When Did Doing The Right Thing Go So Wrong?


What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” Acts 5:4b

Last night I attended a fundraiser for CASA of the Fox Cities. As we were leaving the event I found a total of $19 dollars scattered on the floor. I asked a man closest to me if it was his and he said, “No, keep it.” Another woman within an earshot said, “Here”, with her hand extended, “Give it to me, I’ll give it to the bartenders as a tip.” I graciously declined both offers and preceded to the registration table to give it to the C.A.S.A. staff. My hope and intention was that the owner of the money would inquire and they could return it to that individual. As I explained this to the staff they stood frozen, starring at me in disbelief; they couldn’t believe I wasn’t just pocketing the money. Moreover, I told them if the rightful owner didn’t claim it that they should keep it as a donation to the cause. I could still feel their eyes affixed to me as I walked out the door.

As I drove home I analyzed people’s reaction. I was, and still am, amused. The first person took the “finders keepers” approach and even quizzed me of what size denomination it needed to be for me to keep it, “What if it was $100 dollars he said?” I replied, “It isn’t mine, maybe I would keep it if it were a penny.” He was baffled. The second wanted to take matters into her own hands, which was not a bad option actually, yet all of them were stunned that someone was actually trying to being honest.

Really? The world has gotten to the place where honesty is shocking?

The timing of this happening is perfect, because it ties in perfectly with the lesson I am teaching my class of 3rd graders today. Ananias and Sapphira did not tell the truth. Instead, they lied. God took their foolish dishonesty and used it to teach us that we need to be honest and tell the truth all the time. I asked the kids what they would have done and reminded them that God sees everything that what we do, think and say. I could have kept the money, nobody would have known, or seemingly cared, but I didn’t feel right about that – it wasn’t mine.

I could have given it to the bartenders as an act of generosity and appreciation, but I didn’t feel right about that either. Instead, I felt was the right thing to do was to attempt to find its rightful owner and, even today, I am at peace with my decision. I hope my story and God’s example from Acts 4:32-5:11 teaches all of us to be honest, not lie or try to hide/cover up our actions.

Perhaps the easiest way to be set apart for Christ is by our shocking, counter-cultural actions. Maybe, just maybe, we can turn their stunned looks into a curiosity that opens a conversation about who we are and why we’re different. As Christ followers, I am convinced that we say so much more with our actions than our words so let’s show who Christ is, not stand on a platform of persuasion. I hope that $19 was returned and someone out there was grateful for my honesty, but if they didn’t, I hope all of us can feel good about helping an organization, even in a small way, that helps children as Court Appointed Support Advocates (CASA).

A special thank you the the board, committee members, CASA advocates and the Appleton Airport for hosting such a fun, worthy and impactful event.


He Is Alive! He Is ALIVE!


40 years ago my eyes popped open, I jumped to my feet and thought, “Easter Basket!” Today, my eyes popped open, I hugged my pillow and shrieked [in my head], “He Is Alive!”

I’m not a fan of how commercialized our holidays have become, but I can’t deny the excitement, adrenaline and pure thrill that I experienced as a child to receive gifts from imaginary creatures; namely the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, who were very much real to me at the time.

You know the story, eventually we have to face the disappointing reality that what we were taught was false, made-up, make believe – A downright LIE! It wasn’t until my early 30’s that I started to question the same thing about my religion. What if Jesus Christ is no different than the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. After all, I was taught one thing, why hasn’t his story changed – unlike the others? Here’s why… Because He Is ALIVE!

If Jesus didn’t die on the cross, we have no hope, our beliefs are futile and our faith is unnecessary. Yet there are so many ways that we can know that the God of the Universe is not lying to us. I have become a lover of God’s Word and from Genesis, all the way through to the Crucifixion recorded in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John there is historical evidence that proves the accuracy and consistency of scripture. Here’s what’s cool: The book of Matthew is estimated to have been written around 70 AD, Mark between 50’s to late 60’s AD, Luke sometime between the 60’s and 80’s and John probably in the 90’s AD, and when you compare and contrast they actually compliment each other to give us a vivid picture and true account of the life of Christ and his horrific, undeserved death. It’s not as if they hung out in some holy huddle and crafted some kind of story. At different times and in their own unique vantage point they recorded it as they saw it or gleaned testimony about it from the other apostles.

I imagine my enthusiasm today as the same as that of Mary Magdalene recorded in John 20:16, when Jesus said to her, “Mary” and she turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Also the astonishment the disciples must have felt when the young man the disciples encountered in the tomb in Mark 16:6 said, “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”

Later affirmed in 2 Peter 1:16, For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. Therefore, celebrate this amazing, powerful, factual and remarkable life, death and resurrection of Jesus because his selfless act on the cross fills the gap between our unrighteousness and his holiness. Because He lives, we can live with Him eternally, but it takes a conscious decision to believe it on your part, Acts 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

Believe, confess, repent!