Category Archives: Forgiving

A lady is used to change a killer 

Ashley Smith was just getting her life back together. As a 26-year old single mom, she had had a pretty rough journey. A Christian upbringing but a youthful rebellion – brushes with the law, some drug issues, jobs found and lost – and finally marriage and a little girl. Four years earlier, her husband had died in her arms from stab wounds in a violent attack. On that night in March of 2005, she was just getting settled in the apartment she had moved into two days earlier. When she returned from her 2:00 A. M. run to the store, accused killer, Brian Nichols, forced his way into her apartment at gunpoint.
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The Pope on forgiving the sin of an abortion ( 9-5-15 commentary ) 

Listen to the commentary here or read it below.
If somebody did something wrong in their pass life which they have true sorrow for and have repented of don’t you think they should be forgiven? I do. Don’t you think those of us who are followers of Christ should be forgiven for the sins we have repented of. I do. I don’t know about you but I want to be forgiven of all my sins.

    Recently the Pope got people talking by saying Catholic Priests can forgive women who have had an abortion who are truly contrite.

     Now I am not Catholic but an Evangelical Follower of Jesus so I would disagree with the Pope along with Catholic doctrine about having to go to a priest to be forgiven of sins. My understanding is the Bible teaches there is one mediator between God and men the man Christ Jesus. Never mind that the Pope is right women who have had abortions and are sorry for them should be forgiven. No sin is beyond God’s grace. Jesus died for every sin including the sin of an abortion. The only sinner God will not forgive is those who die apart from embracing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There is no second chance to be forgiven of your sins after you die. If you have never asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins you just might want to do that today. Regardless what they are.

What do you think.

Until next time,

I’m Billy David Dickson

All Rights Reserved, 2015

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Billy or read more commentary on https://billydteacher.wordpress.com/.

Forgiveness is Not Excusing 

Listen to the commentary.

A Supernatural Display Of Generous Forgiveness 

Listen to the radio commentary here.

Forgiveness in CharlestonLight Shining in Darkness  

I heard a great radio commentary today over how followers of Jesus are responding to the evil act that took place in that church in Charleston. You can read it below or listen to it here.

Some acts are so terrible, it seems masochistic to talk about them. Some acts are so gracious, we marvel at them and must talk about them.

Today, we felt compelled to talk about the events of last week, the horrific killing of nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.



Why? Because we’re seeing in those events how light overcomes darkness. How love overcomes hate.

As you almost undoubtedly know, on June 17, a man described as “white, with sandy-blond hair, around 21 years old and 5 feet 9 inches in height, wearing a gray sweatshirt and jeans” entered Emanuel and participated in a Bible study led by the Church’s pastor, Clementa C. Pinckney.

At about 9pm, the man, subsequently identified as Dylann Roof, opened fire killing nine people, including Pastor Pinckney.

Scarcely had the news broken than pundits – both liberal and conservative – started using the shooting to further pet causes, from banning the Confederate flag to the need to permit people to carry guns in church.

But, remarkably, the people of Emanuel wanted to talk about something far more important: grace and forgiveness.

In an interview with the BBC, the children of Sharonda Singleton, one of the victims, told the reporter “We already forgive [Dylann Roof] and there’s nothing but love from our side of the family.”

And they weren’t alone. Stephen Singleton, Emanuel’s former pastor, told NPR that “we’re people of faith, and people of faith know that we heal. God helps us heal. This doesn’t drive us away from God. This drives us to God, and that’s why I’m here now.”

When asked what his former parishioners had told him, he continued, “There are a lot of broken hearts, a lot of sorrow and a lot of healing to be done. And that’s what we’re going to work on, and that’s what we’re going to focus on because if we get bitter and angry, we just make a bad situation worse.”

Thus, a relative of another victim, Myra Thompson, said “I forgive him and my family forgives him. But we would like him to take this opportunity to repent” and “give your life to the one who matters most: Christ.”

Senator Tim Scott, appearing on “Face the Nation” said that while Roof may have intended to ignite a war between the races, he brought the people of Charleston closer together.

And that’s because the people of Emanuel have responded in a way that is distinctly, if not uniquely, Christian: loving those who hate you, forgiving those who sin against you, and blessing those who would persecute you.

Christian ideas may no longer have power in our culture that they once had. But to paraphrase the Apostle Paul, against the kind of grace on display in Charleston there is no argument.

We even saw it on display in Roof’s capture. A North Carolina woman, at great personal risk,  followed Roof’s car until she was sure it was him and then called the police. When asked why, she replied, “I had been praying for those people on my way to work . . . I was in the right place at the right time that the Lord puts you.”

This was so reminiscent of the horrific event from years ago, the murder of five Amish girls in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. The members of the Amish community forgave the murderer. The families of the victims reached out to the widow of the perpetrator. And on this program then, Chuck Colson asked questions we should ask again today: “How are we working in our own communities to build cultures of grace? Are we teaching our children to forgive? Are we actively working to restore offenders and reach out in aid to victims? Are we overcoming evil in the world by good, as we are commanded to do?”  And I would add: “If evil and tragedy come our way, are we ready to respond in love the same way our brothers and sisters in Charleston have?”

What happened in Charleston is a tragic reminder of the great darkness in the world. But in the aftermath we see the truth that the “light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.”

The real message in the Duggar’s tragedy is being overlooked 

The secular press is churning out story after story about the Duggars lately, but, sadly, the real message in this tragedy is being overlooked. Janet Parshall explains in this week’s commentary. Listen to the commentary here.

For priest, theft of ‘Last Supper’ tapestry blessed by pope has become new lesson in forgiveness

Read the story.

Louis Zamperini was more than a hero

Just two pages into the book “Unbroken,” its protagonist is in the water, hiding beneath the deteriorating life raft in which he has been drifting across the Pacific Ocean for almost a month. Overhead, Japanese bombers are circling back to strafe him a second time. And sharks are approaching from below.

Death is coming for him from two directions, and your impulse is to verify that this is not a novel, not some outlandish fiction from the Indiana Jones School of Narrow Escapes.

But it isn’t.

The story is true, the man in the water, real. His name is Louis Zamperini and he died last week of pneumonia.

No one who has read the book (a movie of the same name is due on Christmas Day) will be surprised to learn that it took that fearsome disease 40 days to claim this 97-year-old man. If Zamperini was nothing else, he was a fighter. Whatever life threw at him, he threw back. Whatever it piled on top of him, he overcame.
Child of poor Italian immigrants in suburban Los Angeles, he overcame a predilection for petty theft, vandalism and brawling to become a celebrated runner, first in high school, then in college and finally in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Bombardier for the Army Air Corps, he overcame a plane crash, surviving 47 days on a raft in the trackless vastness of the Pacific Ocean, subsisting on rainwater, fish and seabirds. Prisoner of the Japanese, he overcame daily beatings and torture from a sadistic guard nicknamed “the Bird,” and lived to return home after the war ended. A cash-strapped alcoholic and wife beater, tormented by nightmares of what the Bird did to him, he overcame his own degradation when he came forward at a tent revival and accepted Christ at the invitation of a young evangelist named Billy Graham. A World War II veteran who would have been fully justified in anger and bitterness over what the Japanese did to him, he overcame those things to carry the torch in the 1998 Olympics in Nagano and write a letter of forgiveness to the man who had daily tortured him.
( Billy’s thoughts – The above is part of a column written by Leonard Pitts Jr. Read the whole column.)

Teens take conservative message, shunned at UN meeting

Read the story.

Forgiving the Man Who Murdered My Mom

Read a powerful story on faith, and forgiving right here.