Category Archives: Faith

Sins, Mistakes, Misunderstandings, and Forgiveness

As a Christian, I am acutely aware that I am still a sinner and remain a sinner. However, I stand on the words of Psalm 25:8: “Good and upright is the Lord: therefore, will he teach sinners in the way.”Also as a Christian, I am acutely, aware that I am not perfect. However, as the Psalmist tell us in Psalm 27:3-5, we can seek to bask in the Lord’s perfection: ‘The one thing I want from God, the thing I seek most of all, is the privilege of meditating in His Temple, living in His presence every day of my life, delighting in His incomparable perfections and glory.’

As sinful, imperfect humans who also happen to be Christians, often the mistakes we make are misunderstood to be sins because of the higher status we seek in our service to God. Our mistakes or “sins” will provoke reactions of undo proportion, often by longtime allies, jeopardizing years of goodwill, friendship, and fellowship, ultimately limiting the goodness we both can do in service to the Lord.

This is the trap that the devil has set for us. He knows that as sinful, imperfect humans, who also are Christians, we will make mistakes in our everyday dealings with each other. He knows that these mistakes often made with the best intentions will be viewed as “sins”, and that the misunderstandings that will accrue, are enough to get God’s people off the Lord’s mission and on to the devil’s game of misunderstandings, confusion, and misery.

Yet, as Christians, we have a powerful weapon that can bring clarity to the misunderstanding, peace to the confusion, and healing to the misery. That weapon is forgiveness.

Yes, we all know that Jesus will make all things right when he returns. Revelation 22:1-2 (The Message) gives us this healing vision of the future: “Then the Angel showed me Water-of-Life River, crystal bright. It flowed from the Throne of God and the Lamb, right down the middle of the street. The Tree of Life was planted on each side of the River, producing twelve kinds of fruit, a ripe fruit each month. The leaves of the Tree are for healing the nations. Never again will anything be cursed.”

In the meantime before the leaves of healing arrive, we still need to heal the brokenness of our relationships caused by our mistakes, our misunderstandings, and our sin. We need to do it right now!! Jesus taught, “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.”

My heart is heavy as I write this post because of a broken relationship that I value greatly. A relationship that has spanned over three decades in good and bad times is in jeopardy because a mistake that I made has been misunderstood and judged to be a sin.

Here and now I express my heartfelt sorrow for my mistake. I have reached out to the parties privately, and now I do it publicly, asking forgiveness for hurt, harm, and sorrow my actions surely have caused.

I have asked the Lord whom I serve for forgiveness and wisdom to go about being of service to you and others in a different way. So that my attempts at kindness, charity, and love will not be misunderstood, I am reaching out to you in this blog. It is my hope that it will not be interpreted differently than I intended. Misinterpretation has been the chief cause of this dustup that has caused my heart and soul to weep bitterly.

My personal mission statement posted for the world to see on my webpage calls for me to live an extraordinary life as a servant leader, humbly using my God given talents to enhance the lives of others.

None of us can achieve the missions that God has set for us as long as we stay stuck in the trap of sin, mistakes, and misunderstanding that the Devil has set for everyone, but especially set for Christians.

While this event will call for a reset of our relationship, it also gives us the opportunity to seek God’s grace, help, and healing to move forward.

I offer you my forgiveness, and I humbly ask for yours. For I know with forgiveness, God has made us to be bigger than sin, mistakes, and misunderstandings. In the final analysis, it is not what I have done or will do, but it is what He did for each one of us when He gave His life as a ransom for your sins, my sin, and the sins of the whole world.    Since Jesus has paid that price for us the least we can do is to forgive our mistakes and misunderstandings before we label them as unforgivable sins.

A Slave for Jesus Christ

I am humbly



Maggie Black: A Faithful Woman

Regular readers of these posts know of my affection for the people of Clinton, Georgia, my home town. On Saturday, June 8, 2014, one of the mothers of our community, Maggie Black died two months shy of her 102nd birthday.

While many individuals who knew Maggie Black may focus on the length of her life and, yes, she was blessed, but I would rather focus on the basics of her longevity which is her faith. Like Abraham and Sarah, Maggie Black’s life modeled the goodness of God through the power of her faith. God promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have descendants of influence produced from their seed. As Maggie Black is laid to rest, she leaves behind a large multi-generational family, with diverse influence and a powerful faith, all produced from William and Maggie Black’s seed of faith.

Worship and obedience were such a part of Maggie Black’s life that it produced a faith that allowed her to navigate the difficulties of Jim Crow that gave her ability to birth, raise, and love a large, smart, and accomplished family; and then gave her the strength in later years to survive the deaths of her husband and two of her beloved children.

Hebrews 11:1-3, tells us that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It has been an honor and pleasure to see and learn about faith firsthand from a faithful woman, Maggie Black.

What is a Church Leader?

Church Leaders2

After planting churches on the Island of Crete, Paul appointed Titus to finish the work of establishing strong churches for God’s people. Knowing that he could not do this enormous job of alone, Paul wrote to Titus, providing the following criteria for what a church leader should be like.

A church leader is God’s servant. His life must be so that no one can say anything against him. He should not try to please himself and not be quick to get angry over little things. He must not get drunk or want to fight. He must not always want more money for himself. He must like to take people into his home. He must love what is good. He must be able to think well and do all things in the right way. He must live a holy life and be the boss over his own desires. He must hold to the words of truth which he was taught. He must be able to teach the truth and show those who are against the truth that they are wrong.Titus 1: 7-9New Life Version (NLV)

As a person who wants to be a church leader, I read these wordsLady Clergy2 with terror and trepidation.   While I am trying to live up to the tenants of not being quick to get angry, or not to wanting to fight, or not wanting more money for myself and the other requirements, I know that I fall far short of these important and vital standards.

Just as I was about to give up, knowing that a sinful man like me could never live the life of a church leader commanded by Paul, the Holy Ghost revealed Paul’s key, and in fact, the only requirement for what a church leader must be like. “A church leader is God’s servant” Titus 1: 7 New Life Version (NLV).

In being God’s servant there are three things that should know:

1. God wants us just as we are.

Scared WomanGod wants us to serve Him just as we are with our conflicts, with our deficiencies, with our troubles, and with our sins. It is when we serve Him that all our earthly issues will fade.

Speaking with God at the burning bush Moses was very vocal about the inabilities he processed for the great task ahead. For each inability he presented God had an answer:

  • They won’t believe me, they will say the Lord never appeared: “What do you have there in your hand?” the Lord asked him. And he replied, “A shepherd’s rod.” “Throw it down on the ground,” the Lord told him. So he threw it down—and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it!  Then the Lord told him, “Grab it by the tail!” He did, and it became a rod in his hand again!  “Do that and they will believe you!” the Lord told him. “Then they will realize that Jehovah, the God of their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has really appeared to you. Exodus 4:2-5 Living Bible


  • I am not a good speaker: “Who makes mouths?” Jehovah asked him. “Isn’t it I, the Lord? Who makes a man so that he can speak or not speak, see or not see, hear or not hear? 12 Now go ahead and do as I tell you, for I will help you to speak well, and I will tell you what to say.” Exodus 4:11-12 Living Bible


  • Lord please! Send someone else: Then the Lord became angry. “All right,” he said, “your brother, Aaron, is a good speaker. And he is coming here to look for you and will be very happy when he finds you. So I will tell you what to tell him, and I will help both of you to speak well, and I will tell you what to do. He will be your spokesman to the people. And you will be as God to him, telling him what to say. Exodus 4:14-17 Living Bible

2. God will supply all we need to do His will.

Tool Box

When God ask us to do His will we can be assured that everything we need to do it will be given.   Mary was greatly troubled when the angel came and told her what was to come. Her main concern was “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “Since I am a virgin?”  The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.

3. God will bless us when we do His will.

Church Group

Because of Noah’s faithfulness in carrying out God’s orders concerning the building of the arc and the collection of animals. God made this convenient with Noah and his sons blessing them for their service.

“Then God spoke to Noah and his sons: “I’m setting up my covenant with you including your children who will come after you, along with everything alive around you—birds, farm animals, wild animals—that came out of the ship with you. I’m setting up my covenant with you that never again will everything living be destroyed by floodwaters; no, never again will a flood destroy the Earth.” Genesis 9:8-11 The Message

Clergy ManAs God’s servant, He will strengthen us to meet the requirements of church leadership. However, it is only by submitting to be a servant of God that we can become the parents, the grandparents, the child, the sibling, the friend, the business person and yes the church leader that He wants us to be.

What is Church Leader? He is a servant of God


Glory in Rejection

Jesus life on earth is bookended by rejection

– Rejection by the Inn Keeper at birth

– Rejection by His own disciples at death

But in rejection there is glory

His birth while humble was:

– So wonderful….that a single star shined brightly

– So wonderful…that wise men came from a far

– So wonderful…that the people of this earth to this day are still inspired by that holy night so long ago His death while burial provides:

– Hope…because of the prophecy fulfilled by His crucifixion

– Hope….because of the victory of His resurrection

– Hope….because of the forgiveness afforded by His sacrifice

Jesus proves to us that there is glory in rejection

  • So take heart…… His suffering was not in vain
  • So take heart ……His body was broken for a purpose
  • So take heart…….His blood was spilled for goodness

Jesus life was on earth is bookended by rejection:


For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16KJV)

For in Jesus where there is rejection there is glory.


The Power Walks of Jesus

Palm SundayWelcome to Palm Sunday, a commemoration of the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.  The account of this event in Matthew 21: 1-9 portrays the excitement as the crowd spread their coats and branches on the road.  The enthusiasm reached a fever pitch as everyone around Jesus shouted:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Alias, as we all know, this wonderful reception and the good feelings for the Son of David, was only to last for a short time, as Jesus would be:

Arrested by His enemies,

Betrayed by His disciples, and

Crucified by a mob so hungry for blood that they could not see His innocence.

While all of these events are foretold in prophecy, it is still Jesus on Dunkeydistributing that our Lord and Savior, the King of Kings, and Son of God suffered these incredible indignities.  However, these events also show how much the Lord loves us.  He sent Jesus His only Son to a horrible death on the cross so that we might have an opportunity for a glorious new life in relationship with our Heavenly Father.

It is ironic that prophecy had Jesus in His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, riding instead of walking, as was His custom.  His walks were not on smooth paved roads or walking paths as in our modem world.  Rather, it was on the dry, dirty, and uneven roads of His time on earth.

And so it was, that the only time that we can find in scripture that Jesus was spared from walking, was not on a grand coach befitting His royal status, but it was on a humble donkey.

And so it was, that the only time that we can find in scripture that Jesus was welcomed like the rock-star that He is, was in a procession into a city, Jerusalem, the same city in which He would suffer and die within a few days.

And so was, I think it is fair to conclude, that this scripture shows that while Jesus is all powerful, His power is truly manifested, not when He is riding, but when He is walking.

And so it is, while we commemorate that donkey ride on Palm Sunday. Let’s take a few moments to focus on some power walking that Jesus did for us.

Walking In Faith – John 4:46-54

Cana to CapernaumJesus was in Cana, where He had turned the water into wine. While there in Cana, a government official, from the city of Capernaum, approached Jesus with a request.  The man’s son was at death’s door, and the man begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son.  Clearly frustrated by the lack of faith, Jesus asked, “Won’t any of you believe in me unless I do more and more miracles?”  Despite Jesus’ question, the official continued to pled, “Sir, please come now before my child dies.”

Then Jesus told the man from Capernaum, “Go back home. Your son is healed!” And the man believed Jesus and started to walk home. It was during the lonely walk home some of the man’s servants met him with the news that all was well and his son had recovered.  Clearly relieved, the man asked when the lad begun to feel better.  The servant replied, “Yesterday afternoon at about one o’clock his fever suddenly disappeared!” Then the father realized it was the same moment that Jesus had told him, “Your son is healed.” And the officer and his entire household believed that Jesus was the Messiah.

Walking the Harvest – Matthew 9:35-38

Jesus walked around and visited towns, both big and small. HarvestWherever Jesus walked He taught in the Jewish synagogues, announcing the Good News and healing people of every sort of illness. In his walks, Jesus saw the great need of the people, feeling pity for them.  He described them as sheep without a shepherd.

Jesus told his disciples a huge harvest of people need the Lord. He asked the Lord to recruit more workers to harvest His fields.

The Walk to Emmaus and Beyond – Luke 24:13-27

On the same day of His resurrection, two of Jesus’ disciples were walking to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles out of Jerusalem.  The men were deep in conversation about the events leading up to crucifixion, and then all of a sudden Jesus came up and walked along side of them. But they did not recognize Him.

Recognizing that both men were distraught and troubled, Jesus asked what they were upset about.  They recapped Jesus’s entire history of teaching, challenging religious leaders, feeding the hungry, raising the dead, healing the sick, and casting out demons.  They concluded by discussing the report that the body of Jesus was missing. The tone of the men indicated that they quested the account.

Walk to Jerusalem to Emmaus

Hearing this, Jesus replied and said to them, “So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into His glory?” Then He started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to Him.

The men were so in awe of Him that they asked Jesus to spend the night, so He went with them. Here is what happened: Jesus sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, He blessed and broke it and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, the disciples recognized Jesus. And then He disappeared

After Jesus left, the two men talked and they agreed. “Didn’t we feel on fire as He conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?”

Power Walk Conclusions

1.    Jesus walks because He wants you to walk in Faith  

When Jesus told the Capernaum official to “Go back home. Your son is healed!” He was expressing that as we walk, we should walk in the faith that only He affords.

 2.    Jesus wants to use our walk to bring in a huge harvest for the Lord.

As we saw in Matthew 9:35-38, there is no place too small for Jesus to walk.  His walk was a fulfillment of God’s faith in us, and His commitment to covert us to be workers for the harvest.

 3.    Our world opens up when we discover that Jesus is walking with us. 

The two disciples of Jesus, walking to Emmaus, learned firsthand how much clearer and open the world can be when we know that Jesus is with us.  Jesus commands us to use the clearness and openness to realize the Great Commission

Commemorate the Ride but Remember the Walk

PalmsWhile the donkey ride that we commemorate on Palm Sunday is important, the real triumph takes place when Jesus is powerwalking with us. For in those powerwalks Jesus:

  • Heals us with faith,
  • Harvests us to do His will, and
  • Open our hearts to His love, His grace and His goodness.

So this Palm Sunday, let’s commemorate the ride but remember the power walk of Jesus.

My Legacy To God

I can see it in my face; the once smooth youthful look is now lined with experience.

I can feel it in my body; that I once commanded at will but now it is slow to move.

I can understand it in my thought; youthful dreams have given way to hard truths.

I am a man in the winter of his life; while I do not dwell on death, I do think about legacy.

  • The legacy I want to leave my child and grandchildren.
  • The legacy I want to leave my family and friends.
  • The legacy I want to leave the world for the time that I spent on earth.

Everything I have done, however, will mean nothing unless I leave a legacy to God.

  • A legacy of being faithful to His teaching.
  • A legacy of using the talents He has given me for His good.
  • A legacy of making disciples.

For when I am working in His legacy:

  • The look on my face does not matter.
  • My body feels new, active, and ready to move. My mind is creative, nimble and ready to share His goodness, grace and love

Some people may think the winter is a time of coldness, darkness, and hardships; however, God has showed me, a maturing man, the glories of winter and the legacy of the spring. And on the day when my life is over I hope with all my heart that He will greet my legacy as His humble follower, with the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”