Saturday, July 19, 2008

Be Sure, Your Sin Will Find You Out

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (July 19) - Two weeks after Joshua Lipton was charged in a drunken driving crash that seriously injured a woman, the 20-year-old college junior attended a Halloween party dressed as a prisoner. Pictures from the party showed him in a black-and-white striped shirt and an orange jumpsuit labeled "Jail Bird."

In the age of the Internet, it might not be hard to guess what happened to those pictures: Someone posted them on the social networking site Facebook. And that offered remarkable evidence for Jay Sullivan, the prosecutor handling Lipton's drunken-driving case.

Sullivan used the pictures to paint Lipton as an unrepentant partier who lived it up while his victim recovered in the hospital. A judge agreed, calling the pictures depraved when sentencing Lipton to two years in prison.

That news story brought a Bible verse I had memorized as a child rushing back to my mind: "You can be sure your sin will find you out." Numbers 32:23 Memorizing that verse was intended to help us remember that an all-seeing, all-knowing God is aware of the things we do--even the things we are sure we "got away with." Getting away with sin is actually an impossibility. Though it may seem for the moment that we have lucked out, and our unrepentant hearts even may find a way to trivialize and laugh at our sin, God's social network is WWWAAAAAYYYY bigger than the Internet. Our unconfessed, unrepented sins will catch up with us some way, some day.

For Joshua Lipton and for you and me, the answer is not to hide, trivialize, minimize, or rationalize our sin. The only smart thing to do is to follow the advice of Solomon, the wise man who wrote , "He who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." Proverbs 28:13 The ONLY thing to do with our sins is to own up to them, ask forgiveness, and DROP THEM.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Makin' Whoopee!!

Last night was alot of fun. My mother-in-law (we call her Grams :-) ) had a major stroke on May 12, and is a patient at Pebble Creek Nursing Home. A dear friend, Julianne Burgess, had surprised Grams with a hair appointment. She has always been a stylish lady, caring very much about the finer details of personal grooming. Her nails were still scraggly and in need of care. Another close friend, Sunhee Starkey, visited her buddy and took nail care tools with her to freshen Mom up! Between Julianne's thoughtfulness and the pampering Sunhee gave her, she felt like a new woman. Her grandson J.L. was there as well, blowing on her cheeks and making her laugh. Finally, she was so excited that all she could do, since she has lost her ability to speak, was crow with joy! We all were joining with her as she made long, drawn-out "whoopee" noises---"whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" Then, we'd just dissolve in laughter.

This month at Cornerstone Church we are concentrating on living out I John 3:18--"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." It's our LEAP, when we "leap" into our community with acts of love and service. I just witnessed an Olympic worthy leap of love from these people who cared for Grams. Anyone can talk alot about love, but getting in there and doing something practical for another person for no reward but the reward of doing what is right and good and loving is a God-kind of love.

As much as I loved what was happening for Grams, I couldn't help but feel a sense of deep sadness for the many people I see everytime I visit, sitting alone, lacking attention and friendship day after lonely day. Maybe you would want to leap into some elderly person's life with love this month? You can sign up at the church or check it out on the website ....there are teams of people going to nursing homes and doing many other wonderful acts of service. Maybe you could set something up yourself. And MAYBE, just maybe it would be just the push you need to make the leap into a lifestyle of serving in love.

Thanks, Julianne, J.L., and make the kind of "whooopee!" the whole world needs a lot more of.