As we approach a new year, and knowing I have more behind me than ahead of me, it becomes ever more important to own who I am. I am a child of God saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ my Lord. Much of my life found me chained to a legalistic doctrine that sapped my faith, hope and love and encouraged doubt, discouragement, fear and judgment.

Once I escaped (and it was a true and traumatic escape) I found a God of love and peace that I left behind many years ago in my quest to perform my way into salvation. There is NOTHING I could ever do to earn a place with God. Jesus already did it all and proclaimed it finished! Like Paul, I do not see this as a license to sin (realizing also that what I wear, my hair style, and where I go are not sin unless they are sinful) rather a knowledge that we are saved by faith in Christ alone, not by works, lest any should boast. The bottom line is and has always been God is Love and to be His disciple is to have love for Him and for one another—that is a bottom line where we find REAL peace. May God richly bless each one as we walk by faith into a new year with Him.