JESUS CRABS AND ANGEL EGGS! Colossians 3: 1-17

Jesus crabs and angel eggs!  What in the world am I talking about?  My mental gearshift shoved into reverse?  No!  But thanks for asking!

Often at a church ‘potluck’ supper one of our members would bring a large tray of the most artistic-looking deviled eggs.  So pretty that they were almost too gorgeous to eat.  Almost.

Soon I began calling them angel eggs for obvious reasons.  Not going to give that old serpent any due.  Not to that rotten, lowdown adversary and accuser.  Yes, angel eggs!  A far better name.  Goes down much easier!  Seconds anyone?  Thirds?

Jesus crabs?  We’re in a fish market outside Charleston, South Carolina, where I notice them listed on a blackboard, along with the other cooked seafood platters.  Immediately catches my eye.  What’s this falderol?  Some newfangled blasphemy?  Another nasty jab at my Lord Jesus?  Have to ask the burly man behind the counter what gives with these Jesus Crabs.  With an even more burly southern accent he says, ‘In this place, we give no room for the devil.  No deviled crabs here.  Only ones for Jesus sake!’  Yes!  Jesus crabs!

As the Apostle Paul says–‘…whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus…’ (Col. 3:17).  As small a thing as renaming something, as silly as it may seem, yet the Lord will give opportunity to share something of Him, which may bring a smile to the face of even the most bitter antagonist.

And if not, then we’ve done what He asks of us anyway.  In Jesus’ name.  For His sake.  For His glory.  Not to be cutesy but to cherish the Lord who makes all things new.  Even those Jesus crabs and angel eggs!

Lord God, we lift up the name of Jesus, your Son and our Savior.  Amen.


Jesus paints a scary end times portrait.  Not a pretty picture.  I’ve heard many so-called Bible scholars spew forth their pet theories on the timing and every-last-detail event of Jesus’ second coming, all of which I dismiss without even a glance or a nod.  Rather heed what comes from the lips of the One who knows.  Even Jesus defers to the Father as to ‘when’ (Mark 13:32, Acts 1:7).  Let’s give Him the final word!

‘All men will hate you because of me…’ (Mark 13:13).  ‘When you see the abomination that causes desolation…’ (v.14).  ‘How dreadful it will be in those days…’ (v.17).  ‘…those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning…’ (v.19).  ‘…false Christs and false prophets will appear…to deceive the elect…’ (v.22).  See what I mean?  Hard times ahead.  Even for believers, Jesus says.

So, what should we do?  It’s really quite simple–‘Be on guard!  Be alert!’  ‘Keep watch’.  ‘What I say to you, I say to everyone:  Watch!’ (Mark 13: 33,35,36).

Do what?  Watch!  Trust that what He says will always be true.  Don’t waver or falter.  The world, our culture, some family and friends may no longer believe the Bible as God’s totally trustworthy Word.  That’s exactly why He’s warned us to be on guard.  Nothing should surprise us.  We’ve been put on notice.  So stand up and hold your ground.  His turf, really.

Don’t budge.  Lovingly stand up for Jesus.  Sounds a bit old-fashioned.  So is loyalty and honor, honesty and kindness in this crude and lewd world we inhabit.  Count us old-fashioned rather than new-fangled filthy and depraved.

Be firm.  Watch.  Be on alert.  On the qui vive.  Keep both eyes open with ears attentive.  Troubles come.  Don’t be caught off-guard and unawares.  Always… watch.

That’s how to make it through any of life’s difficulties.  If you’re in something burdensome and fatiguing right now–Watch!  Hang tough!  Immovable, leaning hard-and-long on Jesus.  After all, He’s our Rock no matter what, where or when.  No matter.  Watch.

Thank you, Jesus, for standing strong with us.  Amen.

DID HE KNOW? Jonah 2

Much of life remains a mystery.  We kid ourselves imagining how smart we are.  Remember my Grandfather Fischer’s heavy German-accented comment to his three sons–‘Smart like your father, you dope you!’  How true, sad to say.

On the other hand, if we could only see from God’s perspective.  Then we wouldn’t need faith anymore.  We’d know.  No doubts.  No hemming-and-hawing about God’s will.  We’d know.

Reading Jonah 2, a question pops into my mind.  When Jonah’s in the belly of the great fish, is he aware of where he is?  Does he have a clue?  His prayer makes no reference to safety in the fish.

Possibly he’s barely conscious, after being submerged in the Mediterranean for a bit.  Panicked.  Flailing for dear life, which ebbs away.

But then he awakes in a strange, probably smelly, sort of gooey, claustrophobic place.  Certainly the fish had no welcome mat out for Jonah.  No backdoor light left on.  No AAA maps or apps on his not-so-smart faux phone.  No concierge to ask where he’s at.

So he turns to the One who’s never far away, never out of reach.  To his God–‘In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.  From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry’ (Jonah 2:2).  Possibly unaware of his locale, yet he knows where help always can be found–with his Lord God.

Often I’ve no idea what God wants me to do.  He doesn’t say.  Oh yes, on the big issues, like His commandments.  Or how He’d like my attitude to be.  And what productive ‘fruit’ He wishes me to harvest.  But with other things, really most, He remains quiet.

But what He does want us to know is that He’s always at work for the best (Rom. 8:28).  Got it?  I struggle to accept that.  Hard to get securely into my thick skull.

So, trust Him anyway, as best you can.  Only takes a smidgeon, the smallest seed of faith.  And maybe He’ll show us, in hindsight, His hand at work.  Maybe.  But if not, let’s lean on Him no matter what or where or how or why.  I’m game.

Have the very best week.  You know why!

Thank you, Lord, for not giving up on your own.  In Jesus’ name.   Amen.


Let’s spend some time in the Old Testament book of Obadiah.  Why?  Seems like he’s overlooked.  After all, only one chapter, comprising twenty-one verses.  Hardly a book.  Barely a short story.

Hey, it’s in the Word of God.  No frivolous anything found between its pages.  So, let’s look over overlooked Obadiah!

Most of Obadiah’s prophecy has to do with Edom, a long-standing enemy of ancient Israel.  The ending gives great hope to God’s people.  Restoration is on the way for a beaten-down nation–‘And the kingdom will be the Lord’s’ (v.21).

What grabs my attention in particular can be found in verses 8-14.  Made many notes in my Bible.  As if the Holy Spirit says,  ‘Slow down.  This is for you.  Pay attention.’

A day is coming when the Lord will judge Edom.  Won’t be fun.  Can’t sleep through it or talk their way out of it.  What goes around is coming around.

Same for our sinful world.  For those who mock Jesus, and disdain His Word, the Bible.  Seems like that’s most everybody.  Our reaction?  A smirk for those getting exactly what they deserve?  Neener, neener, neener!

Obadiah mentions eight negatives we’re to shun.  Boil them down and you get that big mouthful German word ‘schadenfreude’–joy at other’s misfortune.  Not a good thing but one we can all identify with.  Right?  Be honest now.  No, not you, of course!

Verses 11-14 display attitudes we should get rid of.  Unfortunately, we can’t.  So, ask for the Holy Spirit’s help.  He wants kindness to come to the surface.  Not a bunch of I-told-you-so’s.  Unfortunately, no gloating or rubbing it in either.  Too bad, so sad.

Rather, praying for those who hate us and our God.  What?  Yes!  Exactly what Jesus tells us to do (Matt. 5:44).  Even to love them?  Fat chance.  Don’t hold your breath.  On my own, forget it.  Again, ask the Holy Spirit to help us do what we can’t or won’t.  Plus with Jesus’ help, all things are possible (Matt. 19:36, Phil. 4:13).

Obadiah helps me reconsider my attitudes, putting them on God’s scale, checking for balance.  Tilt!  And then to reform them through the Holy Spirit’s and Jesus’ help.  Am I the only needy one?

Lord, we pray for ALL the lost to be found through Jesus, our Lord.  Amen.

A SIDE NOTE Mark 10: 17-31

All three synoptic Gospels (Matthew 19, Mark 10 and Luke 18) tell of the rich young man asking Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life.  Only Mark has a side note that jumps off the page at me.  Read all three accounts and see what you discover.  Find it?  Plain as the nose on my face!  It’s in Mark 10: 21.

What is?  That Jesus is looking at this young man.  Even more, that Jesus loves him.  Really?  I hadn’t noticed that before.

Jesus loves this man.  Sadly, he’s the only person in all the Gospels who leaves Jesus’ presence with sorrowful heart.  Some become ecstatic.  Others joyous.  Many angry, wanting His death.  This wealthy young man sadly slinks away.

Sad for he has too many riches that block his path to the Messiah.  A god of greenbacks means too much to him.  Possibly fears of poverty and destitution cause him to surround himself with more and more shekels until he no longer sees the forest or the trees.  Blinded by gilt.

Yet Mark says that Jesus keeps looking at this young man with a loving gaze.  Wanting the best for him, knowing that he’ll choose the lesser and the least.  So often this is our story.  Settling for a minus sign.  Taking baby steps when adult ones would lead to higher spiritual rungs.  Sitting back when we should be standing up for Jesus.

I do wonder, as life takes varied tolls on this young man, who may become middle-aged and then old and older, if money and things loose their grip on his heart.  And he remembers the One who longs for and loves him, wanting more for him rather than the less he’s willfully mired in.

If then, he turns his heart to Jesus, who loves him and looks for him.  He reaches out, with arms and hands wide-open, embracing His Savior.  I wonder.  Could go either way.

How about you?  Have you welcomed Jesus into your life?  Really?  Not sure?  Then do it now.  Wait not a second longer.  After all, He’s been in love with, well, forever!


Thank you, Jesus.  You’re all we’ll ever need.  Amen.