Tuesday, July 29, 2008

God's Incredible Grace

Last week I read a book entitled Dark Journey, Deep Grace, written by Roy Ratcliff with Lindy Adams. The book was subtitled “Jeffrey Dahmer’s Story of Faith.” It is the story of how one of the most infamous serial killers of modern times came to have saving faith in Jesus Christ. Mr. Ratcliff is the one who studied the Bible with Jeffrey Dahmer in prison and baptized him into Christ.

The book is interesting from several different angles. It provides some insight into the thinking of a man who committed some incredibly evil acts and yet came to profoundly regret them. You can read of Dahmer’s immediate family and of the difficult relationships that existed among them, both before and after his crimes. Mr. Ratcliff also shares some of the struggles he experienced as one who reached out to a serial killer. The book reveals that not everyone was convinced that Jeffrey Dahmer was worthy of receiving the grace of God.

As evidence of the last point, Mr.Ratcliff provides the following words: “Once, when I was visiting Jeff, a guard told me about the controversy I had caused in his church as the members were having a hard time accepting the idea of Jeffrey Dahmer as a Christian. Sometime later, I visited a man in the hospital who recognized me from the press coverage. He was a Christian college student at the time of Jeff’s baptism. The thing he remembered most was a comment by one of the instructors in a hallway. It probably captured the sentiments of many: ‘If Jeffrey Dahmer is going to heaven, then I don’t want to be there’” (p. 84).

How can a child of God even entertain such thoughts? If the grace of God can’t reach Jeffrey Dahmer, then what assurance do I have that it can reach me? While it is true that Jeffrey Dahmer doesn’t deserve to go to heaven, the fact is, neither do I. Heaven is a place for the worst of sinners. And it is only by the grace of God that any of us will make it.
God loves you!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

First eggs!

Friday afternoon the twins came screaming and jumping (literally) into the house. Each had a little bitty chicken egg in their hand. Saturday brought two more and today three so far, one being almost regular size. The only problem is they are laying them under the chicken house, which is not a problem for the twins, but a big problem for the mom. Once "gathering egg fever" wears off I need them to lay in the carefully constructed laying boxes that Lane built off the ground inside the chicken house. So today we put chicken wire in their ground nest and two dummy eggs in the laying boxes. We'll see how quickly they catch on. Here are the first two eggs. The third was delicious!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

God's Gym

“For those of us getting along in years, here is a little secret for building your arm and shoulder muscles. You might want to adopt this routine. Three days a week works well. Begin by standing outside behind the house, with a 5-LB potato sack in each hand. Extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute. Relax. After one week move up to 10-LB potato sacks, then next week 50-LB potato sacks, and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-LB potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight out for more than a full minute. After you feel confident at that level, start putting a couple of potatoes in each of the sacks, but be careful not to overdo it” (crosswalk.com).

That sounds like my kind of exercise regimen! The fact of the matter is: most of us resist doing everything that is necessary to remain in top physical condition. We know better – we want to be healthy – we like the end results – but we balk at the effort and commitment it takes to make it happen. We want to be slim without the soreness and sweat. But in spite of our best efforts to find an easier route, there are no shortcuts on the road to physical fitness.

In a similar way, spiritual fitness only comes to those who exercise their spiritual muscles. “Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (Corinthians 9:25-27). Even the apostle Paul had to work out to stay spiritually fit. Do we really think we can do it any other way?

God loves you!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July

Our entire family and our son in laws parents went to the lake for the 4th. It was perfect weather and a beautiful lake. The twins and Connor spent most of the day in the water. Once they discovered tadpoles it didn't matter how cold the water was! Afterwards our family came to our house for a bbq and to watch the fireworks. Oh and we brought home 13 tadpoles........