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The Prayer for Peace

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring love. Where there is offense, let me bring pardon. Where there is discord, let me bring union. Where there is error, let me bring truth. Where there is doubt, let me bring faith. Where there is despair, let me bring hope. Where there is darkness, let me bring your light. Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,

For it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

What the Light sees, What the Light says

By God's undeserved gift to me the stark reality of me is laid bare and I can see more than I used to. Also by God's undeserved gift to me the Light speaks to my heart and both compels and empowers me to take stock of who I am and build his love into my life in ever increasing measure.
The Light allows me to see my dark heart. The Light says, "Here is your new heart. Remember who you were and let others know that new life is only found in my Son, Jesus." 
The Light allows me to see myself offering up paths that lead into further bloodshed, destruction, and chaos. The Light says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
The Light allows me to see that I pick and choose who I am to love and to treat with respect. The Light says, "I chose you when you when you hated me. Love others they way that I have loved you."
The Light allows me to see that I love very little. The Light says, "Never cease doing good…

Race is sacred

I am not color blind. I see people and, when I see them, I see that many of them are a different color than me. And that brings glory to God because race is sacred. Now, God has created everything and everyone for a purpose. There is not something, specific, in the Bible that speaks to why God created different races, but we do receive some hints as to why. In the book of Romans, chapter 1 verse 20, it states that  "...since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made...". This leads me to think that the creation of different races speaks, in part, to a specific aspect of his divine nature: his diversity. 
Even though I worship one God, he is made up of three distinct persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God, himself, is diverse and in order for man to reflect his image (Genesis 1:27) it needed to be diverse. Now, of course, we are all individuals and that is a d…

And, rather than or

So I was thinking abut death and catching myself thinking in terms of "or" rather than "and" which I find myself doing far too often than I care to imagine. For the believer the Bible says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Now whether this is something instantaneous (which I believe it is) or a promise that is yet to be fulfilled upon our death the fact is clear: our death is a vehicle that carries us into a fuller presence and contemplation of God. For that, death is something that will end in great joy for the believer who dies. We need to rejoice with them and thank God that death is now his servant and that he has subjected it to serve even the ones that he has saved. The one who has died believing that Jesus has forgiven his or her sins is in a splendid state indeed.
Yet, the hole that this person can make in my heart cannot be ignored. I have long given up the disdain of someone who longs for heaven more when a loved one dies. Tha…

"Go. And sin...just a little." Part 5

Part one is here. Part two is here. Part three is here. Part four is here. I think that this will be the last part.
The God of the Bible knows the end from the beginning. But more than that he knows me and himself completely. Now that is a stunning statement for I do not even know myself completely. But God, who is eternal, has everything laid bare before himself. That "everything" includes himself. Nothing escapes his attention and that includes everything that has ever happened and ever will happen. Nothing is forgotten (though he can choose to treat is like he has forgotten our sin) and nothing is glossed over. He knows every single decision I have ever made and will make and what the consequences of those decisions will be. So, in our example in Part Four of the drunk driving friend, he knows if that person will get into an accident or not. He also knows, completely, how destructive drunkenness is to the person who is drunk and must do something about it. He must because …

"Go. And sin...just a little." Part 4

Part one is here. Part two is here. Part three is here

So let's carry the state we find ourselves in as image bearers a little longer. One of the mysteries of the God of the Bible is that he is a community. A community of three to be exact. A trinity. A tri-unity. God is one and he exists in three distinct, separate persons. From eternity and into eternity the members of the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have loved each other and related to one another in perfect and complete unity. God holds the perfection of community within himself and does not depend on anyone or anything to display that perfection. This is absolutely critical. Our love relationships that we are to have with our spouses, children, neighbors, friends, and even enemies are rooted in the community of the one God. In fact, they are a key part of our positions as image bearers. When we do not seek to do good to others, to love them as the members of the Trinity love each other, we misrepresent God and sh…

"Go. And sin...just a little." Part 3

Part one is here. Part two is here.

So, now that we have established, in part, what sin is and why God would have created us with the capacity to sin we have almost laid the whole foundation. The next bit is probably the most important part because it unlocks the capacity that we have to relate to God. The Bible is clear that God is love and God created us with the capacity to love. It is important to catch that because our relationship to God (creature to creator), our nature (being made in his image), and our ability (to love) are all connected and form the crux of the issue of why there is sin at all.

We were created for a singular purpose: to subdue the earth and rule over it. Now there are all kinds of ideas that we can float to try to understand what that means, but the Bible is clear on one thing in particular. We were called to obey God and, through our obedience, we were love him and advance his righteous rule on the earth. We are made in his image in that we can participate in…