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Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional for August 13

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A week ago, a very dear man passed away in Bellville, Ohio. Lewis K. (Jack) Snavely was a fascinating man. He was one of the more brilliant people I have ever met in my life. But even I didn't know everything about Jack. His family filled in the cracks for me when I met with them This past Tuesday evening to prepare for the funeral the next day. What I was told was mind-blowing for a man who lived in a little place like Bellville.

Jack Snavely was a very clever and industrious man. When his children wanted something to play on in the backyard he built them a motorized merry-go-round. The very house he raised his family in he built with his own hands, including digging the basement with, of all things, a spade. He once built an ice boat out of an airplane fuselage and used the engine from an Indian motorcycle to power the propeller. For a speedometer he mounted a thin piece of metal to a board and then had his wife drive their car a various speeds while he held the board with the metal piece out the window and calibrated how much it bent at the different speeds.

He started making little knick knacks of such things as a "tax shelter" (two tacks under a little roof), a "quarter pounder" (a quarter mounted on a flat piece of wood with a little mallet with which to pound the quarter) and a "three piece chicken dinner" (consisting of three kernels of corn mounted on a piece of wood). He also flew airplanes (the real ones not the models) as well as operated a ham radio. He was a brilliant and talented individual.

Curious thing, though. No one ever looked at Jack and said, "Making all those things must have made you smart." They all understood that Jack was merely doing those things because he was smart. Odd thing about the Christian life. There are those who believe that if you do the right things you will be righteous and God will accept you into His kingdom. It's just the other way around. God makes us righteous through the blood of His Son, Jesus, and then we do good works because we're righteous, not to be righteous.

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:16, 20 Intelligence begets well-designed objects for use. Righteousness begets well-performed works of faith.

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'Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life' Copyright 2010 © Tom Kelley. 'Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life' articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each story, along with their complete bio and a link to  2) 'Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life' content may not be arranged or "mirrored" as a competitive online service.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, August 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19
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