Injustice is an awful thing. It’s cruel. I’d like to say it’s unusual, but it seems to be common practice in today’s world. Do you ever wonder why? It’s been happening since time began. The Bible has many stories where people were treated unfairly. Robbed. Discarded. Bullied. Beaten up. Killed. The list goes on.

Abel’s death at the hand of his brother Cain. Uzziah’s death. Stephen’s death.  Saul’s unrelenting pursuit of David. Daniel thrown into the lion’s den. Three Hebrew men thrown into the fiery furnace. The list goes on.

Injustice is nothing new. But that doesn’t make it right.

The heart of the matter is a heart matter. Sin. Selfish sinful desires. The desire to get even. The burning feed of jealousy. The unending lust for more. The pursuit of having your way, at all costs. The thought that one person is better than another, when all are created equal.

It’s a lesson that we are obviously slow to learn. We keep repeating the same egregious mistakes of generations past. What will it take to undo the sins of our forefathers? When will we learn?

Sin still permeates the hearts of mankind today. What is the price? Oh. It’s heavy. 

What does the Lord require of you? Do justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

But let’s consider the injustice that turned the course of history like no other event.

From a human perspective, it was the wrong thing to do. It was evil. It was cruel. It was inhumane. But they did it anyway. What was it they did? You ask. 

They killed an innocent man.

 Oh. He was one of their own. He was the son of a carpenter. He was the firstborn son in a home that got its start amidst a scandal. But he knew his place. His lot in life.

 He realized he was different from the other boys. Perhaps they ridiculed him. Or bullied him. One never knows what kids go through if they don’t talk about it. I’m sure he had many things to ponder as he grew. 

He wasn’t handsome. His looks didn’t make the girls swoon. But he was kind. He learned a trade. He worked hard. He was a noticer. He saw the little things. He listened. He knew things no one had told him. He was wise beyond his years.

He cared for others. He loved unconditionally. He washed the feet of his inner circle. He allowed a woman of ill repute to anoint his feet with expensive perfume. He freed a woman caught in the act of adultery from certain death while others wanted her to receive the punishment the law said she deserved. 

He invited himself to a dishonest tax collector’s home for dinner. He stood silent as one of his own kissed him in betrayal. He rebuked those buying and selling in the sacred temple on the holy day.

But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. Isaiah 53:5

He was despised. He was rejected. Oh. He was acquainted with the deepest grief. He was a man of sorrows.

He dared to call himself God, because he was God. Is that a crime? Was it worthy of death?

Were there riots in the streets after his death? Did his followers chant death to Pontius Pilate for allowing an innocent man to die? Was the marketplace ransacked because of the injustice of this one man’s death? Were chariots burned in protest?

But oh. How their world changed when he rose from the dead. I mean. Who does that? Who rises from the dead?

What can I do to avenge his death?

The killing of that innocent man is an injustice. But by his death, my soul was saved. How do I reconcile that? By following his plan. By loving him. By obeying his teaching. By sharing his truth with others. By treating others as I would want to be treated. By becoming like him.

All In or Not

I’ve been thinking lately about people who call themselves Christians. But they don’t read their Bible. They don’t attend church. Do they pray? Do they give a portion of their earnings to God? I’m not judging. I’m wondering.

I want everyone to know Christ in his fullness.  I want everyone to experience heaven.  To truly experience the gift of eternal life to its fullest. God invites us to spend eternity with him.  He wants to forgive our sins.  And it’s essential to have our sins forgiven — in order to see God.  But there is so much more to it than that.  Having our sins forgiven is just scratching the surface.  We need to build a close relationship with God.  We need to walk and talk with him. 

He loves us unconditionally. Nothing we can say or do will stop him from loving us. Can’t we return the favor?

Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:8

 Suppose I commit a crime against a stranger and ask them to forgive me, but then never talk to them again.  Never learn anything more about them. And I learn that they are planning the party of the century. But it’s by invitation only.  Why would I expect an invitation from them? I’ve done them wrong. Oh. I’ve confessed, but I haven’t made an effort to show them I’ve made a change in my life. I haven’t spoken to them since the day I apologized. I’ve rarely thought of them, mostly in moments of guilt. So, why would they invite me to their party?  Why would I be allowed to go?

Why would I expect to be received as a welcome guest into their home when I haven’t taken the time to get to know them?  When I haven’t walked the path of suffering or gladness with them. When I haven’t made an attempt to study their lifestyle. Why would I think that I’m worthy to be chosen as a guest of honor in their home when I’ve never invited them into my home?

It’s the same idea for going to heaven. It is by invitation. And there’s a price. Everyone is invited. But have you paid the price? Have you given your life as a sacrificial gift to serving God? Or are you a member by name only? Have you done the work? Put in the time? Do you know what makes God tick? Do you know what he loves? What he hates? Can you feel his presence in your life? Have you seen him work in your life? Can you show proof of your allegiance to him?

If not, what are you waiting for?

Paul was one who persecuted Christians until he had a life-changing experience that led him straight to God. He knew that God had called him from a life of hunting Christians to becoming one of them. So he went all in. He gave his relationship with Christ everything he had. He wanted to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. Paul was willing to suffer with Christ, sharing in his death, so that one way or another he would experience the resurrection from the dead.

Can you say that? Are you willing to experience the mighty power of Christ, as well as suffer for him? It’s all or nothing. Walking the road to Calvary cost Jesus his life. If you choose to walk with him, nothing else matters.

Oh. You may not die a literal death for serving Christ. But you may. Paul did. But have you died to the things of life that seem so important, but are worthless in eternity?


I’ve now added a new accessory to my wardrobe. Face coverings. Masks. And I have this one thing to say about them. I hate masks. I hate wearing them. I hate seeing others wear them. We’re told they’re optional in certain places and mandatory in others. Some choose to wear them. Others don’t. What I’ve learned is not to judge.

These face coverings do just that. They cover our faces. They mask the beauty of God’s creation. How can you tell if someone is smiling at you? How can you understand someone’s words when their words sound garbled? How can you breathe in fresh air when your face is covered?

The mask makes my face hot. It makes my face sweat. It causes my glasses to fog up. Not a pretty sight. Not a pretty feeling.

It’s difficult to recognize someone if the majority of their face is covered. Eyes are a distinguishing feature on a person’s face, but they don’t look very distinguishing when that’s all that’s visible. I want to see the shape of someone’s nose. and their smile. I want to see that double chin or the dimple in their cheek. I want to easily recognize my friends and see the true reflection of who they physically are.

But I get it. We’re all trying to stay safe. We’re doing the best we can with the information we’ve been given. Who knew the world would come to this.

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17

The thing is. We’re all wearing masks. Oh. They’re not a recent purchase or addition to our wardrobe. We’ve been wearing them for many, many years. We’re trying to cover up sins and weaknesses and flaws. We’re trying to make sure no one sees those parts of us that aren’t pretty. We’re hiding behind masks of our own making.

And it’s killing us.

Sometimes we hide behind a smile. Or a laugh. A snide remark. A criticism. A cruel joke. We don’t want others to see the real us. So we pretend to be someone we aren’t.

So. Wearing a mask is nothing new for any of us. What say we take those masks off and be real. Let’s be vulnerable and show our weaknesses. Let’s ask for help when we need it.  Let’s ask someone to pray for us when we’re hurting. Let’s be brave enough to be honest. Let’s say no when we shouldn’t say yes. And let’s say yes when it is the right time. 

True humility and vulnerability comes with a price. When we allow our hurts to show, we let others see that we’re human. We’re the same as anyone else. Peeling off those masks can be painful. And so real. But bottling up feelings and old hurts can be more painful than ripping them off.

So in our attempts to be safe. To be socially distant. Let’s take this time to be real. and vulnerable. We all know we’re in a strange day. We’re all in this together. So let’s be in this together.

Green Thumb

A few months ago, I bought some plants. Real plants. Live plants. I’ve always liked them, but I hadn’t bought a live plant in years. I’d always had pretty good luck with them, so why not add some live greenery to my home. They produce oxygen. Right?

My issue with live plants in the past has always been the small act of watering them. I forget about it. I water too little. I water too much. I’m never consistent with providing the liquid nourishment that my poor plants need.

But I’ve been trying to make a point of watering these new plants. Oh sure. Sometimes I forget. But I’m determined to keep these plants alive. My motto for watering plants has been to let them dry out. Then water them again.

There’s a problem with that theory.

Some plants always like to have damp soil. But some plants don’t. The labels on the plants give the proper instructions on how to feed them so they will remain healthy and grow. I imagine if I would read the labels and take the instructions to heart, my plants would have a better chance at survival.

I placed two of the new plants on the ledge overlooking the stairs. I’ve been watering them faithfully. Mostly. And they had new growth on them. New leaves were sprouting. I was doing well. I thought. Then a leaf dropped off. And another. Pretty soon, there was no new growth. And then one day this week, all the leaves fell off. ALL. OF. THE. LEAVES. FELL. OFF.

I thought I was doing so well as a plant lady. I guess not.

All I have left is the empty stalk . I’m going to leave it and water it to see if new growth will appear. I don’t think the stalk is dead. I sure hope not. But it does look very odd, barren and all.

The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8

That’s the trouble with life. When things are going your way, you sprout new growth. New leaves of trust and beauty appear. There is the growth of new life, which appears to resemble stability and strength. But deep down in the roots of life, there may be instability. Oh. It doesn’t show its face right away. Appearances can be deceiving. But just the wrong thing said. Or that misunderstanding comes along. Someone calls you out in front of your peers. Or a pandemic hits the world. And your strong wall of defense comes falling down, as if it were built on sand. Now what?

What do you do when every last leaf of strength and beauty fall off all in the same day? What happens to you then? Are your roots grounded in the Word of God? Have you been watering your soul with just the right amount of nourishment? Do you read the instructions of life and apply them over and over to each situation that you face?

Times of uncertainty test us. Fear and doubt come at us at every chance. The enemy of our soul is just waiting for that moment the soul is parched and dry. Thirsty for something that satisfies. And if we don’t continually parch that thirst with the Word of Life, we stand the chance of losing our souls. Drink from the fountain of life and quench your thirst.

And when the bare stalk of life is the only thing standing. When circumstances appear bleak and hope is gone, it is time to water and fertilize. Faith the size of a mustard seed can change the world. Hope is found by continuing to feed the soul with the Bread of Life. Given the proper care, the soul will grow strong and thrive. It takes time and effort.

Boiling Point

It’s easy to get frustrated these days. Annoyed over the most petty things. But emotions have been building for weeks now, and I’ve reached the boiling point. When for once, you want something for nothing and you’re asked to give even more. Enough.

There I said it.

Coworkers asked for a lifeline, but were instead given what feels like a noose. Perhaps I exaggerate, but feeling are raw in the moment.

We asked for mercy. We need some down time, we said. Flex time. So we can have a few hours that we would normally be working to just not work. Sure. They said. That sounds like a great idea. We wanted something for nothing at a time when all we’re doing is giving. But no.

They said sure. Take extra hours off each week. But make them up. You can even work on Saturday and Sunday to make up the extra hours. Go ahead.

Why did a good thing all of a sudden feel like a punch to the gut? Why, in a time when people are suffering. When those working need some time off, we’re slammed with extra work and lack of understanding.

Don’t get me wrong. We’re thankful to be working. To still be employed. We’re just asking for a break before we’re slammed with work and can’t take time off.

We’re all frustrated. Getting more so by the day. But who cares? It seems they’re only hearing the words being said and not the words that aren’t. It would be helpful at a time like this for those in authority to really listen. Sure. They make their own hours. The company is their responsibility. Their personal investment is on the line. They say we’re doing great work. But work some more. They say. And when things get back to normal, we’ll be swamped with a lot more work.

No rest for the weary.

I know I rant. I apologize.

Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 1 Corinthians 13:5

I was so close to taking my frustrations out on those I love. In these moments, even petty annoyances seem like mountains. I was even close to tears. I knew I needed to step back and assess the situation. I knew I needed to go to the One who provides calm when the storm is raging. I opened the Word and searched for words to sooth a frustrated heart.

I read multiple verses until I found the one that stuck a dagger in my heart. The verse that told me I was in the wrong. The verse told me that if I proceeded with using strong words when words of kindness and grace were needed, I was at risk of sinning. So I stepped back. My heart fell on its knees and repented. My soul needs a scrubbing in days like these. I realized my soul covering needs to be replaced every day, because the filter gets full of unwanted sin germs and can no longer filter.

Oh. I’ve lived through worse times. Unemployment. Death of loved ones. So I know I’ll get through this. I know I’ll come out having learned lessons I didn’t know I needed to learn. But in the thick of it, the lessons are hard. And at times, my heart feels hard.

Just when I thought I was doing fine keeping it together during this pandemic, the truth comes out. And I realize it’s uglier than I want to admit. Soul work is hard even when life is all you want it to be. Even harder when life is tough. But I know that God is good even when life seems unfair. And I’ll chalk up this frustrating moment as a life lesson that I don’t want to repeat. Because words once said can’t be unsaid.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

Will Rogers