Monthly Archives: August 2013

Free Kindle book “Why We Eat Our Own”


As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed today, I found one of those “suggested post” thingies that normally annoy me to no end. This one, however, looked promising. It’s a free download of a book. Books are good, and hey, if it’s free, it’s for me. The author deals with the issue of Christians behaving badly toward other Christians. We, who are supposed to be worshipping a God of Love, sometimes act like we worship a god of Ego instead. I just downloaded my copy, and I can’t wait to tear into it.

The blurb from Amazon about this book: All too often, Christians who are sinners themselves become judge, jury, and jailer over others. In his newest release, Why We Eat Our Own, author and pastor Michael Cheshire boldly explores some unsavory questions. Why does the world often do a better job of forgiving their fallen than the Church? When did the Church become cannibalistic? Is the decline in Christianity due to the world or have we just become horrible to each other and the world noted it?

Here’s where you can get a copy for yourself. It’s free today, but that surely won’t last, so get yours now!

Don’t have a Kindle? No problem! Get the Kindle app for PC, Mac, smartphone, and more!

Happy reading!

Tired of Working for Jesus


I’m just so tired! Church four times a week, Bible study, witnessing, kids choir, bus ministry. And even with all that time spent for Jesus, I still fail.

Oh, I shouldn’t have had that lustful thought… I shouldn’t have snickered when that other girl fell… I shouldn’t have gossiped about Mrs. Smith… I should read my Bible more… I spent too much time on the computer and not enough praying… I should keep my house cleaner for my husband… I should try to quit ignoring my wife… I should attend all six services every week at church… I should get a second job so I can give more… I just need to work harder… do more… try harder… for Jesus!

Living under law can have you running yourself into the ground in the name of God. Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” If you’re running constantly, working ever harder in the name of faith, whose burden are you carrying? It doesn’t belong to Jesus. Jesus said “Come unto me, all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He wasn’t talking about physical burdens, but rather the spiritual burdens we carry as we try to carry the load that only Jesus can carry for us.

We can’t earn our salvation, no matter how hard we try. But the good news is, we don’t have to earn it. It’s a free gift, courtesy of God’s amazing grace. Just let go and let God. He’s got it all under control.

Grace, baby!

Grace is a precious treasure.

Another great blog about grace!

Amazed by Grace

When you have a revelation of God’s grace, be careful. It is precious treasure. Guard it with all your heart.

Don’t make the mistake I made, and start arguing online with people who are opposed to the grace message. There are many who still, like the Galatians, desire to mix law with grace and believe they must try to establish their own righteousness.

They are trying to achieve the impossible.

There are many in the church who believe they can overcome sin by their own self efforts.

We can not achieve what Christ has already achieved – on the cross.

Don’t make my mistake and argue with such people, because it is exhausting, and the opposition will do all he can to sow doubt in your mind, to tell you that grace isn’t that good, you’re not saved forever, you can still lose your salvation if you sin.

Be careful.

View original post 458 more words

Render Unto Caesar?


Matthew chapter 22, verses 15-22

15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
21They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left him, and went their way.

The Pharisees devised a trap for Jesus. If he said yes, give tribute to Caesar, then he could be accused of accepting the coin of the Romans, which bore the image of Tiberius Caesar, who was held up as the son of Deity. Such an admission could be construed as accepting false idols, a mortal sin punishable by stoning. But if he said no, then the Romans could accuse him of sedition for encouraging his followers to not pay their taxes. Sedition against the government was also a capital crime.

Notice how skillfully Jesus avoids the trap. By acknowledging that the coins bore the image of Caesar, and saying the coins belonged to Caesar, he put the burden of idolatry squarely onto Caesar, where it belonged, for he had ordered the coins to be minted with his image. The Pharisees were defeated, and they went away marveling at the wisdom of Jesus.

Conventional wisdom teaches that this scripture means you should pay your taxes, and so you should. But what else is contained in the words of Jesus? There is more to this story than just a skillful avoidance of a trap.

Some churches use the second half of his statement “and render unto God that which is God’s” to mean you should give your tithes and offerings as commanded in the Old Testament. And it is important to support the church. Not because you are obligated, but because you have the opportunity to help the work of God’s kingdom.

But what exactly is “that which is God’s”? Use the same test that Jesus used to determine that which was Caesar’s. The coin which bore the image of Caesar was Caesar’s. Likewise, the coin which bears the image of God is God’s. And where is this coin? It isn’t minted in gold or silver. The coin which bears the image of God is the human heart. We are to bring our hearts to God in humility and gratitude, in all things giving thanks. This is how we render unto God that which is God’s.

God’s grace be with you always.

Twelve Panes

12 panes posted this photo on Facebook today with the following instructions: “The first chapter of your newest story starts here at this window. How does it start?” Of course, my mind went to grace. Once you begin seeing grace and ridding yourself of the old law-based mindset, you see grace everywhere and in everything. Even a window. I’ll likely never write a new story beginning with this paragraph, but I do think I could find a place for it in a current work in progress. Here it is:

“Twelve panes,” the pastor reflected, gazing sightlessly at the well-manicured grounds below his window. “Twelve panes make up the whole of the view. How like Jesus’ disciples is this window! Each pane yields a view slightly different from its neighbor. This one speaks of only sky, while its neighbor knows only leaves and grass. And yet each one contributes to the whole in beautiful harmony.” Could it really be that simple?

The Father’s Love

One night I had fallen asleep reading in bed. Two of our five dogs were with me. They are the two who adopted me as their own. The other three, mama’s dogs, came to bed with her around midnight, finding me snoring and inspecting my eyelids. They jumped up on the bed, and one of my dogs began growling at the interruption. I gathered her to me and held her closely, expressing my love for her. She was fine after that, even when one of the newcomers began teasing her ears, which she hates.

That’s the way it is with us as Christians. We can be ill and short with one another, but when the Father pours out his love to us, all bickering and arguing cease. We learn to live in harmony with those around us, bolstered by the knowledge that we are loved, come what may. Being surrounded by his love makes all our trials bearable. We can overlook and even celebrate our troubles secure in the certainty of his great and unfailing love. His grace is sufficient in every malady, in every hardship, and in every circumstance. What an honor and privilege to rest in his arms and simply say, “Father!”

He’s always there. Always waiting. Snuggle up in the arms of Abba today!

Of God and Kaleidoscopes


One of my favorite childhood memories is of looking through a kaleidoscope. Just a cardboard tube holding three mirrors to form a triangle, with shards of brightly colored glass tumbling in a drum at the other end. A simple toy, really, but capable of rendering the most exquisitely beautiful designs. And when formed, the picture must be savored once and for all, for the patterns are infinite, and once lost can never again be reclaimed. Instead, another image comes into view, completely different and yet composed of the exact same pieces. Each moment is redesigned in a new and glorious experience, wonder yielding to majestic wonder.

Perhaps God is a little like that kaleidoscope. The three mirrors are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, reflecting the dazzling glory of their combined Oneness. Whatever grace we glimpse today must be savored today, for tomorrow the favor will be gone, replaced by a different but no less beautiful grace. His grace takes many forms, and his mercies endure forever. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

The Impossible Task

There was once a man who wanted to see what was beyond the horizon.  So he walked the whole day, and the next day, and the next.  And no matter how far he walked, he never got to see beyond the horizon.  There was always more to see and more to explore.

Learning about God’s grace is much the same way.  No matter how much you learn, or how wonderful the experience, there is always much more to learn and experience.  Trying to fully explore the depths of grace is like trying to drain the ocean with a thimble.  Every time you dip a little out, more rushes in.

Writing this blog has been humbling.  Grace is so wonderful, so magnificent, so abundant, so EVERYTHING that I just want to tell the whole world!  And yet, how can I convey the joy of knowing a loving God?  I could sooner explain sight to a blind man or hearing to the deaf.  I can write about it, but there is no substitute for finding grace for yourself.  I have rarely felt so inadequate as when I write about grace.  With what words can I convey the Infinite?  How can a phrase capture the love of God?

A treasured hymn from the last century perhaps says it best:


Could we with ink the ocean fill

And were the skies of parchment made

Were every stalk on earth a quill

And every man a scribe by trade

To write the love of God above

Would drain the ocean dry

Nor could the scroll contain the whole

Though stretched from sky to sky.


May the Peace of God that passes all understanding be with you always.