Give Me That Mountain

The Back Story

The Law and Grace. Day nineteen...

Sherrel has a theory that Adam and Eve are probably under some kind of witness protection in Heaven. Of course she's just being funny, but how many times have you wondered what life would have been like if mankind hadn't been kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

As discussed yesterday, we all continue to suffer the consequences of that very first sin. And the idea that God would institute the death penalty for eating the wrong fruit doesn't seem to speak well of the love of God. At least those who oppose Him think that His love must be nothing more than His vengeance and His wrath at work against mankind.

in disguise

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Dealing with the Consequences through Grace

The Law and Grace. Day eighteen...

When an EF‐5 tornado blew a mile‐wide path of destruction through my hometown of Joplin on May 22, 2011, thousands of people were left with circumstances that were simply not their fault.

Of course, that is why we had insurance coverage. And the insurance companies quickly moved portable offices into the city to help process claims.

joplin tornado

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Without the Drama

The Law and Grace. Day seventeen...

I eat and exercise with one primary purpose in mind—to keep my body fit and healthy so it won't ever stop me (or even slow me down) from doing what I need to do. I cannot do what God has put me on this earth to do if I am consumed with trying to get a broken‐down body to function.

My work primarily involves speaking and writing, which only requires a body that will get me from one place to the other without complaining. But the work of some—professional athletes and models, for instance—requires a different level of performance from their bodies.

running shoes

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Running with Endurance

The Law and Grace. Day sixteen...

When I was in my late thirties I was assigned to teach a group of seniors in a Sunday school class. I had never spent much time with “old” people and didn't know how to relate to them.

I just figured certain subjects were taboo with seniors—like death, sickness, and anything else having anything to do with old age. But it was like trying to walk on eggshells to avoid any mention of these forbidden topics.

senior citizens

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The Importance of Family

The Law and Grace. Day fifteen...

The farmer who was our next door neighbor up until I was eight years old told a story on me back when I was little. Keep in mind, Dad's barns and his barns were close enough to each other that I felt like I had the run of the whole area.

One day Robert said he heard me screaming at the top of my lungs. My shouts came from the direction of his hog pens, and he was afraid one of his boar hogs had me down. When he found me he said that I was just hung up in the fence—nothing wrong other than having my britches caught in the wire.

hog pen

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More than Merely Human

The Law and Grace. Day fourteen...

“He seemed like such a nice person. I can't believe he did such a thing!” Oh, the predictable response, on the evening news, of the unwitting neighbor at the crime scene.

While you've probably never had any police tape surrounding your crime scene, do you sometimes wonder how a nice person like you could do such not‐so‐nice things?

crime scene

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Gift or Reward

The Law and Grace. Day thirteen...

I thought my class last week might throw me overboard when I said, “Nobody deserves God's grace.” From the responses on their faces, a list of all the good people who surely deserved God's grace apparently began to form in the minds of many. (I certainly heard what was on the minds of a few.)

But the idea that some people deserve God's grace necessarily means that other people don't. And this causes a big problem for those who want to move from living under the law to living in God's grace.

sailing ship

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New Name

The Law and Grace. Day twelve...

“I have a package here for a Berthold Becker at this address,” says the FedEx driver. “Would you verify the receipt of this package with your signature?”

“I would, except there is no one by that name at this address. Sorry, but my name is Burt Baker.”

fedex package

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Exposing what Matters

The Law and Grace. Day eleven...

How is childhood innocence regained? How can the wear and tear of the inexcusable things that have happened to us be somehow reversed?

The Samaritan woman that Jesus met at Jacob's well undoubtedly had some wear and tear from events in her past.

jacobs well

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Innocence Redeemed

The Law and Grace. Day ten...

Children should be free to live as long as possible in innocence. Like Adam and Eve before the “fall,” children should not have to live with an awareness of good or evil; they should just be able to live.

Jesus refers to this childhood innocence as a critical component in the kingdom of heaven:

innocence

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