Barbara Higby

“Diff’rent Strokes”

Classic Summer Rewrites

Now, the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum
What might be right for you, may not be right for some…
It takes, Diff’rent Strokes to move the world

Everybody’s got a special kind of story
Everybody finds a way to shine….
Because it takes, Diff’rent Strokes to move the world

Rewrite: Why is it so hard to accept there are different strokes for different folks?

This sitcom smacked of fairy tale pretension, but it’s a fairy tale I would like to live. Ethnic, cultural, and age disparities were negotiated with love. Differences and misunderstandings were worked out with patience and concessions. It was hard, but the fairy tale made it work. Oh, that we could screen-write today’s crises, edit the script, and delete intolerance in the family of Christ.

I’m convinced this will not be our full experience on earth but the Bible tells us to strive for it.

Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7

Actually, striving to love each other is too mild a word—it’s a command.

Just as I am accepted by Christ (Selah, pause and calmly think about that…) I am to accept others. Will I receive those who are unlike me—those who have a different history, different political views, different skin tones, different nationalities? Accept means I will receive them, assent to their value, consent to their right to differ, permit their uniqueness, allow and even appreciate their dissimilarities.

As God’s children our diversity reflects the vastness of His nature and breadth of His being.

Lord, open our eyes to see you in our brothers and sisters—may we embrace one another with your love.

In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith… There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26, 28

“Get Smart”

Classic Summer Rewrites

Maxwell Smart, aka Agent 86, is a highly intellectual but bumbling spy who works for CONTROL, a counterintelligence agency. He and his partner, Agent 99, battle the evil forces of KAOS, an organized crime outfit dedicated to evil.

Rewrite: “Chaos” is our enemy too.

No matter how you spell it, chaos appropriately describes 2020—and the presidential campaign hasn’t even heated up yet. Chaos is a menacing enemy marked by finger pointing, accusation, and suspicion, causing misunderstanding, distrust, and disunity. How can we successfully meet his challenge?

Surprisingly, “Get Smart” presents some biblical principles we can apply.

We don’t need to have all the answers to successfully do battle—but we do need wisdom and God is eager to generously give it to us when we ask (James 1:4).

We’re not alone, we have an “Agent” who is smarter than us—the Spirit of power, love and self-discipline, the Spirit of truth who will guide us into all truth (2 Tim. 1:7, John 16:13).

We have weapons—divinely powered to demolish strongholds (2 Cor. 10:4). By contrast, our enemy’s weapons are akin to Get Smart’s finger gun, wrist camera, and shoe phone—no match for our arsenal. May the Lord teach us how to use them effectively!

We need a cone of silence—a place where we can hear from the real “Chief,” the Lord of Lords who directs us, shows us a bigger picture, and actually confides in us because we love Him (Psalm 25:14).

Chaos? Yes.

An enemy? Yes!

Wisdom, guidance, weapons… and a God who speaks to us? YES!

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7

“Father Knows Best”

Classic Summer Rewrites

Rewrite: Yes, He does!

“Father Knows Best” was a popular black and white sitcom in the 50’s that portrayed the ideal family—the one everyone wanted and no one had. The father, Robert Young, never raised his voice, never lost patience, and never did anything dumb. Wearing suit and tie, he punctually came home from his office to a waiting dinner, ready to dispense wisdom. His wife, Jane Wyatt, always wore a dress, an apron, and a smile. They raised three children, Betty (17), Bud (14), and Cathy (9), whose problems, though minor, were always melodramatic. And, you guessed it, father always knew best for his family—fiction created for 50’s television. My father did not know best and I imagine yours didn’t either.

The problems of 2020 are far beyond the scope of sitcom wisdom that responds to staged dramas and controlled environments. Our issues are enough to trigger anxiety, disturb our sleep, and tarnish our happiness. The bottom line is, we need to stop focusing on them. In the midst of these troubles there is One who has absolute control and He does know best.

We have an all-wise, unconditionally loving Father who has unlimited power and uncontested command. With certainty we can declare, “Our Father knows best.” Let Him be the focus of our days and the assurance of our hearts. He has the whole world in His hands. Yes, He does!

Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.

He changes times and seasons;

he deposes kings and raises up others.

He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

He reveals deep and hidden things;

he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. Daniel 2:20-22

“The A-Team”

Classic Summer Rewrites

If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them…

maybe you can hire The A-Team.

Rewrite: There is no A-Team!

Anyone who’s been bullied, targeted, or treated unjustly loves the A-Team—modern day Robin Hoods with a military background who risk their personal safety for the cause of justice. And they are amazing! The A-Team can build a tank from a box of paper clips and construct a weapon from a handful of nuts and bolts. The suffering get saved, the bad guys are thrown out of Dodge, and no one gets killed. Every episode ends happily-ever-after. But—are you ready?—they’re not real. There is no A-Team, despite what our political parties claim.

As astute and resourceful as the A-Team is, they’re not almighty, all-knowing, or all powerful—but our A-Team is. We have an Alpha and Omega “team” who knows the end from the beginning (and is present for both). He precedes us and follows us. He’s above us and below us. He defends and protects us. The A-Team evaded government authorities, but the Father, Son, and Spirit created those authorities.

We call and God moves—Psalm 18 puts the A-Team to shame.

From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind…
Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them…

He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.*

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,

“who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Rev. 1:8

*Psalm 18:6-10, 12-14, 16-19, emphasis mine

“To Tell the Truth”

Classic Summer Rewrites

It’s a lie, lie. You’re telling a lie.
I never know why you don’t know how
To Tell the Truth, truth, truth, truth
You don’t know how To Tell the Truth…

Rewrite: It’s not a game show

This one’s an oldie! “To Tell the Truth” first aired in 1956 and, after a few lengthy breaks and timely tweaks, has been revived by ABC. Three contestants claim to be a particular person and one of the three actually is. The panel asks them questions to determine which one is authentic. To clarify, two fakes are lying in an attempt to deceive the panelists and the real McCoy is telling the truth. Who’s for real?

The first television game show was similarly named, “Truth or Consequences.” When a contestant didn’t tell the truth (in answer to an all but impossible question), they paid the consequence with embarrassing antics. These shows may amuse us but there’s nothing funny about lies in real life.

Which doctor or scientist is correctly assessing COVID 19 and accurately advising us? Which voice is honest about the civil unrest sweeping our country—its causes and cures? Which politician is truthful about their positions, platform, or promises?

Absolute truth is only found in one place, from one Person. God is Truth, embodies truth, and speaks truth—and He wrote it down for us.

I created a PDF of 14 truth statements that we can rely on for COVID fears, civil unrest, and our presidential election. Sign up to receive my MuseLetter* and you’ll have access to an attractive pdf to help you focus on the truth—and the Truth—amid the buzz of confusing voices.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” –Jesus, John 8:32

*Go to and add your email address (below the bio) to receive my quarterly MuseLetter and the truth PDF.

“Charles in Charge”

Classic Summer Rewrites

The new boy in the neighborhood
Lives downstairs and it’s understood
He’s there just to take good care of me
Like he’s one of the family
Charles in charge
Of our days and our nights
Charles in charge
Of our wrongs and our rights
And I see I want
I want Charles in charge of me

Rewrite: Praise God, Charles isn’t in charge!

He may be cute, conscientious, and caring; he may be a spouse, parent, or friend; he may be a pastor, employer, or leader—but he’s not in charge of me. Not a problem-solver alive can be aware, let alone take care, of my days and nights, my wrong and rights. But, oh, there is One who does just that.

He created me and knows every fiber of my being, every nuance of my personality, every thought in my mind. He watches me in the night and throughout the day, when I sleep and when I wake. He guides me on the right path and steers me away from wrong. He provides for my physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. He protects me, shares His heart with me, and delights in my company.

I happily submit, and invite the Lord of all to be in charge of me.

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Psalm 139:1-6

“Gilligan’s Island”

Classic Summer Rewrites

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip

That started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship…

The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed…

The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle…

So this is the tale of our castaways, they’re here for a long, long time

They’ll have to make the best of things, and it’s an uphill climb…

Rewrite: Never a Castaway

The Gilligan theme song seems to be about more than an event—it sounds like life. We start living like life is a pleasure cruise—there’s so much to see and do! And then the weather starts getting rough, we feel like we’re sinking, and suddenly find ourselves on uncharted land. The hardships we face cause us to feel we’re here for a long, long time and life’s “an uphill climb.” Left to our own devices this would be true but, I assure you, we’ve not been stranded.

We may feel alone and lost, even deserted, but that’s because we’re focusing laterally, not upward. When we look around our personal deserted islands and think about what we’re missing, we lose sight of the One who holds the islands in His hands—and He can do remarkable things.

When Paul was shipwrecked on an island, it became a place of honor and blessing, with miracles, healing, and salvation (Acts 28). Let’s not dwell on our challenges, but on the Lord—His  plans for us are never hindered, even by shipwrecks.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?


If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.


If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.


Psalm 139:7, 9-12

“Happy Days”

Classic Summer Rewrites

“Happy Days”

Sunday, Monday, Happy Days
Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days
Thursday, Friday, Happy Days
Saturday, what a day
Rockin’ all week with you

Rewrite: Unending Happy Days

Have you noticed the good old days are brighter in our memory than they were in real time? As we age we learn that happy days are more than milkshakes at Arnold’s, Fonzie’s latest scheme, or a new romantic interest.

I recently organized our family pictures, a benefit of being quarantined. I slid hundreds of snapshots into albums, pictures of happy days and fond memories, but bittersweet with remembrance and an ache for youth’s innocence.

I am delighted to report that our happy days—yours and mine—are not behind us but before us. Our eternity is not marked by days of the week (Sunday, Monday Happy Days), but stretches out in front of us with unending joy. We taste it now—you know, those moments when we sense heaven’s reality, long for a pain-free world, glimpse a perfect eternity.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”


He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Rev. 21:3-5