Look Like a Child

Once there was a fairy

Who had a little tale.

It was literary–

A story authors hail.

All full of magic things,

It was beloved by kids.

And even now it brings

The joy that age “forbids”.

For children grow quickly,

And some grow out of joy.

They seem much more sickly

Than when a girl or boy.

They have lost the wonder

That surrounded their youth.

But some still do plunder

The mines of glad untruth.

All still have kids inside;

Some have just misplaced them.

But those whose kids don’t hide

Are not those to condemn.

Cinderella, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel–these are just a few of the many classic fairy tales.  These stories cultivate imaginations with their whimsy and magic.  There is always a happy ending; and no matter how old you are, you can still enjoy a fairy tale.

Disney has been banking on these stories for decades, and they still show no signs of stopping.  Why would they?

They work.  They still draw crowds of people to the box office.  All ages can enjoy these timeless tales.

No matter how hard someone may try, there is a part of every one of us that wants to be a child again.  We all want to believe in happy endings.  We want to see the world through the optimistic eyes of a child.  We long for the simple life of adolescence, because the adult world can be a dark, cruel place.

Some people are immersed in the discord of the world and are always dwelling on the horrors of this life.  People that used to watch sitcoms now watch drama.  The main place that television is light-hearted is on channels geared toward younger generations.

It is as if culture says we must leave our happy endings and innocent stories behind when we grow up.  But I disagree.

Children can teach us so much about life.  They can teach us about faith, family, love, forgiveness, happiness, joy.

While children may cry more than adults do, they also laugh more.  They always bounce back.  One moment they are balling their eyes out and the next they are grinning and singing.  They don’t have to have much to have joy, and they have to have even less to spread it.

Imagine a world where people looked through the eyes of children.  If even just for a moment, look at the world and see it as a child does.  It is much more beautiful that way.

Who says you can’t still be a child sometimes?

Pablo Picasso said,

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”

So paint like a child!  Your life will be much more colorful!

“Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 18:4



Crack your lips;

Reveal a treasure.

Show your teeth 

To give one pleasure.

You know not

What they are feeling,

But you can

Bring them some healing.

Those white stones

Fill one with gladness,

Even one

Who’s filled with sadness.

So show them

When you get the chance.

Make them glad

With a friendly glance.

You never know what someone is going through. You don’t always know the backstory.  

The person who cuts you off going twenty over the speed limit may have just found out that a loved one is in the closing days of a short life.

The cashier who acts put out by your presence and annoyed by your desire to purchase something may be struggling with the relatively new idea that her parents are divorced.

The child who seems like he was raised by wild animals and terrorizes you at the mall may just be hungry for some sort of attention, because his single mom hardly has time to give him any.

A smile is a seed that nestles itself deep into one’s soul. Just like with seeds, the more you plant the more fruit you will see. When a smile-seed is cared for, the fruits of joy and hope are bound to come later.

You may not see the fruit or be able to enjoy it in its maturity, but you can plant it. You can plant it for others to harvest and enjoy.

You never know what one simple grin or a gentle smile could do in someone’s day.  

So smile today. Smile at someone you know or someone you don’t. Just smile.

“Always be joyful.”‭‭

1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16‬

Money Can’t Buy You Love

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy movies with special effects.

Without today’s technology, some of the greatest films ever would have never been created. But, I also love the movies made in the simpler decades of film-making. Many of them are true works of literary art, but so many people overlook this because they deem them boring or old.

Last week I had the opportunity to watch a film from 1938. The film, called You Can’t Take It With You, is just one of the movies in my family’s ever-growing collection of flicks. It is a black and white movie crafted before the birth of CGI, when films relied heavily on plot rather than on special effects to be successful.  

Although this was not my first viewing of the movie, I was once again completely entertained by the story and its message.  

The film follows the lives of two young adults who have fallen in love. The man (Tony Kirby) is the Vice President of a large company owned by his rich, high-society father. The woman (Alice Sycamore) is the man’s secretary and belongs to an eccentric family whose members are all involved in numerous, eclectic vocations (or rather activities).  

After each meeting the other’s family, the two decide it is time for their families to meet each other. Alice, somewhat nervous for the Kirby’s to meet her family, tries to plan an elegant, uptight party to match Tony’s high-society upbringing and hide her strange roots. But Tony has other plans. He tells his parents the wrong night for the gathering. Evidently, his family joins the Sycamore’s on a normal evening at home.

Alice’s grandfather and Tony’s father don’t get along very well. They have very different priorities and views. Grandpa Sycamore opposes Mr. Kirby’s greediness and says to him at one point:

“Maybe it’ll stop you trying to be so desperate about making more money than you can ever use? You can’t take it with you, Mr. Kirby. So what good is it? As near as I can see, the only thing you can take with you is the love of your friends.”

Shmoop Editorial Team. “You Can’t Take It With You: Quotes about Wealth Page 1.” Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 24 Jul. 2017.

And this is where the theme of the movie is most evident. Both the Sycamore’s and the Kirby’s thought they had life figured out. The Kirby’s were focused on wealth and image while the Sycamore’s were focused on less material things like friends and family. Instead of worrying about living a lavish existence, the Sycamore’s did what made them happy. They did what they loved.  

From writing plays to dancing to making fireworks, Alice’s family did what pleased them. And they all loved their lives.

This message about the futility of pursuing wealth is also portrayed in Hebrews 13:5 where it says,

“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.””

In other words, trust God with what you have. Trust Him to provide for you in the future. Don’t just let that phrase on our money be some clever saying; let it be what you live by.

In God We Trust.

By the end of the film, the Sycamore’s convince the Kirby’s that there is more to life than money, that the only thing you can take with you is love. And in the last scene, Grandpa Sycamore gives a humble, trusting Prayer over their meal.

“…Well, sir, here we are again. We’ve had quite a time of it lately, but it seems that the worst of it is over. Course, the fireworks all blew up, but we can’t very well blame that on you. Anyway, everything’s turned out fine, as it usually does. Alice is going to marry Tony; Mr. Kirby, who’s turned out to be a very good egg, sold us back our house—he’ll probably forget all about big deals for a while. Nobody on our block has to move and, with the right handling, I think we can even thaw out Mrs. Kirby here. We’ve all got our health; as far as anything else is concerned, we still leave that up to you. Thank you…”

Shmoop Editorial Team. “You Can’t Take It With You: Quotes about Dreams, Hopes, and Plans Page 2.” Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 24 Jul. 2017.

Instead of fretting over the things they couldn’t control, the Sycamore’s trusted God to provide for them and to keep them healthy and safe.  

So today I challenge you to stop worrying about money. Do what you enjoy. Love your friends and family, and trust God. 

We are all clocks

Tick tock tick tick tock

‘Tis the strange sound of time.

Tick tock goes the clock

The subject of this rhyme

“Time: it is money”

Some people do mutter,

And it’s not a runny

Stream in the gutter.

It will stand like stone

Or a person in youth.

It has stood and shone

Like a beacon of truth.

But I say it’s more

Than mere silver or gold;

‘Tis heavenly ore

That’s sent for you to mold.

One works it a while

‘Till he makes it a mess.

Then he sees it vile

And free of all success.

He wastes his shining

Time just thinking there’s more,

But with repining

He’s reached his final shore.

For time is unknown.

Some get a long river,

Others are just thrown

A watery sliver.

It does not cost you,

But people do run out.

It can’t be bought new;

It you can’t live without.

When it’s gone you’re done—

No more gazing at trees

Or the brilliant sun.

You’re one no one sees.

It cannot be seen

But yes! It is still there,

And it’s not serene

When some don’t get “fair” share.

It’s invisible

To the bare eyes of men,

But it’s visible

To the Clock-man and ken.

He knows just how far

He’s wound each face of ours,

And knows who we are

Who’ll tick the final hours.

So don’t get so low;

You’re wasting so much time.

Will it be fast? Slow?

I can’t tell you in rhyme.

I can’t at all

Tell you how many days

You have left to call

Yours before life’s last phase.

But the ticks and tocks,

They all matter so much.

So listen all you clocks;

Your time is here to clutch.

No one knows what time they have left.  We are all living lives with limited lengths.

Time is one of the greatest treasures on earth, but it is also one of the greatest mysteries.

We all have freedom to do what we choose with our time, but the question is:

What will you do with your time?

Do not waste your time.

Even more importantly than that, do not waste your time with others.  You never know when your time with them will end.  And unlike wasting your own precious time, you will be around to see the effects of wasting your time with others.

Time with others could end in a death, a change in circumstance, or even a change in location.  But whatever it is, you may not see it coming.

So live life to the fullest.  Savor moments, don’t just document them.  Make great memories, not just great posts.  And most of all love others!

 “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1-8‬


Everywhere you look today, you see apparently hopeless people.

The incarcerated man with no hope for a future life beyond a cell.

The single mom with no hope for her children’s success.

The cancer patient with no hope for a cure.

The invalid with no hope of hugging someone back.

The teenager with no hope to live for.

Hopelessness is all around us.

The news channels broadcast stories of death and disaster, painting a gloomy picture of our world. Nations are in discord with each other, and citizens are opposing their governments. Poverty strikes the masses, and hunger plagues the poor.

The only hope these people could truly grasp is one of a better, different life in the future.

Meanwhile, in America, schools seem to think the world’s current hopelessness is not enough. So they fill the heads of our nation’s children with ideas that don’t allow for hope to exist. They completely cut out all thoughts of optimism.

They tell students that they are nothing more than the product of a chance occurrence between a few particles, millions of years ago. They say that there is nothing beyond this life. When we die we are completely finished and simply absorbed into the depths of the ground.

If their current lives are in turmoil, that is just how it happened to play out. Some people are given good lives, while others are given miserable ones. There is no equalizer, no fairness. The laws of science are cold and merciless.

So when all we see seems hopeless, why would we want to pour more hopelessness into our minds. Why would we craft an origin story that only creates a meaningless existence.

C. S. Lewis once said,

“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

Today I want you to know that the universe has meaning! You have meaning! You were not an accident, some chance-happening!

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:27‬

The Earth is at the Center of the Solar System.

I want to share another poem with you guys. This is a reminder that sometimes we just need to get out of the way and quit trying to make life all about us!  

Just like when scientists thought the earth was at the center of our solar system, we put ourselves as the focus of everything.  We want what we want when we want it and how we want it.  So in a way, at least sometimes, we pretend the “earth” is at the center of it all.

“for through him (Jesus) God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:16-17‬

The Center
Man is self-centered—fallen; kind he’s not.

His ways are often selfish, prideful ways.

He is still clinging to his godless thought,

And he will hold on to the end of days.

He thought earth was the center of it all;

He thought too that all was around himself,

But found at center, there a flaming ball—

A brilliant lamp on a celestial shelf.

Man also views his life the center slew;

He cares too much what others think of him,

And often fails to care to go into

The presence of the single-son called Him.

Don’t be the selfish one; be like the son.

Life doesn’t need a center; it has one.

Holy Division?

Let me just start with a bold statement: I hate denominations.

Now before you take defense of your own beloved section of the Christian faith, hear me out.

Some of you reading this may not fully understand what the idea of denomination is. Basically, a denomination is a group of people who have a set of beliefs. Those groups whose beliefs include a belief in Jesus as the savior of the world are under the bigger umbrella known simply as Christianity.

Many denominations and sects have formed over the years as people have disagreed on various topics. These disagreements have led to churches being separated, relationships being severed, and people being hurt.

Pain and sorrow often result from these divisions.

This brings me back to my original statement: 

I hate denominations.

I hate them not because I have anything against the people involved in them or even some of the beliefs they profess. I hate them because of the ill effects they can have.

What starts out as a small disagreement turns friends into enemies and brothers and sisters into opposing forces.  
The problem is that people can’t just agree to disagree. Everyone believes they are right and anyone who opposes them is wrong.  

Then, the people who were once united because of their beliefs are now divided because of them. When if they would just look back to what brought them together in the first place, they would be reminded that they are still united in that.

After all, the most important belief is the belief in Jesus Christ, so why do we let the tiny insignificant ones divide us?

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:10, 

“I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.”
So let’s think for a moment that none of the things I have just said are true. Let’s think about if the church was unified.

If the church was unified,

Then the Lord would be our guide,

Not the impulses of fleshly sins.

There would be no denomination;

There would simply be Christians 

Throughout each nation.
If the church was really unified, 

Religion would have already died.

We’d forget about the little things

That seem to bring up the most conflict,

And focus on what good news brings;

We’d stand with the healthy to reach the sick.
If the church was truly unified,

Christians would’ve deleted the word pride.

They wouldn’t care what others think;

They would only care about man’s eternal state .

Yes, then we’d truly be on the brink 

Of something unimaginably great!
If the church was completely unified,

There would be change of a different kind.

Hunger would finally be ended;

God’s light would be shined to all men;

The persecuted would be defended;

And the lonely would ultimately have a friend.
Unity is not just a word in the church;

It is a state of connecting all the Christians, one by one—

Without judgement, politics, or dogma—

By the common factor of believing in God’s son.

With true unity in the church, 

There is no Methodist, baptist, Pentecostal, or AG,

No Lutheran, episcopalian, Calvanist, or Nazarene.

No matter your face,

No matter your race,

No matter your backround, 

Or your former case,

You’re invited to the banquet;

You’re invited to the feast.

God’s set your place;

He’s saved you a seat.
For under Christ’s blood we are all just the same

Whether Jew or Gentile, we’re all simply Christians when we believe in his name.
So we Christ-followers should strive for this unity.

All you believers please listen to my plea,

That we would all be united to make a greater impact,

That we would all be united to raise up Jesus’ name,

That we would all be united to reach the ones whose souls lack

A knowledge of the one who’s risen from the grave!

I’m with Him

The past Presidential election kept my interest more than any other election in my lifetime has. This was partly due to my age and ability to understand what was happening and partly due to the many dramatic and controversial events that surrounded it.

Scandals, rumors, lies—they all made it to this race. Whether through social media, speeches, or debates, the levels of entertainment were never low.

Aside from the high-profile protests, many people broke out in personal arguments trying to defend their favorite candidate and his policies, beliefs, and statements. As the candidates, who at times seemed more like stars of a reality TV show than prospects for president, were thinned out, the excitement only grew. And after giving endless negative comments and harsh criticisms, the people of America realized that they had to pick a new leader out of the few remaining candidates.

Many were filled with dread at this task.  

Although I was not able to cast my own vote, I did have my choice made. I knew who I would have picked.

Eventually, the final two prospects were revealed and the debates began. And I, like many other Americans, often found myself filled with anger and surprise at the words that were shot toward my candidate of choice. I was so completely attached and mentally wrapped up in the situation that I let myself become overwhelmed in anger when my pick for president or the beliefs I stood for were attacked.

Finally, on the night when America would gain a new leader, I was slightly afraid—afraid that who I thought should win would be thrown to the wayside as the opposite person took the victory.

What I did not realize was that, as a Christian, all of my worries and fears were futile.

Even today, as the controversy mostly surrounds our new President, I see many people uselessly fretting over his actions and interactions.  

I am not trying to say that we should not take interest in the events affecting our nation or that we should ignore our leader’s conduct, whether good or bad. For in Romans 13:1 it says,

“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.”

‭‭I am saying that God has given us a leader; and we owe President Trump our prayers. So let us intercede on behalf of our President, for God can use him to do good in our nation.  

But these things are not things we should be overwhelmed or worried by. As Christians, we already have a future we believe in. For us it’s not about making America great again or being with her. For us it’s about being with Him!
So today as President Trump meets with Putin, let us all be found in prayer. And let us not forget who is on the heavenly thron

What About God?

Recently I was in a house and saw this sign setting on a shelf in the living room.

At first glance it may not seem to have any kind of significance to you.  But when I saw it, I was immediately surprised and disappointed.  

Think about the sentence, “Bless this nest.”

What is the subject?

It appears to be an understood you, but does it logically make sense for the homeowners to be asking all their visitors to “bless” their “nest”?  

Not really.

So then who is the subject?  Who is blessing the nest?

Bless this nest is fairly similar to the phrase God bless America.  It is even closer to the phrase God bless this home.  The only thing that makes Bless this nest different from those two, aside from its bird theme, is its not having God as its subject.

It completely omits God, leaving Him out of the request.  It asks for blessings just like the other two do, but it asks for them from no one in particular.  Speaking into the wind, it makes an unaddressed statement fly into oblivion.

What is the point in even asking if you are not calling anyone to listen?  Would you ask no one in particular to help you move a sofa and still expect someone to come and fill your request?  No.

So this is why this sign caught my eye.  This is why I stopped to take a picture of it.  This is why I am writing now.

We all must realize that if we want divine blessings, we must call out for divine help.  We cannot expect blessings without acknowledging the author of blessings. 

Many people want health and wealth; they want to be blessed, but they fail to Ask God to do the blessing.  They expect blessings to just fall into their laps as they lead care-free lives ignoring their creator.

In Psalms 1:1-3, the psalmist says,

“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”

This verse shows us that if we will stay away from wickedness and focus on God’s word, we will prosper.  

I am not preaching a so-called prosperity gospel.  Just because you love God does not mean nothing bad will ever happen to you or riches will always surround you.  There are more blessings than just blessings of physical wealth.

To see that those who meditate on God’s laws and stay away from the acts of the wicked, we must change our view of what a blessing is.

In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word blessing has three different definitions:

  1. Approval that allows or helps you to do something.  This is the type of blessing that a couple asks for from their parents when they are looking to be married.
  2. Help and approval from God.  This is the sort of blessing that the phrase God bless America is asking for.
  3. Something that helps you or brings you happiness.  Since “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens…”(James 1:17), this third one is practically synonymous with the second one.  I for one consider help and happiness to be good and perfect things.

So when we look at blessings in this way, it is a lot easier to see how people can be blessed even when their lives don’t seem very prosperous.  For blessings can be anything from good health and family to peace and happiness.

Even aside from these things though, God has given us His grace—the greatest blessing anyone could ever ask for.

So let us remember to ask God for blessings and to thank Him for them when they come.