Imprisoned In Liberty?
Robert was so strong that I once saw him pick up and carry a refrigerator up stairs by himself. His strength plus his integrity landed him a job as a guard at a maximum-security correctional facility in a town called "Liberty."
The prison's inmates must wince at the irony of that name. As men and women carelessly walk down Liberty's streets, the cons must watch, trying to imagine what it would be like for cell doors to swing open, security gates to slide back, and tower guards to hold their fire. Liberty! How that name must taunt and torment their souls!
The Apostle Paul had known prison. I don't mean the jails of Philippi, Caesarea, or Rome, but the mental dungeon his guilty conscience had constructed when he realized that the Messiah--the focus of his deepest lifelong yearnings--had become the victim of his frenzied, misdirected zeal.
Then a man came, offering liberty and revealing divine plans for him to testify of the Messiah to kings. The man had given sight to blinded eyes and offered cleansing of sins in the waters of baptism. The chains had dropped away, and the prison gates had swung open (see the Book of Acts, chapters 9, 22, and 26).
Later this freed prisoner wrote to other ex-cons: "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another in love" (Galatians 5:13). Even today some who would be released from sin wonder if their new life in Christ might be merely a new confinement. Will they be set free only to be imprisoned in liberty?
Have no fear: since Christ has set me free from the chains of sin and death, I willingly submit to Him. I want to lock the door against temptation. I enjoy the security fence around my wayward heart. I know that I am my own warden, guard, and chaplain. I can walk out any time I want, but I don't wantto. Why should I? I am not imprisoned; I enjoy protective custody from all that would invade, recapture me, and throw me into that dungeon once again. Liberty is my new home, and I like it here.
Steve Singleton has written and edited several books and numerous articles on subjects of interest to Bible students. He has taught Greek, Bible, and religious studies courses Bible college, university, and adult education programs. He has taught seminars and workshops in 11 states and the Caribbean.
Go to his DeeperStudy.org for Bible study resources, no matter what your level of expertise. Explore "The Shallows," plumb "The Depths," or use the well-organized "Study Links" for original sources in English translation. Sign up for Steve's free "DeeperStudy Newsletter."
One Night Stand
Direct Answers - Column for the week of February 24, 2003
Relax. Its Just Your Life
What am I supposed to do with my life? Shouldn't I be doing something...well...more?
Why Self Esteem Matters
A number of years ago I worked for one of the UK's top IT companies -- a global player. We were meeting to discuss a major bid, and the room was filled with people who didn't meet often -- the most senior managers from a number of divisions. There were very few middle tier managers in the room, almost exclusively senior managers who were accustomed to being 'top dog'. The atmosphere in that room was almost tangible. I wanted to bottle the air and analyse it later -- I had never experienced such naked power, and it dawned on me in that moment that we are almost blind to the status signals we transmit.
Once in a Lifetime
A subscriber recently wrote to me and asked me to consider this common phrase ? Once in a lifetime.
To every life, there is a purpose; a purpose of will and a purpose of choice. A choice to make the right or wrong decisions and the will to act on the choices made.
A second on your lips forever on your hips never happens with virtual chocolate.
Self Help When Youre In Debt
It's no fun being in debt.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of March 24, 2003
I call myself semi-retired. I work at a job that takes up 5 hours of my day, 5 days a week. I go home and I lock myself in my office and I work on the computer for 5-6 hours a day. I try and break up my routine by doing household chores in between times when I become brain dead. On the weekend I go out for breakfast and cruise the mall, check out some book stores and go shopping.
Inspirations: Some Other Things Ive Noticed Along the Way So Far
Some people live in and talk about the past so much it's as if they are "planning for the past."
How to Use the Ebb and Flow of Life to Your Advantage
Are you overwhelmed with so many activities you don't know where to start?
Do You Feel Headed For Shipwreck?
The ocean liner Achille Lauro sailed perpetually under a dark cloud. In 1953 it collided with another ship. In 1975 it rammed a Lebanese vessel, killing four people. In 1981 it suffered a fire that claimed two lives. In 1985, Palestinian terrorists grabbed world headlines by seizing the ship, slaying passenger Leon Klinghoffer, and dumping him and his wheelchair overboard. In December of 1994, off Somalia, a fire broke out in the engine room, forcing all 1,000 aboard to abandon ship. Two days later, the Achille Lauro sank to the bottom of the Indian Ocean.
Create Your Own Self Esteem - Part 2
The good part of this story is that there is now hope to end and effectively reverse the effects of all negative emotions that we individually and collectively experience in our lives. Now we come back to the word reversal I spoke about earlier. The process of choosing to end and to reverse the effects of negative emotions is what I call having Esteem for the Self! By this I mean that as you engage the contents of this book from a sincere and real desire to accept what it has to offer you are choosing to "love" your Self. And loving the Self is really the same as having the highest form of Esteem for the Self, which is You.
Why Not Reinvent The Wheel?
"Why go and reinvent the wheel?" It's a question that's been around for centuries; right? Here's a better question: Why not reinvent the wheel? As a Peak Performance Coach, I do a lot of personal development trainings for adults and children, alike. I love kids! They don't think like us adults. Kids are just so incredibly and infectiously optimistic. And, they are absolute Masters of embracing, "what could be."
Lessons Learned Hard
Many of us seek consolation in the words of Frank Sinatra, "I did it my way." I say many of us because I feel this trap has snared more than just me. Oh, it is a trap, alright, a way to defend our defiance, combat accountability, and excuse our own stupidity.
Beyond the River: Kabbalahs Guidance for Our Times
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move ourselves in the opposite direction."
Are YOU Ready for Bonza Bottler Day?
BONZA BOTTLER DAY is any day when the date and the month have the same number. Bonza, I'm told, means "excellent" or "really great" in Australian, and there's some suggestion that "bottler" means the same.
Your Turn On The Holodeck
Good morning Roy, good morning Joseth.
Don?t Give Up!
Don't let anyone kid you. The road to self improvement and personal growth is not a short, straight, well-marked, paved highway. Looking back on my journey, I see a road meandering over hills and through valleys, around sharp curves and over muddy trails, with occasional boulders blocking my way. I can remember taking detours that took me off the beaten path and on to cow paths that wandered seemingly forever through the puckerbrush. It's been a long interesting journey.
Increase Awareness With One Simple Question
There are many ways we can increase our own personalawareness about our life and what we want to make out of it.Yet, we seldom ask the question, "Why am I doing this?" Byconsciously becoming more aware of what we do and why, wecan then make phenomenal changes. Usually in leaps andbounds. This includes losing weight, being happier, workingin a job we love, and all the rest of the things that mostof chase.
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