Snake In A Box

At a nature center, I watched my friend’s rosy-cheeked toddler pat the side of a large glass box. Inside the box, a bull snake named Billy slithered slowly, eyeing the little girl. Billy’s body was as thick as my forearm and he sported brown and yellow markings. Although I knew Billy could not escape from his container, seeing a menacing-looking creature so close to a small child made me shudder.

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Wonders Of The Heart

Our heart beats about 100,000 times every day, pumping blood to every cell in our bodies. This adds up to about 35 million beats a year and 2.5 billion beats in an average lifetime. Medical science tells us that every contraction is similar to the effort it would take for us to hold a tennis ball in our palm and give it a good hard squeeze.

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Johnny’s Race

When 19-year-old Johnny Agar finished the 5k race, he had a lot of people behind him—family members and friends who were celebrating his accomplishment.

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Struggling With Addiction

Eric was struggling with an addiction, and he knew it. His friends and family members encouraged him to stop. He agreed that it would be best for his health and relationships, but he felt helpless. When others told him how they had quit their bad habits, he replied, “I’m happy for you, but I can’t seem to stop! I wish I had never been tempted in the first place. I want God to take the desire away right now.”

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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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Every Hardship

Like many towns, Enterprise, Alabama, has a prominent monument. But the monument in Enterprise is unlike any other. The statue doesn’t recognize a leading citizen; it celebrates the work of a beetle. In the early 1900s, this boll weevil made its way from Mexico to the southern US. Within a few years it had destroyed entire crops of cotton, the primary source of revenue. In desperation, farmers started growing another crop—peanuts. Realizing they had been dependent on one crop for too long, they credited the beetle with forcing them to diversify, which led to increased prosperity.

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The Ultimate Reunion

I’ll never forget the vigil of sitting by my dad’s bed as he spent his last few days with us before slipping into eternity. To this day the moment of his passing continues to have a profound effect on me. My dad was always there for me. I could call him whenever I needed counsel. I have great memories of our days fishing together; we would talk about God and the Bible, and I would prompt him to tell those fun stories from his youth on the farm.

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The Language Of Whistling

On La Gomera, one of the smallest of the Canary Islands, a language that sounds like a bird song is being revived. In a land of deep valleys and steep ravines, schoolchildren and tourists are learning how whistling was once used to communicate for distances up to 2 miles. One goat herder who is using this ancient language once again to communicate with his flock said, “They recognize my whistle as they recognize my voice.”

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An Emergency Of The Spirit

In March 2011, a devastating tsunami struck Japan, taking nearly 16,000 lives as it obliterated towns and villages along the coast. Writer and poet Gretel Erlich visited Japan to witness and document the destruction. When she felt inadequate to report what she was seeing, she wrote a poem about it. In a PBS NewsHour interview she said, “My old friend William Stafford, a poet now gone, said, ‘A poem is an emergency of the spirit.’”

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41 thoughts on “An Emergency Of The Spirit

  1. ektigah says:

    “I’ll bring You more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you have required. You search much deeper within….You’re looking into my heart”

    What does God find when He looks into our hearts. Are our hearts singing His praises as our lips are? May God work on our hearts.

  2. tycarand777 says:

    How comforting it truly is to know that despite our troubles, our fears, our hurts and our moments of despair, The Lord knows all I think and feel. Before I pray one thought, He hears me. He loves me. He has a plan for me. Thank you for loving me Jesus and never leaving my side!!!
    Jeremiah 29:11

  3. guineafoot says:

    It is always reassuring to know God reads more than just words. There are times when one cannot find the words to express our thoughts. The mere fact that our innermost thoughts are relayed is more than comforting, as it’s states whether in sadness or in glee. Thank you Lord for that.

  4. meandmy3 says:

    Thank you eveninggrain tyank you. My sitiation is a lot like yours. I waa in a car accident approx about sevin years ago had major surgery was able to cope very good the first two years. Then over the past five years things has yet to become stable for my family. The company i worked for closed thier doors. So usually the first thing the devil attacks is our income. With that happening a domino effect of things begin. So im gonna go back to accident because now my body is going through worse than it has before. Which makes everything else just as hard and then the blame game starts stress, depression, the list goes on. I know that my God will never leave me nor forsake me, its just when you feel or see that one percent remaing on your battery phone… Jesus! U just brake down and wonder why me and think u are the only one… Well thats where i was because i with the help of God will win this fight. Then right before my eyes when that phone has stopped beeping i see Jesus recharging everything about me n around me.. I just wanna say thank you for the encouragement to you and everyone in n out of post… Thank u and i will keep you all as a whole in my prayers….P.U.S.H.

  5. seekingtoserve says:

    Listen, (read this for that matter) everyone. I have been convicted of my sin today.

    P R I D E

    Although it’s nothing new, it is the most subtle of all sin a christian could commit.

    I feel that I have what I have …
    That I can and will do … (I am capable).
    Sometimes as a christian, I feel and act as if I saved myself. (Ephesians 2:8)

    I have therefore been reminded, “hearken unto your calling, to be a child of God”.

    The Lord has not called us to be partners with Him, but to be a sons and daughters of His righteousness. Remember Jonah ? He acted as though salvation belonged to him.

    And what about the entire nation of Israel under Moses’ leadership ?

    Today as I the devotional I remembered : how many times has my son grumbled and sneered at me, just because I asked him to do something ? Whose diapers did I change and whose backside did I have to wipe just because he could not do so himself ? Then there he goes in outright disobedience to what I ask of him as his parent – his earthly guardian.

    I will as a question: When the Israelites looked on as the Egyptian soldiers / army that was pursuing them drowned in the Red Sea, did each of them break into song and dance in celebration of what they felt they could do through the Hand Of God, or what God could accomplish through them in their calling as a nation (a holy nation) ? Let us also learn a lesson by what happened as they traveled through the wilderness enroute to the promised land.

    There isn’t enough room here even to recite the countless prophetic messages of chastisement as God addressed and called them.

    Do you remember what the disciples did just before Jesus was crucified ? They even asked God for an insiders scoop for when God would restore THEIR kingdom (Israel’s) even as they witnessed Christ’s suffering and resurrection! It as as if God was pleased with them, no, but God was pleased to call them His own!! God has called us all to be His own.

    The shield (Ephesians 6:16)- did you make that shield ? No, but the one who did knew we stood no chance without it.
    I stand here to say that war has been declared. Let is be careful because sometimes we misuse the things entrusted to us. We and hear everyday about how political leaders the world over even misuse their power and the one we have to battle knows we are not immune.

    May God bless you and may He strengthen the seed within each one of us so that it bears fruit.

  6. msnan says:

    We don’t know the final thoughts of a dying soul, but we do know this. We know our GOD is a a GOOD GOD, He is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering towards us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) He wants our loved ones in Heaven more than we do.
    David sang this to teach the children of Judah the song of the “BOW”. Death was not soft-pedaled or passed over. Face it, fight it, question it, or condemn it, but don’t deny it, don’t heed, but do forgive those who urge you not to. God will lead us through, not around, the valley of the shadow of death. I’m so glad it’s just a shadow.

  7. artcwoods says:

    God never fails to prove His love to us, whether we speak a language in words or urges from the Spirit. Praises to Him who provides, even in faithful friendships. Thank God.

  8. colleen thornton says:

    Today I enjoyed the devotional by David McCasland-23 September 2014. I’m requesting the full name of the author whose small poem was included in the end of this article–Nicholson.

    1. Lanka says:

      A little word by Martha Snell-Nicholson:

      Sometimes I do not even pray in words.
      I take my heart in my two hands,
      And hold it up before the Lord.
      I’m so glad He understands.

      Sometimes I do not even pray in words.
      My spirit bows before His feet,
      And with His hand upon my head,
      We just hold communion, silent, sweet.

      Sometimes I do not pray in words,
      For I am tired and long for rest.
      And my heart finds all it needs,
      Just resting on the Savior’s gentle breast

  9. TEbie says:

    Thanks for inspirations David M. God is good(greater than any thought). I cannot even put into words how majestic God is, beyond my words. That is exactly the way I feel I can only give my words to you(speak out)and you receive, cipher out and go with as you may. Here on planet earth we continue the moments as vast as they may be and even special(sufferings,etc.) especially to that individual. God has your back, He has you as you go forward, He will pick you up if necessary(You are in God’s hands). The Lord God never leaves us, only we do, so please take heart and be of good cheer. Jeremiah says in Jer.29:11 For I know the Plans I have for you declares the Lord plans to prosper you not to harm you plans to give you Hope and a Future. God bless!

  10. aampll says:

    Sometimes as we experience things in life that are so overwhelming, all we can say is “LORD HELP US” or “JESUS” or we just GROAN IN OUR SPIRITS. That’s enough. And we know that He hears and understands. Thank you LORD.

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