A Small Move

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Mob Mentality

I was just sitting here doing my daily Bible study when something hit me that I thought I should share.  I was reading in the book of Luke.

Luke 23:1-12

Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. They began to state their case: “This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming he is the Messiah, a king.”

So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!”

Then they became insistent. “But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!”

“Oh, is he a Galilean?” Pilate asked. When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.

Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle. He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer. Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations. Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)

Just go with me here because this is probably something that isn’t in the norm to get from this passage, but it really jumped out at me.

Pilate wasn’t concerned with Jesus.  He found nothing wrong there.  Now, we all know that Scripture had to be fulfilled and Jesus had to be crucified, but I find it interesting how this event came about.  I find it interesting that we read about how Pilate found nothing wrong with Jesus and then sent him over to Herod because it was Herod who had jurisdiction over Galilee.

Then we learn that Herod was almost having what I like to call a “fangirl” moment over Jesus.  He was excited!  Jesus had a serious reputation and Herod wanted to see some of the miracles he had heard about.  It’s like when your favorite singer comes to town and you want to go the concert.  Herod got front row tickets and he didn’t even have to pay for them.  He was stoked!

But Jesus wouldn’t give Herod what he wanted.  In fact, Jesus didn’t give anyone anything.  He refused to answer anything they asked.  Jesus wasn’t there for autographs, if you know what I mean.

So Herod was annoyed.  He sent Jesus back to Pilate.

And this is what really struck me.  Verse 13, written in parenthesis, says “Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.”

Why do you suppose the Lord wanted that included in this story?

After that, the chapter goes on to tell about how Pilate and Herod had both come to the same conclusion that there was nothing wrong, but the people wanted Jesus crucified so, long story short, he was.

But they became friends that day…

That day, having been surrounded by people who wanted nothing more than to see Jesus dead, Pilate and Herod became friends.  In the midst of the yelling, the arguing, the insults, and all the sinful behavior… they buddied up.

Perhaps they found their common ground in not understanding why the Jewish people were so bent out of shape.  Or, perhaps somewhere in the middle of the ridicule of Jesus and the mocking of him (think about how Herod and his people put that robe on Jesus) they banded together… a common cause… a common reason to be cruel?

I submit that mob mentality hit not only the Jewish people, but it also hit Herod and Pilate.  The fact that they suddenly became friends is no different from people today.

Think about it.  We are living in a day and age where we see/read people’s thoughts almost instantaneously.  It used to be that we didn’t really concern ourselves with every thought of every person, but now those thoughts are front and center.  And when someone we normally disagree with suddenly writes or says something about another individual, no matter who it seems to hurt, we jump right on in the conversation and that person we disagreed with suddenly becomes our best friend.

Together, we “crucify” the other party.

Why?

Why did Herod and Pilate suddenly team up?

I know it had to happen.  But why did God choose to put this particular point in His Word?  What lesson do we gain?

Could it be that our Creator wants us to think before we jump on the next bandwagon?

Could it be that He wants us to consider just which group we lend our voice to?

Perhaps our Lord envisioned the chaos of the Internet age and knew I would read that statement and think twice before joining in the latest social media outrage… You never know.

All I know for sure at this point is the God wanted us to read that.  It has importance.

We are living in a time where mob mentality is more prevalent than ever.  I think it’s possible we can learn from that one sudden friendship just how quickly hate can spread.  When we listen to everyone around us, the yelling and the arguing and drama, we cut off the communication that matters.  Even if Jesus had answered Herod’s questions, it wouldn’t have been heard.  The priests and religious leaders were all standing there “shouting their accusations.”  The only voice being heard at that moment was the voice of sin.

Thank God for Jesus.  He conquered sin.

Taking Inventory

I think it’s important to be real with yourself.  It’s important to be honest.

It is because I think it is so important that I believe in taking inventory of yourself.

When it comes to health, taking inventory can have a huge impact.  I’ve been avoiding inventory for a while now, but today I decided it was time.

So I stood in front of my mirror after I got out of the shower and I just took a good look at myself.

I looked at my face.  I looked at my hair and my skin.  I looked at my neck.  And I noted the puffiness and the clear lack of sleep.  I noted the hair that desperately needs to be cut and the skin that needs better nutrients.

And then I looked further.  I looked at what used to be my waist and I noted that it has somewhat disappeared.  It was there, but now it’s gone.  And I thought about why.  I recalled my eating habits.  There is no one to blame but me.

Then I took in my hips and thighs and that entire general region.  Oh, it isn’t pretty.  In fact, I could hear it screaming out, “Move me.  Walk.  Move.  Do something!”

And further down, I noticed my calves and how thick they appear.  And I realized that my ankles are swollen.

And it was then that I recalled something I had read in a book not too long ago.  The author mentioned that we can dishonor God with obesity.  It was at that moment that my inventory had a dramatic impact.

I believe that I am now motivated to get back on track.

You Won’t Be Sorry

I’ve always found myself comforted and encouraged by Luke 21:19.

It doesn’t matter what translation of the Bible you choose; this verse captivates my soul.  I’m reminded that whatever my circumstances, no matter who it seems is hurting me or leaving me, no matter what is happening in the world, no matter what the news might say, whether good or bad… If I stand firm in Him, then I win.

By standing firm, you will win your souls.  (NLT)

Stand firm, and you will win life.  (NIV)

By your [patient] endurance [empowered by the Holy Spirit] you will gain your souls.  (AMP)

By your endurance you will gain your lives.  (ESV)

In your patience possess ye your souls.  (KJV)

By your patience possess your souls.  (NKJV)

By holding fast, you will gain your lives.  (CEB)

By your endurance gain your lives.  (HCSB)

And a paraphrase that really brings it home…

Staying with it—that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved.  (MSG)

Taming the Monster Within

Can I just be real for a moment here?  Sometimes, I feel like all I read online are the highlights, but no one seems to want to talk about the rest of life.  I’m focusing on health here.  Weight.  Exercise.  Body image.

If I do a quick search through my friends and followers on social media and I will find post after post about the healthy success they’ve had.  I will see perfect Whole 30 meals and great, sweaty workouts, and selfies that look so prepped and polished that I’m just certain they had a celebrity stylist that day.

And then there’s me.

I’m just not in a good place right now.  When it comes to my health, I have let it all go.  I don’t exercise anymore.  I eat whatever I want, and quite often I eat too much of it.  I am not getting nearly enough steps in my day because I sit a lot.

A lot.

I mean seriously a lot!

And I know I do these things.  I used to care so much.  I was mindful of all I was doing and, though I’ve never been super thin, I was healthy.  I looked good.  My skin looked good.  My hair looked good.  I felt good.  I was sleeping better.  I was happier.

What is going on inside me now is best described as some sort of hideous monster lurking about that finally took up permanent residence.

And I want to kick that monster out!

I really do.

But I am so not motivated.

I am so sick of how I feel, yet I am not at all motivated to change it.  And that has me constantly wondering what the heck is wrong with me.

I’m fed up.  People, I am technically obese according to those pesky BMI charts.  I want to change this.  I know how to change it.  But I feel stuck.

The monster inside is yelling at me that this is her home now.

The monster inside is screaming that I don’t get another chance.  I messed it up.  I’m a blob.  Just keep eating because I will never change.

The monster is in my head.

I need to tame the monster.