Monday, April 30, 2012

Balance and Forgiveness

Yesterday was the five year anniversary of the first day of the most horrible season of my life. (read more here)

I got a call from my daughter that my granddaughter was in an ambulance. She was not breathing. She was brutally shaken and her breath was squeezed from her lungs leaving her body limp and her heart racing. She was ten months old at the time. Now, five years later, that little girl is almost six. Her injuries that night left her with cerebral palsy. She is a quadrepelegic. My wife and I adopted her. Allie is our daughter now. 

She is the center of the universe. Five years have brought a tremendous amount of healing into our lives. Many people have stood with us in prayer and God has been faithful to answer those prayers.

God is good all of the time. 

I was asked recently, after giving a talk, about forgiveness. Have I forgiven the young man who did this?

Talk about forgiveness dredges up painful memories. Extending forgiveness to someone that's flipped our lives upside-down has been difficult but not as difficult as you may think. Self-preservation is elemental in extending forgiveness. My wife and I learned that we couldn't heal and partner together to care for Allie unless we let go of the offense that ruined so many lives. There's no going backward to fix this. We could either exist in survival mode or we could trust that the Lord is up to something that can only be used for good. We can't hold onto our pain with closed fists and expect to receive anything good from God because to receive from Him you have to hold your hands open to Him. We needed to receive from Him because that is the only way that horrible can become amazing.

My wife is amazing. For Christmas, my wife bought the young man who did this a Bible. She couldn't mail it to him because he's in prison and is not allowed to receive mail from individuals, but inmates are permitted to receive packages from So the Charming and Beautiful Susan ordered him a Men's Devotional Bible and a couple of other Christian biographies. When he received them, he wrote us a nine page letter thanking us and asking for forgiveness and the possibility of building a relationship with him someday.

Relationships matter more to God than the pain we've inflicted on each other. Justice isn't only punishment. Lady Justice stands, blindfolded, holding scales. She doesn't hold instruments of punishment. Justice is about bringing things into balance. Punishment and paying a debt to society are often part of bringing things into balance. But it is only a small piece of what the Lord intends for making things right.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jullian Smith: Buffering [VIDEO]

I don’t know if you guys have ever watched a Jullian Smith video, but this cat is funny! You’ve all experienced the slow buffering of a video – heck, it probably happened to you today. You’ll love this.

Here are some other must see Julian Smith videos:

Monday, April 09, 2012

Music Review: Wrecking Ball–Springsteen

Fanboy: a person willing to defend and promote the object of his affection regardless of fact and objectivity.


I laugh at those guys that pitch a tent and wait in line for the newest iGadget. But if I’m honest with you, when I look in the mirror, I see a pathetic goof that is just as silly about the Boss’s music as those waiting for the next Vampire Dairies thing to hit the streets.

But you have to take Springsteen seriously, right? Who else has a finger on the pulse of the American working man like Bruce? “I always try to gauge the difference between American Reality and the American Dream,” Springsteen said in an interview with Jon Stewart in the March 29, 2012, issue of the Rolling Stone.

It’s going to be tough, but I’ll try to be as objective as possible. Wrecking Ball is the best album the Boss has put out since The Rising, that piece of work haunted by ghosts from 9-11. In Wrecking Ball, Springsteen animates the statistical victims of the American Economic Crisis with flesh and blood.

The music in this album will bring to mind Springsteen mega album, Born In the USA. You’ll hear gospel, rap (Yes! Rap!), and New Orleans style slow marches in the mix. Poetic and passionate and as familiar as someone in your neighborhood.

The Big Man, the late Clarence Clemmons, laid down tracks you’ll hear on this album.

I doubt it’ll happen, but the Boss can stop now. Greetings from Asbury Park and Wrecking Ball make a nice book ends for Springsteen complete collection.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Michelle's Compassion Story

Michelle is a Compassion International success story.

Michelle grew up in Compassion's sponsorship program and is now working to get Compassion's message out. Michelle spoke at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale in Spring 2011.

Calvary Chapel will once again host Compassion for several services next week beginning Wednesday, April 11, 2012, with Compassion International President, Wess Stafford.
via: CalvaryBlog