Face to Face with a Snapping Turtle

While preparing to leave a home I was visiting for the church, I noticed a turtle underneath someone else’s car. I told my friend Scott who was with me that I needed to move that turtle. He shrugged his shoulders in not so positive affirmation but I went ahead to rescue the turtle. The car it was under was small, so I got down on my stomach and crawled underneath the car for my attempted mission of mercy. I reached with my hands on each side of the turtle… When I did,the turtle stuck it’s face and neck out at my face…it look like one of those 3D Movies where the creature jumps out at you from the screen! About that time some friends of mine came out of the house and witnessed this unusual confrontation between man and beast. I could hear them laughing as I tried to drop the turtle, dance with the turtle, and somehow wiggle backwards as I continually bumped my head on the bottom of the car! My only previous experience with turtles was with the benign box turtle, not the ferocious snapping turtle!
Somehow, both me and the unfriendly snapping turtle survived that trumatic ordeal. This reminds me how some things seem like a good idea to hop in and help, but if you aren’t properly equipped or don’t have the right information, it can be disastrous. The Bible encourages us to be careful, that ” it is not good to have zeal without knowledge.”- Proverbs 19: 2 (NIV). Sometimes, it is best to wait and get all the facts before committing to do something. If possible, to take some time to pray, think of all the options, and get good advice. I haven’t always done that, though I strive to be more wise and cautious about major commitments in my life. May God grant you and me wisdom today as we make decisions…and yes, watch out for snapping turtles too…

” Rocking Chair Therapy” is good for the Soul…

“God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to Him” – 1Peter 5:7 ( CEV)

Have you ever noticed how all kinds of people are attracted to rocking chairs? Little children like them as well as Senior Adults. I have even had them in my office. I observed when people would come for a counseling appointment they might be uptight or stressed about some problem…yet they would relax as they sat in the rocking chair…It had a calming effect. In fact, research indicates that it lowers blood pressure and stress, also it is good exercise for the mind, body, and spirit.
My good friend Charlie Caudle at my home church in North Carolina used to sing a little song when things got really busy and hectic: ” I’m going down to the river, going to carry me a Rocking Chair…and if the blues don’t leave me, I’m going to rock on out of here.” Sometimes it is good to stop a few minutes and take a break to relax and recharge yourself. I have tried a little Yoga, Yogurt ( I liked the low fat frozen chocolate the best! ) and Tai Chi ( and also Nacho Cheese)… But I still prefer some time in a good rocking chair to really relax for a while.
Spending some time in a rocking chair gives you time to clear your thoughts and think about what is really important in your life. Many times, I have done this to refocus my attitude and my actions in the right direction. It is also provides us an opportunity to pray and reflect things and people we are so thankful for in our life.
At my parent’s old house on Stoney Mountain Road in Hendersonville, NC; there were some rocking chairs on the front porch. I used to like to sit there and watch a thunderstorm come over the mountain or listen to the birds in the trees. My mom’s favorite bird was a cardinal. She said God always sent one by her house to check on her everyday and to remind her that He was watching over her and cared for her. After my mom’s funeral, I went back by the house. I was just sitting in the rocking chair reflecting on what a great mom I had and what a tremendous blessing she had been to me and many others. Then, a cardinal flew up onto the porch and stood right beside me and the rocking chair. It stayed a long time there just staring at me…my wife Linda came out on the porch to check on me and she saw it too. We both thought the same thing…It was as if God had sent a little message to us from Heaven to let us know mom was ok and that we would be too because God cares for us.
Jesus said: ” Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t plant or harvest. They don’t even store grain in the barns. Yet your Father in Heaven takes care of them. Aren’t you worth more than birds?” Matthew 6:26 (CEV)