The Cookies

Sunday, September 19, 2021
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Listen while you read: "I Am Not Skilled To Understand"1 (Lyrics)

James 1:2-3 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. (NIV)

Have you ever had one of those days? Well, I had one today. It all started when I had to remove a sheet of plywood and screw it back onto a wall. The sheet came off easily, but lining all the screw holes up to put it back on was more difficult. Still, with the help of my granddaughter, patiently handing me the screws, the task was finally completed. It took longer than I had anticipated though, which meant that we had to hurry if we were going to walk to town in time to meet a friend for tea.

Thus, the girls and I began snatching up caps, shoes, and hoodies. Just as we were ready, one of them piped up that they wanted a snack. I grabbed two peanut butter cookies and hustled them out the door, only to find a flat stroller tire. Grabbing the air compressor, I fixed the tire and popped the cookies into the stroller's accordion-style sun shade, telling the girls that they could have them once the dogs were put away.

Hurrying down the driveway, I hustled the dogs into my house, only to discover as I ran back out that Frank, my gelding, and Marshall, the goat, had ambled over to be nosy. In the process, they had pushed the sun shade open and were enjoying the girls' cookies. They had also shed hair everywhere. To top it off, both girls were wailing as they saw their snack devoured.

Shooing the livestock away, I ran into the house and grabbed replacement cookies, as well as a brush to rid the stroller of hair. As I exited, Sunny, the dog, squeezed out and refused to go back in. Anxious to leave, I snapped on her leash and bolted for the gate.

Unfortunately, by this time, I felt harried and grumpy, for just as Frank and Marshall had gobbled the girl's cookies, all these little frustrations and trials of the morning had effectively eaten up my joy. As I was grousing to myself, the thought occurred to me that surely there had to be a spiritual lesson in this morning's events. And there was, for I recalled my dad's oft-repeated words: Remember that the only thing that we really ever have any control over is our attitude.

How true it is. None of us knows what large or small frustrations or trials we will encounter each day. But we can know that they will develop godliness in us if we let them. For God is able to use all of our experiences to grow us to become more Christlike in attitude, word, and deed, as we trust that He is in control and helping us each step of the way.

These are truths that allow us to enjoy a good and thankful attitude when the events of the day are doing their best to gobble up our cookies of joy — cookies that I reclaimed, once my feelings of frustration were put into perspective — God's perspective.

So today, which attitude will we choose in regard to frustrations or trials, big or small? A godly one, which blesses us with cookies of joy, such as faith, patience, and perseverance? Or a human one that gobbles them up?

Prayer: Father God, thank You that we can consider it pure joy when the frustrations and trials of life assault us. For we have the power to choose how to view them, in a human way or in a godly fashion. May we each select the godly perspective, that we might partake of the spiritual cookies that await us when we do. In Jesus' name, we ask. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Indeed, we do Lynne! Blessings.

    Thank you, Lynne, for this delightful devotional. It created pictures in my head and a lesson in my heart.

    Oh Lynne, can we ever relate to this devotional! We’ve all had those days but praise the Lord we have a God who redeems them and us! Thanks for sharing. Blessings.

    Lynne, some days are like that, one challenge after another. Enough obstacles in that morning to blow the lid off the tea kettle, but you managed well. Thank you for sharing.

    Hi Lynne
    Thank you for your message today. I really needed that today.

    Really enjoyed this one Lynn, I could see all of it happening as you described it.
    A great lesson and reminder.

    Timely post for me as that was my day yesterday. It is difficult to remember sometimes but so true. With God’s help, we can choose our attitude to our daily challenges. Thanks and blessings, Lynne!

    Thanks Lynne.
    Your father was so wise in his oft repeated words about control: attitude covers so much of everything we do.
    Thank you.

    Thank you for today’s message!!
    I always enjoy your devotionals!
    We haven’t heard about Frank and Marshall for a while and it was great to see them contribute to the story today.

    Dear Lynne,
    One of those days when you should have stayed in bed! But through it all you kept your cool and found something humourous in it all.
    Good for you. I enjoy your little stories.

    Lynne, you paint the most vivid word pictures! I sympathized with you with every twist and turn of events. So good to catch ourselves in these moments to see what God is teaching us. Cookies of joy – what a memorable lesson!
    Every blessing in Christ Jesus.

    Lynne, when I moved to the city four years ago, I left my animal companions behind. You allow me to reconnect with the four-legged creatures through your devotionals, and the bonus is a spiritual lift.
    Bless you for your faithfulness and discernment.

    Thank you for that lesson. Your father’s words are very wise and so true.
    As my mobility is not like it once was, I am so thankful that God has rescued me and watched over me at so many times.
    Blessings as you continue to contribute to the devotions.

    Hi, Lynne
    Thanks for the lovely reminder of how we should respond to life’s frustrations and unexpected negative events/responses.
    I am happy to be reminded of the Godly way.

    Dear Lynne,
    Thank you for all the times you share devotionals. I enjoy reading your contributions.
    Today’s really hit home. I too have “those” days. Through the years I have learned that my attitude can really determine what happens next. Thank you for this reminder.
    God bless.

    Happy Day to you, Lynne!
    I guess Frank and Marshall needed those cookies more than the girls did, but being a cookie lover myself, I can’t imagine that!
    What a different kind of day we experience when our attitude is a positive one. Thanks for your continued teaching of spiritual lessons.

    Dear Lynne,
    Quite a day you experienced!! Amazing how our God works though, and as you have expressed how our frustrations can get changed over and become “godly cookies”. Those words of your Dad’s that came to mind certainly have deep meaning and our actions certainly are guided by attitude. Thankfully all came together for you that day and you were able to go on your way with the little girls.
    Blessings for these beautiful and super meaningful writings you do.

    Your writing always speaks to me. I have wondered about your patience and attitude with your daughter, husband, and granddaughters living with you. I need to remember what your Dad said. I am leading our adult Sunday School class. As I look around that room of about 13 individuals, at least six of them are MUCH more qualified than I to teach this class. I talk to the Lord a lot about it, and He has told me to persevere. And I have; however, I have also told the class when we are finished, it is someone else’s turn. Your thoughts about attitude and encouragement to turn this teaching over to the Lord are, as usual, right on!

    Good morning, Lynne,
    I can just imagine these events unfolding and how your frustration grew and grew. When you describe it, it is almost comical, but of course you were looking forward to tea with your friend. Your dad was very wise, and it is wonderful how sayings pop into our head just when we need them. I use ones like “Let go and Let God”, “An Attitude of Gratitude”, “What is today, is not tomorrow”, “The only person I can control is me.” etc. They help me put things into a good perspective when they are out of my control. Sometimes it takes a few minutes, but usually I get there.
    It am sure the peanut butter cookies were delicious. Maybe you got one for yourself and lucky you had a few more. Thanks for sharing and I hope you have more tea adventures to look forward to. It is wonderful you are part of your grandchildren’s life. Blessings.

    Dear Lynne
    I wish I had read this a few weeks ago before I went to Church where some people who were not fully vaccinated refused to wear masks as a sign of care and love for those with compromised immune systems. Since I wear hearing aids and sometimes when the noise is loud, I am unaware that my voice is getting louder. Apparently, my voice got louder but I was really upset because of the lack of care. My wife is not able to go to Church yet because of her compromised immune system and she has just undergone surgery. We are still waiting for the results. I no longer know if I wish to go there or if we should find another worship home in our retirement. This message would have helped me put things in more perspective if I had only remembered the words, you remembered your father saying to you.

    Haven’t we all had days like this?
    Later on, we can have a laugh!
    Remembering when my three munchkins were under three!
    Getting them out into the fresh air was important!
    Getting them dressed was a task, too.
    By the time last one was dressed, someone had to go to the bathroom or lost a mitt or fell in the snow,… I often felt exhausted by the whole effort!
    Looking back, I smile to myself. Those were good times.

    Lynne, I sure was glad when you got to the end of your goings in’s. WHEW, I was almost sweating! At almost 97 I still have an excellent memory back to 3, and what fun now I have with them. We had 4 babies in less than 6 years. When one was 5 1/2 the 4th was born and that was my WHEW!!! I was always, and still am so proud of my husband as he served God and Country together. We were always a team no matter where we were, together or apart. We sure enjoy our one liners, Lynne and God bless us.

    I felt such joy as I read this wonderfully useful devotional with all the tiny details in it that make it memorable. How I LOVE Frank the gelding and his collaboration with Marshall, the naughty goat. And the flat tire and the two expectant little girls! How fortunate you are for the companionship of them all! Your father’s quote is exactly the opposite of what my impatient Dad would EVER have thought, poor soul. I learned to expect nothing but flailing about in anger and complaints for someone to blame (never thought about it till now). “The difference between an ordeal and an adventure is your attitude”, someone said! Yay for you yet again, you dear teaching soul!

    Hi Lynne
    What a horrific day you had with so many frustrations! As usual, though, you teach us wonderful lessons. Many thanks.

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