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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 models years, 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 Blog Christian Living

Playing “Pop Up”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The other day I had a class-and-a-half of kindergartners in my music room. That’s approximately three dozen six year olds.

As I’ve stated here before, working with young children is like herding cats. And this particular day was no exception.

I started off the lesson with something engaging. But it happened anyway–a little thing I call “Pop Up.” My enthralling introduction to loud and soft music was repeatedly interrupted by children coming to tell me things.

“Mr. Duncan, I need to go potty. It’s a “mergency.

“I have a cut on my finger,” says Callie, showing me a scratch on her pinky.

Yes, to the emergency bathroom visit. No, to the band-aid request.

“Mr Duncan, Kathlyn said my shirt’s on backwards.” A quick look says Kathlyn’s right.

“Boys and girls, we’re not getting up now,” I say with a grimace.

I turn around to start a video but my “teacher sense” tells me there’s, yet another, little guy “On my six.” That’s aviator talk for someone’s right behind me.

Sure enough, I feel a tap-tap-tap on my lower back. It’s Timmy, smiling. “Mr. Duncan, do you need a hug?” Now I’m smiling. “Sure, Timmy.”


Life also does this little thing called “Pop Up.” And, like dandelions in the front yard, it can happen overnight–one unwanted reality after another.

But then you sense there’s someone “On your six.” It’s God, smiling. “Child, do you need a hug?”

The Lord appeared to us in the past. He said, “I have loved you with a love that lasts forever. I have kept on loving you with a kindness that never fails.”

Jeremiah 31:3 (NIRV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️

Categories
Christian Blog love

Just Because

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:10

When our oldest son was about 8, we were on a road trip and pulled in to a popular travel stop on the interstate. Fellow Okies, Tom and Judy Love, own a chain of stores in 41 states, but our little guy didn’t know that. As I filled up the minivan with gas, he said, “Dad, why do they call it Love’s?” Without missing a beat I said, “Because unconditional positive regard wouldn’t fit on the sign.”

It got me thinking, though. If God owned a chain of travel stops He’d probably call it Love’s too. After all, unconditional positive regard is HIS thing. The Bible doesn’t mince words; it just comes right and says it: “God is Love.”❤️ – 1 John 4:8

Wait just a minute! God DOES own a chain of travel stops. They’re called churches. These are places where groups of believers meet often to “fill their tanks” and feed their hungry souls with God’s Word. And each and every sanctuary ought to have a giant neon sign out front with one word on it: Love’s

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:11

If you glean one thought from this post, please let it be this: God loves you. Period! You don’t need to do anything to EARN His love. He love’s you just because.

Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is an illusion.

Brennan Mannin

🙏❤️ prayers and love.