4 Out of 5 Dentists Agree: Inconsistent Blog Posts Are Your Fault

On Tuesday night I went to the dentist after work. I reclined in the leather chair and was surprised to catch myself thinking, “This appointment is really cutting into my writing time. If only life weren’t so busy I could crank out more posts…”

The dental hygienist scraped, flossed, and buffed my pearly whites. I stared into the florescent lights, pondered my plight, rinsed, spit, and thought some more.

It dawned on me…I’m making excuses. I’m in blogger denial.

The Lie of Busy

Yes, life is busy with faith, family, work, and all the other priorities of life…but I’ve also had free time. The dentist appointment took about 45 minutes of my week. If I really wanted to publish a post on Tuesday I could have made time to write by waking up early, staying up late, or skipping lunch at work. I didn’t. Well, I stayed up late, but I was watching movies with my beautiful wife…she’s hard to resist.

The Truth of Choices

It’s time for a reality check. I chose to sleep in. I chose conversations with my friends. I chose movie time with my wife. I chose to consume content instead of create content. Those were all my choices. It’s unfair to blame my dentist, friends, wife or anyone else for posting erratically.

Eradicate Erratic Posts

I enjoy alliteration; thanks for indulging me.

So how do we right the ship and post regularly?

Pace Yourself: Attainable Posting Schedule

Since I’ve started blogging, a hazy goal of being the most prolific blogger of all time taunts me from the back row of my mind. “You didn’t write today!” or “You posted but it was hot garbage” and an assorted variety of mental negativity assaults me. I’ve wrestled with blogging advice to post daily or multiple times a day to reach greatness (whatever that is…) so when I end up posting weekly, I feel like a failure.

As the CEO of your blog you can evict the negative heckler in your head. Set a posting goal you can actually meet. Currently, a high quality post each week is something I can manage, so that’s my goal. Should two posts occur, I’ll feel like an overachiever. If 3 posts occur, I expect the sun to explode and the government will stop collecting taxes.

Schedule Writing Time

In his autobiography, Stephen King talks about teaching days and writing during his prep hour. An accumulation of spare minutes devoted to writing resulted in King’s first published novel – Carrie.

Successful writers maximize spare time even if it’s a little 5 minute window. Your writing time can be in the morning, on breaks, at night – whenever you want. You’re the CEO remember?

Implement

Shoot for the stars, dream big, and any other catch phrase that motivates you. Dropkick your guilt and set a posting goal that’s manageable. Wrangle those spare minutes and write, write, write. You can do it.

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The Blogger Recognition Award

Recently T.R. Noble of Inside Cup nominated me for The Blogger Recognition Award. Thank you T.R.! I’m surprised and encouraged by the honor.

Give a brief story of how your blog started blogging.

In the midst of twelve hour days selling, selling, and selling more stuff I realized I was miserable in the retail underworld. The one bright spot…the opportunity to write notes about interactions with clients. My managers, and there were a lot of them, could read my mildly exaggerated tales of success and defeat. Suddenly and totally unexpectedly I had a following of eager middle-management readers, “That last note was hysterical! I can’t wait to see the next one…” The spark ignited a powder keg buried deep in the caverns of my mind – I love writing! The ability to wield words, to make people feel whatever whimsical notion my mind cooked up … that’s influence. I could use this ability for good, for God!

The Sullivan Spin was born December 2018 and as crazy as it sounds, I’ve dreamed of turning it over to my kids some day so they can continue posting holograms or whatever they want in 2047.

Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

1) Blog From Passion

This one piece of advice will solve a plethora of problems:

  • It’s easier to write on topics near and dear to your heart. If you try to write for search trends or popular topics, but don’t care one iota about the trend, writing will transform into mild torture. Let’s say armadillo farming in submarines becomes very trendy and “in”. If you really think armadillos are vile little creatures and you hate being near the ocean this will be unadulterated drudgery should you pursue writing posts in the vein simply to acquire an audience. Don’t do it.
  • Closely related is the fact that passion will keep you posting. Life is busy and if you tie yourself to material you hate, the end is near.

2) Blog Boss – That’s You!

  • Maybe you’re a wildly successful CEO and make your own rules at work, but for the rest of us, blogging is our chance to be in charge. As boss of your blog, don’t make yourself do stuff you hate. Write what you like, fling it at the wall, and see if it sticks.
  • Strategy is important but it can paralyze you if you let it. As boss of your blog, look at your stats and see if there is any discernible trend that boosts views for your posts. You may or may not find a successful path, but keep moving forward with the knowledge you have and don’t be afraid to try anything and everything to promote posts.
  • As boss of your blog, demand posts that provide quality, thoughtful, and original material. I’d call this the magic sauce of blogging, but it’s simply hard work and time.

My Blogger Recognition Nominations

  • Crucial Productions
    • Peter is my brother-in-law and he’s a tremendously talented writer/editor/podcaster/youtuber.
  • Worldview Everlasting
    • My brother-in-law Peter no longer edits videos or works with this site, but he put tons of hours into building it’s library of videos and helped amass over 11,000 followers. It’s full of great content.
  • Wells Baum
    • Wildly fascinating stuff about creativity and living.
  • The Thinking Hound
    • Originally The Sullivan Spin included a sports section. I was unsure of the legal issues surrounding sports photos and reached out to Basset (the writer) and Basset replied with a thorough and incredibly kind email. I was a total stranger and Basset gave me help and encouragement. Thank you!
  • Laced Up Lutheran
    • Lives up to the tag line: ” Theology that is Approachable, Enjoyable, and Relevant
  • Retrospective Lily
    • Great blend of faith, testimony, and classic literature. Lily posts great topics and adds great comments regularly on The Sullivan Spin. Thank you!
  • Pencil Me In
    • Pastor Mike is my Dad. He hasn’t been faithfully posting, and I’d like you all to chastise him daily. Leave comments on his posts and demand more. Maybe he’ll listen to you…;)
  • John Eli
    • Simply put, he’s a super positive and kind writer.
  • Tom Dale
    • He’s very sassy and I suggest that everybody harass him. He’s working on a book. Relentlessly press him for a release date.
  • The Cruciform Sword
    • Really great, in-depth posts about faith, but posting has gone stagnant. Maybe some follows and comments will wake it up?
  • Penn N Paper
    • Evan is a friend and comic. I’ve recently recorded a podcast with him and the episode should be released in the near future. Until then check out his other podcasts. I’ll let you know when my first ever podcast appearance is released.
  • Andy Wrasman
    • Great theology material abounds, you simply have to spend some time checking it all out.
  • Geek Devotions
    • They have fun with comics and connect it to the Gospel.
  • Inside Cup
    • T.R. is so passionate about encouraging and fostering Christian community through blogging…it’s working. T.R. provides posts that really lead to great discussion about Christian living.
  • The Life Project
    • Don just plows through the Bible and it’s great.

There are tons of other great bloggers that I read and follow! Thank you for all that you do and sharing the Gospel with a lost world. The internet is a pulpit!

Transcending Sin With Technology

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is a brilliant mind in the field of Artificial Intelligence. His research is moving humanity towards scientific breakthroughs that could heal Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and restore the world’s ecosystem. In short, Caster’s technology has the potential to restore a polluted world and its sickly people.

Transcendence depicts a world where anything can be accomplished with human innovation and elbow grease.

Bringing Eden Back

Our computer savants reveal a major theme of the film in their names. Will Caster clearly hints at the concept that man can impose his will and cast a new hope upon the Earth by harnessing the boundless power of technology. Will’s partner is Evelyn, or Eve. Yes, these two will unite to restore a garden lost by Adam and the original Eve.

There’s only one problem…sin is unaccounted for.

Technology as Healer

Technology is presented as a healer and a way to infuse superhuman strength for increased productivity. Someday technology might offer these benefits and that would be nice. Even if every sickness could be addressed with medicine or technology, the sin we are guilty of will still condemn us. Technology can’t provide forgiveness from sin.

What!? Sin!? I can imagine Will Caster and his wife Evelyn Caster snorting in disgust at the concept. Many people do. It’s offensive to be made aware of our inability to keep God’s commands, but sin makes us aware of our need for forgiveness. Now the Gospel can sweetly revive us with the eternal life given to us by faith in Christ. No works necessary.

Jesus clearly identified sin as the greater issue when He healed the sick.

Matthew 9:2-7 (ESV)

And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”  And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.”  But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?  For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.”  And he rose and went home.

The greatest work Jesus provides humanity is the forgiveness of sins. Christ came for this purpose; for our redemption. Yes, Christ worked many miracles of healing, but those people would eventually die because of sin.

Technology can provide a temporary boost to our health, but only faith in Christ provides an eternal resurrection.

John 11:25-26 (ESV)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Technology Revives Creation

Will Caster creates an army of super humans and needs something to do with them. It’s determined that the greatest good would be removing pollution from the Earth.

Unfortunately sin prevents man from restoring a decaying world. Paradise was lost to sin, not pollution – so this clean up will require God’s hand.

Romans 8:19-21 (ESV)

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope  that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 

Isaiah 65:17 (ESV)

For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.

I Love Technology, but It Doesn’t Love Me

This is not an anti-technology post. I’m not calling for true Christians to run barefoot into the wilderness, tossing their phones into garbage cans along the way. Although that would provide a refreshing respite from the bombardment of messages, it’s not the point.

Like Kip I love the potential and convenience wrapped up in technology. Gizmos and gadgets are great tools for improving the quality of life. Yay!

As obvious as it appears, technology won’t ever provide mankind the salvation it longs for. Christ alone gives eternal life.

Politicians, celebrities, and sci-fi flicks will continue to ponder the power of new technologies for medicines healing the sick and eliminating pollution. But remember, innovation will never jump the chasm to salvation. It didn’t work in Babel and it won’t work today.

Happy Mother’s Day!

God bless you and your family as you celebrate the wonderful mothers in your life. We also remember the mothers who crossed into glory and are with the Lord!

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

Proverbs 31:10-31 (ESV)

10  An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself[e] with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[f]
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

Samm Henshaw, Doctur Dot, and Johnny Venus DO NOT Understand Church

The Players & My Game

Samm Henshaw and EarthGang (Doctur Dot and Johnny Venus) collaborate to bring the world a song about going to church. On the surface this seems like a good thing…right? I’ll be the judge of that, awarding points for Biblically sound statements and giving penalties for heretical claims.

Samm Henshaw

“Cause yοu hang with ghettο angels, She tοld me they wοn’t catch yοu when you fall…” +10

Mama’s advice to Samm is sound Biblical advice. Wicked friends won’t be there to support you in difficult times, it’s more likely they’re the ones getting you into trouble in the first place.

Proverbs 22:24-25 (ESV)

Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.

“Wake up and get yοurself tο church” +6

The wildly infectious chorus is good advice if you rightly understand the limitations and benefits of church attendance.

If going to church turns into a work that we do to please God and garner His favor with our performance, then we’ve missed the true benefit of gathering together.

Hebrews 10:19-25 (NIV)

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

As this passage communicates, Church should be a place where the following occur:

  • Victory for those who believe in the finished work of Christ is proclaimed.
  • Christians encourage each other to love and serve God and neighbor.

If these two things aren’t happening, it doesn’t much matter if you regularly go to church. The sustenance you need is being denied.

“Papa said to be a man, best keep your word until the final days.” +7

Like Mama, Papa also has some good advice for Samm. It’s almost like children should listen to their parents because they have wisdom from living longer.

If you make a promise, the Bible does command you to keep it and follow through. Because of our limited authority in this world, it’s better not to make a promise because circumstances may prevent us from honoring our word.

Matthew 5:33-37 (ERV)

“You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, ‘When you make a vow, you must not break your promise. Keep the vows that you make to the Lord.’ But I tell you, when you make a promise, don’t try to make it stronger with a vow. Don’t make a vow using the name of heaven, because heaven is God’s throne.  Don’t make a vow using the name of the earth, because the earth belongs to him. Don’t make a vow using the name of Jerusalem, because it also belongs to him, the great King.  And don’t even say that your own head is proof that you will keep your promise. You cannot make one hair on your head white or black.  Say only ‘yes’ if you mean ‘yes,’ and say only ‘no’ if you mean ‘no.’ If you say more than that, it is from the Evil One.

“if you sign up you’ll be covered…’Cause Hell’s an oven with a cold flame ” +1

Here we have a lyric that alludes to the Church offering insurance from the fires of hell. Just sign up. How? Just show up 75% of the time? What’s required to receive this benefit? All too often church attendance becomes a ritual that people vaguely hope in to avoid the blazes of Hades and get a ticket to Heaven instead.

The vital components of salvation are absent, but the fuzzy fear of burning forever at least hints at punishment for our sin and desperation for a Savior. CLICK HERE for a post about salvation.

Doctur Dot

Our next contestant is Doctur Dot. And I use the term “doctor” in the loosest sense possible. I don’t believe he’s medically trained and I know he hasn’t studied traditional Christian doctrine based off his lyrics.

“Granny told me when you get ya blessings church want 10 percent” +8

The concept of tithing 10% is pulled from Genesis 14, when Abram returns from battle victorious. Successfully reclaiming his kidnapped nephew (Lot) and lost possessions Abram gives 10% of his possessions to the priest (Melchizedek) to show gratitude to the Lord.

Rule followers love to camp out at 10%, but the early church from the book of Acts donated all things as God led them. God grant us the same faith to give generously, above and beyond 10%.

2 Corinthians 9:7-8 (NIV)

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

“Holy Ghost bullet ricochet, Took some time to pray
When I’m in the streets today, Make the devil stay awaaaaay ” +2

The Holy Spirit is acknowledged but compared to errant gun fire. In an extreme stretch I guess I could link that picture to the explanation Jesus gave Nicodemus about the Spirit, but I don’t believe this connection is intended by Doctur Dot.

John 3:8 (NIV)

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

Prayer is then reduced to a force field that keeps the devil away as you run the streets. If the streets represent rough/ungodly living then they should be avoided. Praying for protection and jumping into a scenario that is ungodly is simply disobedience. The Bible offers different advice to combat the devil.

James 4:7 (NIV)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

We shouldn’t just throw up a prayer and continue on our sinful path, we should submit to God.

“But you blockin all ya blessings when you lying bout ya age” +1

This stanky comment is full of works and legalism. If I live perfectly then God gives me goodies. Yes, the Ten Commandments teach us to speak truthfully, but obedience can’t save us and it doesn’t make money rain from the sky.

God is good and He chooses to bless us through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. We submit our lives to Him, unable to live pure lives, and He saves us. We don’t need to be perfect to receive blessings. It’s grace!

Romans 5:10 (NIV)

For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

“Who listening when u pray it just depend on your taste” -19

…and then we nose dive into full blown relativism. Relativism preaches that there is no absolute truth and your perception is truth. In this worldview, Christ is just your opinion, so it’s true for you, but maybe it’s false for me. Maybe I pray to Buddha or Allah and that’s my truth.

The Bible is crystal clear. God alone is to be worshipped and other gods are false.

Exodus 23:13 (NIV)

Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.

Johnny Venus

“I don’t care who you praying to, I just pray you believe in you, See what you seek is underneath” -137,874

Mr. Venus spits on the main purpose of church, which is proclaiming the message of salvation in Christ and declares faith in yourself is salvation.

That’s just gross. I need to hear the Gospel now.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

“when they ask me where I’m headed, hell or heaven, Seat belts fastening straight to Mars, Look at God!” -79,922

There you have it folks, Johnny Venus mocks the existence of heaven or hell. Rather, Johnny Venus will be sent to Mars when he dies…

I can only pray Johnny Venus reconsiders this belief. It is false.

Matthew 25:41, 46 (NIV)

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels…Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

Final Scores

  1. Samm Henshaw
    • Mildly Aware of Church and Biblical Truth” = 24 points
  2. Doctur Dot
    • Relatively Lost” = -8 points
  3. Johnny Venus
    • Space Heretic = -217,796 points

Watch the video for yourself and tell me what you think. God bless!

Is ‘Risen’ Biblically Harmonious?

Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) is Rome’s elite warrior. If a military strike needs to be successful, call Clavius. When a bunch of whining Pharisees harass Pilate (Peter Firth) about protecting the body of Jesus, the troublemaker they just murdered on a cross, Clavius inherits the job to oversee protection of the tomb. When the tomb is found empty, a search for Jesus and the truth about His identity sweeps across Judea.

This plot is actually a great vehicle to take viewers through the aftermath of Jesus’ crucifixion. The story of Clavius is fictional, but the writers wanted this murder mystery to remain “Biblically harmonious.” Is it?

Risen provides more to like than to nit-pick…

Biblically Harmonious

Risen succeeds by including several Biblical points seen through the view point of Clavius to:

  • Earthquake occurs when Jesus dies (Matthew 27:50-51)
  • Death of Jesus confirmed by spear, no bones broken (John 19:33-34)
  • Joseph of Arimathea provides the empty tomb for Jesus (Mark 15:43)
  • Bartholomew mocked by Clavius for leaving crucifixion (Matthew 27:55-56)
  • Thomas doubts the resurrection of Jesus (John 20:25)

I’m probably leaving out some points, but as you can see, Risen really worked hard to incorporate Biblical moments in plausible and creative ways. Two moments really blew me away:

The Prostitute Mary Magdalene

As Clavius hunts down Jesus, witnesses are needed. Anybody that’s been seen with Christ must be brought in for questioning. Mary Magdalene’s name is discovered in questioning and must be brought in, but what does she look like? Simple fix. Go ask the soldiers in the barracks, surely one of them can identify the former prostitute, Mary Magdalene. Sure enough, Clavius asks his men who knows Mary Magdalene and slowly the hands rise up.

At that moment it struck me…Mary Magdalene was really a prostitute. Even more powerful is the realization that Christ forgives us and did not condemn her.

The Love of Jesus

The best scene isn’t complex, but played every string in my heart.

Lepers were outcasts of society, disregarded by all but Jesus.

Leviticus 13:45-46 (NIV)

“Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.

Risen portrays a meeting between Jesus and a leper and it’s worth the price of admission. A crowd hits and throws the leper to the ground, pushing him out of town. Jesus walks over and sits in the dust with the leper, embracing the outcast.

Image via Sony Pictures

Failure of False Gods

Clavius provides a great look into the Roman religious climate. Romans would be polytheistic; serving many pagan gods. During his most stressful mission Clavius wonders, “Are the gods there? Help me!”

Of course the false gods don’t deliver, but it opens a window to the reality that false religions rubbed shoulders with Christians.

The Nitpick

New-Age Christ Moment

Ultimately the big idea is expressed consistently in Risen. During his interrogation, Bartholomew states the necessity of a resurrected Jesus, “…eternal life for everyone who believes.”

I was let down when Clavius finally met Jesus. The advice Jesus shared with Clavius was “Open your heart and see…” But Jesus actually told sinners,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Clavius, who has murdered countless people, apparently doesn’t need to repent. He is instead told to simply “open up.”

Conclusion

I won’t be adding Risen to my Easter collection of movies, but it contains some creative and insightful scenes that are worth a watch if you haven’t already seen it.

The Marvel Series has been My Muse and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Just Hit the Box Office

The mega successful Marvel franchise prints off more money with Avengers: Endgame hitting theaters this weekend. Experts are predicting that Avengers: Endgame will rake in more than 300 million dollars in the U.S. alone and no box office record is safe.

In my short blogging career, the Marvel series has sparked a variety of posts. I’m not sure that my obscure Biblical connections were the intended outcome of these superhero blockbusters…but that’s what has repeatedly materialized when I touch the keyboard.

If you’re new to The Sullivan Spin or simply missed a post during the hustle and bustle of life, check them out below:

Thank you for following and reading The Sullivan Spin! Hopefully you enjoyed a post that slipped past your radar. God bless!

‘Grab a leash and take your thoughts for a walk.’ — WellsBaum.blog

Said Henry David Thoreau, “Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.” Walking boosts creativity. If you ever get stuck in a creative rut, science shows that you should go for a stroll to get your endorphins moving. As learning scientist Marily Oppezzo notes in her TED presentation below,…

‘Grab a leash and take your thoughts for a walk.’ — WellsBaum.blog

Good Friday: When Death Brings Life

Good Friday appears so horrific and tragic at face value. Jesus Christ, the Son of God is brutalized in the place of miserable sinners. Instead of honor and praise our King receives the humiliation reserved for murderers and thieves. It’s shocking. It seems like the Father abandoned His Son to the worst death imaginable, but God had this peculiar plan for salvation in place from the beginning of time.

Romans 8:3-4 (ESV)

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Christ Wasn’t Surprised by the Father’s Will

Christ was aware of the great task in front of Him and He tried to relay this plan to the disciples.

Matthew 16:21 (ESV)

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

Peter’s Mind Blown

Peter couldn’t comprehend the King of Kings being killed this way. The disciples thought they were about to overthrow the Roman empire, you can’t do that if your king is dead.

Matthew 16:22 (ESV)

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”

Jesus snuffed out Peter’s statement real quick. Christ made it clear that Peter wasn’t thinking like God, but rather like Satan.

God’s Wisdom

I’ll leave you with two of my favorite passages that highlight this counter-intuitive notion that Christ’s death leads to life.

John 12:23-26 (ESV)

And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

Romans 5:15-17 (ESV)

But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

God bless you this Good Friday, may these scriptures encourage you on a somber day.

Celebrate Easter by Supporting the ‘Least of These’

Heading into Easter, Christians are anticipating the celebration of a Risen King. This is the pinnacle of our Christian faith. Jesus conquers sin and death by His resurrection. By faith in Christ’s finished work, we share in His victory. Eternal life is given to all who repent and trust in Jesus.

After receiving such a wonderful gift from our Creator, would we turn around and insult him?!

Proverbs 17:5 reminds us that whenever we mistreat the poor, we insult God. Conversely, Jesus tells us that serving those in need is like serving the King of Kings directly.


Matthew 25:35-40 (ESV)

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

This Easter as when we seek to honor the Resurrected Lord, we can do it by remembering His neglected subjects. In 2016, over half a million people in the United States were homeless.

Look around your community. There may already be a ministry serving the needy that you can volunteer with or support financially.