Pondering stoplights

I think about things constantly.  Like elevators. And other things. They’ve been having a lot of construction near our house recently so a bridge is now one-lane.  This causes a lot of traffic to get backed up.

But do you know what I think causes traffic to get more backed up?  The people who try to conserve energy.  For example, look at this illustration:

rect3788The yellow car wants to take a left, so he pulls into the left turn lane here.  Now, what if someone is conserving gas by leaving a TON of space in front of them?  Well, this happens:

rect3789The yellow guy can’t get into the turn lane just yet, even though there is room in for the three cars ahead of him because the red wants to leave a bunch of space in front of him.

Of course, this is just one example.  Another issue this creeps up is where you have two lights close to each other.  You see there’s space for multiple cars, so you pull up and the car ahead of you stop WAY short.  So much that you’re now stuck in the intersection.  You hope the light ahead changes quickly so you can get out of the intersection.  But most of the time you end up either having to pull awkwardly in the other lane and back, or waiting for the person to slowly roll up into their proper position.

Now that guy that’s driving this way is probably saving some fuel efficiency.  But at what cost?  Other people are having to idle longer because of missed lights.  So is the OVERALL system better?  And what happens if EVERYONE started driving like this?  Would traffic engineers need to redesign the road systems to assume each car may be taking 2.5 car lengths?  Will lights need to be timed differently because people want to accelerate at the speed of smell?  Will road infrastructure itself need to be changed to make turning lanes longer?  If that occurred, would the fuel savings be greater?

Now I’m not saying we should be pulling up to the person with 3 inches between our bumpers.  I’m pretty sure traffic engineers assume there’s some space.

Of course, I don’t have all the information to figure out the numbers.  Maybe there would be savings.  But my gut feel tells me that some of these fuel-saving measures come at the cost of others.

What’s your thought on this topic?

Posted in Random | 5 Comments

My stove, helpful neighbors, and repair guys

We just had back to back weeks where grandparents got to visit so my kids need extra hugs and we’re a little behind on things. I was making some dinner and rising my bread when it started to stink like burnt electronics. I thought maybe it was just a smell from the new pan I was using, by when I switched off the burner, the display on my stovetop cut out. While the kids and I ate dinner, Bryan (who had eaten at a Men’s Ministry event) went over to ask the neighbors if we could use their oven to finish the bread. They very graciously agreed. Bryan and the kids headed out the door, and I headed next door to bake bread. After sharing some rolls, I made my way back to try to call or connect with Maytag on the internet. The Maytag website was unhelpful and not great even by my standards, and I’m half Amish, but I finally managed to locate a recommended local repair person and called it a day. Sunday, I bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t use my teapot, but I survived. This morning, I tried calling Maytag’s man, but his phone message said he could get back to me at the end of the day. Figuring someone else could do better than that, I tried the repairman recommended on Saturday by my neighbors. He promptly returned my call and agreed to come after lunch. Hearing about the problem, he had come prepared with one part, but when he found this


he had to run out for a cord as well. He fixed it up, and we tried it out. Then, he gave me a tutorial on how to clean my oven (nice, but embarrassing, next time I’ll have to clean my broken appliance before calling the repairman). I guess the Brillo pads from the dollar store work just as well, who knew? The best part was when he left his business card and told me about his AM radio show on Fridays. Do you think that would count as home education credits?

But now my oven works, I’m happy, and I want to bake something.

Who wants to come over for muffins?

Posted in Family Updates | 2 Comments

Soda pop jelly

“If nothing else, it’ll make a good blog post,” I quipped to Bryan as we got started.

It seems on Friday at lunch, Bryan and a few coworkers started speculating if one could make jelly from pop. It seemed like it would work, so when he texted me, I agreed to help him out.

On Saturday, we picked up pop and some pectin. I googled a few recipes, sent him back to the store for liquid pectin and jars, and then we began our high fructose corn syrup laden quest.

I can’t emphasize this enough, but jam and jelly making is hot, difficult work. There is a reason I freeze everything, and I have not canned anything since I left my mother’s home. It’s hard. However, we were in high spirits, and we were both capable adults, though one of us was inexperienced and unable to intuit the other’s every need, and we managed to follow our recipes for Mountain Dew jelly and Coca Cola jelly.



The next day, because it needed time to cool and I needed time to recover, I made some biscuits for us to taste test our creations. Both types of jelly did indeed gel which is a victory in itself. Beyond consistency, they both tasted rather passible on biscuits. The Mountain Dew jelly had a bright, citrus flavor. Someone might have even guessed it was a fruit jelly, though what kind would be tricky. It was Emma’s favorite, and as much as I hate Mountain Dew (which is immensely), it was surprisingly edible. The Coca Cola jelly had a hint of caramel in the flavor. It was Hannah’s favorite. Bryan thought it would be good on pancakes. He’s probably right.

Will we ever do this again? We already have plans to make a few batches for our fall fundraiser at church. Are we crazy? That’s pretty much a given :)

What kind of pop do you think would make good jelly? I’m leaning toward Cherry Coke and root beer myself.

Posted in Family Updates | 3 Comments

When things get busy…..

You know when people complain about being busy, and they advice others give is “Well, something’s got to go.”  Like it’s just that easy to cut something out of the schedule. Yes, looking at other people’s schedule, you can sometimes figure out what to cut.  But you know what, it might matter to them.

These last few weeks have been really tough on us.  First, I was on-call for a week.  This usually entails cancelling all plans for the week except for church. This time, we ended up taking separate vehicles, which was good because I got a call right before I was about to leave. I handled that, but arrived at church late.  After multiple nights in a row of going to be late, handling stuff in the middle of the night, and handling stuff early, it wears on you, and the whole family. My on-call ends on Tuesday morning.

Now, I could go and list all the things we did the following week, but it doesn’t matter.  The things we ended up doing were important to us.  Seeing family, honoring prior commitments, giving the girls opportunity to have fun. Looking back, Amie and I tried to think of what we could’ve cut.  It turns out really nothing.  Is that 100% literally true?  No.  We could’ve shut out the entire world until we were caught up. But the things we needed to do were important to us and our kids.

Without the on-call, we probably would’ve been fine with that week.  I would’ve been a “this is busy week”, but we would’ve managed.  But since we had no time to catch up from the week before, it’s like when you stumble, and you can keep going, but you’re stumbling constantly.  Or you could choose to fall flat on your face and recover.  We chose the first option.

Did we cut anything out?  Yup.  I didn’t get up early in the morning for a while.  We didn’t have energy to pack lunch some days or make dinner, so we ate our more.  The girls were thoughtful of us and asked to have scrambled eggs for dinner one night.  The garden didn’t get weeded as much as it should’ve. We didn’t write on the blog as much.

What, if anything, do you cut when things just get busy?

Posted in Family Updates | 3 Comments


The news has been ridiculously bad lately, has it not?

Nigerian girls kidnapped at the beginning of summer.

Immigration border issues escalating.

Ebola outbreak in Africa with hundreds dying.

Israel and Gaza unrest, images of broken, bloodied children from there, people using schools as weapon repositories?

Beloved actor Robin Williams allegedly committing suicide.

Ferguson, MO rocked with death, rioting, and militarized police.

Then adding local news which always involves car accidents, crime, and health issues.

Then adding busy schedules, stress, relationships struggles that we all have.

It’s hard even to write sometimes because everything is a fresh, open, gaping wound on the soul.

My gut reaction is to retreat, to hide from the news, to at least work to heal myself.

But I need to remember, that there are so many out there that do not have the hope that I do.

And let’s face it, we need hope. As small as the death of Robin Williams should be in the face of all of the rest of that tragedy, it’s that that’s blowing up my news feed. And it tells me something. It tells me that we’re desperately looking for something, for someone. This man who made so many laugh and smile, if he couldn’t face the world and it’s problems? This man who was a GREAT, if he needed to escape? The question remaining seems to be “how can I?” This question breaks my heart because all of this news, it breaks your heart. The girls, their families have to be aching with their loss. The people of western Africa are mourning and even more are afraid that they could be next to succumb. The families of Israel and Palestine must always be mourning as death mounts upon death. The nation mourned Williams. And Ferguson rocks us all as we try to sort through some very murky mess of crime and death and racism and authority and power and peace.

But who has the hope? Is it hope to say that those who have died are free from the pain of this world? I’m afraid that’s poor comfort to those of us still here. We are scarred and left bleeding by those who leave life whether it’s by force or by choice. Our hope is and must be in Jesus. All of this sin and death and pain and wrongness is no surprise to the living God. He knew it would come way back when a man and a woman in a perfect garden did not think that God was enough. So, God worked through history a plan to bring us back to Him. He sent His Son to live a perfect life and die as a payment for all the sin and death and pain and wrongness in the world. Then, he appointed those who would believe and accept that God was enough to carry the truth to a world that keeps searching for what will satisfy and comfort and save. And the answer is easy and it’s hard and it fights against will and feelings and prevailing opinion. But the answer is Jesus. He is enough. Even though all this world fall away with all the people and the stuff that I love, Jesus would still be enough.

Help me tell the rest of everybody, OK? Because from what I’ve seen, not near enough of us know it. And remind me of it, too, when I struggle because this world is hard and we can help each other remember.

Posted in Faith | Leave a comment

14 (or 15) things I’ve learned in 14 years of marriage

Bryan and I are celebrating our 14th anniversary today! This may surprise you, but we’ve picked up a little knowledge in between then and now. Much of this is common sense, but when you’re irritated with someone, having common sense is hard. So, here’s a few things that I have learned while spending 14 great years with an incredibly funny, brilliant, and handsome guy.

wedding1. Your spouse cannot fulfill all your needs. God can. Even if you have an incredible husband like I do or an amazing wife, he/she is a long way from being God. Lean on God when you have a disagreement or hard time or just feel grumpy. Pray. Get insight from the Bible. Your spouse was never made to be infallible. Let them be human. You’ll love your spouse a lot better if you’re getting filled by God with love so that you can overflow with love for others.

2. You can be right but wrong at the top of your voice. That’s a quote from Emerson Eggerichs in Love and Respect. The more right I am, the louder I am, so this was a good lesson for me which is helpful with my children as well. Your tone matters. You will not win an argument with volume, even if you are right.

3. Focus on the good things. You married this person, you must have seen something in them. I think sometimes when we get married, we change from thinking we have the greatest person in the world to seeing them, as the weird rock/troll/gnome things sing in Frozen, as “a little bit of a fixer-upper.” While there may be things that we would change if we could, you’ll be much more content and happy in your marriage if your main focus isn’t that thing that irritates you but that thing that makes you happy. Then, affirm your spouse. I think the “mommy wars” are a pretty good picture of our culture. Everyone is wrong if they’re not on your side. Remember those good things, the stuff that made you fall in love with them and all the awesome they’re done or been, and tell your spouse about them. Chances are, no one else is. Make them feel worthwhile, important, attractive. That’s what they are to you, and they should know it.

4. Learn about each other’s worlds. I could not hope at this point to know as much about programming as Bryan does, but I listen to him. I read articles that he posts. If I wanted to know how to program something, I would know to Google it. I know that Google changed their ad policy and in app purchases of upgrades are the way of the future. Bryan took a psych class in college since that was my major. He’s read some books that I recommend to him, or at least skimmed them. Learning about the other person matters. Related to that, share ideas. Is there an idea that’s influencing your views on parenting, education, society, politics? Share your sources with your spouse so they know where you’re coming from. If you’re changing because of some new idea, at least your spouse will know about it.

5. You are not the boss of them. Whether we’re a mom or a manager or a team leader, some of us get accustomed to telling people what to do. Ask. Ask your spouse. They are your partner, your equal. Respect their time as a fellow adult and ask. If you have a problem with housework, childcare, finances, have a discussion and figure out a plan, but don’t order or nag or use sarcasm to tell them about your disapproval because that will totally work.

6. Dream together. There is nothing more fun to me than talking about future possibilities and goals with Bryan. I think it’s a great way to invest in each other and cheer each other on. Also, it helps you get on the same page with where your family is going.

7. Having someone in your prayer corner is huge. If I’m struggling, I know I can share prayer requests with Bryan even if I would not want to share them with anyone else, and he will be there for me, interceding. I’ve got his back, too. So, I guess I should add, pray for them. Are they struggling, why not talk to the greatest source of strength, endurance, and power there is? That’s the best thing you can do, but still . . .

8. Be willing to serve your spouse. I’m not saying one person should bend over backwards to do whatever the other person wants, I’m saying that doing things for other people is a great way to show love. Watch the kids so they can go out or work on a project. Make them a meal. Fold a load of laundry that they’ve been meaning to get to. Wash the dishes after they make dinner. Take the kids out if they’re sick or worn down so they can get a nap. They will feel the love.

9. Make time to talk to each other. You know what has been one of the best things for our marriage? Getting rid of cable service. Now, even though we sometimes watch things on Amazon or Hulu or YouTube, even though we still spend time online, we have a lot more time for conversation. I know what’s going on with Bryan’s work. He knows what my challenges or triumphs at home are. You don’t have to get rid of your tv, but shutting it off and talking is kind of a big deal for a marriage.

10. Find something that you enjoy doing together. I don’t program or solve the Rubik’s cube well. Bryan doesn’t bake or sew or read fiction or craft. We’re opposite on a lot of spectrums, but we’ll take a walk together or watch MacGyver or play a board game or go out to a movie or watch stupid YouTube videos or dance in the kitchen. It makes a difference. Related would be laugh together. I think research has proven or something that laughing together makes for a better marriage. If it hasn’t, it should because it’s true.

11. Be an accountability partner that’s an encourager not a nag. Honestly, other people may be better accountability partners for things, but if you are working with your spouse on this and they are on a diet or exercising or reading their Bible or whatever, build up their successes, help them find good rewards, but don’t nag them. Go back to #3, affirm and build up, don’t focus on the negative. Or join them.

12. Don’t argue over the little stuff. Toothpaste tube being mistreated? Toilet paper on the wrong way? Socks on the floor? Keys perpetually lost? Go ahead, offer a suggestion, tell them that it is important to you, but don’t make it an argument. Do you know how hard it is to change a habit? Of course, you do, you’ve tried to do it before. Most of these behaviors are habits. If it’s important to you, you may need to make an adjustment yourself.

13. Tell other people how great your spouse is. Don’t just stop at telling your spouse what you appreciate, tell people at your Bible study, your friends, people at lunch, people on Facebook about the good things they have done. Tell people about their accomplishments, how they’ve hit their goal. Some people think this is bragging, and it is, but it’s about someone else, so go ahead. But DO NOT, please NEVER EVER, share all your peeves and arguments with other people. I cringe when I see a husband (usually always a husband for some reason) being chastised on Facebook. It’s ugly. If you are struggling with something and have one good friend who is a good encourager, go ahead and share your problem with them, but don’t make it a habit to tell everyone the bad stuff about your spouse. These others will think you have terrible judgment, or they may think, well, if someone complained about me that much, I might not treat them very well either. And to extrapolate, don’t have a disagreement with ANYONE over Facebook. Even though it has the word “face” in it, it’s not their face which is the place you should speak your disagreement to.

14. Enjoy parenting together. Parenting can be hard, but sharing smiles over adorable babies across the room, texting the hilarious thing your kid just said, or playing together with the family is good for the family and good for your marriage. I love watching Bryan be a dad. It’s amazing. Having kids does not have to be a marriage killer if you are in it as a team and not forcing each other to compete with the kids for your attention. Also, in relation to that, put the kids to bed early for as long as you can. Trust me. At least in my marriage, it’s easier to connect with my spouse at 8:30 at night than it would be to get up at 5 and connect. People in the 1800s used to go to bed that early, your kids can to. It just takes practice.

OK, here’s a bonus #15. Realize that they probably have good motives. Your spouse, hopefully, really loves you. That means they want to make you happy. They may still be a little selfish, but you probably are, too. When they say something, they are most likely not being malicious. Case in point (forgive me, Bryan), when I was pregnant with Hannah, Bryan asked me why women’s butts get wider when they are pregnant. This was NOT the right thing to say to a pregnant woman, but he wasn’t saying I was overweight or that he disapproved of my shape, he was just expressing a curiosity. As he is still living today, you can tell that I must have been living by the spirit in that moment to realize that he didn’t mean to hurt my feelings. Your spouse probably doesn’t mean to hurt your feelings either or trip a painful memory. They love you. They want to make you happy. Talk with them about it, or realize their motives and let it go, but they are not your enemy.

I’m sure that’s not all I’ve learned, and we certainly don’t have a perfect marriage, but I feel like we’re a lot better off because of the things we’ve learned over the years. If one or two of them strikes a chord with you, that’s great! I hope you’re strengthened and encouraged. If not, then tell me, what’s been working for you?

What have you learned from being married? Being single?

Posted in Family Updates | 2 Comments

I don’t buy stuff without my lie detector

I am empathetic. I don’t feel bad for you (or good for you); I feel bad with you (or good with you). So, I can be easily swayed by feelings. This is good when someone needs someone to talk to. This is bad when someone needs someone to sell to.

I’m a sucker. I will feel bad for you when you give me your sales pitch.

But I have a secret weapon.


Sure, he looks nice on the outside, but he makes decisions based on pure logic.

Oh, you want me to purchase this? I’m sorry, I need to ask my husband about that.

Someone may say, “Oh Amie, she’s a disenfranchised woman under her husband’s thumb. She’s nothing but a doormat. She can’t make her own decisions.”

Those people would be mean.

They would also not understand the situation. You see, this has nothing to do with gender. My dad has to do the exact same thing. We don’t like to feel bad and disappoint the salespeople, but under this system, we don’t have to. It’s fantastic. I save money and don’t buy things I don’t need, but I don’t have to feel guilty that you’re not making your sales quota because it wasn’t my decision. If I didn’t have Bryan, I’d have to have a Magic 8 ball that only said “no” that I could consult in these situations or a two headed coin (Heads, no sale; tails, I’ll buy something. Oh, so sorry, it’s heads. Maybe next time.)

It’s not that I can’t see that it’s not a good deal 99% of the time. It’s just that I have had a 15 minute conversation with this person, so I would probably give them a kidney now. We know each other. This is why I can’t go to direct sales parties either. Oh, the guilt.

So, I’m sorry. If you would like me to purchase something beyond the groceries and household necessities, you’re going to have to go through my finance department. It’s not personal, it’s business.

Do you ever fall for marketing schemes?

Posted in Random | 4 Comments

How much does an app cost?


Logan Apps

I frequently get asked how much an app cost. Well, PTO Tracker is $1.99, and Simple Pricebook is $.99. And Quidbit is free. Oh, wait, they’re asking how much it costs to create an app.This is like asking how much it costs to build a house. The answer is going to vary depending on what you want. Here are some things that are going to influence the cost of an app:

Things the app does – Depending on what you’re having the app do is going to directly be related to the development time needed. Want an app that plays podcasts, has a built-in special calculator, a mini-photo editor, and has a fun mini-game to boot? Well, that’s obviously going to take more time. One thing that can keep development cost is to not reinvent the wheel. Is there an app that already does some of what you’re wanting to do? Ask yourself if recreating that functionality is worth it.

Complexity of functionality – Some things are more complex than others.  For example, let’s say you want to “Integrate your app with Facebook.” This can mean many things.  Want people to be able to “Share” something from your app and have it just open the Facebook app for people to post with? Or are you wanting to have the app deeply integrated with Facebook, such as interacting with friends within the app without having to leave the app?  That requires a lot more.

Data sources – If the app is pulling data or storing data to a server, does that server need to be created? Let’s say you want to have a “Message of the Day” type application. Not only does the app need to be able to pull the message from a server, but someone has to enter those messages into the server (and perhaps some scheduling stuff to go along with it).

Design – Do you have graphics or some design elements that you want to be used? A programmer can reuse some of those things for your app. If you don’t, the programmer needs to design those things from scratch. They may also need to subcontract out some graphic work to a designer.

Platforms supported – Is the app just going to be available on iPhone or do you also want to support Android? Leaving out either one and you lose a lot of marketshare. Android has a slightly larger marketshare overall. But I see people choosing one platform for the reason of “that’s what I use.”  If you’re getting an app developed solely for yourself, well…….that’s one way to spend your money. There’s a few things that can only be done on Android (like Screen Blocker). But for other things, try to target both. It will cost more, but you will have a larger customer base.  Adding iPad and tablet support also can increase the costs.

If you’re building a house and want a retractable roof to “bring the outdoors inside”, yes, that’s possible.  But I’ve seen some houses with large sliding exterior walls. While it’s not exactly the same, it’s probably much more economical.  Working with a developer, you can figure out what features might be driving the cost of your up unnecessarily. Now, there are some scenarios where it does make sense to pay a team of developers $50K to work on your app, but that doesn’t apply to everyone.

So yes, the answer is “it varies”, because like other custom built things (like houses), it’s going to depend on what you’re trying to achieve. I’ll try to discuss some other things to look for when working with a developer in future posts.

Do you have any other questions about app development?

Posted in Apps, Technology | 2 Comments

A professor and golf balls: How it should’ve gone

Note: Even if the story seems familiar, please go through it all the way.


A professor stood before his class with some items. When the class began, he picked up an empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. One student asked, “Is this going to be on the test?”

“No,” replied the professor, who then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

Except for one student, who said, “Guys! Just 15 seconds ago we thought it was full and he put more stuff in! How about we think about it instead of mindlessly agreeing?”

The professor scorned at him.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. A few students responded with a  “yes.” Most remained silent trying to figure out what was going on. The one student spoke up again, speaking to the few that said “yes”, “Look guys, he fooled you twice. How about you just stop and think?” Another student spoke up, “What does this even have to do with US History?”

The professor scorned at both of them. The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the grains of sand. “I’m pretty sure this violates the university’s alcohol policy!” one student yelled. Many students nodded in agreement.

The professor let out a heavy sigh, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things — your family, your partner, your health, your children, your friends, your favorite passions — things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.”

One student interrupted, “Didn’t we determine that the jar was not full at that point?”

The professor ignored him and continued, “The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff.”

Another student chimed in, “Wait, you’re saying my life would be full if I was unemployed and homeless? I’m pretty sure there would be a void in my life.”

The professor ignored her and moved on, “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.”

“If you shake the jar while pushing down on the golf balls, you can get them to go in. With enough pressure, you could probably compact the core of the golf ball and create even more room.”

“You can’t shake the jar!” the professor snapped back.

“You shook the jar when you put the pebbles in.   Just sayin’,” responded the student.

“The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. Play another 18.”

“How is golf suppose to help my family? It requires I leave them for hours at a time. And it’s kind of expensive.  Do I have a job at this point or not? And if golfing can be a first class hobby, couldn’t anything be?”

“There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, -”

“OK, so we must not be homeless!”

“-give a dinner party and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

“Isn’t it sand and pebbles?”

One of the students raised her hand and asked, “What about the alcohol violation?”

The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.”

“No, I’m saying…..it would be really cool if we all got a perfect on the final for not telling the dean about you drinking during class…..you know, so we can focus on ‘golf balls’ or whatever.”

What “inspirational” story do you hate?

Posted in Humor | 2 Comments

A better answer for Hannah

This is a post written for me (because my memory is faulty) and for Hannah. She’ll get to read it in the morning. Tonight, Hannah had questions for me. I answered them as fully as I thought to then, but as I reflected on them tonight, I realized that there was more that needed to be said.

So Hannah asked if Jesus called himself the Son of Man so that he wouldn’t have to rob a bank or something to be crucified.

At first, I thought that Hannah didn’t realize that the Son of Man was a Messianic title. I thought that she needed to know that Daniel had called the Savior the Son of Man. But, no, she knew that. So what she was wondering was: did He reveal himself as the Son of God so that the Israelites would charge Him with blasphemy and give Him the death penalty so that He would be killed for our sins.

I replied that no, He had revealed Himself as the Messiah because it was true. I didn’t mention John 18:37 where Jesus reveals that His purpose was to bear witness to the truth, but it fits. If Jesus’ purpose was to testify to the truth, revealing Himself as the Christ would certainly fit.

Then, I stated that they didn’t kill Him because of blasphemy. He had revealed Himself as the Son of God through His miracles many times before they arrested and killed Him. They killed Him, I explained because of God’s plan, God had hardened their hearts (because of unfaithfulness) so that they could not believe He was the Christ. And, they killed Him because of their jealousy and (I didn’t add this part to her, but I’ll add it now) because of their fear that He would cause a war with Rome that would cause more oppression and death. I mentioned God’s rescue plan for us and that God had used their hard hearts to further His plan to save us through Christ’s death and resurrection.

But, I have to say, as I sat and thought about it. I missed it. I missed a BIG thing, and that is this:

His death on the cross was never about what He had done. He did everything perfectly. He always was truthful and kind. His love was perfect. His anger was perfect. His death on the cross wasn’t about what He had said. The priests were amazed by His knowledge of the scriptures even in His youth. He answered all of the questions of his accusers. He even answered Satan well. It wasn’t about what He had done, it wasn’t about what He had said, it was about what we had done, all of humanity, from the beginning to the end. He was taking our punishment, a punishment that we caused through our sin, a punishment that was caused by humans very much like ourselves reacting in jealousy, greed, fear, betrayal, and ignorance to kill an innocent man. A man that had never done anything wrong. It was our sin and their sin, that we share, that killed Him.

Although His death was never about what He had done, it was all about what He was doing. The rescue plan of God has been promised from the time of sin. It arrived at just the right time. It continues until He comes again. Romans 5:8, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Amazing. Grace.

So, do your kids make you think this hard before bed or am I raising tiny theologians? Tell me I’m not alone. Please.

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