Monday, September 30, 2013

Are You A 'Jphnny Appleseed'?

"These words I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up, You shall bind them as a sign on our hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead, You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates" (Deut. 6:6-9).

 Hey Gang:  As a child growing up in Altoona, Pennsylvania, I was blessed to be in that time period before the so called "Age of Enlightenment" covered our earth with a darkness that seems to be rotting every area of our lives.  One of the things I vividly remember was a student in Fairview Elementary School, was the opening of the school day.

 It was the same every day for the six years I attended that school.  We began with the pledge of allegiance to our country and the raising of the flag (which means we moved it from one side of the teachers desk to the other each day). This was followed by the reading of the Word and then a prayer.  Every school day, five days a week, nine months of the year. 

 In the first three year of my school experience I was truly blessed to have a grandmother-type teacher by the name of Mrs. Barnhart.   She was like a "mama hen" that watchers her chicks with a loving eye to make sure they were safely tucked away in the nest.  Each morning, after the pledge, Scripture, and prayer she would get out "Peanuts the Elephant", a kind of the mascot of the class, and read a story. While reading the story, she would walk up one aisle and down the other until she had made physical contract with every child.

 Mrs. Barnhart was far more than a mere teacher, she was a "seed planter" of God's love.  There was no big deal made of this planting of the Word into the hearts of all the children who were privileged to learn under her guidance, she just did it.  Why, I believe? Because it was her way of following the Lord's command to "Go into all the world and share the Good News that Jesus Christ is the "Way, Truth and Life". 

 I wonder how many of the little ones, who passed under her watchful eyes, learned eternal lesson about God's love and respect for their country and love for the flag.  She certainly was no preacher, not even a teacher of the Word, but she was, as James said we should all be, "…a Doer of the word".  I wonder how many noses she wiped or boots that she helped put on, or how many mittens she had to search for in her thirty plus years of sharing her purpose in life - sharing of God's love.

 Soooo, The question, are we losing our young people?   I’d like to think that maybe the seeds Mrs. Barnhart planted in my heart, in those first three years of my school life, later surfaced in the founding of the Village.  I pray that my life has been one of ‘seed planting’.  So get your hoe and spade and get about being a Johnny Appleseed with God's fabulous Word!



Friday, September 27, 2013

God's Call- part 2


 "…and he led the flock to the backside of the desert - and came to the mountain of God."  (Exodus 3:1)
 Hey Gang:  A burning bush that does not burn up would certainly get my attention, but this was just the beginning of a life changing experience.  Awed by this spectacle, profound experience number two suddenly came out of the burning bush in the form of a voice saying,  "Moses, Moses, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." (vs.6a),  How would you handle that?  Would that not blow your mind?

 It appears that it did Moses mind: "Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God" (vs. 6b).  Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote these words, "Earth's crammed with heaven and every bush afire with God.  But only he who sees takes off his shoes."  Is that not the truth?

 The tragedy of wilderness experiences is that we often miss the lesson God is trying to teach us.  James and Paul give us the good news that, out of every tough experience in our lives, there is a purpose - it is a potter’s- wheel experience that prepares us for the next, greater challenge designed, not only brings us closer to the Lord, but also build endurance for the next trip down alligator alley.

 I am sure Moses was not “…considering it all joy" in that first encounter with the God of Heaven. But I also believe God knew He had the man who would one day lead His children out of bondage.  I do not believe that Moses was experiencing a transformation of the inner most parts of his heart and mind, as God gave him this transfusion of faith and endurance, two attributes that will keep him sane as he deals with the multiple challenges of the grumbling Israelite children. 

 Point: Even though we may see the miraculous and, in the midst of it, hear a voice calling; hearing alone is of no value until we learn to respond to it.  Notice: Moses was alone with God on the top of a mountain when he heard God's voice.  The alone part was essential, not the mountain. 

 Learning to wait patiently, learning to do today what you hand finds to do, learning to hear the call of God when it comes and to respond - that is what the Wilderness is all about.   Isaiah challenges us to "wait upon the Lord" and we will get "renewed strength".  Our task is to keep our lamps trimmed.  We do not have a clue when night will come. 

Soooo, young lads and lassies, waiting for the Lord means we should become intertwined with Him, braided into Him until we become part of Him, and He with us.  (Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches".  Jamie Buckingham, a Sinai veteran, wrote the following: "The call comes only to those who are busy with the smaller task already assigned.  Take a few minutes and chew on that!"


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

God's Call


 "And he led the flock to the backside of the desert - and came to the mountain of God."  (Exodus 3:1)
 Hey Gang:  Do you have a day that came unannounced and you can say it changed your life, or at least made a major change in the direction you were going?  I had three such days: one, the day I attended a football game and met the ‘pearl of great price my life’. It was, far and above, the first such day!

But there were two others that made profound changed in my life: the day Uncle Sugar sent me a letter saying, "Your friends and neighbors have chosen you to give four years of your life for your country”.  And the third was the day I was out cutting my grass and a total stranger walked up to me and said,  "I hear you are going to sell your house, and I am interested,”  that set me on the path God had laid out for my life even before time began - the development of the Village.

 I mentioned, in a recent morning thought that Jeremiah was one tough dude and deserved placement in God's Hall of Perseverance and Toughness.  But he was not alone, Moses was also a charter member of the ‘toughness school’.

 For Moses it was just another day. Time to move the grass nibblers through the wadi's of the Sinai to greener pastures, seeking enough grass to keep his flock alive.  Over beyond the waters of the Gulf of Aqaba was the land of Esau.  You remember Esau, he was the man who never recovered from the loss of his birthright stolen by Jacob.  Many Bible guru's trace this incident in Esau's life, and Abraham  sending Hagar and Ishmael packing, as the reason many of the Arab peoples are so filled with anger and hatred today.

 But this day was to be day different than any other.  He noticed a sight that caught his attention. A sight, that I sense, might get anyone’s attention - a bush that was burning but yet did not burn up!  Now that was a weird phenomenon.  Not that a bush was burning, that was a common event in the Sinai, but the fact that fire did not consume the bush- was indeed an attention gaining  event. 

 In his earlier years in the court of Pharaoh, a burning bush would not have caught his eye, but forty years in the wilderness had changed his focus.  It took years of hardship to slow Moses down from the maddening pace of Pharaoh's court, an attribute that many have lost in our high tech world.

 Soooo, Moses said, "I will go over and take a peek at this strange sight", a decision that would change his life forever!  When was the last time you got alone in your private world and looked at the God given beauty that is ours for the taking?  I often think of the day I was hiking in the Tetons and came across an area where someone had disgraced God's wondrous beauty by dumping a load of garbage.  It was a wonderful example of Romans 8:28, that God can take even the worst of man’s selfishness and neglect and turn it for His, and our good  As I approached the garbage area, I noticed a purple tint that turned out to be tiny flowers that covered the garbage. Tune in next time for the rest of the story.



Monday, September 23, 2013

Like A Bolt of Lightning!

"Hear, O Peoples, all of you; Listen, O earth and all it contains, And let the Lord God be a witness against you.  The Lord from His holy temple.  For behold, the Lord is coming forth from His place.  He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth".  (Micah 1:2-3).

Hey Gang:  Is there anything that gets one’s attention more than to receive a  letter with the bold print "Notice" from the IRS?  Well, let me share one that is even more frightening, "to receive a letter with the bold print " Second Notice" from the IRS!"   It certainly got the attention of the receiver, "right now"!.  In a panic he went immediately to the IRS office to settle the matter.

 After several hours of deliberation, most of it one sided, he paid the bill.  As he was leaving the IRS Office, he mentioned to the agent  "I  do not remember receiving the first notice".  The IRS agent responded, “Oh, we ran out of first notices months ago and have learned that second notices are much more effective.” 

As we see the ominous dark clouds gathering over Jerusalem and Israel I wonder if God is not sending his Church a second notice.  The question that became essential in this day and age is "What does it take to motivate you? 

There is a neat little adage that brings clarity to this question.  A man was riding down the mountain trail on his donkey. God spoke to him and gave him instructions about what He would have him do.  Not sure the message was for him, the man continued on his way. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning came out of the sky and knocked him off the donkey.  Still not sure the message was for him, he said, “Lord, if you meant that for me give me another shot!”

Many folks live their Christian lives waiting for another shot!.  They tend to forget the times Jesus said, "Do not fear" do not allow anxiety to enter your walk.  We need to understand Satan's tool box includes "fear" as one of his major weapons.

In Micah 6:3 we read that God cried out, when Israel was riding on its donkey and doing their own thing, "What have I done to you and how have I wearied you?  Answer Me?  Is that not a good question for our country?   Israel was in rebellion, much like our country is in rebellion.  I wonder if the past election was a first or second shot by God to get our attention.  If the first, I wonder what the second one will be.

Do you think that God is crying out to those who call Him Lord, "Answer Me!   Indeed, I brought you up, I ransomed you, And I sent before you Moses, Aaron and Miriam.  I protected you, I sent My Son Jesus to be the sin bearer to set you free from the bondage of sin.  I gave you My road map so that you would know my plan for all time.  Why do you turn your back and choose to go your own way?" (Micah 6:3-4 Gramps version).

We long for peace but there is no peace because we reject the Peacemaker.  We are disturbed by the lack of leadership in those we choose to lead, but yet we reelect even those who have no leadership skills simply because they are the loudest.

Our national motto is "In God we trust" but in reality we have said,  "God, we will take it from here."  We need to learn that, if we want peace, we must come together under the unifier - Christ Jesus.  The key is the Holy Spirit in us.  Tragically, He stands at the door of every heart seeking entrance but is not welcome in growing numbers of folk’s hearts.

Soooo, warriors,   My prayer this morning is Micah 1:2-3 Hear, O Peoples, all of you; Listen, O earth and all it contains, And let the Lord God be a witness against you.  The Lord from His holy temple.  For behold, the Lord is coming forth from His place.  He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth"



Friday, September 20, 2013

Fridays Are Also Days of Ministry

“How will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard?  And how will they hear without a preacher”  (Romans 10:14
 Hey Gang, TGIF!  Do you sometimes feel that way?  I certainly had many Fridays when I felt that way. In my working days I was involved in three occupations:  I was an air - traffic controller,  a counselor in a detention home and the developer and president of a child care program. 

 Note: none of these jobs were five-days a week, nine to five and off on weekends and holidays.  Did it bother me?  Yes, to a degree. it would have been nice to punch the clock at five o’clock and put the work place out of my mind until Monday morning when I punched in again. But there was also the joy of knowing that one of my fellow *** employees was home enjoying his family today, and I would be able to do the same tomorrow, hopefully! 

I found this neat little ditty in Chuck Swindoll’s book Ultimate Book of Illustrations that makes a great deal of sense.  I wish I would have had it when I was up to my armpits in alligators.  It goes like this:
 “Slow me down, Lord, ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind.  Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.  Give me, amid the confusion of the day, the calmness of the everlasting hills.  Break the tension of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the singing streams that live in my memory.  Teach me the art of taking mini vacations – of slowing down to look at a flowers, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to smile at a child, to read a few lines from a good book.  Slow me down, Lord. And inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life’s ending values,  that I may grow toward my greater destiny.  Remind me each day that the race is not always to the swift; that there is more to life than increasing its speed.  Let me look upward to the towering oak and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well.”

Is that not a great piece of advice especially to those who are wired with the insatiable feeling that we must be doing something constructive every moment of our ‘awake hours’?  My warning to those who have completed their working tenure and are preparing for the life of leisure:  “Be careful, chose your projects well or you might find your calendar looking like someone walked on it". 

Does that mean I am telling them to get out the old rocking chair and as Dwight Eisenhower said he would do, "Sit quietly for seven years and then begin to slowly start rocking”?  No, that is not what I am saying but rather when you no longer have the discipline of the work day in your life, you can let your life get out of control.  

Soooo, my young buckaroos, when it seems the alligators are rising and the sun is having a hard time peeking through the dark clouds, take a moment or two and smell the posies.  Then call someone that is worse off then you and tell them you really, really, really care about them and want to do something very special for them right now!



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Do You Invest Wisely with What God Blesses You?

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,"  says the Lord of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows."  (Malachi 3:10)

Hey Gang:  Wow, what a fabulous promise to God's children.  But, to quit there is to miss a profound second part to His promise,  "Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes," says the Lord of hosts." (vs.11). 

Do you think God is tying our giving to His protection of us from the devourer?  I will confess that in my early years of walking with the Lord I came across this verse and it scared the begeebies out of me because I was not a tither.  I was at best a very sporadic giver and sometimes gave what was left over.

There is also a very key principle here, that we need to get tucked away in our minds and heart, God challenges us to test Him.  As I read the Word I find that many of the pillars of the Christian faith were also tested.    I also believe that testing is an essential ingredient of the faith.  When God laid it on my heart that I should quit my job, sell my house, pack my family across country into never never land, I would suggest to you that God was testing to see if I was worthy to do what He had in mind for me to do.

But let me take that a step further.  In that two years, when I was the ‘unemployed director of a non existent boys home’ I learned a whole barn-full about testing.  Perhaps most important was if I did not test Him and put one foot in front of the other, I was going to learn all those lessons that Solomon laid out for our edification about idleness and not getting up off our backsides and taking the first step. 

I had occasion recently to have a discussion with a young man who is preparing to go into the mission field.    He was dealing with some deep seated frustrations.  He believed he was ready to take on the challenge of God's calling but, in his opinion- like I was-  he was stuck in a waiting mode.  I shared with him that all that he was doing, every jot and tittle, was God's way to prepare him for what he will need in the future.  In the two years I was waiting for the door to open, I did a zillion different things from moving cows to building furniture an pasturing a small church.  

When God said, “Okay, go for it!"  I found myself caring for horses, building the furniture for the house and, many other things that I had tucked away in my experience bag.  Most important was the time I spent in the Word, in those two years, tutored by a dear lady. This, built  the foundation that would carry me in those very formative years of hanging on as God moved so swiftly. 

Sooooo, my young warriors, read the verse for today and zero in on God's promises in these powerful verses.  Bring it all into His storehouse and test Him.  It is when you do this that He will bless your sox off.  I know, because I have been there!    


Monday, September 16, 2013

Living in the Battle Mode

"But I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which dwells in me"  (Ro. 7:23 )  Paul also said, "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wiling is present in me, but the doing of the good is not" (7:18  - read 7:14 through 25).

Hey Gang, Question? How many out there realized we are in an on-going war, a war that never ceases nor will it cease until Yeshua HaMashiah returns and takes back what is rightfully His?   Years ago I heard a pastor say, the war begins the moment we put our feet on the floor in the morning.  I would altar that!  I believe it continues even during the night time hours.  Satan is relentless and never sleeps and continues to harass us even when we think our minds are beyond his reach.

Paul writes, "The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up.  I truly delight in God's  commands, but...not all of me joins in that delight" (Rom. 7:19). 

What's happening?  Your flesh is at war with your spirit, seducing you into relaxing your defenses.  And, the moment you do, It'll ‘nail you’.   It'll whisper, "Go ahead, it's no big deal, everybody does it.  Who'll know anyway?"  Learn to identify and say no to that voice before it becomes a thought entertained, a deed done, a habit formed and a character ruined.

Your new birth doesn't do away with your old nature, it just brings it into sharp contrast. You may be redeemed, but you still live in a carnal body in a fallen world.  If you try to fight the flesh in the power of the flesh, you'll just end up fighting yourself.  What's the answer?  "Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Gal. 5:16).  How do you do that?  By obeying God's Word, instead of doing what comes naturally!

 You were programmed from birth to walk in the flesh, so if you "blow it" occasionally, don't get discouraged.  It appears from Paul's letter to the Roman's that he dealt with this very problem in his life.  He wrote, "For what I am doing, I do not understand, for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate".  (vs. 15)  I can say "Been there and done that" and continue to deal with that issue on a daily basis.

Satan is on a campaign to feed as much smut and garbage into our eyes and ears as we will allow him to do  It is virtually impossible to watch the ‘boob tub’e more than ten minutes without seeing or hearing something that is not pleasing to our Abba Father and, for the formative years of the younger generation, it can contaminate their brains very rapidly.

Sooooo, how do we protect our mind and heart from doing the very thing we hate?  By learning to walk in the Spirit with a new set of values, new companions, new priorities, new resources and new management.  Your ‘new birth’ begins a life-long battle.  To win you must live in the  "war mode". Paul's antidote for not doing the thing we hate, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ has set you free from the law of sin and death."  (Rom, 8:2).



Friday, September 13, 2013

Hidden Treasures and Pearls!

"The kingdom of heaven is like a hidden treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again, and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.   Again, the kingdom of heaven  is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it" (Matt. 13:44-46).

Hey Gang:  have you ever found a hidden treasure or costly pearl?  Perhaps, if you haven't,  "You do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:2) Or perhaps you "ask with the wrong motives.  Several years ago I happened to tune into a program where  people bring antique objects to a professional evaluator to check and see the objects authenticity and value.  

In most cases the objects were found to be authentic but not of much value. However, on this particular day, an elderly lady brought a vase that had been passed down through the generations of her family.  The longer the evaluator looked at the vase the more excited he became;  he had in his hands a" pearl of great price", a vase from a Chinese dynasty that was worth over a hundred thousand dollars.   

As he declared this to the many people who were present at the exhibit, you could hear the ‘Oh's’ and ‘Awes’ from the crowd.   Wow! How they envied this lady who had a "pearl of great price" in her home for all of these years and did not have a clue that it was a "pearl of great price".

As I watched the program it surfaced a question in my mind:  How many people in our nation, who are going through great pains and agony, that do not realize that most have in their homes  a "pearl of great price" that has been collecting dust on a closet shelf. It contains the wondrous promises of God.  

Years ago my bride and I were commissioned to teach a very special class of parents.  Each had been assigned to the class by a court or school system.  The common denominator - they had a teen ager who was causing havoc in the community or school.   In my opining comments to this unique group of parents, I asked them, "What would you have us teach in these sessions that would help you the most?"

One man, who sat in the back corner with sneer on his face and arms folded in defiance, asked "what are our options?”  I said we can teach you Biblical principles that contain the perfect plan that God provided for raising our children.”  He said, “I don't believe that stuff.”  When asked what stuff he did not believe, he could not give me one example.

He then asked, “What is the second option?” I said, "We will teach you Biblical principles without telling you they are Biblical principles.”  And what is my third option? We send you down the road for we have found nothing else that works.   

On the fourth or fifth session we noted a tremendous difference in him.  His face was no longer hardened and his arms no longer crossed in rebellion.  As a matter of fact he was smiling and itching to share what had happened in his house after last Saturday’s session. 

On that particular Saturday morning the subject was based on the importance of consistency in setting boundaries.  He announced to the family that from that moment on we are going to do things differently, we will respect each other. He was so happy because there was a difference in family attitude.

Soooo, have you been diligent in spending time with your "Pearl of Great Price?"   Jesus, in His sermon on the mount said, "Every one who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them is like the man who built his house on the sand and when the shaking came, the house fell. (Hainley rendition of Matt. 7:24-25).   But He did not leave it there, He went on to say He who builds his house on the Word of God is like building his house on the rock. It may be shaken but it will not fall!



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pin-Hole or Pipe-line?

“To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead, for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” (I Peter 3:8-9)

Hey Gang:  A guided tour of heaven was one of the high points of the indoctrination of newcomers to heaven.  In the course of the tour, the tour guide described all of the wonderful points of interest of heaven, but tended to ignore one complex of buildings. 

One of the newcomers asked what was in the group of omitted buildings.  The tour guide said  “Oh, you don’t want to see what is inside those buildings”, and went on with the tour.  At the completion of the tour, he asked if there were any questions.  The newcomer once again asked what was in the buildings and why did we not want to see them.    
The tour guide finally agreed to show them and led them into the buildings.  When they walked in they discovered there were long lines of shelving from roof to ground and on each of the selves were brown paper bags with a ribbon tied around the neck of each. 

When asked what was in the bag, the tour guide said, “There is a bag here for every person who ever lived on earth; contained within the bags are all the blessings God wanted to give to that person but were refused or neglected.!

 Wow, what a neat little story..  I don't know if there is such a building in heaven.  I doubt it because I do not believe God wants to remind us of the errors of our ways while in training on earth.  But this I 'don't know', how many blessings I missed because I was not plugged into God's power supply. 

I have learned in my eighty years on this earth that the blessings of God do not necessarily come to those who are asleep at the wheel.  I get the idea that an abundant number of folks who think  Christians are to be nice, quiet, and almost wimpy people.  Not so!  As one man wrote, “Prayer is not a lovely sedan for a sightseeing trip around the city.  Prayer is a truck that goes straight to the warehouse, backs up, loads and come home with the goods.” Another wrote, “Prayer is work.”

Soooo, my young friends, are you a push cart kind of prayer warrior or are you a Mack Truck that backs up to the warehouse and comes home with the goods?    Harold Hill, a converted alcoholic business man - now evangelist, once said, "We make choices every day as to whether we are satisfied to be a pin-hole Christians or pipe-line Christian.  Which are you this morning? 

Jesus said "All power (authority) in heaven and earth rest in Me" (Matt. 28:18) and He has extended it to us.  Notice the next word " GO!"



Monday, September 9, 2013

What Is That In Your Hand?

 "I, even, I will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do” (Ex 4:15). "Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say." (Ex. 4:12).

Hey Gang, How many out there believe Moses was a very tough and stubborn sort of hombre.  I believe God equipped him that way for He had an impossible task that He was preparing him for.  Not only was he going to take on the power of Pharaoh, but would also deal with the nearly impossible elements of forty years in the wilderness with a million or so people that even God described as “Stiffnecked”.

Forty years, as second in command of the greatest power on earth at that time, Egypt, and forty years of dealing with the impossible elements of the wilderness, caring for a bunch of sheep, had made him one tough dude.   But something was fixen’ to happen that would change his life forever, he had an encounter with a “burning bush” that did not burn.

 Did you ever have a life changing experience?  Moses was about to have one.  He decided he needed to take a closer look at this bush that did not burn.  The ‘burning bush’ was a phenomenal sight to see but he was about to come face to face with a “blow your mind” event!

 A voice, (God’s) came out of the bush and said to Moses, “Do not come near here; remove your  sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.  I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”  “Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.” (Ex 3:5)

 The story of Moses’ encounter with God is indeed a wonderful story.  If you are not up to speed on the  whole story, and nothing but the story, I strongly suggest you take your Bible and get alone with God and read the whole story found in Exodus.  It is worth the investment of time.

 But, let’s skip down to the life changing experience that applies to every believer who encounters difficulties in their walk with the Lord.  After Moses gave five reasons why God had chosen the wrong person for this assignment, God lost patience with Moses and said,  “Moses what is that in your hand?” to which Moses responded, “a staff”. 

God said, “Throw it on the ground”. It turned into a serpent and Moses fled from it.  After 40 years in the wilderness Moses knew the perils of getting to close to a serpent.  Then God said, “pick it up by the tail!”.    I don’t know what Moses said but I think I would have said, “You have got to be kidding!”  But when God is giving the orders if pays to be obedient.

Hence, from that point on the “rod” became the rod of spiritual authority, called the “Rod of God”.  We know from the Bible that God wants his children to have the best, but we also know that many of those best things have serpents in them that can be harmful in our walk with the Lord. 

 Soooo, My young friends, be sure you throw all of the neat bangles and beads on the ground and let God take the serpent out of them.  I promise if they are going to make you a better disciple for Him, He will give them back to you – serpent-less!