Step 2

The Role of Ignorance and Want in Our LivesPremium Content

One of my favorite holiday stories is "A Christmas Carol," the timeless classic, written by Charles Dickens. I've seen many adaptations of it; there have been numerous stage and screen versions, rolled out each December.

One of the constants in the story, however, is that of the boy character, Ignorance, and the girl character, Want, introduced to the Scrooge character via the Ghost of Christmas Present. They're portrayed as creature-like, snarling, hissing and clawing for attention. They make their dramatic appearance, hidden underneath the Ghost's robe.

And, the drama queen in me loves that poignant, uncomfortable scene because it's a wake-up call reality check for humanity. According to the literature classic, here's the exchange between Scrooge and the Ghost:

"Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased."

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The Reservoir of Christ in MePremium Content

The longer I walk with Jesus; my Elder Brother, Lord and Savior, the more I need strengthening from the inside out! "Out of our innermost being flows the river of life." This flow of life is more than abundant and it is always and only experienced from the inside out. And it always has its origin and power in the reservoir of Christ in me! So why do I seem to persist in my veiled attempt at living from the outside in?

16I desire for you to realize what the Father has given you from His own limitless resources, so that you may be dynamically reinforced in your inner being by the Spirit of God.

17 This will impact your faith with capacity to fully grasp the reality of the indwelling Christ. You are rooted and founded in Love. Love is your invisible inner source just like the root system of a tree and the foundation of a building. (The dimension of your inner person exceeds any other measure that could possibly define you.)

18 This is your reservoir of super human strength which causes you as saints to collectively grasp (come to terms with, make one’s own) the limitless extent of His love in breadth, in length, in height (rank), and the extremities of its depths.

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I Am a Soldier in RecoveryPremium Content

My story about alcohol, drugs, gambling, porn addiction, arrest and recovery.

I was raised in a very loving Christian home. I went to church 6 out of 7 days a week. There was never any history of abuse or addiction in my family. I have no one to blame but myself. I have backslidden severely over these past 3 decades.

You have the wonderful opportunity to become a member in Christians in Recovery (CIR) and therefore invest in the health and spiritual welfare not only of yourself but also of our United States Service men and women. Do not pass up this opportunity.

Chapels can be a great support and alternative for soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen for an hour or two a week while attending Catholic Mass or Protestant worship services. However, soldiers, sailors. Marines and airmen work in a culture that talks all week about how they are going to party on the weekends. When they go back to the barracks they are bombarded with the message that in order to fit in they need to drink.

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It's My Life, Right?Premium Content

It's My Life, Right?

No, it's not.

I love great preaching that spurs me to think differently and dig a little deeper. This weekend Pastor Jeff Lucas offered a new (to me) perspective on idolatry and the 2nd commandment.

You shall have no other gods before me.

"You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." Exodus 20:3-6

I knew this was about more than golden calves. I knew idols might disguise themselves as jobs or money or power or anything that becomes first priority.

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When You Feel Like Giving Up - Hang in TherePremium Content

There are times (though they are fleeting) that I feel like giving up on everything and everybody. That includes me and even God. Thankfully Heavenly Papa doesn't take me seriously. And neither does He issue me a citation for going too far out of bounds from His Watch Care, Grace and Love. David said,

If I climb to the sky, you're there!
If I go underground, you're there!
If I flew on morning's wings to the far western horizon,
you'd find me in a minute - you're already there waiting!
Psalm 139: 8-9, The Message

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I ne'er could plumb the depths of Love

I ne'er could plumb the depths of Love
Though oft engaged in cloistered prayer
It seemed some nether-fisted glove
Would quash all missives offered there.

Books aligned every wall
Pen and inkstand newly filled
Parchment waiting, pristine, called
But nought invigored sluggard quill.

Casement oped to garden path
Fragrance pouring sweet surround
Merging steamy sassafras
Senses piqued, muse stayed bound.

Mantras from a host of saints
Tiptoed through my idylled mind
Casting seeds like golden grain
Fertile fields, nought a vine.

'Til one day a child at play
Laughed at flitting butterfly
I let my world of letters lay
Breathed in the air, imbibed the sky.

Are You a Ragamuffin in Need of Grace?Premium Content

Brennan Manning loved to refer to the Gospel as the Ragamuffin Gospel. I always liked that! Why? I didn't come to Jesus with any piety or with the veil of religious performance. I was completely surprised when I encountered Jesus. He was totally other than my immature image of Him! And I had hit "my" bottom as a drug addicted Hippie. My home was the streets.

Jesus took me in through the love and hospitality of two of His Ragamuffin Saints. And He immediately sensitized me to the realities of being drawn into Him. He threw out the welcome mat to my heart to be at home in Him. I had no theology. Not even the slightest pretense of having a clue about my life "purpose" or "worth." I was entirely "clueless!"

Brennan Manning eloquently communicated the Gospel of Grace without even a hit hint of religious pride. And he never wavered or compromised it. Instead; he was faithful to the message of grace through his own personal struggles, failures and shortcomings. The following quote succinctly captures the essence of Brennan's life message!

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God's Name TagPremium Content

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Acts 2:21


When I was a kid, my cousins had a favorite pastime: scaring me senseless. I mistakenly thought by being an only child, I'd avoid the horror of sibling torment.

Not so fast. The beauty of older cousins.

Anyway, as part of this torment, my loving cousins frequently told me I was in rooms with ghosts, demons and the devil himself. Whether it was in my home or theirs, they'd lure me into a particular room, then shut the door, locking me in while making scary noises, "talking" to the disturbing entities and, of course, telling me these unholy creatures were coming for me.

Oh, happy childhood. When is it over?

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How Much do you REALLY Trust the Lord?Premium Content

Trust. What does it mean? According to www.Dictionary.com
it has 8 different meanings. We will only focus on those which apply to us as Christian believers.

trust noun.

1. Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.
2. Custody; care.
3. Something committed into the care of another; charge.
4.
       a.The condition and resulting obligation of having confidence placed in one: violated a public trust.
       b.One in which confidence is placed.
5. Reliance on something in the future; hope.

verb. trust·ed, trust·ing, trusts verb. intr.

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Teeter Totter ThinkingPremium Content


When I was a kid, I loved the teeter totter. Because of my weight issues, however, I was acutely aware of how my weight differed from most kids. The teeter totter was the scale; whoever was the heavier had the strength to hold the other occupant stranded in mid- air for however long he/she desired.

And usually that person was me, much to my dismay. After all, I wanted to be the dainty princess of sugar and spice and everything nice; I didn't want to be a bruiser or a brute.

I had a completely distorted and unhealthy perspective. And one incident, in particular, captured it.

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