Categories
Christian Living spiritual growth

One Piece at a Time

The singer Johnny Cash has a humorous song that’s a classic “Country boy outsmarts the establishment” story.

According to the song, in 1949 a young man from Kentucky takes a job on an assembly line in Detroit, Michigan building Cadillacs. He is in awe of the beautiful sedans, but is saddened by the fact that he can’t afford one.

One day, he comes up with a daring plan which is revealed in the chorus: 🎶 “I’ll get it one piece at a time, and it won’t cost me a dime.”🎶 Slowly, over the next twenty-odd years, the man sneaks out Cadillac parts–a few at a time–until he has a whole car.

Finally, when he’s ready to retire, he and his friends from the auto plant decide to assemble the one-of-a-kind Caddy. However, they quickly discover that many of the parts, from different year models, don’t fit together.

So they drill new holes for bolts and use an adapter kit to make the 1973 engine work with the 1949 transmission. Soon enough the car is running and driving, but then the guys realize it has only one tail fin and three head lights!

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power if from God and not from us.

2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)

The other day I complained (just a wee bit) to God. 🙏 Lord, as a teenager I dedicated my life to serve You in the gospel ministry. Remember that? But 14 years later everything fell apart. Why?

Kind reader, did you ever long for a brand new spiritual “Cadillac,” only to realize you couldn’t afford one? Me too. But then God said something –the same thing He told the Apostle Paul:

My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9a (NIV)

In other words, God gives us what we need. One piece at a time. And His generosity doesn’t cost us a dime. Yet, unlike the song, we aren’t sneaking off with the unaffordable. This custom ride is a gift.

A fender here, a door there, over the course of many years walking with the Lord. Does it matter all that much if they don’t match?

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9b (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.


Photo by carlos aranda on Unsplash

Categories
Christian Living love

The Power of Love

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I started my teaching career in 2004 at a small elementary school in southwest Oklahoma. Most of the children lived in poverty and embodied the term, “at risk.”

I quickly learned the majority of them were distrustful of adults; there would be little respect given up front–I had to earn it.

I will always remember a fourth grader named Jamie. She and her older brother struggled, both with academics and behavior.

Jamie sat sullen-faced in my music class most days and didn’t participate. A simple redirection, such as, “Please walk in line with the other students.” brought a sneer and half compliance.

Going toe-to-toe with Jamie wasn’t working. I needed a relational break through with her, and many other students. But how?

I stumbled onto the answer one morning when Jamie had a rare, good day in class. I wrote a note to her mother explaining how she played the tambourine and taught others how to play too. I also told mom her daughter was a born leader!

That was the break through. Going forward, Jamie became a positive role model in my class and the other students followed. Once she realized I truly cared about her, it made all the difference in the world.

Today, I look back on my rookie teacher days and shake my head with a grin. There was so much I got wrong that first year! But with God’s help I found the one thing that mattered most–unconditional love.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)

Kind reader, an unbelieving world, like Jamie, waits to see if Christians truly care. Do they see the unbounded love of God in our lives?

It could make all the difference.

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

Jesus, John 13:35 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏 prayers and ❤️ love.

Categories
Christian Blog

Notifications Silenced

I expected an important call earlier this week, so I turned my phone off vibrate. The call came and went.

Later, that same day, I kept hearing a peculiar sound: “Buh-ding!” What’s that and where’s it coming from?

It was my phone telling me I had a message. I hear it so seldom I didn’t know what it was!

Remember the Bible story about young Samuel, who ministered before the Lord under Eli the priest?

In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.

1 Samuel 3:1 (NIV)

The Israelites had their notifications from God silenced.

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.

1 Samuel 3:7 (NIV)

The young prophet-to-be was off vibrate—tuned in to God— but when he heard the heavenly equivalent of “Buh-ding!” he didn’t know what it was. Yet later, after Eli clued Samuel in to the unique sound of a “Most High” phone on full alert, the Bible says this:

The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.

1 Samuel 3:19 (NIV)

Kind reader, whether our spiritual phones are on vibrate or going “Buh-ding!” all day long, the most important thing is to never turn them off completely.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ Prayers and love.