Think Of Them No More

My early years as a believer in Christ were laden with foreboding. I had the impression that when Jesus comes back, all my sins will be portrayed on a giant screen for everyone to see.

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The Small Giant

The towering enemy strides into the Valley of Elah. He stands 9 feet tall, and his coat of armor, made of many small bronze plates, glimmers in the sunlight. The shaft of his spear is wrapped with cords so it can spin through the air and be thrown with greater distance and accuracy. Goliath looks invincible.

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Born To Rescue

After the terrorist attack and the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001, Cynthia Otto took care of the search-and-rescue dogs. Years later she established a Working Dog Center where young pups are put through specialized training to prepare them to help victims of disaster.

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One Amazing Letter

Once in a while my wife and I open the mail to find a letter with no words on it. When we take the “letter” out of the envelope, we see a piece of paper with nothing more on it than a colorful mark made with a felt pen. Those “letters” warm our hearts because they’re from our preschool granddaughter Katie, who lives in another state. Even without words, these letters tell us that she loves us and is thinking about us.

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A Possum’s Pose

Possums are known for their ability to play dead. When this happens, the possum’s body wilts, its tongue flops out, and its heart rate declines. After about 15 minutes, the animal revives. Interestingly, animal experts do not believe that possums purposefully play dead to evade predators. They faint involuntarily when they become overwhelmed and anxious!

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Sow What?

On the clock tower of my alma mater is an Art Deco bas-relief sculpture titled The Sower. The inscription beneath it is from Galatians 6:7, “Whatsoever a man soweth.” Michigan State University remains a leader in agricultural research, but despite many improvements in farming techniques and crop production, this fact remains: Seeds of corn will not produce a crop of beans.

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More Of Him, Less Of Me

While I was pastoring a church early in my ministry, my daughter Libby asked me, “Dad, are we famous?” To which I replied, “No, Libby, we’re not famous.” She thought for a moment and then said rather indignantly, “Well, we would be if more people knew about us!”

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Let Me Be Singing

When I asked a friend how his mother was getting along, he told me that dementia had robbed her of the ability to remember a great many names and events from the past. “Even so,” he added, “she can still sit down at the piano and, without sheet music, beautifully play hymns by memory.”

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With Him Forever!

In 1859, during the turbulent years prior to America’s Civil War, Abraham Lincoln had the opportunity to speak to the Agricultural Society in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As he spoke, he shared with them the story of an ancient monarch’s search for a sentence that was “true and appropriate in all times and situations.” His wise men, faced with this heady challenge, gave him the sentence, “And this, too, shall pass away.”

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The Barking Lion

Visitors to a zoo were outraged when the “African lion” started barking instead of roaring. Zoo staff said they had disguised a Tibetan mastiff—a very large dog—as a lion because they could not afford the real thing. Needless to say, the zoo’s reputation was sullied and people will think twice before visiting it.

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31 thoughts on “The Barking Lion

  1. bondserve says:

    This is such a wonderful devotional, and from a writer I’m not familiar with. The timeless wisdom of the writers of Proverbs continues to serve as a guiding light for Christians everywhere.

    I remember my father’s concern for protecting our family name. A person’s name should reflect their character—who they are on the inside. As a Christian it’s not always easy to emulate our glorious Lord. We bear the name that is above all names: Christ Jesus. We are a part of the family of God. And that should cause us to diligently guard our new family name in our words and actions.

    I’m still striving to perfect that one most important spiritual law within me, the law to treat everyone with love. It’s not easy. But the Holy Spirit enables us to do that which is humanly impossible, when we step out in faith and obey. Blessings to all!

    Author of: “Meet Him on the Mountain”.

  2. hopeful1 says:

    Thank you all for your love. Your replies to my comments are very much appreciated, and do not fall on deaf ears.

    I know that satan & his cronies are trying to keep me down. In my head, I know the facts, Christian & otherwise. It’s my heart that still aches with regret & remorse. I sometimes wonder if it’s still so raw as a means of preventing these things from ever happening again. Maybe this is the reason I am so easily forgive and show mercy to others. I believe I’m learning that mercy and compassion are who I truly am. Like Paul, maybe I have a “thorn in my side” for a reason? I don’t know…God will show me the way, I’m sure.

    I hear you about God having already forgiven, so who am I to not forgive myself. I have often thought the same thing. It makes sense. I am by no means a “new Christian”, but I have struggled like this the whole way.
    I keep thinking that God must want me pretty darn strong for something. I take solace in that, and knowing that He really does love me in ways nobody could ever come close to.

    Again, thanks for all your thoughts. For what it’s worth, it matters and it does make a difference.
    Thank you. God bless you all.

  3. cinnamondoris says:

    Thank you Lord

  4. sandy229 says:

    Through the years….not tears……lol

  5. sandy229 says:

    You have already come a long way by just acknowledging what u did and you can never move on( forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead) until you forgive yourself. If God forgives us, who are we not to forgive ourselves? I know how you feel because I had to forgive myself of all the horrible things I did and being a bad example to everyone. It’s impossible to find each person you have wronged through the tears but just those you can find and ask their forgiveness. There are people who just wait for you to make a mistake…..then BAM! They say you were really not sincere but just point out to yourself you are not perfect but u r forgiven and by Gods grace you are saved!
    I just pray that I make walk in a matter worthy of Christ and be a better example to everyone.

    1. learntrustlive says:

      Thank you so much for your comment. It provoked a lot of emotion, and regret. I am trying to get past the pain and messes I created, and pray that as you stated “I just hope that God will restore the people I’ve wronged”. I must stay with my eyes fixed on Jesus and his healing grace. God Bless you.

  6. mario says:

    Nice message! I understand a believer is more concerned on what God will say rather than what people around him/her will say. Truly this way, the believer is on the right path towards building a good reputation. However, when a believer makes a mistake along the way, he/she confesses his/her mistake for this is pleasing to the Lord (1 Jn 1:8-10; 1 Jn 2:1-2//James 5:16// Lk 18:9-14//Isa 66:1-2//Psalm 51:17). I also learned that the gospel is primarily about repentance/ forgiveness of our sins through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Lk 24:46-47//Acts 13:38-39 ) which the Apostle Paul had preached to us (Gentiles) in Acts 26:15-18). And I learned that at the end of life journey, a true believer can truly say what the good Apostle said in 2 Tim 4:7-8:”I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith….” For this reasons I understand, a believer is tasked to share the gospel to others. Thank you

  7. janell4024 says:

    To hopeful 1,

    If God forgives us, who are we to say that is not enough? How can we fail to forgive ourselves? We learn from past mistakes and ask forgiveness for our sins knowing that Christ’s work on the cross is perfect and gives us complete forgiveness.

  8. poohpity says:

    I think that is the biggest draw to Christ is letting others know we fail and it is the Lord who picks us up. To many what people outside of the church to think those inside are perfect, the barking lions as it were. Humility compared to self righteousness.

  9. ktbsu says:

    Amazing Grace!

  10. nanxi says:

    everything said about reputation is so true, fortunately, God is our redeemer.

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