It Does, Truly, Only Take a Spark

Pass it on!
only a spark
Only a Spark

It only takes a spark
To get a fire going
And soon all those around
Can warm up in its glowing

So goes a lovely old song from the 60’s, (called to our attention by Debby) when everyone thought of turning to Jesus Christ for help with the draft, drugs, disappointments, discouragement, disillusionment, and all other general “dissed” problems during the VietNam era.

A few were serious about the “Jesus Movement”. A few were appalled that so many who claimed Christ were not wearing shoes. Oh NO! How uncouth! Surely there is a place in the Bible that requires wearing shoes! Oh, you mean it speaks more of taking them off?! Oh NO!

Some were serious, though,  seriously messed up, seriously failing, seriously in need of something beyond shoes, something beyond rules, something beyond platitudes, something beyond this life, something beyond their own understanding, something beyond their own strength or ability.

Not much has changed.

Many refuse to turn to Jesus Christ because they fear appearing weak.

They are weak. All people are weak.

But they want to be among those who project an image of strength, of not being needy. It’s a strained, do-by-self image that almost everyone can see through, but they keep it up for the few they’ve duped.

Although He is the most beautiful, priceless, glorious discovery anyone can discover, they refuse to lay self down, to lose face.

To their loss.

How ironic to fear loss and in the process to lose the most valuable thing, like a monkey with his hand in a monkey trap, unable to run from poachers because there is something that glitters in that empty coconut . . .


Let me tell you about a one-spark fire. (And while we’re at it, you might like to read James 3:1-12)

My husband can build a one-spark fire. He’s an expert. He built one before we left for a four-day trip, so when we arrived back home, it took just one spark to get that fire going . . .  and he hopes to build another tonight, and he probably will, to transfer our fire from the romantic fireplace to the more efficient stove.

This is how he does it:

  1. Clear out lots of the ash so air can circulate under the grill work in the fireplace.
  2. Loosely crumble newspaper over that.
  3. Add “rich pine”, a sort of hyper-torch type wood found at the base of dead pine trees.
  4. Add several pieces of small limbs.
  5. Add some smaller, round logs.
  6. Loosely crumble just a page or two of newspaper for over all that.

This combo, done as only he truly can do it (I know the process, but he owns it) will ignite with only one match. Guaranteed.

Now, think of yourself.

You are supposed to be a one-spark set of fuel for the spark of the Holy Spirit to ignite you and cause you to shine and warm others for God. What is missing from your stack? Has your past stolen parts of you? I know how that can be.

BUT — All “Do-By-Self’ers” BEWARE! — Spontaneous Generation was disproven, centuries ago.

Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

24 thoughts on “It Does, Truly, Only Take a Spark

  1. Katharine, this was so beautifully said. Really, one of my faces from you though I believe there will be many more. You not only shared the flame but continue to burn so brightly. Wonderful!

    1. Thanks, Debby!
      You are so full of kindness toward me! I had fun with this and could hardly believe it turned out that I had just photographed our fireplace last night. It just was one of those perfect things that can happen. Thanks, again, for all you do at your place, and for your kindness toward me. 🙂

  2. Dear Katherine, once again, you don’t sugar coat your beliefs. I just started reading Angry Conversations With God — don’t get excited …it was written by a Christian woman (have you read it)?

    It’s not that i don’t think God is glory and love … I still think he’s pissed off at me. And i’ve been ignoring him for so long,i’m afraid i can’t get back into his good graces. OK, i know he doesn’t ask for me to be good. But, that is my interpretation. That’s what trips me every time. Your degree of belief is astounding. Do i have to believe like that? Will my life not be good enough for God if i don’t whole-heartedly jump onboard?
    Where did that wee little girl go who sang the songs, and gave away her toys to the church for poor children? Don’t know … But i enjoyed the description of the fire as well. Don is SO good at all things fire. His daughters were Indian Princesses. Isn’t that cool? It’s instead of Blue Birds and Brownies, Girl Scouts etc. Very cool!

    OK, time to do some billing. Been up since 3:30 and it feels like midnight now. 🙂

    1. Hello, Melissa,
      No I have never read that book, but I have heard good things about it. I am glad you are reading it and I hope it is one from which you can take away something worthy of the time spent. And really, if Debby endorses it, I feel sure it is good.
      Oh, Melis, God is glory and love, but, yes, He is angry at you and at me, too. Trouble is, He also loves you and everyone else. Have you ever had a pet run off? Looked for it and called it’s name, put it in the papers in the lost and found, put up posters, thinking it must be dead, only to have it come home wagging its tail and all happy to be back? Weren’t you angry, mixed with relief and love?
      How long would your pet have to be gone before you would not want it back? You’d be glad to get it back even after years, I am sure that is your answer. It is God’s answer, too.
      We had a dog run off, once. A border collie, it had huge burs stuck deep in its fur when it returned all skinny from not eating and with cuts on its paws. I remember my mom being so glad to see it again, yet quite perturbed that it had gotten into such a state, not for herself, so much, but for the dog’s sake. She had to take it to a vet to get it shaved, to get those burs out, because they were digging deeper and deeper into the fur and into the skin. The vet also gave us medicine for the bur wounds and for the wounds on the dog’s paws.
      Now, a shaved border collie looks rather dumb and it felt dumb enough to hide under the bushes around our house until some hair grew back. Still, it was glad to be home, glad to have those burs out, glad for the medicine and bandaging on its paws, glad to eat for a change, glad to have us kids to play with again. It knew where to return once it realized its mistake. And we all were glad above all delight to have it back.
      God waits for us. He has the medicine we need. He is glad above all delight even to hear our small yips in the far distance. He calls our names, and why? He calls our names because He longs to have us back, to fix us up, to feed us again, to give us joy, to see us enjoy His ways. Don’t you think the One Who invented love, Who IS love, would love us more than we could love a pet?
      When Peter took that timid step out of the boat and began walking on water, his degree of belief wasn’t all that hot. After all, he started forgetting to believe as soon as he saw the wind, which is not even something that is visible. Tiny faith, yes, but more than those who just sat cowering in the boat! The Bible welcomes tiny faith. Jesus said that if our faith was even the size of a mustard seed (about the size of the lower case “o” here) it would be enough. Do you know why? The reason tiny faith is enough is that it is not about the size of our faith but about the size of our God. If God is big, then tiny faith in Him is enough and when we begin to sink, He will be willing and able to rescue us.
      I began with tiny faith. I prayed 35 years ago, to “God, if You’re up there . . .” and it was all He was waiting for, just that tiny faith. He does want the whole package, though, however small. I mean, if my pet were small or large, weak or strong, sick or well, injured or not, I would want the whole thing to return. But, honestly, nothing causes a pet to want to stay forever like being accepted and fixed up and fed and played with after not deserving it. Your life is all God wants; there is no one “good enough”. He just wants us back, already!
      I do not know where the sweet little girl went, but He does. He still holds her in His memory with great longing. And He wants to restore her to her rightful place.

  3. Mel, you got the book! I hope you like it as much as I did. I really liked her writing style – funny and honest. A lot like you, friend. I just read your comment and hope Katharine will forgive me for co-opting her site for a moment to say I’m so excited! Now get some sleep!

    1. Oh, that made me laugh, Jen! I love rich pine because it makes starting a fire so easy. But, me? Rich pine? That just tickles me. I know you meant it, though, and I know HOW you meant it. I hope I can stay near the Source of all fire, to keep my fire lit, to light others, always. May you come more and more to know that fire, is my prayer. Love ya. ❤

  4. The Shepherd combs the hills and canyons for His lost sheep. He watches for any sign that we are returning. And like in the parable of The Prodigal Son….’while he was still a long way off, the father ran to him, threw his arms around him and said…” you know the rest. You are right, Katharine; we just have to move towards Him. He handles the rest.

    1. Now, why didn’t I think of that?! Thanks for being my external hard drive, Kate!!! 😀 Nothing like the Word, nothing like it! (In this case, Luke 15:11-31, twenty short verses that speak so much hope to the lost) His love for us goes so far beyond our opinion of self, thank God!

  5. I love this post. Finally got online for a few moments. It’s been weeks since I was here and warmed myself by your fireside. Thank you for the moments!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Heidi! I just realized I am not subscribed to your site! I thought I was, for some reason. Hmm. Just went there the old-fashioned way and WHAT A WONDERFUL BLESSING! So glad I found you again. 🙂 Thanks again for visiting and for your kind words. ❤

  6. I so love this part at the end of your post “You are supposed to be a one-spark set of fuel for the spark of the Holy Spirit to ignite you and cause you to shine and warm others for God. What is missing from your stack? Has your past stolen parts of you? I know how that can be.

    BUT – All “Do-By-Self’ers” BEWARE! — Spontaneous Generation was disproven, centuries ago.”~I really, really like it….especially ‘has your past stolen parts of you’….we permit that to happen so very easily….i love this post…..

      1. You are so right…..and we MUST shine brightly for Him. Never under a bushelbasket, never putting in half an effort….as the athletes say~leave it all on the field~

        1. Oh, you know, I watched a young lady pole vaulting yesterday. It was a State meet and her perfomance was important to her school. She was angry because the approach to the jump was uphill; it is supposed to be flat. She let it get to her. She was able to vault over ten feet, but could not do her personal best and was just angry at herself after that.
          I was astonished. She did so well. She won third. She was really good, competing with girls statewide. But she was down.
          And maybe she was right to be.

  7. I am guessing it will become a life-lesson for her. sometimes we let the circumstances prevent us from doing our best. That is no doubt what angered her….that she let the uphill circumstance defeat her. Is this the girl that you saw achieve her personal best a few weeks back? 3rd in state~good for her!

    1. Yes, the same girl. She is such a composed person. You could hardly tell she was displeased, but her mom apologized for her lack of enthusiasm. She truly believed she let her school down. I truly respect her dedication. Yes, I think she will recoup and do even better in her senior year. 🙂

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