Beloved, do not imitate what is evil but imitate what is good. (3 John 1:11 NRSV)

Yesterday we talked about where the tradition came from for saying "God bless you," when anyone sneezes. It was to keep away evil spirits. Native Americans had a different way of keeping away evil spirits. They wore feathers. Among many Indian tribes, it was believed that if you wear an eagle feather on your body, then evil spirits will stay away from you.

Nowadays we might still wear a feather--but only for decoration. We know it won't keep evil away.

People have always had funny ideas about good and evil. Some people carry a rabbit's foot so that they will draw good luck to them. I doubt that works any better than wearing a feather to keep away bad luck. Good and bad comes from within. Think about good things, and good things are more apt to happen.

One way to draw good things to you is to pray. That's what Jesus did. He prayed. A sincere prayer works better than all the rabbit's feet and all the eagle feathers in the world. Because God listens to our prayer, and God is the source of everything that is good in the world.

Lord Jesus, thank you for the good you have brought to my life. Thank you also for the hard times where I have learned to depend more on you. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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