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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Miscarriage


It has been about a month since my wife and I lost our first child in a miscarriage. To be more specific, in the first Trimester. My wife went into the doctor's office in week 9 after a bit of bleeding, and there was no heart beat. It looks like the baby stopped growing at six weeks. 

We lost a member of our family. Certainly, the loss is very different from losing my son or my wife. But it is a real loss. 
There are many struggles and many thoughts. Some of these thoughts make me feel ashamed of myself, others make me feel angry. But as I seek the Lord, and take some time to process, there are a few things that are clear, and I hope they can be helpful to others some day. 

  1. I must be wary of the impulse to grab for control.
It may feel right to dwell on thoughts like, ‘Next time we’ll pray more fervently,’ or ‘next time we’ll be more careful with our diet,’ But these thoughts are almost all a reaching for control that we cannot have. While we may be able to learn something from this miscarriage, it was ultimately not up to us, and it is very unlikely that God’s sole or even primary lesson is, ‘don’t eat soft cheese next time…’ If anything, the obsessive plethora of pregnancy rules foisted upon young mothers is our godless culture's attempt to believe that we can control which babies come to term and which do not. That is a power only God has. 
  1. Not all discipline is punitive
We have wrestled with what kind of discipline this may be. We cannot deny that there has been some pride in our hearts that ought not to have been there. We certainly did expect this pregnancy to be like the last one to some degree. See, there are two reasons to run laps in a sport, and both could be referred to as 'discipline'. One is to grow in conditioning and endurance. Another is because an athlete was disrespectful to the coach and now has to run laps. Sometimes our Father disciplines us in a way that is more akin to the disrespecting. We were just being rebellious and hard-hearted and we know it. Other times, He is disciplining us for endurance. We are never sin-free, but sometimes the hardships He allows are more to train us in righteousness then to punish for rebelliousness. In our case, we have come to believe this is the second kind. We could be wrong, but that is where we believe we have been led. This takes discernment. 
  1. We must resist the temptation to go back to confidence in probability or ourselves; and seek to move toward confidence in Christ. 
We are feeling really intensely the fear of losing our next child now. The fear where there was no fear before. The temptation is to get back to the lack of fear as quickly as possible, as if the absence of fear is always good. But it is not good if we are confident and fearless because we are trusting in probability or an idol. 
For example, what do we tell ourselves when the fear that we may not have any more children comes up? Do we say, ‘that is very unlikely. Look at our family history! Look at our health! There is no point in worrying about that’. Those thoughts betray where our confidence truly lies: in probability. Very pragmatic. How is that trusting God? Or, God forbid, we might say, ‘Okay God, You win. We needed that correction. We were getting proud. But we’re good now. You can give us more children’. That is trust in self. In self-righteousness. So where do we go? What are the sorts of thoughts that indicate a heart that is comforted by God, and not by these replacement gods?
They sound like this: ‘We don’t know what will happen, and there is nothing to guarantee that we will continue to have children or if we will have miscarriage after miscarriage from now on. But this is what we do know: God is good. So good. He loves us. He is completely in control. We are His servants, and He commands us not to be anxious about tomorrow.” 
These are truths from His Word that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt. We must turn our minds toward these truths. But even then, we have so little control. We cannot cause these truths to do anything in our hearts. Better men and women than me have read and considered the truth of God’s Word and remained unmoved by it. We need the Holy Spirit to apply the truth of God to our hearts. To open our hearts to the comfort and strength that is in them. 
I could keep going in listing all the ways we need the Lord to make this happen, to apply any part of these lessons. For example, will we even be aware of what we are doing when we start to cling to probability or idolatry for comfort? Will we even find the motivation to reject that, or will we just give in because it is too hard? It is all up to the Lord. All of it. 

So, even as we have learned some things, we are in the same place that we always have been: in complete dependance on God. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

An Open Letter to a Christian Opponent of the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel

Dear friend, 

I have not know you too long, but I deeply respect and admire you. 

I have seen how you have chosen to take your large family into the inner city, and squeeze them into an over-priced, under renovated house, with nothing for a yard and a back alley that constantly smells like urine. 

I have seen how you have done it not reluctantly, but joyfully. Joyfully sharing the love of Christ with your neighbours. Joyfully modelling love of and for your family; how you have opened your crowded home to single mothers, kids with absentee parents, and others who have turned around and criticized you after you have shown them hospitality. 

I think that the thing that has been harder than all of these things though, is how abandoned you have felt by the church. 

You have a call from God, and you would say freely that your call is not for everyone. Yet, you must be asking sometimes: ‘is there anyone who will join me in this call?’ How many friends have joined you in this mission with great enthusiasm, only to tap out and move to the suburbs a few years later? How many have come in saying, ‘we really believe in what your doing, but we can’t handle all the FAS kids in the service?’ I know you have said, ‘it is God’s church, not mine,’ but it has to hurt. I just has to.

I know how you have fought to stay true to the Gospel when organizations that you feel so much in common with have abandoned it. You have ended up ministering by yourself because you refuse to compromise the Gospel, and then other ministries criticize you for being too liberal! I has to hurt. 

Then one day, a group of men—some influential, some not so much—put out this ‘Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel’. All at once you see the loneliness, the isolation, and the criticism of your ministry getting worse. You see the indifference for what matters so much to you heading in the opposite direction you were hoping it was heading. 

You see even more church members settling on their comfortable fundamentalist couches. You see even more brothers and sisters leaving for the suburbs. You see even more broken people stumbling in your church with stories about how they have been treated by such and such a ministry. 

How could these men do such a thing? Don’t they see that we need MORE Christians to take seriously the call to care for the poor, to love those different than themselves, and to reach out to the broken? How could they encourage such selfishness and apathy? I get it. I do get it. 

No doubt you are right about some of this. There will be Christians, who are self-righteous arm chair theologians, who will use this statement as an excuse to do less loving and more criticizing. There will be some Christians who will withdraw the few dollars that they have been giving to spend it on a better desk chair from which to troll on social media. 

But brother, please don’t lump us all in with this group. 

There are some of us who really do care about those who are left out, hurting, and broken. There are those of us who have intentionally placed ourselves around people like you, because we value your correction to our imbalances toward teaching, study, and prayer. 

Yet we care about something else: that Christians be led to serve the orphan or the widow from the joy and gratitude that the Gospel gives, not by the whip of guilt and shame (language stolen from Doug Wilson). 

Please consider that we desire the longevity of the mission to serve the poor, cloth the naked, feed the hungry, and reconcile the alienated. Longevity that will only come if the Gospel is kept free from works righteousness; even works as precious as the ones you advocate

Please hear me: the Bible is clear that the fruit of a life transformed by the Gospel is a person who cannot ignore the plight of the suffering brother or sister (Matt 25: 21 - 46). But what else? We should love our brothers and sisters much more (1 John 2:10-11). We should love the Word (Psalm 119). We should walk in consistent gratitude and joy (2 Cor 6:10, Phil 4:4, 1 Thes 5:16). We should not have any unforgiveness (Matthew 18:23 - 25). We all are growing the behave in line with what we say the Gospel has done in our lives. 

I’m not asking you to sign the statement. I’m asking you to see that behind this statement, and the desire to keep the Gospel pure is a heart that does want the ministry that you want. That does want the societal healing that you want. That does the glory of Jesus Christ as He is shown to be the catalyst for a transformed culture. 

Please trust that the Lord sees the work you are doing, and He will reward you. Please trust that for those of us who are using theology to justify our apathy, indifference, and self-righteousness, we will be held to account. But please join us in fighting for a Gospel that says, ‘nothing in my hands, I bring, simply to the cross I cling,’ whether or not you sign any statements. 

Saturday, July 01, 2017

We need Jesus to celebrate #Canada150

Canada 150

As some may know, the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary has stirred up a lot of things in our nation. 

At the risk of being overly simplistic, amongst those who are more thoughtful, there are two extremes. There are those who see ‘Canada’s Birthday’ as a chance to celebrate the many privileges and blessings that we enjoy in this country, and even express a bit of national pride. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who feel as though celebrating Canada’s birthday is akin to celebrating Hitler’s tenure as dictator of Germany. And of course, the majority of introspective people fall between these two extremes. Then, I must also briefly mention a third group, who have spent barely 30 seconds thinking about these issues, and are just happy to have an extra day off. Maybe I am most jealous of the last group; I’m certain they sleep better than I do. 

I was, and to a certain extent still am, not sure how to react to this birthday. On the one hand, when I look at the struggles of many nations in the world, I see much to be thankful for and to celebrate; yet I cannot deny that there is likely a direct link between the wealth and ease of Canadian life, and fact that it cost so little for our forefathers to take this land. That is, in the normal course of things, taking someone else’s land would deplete the occupying force’s resources and man power. However, in the case of Canada, there was a confusing mix of military superiority, along with a lot of deception, betrayal, and abuse. When wealth is acquired honestly, it grows slowly and steadily, through wisdom and hard work; with a few exceptions. Where wealth is acquired quickly, there is often a party that has been wronged. 

Therefore, one could argue, by simply enjoying the blessing we enjoy, we are part of the problem. 


So the question is, how do you respond to this dilemma: being blessed through past wrongs? 

The only answer is that you repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

See, the Gospel says that we are wretched people. We are selfish sinners, and we deserve eternal judgement. That is the penalty for being perpetrators of the injustices against the first nations people, or being complicit in those atrocities by blindly enjoying the benefits of them. The Gospel says that the cost for those sins is nothing less than the death of the infinitely valuable life of God. That the first nations people are God’s Creation, created in His image, and when they are wronged, God’s image is slighted and maligned. 

But we receive Christ’s death offered for us in our place. He died the death I should have died for my sins. So now, I no longer live under those sins. To continue to walk around with my head down, moping around, paying a kind of penance for those sins, is to say, ‘Christ’s death was not enough for me’. So is trying to pay penance by haranguing people who are celebrating Canada day, or being overly politically correct. I can now celebrate the blessings that I have been given in this country, even without celebrating the way that I received them. I have to be able to. The Christian should be used to celebrating this sort of thing. 

For example, I have someone close to me who is very generous. He gives generous gifts, he is loyal to family members who are struggling, he is long-suffering. Now, I don’t know his heart, but there is much evidence to suggest that a large part of his motive in doing these things is to declare himself a good person with no need of God, no need of Christ. That is blasphemous self-righteousness, and it is a lie. So what do I do then? Do I spurn all of his kindness and generosity? No! I commend it. I commend it because even though there are likely sinister motives behind it, they are still good things. Then, when given the opportunity, I will encourage this person to repent and believe the Gospel. 

So we as Canadians must celebrate our streets which can be traversed in the night without fear, the medical care we and our loved ones can attain without question, our ability to make more money than we need to survive, and on and on down the list. These are good gifts that we do not deserve. 

And, when we are confronted with the continued struggles of the first nations people, we do not respond with a, ‘well, if they would just get their act together,’ kind of attitude. We remember that the entire basis of our identity is a God who looked down and saw how helpless and hostile we were, and had mercy on us. So we fight that tendency to see ourselves as better, or more deserving, and we look for opportunities to use the position we have been given in Christ to serve the first nations people. We do that to all people. 

I know that i have not answered one crucial question. I don’t know that I can do it here, or that I even have an answer for it. 

If I stole someone’s truck, then some years later, find that I was wrong and repent and say sorry, what now is my obligation to that person as an act of restitution? Maybe he lost his job because he didn’t have a truck and couldn’t afford a new one. Maybe his wife got sick and died, and he couldn’t pay for her medical care, in part, because I stole his truck. What does it look like to make restitution for my sin of stealing his truck?

I think you know where I am going with that illustration. What does it look like to make restitution?

I think it will look different for everyone, and that we do need to be willing to make sacrifices for the sake of restitution. Sacrifices of time and money. but I know that for everyone it will start with the Gospel. We cannot simply force people to live under guilt and shame. The repentant tax collector in Matthew gives his money away with joy. That is what the Gospel produces: restitution with joy. Guilt is a horrible motive for change and healing. Lasting healing will come  through the believing and preaching of the Gospel. 

So if you got nothing else: preach the Gospel, not unquenchable guilt and shame. 




Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thomas & Alana Wedding Homily Transcript by Suhail Stephens

Thomas and Alana, this is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
It is with great anticipation that you have looked forward to this moment. Alana, about a week ago you memorialized your own excitement in that hallowed cyberspace called Facebook, writing to Thomas for all the world to see and saying – and I quote – “Wow Exclamation mark. I get to call you quote husband unquote in like 8 days triple exclamation mark. I'm so incredibly excited triple exclamation mark. Triple heart emoticon.” To which, two hours and forty seven minutes later, Thomas, you replied “It barely feels real exclamation mark I hope I can get my head around it before next week... squiggly face… I love you exclamation mark

As you have fallen in love, it has been a delight to see your joy in each other and most of all, in the prospect of marriage. Marriage is a divine institution – God’s idea, birthed in his very imagination, upheld and honoured by his word, and uniquely embodied in you as you stand here on this your wedding day. In the presence of these witnesses, you shall be joined together, and the two of you will become one, to be regarded – as C.S Lewis says – “as a single organism.” It is God who joins you together and what he joins together, no one can separate. 

As such, marriage is not something to be undertaken lightly. It is entered into before God and is accountable to Him. It is a permanent state of affairs whose vows and commitments are to be faithfully honoured – regardless of prosperity or adversity - till your dying breath. Your marriage – the profound mingling of your hearts, souls, minds, and bodies; indeed of your whole lives – is a picture of the unbreakable union Christ has with his church - whereby as the Apostle Paul says, “We are members of his body, of His flesh and of His bones.” 

Today is rightly a celebration of this great and sacred mystery, and it’s a celebration imbued with holiness, a day that will forever be set apart in the trajectory of your lives. God is here. And just as Jesus first revealed his glory at a wedding, by turning water into wine, he is here with you now, in the power of His Spirit, excited and eager to affirm and bless your union; that you two, similarly, may be turned into something new.

When I asked you if there was a particular verse of scripture that resonated with you, you shared Philippians 1:6: He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. It’s a wonderful verse that characterizes your relationship and will likely be a theme you revisit many times in marriage. 

Thomas and Alana, it is obvious that God has initiated a very good work in you. You are a relationship of his making, the work of his hands, and an answer to each other’s prayers. There is already such an abundance of goodness between you. It’s been inspiring to see your passion for Christ and his kingdom, the honesty and maturity of your communication, and to see how well your personalities complement each other. And who could forget the passion with which you love each other – emoticons, exclamation marks and all, these two are crazy about each other! Thomas, your willingness to move to Winnipeg; Alana, your willingness to join a new church community – these are things our self-centred, entitled culture scoff at, but this mutuality of support and your prioritizing of one another is the best kind of crazy, and will serve you well. 

God has indeed began a good work in you. We recognize and rejoice in it, and give thanks for all that has brought you to each other in this moment. 

And though God’s work will always be good, as you well know, this does not mean that it will always be easy. Marriage is a unique and powerful mirror by which God reveals the truth of who you both really are. Without any illusion, you will come to know the reality of yourselves and each other - you’ll see the very best, and the very worst.  

Our world says that when the latter happens, once the giggles and goose bumps of being in love subside and happiness fades, that you are no longer bound by the commitment of marriage and are free to look elsewhere. No! Especially in these moments where weakness is revealed, where shades of darkness are exposed, remember that this, too, is a good work of God. Your marriage is doing what it should, helping you discern darkness that you may know where the light of Christ needs to shine. 

Thomas and Alana, through marriage, God will reveal darkness in you - some of which you are aware of and some of which you never even knew existed. Regardless, welcome these moments. Vulnerable and difficult though they may be; consider them pure joy. For in this revealing, God’s desire is not to shame, harm, or disappoint you, but to heal, strengthen, and transform you; that you may become whole. God has chosen and called you together to serve each other in this ministry of wholeness, day after day, forever

So, as you navigate darkness, remember that coming face to face with the truth of things gives you the privilege of loving truly and being truly loved.. Be utterly devoted to one another. Be truthful, diligently attending to and nourishing the trust between you. Be completely humble and gentle; patient; and bear with one another in love, not keeping a record of wrongs but forgiving from the heart. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. And pray with and for each other, in full assurance that even the darkness is not dark to God; the night will shine like the day; and he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.  

Remember, too, that marriage will bring out your very best. Notice, affirm and celebrate each other’s interests, talents, and character. Recognize and honour differences in personality, preference, and ways of being with others and with God. And encourage, even rejoice in each other’s growth, blessing one another to shine with all the strength and beauty that God has purposed. May your marriage be a safe place where both of you become all that God wants and has destined you to be, trusting that in Christ, all things hold together; and that it is to his glory and for your good that you go from strength to strength till you each appear before him.

Finally, I encourage you to continually receive each other as good and perfect gifts of God, trusting that he knows your deepest needs and desires, and that in giving you to each other, he is giving you the absolute best. Just as he did when he turned water into wine. May you savour and enjoy each other to the fullest. May your marriage age well. And may you be filled with the love of God, knowing that it is his delight to join and sustain you – that the fullness of his joy may be in you, that your joy may be complete. Amen.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

An Extended Quote on Marriage by John Piper

"[Marriage] is a momentary gift. It may last a lifetime, or it may be snatched away on the honeymoon. Either way, it is short. It may have many bright days, or it may be covered with clouds. If we make secondary things[1] primary, we will be embittered at the sorrows we must face.  But if we set our face to make of marriage mainly what God designed it to be, no sorrows and no calamities can stand in our way. Everyone one of them will be, not an obstacle to success, but a way to succeed. The beauty of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and His church shines brighter when nothing but Christ can sustain it. 

Very soon the shadow will give way to the Reality. The partial will pass into the Perfect. The foretaste will lead to the Banquet. The troubled path will end in Paradise. A hundred candle-lit evenings will come to their consummation in the marriage supper of the Lamb. And this momentary marriage will be swallowed up by Life. Christ will be all in all. And the purpose of marriage will be complete. 

To that end may God give us eyes to see what matters most in this life. May the Holy Spirit, whom He sends, make His crucified and risen Son the supreme Treasure of our lives. And may that Treasure so satisfy our souls that the root of every marriage-destroying impulse is severed. And may the marriage-watching world be captivated by the covenant keeping love of Christ.”[2] 




[1] Thing such as sexual fulfillment, personal happiness, children, societal blessing, etc. All which are good but are secondary to God’s glory.

[2] Piper, John. This Momentary Marriage. Crossway, Illinois: 2009.

Friday, October 16, 2015

5 Things I Want to Say about the Upcoming Election

The people that know me know that as hard as it has been for them to hear so much political noise for the last little while, it has been just as hard for me to keep my opinions to myself during this time.

I am ready to say something into all these events; I hope and pray it will be beneficial.

1. The people who vote differently than you are not the Devil.

First, I think that we need to stop believing that anyone who votes differently than us hates the human race.

At worst, they want their particular group to benefit at the expense of another. But as I talk to people, I don’t think that there are many people who want the families in Alberta to descend into poverty, or want the earth to descend into a post-apocalyptic wasteland of pollution. Yes, you may believe that they are ignorant of the consequences of their political view, but can we at least give people the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are voting in such a way that they believe most Canadians will benefit from?

2. We are all single issue voters

Sometimes Christians have been criticized for being, ‘single issue voters’. That is, they ignore all the other positions of a particular party, and vote for the one that is prolife (for example).

But we are all single issue voters. Imagine for a moment that the NDP declared that they don’t believe black people should work white collar jobs because of research that has come up. Would you care about their plan to save the baby seals? No. That racist world view is so abhorrent that any other platform and promise becomes null and void. So really, we are all single issue voters; you just have to find the issue for each person.

3. The News wants your attention

There may be some people involved in the media centers of our country that still believe that their job is to get to the truth of a matter. However, by and large, the News media outlets are going to exaggerate everything and make it sound 10 times worse than it is, because when they do, it get’s people’s attention. Then people watch the news or buy their paper or whatever, and they make money.

I have some people who are very dear to me that are re-posting a lot of that kind of stuff, and I don’t think it is helpful. Tom Mulcair is not the Devil. Stephen Harper is not the Devil. Justin Trudeau is not the Devil. Stop believing the facebook posts and media outlets that are saying so.

4. Pastors can’t say who they are voting for

This points to a broader principle that we should be aware of. Most people that are wise, and discerning will not be yelling their opinion from the housetop, because they care about the soul rather than the vote (I am well aware that I may possibly be disqualifying myself on this point).

There are two lessons from this:

First, go looking for wisdom rather than waiting for it to land in your lap.
Seek people who have wisdom rather than just receiving what is force fed you by political pundits, tweets, and news media outlets. If it is worth listening to, then it may take some time to find it.

Second, think and pray about whether it is worth losing credibility with your neighbors over who you vote for. Maybe some of us are in neighborhoods where it would help our witness to display our political views. However, here in Vancouver, it would not help me to put a ‘Stephen Harper’ sign on my front lawn, which brings me to my last point.

5. I am voting Conservative

To balance my previous point, I do believe there are ways to express a controversial opinion that are healthy and good. This is my best attempt.

Let me give the reasons in bullet form, without arguing.
  • I have personal relationships with people who have spent time with Stephen Harper and have spoken well of him.
  • I am Conservative ideologically, and so even if I don’t agree with the party, I believe the principles of conservatism are best for our country, and a vote for the Conservative party moves us in that direction.
  • The Liberals and NDP have come out as clearly pro-abortion.
  • I do believe that much of the environmental fears are much more political rhetoric than they are reality.
  • I believe that, ‘it is time for a change,’ maybe makes sense when you are talking about your wardrobe, but not when it comes to politics. It can easily take a decade for the effects of a policy in government to trickle down into the homes of the general population. Political movement is slow. Constantly changing governments make the country stand still.
  • I believe that the Conservatives have done the best that they can to balance a welcoming tax structures for the rich, who enter our country and provide jobs and revenue through their taxes, without giving them so many benefits that it is milking the average Canadian dry.
  • I believe you, and I will be better off with a Conservative government (see point #1)


Saturday, September 26, 2015

#ShoutYourAbortion and the Cure for Shame

“I don’t even care!"

Defiance comes in all shapes and sizes, and in this case, it was in the shape of an 7 year old boy. He was in trouble again, and it was very clear that he really did care. A lot. 

It was clear that he would do just about anything to silence the voice deep in his heart that says, “I’ve blown it. No one here will accept me or like me ever”. 

Even though this little boy would swear at me, would flip me the bird, would straight up say, “I hate you!” I couldn’t help but feel a great deal of warmth and affection for him, since it was so obvious that he was hurting and wanted to be accepted and loved. I’d like to think that he warmed up to me over the time I spent with him working at the Boys and Girls club, but I don’t know if I am the most unbiased judge of that. 

As adults, we can sometimes believe that we have matured far beyond the behaviour of children, when, in many cases, we just get better at hiding our little temper tantrums and insecurities. It is sad in a way, because the better we get at silencing the hurt and tenderness in our hearts, the more we alienate those who might have compassion for us. 

Which brings me to #ShouldYourAbortion. 

I suppose the first order of business is trying to persuade you that the twitter trend #ShoutYourAbortion is the same thing as an 8 year old saying, “I don’t even care”. Perhaps I cannot be compelling, but let me say just one thing: If all these women really did not feel any shame or guilt over their abortion, why do they feel the need to, “Shout their abortion?” 

Yes, I know, it is for the women who DO feel shame: those women who are being ‘helped’ by this twitter trend. As though, if you feel guilt about something, just surround yourself with people that say, ‘No, you should not feel guilty!’ That will make the guilt go away. 

So that is the solution. When you feel bad about something you do, or that you have done, simply take to the internet, and proclaim how you, “don’t feel bad at all”. That is the cure for shame. 

If you really think that is the cure for shame, then I really don’t have anything more to say to you. However, if you have found this well to be dry, if you have found that no matter how loudly you “ShoutYourAbortion,” or any other one of the things that make you feel shame, There is another cure. One that does not just deal with subjective feelings, but the objective reality of guilt.

His name is Jesus Christ. 

He says to us,  "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28 - 30). 

Is your throat sore from shouting your abortion, or whatever guilt you feel? Are you running out of breathe? Come to Him. 

He had all our sins, all our wrongs put on Him. They seeped into His pours and blackened His soul, those things that He never did. But He took them on Himself so that we could be pure and righteous before the God of all Creation; the Creator of all reality.  That means that when He says, “You My daughter, My son, are clean”, it is not just His opinion, it is reality. 

He does not offer a stuffy, religious life, but a life full of JOY. God is not anti-sex, anti-pleasure, and certainly not anti-woman. He created sex, and pleasure, and knows how they work best. His ways sometimes seem counter-intuitive, but again, how is the intuitive, instant gratification method working for us so far?

Speaking of counter-intuitive, we think that in order to be free from shame, we CANNOT admit that we did something wrong. The opposite is true. Freedom from shame and guilt comes from admitting before Christ, and perhaps others, that we DID do something wrong. We all have done a lot wrong. 



Will you take this cure for shame, or continue the fruitless search for another?