Welcome! As you continue deeper into the site, you'll be amazed by God's love and grace. We are all intensely saddened by my crime in the 60s, but God's plan is greater than the past.
“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserve it, but because that was his plan before the beginning of time - to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.” 1
From the Mailbox...
I'm amazed at the daily praise reports, especially the one below. Bill read the Bible for the first time after reading my book.
“Hello, thank you so very much for writing back. I was reading the pamphlet you enclosed about cars, and I was smiling the whole time.
Cars always remind me of points in my life. Like when I was 19, I had a 1969 Chevelle SS, 396 - 400 factory horse; or my ‘55 Bel Air. I remember everything about every summer that I owned these cars, and many others. So thank you very much for that.
You asked why I wrote you? Because I find your story fascinating and amazing. I was ten years old when I saw you on my little black-and-white TV in 1969. What you have gone through and what you have dedicated your life to since that day is great!!
You also asked what interest we share? I think music, because I'm in a band, and cars, but more than that, I have a short story I want to share. The first time I ever read the Bible was after reading your book ‘Will You Die for Me?’ So thank you for that also! Take care and my best always. Bill, TN.”
Ashamed of My Past...
I ended up a prideful vagabond, medicating my emotional pain with drugs and believing a vain philosophy. I was unwilling to humble myself to God's plan and purpose for those who trust in his love and grace, which is recorded in the Holy Bible; the best-selling book of all time.
My great-grandfather was a Baptist preacher born in 1840. He ministered the Gospel through the Civil War, and he saw the first car and airplane come to pass. He lived through tumultuous times in our nation's history and brought forth a family before going home to be with the Lord in 1926. I defamed him and my ancestry by my actions, which I regret so deeply.
You may have a similar story having let your family down in the wake of your destruction. The ripple effect may have affected a multitude of people, but there is still hope. Like myself, you may not be able to forgive yourself, but now you are realizing that God provided forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
“So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich and kindness and Grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgive our sins.” 2
It's simply not about us forgiving ourselves but solely accepting God's forgiveness by faith as we respond to His love and grace.
Guilt and Shame...
Some of us are profoundly ashamed of our past, but it doesn't mean that we are overcome by guilt and shame. In other words, when our beliefs are based on the solid foundation of God's Word, we can be ashamed of our past without the debilitating effects of guilt and shame. Listen to one of my favorite psalms of David:
“The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love... He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve... He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” 3
The truth of God's Word sets us free from guilt destructive effects because we trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross for our right standing with God.
When we receive the amazing beauty of God's favor through believing His Word about Jesus' forgiveness and our life and our right standing in Christ, every type of disorder will begin to be pushed out of our life by the new life of Jesus within us.
Those We Have Hurt...
Sometimes our new-found freedom from the shame of our past will not be understood by those we have hurt since we are so undeserving. I know that my faith is an offense to many, but I can't help but share it.
“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes - the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, 'It is through faith a righteous person has life.'" 4
This new consciousness of righteousness gives us the ability to stand before God without the sense of fear, condemnation and inferiority, while at the same time saddened by the pain we have caused so many, which is a great paradox - "reasoning that offends against logic," according to Webster.
It seems merely too good to be true news that God could forgive such a one as I, which is why it is called Good News. Because of my right standing with God, I am able to have a deep compassion for those whose lives I have destroyed. The children of Israel asked the Lord how they were to pay for their sins. Micah told them,
“Oh people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you going to do what is right, II love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” 5
When we humble ourselves to the good news of Jesus Christ, he gives us his righteousness. At last, we can do what is right, that is to love Mercy, because Jesus took our punishment.
A Prayer for You...
Dear God, thank You that even right now, Your forgiveness and Your perfect love are raining all over me because of Your Son's finished work in my life. Take away every lingering sense of ugliness, guilt, and condemnation in me. I believe with all my heart that right now when You look at me, You see me in Christ Jesus. I am clothed in His robes of righteousness, favor, and blessings. Thank You for Your abundance of Grace and Your gift of righteousness in my life. Through Jesus, I will reign in this life over every sin, addiction, and failure. In Jesus name, amen.
Scripture References (NLT):
1) 2 Tim. 1:9
2) Eph. 1:6,7
3) Psa. 103:8,10,12
4) Rom. 1:16,17
5) Mic. 6:8