Monday, April 16, 2018


Please share

Some have asked why I haven't been writing more of my own articles lately. My answer is that annoying health problems and trying to finalize my new book have taken up my time. Hopefully, I will get back to it soon. 

Before I introduce today's guest blogger, I would like to first highly recommend a new book by Thomas R. Caffrey: "A Boy for all Seasons, BUT A MAN…? Boys Need a Hero's Journey to Reach Virtuous Manhood. " Click here on this Amazon link and find out what we have forgotten in teaching our children.

In the meantime, below is another informative and delightful lesson drawn from Diane Gardner's life experiences. (I had no idea squirrels were this smart!)

Diane's previous article, "Life Lessons From a Hot Fudge Sundae" can be found on the dashboard under "Life Lessons;" also, if you scroll down past this page.


Diane Gardner

My husband Larry and I have always enjoyed watching the birds come and go so we have placed bird feeders in the yard where we can see them from the house. But several years ago, I learned a lesson from a bird feeder and a very persistent squirrel.

This particular squirrel thought we had set out a smorgasbord just for him and he was eating the seed faster than the birds could get to it. We tried everything we could think of to stop him from eating the birds out of house and home. We even put up a special squirrel feeder that held a cob of corn just for him. Apparently, he thought that was just the appetizer before moving on to the main course.
I tried everything I could think of and every trick I had heard of to stop him from invading the feeder. But that fuzzy-tailed rat learned how to get around everything I did. I greased the pole with petroleum jelly; he jumped from the top of the patio to the top of the feeder. I put cayenne pepper in the birdseed (I was told it wouldn’t hurt the birds but that squirrels didn’t like it). This squirrel’s mouth must have been lined with asbestos because he kept right on enjoying the birdie buffet!

The feeder in question was shaped like a barn and the roof lifted so it could be refilled. That scoundrel squirrel learned to raise the roof, literally! So we wrapped a bungie cord (a strong elastic band) around the bird feeder top to bottom so that rascally rodent couldn’t get the top off. I looked out the window the next day and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. That squirrel was standing on his hind feet on top of the feeder and pulling the bungie cord with his front paws! I’m serious! It was like something from a cartoon. At that point we decided to put that particular feeder away until that squirrel moved on.

So what does a silly story about a squirrel and a bird feeder have to do with life? For me, it is the perfect illustration of John 10:10 where Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Just like that squirrel that was so persistent in stealing birdseed, the enemy of our souls will stop at nothing in his attempt to steal what God has given us. And while that squirrel was somewhat imaginative and used his limited strategies in his quest for what wasn’t his, the enemy of our souls is much craftier, if not creative; he’s been using the same basic tactics ever since the Garden of Eden.

If we look at the first few verses of Genesis 3, we can spot a few of Satan’s strategies and how he employs them in our lives. And because our Father never leaves us without defense, we’ll look at some of the tools He has given us to deal with the enemy’s tactics.

So what are a few of Satan’s strategies?
  1. Distraction – If the enemy can get our attention off God’s presence and provision, and His glory and grace, he knows we’ll become discouraged and possibly depressed. Then he can tempt us to…
  2. Doubt – Doubt can cause us to question God’s goodness, His word, or His very existence. Once the seeds of doubt are planted we become disillusioned, and the path leads to…
  3. Deception – Trickery, or a scam or hoax, can sound believable and logical. If it isn’t carefully examined, it might cause us to make bad decisions and follow the wrong path.
  4. Destruction –This is the ultimate goal of our enemy. He comes to steal what God has given us, to kill our hopes and dreams, and to destroy our witness so that we feel defeated. But Jesus comes to give us a rich, satisfying, and eternal life. 
God's Tools
How are we to respond to the enemy’s tactics? 2 Peter 1:3 (niv) tells us that our heavenly Father has provided us with everything we need for this life: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” In addition to His promises, He has given us His presence: “God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” This also includes His power to combat Satan's strategies: "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength" (Heb. 13:5b (niv); Phil. 4:13).

In Ephesians 6:11 Paul tells us us to put on the spiritual armor God has provided so we’re prepared when the enemy comes against us. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.”

He explains who our real enemy is in verse 12, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

Then in verses 13-17, Paul goes on to describe the armor:Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.

In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

In contrast to the four strategies Satan uses, we can find additional tools of encouragement in the Bible. There are thousands of wonderful, applicable verses that support and help us to focus on God's promises. I’d like to share some that have been useful to me.
  1. Distraction – To keep my focus right, it’s helpful for me to think about Hebrews 12:2a (niv), “…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith,” and Colossians 3:1-2 (niv), “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things
    above, not on earthly things.”
  2. Doubt – Psalm 23 constantly reminds me of God’s goodness, protection, and provision. And Proverbs 3:5-6 (kjv) lets me know God always has my best interests at heart when I believe and trust Him: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
  3. Deception – I’ve always loved Acts 17:11 (niv) and try to use it to identify deception: "Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” 2 Timothy 3:16 gives more insight: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to
    do what is right.”

  4. Destruction – For the one who has accepted Jesus as their savior, there is great comfort and security in John 10:28-29 (niv) which assures us Satan cannot destroy us: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”
I’m sure you have your own stories of how God has protected and provided for you as well as verses that have helped you along life’s journey. But the next time you see a squirrel headed for a bird feeder, I hope you’ll think again about how God is watching over you and has supplied everything you need in this life to combat Satan’s strategies. 


All Scriptures are from the New Living Translation unless otherwise noted. 

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