Pups of the Spirit By Jill Gorey and Nancy Haller

What a unique way to teach the fruits of the spirit to young children! Children and the love of animals go hand in hand. This combined with rhythm and rhyme of the words is a sure way to help children grasp and remember the principles of the fruits of the spirit.
A different pup illustrates each fruit in just 4-6 sentences. Just right for short attention spans and keeps the book moving at a fast pace. I was impressed with how well the characteristics of that trait are shown in the pup’s actions. Actions that will be easy for a little one to understand and imitate.
The illustrations are over the top! Colorful, cute, detailed. Yet another attention grabber for little ones! This is a beautiful hardback book that will be treasured by parents and children alike!
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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

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COTTON CANDY CHRISTIANS by Narita Roady

Growing up in Dallas, I had never been to, nor heard of, an All Night Gospel Singing, until I married and moved to Oklahoma. In the early 70’s, I had my first experience with one at the age of 18. One summer night Jerry’s boss invited us to attend one with him in Konawa. He was a distinguished businessman and always dressed in expensive 3-piece suits with ties. Immaculate and meticulous best describe his appearance at all times. Therefore, it was no surprise that night when he wore a white suit, white vest, white shirt, white tie, and white shoes.
It was a beautiful summer night; the pleasant warm breeze blew gently, as we sat in the darkness, listening to beautiful inspirational songs. During an intermission time, Mr. Zellman (name has been changed to protect the victim) offered to buy us refreshments. The child ever within me, I chose my favorite, cotton candy. We returned to our seats, and Mr. Zellman was sitting next to me sharing information about the musicians, many of whom were his friends. As I ate my cotton candy, I realize that gentle summer breeze was melting it. I made quite a mess for 18 and had my face and hands coated. Mr. Zellman, always a gentleman, offered his handkerchief, and Jerry made a valiant effort to help clean me up. With a cup of water from a concession stand and the handkerchief, I was able to make myself presentable again.
We left around 10:30 p.m. and made our way to the parking lot. We thanked Mr. Zellman for his hospitality and generosity. As we stopped under one of the street lights, Jerry and I saw something that made us freeze in our tracks . . . Mr. Zelleman’s expensive white suit was covered in a fine web of pink cotton candy!! A spider couldn’t have done a better job incasing him!
The summer breeze had not only melted my cotton candy as I so vigorously ate it, but it had blown fine strands all over his suit!! He discovered it about the same time we did. As I apologized profusely, he began a fruitless attempt to brush it off and in the process, became a sticky mess. He assured me it was okay as he stiffly walked to his car. Jerry and I stared at each other in horror, wondering if he would have a job the next day. The mess I had made was hidden as long as we sat in the dark, but as soon as we walked into the light, it was plain for all to see.
We live in a time of great darkness in America. Our lives been have customized and designed to cater our desires, rather than to honor and glorify God. Our modern way of life keeps us in spiritual darkness, rotting our souls and drawing our energy and attention from God and His ways.
The following scripture certainly characterizes the attitude some Christians display toward sin in their lives. “He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.” Psalm 10:6
Too many live in a perpetual state of denial concerning their Christian walk. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8
Therefore, no concern is shown for how far they have drifted from God or how deep in the shadows they wander. “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” Psalm 10:4
Even though we may fail to see the mess we are making in our lives, we are still held accountable. Christ lives in us; therefore we have no justifiable excuse (not that any ever are!) for neglecting our responsibilities to God. He makes that clear in that we have no business stumbling around in the dark. 1Thessalonians 5:5, “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”
If that doesn’t convince you, read 1 Peter 2:9 and Ephesians 5:8, 11.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” 1 Peter 2:9
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them”
Ephesians 5:8-11
God minces no words in who we are and what we should be doing!
If we continue to live in defiance to God’s will and ways, He will respond like a mother dragging a dirty, kicking, screaming child in for a much needed bath. He will bring us into His light. “For nothing is secret that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.” Luke 8:17
We have to be brutally honest with ourselves concerning our spiritual condition, and why we refuse to acknowledge God’s guidelines and plans. God knows us better than we know ourselves and gives us the answer in John 3:19b-20. “ . . .men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
As His children we have no right to choose what we do with our time and lives without including His direction. This especially holds true concerning our obligations to Him. We just have no right! “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
We need to quit sitting in our churches, patting ourselves on the back, telling ourselves what fine Christians we are and what a great job we are doing for the Lord. When in reality we are just serving our own interests and desires. We’re doing nothing but lying to ourselves. “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:” 1 John 1:6
Any country boy or girl knows when you straddle the fence you don’t get anywhere, and you usually end up with a seat full of splinters or barbed wire! Neither is very appealing! This is no time to straddle the fence brothers and sisters in Christ!
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Romans 13:12
Our job assignment in a nutshell is in Acts 26:18. “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
There’s only one thing left to do! Let’s all get out those spiritual hankies, some Living Water, clean up the messes in our lives, and get busy for Him!
Published in the Oklahoma Baptist Newspaper, August 2002, and April 2014