When I was about ten years old, my parents took us on a trip out west. We visited two brothers who served as missionaries to the Navajo Indians in New Mexico. Ron’s wife talked about how much her husband enjoyed pinion nuts that only grew in that area. We had never heard of them, but her glowing description left an impression on my parents. We left the missionary’s home to continue our vacation, but mother visited a local grocery store. She found a package of nuts and brought them to us in the car. We all expected to enjoy a treat before supper. Mom passed a handful of brown delicacies to each of us. I thought they resembled peanuts. However, I when I bit down, I found them very hard and bitter.
“These things are disgusting,” Mother said. “How on earth could Ron like them so much?”
As I chewed, I began to realize the problem. “Mom, the inside tastes a lot better than the outside.”
“What?” Mother said. “I assumed they were ready to eat, but I didn’t ask.”
“I think we are eating the hull as well as the nut,” I said.
We all had a good laugh as we began cracking open the outer shell. The nuts inside were quite tasty.
That day we learned that ignorance isn’t bliss. Fortunately, we didn’t suffer any serious injury, but that incident reminds me of the value of life-long learning, especially in spiritual matters.
Proverbs 1:5 says, “A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel (Prov. 1:5 NAS)…”
Dear Heavenly Father, as our children and grandchildren return to school, we are reminded of our constant need of your wisdom and instruction. May we remember that ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ so that we may maintain a healthy respect for your holiness and dignity. Help us to value our family and especially our spouses that our marriages may reflect the beauty of Christ and the church. In the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
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In World War II, German tanks devastated the Russian countryside, and Russian technology couldn’t compete. Knowing that the underside of the tank was the most vulnerable, the military trained dogs to fight. When the dogs were hungry, the staff placed meat underneath tanks. The dogs associated a nice meal with the tank undercarriage. Trainers intended to attach bombs to dogs that would detonate when brushed by the tank.
However, battle conditions confused the dogs. Russian tanks sat still during their training, and the dogs balked at the constant movement and noise. Plus, the Russian tanks burned diesel, while Germans tanks used gasoline, which smelled different. Dogs ran toward the Russian tanks and blew them up. They also dashed into the Russian trenches with their bombs. Many of them got so flustered that they carried their explosives back to their trainers.
Just like the Russians, we face battle today, and we must use the right weapons if we expect to succeed.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
Dear Abba Father, as we celebrate the birth of our great country, may we remember our wonderful heritage and praise you for the many men who gave their lives for freedom. In addition, may we continually bless Your Name for the freedom that comes from Your Word. We also beg for peace and grace in these troubled times. In the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
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Have you ever barely missed another car? Your heart pumps madly as you realize the mortal danger.
In 1917, Dr. June McCarroll was driving her Model T down a paved road that became Highway 99. Suddenly, a ten-ton truck came barreling toward her. When she told the story later, she said she preferred veering onto the sandy soil alongside the road rather than risk a serious collision. The incident convinced her highways should have a white line down the center to protect motorists. She shared her idea with government authorities, but they didn’t respond. Finally, she painted a wide white line down that road in hopes of preventing such accidents. The California Department of Transportation credits her with the first road markings, although other states claim the honor.
Today, we are accustomed to the painted lines on the road. Without them we would face chaos and danger. Our gracious heavenly Father gave us His Word to direct our paths. In Scripture he reveals the nature of man and His design for the world. We live much more safely when we stay in our lane.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” -2 Timothy 3:16
Dear Heavenly Father, as we launch into the hot summer months, may we continue to keep our eyes on you and your steadfast grace. Keep us safe as we travel and help us remember to praise you for the wonder and beauty of your creation. Wherever we go, may we carry the fragrance of Christ and of the hope of eternal life. In the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
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