The dog with leopard legs

As I walked my dog, Theo, down the street, a little girl pointed at him and yelled,

“Look Mum! That dog has leopard legs!”

I had never really thought of Theo’s legs like that, but the little girl was right. His legs do look like leopard legs. What a creative way of thinking about how Theo Theolooks.

But then I heard the girl’s mum.

“Don’t be stupid! Dogs have dog legs.”

I was taken aback as Theo and I walk on down the road. Yes, dogs do have dog legs. But Theo has leopard legs if you have a little bit of imagination. This little girl’s creative juices were flowing. But with those few harsh words, the mum cut the flow of creativity. Don’t think she’ll be looking for any more dogs with leopard legs and if she saw one, I’m sure she’ll stay quiet about it.

This girl has just learned not to think outside the box. Don’t say something that’s not “normal” because if you do, you will be verbally crushed.

This was an extreme example but I think many of us learn over time to limit our creative thinking because of the negative reactions we sometimes receive. As the years go by, we conform to “normal” because dogs have dog legs. This is the way everyone thinks about dogs.

But not everyone thinks like

Sometimes someone gets creative.

Sometimes someone thinks outside the box.

Sometimes someone sees a dog with leopard legs.

Tax Collectors and Prostitutes Go to Heaven?

“Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you (religious leaders).” ~ Matthew 21:31

What – greedy and sexually deviate people are getting into heaven before the religious leaders? How can this be?

Well, Jesus goes on to say that the tax collectors and prostitutes believed John’s righteous message. A message of repentance.

The first step into the kingdom of God is knowing your sin. Knowing that you have failed to live the life God designed for you must come before there’s any hope of entering into a relationship with God.

If your approach to God starts with, “I’m not as bad as those people” or “I may have done this be thankfully I didn’t do that” or “Basically, I’ve been a good personal most of my life” – then you’ve missed it.

The reason Jesus says that the tax collectors and prostitutes are entering in first is because their need is so obvious. It’s those of us who live basically good, moral upright lives who have a much harder time understanding the grace of God.

Why? Because we don’t know our sin.

Jesus says here that these religious leaders saw others repenting but this didn’t have an impact on them. Their pride, their religious arrogance and their hard hearts would not let them accept John’s message personally.

“Of course the tax collectors and prostitutes need to repent! But us nice, religious leaders?”

Yes, especially nice religious people need to repent (like myself and many reading this blog). We need to repent of our self-righteousness. Repent of our spiritual selfishness. Repent of our pride and arrogance.

Thankfully, there is much mercy and grace at the cross. Come humbly to Jesus again and again.

Make your life one of repentance and enter into the kingdom of heaven with your brothers and sisters – those tax collectors and prostitutes – who just might be walking through those pearly gates before you and me.

Thayne’s happiness

At the end of our Winter Kids Club on January 3rd, we had a birthday party for Thayne Creacy who turned three. She was so happy to see the cake that she was moved to tears.

Enjoy the moment with her.

I just wonder, do we unfortunately grow out of the joy that God brings us? There is so much in life to make us smile. Take some time today to stop and enjoy the small blessings of your life.

Let Thayne’s happiness bring you a little happiness. And let Thayne be an example for us all.

Doesn’t the scripture even say “and a little child shall lead them”?*

*(Isaiah 11:6 taken totally out of context)

Tweets of the week (Jan 6-12)

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