A Work In Progress

Pablo Casals was considered to be the preeminent cellist of the first half of the 20th century. When he was still playing his cello in the middle of his tenth decade of life, a young reporter asked, “Mr. Casals, you are 95 years old and the greatest cellist that ever lived. Why do you still practice 6 hours a day?”

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Our Life Is A Primer

The New England Primer was published in the late 1600s. Throughout the colonies that would later become the United States, the book became a widely used resource.

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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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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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Joash must have been confused and frightened when he was told about the evil deeds of his grandmother Athaliah. She had murdered his brothers to usurp the power of the throne in Judah. But baby Joash had been safely hidden away by his aunt and uncle for 6 years (2 Chron. 22:10-12). As he grew, he enjoyed the love and instruction of his caregivers. When Joash was only 7 years old, he was secretly crowned king and his grandmother was overthrown (23:12-15).

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Giving It To God

A hero to a generation of people who grew up after World War II, Corrie ten Boom left a legacy of godliness and wisdom. A victim of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, she survived to tell her story of faith and dependence on God during horrendous suffering.

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Gentle Jesus

Charles Wesley (1707–1788) was a Methodist evangelist who wrote more than 9,000 hymns and sacred poems. Some, like “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” are great, soaring hymns of praise. But his poem “Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild,” first published in 1742, is a child’s quiet prayer that captures the essence of how all of us should seek the Lord in sincere, simple faith.

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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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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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Terms Of Service

If you’re like me, you seldom read the full text of contracts for online services before you agree to them. They go on for pages, and most of the legal jargon makes no sense to ordinary people like me.

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Keeping Darkness At Bay

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s book The Hobbit, the wizard Gandalf explains why he has selected a small hobbit like Bilbo to accompany the dwarves to fight the enemy. He says, “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”

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Walking Billboards

Pete Peterson’s first contact with Vietnam was in the Vietnam War. During a bombing raid in 1966, his plane was shot down and he was taken prisoner. Over 30 years later he returned as US Ambassador to Vietnam. One press article called him “a walking billboard for reconciliation.” He realized years ago that God had not saved his life for him to live in anger. Because he believed this, he used the rest of his life and his position to make a difference by pushing for better safety standards for children in Vietnam.

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The Parable Of The Sting

I can still see Jay Elliott’s shocked face as I burst through his front door almost 50 years ago with a “gang” of bees swirling around me. As I raced out his back door, I realized the bees were gone. Well, sort of—I’d left them in Jay’s house! Moments later, he came racing out his back door—chased by the bees I had brought to him.

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The Upright Thumb

According to an African fable, four fingers and a thumb lived together on a hand. They were inseparable friends. One day, they noticed a gold ring lying next to them and conspired to take it. The thumb said it would be wrong to steal the ring, but the four fingers called him a self-righteous coward and refused to be his friend. That was just fine with the thumb; he wanted nothing to do with their mischief. This is why, the legend goes, the thumb still stands separate from the other fingers.

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Broken But Beautiful

Recently, my daughter showed me her collection of sea glass. Also known as beach glass, the varied bits of colored glass are sometimes pieces of pottery but often they are pieces of shattered glass bottles. Originally the glass had a purpose, but then it was casually thrown away and became broken.

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Divine Perspective

Jason took a trip to New York during spring break. One afternoon he and some friends piled into a cab and headed for the Empire State Building. To Jason, the ride on the ground seemed chaotic and dangerous. But when he got to the observation deck of the skyscraper and looked down on the city streets, to his amazement he saw order and design. What a difference a change in perspective made!

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Looking For Zacchaeus

Alf Clark walks the city streets looking for Zacchaeus. Well, not the actual one in the Bible—Jesus already found him. Alf and some friends who serve with an urban ministry do what Jesus did in Luke 19. They go purposefully through town to meet with and help those in need.

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Small Ways In Small Places

Often I meet with people who serve in what they think are seemingly small ways in small places. They are frequently discouraged by loneliness, feeling that their acts of service are insignificant. When I hear them speak, I think of one of the angels in C. S. Lewis’ book Out of the Silent Planet. He said: “My people have a law never to speak of sizes or numbers to you. . . . It makes you do reverence to nothings and pass by what is really great.”

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Living Bridges

People who live in Cherrapunji, India, have developed a unique way to get across the many rivers and streams in their land. They grow bridges from the roots of rubber trees. These “living bridges” take between 10 to 15 years to mature, but once they are established, they are extremely stable and last for hundreds of years.

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The Growth Chart

If my family ever moves from the house where we live now, I want to unhinge the pantry door and take it with me! That door is special because it shows how my children have grown over the years. Every few months, my husband and I place our children against the door and pencil a mark just above their heads. According to our growth chart, my daughter shot up 4 inches in just 1 year!

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19 thoughts on “The Growth Chart

  1. happyinjesus says:

    As a Christian we should be growing in our faith. We stunt our growth when we fail to study God’s word and gain wisdom and knowledge. And not only that, but we must apply what we learn. Let’s all grow in grace and in knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  2. sentinel46 says:

    Dear Heavenly Father, “…Of thy Truth in the sharing of thy Word on today I humbly thank you in the name of Jesus your begotten Son of Heaven and Earth whom’s wisdom and understanding He has made known to usward the blessings of this day in the sharing of the scripture lesson(s) on the Our Daily Bread web site for us Your children of man(kind) reborn again to you by Thy Son Jesus Christ to continue to grow in spirit with the Spirit of the Living God…Amen!”
    Bible References:
    …Deuteronomy 11:1-32; Deuteronomy 32:1-24; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:1-176; Psalm 121:1-6; Psalm138:1-8; Proverb 1:1-23; Proverb 3:1-35; Proverb 6:23; Jeremiah 29:11-13; Habakkuk 2:4; Matthew 4:1-11; Matthew 11:28-30; John 5:39; Acts 20:32; Romans 1:16; Romans 5:1-21; Romans 6:1-23; Romans 8:1-39; Romans 9:1-33; Romans 12:1-21; 1 Corinthians 1:1-31; 1 Corinthians 2:1-16; 1 Corinthians 3:1-23; 1 Corinthians 4:1-21; 1 Corinthians 15:1-58; 1 Corinthians 16:23; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 2 Corinthians 4:1-18; Galatians 5:1,13-6:18; Ephesians 1:1-2:22; Philippians 3:1-21; Philippians 4:1-13,23; Colossians 3:1-17; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-18; 1Timothy 4:1-16; 1 Timothy 6:11-12; 2 Timothy 2:15-16; Hebrews 1:1-11; Hebrews 4:12; Hebrews 10:19-25; Hebrews 11:1-40; Hebrews 12:1-29; Hebrews 13:5-8; James 1:5,17; 1 Peter 1:1-25; 1 Peter 2:1-25; 1 Peter 5:1-13; 2 Peter 1:3-2:20; 2 Peter 3:10-18; 2 Corinthians 13-11-14; Revelation 1:3…

    2 Timothy 2:15-19 New King James Version (NKJV)

    15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ[a] depart from iniquity.”

    a. 2 Timothy 2:19 NU-Text and M-Text read the Lord.
    New King James Version (NKJV)
    The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

    2 Peter 3:18 New King James Version (NKJV)

    18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
    New King James Version (NKJV)
    The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

  3. Rocky says:

    Oh to be able to measure our spiritual growth, as we do our physical growth. :)And to be able to recognize where other’s are in their spiritual walk, so to not talk down to them or to look to them for advice or direction as a mentor or a teacher. :)

  4. sandy229 says:

    John 3:10-12 says
    “No one can come to me (Jesus) unless the father who sent me draws him. Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.

    John 15:16,19 said to his disciples
    “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.”

    We do not choose Him, He chooses us, loves us, and reveals His eternal purposes for our lives.

    Revelation 3:20 says
    “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me”

    John 15:16 says
    “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last.”

    “Philippians 2:13 says
    It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

    God made us for His purpose and not our own. A love relationship with God is more important than any other single factor in our lives. We cannot advance His kingdom unless we have this close relationship with Him.

    1. Rocky says:

      We can’t choose to be born again anymore than we can choose our own parents. But once we are born physically or spiritually, we must learn and grow. Learn the things that our earthly parents and our heavenly father teaches us. It’s not a magic wand, it doesn’t happen by osmosis

  5. xs says:

    Being willing to grow comes with much challenge, but perseverance is the key, not through self reliance, but through God who gives us strength.
    God bless you all

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