A Few More Lessons From a Spider…

I’ve learned a thing or two from spiders over the years. My favorite spider is Charlotte from the E. B. White classic Charlotte’s Web. These days the increase of spiders in my yard hint that fair time will soon be upon us.

Even as a kid, one of the best things I liked about Charlotte was she was smart. She used her “web design” to save Wilbur. Most of us would be a lot smarter if we actively sought wisdom. I suspect the book of Proverbs is there to provide us the wisdom that would indeed “bless us” if we would take initiative enough to heed it.

Speaking of initiative, Charlotte took the initiative to help Wilbur. I don’t recall Wilbur asking her for help in the story.  Charlotte didn’t simply think oh, that’s too bad when she heard of his plight. She actually did something.

How many times do we hear of a need and take time to think about what we can do to change a situation for the better? And then actually follow through and do it? Too often, we convince ourselves not to heed the prodding of the Spirit and rationalize our complacency. We probably can’t change the entire world but we can possibly make a world of difference to at least one person.

My latest lesson comes from my own backyard.


 The spiders in my yard have done all they can to help themselves by spinning huge webs.  They aren’t moving much these days. Now, they simply wait for meals to come to them. Spiders wait with an expectancy that what they need will eventually find them.  How many of us are as confident in our faith that God will supply our needs after we have done all we can?

I am praying for wisdom these days. I am striving to be selfless and available. I am gradually learning patience.  If God can speak through a donkey, surely, we can learn a thing or two from a spider…

There are four things which are little on the earth,
But they are exceedingly wise:
The ants are a people not strong,
Yet they prepare their food in the summer;
The rock badgers are a feeble folk,
Yet they make their homes in the crags;
The locusts have no king,
Yet they all advance in ranks;
The spider skillfully grasps with its hands,
And it is in kings’ palaces.   Proverbs 30:24-28 NKJV

In the World, Not Of It



When listening to my Father’s call

the world attempts to use disguise

to lead me into my downfall

when lies are truth and truth are lies.

The Gospels lift me up to soar,

and daily mind and heart restore.


The words of Jesus free my thoughts

and bring me back to God’s embrace

to focus on the things I ought;

on love, compassion and His grace.

He came not to condemn but save

and all my sins expunged, forgave.


Abiding in the Spirit shows

me how to be and how to live.

Christ’s light from Living Water flows;

this fact holds no alternative.

The truth from fruit’s essential seeds

is God’s great source from which He feeds.


Because I sustain nourishment

from my Savior’s bread of life,

His voice of love is sweet assent

which melts and calms the daily strife.

God always is my Number One;

His wisdom never is outdone.


So say your truth, but I know His.

I am to open heart and hands,

to welcome all, and more than this;

to care for orphans, widows and

to reconcile the world, employ

God’s grace and wisdom, love and joy.


“I guarantee this truth: every believer has eternal life. I am the bread of life.” (John 6:47-48)

“For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who cares for the truth hears my voice.” Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” (John 18:37-38)

And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Don’t Be Deceived…

And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.  Luke 21:8 NKJV

This morning the usual chirps and chatters in my yard took on a drastically different tone.

From my perch I could see birds flying frantically back and forth. A bossy mockingbird stood guard. I thought to myself there must be a hawk in the yard.

As I collected my camera and coat I saw a couple of shadows fall over the yard as I headed outdoors. Kind of ominous. I’m thinking to myself that hawk is flying pretty low. I often see them but not usually this close.

I stand outside waiting for a decent picture of anything with wings. Then I spot one. And then another. Soon there are about a dozen in the sky.

Now, I’m no expert on birds but even I realize something is amiss. The hawks I usually see are loners. I may see two together, three at most but very rarely. I have my doubts but keep shooting anyway. I’m anxious to see what’s on my camera.

My “hawks” weren’t hawks at all.

They were  vultures.

From their distance in the sky they can pass for hawks to the untrained eye. But their behavior told a different story. My yard birds readily identified the enemy.  DONTBDCVD VULT BLSD 15

Some people are like those vultures. They look like one thing but their behavior eventually reveals the truth.

They live off others. Their presence is overwhelming. They prey on those small and weak. In nature, most creatures readily recognize the enemy. We aren’t always as discerning.

Our enemies are rarely obvious. They don’t arrive with a pitchfork and horns. Some are flatterers. Many endearing. Our enemies often know the right buttons to push. They can be manipulative. Often, we are oblivious until it is too late!

I’ve been praying for wisdom lately. I didn’t expect this lesson today. I asked God for a few bird pictures expecting cardinals or finches. I received far more than that.

I did manage to finally photograph a hawk. It flew higher than the vultures, not at all threatened by their presence in the sky.  BLS HWK 15

I like hawks. God uses them to remind me to “fly high” when I am tempted to “get low” and tell someone what I’m really thinking. I often see them when I need a bit of inspiration, no coincidence I’m sure.

I was reminded today to look closely and not act on what I think I see.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 1 Peter 5:8 NKJV

We can’t resist our adversary if we don’t recognize him.

Every good deal, isn’t a good deal.

Some “problems” are merely distractions to pull us off track.

Don’t be deceived into thinking God doesn’t love you. He does.

Don’t be deceived into thinking setbacks will last forever. They won’t.

Don’t be deceived by rhetoric that is contrary to God. All lies.

When in doubt, check it out.

Investigate. Research. Read. Pray.

Listen to God when your gut is screaming “Danger!”

Wise choices often precede a blessing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 NKJV


Power and Authority

A hint of spring is here in the Atlanta area. The snow and ice are finally gone. I really applaud you out there who deal with all the white stuff regularly. We made out much better the second time around. This time nearly everyone heeded the warnings issued repeatedly by our governing officials. This time, people readily recognized that there are some things beyond our power to control.

Most people tend to think that no matter what is going on around them they can handle it. We sometimes think we can always make some provision, adjustment or schedule change that will allow us to do what we want to do even when a higher authority has said “no.”

I watched a television interview of a tow truck operator clearing some wreckage. He was shaking his head explaining how even though things didn’t look very bad, people were still out on the roads during the storm and finding themselves in trouble even though the government authorities were begging people to stay put. Those few on the roads for a joy ride were deceived by the calm appearances and had to pay (literally) the consequences for their behavior. How many times have we done the same thing in different circumstances? 

There are times in life we must come to grips that we cannot do what we want to do. God’s plan just does not allow it. We must accept this and act accordingly. We often get ourselves in trouble when we fail to recognize His power and authority and instead go off and do our own thing. Often it ends with us praying for God to save us from our own poor choices!

Just like the meteorologists, God gives us instructions and warnings. It is then up to us to take what we know and behave in a manner consistent with the information we have been given. Yet unlike the meteorologists, God’s instructions are infallible. There is no second guessing or “wait and see” what will happen like the weather. God’s instructions are crystal clear. How often do we ignore the warnings signs and instructions we are given so we can justify our own actions? 

Only God can make it rain, sleet, hail or snow. He determines the temperature. As such, only God can stop the seemingly unstoppable or thaw a hardened heart. Only He can create such a spectacular winter wonderland. Man may try to recreate His majesty but anything we do can only pale in comparison. We are wise when we recognize His power. 

Realize there are some things that you cannot control. Sometimes, I think God gives us a storm or two to help jog our memories. Sometimes we simply won’t be still until we forced to.

“Be still, and know that I [am] God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth,” Psalms 46:10 NKJV.

We also fail to recognize God’s power and authority when we stress ourselves trying to achieve things only He can make happen. When we recognize His power and trust Him to move our mountains, we can then enjoy the kind of existence we were created to have. Recognizing the power of the Sovereign God allows you to rest and stop struggling to do what you cannot. Recognizing God’s power and authority allows you the opportunity to live instead of merely exist.

As we were thawing out last week, I felt our earthquake that radiated from the Georgia/Carolina border. Maybe the southeast needed yet another reminder of God’s power. I was reminded that I don’t have to have all the answers. I don’t have to come up with the solutions. I can trust God to do those things for me. He can move heaven and earth.

I will do what I can while trusting Him to do what I cannot. Sometimes the strength we look for in ourselves will only be found when we look up to our God. Recognizing our own limitations is often the first step toward acknowledging His power. 

When I can’t, I am confident that He can! What more could I possibly ask for? 

“Be exalted, O LORD, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power,” Psalms 21:13 NKJV 

“Great [is] our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding [is] infinite,” Psalms 147:5 NKJV 

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,” Romans 15:13 NKJV 

“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” Ephesians 3:20 NKJV

Emissions Test!

I live in a county that requires a yearly emissions test to renew my car’s license plate. If your vehicle fails this test, the county will not issue the yearly sticker that deters the police from pulling you over.

The emissions test searches for a level of fumes deemed unacceptable that escape the vehicle while the engine is running. If the car is putting too much carbon monoxide or other pollutants into the air it doesn’t pass. The vehicle must then be repaired so it no longer pollutes the atmosphere.

I said something yesterday that I regret. It wasn’t hurtful to anyone (other than myself), but I regret saying it anyway. Not that long ago, I would have been more careful with my words. It makes me think I could benefit from an emissions test as well. I certainly don’t want to give off anything toxic to my environment!

Sometimes we think we are running along just fine but we really aren’t. We are not always mindful of the pollutants we release when a comment we make or opinion we voice is hurtful to others. Things that are said casually can be devastating, even more so when we are unaware of situations people may be facing.

Our words mirror what is in our heart. They can either be sweet, fragrant and pleasing or noxious and deadly.  We don’t often take time enough to examine our speech unless we are challenged by someone else to do so.  Or, we often put more thought into our words when they come back to bite us, and we find they are to our own detriment.

“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:37 NKJV

“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19 NKJV

“He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.” Proverbs 17:27 NKJV

“Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 29:20 NKJV

“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.” James 1:26 KNJV 

I have to renew my license this month, lest I get a ticket for driving unlawfully.  I will take this opportunity to not only check my car but myself as well.  I am blessed. But I also want to be a blessing!

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24 NKJV

When is the last time you had an emissions test? What are you putting into the atmosphere?