Better Than a Venus Flytrap!

My beloved wife has many gifts, but one that is little known is her ability to capture (and sometimes release to the outdoors) pesky flies that follow us into the house each summer season! With a fluid motion and sweeping hand, she is nearly flawless in grasping her prey. The Venus Flytrap can close its hinged blades in a half-second of movement! I believe Monique is even quicker! When I compare her to the super hero of my childhood, she is almost “faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive,” but she’s not “able to leap tall buildings at a single bound” like she used to though!

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I marveled today as she captured two of our evasive and airborne pests! One was creeping up and down the window sill and the other was resting on the curved side of the lavatory basin. The latter catch was nothing short of miraculous in technique! I suggested after this deftly feat of cupped hand dexterity that the International Olympic Committee should consider this a sporting event for the next cycle of world games in Paris 2024! The location would be so convenient for this competitor and her ever-present escort (Moi!) as she has family in the City of Lights! 😁

As many of you know, there is a lot in the Bible about athletics. Paul loves to use sport's metaphors in discussing the rigors of spiritual formation and maturity. I can say that catching a fly takes skill and considerable practice as well as a little luck! Growing in Christ is even more intentional and luck has nothing to do with it! Using another sport to compare the discipline of spiritual growth, Paul says, “So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified (from receiving rewards).” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27, ESV).

An athlete goes through many weeks, months and years of physical training and conditioning before competition. There are physical, mental and spiritual demands in Christian service, too. If the truth be told, there are too many of us who are out of shape in our lives. This neglect has slowed us down, caused us to think askew, and weakened our effectiveness spiritually. We would do well to remember how our Lord was regarded even as a child and adolescent, “He grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.” (Luke 2:40,52).

The danger of poor conditioning is that we fall prey to the schemes of the devil who is all too ready to “jam us up” and capture us for his plans and purposes. Paul is clear in his instruction about spiritual warfare as he invites all believers to “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10-11). 

Opposing the vexing and stifling forces of evil requires help outside of ourselves. We must trust in God's strength to protect us. Let's keep alert and spiritually fit! We never know when or how trouble may come our way! "Be strong in the Lord!"

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent. 


  1. May we be as quick to grasp God's grace when it hovers our way!

    1. Thankful to be included on your list .A year ago today we lost a wonderful man/ father but most a spiritually fit Christian who I am so blessed to remember his priorities in his life. Above all..Christ first.

  2. I co-teach with a friend at a place called Oakridge Discipleship House that calls itself a Christian Character Building facility (Not a recovery program!) for whatever ails the man at the House. It could be sex, drugs, alcohol or just failing. We spend 10 of our 26 weeks on Spiritual Disciplines! If only the structures that contain the Church would do so, we would be better transformed! Good message, Mike and looking forward to seeing you...



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