Thursday, December 31, 2009


I had been running on battery power for too long and the warning light had changed from orange to an unwelcome blinking red. The reserves in my soul were finally running down to near empty; I was lost and hope of a miraculous turn of events was fast fading.

In April of that same year I had bought a Bible. Owning a Bible is one thing; opening and reading it is another. I did not have a mentor. I was not part of a Bible Study. Basically, I was a formerly proud member of a vast new class of biblically illiterate Americans. Up through my teenage years I had attended church; I had been baptized and confirmed as a child but what little faith I had, I freely abandoned for the far more popular religion of self reliance and self indulgence.

So I looked down at this brick of a book and asked myself why bother to read it? How can it provide relevance to my own sorry situation? If I were to decide to explore its pages, where do I begin? Where so many of my contemporaries had rejected the faith of their youth, why would I turn to the pages of the Bible for answers to my own self inflicted crisis? How could it help?

But I did open that Bible and I did begin the long journey of coming to know it and love it. Years later, the answer to my many question became apparent and it came to me from one of the Bible's best know psalms. For even though I walked through the valley of the shadow of death; I came to realize that I am not in fact alone. When, early on, I choose to walk through this life on solo power, I inevitably lost that power and found myself without the resources to get to a safe place. As with so many of my contemporaries, I end up as little more than spent fuel.

The stories and accounts in the Bible speak to another source of power: the Holy Spirit of God that wants to abide within the heart of each one of us to restore our soul to the vibrant life God intended for us from the beginning.

As I began to engage the pages of the New and Old Testaments, I slowly learned to listen to what the ancient words were telling me about my own condition here and now. And as I began to absorb what I was hearing, I started to experience the cracking of my own shallow assumptions about the world and my place in it. I began to move from believing I could live a good life without God to believing I could not survive even one short day without Him.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Source of Widsom

There was a time when I believed, truly believed, that wisdom, insight and success came And so, it is not surprising that eventually I would run off the road and end up in a ditch.

When you are blinded by self-regard, it is hard to steer a straight course. The really sad thing is that I was a typical example of my “boomer” generation. We were swerving all over the place when we thought we were plowing straight ahead.Ironically, the experience of disaster eventually restored my sight and my sanity. And with the restoration came the realization that victory of any kind can never rest with the singular possessive.

Jeremiah the prophet once wrote, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth for in these I delight.’”

Monday, November 9, 2009

Amazing Grace

To be human is to know trouble.

Many years ago, I found myself facing bankruptcy, threats of lawsuits and financial devastation. With blinding speed, my self-confidence was blown away and I was rendered defenseless. Fear filled every corner of my life. But when the chips were down and there was absolutely nowhere to turn, I cried out to God in my distress...and He answered.

Trouble is the common denominator in everyone’s life. Sometimes it is subtle and sometimes dramatic, but it always seems to be lurking on the fringe ready to pounce. In my case, when I found that I could not save myself, I called out to God, not knowing what to expect. What I received was undeserved beyond measure, and ultimately, the experience drew me back to Jesus Christ.

It was truly a life saving event; I was saved through my failure. I now look upon that period in my life as the time when I experienced God’s amazing grace.