Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Rules For Stray Cats (and Sin)

The following is a list of STRICT UNBENDING RULES for dealing with stray cats:

 1. Stray cats will not be fed.

 2. Stray cats will not be fed anything except dry cat food.

 3. Stray cats will not be fed anything except dry cat food moistened with a little milk.

 4. Stray cats will not be fed anything except dry cat food moistened with warm milk, yummy treats and leftover fish scraps.

 5. Stray cats will not be encouraged to make this house their permanent residence.

 6. Stray cats will not be petted, played with or picked up and cuddled unnecessarily.

 7. Stray cats that are petted, played with, picked up and cuddled will absolutely not be given a name.

 8. Stray cats with or without a name will not be allowed inside the house at any time.

 9. Stray cats will not be allowed inside the house except at certain times.

10. Stray cats will not be allowed inside the house except on days ending in "y."

11. Stray cats allowed inside will not be permitted to jump up on or sharpen their claws on the furniture.

12. Stray cats will not be permitted to jump up on, or sharpen claws on the really good furniture.

13. Stray cats will be permitted on all furniture but must sharpen their claws on the new $114.99 sisal-rope cat-scratching post with three perches.

    It's a humorous progression, but it reminds me of what happens spiritually (which is not at all humorous).  We don't want to sin, so we establish boundaries.  "I'm not going to go here, look there, think about that."  But, before long, we've crossed the line.  We think, "That's all right.  I still haven't done anything wrong.  I'll just re-establish my boundaries and not be quite so strict."  And slowly but surely, sin works its way further and further into our lives until we find that we're no longer in control of the situation.

    "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death." (James 1:14-15)

    Father, far too often I have allowed sin to slowly work its way into my life.  I didn't want it to.  I didn't mean for it to happen.  But it did, and I'm sorry.  Please help me to keep my eyes focused on you as I strive to keep it from happening again.  Give me strength as I resolve not to allow impure thoughts and motives to find a home in my heart.  In Jesus' name, amen.


  1. Keep up the great work Alan.
    It's a lot of work. We only manage a "Thought for the Month" - see here ...

  2. Alan, thank you so much for this ministry. You don't know how many times one of your TFTD emails has been just the right message at just the right time. Thank you. -Bob Young

  3. I'm very proud of all that you do and are very thankful God gave you to me as my partner on this journey. I love you.

  4. Allan

    of all the daily blessings i recieve you are one so down to earth, not too wordy with spiritual anecdotes and full of wisdom in the way you approach the gospel. I always think Christians push away others by being too preachy instead of giving small bits of applications like Jesus did.

    If Cocacola can say so much to its audience in short messages, christians surely can do more by being to the point and 'parablelic'

    Be blessed.

    Joe Kirigia

  5. Thanks Allan,

    your inspiring stories are a constant reminder that God is with us each step of our life journey. Many blessings and thank you for your faithfulness.

    Robert (Australia)

  6. Thanks, Alan, for this.
    During my 20 years in the Army, I was often away from family and church. It was so very easy to fall into the behavior/speech of the people I spent my time with.
    I have a grandson in Augusta (with I was there this week) whose work hours prevents his being with a church family. I have shared this with him with my prayer for his strngth.
    God bless, Dan in Sparks, NV

  7. Hi Alan
    I am a retired!!!! minister and have been preaching for 60 years and married 50 years
    You are prayed for on a regular basis.

    Thanks for the many thoughts over the months. They are encouraging and usable in many areas of Christian service.

    The Lord bless you

  8. Dear Allan,

    I am a Spanish-speaking pastor in drug and gang infested East Los Angeles. I enjoy your stories. Thanks for sharing them with all of us. May God bless you. Ruben