Friday, February 06, 2009

Morning Devos (or Be the Coffee Bean)

We start each work day with a short devotional that we all take turns leading.  Sometimes someone will read from scripture, or a book they're reading or something they found on the internet like Relevant or Our Daily Bread or Christianity today or as a fallback, people keep books at their desk like C.S. Lewis, Max Lucado or Oswald Chambers.  (One guy has The Screwtape Letters as spoken by John Cleese.  That's always a treat.)

I did not have anything planned this morning but didn't think a rainy Friday was a good day for Chambers.  And last time I had started with a bunch of unfortunate church bulletin announcements.  ("The senior choir, who has led the early service all year will take the summer off, with the thanks of the congregation." or "Our church offers a nursery on the second floor for those who have children and didn't know it.")  So I knew I couldn't go the straight humor route, but I've really felt like it was my particular "thing" to always do devos that had to do with encouragement or leadership or that were in some way related to work.   In short order today starting with Google I came across a fascinating author, Howard Butt.  Among other things, he does little one-minute stories on the radio and has been for 8 or 9 years now, started with 4 stations and now is heard on over 800.  I've not subscribed to his RSS feed and look forward to regularly reading these new little morsels of encouragement and thought.

So here's the one-minute stories and here's his main author page.

And here are the four stories I shared today:


Two geese prepared to fly south, and a frog asked if he could go along. At first they resisted. How could a frog accompany them? Easy! The frog suggested that the two geese hold a stick in their beaks—he would hold onto the stick with his mouth.

Off they went, flying southward over the countryside. People looked up and admired the creative teamwork. Then someone shouted, "Fabulous idea! Who thought of it?"

The frog opened his mouth and said, "I thought of it!" . . . and plummeted to the earth.


Years ago, a large shoe manufacturer sent two sales reps into the Australian outback. The company’s crazy sales manager thought he could drum up shoe business among the tribes living off the land.

Sometime later, telegrams arrived from both shoe reps. The sales manager tore them open. The first one said, “No business possible. Natives don’t wear shoes.” The second rep said, “Great business opportunity! Natives don’t wear shoes!”


In the 1920s, pastor Bates Burt didn't understand his son Alfred's fascination with new, unsettling jazz.. But he supported it—even letting him practice drums in the rectory attic! Al became a professional jazz musician, and Bates was his son's most devoted fan. Al continued his father's annual tradition of composing carols as Christmas cards.

Nat King Cole, Simon and Garfunkel, and James Taylor recorded Al's carols. The songs continue to proclaim Christ's birth in ways his pastor father could never have imagined.


In boiling water, carrots, eggs, and coffee beans all react differently. Carrots start out strong and hard but soon grow soft and weak. The liquid interiors of eggs harden. Coffee beans? Well, ground coffee beans turn that hot water into coffee.

In the hot waters of pain and adversity, what are you? The carrot that goes soft? The egg that hardens and grows stiff? Or the crushed coffee bean—which alters its very circumstances, releasing both color and aroma.

These are all taken from The High Calling of Our Daily Work ( and by publishing here, the amount excerpted probably violates "fair use" and may make this a copyright violation.  Contact me to request removal from this blog.  Or please accept the free promotion.
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