The Pier

I remember the first time I saw her. Standing all alone in the water. I stood in awe at how beautiful she was. A true work of art. It was love at first sight.

It was our first vacation together to the beach. Our first of many.

I remember the first time I walked out on her, I stood so far out into the ocean. The beach looked so far away. I was so far out all the people on the beach looked like ants.

I learned all about her. From the beginning when she was first being made until now. All the storms she had been through, everything that made her into the beauty she is today. I couldn’t help but wonder if other people looked at her the way I did.

How many sunrises and sunsets have we seen from that pier? How many long talks have we had walking the beaches and that pier while holding hands?

Every year, before we would go back, I would look at the old photos of us taken on that pier.  The first one taken when we’re just dating, the first one taken as a married couple, the first one with our daughter as a baby and all the ones through the years as she, and we, grew older.

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Throughout the years, I always knew the pier would be there when we were. The times when we would walk early in the morning and the fog was so thick we could barely see our hands in front of our face. But somehow, I knew the next step would land on the next plank.  On the dark nights when we could not see the end of the pier because of the darkness, I still knew it was there.

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Then I looked at the last picture, the one from last year. The pier was showing her age but she was still so beautiful to me. Our daughter had grown so strong and beautiful, ready to go out on her own. There was something off about the picture though. There was a light missing from your eyes. Maybe the smile wasn’t as big as years past.

Maybe it was just my imagination. I couldn’t get the thought out of my head.

Do you believe in coincidences?  As I was staring at the picture there was a breaking news alert. The hurricane hit the pier and she was gone. I couldn’t believe it. All those years of storms and sunshine, cold winter nights and hot summer days, all the things the pier had been through and now she was gone.

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A tear came to my eyes as I stared In disbelief. Was it real or was I dreaming?  Was she really gone? All these pictures, all the memories, all of it gone. No, they were still there but as I looked at the empty space in the ocean I knew things would never be the same.

I couldn’t help but look at the last picture again. The one where the light in your eyes was gone and your smile wasn’t as big. All the storms we have faced and survived.  All the good days and the bad days. I couldn’t help shake the feeling that a storm was coming.  A storm bigger than we have ever faced before.

We will survive it or we will fall like the pier?

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Almost Broken by Sister Hazel-  

Church Clothes by Kelleigh Bannen – 

Performance by The XX – 

A Day To Be Alone by One Less Reason – 

Even If by MercyMe – 

That Could Still Be Us by Keith Urban- 

Where We Go From Here by Jason Gray – 

Where Do We Go From Here by Oleander – 

Something Beautiful by One Less Reason – 

Broken Together by Casting Crowns – 


Why Is He Back?

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It was  a difficult time.  I knew that she was not being herself.  I knew the enemy had attacked and she didn’t fight him.

I told God, I told the devil, whoever would listen that I am stronger than she is.  Take the demon from her and put it in me. Release her and let me deal with it.

I don’t cuss.  I don’t scream. Most of the time nothing bothers me. I just let it roll right on off and go on with life. Yes, I get discouraged when I am taken advantage of, over and over and over. But life goes on. Stay the course.  I tell you this because you need to understand the change that happened when I invited the demon into me.

The change was immediate. I felt like a different person. I could feel the tension inside of me.  I turned into a person that screams, yells, and cusses. She deserves every bit of it for what she did. I don’t need her so let’s beat her down until she can’t get up. She did this, not me. 

I looked in the mirror and the eyes looking back were not mine. I could see him in there. I knew he was there. He knew I knew. A small sinister smile appeared.  You asked for me to be here so here I am. 

It was a battle between who I am and who he is.  Sometimes the angels won, sometimes the devil won.  Sometimes I didn’t care who won.

Sometimes I even enjoyed him being there. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more kind heart.  Be the bad guy they all want anyway.

But I can’t be the bad guy. As hard as it tried, it’s just not who I am. It is who he is. Telling me things, telling me I need to do this or do that. I fought it.

I could eventually feel him come at all hours of the day and night. I would feel my eyes shift and I knew he was there. It would be like blinking and the world just looked different. He was the one looking from behind my eyes, not me.  I would wake up sweating but my teeth were chattering because I was freezing. I would start shaking, like I was having a seizure, in middle of the day.

Where did he go when he wasn’t in me?  Or was he always there and the angels just kept him subdued? If that’s the case, did the angels leave me to deal with this on my own? I don’t know.

I had to get control.

I could not take it anymore.  God take this from me.  Silence.  I guess I did ask for it. Maybe I was not as strong as I thought I was. Maybe I still am not that strong.

I went to a Christian counselor to see if this was just in my head or what was going on.  She suggest we do this rapid eye sensory thing,  something they use for PTSD cases. Anything was worth a shot.

Holy crap, I will never doubt counseling again.  I could see the demons face, he told me his name.  It was like he was sitting right beside me.  It gives me chills just talking about it now.  After a few treatments, and since I now knew its name,  I asked it to leave. Amazingly, it did.

That was five years ago.

I finished brushing my teeth yesterday and looked in the mirror. To my surprise, he was looking back at me, then he smiled his sinister smile.

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Oh no! was my first thought. I didn’t ask you to come back here. What are you doing here? Then I thought, I don’t even care. I am too tired to fight it.

I just stood there looking at myself, and not myself was looking back, smiling.

I resigned myself to this is how it is going to be. I must well give up.  But then I saw a flash of light in the mirror behind me.

I knew the angel was back also.  I was not alone.  I would not have to fight this alone. I will fight this.

I will fight.

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Goodnight Good Guy by Collective Soul – 

My Demons by Starset – 

Don’t Give Up by Calling Glory – 

I Am Not Alone by Kari Jobe – 

Oh Lord by Lauren Daigle – 

A Fight I Must Win by Arch Enemy – 

Michael, The Monster Under The Bed

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My name is Michael. You can call me Mike if you would like. I’m the monster that lives under your bed.

Don’t get me confused with Ted, the monster in your closet. He could never fit under your bed. He’s also afraid of the light. I, however, am not afraid of the light.

Don’t get me confused with Kelly either. She’s the monster in the corner. I wouldn’t really call her a monster. Seriously, she hides right out in the open. Not much creativity there.

Don’t get me confused with Brad, the bogeyman. Between you and me, Brad isn’t real. Let’s not waste any more time on him.

Now back to me. Mike, the monster under your bed. I am free to roam the house anytime I want. Can I tell you something really scary? It’s the monsters, I mean people, on top of the bed that are the scariest. Way scarier than I have ever thought about being.

The mean, terrible, and horrible things I have seen them do scare me. I would never think of doing the things they do. Not even crossed my mind. Not once.

In fact, I have changed my ways. When the monsters on top of your bed scare you, I will be the protector under your bed.

Yes, I like that. Mike, the protector under your bed. Now go to sleep. Sweet dreams.

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The Clock

For something that only has one thing to do, I get blamed for a lot of things. You would think that I would mind, but I don’t. It really isn’t my fault for the problems in people’s lives. I mean all I do is go around in circles, twice a day.  You know today what you wasted yesterday. You know today that you have the same amount of time as tomorrow to do what you need to do. How is it my fault you didn’t get it done ?

I come in many forms. Sometimes I have hands. Other times I have a digital read out. Sometimes I have numbers, sometimes I don’t. No matter what I have or don’t have, my job is the same each day. Many of you say I am only right twice a day.  Good one. I have to laugh when I hear that.

Often times, no pun intended, people look at me and can’t believe how much time has went by. Other times they can’t believe how slow I am going. I am here to tell you I do neither.  I am constant. Always the same. 86,400 seconds then I reset to zero. Well, there was this one time when God stopped me but that’s the only time.  Unless He asks again because I will never say no to God. Would you?

Let me ask you, what is your problem with me? Never mind, let me guess. I don’t have enough time. Or is it I have too much time on my hands. Isn’t it funny that when you have too much time it seems like you don’t have enough time? How many times have you sat doing nothing when you could’ve been doing something? You think Tom Brady ever said I don’t have enough time to read the playbook this week? You think Michael Jordan ever said I don’t have enough time to practice my jump shot?  They had to sacrifice other things that took up their time to make time to do what they needed to do. I bet they don’t always sleep eight hours a day. I bet they don’t watch three hours of television a night. Do you think they ever said I am too busy to do what I need to do to be successful?

Mother Teresa said “yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only  today. Let us begin.” You think she ever said I don’t have enough time? If she was alive today how much time do you think she would spend on Facebook? How many selfies would she take?

Anyway, back to my story. I am like God in a lot of ways. I am the same today as I was yesterday as I will be tomorrow. I will never change. I am not God. Many of you look at me like I am. Many of you curse me because you didn’t do what you had to do in the time you had to do it. Are you more mad at me or yourself? I didn’t force you to waste your time today. I didn’t force you to spend your time that way. I didn’t tell you to spend ten minutes flirting with that woman instead of spending ten minutes calling your wife. Yet you blame me for not having enough of me to give to your wife.  I didn’t ask you to spend thirty minutes looking at pornography instead of reading the bible. Yet you blame me for not having enough of me to get to read God’s word.

You know what you have to do in the time you have been allotted. On your death bed you can’t say you didn’t have enough time. I have seen it happen too many times. I regret I didn’t spend enough time with my family. I regret I spent so many hours working. I wish I would’ve spent more time talking to God. I wish I would’ve donated more time to help others. I I I ……I wish, I should have, I could have.   Let me tell you you can. What will you do TODAY to take care of your TOMORROWS and not live in your YESTERDAYS? What will you sacrifice? I am not to blame. 1440 minutes. Each and every day.  I give it to all of you. The same amount.

Don’t be one of those people. I know I might be out of a job by telling you this but throw me away. Live your life with purpose. Do what God wants you to do! Does it matter what time it is or how much time is left in the day? If God says move, does it matter what time I tell you it is?

Now take a minute and look at me. You looked? Seriously? What will you do with the time you have left today? Tick-tock.

Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On by Jimmy Buffett – 

Stop The Clock by Elle Varner – 

Clock Don’t Stop by Carrie Underwood – 

Before Out Time by Jon Foreman – 

Time For That by Clint Black –  

Ain’t Wasting Time No More by The Allman Brothers – 

Time by Hootie & The Blowfish – 

On The Clock by Sena Ehrhardt – 

Time By Ozzy Osbourne – 

My List by Toby Keith – 

Time Is Passing by Dayla – 

Time In A Bottle by Jim Croce – 

Best Of Times by Styx – 

Fly Like An Eagle by Steve Miller Band – 

Right Now by Van Halen – 

Life Won’t Wait by Ozzy Osbourne – 

The First Bud Of Spring- A Love Story



It was a long, cold, dark winter. One that she didn’t think would ever end. There was snow, rain, and sleet. A couple of times there was enough ice to nearly break the branches on the trees. The little girl held on. She waited for the warmer weather, the better times, the warmth of the sun. She knew it would come, it was just a matter of time. As she waited patiently, she would say her prayers, she would thank God for protecting her and her mommy and daddy during these cold, dark, winter nights.

Finally, the day had come. The first bud of spring appeared out of the ground. The bud peeked out of her shoot and could feel the warmth surround her. She was filled with so much joy that, at first,  she didn’t notice she was the only bud sprouting. After basking in the warmth of the sunshine for a few minutes she looked around, startled that she was the only one. Where was everyone else? Was she going to be all alone? Did she come out too soon? Was colder weather coming back and she would die because of her eagerness to sprout? She was filled with fear and doubt but she stayed strong. She knew God had a plan for her. It was then that a little girl saw her and started yelling for her dad to come see the new flower. The little girl was so excited that the bud could not help but smile. Her excitement was contagious.


A little while later another bud awakened. He also took a moment to take in the warmth around him. He then looked to see if the others had awakened and that was when he saw her. She was within inches of him and he knew he would love her. It didn’t take long for her to notice him either, even though it took the help of a little girl yelling “Look, daddy, now there’s two!”


They welcomed the spring with all the other buds that started to awaken. With all the other flowers around them, they knew they were meant for each other. When the rains came, he would lean towards her to cover her petals. When the strong winds came they would lean into it together, holding stems. They were inseparable. When the bees came they opened their petals for them so they could spread their seeds to other lands where there were no flowers. They also knew that the bees relied on their pollen to take back to their hives for food. It was a beneficial relationship.  Everything was new and exciting.

Then summer came. It was a scorching summer, one like they had never seen. There was no water. Many flowers died but not our couple. They shared what they had with each other. Every little drop of moisture was shared between them. Luckily, they were also planted where they had shade for part of the day. They counted the hours down together until they were cooled by the shade. Every once in awhile the little girl would come out with a can of water and help keep them alive. They were often too tired to open their petals wide enough for the bees to come but they did their best. They knew the only way to survive this summer was with the help of others. They prayed their prayers for rain, for cooler temperatures but it was not to be. Sometimes in life, God doesn’t answer prayers and there are reasons only He knows why. They had reached a point in their relationship that they were still together, but they didn’t talk much. Too much too worry about, too much life got in the way. When was their next rain drop, how would they make it through another day without food, why couldn’t they be like they were in the spring? Did they waste this whole season of their life? They knew better because they still shared the little water they had, they still  protected each other but the excitement was gone.

Before they knew it Autumn was here. They had made it through the difficult summer and were enjoying another season of their life. The rains came again, as well as cooler weather. When he looked at her she was still the most beautiful, most loving, most caring flower in the garden. When she looked at him he was still the bravest, strongest, most handsome flower this side of Eden. They held each other’s petals more each day, knowing that their days were winding down. They reflected on the spring and the summer. Days when their love was new and days when they didn’t know if they would make it. They thought of their seeds spread far and wide, soon to be new flowers that would spread their love and beauty around the world. It wasn’t easy, they had moments of doubt but they fought for each other, they fought for their love. They survived.

Soon the cold winds blew again. They held on for as long as they could but with each passing day, their petals would fall off. They knew it wouldn’t be long now but they held on for each struggling moment. Relying on each other to get by. Praying for just one more second. She was the first to go, as she was the first to sprout. He wasn’t far behind her.


The little girl, all bundled up from the cold,  looked at her daddy and said, “Look, daddy, the first two here are they last two to leave. I wonder if they were happy here, I wonder if they were in love.”

“Now, now,” said the daddy, “we know flowers can’t fall in love but if they could, those two would definitely have been like me and your mom. Through all the seasons and all the weather, the rain, the sun, the cold, they were standing right beside each other. Holding petals all the while.”

The little girl giggled. Through the cold, dark, winter nights she was safe as she anxiously waited for the first bud of spring to blossom again.

I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman –  

Then by Brad Paisley – 

Stand By You by Rachel Platten – 

Love Like Crazy by Lee Brice – 

The End Is Not The Answer by Three Days Grace – 

Worth Fighting For by Nine Days – 

When I Said I Do by Clint Black – 

Forever Changed by Carrie Underwood – 

Remind Me by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood – 

Would You Go With Me by Josh Turner – 

I’ll Stand By You by The Pretenders – 

Meant To Be by JJ Heller – 

What Faith Can Do by Kutless – 

This Is Going To Hurt

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I ran.

As soon as he took a step towards me, I ran.

I can’t tell you how far or how long I ran.  I am willing to bet my last dollar it was farther and longer than I thought was possible.

I stopped to catch my breath and two questions popped into my head. What did I do for him to be here? Why was he following me?

I started to run again. In between my breaths, I heard the roar of rushing water below. It was in that moment I knew I took the wrong path.

I had three choices. Two of them would surely end in death. I could jump off the cliff into the cold rushing water. Death. I could stand there and do nothing and let him catch me. Death.

Since the first two choices would end in death, I had one choice left.

I had to escape.

Come on, come on.  THINK!! I looked around, evaluating my options. Looking for another way. Time was running out. I could hear him coming.

I threw a rock over the cliff into the water. Hoping he thought I jumped. Then I looked at my only option left. The thickest thorn bush I had ever seen.

This is going to hurt.

I jumped in.

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I tried quieting my breathing. I tried curling up into a small ball. I tried wishing that the moon wasn’t full. But it was.

I heard his footsteps. Getting closer. And closer. How did I get here?

I remember the day it happened. One year ago. One year ago today to be exact. I was in one of my “seasons,” as I like to call them. Nothing was going right. I was sinking into the quicksand I called depression. I was spiraling out of control. Failure was coming and I couldn’t stop it. Shame and guilt knocked on my door and I not only answered, I let them in.

Have you ever done something and one second after you did it you said what did I just do? I am so stupid. Why did I do that? I just let everyone I know down and I know they could never forgive me. I couldn’t even forgive myself so how could they?

I had to keep what I had done a secret. NO MATTER WHAT!! The truth would kill them, therefore killing me. Since I was already dead, there was no need to kill them. So I kept it to myself.

I sank further into my guilt and shame. I withdrew from everyone. Oh, I still had a killer smile and was wittingly charming. I could get by. I faked a lot of happiness. Inside, I cried a lot of tears. I was rotting inside and I knew they could smell it. I knew they knew I was a fake. But they never said anything.

Maybe I was better at hiding it than I thought. Then I started thinking, I am such a good liar. Which led to more guilt and shame. Which led to him.

At first, I didn’t pay much attention. I would see him at the gas station or maybe at the store. You know the feeling you get when you think someone is watching you. I would get that and look up and he would be looking at me. He wouldn’t look away. I got chills down my spine. What a creep, I thought.

Through the first few months, I would seem him every couple of weeks. As the year progressed, I would see him more and more. Recently, as I was falling apart and my lies were catching up to me, as my guilt and shame were eating at me, I was seeing him every day.




I finally was getting the courage to approach him and ask him what his deal is. That’s when he took the first step to me. I froze. Then, I ran.

I ran and here I am. In this thorn bush. Scratched and bleeding. Dying inside. Hiding from a man who wouldn’t quit following me.

As smart as I thought I was by throwing the rock into the water, he was smarter. As quiet as I thought I was being, he could still hear me. As dark as I thought my hiding place was, he still found me.

I, for the first time, took a good look at him. I mean, a really good look. I wanted to know who was going to end my days. That’s when I saw the crown of thorns around his head. He didn’t say a word. He just reached his hand down and by the light of the moon, I saw the scars on his. A sudden peace came over me and for some unknown reason, I reached out and took his hand.

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The thorns parted as he pulled me up. My bleeding wounds stopped bleeding. It was like a giant boulder was taken off my shoulders.

“I forgive you.” In those three words that he said my heart changed. It was like clean air was poured into my dirty lungs. Tears of guilt were replaced with tears of joy.

I walked back home, with him by my side. I knew it may be a long road to recovery, but I knew I had to tell them. I knew they had to know the truth. I could not keep living with this.

I also knew with him there was no condemnation, no guilt, no shame. I had to believe that they would forgive me also. I had to hope and pray for a better future. No matter what happens, I knew I had to continue to walk with him, not run away from him.

I took a deep breath and walked into the house. I knew we would be okay. I knew that I would be a better man. I knew they would forgive me. I knew we would survive the lies. Even so, I knew this was going to hurt.

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Never Stopped Loving by Jeremy Camp- 

Grace Will Lead Me Home by David Dunn – 

Fear Is A Liar by Zach Williams – 

He Still Does Miracles by Hawk Nelson – 

Worth It by Lecrae- 

You Waited by Travis Greene- 

Always Faithful by Ashes Remain – 

Heaven’s Gate

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I made it. I can’t believe I am really here. It is more beautiful than I had ever imagined. The only problem is I can’t find a way inside.

I have walked up and down the fence as far as I could, but there is no entrance. What the heck? Why would I be allowed to be here but not be able to go inside?

That’s when I saw a figure in the distance walking toward me. I yelled; “hey buddy, think you can give me a boost over this gate? I can’t seem to find a way in.”

Then he got closer and I realized it was Jesus.  I don’t know if I was more embarrassed for calling him buddy or for not being able to find my way in.

“Hello, Rob” he said.

“Uh,”. That was all that would come out. The light that radiated from him was too much for me to bear.

I finally found my voice and asked where the entrance was.

He asked for me to take a walk with him. We went over the history of my life. The people I had helped, or should I say the people I had not helped.

Then he told me there wasn’t an entrance for me. I was so close. I had lived a good life, done many good things, but then he asked, “What have you done for me?”

“What do you mean?”

“Have you fed the hungry? Have you volunteered to help someone in need? Have you cared for the elderly?”

“Umm, I’ve been busy doing all these other things. You know, like working to pay bills, being active to stay fit, family time, etc. etc. not much free time, you know what I mean.”

“I think if you took a really long look at your life, you would see you had plenty of time and I gave you plenty of opportunities. You simply chose not to. For that, I cannot let you in.”

“But I did so much right,”  I started to say, but I knew he was right.

“Yes you did, and for that I will give you one more chance. I will send you back and give you one more chance. You need to make the most of it.”

Tears poured out of my eyes as I thanked him for giving me a second chance.

It was then I woke up. Tears were streaming down my face and my pillow was soaked.

Was that a dream?


Is this my second chance?

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Second Chance by Rend Collective –  

God Of Second Chances by Carlos Whittaker –