Tag Archives: Faith

My Sin Addiction

I didn’t know I was a sin addict until I tried to stop!

If you do wrong, it’s called a sin. If you sin you go to hell.

That’s simple enough. Don’t do bad things, don’t make God mad — just maybe you can avoid eternal damnation. I’ve tried to stop sinning. But it ain’t that easy. I grew up appreciating the fact that Jesus was a good role model. He was sinless. My task was to follow His example and try not to sin. But the older I became the tougher and tougher it was to not sin.  I became frustrated by the notion that I could be like Jesus.

I had (have) a sin addiction. Oh, I’ve tried to stop. I’ve tried going cold-turkey and I’ve attended a LOT of meetings with other addicts. We’ve confessed, regressed, and professed. It’s not that I enjoy sinning (well, as much as I used to), it’s just easy. It just comes so naturally.

Now, I’m not talking about the easy-cheezy sins such as R-rated movies, cussing, drinking beer, or wearing a fanny pack. I’m not talking about the hard core sins — murdering, adultery, stealing, and sports talk radio. What I am addressing is that which Jesus addressed, and if you read his story carefully, you’ll find that He was always addressing matters of the heart.  (A brief thought — when Jesus said, You guys think it’s enough that you don’t murder, what I’m say is that you should let that unloving attitude take root in your heart, you see, that’s where the idea begins.)   *See the Sermon on the Mt., Matthew 5.

On Sinning

You can trust me to write an article on sin. I am an expert. I’ve been doing it my whole life. Continue reading My Sin Addiction

The Truth in Art

I like the Bible. I like the whole story. To me the Bible is an extraordinary work of art, masterfully painted with exacting strokes, contrasting colors, and the most amazing Light source we could ever know. There are parts of this painting, certain parts of its composition that I don’t like in and of themselves; there are dark, foreboding shadows that I don’t even understand. However, when I see the finished piece, Genesis to the Revelation, I marvel at the simplicity and complexity.

Da Vinci's Last Supper

The first time I carefully studied The Last Supper (da Vinci) it came to life. I had seen a print of this famous work hanging in Grandma Caldwell’s dining room many, many years ago. I never knew why the disciples looked upset, I didn’t know the context. These days I have to be honest and admit that I don’t really like the painting, mainly because I don’t like this part of the Jesus story–I know the darkness that is soon to come. I do like the technical ability of da Vinci and am amazed at the creativity and skill it took to paint this story. Leonardo allows us to see biblical drama; he tells a story with his brush.

I have spent much of my Christian life just learning to see. That’s a request I share with a blind guy whose request of Jesus was simply, “Lord, I want to see.”  That’s a pretty good request, to see. The crazy thing about it is, Plato claimed we could only see lines and shapes; he was certain that true form was beyond our paltry five senses. I suppose he was correctly guessing that there must be something more, something eternal. The theme of our humanity is just that, there must be something more. The Scripture explains it this way, “God has placed eternity in our hearts.”

I’ve often thought of my life as a painting.  For one thing, that’s the only way I can understand my choices against God’s almighty plan. Continue reading The Truth in Art

Tis the Season -TORNADO

Caddo Co. tornado, I grew up there. This picture was taken near Anadarko.


One of my mom’s favorite hyperboles was in reference to my bedroom. My little brother and I were roommates growing up, and yes, we could get a bit disheveled. Mom would declare, “Boys, you need to get in there and straighten up your room, it looks like a tornado has been through there.”

I’m not sure how old I was when I saw my first tornado, but I do remember the sirens announcing imminent danger. We didn’t turn to Doppler radar in those days; we went out in the backyard and surveyed the clouds. Over the past 50 years I’ve seen more tornadoes than I can count. I have NEVER chased a storm. I never will. (I figure if you wait around in Oklahoma, one will come to a city near you.)

As a kid, high winds and lightning could scare me. But after Mom and Dad built a new home out north of Apache, a brick home, I had no concerns over tornados.  A house made of straw or sticks — now THAT could be a problem. A brick home?  Heck, I figured a tornado would bounce right off.

My assumptions about the durability of a brick home were set straight one afternoon. I was riding shot-gun in my dad’s pick-up truck and we were driving from Apache toward Anadarko. We were exactly seven miles north of town when Dad said something like, “Looks like the tornado when right through here.”

I looked to the west and saw the power of a tornado. Large trees, as big as we have in Oklahoma, had been pulled up by their roots and lay in a row.  Big trees! Fully mature trees!! The tornado had plucked them out of the ground much like I would pull a weed.  I couldn’t believe a tornado or ANYTHING could do that.

I no longer felt safe from a tornado in a brick house. Continue reading Tis the Season -TORNADO

Rock & Hard Place (sea & sword)

“Why did we stop?”

“I don’t know, I can’t see around the camel.”

“I thought I saw boiling dust coming up from those hills behind us.”

"I changed my mind."

“Oh great! I saw it too. You thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Yes, it’s Pharaoh and his army!”

“He changed his mind, they’re not going to let us go after all.”

“What’s Moses doing?”

“He’s just standing there.”


“Word just came from the front. They said the Red Sea has blocked our escape.”

“Oh, great job Moses, just great!!!”

“Hey, don’t be so hard on Moses, he’s been following God.”

“You’re telling me that after all it took to get us out of there, God brought put us here?”

“Well, Moses  does seem to have the Lord’s help and…”

 “LOOK! It IS Pharaoh! They appear to have their swords drawn.”

“You can see that from here?”

“I know I saw something shiney.”

“This stinks!”

Stuck on the shore --- that's how I feel sometimes

The Shore, the Sea, and the Sword
Recently I read a little book* that looks at God’s People as they encounter the Red Sea. The book, along with a lot of Scripture reading, meditation, and prayer, has caused me to think a lot about my anxieties and doubts. Often I feel as though I’m trapped that the shore (my circumstances) and things aren’t looking too good. I am praying that I learn to better apply Truth to my circumstances.
 God is good and I can trust Him; I’m always going to be fine resting in His care.
The application of truth to circumstances is the practice of faith.  I’m not talking about faith in faith, that place too many televangelists tend to abide. I’m talking about Continue reading Rock & Hard Place (sea & sword)

God, Faith, Manias, and Post Game Interviews

I loved following Tim's story

This past fall I decided that I should steer clear of the Tim Tebow mania.  Though I loved the story and continue to admire Tebow’s sincerity and faith both on and off the field, I couldn’t escape the nagging feeling that much of our day-to-day commentary about “God’s favorite football player” was off.  The way I saw it, if we weren’t careful with our words, we might start sounding like we actually believed God was intervening in order to help a corporate business which holds a professional football franchise to score more points than other such franchises.
At first I was mildly amused at the notion of God’s divine favor being poured out on a guy playing a game for a living. Americans love to be amused; we build incredible stages surrounded by ample amounts of seating to coddle our desire to be entertained. Sundays are our day of respite from our work and stress. We file into our rows, take our seats and expect to see talent, sharp performance, jumbo screens, and fog machines. Then we go home and see it again as we watch sports. And let’s be honest, Tebowmania was a great story.  But then again, so was Seabiscuit, a horse (but I am unfamiliar with his religious affiliation).

Jeremy Lin

My amusement with the Tebow thing turned to concern when I heard a fellow Christian say it was the “hand of God.” Continue reading God, Faith, Manias, and Post Game Interviews