Whore

I couldn’t possibly imagine being him.

Instructed by God to marry a woman whom he knew would cheat on him and bear another man’s child, this was Hosea’s call. The humiliation of going to another man’s house to pay him to have his wife back…I can’t even.

The stares from other’s as he approached the door of the man’s house.

Knocking on the door.

Asking for the whore, his wife.

Offering fifteen shekels in one hand and barley in the other, Hosea paid another man for his own wife, Gomer, who had no interest in returning to him.

The long walk of shame home. Holding her by the hand that had been with another.

I’ve often thought if I could do that. To go after my own wife in the face of unfaithfulness.

I always placed myself, self-righteously I might add, in the shoes of Hosea.

I pitied him.

I felt his pain.

The humiliation, the frustration, the long sorrowful feeling he must have felt taking his wife back.

How could he muster the courage and strength to search for, pay for, and then go after his wife after all she had done. Had she not realized the faithfulness she had walked away from? The unconditional love it took to call her home again? How could she do what she did?

Why should Hosea take her back?

That’s when I realized: I’m the whore.

I’m that ragged filthy whore.

In spite of all that God has done for me, in spite of all His goodness, His Kindness, His love, I walk away and choose sin.

In the midst of my sin, he comes to me.

The humiliation he must bear to call me son, in spite of my trespasses. The hypocrisy I carry…and yet He stands by me and calls me home. 

He leads me by the hand with sweet kindness and says to me as Hosea said to Gomer:

“You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you. – Hosea 3:3

How He must feel, to humbly never let go of me. Even when I can be perceived as a hypocritical Christian.

He is there, always seeking me, in spite of my adulteress ways.

This is grace at its finest.

Grace be to you.

Source: Hosea and Gomer

‘Refuse to Drown’ – Book Giveaway

Screen Shot 2014-02-02 at 9.58.43 PM

Me, Shawn and Sarah

“I did it. I killed them”

These were the heart wrenching words spoken from a son to his father.

These were the words that surrounded a nearby community of mine that engulfed the headlines locally as well as nationally. ‘Refuse to Drown’ is a story of hope in spite of devastation surrounding Tim Kreider, his family and the victims. The page-turner, engulfs the reader, as you are taken on Tim’s journey as he tells his story of being a father to a convicted murderer. The pain and the angst as well as the hope and redemption are all facets of this book.

A friend of mine, Shawn Smucker, helped Tim Kreider put together his thoughts and writings in this riveting book. Reading this book has allowed me to see that no matter what situation I face, there is always room for hope.

I am giving away one signed copy of this book. To enter, please leave a comment below. The winner will be announced Wednesday.

For more info on this book you can find a local T.V. station’s interview here as well as the ‘Refuse to Drown’ site here.

RefusetoDrownIf you want to go ahead and get a copy, click here.

What Do You Want on Your Tombstone?

Tombstone

The obituaries.

I read them. A lot.

I’m not sure why I read them so much. At times I wonder if there is anyone I know of that has died recently. Or maybe I like to read the stories that goes along with each individual.

Tidy and neat are some.

It’s a shame to have someone defined in 500 characters or less. Some list all the accomplishments of there lives. Some died to young to have any accomplishments at all.

Most have a photo, name and a headline that sums up their lives.

There was a man that had passed away in his 60’s. His headline read,

“He Loved Restoring Pinball Machines”

Pinball Machines.

Seriously.

Having your life summed up by your love of pinball machines seems so meaningless.

Reading his obituary caused a little panic deep inside me.

I panicked because I realize my kids are growing older. Fast.

And so am I.

I’m panicked by the thought of how will I be defined. What will I be defined by?

What defines me now?

As we approach Thanksgiving Day, I think of the life I have now. And the life I have yet to live. I’m thankful knowing that as long as there is breath to be breathed I still have a choice to define who I will be.

I want integrity when it’s easier to do the wrong thing.

Faithfulness when everything seems hopeless.

Empathy for those that others deem as less than.

To love my wife. Well. To one day celebrate 50 years.

To father my children well, not just good enough.

To be known as someone who is kind and gracious.

To be humble, making those around me feel important no matter what their status is.

And to exude Christ.

So I end with an old commercial quote for pizza:

“What do you want on your tombstone?”

 

Boys and Integrity

Boys-and-integrity

 

Today I am guest posting over at boydads.com. Below is an excerpt. Thanks for stopping by. I hope all of you are well as we approach Thanksgiving!

The evening was coming to an end and so were my wits. My oldest was crying in her room. As I went to see what was wrong, my son scurries out of the room avoiding eye contact with me, leaping into bed with guilt dragging behind him. I ask her what he did and in between gasps of air she belts out, “He’s exasperating me!” I ask her how he’s exasperating her and she proceeds to explain he sold her a pen for a dollar and now wants another dollar after she had already given him the money.

I call him into the room.

He peers ever so slowly from around the corner. His head is down. Our eyes barely meet.

He tells me this is true of what happened.

He’s hardly remorseful and more concerned that he didn’t get more than what he sold it to his sister for.

The words, “You need to give your sister back the money she paid for the pen…and she’s keeping the pen too,” rolled off of my tongue.

You would have thought I took all of his toys and burned them with the look I received from him.

Read the rest here over at boydads.com.

Cancer is a Four Letter Word

Cancer.

When said, it rings hollow and violent in your ears like a four letter word.

It’s not sympathetic, racist, sexist or prejudice in anyway. It’s an equal opportunity seeker. Seeks those whom it wants to devour.

Silent.

Subtle.

Painful without the sting of pain.

The only pain it hands out, is to those closest to you. It wreaks havoc on your hope, life and makes loud in places of silence.

Cancer: A four letter word.