Week Thirty-Two, 2022

A friend who was in the business of buying and selling sailboats told me his secret one day. He said the best way to get a good deal on a craft was to look for barnacles, a sign that the boat was not being used and properly maintained. Those are the people often anxious to sell.

Have you ever noticed barnacles encrusting the bottom of boats? These creatures are not only amazing, but they help us to see an important truth. Many people mistake barnacles as a type of mollusk, similar to clams or oysters. But in reality, they are arthropods, like crabs or lobsters. They have an exoskeleton, which is like a skeleton on the outside of the body instead of inside.

In order to feed, they extend their feathery legs out of their exoskeleton to capture floating plankton. Boats are actually great locations for barnacles. That’s because they provide great shelter and move around to lots of locations, increasing the chances that the barnacles will come in contact with more food. Of course, for boat owners, they can be a problem. If not regularly removed, barnacles often encrust the hull of a boat so badly that they hide its color and its shape.

Their presence slows a boat down, creating drag. That causes a boat to have difficulty moving along in the water. It requires greater energy to propel itself forward and it cannot move smoothly, resulting in a bumpier ride.

Think about that. Boats are designed to move smoothly through the water, creating very little disturbance in its surface as they sail. But when they are carrying a population of barnacles, they have much more difficulty. They move more slowly. They require more energy to go forward. They may not even resemble their original sleek shape anymore.

How about the church? How about our personal spiritual life? Do they collect barnacles? Of course they do. Perhaps they are not as visible as saltwater barnacles, but nonetheless they form and create drag that can create a bumpy ride.

When we study the church today and compare it with the church of the first century, we find that it has many “barnacles” that have attached themselves, largely unnoticed. The extra “baggage” of barnacles creates a great deal of problems. Fear. Feeling unworthy. Holding on to unresolved issues. Lack of patience. All of these are spiritual struggles can bring us down. They change our spiritual appearance and make our countenance less recognizable. The more that attach, the easier it is for additional baggage to cling.

Barnacles That Are Holding You Back From A Deeper Relationship With God.

* Your need for control.

* Your fear of the unknown.

* Your love of all things material.

* Your focus on the impermanent.

* Your need to look back instead of forward.

* Your negative self-image, or self-deprecating thoughts.

What are some of your “barnacles” that are making life difficult to live? Yes, barnacles are amazing creatures. But spiritual barnacles are things we need to deal with daily, preventing them from taking hold of us and slowing us down. How do we keep them from attaching? We need to know the truth of God’s word, daily taking it into our minds and hearts. That provides a kind of non-stick spiritual surface around us, so we can withstand any struggles that come our way.

Take inventory of your spiritual barnacles and scrape them away out of your spiritual life.



Gamaliel was a highly respected and greatly loved first-century scholar. He was a Pharisee. A member of the Sanhedrin council, the Jewish Supreme Court. According to Barclay, he was one of the few given the title of “Rabban.” When Gamaliel spoke, his fellow Pharisees listened.

When Peter and John appeared before the Council for the second time for preaching Jesus, they found an unexpected ally in Gamaliel. While it seems the Council was determined to severely punish the apostles or even kill them, this Rabbi offered a different solution.

After citing the failures of two past insurrectionists, Thedus and Judas of Galilee, Gamaliel advised, “I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.” (Acts 5:38-39)

So, here we are almost 2,000 years later, and God’s plan has withstood the test of time. In spite of the efforts of infidels, atheists and agnostics to ridicule it, thwart it and overthrow it, the message of Christ and the cross continues to be spread around the world. The PREACHERMAN

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The task of living an intentional life focused on things that matter is enormously complicated these days by constant, modern propaganda.

Commercials, advertisements, and marketers work tirelessly to convince us that products manufactured on assembly lines will make us happier.

But in reality, these unnecessary purchases separate us from our dollars and add stress, burden, and obligation to our lives—they don’t bring happiness, they keep us from it!

The goal of Madison Avenue is to distract our desire. Their messaging changes our attitude from “That’s extravagant” to “That would be nice” to “I want that” to “I need it.”

And they are so subtle at their craft we hardly even realize we are being brainwashed. Subconsciously, they take control of our desires, our checkbooks, and ultimately, our lives. The Minimalist

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And a new study indicates that an inability to stand on one leg for ten seconds in later life is linked to nearly double the risk of death from any cause within the next decade. A medical professor explained that one leg standing requires good balance, is “linked to brain function, good muscle strength, and good blood flow,” and “likely integrates muscular, vascular, and brain systems.” As a result, “it is a global test of future mortality risk.” Jim Denison

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The estimated number of Americans with medical debt is 100 million or 41% of all adults



The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Nelson Mandela

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. – Steve Jobs

If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor. -Eleanor Roosevelt

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough. – Oprah Winfrey

If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success. – James Cameron

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. – John Lennon

In every encounter, we either give life or we drain it. – Brennan Manning

Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.” – Mark Twain

I believe in one thing—that only a life lived for others is a life worth living. – Albert Einstein

Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything. – Muhammad Ali

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty. – Winston Churchill

In all human history, who has paid the highest price for evil and suffering? Poll a hundred people on this question, and only a few would come up with the right answer: – “JESUS” Randy Alcorn

The rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage. – Dale Carnegie