I received an email yesterday from someone quite concerned because she thought one of our contributing authors was plagiarizing another one of our authors. Sure enough, when I checked out the article, it was almost exactly the same as the article she had received from the real author. After seeing the documentation, I can tell you I was truly distressed, disappointed, and angry as well.

The problem was not that one author had copied the article and presented the material as his own; the problem was with me! When posting the article for publishing to the web, I assigned the article to the wrong author. What Russ Lawson had written, I had assigned to Patrick Odum. Now both are good guys and good authors. I appreciate their work. But, I had made a mess of things — I was the problem. In fact, in going back to examine the article, I found out how I had messed up in two other ways on the article. Three mess-ups on one article — that's pretty extreme for even me. So I want to apologize to Russ and Patrick for my mess-ups. In addition, I want to apologize to our readers. The web site has the corrected version of the article — and yes, all three mess-ups have been fixed, although I'm sure if we all look awhile we can find some others!

I don't know about you, but I hate to have mess-ups. It doesn't matter if my mess-ups involve editing for Heartlight, dealing with my family, dishonoring my Father in heaven, or creating stress in my relationship with other believers. It is embarrassing to have mess-ups. It hurts other people's feelings. It can sometimes create a series of events over which I have no control.

Like many folks, I can find myself easily trying to rationalize my way around the mess-ups I make. But trying to dodge the responsibility of my own mess-ups is fruitless, deceitful, hurtful, and arrogant — not just to others, but also to myself.

That's the beauty of being God's children.
So why not let my mess-ups be a reminder to you that we all have to own up to our failures, sins, misjudgments, errors, mistakes, and mess-ups. That's the beauty of being God's children. We can confess our mess-ups and be forgiven. God can give us a clean slate. Our brothers and sisters in Christ will do the same if we are honest about our failures and don't try to rationalize them away. Let's acknowledge our mess-ups and get back on track with the work of God!

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 1:16)Praise the Lord! ... He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:1-12)