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Resolved: Three Confessions

Happy 2013 typewriter
I made a 2013 New Year’s Resolution. Every day, I am going to make 3 confessions. They aren’t all confessions of sin, but they are all confessions of truth. I am following Jesus’ words: “the truth shall set you free.”

So every morning, I will make these 3 confessions of truth:

1.    I Will Remember My Name.
2.    I Will Confess My Attitude.
3.    I Will Name The Day.

I want to be free. But I see that I am not. I’ve entangled myself in all sorts of half-truths and lies. I don’t say what I mean; I don’t mean what I say. I make commitments that I am not gifted to do. I respond to gain approval. I keep quiet to avoid rejection. I don’t admit when I’m unhealthy. I don’t rejoice when life surges through me. I am entangled; vines of self-inflicted lies wrap around my feet. I want to be free.

So every morning, I will cut at the vines and say the truth – 3 of them.

I Will Remember My Name.

I’m 56. I’ve learned a thing or two about who I am. So every morning I will recall my name. I will pray it. I will say it out loud. Some mornings this will take the form of naming my gift(s); I am Writer. Some mornings it will take the form of naming a role I have chosen: I am Husband to Jean. And sometimes it will take the form of calling myself the secret name known only to God and myself; I am ___________.

This is the confession that God has made me. And if He made me – then He loves me. I am trying to admit that I have a place in the world – given to me by God. I have been invited to the adventure. I have a role and a place – how do I know? Because I have been named.

I Will Confess My Attitude

Every morning I wake up with an attitude. Sometimes grumpy, ungrateful and complaining. Sometimes open and kind. But I rarely confess it. I rarely call it out. When I don’t call it out – I empower the darkness on the one hand and quench the Spirit on the other.

This is the confession of the gift of responsibility. When I wake each day I must own where I am and what I am. If I deny the darkness swirling in me (resentment, unforgiveness, greed) then I will drive it underground to breed. If I deny the light dawning in me (wonder, happiness, excitement) then I will starve them. Sin grows in the dark, goodness grows in the light. Naming my attitude brings light into my heart.

I Will Name the Day

This confession admits the gift of freedom: I choose the direction that I will take my Name and my Attitude. It isn’t merely that I ‘have’ to choose, though this is true. Rather, I ‘get’ to choose.

I often operate as a victim – believing that I am controlled by external forces. And it is true that these forces affect my life (choices of others, culture, biological limits). But the larger truth is that I am King over the larger realm – the internal realm where God lives in me. Genetics may decide the shape and size of my nose, but I decide where to point it.    Every morning, I am granted the privilege of deciding where I will point my name (who I am) and my attitude (my experience). This is an awesome and dizzying freedom.

New Year Resolutions
So every morning, I will name my day. Here are a few examples of names I used so far; Offering, Work Day, Day to Notice Light, Trapped Feeling, Willing Day…etc. If you were to do it – you would name yours differently – perhaps poetically, perhaps practically. But either way – naming the day exercises freedom. And by exercising freedom, perhaps it will grow strong in me.

 

 

 

Roger Edwards photo


Roger Edwards joined The Barnabas Center in 1991. In addition to counseling individuals and couples, Roger teaches and leads discussion groups about applying the Bible to everyday life.  He is a licensed professional counselor, holds a master’s degree in biblical counseling from Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana and earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  He is married to Jean, and they have seven children.

Fresh Starts

Palmer_Fresh Start 3

I like fresh starts.  New semesters, new classes, new projects, new teams, new years – they all hold promise.  They all have hope.  I like beginning again.

Maybe this time I can get it right… or righter at least.  Maybe I can learn from past mistakes.  Maybe I will be a little more certain about what I want.  Maybe I can get better, do more, find more happiness or success.  Maybe.  I live, we all live so aware of the places we do it wrong or the places where it hasn’t worked out.  We want to think we could do it better or smarter if we could only…  So maybe this year…

Sometimes, “maybe” feels pretty good.  Sometimes I get a fresh infusion of hope and purpose.  And sometimes it really works.

We get a “do over” on January 1st.  Whether you do New Year’s Resolutions (who wants to fail again?) or not, there is something that changes with the calendar.

Now my problems don’t go away – my illness or job status or relational difficulties or even my weight.  My failures that led me into my predicaments don’t go away with the dropping of the ball in Times Square.  But, I get to start afresh in my attempts to deal with them.

How do we start fresh?  How do we seize this external opportunity when we know our internal reality?  How do we begin anew with the same old me?  Let me give you three simple thoughts.

1. “Behold, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone; the new has come. (II Corinthians 5:17)  Somehow that verse feels difficult to grasp every day (even though it is true everyday).  But once or twice a year, I get it.  God has forgiven me.  He really has wiped the slate clean on my sin.  I am not marked by my failures (even though there are still after-effects).  They don’t define me.  Even though my circumstances haven’t changed, I am a new man.  The Spirit has come to live in me.  His power is at my disposal, and I get a chance to lean into Him again, as one of His own.

2. My world is really the same as it was last year.  My circumstances carry over.  My track record is the same.  I still face the consequences of my failures last year.  I still have the same strengths and weaknesses to face them.  I live in the same world with the same name – and yet I am new.  I have resources that I haven’t figured out how to use.  Someone far bigger than me lives inside of me.  I have access to more power than I have used.  There is hope that I can be different and there is hope that He is with me.  Dare I hope for change?

3. Will I ask for courage and wisdom?  Courage is a needed, steady dose to swallow in order to believe that He really can change me and my world.  Courage is what I will need to hope – in Him and in the “new” me that He has made.  And wisdom is what I will need to do life differently.  Does that mean spending more time with God?  Working out?  Asking for help?  Somehow I have to take steps, often different ones, and I need wisdom and courage to take action.

.Palmer_Fresh pic 1 cropped
Happy New Year!  Or should I say “Hopeful New Year”?  He is alive.  You are new.  And you get a “do over” as a new person.  Here’s wishing you a fresh start with a fresh Spirit, and the courage to begin again!

 

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.Palmer Trice


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Palmer Trice is an ordained Presbyterian minister.  He is married to Lynne, has three children and has been in Charlotte since 1979. In his spare time, Palmer enjoys golf, tennis, walking and reading.
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