The Lesson Of The Hula Hoop

One of my favorite childhood toys is making a comeback—the hula hoop. My friend Suzi and I spent hours on the front lawn perfecting our technique and competing to see which of us could keep a hoop circling our waist longer. This year I relived that part of my childhood. While sitting in a park, I watched as children of all ages and sizes tried their hardest to keep hula hoops from falling to the ground. They twisted and turned with all their strength, but despite their exertion the hoops landed on the ground. Then a young woman picked up a hoop. With hardly any motion, she moved it smoothly and rhythmically up and down from her waist to her shoulders and back to her waist. Her success depended on strategic movement, not vigorous motion.

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What Do You Expect?

In C. S. Lewis’ book God in the Dock, he wrote: “Imagine a set of people all living in the same building. Half of them think it is a hotel, the other half think it is a prison. Those who think it a hotel might regard it as quite intolerable, and those who thought it was a prison might decide that it was really surprisingly comfortable.” Lewis cleverly used this contrast between a hotel and a prison to illustrate how we view life based on our expectations. He says, “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable; think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”

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Learn To Wait On God

Cha Sa-soon, a 69-year-old Korean woman, finally received her driving license after 3 years of trying to pass the written test. She wanted the license so she could take her grandchildren to the zoo.

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Fly The Flag

Queen Elizabeth II has reigned over the British Empire for more than 60 years. Her monarchy has been characterized by grace and class. She has diligently given her life to serve her people well, and as a result she is deeply loved and highly revered. So, you can understand the importance of the flag flying above Buckingham Palace. When the flag is flying, it means that she is in residence in the heart of London. The flag is a public statement that the queen is present with her people.

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A Faithful Helper

As a young boy, my father had to deliver slop to hungry pigs on the farm where he grew up. He hated this job because the hogs would knock him over when he entered their pen. This task might have been impossible except for a faithful helper who accompanied my dad—a German shepherd named Sugarbear. She would maneuver herself between my father and the pigs and hold them back until my dad finished his chore.

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Pink Sheep

While traveling on a road from Glasgow to Edinburgh, Scotland, I was enjoying the beautiful, pastoral countryside when a rather humorous sight captured my attention. There, on a small hilltop, was a rather large flock of pink sheep.

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Disposable Culture

More than ever, we live in a disposable culture. Think for a minute about some of the things that are made to be thrown away—razors, water bottles, lighters, paper plates, plastic eating utensils. Products are used, tossed, and then replaced.

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Filtered Light

The painting A Trail of Light by Colorado Springs artist Bob Simpich shows a grove of aspen trees with golden leaves lit by the autumn sun. The topmost leaves are brilliantly illuminated while the ground beneath the trees is a mixture of sunlight and shadows. The painter said of this contrast, “I can’t resist the light filtered through to the forest floor. It weaves a special magic.”

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In The Storm

A storm was brewing—not just on the horizon but also in a friend’s home. “When I was in Hong Kong,” she shared, “the local meteorological service announced that there was a superstorm approaching. But more than the storm that was looming outside my window, there was a storm brewing at home. While my dad was in the hospital, family members were trying to balance their home and work responsibilities while also traveling to and from the hospital. They were so tired that patience was wearing thin, and the situation at home was tense.”

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The Power Of Ritual

When I was growing up, one of the rules in our house was that we weren’t allowed to go to bed angry (Eph. 4:26). All our fights and disagreements had to be resolved. The companion to that rule was this bedtime ritual: Mom and Dad would say to my brother and me, “Good night. I love you.” And we would respond, “Good night. I love you too.”

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16 thoughts on “The Power Of Ritual

  1. eternallyhis says:

    My Dad gave bits and pieces of good advice, which I later learned came straight from God’s Word. Mom had a beautiful voice and always sang hymns while doing her work. And every night before bed, my older sister led me and our little sister in songs such as ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and many of the hymns that we’d learned from listening to Mom. We would sing several songs before saying our bedtime prayers.
    Even though when I grew up and ended up living a life of sin, those rituals stuck with me throughout it all. I praise God for those rituals, knowing that was a big part of bringing me to where I finally surrendered my life fully to God.

  2. ronrev says:

    Complacency robs, but contrition restores. Thank You Father, in Jesus name.

  3. mosulliv says:

    I too have been away from church because of illness and realize even more what a rich blessing it is to have an opportunity to fellowship.It is mo mere ritual but an essential core activity for us to meet, share and encourage one another in the faith when we are able.

    I am looking forward to being able to do just that this coming Sunday and in the weeks ahead.

  4. whybruce says:

    Todays devotional was emotional on two fronts. First, she also took her last breath just two weeks ago today as a result of cancer. It was difficult to utter more than a single word. When our grandson (6 years old) lying next to her said, “I love you mommy”, she strenuously replied,” I love you Luke”. I quickly envisioned our Lord on the cross…dying for us…in His last moments saying…”Forgive them..” Painful love. Now every time I participate in the sacrament of communion, it will remind me fully of WHY I believe and what He did for me. Thanks Julie for the story.

  5. ktbsu says:

    Communion will never be the same again. I learned some new insights to the meaning of the “Lord’s Supper.” Thank you Lord Jesus for Your grace. Thank you for stooping down to listen to our cry for mercy. “Lord have mercy.”

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