Just Humming Along by Barb Witt

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NIV)

photo courtesy of Pixabay

Lucinda sat at her sewing machine, patiently feeding the fabric under the needle. The machine whirred and hummed as she worked. She was creating another baby quilt. She made many of them to donate to the NICU at the local hospital.

Quilting was her passion, and she loved making these quilts for the little ones who came into the world a little too soon or with physical disabilities they and their parents had to deal with. It was her way of spreading the love of God. She embroidered a Bible verse into a corner of each quilt, so that the recipient read at least one verse of God’s word in their lives. She also prayed over each one; that peace, comfort and hope would accompany it as it entered the home of one of God’s children.

She had been working on this quilt all day, and now it was finally finished. She neatly folded and placed it with the others she had finished that week and put them in her van to take to the hospital. She called her contact, her friend Marley, to make sure she was there to receive the quilts. She said she would be available for the next two hours.

Lucinda drove the short distance to the hospital. Marley was waiting for her when she walked in. She handed over the quilts and chatted with her friend for a few moments. Then Marley took the quilts and went to her office to finish her day. Lucinda wandered to the infant Nursery. She loved looking at the sweet babies. She prayed over them all and just took in their innocence and purity. She had had two children of her own. They were grown now. She had made quilts for them, too. She missed having her babies home. And she was proud of the adults they had become.

As Lucinda drove home, she planned her next quilt. She couldn’t wait to get started on it. Each block was sewn with love and hope. Each stitch contained a prayer. Her passion was not only making quilts for the babies but sending the love and hope of Jesus into as many homes as she could.

Just Humming Along (© Barb Witt 6/27/2020)

And now, we pray…

Lord, in You we find hope and peace. Please fill us to overflowing with Your love and joy so that we are able to pass it on to all we meet. Thank You for everything.

In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN!

God Has a Sense of Humor by Catherine Hershberger

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)

Have you ever noticed that God has a sense of humor? If you haven’t then all you need to do to see it is look around at nature. Consider these quirky creatures:

All photos © by C.Castle

Only someone with a sense of humor could create such funny looking creatures.

But God’s humor doesn’t just show in his creations. You can find examples of his humor in the Bible, too. Consider the donkey who spoke to Balaam after being struck three times because he would not move toward the angel of God that Balaam could not see. (Numbers 22:28) God chose a pretty unusual vehicle to use to address Balaam. Why didn’t he just make that angel visible to Balaam? Perhaps because it would have been a whole lot less interesting, and funny, if you ask any third-grader.

Or how about where Jonah ended up when he didn’t do what God asked. (Jonah 1:17) I mean putting a grown man in the belly of a whale, then causing the giant mammal to spit him out. You have to admit that’s got some humor in it. And when a petulant Jonah went to sulk after the Ninevehites repented, God made a giant plant bloom tall enough to shade Jonah from the sun. Then He sent a worm to kill the plant so it withered and died. (Jonah 4: 6) I can just see that plant blooming in time-lapse cartoon animation as Jonah sighs with relief when the shade hits him, then groans in despair as the plant withers around him. Yes, there was a lesson in both of those acts, but they both make pretty humorous stories.

And then there is the story of the Philistines capturing the Ark of the Covenant and placing it in their temple beside their god Dagon. (1 Samuel 5:1-5).) Not once, but twice, God laid Dagon on the floor, prostrate before the Ark of the Covenant.  The Philistines probably didn’t think it was too funny seeing their god on the floor in front of the Israelite’s Ark of the Covenant, but I bet the Israelites did when they heard the story. And the humor gets even better because the Philistines gave the Ark to other cities, which ended up with plagues being visited upon them. Once word got around about what had happened, the Philistines couldn’t pawn the Ark off on anyone. They ended up having to take it back to the Israelites with an offering of golden images of the plagues the Lord brought upon the various towns.  Another lesson, but one in which those watching from the outside see humor.

Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

I don’t know about you, but I’d always prefer a good laugh and a joyful spirit over dried bones and a crushed spirit. That’s the thing about humor, no matter what your circumstances in life, if you can find something to laugh about, you’re always better off.

What about you? Have you laughed today?

God Has A Sense of Humor ( © Catherine Hershberger 9/13/2017)

About the Author:

Catherine Hershberger is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. Music, gardening, and writing are a few of her passions, all of which she shares with her husband.  She is also an author who writes sweet and Christian romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. You can find her award-winning books The Nun and the Narc and A Groom for Mama, on Amazon

I’ve Got the Joy by Barb Witt

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NASB)

Christmas. She used to love Christmas.

 Until this year. She hated this place. She wanted to go home. But her son had sold her home. Just because she fell off the ladder and broke her hip. He had scolded her. Well, he wasn’t around, and she wanted to fix that curtain. So, she got the ladder and climbed up and did just that. But then her foot slipped when she had only two steps before she was back on solid ground. She had laid there for several hours because she couldn’t move. He had given her a 911 necklace to wear, but she didn’t like it and she had foolishly left it on her dresser. Fat lot of good it did on the dresser.

She had been here six months. Her hip was healed, and she could walk just fine. The other folks here were very friendly. She even had a couple of friends. But it still wasn’t her home. She sat pouting in her rocking chair. A knock sounded on her door. She toddled over and opened it.

 Her two friends shouted, “Merry Christmas Edna!” as loud as they could and laughed their way into her room. They had on silly sparkly Christmas sweaters and packages in their hands.

 “Where’s your Christmas sweater, Edna?” Bonnie said. “We came to take you to the party with us.”

Caroline chimed in. “Yeah! It’s gonna be fun!”

 Scowling, Edna said, “I don’t have any ‘Christmas sweaters’ and I don’t want to go to a party.”

The nurse had come in behind them and said, “Yes you do Edna,” and she went to her closet and pulled out a nice red sweater with pearls sown around the neckline.

“Well, I don’t have a present,” she said as she crossed her arms in front of her.

“Look, I brought an extra one!” Connie said in a sing-songy voice.

 “Humph. Guess I don’t have a choice,” she grumbled as the nurse shoved the sweater over her head.

 “Nope,” said Caroline handing over the gift she had brought for her.

They made their way to the dining room where the beautifully decorated and lighted Christmas tree stood. Everyone was there. Christmas music and laughter spilled out into the hallway. Edna stopped in the door and looked around. All her neighbors were enjoying snacks and punch and singing along with the music. Some were dancing. Colorful lights blinked on and off playfully.

 A chorus of, “Hi Edna! Glad you made it!” rang out as she stood there.

 A tear rolled down her cheek. I never would have had a party if I were at home. I wouldn’t have these friends surrounding me, if I were at home. I would be all alone and sad if I were at home, she thought. “I’m a stubborn old woman. I guess my son was right. This is where I need to be. Thank You God, for loving an unhappy, grumpy ol’ lady. I sure don’t deserve it. Thank You for giving me hope, even though I couldn’t, or wouldn’t see it,” she whispered as Caroline and Bonnie pulled her into the room and showed her where to put her gift.

You are too good to me, Lord, she thought as she began to sing Christmas songs with joy in her heart and a smile on her face.

And now we pray…

Lord, sometimes we don’t understand Your ways. Well, most of the time. Help us to trust You to guide us down the right path in all things. Thank You for loving us even when we’re stubborn and grumpy. Thank You, Lord, for everything.

In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN! 

I’ve Got the Joy (© Barb Witt 12/23/2019)

About the Author:

Barb Witt is a Christian wife, mother and grandmother who loves gardening, quilting, crafting, writing poetry and devotions, and is working on a children’s book. She has created an email devotional and prayer warrior ministry that she sends out daily. If you’re interested in being added to her email list let us know.