Patience at the Pumps

January 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Jarrod Spencer –

What will a guy do to save a little at the gas pumps?

I know what this guy will do; he will endure the worst gas pump situation ever to save 12 cents per gallon.

We were on our way home from a vacation and needed to fill up with gasoline. I noticed that most of the gas stations had raised their prices, except for one. The price difference was great enough to cause me to stop there.

The station appeared quite reputable – company, appearance, etc. The problem: the gas pump halted with every 10 – 15 cents worth of gas that I pumped.

I pulled the handle; it ran for a few seconds, then clicked to a stop. I adjusted the angle of the pump. Agin. Pull. Run. Stop. Readjust angle. Pull again – same result. Pull. Stop. Pull. Stop.

After approximately 30 stops, resulting in only $3.00 worth of gasoline, I thought it was the individual pump. I went in to pay my $3.00 and explained that I was moving to another. Different pump, but the exact same result.

I wish I knew how much time I spent at that gas station. It took a lot of patience for me and my family. We finally surrendered once I thought I had enough gasoline to make it home. When I paid, I told the manager that I would probably never come back again, due to this enormous inconvenience. I wasn’t mad at the company, just those particular gas pumps.

As I tried to find the perfect balance of trigger flow and pump angle, I couldn’t help but laugh in the middle of my frustration. It taught me to be patient, especially when situations are outside of my control.

This is something I learned, once again, as I struggled to be patient at the pumps.

PRAYER: Father, there are virtues in life that I want, but would rather not go through the effort to improve them. Patience is one such virtue, and I need it often. May moments like these strengthen my virtue of patience. Stay with me and guide me in this education process.

BIBLE VERSE: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12 NIV).

Fearing Shadows

December 19, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Jarrod Spencer –

Light brings good feelings. The sun coming up in the morning reminds us that a new day is dawning. Lights coming back on after they went out due to power failure allows us to feel safe again. You could probably think about other instances where light has made someone feel good.

An additional fact about light is that light causes shadows. My question for you is this: Do you fear shadows? A shadow can easily cause fear, but Author Ruth E. Renkel suggests this about shadows, “Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light somewhere nearby.”

The system of sacrifices in the Old Testament has been referenced to being a “shadow” of what Christ does for us in the New Testament. Based on the inabilities found in the sacrificial system, it would be easy to “fear” them. As the sacrificial system was such a system that required many, many sacrifices to be completed throughout one’s life.

If those in the Old Testament knew that Christ’s death meant never having to sacrifice again, they wouldn’t have “feared” these sacrifices, because those sacrifices simply meant that Christ (i.e. the Light) was somewhere nearby!

May we revel in the idea that we have the Light to “walk in” (I John 1:7) and a “light” to illuminate our path (Psalm 119:105)! So remember not to fear shadows because a light (of comfort) is nearby!

I hope you have a great end of your week!

Walking the lighted path…

PRAYER: Thank You, Father, that You are always nearby. I am eternally grateful that Your Spirit is always with me. Through Your spirit, You are just a prayer away. Father, thank You for being a light in my life and Your Word, a light on my path.

BIBLE VERSE: “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming — not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, 4 because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:1-4 NIV).

Never Too Small

December 1, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Jarrod Spencer  –

I remember when I was young and was able to sleep in during the summer – those were good times!  One of the things I also remember during that time of my life was the occasional house fly buzzing around my head. This was annoying. It would land on my nose just long enough for me to be bothered, I would swat it, but it would fly away. I can remember putting the covers over my head just to “protect” myself from this little bitty fly.

It was also during that time that I was going through a rough point of social development in my life.  Having a father as a principal during the adolescent years was not the most enjoyable thing for me.  I wanted to “be something” because I saw practically everyone else as “something” and it was difficult not to envy what they were doing or able to do.

How would “little ol’ me” be able to make any difference at all? But then I heard this quote from an unknown author – “If you think you are too small to make a difference, you’ve never had a mosquito in your bedroom.”

My small, difference maker was not a mosquito but a fly, which was in my bedroom.  Regardless, it made a big difference.  It didn’t allow me to sleep peacefully.  It bothered me greatly.

As I have grown, I realize that small things can make a big difference.  A kind word during a rough day. A small gift can lift up a person just when he needs to know someone cares. A paid check can make someone’s day. An unexpected message sent to someone in need through texting or on their Facebook wall – the possibilities are endless.

Another way to make a difference is to make a change that benefits others. Who do single parents find to babysit? Maybe you, little you, could develop a program to offer single parents a person who will volunteer to watch their children.

You may be one, small person, so how are you going to make a difference?

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for giving me the strong desire to want to use my individualism to be a benefit to others. Help me see opportunities to be of benefit in the days to come.

BIBLE VERSE: “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people” (Philemon 1:7 NIV).

What Do You Discuss?

November 7, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Jarrod Spencer –

What have you been discussing with people this week? Maybe topics like your job, your kids, your schedule, the weather, what you like or don’t like about other people, etc.  There are all kinds of things that can come up in any given conversation.

A quote caught my attention recently about what we spend our time discussing, and it caused me to think about the truth in this statement. The quote comes from an unknown author – “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

Our minds may never be great by simply discussing ideas, but by investing our time discussing events or people, we just might be limiting the potential of what is out there to discuss.

Where do your discussions usually take you? Not much of anywhere?  Are you discussing ideas, events or people? Another thing to consider is this – when you are discussing ideas – are you one who tends to complain, without ever offering a solution? This habit can get you into trouble, too.

Can you bend the topic of your own discussions toward ideas that encourage and build one antoher up? What ideas can you discuss that will make a positive impact on people?

PRAYER: Father, help me to discuss things that are helpful and encouraging, rather than hurtful or discouraging.

BIBLE VERSE: “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much” (Proverbs 20:19 NIV).

God’s Batteries

October 20, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Jarrod Spencer –

Each parent knows that many of children’s toys need batteries. They are required so the toy can operate, which translates into loud noises, lighting up, or constant movement. A friend of ours gave my son a ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ toy that only used one battery to run. That battery  lasted well over a year. To be honest, my wife and I were very thankful the day that battery was finally used up.

If you’re like me, it can be annoying to hear those toys keep going and going. You look forward to the day that the batteries are drained of their power.

But what happens when God’s batteries run out?

Last month, my family was coming home from attending my niece’s dance recital. It was dark, and there was a storm off in the distance on the right side of the road.

My three-year old son was intrigued by all the lightning that flashed in the dark sky. As his head turned toward the lightning, to our right, he noticed something peculiar off to the left – no lightning.

He watched the left for a few moments with this new found knowledge of no lightning and then said, “There isn’t any lightning on this side. I think the lightning ran out of batteries.”

His mother and I laughed for a while over his simple observance and interpretation.

I love to hear his innocence in these kinds of statements and trust that God must get a great deal of enjoyment out of them also. As adults, but still children of God, I wonder how often we make Him laugh over what we say at various times.

PRAYER: Father, I love being a father and I thank You for the opportunity to have these kinds of moments in my children’s lives. Thank You for my family. Thank You for creating this memory for our family.

“Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18: 4 NIV).

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