Categories
Christian Living

Postage Due

The faculty prayer group at my school meets every Tuesday morning. Last week, one of my colleagues brought three cards for everyone to sign. Two were get well cards (for other faculty members), and one was a sympathy card for a teacher who recently lost her father.

The dozen or so people who attended our prayer group that day signed the cards, but there was still plenty of room left for more well-wishes. So I asked one of our assistant principals to help spread the word to the rest of our faculty. She sent an email inviting everyone (over 100 staff members) to sign, and left the cards by our head principal’s in-basket.

When I picked up the three cards two days later they were completely covered with handwritten words of encouragement! All that was left to do was to put them in the mail.

But I forgot to bring stamps.

“Maybe I have some in my desk,” I said to myself, hopefully. Now, I’m one of those people who stuffs their desk drawers full of anything that might even REMOTELY be needed in the future. But did I save any stamps?

I foraged through the drawers one at time—rooting around like a frisky ferret. Nothing. Finally, I checked the top middle drawer. And right there in the tray, next to the paper clips, were some first class forever stamps.

Wanna guess how many?

Not two, not four but THREE. Exactly the number I needed! I said a joyful, “Thank you, Jesus!” and got those letters in the mail.

Where God guides, God provides.

The Lord knew all along when I would need those stamps. I can’t even remember when I left them in that drawer! But they were still there when the time came.

I’m not saying the creator of the universe is like a gumball machine. But He DOES get the job done—especially when His glory is at stake (Isaiah 48:11b).

It’s impressive that God also used three people, who each filled distinct roles, to make this ministry opportunity happen. One thoughtful teacher provided the cards, our assistant principal got out the word, and I put them in the mail.

“By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped” Ecclesiastes 4:12

Do you have any “three stranded rope” friends in your life? I hope so. Humans (especially Christian ones) are designed for interdependence—not just with God, but also with each other (Romans 12:19).

Categories
Christian Living

Circle Back

Ever driven through a round-a-bout? I guess some traffic engineer thinks sending people in circles is more efficient than a stop light.

After he retired from teaching, my father ferried racing greyhounds to New England. One of his favorite stories involved being stuck in a traffic circle near Boston, pulling a 20 foot dog trailer! Here’s how he described it: “A bunch of people going in circles trying to make their turn by taking turns.”

Whose turn is it anyway?

I’m sure it’s in the driver’s manual, but in practice the round-a-bout has no hard and fast rules.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Ah, the classic stop light; now here’s a simpler solution! Red means stop. Green means go. And yellow means wait (even if you’re late).😇

Yet when it comes to walking with God, the experience can feel more like a round-a-bout than a red light. It’s not a precise stop, go or wait; rather, it’s a keep-circling-until-it’s-your-turn reality.

Yes, there are places in the Bible where God gives specific “stop light” style guidance (Numbers chapter nine is a good one), but these aren’t the every day norm.


Picture all the Bible heroes whose lives didn’t travel in a straight line. Moses comes to mind. I mean, forty years on the back side of the desert?! Sounds like a round-a-bout thing. Or brave queen Esther. Her’s wasn’t a “stop light life;” she kept circling–waiting for the chance to make a big difference.

So if it seems like your life is on ⏸, maybe you’re not stuck at a red light after all. You’re just coming back around to make your turn.

There now. Feel better?


Here are a few of my favorite “Circle Back” scriptures. Please share one of yours!


“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)


“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8 (NIV)


“He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3b (NIV)


Categories
Christian Living grace

But Wait, There’s More!

Does anyone else remember those old commercials for the Ginsu knife? I must have been ten or eleven years old the first time I saw one.

A guy uses a Ginsu to cut through nails, a soda can and a radiator hose, then picks up a tomato and slices it paper thin.

If only I’d been old enough for a credit card back then. They sold me with the radiator hose. Forget food, this ornery boy just wanted to tear stuff up! 🤓

But the coolest part of the commercial was how they kept sweetening the deal:

“This surgical grade steel knife can be yours for only $19.95. But wait, there’s more! For a limited time only, we’ll double your order. That’s right, two knives for the price of one! Just pay separate shipping and handling. But that’s not all! Order within the next ten minutes, and we’ll include a deluxe Ginsu paring knife for free.”

A countdown timer appeared on the screen…..


The Apostle Paul has a, “But wait, there’s more!” moment in his letter to the Romans. It happens about half way through chapter five. After highlighting the fact that God demonstrates His love by sending Christ to die for a bunch of unworthy sinners (Romans 5:8), Paul starts dropping exclamation points like a full-on salesman.

“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved by His life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” – Romans 5:9-11 (NIV) (emphasis mine)

It’s clear, Paul is excited about the fact that salvation through the blood of Christ is so much more than an insurance policy. Jesus is both the author AND finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), and we are called to follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:20-21)

It’s fine to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?”, but even better to investigate (through the gift of the scriptures) what He actually DID! Plus, the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit means we can literally have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). Because of these blessings, and many more, we are actually able to walk as Jesus did (1 John 2:6).

This must be the kind of ‘much more’ Paul was thinking about when he kept sweetening the deal in Romans chapter five. Hallelujah!

By the way, did you know Ginsu knives are still being made and sold today? After forty something years, you’d think everybody already has one–“their very own piece of indestructible surgical grade cutlery that never needs sharpening. All for the low price of $19.95.

But wait, there’s more!

Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.

1 John 2:6 (NIV)

“IMG_1483.JPG” by Hélio Sassen Paz is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0