Categories
Christian Blog grace

He Gives More Grace

This past week at summer school, a first grader, I’ll call him Chris, read a book to me. Chris is working hard to learn his consonant blends and diagraphs. The hi-lighted word is an example.

When Chris sees the “sh” that starts the word shape, he’s still learning to put the sound of s and h together—-shh. The story of Bucky the Beaver is filled with blends and diagraphs. There are five more on this page alone. Can you find them?

Here’s the thing, Chris has already completed the first grade; he should have a pretty good grasp of these concepts by now. But he’s not quite there. Thankfully, summer school is a great opportunity for remedial learning.

Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation

2 Peter 3:15a (NIV)

As I listened to my young friend read, helping him here and there, it reminded me of how patient God is with each of us. Frankly, I should have a pretty good grasp of Christian concepts by now. But I’m not quite there.

He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9b (NIV)

Kind reader, since God is so patient with us, we would do well to be patient with each other. Many of us aren’t “quite there,” after all. Today, and every day, may we give more grace —just like the Lord.

If you, O Lord, keep a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.

Psalm 130:3 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️

Categories
Christian Blog Hope

One Firefly Night

Last night, just after dusk, I sat on the back porch taking in the sounds of nature. There were a few crickets and some bird who didn’t know not to sing after sun down. It was all garden variety, until my eye caught a green blink…blink…blink. A firefly!

Hyper-focused, I tried to guess where the micro flash would come next. Over by the storage shed, near the silhouette of a tree, surely this little guy has company!

But there was only one. A single firefly blinked a few times. And then it was gone.

A one firefly night.

It happened so fast, I didn’t get the chance to share it with anyone. I ran inside to tell my wife, “Sweetheart, I just saw a firefly. ONE firefly! I think I’ll name him Frosty.”

“Frosty?”, she said.

“Yes, after Robert Frost. You know, the poet who wrote, Nothing Gold Can Stay?

I then quoted, unprompted, one of my favorite poems:

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost

A single lightning bug–arguably, the most beautiful but fragile of God’s creatures, lives in the words of a famous poet, but also in the heart’s cry of Psalm 43.

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.

Psalm 43:5

Nothing Gold Can Stay.

The scripture, the poem, and the firefly: each say life is GUARANTEED to change. It’s beyond our total control; all one can do is prepare for the inevitable.

Depressing? Perhaps. The free acceptance of an unknown future CAN be.

But you and I know who holds the future.

Put your hope in God; for I will yet praise Him.

This post first appeared on my blog in June of 2019. But, would you believe, the same thing happened the other night?! One firefly appeared in my back yard, blinked a time or two, and then was gone.

Categories
Christian Blog Spiritual Gifts

God’s Arithmetic

As a summer school principal I get to visit every classroom. Dropping in on first grade this week, I met a student who had just finished a puzzle.

I asked the young boy, “Why is the number 7 in the middle?” Without hesitation he said, “It’s because all of them (the addition problems) add up to 7. “Oh, I see!” I said. “There are different ways to make 7.” “Yes, Mr. Duncan. You didn’t know that?”😊


There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.

1 Corinthians 12:4-5 (NIV)

This sounds simple enough. Yet some folks at the church in Corinth apparently thought their spiritual addition —gifts and service—was more important than others. But Paul admonished them: “Guys, the sum of your service to God points to the same answer: Jesus Christ. Furthermore, these are His gifts, not yours.” (David’s paraphrase)🤠

All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, who gives them to each one, just as He determines

1 Corinthians 12:11 (NIV)

Kind reader, whatever your spiritual gifts, please remember they are important to the Body of Christ (the church). Everyone matters if anyone matters at all. So keep serving God your way, with all your strength, and I will too.

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.