Jimmy’s Table PodcastCuriously evangelical. Politically homeless. A dreamer of small things. On this podcast, I am having conversations about the intersection of faith, life, and culture.

The Deathbed Confession Of A Bank Robber – Episode #133

Bonnie and Clyde Car

What will you say on your deathbed, assuming you have the chance? In today’s podcast, I want to examine the recent deathbed confession of a bank robber named Thomas Rendele, and how his confession can inform the way we live our lives.

Recently it’s been reported a man named Thomas Rendele shocked family and friends on his death bed. He told them something none of them knew anything about. For the past 50 years Rendele had been living a lie.

Thomas Rendele’s revealed his real name was Ted Conrad, and he had once committed one of the largest bank robberies in the history of Cleveland… and had never been caught.

Conrad successfully stole $215,000 from a bank vault back in 1969, which is the equivalent of $1.6 million today. And since then, he successfully evaded capture all these years, had assumed a new identity, and started a brand new life, forsaking all his friends and family from his prior life. Conrad had became a husband, father, and successful businessman. And like something out of a movie, he even had a close friend that worked for the FBI!

Such is quite the amazing story, and the lengths that Conrad went through all these years so that he could avoid losing his freedom and going to jail. But in the process, Conrad exchanged the bars of a federal prison for bars forged by a lifetime of lies. He was no longer free to be Thomas Rendele, instead he had to become Ted Conrad.

And knocking on death’s door, he finally sought freedom from the lies he lived behind for 50 years. He yearned to become Thomas Rendele again, and to be free from the prison of his own making.

Such is often the nature of sin. You tell a lie, and soon you have to tell another lie to prop that lie up. Lies beget more lies, and before you know it, you are drowning in a sea of nothing but lies. The old timers have a saying that reminds us, sin always takes you further than you ever wanted to go, keeps you longer than you ever wanted to stay, and makes you pay a price that you can never afford to pay.

Such got me to thinking, I’m no bank robber and my guess is that you probably aren’t either. You probably didn’t kill Jimmy Hoffa either. Yet it got me to thinking, if I were on my deathbed, what confessions would I have, if any? What lies do we tell ourselves and others? What prisons have we made? In what cage have I placed Jimmy?

This man did everything he could to find freedom and avoid spending years behind bars and in prison somewhere. But he exchanged it for a lifetime of lies, where he robbed himself of the ability to be free and who he truly was. He was in a prison of his own making, and knocking on deaths door, he sought freedom from the lies that bound him.

The Lies We Tell Ourselves:

  • If only I could make more money I’ll finally be happy.
  • The world owes me something.
  • There’s nothing I can do.
  • I just need to follow my heart.
  • Everyone is out to get me.
  • One day I’ll finally “arrive.”
  • The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
  • My value is determined by my social status.
  • When we idolize others, be it romantic partners, preachers, or politicians.

Be sure to listen to the above podcast in full if you wish to hear my further discussion of these lies, and the freedom we can find only by becoming people bold enough to embrace the truth!

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