Walking the Thin Line

Joseph, her fiance, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. ~ Matthew 1:19 Imagine that you're a young man about to get married to a young woman.  In today's world, you can decide to get engaged or even "hitched" in a matter of minutes on a whim to anyone you want.  In Joseph and Mary's world, marriage was not entered into lightly.  First, the families talked and came to an agreement.  Then when the time was deemed right, a public announcement of your intention to marry was made.  At this point, you were engaged, but it wasn't like being engaged in our day.  If you were a young Jewish couple, being engaged meant that except in cases of death or divorce, you were committed to each other, but you were still not doing married people things.  Eventually, you would be married, but from my understanding (which is shallow, I'll admit, as my understanding is second-hand from Father McCloud's

Forgiveness = Freedom

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven times. ~ Matthew 18:22 Over the past many years, a lot has happened in my world....a lot of it quite heart-wrenching and full of hurt.  Some of these things were minor slights.  Others were quite horrible things that make me thank the good Lord for his steadfast love and protection.  I am actually thankful for all of these things as they have provided the opportunity for me to grow closer to the Lord and mature as a Christian. Still, with so many things being perpetuated against me, the opportunity for bitterness, anger and unforgiveness arose.  I wanted to forgive, but it was difficult to simply relieve those who had done these miserable acts of responsibility.  To clear the slate and forget how they had injured me seemed like adding insult to injury.  To resolve to trust the

What's in a Name?

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet...  ~  William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Act II, Scene II Think lovely, be seems simple enough, but there is an underlying meaning, a significance in my world.  It stems from what has become sort of a "life verse" for me...a theme for this stage (and the rest of my life) summed up in one cherished Bible verse: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Philippians 4:8 ESV This verse is in response to a tendency I had for most of my life (and that I still struggle with on occasion) to focus too much on what was wrong in my world instead of the blessings.  It reminds me that in the midst of many struggles throughout my life, I have grown, I have become strong and I have built an i