Thursday, October 18, 2018

THE CORRECT RECEIPT

In Titus 3:14, we read: “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”


Timmy climbed into the truck. “They couldn’t exchange it for the other kind of fish food, Grandfather. Said this receipt doesn’t match the numbers."

Grandfather rubbed the back of his neck as he looked at it. “I picked up the wrong one. The other is on my desk.”

“How could it make that much difference? Fish food is printed on the receipt. Fish food is fish food, right?Looks the same to me.”

“At first glance,” Grandfather said. "But look, Timmy.” He held it so Timmy could read it. “Fish flakes. I meant to give you the receipt for granules. To redeem it, you must have the correct one.”

“It's pretty much the same,” Timmy argued, folding his arms.

“That’s what a lot of people think. You hear folks say it doesn’t matter what you believe just so you have faith. As one receipt wouldn’t work for the other, our faith is based on the Lord Jesus Christ. He paid the price for our sins. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

“I get it. No substitutes. It’s easy to forget, Grandfather.” He smiled at his grandson.

“That’s why we study God’s Word. So we won’t be tricked...”

“By someone using the wrong receipt,” Timmy whispered.

“Exactly.” Grandfather put the truck in gear. “Fasten your seat belt. Let’s go home and get the correct receipt.”

“Yessir,” Timmy said, grinning.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus went to the cross to redeem me from every lawless deed. He also purified me, made me His own. He loves me with an everlasting love and promises never to leave nor forsake me. Some days, I don’t feel like I’m loved. But His Word says He redeemed me and I choose to believe Him. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?







Thursday, October 11, 2018

THE WHIPPING BOY

In 2 Corinthians 5:21, we read: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

“Is that true, Grandfather? Someone took the crown prince’s punishment?”

“Actually, the Whipping Boy was an established position in the English court during the Tudor and Stuart monarchies of the 15th and 16th centuries. Usually he was a companion to the prince, high born and educated with him.”

“Then why would the prince want his friend punished? Makes no sense to me.” Timmy frowned.

“The tutor couldn't discipline the prince so the whipping boy took his place. Hopefully the prince would see the pain his friend received because of him and be sorry for his deeds.” Grandfather tilted his head. “How would you like to live back then?”

“I guess it would depend on whether I was the prince or the whipping boy.” Timmy said, turned serious. “Really, it doesn’t seem fair.”

“It doesn’t. But, Timmy, how if the crown prince took the punishment for the whipping boy? That would really be something, huh?”

“That would get everybody’s attention for sure,” he agreed with his grandfather, then said. “No prince would ever do that.”

“That’s where you’re wrong, son. A Prince took the whipping and the curses and every sin known to mankind upon Himself. He volunteered so we might become the righteous of God in Him.”

“The Lord Jesus,” Timmy whispered.

“He, the Son of God, took on the form of a whipping boy, so I could be set free from sin and become right with God.”

Kingdom Thinking. No way can I understand God’s love so I praise Him. He promises never to leave nor forsake me and loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?











Thursday, October 4, 2018

THE MASTER’S PRESENT

In Lamentations 3:22-24, we read: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,' says my soul. 'Therefore I hope in Him!’"


A NEW DAY
“You refused a gift from Mrs. Smith? Why?” Grandfather said, his eyebrows raised in surprise.

“She doesn’t have much money.” Timmy dipped his head. “Did I do wrong?”

“Have a seat son.” Grandfather chewed on his bottom lip. “You remember how you felt when you made your first cake?” Timmy giggled.

“I thought you’d done a great job until you jerked the cake pan out of the oven and added the sugar.” Grandfather’s laugh started deep, rumbled and bubbled out.

“I forgot to add it to the batter. It didn’t look too good, did it? It ended up looking funny...soggy in the middle.” Timmy snickered.

Grandfather hooted, his face red. “Sad describes it better.”

Timmy’s face brightened. “But you ate a piece anyway.”

“Yep. I considered it a potion from my favorite grandson.”

“I’m your only grandson, Grandfather.”

“True and our Lord is faithful. He takes the mess of our lives and uses it to His glory. Just like the cake you baked or half-baked.” Grandfather chuckled. “His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. A new day is a present. Waiting to be opened."

“Grandfather, I’ll be back.” He grabbed his baseball cap as he went out the door. “May I borrow your rake?”

“Sure but where’re you going?” Grandfather said.

“To deliver a present. Mrs. Smith’s yard’s covered with leaves.” Grandfather smiled.

Kingdom Thinking. I’m here because of the Lord’s mercies. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. His compassions are new every morning--a present from Him. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?






Thursday, September 27, 2018

POINT OF VIEW

In Psalms 66:5, 7, we read: “Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men. He rules by His power forever; His eyes observe the nations; Do not let the rebellious exalt themselves.”

“Watch your step, son. That’s a deep drop off.” Grandfather put down his walking stick. “Let’s take a break, check out the scenery.”

Leaning against the steep rock wall, Grandfather pointed up. “See the eagle? Watch as he glides on the thermals. He has tremendous eyesight, too. Like your binoculars.”

Timmy lifted the binoculars, adjusted them to see the eagle. “He’s beautiful and flying free. I feel I can reach out and touch him.”

“Turn the glasses around. Look through the big end. Now what do you see?”

“Everything is tiny.” He looked at the rocks at his feet.

“Changes your point of view, doesn’t it? Same binoculars, same view. All changed because of the way you hold the glasses.”

Grandfather thought for a minute. “Just think, Timmy. The Lord showed us an amazing principle. He’s all seeing, all knowing. He sees the big picture, but still He sees the tiny details.”

“Awesome. Like my life?”

Grandfather nodded, said. “That’s a good way of putting it. The Lord is awesome in all that He does.” With his arm around Timmy’s shoulders, he said. “He cares about every detail of our life and lets us enjoy His mighty works.

“We must be careful when viewing life. If we look through God's eye piece, everything’s magnified and we see the large picture. He’s in control. But if we look through the big lens at life, we fret, have a tendency to become narrow, maybe bitter.”

“So I have to make a choice?”

“Indeed you do. Many times during the day.”

Kingdom Thinking. I chose to look through the correct eyepiece on life’s binoculars. Otherwise I focus wrongly on life. The Lord promises never to leave me nor forsake me and He loves me with an everlasting love. Let Him hold life’s binoculars for you so you can see His Works. He is awesome.








Thursday, September 20, 2018

WANDERING FLOCK


In Matthew 26:31-32, we read: “Then Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered. But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.’”

“I still don’t get it, Grandfather.”

Grandfather thought for a minute. “You remember when you went on the hiking trip last summer?”

“No way could I forget. We were so scared we didn’t know which way to go.” Grandfather nodded.

“Because your leader got sick and couldn’t guide you.”

With his eyes large, Timmy continued. "He was unconscious part of the time. I’m glad that guy came along who knew what to do.”

“Then you understand how it is when the leader is unable to guide you.”

“What’s that got to do with the scattered sheep?” Grandfather smiled.

“The Lord refers to us as sheep. We wander off like sheep thinking all is well until something happens. Then we realize we’re not in control. We panic. Until our Shepherd who was raised from the dead, grabs us and reminds us we’re not just holding on to Him but He’s holding on to us--with the warrior hand clasp. Our Warrior Shepherd won’t let go.”

“The Lord told us we would stumble but He’s holding us by His hand and His power. He’s promises nothing can separate us from Him.”

“I’m glad the Lord Jesus is my Warrior Shepherd.”

“I’m glad, too, Timmy. So glad.”

Kingdom Thinking. I’m glad the Lord Jesus loves me. He gave His life for the flock, rose again to buy me back from the enemy, the wanderer. He’s promises to love me with an everlasting love and never to leave nor forsake me. He offers the same promise to you. Won’t you chose Him?







Thursday, September 13, 2018

THE ILLUSION

 In Proverbs 21:1, we read: “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.”

“That’s one crooked river, Grandfather. Look how it twists and turns. Powerful, isn’t it?”

“It appears so. But things aren't always as they seem. One flood could change the river’s course.”

“You’re talking about the Bible verse we learned? But Grandfather, it seems impossible.”

“Surely does.” He tilted his head, eyebrow cocked. “That’s a hard lesson to learn, son.

“Remember when we drove through the mountains? You thought we were going down hill when we were actually going up? We can’t rely on our feelings. They’ll confuse us.”

“I remember. I was positive we were going down. Until I looked behind us.”

“Or the summer day when you thought water covered the road up ahead? When we got there...”

“Dry. So what’s this supposed to teach me?”

“To understand the Lord Jesus is in control. When the storms of life hit, it appears He’s forgotten me. Not true. He’s in charge when I’m not aware of it.

“Once you learn the secret that the King’s in control, you can rest in Him. He has your back.”

“Do you always remember the secret?”

“You have me there, Timmy.” Grandfather chuckled. “Have to confess I’ve forgotten a time or two."

“So, I’m in the Lord Jesus’ Secret Service?”

“Indeed, son. Good thinking.”

Kingdom Thinking. I have a problem. I find it difficult to remember the Lord Jesus is in control. He promises to love me with an everlasting love and never leave nor forsake me. I have to remind myself He keeps His promises. How about you? Would you like to be in His Secret Service?












Thursday, September 6, 2018

SMARTING HEART

In 1 John 3:20, we read: “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.”


“I’m sorry, Grandfather. The more I try to be good, the more I mess up.”

“What happened?” Grandfather sat by Timmy.

“I was helping Mrs. Elliot carry her groceries to her house. She handed me a bag but before I could grab it, it slid from my hands.” His shoulders slumped. “Stuff went everywhere.”

“Anything break?”

“No sir. A few cans rolled under the car. I crawled under it to reach them."

“Okay. And then?”

"Well," he dipped his head. "I stood up, snagged my jeans pocket on a piece of metal. Ripped it off. Mrs. Elliott stood with her hands on her hips. 'Sure you can unload my groceries?'

“Sam and Johnny rode their bikes by at the same time. They yelled and laughed, made me mad.”

"So what'd you do?" Grandfather said through twitching lips.

"I'd decided to help her this morning. So I finished the job. Why'd I mess up? I was trying to help."

“You did help. Did she smile? Probably gave her something to chuckle about all day." Timmy grinned.

"Yep. And she gave me lemonade and cookies. But...?"

"Son. You disappointed yourself--your heart’s condemning you, not the Lord.”

“You asked Jesus to come in, to save you at camp, right?” He nodded.

“Your goodness can't save you. The Lord Jesus did. So your badness can’t lose you.” Timmy’s forehead creased. "The Lord Jesus knew all about you when He bought you, made you His own.”

Timmy's face brightened. “Thank you, Grandfather.”

Kingdom Thinking. God is greater than my heart. When He forgives me, it’s a done deal. He knows all about me. He promises never to leave nor forsake me and loves me with an everlasting love. Do you realize God is greater than your heart? He loves you. Won't you come to Him?










Thursday, August 30, 2018

SO THIRSTY

In John 7:37-38, we read: “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

“Grandfather, that boy's thirsty.” The little guy picked up another soft drink can, tipped it up, drained it. Tossed it in a burlap bag.

“Hey,” he called. “Thirsty? I have an extra bottle water.”

“My name’s Timmy. This is Grandfather.” He handed the bottle to the boy. He grabbed it, chugged it.

“Thanks, mine to keep?”

“Sure. We’re headed to get breakfast.  You’re welcome to join us.” The boy peeped at Grandfather through half-closed lids. “If you’re not hungry, it’s okay. Thought I’d offer.”

“Can I bring this?” He held his bag of cans. Seeing Grandfather’s nod, he slung it over his shoulder.

Seated, the waitress brought menus. “Mr. Sterling, Timmy...Jake? What’re you doing here?”

“He’s my guest. He needs a menu.” She hesitated, then handed one to him. “Thank you. What’ll you have this morning, boys?”

After a breakfast of blueberry pancakes, Jake put down his empty milk glass. “Y’all eat here often? She knew your names.”

“On Saturday mornings--special treat for Timmy and me. But I’ve not seen you before.”

“Just moved. She lives on my street.” He nodded to the waitress. “I’ve got to go. Thanks for breakfast.”

“Think he’ll come again? He enjoyed the pancakes.” Grandfather smiled.

“When he gets thirsty, he’ll be back.”

Kingdom Thinking. Like Jake, I drank water that couldn’t satisfy. Then Lord Jesus invited me to come to Him and drink living water. He promises never to leave me and to love me with an everlasting love. He promises the same to you. Won’t you come?






Thursday, August 23, 2018

SOLD OUT

In Exodus 21:2-6, we read: “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh year he shall go out free and pay nothing...But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.”

“Grandfather, do you have an earache?”

“No. Just touching my right earlobe. Want to check the hole.” Timmy frowned.

“I don’t see a hole.” He leaned closer. “Nope. Nothing there.” Grandfather chuckled.

“It’s important to know about the bondservant, son. The Lord Jesus sets us free. Free to choose Him.”

“Isn’t it just a story? Why would anyone want to be a servant?” Grandfather leaned back in his chair.

“You don’t want to be just anyone’s servant. You want to choose someone who loves you and will provide for you. That’s what the Lord Jesus did for me, for you.”

“How?”

“I wanted to be honorable. To love my neighbor. The more I tried, the more I failed. I was one miserable somebody.” Timmy smiled.

“But you’re good, Grandfather. Why’d you think you were bad?”

“Why do you say I’m good?”

“You treat folks nice and you're kind...”

“All because Jesus loves me. He paid for my sins, set me free. Like the servant, I love my Master, told Him I wanted to be His. ‘You’re sure?' He asked. Then He brought me to the door because He is the Door. He pierced my ear with an awl, a permanent hole so I serve Him forever. Now I come and go where He sends me.”

“Why the ear?”

“Listening obedience--I hear and obey His voice.”

“I asked the Lord into my life.” Timmy touched his ear. "Do I have a hole?” Grandfather smiled.

Kingdom Thinking. When I understood the Lord Jesus loves me with an everlasting love and promises never to leave nor forsake me, I sold out to Him. His forever. He offers the same to you. Won’t you choose Him?
















Thursday, August 16, 2018

THE WARRIOR

In Joshua 5:13b-15, we read: “A Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, ‘Are You for us or for our adversaries?’ So He said, ‘No, but as  Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, ‘What does my Lord say to His servant?’”

“What would you do if the Commander of the army of the Lord came to you?” Grandfather closed the Book.

“I don’t know. Guess I’d be scared.”

“And rightly so. He carried a sword.”

“I don’t get it. He didn’t say who He was for.”

“Timmy, who did He come to?”

“Joshua.”

“What was His answer?”

“He didn’t answer the question, but told Joshua who He was--the Commander of the army of God.” Timmy tilted his head. “That’s important, isn’t it?” Grandfather smiled.

“He got Joshua’s attention when He came to him. He wanted Joshua to know to whom he belonged. We’ll always have adversaries but the Commander of the Lord’s army, the Lord Jesus, has authority over them.

“So, what was Joshua’s response?”

“He fell down and worshiped.”

“You right, Timmy, but more than that, he made a declaration. He now counted himself as a servant to the Commander. In other words, Your word is my command.”

“Does that happen today?” He stared at the sky. “Does He want me to serve?”

“Indeed He does. He asks us to follow Him.”

“I’ll do it, Grandfather.”

Kingdom Thinking. I thought the world different from Joshua’s time, but is it? Adversaries abound, but our Commander, the Lord Jesus, is in control. He loves me with an everlasting love and promises never to leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?




Thursday, August 9, 2018

EAGLE WINGS

In Isaiah 40:31, we read: “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”


“Grandfather, look.” Gliding on the thermals, a bald eagle soared.

“An amazing bird, Timmy. How’d you like to fly like that?”

“I wish! Just think how far you could see.” They watched the eagle dive to the lake. He hovered, plucked a fish with its talons, ascended into the sky, the fish flapping.

“Probably taking a meal to his young in the nest. He watches over fledglings. Makes sure they’re provided for.”

“Do the young look like the parent?”

“They’re dark brown but mottled, don’t have the coloring of the parent for about five years.” He turned to his grandson. “You have characteristics of your parents and me now,” Grandfather chuckled. “But when you’re an adult, you’ll mature, have the traits of a grown man.”

“Sort of like the Bible verse, huh?”

“Like the eagle, the Lord watches over us. He feeds us His Word to nourish us. When we get tired, He swoops down, lifts us up.”

“When did He do that for me? I would have remembered.” Timmy tilted his head.

“Most times, we don’t acknowledge Him. He works through those around us. Sometimes in the most unexpected places, He provides for our needs. Want to know why?” Timmy nodded.

“Because He loves you and me more than we can imagine. He asks us to wait on Him so He can renew our strength.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus provides for me. He is my strength. He loves me with an everlasting love and He promises never to leave nor forsake me. Would you like to be lifted up today? Call on Him.




Thursday, August 2, 2018

THE WITNESS

In Acts 22:15, we read: "For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard."


“I can’t be a witness. I can’t talk to people like you, Grandfather.”

“What is a witness, son?” Timmy’s brow furrowed.

“Guess a witness is someone who tells what happened.”

“Right. Do you trust what anyone says?” Timmy chewed on his bottom lip.

“Not everyone. Sometimes they don’t tell the truth.”

“Right, again. You trust Mr Jim, down the street?” Seeing Timmy’s nod, he asked. "Why?”

“Because he’s nice to me. He stood up for me when those bullies chased me, remember? He was sweeping the sidewalk in front of his store and...”

“I remember. So he looks out for you?”

“More than that, Grandfather. He’s my friend.” Grandfather smiled.

“Now we’re getting somewhere. You see, son, being a witness is much more than talk. It’s the way we act, the way we live. When you have the Lord Jesus in your heart, He’s the one who witnesses as you allow Him to fill your life.”

“That’s not easy. I still do bad things.” Grandfather chuckled.

“We humans have a tendency to do that.” He put his arm around his grandson. “But we have hope and the Lord Jesus commands we let others know they can have hope, too.”

“Even the bullies?”

“Even the bullies.” He squeezed Timmy’s shoulder.

Kingdom Thinking. I was wrong. Witnessing includes much more than sticking a track in someone’s hand. It’s a way of life. The Lord Jesus promises to love me and never leave nor forsake me. In my daily walk, He reaches out to others through me. He’ll do the same for you. Won’t you come?









Thursday, July 26, 2018

A LITTLE KINDNESS

In Ephesians 5:32, we read: “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

“I’ve decided to be kind. Our Sunday School teacher told us to be kind always.”

“He’s right. Be sure you’re doing it for the right reason.”

First, Timmy saw a lady loaded with groceries. “Let me help you.” He  stowed them in her car. She tipped him. Grandfather smiled when told, continued to read his paper.

An older gentleman struggled to cross the street. “May I help you?” The gentleman insisted he take money for his trouble.  He opened the door for a lady, held it for her to enter. She, too, tipped him.

“I’ve done enough kind things for today.” Timmy kicked a rock from one side of the sidewalk to the other. Thought this would be exciting.

The honking of a horn grabbed his attention. A  puppy cowered in the middle of the street. Without thinking of a reward, Timmy watched the traffic, made his way into the street. He picked up the puppy, carried him to the sidewalk.

“You okay, fellow?” The dog licked his hand, held up his paw.

“Who do you have there?” Grandfather said. Timmy brought the puppy up on the porch.

“He was in the middle of the street and scared. Can we find his owner?”

“Good thinking, son.” He checked the dog’s collar. “Here’s his number.”

The owner arrived, causing the little tail to thump. “He knows you.”

“And I know you. You helped me cross the street this morning. I didn’t know Buddy was missing until I got home. He got out, followed me.” He offered Timmy a five dollar bill.

“Thank you, but I can’t take it. Did what anyone would do.”

Later, when Grandfather asked why he didn’t accept the money, Timmy shrugged. “Didn’t feel right.”

“You did kind deeds earlier, but when you saw the pup? You acted from your heart, not thinking  about yourself. Our Lord wants us to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. I’m proud of you, son.”

Kingdom Thinking.  The Lord Jesus is kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. He loves me with aneverlasting love and promises never to leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him?






Thursday, July 19, 2018

SHINE

In Matthew 5:14-16, we read: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

“Come on, Timmy. We’re going on a treasure hunt.” Timmy followed Grandfather to his truck.

“A treasure hunt?”

“I’m looking for silver candlesticks. A gift for Aunt Sybil for Christmas.”

“Christmas? This is July. Can’t we wait?”

“Nope. I’m starting early to find the perfect gift.”

At the second shop, Grandfather held up candlesticks. “This is the pair.” He carried the candlesticks to the checkout counter.

“She’s not going to like those. They’re dirty.” Grandfather smiled.

At home, he applied silver polish, buffed them, repeated the process until they gleamed.

“Wow. They look great. She'll love them. Want me to get a box for them?”

“Not yet. We have to try them out.” Timmy cocked his head.

That night, Grandfather put candles in the candle sticks, arranged them on the table. Before they sat to eat, he lit the candles.

“They’re beautiful, Grandfather. The light shines from the candles and reflects in the silver.”

“Like us, Timmy. When we receive the Lord Jesus, we’re beautiful. So clean. As we go through life, we get tarnished from the stuff we see and the way we respond to it. The Lord Jesus comes and polishes us. That can be painful but He’s got plenty of time and wants us to gleam.”

“Shine, Grandfather, shine. He lets us shine from His light. Wow!

“Couldn’t say it better myself.” Grandfather smiled.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus commands to let my light shine. His light as He lives through me. He promises to love me and never leave me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?

Thursday, July 12, 2018

HIDDEN

In Isaiah 45:3, we read: “I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.”

“What about this one?” Grandfather peeped over the rim of his glasses, shook his head.

“Doesn’t have to be the biggest. Sometimes the best quality can be small.” Timmy dropped the large rock on the ground.

This week they’d camp in Pisgah National Forest. Today they'd mine for precious stones. Tomorrow they’d hike up to Looking Glass, the next day, tubing.

“Look at this purple rock.” Timmy washed some of the sand and gravel from it. “I like it.”

“Looks like an amethyst. Nice find. Didn’t jump into your hands, huh?”

“No. I had to dig for it. It was hidden under the dirt.”

“You know, Timmy. The Lord promises us treasures. Treasures hidden in secret places.”

“What does that mean exactly?”

“Under heat and pressure, over time, gems are created. We have to dig for them.” He looked at Timmy. “The Lord loves us more than gems, right? We’re his jewels. He puts us in dark places...”

“Like when bad things happen?”

“It’s hard to trust in the dark place, when you can’t see your next step,” Grandfather confessed. "But the Lord knows what He’s doing. He’s in the process of making treasures.”

“But it’s scary.”

“Yes, but He wants me to know that He, the Lord, calls me by my name. And the hidden riches will come to light.”

“We’ll get hidden riches?” Timmy’s eyes sparkled.

“We’re the jewels.” Grandfather chuckled. “We must be cut and polished so the light can shine through.”

“Wow. That’s amazing.” Grandfather grinned.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord brought me from a hidden place. Now through his love and grace, He’s in the process of making me into one of His jewels. He loves me and promises never to leave me. Would you like to be one of His jewels? Come to Him.







Thursday, July 5, 2018

THE RACE

In 1 Corinthians 9:24, we read: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”

“I’m ready, Grandfather. I’m going to win this race.”

“I’ll be right here in the stands. And son?” Timmy turned. “I’ll be praying for you.”

The big race day, July 4th, created a lot of excitement and always drew a large crowd. The runners toed the line, on their marks. At the sound of the shot, they took off.

Timmy kept abreast of the group. As he headed into the home stretch, one of the racers pushed past him, causing him to stumble, his foot twisting under him.

“Aww. I’ll never make it now.” He grabbed his ankle. "Must have sprained it.” As he struggled to stand, he felt strong arms come around him.

“Lean on me, son. We’ll get to the finish line.”

“Grandfather.” Tears filled Timmy’s eyes. “I lost the race.”

“Nope. You haven’t lost the race. That’s when you quit.  Let’s get to the finish line.”

The crowd cheered the runners as they crossed the finish line, even for Timmy and Grandfather.

“Thank you, Grandfather.” Timmy’s chin quivered, his eyes shone with love.

“We’re a family, Timmy. Always there for one another.” He tilted his head. “Sort of like the race of life. No matter which section of the race we’re in, the Lord Jesus watches over us. And when we fall? He’s there to pick us up. Sometimes He uses other members of the family.”

“Like you, Grandfather?”

“Exactly. The Lord loves you,  Timmy. He’s always there for you. That’s one prayer of mine I hope you’ll never forget.” He hugged Timmy.

Kingdom Thinking. When I realized I was in the race of life, I froze, terrified. How could I do this? Then the Lord Jesus came to my rescue. He promises never to leave nor forsake me and He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him?


Thursday, June 28, 2018

BOOT CAMP

In Lamentations 3:22-25, we read: "Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! 24 I say, ‘The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him.' 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the person who seeks him.”


“Grandfather, I’ll never be good at track.” Timmy slumped in his chair.

Grandfather put down his newspaper. “Remember when we went to Beaufort, S. C.? You saw Paris Island?”

“Where the marines train?”

“Yes. When you see them graduate in their uniforms, they stand tall. What you don’t see is the training they go through to get them to this point. They’re yelled at and made to do exercisers to increase their endurance--whether they want to or not. They have to learn to follow orders.”

“Sounds really hard.”

“You’re right. Remember the time we hiked in the mountains?”

“I was so tired, I could hardly move. And the next morning? I didn’t know I had so many muscles.” Grandfather chuckled. “But you made me get up and go. By the end of the week, I kept up with the others.”

“Well, multiply that by a gazillion times. That’s how the recruits feel. That’s Boot Camp.”

Timmy tilted his head. “What are you telling me?”

“I know you can excel at track. It won’t be easy. You have to train.” Grandfather smiled. "On this earth, we’re in boot camp. We’re in training so one day, we'll be able to rule with the Lord Jesus. Most important? We have to learn to obey His orders.”

“Whether we feel like it or not?”

“Absolutely. The Lord is faithful and His mercies are new every morning. Because of His great love, I put my hope in Him, not in circumstances or things happening around me.”

“Grandfather? I want to put my hope in Him, too.” He hugged his grandson.

Kingdom Thinking. No matter what phase of boot camp I'm going through, I know the Lord is faithful and true. He is good and loves me with an everlasting love. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He offers this assurance to you as you go through boot camp. Won’t you come to Him?


















Thursday, June 21, 2018

THE CLEANSING

In Matthew 23:25, we read: “Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.”

“Everything goes wrong for me.” Timmy slammed his baseball glove on the kitchen table.

Grandfather looked him in the eye. “You were fine when you left. What's in your glass?”

“What do you mean?”

Grandfather filled a glass with clean water. “This is your glass this morning. A new day with a clean slate.” He spooned dirt from a flower pot, stirred it into the water, handed it to Timmy.

“What am I supposed to do with this?”

“Drink it. You’re riled up after the game. This’ll cool you down.”

“It’s dirty.” Grandfather chuckled.

“Yep, but doesn’t matter.”

“It does, too.”

“What've you added to your glass?” Grandfather cocked his head.

“Well.” Timmy looked at his feet. “We took a shortcut through Mrs. Nettles yard. Really her flowerbed. When she yelled, we laughed.”

“Seems to me, you’ve some cleaning to do. First, the inside of your glass. Then clean the outside. Go to Mrs. Nettles--“

“But she’s mean--“ Grandfather held up his hand, gave Timmy one of his looks. “Yessir.”

At supper, a tired, but happy, Timmy reported. “Mrs. Nettles's a nice lady. I surprised her when I rang her doorbell. I told her I was sorry and came to clean her flower bed. You know what?” Grandfather smiled. “She helped me. Told me I did a good job.”

“I’m proud of you, son. Takes a strong person to admit they’re wrong and to right the wrong.” He ruffled Timmy’s hair. Timmy grinned.

Kingdom Thinking. Before I can right my wrong, I have to go to the Lord Jesus, ask Him to forgive me, to clean the inside of my cup. Then I go to the one I’ve wronged. But not alone. The Lord Jesus promises to love me and never leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?





Thursday, June 14, 2018

THE PROMISE

In Galatians 3:13-14, we read: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”



“What’s wrong?” Grandfather asked. Timmy plopped down at the kitchen table. “Here’s your sandwich.”

“I’m not hungry.” He pushed the plate towards the center of the table.

“Want to tell me about it?” Elbows on the table, Timmy fisted his hands.

“I’ll never amount to anything.” His forehead rested on his fists.

“Sam yelled it. When I struck out. With the bases loaded.”

“Hmm. Can’t help you there. But I can tell you one thing. We all fail. I guess you got caught in the curse of the law.”

“What’s that mean?” Timmy’s head snapped up.

“Have rules in baseball?” He nodded. “What happens when you break those rules?” Timmy’s lips thinned. “Do the rules apply to everyone or just you?” Timmy chewed on his bottom lip.

“Son, we have laws to follow. The laws are not bad. Problem is? We can’t follow them all the time.”

“What are we going to do?”

“Well, Timmy. When we fail, we’re separated. Sometimes deserve to die, or hang on a tree. But the Lord Jesus came. He died on the cross for me. For you. He took my curse on Himself so I might be blessed.”

“What’s that got to do with baseball, Grandfather?”

“Plan to play another game?” Timmy nodded. “But you said you’d never amount to anything.”

“If I”m not cursed, I’ll try again.” Timmy grinned. Grandfather chuckled, gave him a high five.

Kingdom Thinking. According to the law, I’m required to live a perfect life. I failed. Big time. But the Lord Jesus came, died on the cross, so I could receive the promise of the Spirit, be set free. He loves me with an everlasting love and promises never to leave me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?



Thursday, June 7, 2018

THE GRAFTING

In Romans 11:23-24, we read: “And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?”

“Three kinds of apples on one tree, Grandfather?”

“Yep. We’ll have a mini-orchard in our back yard, Timmy.

“We’ll use your favorite apples. Bought this apple stock with Red Delicious grafted on.” He pointed to the leaf buds.

“Looks funny. They’ll grow?”

“Yep. Ready to get to work?” Timmy nodded.

“We’ll graft Gala, and Golden Delicious apples. Hold the Gala limb for me, will you?” He turned, his voice floating over his shoulder. “The new limb is called a scion.” Timmy leaned close, watched as Grandfather cut the limb on two sides, shaped like a tongue.

 He prepared a slit in the stock, pushed the scion in place. “Now hand me the parafilm.” Timmy tilted his head. “The tape--made from paraffin. It seals in the moisture. Keeps the graft from drying out.”

Timmy held the branch steady while Grandfather applied the tape. “Now. The label.” Timmy handed it to him. “Done.”

“When will we have apples to eat?” Grandfather chuckled.

“Not for a while. The graft has to take, grow and become part of the tree. When we see leaf buds, we’ll know it’s growing.” Grandfather put his hand on Timmy’s shoulder. “This is what happens when we give our lives to the Lord. The Lord Jesus is the root stock. We’re the scions. He grafts us in. Some of us take quicker than others as we rely on His strength.”

“Will they ripen at the same time?”

“No. The plan is to have apples from mid-summer to late fall--to have plenty of fruit.”

“Yum,” Timmy said. “I can hardly wait.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus took me, grafted me into Him, the tree of life. He supplies my nourishment, my life source. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. Would you like to be grafted into His family? Come to Him. He loves you.








Thursday, May 31, 2018

WORDS


In Psalm 19:14, we read: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”


“Words are powerful. With them we can build folks up or tear them down. Or just down right confuse them.”

“What do you mean, Grandfather?”

“Years ago, while in language school, my professor told us a story I’ve never forgotten. She came to the States to study. Her mother accompanied her. Problem was, her mother didn’t speak English.

“Her mother would practice her words with her daughter before going to the market. One day, she wanted to buy a chicken to make her special dish for supper. ‘One chicken. One chicken, one chicken,’ she repeated on the way to the market. When she got to the meat department, she held up one finger.  ‘One kitchen.’”

“What happened? Did she get the chicken?” Grandfather chuckled.

“Well, Timmy. This wasn’t the first time this’d happened so the gentlemen smiled, wrapped a chicken for her.”

“Chicken. Kitchen. I can understand how she got them mixed up.”

“We must be careful our words aren’t confused.” Timmy tilted his head. “Especially when we tell folks we love the Lord Jesus, then do something unloving.”

“That’s hard.”

“Yes. It is. That’s why our verse today is so important. I want the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart to be acceptable to my Lord.”

“I do, too, Grandfather.” Grandfather smiled, hugged Timmy.

Kingdom Thinking. I have a problem. I do what I don’t want, say things without thinking. But the Lord Jesus, my Redeemer, promises to love me with an everlasting love and never leave me. He’s in the process of loving others through me. Do you need a Redeemer? He waits for you.




Thursday, May 24, 2018

THE INVITATION

In Matthew 11:28-30, we read: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

“Mail, Grandfather.” Timmy called. “Looks special, with fancy writing.”

“That fancy writing is called calligraphy, Timmy. Beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Aren’t you going to open it?”

“Not now. I’ll leave it on the kitchen table so we can look at the beautiful writing from time to time.”

“Grandfather, we won’t know what it’s about if we don’t open it.”

“True. Let’s open it!” Breaking the seal, he took out the invitation. “We’re invited to your uncle’s wedding.”

“That’ll be fun. Will my cousins be there?”

“Hope so. Receiving an invitation doesn’t guarantee they’ll accept and be there.”

“Why not? They’d miss out.”

“By the way, Timmy. Did you open the invitation on your bedside table?” Timmy ran upstairs.

“There’s no invitation there, just my Bible.” He came downstairs, shoulders drooping.

“You’re wrong about that.” Timmy cocked his head. “You have an invitation from the King of Kings to come to Him. He invites you but doesn’t make you come.”

“Oh. I never thought about it like that. Is it too late to accept his invitation?”

“Not at all.”

“Just think, Grandfather. I have two invitations. One to my cousin’s wedding. One from the King. Know what?” Grandfather shook his head. “I’m accepting both of them.”

Kingdom Thinking. I have an open invitation from the Lord Jesus. He promises to give me rest. He’ll never leave nor forsake me and He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same invitation to you. He’s gentle and promises you rest. Won’t you come?





Thursday, May 17, 2018

SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN

In Matthew 18:21-22, we read: “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven time, but up to seventy times seven.’”

 “Am I supposed to feel better if I forgive Sam, Grandfather?” Timmy stood, back stiff, arms folded. “My Sunday School teacher said we have to forgive seventy times seven. That’s a lot of times.”

“Tell me what you think about this.” Timmy sat by Grandfather.

“A king wanted to settle accounts with his servants. One was brought to him who owed millions, impossible to repay.

“Sell him, his family and all that he owns, for payment,” the king said. The servant fell on his face, begged for patience, promised to pay it all.

“I forgive you and all your debt,” the king said.

“Wow, Grandfather. That’s amazing.”

“But the servant found a fellow servant who owed him a few hundred dollars. He grabbed him by the throat. “Pay me what you owe me.” The servant fell down begged for patience, promised to pay him. He threw him into prison until he could pay.”

“Wait, Grandfather. That’s not right.” He held up his hand, continued.

“His fellow servants, upset at what the servant did, told the king.

“You wicked servant. I forgave you all your debt and you couldn’t have compassion on your fellow servant?” The king was angry. “Take him to the torturers until his debt is paid.”

“I’m confused here, Grandfather. How could the first servant be so mean?”

“He took the gift of mercy as if he deserved it. No one deserves it. When I realize what the King has forgiven me, I can forgive others.”

“Thank you, Grandfather. I’m going to tell Sam about the king.” Grandfather smiled.

Kingdom Thinking. The first servant, the selfish servant? I confess. For me, it comes naturally. But the Lord Jesus loves me with a supernatural love and promises never to leave nor forsake me. He gives forgiveness freely. Do you need forgiveness? Won’t you come to Him?










Thursday, May 10, 2018

MERCY

In Lamentations 3:22-23, we read: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”


“Every time I decide to believe James, he tricks me.”

Grandfather looked up. “What happened this time?”

“Mr. Jones said he’d pay us to help him clean out his garage. He showed us how to sort the stuff.”

“That sounds fair.”

“But, Grandfather, you don’t understand. I’d finished my part, looked for James. He’s sitting in an old rocking chair, reading a book. Happy as can be.”

Grandfather’s lips twitched. “Well, what does James usually do?”

“Goofs off. But I thought he would be different this time.”

Grandfather tilted his head. “Timmy, all of us goof off. It’s because of the Lord’s mercy I'm here. I’m not faithful but our loving Heavenly Father is always faithful.

“It’s sad when you think about it. We want to change folks for our good. You wanted James to help you, right?” Timmy nodded. “Why did you think he’d changed?”

“Don’t know. But, Grandfather? Wouldn’t it be easier for everyone to do his part?”

“It would. But we’re here to show the Lord’s mercies as we live day to day. Be kind, help your neighbor--because the Lord loves us, not to get something out of it.”

“Oh. That changes things, huh?”

“It does indeed.” He put his arm around his grandson. “Come. Let’s get a snack.”

Kingdom Thinking. His mercies are new every morning. He loves me and promises never to leave nor forsake me. His Compassion extends to you, too. Won’t you come to Him?







Thursday, May 3, 2018

THE BRIDGE

In Proverbs 3:5-6, we read: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

“You’ve got to be kidding!” I peered at the chasm. A lazy river snaked its way to the Caribbean. Not quite as deep as the Grand Canyon, but might as well be.

“Like that jeep?” My husband nodded.

He had pulled over to the side of the highway. The bridge wasn’t completed. “Guess we’ll have to make the trip to the island another time.” 

But as we sat there, a jeep pulled up. The driver got out, pulled some boards from the side of the road, placed them across the unfinished part. He lined up his tires with the boards, drove across the bridge.

“If that guy can do it, so can we.”

“No way. This old Buick across those boards? The weight will cause the boards to...” In the backseat of the car, our four children, eyes wide, looked from their dad to me.

“You drive. I’ll walk across the boards to the finished part, direct you. Pay attention to my hands.” My husband turned to the children in the back seat. “Y’all need to sit on the floor and be quiet so your mama can concentrate.

Really? Seemed to me, the builders of the bridge took into consideration that some, ahem, people would try to cross the bridge before completion. At the edge of the highway, a gap, completed bridge, another gap, to the road on the other side. 

Danger signs? Pshaw. Who needed them?  I don’t remember much about the crossing. Much of our visit on the island blurred due to my fretting about our return trip--same bridge.


Kingdom Thinking. I know I’m supposed to trust in the Lord with all my heart. But, it’s hard. Many times impossible. So the Lord Jesus promises never to leave me and loves me with an everlasting love. No matter what bridge you’re crossing in your life, you can trust Him. He’ll direct your paths if you let Him.  

Thursday, April 26, 2018

HACKED

In James 1:16-17, we read: “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadows of turning.”

“You’re not going to be happy.” Timmy threw his test paper on the kitchen table. Grandfather picked it up, frowned.

“I thought you studied for the test. You needed an A to pull up your average.”

“It’s not my fault, Grandfather.”

“Really?”

“Yes. I studied the important stuff,” Timmy mumbled.

“The materials the teacher told you to study?”

“Um, no. I studied from the sheet Dan gave me--his notes.”

“Let me see the notes.”

“But, Grandfather. They’re private. Not supposed to show them to anyone.”

“‘Private’ became null and void when you failed the test. The notes, please.”

Grandfather looked over his glasses. “Son, you memorized the answers?” Timmy nodded.
“You’ve been hacked. Someone wanted you to fail with this wrong information. I hope you didn’t pay much for them.” Timmy’s chin rested on his chest.

“I’ll take my own notes. And I’ll study hard. I promise.” Timmy sniffed.

“That’s the spirit. With that attitude, you’ll get it done. And I’m here to help.”

“You’ll help? After what I did?”

“Of course. Now. Let’s get to work.”

Kingdom Thinking. I’ve been hacked. The enemy bombards me with wrong answers, half truths, then inserts fear and doubt. But the Lord Jesus is Truth. He promises never to leave me and He loves me with an everlasting love. Have you been hacked? The Lord Jesus offers you good gifts. Gifts to prosper, not to fail. Won’t you come to Him?









Thursday, April 19, 2018

THE POWER SOURCE

In Psalm 68:35, we read: “O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places. The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people.”

“Wow. Look at that car, Grandfather!” The car rolled up to the curb where they stood. The driver got out, walked over to them.

“What do you think about this?” The driver patted the roof. “And take a look inside. Has every bell and whistle imaginable.”

“May I sit inside?” He checked Timmy’s shoes, nodded. Timmy slid in, put his hands on the steering wheel. “Wish Johnny could see me now.”

Mr. Lester, the local mechanic walked up. “I’d like to see under the hood.”

“In a minute,” the driver answered.  “Let me show you some of the new features. Check out the leather seats, the leg room...” He rattled the attributes of the car like an auctioneer.

Mr. Lester checked his watch. “Don’t have time for anymore of your talk. Just want to check out the engine.”

“Young man,” the driver said to Timmy. “Pull that latch for me. No. That’s the trunk. Yeah. That’s the one.” Timmy pulled it.

“This car doesn’t a battery,” growled Mr. Lester. "How’d you get here anyway?”

“Just coasted down the hill. Some folks up there wanted to see how long it’d take you to figure out the joke.” The men up the hill hooted. Mr. Lester grinned, waved to his friends.

“Grandfather,” Timmy asked on their way home. “Those guys went to a lot of trouble to tease Mr. Lester.”

“Guess so and he fell for it. But without the battery, the car wouldn’t take you anywhere, no matter how fancy the car.”  Timmy nodded. “But, you have to make sure you have the right power source. Remember our Bible verse this morning?”

“The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people,” Timmy said. Grandfather smiled.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus is my Power source. He promises to love me with an everlasting love and to never leave nor forsake me. He gives His power and strength to me because I chose Him. He offers the same to you. Won’t you choose Him?



















Thursday, April 12, 2018

UPSIDE DOWN

In Psalm 68:5 & Psalm 146:9, we read: “A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.”

“Pass the pepper, please.”

“Oh, you'd like the pepper?”

“Yes, please.” Six-year-old Annie reached for the pepper shaker.

“Allow me.” Bubba, sitting at her right, shook a generous amount on her grits.

“Here. Let me add some.” George, on her left, took the pepper shaker, gave it a hard shake. The top fell, pepper covering her food.

“Annie. Something wrong?” Head bowed, her bottom lip trembling, she sat still. Uncle looked at his sons, then Annie’s plate.

“Pass me Annie’s plate, Bubba.” He divided the grits. “Bubba, this half's for your supper, and James, the other is yours. Eat all of it.” Then he served Annie a fresh plate.

“Thank you, Uncle.” She swiped at the unbidden tears with her napkin.

“Wait, Grandfather, why were the boys so mean to Annie? Hadn’t she just come to live with them?”

“She had, due to the death of her mother, Timmy. But I assure you, the boys treated their new sister with kindness after that.”

“How do you know?” Timmy tilted his head.

“Because I learned the lesson well. Remember what the family called me?”

“Bubba. You’re that Bubba?” Grandfather nodded. “Uh, were you turned upside down?”

“Better believe it and I’ll never forget it. The Lord takes care of widows and orphans. Woe to them that take advantage of them. I’m proof of that!”

Kingdom Thinking. In this upside down world, the Lord, indeed, takes care of widows and orphans. My mother told this story many times. Her aunt and uncle adopted her after she lost her mother, welcomed her into their family. Our Lord does the same. He adopted me, promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him?






Thursday, April 5, 2018

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD

In Matthew 23:27-28, we read: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”

“Do we have to take out all this stuff, Grandfather?”

“I want this closet to be like new, Timmy. Hand me the crowbar.”

“But I like the shelves in back. I put my stuff on them.”

“We’ll put in new shelves. Good sturdy ones that don’t sag.”

“Something smells rotten, Timmy.” Grandfather cocked his head. “What’s on the bottom shelf?”

Timmy hesitated. “I kept the golden egg from the Easter egg hunt. It was so pretty. I put it on a nest I sprayed gold.”

“You may have put it in the back shelf but the smell is filling the room. Hand me that garbage bag.” He turned as Timmy went downstairs.

“I’ll wait on the steps for you.

"I can’t believe something that pretty can smell so bad, Grandfather.” He dipped his head.  "I’m sorry.”

“Like a lot of us, son, you were deceived. Just because something's beautiful, doesn’t make it good. I’ll join you downstairs when I get this contained.”

Later, sitting on the back steps, Timmy said. “Guess that was a dumb thing to do, huh?”

“I’ve done some dumb things myself.” Grandfather chuckled. “Just don’t talk about it. But it doesn’t hurt to share a few things with folks.”

“Really?”

“When we confess our faults, others find it easier to identify. Especially when it’s something they’ve done.” Timmy tilted his head. “You’re not the first to hide eggs.” Grandfather chuckled. “Your aunt hid her entire basket under her bed one Easter. She wanted to hatch colored chicks.”

“What happened?”

“Had to clean up the mess.” Timmy giggled. "Remember. Because something looks lovely on the outside, is no guarantee it’s good on the inside.”

Kingdom Thinking. Dumb things? Easy to do. The good news? I have a Savior, the Lord Jesus, who knows me and loves me and promises never to leave me. He is the One who indwells me, cleanses me--from the inside out. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

LITTLE LOST KITTEN

In John 3:16-17, we read: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

“I don’t understand, Grandfather. How do I know God loves me?”

Grandfather leaned back in his porch rocker, stared across the yard.

“Timmy, did you hear how Sara rescued her kitten?” Timmy shook his head.

“One day, as she drove home, someone threw a paper bag into the medium of a busy four lane street. The wind from passing cars buffeted the bag, causing it to twist and turn. The bag opened, out popped the head of a kitten.” Timmy sucked in his breath.

“What happened?”

“Sara maneuvered into the medium, put on her flashers, jumped out. She grabbed the bag and headed for the vet. The mewing terrified kitten, after treatment, went home with her.

“That kitten doesn’t know much about love, not even the Four Spiritual Laws, but he knows Sara reached down and rescued him. For that, he loves her and trusts her in an amazing way.”

“Wow. How can anyone be so mean? That’s some story.” Grandfather nodded.

“I was like Sara’s kitten. Lost in the world, the traffic whizzing by, paying no attention. But the Lord Jesus did. He stepped out of His heavenly home, came to earth as a lowly man, to rescue me, a sinner. He reached down and picked me up from the world’s harsh traffic. I don’t understand why He did, but I know I am eternally grateful.”

“Am I one of His kittens, Grandfather?”

“You are. You know He loves you.” Grandfather pulled Timmy into a hug.

Kingdom Thinking. When I think about the little kitten, I remember that I, too, was in the same predicament. Traffic zipped by, causing the bag to twist and turn. Then the Lord Jesus picked me up, rescued me. He loves me with an everlasting love and He promises never to leave me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?


Thursday, March 22, 2018

THE INCIDENT

In 1 John 2:1, we read: “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

“Timmy, would you get the door?” Timmy’s shoulders slumped as he shuffled to the door.

“Your grandfather at home?” Timmy opened the door wide for the policeman to come in. “Guess you know why I’m here.”

“Yes sir.”

“Jacob. Good to see you. Come in and have a cup of coffee.” At his nod, Grandfather took cups down from the kitchen cupboard, poured the coffee. “Not a social visit?”

“Nope. Had a little incident at Mr. Snyder’s grocery this morning. Some boys took liberties...”

“Timmy, too?” The officer nodded. Grandfather sighed. “What’s Snyder want me to do?”

The officer’s blue eyes twinkled. “He knows Timmy and he trusts you. He said you’ll do the right thing.” The officer stood. “Thanks for the coffee. I’ll let myself out.”

“Timmy?” He walked in, eyes downcast. “Understand there was a problem at Snyder’s grocery.” Timmy nodded. “Need you to look me in the eye, son. Thank you. That’s better.” He pulled out a kitchen chair. “Sit. Tell me what happened.” He listened to Timmy’s story.

“You didn’t want to disappoint your friends? The point is, you did wrong.” Grandfather glanced around the room. “Where’re your friends now?” Grandfather took a deep breath.

“Timmy, you confessed your sin to me but that’s not enough, is it?” Timmy shook his head. “We have to make it right.”

“We? But Grandfather, I’m the guilty one.”

“Right. But you belong to me. Let’s go have a talk with Mr. Snyder. If you’re truly sorry, maybe he’ll forgive the deed by having you work for him to cover the damages.”

Timmy threw his arms around Grandfather’s neck. “Thank you. I’ll never do it again.”

Kingdom Thinking. Being a sinner, I sin. The Lord Jesus knows and agrees sin must be dealt with. I belong to Him, the righteous One. Being righteous, He paid for my sin. He is my Advocate with the Father. He guides me the way I should go. Do you have an Advocate? He loves you and waits for you.









Thursday, March 15, 2018

NEW MERCY


In Lamentations 3:22-24, we read: "Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, Therefore I hope in Him!'"

"How can you say 'God is good?' He takes away everything I love."

Aunt Janie sat on the edge of the bed. She took Cing in her arms, let her cry. As the crying slowed, she handed her a tissue.

"I feel the same at times."

"You do?" Cing reared back, stared at her aunt. "But you're always smiling."

"Everyone goes through pain and suffering. It's not whether we have pain, it's how we deal with it." She propped the pillows so they could get comfortable.

"I don't understand. Why can't life be easy?"

"Then we wouldn't have a story to tell. It would be 'Once upon a time they lived. The end."

"That's not a story. Nothing happened."

"You're right. You need action. And in our life story, things happen and we react. We have our ups and downs. Which story would you prefer. 'She walked home.' Or 'She tripped on a rock, fell down, ran home..."

"I get it."

"I've make many mistakes, Cing. But because of the Lord's great mercy, I'm not consumed or destroyed. We are His children and the Lord is always faithful. So I hope in Him!"

"Even when you don't feel like it?"

"Especially when I don't feel like it. So I put my hope in the Lord."

"Thank you, Aunt Janie, for loving me." Aunt Janie hugged her. "I'll hope in the Lord, too."

Kingdom Thinking. What about you? Do you know the Lord's mercies are new every morning? He loves you with an everlasting love and promises never to leave nor forsake you. Won't you come to Him?








Thursday, March 8, 2018

DECEIVED

In Galations 6:7, we read: "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."


"What do you have there, Timmy?" Grandfather watched him stuff something into his jeans pocket.

"Nothing."

"Nothing is bulging your pocket. Let's see." Grandfather walked over to Timmy as he pulled out a plastic bag. "Seeds?"

"Not just any seeds, Grandfather. These are magic beans. See them moving? Sam let me have five of them. He got them from a magician."

"How much did they cost you?" Grandfather sat on the top step.

"Oh, they didn't cost me any money. I traded my knife."

Grandfather sighed. "Sorry, son. You've been deceived."

"What do you mean, Grandfather?"

"You've been tricked, swindled. Hopefully, you'll learn the lesson treasure doesn't come cheap. Someone has to pay the price."

With his knife, Grandfather opened one of the seeds. "Here's your magic. A larvae hatches from an egg a moth laid. When the beans get warm, the larvae moves or jumps to get to a cooler spot.

"The bean with the open end reminds me of the empty tomb. The enemy thought he'd won. The Lord Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried. But it was all according to God's plan. On that third day, the door to the tomb opened, the Lord Jesus rose from the dead. He paid the price for all sin--"

"Wow. Grandfather, can I tell Sam about the empty tomb. That these beans helped me to see a miracle."

"You surely can, son. That's a great way to show God is not mocked."

Kingdom Thinking. Have you ever been deceived? And poked fun at? I don't like that feeling at all. But the Lord Jesus knows what's going on. He can use all of the mockery and deceit to bring about good. He promises never to leave me and to love me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won't you come?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

SINKING

In Matthew 14:28-30, we read: "And Peter answered Him and said, 'Lord, if it's You, command me to come to You on the water.' So He said, 'Come.' And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, 'Lord, save me!'"

"What's the matter, Timmy?" Grandfather sat by him.

"I was doing good, but then I wasn't."

Grandfather waited a minute, said, "Want to tell me about it?"

"Remember Jake? He made fun of me. Says only sissies go to Sunday School and church. That real men don't need a crutch."

"Let me tell you about a big guy, a real man. He made his living as a fisherman. One day, the Lord Jesus called him to fish for men."

"Whoa, Grandfather. What's this got to do with Jake?" Grandfather held up his hand, palm out.

"One day, the fishermen shoved their boat out into the waters. By evening a storm came up, the waves tossing the boat. They were terrified. They say Jesus walking on the water and were more afraid. Until He called out to them, 'It's I. Don't be afraid.' That's when this big tough guy, Peter, says, 'if it's you, command me to come to You.' So Peter crawled out of the boat and walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he made the mistake of looking down. Saw the waves licking his feet, began to sink."

"Wait, Grandfather. What you're saying is, when the waves get strong and are tossing me about, I'm not supposed to pay attention to them?' Timmy shook his head. "That's hard, really hard."

"I agree. In fact, it's impossible." Timmy's sucked in a deep breath. "Unless the hand that reaches for you, is the hand of the Lord Jesus." He released his breath with a sigh.

"We all need a Savior, Timmy. One who comes to us in the storms of life."

"Even you, Grandfather?"

Grandfather smiled. "Especially me, Timmy. We never out grow our need for the Lord Jesus."

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus came to me in a storm. He lifted me up out of the turbulent waters. He promises to love me with an everlasting love and never to leave nor forsake me. Do you have storms in your life? Call out to the Lord Jesus. He'll take your hand and lift you up.








Thursday, February 22, 2018

ONE STEP AT A TIME

In Jeremiah 10:23, we read: “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”

“Grandfather. I can’t see where we’re going.” Fog had rolled in, blurring their surroundings.

“Don’t panic, Timmy. Can you see a few steps in front of you?”

“Yes sir. But I can’t see far.”

“Trust me. I know this path. Watch me, not the things around you.”

“Are you sure?”

Grandfather knelt in front of Timmy, put his hands on his shoulders. “Look at me. Have I ever wanted harm to come to you? I love you, son. I know where we’re going.” He chuckled. “Hang on to my coat tails.”

“Those aren’t coat tails. It’s your jacket tied around your waist.” Timmy giggled.

“Works for me.” Grandfather winked at him.

“Works for me, too, Grandfather.”  He latched on to Grandfather’s jacket, head up, steps steady.

“Maybe this is a lesson for both of us." Timmy tilted his head.

“Don’t understand.”

“When you thought we were lost in this fog, fear rolled in, too. But fear causes confusion. We can’t think straight. We need--.”

“A coat tail to hang on to?” He tugged on Grandfather’s jacket.

“You’re right.” Grandfather chuckled. “But not any coat tail. We need to hang on to the Lord Jesus. He promises never to leave nor forsake us. He loves us--forever!”

Kingdom Thinking. Many times I’ve struggled along the path of life, the fog closing in. I must remember I’m not alone. I’m with the one who created the path. He knows the way but most important, He knows me and loves me just as I am.

He loves you with His everlasting love. He promises never to leave nor forsake you. Won’t you come to Him?


Thursday, February 15, 2018

RESCUED

In John 8:31-32, we read: “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’”

“I don’t believe you.” Jake’s face twisted as if he smelled something rotten.

“It’s the truth.” Timmy crossed his arms. “The water’s swift after the rains. The canoe might turn over.”

Jake stuck his hands under his armpits, flapped them. “Squawk, Squawk.”

“I’m not scared.”

“Prove it.”

An hour later, Timmy shoved off. “You steer with your paddle until we get out in the current...” But Jake dropped his paddle, grabbed the gunnels.

“I’m out of here.” Eyes wide, Jake jumped into the water. The canoe tipped, but didn’t swamp. Almost to the bank, Jake yelled. “Help. My foot’s caught.” Timmy steered the canoe back to the landing.

“Going for help, Jake. Be right back.” Timmy found Grandfather, explained what’d happened.

“Okay, Jake, I need you to stop thrashing. Let the water help you. Know you’re cold. We’re gonna get you out.” Grandfather’s voice soothed Jake, calmed him. “Hang on to this rope.” Grandfather clipped and cut the web of roots, pulled Jake free. He fell into Grandfather’s arms.

“Th-ank y-you,” Jake said, his teeth chattering. “This blanket feels good.” Grandfather patted his back. “I’m sorry.”

“Glad you weren’t hurt, Jake. Why’d you do this?”

“I wanted to prove I wasn’t scared.”

“It’s okay to be scared. It’s what we do with our fear that counts. Fear can cause us to ask for help. If we call out to the Lord Jesus, He comes, shows us the truth, sets us free.”

“He’ll do that for me?” Grandfather nodded. “All I have to do is ask Him?” Another nod. “Will you help me?” Grandfather smiled, put his arm around Jake, bowed his head.

Kingdom Thinking. How will I know the truth? I find it easy to be deceived. But the Lord Jesus who is truth has promised never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Do you need to be rescued? He waits for you.














Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A VALENTINE TALE - THE POWER OF A BOX OF CANDY


            “Teacher. Someone’s at the door.”  And there he stood, looking in the top half of the glass door. Before I could get to the door, he held up a huge red box of Valentine candy with a red rose on top.

            Turning it side to side, he wiggled his eyebrows to increase the effect. The eighth grade science class roared with laughter. My face matched the color of the rose.

            “Teacher has a boy friend,” they chanted. I opened the door, invited him. The class quieted as I introduced him.


            “Can you keep a secret?” Each student nodded, his voice infusing trust. “She is my valentine but not everyone knows…you are among the favored ones.” Every chin in the class tipped up, including mine. He held them in the palm of his hand, answered their questions about his flying, then shook everyone’s hand before he left. He’d won twenty five friends in a matter of minutes. And it all started with a box of candy.