Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Vandalized Stop Sign

"My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you."  John 15:12

I'm pretty sure it's against the law to vandalize a stop sign.  But I noticed the spray paint job someone did on the sign in our neighborhood and thought to myself, "Well, that is a good point!".  The sign's message, with a little help, was simple, yet powerful:  "Stop Hatin'"

There really is a lot of hate in our world, isn't there?!  It manifests itself in cruelty, bitterness, prejudice, and abuse.  And it seems to pop up its head about anywhere we look.

In the Bible, we learn that these are the two most important things we can do:  Love God and love people.  (To read the scripture that teaches this, just click HERE .)

The vandalized stop sign is right.  We must stop the hate that hurts our world.  It's time for love to prevail!  And we who have a relationship with the loving God of the universe must lead the way.  God is love, and He enables us to love others the way we should.  So let's fill the world with that amazing love that comes from above. 

We can disagree with people and still be loving.  We can hold people accountable and still be loving.  Love does not mean we will see eye to eye on everything or we can allow everyone to do whatever they want without any consequences.  That's not the point at all.   Loving people means we see the value of people because they are creations of God, and we treat them right.  It further means we deal with others how we would want them to deal with us.

Let's allow God to help us love the way we should today.  This world is stuffed full of hurting, lonely people.  So it's up to you and me to love them how God loves us.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tempted To Slam The Brakes

In order to protect this guy, I am going to call him "Frank" as I share with you this true story.

"Frank" was riding down the road when he noticed the green motorcycle in his rear view mirror.  The guy riding the green motorcycle had caused a lot of family problems for "Frank" and had made life miserable.  "Frank" was filled with anger as he reflected on the stresses he had endured lately, and he realized he had the ability to make the other guy pay for what he had done.  "Frank" saw that the green motorcycle was following his truck closely, and if he suddenly slammed on his truck's brakes, the green motorcycle guy would end up crashing and getting seriously hurt.  "Frank" thought for a moment about doing it.  After all, the green motorcycle guy had been a major pain that was tearing up his family.  But "Frank" was a Christian.  And he knew that was not right.  So "Frank" put the thought out of his head, chose not to hurt his enemy, pushed down on the accelerator, and left the green motorcycle guy behind.

My friend chose wisely.  I admire him for what he did.  That required tremendous restraint on his part.  And that was exactly what God wanted him to do.

See, Romans 12:19 tells us, "Do not take revenge my dear friends but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay' says The Lord".  That means we need to trust God to handle people who do us wrong rather than taking matters into our own hands.  Yes, we sure ought to speak up on our own behalf and protect ourselves.  No, we are not to be doormats for others.  But we are to stay out of the way and let God judge and deal with problem people.  That is His job.  Not ours.

People do us wrong at times.  Unfortunately, it happens.  Our job is to forgive them, with divine help from above.  Then we are to trust in God to handle the rest.  He is The One who settles the score when it is all said and done.

Revenge is not the answer.  When we take matters into our own hands, we are simply stooping to their low level and joining them in their filth.  Let's rise above that.  Let's forgive and move on.  And let's trust God to do His job as the Judge of all mankind.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

On Our 21st Wedding Anniversary

Today is a special day for Lara and me.  It's our 21st wedding anniversary.  So, with that in mind, here are some of the things we have learned along the way about marriage...

* It helps to have a good friendship.  We enjoy being with each other and having fun.  When we're taking walks, watching movies, enjoying ball games, or eating meals, we're just happy to be in each other's company.  Lara is the best friend I have.

* It important to be forgiving.  At times we have let each other down.  Neither of us is perfect; therefore our marriage is not perfect.  But we have learned to forgive each other and not get bitter.  Holding a grudge paralyzes a relationship.  So we deal with disappointments we sometimes have with each other and then leave them in the past.  Our saying is "Cut it loose, set it free, and let it go."

*  It is vital to communicate.  We've learned to talk and be real about what we're thinking and how we're feeling.  Just like a plant needs to be soaked with water, a marriage needs to be soaked with communication.  I've realized the more we talk with each other, the better things get.

*  It takes work.  Marriage is not always easy.  But we've learned that our relationship is worth investing the required time and effort to keep things right.  Good marriages don't just magically happen.  They require work.  

*  It is essential to have God at the center.  God is loving, so He helps us love each other.  God is forgiving, so He helps us forgive each other.  God is all-knowing and all-powerful, so He is worthy of our trust and obedience.  The Lord can make ANY marriage right and healthy, so we've learned to work and do our part while trusting Him to bless, guide, and do His part.

I love my wife!  And she loves me.  We're happy to reach number 21, and we're expecting a happy future together. 

May God bless your marriage and ours!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Blessing Or A Burden

Yesterday I preached a funeral sermon for a man who recently died here in our community.  During the sermon, I told about how he was very talented at tutoring kids who are struggling academically in school.  In particular, I described how he began working with a little girl who was failing her classes.  This man invested time with her and helped her get a grasp on the subjects.  At the end of the school year, she was on the honor roll!  He had taken the time to change her study habits, confidence, and life.  What a great way for that man to be remembered.

As I sit here this morning reflecting on that inspiring story, I realize this:  Each of us is either a blessing or a burden to other people.

Either we lift people up or we tear people down.
Either we enable people to succeed or we discourage them to quit.
Either we make people's life a joy or we make their life a pain.

I've learned that we do affect other people way more than we realize.  It's impossible to have no affect on others.  Either we make their lives better or worse.  The choice is up to us.

One day our time on this Earth will come to an end.  When that happens, how will we be remembered?  Will people say we were a blessing to others or a burden?

May God empower us to be a blessing to everyone we encounter today.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The New Ball Field

When we lived in Sebring, Florida, my son and I played football together in our small back yard on a regular basis.  We always had a great time together.  I loved throwing him passes as he raced around the yard.

After moving to Sumter, South Carolina a couple of days ago, I told my 9 year old boy that I wanted to show him something.  Then I drove him to a local middle school that has a football field with a clay track around it.  The gate was open, as usual, and people were walking around the track.  Then my boy and I walked onto the field.  I looked at him and said, "From now on, THIS is where you and I will play ball!".  Emerson's eyes lit up, a smile the size of Texas appeared on his face, and he said. "Wow, Dad!  This is just the best ever!".

He had never stepped foot on an actual football field before.  This was totally new for him.  He could not believe it.

As the sun was beginning to set, I threw him passes.  He even kicked a few field goals, which he had never had a chance to try before.  It was without a doubt the most fun we've had in a long time.  I just enjoyed seeing him so happy.  Of course that night he told my wife and daughters all about it with great excitement.

That has me thinking...

When he entered that football field, he was blown away.  He experienced a freedom and thrill he had never encountered before.  It was unlike anything he had ever been a part of.

I bet when we enter Heaven, we will be blown away.  We will experience a freedom and thrill we have never encountered before.  It will be unlike anything we have ever been a part of.

It just makes me wonder:  Upon walking into Heaven, we most likely will see colors, hear sounds, and feel sensations that we never imagined were possible.  It will be a new kind of existence that far exceeds anything we experience here on Earth.

Maybe entering Heaven will be like a baby being born.  All that baby has known is the dark, warm, cozy womb of his mother.  But then, he is born into a strange new world of lights, sounds, temperatures, and smiling faces looking at him.  Perhaps a little overwhelming at first.  But also amazing and thrilling too.

Much like the new ball field is far greater than our old back yard, Heaven is going to be something far greater than Earth.  It is going to be a brand new experience for us, in a wonderful way.  And because of The Lord Jesus Christ, we will get to enjoy it for all of eternity.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Can't Turn It Off

I was driving down the road with my sweet Rachel and one of her friends.  Accidentally I brushed up against a switch and turned on my rear windshield wiper.  It surprised me because I never use the rear wiper.  And it frustrated me because I could not figure out how to turn it off.  For a few miles I was pushing buttons and messing with controls to stop the wiper.  Rachel and the other little girl got a good laugh at me over it.  Finally, after a while, I found the right button and brought it to a halt.

It was hard to figure out how to turn the wiper off.

Do you know what is even harder to turn off?  God's amazing love for you and me.  It's just mighty tough to turn His heart away from us.  And that, my friend, is an awesome thing!

I love these words of Paul from Romans 8:38-39 - "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Amen to that scripture!  There's no better way to phrase it than that.

God loves you and me.  He always has.  He always will.  And there's just nothing you or I can do to stop that.  Nothing.  It's just who He is and what He does.

I'm glad I could turn off the back and forth motion of the rear windshield wiper.

But I can promise you I never want to turn off God's love, even if I could.  It's the greatest treasure I've ever received.  My desire is to enjoy it for all of eternity.

Smile!  You are a recipient of God's amazing, deep, everlasting love.  And nothing or no one will ever turn it off.  So enjoy it, and just love Him back.  It'll be the most satisfying, life-changing relationship you ever experience.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Never Forget

Steven is a good guy who lives here in Sebring.  Yesterday, he invited me to meet him for lunch today.  It sounded great to me, so I agreed.  This morning I was getting ready to go meet him when I got a text.  It was from Steven.  He was wondering if we were still on for lunch.  Then it occurred to me:  I forgot we were meeting at 11:30.  And it was 11:40!  I was thinking lunch was at noon, but his text reminded me we had agreed on 11:30.  Quickly, I apologized and told him I would be there in just a few minutes.  I felt bad that I forgot the time we were scheduled to meet.  But when I arrived, he laughed it off and was a good sport about the whole thing.  We still ate a delicious lunch and enjoyed a great visit.

Sometimes we forget things.

This reminds me of what was written to a church in Revelation 2:4.  It was here that Jesus stated, "I have this against you, that you have left your first love".  What was supposed to be their first love?  Well, GOD was supposed to be what they treasured, adored, and loved more than anything or anyone.  They had forgotten what their top priority should be.  In the next verse, Jesus said, "Consider how far you have fallen!  Repent and do the things you did at first".  He was reminding those forgetful Christians to remember how God used to be number one in their lives, make a change in their hearts and minds, and get back to making time for that all important relationship with God.

I won't beat up on the Ephesian church.  At times, I too have forgotten my first love, which should have been The Lord.  It can happen if I'm not careful.

Let's always remember what time we are supposed to meet our buddies for lunch.

But even more so, let's always remember to love God first and foremost.  He is to be that which is most important in our lives.  We must be more devoted to Him more than we are to anyone or anything else.

If our priorities have been a little out of whack, God will forgive us if we confess it to Him and repent.  Also, He can gently help us get our priorities back in order.  Like a loving Father, He will help His children when we go to Him for help in getting our heart and mind back in the right condition.

Let's never forget!  God comes first.  He deserves to be number one in our lives.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Jamie Greening's Novel "The Little Girl Waits"

Are you looking for a top-notch mystery novel to read?  If you are, then check out "The Little Girl Waits" by Jamie Greening.  Trust me:  You'll be more than glad you did!

The plot revolves around a little girl, Tamara, who gets kidnapped outside of Seattle by guys who specialize in selling children. Yes, it's about human trafficking.  A pastor, Butch Gregory, feels compelled to take a leave of absence from his church to go find and rescue her.  Alliances are formed, a search is launched, and an unforgettable story unfolds.

I loved reading this book!  Never having read anything about the all too relevant problem of human trafficking, I was fascinated to get a glimpse into a world many of us choose to never think about.  So the story line definitely held my attention.  Also, Jamie Greening's writing style just clicked with me.  All I can say is it moved me in many ways.

Jamie used to be a Southern Baptist pastor on the West Coast.  Now he's a full-time writer living in Texas.  I met him in Birmimgham, Alabama in 2005 and instantly connected with him.  He's a great Christian guy who is well-read, insightful, funny, caring, and an amazing story teller.

I encourage you to get this book as soon as you can.  It's not expensive, under 200 pages, and easy to read.  Even if you're not a big reader, you'll start this story and not want to put it down until you see what happens with a little girl who needs rescuing and a man who risks everything in the attempt to save her. 

To visit the website dedicated to Jamie's book and learn how you can order it, go to .

To visit Jamie's blog, which is updated regularly and a favorite of mine, go to .  

To follow him on Twitter, go to . 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Uncle Dave's Bob Dylan CD

My youngest brother, Wyman, is a big fan of Bob Dylan's music.  His collection of tunes is really quite impressive! If you want to know anything about this musical icon, just ask Wym.

I, on the other hand, never really got that into Dylan earlier in my life.  I didn't have any specific problems or hang-ups with him at all.  He was just not a singer I ever though much about.

But one day I received a package in the mail from Wyman.  I opened it up and found a cd inside.  It turned out that my good brother actually put together a collection of Dylan's best songs.

On the cd was a picture of Bob Dylan and this message:  "Uncle Dave's One And Only Bob Dylan CD With Songs Lovingly Selected By His Brother Wyman Lewis Richardson From Various Bob Dylan CD's, January 2005".  What an awesome surprise and gift that was!  And after listening to it, I grew to like Dylan's music too.

When it comes to songs by any singer, we get to focus on what we like and ignore what we don't like.  We can make our own "greatest hits" albums by picking and choosing what suits us.  It all depends on what makes us feel good.

When it comes to doctrines and theological truths about God, however, we do not get to focus on what makes us comfortable and ignore what makes us squirm.  We don't get to pick and choose what we like and accept about Him.  Everything the Bible says about Him is true, and it all needs to be accepted into our belief system.

For instance...

We like to focus on the love of God, but we must also remember His wrath.
We like to focus on God being a Father, but we must also remember He is a judge.
We like to focus on God forgiving us, but we must also remember He disciplines us.

See the point?

We get to choose what suits us about Bob Dylan or any other singer, and we then can ignore the parts that don't suit us.  But we do not have the freedom to do that when it comes to God.  We have to take all of Him as He is.

Let's be complete and thorough when it comes to building our belief system about God.  Let's not build a smorgasbord theology of picking and choosing a "little bit of this" and a "little bit of that."  Let's accept embrace and celebrate all truths about God.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Airboat Adventure

My boy and I were on an airboat with a friend of ours.  We were having a ball while flying around the lake.  All of a sudden, the airboat broke down.  The good news was the guy driving the boat reached land.  The bad news was the land was a snake-infested, gator-dwelling, mud-filled swamp.  We were told it was time to make the long hike through the swamp to our leader's home.

So off we went.  It was an long journey!  I had to carry Emerson part of the way.  Of course we were looking around to make sure no snakes or gators were headed our way too.  I had absolutely no idea where we were or where our destination was.

But I did know this:  If I trusted and followed our leader, he would guide us through and see us home.  He knew the swamp.  Many times before he had ventured in and out of that dark, mysterious place.  So I kept my eyes on home and followed his footsteps.

Finally, we made it through the swamp and reached his home.  We all were hot and wore out.  But we arrived safely, and that's what mattered.

My airboat adventure was kind of like the journey of life for most of us.  On our own, we are lost and hopeless.  But if we trust and follow Jesus Christ, the greatest leader and guide of all, we will make it through and reach His home!

Jesus Christ experienced temptation, endured trial, blessed people, entered death, and enjoyed resurrection.  He entered and exited this world.  So He knows everything about life.  That makes Him a leader worth trusting and following.

Let's lock our eyes on Jesus Christ.  And let's walk in His footsteps.  When we follow Him, He will see us through our life on this Earth, and He will guide us home to Heaven.

Follow Jesus.  He will lead the way for you.  It will be the best decision you ever make!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dale Jr., Worry, And The Rest Of Us

The February 18, 2014 edition of USA Today featured a neat interview where Jeff Gluck asked NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. twelve good questions.  It was an insightful discussion.  This was my favorite part:

" Q:  If you could give the younger version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
A:  I'd probably tell myself not to worry so much and to enjoy each little chapter of life."

That quote has me thinking...

Not only is Dale an amazing driver.  He's also a smart guy.  This interview proves it.

He has learned not to worry so much.  And if I were a betting man, I'd bet you it has made a positive difference in his life.  What a great lesson he has learned!

Jesus dished out the wisest words ever on worry in Matthew 6:25-27.  Specifically, He made three awesome points in three quick verses that we all need to keep in mind.  These points will help reduce our anxiety and increase our peace.

(1).  We have the option to live without worry.  He said "Do not worry" in verse 25.  We have a choice on whether we worry or not.  We do have a say in the matter!  Jesus calls us to say "No" to worry, and the last time I checked, Jesus enables us to do what He calls us to do.  So here's the good news:  We do not have to live like worry warts.  We are free to choose another way of life.

(2).  We have a God who cares deeply about us.  He said the following in verse 26:  "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns; and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?"  Since God looks after little birds and takes good care of them, we can easily conclude that He will look after us and take good care of us on a grander scale.  God has proven more than once He loves us.  We (and our needs) do indeed matter to Him.  So we can focus on trusting Him rather than worrying.

(3).  We must remember worry accomplishes nothing.  That's right.  Nothing.  "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" is what Jesus asked rhetorically in verse 27.  The obvious answer is "No, worrying will not do a single, solitary productive thing in anyone's life."  In the history of mankind, worry has never once come even remotely close to fixing problems or curing ills.  So there's no point in us wasting time worrying because it will in no way resolve any of our dilemmas.

Dale Jr. learned a valuable lesson that Jesus taught centuries ago, and here it is:  Choose to trust in the caring God who meets needs rather than engage in crippling worry which accomplishes nothing.

May God help us all worry less and trust Him more.  When we do this, our peace and joy increase, we enjoy the stages of life more, and we are free to fulfill our purpose on this Earth.  Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

Friday, June 6, 2014


Yesterday, my son went over to play at another kid's house and spend the night.  But, as it normally happens, we got a late night call.  My boy wanted to come on home and sleep here.  So, like usual, I drove half way, met the other parent, brought my boy back home with me, and put him to bed.

On the way home  I asked him, "Buddy, why didn't you want to stay?"  With sleepy eyes he looked at me and said, "I don't know, Dad.  I'm just most comfortable at my home."  I rubbed his head and replied, "It's ok.  I understand.  You can come on home with me any time."

I guess it's true.  There really is no place like home.  And our heart always longs to be there.

Christians, one day we will go home.  It's in a place called Heaven.  And our Lord is getting it ready for us.

In our Heavenly home, we will never deal with






or death.

Our eternal home will have joy, peace, safety, and life.  It will be a happy, warm, healthy home.  Yes, it will be perfect.

One day, God, our Heavenly Father, will take us home.  He will protect us and provide for us.  And we will be happy, like my boy was when I got him home.  What a day that will be!

Life on this Earth is temporary.  And the hardships we endure are only for a season.  A better day is coming.  Our home in Heaven is waiting.

No, we're not home yet.  But one day we will be.  And when we get there, everything's going to be just right.

I look forward to that.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The School Where Nobody Ever Graduates

Graduation.  It's that time of year when guys and girls all around our great land walk the stage and get their diploma.  And it's a thrill for them and their parents.

I'm sitting here this morning thinking about something my late grandfather, Leon Richardson, once told me.  We were visiting in his home one day in Sumter, South Carolina, when he looked at me and said, "David, there are no graduates in the school of Christ.  There never comes a time in your life when you know it all about The Lord and have it all figured out."

He was so right!

After we meet certain criteria and reach certain goals, academic institutions basically tell us, "Ok, you're done.  We expect nothing more of you.  So you're free to leave now with our blessings."

But Our Lord doesn't operate like that.  There's always more for us to learn and more for us to do.  He never looks at us and says, "Wow, you've got the Christian life mastered and down pat!  There's nothing more for me to teach you."  Nope, that just will not happen.

When it comes to our relationship with Jesus Christ, there is always

more truth to learn

more character to develop

more bonding to experience

more areas to serve

and more growing to do.

We Christians are works in progress.  As long as we have breath in our bodies, school's in session.  And that's a great thing!  It means God lovingly and patiently works with us day in and day out.  It proves He cares.

Let's stay humble, Christians.  We all have more learning and growing to experience.  None of us have this spiritual life totally figured out.

And let's stay hungry for growth.  We need time in Bible study, prayer, and worship.  God matures and develops us more fully when we engage in the Christian disciplines.

Grandaddy was right.  Our Lord's school does not hand out diplomas and send us away on our own.  And that's a good thing.  It's just one more way He reminds us how much we truly matter to Him.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Find A Match

I was about to leave for work this morning when my wife started laughing and stopped me.  "Do your shoes match?", she asked me.  Then I took a look down.  In fact, my shoes were not a match.  I had an old, outside shoe on my left, and a newer, cleaner shoe on my right.  She was right!  So I quickly got the right shoes on that matched and raced out the door for work.

That got me thinking about the spiritual life...

2 Corinthians 6:14 tells us, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?"

Paul was writing to Christians.  He was telling them to be careful about who they connected with emotionally and spiritually on an up-close and personal level.  His desire was to see children of God form their most meaningful relationships with other children of God.

This is still true today.

I've learned in my life that I need to love everyone.  (Easier said than done, but that's the goal.)  All people should be treated with kindness and compassion.  But, when it comes to my closest relationships, I need to surround myself with people who are living for God and who can help me do the same.  I need to have my tightest emotional bonds with people who will inspire me to be a good man, rather than with people who would be happy to see me live as a self-centered, ungodly man.

Yes, I have friends who are not Christians.  While living in the Carolinas, one of my friends was a Muslim.  I get along just fine with people who are not saved.  And I think it's important to do that!  It has become apparent to me that if we desire to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, we need to interact lovingly with people who are far from God.  But when it comes to close relationships, I have learned I must be careful.  I must find a good match for me on a spiritual level.  And friend, the same is true for you.  This is true for all of us.

When we're getting ready for the day, let's make sure we find shoes that match.

More importantly, when we're forming our closest relationships in life, let's make sure we find a spiritual match.  Let's pair up with people who love the same God, have the same values, pursue the same goals, and are headed the same direction.  This spiritual match will inspire and motivate us to be the men and women we were created to be.

Monday, June 2, 2014


I read a great editorial written in the Sunday, June 1, 2014 edition of the News Sun.  It was entitled, "Remember, Graduates:  Mistakes Are Part Of Life".   Besides the normal words of encouragement and congratulations to the class of 2014, it made the following point:

"Most of all, we hope you move on through your lives knowing how to learn from your mistakes because making mistakes is inevitable.  The brightest and strongest among us - even the most spiritual and thoughtful - all make mistakes.  We are human, after all."

How true!

Mistakes are a part of life.  It's sad, but true.  That's because we are a fallen, imperfect people that are prone to wonder away from what is right.  Yes, some people make more mistakes than others.  And yes, some mistakes have far greater consequences than others.  But at the end of the day, we all make mistakes one way or another.

In my 43 years on this Earth, I've made my share of mistakes.   Some were big and some were small.  Some were private and some were public.  So I have some experience in this area.

Here is what I've learned about making mistakes:

[1]  It's best to be honest, come clean, and admit it when you do wrong.  Hiding it or covering it up only makes things worse.  The first step in recovering from a mistake is to own it and be real about it.

[2]  Take personal responsibility for mistakes.  Never blame other people, tough circumstances, or anything else.  Be willing to say, "I did wrong, and it was 100% my fault."

[3]  Confess it to God and ask for forgiveness.  Open up to Him about it with humility and sincerity.  When you do this, He will pardon you and take your guilt away.

[4]  Apologize to people who were hurt by your mistake.  They may listen and forgive you, or they may not.  That's their choice.  But do your part and offer necessary apologies in an attempt to make peace.

[5]  Learn from your mistake.  Reflect on where you went wrong, and figure out how to live better the next time you are tempted to do the same dumb thing all over again.  Allow your mistakes to be growing opportunities that make you a better person.

[6]  Move on.  Don't spend the rest of your days beating yourself up over it.  Don't keep replaying your mistake over and over again in your mind.  Put it behind you.  Let it go.  Leave it in the past.  And launch forward enthusiastically into the next chapter of your life!

Mistakes.  They happen.  But you can recover from them.  So can I.  With God's help, we can heal and live after we do wrong.  And we can move forward into a better, brighter life in the days and years to come.