Whatsoever Things Are True
by Pastor Dan Coburn
I heard a man tell the story of teaching his small daughter how to ride a bicycle. She refused the training wheels because after all, she was way too cool as a preschooler. He took her to a very large, abandoned parking lot (I think it was a water park in the off season), and after taking every conceivable precaution right down to the little “ninja turtle” helmet, he turned her loose. 
He gave her a big push, assuring her of her safety, but as he ran along side her, she kept voicing her concern about “The Pole”. You see, there was in the middle of this huge parking lot, all by itself, a lonely light pole. She was convinced she would hit it—he was sure she couldn’t if she tried. 
“It’s gonna be great honey–look at all the room you have—you are going to be great—just like your big brother—wind in your face–it will be great”   “But Daddy—The Pole”.  He turned her loose. “Atta girl, you’re doing great” as she wobbled in a very large arc screaming “Daddy– The Pole”.  “Don’t worry about the pole, just peddle”. But as you probably guessed, she ran right smooth into the pole. Scraped her face and arm, dented her front wheel, and was not going to soon forgive her father. 
Why did this happen? In Elk City, the archers have a couple of “three D shoots each year. One of the things they are famous for is a target where you have to shoot through the hole in a circular saw blade. It should be easy; it isn’t. What’s worse, is that when you miss, there is a horrible “Clang” for all the world to hear. 
Why does this happen?  Its because just as the little girl was focused on the Pole, I was focused on the saw blade. I’ve shot at elk when the only thing between me and them was one limb. Guess what I hit? You see, we focus on the “poles” in our life. You are probably going to have a pile of company at Christmas time. Some you don’t see but once a year, but rather than look forward to the occasion, the company, and the food, we focus on the poles. “What if that pole shows up? What if he brings his pole? What if they bring all those little poles? Oh No– what will we do?”.  And we are so focused on the “poles”, we can’t enjoy anything else. Let’s establish something right now. Every family tree has a sap. My family put the “fun” in dysfunctional. 
This was the downfall of the first church relocation program. Remember when the nation Israel was to enter the promised land for the first time? They sent in spies, and the majority of them said “we can’t take the land, they have giants. Their cities are fortified. They out-number us. They have (Poles)”.  Two of the spies saw the same thing, but had a different idea. They believed God. They figured, in optimistic fashion, they could sway the others if they just showed them the evidence. “Surely this is a land flowing with milk and honey–look at the size of these grapes”.  The (nay sayers) however, replied; “look at the size of those grapes–that proves there are giants–Poles Poles Poles”.  (Numbers chapters 13-14).
With all the controversy and arguing going on this time of year, I want to encourage you not to let circumstances rob you of your joy. I know we don’t know the day of Jesus’ birth; it isn’t even likely we have the right month. Still lets praise Him that He came, and for the reason He came– “that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly”. John 10:10. Let’s purpose in our hearts to love the “poles”. Extend mercy as you have received mercy, and have a happy, blessed, wonderful Christmas. 

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522



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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
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