Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Praise God for His Mercy

I have been released from the doctor to go back to work Monday!!!! Everything is healing like it should and I can see at about 50% of what I could. Half of my vision is obscured by an air bubble so I can't read with my bifocals. I praise God for allowing me to heal as quickly. I am so thankful for my church family at Grace Baptist in Mt. Juliet who has provided meals for us. I am so thankful for my former congregation whom I was honored to serve as pastor for sending some money to help us out since I've been on leave without pay for about a week. I am so thankful for my wife and kids and how good they've been. I praise God for my mother in law who came up and stayed a week to help us out. I thank my God for Dr. Trent Wallace at Tennessee Retina who performed the surgery. God is awesome!!

I would like to share with you something that someone shared with me that was of great encouragement. No matter what you're going through, child of God, you can be sure that the God and Savior you serve is a faithful God and He will bring you through your trial.

Famine pinched all the nations, and it seemed inevitable that Jacob and his family should suffer great want; but the God of providence, who never forgets the objects of electing love, had stored a granary for his people by giving the Egyptians warning of the scarcity, and leading them to treasure up the grain of the years of plenty. Little did Jacob expect deliverance from Egypt, but there was the corn in store for him. Believer, though all things are apparently against thee, rest assured that God has made a reservation on thy behalf; in the roll of thy griefs there is a saving clause. Somehow he will deliver thee, and somewhere he will provide for thee. The quarter from which thy rescue shall arise may be a very unexpected one, but help will assuredly come in thine extremity, and thou shalt magnify the name of the Lord. If men do not feed thee, ravens shall; and if earth yield not wheat, heaven shall drop with manna.

Therefore be of good courage, and rest quietly in the Lord. God can make the sun rise in the west if he pleases, and make the source of distress the channel of delight. The corn in Egypt was all in the hands of the beloved Joseph; he opened or closed the granaries at will. And so the riches of providence are all in the absolute power of our Lord Jesus, who will dispense them liberally to his people. Joseph was abundantly ready to succour his own family; and Jesus is unceasing in his faithful care for his brethren. Our business is to go after the help which is provided for us: we must not sit still in despondency, but bestir ourselves. Prayer will bear us soon into the presence of our royal Brother: once before his throne we have only to ask and have: his stores are not exhausted; there is corn still: his heart is not hard, he will give the corn to us. Lord, forgive our unbelief, and this evening constrain us to draw largely from thy fullness and receive grace for grace.

Spurgeon, Charles H., Morning and Evening,

Best of: Sign Gifts?

When I was serving as the minister of music at Dutton Baptist Church, my wife and I were dealing with the fact that we had not been able to have a child. Obviously, this was a source of great emotional pain for us. Mother’s Day was particularly tough for my wife. On one particular Mother’s Day, my wife left the sanctuary upset. One of the ladies of the church followed her out to the bathroom and proceeded to tell her that God had told this woman that my wife would have a child by that time next year. Now, we were in a fairly orthodox Southern Baptist church, mind you. There was no pew jumping, snake handling, nor was there anyone saying “tiemybowtieuntiemybowtie” over and over. Needless to say, we were shocked. Neither one of us believed that God had “told” her that. It was quite upsetting to my wife which, as you can imagine, didn’t sit too well with me. The same time that next year we were at another church where I was serving as pastor and, lo and behold, we were still childless. It took every bit of self restraint that I had to not go to that woman and ask if she was prepared to own up to being a false prophet. Needless to say, I think there has been quite a bit of misunderstanding regarding supernatural sign gifts in church. I would like to offer some evidence that seems to indicate that miraculous sign gifts are no longer in operation in the church today.

First of all, I think it is important for us to recognize that the Bible lists three classifications of spiritual gifts in the New Testament. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul lists gifts that are speaking gifts such as teaching or exhortation, serving gifts such as mercy or helps, and miraculous sign gifts such as healings or speaking in tongues. All of these gifts, he says, are given by the same Holy Spirit to different believers for building up of the church.

However, scripture seems to teach that miraculous sign gifts, such as prophetic revelation and healings, were not normal for all Christians but were rather restricted to the apostles. For instance, in the book of 2 Corinthians 12:12, Paul writes “12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.” Further, the writer of Hebrews also observes in chapter 2 verses 3 and 4 “3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will”. It seems, then, that God used these miraculous signs to build up the church and confirm the message of the apostles. Paul speaks of the church being built in Ephesians 2:19-22 when he writes “19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints , and are of God's household,20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit”. These signs were given as authentication of the message given by these apostles.. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, “8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy , they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part;10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away”. The word translated “perfect” is the Greek word “teleios” (5046) which is used elsewhere in the New Testament to describe something as being complete or mature (Hebrews 5:11 and 1 Corinthians 14:20). When the canon of scripture was closed with the book of Revelation, that perfect thing that Paul spoke about was there—the Holy Bible.

The testimony of the early church also suggests that supernatural sign gifts have become inoperable. For instance, the early church recognized that the book of Revelation closed the canon of scripture and that no new revelation from God in the form of new books of the Bible was to be expected. Also, it is recorded that both John Chrysostom (347-407) and St. Augustine (354-430) indicated that the gifts had in fact passed from operation in the church. Augustine is quoted as having said “In the earliest time, the Holy Ghost fell upon them that believed, and they spoke with tongues which they had not learned as the Spirit gave them utterance….This thing was done for an authentication and passed away.” Further, there is no suggestion of a recognized prophet of God after the death of John the Apostle.

I would suspect that there are more than a few people who would disagree with me on this issue. I think that is a good thing and I do not intend to suggest that I have spoken the last word on the subject or that if you disagree with me you’re just plain wrong. The fact is, all of us, Calvinists and Armenians, cessationists and non- cessationists, are going to see that when we get to heaven we all misunderstood some things because we see through eyes clouded by sin. I suspect we’ll all have a good laugh about it around the wedding supper of the Lamb while we’re passing around the fried chicken and sweet tea.

In Christ

Monday, May 25, 2009

Two People Healed at Lakeland die.

It was inevitable. A false healing revival with overblown and unsubstatiated reports of healing can only lead to one thing for those who are desperate and looking for healing… death.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Best of-I Timothy and Double Honor

I’m a self professed geek. I ask questions that would cause most people to think “Why are you bothering to wonder about that?” I remember things that most people would find completely trivial (J.S. Bach was born in 1685 and died in 1750. Now you know.). I was reading something the other day by John MacArthur related to I Timothy 5:17 where he seemed to be making the point that “double honor” means double salary. There are Christians who believe that this means to literally pay an elder who rules well twice as much as other pastor’s make. I decided I wanted to investigate for myself and see if I could determine what the word honor meant in the verse in question.

First of all, the English word “honor” translates a Greek word “time” (5092). Strong’s dictionary defines it as follows: a value, that is, money paid, or (concretely and collectively) valuables; by analogy esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself. This word and its related word “timao” (5091) are used 58 times in the New Testament. Of those 58 times, forty-two times (72.41 % Oh, what do you expect, I am an accountant.) are about giving respect or reverence and have nothing to do with money. The remaining sixteen times (27.59%) the words are used in a way related to money or other material possessions. However, in the uses outside of I Timothy 5:17 there is no instance where these words are used to indicate that there was an ongoing payment of some sort being made. For instance, in Acts 4:34, the word is used to describe the money that is brought in by people after they sold possessions so that that money could be distributed among the poor. It’s pretty sure that they didn’t sell the possessions on some sort of payment plan and brought the monthly payment they received in and gave it to the apostles but rather they brought the lump sum proceeds from the sale. Therefore, it is not reasonable to conclude that the use of “honor” in the verse in I Timothy 5:17 means a salary.

Furthermore, the context of the verse seems to indicate otherwise. In verse 18 of this chapter, Paul makes two statements which are in scripture. He writes “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing” (Deu 25:4) and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” (see Luke 10:7 for a similar statement by our Lord). Since Paul uses these two statements to support his claim that elders who rule well are worthy of double honor we should assume they are intended to be parallel. People read the second statement about a worker and say “See, that proves Paul is talking about paying elders double salary.” However, let’s think through the first example Paul uses. An ox was given a regular meal. That ox did not depend on what he ate while he was working in the field as his primary source of food. So, as a friend of mine over at The Assembling of the Church writes, the point Paul is likely making is this: We wouldn’t prevent an ox from eating while it worked and we wouldn’t withhold wages from someone who has earned them. In the same way, we should not withhold double honor from an elder who is ruling well.

Is the honor Paul speaking of monetary? I would say probably although it does not have to be exclusively monetary. However, it does not appear, based on the evidence in the Bible, to mean that Paul is saying that their salary should be doubled. However, as believers we should show love to those elders who do work hard to teach the Bible and we should show that love in any ways that they Lord give us the opportunities. One of the most affirming folks at the church I was privileged to pastor would occasionally give me a $20 after the service during the season where he would sell his crops and tell me to treat myself and my wife to lunch. His kindness encouraged me. I exhort you to find ways to do the same to those who teach you the word.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

II Peter 2:3a Examining False Teachers

When professional athletes prepare for games, they study. They look at their opponents to determine their strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies. In doing so, they can determine how best to get ready so they have the best chance of victory. As Christians, we have a main adversary who roams about looking for a chance to devour us. Unfortunately, however, he has people who pretend to be Christians who are trying to help him out. As true believers in Jesus Christ, we must constantly be on guard for false teachers because of all the harm they can cause in the church.

First of all, Peter gives us insight in this verse as to why these false teachers do what they do. He says they are motivated by “greed”. This is exactly the opposite of the attitude of a child of God or rather the attitude we should have. To be greedy is to be in a state where you are never satisfied with anything. You’re like a black hole. You can’t get enough to satiate your hunger for “stuff”. The implication, then, is that you deserve more than what you’ve got—you have a sinful sense of entitlement. Generally, people who are greedy and who are in the ministry believe that the church owes them something and that something is usually a big, fat paycheck. They usually point to the verse in I Timothy about “double honor” as justification for their high compensation without taking into account the context of that scripture or the meaning of the word “honor” as it is used in the Bible. These people are motivated to fleece the sheep by a selfish, self-serving, greed that poisons their soul.

Secondly, observe with me how these false teachers go about their fleecing. Peter says their greed will motivate them to “exploit you”. To these men, ministry is a business. It is a capitalistic enterprise from which they, in their minds, should be able to create wealth for themselves and their families. To do that, they have to sell their congregants on their product. In fact, the word translated exploit (emporeuomai-1710) mean to travel about selling merchandise. You find these men telling people what they want to hear. Of course, word of faith preachers like Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland do just that sort of thing with their unbiblical prosperity theology. They use their false doctrine to tickle peoples ears or paint false hopes for them. In any case, these false teachers use doctrine as a raw material to build their economic kingdom.

Finally, Peter tells us what these teachers use to sell their goods. They use “false words” to exploit the sheep. The Greek word “plastos” (4112) is translated “false” in this verse and is the root of the word “plastic”. The word was used to describe the molding or fashioning of any soft substance (i.e. wax). In other words, they are using “plastic words” to deceive people. They distort the truth in order to deceive people and exploit them. Their doctrine, however, is flimsy and will not stand the test of time in contrast with true biblical doctrine from God’s word. They manufacture their own version of the truth and use it as a commodity, selling it to whoever will buy their poisonous garbage.

As Christians, we need to be discerning about those we allow to have influence in our lives. We should be constantly mindful that it only takes a little bit of false doctrine to ruin a whole bunch of true doctrine.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Surgery Time--Cut me, Mick!!

Well, I have scheduled this to post at the time my surgery is scheduled for Monday morning. I went to the dr. Friday and he found a small tear on the retina that cannot be repaired with laser so I'll be going to surgery Monday morning at 7:30 am. I'm going to be out for at least two weeks. Therefore, since that is my one good eye and I'm not going to be able to see out of it for a while, I won't be able to contine my exposition of Matthew or 2 Peter for a bit. I'm going to schedule some "Best of" posts so the blog won't be completely idle.

I would appreciate everyone's prayers for me and my family. Thanks.

God will be glorified.

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth .Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes will see and not another.
Job 19:25-27 (NASB)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Theological Rap??? Word up!!!

Ok, I'm not much of a fan of rap music. I mean, growing up in the 80's I kinda liked Young MC's "Bust a move" but it's not a genre I ever really got into. Going into the 90's through today where there were rappers extolling the virtues of killing police officers and calling women names which I won't repeat here I pretty well tuned all of it out. I didn't care to listen to any of it. Then, this week, I happened upon the work of a guy named Shai Linne from Philadelphia. I posted a video of one of his songs the other day.

I have been greatly encouraged by the two songs of his that I've listened to of his. First of all, this young man has more theological substance in his raps than everything Max Lucado, Beth Moore, and Rick Warren have ever written COMBINED. Secondly, while I'm not all that familiar with rap in my opinion he sounds like he's really good at performing it. The comments on the videos of his songs I've seen on Youtube seem to be from people much more knowledgeable about hip-hop than I am and they seem to think he's pretty good. I have been greatly encouraged and I would suggest you check this guy out. He has links to the lyrics of his raps on his blog. Great stuff!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Matthew 6:13 A New Heart=A New Desire

Several times a week, my wife and kids will come into town to have lunch with me at work. We often take and park the car at the Farmers Market on Rosa Parks Drive and eat our lunch there. Sometimes on the way back to the office, Patricia will ask me “Why don’t we just kidnap you and take you home?” I always reply “You can’t kidnap the willing”. It would not take a gun to my head for me to go home with them rather than back to work. However, I don’t think my boss would buy my story that I was kidnapped. In much the same way, even after we have been saved we live in flesh that still loves to sin. Left to our own devices we would get ourselves into nothing but trouble even though we desire to follow our Lord. Jesus demonstrates our need to pray for God’s help so that we can live our lives consistent with our faith.

In Matthew 6:13, Jesus gives both a negative and positive request that we should make to God the Father. First of all, in the negative sense, we should pray for where we do not want to go. Jesus says “Do not lead us into temptation”. Now the word temptation can be used not only of sin but also of any time of testing. God never tempts anyone to sin but He does send trials our way to refine us and test the genuineness of our faith. Obviously, since scripture is replete with encouragements to endure suffering and hardship we know Jesus can’t be telling us we should ask God to lead us away from those—especially since they are for our ultimate benefit. Therefore, He must be saying that we should ask God to help us avoid sin. While God never tempts someone to sin Satan certainly does. However, God always provides a way for us to escape (I Corinthians 10:13). Ultimately, though, our use of that escape route is dependant on our choosing to use it. We have to decide to deny our sinful desires, however attractive they might be, and choose to serve our Lord and Savior. We must have a new heart given to us by God to even make that choice. In fact, to even pray for God to help us overcome sin as we read here, there must first be a desire to serve God and honor Him. In many ways, it’s like the man who begged Jesus “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

Jesus also gives a positive request that we should make of God in our prayer. As much as some Christian denominations would like to portray otherwise, Satan is a powerful adversary. In fact, in 1 Peter he is portrayed as a roaring lion on the prowl for some bar-b-que Christian to much on. We are not empowered to defeat him—only Christ has done that. Martin Luther may have said it best in his hymn when he wrote “Did we in our own strength confide our striving would be losing. Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing.” Because Satan is the one who tempts us to sin in addition to asking God to help us overcome sin we should also pray that He will “deliver us from evil”. In the Greek, the word “evil” is proceeded by the definite article “the”. In other words, we’re not to pray for God to deliver us from just ANY evil but rather from THE evil—Satan. Satan cannot harm us spiritually once we’ve been save, we can’t lose our salvation. We can, however, become contaminated by sin and lose our effectiveness. We can damage our witness and bring reproach to the name of our Lord when we succumb to Satan’s snares. As we pray, we should remember that it is only by God’s strength that we can overcome sin and enjoy victory. Thankfully, we serve a God who is sovereign and in control of everything and we can be truly say “Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.”

Note: The doxology at the end of the prayer ("Yours is the kingdom...") in most modern translations of the Bible is bracketed with a footnote telling the reader that the phrase is lacking in most early Greek manuscripts. Now, if you’ve been following this blog for a while you know I’m not much of a textual scholar, but if you’re new to the blog let me just say “I’m not much of a textual scholar”. However, I am a geek so I’ve read some on the subject of textual variations in the New Testament manuscripts. My gut from what I’ve read is that the critical text based on the older manuscripts is probably closer to the original. However, other people have reached different conclusions and love the Lord as much as I do. If you’re interested, there are numerous books and websites on the subject. If you’re not, and I figure that would include most normal human beings, just rest assured that the textual variants account for probably less than 5% of the test, some are as simple as spelling differences, and I can’t think of one that affects any major doctrine of Christianity. The text we have is reliable due to the providence of Almighty God.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Definite Atonement+Rap Music=GREAT STUFF!!!

All I can say to this video is WOW!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

II Peter 2:1-2 DON’T Follow the Leader

I can remember as a musician I had numerous heroes. I was a saxophonist so I really looked up to guys like Coleman Hawkins, Braford Marsallis, and Cannonball Adderly. I loved Charlie Parker, too, but listening to him just made me throw my horn up against the wall and never pick the stinkin’ thing up again (it should have been against the law for him to be that good). Like many young musicians, I tried as best as I could with my extremely limited abilities to emulate those guys and their sound. Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. However, obviously following in the footsteps of a false teacher is dangerous. The bible tells us the consequences these people will suffer as a result of their rejection of the truth. Furthermore, we know that they are not the only ones who will suffer.

Peter tells us in the last part of verse 1 of this chapter that these false teachers will find out the truth behind the old saying “There is a payday someday”. You see, they may not be judged today where people can see it; but by rejecting the truth as revealed by God in holy scripture, they are “bringing destruction on themselves”. They have persistently and consistently turned a deaf ear to the call of God in the Bible to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ. Further, they have taught lies in place of truth and led people astray. Therefore, their “destruction” is self inflicted. One could say they almost asked for it. They will suffer the consequences of their sin by being forever separated from God in a place of torment. Make no mistake about it, they will be punished. But it’s not just them who will suffer.

I remember being in a Wendy’s restaurant after church for lunch with my wife one Sunday. In line ahead of us was a lady in her church clothes. It was pretty obvious where she’d been. Anyway, the boy behind the counter was fixing her chili—putting it in the little cup. He didn’t have the little plastic gloves on that he was supposed to wear. Well, this woman, how should I put this, went “ghetto” on him. I mean, she did everything but cuss the kid out. She was quite loud about it, too. Now, truth be told, he should have had the gloves on I guess. But how do you think her behavior reflected on the rest of us that had just gotten out of church? I wanted to ditch my button down shirt in the wastebasket so he wouldn’t think that I was anything like her. Peter says here that false teachers will have the same effect on the true church.

First of all, Peter says that “many will follow” these false teachers. You can see that lived out today if you turn on 95% of the television preachers today. Some of the largest crowds of people in churches are those sitting under false teaching. Further, you can hear some of these faithful congregants parrot the same heretical drivel as their teachers. “God never intended for any Christian to live in poverty or to be sick. If you’ve got faith enough you can overcome those things. ‘By His stripes we are healed’”. They follow the pattern set before them by these men who insist that living a life of indulgence is completely biblical. In other words, they live in excess or as Peter describes “sensuality” which means excess without restraint. The call for people to give til it hurts so that God will bless them materially and physically. However, time and time again it has been shown that these men are charlatans who twist the truth to deceive people.

Secondly, we see the result of these people following the false teachers. Peter writes “the way of truth will be maligned”. As the cowardly lion says “Ain’t it the truth”. People look at false teachers, be they prosperity gospel/word of faith people or folks like those at Westboro Baptist church, and assume that we who are true believers are like them just like that kid at Wendy’s might have because of the women who blessed him out because he scooped her chili without gloves. Try lovingly calling sinners to repentance in this day and age and I will guarantee you that you will be labeled a “bigot” or a “Fundamentalist” quicker than you can blink. That’s because the “way of truth” has been “maligned” due to the example of these nominal Christians. People associate us with the hypocrites and false teachers because of who those false teachers claim to follow.

Of course, we must continue to stand strong and preach the truth. We should be thankful to God for opening our ears and eyes so that we could hear and see the truth. Finally, we should pray for wisdom and strength as we share that truth with a lost, dying world that is totally antagonistic to the gospel and what it represents.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Matthew 6:12 & 14-15 God is our example

I am committed to verse by verse bible exposition. However, as I studied this section of scripture, I had a hard time separating verse 12 from verse 14 and 15. Now, that’s not to say that God made a mistake when He inspired Matthew to write these verses or that Matthew made a mistake and put t hem out of order. Rather, the trouble is more that I can’t seem to understand them apart from one another. As we look at these verses, we see that God shows us by example how we should deal with those who have wronged us. Because we like the servant in Matthew 18, have been forgiven of so much, we should be willing to forgive someone who’s debt to us is infinitesimal in comparison.

First of all, we notice in verse 12 a request made to God. Jesus tells us we should ask God to “forgive us our debts”. Now, the word debts in Greek means the same thing it does in English—to owe something to someone. Sin is, therefore, pictured in this verse as a debt, something that we owe God. Because all believers are justified before God positionally when they repent of their sins and place their faith in Christ, they stand before God righteous. However, practically all of us sin everyday. That sin removes fellowship with God, hinders our prayers, and is pictured as a debt here. We cannot experience the joy and peace of God without daily confession of our sins whether they are sins of omission or commission. We must go to God and implore His forgiveness when we sin. We need that debt removed from out account.

However, our forgiveness creates a responsibility for us to also be forgiving. Just as, in Matthew 18, the servant who was forgiven much would not forgive the one who owed him was punished, our unwillingness to forgive has consequences. In fact, Jesus says here that our forgiveness from God will be comparable to our forgiveness of those who have wronged us. Jesus says to pray that God will forgive us “as we forgive our debtors”. In other words, if we are praying to God for forgiveness for being unkind to someone and we have a grudge against someone who was unkind to us and have not forgiven them we should not expect to be absolved of our sin while we are withholding forgiveness from someone else. Our lack of willingness to forgive is a symptom that there is something wrong with our attitude. We are important enough that God should hear our pleas and equally important enough that we can ignore someone else as they plead for us to forgive them.

Jesus further clarifies this responsibility to forgive in verses 14 and 15. He doesn’t just imply that our unforgivness of others is a sin, He outright says so. Whether we forgive people determines whether God will forgive us when we come to Him for cleansing of our sin. Again, this is the daily forgiveness that we are to seek for our sins not the forgiveness being associated with being born again. However, I submit to you that if you are unwilling to forgive someone after having been forgiven yourself you have some serious spiritual issues that you need to get taken care of quickly—in fact, you may not be saved at all. Jesus uses the same word for sins in both verses. He calls them “transgressions”. In verse 12, sin is pictured as a debt to be paid. Here it is described as a metaphorical line that we have crossed. God has set the standard for righteousness and revealed that standard in the Bible or at bare minimum in our own conscience. We have all crossed that line. We’re all guilty of transgressing the commandments of God. He has positionally made us right with Him through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. However, even after being saved we still cross the line and sin. If we expect to have a right relationship with God and be forgiven when we need it, we must forgive others. To fail to do so impairs our relationship with God and our witness to the world.

Is this forgiveness a once for all act. In some ways yes and in some ways no, I think. I have forgiven people for things that they have done that I felt wronged me in the past. However, sometimes I still remember what they did. I can’t erase the memories. For that matter, I can’t erase the pain. So what I have to do is every time I remember that event or those words I choose again to forgive. I would love to say that I never remember what happened. However, I’m not going to lie. I can’t change what happened but I can choose to forgive because I have been forgiven.