Categories
Christian Living devotional

Stopping The Train

There we were, my colleague and I, with five classes of kindergartners in the gym. For those of you who like to do the math, that’s an approximate student/teacher ratio of 67.5 to 1.

Frankly, teaching young children is like herding cats. You have about 30 seconds to engage their curiosity, before they find something more interesting than you. And for the average six-year-old, this can be LOTS of things. Why listen to a big person when you can lick Play-Doh with a friend?

Back to the five classes. Things were going pretty well. We did some Kidzbop dances from YouTube and then sat down to watch an educational episode of “Ask the Story Bots” on Netflix.

But then it happened: a child jumped up and said, “I need to go potty!” Suddenly, three others stood to their feet and began dancing around, wiggling like bobble heads in perfect unison. Teachers call this exasperating phenom “starting the potty train.”

And the best way to stop this type of train is to make one concession and then hold the line. The first child is the only one who REALLY needs to use the bathroom. The others are most likely pretending.

Sometimes it can be equally exasperating to stop the train called life. One thing REALLY happens and then three imposters jump up, dancing around in perfect unison. It can be hard to tell the real problem from the wannabes.

Perhaps this is why Jesus encourages us to take our difficulties (and days) one at a time.

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Categories
Christian Living

Circle Back

Ever driven through a round-a-bout? I guess some traffic engineer thinks sending people in circles is more efficient than a stop light.

After he retired from teaching, my father ferried racing greyhounds to New England. One of his favorite stories involved being stuck in a traffic circle near Boston, pulling a 20 foot dog trailer! Here’s how he described it: “A bunch of people going in circles trying to make their turn by taking turns.”

Whose turn is it anyway?

I’m sure it’s in the driver’s manual, but in practice the round-a-bout has no hard and fast rules.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Ah, the classic stop light; now here’s a simpler solution! Red means stop. Green means go. And yellow means wait (even if you’re late).😇

Yet when it comes to walking with God, the experience can feel more like a round-a-bout than a red light. It’s not a precise stop, go or wait; rather, it’s a keep-circling-until-it’s-your-turn reality.

Yes, there are places in the Bible where God gives specific “stop light” style guidance (Numbers chapter nine is a good one), but these aren’t the every day norm.


Picture all the Bible heroes whose lives didn’t travel in a straight line. Moses comes to mind. I mean, forty years on the back side of the desert?! Sounds like a round-a-bout thing. Or brave queen Esther. Her’s wasn’t a “stop light life;” she kept circling–waiting for the chance to make a big difference.

So if it seems like your life is on ⏸, maybe you’re not stuck at a red light after all. You’re just coming back around to make your turn.

There now. Feel better?


Here are a few of my favorite “Circle Back” scriptures. Please share one of yours!


“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)


“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8 (NIV)


“He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3b (NIV)


Categories
Christian Living vigilance

Birds of a Not So Feather

My wife and I love to watch the birds that come to our feeders. The playful chickadees and finches are our favorites. But the Brown-headed cowbirds, that eat far more than their share, are not.

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

These iridescent black birds with heads that look dipped in chocolate are also naughty in other ways. As brood parasites, they lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species. The host bird is often duped into incubating, feeding and nurturing a baby chick that isn’t even one of its own.

By Galawebdesign – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

The Devil (and his followers) like to play tricks like this too. As Paul warned the Corinthians, “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”– 2 Corinthians 11:14 (NIV)

There are plenty of religious, and irreligious “brood parasites” in our world today. These brown-headed (no, it’s not chocolate) bird brains love to infiltrate the “nests” of kinder species, where they lay their ungodly ideas. Like the host bird, we can be easily duped into nurturing these notions like they actually belong in our lives.

Spiritual “cowbirds” are also on the internet. I call them “blog” parasites. They visit the social media accounts of sincere believers, hoping to lay bogus eggs in their comment feeds. And taking the bait, which is what they want, means turning a part of your “nest” over to them.

Don’t fall for it!

There are places in the Bible where Satan is unmasked as an “accuser” (Revelation 12:10; Job 1:9-11; Zechariah 3:1), and as a “roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

It should be no surprise that his disciples follow suit.

“Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” — 1 Peter 5:9 (NIV)