One day a woodpecker was pecking away at a telephone pole, hammering hard on the wood, when suddenly a big bolt of lightning came crashing down out of the sky and split that telephone pole right down the middle. So the little woodpecker flew off, and pretty soon, he came back, bringing a whole flock of other woodpeckers with him, and he bragged out loud, saying, “Look what I did!”
Many people in this world love to take credit for the good things that happen to them in this life. If things are going well, they begin to sound off about how smart they are, or how good they are at what they do. As Christians, however, we recognize that God is in control of all things. The good things we enjoy in this life are gifts from His hand. Everything He gives us is for His glory and by His grace. Even our salvation has been accomplished through His mercy and grace.
This thanksgiving season, we must remember the goodness of our Lord, and we must praise Him for all His blessings. Don’t be like the woodpecker, thinking you have done something great by yourself, for we know that every good and perfect gift is from His hand. (James 1.17) “Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150.6)


There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about the growing problem of “distracted walking.” Apparently with all the cell phones and mobile devices in use today, this is becoming a major issue – especially in larger cities where there are lots of pedestrians. 
I read of one man who recently walked off a cliff in California and fell 40 feet to his death while using his cell phone to take a picture of a sunset. Another woman, using her cell phone, was caught on video tape walking straight into a water fountain in a crowded mall.Many others have fallen into holes, run to into street signs and telephone poles, walked out into the face of oncoming traffic, bumped into others passing by, and have injured themselves and others in various such needless ways.
The bottom line is this: distracted walking is hazardous to your health. The same principle is true spiritually, for distracted walking is hazardous to your spiritual heath as well. You can’t walk with God and be distracted by the things of this world. Walking with God requires focus and disciple, and we must be obedient to His word.

1 John 1.7 says, “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”


In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis wrote, “A man who gives into temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later.”
Hard times come and go, but patience is a virtue.

In Ecclesiastes 3, King Solomon, the wisest man in the history of Israel, encourages us to trust in God through every season of life, whether good or bad, for God, he declares, makes all things beautiful in His time. James, the earthly brother of our Lord, wrote in his epistle, “Blessed is the man that endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1.17). Keep looking up, and press on! The best is yet to come.


The story is told of a loving mother who once asked Napoleon, the great emperor of France, to pardon her son.
“But your son,” the emperor said, “has committed the same offense twice now, and justice demands his death.”
“But I don’t ask for justice,” the mother replied. “I plead for mercy.”
“But your son does not deserve mercy,” Napoleon said.
“Sir,” the woman cried, “it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask for.”
“Well, then,” the emperor said, “I will have mercy.”
And with that promise, her son was set free.


David said, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

  As believers in Jesus Christ, we thank God for His mercies, which are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness!


Leonardo DaVinci was one of the greatest Italian painters of all time, and he is widely celebrated in history for his many talents and accomplishments. His most famous painting, “The Last Supper,” went through several revisions before it was finalized. When he was almost finished with this painting, he asked a fellow artist to come by and critique his work. The man studied the picture for a while and finally said, “The cups are magnificent. The detail you put on them is some of the best I’ve ever seen!” With that, DaVinci went over to the canvas and painted over the cups. It wasn’t the cups he wanted the world to see. It was Christ! This is the passion of every true follower of Jesus Christ! We don’t want the eyes of this world to be drawn to the “cups” on the canvas of our lives, but we want all the attention to be focused on Him. We want our lives to be “vessels” for His honor and glory. All that we say and do must lift up His holy name, for He alone is worthy! Don’t let the “cups” on the canvas of your lives steal away the attention from Christ. Glorify His name in your service and proclaim the wonders of His love and grace. Christ alone is worthy!

Galatians 6.14

“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”


The story is told of two ducks and a frog who lived happily together in a farm pond. The best of friends, they played together in the water all year long. During the hot summer months, however, the pond would dry up. This was no big deal to the ducks, because they could easily fly off to a new pond, leaving the poor frog behind.


One summer, however, the frog came up with an excellent idea. He asked the ducks to hold a stick between their bills, so that he could hang onto it with his mouth when they flew off to another pond. His plan worked out well – so well, in fact, that as they were flying along a farmer looked up in admiration and said, “Well, isn’t that a clever idea! I wonder who thought of it?”


The frog, being proud of his bright idea, couldn’t resist the temptation. “I did” he said, and with those words he fell to the ground.

  Proverbs 16.18 declares, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Always walk humbly with the Lord your God, trusting in His grace.


Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty back together again.


Do you remember that old nursery rhyme? Every time I heard about Humpty Dumpty as a child, it always brought tears to my eyes. I always felt so sorry for him. Maybe today you feel like Humpty Dumpty. Once upon a time you were sitting a wall, nice and high. You didn’t have any problems or cares in this world. But then you had a great fall, and now it seems like all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put your life back together again. You’re suffering from the Humpty Dumpty syndrome. But I remind you, that while all the king’s horses and all the king’s men may not be able to put you back together again, our God can! The psalmist said, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20.7). “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”


Failure is inevitable. That might seem like a pessimistic view of life, but it’s true. Everyone is a sinner, fallen short of the glory of God. Frustrating as it may be, we all must admit our imperfections. Peter knew he blew it. Just before our Lord was crucified, he swore that he would never forsake the Lord. “Even if all are made to stumble,” he vowed, I will not be.” Yet Jesus said unto him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” You know the rest of the story. Everything happened just as Jesus prophesied, and Peter denied the Lord three times. The last time Peter saw Jesus before His crucifixion was in the light of the fire in the high priest’s courtyard. In that moment, Jesus looked him in his eyes, and the Scripture tells us that Peter went out and wept bitterly. Yet the Lord still loved Peter! Peter probably thought he had no hope, and that his work for the Lord was done. But then an angel delivered the first message of Easter to the women who left the empty tomb, “Go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” Why did the angel specifically command the women to tell Peter that Lord was still alive? Why didn’t he mention all the disciples by name? I believe it’s because Jesus wanted Peter to know that his sins were forgiven, and that He held nothing against him for his denial. There was still work that needed to be done, and Peter was going to lead that work! Maybe today you’ve blown it too, and your failures are haunting you. Even so, I have good news for you! Jesus calls you by name, and forgives you of all your sins. Just as Jesus gave Peter a second chance, so He will give you a second chance. Receive His grace, and recommit your life to Him. Jesus is alive, and He has work for us to do!


I grew up watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, and I never will forget his theme song, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Every show began with that song, and he would come home singing it as he hung up his suit coat in the closet and pulled out a sweater to wear. Then he sat down and took off his dress shoes and put on his tennis shoes. All the while, he had a big smile on his face, as he sang, “Won’t you please, please won’t you be my neighbor.” Everybody lived in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, and everybody liked having Mr. Rogers for their neighbor.
Are you a good neighbor? Galatians 5.14 says, “All the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” And Jesus said, “The greatest command in all of Scripture is this: to love the Lord your God with all your heart soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.”
Let’s be good neighbors, and love each other as God has commanded us to do.


William Carey is called “The Father of Modern Missions.” He was the founder of the Baptist Missionary Alliance, and he took the Gospel to India. As he encouraged churches to give to missions and share the Gospel with the world, he often said, “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.” What is God able to do in your life today? Can you trust Him to do a great work through you? In Ephesians 3.20-21, the apostle Paul praised the Lord, saying, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Let the church arise this year, and let us trust in God for great things. Our God is great, and He is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine!