Alligator Jazz (book review)

Alligator Jazz book

Title: Alligator Jazz
Author: Samuel E. Pittman II
Illustrated by: Sheila Bailey
Print: Gretna, Pelican Publishing Company, 2018

This book is a short children’s book about an alligator that plays a saxophone. His saxophone gets stolen by a weasel. After finding the weasel playing the saxophone, the alligator gets it back and forgives the weasel of doing wrong and they begin to work together.

The story illustrates the goodness of forgiving someone when he asks for forgiveness, instead of fighting back and getting revenge. It also describes the challenges of change and doing what you love to do with the best of your abilities. It shows that when you do something great, not everyone will like it and some will be jealous and try to take it from you.

This book is an excellent book for younger children–28 pages. It is a large size, hard back book with full page pictures in color on each page. Sheila Bailey does an excellent job with the illustrations. They are well detailed, but not overly done. With all of the colors and animals in each picture, they will draw the attention of little children.

The story is written on a level that a 9-10 year old could read on his own. Younger ones will just enjoy the large pictures and great story.

Samuel Pittman is a middle school English teacher and track and field coach. He wrote this book with struggles in mind that people sometimes have to go through.

I highly recommend this book for anyone with children, or grand-children, that love to read or hear stories.

Psalm 104:27-28 Getting Your Food

All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. Psalm 104:27-28

One thing that every creature and human cannot live without is food. Housing is good to have, but not absolutely necessary; take a look at all the homeless people surviving. Clothing helps in many different ways, but, again, it not absolutely necessary to stay alive.

Every person and animal can go without food for a time, but eventually needs it to survive. It is what gives the body nourishment to survive and continue to grow. It is what sustains the body.

In this psalm the author writes that every creature on the earth looks to God for food. When they are given that food, they have to gather it up, and then they are also satisfied.

Humans tend to look at things differently. Many want God to hand them their food or other necessary things, but are unwilling to work at gathering up what is needed. Some people are out of a job, but refuse to work a menial job that is presented to them, because it is “below” them.

Others do gather up the food that God gives them, but then complain about it. They want the food from Egypt, what someone else has. Rather than be satisfied, they complain about what they do not have or were not given.

Look at the creatures of this earth and see how they live their lives on this earth. They are grateful to God for the things that they do have. Their focus is on God supplying their needs, rather than they themselves.

God has many different ways to meet your every need. If He can supply the food for the animals of the field, will He not supply food for you?

You are worth more than many sparrows to God. Never forget that God sent Jesus to die for  you. He will provide food for you as He provides food for the animals. If He will provide the food, He will also provide for your every other need as well. Trust Him today.

I pray today that you will see God’s provision in your life; that you will be satisfied with what God provides you; that you will trust God for all of your needs; and that you will gather up what God gives you.

Matthew 8:19-20 Count the Cost

“Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus replied, Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Matthew 8:19-20

Jesus was becoming very popular with everyone. People started to follow Him. Now a teacher of the law comes up to Jesus and states he will follow Him.

Instead of welcoming the man to follow Him, Jesus gives a strange answer. Jesus tells the man who He does not have a place to lay His head down at night, even though the animals do.

Jesus knew He was living a life that would not bring great wealth or comfort in this life. A person who has a place to lay down at night has a great comfort. Being homeless creates a lot of discomfort and no peace.

This teacher had got caught up in the hype of the moment and declared he would follow Jesus. Jesus points out that there could be a high cost to follow Him. Jesus does not have a home to go to.

Following Jesus does not automatically bring a life of luxury and comfort in the world’s eyes. It will not make you famous or wealthy.

Following Jesus does mean being a servant to everyone else; giving of yourself all the time; giving what you have to others; and not storing up for yourself. God may give you all of these things, but that is not the purpose for following Him.

Many people follow Jesus because of the excitement of the moment. Or they believe that life will be easy to follow Him, all their troubles will go away. This is not true.

Look at the life of Jesus. His life was one of a lot of pain, misery and suffering. As He healed people, others were wanting to kill Him and in the end did.

Jesus did have peace and comfort in knowing that He was following God the Father perfectly. You, also, can know that same peace and comfort in following Jesus. You have to remember though it is not the peace and comfort the world will understand. While in this life you will have struggles and troubles.

Be willing to follow Jesus. In the end when you get to heaven it will be worth the pain and suffering of today. All the work you will have to do in helping build His kingdom will bring great treasures in heaven some day. Count the cost of following Jesus, but know it is worth it.

I pray today that God will strengthen you in following Him; that you will be determined to follow Him at all costs; that God will guide you by His Holy Spirit in following Him; and that God’s kingdom will be built greater because of your walk with Him.