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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Puddle-Jumping Praise


PUDDLE-JUMPING PRAISE


Oh, Boy! A Mud Puddle!
As a child I enjoyed rainy days. After a storm I would put on my rubber boots and go puddle jumping. Of course, part of the fun was not always missing the mud.

I used to laugh when I saw the TV ad about the little boy stomping through mud puddles. Then he’d track up the house and his grandpa would clean up the mess. Mom did that for me.

Rain can be both a blessing and a curse. To farmers about to harvest crops, it’s a curse. To forest fires it can be a blessing. But there’s something to be said for that child-like joy and freedom found in puddle jumping.

As we become adults, we generally become more subdued. But isn’t it refreshing to meet people who freely express their joy and delight in life?

What surprises me is when this joy is expressed by people dealing with major mud puddles caused by life’s storms.

A great example is David, the shepherd boy who became king.

Rain and Mud Bring Challenges
Early in life he dealt with the puddle of being discounted by his family. God sent a prophet to David’s home to anoint a future king (1 Samuel 16).

All David’s brothers were brought before Samuel, but he did not get a yes from God on any of them. He asked, “Are there any more sons?”

David’s father replied, “Yes, the youngest is tending sheep.” Samuel said, “We’ll wait. Bring him in.” When David, arrived, Samuel got a yes from God and anointed him with oil.

David had more rainy days and lots of mud before much puddle-jumping praise. He spent years running for his life from King Saul (1 Samuel 22-24). He also created a muddy problem by committing adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11).

Mud Is Not A Barrier to Joy
Anyone who has read the Book of Psalms knows David shares both his muddy experiences and his puddle-jumping praise.

Here’s an example: “Praise be to the LORD, for He has heard my cry for mercy . . . my heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song (Psalm 28:6-7).

No one gets through life mud-free, but puddle-jumping praise can be a life-changer.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Be Glad We're Not Copies


BE GLAD WE’RE NOT COPIES


There Is No Variety Here
I know we’re physically the same. Regardless of color or culture, we all have five basic senses. We hear, see, taste, touch and smell.

In Infant and Preschool classes, I learned that our body is called a trunk. From it grow appendages like arms, legs and head. I’m glad we’re alike in those ways.

What intrigues me most is the differences in our personality traits. Some people call that temperaments. There was a time when I researched it. My favorite author, then and now, is Florence Littauer.

There Is A Lot Of Variety In These Tags
She wrote a book called *PERSONALITY PLUS, How to Understand Others by Understanding Yourself. 

Humans have enough common characteristics to create four different temperament charts. Then Florence continues to explain how each temperament varies due to endless combinations of strengths and weaknesses. 

I’ve been reading the Book of John. Chapter twenty really intrigued me with its description of three people who came to check on Jesus’ tomb.

Sunrise Can Be Enjoyed By Early Risers
Early in the morning, Mary of Magdala arrived firstWhen she saw the open tomb, she was shocked. Her immediate reaction was to run and tell Peter and John.

When they heard her report, both men took off running. John outran Peter, but when he got to the tomb he only bent over and looked in.

Peter came running up and barged on in to see for himself what was there. John followed him in.

Matthew Henry, Bible commentator, noted that John could out-run Peter, but Peter out-dared John. Not only that, perhaps John motivated Peter to run faster, while Peter’s boldness gave John more courage.

I’m glad we’re not simply copies of one another. Our differences make life interesting. They even encourage us to grow and spread our wings.
Calmness Has A Beauty All Its Own

Yes, I know differences also cause anger and disagreements. But there’s a characteristic available to ALL temperaments: Self-Control.

If you have worked on developing that trait, I’m sure you've seen how it leads to tranquility.


*PERSONALITY PLUS, How to Understand Others by Understanding Yourself, Florence Littauer, Fleming H. Revell, Grand Rapids, MI, 1992.

Other personalities material by Florence Littauer is available from CLASServices.com or www.thepersonalities.com