Tag Archives: Law

Things to Do In 2019: More Mercy, Compassion, and Grace

I Broke the Law

Oh, I know what you’re probably thinking. Being that I am a Christian, a preacher, and “the recovering legalist,” by breaking the law you think I’m referring to something of a spiritual or biblical nature, like eating pork, or smoking a cigar.

No, I literally broke the law! Like as in a statute recorded in a City Hall – the kind for which a police officer can arrest someone.

What did I do?

Well, this morning I drove my daughter Katie to where she is student teaching in Dayton, Tennessee. She directed me off the main highway and through a part of the town where I rarely visited.

As I came to a 4-way intersection, I looked all over for a stop sign, then up for a traffic light, but I saw nothing (which I thought was odd), so I proceeded cautiously, looking to my left, then right.

That’s when I saw the bright red light. I had just run a red light! I’m a professional driver – I don’t do that kind of thing!

And when you’re in a little 2-horse town, that’s NOT a good thing to do, especially when there’s a budget crunch!

So, why didn’t I see the light? It wasn’t where I expected it to be – nowhere close. It was on the other side of the intersection, about 6-ft off the ground. I just didn’t see it until I crossed the intersection and there it was on my right, shining at me through the passenger-side window.

Breaking Our Laws

Thankfully, there was not a police car anywhere close. I can only hope there were no traffic cameras, or else I’m going to have to pay a fine, for I did, in fact, break a law, and ignorance is no excuse.

But how often do people break OUR laws? And by that I mean the kind of regulations and legalistic standards we all have; the kind that lead us to judge others’ spirituality based on how they dress, the tattoos on their face, or what’s in their glass at the restaurant.

Even when our standards of conduct and demeanor are biblically justified, what if the other person just missed the light at the intersection? What if they never read that verse?

When you have the time, I would encourage you to read or re-read the whole chapter of Romans 14.

If the truth be known, much of the time we find ourselves judging others based on OUR laws and regulations, not the ones the Lawgiver has written. So, in reality, who are we to hold them accountable? It’s not our job.

Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. – Romans 14:4 ESV

This year I want to criticize less, be less judgmental, and show a little more mercy, compassion, and grace.

I know that’s what I would have wanted when I ran that red light.

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Filed under Christian Maturity, Christianity, Do not judge, grace, legalism

Bug Spray Warning!

A Reasonable Idea

There is a suggestion floating around the internet on places like Facebook, Twitter, etc. The suggestion is to get yourself a big can of wasp & hornet spray (a pesticide) for protection – not from bug, but from criminals.

wasp sprayYou see, it is getting more and more difficult for honest, law-abiding citizens to own and carry firearms. On the other hand, criminals are becoming anything but more friendly. Therefore, some are suggesting that using a can of wasp spray is a good alternative to a gun. Here’s an example from a post on Facebook…

[Wasp spray] can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate [than pepper spray], while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. [A church secretary] keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn’t attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection.

A Legal Problem

Having an inexpensive form of self-defense sounds all fine and dandy, especially if you are the type who either cannot or won’t own a firearm. The only problem with using a can of bug spray is that it would be illegal. Yes, illegal.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why would I worry about using a can of bug spray on an attacker trying to harm me or take my life?” In a normal universe, it would seem perfectly acceptable to use anything at your disposal to defend your life, correct? Well, we don’t live in a world ruled by common sense, but by lawyers.

If you were casually walking through your house one day, and a burglar broke in and chased you through the garage, and you picked up the first thing handy, a can of bug spray, and shot him in the face, you might be OK. On the other hand, if you have a can sitting on your desk, or beside your bed, or in your purse, then you could get in real trouble.

bug sprayTake a look at the highlighted portion of the picture. There you will read the following: It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” As any trained pest control technician would tell you, the label is the law.”

So, if you are ever forced to use your bug spray on an attacker, bear this in mind: a good defense attorney will have your skin for the premeditated illegal use of a potentially deadly substance. If your attacker is harmed in any way, don’t think for a moment that a sleazeball lawyer won’t take advantage of you “violating Federal law.” Your attacker may even get off without jail time, all because you hurt his feelings with anything but a double-barrel shotgun.

Law and Grace

When the law is all there is, legalists will seize any opportunity. There will always be someone willing to twist the law to his (or his client’s) own advantage.

Paul told Timothy, “we know that the law [is] good, if a man use it lawfully” (1 Timothy 1:8). Unfortunately, in this day and age, there are those who don’t always use the law for good, but for gain. Therefore, be careful.

Thank God for grace.

My advice…get a Glock or shotgun.

7 Comments

Filed under America, General Observations, legalism

Bug Spray Warning

A Reasonable Idea

There is a suggestion floating around the internet on places like Facebook, Twitter, etc. The suggestion is to get yourself a big can of wasp & hornet spray (a pesticide) for protection – not from bug, but from criminals.

wasp sprayYou see, it is getting more and more difficult for honest, law-abiding citizens to own and carry firearms. On the other hand, criminals are becoming anything but more friendly. Therefore, some are suggesting that using a can of wasp spray is a good alternative to a gun. Here’s an example from a post on Facebook…

[Wasp spray] can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate [than pepper spray], while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. [A church secretary] keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn’t attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection.

A Legal Problem

Having an inexpensive form of self-defense sounds all fine and dandy, especially if you are the type who either cannot or won’t own a firearm. The only problem with using a can of bug spray is that it would be illegal. Yes, illegal.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why would I worry about using a can of bug spray on an attacker trying to harm me or take my life?” In a normal universe, it would seem perfectly acceptable to use anything at your disposal to defend your life, correct? Well, we don’t live in a world ruled by common sense, but by lawyers.

If you were casually walking through your house one day, and a burglar broke in and chased you through the garage, and you picked up the first thing handy, a can of bug spray, and shot him in the face, you might be OK. On the other hand, if you have a can sitting on your desk, or beside your bed, or in your purse, then you could get in real trouble.

bug sprayTake a look at the highlighted portion of the picture. There you will read the following: “It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” As any trained pest control technician would tell you, “the label is the law.”

So, if you are ever forced to use your bug spray on an attacker, bear this in mind: a good defense attorney will have your skin for the premeditated illegal use of a potentially deadly substance. If your attacker is harmed in any way, don’t think for a moment that a sleazeball lawyer won’t take advantage of you “violating Federal law.” Your attacker may even get off without jail time, all because you hurt his feelings with anything but a double-barrel shotgun.

Law and Grace

When the law is all there is, legalists will seize any opportunity. There will always be someone willing to twist the law to his (or his client’s) own advantage.

Paul told Timothy, “we know that the law [is] good, if a man use it lawfully” (1 Timothy 1:8). Unfortunately, in this day and age, there are those who don’t always use the law for good, but for gain. Therefore, be careful.

Thank God for grace.

6 Comments

Filed under America, General Observations, legalism

Legalism and Responsibility in the Light of a Tragedy

Legalism Revisited

Legalism is more than a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s a way of thinking.

Legalism assumes that rules and regulations – laws – can make all the difference in the world, alleviating the fear of what happens when people are accountable for themselves. It is commonly assumed that with more laws in place people will get into less trouble. The problem is that even if a man had a rule and regulation for every area of life, he would still be responsible for his own actions.

Therefore, when someone acts responsibly in an atmosphere of loose regulation, he not only shows maturity and wisdom, but lives can be saved. Sadly, legalism and a lack of personal responsibility are at the heart of today’s story.

A Horrible Tragedy

On October 17 a tragedy took place. It was the kind of tragedy that should pull at the heart strings of every human being. An Egyptian school bus carrying approximately 60 children was hit by a train. Most of the children, ages 4-8, and two adults were killed instantly.

News reports seem to have place the blame on many people, ranging from the sleeping crossing guard to the head of the railway. News agencies from around the world keep mentioning how poor the safety records are in Egypt, each pointing out the need for more laws and greater reform.

But what saddens me is that not one news story that I have read held the bus driver responsible. In my opinion, that is where the real responsibility lay.

Speaking from Experience

As a professional school bus driver I can testify that America has plenty of laws in place regarding school bus safety, especially regarding railway crossings. But no amount of laws can make a driver stop at every railroad crossing, look in both directions at least twice, and open both doors and windows to listen for any sound of an approaching train. Even with all the laws that are in place, there are still accidents. It is always, always the responsibility of the driver to watch for danger.

Even if everyone in the country of Egypt had neglected their duties, the driver of the doomed school bus should have never crossed those tracks, whether there were working signals, or not. Flashing lights and crossing arms fail. The bus driver should have never crossed a track without being positive a train was not approaching.

It is possible that the driver saw the train and assumed that it was a safe distance away. It is possible that, when he saw no crossing arms down, he assumed the train was going slowly, if not stopped. The laws may have permitted the driver to cross the tracks if he thought the train was a safe distance away. The problem is that the speed of an approaching train is nearly impossible to determine. If he saw the train, he should have never crossed the tracks.

A Better Law

In my opinion, the buck stops with the driver. He (or she) was the one ultimately responsible for the safety of his priceless cargo. He made the decision to unwisely cross the track, despite any law that may or may not have been in place, and he paid the price.

Legalism sets up laws for us to follow. It does it’s best to guard us against every foreseeable circumstance. But no law can replace responsibility. No law can guide us better than a pure conscience. No written law, however well-intentioned, can replace the law of God written on the heart transformed by the Spirit (Ps. 40:8; Jer. 31:33; Rom. 8:3-5).

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Filed under Christian Maturity, current events, legalism, Uncategorized

Forbidden Food

Breaking the Law

Just because I am a recovering legalist, that does not mean that I advocate breaking the law. The law is there for a reason…which is a whole other theological issue.

But when it comes to laws around the house, especially ones which my wife makes without letting me have a say, anything is up for grabs. The law that says I can’t steal a box of Nilla wafers because she was planning to use them in a banana pudding is absolutely crazy. Who does she think she is?

So, what you will see in this post are actual photographs of a crime in progress. In order to show you one of my favorite foods, I had to break the law.

Nilla Wafers & Peanut Butter

Yesterday, I talked about comfort food. Well, this is another comfort food…at least for me. And it is more than a comfort – it is a thrill.

I like peanut butter. I also like Nilla (pronounced like “vanilla,” but without the “va”) wafers. But when you put them both together you get something akin to a drug. But this drug is not available on the street; it has to be dug out of hiding places around my house.

You see, my wife makes some awesome banana pudding (that’s another post), so she need these wafers. And because she knows that I really like putting peanut butter on them, she thinks she can hide them until she needs them.

Not always, dear.

How They’re Made

What you do is take a box of wafers, open it up, and pour out a random amount into a plate (and let’s get this straight, if they are not Nabisco brand Nilla wafers, they are nasty). Next, you count them. But, there has to be an even number, because you need two to sandwich the peanut butter. It’s not an obsessive-compulsive thing.

Once you have determined that you have an even number, you take a clean knife (obviously) and spread any kind of peanut butter (unless it’s that generic toxic waste stuff) on one wafer. Make sure there is enough, too. Because what you want is enough to squeeze out around the sides when you press the two together. That’s the part you lick off (but I won’t show you that part).

There is also another reason for having an even number. Having an odd number will only make you want to go back for more. When I do, that is when my wife catches me.

Busted

As I was writing this post, my wife walked in the front door. Then, as she came by me sitting at the computer, I handed the box of crispy wafers to her – smiling. She smiled back with an understanding look…like she perfectly understands how she is going to remind me of the “law.”

Thankfully, she’s forgiving. Unfortunately, no banana pudding tonight.

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Filed under Food, Humor

Need a Lawyer?

Commercials

How many advertisements have you seen for lawyers, lately? A lot? Me too! They’re everywhere!

One of my favorites went something like this:

“Have you been inconvenienced by an unfortunate misunderstanding? Do you feel like the law was written for others, while you were left uninformed? Do you need to prove you’re really not the person the news paper says you are? Call Happy, Tayka, and Moola, today! We believe YOU!”

Then, there are all the adds that try to make you think you’re dying because of some medicine you’ve taken in the last 20 years:

“Have you taken any form of medication after eating a peanut butter sandwich? Well, you’re not alone! Thousands of others, just like you, have taken medication after eating a peanut butter sandwich and have gotten ill, even died! Have you gotten ill? Do you feel like someone should pay? Call the Bludsucher Law Firm, today! You could be entitled to millions in damages! Call today!”

The Real Deal

More than likely you know the difference between a legitimate lawyer, and one that promises you the moon. True professionals make few promises, even if they believe in your case. A good lawyer will be honest with you, never promising a guaranteed win. No attorney wins every case – except Jesus.

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.” – 1Jo 2:1-2 KJV

Our Advocate

Those who trust in Jesus have the greatest defense attorney in the universe. He never loses a case. And when push comes to shove; when all the evidence is stacked against us; when the Accuser says “he’s as guilty as sin,” our Advocate looks to the Judge and says, “I’ve already paid the penalty with my life.”

Case dismissed!” And the sound of the gavel sounds eerily like a hammer hitting a nail.

Call on Jesus before the trial. He’s waiting. (Hebrews 9:27; John 3:16; Romans 10:13)

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Filed under God, salvation, Uncategorized