Faith in the Invisible by Jo Russell

The two kindergarten-aged cousins galloped along the walking path at the park with stick horses guiding their way.  The pink-decked girls pulled on the reins and slowed. They had to pet the curly dog coming down the path with her grown-up owner, Carol.

The chatterboxes told Carol, “This is my horse, Dusty, and my cousin’s is Brownie.  Back there is our elephant, Cubby, our lion, Leo, and donkey, Rose. They come with us everywhere we go. They are invisible. But sometimes it’s crowded. Cubby the elephant tried to climb into my bed and almost broke it, but I told him no!”

“Oh?” Carol remembered her days as a five-year-old. Cubby may not have broken the bed, but Carol and her friends wouldn’t have missed the fun of jumping on it like a trampoline. She might have blamed the elephant, too.

“Our moms are over there on the path, but they wanted to go faster than us with all our invisible animals.”

“Yeah,” the second girl added.  “Rose, the donkey sat outside my window this morning and did this.” She waved her arms and brayed, “Hee-Haw! Hee-Haw! She woke me right up!”

Carol listened intently as each girl told of her adventures with her animals and how they got along with the real family dog. Carol only had to say, “Uh-huh, uh-huh” for them to continue in detail explaining each adventure.

Another grown-up might have just seen two wee girls with stick horses walking and non-stop jabbering as they walked around the walking path.

But by the time Carol finished the lap with her dog and the girls plus their entourage, she looked back and smiled. By now, she could see the girls walking with Cubby, the elephant, Leo, the lion, Rose, the donkey, and the horses Dusty and Brownie.

Seeing the invisible. That’s like faith as a foundation of Christianity. But it’s not believing in the make believe.  Eyewitnesses passed down the word of Jesus’ miracles and teachings and fulfillment of the prophesies of a Messiah who had come. They believed. They knew Jesus as the son of God.

Jesus, son of God, himself said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” [John 20:29]

Faith is explained in Hebrews 11:1 this way: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”

We can believe in God, his son, Jesus, and the promises, which God and Jesus always keep. The greatest is this: that we can be forgiven, cleansed and headed for Heaven through Jesus.

Though he may seem as invisible to all as Cubby, Leo, Dusty, Brownie and Rose, praying, trusting and accepting him is a sure thing. He will never break down the bed like Cubby, the elephant.

[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 are sold and in e-book. Look for Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing releasing June, 2017. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, http://www.button-to-god.com.]

 

Treasures on the Playground and in Heaven by Jo Russell

“Mrs. Brown, see what I found just for you!”  the second grade student exclaimed as she handed over a colored rock. “I found it on the playground!” Marilee had spent her last recess in time out for acting up in class.

“That’s a thoughtful thing for you to do! Thank you!”

Derek approached her next. “I found this hair tie for your long hair. See how sparkly it is? You can have it!” Derek added, “I’m sorry about goofing off in the hall.”

Then Matthew approached his teacher with a handful of colorful pebbles. “I picked these for you! Won’t they be great in the science center?”

“Yes, they will. Thanks for thinking of me.” Mrs. Brown smiled. She knew that the gift, too, was an offering of penance.

When the recess bell rang and the class lined up, the teacher knew that her students would do their best but less than perfect, just as she herself was.

But an even more perfect gift had been offered to her and the world. A new start! A clean white board! Forgiveness so complete and wrapped up in love than it changed the path of her future! That is, Christ’s gift of himself to open the path to heaven and God the father.

This is proof of the promise:

“Therefore if anyone is ion Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” [2 Corinthians 5:17-19]

As you begin this new year, smile and accept the most treasure on earth and in heaven: the gift of forgiveness from Christ, the son of God.

That beats a colorful rock any day!

[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 from Amazon.com and her speaking engagements. [Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, http://www.button-to-god.com.]

 

Security Device Attached by Jo Russell

As Julie picked out a DVD as a gift, she read the message on the outside of the package. It warned, “Security Device Attached.”

“What is this?” Julie asked her friend working in the media department of a large department store.

“There was so much theft of these small items that the stores and manufacturer worked together to come up with this.”

“Is this a joke? It looks like cellophane tape on two sides of the box.”

“Yep.”

“Does it work?”

“Nope. Someone who wants the DVD just slits the tape and takes out the DVD. It’s gone lickety split even with a ‘security device.’”

Security devices. They come in all forms these days: cellophane tape on media packages, extra seals inside lids on food items to prevent tampering and guarantee freshness; clip-on do-dads the size of hockey pucks to cut down on loss of expensive items.

Do they work? Nope.

But God offers a security device that spans into eternity. It doesn’t break fingernails nor costs anything and is easy to accept. The security device comes in his son, Jesus, coupled with our commitment to turn to him and live his way.

“”Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”[ Romans 12-14]

This is the promise that seals it: “That if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” [Romans 10:9]

I’d trade God’s fail proof security device any day for cellophane tape with a warning. Wouldn’t you?

 

[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 from Amazon.com and her speaking engagements. [Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, http://www.button-to-god.com.]