Categories
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

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.

Categories
Christian Living

Together

“Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.” (Hebrews 10:24-25 – GNT)

Jeff King, in his recent post, Quote for 01/31/2021, observed that Christianity is the premier team sport. “We’re all in this together, the body of Christ, the church,” said Jeff.

When I read these words, I remembered seeing a fire truck roll up to a call one time while I was sitting at a red light. As soon as the rig came to a stop, firefighters scattered from the vehicle like ants! Two guys unrolled a fire hose and pulled it to a hydrant, while two more unloaded a huge ladder.

Meanwhile, at least one person behind me honked—when the light turned green! So I was on my way, but something about what I saw stuck with me: first responders come out in pairs–just like Noah’s ark!

I asked a firefighter friend at church to fill me in about this “two by two” phenomenon. He explained: for safety and efficiency purposes, nobody works alone. Standard procedure calls for two firefighters in and two out. The idea, he said, is “I look out for you, you look out for me, and we both make it home.”

If Christianity is the ultimate team sport, and surely we can agree with Jeff that it is, then we must act like it. Nobody goes it alone! Like the writer of Hebrews says, we should show real concern for and help one another. Our love and good works speak far more than words.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus – (John 13:34 NIV)

The application to the body of Christ, and by this I mean the church universal, is clear. We live at a point in history when both the world AND the church are on fire. I may be mixing my metaphors here, but we need all hands on deck!

Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Do you accept Him as the only way to heaven and trust Him to save you from your sins? Then we work at the same firehouse!

If God is your Father, I am your brother.

I look out for you, you look out for me, and we both make it home to heaven.