Pilate.  Pilate.  You thought the man innocent.  Not guilty.  But you bowed to peer pressure.  Both you and Herod found him innocent.  Yet you couldn’t let him go.  You valued your life over his.  You even claimed a friend that day.  Herod, the man who was once your enemy became a friend.  For what?  Because you both agreed about this man?  You both found him innocent but couldn’t free him.  What kind of leader are you?

So you listened to the crowd.  You had the opportunity to free a man sentenced to death.  You could have released Jesus.  An innocent man.  Yet you released a murderer.  You released a man charged with insurrection.  A troublemaker.  A rioter.  Were you afraid of a riot if you let Jesus go free?  Do you always lead with double standards?  Were you afraid for your life that day?

Pilate.  You sat on the judgment seat.  The power was in your hands.  Even your wife knew you should free Jesus.  She had a nightmare.  She knew.  She begged you to let him go.  But you didn’t listen.  You were too concerned for yourself.  Coward.  Spineless.  Yourself a troublemaker.  You couldn’t stand up for an innocent man.  So you traded his life for that of a murderer.  Your claim to fame is the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.

How does it feel to sentence an innocent man to death?  Oh.  You came to the right conclusion.  Both you and Herod.  Jesus was innocent.  No crime was committed.  Yet you bowed.  But you were the leader.  The governor.  You were the one with the power.  And you were afraid.  You had a choice.  Do the right thing or do the popular thing.  Yes.  We know what you chose.

Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?” Mark 15:12

You thought that washing your hands in a bowl of water would cleanse you from guilt.  There is not enough soap to wash away that guilt.  The only thing that would cleanse you was the man you put on that cross.  Sometimes the things we try to run from continue to haunt us long after the deed is done.  Sometimes you can’t run far enough or fast enough.  And it doesn’t matter if someone else says they’ll take the blame.  It was you who freed the wrong man.  You’re the one who has to live with that.

There are stories that tell how you had a history of executing prisoners before their trial.  You were violent.  Greedy.  Stubborn.  Cruel.  Yes.  That’s the way history paints you.  So killing another innocent man wasn’t new to you.  But this prisoner was different.  You knew this man was innocent.

I wonder, Pilate, if Jesus’ words had begun to sink in.  When you asked if he was king of the Jews, did you believe he was?  I can see how his words of truth would prick your heart and create the stirrings of belief.  You were frightened by his words.  I believe you knew that you were dealing with someone not of this world.

You had him flogged with a lead-tipped whip.  Then you ordered your men to put a crown of thorns on his head.  You dressed him in a purple robe.  Perhaps deep down you knew.  He really was King of the Jews.  But you couldn’t say it to the crowd.  Or you might have been the one on the cross.

Here’s the thing.  Pontius Pilate.  You couldn’t change your mind.  Your decision was part of God’s plan for his only Son.  Jesus was born to die on that cross. God knew there would be those warring against him.  You were placed in that role for this very part.  Oh.  Yours wasn’t a starring role.  But it was powerful.  It was shameful.  It was tragic.  But you did the job.  Your decision set Jesus up to be the Savior of the world.  He died for you, Pilate.


Slow Fade to Betrayal

Judas.  What were you thinking?  Or maybe you weren’t.

Your reputation is one of a thief.  You steal money.  And now you’ve stolen trust.  When you were given the task to manage the disciples’ money, did you agree because it would be easy access for you?    Did you think no one would notice?  Did you think the money was yours to spend at will?

Have you always been a troublemaker?  Have you always sought the easy way?  When Jesus asked you to join him.  To follow.  What made you say yes?  Did you seriously mean to say yes?  I bet you didn’t know what you were getting yourself into.  If you had known, would you have followed him?  Did you know his reputation?  And you still said yes.  You followed him.  You preached.  You spread the good news right alongside the other eleven.  And alongside Jesus.  You traveled with him.  You ate with him.  You knew him as a close friend.

Do you remember when Jesus gave you and the others the authority to heal every kind of disease and illness?  Do you remember when he gave you the power to cast out evil spirits?  And you did those things.  In His name.  He trusted you.  You had the same power that he had.  And look what you did.

What were you thinking?

Do you think Jesus didn’t know?  Don’t you remember the miracles he performed right in front of you?  He turned water to wine.  He healed the sick.  He brought a dead man back to life.  He paid his taxes with a coin that a fish coughed up.  So don’t you think he knew that you were taking money?  Don’t you think he was aware of your faults?  Oh.  He was aware.  But Jesus kept you around anyway.  Jesus had to know you were taking money.  Jesus had to know that you were looking out for yourself.  Jesus had to know that you weren’t all in. Jesus also knew that you needed him.

Two days before Passover, you had heard Jesus warn that he was going to die.  He probably had told you that the religious leaders were looking for him.  They wanted to kill him.   Again.  If he knew that.  If he knew he was going to die in a few days, don’t you think he knew you were going to betray him?  Don’t you think he knew that Satan was going to take root in you and set him on the path of death?  Don’t you think he knew?  But he invited you to that last supper anyway.  He ate with you that one last night.  He dipped his bread in the same cup that you used.  You were that close to him.

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your soul?  Mark 8:36

But Judas.  Do you know when the slow fade started?  Do you know what caused you to start doubting?  To start second guessing?  To start thinking that perhaps you could work out a deal with the Pharisees and officers?  To betray Jesus?  When did that start happening?  Oh.  You had two days warning that Jesus was going to die.  He told you himself.  But you didn’t know when he was going to die.  You didn’t know that your act of betrayal would push him down the path of no return.  Did you?  Were you that hungry for money?  What were you really hungry for?  You love money.  Did you love Jesus?  Why did you stay with Jesus if your heart wasn’t in it?  When did you start to turn away?  Were you ever all in?

Did you plan ahead?  That betrayal was epic.  You betrayed Jesus with a kiss?  Really?  Is the kiss supposed to make the hurt all better?  He saw right through it.  He knew what you were doing.

Looking in from the outside, you might appear to have it all.  After all, you are one of the original twelve.  But something somewhere happened along the way.  Your priorities changed. Your allegiance changed. Your heart changed.

Were you not willing to give up everything to follow Christ?  Were you not completely sold out for him?

What was it?  Were the eleven surprised to learn that you were the traitor?  Were you the one they suspected when Jesus said one would betray him?

Oh.  Judas.  Did you know that your sin fulfilled God’s purpose for His only Son?  Did you know that your actions put Jesus’ trial and crucifixion in place?  Did you know that you made history?  Is that what you were hungry for?  Fame?  And fortune?  Did you think that 30 coins was enough to soothe your betrayal?  Obviously, it wasn’t.  You returned the money.  But blood money can’t be returned.   You were filled with guild, remorse, shame.

But look what that betrayal and money did to you.  It ruined you.  Did you not know that sin is a deadly enemy?  Did you not know that sin would ruin your life?  Did you not know that sin always looks prettier and flirtier until it’s done?  And then it’s too late.  There’s no going back.  You betrayed Jesus.  You took the money.  Then you slipped the rope around your neck and let go.  Was that the path you intended to take?  Oh.  It didn’t have to end this way.  Or did it?  Did you not know that Jesus was dying for you?


Not My Will

Imagine being Jesus.  Sitting there, eating his final meal with his twelve closest friends.  The men he chose.  The men he handpicked to help spread his story.  His brothers.  His confidants.  His disciples.  And he knew.  He knew that before the night was over, two of those men would turn against him.  Two of his handpicked men would put aside the past three years of hard work.  To save themselves.  Yet he let it happen.  He welcomed them to the table and ate with them.  Oh.  He warned them both.  One of you will betray me and turn me over to be arrested.  The other will deny knowing me.  And still he ate with them.  Still He loved them.  He let them make the decision.  He let them choose their path.

Just hours before Peter denied knowing Christ, he had helped John prepare the Last Supper.  The Passover meal.  Jesus had asked Peter to get the meal ready, knowing that a few hours later Peter would deny  him.  Judas went to that meal having set his betrayal in motion.  He had already turned himself over to Satan.  He had already arranged a deal to hand Jesus over to the authorities.  Jesus knew.  But he welcomed Judas all the same.  When he told Peter what he would do,  Peter vehemently argued that he would never deny knowing Jesus.  He said he would go to prison or die first.

The thing is.  Jesus knew his disciples’ decisions would lead him down a dark path of suffering.  He knew those decisions would help lead him to his death.  But he didn’t stop it.  He could have chosen to stop his suffering.  After all.  He is God’s son.  But he knew his life purpose was to suffer and die for everyone.  Including those two men.

Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.  Psalm 41:9

Just this week, I felt betrayed.  I felt abandoned.  I felt like I was treated unfairly.  Thrown to the wolves.  That’s how it felt.  And it stings.  It cuts to the core.  It leaves you reeling and wondering where to turn.  When trust is suddenly no longer within reach, what do you do?  But Jesus held steady.  He knew he would suffer.  He knew the path he was on.  He knew the road he was taking was not easy.  Yet he took it willingly.  He even died on that path.

Oh. Jesus prayed.  He asked God to remove the path of suffering from him.  He was in great agony over it.  But there was no other way.  He knew that.  He surrendered to his Father.  Your will.  Not mine.
Sure.  God could have spared me from this hurt.  But he didn’t.  I’ve been asking him to show me if I was where I belonged.  For the past two years, I have prayed that God would remove the people who didn’t belong.  I didn’t realize I was praying that prayer for myself.  That wasn’t my intent.  But God knew.  He allowed the situation to happen.  He’s giving me the opportunity to learn new lessons and gain new experiences from my loss.
Oh.  It hurts.  The path I’ve been given isn’t one of my choosing.  It’s a path I’ve been down before.  More than once.  I survived the journey before, and I will survive again.  But the path is uncertain.  I have no choice but to take this journey.
I’m all in.  No matter what lies ahead..


He knew he had messed up as soon as he heard the rooster crow. As he turned his head, he saw Jesus look at him.  The look said it all.  Jesus had told him that he would do it.  And he had vehemently denied that he would ever.  But he did it.  He denied his Lord.  Not once.   Not twice.  But three times.  Before the rooster crowed.  Just as Jesus said he would.

Jesus had been arrested.  Peter had followed.  Keeping tabs on his Lord that night.  Waiting to see what would happen after the arrest.  The girl noticed him.  She called him out.  You were with the man.  No. I. Wasn’t.  That’s what Peter said three times.  Each time he was noticed, he said it.  I never knew Him.

After he heard the rooster, he left and wept bitterly.  He had just denied his Lord.  What was he to do now?  Was he worthy of forgiveness?  Did he even dare ask?

Then I remember.  I too denied Him.  It wasn’t my intention.  But I did it without hesitation.  Why?  Fear of being ridiculed.  Fear of new expectations.  Wanting to fit in.  Wanting to be liked.  But what was I willing to give up for that denial?  What was worth it?

After all, the timing was so wrong when Peter denied Jesus.  Jesus had just told the disciples that he was days away from dying.  Did they not realize that he was dying for them?  I knew he had died for me when I denied him.  I had already pledged my life to him.  But I still didn’t hesitate.  What was I really afraid of?  What relationship was more important to me?  My relationship with my friends?  Or my relationship with him?  None of my friends had offered their life for me.  In fact, the new boy was probably planning to ridicule anyone who had said they were a follower of Jesus.  So I knew he wouldn’t die for me.  And no one else in the group offered.

I remember my denial.  Seventh grade.  Walking with a group of classmates.  The new boy asked the question.  Is anybody here religious?  Everybody pointed to me.  No.  I’m not.  I said.  Oh.  I get it.  People don’t know the difference between being religious and being a Christian.  But I knew what he was asking.  I denied it.  I wanted to fit in.  I didn’t want people calling me names or treating me differently.  And with that response everyone kept walking.  The conversation was over.  But I knew.  I knew in my heart that I should have stood up for what I believed.  I shouldn’t have been afraid to share my young faith.   I’ve never forgotten that conversation.  And I wonder how things would have turned out if I had been bold.

I wonder what the other kids saw in me that made them point me out.  Was it because they knew my family went to church?  What was it they saw that was different?  Was it the clothes I wore?  Was it my actions?  Was it words I said?  Or didn’t say?

Oh Peter.  How could you.  How could you deny your Savior.  Your Lord.  Your Master.  He knew you would and you told him never.  Never would you deny him.  But he knew you would.  And when the deed was done.  Not once.  But three times.  Three times in the matter of a few hours.  You were heartsick.   You were broken.  How was it so easy to deny at the moment when someone noticed you.

Oh.  Yes.  People notice.

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”  Matthew 26:34

Jesus could have said.  I told you so.  Instead, he just turned and looked at Peter. The look said enough.  Sorrow.  Betrayal.  Did Peter also see the love and forgiveness? Perhaps not in that moment.

He had heard those words just hours earlier.  You will betray me.  As soon as they were said, they were forgotten.

Peter was too caught up in the moment.  He witnessed Jesus’ arrest.  His beating.  His trial.  Oh.  He watched Jesus that night.  From a distance.  He watched with caution.  Not wanting others to notice him.  But they did notice.

I’m a fair weather fan of a certain football team.  If they’re winning, I’m all in.  If they’re not playing well, well I’m not watching.  I can’t bear to see them fall apart and lose.  I wouldn’t dare attend a game.  After all, I’d hate to show my true colors if my team isn’t winning.  I wouldn’t want others to see me turn away in despair.

That’s how I see Peter.  Oh.  He loves Jesus.  He’s a follower.  He said he was willing to die for him.  When the ministry is going well.  But when the opposition shows up, he supports from the sidelines.  He doesn’t want to appear to be in the game.  Now it’s a spectator sport.

Until he’s caught.  Someone recognizes him and calls him out.  Without even thinking about it, he denies everything he once held so dear  In a split second, when he could stand for something he falls in defeat.  Three times.

I have faced tests since that moment in my youth.  Some I passed.  Others I failed.  I don’t know.  I will face another test some day.  I’m sure of it.  If so, my prayer is that my faith will be strong and my courage unwavering .

Take Every Thought Captive

I had had negative thoughts all day.  Feelings of inadequacy.  Feelings of discontent.  Just not happy with the way anything went that day.  I was driving home and it suddenly dawned on me.  I had a choice.  I could choose to remain negative.  Or.  I could choose joy.  So I had a conversation with someone.  The initiator of all negativity.  The distorter of all truth.  So I spoke the words aloud.  I wanted him to hear me.  Loud.  And.  Clear.

In Jesus name, get behind me, Satan.  Stop filling my mind with negative thoughts.

Immediately my mind cleared.  Then the words of a song appeared.

Jesus is the joy of living.  He’s the king of life to me.  Unto him my all I’m giving. His forevermore to be. I will do what he commands me.  Anywhere he leads, I’ll go.  Jesus is the joy of living.  He’s the dearest friend I know.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

Is it possible to capture every rebellious thought and turn it into a Christ honoring thought?  Is it possible to stop Satan’s twisting of truth and manipulation of thoughts and feelings?  Not in my own power.  Because there will be that driver who pulls out in front of me at the last minute.  There will be that coworker who never uses her indoor voice.  There will be that neighbor who doesn’t keep their lawn mowed.  There will be that food server who doesn’t refill my water glass when I desperately need more water.  There will be that controlling boss who has to have his way.  There will be that unbeliever who challenges your beliefs.

It’s so easy to get distracted by life.  The tight budget that keeps getting tighter.  The deadly flu virus that’s sweeping the nation.  The organizational changes at work.  The looming tax filing deadline.  The deadly school shootings.  The community devastated by 2 fallen police officers.  The list could go on endlessly.

Negativity is everywhere.  Submission to the gospel of Jesus Christ is crowded out by pride.  Obedience to Christ is trampled by rebelliousness.  Peace is shadowed by fear.

The thing is.  This isn’t a physical battle we’re fighting.  Oh. We’re fighting a battle all right. But it’s a spiritual battle.

Satan is working to keep people from believing in Christ.  He’s also working to keep Christians from growing and maturing in Christ.  Oh.  Satan isn’t God’s equal.  But there are demonic forces working to distort truth, to deceive and to disrupt God’s work in our lives.

This Christian life is a battle.  We must fight this battle to the death. We can resist temptation.  We can push Satan away.   We have a stronghold.  God is the Victor.

Another old hymn comes to mind to help remove the negative thoughts.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.  In the light of His glory and grace.

Day Labor

They were day laborers.  They weren’t looking for a handout.  They were looking for work.   And they worked hard that day.  That one day of work was all they were promised.  They didn’t know what tomorrow would bring.  Would they get the call?  Would they work tomorrow?

They both had a story.  One with four kids.  The other lost his job as his wife was diagnosed with cancer.  Both trying to provide.  Both trying to make ends meet.  And the ends were far from meeting.  Both doing the best they could with what they were given.  Oh.  It wasn’t easy.  And that was only the part of the story they told that day.  There are always chapters of stories that are left out.  Most people don’t want to share their entire story.  It’s too painful or humbling.  Some just can’t get the words out.  There are many words that are left unsaid.

The work that day wasn’t easy, either.  Moving furniture.  Big heavy office furniture.  But they worked.  They moved the furniture.  They earned their pay that day.  They didn’t complain.

They came unprepared for lunch.  No money.  No snacks.  And they did heavy labor.  Back breaking labor.  Lunch was provided for them.  They ate the Wendy’s burgers as if it was their last meal.  They profusely gave thanks.  Even a handful of peanuts was appreciated.

I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.  Matthew 25:36

But it wasn’t their story that was so remarkable.  It was their questions.  They had, by chance, been hired by a faith-based organization.  Just for the day.  The man who hired them talked of his life.  And his faith.  They were curious.  How do you have peace when you have nothing?  How do you make a difference in your child’s life?  He shared.  He encouraged.  Let’s hope and pray that their hearts were open to hear the truth.  To seek the truth.  To live the truth.

This man was faithful to his calling.  He has the gift of helps.  He enjoys giving back.  Helping those who can’t help themselves.  He does it daily.  Oh.  It isn’t easy work.  But it’s fulfilling.

He offered work.  He bought lunch. He listened to their stories.  He answered their questions.  He made them feel valued.  He shared faith.  Oh.  He had expectations of a full day’s work.  He provided the example and was rewarded with hard work.

His day labor looks much different from those he hired.  He must be faithful to the One who called him.  He must choose every day to be faithful to the one who is faithful to him.  His calling is sure.  His work is to serve the underserved.  The less privileged.  The disenfranchised.  He looks for opportunities to give back when others aren’t looking.  He also is a day laborer.  For this day is all he has.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Oh.  May all who come behind us find us faithful.

Flu Season

Have you heard?  It’s flu season.  And this year.  This year the flu is bad.  People are dying.  Children.  Moms.  Old people.  It can strike anyone at any time.  Oh.  There are warnings.  Wash your hands.  Get the flu shot.  Stay home if you’re sick.  But not everyone heeds the warnings.

This is the worst flu season in almost a decade.  It’s not an epidemic.  But almost. That’s what they say.  Oh.  There have been other illnesses and plagues that have been worse.  Much worse.  But it seems when the dying season is upon us it feels worse than ever.  And it’s not even peak flu season yet.   Medical experts are predicting this to be the worst flu season in history.  It’s being compared to a plague of locusts devastating crops from coast to coast.  This flu is called H3N2.

Swine Flu.  Polio.  AIDS.  Smallpox.  Bubonic Plague.  Spanish Flu.  Tuberculosis.  Malaria.  Cholera.  Ebola.

Some of these diseases have been eradicated.  Some are now treatable.  All are to be avoided.  Each one has wreaked havoc across many nations and homes.  There have been casualties.  There have been survivors.  All have a story to tell.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 6:23

There is another disease that’s wreaking havoc all over the world.  Oh.  I dare to call it an epidemic.  Some don’t want to give it a name.  Others call the name to its face.  This disease has many and various symptoms.  It can seem to be in remission and then return.  It can be eradicated once and for all.  If treated properly.

The thing is.  Everyone is born with this disease.  It shows its face early in life.  One never knows when it will become full blown.  It’s different for everyone.  But it will erupt.  It will cause death.  It must be treated.

Some have symptoms of rebellion.  Others are prone to lying.  Or stealing.  Or cheating.  Stubbornness.  Gluttony.  Unfaithfulness.  Murder.  Worshiping false gods.  Disobedience.  The list goes on.

Here’s the thing.  Each symptom has the same underlying cause.  And each symptom has the same cure.  There are differences in every case.  It depends on how long and how deeply rooted the disease has been working.  It’s an internal disease with both internal and external consequences.  Some consequences come at a huge cost.  Others aren’t so public.  They both lead to the same death.  If the cure isn’t applied.

Some take to the cure more easily than others.  Some fight it.  And they fight it hard.  Sometimes their entire life.  Until it’s too late.  And they miss out on the cure of a lifetime.  Those who accept the cure must be diligent about the continual battle.  The disease can recur.  If it does, it can be even harder to eliminate.  But it’s always possible to beat this disease.  Always.

The cure.  It’s very personal.  It’s free. And it’s immediate.  It’s always available.  This pharmacy is never closed.  It isn’t to be taken lightly.  It’s a private act.  Once the cure is applied, the patient is encouraged to share it with others who have the disease.  It’s that treatable.

The disease.  Sin.  The cure.  Salvation.



Who are you wearing

It’s awards season.  The nominees have been announced.  They’ll get all fancied up.  For the event.  They’ll spend hours primping and priming and tucking and sleeking.  Hair is done.  Makeup is done.  Nails are done.  Nothing is left undone.  They must look their best.  The world will be watching.  Mostly from afar.

They’ve fasted.  They’ve dieted.  They’ve cleansed.  They’re as thin as they’re going to be.  For that night.

They’ve been offered the best of the best among the dresses.  The jewelry.  The shoes.  They must choose the attire they think will outshine everyone else.  For everyone else will be looking.  They will all be looking.  Hoping to win the best dressed award.  Which really isn’t an award.  It’s an opinion.  But opinions do matter.  Especially on this night.

I’ve watched the red carpet events for years.  Oh.  Not the actual awards shows.  But the shows as the gowns are being paraded down the red carpet.  The women pose.  First to the front with hand on hip.  Then flip out the leg if the slit is high enough.  And it is usually high enough.  Turn around to show off the back of the dress.  If the dress has a back.  Smile your brightest whitest smile.

They’re all waiting for the question.  The one question.  It’s a big question.  It’s asked at every event.  Supposedly made famous by Joan Rivers.  Who are you wearing?  That’s the question.  Oh.  It’s important.  It’s very important to give the designer’s name.  The name of the person who created the dress.  You see.  If someone rich and famous wears that designer’s clothes, then it’s assumed the rest of us will want to wear them.  Or knockoffs.  Whatever fits the budget.  Oh.  It’s a serious thing.  It’s a money maker.

But woe is the designer whose dress makes the worst dressed list.  As one show says.  One day you’re in.  The next day you’re out.  All because of other people’s opinions.

One particular event.  Every woman wore black.  They were making a statement.  They were taking names.  They were sharing a message.  With the color of their dress.  That event wasn’t so much about who they were wearing.  But it was about the color they were wearing.  Or weren’t wearing.  Fighting for a cause of their choice.  Daring others to join in or be called out.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Philippians 4:8

The way I see it.  I have a choice every day.  Every single day.  Which designer will I wear?  There are two designers to choose from.  Some may think two isn’t much of a selection.  Frankly.  One is all we need.  But we have a choice.  There’s an obvious difference in their designs.  In their taste level.  In their purpose.  And the choice makes a huge difference.  In everything.  One designer is the master creator.  The other is the master deceiver.

The master creator clothes us with truth.  Honor.  Respect.  Purity.  Love.  Grace.  And the price for all this. You ask.  There is no cost.  For us.  He paid a great price.  He gave his only son so we could be clothed in forgiveness.

The deceiver.  He clothes his followers with arrogance.  Deceit.  Murder.  Evil.  Wickedness.  Conflict.  Lies.
Oh.  The deceiver had his chance to work with the master designer.  But he wanted the top position.  It didn’t end well for him.  So he’s trying to trick anyone and everyone to wear his designs.  But don’t be fooled.  His designs come at a great price.
Just so you know.  Everyone is watching.  They’re listening.  They’re looking to see which designer you’ve chosen.  Is it easy to tell at first glance?  Do others ask for the name of your designer, because they like what they see?  Or are your knockoffs easy to spot?
So I dare to ask.  Who are you wearing?



I put myself out there.  I’m going for something that others would advise against.  Some have told me that it might not suit me.  But they’re holding me up to someone else’s standards.  Someone else’s actions.  Someone whose actions were often questioned.  Someone who was often at odds with those in leadership positions.  When asked if I thought I could do the job, I said there are always opportunities for improving the way the job is done.  There are ways to be kinder to people.  Am I up for the task?  Oh.  If chosen, I’ll find out.  Will there be more stress?  More deadlines?  More people to please?  Absolutely.

I read a quote this week.  Making a big life change is pretty scary.  But you know what’s even scarier?  Regret. Toby Mac said that.  And I believe it.  I agree.

So.  We’ll see what happens.  Nothing may change.  But then.  Everything may change.

Some have said they thought I could do it. But in the next breath, they mention their concerns. Red flags? Warnings?  I appreciate their kindness.  I really do.

I’m not a big risk taker, but sometimes change is good. There’s only one way to find out if the change is good. And that’s by changing.

Just because you’ve had the same routine for awhile doesn’t mean you have to stay in that old rut.

Who knows what the future holds. Time will tell. I need to keep my options open.

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.  Proverbs 16:9

Intuition.  Gut feeling.  That’s a thing.  It really is.  I’m reading the book “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker.  He says.  Your intuition is always right.  Heed its advice.  If something feels wrong, don’t do it.  Avoid it.  Turn the other way.

So that’s what I did.  All along, my gut was telling me one thing.  Don’t.  Beware.  Think this thing through.  The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.  My mind was saying what I wanted to hear.  Go for it.  Do it.  You never know unless you try it.

Advice from those who know you is not to be taken lightly.  Listen to their words.  Their concerns.  Sometimes the words fit.  Other times they don’t.  There is a saying.  You will have well-meaning people give you well-meaning advice that still is not good for you.  Just a reminder you don’t have to take it.  But there are times when it’s good to listen.  Really listen to the words that are being said.  and to listen to the words that aren’t being said.

Prayer is an amazing gift.  It’s free.  So I talked to God about the situation.  I asked him to give me clarity about what was the path for me to take.  Once I walked out of that meeting, I knew.  Oh.  I knew before I ever left the meeting.  The information presented to me was enough to stop the second guessing.  I knew the path I should take.

So I took it.

The right decision is liberating.  It’s peaceful.  It’s the right thing to do.

Humbled Pilgrims

The driving conditions are treacherous.  The weather is hazardous.  The office is open.  I must make an effort.

Chemically wet roads.  Black ice.  Falling snow.  Cold weather.  The combination makes the dark morning even more ominous.  And it’s Monday.

Snow trucks are plowing the roads.  Drivers must be cautious.  The going is slow.  Some drivers are overly cautious.  Going 25 miles per hour under the speed limit.  All cars behind the slow leader are anxious.  Knowing they need to go slow.  But also knowing that too much caution causes others to take unnecessary chances.  Who is to blame?  Mother Nature?  It is winter.  After all.

Use caution on overhead bridges.  We’re told.  Slow down going around tight curves.  Watch the tire pressure.  Make sure the windshield is clear.  Pay close attention to other drivers.  Have food and water in the car.  Pack blankets.  All good advice.

The storm passes.  Days go by.  The big one is coming.  Snowpocalypse.  They’re calling it.  Snowmageddon.  How bad will it be?   How much snow will fall?  Will ice be packed under the snow?  Do we hunker down and wait it out?  Or do we venture out?  Stay home unless you have to go out.  That’s what we’re told.

Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end.  Hebrews 2:12-14

We’re all travelling the road of life.  Some of us have been travelling it for oh so many years.  Many others are just a few short years into the journey.  It is a series of treacherous paths.  Oh.  Not all paths are hazardous, but many are.  One wrong turn.  One bad decision.  One poorly timed word.  One distraction.  It can throw life into a whirlwind of unexpected events and consequences.  Possibly never going back to what we knew as normal.

I think of King David.  Man of God. Loved by his people.  He caught a glimpse of a married woman bathing in private.  The glimpse turned to lust.  Her husband was off to war.  He would never know.  So David claimed her as his own.  She became pregnant.  The husband, a great warrior, was killed on the front lines. God brought judgment.  The baby died.  David repented.  God forgave and restored.

I think of another man who made a private decision to sin.  The result became very public.  When asked about it.  And he was always asked.  He had to tell what he had done.  He had to admit that the private act caused a public display.  As he would tell the story, it would become obvious what he had done.  That he had sinned.  He was sorry.  He was repentant.  He was humiliated.  This one act impacted him for the rest of his life.

Sin is deceitful.  It looks attractive.  It sounds beautiful.  It tastes good.  It feels good.  Until it’s over.  Until the deed is done.  Until the word is said.  Then the truth comes out.  Feelings of being used.  Feelings of regret.  Feeling ugly and unloved.  Feeling that the world will learn or see what you’ve done and will no longer accept you.  It’s hard to accept yourself.  How will others see you?

We pilgrims walk this road called life.  We must pay close attention.  Use caution.  Think things through.  We must be on guard and not get caught up in sin.  We must walk the slippery road with the guide book in hand.  We must study that guide book to know the way we should take.  It will direct us down the right path.  The path to eternal life.