Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Transitions!  We live in a wonderful world of perpetual transitions.  They are important, they are necessary, and they are good for all of us.  Having recently stepped aside from my beloved work (that I still miss), I have developed a special sensitivity to this matter...and I still say transitions are necessary.

Veteran player, Eli Manning, has been replaced as the starting quarterback for the New York Giants.  This headline was posted, Eli Manning embraced New York, and New York loved him back--until it didn't.  Such must be painful for him.  Yet, he knew the day was coming, even in his rookie season, that his once gratitudinal placement would be found with yet another term...replacement. 

This.  Is.  Life.  In.  Progress.

Life isn't over for Eli.  It will just take on a new form...of newness.  Coach?  TV analyst?  Motivational speaker?  And life isn't over for the rest of us when our transition time arises.  Out with the old isn't anything new.  So we middle-aged and older should begin to recognize the process and embrace it rather than push back.  It's progress in thank God for it!

Regardless of leadership position in the church, we best be anticipating the God-ordained will of new leaders who will not do things the way we did them.  And, church, that's much of the point.  To bring on the new team and remain firmly attached to the past will likely smother as much as it will groom.  Letting go of the reigns is a vital part of effective and intentional maturing leadership. 

Much, much of good leadership is found within the scope of two words; letting go. 

Transitions are absolute.  They are here now or will be soon.  Our role is to determine whether we will step aside with leading grace or stand in the way with blocking selfishness.  Out with the old and in with the new certainly has its challenges; understandably so.  But the snake in the woodpile is the leader-gone-awry because he or she has determined that no wise decisions or implementations can be made without his or her input. 

Out with the old isn't anything new...except for those of us with a few years under our belts.  In that case, being out is very new.  Ah, another opportunity to learn where we can serve efficiently...again!


Richard Rohr wrote that light isn't what you see; but it is that very element by which you see everything else.  For us to respond to God's call that we be the light would, therefore, call for our walk in dispensing light upon people and things all around us.  We are not to be praised for being visible light; but rather, to bring praise to those items upon whom/which we shine. 

The light isn't the glory.  The brilliance of the object seen due to it is. 

Don't be the critic.  Be the light. 
Don't be the Scrooge.  Be the light. 
Don't be the Bible-banging, scripture quoting Pharisee.  Be the Light. 
Don't be the accuser.  Be the light. 
Don't be the naysayer.  Be the light. 

Life...and always about how good we can make others appear.  We, then, have much good work to do.  Be.  The.  Light.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


We go to church.  We sing the songs.  We quote the scriptures.  We extend ourselves to others within our communities who have yet to respond to God's call.  Yet overall, we who promote these wonderful and spiritual dynamics shut down the most tender heartbeat of God among the scenes of humankind. 

We refuse to forgive and love our enemies.

To deny our enemies mercy and grace is to call Jesus a liar.  It's a proclamation back to him that he wasted his dying breath for while he died for sinners...we...will...not.  End of our story.  This should make us shudder.

I'm a retired minister with decades of experience.  Yet, I still love those I love and tend to despise those who irritate me.  Great!  That's surely the call of Jesus, huh?  NOT!!  What a public sham.

So what's with not speaking to former friends all about?   What's with distancing ourselves from church because of past offences and offenders?  Where does the inner confidence get its arrogance to spell out our likes and don't likes about one other person when we, ourselves, publicly disavow the deepest call of our Savior to love the unlovable?

Churches are on every street corner.  Each has its front door where the new enter in and then the back door where the disappointed and frustrated exit.  To close the back door will not occur when the church gets its act together.  It will take place when we as critics step back a moment to evaluate whether we forgive and love our enemies...or do we simply offer a plastic and most temporary love as long as they don't offend?

Have you ever contemplated what the assigned-from-God cross strapped to your back is all about?  Do you work from it?  Do you forgive those who hurt or do you smack them up the side of the head with your cross?  Which is it?

Christianity behaves more like a spoiled brat than a saving community.  We have a long way to go when it comes to living from the same hill Jesus did.  But the good news is that we can make strides; we are trying to gain momentum. 

I'm very pumped about the future of the church.  It will increase when we pattern as Jesus.  Shall we change our talk?  Shall we dismantle our grudges?  Shall we pay (as did Jesus) for the other person's malfunctioning style?  We surely can, you know.  We all need it.  No one is exempt...not even the loudest critic.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Jesus' walk across the waterway surely remains one of the most astonishing of his remarkable feats.  And not only did he do it; but he invited stumbling/fumbling Peter to imitate him.  Peter did...for a few steps at least. 

So...what's in it for us?  He invites us into the same journey.

We are called directly to walk atop those things in life which would pose threat to sink us.  This is absolutely the point of the Jesus demonstration.  The very moments which would cause one to shrink in fear is to be reversed only to be found as a pathway for our effective transport.

This just necessarily must occur to us...repeatedly so.  If not aware, we will forever be a people who dabble in church matters and, yet, whine like small children because things don't go our way or people don't do as we had wished.  May disappointment be obliterated by a strong dose of faith as to what can become.  We are in need of and possess the deepest, strongest assistance that can be offered to mankind; the ability to walk on top of the very issues which are designed to pull us under.

I urge you to close your complaining, gossiping mouths and open your 20/20 gaze upon the things we can get done that...we can't usually get done.  Let us reverse the trend of humanistic distraction  which, for the most part, has not allowed the Spirit to build within us a sense of ability to accomplish what can't possibly be accomplished.

Ours isn't a religion.  It is a way of life; new life.  It is a new kind of life; not a polished old one.  Not a shiny improved one.  We are buried in Jesus to arise to new conditions, new dimensions, and new thoughts  Let us, therefore, be about such.

Don't be a whiner.  Don't be a griper.  Don't be a runner-downer of others in church.  Arise.  Enlarge your heart and reverse your talk.  Speak of what is and what can be due to the Dynamic sent to us from Heaven. 

May we not waste time.  Rather, may we change our walk and our talk to the point that everything around us is just as God! 

Walk...on top...of that which...would ordinary sink you!


America recently celebrated an important holiday which honored men and women who served in our nation's military.  Parades.  Accolades.  Wreaths.  Flags.  A great assortment of deserved recognition was on display for all to see...and hear.

This caused me to reflect on Veterans Day in the church.  Specifically, I have been thinking about past soldiers of the Cross who served in the war-zone of serious church activity.  I'm referencing tremendous fighters for the future life of our congregation. 

I thought of one shepherd who has passed on like Herman Kifer who served as an elder at Memorial.  Add the names of Harriel Scarsdale, David Weaver, Jerry Ishmael and a list of others who battled for the freedom at Memorial to believe in God and what could become within our congregation.  The freedom did not come without the wounding of these and other soldiers.

Church isn't just smiles and howdys.  It's struggle.  It's injury.  It's being pinned to one's personal cross as a leader and never giving up; never giving up on God, never giving up on the flock, and never giving up on God's marvelous grace within themselves.

Yes, we should celebrate Veterans Day in the church for we get to be who we get to be simply because soldiers among us braved massive criticism and endured personal heartbreak so that we could have the freedom to praise God day by day.  Live with tremendous appreciation.

Thank you...every one of you...soldiers of the Cross.  We.  Celebrate.  You.  Because.  You.  Thought.  Enough.  Of.  Jesus.  To.  Fight.  For.  Us.

Monday, November 20, 2017


Oh, I like days like this one.  My quarterly royalty check from Simon and Schuster came in the mail.  I don't mean to be bragging, understand, but just the sound of it sounds roll-off-the-tongue big deal.

But wait.  Once I give details, maybe it isn't so roll-off-ish as I had at first inferred.

The total of the check is $ 7.12.

Right.  Yes.  Below $100.  Well...even less than $10.  It is a check for only $ 7.12.

And...that's royalty for two (2) books!

The Miracle of Mercy brought in $ 2.08 while God Will Make A Way raked in a whopping $ 5.04.

Yep, it's Royalty Check Day at my house.  And, it just happens to be Mary's birthday!  Just in time!  I'm headed out to pick up a gift for her now because I just coincidentally (?) came into a bit of cash on her big day!

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Sin is a we thing.  Sin is a very much of we thing.  We know it's wrong...always.  So why is it, that when we know it's grievous, that we continue to shop in its market? 

Sin unfolded in the Garden of Eden when Eve was instructed to avoid a certain fruit.  She broke the mold and humanity received a glut of crude sin flow. 

What backed this move?  Wanting what she and Adam were told they could not have upset the Apple-Cart.  This is the backdrop of all sin; wanting what we can't have. 

Whether it be stealing, adultery, gossip, embezzlement, or any other vice, each is based upon the Garden of Eden format of wanting what one can't have. 

Why do we sin?  We are contaminated by the First Couple.  The battlefield was marked and the war was on.  Our only relief is Jesus on the Cross and through the grave.  The Good News is that we need no other mode of rescue.

He is our victory!  Thank you, God!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


You surely must realize that there are two personalities living inside of you, right?  There's the one who loves, admires, cheers, and enjoys others.  And then there's the other one of you who lives selectively disgruntled and hateful toward others.  What's sorta strange is that the two of you dwell together under one skull.

Let me guess.  Your world is a challenge because you can't stand being disliked; yet you are free with the offerings of your disapproval toward others.  Perplexed over why one can't forgive you seems to go unnoticed to you that you treat others with identical and harmful disdain.

We are hypocrites.  Not a few of us.  Not the most of us.  All of us.  And, how would I know?  Jesus had to die, not for 75 or 80 per cent of us; but, for every one of us.  We all fail at being who we should be, could be, would be.

The two sides of one person is a plague that bugs, disturbs, and hurts.  We will not escape its harmful airs.  One way to deal with it, though, is to face up to it within ourselves before we make negative notations about others in our circles.  Are we guilty of failure?  Very much so...very much.  The problem bigger than the failures themselves is the personal dismissal that we are to be included in this great disarray to human harmony.

There are two sides to one person...every person who ever existed.  Jesus paid the debt...for every person.  If you want to catch a glimpse of your ugly side, take a long gander at Jesus upon the Cross.  If you want to hone in on your good side, applaud the empty grave of God's successful mercy with robust gratitude.

You...and me...none of us are whole because we get ourselves straightened out.  Some of the most "straightened out" are some of the most irritating and obnoxious.  Jesus' value escalates when we surrender in admission to our own sinful style.  He takes His robe of righteousness and drapes our shoulders for we stand naked and guilty before the entire community without Him.

You (and I) are each one person with two sides to us.  No exceptions.  The Good News is that Jesus wasn't lying when He died on the Cross to save....sinners.  Count US in!!


I love the mission, the direction, even the simple thought of the church.  It's baffling.  It's hard work.  It's rewarding.  And, it's ever making adjustments.

The younger generations are always a challenge it seems.  What's weird is that all older generations were likely to have been the younger generation in their day.  Do ya think?  So, what's with the seeming collision between generations which seems to ever abound when we older ones went through the earlier process ourselves?

I don't know.  It  seems that we are learners for awhile and then preservers of our meaningful learning experience as if, somehow, God maxed out His imagination on my era.  But...not so.  God is creative all of the time and creative will always include new.

So exactly what are the younger generations doing to our churches?  I believe they are bringing us life and giving us hope.  They dare to love us while exerting a new supply of energy to our design which is clearly the process of the God-involvement.

This younger generation of leaders sees things, knows things, and approaches church life in ways that I knew/know nothing about.  And who inspired these younger men and women?  Well, hopefully, guys and gals like me who dared to believe what hadn't been believed yet.  Hopefully, we were imaginers who passed the plate of imagination to the next group of leader/followers.

What are the younger generations doing to our churches?  Keeping them alive with hope and adventure in the Spirit.  That's what.  Go.  Forward.  In.  Your.  Faith.

Monday, November 13, 2017


Be alive.  Live aware of the wonder of it all.  Such a call is not to abide in pretense that there isn't something in many things wrong.  Yet, the beckon is to defeat the negative with the outrageous and incalculable positive which reigns on everyone's parade.

Wonder exists in every setting.  I live and work within the ranks of depression and devastation of family after family.  This isn't an occasional experience; but is rather a daily unfolding.  Life is rugged.  It bites and stings...every person.

What we do, therefore, is never pretend.  We do focus.  We look at the grand scheme of a redeeming God and praise Him for it.  In the very center of his prison cell, the apostle Paul sang to God and the jail collapsed under the load of...of...singing in a very unsingable situation.

Struggles?  Suffering?  Injuries?  At every turn for each of us.  And what shall we do about it?  We shall notice the blessings, the hope, the encouragement that is supplied from above...right on the very stage that wishes to beat us to a pulp. 

Let life REIGN on your parade!  Soak in it!

Sunday, November 12, 2017


There remains a treasured commodity among us to this day that must never be taken for granted.  We need to note its luxury, its range, and its unmatchable impact.  Do I reference gold?  Success?  Fame?  No, I speak of the magnificent simplicity of faith.

Faith moves modern day mountains.  It goes where eye cannot see; but heart can.  It travels where legs cannot take; but imagination leaps even the tallest hurdles.  Faith is that word oft discussed in classes and sermons; yet tends to escape through the discussionary air into evaporational ineffectivity.

But faith is where the invisible rubber meets the visible road.  Our belief in what isn't yet, but can become, is a remarkable earth-shaking kind of dynamic.  Faith sees where formula and plan can't.  Faith is daring while human measurement and estimation are cautious.

We are created by the Creator to roam the high hills and the low valleys with a tool that defies logic, understanding, and systemic rule.  Faith is so amazingly wowing that if not careful we will miss it; all in the name of Bible discussion and sermon pondering. 

Dare...yes invest in what can't be seen, what can't be verified, what can't be proven as an act of gigantic wisdom so that the hand of God may be set free to do His thing among us. 

Think.  Question.  Wonder.  Envision.  Wrestle.  Risk.  Try. 

And then watch impossibilities become possible.  This is the very thing that pulls in the hearts of every age range.  We are looking for Life beyond our own meager provision.

Thursday, November 09, 2017


The human side of life is, indeed, baffling and full of twists and turns.  As we age, we often find ourselves playing "catch up" rather than reminiscing the solutionary answers we've accumulated over our decades.  Due to God's display of perpetual creativity, man can hardly make a new discovery but which it is quickly outdated.

An area that bugs us is our perpetual hankering to judge others while claiming Free Space when similar judgment slides in our direction.  We are all alike in that we possess a very strange factor; double condemnity.  Here's how it plays out.

We condemn others because they are not as good as we are (so we've persuaded ourselves).  We would never do the wrong they do.  We would never think to do what they have carried out.  Our condemnation is firm and often unforgiving.

Too, we simultaneously condemn ourselves because we are not as good as others.  We did what they would never do.  We have dark thoughts that others would be ashamed of us if they only knew.  And, our personal condemnation is firm and often lasting...well into depression.

So how can we be both?  Condemning others for they are so sinful and condemning ourselves for we, too, are so sinful?  It is at this junction that we look at Jesus and say, Is there any chance you could do something about me?  I'm a mess as I live in double condemnity.  I judge them...and myself.  Help us!!!

May the righteousness of Jesus be the prominent factor in our walk.  May our self-righteousness move to the back of the bus...and jump out the back door.  No one is right with God unless Jesus makes us right. 

 For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. 
                                                                 II Corinthians 10:12

Tuesday, November 07, 2017


One would think that to be a world impactor there would of necessity be information, accumulation, and destination; know your subject, gather pertinent tactics, and set out on mission.  One would think.  And thus, we who regard ourselves as mission-minded are able to take note of similar personal concepts in our faith walk.

Yet, there is another factor that's incredibly significant. 

When Jesus was sent from Heaven to earth to begin his mission, it was key that he first become an infant.  Yes, he was a man to be built from the ground up, so to speak.  This is where we replicas of him fight our biggest inner contest.  We do not want to appear vulnerable.  So?  We have traded the nakedness of an infant for the appearance of being equipped with knowledge.

Yes!  That's how we will tackle the world!  We will not approach society vulnerable as in an infant!  We will impress with our knowledge!  Therefore, the spiritual drive experiences shut-down because education was never the driving force.  Vulnerability and the willingness to try anyway has always been the secret approach to impacting the world.

Basically, we don't believe it.  Let me say that again.  Basically, we DON'T BELIEVE it.  The lack of faith is the game-changer when it comes to spreading the Gospel. 

The way to break through on mission--on impacting mission--is through the standard of infancy at heart.  Humility.  Dependence.  Hunger to learn.  Directable.  Ears that hear.  Receptive.  Defenseless.  Moldable.  Pliable.

A baby is vulnerable times 100.  It is this single route the God chose to save us.  Indeed, He would voluntarily become a person.  But more than becoming a person, which would seem to be humiliating enough, He became a baby person; can't walk, can't talk, can't convince, can't persuade.

This isn't the route I was hoping He would take for me.  I was more inclined to think that when I gained a more complete set of answers that it would be at that time that I was equipped to evangelize.  But one evening in a one-on-one Bible study He unlocked an imprisoning door.  I learned to say to the couple I was trying to teach, I don't know.  Surprise to me, their hearts opened even wider to me.  My lack was the secret to their eventual conversion.

Your secret to impacting the world will never be more than the secret Jesus knew.  Being inadequate seems to be a welcome mat to seekers.  Jesus didn't hit earth in cap, gown, and degree.  He hit it with inability to speak, inadequacy to plan, a diaper, and a bale of straw. 

Go.  Figure.  the.  Wisdom.  of.  God....and then...Enter.  In. 

Monday, November 06, 2017


Each time America experiences a mass murder, the call swells for the outlawing of guns.  This isn't a new chorus.  Wouldn't the move to make them illegal leave us with other immediate decisions.

     A.  Should we then outlaw trucks to curb the number of attacks which used such loaded with explosives?  And, should explosives be illegalized?
     B.  Should we, too, quit making automobile engines which travel beyond the speed limit as they
claim innocent lives as well because some irresponsibly drive too fast?
     C.  Should alcoholic beverages be labeled as illegal because some become drunk and cause harm,  at times, to others or to themselves?
     D.  Should sleeping pills be eliminated because some overdose?
     E.  Should churches be eliminated since they are often found to be centers of disruption rather than unity?
     F.  Should the Bible become illegal because a few use it to disrupt lives rather than inspire?

There will continue to be debate about gun control; even after my article!!!  I'm just saying that if such a law would be passed, it will not curb violence one whit.  The manufactured gun is not the problem of society.  We must continually, sacrificially work together to help each of us make a mature progress in loving God and then loving others.  Our hearts are where the adjustment is vitally needed; not the regulation of the tool being used to do the damage.

If we believe that simply outlawing guns would be the cure, then why don't we simply outlaw outlaws?  Oh...we already have....but that hasn't stopped them either, has it?


Okay, think with me.  Can you imagine what it would be like if, say perhaps while filling your car with gasoline, someone approached you with a gun and took you hostage?  Can you fathom for a second the blur of confusion which might be an obvious jolt to your system?  Try to imagine the surprise, the uncertainty of the next few minutes, and even the unexplainable imposed threat. 

You have just been taken hostage by a stranger who now wishes to commandeer your life!

I submit a shocking thought.  The person who likely victimizes us, freezes us in fear and takes us hostage (in repetitive fashion) is my(our)self.  We brandish our own weapon and we aim it directly at ourselves and scream, Freeze!  From the dimensions of panic and fear...we do exactly that.

Have we said to our advising friends, cheering relatives, and our supportive neighbors all around, Freeze!?  Have we scuttled their words of encouragement toward directional adjustment because we have taken over ourselves under the hostigetical guise of fear?  Rather than developing an ability to loosen up, to step out, have we frozen in our tracks; at least in our thinking patterns?  Of course, in the process we've thrown our hands up for we just arrested...ourselves.

Individually, we likely have made key decisive moves to take ourselves hostage.  We renamed it protection.  Protectionary custody sounds better?  Protectionary Custody leads to self-management.  Self-management leads to the self takeover

We are still holding ourselves hostage.  Life isn't passing us by under these conditions.  It's more.  Life can't look our way; it can't find us because we've gone into hiding.  This is the design and purpose of the Ultimate Hostage Takeover. 

The takeover, however, is taken over from what?  The glorious leadership of a very active, quite participatory God has been quenched and we, now, drive the bus.  We believe we are at the CONTROLS.  The Ultimate Hostage Takeover doesn't usually come from others.  Oh, it certainly can...and does.  But mainly, we arrest ourselves.  And...this isn't necessary.  Furthermore, it must stop.

We've been called to life and life abundantly at that.  Shall we dare step into this zone today?

Sunday, November 05, 2017


Conform.  Conform is an inner bark which howls that we retreat from bravery; from exceptionalism.  It is demanding and bossy.  Conform intends to lead us by the nose to be sure that we don't stand out as different from mediocre and neutral.  Thus we will find, within its protection, safety and acceptance without necessary development of the need to learn or to grow...up.

Conforming is "the" socially acceptable stance.  It is two clear truths: easiest and...deadliest.  Conforming to the flow around us takes no courage, it takes no intelligence, it takes no faith.  In this mode we simply develop into an approving/disapproving set of judges toward everyone but ourselves...and we are quite content with this very weak, sick arrangement.

Ours is fundamentally a conforming society.  It surely wasn't intended as such; yet this has been the trend with us for decades.  More than with us, it is us.  There are exceptions, of course.  Deliberately working on becoming the exception is what I wish to address.

God is clear, however, that we are not to conform to this world.  Rather, we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  Uh-oh!  So that's the human glitch; stubborn, set-in-my-ways thinking.  Unwilling to learn at whatever age we are, we grow accustomed to blocking incredible life by clinging to the little world we know...and can control.

To be a rebel would be to stare down the social powers whose voices intimidate by offering threat.  Conforming is their absolute by-law.  This requires nothing but convenience, handy-isms, and certainly no application of thought.  Conforming is the easy way out and that's what too many settle for in life.

Transformation, on the other hand, launches us into the deep and unknown experiences of ultimate fantasmalistic living.  We are not in control; but God's leadership.  Seldom, in all of God's human stars and starlets on His grand stage, did life ever unfold the way they would have anticipated; would have tried to control.

Abraham, Sarah, David, Thomas, Saul of Tarsus....these and countless others dropped their strong-armed control and yielded to nothing but an unprovable faith swirling in the air...a faith convicted that God can.  Ask Mary and Joseph about the time they learned they were pregnant!

God can.  Mark it down.  Leaders often can't.  Committees can't.  Best laid plans can't...can't offer the thrill and the results that the rebel with a cause can.  Dare to live beyond your fears.  Furthermore, dare to abide within His imagination for you.

Rebel with a cause...would  And...our hearts soar when we experience God doing the amazing among us!  Believe.  Big.

Thursday, November 02, 2017


I write this with a particular segment of society in mind.  Those who desperately need approval and relationship with others...but cannot find it...are who I wish to cheer.

First, I'm sorry that you can't find that niche of approval you so desperately desire.  Loneliness is a horrible condition.  Along the way, I've watched a few try a bit harder than others to gain attention; but what they don't realize is that they are shooting themselves in the foot.  Through their drive to gain personal sympathy via their steady rehearsal of their woes, these drive good friends farther away.

I'm not saying the result is right.  I am saying that I want to help any in this condition to try another tactic.

Rather than bemoan the sorry circumstances you are in (and here I refer only to those who never have anything positive to say), switch the direction of your conversation.  Give a verbal boost to others who could use a word of hope.  At this juncture you will find yourself very needed just as you had always wished.

It's a strange thing and a most consistent one.  What we sow, we reap.  Plant words of negative bummerisms about your condition and you'll never...never...dig your way out.  You assume that it's because of circumstances that bring your misery.  But likely it's your speech; the way you talk.  Obsession with self bums self and draws no positive attention.  Driven to cheer others on brings a new sort of fulfillment.  It's all found within our words; not our circumstances.

I root for you; for everyone.  99% of the populace does a decent job of speaking life.  They talk it, walk it...and therefore...receive it.  Whether it's a good day or bad does not determine what kind of day you are having...and I'm not speaking of becoming pretentious nor fake.  I'm saying that in every illness, in every catastrophe, in every death, there are words of praise able to be offered.

We all go through depression.  The secret to getting out is not more money or new friends.  The real secret is to change your language to where you find reason to speak of the goodness you see in God, in life, in others.  If you are miserable, you have sown it through your words.  If you are an endurer, you have spoken about life in a way that attends to others.

What you receive.  Tell others about how and why you love them.  It will bless them...and you.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017


The Adulterous Woman..from John 8

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees *brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they *said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, [a]Lord.” And Jesus said, I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]
There are two kinds of people interacting with Jesus.  The religiously-sinful Pharisees and the guilty sinful woman.  Jesus puts both into complete perspective.
The religious leaders left the scene with tails tucked between their legs.  The woman left the same scene with holy pardon.  Her instructions were to never sin again.  If she succeeded in Jesus command there would have been no need for him to later suffer agony on the Cross.  She must have sinned again.
Jesus died for us because we are most pitiful at trying to get our lives in order.  The devoted-to-God ones and the not-devoted-to-God one were two kinds of people found, in reality, to be the same kind...repetitive sinners.  
We do not find in any of Jesus' interactions toward we violators that pardon is granted because we got our weaknesses curbed.  Rather, we each find cure and hope because he came to earth to experience our guilt and then took on that guilt at the Cross.  He took on our shame and he handed us his honor.
Never are we to be permitted to sin that grace might increase.  But as sin shows up, grace does increase.  That's His power....not ours.  That's His Word....not our idea.