BY ROBERT STEVENSON
Believe. Know. Do not faint.
Be sure. Stay confident.
Do not lose heart.
You will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
I was all set to write a short, yet humorous piece on a recent Proverbs 27:17 experience (my iron being sharpened by the iron of a very good friend). Before I typed a single letter on the page, my wife piped up from the other room:
“They found that little boy’s body in the lake in Orlando.”
My heart sank. Every ounce of funny drained away and fled. Christina Grimmie. The Pulse. A dead two-year-old.
I tried to comfortably shift into my fleshly default mode: “BURY YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND.”
I couldn’t. I can’t. My spirit wouldn’t let me. The HOLY Spirit wouldn’t let me. The Sunday School lesson I taught a few weeks ago was on giving people HOPE. Laughter is the best medicine, yes, but people don’t need medicine right now. They need something better. They need the word of the Lord. That word is this:
Matt Coker | @BackRowOnline
A few years ago, my wife and I traveled to the town I grew up in. I went to a Catholic school from 1st to 6th grade. One of the best things about this school, in my opinion as a kid, was the awesome custom playground they had. There was a set of swing-sets shaped like a cowboy and an Indian, a castle, a cool slide, and a whole bunch of other playground equipment that I’ve never seen anywhere else.
The last time I had been in my hometown was 10 years before that, but I hadn’t seen that playground since I was about 13. As we were pulling up to it, I was expecting to see all those old pieces torn down and replaced with typical plastic cookie-cutter playground stuff. I mean, the last time I saw the playground, it was pretty run down. Broken chains, paint peeling off, dents and cracks – it didn’t look long for this world.
To my surprise, we found the complete opposite. The playground still had all the original equipment, but it had definitely been fixed up. I saw broken pieces fixed, fresh coats of paint, everything looking brand new!
I felt like crying. To see something so unique and amazing not only still standing, but looking better than I ever remember seeing it as a kid, it really got me emotional!
And almost immediately, I saw the connection to my life.
Jeff Weddle | @Anti_Itcher
“Jeff, I got this great idea!” My dad said one unassuming evening. Oh dear, one never knew what my dad’s ideas were. Once he tried to teach our family Greek after supper. Alpha, beta, gamma dealt a blow to our evening plans, and after two valiant efforts, my father gave up. But occasionally his ideas were awesome. One never knew.
“What’s your idea?” I asked with some trepidation.
“This year, at grandma and grandpa’s house, we should make breakfast down by The Rock on Christmas morning.”
“Wouldn’t that be cold?”
“Probably, but it’ll be fun.”
“Won’t there be snow?”
“Of course, but that only adds to the excitement.”
No matter what my answer would be, I knew I’d be having breakfast down by The Rock on Christmas morning. My grandparents lived outside Rhinelander, Wisconsin on a lake. A lake with a large rock by it. A large rock that would apparently be the location of my Christmas breakfast.
Christmas morning came, and my dad’s plans, cooked up over the previous two months, were about to take form. We got up early, and to the snickers of our warm family, headed off to The Rock to make breakfast.
My dad carried a milk crate of food and supplies. I carried a saw and a thermos of hot chocolate. It was single digits cold, with plenty of snow on the ground. The Rock is a quarter-mile from the backdoor as the crow flies, but no crows were flying that morning. We walked and walked and walked. My dad occasionally glanced at his compass. “It keeps saying north is over there, but that can’t be right.” So we walked and walked and walked. Oh to be a crow.