His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


Dear God

dear God


I just started reading “The Good and Beautiful Life,” by James Bryan Smith. Chapter One invited me to write a letter to God, describing the kind of life I want to live. Here is my letter.

Dear God,

The life I want most for myself is a life of You living through me. I desire with all my heart that when others look at me, they see You. I desire never to do or say something that you wouldn’t do or say. I desire to live with honor, integrity, compassion, humility, forgiveness, understanding, and true love toward all who come into my life. I desire to be a true image of You. Thank you dear Lord.

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A weird unrelated thought from an aging mind…

You know you’re getting old when the face that was once oily and zit-filled, is now so dry you put moisturizing cream on twice a day.

Why am I posting this? Maybe I just hope it will give someone a smile who needs one. Cheerio and I hope you have a great day.


Forgiveness or Misery


It takes humility to really forgive, to take your eyes off your SELF long enough to waive goodbye to the hurt. I found myself thinking about forgiveness yesterday – don’t know why. I guess I was just struck with the thought that everyone needs forgiveness of something. And it seems like there’s not enough humility to counter the hurtful acts needing forgiveness.

Then this new thought crashed into my Sunday-slumbering mind: humanity, by our sinful and prideful human nature, is all messed up. It’s just part of who we are. Therefore, by our nature, we will all hurt others, intentionally or not. And we will all create a need for forgiveness.

Then this thought hit me: for those who cannot learn to forgive others, they are doomed to a life of unforgiving misery, for there will ALWAYS be hurt needing forgiveness.

Maybe look at it this way: visualize an old-fashioned scale with the cross-arm and a bowl hanging off each end. In one bowl are all the hurtful acts that need forgiveness. In the other bowl is our capacity to forgive. The hurtful bowl is overflowing – again, it’s just who we are as humans. The forgiveness bowl is often nearly empty. Our life is out of balance, unless we are able to increase our capacity to forgive.

God can give us that capacity, if we desire. God can show us the futility of holding a grudge, since humanity will always create hurt. God can bring balance to our life.

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Love on the Cross

love on cross

See Him hanging on the cross. Ragged. Beaten. Dying. Willingly surrendering to ravenous sin. Only moments left now. Father, where are you? I can’t see you anymore. My heart is bursting with pain – Father, the pain of separation is overpowering.

It is finished. Father and Son are no longer one. No longer together. Ripped apart by the evil of sin, the sin of the world. Father held out His Son, giving Him to sin as payment, willingly letting go of His dearly loved one.

This is love… for you and me.

There are three true powers in the world: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. Love never fails. Love concurred sin. Open your heart and feel His love… for you.


The Final Draft

final draft

When will I ever be finished with the book I’m writing? Which revision will be the final draft? I’m working on rev 9, and I know for sure there will be a rev 10. I recently wrote about my anguish and impatience (see it here). Since I’m a tinkerer, I sometimes fear that I will never be finished, that I will keep tweaking the book, always looking for ways to make it better. In the engineering world of which I work, there is a saying: there comes a time in every project to shoot the designer and release the product. Am I going to have to shoot myself in order to settle for a final draft?

This morning I found myself praying about trusting God. And this is what came into my mind: I don’t have to worry about the final draft. Since in my effort to write this book all I’m trying to do is be Gods pen, with Him the author, the final draft is up to Him. He will decide which draft is final, and He will make it clear to me. In fact, He already has. All I have to do is trust Him. And I do. Thank you Lord.


Heaven is for Real?

I watched the movie, “Heaven is for Real” last night. I had read the book, but that was a few years ago. What hit me in the face from the movie was the struggle the pastor dad went through… his struggle when faced with compelling evidence for the existence of heaven. Such evidence can really have you questioning your faith, for you would then need to decide whether to accept or reject the evidence – which is to accept or reject everything you believe about God.

After the movie, I started questioning my own beliefs. If faced with similar evidence, how would I react? Is my faith strong enough to excitedly accept such evidence? I think so, but I don’t feel safe in assuming so. I guess I’m just not certain. It’s weird. I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, even as I write these words. But that’s based on faith, which is believing in things despite the lack of evidence. What happens to our faith when faced with undisputable evidence? The thought is scary to me.

Yet I see evidence of God all the time, as long as I have my eyes and mind open. I’m confused. Sorry for the weird post – it just felt right to put it up on the site. I hope you all have a great day.



Why Surrender?


Life has worn me down. Life has stressed me out. Worry assaults me. So I surrender.

I am tired. Life is too hard. I can’t handle it on my own. So I surrender.

My mind holds me captive to judgment, worry, fear, anger, impatience, selfishness. So I surrender.

He gave His life for mine. He surrendered His life for me. So I surrender to Him.

Why surrender? Because I love Him. I wish my love came for free. But He paid a high price, the highest. It took that price to buy my love. Yes, I feel ashamed. But His love is overpowering my shame. The dark shadow of my shame vanishes under the brilliant light of His love. All that is left is love. And with all my love, I surrender to you dear Jesus.

With all my heart,

CJ Penn