At the site declared a disaster because of a wildfire, the news cameras focused on the visiting U.S. President at the time. The media expected the Chief Executive to be the center of attention as he addressed the crowd of thousands of rural residents.

A safe distance away from the flames and major highways, the evacuees had endured more than a week of hardships. Each quickly distinguished between real needs and wants. No one knew when they’d be going home – if they even had one left.

Real needs won out when the cameras scanned the crowd during the President’s speech. One evacuee held a sign high, “Kathy, bring clean underwear!”

When it comes to real needs, we can count on God. When it comes to true friends, we can count on God as well.

But what of the needs that are above and beyond the basics? What if you need just the special words to mend a relationship? A raise? More time with your family? The sale of your home as you relocate? Decisions for assisted care for older family members? Do you dare ask? Yes. God is not surprised with life and deals with it.

Think back to Jesus’ ministry. Jesus and Peter came to Capernaum when a collector asked them for the temple tax. As the son of a king, Jesus owed no tax. But to keep from offending, he decided he would pay the tax for both of them-–in a most unusual way. [Matthew 17:24-26]

“Doesn’t Jesus have a pouch or any money?” Peter might have wondered when Jesus told him to go fishing. Jesus told Peter the first fish would have a four-drachma coin in its mouth. That was the full amount for the tax for both of them. It was just enough–not too much or too little. They also got a meal out of it, too, because the tilapia, a mild fish, is good eating – even in restaurants today.

So don’t be afraid to ask for needs–above and beyond–or just the basics, like clean underwear.

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, available from her website, For more chuckles and to hear a speech, enjoy excerpts of her book and tips, check her entire website options and weekly blog.]

Free Mother’s Day Gift for You, Friends and Family: Promotion: Free download of the second edition of
Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out?
Starts Thursday, May 9 through Sunday, May 12, 2013.
Click here for Kindle application download.

Americana comes alive in author Jo Russell’s humorous stories with Biblical concepts that make this study fun and helpful. Men, don’t feel left out! Laughter is good medicine for all Read and enjoy!!

Which Button will encourage you to love God and your life wherever you are along the way! This new edition e-book is compact. As Oasis Christian Bookstore owner Betty in Payson, Arizona, summarized, “It’s a hoot!”

Save the dates! May 9 to 12 for Which Button download!


About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

Find Jo on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule Jo as a speaker or to discuss your writing project and receive a free quote, call her at 928-536-2479. Or contact her using the website Contact Form.

Feeling Blue?

That can't last. Listen in on four talks of Jo's to banish those blues:

How Do I Count My Blessings When the Toilet is Overflowing?

The Choice We Have Between a Dead Egg and a Live Savior

Never Give Up!

Can Kermit and Miss Piggy Marry and Live Happily Ever After?