Sunday, September 25, 2016

Circle the Wagons

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Coffee and donuts. They go together like love and marriage. Someday I’d like to write a poem and I’d like to start it with the line, “Coffee and donuts, sittin’ in a tree.” I’m not sure where to go from there. I get that far and all I know is that I want to be in that tree.

I confess I’ve had a few too many donuts. Sad to say, the bough on that tree would be bending pretty low about now. That’s why I decided to go on yet another diet recently. Also sad to say, I’ve already fallen off the wagon.
I’m thinking of putting up a sign that says, “Please keep body inside the wagon at all times and please stay seated until the wagon comes to a complete and final stop.”

You know, if someone would think of bringing fudge along on the wagon ride I would be a lot more motivated to stay on it. Okay, I suppose a really good friend would probably give me a nudge to stay on the wagon. Nudge or fudge. Tough call on which is best, friendship-wise.

In our spiritual lives, we all need a
little nudge now and then.
In our spiritual lives, we all need a little nudge now and then too. It’s good to have people in our lives we can count on to nudge us in the right direction, wherever the wagons are heading.

As pioneers were settling the west, when they were threatened by an enemy, circling the wagons was part of their defense strategy. The circle provided a protected cover they could get behind to fire at their attackers.

We need to rally with those on this life’s journey in the same way. We have a common enemy. Peter reminds us to “be alert” because our “enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV). Circle the wagons! Our church family is part of our defensive plan against our enemy. The next verse in 1 Peter says, “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (vs. 9).

We’re in this together. Let’s not neglect circling the wagons. “Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together as believers, as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25, AMP).

I’m so thankful the Lord has placed godly church buds and godly leaders in my path all through my life via the church. People with just the right nudge at the ready. There are pastors, teachers and leaders who stay alert to our spiritual supervision, keeping watch the scripture says. And Hebrews 13:17 instructs us to be responsive to them. “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”

Less burden. More joy. It’s a good choice.

And in other choices, I’m considering choosing to keep the extra 20 pounds and just get myself a bigger wagon. One with really good shocks.

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Circle the wagons - Less burden. More Joy. It's a good choice. @RhondaRhea (Click to Tweet)

Rhonda Rhea is a humor columnist for lots of great magazines, including HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and more. She is the author of 10 nonfiction books, including How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? and coauthors fiction with her daughter, Kaley Faith Rhea. She and her daughters host the TV show, That’s My Mom, for Christian Television Network’s KNLJ. Rhonda enjoys traveling the country speaking at all kinds of conferences and events. She and her pastor/hubs have five grown children and live in the St. Louis area.

3 comments:

  1. Love this illustration of circling the wagons! I've been trying to instill the need of church family to the couples in my Sunday school class. I'm with you on the falling off the wagon too - you know what I've heard, those extra pounds make it harder to be kidnapped. Hey, whatever excuse we need, right? Love ya, Sister!

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  2. Thanks for coming along on the wagon ride, girlfriend. A round of chocolate on me! Mostly, great work with your Sunday School peeps. But then...chocolate. :) Love and hugs!

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  3. I associate coffee and donuts with that time of relaxation when a job is done; a reward for being diligent. (So far, I've not earned them today.)
    There's a group of men I meet with every Saturday. We do a book study, but more importantly we encourage each other in the faith, and pray for one another. We have been meeting for about fifteen years. Prior to that, I met with some other men on Wednesdays for about twenty years. Christian friends are priceless.

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