Friday, November 30, 2012

Oh, The Things We Pull Out of Our Hats

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

I am doing my devotionals this month using the old time radio show the Cinnamon Bear as a spring board for my topics each day. I am a firm believer that as Christians, we don't have to only drink milk from Christian cows.  We should be salt and light in the cultures that we find ourselves living as kingdom ambassadors. We should not just be huddled away in our churches waiting for the rapture while the communities around us go to hell in a handbag. All around us people are celebrating the Christmas season. We should be able to spring board from the things of life all around us into things about our life of faith in Jesus. We should be able to do this with out being obnoxious and beating people up with the good news. So this month I am trying to demonstrate how you can take secular story and find ways to talk about kingdom principles and belief with the people around you. "Love them till they ask you why?"

 The Cinnamon Bear originally was on the air in the 1937 and was designed to be listened to every day except Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It is  a delightful story that I was commissioned to do illustrations for earlier this year. The paintings you see with each post are my art work and at times I make some of them available as cards, posters and other items. If you see a illustration that you would me to make available for you as a print on demand item I invite you to contact me at

Here's todays episode link to the Cinnamon Bear story.
Since I only write on Friday's for Healing Stream Media if you want to take part in the rest of these devotionals please visit my blog at If you are a reader of my blog I also invite you to check out the many wonderful writers who post daily for Healing Stream Media as well as enjoy the great music on their 6 stations

2 Peter 3:9(NIV1984)   
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Read more:
2 Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Read more:
Oh the things we pull out of our hat is my topic today. In the Cinnamon Bear Story the kids meet a magician named Presto.  He is not a very good Magician he has gotten his training from a correspondence school. The kids are hungry and ask him if he can pull a ham and egg sandwich from his hat and with a wave of his wand he pulls out a pig and a chicken. Its the makings of a ham and egg sandwich.

This episode was evidently written in the post lul of the Thanksgiving holiday when you are happy not to see another meal made from chicken or turkey. My mom is visiting this week and was feeling the same way and came up with the great idea of pancakes and sausage for dinner. Pancakes and popcorn are things I never, ever make. While I am never tempted by popcorn my mom makes some darn good pancakes. Mine always turn out half cooked on the inside. I decided long ago that I would leave the creation of pancakes to others. This episode in my opinion is like my pancakes a bit half baked.

My favorite quote from this episode is "The rabbits keep following me around and demanding carrots" ~ Presto  What grabs me from this episode comes from that quote. Presto had pulled about how the dozen or so rabbits out of his hat that are now following him around and demanding carrots. It makes me think of the consequences that follow us around when we take things into our own hands and try to pull a solution out of our hat rather than wait on God.

"I'm convinced this is one of the greatest temptations facing any true Christian: to act hurriedly on our own when it appears God isn't working fast enough." ~ David Wilkerson

The Old Testament is full of stories of people who got ahead of God. People who got tired of waiting for God to act and took matters into their own hands.

Abraham and Sarah got tired of waiting for God to give them a son. Sarah hatched a bright plan of giving her maid servant Hagar to Abraham to bear a child for them through her.

Lots daughters decide there are no men left after Sodom and Gomorrah to give them babies. They decide the thing to do is to get their father drunk so they can become pregnant by him. They give birth to the Ammonites and the Moabites. If you've read your bible I should not have to tell you that the Ammonites and the Moabites cause a lot of trouble for the nation of Israel.

King Saul gets impatient waiting for Samuel the prophet to come and offer the sacrifice and decides to make his own sacrifice. It was not lawful for anyone but a priest to make the sacrifice. Saul was a king. He had been given instruction to wait and Samuel would do the sacrifice and they would be spiritual ready for the battle before them. I Samuel 13:8-9 (NIV1984)
 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter.  So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering."From that point on God favor no longer rests on his reign as king. Samuel is instructed to anoint a new king. David is chosen but then has quite a few years before he officially becomes the king.  David refuses to take matters into his own hands even though he has been anointed to be the next king he will not depose the standing king.

Things always become a sticky mess when we are impatient and take things into our own hands.
There are times when we may even feel forced to take action because like Saul the people around us are loosing confidence in our leadership. It was not a one strike and your out thing with Saul, there were repeated incidents where he demonstrated that he would choose his own means over trusting God. This is not the place we want to be in our relationship with the Lord.
Psalm 81:12 (NKJV) says "So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, To walk in their own counsels." I am not talking about waiting because you are afraid to take a step of faith. I am talking about the times when God's answer is no or not now. It is in those times when we stubbornly demand our own way and take matters into our own hands. Its in those times that we end up like Presto with a bunch of rabbits harassing us for carrots. We may have thought we had troubles before but by taking matters into our own hands we generally end up increasing our troubles.

Prayer: Lord help us to trust you especially when your answer is "no" or "not now". We don't like having to wait. We want solutions and we want them now. Help us to see the bigger picture of what you are doing. Help us to realize that the surface problem we want fixed is usually tied to some deeper things that you are dealing with first. Help us to realize that it does no good to remodel the bathroom with new paint and pretty fixtures,  if all the pipes are bad. Help us to submit to your deeper work of healing in our lives. Lord make us well.

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