Categories
Christian Living Diligence

Confessions of a Reformed Doomscroller

There’s always a lot happening in the world. And, if we’re to believe the media, most of it’s bad. Some call this bent toward negativity in the news the “crisis crisis.” It’s a seemingly endless stream of hyped threats that are supposed to make us afraid–very afraid.

Let’s face it, most of the people clamoring for our attention are not focused on truth telling. Nope, their sights are set on things like ratings and ad revenue, or likes and follows. Why bother with ethical matters–like separating truth from falsehood? Negativity, mixed with equal parts uncertainty, SELLS.

On the other hand, it’s comforting to step out of the 24/7 news cycle and simply believe what Jesus says.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

John 14:1 (NIV)

Christ said these words to comfort his disciples on the very night he was betrayed. And as my friend Jeff King said, in a post that inspired this one (Quote for 7/03/2021), “Jesus is as good as His word.”

A quick plug for Jeff. He’s a Christian guy who has been around the block a time or two and doesn’t mince words while talking about it. His site Jeffrey H. King’s Blog is well written, Christ centered and filled with absorbing thoughts.

Now back to my post. I used to spend a nonsensical amount of time doomscrolling through the latest happenings. But I noticed something. Often, after reading my favorite news feeds—for way longer than I care to admit—I felt an odd sadness. So when it came time to give up something for Lent this year, I decided to quit the “breaking news” business. Guess what? I never went back after Easter. And I don’t miss it!

The Philippians were a persecuted church with plenty to worry about. Yet Paul encouraged them to turn their anxious thoughts into prayers of thanksgiving (Phililippians 4:6). The pay-off, he said, was the peace of God guarding their hearts. A few verses later, he shares what I like to call the “Philippians Filter.”

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Please pardon my hand drawn illustration. I need a graphic artist!

Filtering sure beats doomscrolling any day!

🙏❤️ prayers and love.


Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash

Categories
Christian Living

Falling out of the Nest

I was doing some yard work the other day when I noticed what looked like a little black ball underneath the mimosa tree. As I came closer, I realized it was a baby bird. I looked up and could see the nest–about 10 feet high in the fork between two branches. Mom, a yellow billed cuckoo, was sitting up there with two other hatchlings visible beside her.

My wife and I debated about what to do. The chick on the ground seemed no worse for wear. Should we put it back in the nest? A quick internet search told us that birds have a poor sense of smell and don’t normally reject a chick handled by humans. But we also found a warning to not disturb migratory birds or their young. Well, our apologies to the wildlife service, but we decided to intervene.

I grabbed a six foot step ladder, put on some disposable gloves and waited. Before too long, mother bird decided to run some errands, and that’s when I sprang into action. Positioning the ladder under the tree, I gently picked up the baby bird, and put him back in the nest with his siblings. Mom returned a few minutes later with some food and all was well.

This whole scene brought to mind a promise from Psalm 91: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge (vv. 1, 4a).”

Obviously, the little hatchling didn’t fall out of the nest on purpose, but his predicament also reminds me of something Jesus said when he arrived in Jerusalem before that last Passover.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often have I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate.

Matthew 23:37

The application to the body of Christ is clear. In the nest (fellowship of believers) we are safe in God’s care. However, outside the nest, we are vulnerable to predators.

Satan and his demon goons are like lions on the savanna–waiting to cull one of God’s children from the herd (1 Peter 5:8). The enemy seeks to separate Christians from each other, because he knows this: when we stray from the fellowship, we are alone and defenseless (Matthew 9:36).

To enjoy God’s best, we must stay in the nest!

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

Psalm 133:1

“Bird’s Nest” by Rugged Lens is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Categories
Christian Living

Harmony Made Simple

My grandfather was a huge fan of Southern Gospel music. As a kid I tagged along with him to “singings” as he called them. These were officially known as Quartet Conventions (as I later learned), where one group after another took the stage to sing in four part harmony.

There were old standards like, “Just a Little Talk With Jesus,” and “On the Jericho Road.” But also uncommon tunes that some in attendance had never heard. Many of the groups stuck around, after their sets, to take requests from the audience.

One quartet in particular, the Journeymen, never missed a beat. No matter what the crowd requested, they sang it in perfect harmony. Once I asked the *bass singer, a bearded giant of a man, “How do you do that—sing the right notes all the time?”

He got down on my level, and looking me in the eye he said:

“If it’s in the chord, it’s from the Lord!”

He explained: “Son, the crowd doesn’t know how the harmony goes. So I find some good bass notes and sing them like I mean it.”


I can easily hear a new Christian asking a more mature believer the same thing, “How do you do that— live a reverent life before God all the time?

Answer: You stay in harmony (the chord). Make the main thing the MAIN THING.

Seek first the kingdom of God. (Matthew 6:33) Offer yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. (Romans 12:1) Here’s a harmonic triad: act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8) Love others as Christ loves you. (John 15:12)

And the list goes on…

Me playing a C Major 7th chord on the piano.

The point is, we don’t have to be perfect in our walk with God. Just stay in the chord (on the right path) and He will see you through.(Psalm 119:105)

Perhaps this musical motif is a good picture for abiding in Christ. When Jesus said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you” (John 15:4) it reminds me of, “If it’s in the chord, it’s from the Lord.”

Stay on the main streets with God (like branches from the Vine), and the side streets will take care of themselves.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2a

Please help me find some more good “bass” notes. What scriptural “nuggets” would you share with a new Christian?


  • My encounter with the bass singer is historical fiction (plausible, but contrived to fit the story). I came up with the saying, “If it’s in the chord…” many years later, based on my memories of attending quartet conventions with my grandfather.

“Kingdom Heirs Southern Gospel Quartet” byOld Shoe Woman is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0