Confession, Forgiveness and Freedom

Life is a story. We all have one tell. Some we are quick to share. Others we'd rather keep to ourselves.

I saw a movie recently that did an incredible job of showing the devastating effects of an untold story. It was a depiction of a man that was haunted by a sin in his life. A part of his story that because he was unwilling to share, cost him his life. A sin that imprisoned him in his own isolated world for 40 years.

The movie Get Low, starring Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, and Sissy Spacek, is a quirky film based on a real-life 1930s legend. It's about man in desperate need of forgiveness, both from others as well as himself. It is a movie worth seeing, and does a great job of opening the eyes of the viewer to the power of confession and forgiveness.

As the movie ended my thoughts went directly to James 5:13-16.

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

There is great power in the act of confession. James goes so far as to say that through it, we find healing. What a precious gift it is when we are able to live in community with one another at such a deep level that we may freely confess to one another, and find forgiveness and the subsequent freedom that comes from it.

May we as the Church live in such a way. May we be a people that will listen and pray for one another. And may we enjoy the freedom that is offered us through the forgiveness of both Christ and His Church.

Grace Based Parenting

Over the last six weeks I have been teaching a class entitled, "Raising Kids With A Faith That Lasts." It has been such a blessing to lead a room full of parents who desire to raise their children in the same manner that God raises us!

A major theme throughout the class has been grace. It is by grace that God has called us and leads us, and it is with grace that we as parents must raise our children. If our kids are unable to see grace lived out in our lives, than it is unlikely they will ever see and understand the grace God has for them.

In preparing for the class I stumbled upon this hilarious illustration of the challenge grace can be. Prepare yourself for a good laugh!

Letter To A Dad

A father passing by his son's bedroom, was astonished to see the bed was nicely made, and everything was picked up. Then, he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow. It was addressed, "Dad." With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope and read the letter, with trembling hands.

"Dear Dad,

It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend, because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you. I've been finding real passion with Stacy, and she is so nice, but I knew you would not approve of her, because of all her piercing's, tattoos, her tight motorcycle clothes, and because she is so much older than I am. But it's not only the passion.

Dad she's pregnant. Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods, and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children. Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't, really hurt anyone.

We'll be growing it for ourselves, and trading it with the other people in the commune, for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want. In the meantime, we'll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS, so Stacy can get better. She sure deserves it! Don't worry Dad, I'm 15, and I know how to take care of myself. Someday, I'm sure we'll be back to visit, so you can get to know your grandchildren.

Love, your son,

P.S. Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the report card that's in my center desk drawer. I love you! Call when it is safe for me to come home."

May we all follow our Father's example of living out a life full of both grace and truth.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

If you are a part of our Foothills family, or are anywhere near the Molalla area, and would like to be a part of this valuable six week class, we will be diving into it a second time, beginning April 5. Whether you are a brand new parent, been at this parenting thing for many years, or yet to even see the twinkle in the eye of your first child, you are invited!