Saturday, May 30, 2015


There’s nothing like wallowing with pigs to bring you to your senses.

The Jewish boy was raised to see the pig as an unclean animal. He was not to eat pork or even get close to an unclean animal. But, when your heart is drifting from God you wind up kissing more than a few pigs. 

Your insatiable hunger and poverty lead you to unclean places where you consider eating pig food just to get by. Addiction tells a similar story. People that are disconnected from what home should be, find themselves in bad company consuming terrible things in an attempt to sustain a miserable life.

Like the prodigal son, we must stare the pig in the eye and realize how far away from home we’ve travelled. Until we can stare at truth in a pigpen, we will stay in our dejected state, eyeing up the next greasy cob.

The road home starts with confessing the truth about our lives. The road away from home is a dead end. The road away from home brings you to a very dark existence.

Daniel Webster said, There is no refuge from confession but suicide, and suicide is confession.’ [i] 

Webster is saying that confession provides a way out of our misery. When people refuse to confess and instead to end their life, the suicide becomes a confession to their brokenness.

[i] (Daniel Webster (1782-1852), U.S. lawyer, statesman. Speech, April 6, 1830, in murder trial, Salem, Massachusetts. Argument on the Murder of Captain White, The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster, vol. 11 (1903). It was during this trial that Webster famously spoke of a "fearful concatenation of circumstances.")

Monday, May 25, 2015


Christian counsellor Dick DeGraaf says that life consists of two journeys. One is the journey of independence we take to leave home. The second is the journey to go back home. We are all on one of those journeys.

This is the story we learn from the Prodigal Son. One day he gets as far away from home as he possibly can. Another day is the sorrowful road home. If you find yourself going back and forth, you are not alone.

We may need to reach a breaking point before we commit to the road home. Lost as we find ourselves, we have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to guide us. We are never alone in the journey.

Luke 15:
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

What will forever amaze us is the unrestrained love and acceptance that comes from the Father in the story. It is the hope of love that puts us on the road home.

Where are you at today? Are you moving further away or retracing your steps home? We can learn much about confessing our faults by listening to the prodigal’s self-speech. His rehearsed apology contains the essential humility we need to face the truth about ourselves.

Friday, May 22, 2015


The French philosopher Albert Camus recognized something that most artists and writers know.

Song writing, art and poetry comes from the part of a person that needs to make something good from the chaos in and around them. As a songwriter, I know that the best songs have come from my most troubling experiences. They cry out from the heart. My songs become personalized prayers and confessions. I speak to God and remind myself of God’s work when I sing. I confess my sinful disposition and need of reconciliation.

Every day, we are confessing what’s inside us by the way we choose to live our lives. In the same way that the creator creates, the chaotic begets chaos. What message is confessed by your life? Whatever is inside you will be expressed through your daily and nightly life.

Oh, it’s a messy life… Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde we feel torn between opposing forces within our nature, the madman and the humanitarian. The spiritual act of confession brings us back to who we want to be.

1 John 1:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

How can such forgiveness be possible? Either God does not think our sin is much of anything or His Love reaches further than we can imagine or accept.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


How do you submit your life to God in a ‘hands on’ way? Do you see your work and physical effort as a love response to God’s goodness?

Our hands can perform extremely gentle and precise actions such as writing a letter, painting a picture, threading a needle or playing a violin. Our hands also enable us to perform heavy labour, such as digging with a shovel, swinging an axe, using a jackhammer to drill through concrete, or pounding a railroad spike with a sledgehammer. We use our hands to feel whether something is rough or smooth, hot or cold, sharp or dull. We hold a child's hand as we cross the street. We caress the hair of a loved one.[1]

Ecclesiastes 9:
10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

For a limited time, we are given these mortal bodies. We are created to work at something wholeheartedly. You can work away with a resentful attitude begrudging your masters or you can choose to use your hands to accomplish something for others. Creative hands are submitting to the creative impulse placed in the person by the Creator.

There is even a transformative role that work plays in your spiritual life. Paul spoke to the thieves in the church about a shift in their focus.

Ephesians 4:
28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands that they may have something to share with those in need.

The thief may have stole because he was poor or from greed. In response to God’s love there is encouragement to be a giver rather than a taker. There is something worthwhile for everyone to do with their hands, and our profit is to be shared with others.

Have you become a ‘hands on’ person submitting your efforts to the glory of God?

These hands of ours can rise to God and extend to others. These hands can be put on efforts that glorify God.

Hands up… hands out… hands on…

Saturday, May 16, 2015


A 'hand out' is defined as 'a gift, as of food, clothing, or money, given to the needy.' An unflattering expression for giving away your used items is ‘hand me down’.

There’s a beautiful picture in Scripture of a woman who has many virtues. The godly woman’s hands are described in this way.

Proverbs 31:
20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

The person of virtue is not simply doing charity. We see the Proverbs 31 woman extending ‘her hands’. She is personally involved in giving to others. She is not just giving things, but is present in the lives of the poor. There is an attitude of being open-handed rather than tight-fisted.

Deuteronomy 15:7-8
7 If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tight-fisted toward your poor brother.
8 Rather be open-handed and freely lend him whatever he needs.

When you put your hands out to another in giving, you are also receiving them. Sometimes your reception of the person opens the door for you to give to them in some way. Jesus modelled the submissive act of giving and receiving many times.

Mark 10:
16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

The human touch can transfer blessing, acceptance and approval. There is a physical need that we respond to by being open-handed and there is a spiritual need that can be addressed with appropriate touch and the laying on of hands.

Our submission to God is demonstrated through the way our hands respond to the needs of others. Are you open-handed and generous?

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