Monday, December 28, 2015

Best of 2015: the Books

I read 71 books this year and its December 28th  as I write this.  I might squeeze one  more in before year ends but they probably wouldn’t make the years best so I feel safe writing.

Sadly, at least to me the majority of the books I read this year were fiction.  Next year I hope to have either a better balance or come out non-fiction heavy.

I’ll post my top 10 this year which is rare. Normally I eek out a top 5 at best. All books that I just didn’t want to end.  As usual there is a mix of fiction and non fiction on the list.  Each title has a link to the book on amazon if you are interested.

This is one of those books that I will read again in 2016.  A very informative and motivating look at branding and self promoting. I have really lacked blogging this year except for the couple months after reading this book.  I plan to re-read it at the beginning of the year and then God willing keep to a schedule.

You was an absolute page turner. I don’t want to give any of it away but it completely took me in and I’m so glad it did.  If you liked Gone Girl and the Woman on the train then you should read You.

I hate to put a classic on the list because you look like you are either an idiot for not having read it yet. Or you look like you are trying too hard to be perceived as an intellectual.  I can’t help it though this book was an absolute delight. Its short and if you have read it do so immediately. The depiction of our secret and hidden sin as a creature that feeds off of us and its transformation was breath taking.  I read and reread that part several times.

Jack Reacher is back both in book form and on my list of top books.  Reacher is one of my absolute favorite characters. I never get tired of these stories. Even a bad Jack Reacher Novel is better than most the books on the shelves.  As long as Mr Child keeps writing them I will keep reading them.

Armada is the second book by Mr Cline. His first book Ready Player One toped my list last year and is an upcoming movie from Steven Spielberg.  
The book follows Zack Lightman as he discovers the video game he is an expert at has been a training and recruitment tool for the a global defense federation to help stem an impending invasion.
While at first glance the plot is incredibly similar to Last Starfighter a favorite movie of mine as a kid, it had enough twists and unknowns that it made my list.

I enjoyed the narrative aspects of the book more than the insight into leadership.  It had plenty to say on that subject but to me it was the personal stories about Brian, his dad, his wife and Hillsong itself that really stood out.  Definitely One of the best books of 2015

Revival was an absolute thrill ride.  The hero Jamie Morton and his friend turned nemesis Charles Jacobs are both written brilliantly.  This is the best King book I’ve read since 11/23/63.  I think it especially interested me because the villain was, at the time he met the hero a minister.  I found his “turn” completely engrossing and the book kept me guessing.

Originally published in 2002 this is “inspired by actual events”.  When I heard this was the next film by Alejandro González Iñárritu director of last years Oscar winner for best picture Birdman and how it was going to be shot.  I had to read it.  The movie is going to be wide released in January and I urge you to read the book first. Although from trailers and press releases the story will differ enough to make it it’s own entity. 
This is a tale of treachery and revenge set against the backdrop of a frozen landscape occupied by vicious natives and lethal animals.  The book had a Cormac McCarthy quality to it that was different from my usual fare.  It is 100% worth your time.

On Wednesdays I set up the meeting hall at the church for dinner that evening.  While I do this I am usually listening to an audiobook or a Podcast. There I was one Wednesday morning about 8am sobbing and praising God at the same time alone in the room.  If the first part of this book doesn’t make you cry from heartbreak, and then elicit tears of complete and utter praise for what God can do I’d have to question your heart.  This book is not to be missed, my absolute favorite book of this genre for 2015.  The courage of Pastor Lusko in telling this story and continuing in his mission after the events of the first part of the book is an inspiration I can not forget.  I can’t recommend this book more heartily. Please do yourself and your walk a favor and read Thru the Eyes of a Lion.

1) Unbroken by LifePoint. 
Ok, I'm a bit biased here but Unbroken: 7 Stories of Life Change from the Ozarks is a book compiling 7 testimonies of 8 people from my church.  The names were changed and the testimonies were expertly written as a narrative by a company out of Seattle calls Good Catch Publishing.  This book was then and is still being mass distributed to our community and the surrounding areas.  In the book you will find people that have lost it all and how Jesus has brought them back and restored them.  From drug addiction and attempted murder to spousal suicide and porn there is something in here that speaks to each of us and our hidden sins. The things we can’t forgive ourselves from.  Read as God restores relationships and heals hurts and addictions.  It was a privilege to help facilitate the making of this book and an even bigger one to see it change lives.

There you have it, my favorite books of 2015.  I hope you pick up a few of these and give them a shot.  If you do or if you have already read them I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading.
Alan


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Best of 2015: The Movies

This will probably be a little lopsided.  I've only seen 38 movies in theatre this year which seems low for me.  It's for that reason I don't think this will really be a top ten as much as a list of movies I have seen and liked this year.


I'll start with It Follows.  This was a pretty low budget but effective horror movie.  Horror is pretty close to my favorite genre, I think because I wasn't allowed to watch it as a child so when I hit my late teens early twenties I devoured as much as I could.
It Follows has its flaws, but all in all it was a good movie with some solid scares and quite a bit of disturbing images. Not blood and gore mind you but general creepiness that sticks with you for a while.














Mad Max Fury Road
I really liked this movie. I've watched my digital copy a couple times since picking it up the day it was released.  It had phenomenal action and edge of your seat excitement.  The characters were well developed and interesting with the exception of Max. That to me was the big flaw in the film.  I didn’t care about Max.  I cared about Furiosa and the brides. I loved Nux but max was one dimensional and boring.  I hope the sequel returns some of the depth to the character that Gibson’s Max had.
Despite that it was still quite a spectacle to watch and i’m sure I’ll continue to visit it on down the road.












Mission Impossible Rogue Nation.
This franchise has become one of my favorites.  The series didn’t really take off for me until the third and it is overlooked by so many because Tom Cruise and his antics on Oprah directly prior to its release.
This particular outing is the first for Christopher McQuarrie on the franchise but not his last.  He has already been hired to return for Mission Impossible 7.  While I felt it was inferior to MI3 and Ghost Protocol it was still an excellent entry to the franchise.












The Martian
This was based on my favorite book from last year so it’s no wonder how it made it on to my best of 2015 film list. Good Ridley Scott movies are few and far between these days.  For every Prometheus there is an Exodus: Gods and Kings to contend with.  With that said the Martian to me ranks with the best of them on a list of Scott films.  This is the man after all that directed Blade Runner, Alien and Gladiator.  In my mind a far superior director to his late brother Tony.
What we get with the Martin is fully developed characters, real internal struggles and edge of your seat suspense and just a hint of comedy when things are almost too intense.  Matt Damon is at top form, something I was doubtful about prior to seeing the film. Due mostly to his poor choices in projects lately (see or rather don’t see Elysium).





Avengers: Age of Ultron


The amount of “movie spackle” you would need to patch the holes in this plot is astounding. However I am a fanboy at heart.  These are the characters I read as a child and the majority of which I still read. I genuinely fill with delight to see them on the big screen.  Marvels casting of the major characters has been nothing short of brilliant.  The biggest issue I have with this film and the future of the marvel cinematic universe in general is the next generation.  As this movie comes to a close you are shown a glimpse of the “new” Avengers and I could not possibly care any less about the majority of them.  The Vision has always been one of my favorite characters but even he would have trouble getting me in the theatre to see War Machine and the Falcon co-headline a movie.  I am unbelievably excited for Civil War, even though it is technically a Captain America film it feels like Avengers 3 from the trailer and promo material.  
With all that said, AoU was a fun movie. It’s great to see all of those characters brought to life.  









Ant Man
I had pretty low expectations for this one going in.  I enjoy Paul Rudd’s work in comedy but I wasn’t sure how he would play as a hero.  Fortunately that need not be a worry because this was a heist movie more than anything.  Making Scott Lang (the Ant Man) less of a hero and more of the straight lead.  The addition of Michael Pena as Luis added the comedy that Rudd would normally provide. Making the character of Scott Lang more believable and relatable than had he been the source of comedy in the film.
The whole sub particle aspect of the story did more to shrink my belief than add to the narrative but all in all it was one of the most fun experiences I had in the theatre this year.













Ex Machina
I struggled with this a lot.  It is in my opinion the best movie I watched in 2015.  The issue I was having is the fact that it is a rated R movie.  There are certain things I try to avoid in movies but the buzz from people I trust got me in the theatre for this one and I was not disappointed 
It is a brilliantly shot film with an expertly crafted plot.  It’s one of those movies I wanted to see but didn’t have huge expectations for.  I liked the cast and the idea but didn’t expect to enjoy the movie as much as I did or for it to be my pick for best of 2015.








Honorable Mentions


Star Wars Episode VII the Force Awakens (no spoilers)
I don’t know where this falls in my list. It’s a pretty recent watch so I don’t want to gush to much but it was certainly worth the wait.
I’m excited to see the franchise back on track.
I’ll definitely be seeing this again before the first of the year.













The Hateful 8
I was privileged to see an advanced copy of this and while I don’t think it was Tarentino’s best film it was a riveting watch.  In my opinion it’s going to take a lot to seat Django Unchained.  I believe it topped my list a couple years ago.

Hateful 8  does suffer from a bloated run time of almost 3 hours. However with Kurt Russell and Walton Goggins on the screen for the majority of that time trading Tarentino dialogue it seemed to pass faster. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Christmas List 2015

Every Year I post this list.  I encourage my friends and family not to get me anything for Christmas but inevitably some of you will.

This year is special, in June I am hoping to join a group from my church on a trip to Ethiopia.  the cost is $3,000 and thats money I do not have.  Money that God will have to provide if I am going to be able to go.  It's totally up to Him.  The will is there and the need is there so I am attacking the planning as if He has already provided.

We will be visiting a village in Ethiopia called Korah, it is inside an actual landfill.  It breaks my heart to know people are allowed to live like this.  I don't know what waits for me there or how we will help but I want to go.  I want to help anyway that I can.

If something goes haywire prior to the trip, if the trip is cancelled,  If I can't go, or if it's just not Gods will I will use the money in some other fashion for God's glory.

 So there you have it. That is my Christmas list for 2015.  If you don't want to help with that cause then I implore you to not get me anything.


video

Monday, September 14, 2015

Prodigal

How many times have you heard “you gotta meet God half way?”

I’ve heard that phrase more times than I can count.  It’s a good idea.  Lets people know that you have to want to change.  

The prodigal son tells a different story.  Luke 15: 11-33 Jesus tells the story of a man that had 2 sons.  The younger of the sons decided he didn’t want to wait to get his inheritance. He didn’t know when his dad would die.  What if he was too old to really get out and enjoy it by the time it comes around naturally.

So he asked his dad for his share right now.  He wanted to go and sew some wild oats and have a good time while he was young.  His dad was cool with it and gave him what he wanted.  

The young man went off to another place and just blew money as fast as he could. He had a great time doing whatever he wanted. You have money then you have friends and  I’m sure he had friends in spades. No work, no boss just good times.  However soon the money was gone and he found himself in a strange place. Completely broke unable to feed himself. He was dirty, he was broke and he was hungry.  So much so that he envied the food the pigs were eating.  

I’ve fed pigs and they will eat anything, they don’t care.  Here was this young man, from a well off family wishing he could have some of the pig slop. 

Well that woke him up.  Like a bucket of water in from a dead sleep.  I’m sure it wasn’t easy but he had to swallow his pride. His fathers servants ate better than he did so he decided to go home and see if he could take the position of a worker for his father.  He wasn’t headed home to sleep in his bed. He wasn’t headed home to try and worm his way back into the house. He was on his way back to beg his dad to hire him as a servant.  

Look there at vs 20, he headed home and while he was still a long way off his father saw him and ran to him. Threw his arms around him dried his tears, kissed his son and they were restored.

The young son, wasn’t expecting this. He was miserable and he turned towards the direction of home and while he was still a long way off the father saw him and ran to him.
Dropped what he was doing and was so excited his son was headed towards him that he ran. 

Doesn’t say the son ran. The son was tired and nervous, hungry and miserable.  Burdened from all the mistakes he made and the embarrassment of having to come home like this. The son wasn’t expecting to be accepted.  He wasn’t looking for acceptance. He was just wanting to be near his family again. Just to be a slave at home was better than free in the world.

If i’m walking towards you and you are running towards me, guess who is gonna cover more ground?

Our Father isn’t going to make you meet him halfway. When God sees your heart turn towards him while you are still a long way off He will run to meet you.  God isn’t waiting in the house for you to come home.  God is waiting on the porch, with his eyes to the horizon and he will run to you if you start home.

Thanks for reading


Alan

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Let's Go!

Comparison, Pastor Kelly talked about comparison this week and I got to thinking about it.

I’m pretty bad at comparing myself to others. I can’t look at to much art on facebook or deviant art without feeling like a terrible artist myself.  Doesn’t matter how much I sell or how many cool projects I get to work on I still don’t think I am “good” enough.

This causes me to not try for certain jobs or assignments because i just don’t think I’d get it and rejection is worse than not knowing.

In Numbers 13 we see where comparison grieved the Lord and he had to punish the people.

Moses sent 12 spies into the land of Cannan. This land was promised to the Israelites. God had already given it to them.   Moses was sending the spies so when they went to take it they would have a battle plan and after it was taken they would know where the best places were to farm.

This wasn’t intended to be a mission to decide if they should attack. God promised them the land and when God promises its a done deal.  

So 12 spies go in and they find the land as good or better than they expected.  It was insanely fertile. the Soil was able to grow such crops that a single cluster of grapes took 2 men to carry.  
All the spies had to do was come back, tell the people how awesome the land was and they could go get it.  It was already theirs! 

They get back and they give their report. “yes” they say,. “The land is beautiful the soil is rich its truly an amazing place to live”

So Caleb speaks up and says “Great, then lets go get it!”.  Caleb had no hesitation. It was their land and he wanted to move in as soon as possible.  

Thats when some of the spies started pumping the brakes.

Verse 31 But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!”  The spies were ignoring God and instead comparing themselves to the people in the land.  They were disregarding all the wonders of that land because they didn’t feel like they were big enough, mean enough and strong enough to get it.

So these other spies spread a bad report, The Bible says the whole community wept and cried all night.  They even said “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt”.

These folks hadn’t even seen the land, they only heard stories about how big and mean the people occupying it were compared to them.

Imagine you came home to your house one night and another family had moved in while you were out that day.  It’s your house! Wouldn’t you immediately take action to get it back?

Well this land was given to them.  The Bible doesn’t say they would have to fight for it. God had given it to them they were the owners.  Even if fighting had to be done the outcome would 100% be decided by the One that had given it to them.  There was no force on earth that could stop them from having what God gave to them.

You don’t have to be big and mean to take something that is yours. Certainly not something that God Himself has given you.

Still, because these spies compared themselves to those in the land, they were punished and God said since you spent 40 days exploring you’re promised Land and refuse to take it, now you will wander for 40 years. Your kids and your kids, kids can have it but you won’t.  

So the Israelites wandered for 40 years.

All because the men that were meant to be the pep squad instead compared themselves to others and didn’t like what they saw.

God has promised us as Christians so much.  Promises like freedom from worry. To take care of our needs, fill us with His Spirit, keep us from damnation and thousands more and so many of us refuse to take what is ours because we don’t deem ourselves worthy.  We aren’t as good as someone else.  We aren’t as “Christian” as someone else.  “God made those promises for some people but he coupldn’t have been talking about me you say.”

No! That is so wrong. If you Love God and you believe in Jesus, your faith is in Him and the Resurrection then go take the promises God gave you!

“Let’s go at once to take the land” said Caleb “We can certainly conquer it.” (Numbers 13:30)

Let’s go!  claim what is ours thru God.

At your service.
Alan



Friday, August 28, 2015

A Fast Post


I’m on day 3 of the Daniel fast.  Headaches and short temper seems to be the big hurdle right now.   

I hope you are all doing well on yours.  I know we are all doing different fasts. One LifePointer I talked to is doing just juice for 10 days, another is doing just bread and water for 10 days.  

I was eating at a restaurant and I had to greatly adjust the items I was ordering. Removed the meat and cheese, dressing stuff like that.  The waitress seemed kinda stunned so I told her I was on the Daniel Fast.  She made some small talk about not being able to do that herself and I felt myself feeling pretty good.  It felt good to be doing something not everyone could do.

I have went 3 days now without my normal food.  I have drank nothing but water. I am doing pretty good. My will power is pretty strong.

Do you see the problem with this situation?  

I am proud of my will power.  This is supposed to be about getting closer to God using my time to think more about Him. Pray more to Him and grow closer with Him.  I and my ego were starting to turn it into a demonstration of what my willpower can do.  

Your fast isn’t about what you can accomplish it’s about what God already has.  A fast is a way to get closer to Him to show your dedication in prayer and seeking. A way to focus your prayer like never before.

If you are fasting and you aren’t praying any more than normal, or reading your bible more or in some way dedicating more time to Him then why are you doing it?

There is still lots of time to turn the tide. Start today, start with prayer.

Because God knew I needed it, this was in my devotion last night and it set me on a different track this morning.

“When you fast, do not look sullen like the hypocrites, for they make their faces unattractive so that people will see them fasting. I tell you the truth, they have their reward. When you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others when you are fasting, but only to your Father who is in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.  Matt. 6:16-18

At Your Service

Alan

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Table is Set


A few years ago a friend invited me to LifePoint. I wasn’t looking for a church. In fact I was actively seeking to avoid one.   I didn’t go and a few months later he asked again.  Knew Linda wanted me in church with her and the kids so we tried it out.

I did’t want to be there but my friend was happy to see me and introduced me to others at the church.  Those others continued to try and get me involved.  They asked me to do a bunch of stuff.  They wanted me to feel like a part of the place and  I fought it for a while. Still they kept asking me, involving me in things and talking to me.

Eventually I had a life changing God experience and I have never been the same.

They never left me alone, they never gave up on me, they were persistent and it worked. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of those fellas and what they did for me. 

I said all that to say this.  Back to Church Sunday is coming and there is no easier time to start inviting someone that is missing what you have.

Who are you pursuing?  Don’t give up. Keep inviting them. Be patient, be loving but be persistent. This blog would not be here if someone wasn’t persistent with me. The table is set who will be at the dinner because of you?

thanks for reading


Alan

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Best of Us

I woke up yesterday to sad news.  A good friend of mine had passed away after battling like a champ for several years.
I was shocked and saddened even though it was expected.  

I want to tell you a little about Becky Howerton and what she meant to me.  I met Becky thru LifePoint and honestly while I interacted with her, Dennis and Kaylee their granddaughter I really didn’t know her.

It wasn’t until last year that I really started talking to her and getting to know the Howerton’s.  Becky may well be the most thoughtful person I have ever met.  She is an inspiration to me on several fronts. 

First is her heart for others.  This is a woman who was in the hospital 14 times last year. She was in for extended stays several times this year and I was privileged enough to visit with her. You know what she was concerned about?
You, thats what.  She was concerned about you and me and Jesus. That was it.  Not her medical issues or pain. She wanted to talk about you. 
Not in a gossipy way, she couldn't possibly care less what one of us had done to the other. She was genuinely concerned about your heart and mine. About our families and our walks with Jesus.
I want you to think about this, because not everyone visited her and got to experience this.  There she was in the hospital  Literally fighting for enough breath to talk. Sometimes it would take a minute or more to get a sentence out. The pain was rough and she was poked and prodded.  However when the words came it was almost always “How is everyone doing,” and then she would start asking by name.
Her daughters Kristin, Liz and Chelsea (the “in law” part never came up Chelsea you were hers) her son Matt, Kathy & Dave Hutton, Steve Pierce, Stephanie Bandelow, Kelly and family, Jeremy and family, individually, the Tuckers, the Coday’s, Nate and his gang, Mindy and Travis, Liz Hutton, the Norfleets and the Richards families are just a few (a drop in the bucket) of the conversations we had. She wanted to know how you were doing and she wanted to pray for you.
Then there were the countless conversations about LifePoint.  How she missed us. How she wished she could attend, church and ALL of our activities.   

One day I got a call from someone at the church that needed to go to the emergency room.  I took him in and sat for a while that night with him.  I posted on Facebook that he could use prayer. It was about 10 minutes later I got an email from Becky asking if he was ok, telling me to let him know that she was praying for him and that she loved us.

She wrote that email from down the hall at the hospital, where she had been for several days already and was unaware at that time if she would ever be allowed to leave again.

I can’t imagine being there, late at night after visiting hours alone in a hospital in that situation and thinking about anything but that.  Not Becky, she wanted to let us know that she was still praying. She was at the foot of Jesus for him, for me and for you constantly.

It wasn’t that she didn’t get depressed, she did and who could blame her. It was how short those patches were that amazed me, that inspires me. 1 Thessalonians chapter 5: 16-18
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

That verse had to have been crafted with God’s eternal eye on Becky, because it describes her perfectly.

Next was Becky’s heart for service. 

She worked the child check in station at church every week she could. She was at every event she could talk Dennis into letting her go to.  I’m sure they had more than a few conversations about that. She was deeply involved in CR and was constantly praying and talking about that.  
I organized the fair parking this year for LifePoint.  It was something we were blessed to get to do but it required volunteers.  A lot of Volunteers.  
I was constantly begging for help. The fair wanted a certain amount of coverage and I just wasn’t getting the volunteers.  One night I get an email from Becky.  It asked if she could volunteer.  In the letter she said that she felt like she “needed to do this” and that she wanted to live the rest of her days “doing as much for Him as she can”.  She knew the Doctor would frown on it. She knew it wasn’t good for her. She knew it might even send her back into the hospital but she was determined and I love her so I said yes.

The day she was scheduled was rained out but had it not been, she would have been there. Raining or Not.  When Becky said she would do something, she did it.  
She was a rock and it is with stones like that the church is built.

I am so sorry for the Howerton’s loss.  To Becky Dennis hung the moon and vice versa.  It is a 36 year long romance that has given so much to so many.  My prayer is that the Holy Spirit comfort you all in this time. 

To all of you friends, and family I want you to know that Becky was concerned with you and your walk with Christ.  There is no better way to honor her than to live a life she would be proud of.  Seek God, find joy in the seemingly joyless. Pray without stop and find a church family that love you as much as she loved us and we her.

Until we meet again Becky, I love you

thanks for reading.

Alan

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Road to "I'm Sorry"

Integrity, is defined by dictionary.com as 1) the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.  2) the state of being whole and undivided.

I’ve been thinking a lot about integrity lately.  Well by lately I mean the last few days.  See I was supposed to be one place and was being paid to be there.  I missed another thing that I was supposed to be at.  I had an unwritten contract with the second that I would be there whenever possible.  I relied on social media to let those effected know I wouldn’t be there but it failed.  Turned out everyone but the leader knew I wouldn’t be there. 
My integrity was called into question.  One party had their feelings hurt and lashed out thought I did it on purpose and called me deceitful twice. That bothered me and I lashed out as well.  I guess it still kinda does because I felt I needed to mention the number of times here.
Several people had let our leader down that night and he was embarrassed and hurt understandably.  He took our absence as a reflection of our respect for him.  I was unaware of the other issues from that night because I have been kinda away from facebook lately so I thought it was just me. I post something then I disappear.  So there we were.  My integrity was in question and I had offended a brother.   
Here is the thing, I didn’t think I did anything wrong.  The other party was positive I did. Not only was he positive but he was sure that it was done on purpose.

What do we do in a situation like this?  It’s easy to get angry. I did, I spent about 3 hours just steaming. Why should I apologize if I didn’t do anything wrong?  It was that kind of attitude that prevailed that day.  
I’m sure neither of us was even thinking about it my the next day. Let alone 4 days later when Kelly and I were talking about integrity. 

So I googled Integrity.  It wasn’t the first part of the definition I was really concerned about. Honesty and moral principles are something as a parent I am very conscious of.  I try (and I’m sure fail occasionally) to live with that part of the definition in mind.

It’s the second part that I’ve been thinking about.  The state of being whole and undivided.  I have been on a high since feb 2012 and that high has crested.  I find myself at times more focused on me and the world than God and the Kingdom.
I was so focused on myself and the things that I had going that week. I was butt-hurt myself because people didn’t respond to my genuine pleas for help. I took it as a reflection on me. I was stressed and honestly I all but ignored God for that week.  
My integrity was compromised by my division.  My lack of wholeness.

Paul talks about putting on the new man in Eph 4:24.  I had done that. Like a brand new suit of clothes.  I had put on the whole outfit of the new man and I looked good.   As time went on I loosened the tie of the new man.  Eventually I removed the jacket as well. I was slowly stepping back.  I found myself this week with jacket discarded and the sleeves rolled up.  
My attitude was, I was tired and I was busy and I didn’t do anything wrong!
Really? Let’s look at this thru a biblical lens.  I offended a brother.  I hurt my witness and I got angry. Not a righteous anger, but an anger due to a “perceived” wrong doing. 
While my actions were not wrong, my reaction was.   I’ve struck out to find a biblical route to apology.

In an article from the Harvard Business Review  titled Why “I’m sorry” Doesn’t Always Translate. One of the author’s points is that in the U.S. an apology is seen as an admission of wrongdoing (“I am the one who is responsible”) while in Japan an apology is seen as an eagerness to repair a damaged relationship (“It is unfortunate that this happened”). 
I googled “Apology in the Bible” and was surprised to find that all the verses brought up were about confession and forgiveness.

The biblical model is for the wrongdoer to confess the wrongdoing, express sorrow and ask for forgiveness.   Asking forgiveness does carry with it the responsibility for the actions.  
 
          The offended party is expected biblically to forgive the person. 
Both parties then need to change their thoughts, attitudes, outlook of the past problem and genuinely reconcile to reorient their life and behavior to a more godly way. If a person really is sorry, that person will change so it won’t happen again.

It’s about more than the embarrassment of taking your share of responsibility. It;s about taking on all the responsibility if need be to restore the relationship with a brother.
It’s about seeing your error, and not doing it again.


Thanks For Reading

Alan

Unofficial soundtrack to this blog: 
Audio Adrenaline: Spirit Burn,  Beautiful, Ocean Floor
Fellowship Creative: Grace on Top of Grace, Glory in the Highest
Hillsong United: Oceans (Where my feet fail)