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God invites you into a spacious way of life

~a lesson from my chickens. Acts #25 Acts 6

Nature provides me with a lot of thoughts about God--animals, in particular. I can look back at times when I was losing something close to me . . . I would get an animal to love and nurture to help fill the void. Ha, that would account for buying a puppy at a pet store at the mall at Christmas time--who in the world does that?


When Amy and her family were about to move from California to North Carolina four years ago, in anticipation, I went to the feed store and bought three baby chicks. One did not make it, but the other two were my beautiful Rhode Island Reds, Lucy and Ethel. I loved them, cared for them and they me.

Since my move to NC, Loneliness has knocked on my door. So I went to the Tractor Supply Store (my new favorite place to shop, besides of course B & W Hardware in downtown Wake Forest), and bought four little chicks. I bought them a heat lamp, lined their little wire cage with an old towel, and put them in the corner of my kitchen. I introduced them to my dogs, talked to them, held them and grew them. Then they graduated to a larger cage and moved to my garage.

Here comes the lesson. Knowing it would soon be time for a coop, I looked … I researched … I tried to figure out the best source for a home for the four little girls. Suddenly, I hit on it--hey, I have that play structure (built by a previous owner) - why not repurpose it to a henhouse? And so I did with the help of a retired detective, William, I found on Offer Up.1

After church on Sunday, I put on my old jeans, lined the coop with lots of shavings, set up a food and water station and went to fetch the girls from the garage. Opening the cage, they came prancing out to flit around the garage. ‘You’re moving on up in the world, Girls,’ I told them, but they. did. not. listen. Instead, they did everything they could to escape capture as I jumped around the garage to catch each one.

‘Hey, you have a beautiful new spacious home - a tree stump to play queen of the mountain on, a ledge to walk around, come on… it is going to be great!’ But they. did. not. listen.

‘And you. often. do. not. listen. either,’ I felt like God gently chided me. ‘I have so much more for you, but you settle for the confines of a cage you have outgrown. If you would remember what I have said to you in my Word you would not settle … you would allow Me to take you, grow you and cause you to thrive!’ Hmmm.

At my own ‘catch and release’ party, I happily carried each of the little hens across my backyard to their new paradise. I smiled inside because I knew how much better their lives were about to be! And then I thought again of my Lord, who says, ‘if you would stop casting about, you too would be released into greater things. It will require you trust Me and surrender to My plans for you though…’ Hmmm.

Last week, I considered and prayed about ending the writing/sending of Morning Briefings after almost 14 years. Several folks had unsubscribed lately--were these writings no longer meaningful? I agonized--it seems when digging deeper into the Word, folks jump ship. No longer running Google ads, I have not added too many new reading friends of late, although Bud the owner of the hardware store just asked to be added. [Remember, in my new world, with my love of the hardware store, he is kinda like a superhero!] Maybe it is time to serve God in another way, I thought . . . and I pondered that a while.

And then I read again Acts chapter six. You see, I had been thinking a lot about Acts 6 and how much to include from Luke’s rendering of the grumbling in the church and the setting apart of deacons. Who cares? Folks will deem this irrelevant to their 2021 lives, I somewhat tortured myself. And then I read the chapter again, asked God to speak to me, and sat on it. Jumping off the pages of scripture, there it was:

we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word

That was not just for first century Jewish Christians. That is for you. That is for me.

we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word

To which I say, me too. There could be no greater priorities than these.

God invites us into a spacious kind of life, an existence far beyond what most of us realize. He has given us his Word in order to make our home in this world the best it can be, bearing in mind he has another world for us, a kingdom in Heaven with him forever. 'Sad because so many of us choose to stay in the confines of the cage in the garage when God has in mind for us a spacious henhouse--a beautiful expanse of thought and freedom, meaning and purpose to which he invites us--ushered in through choosing Him, choosing to obey Him, choosing to live life in the Spirit and the Word. Amen?

Be inspired by this new song: Made to Fly,

God speaks in many ways...listening?


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