Angels Unaware Reversed

My wife recently advertised a set of juggling pins for sale that had been used in the musical Carnival which she had directed a number of years ago. A lady called interested in buying them for her grandson who is learning juggling. She and her husband dropped by. The pins were a treasure to her, so she paid and they left. A few minutes later, our doorbell rang. There she and her husband stood.

Her husband had backed into the neighbor’s driveway across the street to turn around and inadvertently backed over a drainage pipe and couldn’t get out. He used our phone, called Triple AAA and was informed it would be at least an hour before the tow truck could be there. They planned to wait in their car.

“Nonsense,” we said, “come in.”

My wife had some left over muffins she had baked for her Bible study that morning So we invited them to have coffee and muffins. They were so grateful and the wife called us “angels.” I’d been called lots of things in life, but never an angel.

Russ, her husband, got another call saying it would be another hour before the truck would be there to help him. So we invited them to play the game Phrase 10 till the truck finally arrived.

They were so thankful for our friendship and hospitality. We haven’t known such grateful, thoughtful people in a long time. We arranged to get together for lunch with them later hoping to share the Lord with them before they went back north.

That morning, God orchestrated our lives both to be enriched and to enrich. We were reminded of Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” However, they called us angels so we call them “angels unaware reversed.” How thankful we are that my wife decided to sell those juggling pins!

Haiku Images

I thought you might appreciate reading through the Haiku Cluster that the judges thought were worthy of first place winner in the competition. All of the haiku spring from the Scriptures related as listed.

Appropriate for the Easter season is “To say ‘I love you’ God sent a cross.” The truth that we are co-heirs with the eternal Godhead is incomprehensible, but the Scriptures certainly remind us how rich we are in Christ.

If a haiku or two moves you and you would like to share your thoughts, I would love to meditate on them with you.
A HAIKU CLUSTER
I bequeath to you,                                                                   Romans 8:17a
every sunrise I’ve painted,
all originals. -God

Adam, while you slept,                                                           Genesis 2:21-22
God slipped Eve into your bed,
then he left, smiling.

To say “I love you,”                                                                  John 19:17-18
we send flowers or a card,
but God sent a cross.

Five little fingers                                                                       Luke 2:7
squeeze young Mary’s nose and face
as God lies on straw.

Often mothers ’ prayers                                                         I Samuel 1:27
mend the broken jars of clay
they molded from birth.

Silent, by a grave,                                                                   II Corinthians 1:4
arm around a friend, healing
a hole in the heart.

Before life’s bookends                                                         Amos 4:12b
squeeze away your last-held breath,
prepare for closure.

A Conference to Remember Part 2

Here’s the followup to last week’s conference message.

The Keynote Address for the FCW Conference was given by Brian Bird, a 30-year veteran of the Hollywood film and televison business. Brian’s writing and producing work comprises nearly 250 episodes of network television, including Touched by an Angel, and his own original series currently airing on the Hallmark Channel, When Calls the Heart. Through him, the Lord challenged me to keep writing to keep his truth alive and to inspire others to write to praise him.

Torry Martin, an award-winning actor, screenwriter, and comedian, has written feature length scripts. He taught a continuing class, “Writing Screenplays for Everything, but the Big Screen.” He is an enthusiastic, humorous, very creative catalyst. We had great fellowship and in our conversations, I was humbled when he asked me to collaborate with him on a coming project.

Three publishers expressed an interest in my Biblical studies on Prayers of the Bible and my devotionals.

The conference climaxed with the Awards Banquet Dinner and I was humbled again when I received second-place winner in non-fiction for my Memoir, Naked With Clothes On, and completely overwhelmed with first-place winner in poetry for my Haiku Cluster.

I came away from the conference inspired, encouraged, challenged, and full of new ideas and directions. I am thankful for God’s confirmation that he wants me to continue writing my devotional blog Guarded Hearts and devotional articles for Christian Broadcasting Network.

There are other conferences that we as Christians have attended and been blessed and encouraged by. How about sharing your challenging and encouraging ones with me?

Remember, the new name for my blog is GUARDED HEARTS.

Rescued by an Angel

My son was fishing in Montana. He checked into a remote motel and soon fell asleep, exhausted. In the middle of the night, he was awakened by a man’s hand over his face with the other hand raised, holding something. Uncertain whether he was to be robbed or killed, he struggled and rolled over, jumped out of bed, and ran to the other room. He turned, grabbed the door jam with one hand and reached for the door to close it. But he froze with fear. The assailant came after him. My son cried aloud, “O God, please help me!” The man dropped his hands to his side, his whole body went limp, and he stared at my son with a puzzled look. He then turned and fled from the room. To this day, my son is convinced that there was another presence in that room that caused his assailant to flee.

Hebrews 1:14 affirms that “angels are sent to protect those who are heirs of salvation.” What encouragement to know that God observes us with his angels (I Cor 4:9), ready to send them to our rescue as he sent one to protect my son.

Although God does not keep us from difficulties or dangers, he promises to “command his angels to guard you in all your ways.” Ps 91:11 He did not prevent the assailant from entering the room, but he did send an angel to protect my son. This example of angelic intervention reminds us of a twofold truth: God’s protection is not only to help us physically, but also to reinforce our faith in his power to rescue.

Take heart, dear Christian, when you’re in a fearful situation, he’s got his angels looking out for you. And in his wisdom, when you need it, you’ll be “touched by an angel.”

Hey, think of a time when you were rescued by an angel and take the time to share it to encourage others. leonpippin@gmail.com

The Folded Napkin

At a Jewish meal during Biblical times, the napkin carried necessary and symbolic meanings for the master and the servant. When the master prepared to leave the evening table, he either tossed his crumpled napkin onto the table, or he neatly folded it by his plate. Either way, the servant knew exactly what to do. The crumpled napkin meant the meal was finished, and all was to be cleared. However, the folded napkin meant the meal was unfinished, and the master was coming back.

This symbolical meaning is illustrated in the resurrection of Christ. When Simon Peter arrived at the tomb on Sunday morning, he entered and saw the strips of linen lying there as well as the face cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The “napkin” was not crumbled, but was folded, separate from the linen. Either the two angels, seated where Jesus’ body had been, folded the napkin, or Jesus himself folded it. Wow! What an unhurried peace of the Living One as He left the grave and walked away from the dead. His “meal” unfinished, the master Jesus is returning for us, His servants. 

What a beautiful custom to reinforce His promise in John 14:3: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” When we become discouraged or we doubt if he is returning, remember, Jesus folded His napkin. The master is not finished. He’s coming back.

Read John 20:1-9 for the complete story of the folded napkin.