Gary is a long-distance friend in Minnesota who recently shared this story of what our world needs more of . . . spontaneous, un-selective random acts of kindness.
“Last week when it was really cold (-60 wind chill) a lady I know invited a stranger to sleep on her couch. A truck driver was going to curl up in his idling truck in the gas station parking lot. Different skin color, 600 miles from home, first job out of prison, not used to the cold weather but very used to the coldness of racial tension. By the time he left, the whole family (even her husband) had adopted him and he them.
I love her explanation. “I would never do a thing like that on my own but I just felt moved to tap this guy in front of me in the convenience store line and ask him if he had a place to stay tonight. Then I called my husband and told him we had company for supper and overnight. I knew it was Jesus moving me, I just knew I was safe, so I would not take no for an answer from the trucker or my husband.” A funny-moving story in real life not many will hear, but is somewhat common in some circles.
So, picture me this America. Land of spacious skies, freedom and home of the brave. At least you Jesus followers…how about “Love one anotheras I have loved you” John 13:34
Turns out our truck driver had found and followed Jesus in prison, but was adrift in the big cold world not having found any support. He found God’s warming love from an unlikely stranger on one of the coldest nights winter could bring. That saga will continue…”
“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
Some 500 hundred years ago, Michel de Montaigne said: “My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.“ In 2015, long before Covid added to this world’s worried stress overload, an article published in the now-closed Huff Post reported on a study that confirms Montaigne’s humorous, but sadly spot-on quip.
In this study, subjects were asked to write down their worries over an extended period of time and then identify how their perceived misfortunes actually materialized. The results were as follows:
85 % of what subjects worried about never happened.
With the 15 % that did happen, 79 % of subjects discovered either they could handle the difficulty better than expected, or the difficulty taught them a lesson worth learning.
This means that 97 % of worries consists of self-inflicted, mind punishing, fearful exaggerations and misconceptions.
That leaves just 3 %of legitimate worries that most likely will happen just as imagined, regardless of whatever mitigating interventions may be implemented.
Perhaps there’s a tad of subtle credibility in Mad Magazine’s smiling, half-wit icon, Alfred E. Neuman’s motto. . . What, Me Worry?However, Alfred’s humorous motto is unrealistic, wishful thinking.
Truth is, some 2,000 years ago, One who carries the worries of each of us stated worry’s ultimate, one-day-at-a-time, remedy:
“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:31
Yesterday Kermit was relaxing at his VRBO (Vacation Rock By Owner). Overnight ‘climate change’ set-in dropping 4 “ of white stuff and the temps 40 degrees. Kermit quickly abandoned his rock, checking into Muddy Bottoms to hide out for the remainder of the winter.
Uncertainty is a certainty of Life. The new year has arrived with devastation . . . surging pandemic numbers; tornadoes; blizzards; hurricane force winds bellowing raging fires, all wreaking a wake of destruction and tragedy. Tomorrow, but for the grace of God, could find any of us ravaged by such unforeseen ‘climate’ changes.
Thankfully, unlike Kermit, we have the option to face this world’s ‘climate’ changes and avoid checking into in Muddy Bottoms to hide out . . . we can permanently book a VRBO (VerifiedRock By Owner), verified since the dawn of creation to withstand any disaster . . .
“Rock of ages , cleft for me,
May I hide myself in Thee.”
Augustus M. Toplady
Be Blessed, and Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!
Yesterday’s Christmas Eve’s sunset pic was sent with a subtle double entendre one brother noticed. The steeple on the little country church has no cross atop it, but in glowing sunset background you’ll see God provided one.
So often in the chaotic pace of today’s world the subtle traces of God’s majesty goes unnoticed, but He notices every subtle nuance of our lives.
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” – Matthew 10:30
This afternoon’s Christmas Eve church service and sermon left us blessed. The radiant sunset brushed across the heavens behind the little country church steeple on the way home left us in awe . . . God’s spectacular silent sermon of Christmas splendor.
All the best to you and yours for all His best this Christmas – Merry Christmas!
From our Smoky Mountain home up on the mountain – down in the ‘holler – by the ‘crick’ . . . to wherever you and yours may be this Christmas . . . we wish you the Gift of the One who left Heaven for earth 2,000 years ago to bring “Peace on earth, good will to men” to everyone who chooses to accept the only eternal promise of hope and joy this world has.
Last week, some 5,000 miles north-by-northwest, found me gliding through freshly fallen snow. Shortly thereafter, some 35,000 ft. above terra-firma, found me zooming through the skies at 600 mph in high-speed-aluminum tubing. This afternoon, some 2,000 ft. up in the Great Smoky Mountains, found me shuffling through fall’s fallen leaves . . . fictional Star Trek travel fantasy a mere century ago.
Walking on the moon is old history. Today, there are people are living above the earth in a high-tech mini-condo, and some everyday citizens (admittedly wealthy ones 😊) are taking short jaunts into space for a quick, high-altitude adrenaline rush.
As mind-boggling as today’s travel would have been to Lewis and Clark trudging through the wilderness in the early 1800s, imagine the travel future our children will experience … living on the moon … up close and personal exploration of our solar system’s other planets … traveling the expanses the Milky Way … ???
Yet, each of us has already accomplished 2 of the 3 legs of the most mind-boggling travel journey of all … Heaven to Earth. The last leg of the journey remains to travel, and has but one of two final, forever destinations . . . the choice is ours alone to decide.
It was already accomplished some 2,000 years ago, and multitudes have since followed:
“In My Father’s house there are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I, am you may be also.” – John 14:2-3
The third leg of our journey has been paid-in full for anyone who accepts the offer and trusts the One who has already made it. Mind-boggling? … For Sure! … Prove it! … Can’t! … that’s why it’s called Faith. Hope to see you there someday.
Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come! . . . Mind-Boggling!
A ½” of virgin, unmarked snow . . . a cool, gentle breeze . . . a pinking hour sunset brushed across distant snowcaps – the wilderness wonder postcard God created for me to glide through before hanging up my skis and heading off to rejoin my life partner in the Great Smoky Mountains tomorrow.
I’ve missed her, and Lord willing, come Spring we’ll return together to the solitude of this awesome corner of creation with its vast wilderness reaches, rugged magnificence, and primal beauty John Muir once called “The Manuscripts of God”.