20060921

Ther but for the grace of God...

Yesterday an internet friend talked about how he had once met Duane "Dog" Chapman and his experience. It got me to thinking about my own path in life. In this man's memory are the facts of "Dog" being in with a crowd most definetly going down the wrong road. That road eventually led "Dog" to jail convicted of being an accessory to murder. Now, he is a man pursuing his faith in Christ and helping bring fugitives from the law in. I grew up in a not so influential surroundings. Parents divorced when I was 4. Custody battle lasting until I was 10. I do not remember many specifics about my childhood, but I was mostly in the custody of my mother. In my early years she worked several jobs to support me and my brother, and she struggled with depression right up until she died in December of 2000. In the 9th grade I lived in 4 different homes and attended 3 different schools. For what I can remember about those days I did not care for authority. If I wanted to do it - I did it. My mother would never discipline me - not since she broke a paddle across my backside (breaking her hand in the attempt). The authoritites were perceived by me as inconsequential. I felt like I could do what I wanted, when I wanted, for as long as I wanted and not have to worry about the consequenses. (I am no longer like that BTW.) At one point I was "detained" (I don't say arrested because I was never charged with anything) by the police for stealing licences plates. For some reason I got it in my head that I would collect a plate from all 50 states. My mother rarely knew my whereabouts because she was never home. The story of kids being out all day - well that was me. In the 12th grade I dropped out of High School. I guess what I am trying to say is that if it were not for the grace of God 'arresting' my headlong flight towards the abyss I would not be who I am today. I juggle in my mind the thoughts of human responsibility and God's sovereignty - a lot. But I know if it where not for Him revealing Himself to me... I would be like those "Dog" seeks to reign in. I would be like "Dog" was when my friend had met him. Maybe not drugs, maybe not even murder... but something on the wrong side of the law. And what scares me at times... I see how much I still "miss the mark" too... and there are times I am not even all that sorry (to my shame). But I continue to feel the Holy Spirit tugging on my heart and mind... and for that I believe I will be eternaly greatful. Updates: Hiku, another short story... same story Verse for today: Romans 8:31-39, esv What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be [8] against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. [9] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 comment:

Bob said...

Thats the great thing about Grace, we don't have to get to a certain level to be elgible. We just have to accept it, where we are at that point in time. I'm glad Jesus died for all my sins. And I'm glad he did freely, otherwise I could never measure up..........