ETL.021: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Faith Interview with Linda Shaffer; Forgiveness When Forgiving is So Hard


forgive_sLet me set the stage for just a moment: a previous interview (actually a two-part interview) focused on the story of Chuck Shaffer, a former minister arrested in an internet sting operation and who served time in a federal penitentiary .  He lost his career, his reputation, his standing in the community and the church.  He also nearly lost his faith and his family.  Incredibly, he was able to rebuild that shattered life—see episodes 11 and 13 (click here for episode 11 and here for 13).

There’s an equally incredible story behind that story—it’s the one of the betrayed and forsaken wife.  In this interview Linda Shaffer shares her story of forgiveness; wanting to model a Christ-like spirit to her own children she knew she must forgive. Facing challenges and negative responses from surprising sources she struggled to forgive.  The process (and she emphasizes it’s been a long process) has brought great blessing and joy to her life.  In many ways so much more so than was previously true.

We all must learn to forgive and Linda has great insights to share as one who come to forgive when forgiving was so very hard.



Linda and daughter, Makayla

Linda and daughter, Makayla


Linda’s favorite Scriptures:

Philippians 2:5-11

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Proverbs 16:3-4

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.  The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Romans 10:11

“For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’”


To get Reassembled

with Linda’s chapter “Why I Chose to Forgive”
Send an email requesting the book to:
The only expense to you will be for shipping.


David’s Interview

To listen to David’s interview on The Jenkins Institute Podcast with Dale and Jeff Jenkins CLICK HERE


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God bless!


ETL.013: “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Faith” Interview with Chuck Shaffer (Part 2): Rebuilding From the Ashes of Ruined Faith, Family, and Church


Part one of this interview (ETL.011) covered Chuck’s fall that landed him in federal prison.  He had lost his faith, family, relationship with his church family, standing in the community and career.  How does one even begin to rebuild and restore all that has been lost?  Chuck has been able to do so. His insights are forged from the fires of bitter experience.

Important insights identified by Chuck for rebuilding and restoration:

1) The way home is through God and His word
2) Enlist the help of a trusted third party (especially in regard to rebuilding trust)
3) Build on previous foundation

  • Salvage what you have left from previous relationships and build from there

4) Journal

  • As Chuck said, it’s more difficult to lie to yourself when you write it down.

5) Re-prioritize

  • A major contributing factor in his fall was wrong priorities.  Immediately realign your priorities and go from there.

6) Do not neglect your church’s fellowship (be in the worship assembly).

  • Despite the shame and embarrassment you need to be there
  • Yes, some will be critical and judgmental, but also the ones who will support and encourage and forgive are there too.


Immediate steps to be taken by someone at rock bottom right now:

  • stop feeling sorry for yourself
  • know that God is there
  • make yourself available for spiritual help (seek out a preacher, elder, or other helper)
  • be in the church’s assembly
  • know that you are not done—this is not it for you!


Scriptures mentions by Chuck:

  • Hebrews 12:7-13
  • Psalm 51
  • Psalm 1
  • James 1:5
  • Genesis 37-50 (the story of Joseph and his brother and eventual forgiveness)


Chuck’s book: Reassembled

“The Journey of a Minister, Manager, Husband and Father as He Leaves God to wander into the Fantasy World of On-Line Chat and his Painful Journey Back to God, to Family and to Himself as he is Reassembled” [from the front cover]

Contact Chuck by email and he will make sure you receive a copy for the cost of shipping only.


Submit a Bible question
These questions will be answered in an upcoming podcast. Send an email to:

Click below to subscribe to this podcast via:

Thank you for checking out this episode of The Enjoy True Living Podcast. Come back again to listen soon!

God bless!

Can I Be Forgiven?

We have all done things of which we are not proud.  We all have “a past.”  Everyone.  We have all made mistakes; and, yes, we can all be forgiven.

“Yea, but you don’t know what I’ve done!”

True, but I do know what God has said and what God has done.  The Bible makes it very clear that God’s forgiveness is available. This is the very reason Jesus came

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15).  Or, as Jesus says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

As a matter of fact, God has gone to great lengths to make forgiveness possible.  Perhaps the best known verse in all of the Bible, John 3:16, sometimes called “the golden text” of the Bible, affirms that God has made forgiveness available through His Son Jesus because He loves us so much.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Notice, this offer is not restricted.  Anyone can be saved.  It is “whoever believes” that will be saved.  Forgiveness isn’t reserved for a certain group or class or race or whatever.  It is available for everyone.  “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people” (Titus 2:11).

So, availability is not the problem.  Neither is capability.  That is, God has forgiven sins before, and He can forgive mine.

One group of Christians in the Bible was reminded about their forgiveness.  “You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”  And these were people who had been, or at least some of them had been, sexually immoral, idolaters,  adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, greedy, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers (1 Cor. 6:9-10).  God forgave.

The apostle Paul considered his own case particularly serious.  He even called himself “foremost” of all sinners because he had been “a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent” of God and Jesus (1 Tim. 1:13-15).

So, God has, and God can forgive sin; even mine.

Still, our mind wrestles with the very idea of it.  Isn’t that because we know we don’t deserve forgiveness?  That is exactly right; we don’t deserve it.  But this is the great beauty and power of God’s forgiveness.  God doesn’t deal with us in terms of what we deserve.  Instead God extends His mercy and grace.  Paul, again, says that even though he was “foremost” of sinners, “I received mercy…and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me” (1 Tim. 1:13-14).

Mercy and grace are wonderful.  Mercy is our not getting what we do deserve, and grace is getting what we do not deserve.  We need both.

To illustrate the fact of God’s willingness and desire to forgive (even me), Jesus told the well-known parable of the prodigal son.  It’s worth hearing again:

And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.  And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need.  So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs.  And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’  And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.  And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’  But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.  And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:11-24; ESV)

Yes! A thousand times, yes! I can be forgiven.

God bless,

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