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James 1:5

While walking/biking on a path with the kids to a tennis court, a whopper, grasshopper jumped on one of their tennis rackets.  When we tried to get it back in the grass, it jumped on Emily’s bike tire.  From there, it hopped down and stayed on the heavily traveled path.  Was it wise of the grasshopper to land on a tennis racket, bike tire and busy path?  Nope.  It made unwise and even dangerous choices.

Whether you do or don’t like grasshoppers (I’m personally not a fan of the adult ones with all that swaying back and forth and spitting) we can still learn something.  We don’t always make wise choices, do we?  We might even make several unwise choices, like the grasshopper.

What’s wonderful is that we can ask God for wisdom.  He’s always willing to give wisdom freely.

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John 1:1-5, John 8:12, 1 Timothy 6:14-16

Recently, I went out at night to shop.  Driving home, I saw a motorcycle with purple and blue LED accent lights above the kickstand.  I stared as long as I could, lifted by the shining light display in the dark.

Jesus’ light breaks through darkness on a much larger scale than the motorcycle.  Jesus is “the light of the world” and God is “in unapproachable light.”  It must make them laugh to see that I’m wowed by little LED lights knowing the light I’ll encounter in Heaven someday.

Luke 12:22, John 1:1, John 14:27

My family receives e-mail from Web MD and one was entitled, “Nine Ways Worrying Can Wreck Your Health.”  The subsequent slideshow revealed that worrying can “speed up heart rate” and “raise your blood sugar.”  Also, “Your body may not fight germs as well.”

Jesus doesn’t need to subscribe to Web MD health tips.  Jesus was with God in the beginning and knows what we need and don’t need.    While on earth, so long ago, He instructed others not to worry.  At one point, Jesus specifically mentioned the heart.  He didn’t want our hearts to be troubled.  If you look up troubled on thesaurus.com, a synonym is “worried stiff.”  Jesus doesn’t want us to be worried stiff.

Jesus said He can give peace.  Whenever we’re tempted to worry, let’s remember to trust Jesus for the peace only He can give.

John 14:27

While on a walk at a nearby park on Friday, I heard an elderly man from a bench call out to me, “Where’s the flowers?”  I approached him and let him know that if he veered right on the path, went over the bridge and straight over, he would find the flowers.  From his view, instead of flowers, he could see a lot of tall weeds and an area under construction.

Let’s say the weeds and construction represent stress and flowers represent peace.  If you’re at a point in your life where you’re surrounded by weeds and construction, go to God in prayer, and ask Him to show you where the flowers are.  Giving peace is Jesus’ specialty.

Acts 27:1-26

I have been following news on Hurricane Harvey hitting Texas.  My Aunt Alice lives in Houston, so I became concerned when I got an update on my phone today.  I called my mom who let me know that the flooding is about a mile away from Aunt Alice and that her area is also in a tornado warning.

There is one mention of a hurricane in my NIV Bible.  It’s the account in Acts of Paul sailing to Rome.  In that adventure, there was, “a wind of hurricane force, called the ‘northeaster.'”

God knew about that hurricane long ago in Paul’s time and he knows about Hurricane Harvey.  God is in control.

Matthew 10:33

In the past two weeks, I saw three men wearing Christian clothes.  The first man shook hands with a cop at a community event while wearing a shirt that said, “Jesus Freak.”  The second man chatted with others at a festival while wearing a shirt with Reese’s colors and design that said “Jesus.”  The third man put groceries on a conveyor belt at a natural food store while wearing a shirt that said, “Messiah.”

Jesus said that if someone disowns Him, He will disown them before God.  The word “will” is a promise.  Jesus takes promises seriously.

The men that wore Christian clothes publicly showed their love for Jesus by acknowledging Him.  I don’t know about you, but shopping for Christian clothes is sounding pretty good to me right now.

Psalm 34:18

Last Monday, my kids, Emily and Ethan, noticed tattoos on a cashier.  One tattoo especially caught Emily’s attention.  It said, “Psalm 34:18.”  She told the cashier, “I like your tattoo.”  Those kind words sparked an unexpected heartfelt story.  The cashier told us that three years ago she lost her 30-year-old son.  It was discovered that he died of an enlarged heart.  She pointed to her Psalm 34:18 tattoo, saying how that verse is about God being near to those who are brokenhearted.  She shared her frustration that there is a word for a woman or man who loses a spouse, and that there is a word for a child that loses their parent or parents, but there is no word for a parent who loses a child.  She said she believes there is no word for it because it’s not supposed to happen.  The cashier continued, saying that her son would do anything for her.  As she was talking, I was thinking that her son not only had a big heart physically, but also a big heart emotionally.  She shared that her son would get her a rose just because.  She explained that that’s why she has a rose tattoo.  She said how she misses her son and believes she’ll be with him again one day.

I’ve seen God’s Word shared in many ways, but never via a tattoo.  God is using that cashier to share His Word in a special way.

2 Chronicles 34-35

Today after church, my family stopped by a nearby Hy-Vee to get a few groceries we needed.  At checkout, my husband noticed that the clerk’s name was Josiah.  That got us thinking about Josiah of the Bible.  Maybe he was named after the Biblical Josiah.

King Josiah was eight years old when he became king.  At the age of 16, he sought God.  He got rid of idols, smashing them into powder.  At one point in his life, the king of Egypt, Neco, came and Josiah decided to fight him even though Neco didn’t want to fight him.  Neco wanted to fight someone else.  However, Neco asked Josiah not to oppose God.  Despite the warning, Josiah fought anyway, in disguise.  Then, arrows sailed through the air and fatally wounded Josiah.

We all make mistakes in life.  If only Josiah wasn’t itching for a fight.  Jerusalem could have enjoyed their beloved king longer.

 

 

 

Exodus 20:7, 18-21, Psalm 139:20

Our kids had swimming lessons last week.  As I waited on them nearby on Friday, I heard a lifeguard in a pool chair talking to a couple of other lifeguards in the water.  She kept using God’s name in vain like that was a cute thing to do.  She did that so much so that one of the lifeguards sounded annoyed and responded, “What?!”

That lifeguard in the pool chair was supposed to be thinking about guarding the lives around her.  In addition, she needed to guard her words.  She may have not realized it, but misusing God’s name is a sin.  To misuse God’s name is to break one of His commandments.

In Exodus, after God gave the 10 commandments, the people heard a trumpet and thunder, saw lightning, and a smoking mountain.  Moses let them know that God was just showing that they needed to fear Him and avoid sin.  To take God’s name in vain is to be an enemy of God.  Spread the word.

 

 

 

 

Matthew 7:7-11, John 3:16

Matthew 19:14

My mom returned our book, “Heaven is for Real” this past week.  If you haven’t heard about it, it’s about a boy, Colton, who claimed to visit Heaven during an appendectomy.  I believe him since his story doesn’t counter the Bible.  Chapter nineteen is entitled, “Jesus Really Loves the Children.”  One example of Jesus’ love for children is in Matthew, where Jesus talked about giving good gifts to children.

I know God loves our kids.  I have a recent example of how much God loves our daughter, Emily.  Emily and I had a Biblical conversation while driving home from an event.  As we pulled in the driveway, I felt satisfied that her questions were answered.  Five days later, I half-listened to a morning devotional, but knew that the writer had talked about losing wedding/engagement rings.  Then, one or two days after that, the kids were practicing tennis in the afternoon when I decided to sit down at a picnic table in a nearby shelter.  Before I sat down, I noticed something shiny and small on the concrete floor.  On closer inspection, I saw it was a child’s toy diamond that had become dislodged from a play ring.  I remembered the devotional about the lost rings and decided to read all of it on my phone.  It reminded me of the Biblical conversation I had with Emily almost a week before.  After the kids were done practicing tennis, as we were walking, I asked Emily if she remembered that conversation.  She did, but she had additional questions that I didn’t know about, but God did.  I listened to her and I again was able to answer her questions.  Evidently, it was important to God that Emily get answers to her extra questions.  Those answers were good gifts from God.  He showed He cared about her questions by lovingly and patiently going to great lengths to get them answered.

Colton was persistent in telling his parents how much Jesus loves kids.  Jesus’ words in the Bible revealed His love for children, and I’ve seen evidence of that love.  If you have kids, please remind them that Jesus loves them!