Sticks and stones may break bones,
but words can break my heart …
A Principal at Junior High School
that I worked at as a para/ teacher assistant quoted these words to the
students one week in assembly shortly before stepping down from her position.
The words always resonated in my
heart. I felt compassion and understood. I had always heard the prior version
of “words will never harm me” early in elementary days and it never
really quite healed the hurt. It was sorta like slapping a band-aid on the
wound and sending me on my way…
Before we speak, what
if we asked ourselves:
“What would Jesus
Jesus said “I am
the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE…”
Let’s Speak The WAY,
The TRUTH and The LIFE in Jesus!
“There was a new kid in school
today,” Tobi said to his mom. “His family just moved back to Nigeria from the
nice,” Mom said. “Is this his first time in Africa?”
shook his head. “He said he’d been to Kenya before, but never Nigeria.”
Mom replied. “Everything must seem so strange compared to what he’s used to.”
he kept referring to football as soccer,” Tobi said. “I had to let him know
that football in Africa is not the American type.”
laughed. “Well, I hope you were nice about it. Cultural differences can be very
frowned. “Mrs. Dada asked me to show him around during the break. I almost
missed getting picked for a football team because of it. He thought everything
was strange – even our desks. I hope I don’t get stuck with him tomorrow.”
doesn’t sound like you,” Mom said, raising an eyebrow. “You usually like
meeting new people. Is there something about this kid that bothers you?”
shrugged. “He’s just so different. I
don’t understand how he could have a Nigerian name like Sola, but not know
anything about his home country.”
Mom said gently. “Have you forgotten when you took that summer exchange class
“No..o” Tobi said hesitantly.
how bad you felt because some people said you talked funny? Or how everything
seemed so confusing?”
was different!” Tobi protested. “I was a foreigner over there, and not everyone
was nice about it.”
no different than how you feel about Sola,” Mom said quietly. “Even though he’s
a Nigerian native, he’s still like a foreigner here because he’s lived abroad
all his life. When the Israelites moved into the promised land, God told them
to be kind to the foreigners that lived among them because they had been
foreigners in Egypt, and ought to know what that felt like. God loves
foreigners, and he takes care of them. As God’s children, we should do the
hung his head. “You’re right, Mom. I was treating Sola like the Israelites were
treated in Egypt. I hope Mrs. Dada pairs us up again tomorrow. I have a lot to show
Over the past several months, I’ve taken a step back from regular blogging to consider the direction in which I want to take this site and my writing explorations in general. Starting today, I’ll be trying out a new series of story based devotionals for children of all ages, and might even sprinkle in a few new Adventures in Bilandia!! Please don’t hesitate to let me know what you think!
According to a certain poll, four of
the top five New Year’s resolutions are weight loss, increased exercise, reduced
food intake and general health. An abundance of quick fix diets offer short cut
solutions. The more people eat, the less they want to. The founder of a popular
weight loss program presents a unique perspective on this conundrum. She
believes that overeating is an emotional problem which can only be solved
After Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 men,
plus women and children, he slipped away by himself in order to prevent the
crowd from forcing a kingship on him (John 6:15). The next day, the crowd went
looking for him, prompting Jesus to state “you want to be with me because I fed
you, not because you understood the miraculous signs.” (John 6:26)
When the people declared that they also
wanted to perform God’s works, Jesus “told them, ‘This is the only work God
wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.’” (John 6:29), to which they
cunningly replied, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you.
Our ancestors ate manna [in] the wilderness; Moses gave them bread from heaven
to eat.” (John 6:30-31)
Noting their fixation on food, “Jesus
said, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again.
Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:32-35) He then explained
that anyone who ate the living bread (his flesh) would live forever (John
6:48-58). Hearing this, “many of his disciples turned away and deserted him.”
The crowd was so focused on
perishable food as a means to immediate satisfaction that they missed Jesus’
message of eternal fulfillment. Behind all dissatisfaction or ‘hunger’ is a
void within us, which only God can fill. Jesus is the ultimate solution to
every emotional problem we face.
MORE: Read Isaiah 55:1-3 for God’s
invitation to receive food which truly satisfies.
NEXT: Think about the primary sources
of discontent in your life. How do you attempt to satisfy them? What can you do
to obtain the true fulfillment that Jesus offers?
So far in our WOOW series, we’ve looked at Prayer and the Word of God separately as weapons of warfare. Today, we’ll be talking about a WOOW Combo – i.e. combining the two weapons of Prayer and the Word in our ongoing fight against the enemy of our souls.
In Acts 4, we see the fledgling church threatened by the religious leaders responsible for orchestrating Jesus’ crucifixion. Just when they thought they’d put the Messiah out of commission, He resurrected and His disciples sprang up filled with the Holy Spirit and a renewed zeal to share the gospel. After Peter’s sermon led to 3,000 converts, and then God used him and John to heal a 40 yr old lame beggar at the Temple, the chief priests had them seized and arrested.
Furious that the irrepressible duo used this opportunity to preach Jesus yet again, the religious leaders gave them a stern warning to cease and desist and then let them go. After all, they couldn’t risk the ire of the crowd by bringing direct harm to them.
Upon their release, Peter and John went back to the other disciples and reported all that had happened. Even though the chief priests were treading lightly, they still posed a risk to the believers and the church. So what did the disciples do? They prayed. What did they pray? The word of God (Acts 4:24-26). And “after they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31)
Halleluyah! This WOOW Combo resulted in a physical manifestation of God’s glory descending, with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit to boot. Nothing in the Bible is there by accident…if the disciples prayed the Word and got those spectacular results, we should be doing and expecting the same.