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”

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”

The Story of Exodus: Five Women and a Baby

Of all the books in the Bible, of all the books in the Old Testament, none tell the story of Israel quite like Exodus. Through its pages and chapters, we are surrounded by an intriguing story that is filled with danger, political intrigue, a massive rescue effort, and internal conflicts. It is the story of God’s effort to redeem the people of Israel out of slavery.

Those reasons, and others, are why the story of Exodus has held a central place in understanding God’s ways of redeeming us through the Lord’s grace and love. It is the story of Moses. It is the story of Israel. It is the story of us. For the story of Exodus reminds us of how God continually reaches out to us and seeks to redeem us.

Over the next few weeks, we will look at this fascinating story of faith and see what Exdous has to say to us today. My hope is that we will find ourselves in these narratives that are important to our faith. As we do, perhaps we will see how God continually seeks to redeem us and how the Lord gives us a new hope through faith everyday. Continue reading “The Story of Exodus: Five Women and a Baby”