Archive for the ‘Sin’ Category

Posted on: October 3rd, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 4 Comments
How Do We Deal With Pain

At the beginning of September, I wrote asking if  readers had questions for Anthony, the man who murdered my dad, or myself. And there was, in fact, one question posed by Mark Alman (for each of us). I sent the question to Anthony, and His response (as well as mine) can be found below.  ~ For Anthony:  “I have been thinking a lot about pain recently and how pain drives us to do wrong things.  I believe in my life my most egregious sins were driven by pain.  I wonder if you felt that yours were as well?” – Mark Anthony’s response: Yes, Mark. In my life, as well, my worst sin was driven by pain. Men tend to manifest hurt into anger. I think it’s programmed into us! When the Holy Spirit comes into us, we also receive His blessings, or fruit––love, peace, patience, etc––but when we get hurt and…

Posted on: August 9th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 8 Comments
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After a long, exhausting weekend, I decided to turn in early. Yet as my head hit the pillow, thoughts began to running away from me. After hearing some news about our adoption––news that most likely won’t negatively impact our adoption at all––I began to think. And what you must understand about me is that I’ve always been a “thinker.” I analyze and reason through everything. This can be a good thing. But sometimes, I have a tendency to think too much, which can lead me down some pretty dark alleys. And that’s precisely what happened this night. An hour passed, full of thought and cries out to God, when I realized I needed help. I needed wisdom. And I needed someone else to pray alongside me for clarity about our adoption. So, I texted my girlfriend and said, Ok. I need some help. Feeling super discouraged about our adoption. Maybe…

Posted on: July 19th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 8 Comments
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Will God fail me? I think if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve all asked this question––either consciously or unconsciously––at one time or another. In fact, it may be this very question that underlies our inability to give ourselves fully to God and His purposes in our lives. We think, perhaps God doesn’t love me. Perhaps God is too busy or too majestic to care about one individual such as myself. Or even if He does love me, even if He cares, He certainly doesn’t care about each intricate detail of my life.  Will God pull through? Doubts come. Questions arise. All of which are a part of the normal process of faith. But I think the real question behind all our doubts is: Does God really love me? This is the real doubt behind our unwillingness to surrender. It all comes back to love. We were created to be loved and to love others….

Posted on: June 18th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 9 Comments
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I never intended to be a victim. Shortly after my dad was murdered, my family and I were referred to the victim services department at the courthouse. It was the first time we were called victims. But honestly, I didn’t consider myself to be the victim. My dad was the victim. But somehow, I think the victim thing crept in, and my dad’s death became the defining moment of my life. I didn’t want to be defined by this tragedy, but I was. I became the girl whose dad was murdered. I hated being this person. I hated being a murder victim’s daughter, but as far as I saw it, it’s who I was. I couldn’t escape it. I guess I am a victim, I finally concluded. At this time in my life, I was very much in the world. I didn’t know God, and I certainly wasn’t following Jesus yet….

Posted on: May 13th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment
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Early on in my walk with God, I was told that the Bible says that we’re sinners. Logically then, I thought, this would infer that I sin. It was a novel concept to me. Really, it was. Up to this point, I never really thought about sin, and I certainly never thought I was a sinner or that I needed anything, let alone the help of a supposed God that could very well be the figment of someone’s imagination. Truly, I was blind to the ways of God. One day, after attending church for several weeks, however, I prayed. God, I said feeling a bit foolish, if I have any sins, show me. And boy did He deliver! I went from self-loving and self-idolizing (even though I was in a very bad place at the time) to self-loathing in no time at all. Once stripped of all deception, I began to see…

Posted on: May 9th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 2 Comments
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Forgiveness––true Biblical forgiveness––requires that we have encountered and experienced the risen God. [Tweet that] It requires a changed heart. Truly, prior to forgiving one another, we need to understand and receive the forgiveness of God. For, we cannot give something we have yet to receive, and we cannot receive apart from understanding. [Tweet that] As I’m sure you know, the term Gospel––which refers to the work of Christ––literally means “good news.” I’ve heard many pastors say that in order for there to be good news something bad would have to be true. And until we understand the bad news, we cannot fully grasp how good the good news is. [Tweet that] This is why we all must come to understand who we are apart from Jesus. We need to understand just how sinful we are so that the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf––and consequently, the forgiveness He made possible––can be understood…

Posted on: May 6th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs
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Last Thursday began like most days. Toward the end of my quiet time with Jesus, my girls came into my bedroom in all their morning cuteness, blurry-eyed and hair a fright. We cuddled together for a moment before beginning our morning routine of showering, dressing, and the like. My girls usually finish getting ready before I do, so they ran downstairs, busying themselves with coloring and drawing in the kitchen. Moments later, however, I heard Avery, my younger daughter, yell, “Mom, Ella poked me with a pencil!” To which Ella replied, “But it wasn’t very hard!” Really?!? I thought. It was all going so well. Turns out, Ella intentionally “poked” or stabbed (to be more exact) Avery with a pencil. Not okay in my book. But after disciplining Ella, we had a serious talk about hurting others. Ella is seven. Up to this point, we have taught her about Jesus, we’ve talked…

Posted on: April 29th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment
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When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2 Two options were set before me when called to forgive Anthony (the man who murdered my dad): I could either choose to remain prideful––failing to see error in my perspective––or I could choose to humble myself before God and recognize that my “truth” was not God’s truth. Truth is, forgiveness requires humility. [Tweet that] It requires us to recognize that we may have some culpability in the situation or, at the very least, that we’re not seeing as we ought. We need to recognize that not all of what we believe to be the truth is ultimately God’s truth. When forgiving another of a sin committed against us, we must take a moment to examine ourselves as well. We need to understand that our perspective may be askew. We need to ask ourselves some very important questions….

Posted on: April 15th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment
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Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children. – Deuteronomy 4:9 Anthony claimed he was a Christian at the time of the murder, and I had a real problem with this. As a non-Christian and even after coming to Christ, I didn’t understand how someone who professed faith in Jesus could do something like this. Doesn’t a sin of this magnitude disqualify you from being a Christian? You can’t claim to be a Christian and commit murder, I thought. Recently, however, when telling me about a book he was reading by Kyle Idleman called Not a Fan, Anthony said, “I wonder, had I not come to prison would I have stayed a fan of Jesus or become a follower?…

Posted on: April 8th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs
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I’ve been talking a lot about repentance, and I know it can become a weighty topic, to say the least. But I feel like God has empowered me in this area recently, and I just have to pass this along. I’ve been feeling convicted lately about several sins in my life. And maybe it’s just me, but do you ever feel like you need to repent but you need to wait for the empowerment of God to do so? [Tweet that] Well, this is where I found myself last week. During my quiet time with God, I decided to begin reading Romans. I opened it up, read the first paragraph, and that was just about enough for the day. I needed to digest what I read, so I read it again. And again. Toward the end of that paragraph, Paul says, “through [Jesus] we have received grace and apostleship to…