Stubborn Stains

Once, while on errand for the King, I found myself waiting for a plane in the quite popular, highly commercial, flourishing "big oil money" metropolis of Dubai, where, for half a year's salary, you can spend the night in a hotel suite. (Inclusion of breakfast varies.) While passing the time in the airport, perusing vendors' niches and duty-free shops and sipping a hot coffee, I came across a very nice piece of luggage which would have been perfect as a carry-on bag, complete with wheels, … [Read more...]

“Goodbye, Pride”

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I was in the check out line at Walgreens.  I needed some face wash and lotion and of course, let's go for the age defying version.  The lady in front of me was finishing her transaction and getting ready to walk away, so I sat my items on the counter and started to grab my wallet.  "Glad I don't need that," the lady said to me with a chuckle. She gathered her bags and walked out of the store.  One question:  how do you respond to that?  Why do these people show up at my party? Pride.  I have … [Read more...]

Being Branded by Jesus

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I’ve heard a number of missionary presentations, but two are written with permanent marker on my mind. One was from a young family living in the Middle East, another from the jungles of southeast Asia. I was in wonder of how their talks were marked up in a hundred different ways by the bold grace, mercy, and sustaining power of Jesus Christ. These missionaries were living in surrender to Him, a stunning picture with the signature of the Risen Savior all over it. Despite their humanity, … [Read more...]

Light From A Bug’s Butt

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“Look Pawpaw…its butt lights up!” That’s exactly what you’d expect to hear from a 5-year-old seeing fireflies for the first time in his young life. Mikey was mesmerized by the bioluminescent glow of the lightning bugs all around us as we waited for the 4th of July fireworks to come streaming off the hilltop in McCaysville, the tiny town on the Tennessee-Georgia border that was the site of our annual vacation to a mountain cabin. This particular region is one of only two worldwide where … [Read more...]

The Hardened Heart

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What Kind of Heart do you Have? Hummingbirds are the tiniest birds in the world and can flash their bright colors, as well as hide them if needed. A hummingbirds heart is about 2.5% of their total body weight and is about the size of a pencil eraser. This makes the hummingbird’s heart in relative to it’s body, the largest heart in the animal kingdom. It can beat up to 1,260 times per minute while feeding or flying, 250 times per minute at rest. They are tiny little birds and their hearts beat … [Read more...]

Light Moves

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The sun rises in the east but it sets in the west.  It moves.  If you go outside to stand in the sun in the morning but you do not move, soon you will be in the shade.  We are to follow the light of the world, Jesus Christ, but if we don’t move we will not be following any longer and soon we will not be in the light anymore, but in darkness.  Follow is an action word that means MOVE! When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never … [Read more...]

A Rude Awakening

5:10 AM Being an early riser by nature, it’s not an unusual time for me to be up. But those particular red numbers from the digital clock are now permanently etched in my brain. That’s what happens when four rapid-fire gunshots so loud they could be in the next room serve as your wake-up call. There was this fellow named Pierce Lee Gaddy who decided to search the cars in the parking lot of my hotel…except he failed to get the owners’ permission. Spotted by an alert guest who called … [Read more...]

Rejection Hurts

They were told not to move, but what if moving would quell another’s feelings of rejection? Lunch room rules state a student must remain in the same seat. New students often feel uncomfortable regardless of where they sit, especially if they don’t know anyone—and Scarlet didn’t. One student, however, took the initiative to break the rule. I assumed she was coming to ask permission to go to the bathroom, but instead she asked, “Dr. Wiles, can me and ____ go and sit by the new girl?” Last year, … [Read more...]

Knowing the Pruner

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I was given the opportunity this week to really reflect on the inspiration behind my blog. Sometimes, it’s good to just remember your roots, to get back to the place it all began, and that’s exactly what I did. This time I found myself at the beginning of John chapter 15 where it talks about Jesus as the true vine. Verse 2 is what caught my attention. “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” I’m … [Read more...]

Confessions of a High School Teacher in August

So we are halfway through August--how are you doing?  The blog on "Top Ten Words of Advice" had nearly 800 views, so we teachers are desperate for encouragement or humor.  Either way, I am praying for you,  and here's an offering in the name of teacher desperation   We are bonded in our effort to stamp out ignorance and still have a piece of sanity when June rolls around. So here are a few confessions that are working for me.  Some seem quite normal  or maybe just normal to me. 1.  I seem … [Read more...]