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Christian Living

Comparing Pumpkins

Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com

God, let me not compare myself to anyone else in anything, because you do not compare me to anyone else here on earth.

Scribe Lady, A Prayer for Today, on Country Ripples

One of my favorite kid’s movies to watch this time of year is, Spookley: The Square Pumpkin. Being square in shape makes him a prime target for harassment by the other pumpkins, who are round. Thankfully, a quirky scarecrow and his two bat sidekicks help Spookley realize his uniqueness is actually a strength.

Why is it so easy to compare ourselves with others, and so hard not too? We know what Paul said, speaking of his detractors in Corinth, “They make up their own standards to measure themselves by, and they judge themselves by their own standards!” – 2 Corinthians 10:2 (GNT) Can you relate? As a touchy-feely, sensitive artist type, at times I’ve felt like a square pumpkin in a patch full of spherical smarty pants.

This is why I find Scribelady’s quote so affirming. God isn’t grading you or me against anyone, or anything but His own plan for our lives! (Ephesians 2:10) I remember once at a youth meeting a pastor held up several pieces of chalk. Some were long, some were short, and some were in between. He said, “This is how we see each other.” Then he turned his hand so we could only see the tops of the chalk. “This is how God sees us.”


“Chalk” by quinn.anya is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

So who’s to say, but the Lord Himself, if one person’s “pumpkin” is better than another’s?

God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus He has created us for a life of good deeds, which He has already prepared for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 (GNT)
Categories
Christian Blog love

Just Because

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:10

When our oldest son was about 8, we were on a road trip and pulled in to a popular travel stop on the interstate. Fellow Okies, Tom and Judy Love, own a chain of stores in 41 states, but our little guy didn’t know that. As I filled up the minivan with gas, he said, “Dad, why do they call it Love’s?” Without missing a beat I said, “Because unconditional positive regard wouldn’t fit on the sign.”

It got me thinking, though. If God owned a chain of travel stops He’d probably call it Love’s too. After all, unconditional positive regard is HIS thing. The Bible doesn’t mince words; it just comes right and says it: “God is Love.”❤️ – 1 John 4:8

Wait just a minute! God DOES own a chain of travel stops. They’re called churches. These are places where groups of believers meet often to “fill their tanks” and feed their hungry souls with God’s Word. And each and every sanctuary ought to have a giant neon sign out front with one word on it: Love’s

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:11

If you glean one thought from this post, please let it be this: God loves you. Period! You don’t need to do anything to EARN His love. He love’s you just because.

Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is an illusion.

Brennan Mannin

🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Categories
Christian Blog love

My New Clowned Friend

I met a clown once. He was at the mall making balloon animals for the kids. While he contorted a squeaky red one into a dog for my son, I noticed six cryptical letters embroidered on his costume–where a name tag would be. “IYQYQR” I said,” What does that mean?” “Oh, you don’t speak “clown-lish,” said the red-nosed jester with a grin. “I…like…you..like…you…are,” he said, pointing to each letter.

My new clowned friend was on to something. He must have heard about the guy who said this:

Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Theodore Roosevelt

At the risk of comparing The Almighty to both a clown and our 26th president, I believe God agrees.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

Psalm 103:8,10,13 (NIV)

Clearly, imperfect humans fall far short of God’s holiness (Romans 3:23). And our creator doesn’t grade on the curve. He could flunk us all. Thankfully, there’s a merciful solution for our predicament.

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

You probably already know these things. So, here’s my somewhat fresh angle: God likes you like you are. You don’t have to DO anything to earn his endearment. Like that clown at the mall, He just likes you. Period.

Squeaky balloon animal, anyone?


Photo by Genaro Servin on Pexels.com https://www.pexels.com/photo/clown-with-green-wig-792764/

This post was first published on June 17, 2019, when I had thirty-seven followers. Fourteen of them were squeaky balloon animals.