Was Jesus a pebble thrower?

Jesus didn’t cast stones. But did He throw pebbles?

When I look at Jesus through a pebble thrower lens, I am struck by the way He responded to—and welcomed—interruptions. He threw pebbles by welcoming people with love regardless of whether it was part of His plan.

Sometimes the pebbles we throw are planned.day 10 (84) My daughter and I are planning a mission trip to Africa. We leave next week. Are we planning to throw pebbles? By all means. But if we want to follow Jesus’ example, we must also welcome unplanned and unexpected opportunities to love others.

When Jesus ministered to those around Him, he often stopped what he was doing or where He was going. He stopped to engage with people—sinful, dirty, greedy, sick people—much to the dismay and annoyance of his disciples. These interactions had huge ripple effects in the lives of those who interrupted His day.

well2Jesus was tired from a long, hot journey when He encountered the woman at the well. He was ready for a break and a drink. Instead of grabbing a quick sip, avoiding eye contact, and dodging the Samaritan woman, He made time for her. He not only engaged her in conversation, but offered her words of life. His words rippled into her own salvation and countless others who ultimately received him as their personal Messiah.

many samaritans

John 4:39

How many would have missed out on eternal life if Jesus had prioritized His real need for a quiet water break over her need for the Living Water? And just keeping it real, how many have missed out on Jesus because of my concern with being on time for a meeting rather than being engaged with my own personal woman at the well… or the post office… or Wal-mart?

One reason I’m drawn to pebble throwing is because it’s simple. I like simplicity. Being a pebble thrower doesn’t mean we have to do something super spiritual or extravagantly sacrificial like starting a non-profit organization or selling our possessions and moving to Africa. It’s as simple as leaving a crazy big tip for a grouchy waitress or stopping at a lemonade stand when you don’t even drink lemonade.

It could be the words you speak to the girl selling lemonade that bring the hope she needed that day. The ripple effect of welcoming that interruption might make all the difference, just as it did when Jesus spoke words of life to the Samaritan woman.

Jesus, I thank you for demonstrating the power of holy interruptions. Thank you for showing us we are worthy of your time. Help me to keep in step with your Spirit and welcome those You send into my day—even the ones who are annoying and dirty. heart stoneForgive me for the times I’ve failed to engage with one who needed Your love. Open my eyes and help me to throw pebbles. May my small acts of love show others that You “indeed are the Savior of the World.”

Do you struggle with interruptions? Are you an introvert? Do you shy away from engaging with others? What are some ways you might throw pebbles without words? Please comment below!

Book Giveaway!

Do you need a new workout? I’ve got one for you. Warning: we’re not talking fitness. But, I suppose this workout did flex some spiritual muscles that were getting a bit flabby…

When I first began Becky Harling’s book, The 30 Day Praise Challenge, I expected a well-written, 20-minute-a-day parenting devotional. It turned out to be far more.

This past month, I learned how to let God turn my parenting worries and challenges into praises. Becky has a powerful lens through which she sees herself and others: praise. lensFor 30 days, I borrowed her lens by committing to praise God each day for some beautiful and not so beautiful things in my family.

sunriseI learned to praise God for my children’s struggles and celebrated how He uses these trials to draw them to Him. As I praised Him for my kids’ talents I began to see them in a new light. With fresh eyes, God showed me how they are uniquely fashioned as His masterpieces. One morning, my family picture was looking less than happy. I chose to simply praise God for the rising sun, which swelled into a wave of much needed hope to start my day.

curlAs I praised my way through 30 days, I discovered that Becky’s book is far more than a devotional. Like a curling iron that shapes a strand of lifeless hair into a soft, bouncy curl, God used this book to shape my flat and fearful, pleading prayers for my kids into praises that spring forth life and hope in our family.

If you could use a spiritual makeover for your quiet time, I highly recommend Becky’s book. Here’s where it get’s fun! There are 2 steps to be entered in a giveaway to win a copy of Becky’s book.

1. Leave a comment below.

2. Sign up to follow my blog by entering your e-mail address (for those of you who haven’t already done this).

Once you’ve followed steps 1 & 2, you are officially entered! The contest will conclude on Friday, July 17 at 12 midnight. One winner will be drawn from entries.

Ready … set … go!

New Mercies

We say it all the time: God is good. But for some, the massacre at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church threatened our belief in God’s goodness. He is all-powerful and He is sovereign which means He could have prevented this tragedy. But He didn’t.sad child

I cannot argue with those who say, “It’s beyond me—to understand how a good God could let hatred take nine people’s lives? I don’t get it.”

2305701220_0fc3d01183_zI agree. It is beyond me to grasp why a good God allows this. But God is beyond me. “His ways are not my ways,” Isaiah 55:8. This doesn’t mean He is any less good. It simply means that His definition of good is beyond mine. (Itty bitty brain. Itty bitty definition of good. Vast, all-powerful, unlimited wisdom and knowledge. Higher, more complete definition of good.)

  2443732503_69fedc69d6_zIs it possible that amidst the ocean of sadness whose waves pummeled Charleston last month, our good God is using thousands of His children to toss pebbles of love—pebbles whose ripple effects are bringing one good thing after another?


Steven Curtis Chapman’s pebble was a song. His grief rippled a melodic promise that “Love will Overcome” across Facebook and Youtube.

4923394528_5fa7ce163b_zI gathered with other pebble throwers at my church the night after the news hit. We joined hands, bowed heads, wept, sang, and wept some more. As we quieted our hearts to pray, my favorite hymn kept reverberating in my mind’s ear: “Morning by morning, new mercies I see.” A prayer rose to my lips: “God, Charleston sure could use some new mercies. In the days and weeks and months that follow, please send us new mercies so we can look beyond our hurt and see your love at work.”

I left the church and continued with my evening forgetting about the prayer. The next morning, as I typed away at my laptop, a movement outside my window lured my eyes from the screen. I craned my neck to see what was going on. I heard chatter in the driveway and noticed my neighbor getting out of his car. His very pregnant wife’s due date was last week. For the past few days, things had been quiet next door and we hadn’t heard any news.

As I watched the back door of their SUV open slowly, a God-breathed, new mercy emerged in an infant car carrier. Joy beamed across the young couple’s faces as they carried their new baby girl inside. I heard the excitement in their voices as they welcomed her home. Peace softened the ache of my grieving heart. “Thank you Abba, Daddy, for showing me this new mercy today,” I whispered. “ I really needed that.”

baby hand

Charleston, my heart grieves for you. But hold on, because our God is faithful, His mercies are new every day, and He is good.

“Great is they faithfulness, oh God my father. Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed thy hand has provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.”

Be honest: how have such events impacted your faith? How have you seen God’s hand at work in the midst of evil?

Ripples of Salvation

stack of pebblesWelcome! I’m so glad you’ve found Pebble Throwers, where you’ll meet everyday people whose small acts of love ripple into extraordinary things. Pebble Throwers vary in age and are often unaware that they are throwing pebbles. In fact, many don’t realize the tiny change that is taking place when their particular pebble is thrown.

lemonA first grader raises $44 selling lemonade and donates the money to an African orphanage. Her small “pebble” eventually ripples into paying for backpacks filled with school supplies for two African AIDS orphans. To those two children in Uganda, that backpack isn’t just filled with school supplies, it’s overflowing with hope.

I hope this blog will inspire and encourage you. I pray that what is shared might coax you out of your comfort zone for all the best reasons. And please do join the conversation and send me your own pebble throwing stories.

And now for our first story. . .

men-shoesLong before buying shoes was a self-serve venture, before Designer Shoe Warehouse and Pay Less, a pebble thrower named Edward Kimball walked into a shoe store. Kimball, a Sunday School teacher, didn’t need to buy shoes. But he did want to see the 17-year-old clerk, a boy from his class, who worked there.

As they chatted behind the shoe store counter, a pebble was tossed, the Holy Spirit went to work, and the young man—Dwight L. Moody—recognized his need for a savior. He surrendered his life to Christ just a few months later. Though the young man had only four years of formal schooling, Kimball’s pebble eventually rippled into 100 million people receiving Christ through Moody’s evangelism ministry. Those are some big ripples!

Do you ripplesteach? Serve food? Cut hair?

You might consider your work insignificant, but if one interaction can ripple into salvation for 100 million people. . . just think about it. It’s likely that Mr. Kimball had little idea that his conversation with an undereducated teenager would eventually touch so many lives. I don’t believe that’s why he did it. But the fact is that he did it. He showed that young man love and took time to listen to his needs.

pebble hearts

I’d like to challenge you to stop what you’re doing and offer up a pebble to God. Pause long enough to ask Him what tiny act of love He has for you? The ripple effects just might surprise you.

Father God,

Thank you that when You combine my faith and a simple act of love with Your all-surpassing power, anything is possible. Today, I offer up a mustard seed of faith that I have something within me—a small pebble—to offer another. Show me what it is and help me to obey and act. May the ripple effects point others back to you in ways I can’t even imagine.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I’d love to hear about any pebbles thrown this week! Did you witness a pebble thrown? Did you throw one? Or were you on the receiving end? Do share!