God’s Joy–Your Safe Place Against Catastrophie

I’ve played a lot of baseball in my life and probably watched as much as I played. One of the funniest things I ever saw was a game between Paraloma, the village where I grew up, and Graves Chapel. Graves Chapel wasn’t even a village, just an area where enough people lived to have a baseball team.

Not a very good baseball team, mind you, but a team nonetheless.

This particular day Paraloma was putting a whipping on them that even Mr. Clean couldn’t wash off (excuse me for getting a bit over the top). Late in the game Graves Chapel substituted a young guy for their third baseman. The replacement evidently hadn’t played much.

Not long afterwards a Paraloma player on second base took off trying to steal third. The catcher whipped it down to the third baseman who planted himself on the bag and waited for the runner to come so he could tag him out.

The baserunner saw that he was going to be out by a mile so he slowed and walked submissively towards where the green third baseman waited. The defender stretched out his glove to make the tag when suddenly the docile baserunner came alive and slid under his tag.


The crowd exploded in laughter. I think even the sheepish young man’s own team was laughing. His coach took him out after that.

Safe! If you’re on the base, you’re safe. They can’t get you out.

Are You Safe?

Listen to this:

“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.” (Philippians 3:1, NKJV) The NIV and several other versions say it’s a “safeguard.”

It’s amazing, isn’t it? Rejoicing in the Lord makes us “safe!” It’s a safeguard. Continue reading

Merry Christmas!

Don’t Let the Devil Steal Your Joy!

I talked to a long-time friend on the phone recently. He lost his wife of 59 years not too long ago. He admitted that life wasn’t always easy these days but that he was staying positive.  Then Bro. Jerry said something that stuck with me.

“If the devil can steal your joy he can steal everything you’ve got.”

Oof! Ain’t it the truth!

Everyone is running around looking for bargain gifts now. Stress reigns.

And we can get caught up in all of it. Have we forgotten that  Jesus’ birth was “good tidings of great joy.”

If our joy has swirled down the drain we’ve been looking at our problems instead of looking at Jesus. Maybe we’ve been listening to the devil’s threats and accusations instead of to the One who promises to never, never, never leave us. Continue reading