Win Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin! Easy Quiz

To win a shiny, new copy of Jo’s recent book, Give us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide for Spiritual Living and Growing, a read and guide for both men and women, be the first to answer this short quiz correctly.

Don’t panic over the literary questions. You can find the answers on the internet.

This is open to readers worldwide. A big thank you to all of you loyal followers from the beginning in the U.S., Canada, England, Australia and the Middle East.  God bless you.

A. The “Golden Rule” is generally paraphrased, “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.”

Who was the original author?

  1. Jesus
  2. Abraham Lincoln
  3. Martin Luther
  4. Charles Dickens

B. Which novel is an allegory of Christ?

  1. Lord of the Rings
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia
  3. Twilight
  4. The Christmas Carol

C. What was the purpose of Jesus teaching with parables?

  1. To provide a “hook” to get the audience’s attention.
  2. Because he was good at it and knew a lot of stories.
  3. Because he was teaching hard concepts so he put it in words and pictures that the people would understand.
  4. Because he wanted them to remember his commandments and follow them.

D. In this fictional story of a poor cobbler in a basement apartment, he serves three sets of surprise visitors on a cold winter’s day—only to find out that Christ himself visited that day.

Who wrote it?

  1. Hans Christian Anderson ~ “The Little Cobbler”
  2. Sara Teasdale ~ “A Winter’s Night”
  3. S. Lewis ~ “Kindness to Angels Unawares”
  4. Leo Tolstoy ~ “Where Love Is, There is God Also”

E. This teaches the idea:

  1. Keep tea, toast and hot cocoa on hand because the poor will always be with you and may just show up. It would be a good idea to dust and vacuum, too.
  2. Whenever you show kindness and compassion for others, you are serving and pleasing Christ.
  3. Winters can be brutal and you may need to open your door to strangers.
  4. Be content in all your circumstances even when you are poor.

The winner will be announced next week. Happy holidays!

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and her recent Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now in print and e-book on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords. She is author of several other books, including award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, www.button-to-god.com.]

 

 

 

Seeing as Well as a Moose with Cataracts? Lean on God by Jo Russell

Laura adjusted her eyeglasses as she left the eye doctor’s office for a routine checkup. Her vision was fine, but at the moment, she was seeing about as well as a moose with cataracts.

I hate getting old. I can’t believe that dilating my eyes would turn out like this! She shook her head to see if it would make any difference and bring things into focus. It didn’t. Oh well, I’ll just stop at my favorite fabric store while the drops wear off. It’s only a little way away.

Getting into her F-150 Mustang, she dawdled along in the slow lane and started turning into the fabric store parking lot. But flashing lights and a siren got her attention even though the car behind was little more than a grey blur.

The young highway patrolman peered at her license as he noted the bespectacled senior driver. Laura began, “Now, I know I wasn’t speeding, so why did you stop me?”

“Ma’am, are you all right? I’m pretty sure this Mustang goes faster than 30 miles per hour.”

“That’s what my highway patrol friends tell me. They usually stop me for speeding.”

“Well, you weren’t speeding, but you were going too slow. That’s ‘impeding traffic’ in cop terms.”

“Oh, well that’s a first. I just got my eyes dilated and can’t see very well. I’m waiting for the drops to wear off.”

“Why didn’t you get your husband to drive you? You’re Harold’s wife, right?”

“Yes, but he’s playing golf today. Besides, I’ve never had this happen before.”

He talked with her a while, then offered, “I will follow you home this time.”

Laura, the dawdling F-150 Mustang and the highway patrolman arrived intact shortly after. He walked her right to the door. Laura and her law endorsement escort got more attention in the neighborhood than the Christmas parade.

Protection and guidance: a real need each day.

King David wrote, “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long.” [Psalm 25:4-5]

It’s a well-founded hope to be led by a guide that can see ahead no matter what the weather or conditions. There are times in our journey home that we may only be able to see as well as a moose with cataracts. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to let a divine hand guide us? Leaning on God and looking to the shining light of Jesus for guidance, we are gifted with both protection and guidance. That divine vision and direction is always clear, totally immune to dilating eye drops and dawdling Mustangs.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and her recent Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now in print and e-book on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords. She is author of several other books, including award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, www.button-to-god.com.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fast Food Everywhere, But Not a Bite to Eat by Jo Russell

Fast food. What a great idea! At the time the Israelites left fertile Goshen along the Nile River in Egypt, they thought that’s what they were getting. None knew that they were leaving fish, onions and garlic behind for generations to come.

God had predicted they would be entering a land of milk and honey. They might have imagined toasted flatbread spread with honey, much like Native American fry bread. Add to that, simmering stews rich with vegetables and meat that could later be made into pita bread wraps. Wow!

But God had in mind a greater lesson. Freedom from centuries of slavery brought the Israelites on a long trek through the desert. They had to depend on him day by day. For even with a magnifying glass, finding edible plants in the Desert of Sin was challenging. It was known for stone, sand, sky and beautiful sunsets. Today, with a good irrigation system, the barren landscape  might have potential as a luxurious winter golf resort. But not in those days!

No more baked tilapia with butter and garlic!  No thick soups full of meat, onions and seasonings. With the annual rainfall at less than an inch and a half, and no rain between June and October, even drinking water was hard to find.

The camp cooks were totally frustrated.

“Feeding this demanding mob is impossible!” complained one. At about a million, the evacuees from Egypt might have populated a medium-sized metro area these days. Just like today, there seemed to be about as many dietary demands as people. It was hard on the cooks.

“Whoever thought the doctors and people could come up with such ridiculous diets?” another cook complained.

Meanwhile, the crowd’s comments might have been notable, but apparently didn’t make it into the book of Exodus.

“But I can’t have white flour! Everything has to be gluten free!”

“No pita bread for me – or almonds, either!”

“The doctor says I can’t have dairy products.”

“No citrus fruit for me!” another might cry.

“Everything has to be sugar free for me. No sugar or dates!”

“I have to be on a low-salt diet.”

“Cucumbers give me gas!”

“Pomegranates have too many seeds!”

Not that anyone would find a pomegranate or a cucumber for three or four hundred miles. No worries.

God then provided manna. “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. “[Exodus 16:4 NIV]

He explained that it was a test to see if the people were ready to follow his instructions and lean on him completely. No baked tilapia. No onions. No dairy products.

They ground it up and made it into pancakes.

Even with all the dietary needs of the crowd, God’s food from heaven met their physical and dietary needs of the crowd–just as it does today.

And even in the light of dietary restrictions, God offers his bounty in these words from Jesus, God’s son, “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

[Matthew 6:25-26 NIV]

If you worry about food allergies and restrictions as you peruse the grocery shelves, think about how God provides so many choices through every challenge. Value yourself and his bounty, as each day is a gift. He is still raining down food from Heaven for you.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and her recent Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now in print and e-book on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords. She is author of several other books, including award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, www.button-to-god.com.]

 

 

Joy and Thanksgiving for Daily Gifts and a Purple Lincoln by Jo Russell

Joy at Thanksgiving. Fat chance of that, thought third grade teacher Miss Becker. She was far from feeling it. She had to finish this lesson on money and the economy before the excited children sprinted off to enjoy the holiday break.

As she noticed the permanently scuffed wooden floors, desks leftover from days when students dipped pens and pigtails in ink, and the stubborn windows that refused to open properly during the summer or close completely during the winter, she sighed.

It would be nice to work in a better neighborhood and more modern school. Maybe next year.

But when her class wrote out their thanks, many wrote, “You are my favorite teacher, Miss. Becker. I love you!” and “Thanks for being our teacher. You are so nice!”

That’s music to a teacher’s ears. Miss Becker smiled and was thankful. I have a job. It wasn’t easy. But the children here are precious.

Another bonus of this old school was that the children all had jackets and sweaters. In poorer schools, the students had few. These children bundled in the warm garments during the winter from the time they left home until they stepped in the front door again. All had jackets and sweaters.

As Mrs. Becker scanned the notes of thanks on the bulletin board, she choked down tears. One wee girl had written, “I’m thankful for my Grandma and Grandpa. They love me.” That was from a child whose abusive parents abandoned her, leaving grandparents to raise her from the time she was two.

With blustery winds gusting outside, all the little ones in this class burst with smiles and joy. Thanksgiving break was here! The paper turkeys decorated the walls with red, yellow and orange tail feathers, a reminder of the food, family and fun ahead!

“I’m thankful for my mom and dad and sometimes my baby brother.” Another wrote.

Miss Becker continued to pull the children’s attention back to finish her lesson, “Most people are not rich and they are not poor. They are in the middle. I am guessing that most of your families have a Ford or a Chevy like I do. Does anyone here have a Cadillac or a Lincoln?

Penny’s hand went up. “It’s a Lincoln. A purple one.”

“Purple? Lincolns are usually black, beige or white. How did you get a purple one?”

“It was white and all scruffy and my dad fixed it up. It runs good. A couple of people gave Dad some paint, like grey and red, and he mixed it all together and got purple. It’s the only purple one I’ve ever seen! I’m thankful we get to ride to my grandparent’s house in the purple Lincoln for Thanksgiving!”

Mrs. Becker reflected on the leaky windows, cold and scuffed up classroom, and Penny’s purple Lincoln.

She realized as the children did that with love and gratitude, everything is colored in a spirit of joy and thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is an attitude that can infuse each day of the entire year. Beginning a day with gratitude and thanks to God is a healthy habit mentally and spiritually.

Jesus himself teaches the pattern of prayer of praise and thanksgiving with what is commonly called, “The Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6:10 [NIV].

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

The prayer begins with praise, honor and thanksgiving for the King of Kings! Just as the children in this classroom experienced, God had provided them day by day with coats, food, care, and love, as he does us.

Life can be an adventure wrapped up in an attitude love and thanksgiving ~ even if you don’t drive a purple Lincoln. Give thanks each day!

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and her recent Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now in print and e-book on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords. She is author of several other books, including award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, www.button-to-god.com.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where is the Phone? Where is God? by Jo Russell

 

Like a circus performer on a tightrope, newly widowed Rita struggled with her phone and the key for the apartment while juggling a bulging bag of frozen vegetables in one hand and a tipsy sack of paper towels and napkins in the other.  What would it take to get in the groceries before the first snow fall?

I need a hotel-type luggage cart —or six teenaged boys.  No cart. The grandsons live  far away now.  I guess the only way left to do it is the hard way—two bags at a time.   

Day by day, she lamented the loss of her long-time sweetheart and husband.

I sure miss Sam! All those years, we had such a system. I shopped, he brought in the groceries and put them away for me. He helped me so much! So many ways I miss him!

Just as she managed to close the door and open the freezer, her cell phone rang. She finished the call, put away the frozen foods and headed downstairs for more of the sacks.

Collapsing in a chair an hour later, Rita felt a sense of accomplishment. I really did it myself this time!

But after a rest, Rita wondered as she looked at the bags on the counter, Where in all of this is my phone?

Another hour later, after much looking and not much else, she was frantic. “Elsie,” she asked her next door neighbor. “I can’t find my phone and I’ve looked everywhere. I think it’s in the apartment. Could you please call me?”

“Sure, Rita, anything to help! I’ll help you find it.”

Both could hear the muffled ring of the phone as soon as they entered Rita’s apartment.  Elsie followed her ears while Rita checked again under the sofa cushions.  Elsie opened the freezer. There between the green beans and the limas like a veggie and tech sandwich was Rita’s ringing phone. The device was like the Pony Express, getting the message out through rain, snow, hail, sleet, bandits and freezing temperatures.  But there’s something even better.

A universal cry worldwide for many may be “Where is my phone?”  With contracts, fees, contact information, schedules, reminders and internet capability, there is a real investment. Forgetting where the phone is may be added considered in the future as another list of crimes and punishment.

But more important than the phone is not forgetting God.  He looks to love us each day and help us with our needs.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” [1 Peter 5:7] He never forgets, always cares and always remembers.

Where is God? He is as close as a whispered prayer or a thought. He’s even available on speed dial between the green beans and limas.  Keep in touch with the awesome Creator God with prayer, studying his words and guidance in the Bible and making each decision based on his guidelines. You’ll never be lost again, though your cell phone might be now and then.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and her recent Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now in print and e-book on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords. She is author of several other books, including award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, www.button-to-god.com.]

 

Eyes and Hands that See and Understand by Jo Russell

As Marnie walked along the path at the park with her two dogs, a couple of pre-teen boys slowly came toward them. One limped, but held the other boy’s arm tightly, keeping him safe while coaching him on where to feel with his cane. The second boy could not see except with his hands. His friend, Jack, had physical problems, too, but could see well and was a protector.  “Look and listen ahead, Bobby. There are two dogs on the path.”

Marnie stopped her dogs, had them sit and waited for the boys to come closer. “You can pet them if you want to. They are friendly.”

Bobby bent down and touched one curly small dog and then Jack petted her. Bobby reached out for the other pet while Marnie explained, “That one’s a hound dog. You have your hand on his neck.”

“I’ve never seen a hound dog before!” the blind boy responded with excitement.

“Then you just have to pet him all over. Try feeling those ears. They are as long as his face.”

“Yeah! I see that! Is the crusty stuff on the ends mud?”

“Nope. He just helped too much when I was painting inside yesterday. It’s on his tail, too.  You’ve got to feel his tail.”

“It curves up!”

“Yep! Like a CB antenna. My son said his tail wagging all the time when he walks means he can use the call letters Basset, Basset, one-niner, one-niner!”

Then Bobby stroked the long dog’s body and smiled. “I really have seen a hound dog now! Long ears! A fat neck! A tail like a broomstick! A very long body! He feels shiny.”

That’s when the hound howled with appreciation. Bobby and Jack burst out in laughter. “I never heard any dog make that noise!”

“Now you really have seen and heard a hound dog!” Marnie echoed the boys’ excitement. She got a kick out of Bobby, who was blind, using the word “see” so much in his conversation.

Jesus taught with parables and would conclude with an appeal to the senses, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” [Mark 4:9] and to his disciples, “Do you have eyes, but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?” [Mark 8:18.] At that point, they had seen many miracles, heard Jesus’ parables, and had been walking and living beside him for much time. Still, they did not understand. Someday, they would.

Paul writes, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” [1 Corinthians 13:12]

It’s a matter of keeping the faith. Someday, Bobby will see everything, including a Basset hound. For now, he is excited to see the dog with his hands.

Someday, we will see, hear, and understand God’s perspective. In the meantime, it is our job to keep learning, growing and studying with Him. Enjoy the journey and the sights along the way!

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women available where print books and e-books are sold.  Look for Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now in print and e-book on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, www.button-to-god.com.]

 

 

 

Who is Rich in God’s Eyes? by Jo Russell

Step back in time to a different era when struggling families made ends meet with one paycheck, a milk and cookies mom at home after school for the kids. It was a time when single-car garages and carports were all anyone needed.

Seven-year-old Jacqueline tagged along with her mother and sister as they walked a few blocks away to eat lunch with Mrs. Haines and to play with her kids.

“Jacqueline, please go help Mrs. Haines in the kitchen with lunch while the kids and I set the table,” Her mom commanded.

Jackie did. She was amazed that the toast Mrs. Haines gave her was golden brown. As the girl spread butter over the slice, she noticed it didn’t have one speck of black on it. Her mom usually scraped the black off the bread if the toaster stuck on high and overcooked it. But her family would eat it anyway, spreading it with lots of fruit jam so it tasted good. Toast with no black! Golly!

After a hot lunch of meatloaf with carrots and toast, the ladies sent the children to play together upstairs. That’s when Jackie saw a sight that left her astonished: a television set in the bedroom. I saw one downstairs, too. That means they have too televisions!

Later when Jackie, her brothers and mom walked a few blocks home, Jackie was quiet.

“What is it, Sweetie?”

“Mom, it’s about the Haines. Their toast doesn’t burn in the toaster. They don’t scrape the bread like we do. They have two televisions, too.” She paused before asking, “Are they rich?”

“No. I think they saved the old TV when they got another one.”

“Then are we poor?”

“Of course not! We always have food to eat, the car runs, we have furniture and a house, Dad works hard and we get to go on summer camping vacations. God takes care of us every day.”

“If we’re not rich and not poor, why don’t we have two televisions?”

Good question. Today, having multiple electronic devices and computers, as many phones as people in the house, and a second car in the driveway is a common lifestyle. But milk and cookies moms who are home with the kids in lieu of these luxuries is rare indeed.

Jesus said much about asking for needs. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who weeks find; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” [Matthew 7:7-11]

Though God may give us a surprise in something on our wish list, the most lasting one is the relationship with Jesus. How soon does our excitement about a new purchase fade? His life with us is rich, and he doesn’t even need two televisions!

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women available where print books and e-books are sold.  Look for Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now  on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords as well as print coming soon. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, www.button-to-god.com.]

 

 

Dog and God Walking 101 by Jo Russell

A couple walk their dogs in Kenwood Estate, Hampstead Heath.

“Corky just graduated from Good Citizen training,” explained proud dog owner, James, who had been talking with his friend, Roger. Both were at the playground with their children.  “I didn’t know if he would make it because he’s so young, but he has done just fine. “  The tan labrabor sat quietly next to his owner as James pushed his two-year-old in the swings.

“Wow. Any other dog would be jumping around. Look how quietly Corky sits,” commented Roger as he watched his pre-school daughter soar high.

“That’s because he has learned to obey commands.”

Rex, the park caretaker, chuckled as he overheard that. He could say much of dog and owner behavior as his park was a popular spot for walking dogs. “Just watching is a crash course in Dog Walking 101,” he commented to the men. “But I can spot the obedience-training ones. They just walk quietly alongside their owners on the left side and leave some slack in the leash—just like Corky here.”

Rex continued, “But I’ve seen lots of dog walking here and it’s mighty interesting.” He explained that he had seen family dogs leashed to a stroller with a mom pushing. The pet would be zig zagging behind her, straining to savor the smell of a clump of grass, pulling the stroller and Mom off course.

He’d seen dogs pull their owners around the walking path for three laps before slowing down and letting their owners grab a breath.

He added the story of his last day off, when he headed  down a two-track dirt road to his favorite trout spot. “There I saw the bar-none most one-of-a-kind way of walking dogs. This white-haired SUV owner had stopped at the turn-off, got out of the car leaning on his cane, and then opened the hatch to let the two huge Great Danes off their leashes. Then he drove down the road without them! That made me hopping mad! I thought, ‘How dare he just abandon those dogs!’”

“It would make me mad, too!” Roger added.

“But the Danes giddy-upped after the car. I guess he knew just how fast to drive. When the car reached the lake, the guy stopped, petted the panting dogs, poured them each water, and opened the back hatch to let them Danes back inside for a ride home. They knew who took care of them. They knew who loved them. They knew who they belonged to. The pet owner just had another way of walking them because of his own problems,” Rex concluded.

Jesus knows who belongs to him, too. “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father…My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” [John 10:14, 10:25]  Listening to his voice and following the Good Shepherd. That’s even better than Good Citizen training.

He assures us in our every day challenges this ironclad  promise, which spoken to leader Joshua. It  applies to our lives today, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be  afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” [Dueteronomy 31:6]

And like the white-haired driver putting a different spin on Dog Walking 101, God may put a spin on our walk with him. But he loves us and knows to stretch our abilities just far enough for us to grow stronger. Like the senior, God knows just when we need to stop and ride for a while.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women available where print books and e-books are sold.  Look for Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords as well as print coming soon. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, www.button-to-god.com.]

 

 

 

 

 

A New Look Inside and Out by Jo Russell

A new look. That was Marnie’s destiny once a month when she went to the beauty salon. For work, she pulled her hair into a pony tail and jammed her hair under a baseball cap with the company logo on it. Simple and fast.

But for her once a month hair appointment for a trim and style, Marnie steeled herself to go without a hat—at least for a day or two.

Annie, her hairdresser, did an especially great job on her hair this time. Though Marnie was forced to leave the baseball cap off when she was ready to leave the salon, she looked in the mirror at the salon and noticed, Why, I’m pretty. My hair looks beautiful! Will anyone notice?

When she reported for work with a new hairdo, Marnie’s boss greeted her with a quizzical expression on his face.

“There’s something different about you.” Long pause. “Did you lose your hat?”

The value you are to God matters more than anything. He loves you and me and cares for us regardless of our appearance, our assets or achievements. Whatever standards the world uses to measure value, such as appearance, assets or achievements, our maker doesn’t see us that way.  God knows us so well that he can name the number of hairs on our head—whether our hair is thick or thin–at any age.

Jesus himself said, “Indeed, the very hairs on your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” [Luke 12:7] We have value in his eyes each day. He gives us a new look inside and it spills over to the outside that others can see.

God’s love and care can give us the courage to face the future and have confidence in his meeting our needs on good hair and bad hair days. There’s plenty of his love to infuse into each day, whether it’s a baseball cap day or not.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women available where print books and e-books are sold.  Look for Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now released for pre-sales on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords as well as print coming soon. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, www.button-to-god.com.]

 

 

 

 

 

A Good Kind of Drug Problem by Jo Russell

“When I was growing up, I had a drug problem,” Sam started. His audience of fellow fathers stopped in mid-bite on burgers at a local hangout. They stared.

“What? You?” Charley asked. He was astonished! Sam’s standing as a man of integrity, church leader and a Christian spanned all the years the men had known each other. He was a model of clean living.

“Yeah. I got drug to church every week. But it was the finest blessing I’ve ever had. I learned values. I learned about God. It was at church and at home how to be a man and a spiritual leader like my dad.”

Getting drug to church every week?  What does that have to do with child rearing?

Some parents vocalize that children should have the choice of choosing to go whatever church they want to with their friends or not to go at all.  Often these parents don’t attend church at all themselves. The message is clear: church is not important or essential. It is an extra, like dessert.  What values do they themselves teach and model at home and in every day life?

Children “getting drug to church” every week by their parents, guardians, or caregivers see that church is important to the grown-ups. Wee ones can figure out if the adults think if church is worth their time. Little ones can also see if the grown-ups are trying to live by God’s values.  When they themselves grow up, how will they live?

The Bible has much to say about God’s values in Christian parenting: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it.” [Proverbs 22:6].

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” [Deuteronomy 11:18-19]

“Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” [Ephesians 6:4]

Men, step up to the plate as spiritual leaders.  It’s okay that your children get drug to church every week. It’s a good kind of drug problem!

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and an award-winning book. Look for more tips on men stepping up to the plate as spiritual leaders in Jo’s new release, Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing. Find it on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords as well as print edition coming soon. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, www.button-to-god.com.]