Showing posts from May, 2013

Discipleship and Mental Illness

I ran into Sam* today.  It's been over a year since I've seen him.  Before last year, it had been years since we've crossed paths.  Today Sam looked a bit better than the last time I've seen him.  At our last encounter, I barely recognized him.  When we first met we were both wet behind the ears.  I was fresh out of law school and he was fresh out of juvenile prison.  We met at a Young Adult Sunday School class.  He was so eager to learn about God and to start his new life.  He was a well-groomed young man and a pleasure to be around.

While my new brother was excited about his new found faith, he was also aware of the challenges of being young and "saved."  Sam knew the reality of the many obstacles he faced.  He often talked about how he didn't have any positive influences in his life.  He said most of his family and friends were addicted to drugs, alcohol and the party lifestyle.  He appeared to be in anguish over the constant pressures to participate i…

Everybody Needs Love

This week I learned of a brother in Christ passing away at an old church of mine.  Once again I was struck with grief because it was unexpectant.  This was yet another death that pierced my heart.  While the Church witnesses our sisters and brothers passing away all the time, this particular individual stood out to me.  You see, he was a brother who wasn't apart of the "in crowd".  He didn't have any position in the church or didn't serve in any ministries.  As a matter of fact, no one wanted to sit beside him or wanted to touch him. My brother had the appearance of a homeless man, even though he was not homeless.  He had an unpleasant odor and his clothes were unkempt.  So, when the time came to hug your neighbor...he found himself with very little hugs.  At some point, he positioned himself around those individuals who did show him love.

As I ponder the lost of my dear brother in Christ, I have been reminded of the story in Mark 1:40-45.  In this story there w…

Did Jesus Come to Save the Victim and the Offender?

I lost my friend Mercy* yesterday.  He was found lying dead in his jail cell.  I guess I picked the wrong day to grieve because as it flashed on the news the lady sitting near me said, "At least we don't have to feed him."  I'm not shocked at her response, I actually expect to hear a lot worse over the next couple of days.

You see Mercy* was a convicted murderer and in jail facing new charges.  He was accused of committing a heinous crime...however, when I found out, I wept in my office like I was weeping for my own brother.  I didn't want to see him leave earth that way.  I prayed that God would transform his life and use him within the walls of the prison.  I had to come to the realization that my thoughts are not God's thoughts and my ways are not His ways.  And, the truth be told, I would rather this way, than a needle in his arm.

You see, I was there when Mercy* was seeking God.  I listened when He questioned whether God could forgive a person like Him. …