Sin

The Advocate

by Andy Wood on April 2, 2010

in Five LV Laws, Principle of Eternity

Heard any good lawyer jokes lately?  Here’s one: 

Q: Why did God make snakes just before lawyers?

A: To practice.

All fooling aside, I have a new appreciation for the justice system these days.  There, when a person is accused of a crime, it is required of the system (the court) that he/she have an advocate.  The advocate’s sole responsibility is to look after the best interests of the accused. 

Q: Why won’t sharks attack lawyers?

A: Professional courtesy.

It is not the advocate’s job to determine guilt or innocence; that’s for the judge and/or jury. 

Q: What do you have when a lawyer is buried up to his neck in sand?

A: Not enough sand. 

It is not the advocate’s job to be liked or appreciated. 

Q: What’s the difference between a dead dog in the road and a dead lawyer in the road?

A: There are skid marks in front of the dog. 

The one task – the one focus – of the advocate is to stand in the gap for the accused.

When popular culture collides with the legal system, advocates get a bum rap.  These attorneys are portrayed as ruthless, win-at-all-cost scoundrels who will do anything to get the defendant off, guilty or not.

Exactly.

Q: Why is going to a meeting of the Bar Association like going into a bait shop?

A: Because of the abundance of suckers, leeches, insects, and nightcrawlers. 

So why the appreciation for advocates?  Because I know what it’s like to need and not have one.  My guess is, you do too.  Have you ever sat defenseless outside a closed door while somebody else made decisions affecting you?

For those who trust and follow Christ, however, the story doesn’t end there.  Even when we have no advocate in the board room, the committee or wherever, we have an Advocate nonetheless.  Check this out: [click to continue…]

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The Bus

by Andy Wood on March 27, 2010

in Esteem, Life Currency, Tense Truths

Inspired by an analogy I heard from my friend Bill at lunch yesterday…

Let’s say you’re a camp counselor.  And on this day you’ve loaded up 45 nine- and ten-year-olds on the bus for an outing.  Everybody’s had a great time as you have taken them into the city or to the beach… picture you own favorite locale for a gang of kids to have a blast.

Now it’s time to head back to the camp.  So you load ‘em up and move ‘em out.

That’s when it hits you.  You forgot the first rule of kids-on-the-bus management.

Yep.  You forgot to count heads.

Forty-one.  Forty-two.  Forty-three.  Forty-uh oh.

It’s every kid herder’s worst fear.  You’ve left somebody behind.  He’s lost.

So what do you do? [click to continue…]

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It’s time to break the silence.  So in a minute I’m going to tell you the most shameful, disgraceful thing I’ve ever done. Then I’m going to tell you the second most shameful, disgraceful thing I have ever done.  I’m not proud of either (hence the terms “shameful” and “disgraceful”), but in the spirit of James 5:16, there is healing to be found in honesty and vulnerability.  

More on that in a minute.  But first, here are seven new half-baked ideas that are still baking up in my oven… [click to continue…]

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The Sting and the Save

by Andy Wood on October 12, 2009

in Tense Truths

Okay, first watch the short video, then let’s talk. 

This is an adaptation of a story Henri Nouwen used to tell.  Voice, illustrations, direction by Allen Weathers…

Before the dawn of time as we know it, God foresaw.  [click to continue…]

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The Stain

by Andy Wood on June 29, 2009

in Five LV Laws, Principle of Eternity

stainFor Sale: Parachute. Only used once, never opened, small stain.

You and I were created in a stainless image.  Our first parents appeared on the outside as what they were on the inside – innocent in the likeness of their Creator.

Then came the Stain.

Soiled and discolored, we instinctively knew something was wrong.  We tried soaking it out and scrubbing it out.  But the Stain never went away.  Like silver is discolored simply by exposure to the air, we were forever tarnished by the choices we made, and those made upon us:

Passion stains.  Anger stains.  Gluttony stains.  Pride stains.  Fear stains.  Rejection stains.  Deception stains.

Pick a role, we’ve tried it out. [click to continue…]

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From Robes to Rags

by Andy Wood on April 9, 2009

in Five LV Laws, Principle of Eternity

ragsRag.  Now there’s an every-day word.

Unsophisticated, earthy, almost guttural – rags are blue-collar, made-for-dirt, hidden-from-company kind of stuff.

We all have them, but some people go to considerable lengths to deny it.

“It’s not a wash rag, dear.  It’s a wash cloth.”

“Oh.  Yew not from around heah, are ya’?”

That t-shirt or those shorts you’re wearing?  Rags in the making.

I grew up with wash rags, shop rags, shoeshine rags, snot rags (my dad’s term), and dust rags.  “Dust cloths” were the property of Yankees and people from other parts of town. [click to continue…]

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It was the Beverly Hills of ancient Asia.  A center of wealth and high-end commerce.  A medical haven, where people came from miles around for treatment of various ailments.  If you wrote your mama and told her your job was transferring you there, she’d have something to brag about the next day.  This was some place.  And there was a church in town.

How would you like to get a personal letter from Jesus Christ, where the first thing he said was, “I know what you’ve been doing”?  That can be a little unnerving!  But that’s exactly what Jesus said to the First Church of Coolville, alias Laodicea.  He had a few other things to say as well.  Let’s peek at their mail:

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see (Revelation 3:15-18).

Looks like the guys and dolls in Lala Land had a few things to learn about wealth.

So do we.

They thought they were loaded; Jesus said otherwise.  Remember, though, that in spite of its scathing message, this was a love letter.  And in his love, Jesus gave them, and LifeVestors everywhere, a few pointers on His economy. [click to continue…]

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The Wreck (Part 2)

by Andy Wood on May 21, 2008

in Gamblers, LV Alter-egos, Turning Points

Narnia BattleIn my previous post, I told the story of a rainy head-on collision between a bicycle and a car – and I was on the bicycle.  Here are some lessons I have learned or been reminded of since.

The Christian life isn’t a joyride in the rain, but a war.  If that analogy offends you, or if you’ve never experienced life on the battlefield, chances are you have never taken your relationship with Christ very seriously.  This war we are engaged in is one we’re destined to win.  The Lord Jesus has conquered sin, death, and the devil, and those of us who belong to Him are heirs of that purchased victory.  But until He comes again, you face the realities of spiritual warfare on a daily basis.  In your struggle against the forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil, you will find no peace talks, no negotiations, no cease-fire orders.  You’re in it for the duration.

[click to continue…]

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The Wreck (Part 1)

by Andy Wood on May 20, 2008

in Gamblers, LV Alter-egos, Turning Points

(A Turning Point Story)

Bicycle Wreck

What do you do when you encounter somebody who’s made a wreck of his or her life?  What do you do when that that wreck of a life shows up in your place of worship?  What do you do when YOU are the wreck?

The closest I ever came to having a horse was a 1964 Ford Tractor at my granddaddy’s, and a ten-speed bicycle I got for Christmas my ninth grade year in  school.  I put miles – miles – on that bike.

Now, years later, it leaned against the wall in my dad’s workshop in disrepair.  But for some strange reason, Daddy and I were inspired, and decided to get it going again.  A brand new front tire, new tubes, adjustments to the brakes, handlebars and seat – only one thing was missing.  Our hand pump wasn’t strong enough to inflate the tires completely.  So we pumped them up as much as possible, and decided to take the bike to a nearby service station to finish the job.  We had to hurry, though, to outrun one of those afternoon thundershowers so common in Mobile during the summer.  We took the short cut through the woods behind the house – I on my old trusty-rusty steed and my dad on my sister’s three-speed.  We emerged behind a shopping center near the service station, only to be greeted by a sudden downpour. 

So we waited.

It was frustrating to sit there, pinned in by the rain with our destination in sight.  So when the shower let up a little, we decided to make a mad dash for it.  We had a plan, sort of.  We’d go across the parking lot, behind the Seven-Eleven store, through the little alley, to the Texaco station.  Once we go the tires pumped up, we’d figure it out from there.

Off we flew!  Across the parking lot.  Around the back corner of the Seven-Eleven. 

Just one problem.

[click to continue…]

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