The Act of Falling

He was stirring up a batch of brownies when I walked into the kitchen. I quietly patted myself on the back for planning ahead for him and having the mix on the shelf. He likes to snack at night and I had purchased the brownie mix and stored it for a time when he was ready. Tonight was the night.

I watched him pour the mix into a small pan. He realized he would have batter left over, so I pulled out another small pan to use. I mean. He was planning to pour out the batter that wouldn’t fit in his pan. No. I said. Put it in a second pan and bake it for later. I’m sure you’ll eat all the brownies. No, I won’t. He said.

It got me thinking. As I sat there smelling the scent of baking brownies, my mind hatched a plan. I could have a brownie tonight. Just one. I told myself. So when he pulled the brownies out of the oven, I told him that I would eat a brownie out of my pan. The smaller pan that somehow became the pan of brownies that I saved.

And there began my downfall.

As I cut into my brownies, I saw that he had cut a very small piece out of his batch. Since my pan was smaller, I decided it was the right size for four brownies. So I cut a piece out of the pan. As I ate the brownie, I realized it needed to cool a little longer. It was too warm and didn’t give me the satisfaction I was hoping for. I prefer my brownies at room temperature. But I was too greedy to wait for them to cool. As I ate it, I decided I would need another brownie that was cooled. After all, it would taste better than a warm one.

So I waited.

Then I ate a second brownie. Since I prefer the edges and the second brownie was a middle, I wasn’t satisfied. Of course, it had two edges, but it didn’t suit me. So I ate another. The third brownie was on the other end of the pan, so it was surrounded by three edges. Almost perfection.

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. Proverbs 25:28

Here I was three brownies into a pan of four brownies. I hadn’t planned on eating brownies tonight. I hadn’t even though of brownies until I saw him open the package. And then I was hooked. My desire went down a path I didn’t even try to avoid.

Later in the evening when he saw how many I had eaten, he was shocked. He said I may as well eat the last brownie and be done. So I did. And just like that I had eaten an entire small pan of brownies.

The thing is. They weren’t really that great. Oh. They were the brand I had always bought. But I’ve changed the way I eat, and I no longer eat processed food. Until I do. And I did. And honestly. I felt no satisfaction after eating even one of them. Or two. Or three. Or four.

But it was too late. My brownie pan was empty. His brownie pan had only one small piece missing. What a glutton. What a fool I am.

The next morning, I felt it. The itch of the eczema. The distending of the belly. The number on the scale. Proof of my indiscretion. Proof of my lack of self control.


So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16


Have you ever been tempted to do something you know you shouldn’t do? But instead of turning away, you dive right in? The moment is just right, and you don’t even consider the consequences until you’re past the point of no return.

That is just what the lie of Satan will do for a person. Just a little tease of an indiscretion. Just a little slip of the tongue. Or a small wager. A kiss when a handshake was in order. A second look when the eye should have turned the other way. A walk through a door that should have been locked tight. And pretty soon, we’ve walked down a path we never should have been on.

We’re in the heat of the moment, and the moment just feels so right. We just can’t let it pass us by. That’s what we tell ourselves. Because in the moment, the moment is perfect. Just for the taking. It will never pass this way again.

So we do it. We do that thing we said we would never do. Or we say those words that we’re ashamed to have even thought. But they’ve been said. And words once said can’t be unsaid. We’ve told that story that was shared in confidence. We took another look when we should have looked away.  

It doesn’t have to be this way. The battle for holiness is a battle that must be fought every single day. The thing is. We can say no. We can give up the sins of our past, so they won’t continue to be the sins of today.

Holiness is the state of being holy. A life of holiness and total devotion to God.

There is a battle for the heart, mind and soul. The warriors are God Almighty and Satan himself. Our part in the battle is surrender. But it’s a daily act of surrender. One moment at a time. One temptation at a time. One thought at a time. When we surrender to God, he will fight the battle for us. He will lead us to victory if he is the warrior we choose to follow. But we must choose to be like him. By obeying God, we become more like him.

Our problem following Jesus is we’re trying to be a better version of us, rather than a more accurate reflection of Him.

Bob Goff

Fragile Clay Jars

It’s been two years to the day since I felt the sting of rejection.  I was told I was no longer needed for the job.  I was no longer wanted.  The job was no longer mine. In other words, I got the boot.

Oh. I don’t remember the date so I can commemorate the embarrassment of losing my job.  I remember the date for what I gained. For sometimes when you lose, you gain so much more than you ever thought you owned.

Sure. I eventually gained a new job.  New self-confidence.  A deeper trust in God.  For what a better way to learn total dependence on God than to lose a big ticket item you depended on daily.

2 Corinthians 4:7 tells me that I am a fragile clay jar.  And yes, I am.  I’ve learned these past two years that a personal rejection can make or break that fragile clay jar.  It depends on how I have filled the jar. Oh yes.  It’s fragile.  The jar can break.  It sure has cracks in it.  They’re obvious if you come too close. These cracks are caused by greed and anger. Envy. Pride. Fear. Jealousy. And many other uncomfortable undoings.

Oh.  I’ve tried to patch these cracks.  Time and again.  Repeatedly over the years, I’ve worked feverishly on some slow growing crack that just never mends.  The problem is that I tend to try to make all the repairs by myself.  But I’ve discovered a holy patchwork that is flawless.  Oh.  The scars are still in sight, but they can be filled with a righteous covering.  In the midst of my patches and flaws, this patchmaker comes in and has begun filling this fragile clay jar with just the right amount of holiness.  He makes the repairs when the clay softens enough to accept change. 

In the spots where the clay has become so hardened, he gently applies love and forgiveness to soften the spot.  He does that so he can remold this old vessel into one that looks more like him.  Oh.  He doesn’t remove the scars, but he fills them with his signature blend of mercy, grace, love and forgiveness. The blend is actually personalized for each clay pot.

Because at the end of the day, it’s not the clay jar that’s the prize.  It’s the contents that really matter. 


We are like fragile clay jars that contain a treasure.  Our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:7


Pressed but not crushed. Perplexed but not in despair. Hunted but not abandoned. Knocked down but not destroyed. 

We are pressed by troubles, but the hope within us keeps the weight of those troubles from crushing the life out of us. Our God is strong when we are weak.

 We are perplexed by loss and momentary troubles, but desperation is not our friend. God provides for our every need with precision in his timing.

We are hunted by the enemy himself,  but God does not abandon us when we are at our weakest. He fights for us. He is the host of heavens armies. 

We will be knocked down. Many times. But we will not be destroyed when we have the light of heaven shining in our hearts. We are not alone in this battle. This fragile clay jar has withstood fiery heat to get to this point of strength. 

Our great power is from God and God alone. It is not of ourselves. Never be fooled into thinking you are strong enough on your own to handle what life throws at you. You are a fragile clay jar. The filler is the key to strength and endurance.

Mind over Matter

I received the news. More work is coming your way. Internally I didn’t take the news well. But on the outside, I tried to show willingness for the extra tasks at hand. I was annoyed. I was frustrated. I had finally jumped one of the last hurdles of a busy fourth quarter. I was ready for a slow February. So I didn’t take the news well. But it was news I was expecting. Just not all in one fell swoop.

The words that I kept hearing in my mind were a rebuke.  They were words telling me that my attitude was wrong. They were saying I should know better than to be so upset about something so small. They said you’re bigger than this. Don’t let this annoyance bring you down.

What is in the heart, the mouth speaks.  Matthew 12:34

Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.  Psalm 19:14

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23

 So I knew I must be silent, because the meditations of my heart were not pleasing to God. I knew that. And I knew I must not voice them. I knew I needed to dig deep to find out why I was so annoyed. What was the real issue anyway?


We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Romans 5:3-4


Someone else had assigned a task. I did the work. But then they redid the whole thing. The final piece didn’t have one ounce of my efforts in it. I didn’t want to be offended, but I kind of was. Why? What did it matter? Did they think my work wasn’t good enough? Maybe. Did they want to take the project in a different direction? Obviously. So why wasn’t I ok with that? I knew I needed to be. I knew I couldn’t let a bad attitude creep in. I knew that I needed to be able to applaud them for a job well done, if it ever came to that. And I needed to mean it. Not force the compliment.

So I set out to pray. For myself. For my stinking attitude. I’m only human. But I want to be godly. I want to be an example of how to handle a disappointing situation. Did I pass the test? Only time will tell.

Someone else insulted me to my face. She didn’t realize what she was saying. But I sure did. I chalked up her words to youth and ignorance. For one day, she will stand in my shoes. And when the tables are turned on her, we’ll see how she responds. Fortunately, I kept my mouth shut that day.

If I want to be like Christ, then I need to be like Christ at that moment when it counts. Not tomorrow or next month. But right now. Right when the truth smacks me right in the face. Right when I have the opportunity to prove to myself that God is enough in all the trials of life.

I’ve learned that in those moments of  frustration, disappointment, insult or direct honesty, I do have a choice. I can choose to be like Christ or not.  Easy or not. I need to take a step back. Listen to what’s being said. Appreciate the fact that I have work to do. Be willing to take criticism. I can be a godly example. It is a choice.