Devotion – God Is No Fool by Lois Cheney

Back in the dark ages, the year 1985 to be exact, I had the privilege to serve as a Student Assistant Minister at The Wesley Foundation on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. The Campus Minister, the Rev. Mark Girard, had offered me the position so I could check out what he felt was my calling to ministry. Before the fall semester began, Mark and some of us student leaders went on a retreat to Lake Junaluska (the capital of Southern United Methodism) in western North Carolina. There, nestled in amongst the Smokey Mountains, we spent several days in prayer and planning for the upcoming year. And while there I came across a small devotional book by the Christian writer Lois Cheney (no relation to our former VP). One of my favorite devotions from the book also provides the text with its title. Cheney wrote:

They say that God has infinite patience,
and that is a great comfort.
They say God is always there,
and that is a deep satisfaction.
They say that God will always take you back,
and get lazy in that certainty.
They say that God never gives up,
and I count on that.
They say that you can go away for years and years,
and God will be there, waiting, when you come home.
They say you can make mistake after mistake,
and God will always forgive and forget.
They say lots of things,
these people who have never read the Old Testament.
There comes a time, a definite, for sure time,
when God turns around.
I don’t believe God shed his skin
when Christ brought in the New Testament;
Christ showed us a new side of God,
and it is truly wonderful.
But Christ didn’t change God.
God remains forever and ever
and that God
is
no
fool.

from God Is No Fool, Lois A. Cheney, Copyright 1969, Abingdon Books, pages 55-56


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“Nails” by Lois A. Cheney

Awhile back I emailed this to a friend, and since I had to type it up, I figured I might as well post it here as well.  I love this short devotion, as well as the book from which it is taken.  Both this devotion and the book (see below) never fail to convict me.

———-

The ancient Hebrews were so tied by tradition they couldn’t recognize the Messiah when he was right there in front of them,
and he was crucified.

The disciples, who walked and worked with the Christ, were very afraid of him; they hoped, but they also doubted, and they ran that night,
and he was crucified.

The common people mobbed him, showed him their sicknesses and sores,and they threw down an aisle of palms for him and sang to him,
and he was crucified.

His family was embarrassed, and stood outside, and wished he’d come home,
and he was crucified.

Would we crucify Jesus today? It’s not a rhetorical question for the mind to play with.
I believe,
We are each born with a body, a mind, a soul, and a handful of nails.

I believe,
When a man dies, no one has ever found any nails left,
clutched in his hands
or stuffed in his pockets.

God is No Fool, Lois A. Cheney, Abingdon Press, 1969

God is No Fool
by Lois A. CheneyRead more about this title…

Devotion on Psalm 42:1-2

faith and devotionPsalm 42:1-2

1As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
2My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
the face of God?

I would bet that most of really wish we felt the way that the psalmist who penned these words felt, but there are times we have to admit that most of the time our longings and thirsts are not for the Holy One.  No, we long for money, prestige, power, respect, love, recognition . . . and I could go on and on here.  The list is almost limitless.  Yet even so, can we honestly say the list includes God?  Not very often.

So let our prayer be this:  God, make me long for your presence in my life.  Make me thirsty for your Spirit and life in me.

Of course with a prayer like this, you just might want to cross your fingers or say under your breath, “Just kidding, Lord.”  After all, what if God took us seriously if and when we prayed these words?  That, my friends, is a scary thought and worth pondering before we commit ourselves to any prayer, let alone the one above.