Warning in a Store

aisle-backpack-buyer-2292919I’ve been thinking about the Holy Spirit and how He whispers to us, leading us to pray for someone right in the middle of pulling weeds or brushing our teeth. And sometimes He even warns us.

The Holy Spirit warned me a few months ago.

I was in one of my favorite stores, wandering around and checking on all sorts of things when I noticed a man who resembled someone I know.

I actually chuckled, thinking, wow he could pass for so-and-so, and wondered if I could somehow snag a photo with my cell phone without this man thinking I’m some weirdo. I decided no, I wouldn’t want a stranger taking my picture, so I moved on to gaze at wall art.

The man walked by, glancing at me.

I moved to the greeting cards.

The man busied himself nearby, looking at cleaning supplies. I realized he didn’t have a cart or a basket.

I felt something. I knew something.

I moved on. The man moved on too.

If I’m being honest, sometimes when I shop, I’m in my own little world. I’ve even asked other customers if they’ve heard me talking to myself. Sometimes they smile and admit they do it too. Other times they look at me like I’m crazy or with a dull expression like they couldn’t care less what I’m doing.

But I was not in my own little world that day. I was fully aware, fully observing my surroundings. And fully involved in praying and asking for wisdom.

I knew I was being followed, and I knew the Holy Spirit was warning me, reminding me of something a friend shared on Facebook: a video of a woman warning others about men kidnapping unsuspecting women in the parking lots of various stores.

It was no accident I’d seen the video the day before. It was no accident the Holy Spirit made me take notice of this man, keeping me from slipping into my own little world of sale items and conversations with myself.

And it was no accident that a woman I knew was working the register, who watched the man leave the store empty handed. It was also no accident that her next customer was patient, not minding that the cashier left her register to make sure I made it safely to my car.

It was also no accident that the rain began to pour just as I was about to leave the store, making me sprint past parked cars and hurrying to my own.

It is certainly no accident, no coincidence, that the Holy Spirit speaks to us every day. And it shouldn’t surprise us but bless us abundantly that He sounds the alarm when we’re in danger and guides us safely away from it.

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for speaking to us and guiding us.

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” (John 16:13 NLT.)

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” (James 1:5 NLT.)

“But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” (Proverbs 1:33 NLT.)

(Photo from Pexels)







Witches and Mediums

witches and mediums

We were recently watching TV and saw a woman who claimed to be a witch, praying to her “goddess.” Moments later there was an advertisement for a program where the central character is a medium. (If you look it up in the dictionary, you’ll find a medium is someone who claims to be able to communicate with the dead.)

My dear friends, if you’re into this sort of stuff, I’m about to step on your toes.

You see, I’d rather step on your toes here and bruise them a bit than ignore the truth and leave your toes and the rest of you to be in big trouble.

But wouldn’t you rather know the truth? I mean, if you have something stuck in your teeth, wouldn’t you want someone to tell you rather than going through your day with dark green spinach right there in the front of your smile?

So wouldn’t you rather know the truth about much more important things like what’s going to happen if you are involved with witchcraft and mediums?

In the Old Testament, God warns the Israelites not to imitate those around them (like us here today!), so we can see how He feels about this sort of stuff:

“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.” (Deuteronomy 18: 9-12 NIV, emphasis my own.)

Again in the New Testament, Paul warns the churches in Galatia:

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21 NIV, emphasis my own.)

And again, Jesus Christ revealed to John in the book of Revelation what is going to happen:

“He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murders, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.’” (Revelation 21:6-8 NIV, emphasis my own.)

I know that’s a lot to read, but isn’t it good to know the truth? I know sometimes the truth can hurt. It reminds me of the time I spent hours crimping my hair when I was in high school only to have my grandma stare at me and shout, “You look horrible!”

Ouch. But it was the truth. What loving grandma wouldn’t feel obligated to let her grandchild know she was walking around with crazy scarecrow hair? And you know what? I never crimped my hair again.

As a Christian following Jesus Christ, I have an obligation to tell you the truth as painful as it may be.

As you read above, witchcraft and mediums are detestable to God, not something to enjoy or be involved with in anyway. And if you are claiming to be a witch or a medium, please stop immediately and ask God to forgive you.

Why? Because I’d like all of us, each and every one of us with bruised toes that someone had the courage to speak the truth to, to be together in the loving presence of our Heavenly Father when our time here on planet earth ends.

Oh, and another part of being a Christian following Jesus Christ: I also have the privilege of loving you by praying for you.

And that’s just what I’ll be doing.




The Suitcase – Letting Go

heavy suitcase

Hauling around past failures, regrets, and hurts in a ridiculously large suitcase (of course it’s large, there’s a lot of that stuff, right?) is exhausting. And just when you think you’ve got a good grip on it and can handle it, or maybe you’ve figured out how to hide it so you can forget about it, you find yourself tripping over the contents that have spilled out in an ugly display at your feet.

You hear laughter.

What in the world is going on? What are these painful things, these ugly memories doing all over the place? You loaded them up a long time ago and stashed the suitcase. Somewhere. In your closet or maybe in the basement where you store all the musty things from your past you hope to forget.

But there they are: the very details of your past glaring at you. They’re not forgotten at all but were merely hidden. And as you bend to pick them up and shove them inside, ONE MORE TIME, you realize this is like the millionth time you’ve done this and the simple act of touching these things again and hurrying to get them out of sight is absolutely draining.

Tears are landing in fat plops on that big failure of yours; the one where you think you let everyone down. And you feel sick to your stomach when you shove the memory of someone who unknowingly crushed your spirit back into the suitcase. What is it? A photograph? A note; the careless words used lightly, still weighing heavily on your heart? You’re not sure what it is, you can’t even see it because everything is a blur, but you can feel it in your hands. The pain is still very real. You give it a good crumple and thrust it back in the suitcase.

Your face is soaked and your heart is aching all over again as you shove all the garbage back where it belongs into the suitcase you plan to hide again. Only now, you can’t even close it.

Somehow, there’s more pain.

You fall to the floor in a heap and sob. You don’t know how to handle it anymore. There’s no one who sees all that you try to carry or all that you’re trying to hide. And now, it’s too full to close and too heavy to move.

Again, you hear some sort of sickening laughter.

Your head hurts and things are so blurry. The truth is even blurring. What was that you just thought a moment ago? No one sees you and all you’re trying to carry or hide?

That, my friend, is a lie. And you know who the father of lies is, don’t you? The enemy is the one who finds joy in your pain and laughs when you’re down. (Don’t be surprised if you notice a bunch of rocks hidden among the contents of your suitcase…each one is a lie meant to weigh you down even more.)

If the enemy can keep you slumped over and discouraged over your past, he’s going to do it. If he can stop you from letting go and moving on, well, he’s going to do that too.

The truth is GOD SEES YOU. He knows all about your suitcase and every article down to the most minute stitch of material, every crinkle on the papers and photographs, and every word on every note you’ve tried to ball up and forget. (Yes, He sees those rocks too. He crushes those lies into a fine powder and brushes them aside, right down the gutter.)

You know, God is the One who gave you the suitcase. Not so you’d carry everything around or stop and open it to relive the moments that have hurt you, remembering past conversations that cut you, or those so-called failures of yours.

Actually, those “failures” have drawn you closer to God so can you really call them that?

God will help you hang on to those important things. Those things that shine with truth. Those things that have made you stronger and have helped you become the person God wants you to be.

God didn’t give you the suitcase so you’d stash it somewhere, but so you could pack up all of that stuff and hand it over to Him. He’s the One who can carry it all. He’s the One who wants to. For you.

That’s how much He loves you. And that’s how much He wants to free you so you can move on to live the abundant life He has for you.

Hand it over, my friend. All of it. And let go.

“When he [the devil] lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44c NIV.)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV.)

 “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13b-14 NIV.)

You Are Radiant


Many years ago, I dated a man who was verbally abusive. He never hit me physically, but he knew exactly how to lash out at me with his words and how to slice my heart with his silence. I finally left him when I decided I would rather be alone for the rest of my life than be with him. (Side note: This was before I was walking with God, so I was unaware that God was with me.)

Unfortunately, something in me had been damaged by his words and through that relationship. I left, but I was scarred in my heart and in my spirit, and those scars left me feeling ugly. Beyond ugly. Repulsive. And I didn’t know if I could ever let anyone get close to me because they would see that ugliness and run the other way.

So I worked at hiding it, burying it under a “I’m fine” mentality and keeping people at arm’s length. It worked. I smiled a lot. I managed it all very well.

Until I met this wonderful man (now my husband of nearly eighteen years), and I wanted to let him in, past the barricade I’d constructed. Only, I was afraid he would see that ugliness seeping out and would turn and walk away. I teetered back and forth, uncertain what to do, until finally (thankfully!) I let him in.

I am here today, looking over my shoulder at the past, and remembering that trial. That difficult season. That unbearable feeling of not being worthy or good enough. Of being ugly. I was terrified of being caught, of being discovered that I was ugly underneath it all, and that I wasn’t really anything special at all; just an ugly blemish hanging out in the world.

God brought this all back to me today, some twenty years later while I scrambled eggs for lunch. I’m not exactly sure why, but He knows why and He was very clear in saying:

Ugliness is a lie.

You. Me. We are NOT ugly. All that the word “ugly” involves: the feelings of not being good enough, of being way down at the bottom of some ridiculous ranking system, that we’re stupid, a waste of space, unimportant, unlovable, insignificant etc. Those are all lies.

The truth is, we have great value. Remember what Jesus did for us, for YOU. You are unique and lovely and beautiful. And you are simply wonderful because God made you that way. Period.

No, you’re not perfect nor do you have to be. (Whew! What a relief.) But you are perfectly loved by the One Who is love.

If you are going through a similar and painful season right now, let me tell you: God sees you. He was there with you when the words someone spoke to you damaged you. And He sees how you’ve tried to bury them and how they keep surfacing like pond scum; that’s just what those hurtful words are – pond scum.

Get rid of them. Scrape them off and fling them aside. And as you step over that muck and walk away, lift your head high and praise God as His light shines upon you.

You are a beautiful and radiant child of God Almighty. Don’t let anyone tell you anything different.

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14 NASB.)

“Those who look to him [the Lord] are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” (Psalm 34:5 NIV.)

A God-Given Label


I was lying in bed last night, wide awake and talking to God. Sometimes when things get busy, I find myself craving this time when my little corner of the world is tucked into bed and things are quiet.  When it’s just God and me.

I found myself asking Him, as I see new things on the horizon and I want to prepare and plan for them, who am I supposed to be in all of this?

Ugh. Why do I always want to label myself?  I mean, I’ve been asking God since I can remember, “Who am I exactly and what am I supposed to do with my life?” I want a name, or a title, or a clue!  I can look back over the years and see the self-made labels I stuck to my life:

A student in high school. Not athletic or super smart. What’s next? 

A dishwasher dreaming of writing, a waitress waiting to take off, a college student learning the ropes of life (ha! Maybe a tiny thread on one of the ropes), an assembler in a factory, a poet selling personalized poems. Now what?

A writer of short Christmas stories and newspaper articles, a press operator in the same factory, a renter of a small apartment, a momma to a fur baby. What now?

A wife and a stepmom, a daughter, granddaughter, sister, and aunt. Thank you, Lord.

Moving right along…a stay-at-home mom, a grandma, a blogger, and a writer who has finally finished a novel. A gluten-free, dairy-free girl. But now what? I see more coming, Lord. What should I call myself? Will I fit into one of those neat categories?  Some of those are kind of scary, You know.

It’s like I’m trying to peek into the back door of God’s plan, trying to figure out what’s inside the house before He will let me in. Or maybe I’m just the little girl standing on tippy-toes, elbowing my way up to the open window and sniffing chocolate chip cookies in the air, whining about how long I have to wait to have some.

Maybe I’m always begging God for a label because I find comfort in having one, so I will have a neat and tidy answer when someone asks me about me. Perhaps I find stability in an easy explanation instead of (-gulp-) finding my security and worth in the One who created me and is still molding me and forming me like clay in His mighty hands. Forgive me, Lord.

Are you here with me, peeking through the back door or wiggling up to the window to see what’s next and whimpering about the wait? Do you have a need to label yourself, to fit in somewhere, to find purpose in having a clear-cut direction?

My friend, I learned a great truth last night while the house was still: You and I already have a label. A God-given label.  We don’t need to hunt and search for it.  We don’t have to ask our family or friends or trusted mentor what we should call ourselves.  We don’t need to take comfort or find security in a worldly label, in a position of power or pride with a title to match.  We have a label God placed on our hearts the day we accepted His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior.  It’s the label our Heavenly Father carefully, lovingly, and jealously placed there that will stick forever:


“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!” (Isaiah 43:1b NASB.)


Dear Student

dear student

I’m writing this while I’m in my pajamas. Maybe you’re reading this while you’re wearing yours. You don’t know me, and I’m not going to pretend like I know you and what you’re going through today.  But I want to tell you something:

I want to love you.

Well that sounds weird, huh? A little goofy like I’m going to send you a Valentine ’s Day card in the mail or a creepy text. Maybe you’re rolling your eyes or maybe you’re wondering what in the world I’m talking about.

How can a woman in her forties (sheesh I’m old!) who lives in the country with shaky internet service, plays Wipeout on the Wii with her teenage daughter, and doesn’t even have a Twitter account love you?

Because I know Someone who can. I know Someone who really knows you.  He knows what hurts your feelings, what you’re dreaming about, who you like, what annoys you, and everything in between.  He sees you struggling in that class and how hard it is when the other kids “get it.” He loves hearing you crack up laughing.  And He hurts with you when you break down and cry.

Maybe you know Him too. Or maybe you’ve only heard His name when someone is mad.

His name is Jesus Christ.

Do you know Him?  Well He knows you.  Jesus was there when you were born and He has loved you every single moment since.

Let me tell you, if your bedroom door is closed, He won’t just barge in. You see, He loves you enough to let you have a choice. He loves you enough to knock.

He’s hoping you’ll open the door and let Him into your life.

You want to know something pretty amazing about Him? When you get on the bus in the morning or hop in the car on your way to school, you can ask Him to come with you and He will. Maybe the school won’t let Him in, but you can. He will walk the halls with you, help you if you’re getting bullied, and calm you down if you forgot to study for that big test.

He will remind you that you are never alone no matter what and that you are SO important! There’s only one of you in this whole world, and there’s a reason you were born.  He wants to help you figure all that stuff out.  (Oh, and there really are great things coming your way, no matter what anyone else says.)

So this is how I’m going to love you: I’m going to pray for you that you take Jesus with you to school.  Because when you’ve got Jesus, love goes with you.

Love, your new yet “old” friend,

Joey 🙂

“Look! I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (Revelation 3:20 NLT.)

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:6-7 NIV.)

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son [Jesus] into the world that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:7,9 NIV.)

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 11-12 NIV.)

Finding Yourself


The world will tell you that you need to find yourself as if you’re lost somewhere out on the open road or hiking through some rough mountainous terrain and can’t be found.

But God…

God will help you understand the truth about you.

What?! Someone actually knows you, the real you, and why you’re here?

Yes.  God does.  He created you.

Seek Him and you will find Him.  And in finding Him, you will find just how special, how important, how much of a masterpiece you really are and how your life matters. You will grow to understand that YOU are an important part of a much bigger plan than you could ever dream up.  And it’s a really good one.

If you’re searching elsewhere, through psychics, horoscopes, and other falsehoods that keep your eyes off of your Creator, be careful.  They’re taking you in the wrong direction, and they will never be able to tell you, “I love you,” like your Heavenly Father can.

And He means it.  Why?  Because He knows the real you.  (For more on that, check out The Real You.)

You see, you’re only lost until you find His Son, Jesus Christ.  Once you find Him, you are truly found.

“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.  When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.  Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”  God’s Decree. (Jeremiah 29:11-14a MSG.)

When Your Defenses Are Down


If you’re fighting the flu, it’s hard to fight off other infections.  Your physical defenses are down.

The same is true when your spiritual defenses are down. You haven’t been praying, pushing God off to the side thinking you’ll talk to Him later, and reading the Bible?  Well you’re too busy for that.

Until something hits you hard. Maybe not a tragedy but something comes along and aggravates you and your patience melts like an ice cube on a hot sidewalk leaving you foaming at the mouth in anger and narrowing your focus to the problem and the impossibility of fixing it or figuring it out.

You’ve just been caught in a trap, my friend. Remember the cartoon where a loop of rope is hidden under a pile of leaves to catch the unsuspecting rabbit?

Well here you are, the rabbit, hanging upside down from a tree just kicking and flailing and totally stuck. Before long you run out of kick and you just dangle there.  You’re plumb tuckered out.  The blood is rushing to your head and now you’re forced to hang there and think about what just happened.  If you would have paid attention, you would have seen those sneaky eyes peeking out from behind the tree watching you and waiting in the darkness to pounce on you when your defenses were down.  But you were too busy.  Too busy for God and too busy to be alert.

Of course the enemy comes out from hiding, smiling at you and laughing this sickening laugh that makes your skin want to peel off and crumble. He’ll start talking to you while you’re hanging there, telling you you’re defeated, and he’s got you now.  He’ll remind you of the fit of rage you just had, and he’ll smirk when he tells you he caused that whole situation.  He’ll laugh when he tells you how this time, you really messed up and it’s too late to turn back to God now.  Yes, he’ll even remind you how you were pushing God away because you were too busy.  And he’ll ask you why you think God would want anything to do with you now.

My friend, it’s time to cut through those lies with the truth of God’s word that’s hidden in your heart:

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

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  (1 John 1:9 NIV.)

“I have loved you with an everlasting love…”  (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV.)

Speak His Word with authority from the core of your spirit and watch as those words slice right through that rope like the sword that it is. And don’t worry about the fall.  That pile of leaves?  Satan may have used them to disguise his trap, but God will use them to cushion your fall.

So stand up, brush those leaves off, and turn your back on that lying enemy, and press on. And after you thank God for that rescue, ask Him to forgive you for pushing Him aside and ask Him to help you make Him your number one priority.  When you do, everything else will fall into place.  And you’ll know the next time there’s a trap up ahead.

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:11 NIV.)


Cardboard Box

cardboard box

I felt led to revisit this old post and share it again.  Perhaps I’m not the only one who needs this today.

If you’re following God’s plan for your life, Satan, the enemy of your soul, is going to attack you in any way he can.  He wants to discourage you, squeeze you into a place of depression like a smelly cardboard box, and fill your head with lies about you and your future.  Remember, lying is not only what Satan does, it’s who he is.

But God is with you, and He never lies.  He said He’ll never leave you so hold that promise in your heart and visit it as often as you need to.  You’re not alone.  You’ve never been alone.  You may feel like it, but that’s part of the box, the trap the enemy has set for you.  If you feel alone, you’ll act desperately.  You’ll do things you know you shouldn’t do.  You’ll go somewhere you shouldn’t go or try to reconnect with someone God told you to stay away from.  What you think is a punishment or harsh discipline may instead by God’s hand protecting you.  He has so much more for you.  Don’t go after what He doesn’t want you to have.

But if you’ve fallen into the trap, if the enemy has already tricked you into that box, call out to God.  Just whisper the glorious, powerful name of Jesus.  Let His name come from your lips and flow from your spirit in adoration and trust, and He will come to you and rip that box to shreds!  Then you’ll rise from those scraps to sing praises to Him, slide around on the kitchen floor in your socks, run outside and let the rain fall on your face, and shout with joy because victory is yours through Jesus!

Then you can just toss what’s left of that box out to the trash.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  (James 4:7 NIV.)

When “Christians” Throw Stones


Have you ever been hurt by a Christian?  Me too.

The truth is Christians are also human.  We’re going to make mistakes.  We’re going to really mess up and hurt people.  And when we do, we need to say we’re sorry.

But that’s not what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about those who call themselves “Christians” while lashing out at others, using the title as a form of entitlement to criticize, judge, and sometimes even belittle others.

They sort of remind me of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day.

They like to put on a good show and brag about their giving and serving.  In anger, they throw Scripture at you like stones when you sin instead of speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).  They will show you everything you’re doing wrong in a way that makes you feel so beneath them that you may even wonder if you’re worthy to be loved by God.  Am I good enough? Am I doing enough?   Lord, what’s wrong with me?   

You may start to feel like you don’t belong, even in Church. Maybe especially in Church.

It hurts a lot.  Doesn’t it?

Jesus sees it, and He’s not happy about it either.

Remember when Jesus served His disciples by washing their feet?  Do you think He slammed them for having dirty feet, scrubbed their toes until they bled, or belittled them for not taking better care of their feet?   Of course not.  He lovingly washed them as a servant.  Can you imagine Jesus kneeling at your feet, looking up to you (wow!) as He washes and cares for your feet?

Love.  That’s what that is.

I’m not talking about the kind of love like, “I love French fries at the fair during a warm summer evening.”  I’m talking about the love you give away from your heart when you serve others.  You want nothing in return.  You just want to reflect the kind of love that was reflected in Jesus’ eyes when He was kneeling there washing feet.

How do you love like that?

When you give someone a ride after his car breaks down, when you spend time with those who are lonely or discouraged, or when you send a card to let others know you’re thinking of them.  You love by not only offering to be there for someone but by showing up when the time comes.

You love like Jesus when others fall and you offer to help them up.  You tell them you’re praying for them because you really are praying for them.  And yes, you offer God’s Word to show them that He has so much more for them; He doesn’t want them going the wrong way down a treacherous path of sin that takes them further and further away from Him.  God wants them safe, with Him, right in His arms.  And you want that for them too because you know it is the best place to be.

The place NOT to be is towering over others, pointing an accusatory finger and bashing them verbally.  (Not Christ-like behavior.)

Remember how the Pharisees wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery?  Jesus said, “If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7 NIV.)

Hmm.  Not a single one of them was able to throw a stone.

What if you were the one in the dirt having those fingers pointing at you?  If you’ve experienced some sort of attack like this, I’d like to say on behalf of all of us imperfect followers following a perfect Jesus Christ:  I’m truly sorry. And, please don’t take it out on God.

You see, God’s the One who led me to write this today so you’d know that just because someone claims to be a Christian, doesn’t always mean they are really doing what God wants.  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”  (Matthew 7:21 NIV.)

And I believe God also wanted to remind you today that He loves you.  That is why He doesn’t want any of us to continue down a path of sin that will surely trip us up.  Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11b NIV.)

Just remember, you don’t have to be perfect before God will love you.

God already loves you because HE is perfect love.

So focus on that fact, on Jesus dying for you, and the privilege you have to know Him and to love like Him.  Yes, focus on Jesus instead of those who masquerade as His followers clutching a stone in each hand.

And don’t forget to forgive those who’ve already hit you with one.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” (Matthew 7:1 NIV.)