and pray that it was God’s will!

Join me in this prayer brothers and sisters. Perhaps I’ll buy another Jesus-pod and leave the car unlocked again!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Yes, or no? Which is it?

“Extra, extra, read all about it!” shouts the newspaper vendor from a corner newsstand in downtown Manhattan. As the world shuffles-bye at break neck speed, today’s headlines are fast-becoming tomorrow’s history lessons. Topics that don the cover of semi news worthy outlets like the New York Times, will typically not survive tomorrow’s oil spill or political fraud in Washington, D.C. However, there was something remarkable that took place nearly two-thousand years ago; a ‘news flash’ was delivered to a land of thousands of people made-up of: fisherman, tax collectors, teachers, and soldiers; just to name a few. It was an event that some scholars say lasted for several days, not mere hours. The event was The Sermon on the Mount, and it was preached not by a typical leader of that day. Instead, it was delivered by a man from Galilee; the son of a carpenter who, to everyone’s amazement, taught a new way to live; a way that nobody had yet conceived.

While The Sermon on the Mount covers many topics of righteous living, as defined by Jesus of Nazareth, there are two I would like to examine here: 1) vows, as taught in Matt. 5:33-37, and 2) Fruit in ones life, as taught in Matt. 7:15-20. Let’s examine vows here:

Throughout Matthew 5:33-37, a common theme – I initially see – is keeping your oath. As Jesus says, “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matt. 5:37, NIV). This statement is very clear cut and does not warrant the need of theologians or biblical scholars to interpret; perhaps this is why it speaks to me! That being said, I can glean from those words, this: when I say I’m going to do something, I need to, and thus should, do it. Our society today covets swearing ‘on somebody’s grave’ or ‘to God’, that we saw this or that; that we really were here or there. Jesus’ words are simply implying that if we are men/women of integrity and sound speech, there should be no reason to promise and/or swear on anything, for we should simply never go back on our word.

Think how our world would look if politicians kept their ‘Yes’ promises, and had the gull to say, “Honestly, that is just not doable sir, or madam.” Talking points and political mantra – combined with promiscuous affairs and deceitful, lewd acts – have forever given politicians a bad name. Even members of the clergy have fallen prey to the evils of the love of money, greed, and sex; casting a shadow on the good that spreads distrust in the hearts of both parishioners and the lost, all over the world.

On my next posting, which may be in a few days, I want to examine Matthew 7:17 a bit. But for the sake of time, considering the thousands of busy people reading this, we’ll conclude.  God bless.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Does He break us, to fix us?

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5, NIV)

Once this was in place -- firmly ensconced in the fabric of my soul -- there became a proverbial automatic desire to seek God and all that He has for me. I say this not to speak on behalf of mankind, but rather speaking of my own experience(s). When I was living my life prior to God becoming the central figure and primary source of all my direction, I was merely living with no known purpose. This changed however when my acceptance of Jesus Christ occurred –- happening from within.

I say this to mean just that: the acceptance of Christ felt as though it happened from within; like something I did not actively do as just a desperate attempt at saving myself. This is a process known as plenary, or, God-breathed, which is how many believe to be the inspiration in the Holy Scriptures. I was broken and sought materialistic means of salvation and fulfillment by a series of bad decisions. While alcohol may have been that primer, I by no means closed the door to other sin. Thus, accepting Jesus as my personal savior honestly felt like my soul crying out Him – not just my mouth.

Does God work towards moments that allow us to become broken? Perhaps He does not actively work towards those moments, but I think there are times He allows us to get the tools out and ‘fix it’ on our own –- knowing that we will ask for Him to take over in due course. Whether this is our moment of salvation or merely experiencing His grace, it by no means ends there for Him. Once we return to Him, or in the very least, acknowledge Him, He can then begin to lead our lives down the road He has prepared especially for us. That road may not literally be revealed to us through His voice, but rather through answered prayers or time spent in His Word.

However God ultimately chooses to speak to us, I believe we must extend our hands to Him, first. Then He then will respond and do the fixing –- based on where we are in life. I find evidence in this belief through listening to the testimonies of different people. We all have a testimony that speaks differently to the attention God showed us the very moment we needed and felt His presence. Have you forgotten yours? Hebrews 10:35 says, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”

Friday, July 16, 2010 Paul?

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Romans 7:24, NIV

I felt this Scripture very worthy of reflection in the life we must learn to understand – once clothed in Christ and adopted into His Body, as this verse resonates with me and how I wrestled with my new life -- saved in Christ.

The apostle Paul is reflecting on his life – in Christ Jesus – and yet still writes “what a wretched man I am!” Now, the first time I heard this preached I said to myself, “Ut oh. While I don’t know much about Paul, given that he wrote a lot of the New Testament, if he considers himself ‘wretched,’ then what does that make me?” I would not have necessarily considered myself wretched, however in comparison to Jesus, who among us is not? And He is the only reflection and comparison for us all – is He not?

A little further understanding of this verse comes through reading not only Romans in its entirety, but through reading more of Paul’s writings. He is not just reflecting on himself [here] as wretched, rather having been the man he was (i.e. Saul) he is still burdened by that past and thus is reminded, perhaps daily, by that past. He carries the death of Stephen in his mind; he carries the authorization of many deaths and vile acts with him as he grows and prospers in his new life; he shoulders the burden of having destroyed families that were worshipping the way he now too worships. That is a lot of pain, and thank God that he shares it, here, with us!

I cannot compare my life with Paul, for I am not Paul. I cannot compare my life with my pastor, for he is himself and I am me. I am either: right or just, wrong or wretched, in the eyes of my Judge; the Creator and Father. I thank God too that I don’t just ‘forget’ that which gave me cause to come to the Cross and beg for forgiveness. I thank God for that pain in my life still; that I can reflect on His grace and mercy and that I can continue to grow in Him; He never lets me forget so that I may continue to help those that need to hear the Good News. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14, NIV).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Christ-centered living: can you live it?

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:34-36)

This to me is what it means to be a Christian; to follow Jesus, and not yourself. The essence of denying to ones’ self is easy on the surface, and yet an altogether different, and extremely difficult, thing to do. A call to serve Christ is not for the faint of heart – for it will bring difficulties and strife that not everyone can bear. I myself have felt the plenary calling to serve the Lord.  Yet in doing so, I have distanced myself from the vulgar jokes and lewd behavior that once typified my daily course in life. In answering the call to serve Him, it has been both easy and difficult. William Barclay wrote:

“Jesus never sought to lure men to Him by the offer of an easy way; He sought to challenge them, to waken the sleeping chivalry in their souls, by the offer of a way than which none could be higher and harder. He came not to make life easy, but to make men great.” (1962, page. 206)

The final verse (v.36) is such a powerful question in that it takes much effort to truly grasp. To think of all the people over time who have given so much of their lives to a: business, endeavor, dream, team, and for the sake of fortune and fame lost everything that remains but a wishful thought every night for a childless couple or lonely soul. I know that Christ can truly fulfill our lives in ways that many think is just fairy tale. For them, all I can do is pray and mirror the life God has shown me in His son, Christ Jesus.

Barclay, William. (1962). The Gospel of Mark: The daily study bible. Scotland: St. Andrew Press.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Know Your Place, Women!

“We not only find instructions concerning the overseers and “deacons” of the church (I Tim./Tit.) but also guidelines for women, slaves, and worship” (Schenck, 2009, p. 413).

I believe that there is something both missing, as well as slightly misleading in the author’s assessment here. While I don’t dispute the charge by Schenck, two things should be addressed:

1) The message in Titus actually addresses how ‘all’ Christians, rather, all aspects of the Body of Christ, shall live; this includes men, or those at least of the male gender. I think that the way Schenck depicts [Titus] as “guidelines for women, slaves, and worship,” thus leaving out men altogether, only perpetuates a problem in the church today: men, at least those in leadership roles, often feel superior and women often feel overlooked.  Furthermore, women have had to overcome a lot in our church and have every right to be heard, teach, and preach.

2) I feel that to write in this nature is disregarding (women) from an author that certainly is a respected theologian and thus seems to write very even-keeled. Women have a very important role/place in the church, and always have. To read the words in Titus – where Paul addresses women in particular – with a 21st century understanding, one might feel very domesticated or ‘traditional’ in keeping with the words. But to view the words with a Greek understanding and through a lexicon, the woman’s role is not to be ‘barefoot and pregnant’ or simply ‘obedient’ to men.

Why do I write this? Not merely to find something to pick apart in a superior analysis of this NT book. Instead, I feel it is important to properly understand the Biblical language and intent of the author; simply stating something the way Schenck does is not necessarily intentional however. But by omission of the male gender – while referencing a book that specifically addresses the way MEN too shall live – new Christian men, perhaps reading a book like [Schenck’s] early in their walk of faith, could lead to a misunderstanding of the role of men, as well as women, in the church.

Again, this is not intended to discredit the author, merely to examine a thought I had while reading. What do you think? Let me expound a bit more on my understanding of Titus:

Titus 2 uses some specific language aimed at men and how they shall live; that is, characteristics of a godly young man: “Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance” (v. 2), and “Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech…” (vv. 6-8, NIV).

These are things that must not be overlooked and should thus be properly understood by all – especially those teaching. While I am newer in my walk with Jesus, Titus is one of those books that often overlooked on Sunday mornings; unlike the Synoptic gospels or Paul’s letters to the churches (i.e. Romans).

Now, I understand the roles of deacons and overseers in the church – especially in the days in which Titus was written – were strictly relegated to men. Furthermore, deacons and overseers are the only men being addressed by Schenck; not withstanding slaves. However, I am sure that not all men were deacons or overseers. Instead, many were simply parishioners.

Therefore in the 21st century, I believe we should hold a more uniformed and inclusive language; one that includes women. Perhaps I’m being too critical or over-analyzing? No, I think these are just musings and thoughts conveyed during a road trip while stuck in the back of a mini-van – trying to tune-out children and in-laws. Your feedback is appreciated and welcome.

Schenck, Kenneth. (2009). Jesus Is Lord. Marion, IN: Triangle Publishing.

Monday, February 22, 2010

How's that new year's plan working?

At the beginning of the New Year, I posted that 2010 would be the year of the covenant; with God. I don't know if any of you have decided to join me in this or not - my loyal followers of eight - but I think it's good to stop and reflect on our personal goals during any journey; to see if we're still on the road or in need of a new map.

I have been doing well I must say. One of the areas I wished to get better at was in the category of helps. My job requires me to lend a hand to my co-workers on sometimes a daily basis, and often times these acts are accompanied with my incessant grumblings and moans: "why is it that every time he or she calls, it's always.......," or, "if she asks me one more time to....," you get the idea. Well, my covenant is to always - within reason - respond with yes and remind myself that God has placed me here to do this. Perhaps I'll receive a "thank you" and perhaps it will go un-noticed. But like it or not, the Lord's call to always serve is going to be least in 2010.

On another front, I have been diligently working to be more of a follow-up kind of guy. I used to always say "thank you," whether it be due to a huge act of kindness upon me or my family, or someone simply holding the door an extra second for me or my wife. But this year, I want to go a little extra and make sure I remind those close to me that I appreciate every bit of help they provide, or any simple blessing added to my life as a result of their good deed or offering.

Hopefully your new year's covenant or resolutions are still going strong. Let me know how I can help you...God knows many people are helping Kylie and I at the moment.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Thanking Him for another chance

This sunset was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. I took this picture on the shore of Lake Erie, just outside of Erie, PA. The incredible thing about this scene however, is that I almost never saw it.

My wife and I had traveled to Boston for a wedding. On the way back, after an impromptu visit to Niagara Falls, we planned to stop at Cleveland for the night. As we arrived near Erie, PA, the sun was setting; just as we hit the point on the map where we were closest to the lake.

We found an exit ramp, paid our toll and began searching for a spot near the shoreline. Not being familiar with the territory, we were driving around in what seemed to be a ‘beat-the-clock’ scenario. Given the time of day, we decided to call home and say good night to our son, Linc, who was staying with grandma and grandpa. As we spoke to them on speaker, we heard those precious sounds of our greatest little blessing…to date. We said good night to all and hung-up.

I was aimlessly driving west and had been paying more attention to our son’s voice than the road; I felt as though we were getting too far away from town and noticed we could no longer see the lake. I saw a cross road approaching and dipped off the road to the right to whip a u-turn. Due to the lack of my focus while I was on the phone, I lost track of my surroundings and didn’t stop to look behind me as I pulled back onto the highway.

I felt my front left wheel bump upon the highway and immediately caught a glimpse of headlights fast approaching. I smashed the brake pedal, feeling as thought I nearly shoved it through the floor board of our car. You’ve probably heard the expression ‘your life flashing before your eyes,’ but have you ever been eye level with a set of Mack truck tires flashing before your eyes? Thankfully the alert trucker swerved and nobody else was traveling east at that moment.

We sat there for a moment – stunned and gasping for our breath. As I looked left and right, for probably the fourth or fifth time, my wife calmly said, “That could have been the last time we talked to Linc.” We said a prayer to the Lord for keeping us going and went on to see this beautiful sunset. The rest of the trip home was blessed, despite a brief mechanical issue and lack of Starbucks throughout most of Ohio.

Have you ever been given a second chance at life? Have you forgotten about it or do you use it as a reminder each and every day? Our salvation is certainly a second chance at life but it does not shield us or our loved ones from pain and suffering. I can’t imagine what life would be like for our son and families if we hadn’t made it home from that trip. I’m thanking God at this moment; thanking Him for another chance.

Copyright (C) Holy Hooiser, 2010