Divided Loyalties

Growing up, one of the things that I looked forward to doing on Sunday afternoons was watching the NASCAR race with my grandfather. After Sunday lunch, I would join him in the TV room to watch whatever race was on. He and I were the only one in our family who liked Dale Earnhardt, so we would rub it in after each win or championship.

Flash forward some twenty-plus years and I still find myself watching the races on Sundays. I even had the opportunity to cover the sport during my journalism career. As I watch NASCAR today, one of the things that I admire about the sport is not the athleticism of the drivers or their ability to make continuous left-hand turns. It is the fact that their is no second-guessing where their loyalties lie.

Their loyalties are right there on their fire suits for all to see. When Kevin Harvick, for instance, is being interviewed, you know there will be references to Chevrolet and Jimmy John’s Sandwiches. There is no denying their loyalties. They wear them everywhere they go. Continue reading “Divided Loyalties”

Advertisements

The Story of Exodus: Love God … Love Others

Ten words. Ten statements. Ten Commandments.

No study of the Book of Exodus would be complete without taking a look at these hallmark statements, given to the people of Israel by God at Mount Sinai. These words are familiar to us. We have hung illustrations of these words on our walls. We have established much of our understanding of law and justice around these words. We have watched Charlton Heston receive these words in “The Ten Commandments.”

As familiar as we are with these words, we often wonder what they mean for us today. The commands set up questions about their application for our lives and how we should interact with them. Are they words that we are to follow? Are they marks that define our lives? Or are they words that have no bearing on life today? What are we to do with these Ten Commandments? Continue reading “The Story of Exodus: Love God … Love Others”

The Story of Salvation

About 10 years ago, I was not the person you see standing before you today. Not only was I a little larger and had more hair, but I was also someone who was hurting. I was going through a period of my life that could easily be defined as my lowest point.

The year was 2004, I was living in North Carolina, and my life was falling apart very quickly. In January, a home my first wife and I had in West Virginia was damaged during a winter storm when the water pipes burst creating a hockey rink out of the carpet. Afterwards, we received some bad advice that prevented us from getting any relief out of the situation. In March, my first wife left me with a phone call and a note on the refrigerator door. It ended a bad relationship that was defined more by our inability to communicate than by our love for one another. By October, I was sitting with my attorney in a federal courthouse in Raleigh, N.C., describing my financial situation and why I was filing bankruptcy.

It was an awful year and I had more problems and pains than I could account for. To be honest, I needed help and knew I needed to do something to get through this season of life. So, I tried to get help by throwing myself into anything I could. I found a West Virginia University Alumni chapter that became a place of Saturday afternoon refuge from what was going on at home. I threw all my energy into a political campaign I was working on. I thought if we won, which we did, that I would feel better. No matter what I tried what often happened was that I only compounded the pain. I made it worst. I was still hurting. I could not save myself. Continue reading “The Story of Salvation”