Just Dance

Just when I thought I’d run out of ways to sacrifice my dignity in the name of parenthood, my daughters got a game called Just Dance Kids for their Nintendo Wii.  This has opened up a whole new world of humiliation.

I figured since it had the word “kids” on the cover it couldn’t be that hard.  Besides, I was raised on Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.  How tough could it be?

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With Me


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Scripture: Luke 23:39-43

Verse:  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” – John 14:3 (NIV)

Nobody knows what he stole.  Probably not a loaf of bread.  A loaf of bread usually doesn’t get you killed.

Some think he was an insurrectionist.  A rebel.  A guerrilla.  Maybe even one of Barabbas’ boys.

Did they heist tax money?  Knock over a weapons’ depot?  Doesn’t matter.

One thing’s for sure.  He crossed the Romans so the Romans crossed him.

Savage spikes pinning him to the wood.  His body stretched across rough timber.  A grotesque billboard of brutality and pain.  

Whatever he’d done, he knew he deserved it.  But the other guy?  The one the Sanhedrin hated so much?  He didn’t belong here.

He belonged somewhere else, and wherever that somewhere else was, the thief wanted to be there with him.

“Remember me when you come into you kingdom.”

Had anyone ever remembered this guy, included him, invited him?  Had he ever been shown kindness or generosity or was he the kind of man who had to take what he wanted?

There was no taking anymore.  Just a desperate plea.

And a promise.

“Today you will be with me in paradise.”

With me.  Not just in paradise, but with me in paradise.  Included, invited, remembered.  With me.

* * *

Nobody knows for sure what the thief on the cross had stolen, but we be can certain of what he was given.  The promise of the presence of Jesus.

When we feel excluded, forgotten and hopeless, when we feel like there is no second chance, when it looks like it’s just too late, we can remember that the same promise applies to us.

Today, you will be with me.   

Prayer: God, thank you for the promise of your presence.  Thank you that I always have a place with you no matter where I’ve been, what I’ve done or what I’m going through.  Amen.  

Question: Where do you need Jesus’ presence in your life today?

 Note: This post is excerpted from Everyday Easter Devotions.  


The Other Side of the Rooster


Photo Credit: 4BlueEyes Pete Williamson via Compfight cc

Scripture:  Matthew 26:31-35

Verse:  “Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:8 (NIV)

You were so sure of yourself, weren’t you?   Sold out.   Solid.   Nobody was as committed as you.  Nobody had your passion.

Sure, the others might flinch, but not you.  Just look at them.  John?  A sissy.  James?  A coward.  Thomas?   A skeptic.

Where had they been when you stepped out of the boat?  Cowering in fear, that’s where.  But not you.  Never you.

When push came to shove, they’d fall like a house of cards, but there you’d be right by his side.  Faithful to the end.

“I’m ready to die for you!”

“Die for me?  You’re going to sell me out.  Throw me under the bus.”

“Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.”

“You won’t even admit you know me.”

“I will NEVER deny you.”

“Three times, Peter.  Three.  Times.”

His words stung.  How could he say that?  How could he think that?

“I will NEVER deny you.”

“Three times, Peter.  Three.  Times.”

* * *

On this side of the rooster, we’re so sure of ourselves.

  • I’d never do that.
  • I’d never say that.
  • I’d never think that.

But on the other side of the rooster, we know the truth.

Of course Jesus always knew, and it didn’t change a thing.  He knew about Peter.  He knew about Judas.  He knew about us.

Yet, he still took the nails.  He still bled.  He still loved.  He still died.

“Never will I leave you.  Never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).

Those nevers you can count on.  Those nevers never fail.

Prayer: God, thank you that I can trust your love to never fail.  Thank you that my nevers never really mattered and that your grace never ends.  Amen.  

Question:  Where do you need that never-ending fountain of grace today?
Note: This post is excerpted from Everyday Easter Devotions.