Christian Blog Humility

Kid Shoes

The pre-k and kindergarten students (at school) are my favorites. These little guys are such literal thinkers; and whatever they’re thinking is right on the surface. They also say the most amazing things!

One of my favorite pass times is to joke and laugh with my young friends. I playfully test their powers of inductive reasoning, which are still developing.

Me, to a four-year-old: “I love your shoes! May I borrow them sometime?” (I say this while putting my size 11 foot next to theirs).

I can see their “wheels turning” as they try to process my request. Most of them can’t quite come to the conclusion that I’m joking, but every now and then a little one does.

You would have to become a kid, Mr. Duncan!

Chad, four years old.

There’s a similar story, in three of the Gospels, when the disciples come to Jesus with a question: “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He calls a little child over and has him stand in their midst.

I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus, Matthew 18:3-4 (NIV)

Kind reader, if we want to follow Jesus–all the way to heaven–we’re gonna need some “kid shoes.” Are we humble enough to be big enough for the kingdom of God? I’m asking myself, too.

He must become greater; I must become less.

John the Baptist, John 3:30 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.

*I always fess up and tell the kids I’m joking about borrowing their shoes.

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Christian Blog Discipleship

Too Many Snaps

A few Saturdays ago, Nancy and I visited a local farmer’s market. There wasn’t much produce to speak of, this late in the year, but I was delighted to find someone shelling black-eyed peas!

Not black-eyes, but you get the idea.

Instantly, I went back to my boyhood, sitting on a farmhouse porch with my grandmother. We both had a bucket of unshelled black-eyes and a bowl to put the final product in.

Grandmother instructed me to shell several pods and then break one into small pieces, or snaps—to mix in with the peas. “Just keep doing that until your bucket’s empty,” she said.

But I was a hyper nine-year-old and quickly became bored. So, I came up with an ingenious plan: shell one pod and turn one into snaps, and keep doing that until my bucket was empty.

My maternal forebearer quickly realized something was amiss. She looked into my bowl and said “You have too many snaps!”

This is what the farmer’s market black-eyes looked like. Guess what my grandmother would say?

Jesus Christ’s closest friends had a moment like this. While he was up on a mountain, with Peter, James and John, his other disciples were unable to drive a demonic spirit out of a young boy.

Long story short, Jesus sends the demon packing and restores the lad to health. Later, His disciples ask him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive the demon out?”

This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.

Jesus—Mark 9:29 (NIV)

Here’s my paraphrase: “Gentlemen, you have too many snaps! You’re not taking the time with God you need.”

Kind reader, has a lack of spiritual discipline ever kept you from God’s best? I confess, it has for me.

Back on the porch—after my scolding—grandmother handed me her bowl of shelled peas. “It should look like this,” she said, matter of factly.

Alrighty now. Much better.

Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did

1 John 2:6 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Christian Blog patience

You’ll Get to Play Them All

Yesterday was an exciting day in my elementary music classroom. At least I think so. The children got to play four different instruments: hand drums, rhythm sticks, tambourines, and triangles!

We hadn’t played the triangle before, so I demonstrated the proper technique. Of course, my students were anxious to try out this new instrument, but there weren’t enough of them to go around.

“We’ll take turns,” I said with a grin. “Don’t worry, boys and girls, no matter what instrument you start with, you’ll get to play them all!”

So, after randomly passing out six triangles, and assigning each row of kids one of the other three instruments, the fun began. Each time we played through a song, we traded instruments and enjoyed another one.

Everybody was having a blast, except one little boy. He just sat there, tears rolling down his face.

I offered him a tissue; this is always a good door-opener. “What’s the matter, young man?” I said with genuine concern. “I want to play a triangle,” he blubbered. “Everyone does,” I responded. “That’s why we’re taking turns.

I encouraged him to choose another instrument and wait for his debut on the triangle, but he refused. My student sat there and quietly sobbed, mopping his face with a soggy tissue for the rest of the class period.

It’s common for some children to struggle with delaying gratification. As I watched my young friend languish in unnecessary sorrow, I realized: it’s the same with the children of God. Sometimes, when we don’t get what we want, we’d rather throw an unholy hissy fit than wait our turn.

Meanwhile, Jesus reaches with open arms, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” –John 15:7 (NIV)

Kind reader, our journey with Christ is like a parade, and God has the aerial view. But all we can see is what passes in front of us. Keep faith! On the road to heaven we’ll get to “play them all.”

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.

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