Are You Following the White Rabbit?

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:2

“Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, `and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice `without pictures or conversation?'

So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, `Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!' (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again. The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well….”

Did that sound familiar? It’s the beginning of the first chapter of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

The White Rabbit is key to the story, because he is the one that Alice follows—but should she? She falls down the rabbit hole, follows the rabbit into his house, and what happens to her? She suddenly gets all puffed up, grows into a giant, and finds herself trapped inside. It’s a lot like what happens to us when we get too busy. We run around shilly-shallying, as Carroll would say, so concerned with ourselves and what we have to do that we become trapped by time. Just like the White Rabbit, we check the clock and fret about what’s next on our list, oblivious to the things that the Lord might be trying to teach us.

I think of the peaceful scene at the beginning of the chapter where Alice and her sister are resting on the riverbank reading and relaxing together. Everything is all right until Alice spots the White Rabbit and runs off after it. The result is a stress-filled romp through Wonderland that almost ends with Alice losing her head. Thankfully, she wakes just in time to find herself resting safe in her sister’s lap, grateful that it was only a dream.

Granted, Alice’s adventure makes for a good story, but I can’t help but wonder about the fellowship—with her sister and the Lord— that Alice missed by choosing to follow the harried White Rabbit. It reminds me of the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible:

Now as they went on their way, he (Jesus) entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:38-42).

Can you imagine being too busy to spend time with Jesus? Most of us will answer “no”, but are we being truthful? I’m guilty, and I think you might be, too. Every day Jesus is a guest in my house. My intentions are good. I try to schedule quiet time to be alone with Him, but I’m too often distracted. I have things to do, and my time in fellowship with Him gets pushed to the end of the day. I wish that more often when I’m following the White Rabbit I would remember the Lord's words: “(Jean, Jean) you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.”

If you are like me, you sometimes find yourself following the White Rabbit, tumbling down the rabbit hole, and feeling trapped like a giant in a way-too-small house with the world closing in on you.
How might our lives change if, like Mary, we stop in the middle of the busiest time of day, sit down at the Lord’s feet and listen—really listen—to what He has to say?

Dear Jesus:
Thank you for coming into my home every day, and thank you for staying even when I am too busy to spend time with you. Forgive me, and remind me, please, to set my mind not on earthly things, but always on you.

Is Your Light Gone in a Flash?

Give thanks to the Lord of lords…..who made the great lights— His love endures forever.
Psalm 136, vs. 3 and 7

Do you know that there are almost 2000 species of fireflies in the world? I discovered this fact after I noticed that the fireflies in my backyard look different from the ones I saw as a child. I also wondered why there seem to be fewer fireflies each year. The answer, I learned, is that building projects and other commercial endeavors are displacing the fireflies' habitat —meadows and fields. Fireflies like to stay close to where they were born, and if their habitat is destroyed, then they are reluctant to move on. Light pollution is a factor, too. These little creatures communicate by flashing their lights, sort of like a bug Morse code. The nearby lights of cities and towns can confuse the fireflies’ signals resulting in less mating, which of course, means fewer fireflies.

I’ve read that in some places fireflies were so plentiful that for evening entertainment people would drive their cars to a field or meadow to watch the show. Since the flash pattern is different for each species, the landscape would twinkle with lights like Christmas in July. I can only imagine, since I am thrilled to see even a dozen fireflies flitting about.

When I was little, I caught fireflies in a jar and found such joy in watching them light. I was careful not to keep them too long, and then I released them back to the warm, summer night. There was something so magical about them. They were a prelude to the stars, and if you waited long enough, until it was completely dark outside, it was almost as if the stars were floating down from Heaven to Earth. Robert Frost used the analogy in his poem “Fireflies in the Garden.”

Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)
Achieve at times a very star-like start.
Only, of course, they can't sustain the part.

Isn’t it amazing how God uses light to catch our attention? James 1:17 describes God as “the Father of the heavenly lights.” Think about it. A beautiful sunrise or sunset rarely goes unnoticed. A full moon inspires lovers, musicians, and writers. Stars spilling across the sky wow us. We watch the Northern Lights with awe, and a lightning bolt striking nearby surely makes us sit up and take notice. God, the Father of the heavenly lights, is calling out to us, reminding us of his power and glory. It is no accident that the word “light” is mentioned 237 times in the King James Version of the Bible.

Jesus said, in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." In Matthew 5, Jesus speaks to ordinary citizens, just like you and me, and he says: "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (vs.14-16)

As I watch fireflies gliding through my backyard flashing their yellow-green signals, I imagine that it is God’s way of getting my attention, reminding me that I am a light in His world. I’m often guilty of not letting my light shine long enough. It flashes on and off like the light of a firefly. It shines for several hours and some might take notice, but I know that God, the Father of Heavenly lights, wants my light to shine brightly all day, every day, always, so that everyone sees. I have to work on that.

How brightly does your light shine? Are you like a firefly, or does your light shine brightly all day long?

Kind Heavenly Father, You sent your son, Jesus, to be the Light of the World. He gave us the mission of spreading the Light to all people. Help me, Lord, so my light will shine brightly all day long and those in darkness will notice and see You.

Art credit, fireflies and globe ©2008 Evgeniy Alybin

If you would like to read more about our disappearing fireflies, check out

Are You Somebody's Angel?

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2

Whenever I hear my wind chimes ring, I think of that line from the film, It's a Wonderful Life: "Teacher says, every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings." I can see it! The gates to heaven open wide at the sound of my wind chimes. A cloudy figure reaches into an alabaster box just outside the gates. She takes out a pair of wings and slips them over her shoulders. Now, she's a full-fledged angel. Encased in an aura of prismatic colors she walks through the gates of heaven to receive her assignment from God.

I believe that angels are among us, sent by God to do His work here on Earth. Perhaps they are heavenly beings, like the angel Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life, or maybe they are living human beings whom God uses in mysterious ways. How many times have you said, “I was in just the right place at the right time,” or “It was meant to be”? There is no such thing as coincidence.

Several years ago, my uncle had a massive heart attack while driving. He pulled over, alone on the road, and there was only one witness who saw him in distress. She hurried to a nearby fire station and alerted the paramedics. They arrived just in time to save my uncle’s life. Officers at the scene got the woman’s name and address; however, days later we learned that the address was a vacant lot, and the woman could not be found. An angel? My family thinks so. Had it not been for her, my uncle surely would have died.

I had my own encounter with an angel a few years after my Grandma Dorothy passed away. Grandma had been my friend and confidant, someone who always seemed to understand me so well, especially during those awkward, adolescent years when I didn't understand myself. It seemed fitting that God took her Home on an Easter Sunday, but it left me melancholy in subsequent years as the Easter weekend approached.

My angel arrived on a Good Friday. I had skipped the afternoon church service and chose instead to go home and feel sorry for myself. I was in a valley in my life and also a very new Christian. I hadn’t yet learned the true meaning of faith or eternal life, and I missed my grandma terribly.

Toward sunset, there was on knock on my apartment door. When I answered it, I found a young, petite Asian woman carrying a medium-sized, black suitcase. She introduced herself as an artist and said that she was a college student selling art to earn her way through school. She asked if she could show me her work. I don't know why I let her in, usually I'm not overly-friendly to solicitors, but for some unknown reason I invited her into my living room.

We sat on my sofa, and she opened the suitcase. Inside, there were small compartments filled with hand-painted eggs. Each design was unique and beautiful. As I admired them, she got up and studied the family photographs on the fireplace mantel. She picked up a framed photo of Grandma Dorothy taken when she was in her mid-twenties. "This lady looks like you," the girl said. I explained that it was my grandmother. She studied the photograph as she held it gently in her hands. "She was very kind to you, a nice lady. I know that she loved you so much." The words flowed into me. They couldn't have been more soothing than if Grandma Dorothy had said them herself—and maybe she had.

The girl rummaged through her case and produced an egg nestled inside of a small plexiglass box. "This is the one I choose for you," she said. "It reminds me of you and your grandmother." The watercolor design was simple. It had two small yellow butterflies flying near a sprig of forget-me-nots. How could she have known that yellow butterflies had such significance for me?

"You like what I do?" she asked.

"Yes," I answered. "It's beautiful."

"New life," she responded matter-of-factly. "The egg means new life. Maybe a new beginning for you?"

I smiled as I realized that, indeed, my newfound faith in God was a new beginning.

After the young woman left, I looked out my front window, curious to see where she'd go. But there was no sign of her. Was she an angel? Maybe not in the sense that she came from heaven on a pair of wings, but I do believe that she was sent from God not only to soothe my aching heart, but also to remind me that He was with me.

Hebrews 13:2 says, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." In today’s society, this advice can be risky, but still, amidst our uncertainty about one another, God finds ways of bringing us together in accordance with His will.

God sometimes speaks through the voices of other people, but it's not always the people from whom we expect to hear Him. A college student selling her art, a homeless person pushing a shopping cart filled with meager possessions, a young athlete competing in the Special Olympics—all of these people, in their own ways, might be messengers from God.

Without you knowing it, God could be using you to meet someone's need just as the aspiring artist met my need that day. So listen when God speaks to your heart. Listen when He tells you to offer a kind word, or to perform a good deed. Give of yourself, because He may be using you. You never know, you might be somebody's angel.

Dear Lord:
Please use me to help with your works here on Earth, and open my eyes to the angels you bring into my life.

Book Review: The I Believe Bunny by Tish Rabe

Meet The I Believe Bunny, star of a delightful new series from Thomas Nelson. When Little Mouse is in big trouble, Bunny is the only one there to help. But, he’s small and unsure of himself. What can he do? In desperation, Bunny prays. He calls on God to help, and soon he discovers that prayer works.

It’s never too early to help kids learn to act on their faith, and that’s exactly what The I Believe Bunny does. Best-selling author Tish Rabe creates a simple rhyming story that illustrates Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” The message is skillfully summed up at the end of the story without being didactic or preachy. Young children are sure to identify with Bunny’s child-like character and learn along with him that kids aren’t too small to put their faith into action.

Frank Endersby’s pastel illustrations, reminiscent of Beatrix Potter’s style, are soft and gentle making this a good bedtime read; however, they lack detail and may not hold some children’s interest.

The I Believe Bunny is a worthwhile addition to your child’s bookshelf. Together, you will read it again and again as you reinforce the idea of practicing faith in God. Look for the second book in this series, Sharing With You, available July 14.

The I Believe Bunny

I Believe Bunny Series
Hardcover, 32 pages
Ages 3-7
Written by Tish Rabe,
Illustrated by Frank Endersby
ISBN: 1400314763

Note: In coming weeks, more reviews of books published by Thomas Nelson.

I'm proud to be a contributing author to the following series of humorous devotionals.
And check out my "Kid's Bible Dictionary" and pre-teen mysteries, also from Barbour.

See all the books in the Camp Club Girls series.

See all the books in the Camp Club Girls series.
Click on the picture.
I am the author of these books, but I have not been compensated for mentioning them on this blog or linking them to the seller's website. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

By Max Lucado, Published by Thomas Nelson
Max Lucado has a unique way with words, and his children's book Hermie A Common Caterpillar is no exception. With simple text and bright, watercolor illustrations, the story of Hermie unfolds.

Hermie wonders why he looks and feels so common. Whenever he asks God why, God simply answers, "I'm not finished with you yet." Then, one day, Hermie feels very tired. He gets into his cozy, leafy bed, and he sleeps. And while Hermie sleeps a transformation takes place. When he wakes up, Hermie discovers that God has done something grand. You can guess what it is. Every caterpillar that lives to adulthood knows the end of the story.

Parents, please share this book and its powerful message with your children. We are all special because God loves us, and He has a unique purpose for our lives. Whenever we slump into feeling ordinary, we know that we have hope because . . .God isn't finished with us yet!

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

©text on this blog copyrighted 2012 by Jean Fischer unless otherwise credited. You may link to the blog, but please don't reprint the text without my permission.

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