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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

May 19, 2011 - Keeping the Squirrels Away

By Randy Mantik

Debbie enjoys watching the birds that come to a feeder she has hanging outside our back door. According to the package, it is a “squirrel resistant” bird feeder. (Can I just say right here that the package writer lied.)

Obviously, the purpose of the feeder is to feed birds. However, when the squirrels found out that an ample supply of sunflower seed was available just a short leap and a jump away, they became instant loyal customers.

First we thought we had the problem fixed by taking the screen off the door where they had been climbing to the feeder. That worked for a while until they figured out how to jump from a tree, onto the roof and climb down onto the feeder. To that clever little maneuver, they added learning how to climb up the plastic frame of the door, which by all logic they shouldn’t be able to climb, and then jumping sideways over to the feeder. While feeding, they hang off of at all angles, like hairy little leeches.

As I said, the feeder is for the birds. However, not ones to miss a prime opportunity, the squirrels find a way to snatch the seed. I see in those squirrels a parallel with the way sin and prideful selfishness work in our lives. They sneak in and steal the precious seed of God’s good work. It takes constant vigilance to keep sin at bay, and Scripture is clear on how we can do it: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, NIV).

Submitting to God involves more than just coming to an altar and saying, “God, I make you Lord of my life.” That’s a start, mind you, but it goes deeper than that. To truly make Him Lord, we must rediscover our purpose in life: to glorify God.

“The body is not meant for sexual immorality [or any other sin], but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13).

Back to our feeder saga. As of late, the squirrels have begun to leave it alone. Why? Because every time they get up there, we yell at them. Caleb is particularly effective at “Squirrel Patrol” — a bang on the window, an authoritative yell out the door, and off they go.

Picture the same thing with any sin that is hindering your life: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, KJV).

Get rid of sin. Don’t tolerate it; chase it away! The battle is mainly fought in our minds. We must continually take an active role in keeping our minds pure. But always remember that we are not alone in the fight. Paul says, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

— Randy Mantik is lead pastor at CrossPoint AG in Portage, Wis.



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