Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God Posts

By Alec Niemi

It was old and rusty and the interior was wrecked but I saw the potential. I wanted to use it as a project for what I called ‘putts and pray’, where I could find time to be by myself, do something with my hands and have time to talk with the Lord.

I sanded and painted and tinkered and upholstered and it started to come together. But I was struggling with trying to find parts. I went on the Internet and found that there were groups of people out there with the same type of car. Car clubs, chat rooms full of enthusiasts, people who I spent hours with talking about my car. And I found myself more busy talking with these like minded people than I did with my ‘putts and prayer’. I had lost my focus. I had really wanted to spend more time praying. But by talking with these other enthusiasts I became more enthralled with the car.

And finally it was finished!! I was now the proud owner of a shiny, black, fully restored Jaguar Vandenplaus. A classic. What a beauty. Me, Alec, full of pride and self confidence. I had done it! Wow!

But somehow some of the joy was gone. I had switched my priorities. There was nothing wrong with owning the Jaguar but I had let it own me.

I drove it a couple of times and then sold it.

My prayer for you this week:

I pray that you are watching out for those people and/or things that can cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Amen.”
Romans 16:17

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Alec Niemi, an entrepreneur, lifestyle evangelist and pastor is passionate about helping people find Christ.  He lives in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Canada.

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By John Grant

“Let’s have a feast and celebrate.â€? Luke 15:23-24

Being in China for nearly two weeks was a great and memorable experience. We have great memories of the people we met, the places we went and the sights we saw. But perhaps no memory is as vivid as what we ate and how we ate it.

In my travels around the work I am always reminded that one thing all human beings have in common is a need to eat, but what they eat and how they eat it differs vastly from country to country and culture to culture. I recently visited an Ethiopian restaurant where it is customary to have no utensils and to scoop up the food with a small pancake held between the thumb and first finger. In China, we used chopsticks and I got pretty good at using them by the time we left.

The Chinese have a belief that they eat anything on four legs, except for the table and anything that goes under water except a submarine and anything that flies except for an airplane. And, they eat all of it. We ate strange things like pigeon, jelly fish and other strange things that seemed to taste better if I didn’t ask for them to be identified.

I don’t think we missed a day eating duck and we ate every part of the duck except for the feathers and the “quack�… duck heart, duck tongue, duck feet and other suspect but unidentifiable parts of Donald and Daisy. Actually, I didn’t eat anything that I didn’t like, as evidenced by the ten pounds I gained on the trip.

Actually, there is a spiritual parallel here.  Two thousand years ago, a feast was the center point of celebration, as it often is today. In telling the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus suggested that they “have a feast and celebrate.� Celebrate the food? No, celebrate the greet homecoming of the son.

So too, with us, we should celebrate as we feast, celebrating not only the food before us, but celebrating all that God has blessed us with and done for us. That’s where the tradition of praying before meals came from. As the menu and style of eating differs from one place to another, the God to whom we give thanks is ever present in every meal. We felt His presence with us in China whether our host was praying in English or in Chinese. We were all praying to one God and what language can separate the Spirit united.

Remember as you feast, no matter whether you are eating with a fork or chop sticks or dining on sirloin or bamboo sprouts, take time to feast on prayer and on the Spirit of God that unites us all.

(a thought on life from John Grant )

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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney. He is an active writer and frequent speaker.  He can be reached by e-mail at John.Grant@johngrant.net

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