Categories
Christian Living Sufficiency

Broken Cookies

“Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what He has made crooked?” – Ecclesiastes 7:13 (NIV)

At my house growing up, I never wanted the broken cookies from the bottom of the jar. My younger brother and I had to be desperate before we’d eat them.

But one of our older brothers held a different view. He actually liked them, because they were better for milk dipping. “They taste just as good as the unbroken ones,” he said.

Have you ever felt like a broken cookie?

A person’s strength is often their biggest weakness

Jocko Willink

BINGO. I resemble that remark.

I tried to look up “broken cookies” in my Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nope, it’s not in there. Neither is “smashed snickerdoodles.”

I did find some interesting stuff about broken pottery, though. I bet you already know the story, but here’s Jeremiah at the Potter’s house.

“So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. ” – Jeremiah 18:3-4 (NIV)

Then the Lord explains the parable: “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel” Jeremiah 18:6 (NIV)

God likes to re-purpose broken things

Someone once said of the legendary football coach Bo Schembechler, “He can take his team and beat yours, or your team and beat his.”

When God reaches into the jar for another “cookie” does it matter all that much who he chooses? He can win with anybody!

But the creator of the universe doesn’t care too much for whining.

“Does a clay pot dare argue with its maker, a pot that is like all the others? Does the clay ask the potter what he is doing? Does the pot complain that its maker has no skill?” – Isaiah 45:9 (GNT)

We ALL have our flaws. Stop taking yourself so dang seriously!

That last sentence is me talking to myself, of course. 😇

Fixating on our faults—despite God’s best intentions—is like shaking a fist in His face.

And it’s not such a bright idea to argue with The Boss.

Because…

“God can strike a straight lick with a crooked stick.”

L.R. Scarborough

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Categories
Christian Living evangelism

Skateboarders Welcome

The young man was standing like a statue on the shoulder of a busy four lane highway. He appeared fixated on something at a church next to the road.

Driving closer, I saw the skateboard. “Oh, I bet he’s looking for a good parking lot to ride.”

But he took off –kicking his way down the emergency lane of a major thoroughfare.

When I passed him I noticed: no helmet, no pads and no reflective clothing. The cherry on top was a huge pair of headphones over his ears.

The kid was flirting with disaster.


How many people do we happen upon daily who are, at least spiritually speaking, skateboarding next to a highway? No helmet of salvation, no shield of faith (elbow and knee pads) and no reflective clothing (belt of truth). – Ephesians 6:13-17 (NIV)

They stop and stare at churches, while huge headphones blast their favorite tunes.

What are they thinking?

“Is someone like me welcome here? Oh, there’s an “Absolutely No Skateboarding!” sign. I’d better keep kickin’ down the highway.”

In full disclosure, I saw no sign that said not to skateboard at the church. But such things have happened. God’s people could (and should) have a greater positive impact on the world.

But how?

A good first step is to offer a place where people who are flirting with disaster feel welcomed. Somehow we must convince folks that the church is safer than the shoulder of the highway. The power of the gospel can do this–prompt a person to leave the four lane for the narrow path.

But we must be the hands and feet of Christ; and this involves a willingness to get these hands and feet dirty.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

Jesus – Matthew 5:14 (NIV)

Do you know how I feel right now, and will feel until Christ’s life becomes visible in your lives? Like a mother in the pain of childbirth.

Paul – Galatians 4:19 (MSG)

Photo by Marc Kleen on Unsplash

Categories
Christian Living encouragement

Life Parade

I live in a small farming town in Southwest Oklahoma. There are 800 souls, one convenience store and a corner cafe. We have a few other businesses, including a new Dollar General (woo-hoo!), but you get the picture.

One of the biggest events in our town is the annual Christmas parade. There are custom made floats, tractors, antique cars and plenty of horses.

But lots of folks on horse back means plops on the parade route. (If you know what I mean.) And no matter how great the festivities, it’s hard to ignore the manure trailing down the middle of main street. This line of “used oats” is often in the camera shot of our local TV news coverage, much to our mayor’s chagrin.

But—like with most things—the good outweighs the bad. The Christmas parade provides a splendid opportunity for our whole community to come together. In the big picture, who minds a little manure?


Job was a guy in the Bible who had a lot more good in his life than bad. Until he didn’t. You know the story. He lost almost everything overnight: his livestock and crops, even his children. GONE. All he had left was his life, a pessimistic wife and a few ‘friends’ who came to cross examine him.

Yet what did Job say when he learned of his losses? “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21b -NIV) And what did he tell his wife when she told him he should, “Curse God and die?” He replied, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10 NIV)

As the old saying goes, “Into every life some plops must drop.” Okay, maybe I changed that up a little.🥸 Yet in this matter, many Christians today aren’t interested in learning the patience and wisdom of Job. We like our roses without thorns, thank you. But what if the best way to get there is to turn those thorns INTO roses?

One of my favorite “thorns to roses” moments in the Bible occurs in Jeremiah 29. God sends a letter (via Jeremiah) to the exiled Israelites living in Babylon. In a nutshell, He says: “I sent you to Babylon, but I want you to prosper there. Build houses, and plant gardens. Marry and have sons and daughters.”

In other words, make the good outweigh the bad. Here’s my favorite part:

“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:7 NIV)”

So, brave reader, whatever our “parade” is—yours and mine—we’d best pray to the Lord for it. Because if it prospers, so will we. And when there’s more good than bad, nobody minds a little manure.

But watch your step if you cross Main street.


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