Tag  |  repentance

Who We Are

Zechariah lived out a twofold identity as both priest and prophet. The grandson of the priest Iddo and the head priest of his family (Zechariah 1:1; Nehemiah 12:1,16), he was prophetically called to encourage the people of Judah with God’s words (Zechariah 1:13-17). In addition, he told them to repent (Zechariah 1:3-4), renew their efforts for God (Zechariah 8:12-13), and follow His ways (Zechariah 7:8-10).

radical recovery

Attempting a quadruple toe loop, Olympic skater Jeremy Abbott swiveled into the air and fell. He careened into the rink’s wall and lay clutching his side. Amazingly, Jeremy then stood up and resumed skating. The rest of his routine included two extremely difficult, yet well-executed maneuvers. In the end, his perseverance after a serious mistake won the crowd’s heart.

preparing the way

On July 21, 2013, media outlets worldwide held their collective breath as they waited for the birth of the child of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The baby was third in line to the British throne, and so when Prince George was born the next day there was hardly a newspaper or news program that didn’t herald the announcement front and center.

personal responsibility

My friend’s eyes revealed what I was feeling— fear! We two 13-year-olds had behaved poorly and were now cowering before the camp director. The man, who knew our dads well, raised the decibels as he shouted, “You, the son of Dick Thomas, and you, the son of Ray Felten, how could you have done this?” Needless to say, we wanted to crawl under the table—feeling the weight of personal responsibility for our offense, and having remorse over the shame we had brought to our fathers.

well-lit

I enjoy driving at night and seeing the warmth of a well-lit house permeating the velvet darkness around it. Regardless of what the neighborhood may look like in the daytime, the contrast of the light in the night makes even the least attractive places appear inviting. Flip the image, though, and a boarded-up house on a sunny day becomes an antagonistic sight, even to the most tenacious of visitors.

run

I was 7 years old when I was first exposed to pornography. Some kids had found it, and I naively agreed when they offered to show it to me. In today’s digital world, the stakes are much higher. More than a frozen picture in time, the power of video erodes what little innocence remains in our world.

hurt people hurt people

I was babysitting two 5-year-old boys while their mothers went shopping. They were having a fun time playing together until one of the children threw a ball that accidentally struck the other on the nose.

not less in your mess

God’s royal family in Genesis was a bit seamy. Consider Abraham’s family. He slept with his female slave and later consented to his wife’s desire to banish the woman and his son by sending her into the wilderness (Genesis 21:14). What family could be worse than that?

out of the abyss

Why did I repeatedly deny I knew Him? How could I have betrayed His trust?

a surfer’s heart

The film Noah’s Arc: The Noah Snyder Documentary tells the story of Noah Snyder and his unique journey from growing up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina to establishing a professional surfing career. As my son and I watched it, we were moved by both the stellar surfing and the deep truths found in the story. It was inspiring to see Noah and several of his childhood friends mature from mere thrill-seekers to young men embracing purpose, responsibility, and a relationship with God.

new names, new nature

In 2012, Pretoria, the capital city of South Africa, changed many of its street names, initially causing confusion for commuters and a headache for traffic reporters who were expected to give both street names in every update. After the names were changed, the format for traffic bulletins at most radio stations included the new street name followed by the word “formerly” and the old moniker.

not outsmarted

The French philosopher Voltaire suspected that he would win the lottery in 1729. With a statistician friend he calculated that the jackpot would be much greater than the cost of all the tickets. They pooled their money with other friends, bought as many tickets as possible, won, and split the prize money. Outwitting the Parisian government paid big—Voltaire received over a million francs. But some people might think he didn’t play totally fair.

Jesus weeps

It happens often at weddings. The mother of the bride can be seen quietly sobbing. Her tears are a fitting response to the coming of age of her daughter and the memories of the years she had nutured her.

confession

While visiting a friend in Marseille, France, we stopped by an old church. I took in the cold stone floors, the magnificent ancient walls, and the smell of the musty wooden pews. Almost hidden from my view, built into a wall, was the confessional box. It contained enough for just one person on either side of a wooden slat. My friend quietly commented that the act of confessing our sins one to another seemed to have disappeared from many modern churches. This challenged me not only to confess my sin to God but also to others.

you choose Q: what can i do about my sin?

Q: I always try to run away from sin, and when I think I've gotten away, it comes back. After I commit the sin, I feel as if I should be punished for my sin. Other times, I feel so bad that I think that God is disappointed, and I'm too embarrassed to tell anyone of my sin, what do…