Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Working toward Freedom

We all have two people:
A free person and a person under slavery. 
Our freedom is where we can love beings around us. Our slavery is when we have to focus on something other than love.
We could be under slavery to mental health issues, to selfishness, to emotions, to addictions, to oppression, to financial burdens, to a belief system, or many other things.
The first goal of our lives should be to free ourselves so that we can love and help others. The second goal of our lives should be to help others free themselves so they can love others.

Questions I Must Ask Myself Today

Did I speak to support or to tear down?

Did my silence encourage or discourage listening?

Did I have an opportunity to save a life today? Did I take it?

What I hope for today?  What actions did I do that indicate my true desire?

To which god did I offer service today?

Whom did I love today? How did I show that love?

For what am I grateful for? How can I speak that gratitude?

Did I give someone a chance to thrive, or did I take that away?

How did I respond to my anger, to create or to destroy?

Did I step up to my fear, or run away?

Did I equip myself to help another person tomorrow?

For whom must I pray?

Thursday, August 3, 2017


I've got a friend named Dave.  Okay, that's not his real name.  But he's real, even if his name isn't.  I mean, it's a real name.  My brother in law is called Dave.  But it's not the name of my friend.

Dave is a great guy.  He goes out every day, seeking the homeless to help them out.  He'll serve meals, connect folks with resources. help people move, get people housing and so much more.  He has been a comforting voice to those in need, a help in time of need.  He is also a strong Christian, reading the Bible, and a believer in prayer.  He is known as a hero, a philanthropist and a savior.

He's also a pedophile.

He was convicted in 1995 of an act of incest and pedophilia and was sent to jail for twelve years.  When he was released, he had to reveal his conviction, keep away from children and stay in a certain apartment under a curfew.

I didn't have a problem with him being a pedophile.  I mean, it is possible for people to change.  It is possible that under certain restrictions that someone can repent of their actions and do good.  Dave certainly seemed to be a great candidate of that.  I never had problems with him all the time I was working with him.

Except I didn't know.  Because he never told me.  I didn't find out until he had crossed a line sexually with a fellow advocate who was under care because of past abuse from a partner.

After this, Dave denied he had crossed that line.  He said that he was "framed" about his conviction.  He also denied other things he had done, or denied that he was wrong.

Anyone can change.  It usually takes a situation in which they can avoid their weaknesses and be encouraged to love.  Anyone can be a better person.  But it doesn't happen if we deny that we had ever done anything wrong.

I wonder if I use my relationship with Jesus to excuse wrongdoing?  I wonder if I excuse myself when I should really be taking a closer look?  I wonder if my salvation and knowledge is used as a wall to keep myself from blame instead of being the catalyst of change, so I can be a conduit of grace?