Hey There Friend! I am so glad you have spent time with me in the past year as I wrestle with my faith. A new year has dawned and many of us are still wrestling with questions and that’s ok. Wrestling is growing.
I hope I never stop.
I have been out of the loop a bit, so here’s a little self-promotional news about the happenings in my life.
I preached this past Sunday in Natchez, Ms. I will be speaking there again this coming Sunday. Always looking for more opportunities to share…
Also, the new schedule for the Tulsa Workshop is out and I am presenting three times–and yes, I am very excited.
I have spent considerable time this week reworking my book proposal and remain committed to the process.
Awhile back I announced the opportunity that had come my way to be a featured author at wineskins.org. At the time I didn’t quite grasp how it was going to work—I thought DWTBA was going to be linked and what I wrote here would just become a part of the other web e-zine.
Not the case at all.
In fact, I am writing in two different places.
So, I would like to invite you to take a look at the new issue as soon as it is out. The writers are each telling stories of those special people who have helped shape their own personal faith.
Please take the time to check out http://wineskins.org.
In the meantime, I am going to share here what I wrote there in the inaugural restart issue…
Thanks for sticking with me—
I have experienced way too much of that in my life.
Going to the dentist is painful and difficult when you have had mouth trauma over the years.
It is also financially painful.
At age 51, I (and my wallet) remain terrified of dentists and the work they do.
Because at age 15, I totaled a Volkswagen Beetle. In the process, I ate the steering wheel and knocked teeth out and tore gums away. Not a pretty sight, for sure. But, the docs were good and wired it all up and things stayed well for a number of years until some of those teeth died.
And when they had to be removed, we found out that a prescribed acne medicine had caused chemical bonding of those dead teeth to the bone. Getting them out of my mouth required some uncomfortable surgery.
My teeth woes have gone on and on throughout much of my adult life.
This is a place for theological discussions, not bad oral health stories.
This is a blog post that is supposed to be a part of a theme on Biblical Restoration.
Amazingly enough, there are some similarities between the two.
Dentists and those who practice dentistry with bigger and fancier names know all about tooth decay and gum diseases. They have seen the results of accidents. They know the stench and damage of rotting teeth.
Sounds a lot like sin, does it not?
Sin causes spiritual decay. It causes the very fabric of our lives to become rotten to the core. And the following physical, emotional, and mental trauma is often spread into the lives of others.
The consequences can be really really high and very very hard.
The man who murdered my first wife and our handicapped son didn’t start out life as a child molester, rapist, and murder. But the effects of sin caught up with him—resulting in an even greater sin spiral that eventually spilled over into our lives in a horrific way.
Please don’t take this as somehow blasé. Because it most assuredly is not. Sin always has consequences. And sin often has ramifications that are unintended in our own lives and often claim innocent victims as well.
So how does all of this work into the theme of biblical restoration?
The Bible tells us that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
That word all is a funny little guy. It leaves no one out. We are all guilty.
And, the result is all are also in need of restoration as well.
So, I am very grateful for the forgiveness, mercy, and grace God grants me. But beyond all the. wonderful forgiveness, I need a full scale restoration. I need a life obsessed with living for God in all respects.
This heritage many of us call the Restoration Movement is a great thing. Restoring the church of the New Testament is a lofty goal. But when you get down to it, the church of the first century was full of the same kind of folks as the church of the 21st century (no matter what name is on the door).
Sinners all, we are a people who need to be healed and forgiven. We are a people whose lives need a total transformation. And only God can create the kind of total make over that fundamentally restores perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors in redeeming fashion.
As it turns out, restoration or restoring people to God saves not only them from pain, but also others who might otherwise be hurt.
Brush your teeth good before bed tonight.
But before then, consider those areas of your life that need to be restored to Him.
Les Ferguson, Jr.