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Friday, March 30, 2012

Ten Proverbs from Children


 For a Friday chuckle, here are ten proverbs as remembered by children:

1. A penny saved is ... Not much.

2. Two’s company, three’s ... The Musketeers.

3. Don’t put off til tomorrow what ... You put on to go to bed.

4. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and ... You have to blow your nose.

5. None are so blind as ... Helen Keller.

6. Children should be seen and not ... Spanked or grounded.

7. It at first you don’t succeed ... Get new batteries.

8. You get out of something what you ... See pictured on the box.

9. When the blind leadeth the blind … Get out of the way.

10. There is no fool like ... Aunt Eddie.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Who’s There?


            You may have heard of the mother who rebuked her boy for not attending church willingly. She admonished him, “You go to the movies for entertainment, and you go down to Freddy’s house and have a nice time. Now don’t you think it is only right that once a week you should go to God’s House, just for one hour?”
            The boy thought it over and said, “But, Mom, what would you think if you were invited to somebody’s house and every time you went, the fellow was never there!”
            I think some people have quit attending worship services because they think God is not there. He is. And not only is he there, but so are the others who have gone on before us in the faith. You cannot see them, but they are there:  1 We are surrounded by a great cloud of people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back (Heb. 12:1.) NCV
            Assemble with the church; God is there.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Doing Time


            Men, never get into a fight with Sandra Coast. Sandra recently completed the U.S. Army Basic Combat Training school. She is 51 years old. Not only did she finish her training, her marks were among the highest in her company.
            Sandra had already served in the United States Navy from 1982 to 1993. Because of that, she was given exemptions that allowed her to enlist in the Army. Also, because of her experience, she graduated as a sergeant.
            You might ask, “Why did she join?” She joined because she wanted to support our American troops.
            I really like this story. I like it because it tells of a person who has spent many years serving her country. If anyone is entitled to say, “I've done my time, I'm going to sit back and let someone else do the work,” it is Sandra. However, Sandra felt she still had much to offer. She saw there was still much to be done, and she volunteered to help do it.
            Too many times in churches, I see mature Christians who cultivate the attitude of, “I've done my time; I'm going to sit back and let someone else do the work.” Where is that in Scripture!
            When many of us were children, we sang the song, “I'm in the Lord's army.” This song is true. There is much to be done. May we help God do it until we draw our last breath.

 Source: World Magazine


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Impeding Progress


1 Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won't let go (Heb. 12:1a.) CEV
It is said that the army of Alexander the Great was advancing on Persia. The moment arrived when all might be lost. The problem? The soldiers had accumulated so much plunder from previous victories; the possessions were beginning to weigh them down. They were no longer like soldiers—they were like a traveling pawnshop!
Alexander recognized the issue. He ordered that all of the booty be piled up and burned.
This did not go over well with the soldiers… initially. In time, they understood their commander’s astuteness. One historian has written, “It was as if wings had been given to them—they walked lightly again.” The army proceeded once more to victory.
The writer of Hebrews was seeking to motivate the Christians to do symbolically the same thing. They were weighed down by false values, which translated into a defeated lifestyle. He challenged them to take inventory, and to throw everything away that hindered their walk with Jesus.
Might we be wise to do the same?


Source: Our Daily Bread, July 3, 1992


Friday, March 23, 2012

Respect and Computer Support


            Respect is very important. We need to offer others our respect, and we want others to respect us.
            I read about a guy several years ago, who bought a new computer. He and his wife ran into some difficulties while setting it up, so he decided to call the customer support phone number he and his wife found in the manual.
            He picked up the phone and called the number. A man answered the phone and he explained the problem to him.
            He began rattling off computer jargon. This confused the couple even more.
            "Sir," the husband said politely, "Can you explain what I should do as if I were a small child?"
            "Okay," the computer support guy said, "Son, could you please put your mommy on the phone?"


Thursday, March 22, 2012

How Bad Do You Want It?


When I think of Hebrews 10:25 (“You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the day coming.” NCV), I think of Josef Gabor. Here is how DAILY WALK told his story back in 1993:
Josef Gabor grew up in Czechoslovakia when it was dominated by communism, and religion was despised as weakness. His father taught communist doctrine classes. But Josef’s mother, who believed in Jesus Christ, took Josef and his brother with her to church.
They got up early each Sunday morning and took a 3-hour train ride to Prague. Then they walked to the church and sat through a 2 1/2-hour service. After eating lunch in a nearby park, they returned to church for another 2 1/2-hour meeting. Then they took the 3-hour ride home.
Today Josef Gabor is a missionary to his own people in Czechoslovakia. When he tells about going to church as a child, his eyes fill with tears of gratitude for a mother who cared enough about his spiritual welfare to help him come to know and serve Christ.



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Body Slamming for Jesus


            Here’s a good story. Back on Christmas Eve, 2005, Nate Mallet was a Cleveland Browns’ fan attending a ball game. He was a young man, partying in the stands with other young men, and he got drunk. He got the bright idea of running onto the field during the game.
            Little did he know that feared Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebacker, James Harrison, would treat him like he would a Cleveland halfback. Harrison picked Nate up and slammed him to the ground.
            Authorities arrested Nate, jailed him, and ultimately punished him severely. The one good thing that came out of this experience was this; Nate turned his life to God. Nate is now clean, sober, and very active in his church.
            Sometimes, God let’s us get body slammed because it turns our attention to Jesus. Here’s a link to a 4 ½ minute video of the story: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1106273-the-day-james-harrison-body-slammed-browns-fan

Source: BLEACHER REPORT.COM

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Three Times and You’re Out


            An old story about a husband and father who refuses to go to church goes like this:

Preacher: "Why don't you ever come to church with your wife and family?"
Man: “I don’t go because every time I do, they throw something at me.”
Preacher: “What do you mean?”
Man: “When I was just a baby, my parents took me to church and the minister threw water on me. When I got married, the wedding ceremony took place in a church, and they threw rice at me.”
Preacher: "And if you don’t start going to church soon, the next time you do I’m afraid they’ll throw DIRT on you!”

            That sounds like a preacher story, doesn’t it? However, a deeper meaning emerges.
            There are literally millions of groups in the world seeking to mold people into an image. Only one of these groups is the local church, and its mission is to serve as God’s instrument in molding people into the image of Jesus.
            According to Hebrews 10:19ff, it is essential that Christians place a priority on meeting with that one group—the most important group—in the world.

            19-21 So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into "the Holy Place." Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The "curtain" into God's presence is his body.
 22-25 So let's do it—full of belief, confident that we're presentable inside and out. Let's keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let's see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching (Heb. 10:19-25.) THE MESSAGE




Monday, March 19, 2012

THE DEAD CIRCUS


            As a special treat, a teacher took her class to visit the museum of natural history. The children returned home very excitedly, and, rushing into his house, one of the little boys greeted his mother exuberantly, saying, “What do you think we did today, Mother? The teacher took us to a dead circus!”
            I know not how the world will end, and I think no one else does either. We do our best to interpret the clues the Bible gives us. Yet, I suppose, we in our limited understanding are as disconnected from the true work of God toward the fulfillment of his Kingdom as the children were from the exhibits of the museum of natural history. 
            What we see of God's movement is awe-inspiring. Yet, it may not be what we think it is.
            Perhaps we all could use a dose of humility when it comes to teaching about the end of the world… as we know it.
 
Story Source: Edmund Fuller

Friday, March 16, 2012

Why It's Great to be a Dog


             Someone sent me this back in 2001. I’m not sure what the application is... other than be who God made you to be.  :)

Why It's Great to be a Dog
1) No one expects you to take a bath every day.
2) If it itches, you can scratch it.
3) There's no such thing as bad food.
4) A rawhide bone can entertain you for hours.
5) If you grow hair in weird places, no one notices.
6) You can lie around all day without worrying about being fired.
7) You don't get in trouble for putting your head in a stranger's lap.
8) You're always excited to see the same people.
9) Having big feet is considered an asset.
10) Puppy love can last.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

One Toot, and You’re Out


            Do we make our guests (visitors) feel welcome in our worship assemblies?
            Many years ago, in a small Scottish church, an usher was painstakingly attending his duties, making sure that all in the worship service were in their places and properly quiet during the sermon.
            Suddenly, he spotted an old Scotswoman with an ear trumpet. He had not seen these contraptions (ear trumpets were metal instruments, shaped like trumpets, long ago used to assist the hearing impaired); consequently, he hurried over to the woman and, in a low but threatening whisper, told her, “One toot and you’re out.”
            Are there any members in your congregation who convey this spirit to your guests, “One toot and you’re out”?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How Saints Behave


Do this because you are a people set apart as holy to God, your God. God, your God, chose you out of all the people on Earth for himself as a cherished, personal treasure (Deut. 7:6) THE MESSAGE

         Bernard Schneider writes of a mother whose family had heard him preach a sermon in which he stated, “If you are saved, you are a saint right now.”
            A few days later, the mother heard her two children arguing. The 11-year-old daughter claimed she was a saint. Her 10-year-old brother argued then she was not a saint at all.
            Finally, the girl appealed to her mother, and the mother agreed that she was indeed a saint. In triumph the girl turned her brother and announced, “See, I am a saint.”             Unfortunately, to express her disdain toward her brother, she emphasized her victory by sticking out her tongue at him. Obviously, she did not project a “saintly” appearance at that moment.            
            God has always desired for his people to act like him. Anytime we do not, we undercut the reality of our position—sainthood. Have you “stuck your tongue” out at anyone lately?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's All Mine


          I like the story told about Dr. George W. Truett, a great preacher in located in Dallas in the first half of the twentieth century. Here is how the Christian publication, OUR DAILY BREAD, told the story a couple of decades ago:

[Truett] was invited to dinner in the home of a very wealthy man in Texas. After the meal, the host led him to a place where they could get a good view of the surrounding area.
Pointing to the oil wells punctuating the landscape, he boasted, “Twenty-five years ago I had nothing. Now, as far as you can see, it's all mine.” Looking in the opposite direction at his sprawling fields of grain, he said, “That's all mine.” Turning east toward huge herds of cattle, he bragged, “They're all mine.”
Then pointing to the west and a beautiful forest, he exclaimed, “That too is all mine.”
He paused, expecting Dr. Truett to compliment him on his great success. Truett, however, placing one hand on the man's shoulder and pointing heavenward with the other, simply said, “How much do you have in that direction?” The man hung his head and confessed, “I never thought of that?”


Monday, March 12, 2012

A Tale From Ancient India


          Nathan Castens writes about a legend from ancient India that he first heard retold by Henri Nouwen (in his book THE WOUNDED HEALER.)


Four royal brothers decided each to master a special ability.
Time went by, and the brothers met to reveal what they had learned.
“I have mastered a science,” said the first, “by which I can take but a bone of some creature and create the flesh that goes with it.”
“I,” said the second, “know how to grow that creature's skin and hair if there is flesh on its bones.”
The third said, “I am able to create its limbs if I have flesh, the skin, and the hair.”
“And I,” concluded the fourth, “know how to give life to that creature if its form is complete.”
Thereupon the brothers went into the jungle to find a bone so they could demonstrate their specialties. As fate would have it, the bone they found was a lion’s. One added flesh to the bone, the second grew hide and hair, the third completed it with matching limbs, and the fourth gave the lion life.
Shaking its mane, the ferocious beast arose and jumped on his creators. He killed them all and vanished contentedly into the jungle.

Casten’s continues, “We too have the capacity to create what can devour us. Goals and dreams can consume us. Possessions and property can turn and destroy us—unless we first seek God's kingdom and righteousness…”
             Remember, God made us in His image. God designed each person to regard his neighbor as highly as he regards himself. Deuteronomy 10:19, is another of God’s ways of stating—love you neighbor as yourself.
            Among many teachings, Deuteronomy emphasizes to us the spirit of God with regard to things. Rick Atchley wrote that God's people “… may own things, but they don't accumulate things at the expense of other people, because they know that God made things to be used and people to be loved.” Rick's statement expresses well a sentiment of Deuteronomy. 
            Remember:            If things become gods, people become things.


Friday, March 9, 2012

The Love Letter


           I read about a letter a sweetheart wrote to her ex-fiancĂ©.

Dearest Jimmy,
            No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me.
            I love you, I love you, I love you!
            Yours forever,

           Marie.

           P.S.  And congratulations on winning the state lottery.

            Love the one your with, especially, before they make it big.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Life From a Woman's Perspective


        A decade or two ago, a friend sent me the following dictionary for women. Women, do you agree with the definitions?

Airhead (er-hed) n.  What a woman intentionally becomes when pulled over by a policeman.

Argument (ar-gyou-ment) n.  A discussion that occurs when you're right, but he just hasn't realized it yet.

Bar-be-que (bar-bi-q) n.  You bought the groceries, washed the lettuce, chopped the tomatoes, diced the onions, marinated the meat and cleaned everything up, but, he, "made the dinner".

Blonde jokes (blond joks) n.  Jokes that are short so men can understand them.

Clothes dryer (kloze dri-yer) n.  An appliance designed to eat socks.

Diet Soda (dy-it so-da) n.  A drink you buy at a convenience store to go with a pound of M&M chocolate covered peanuts.

Eternity (e-ter-ni-tee) n.  The last two minutes of a football game.

Exercise (ex-er-siz) v.  To walk up and down a mall, occasionally resting to make a purchase.

Hair Dresser (hare dres-er) n.  Someone who is able to create a style you will never be able to duplicate again.  See also "Magician".

Hardware Store (hard-war stor) n.  Similar to a black hole in space...if he goes in, he isn't coming out anytime soon.

Childbirth (child-brth) n.  You get to go through 36 hours of contractions; he gets to hold your hand and say, "Focus... breath... push... Good Girl!"

Park (park) v./n.  Before children, a verb meaning, "to go somewhere romantic".  After children, a noun meaning a place with a swing set and slide.

Patience (pa-shens) n.  The most important ingredient for dating, marriage and children.  See also "tranquilizers."

Valentine's Day (val-en-tinez dae) n.  A day when you have dreams of a candlelight dinner, diamonds, and romance, but consider yourself lucky to get a card.

Waterproof Mascara (wah-tr-pruf mas-kar-ah) n.  Comes off if you cry, shower, or swim, but will not come off if you try to remove it.

Zillion (zil-yen) n.  The number of times you ask someone male to take out the trash, then end up doing it yourself anyway.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Brewing Tea for Mommy


            I’ve seen this story making the rounds; my source is Doug McIntosh in his commentary on Deuteronomy.
            A young girl named Sally faced a challenging day. Her mother was sick, and Sally wanted to help. She insisted that her mom stay in bed—like Sally did when she was sick.
            Sally picked up the kitchen; she saw the tea kettle and decided to brew her mom a cup of tea, just like her mom had done for her dad when he had been sick. (This was back in the day, before microwaves!)
            Sally made the tea and, beaming with pride, took it to her mom’s bedroom. Sally’s mom bragged on her and smiled broadly. She praised Sally for her service and kind heart, saying with delight, “I didn't know you knew how to make tea.”
            Sally replied, “Yes I do mommy. I do. I boil the water and tea leaves together just like you always do.” As her mom sipped the tea, Sally further explained, “I couldn't find the little strainer thing, though, so I used the flyswatter.”
            Hearing this, her mother spewed the tea out of her mouth. “You used the flyswatter to strain this tea?”
            Little Sally could tell her mother was feeling anxious. Seeking to calm her, Sally told her, “Don't worry, mommy, I used the old flyswatter so I would not mess up the new one.”
            Sally’s mom summoned the self-control she needed to offer Sally her gratitude and praise, instead of a detailed lesson in kitchen sanitation. She saw Sally’s heart, and she was very pleased.
            I suspect God often wants to choke when he sees the way I mess things up trying to help people. However, God knows I make mistakes, and I glean from the Bible that he is grateful, since I am trying. I believe he feels the same way about you.
            People are precious to God. Serve them as best you can.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Will The President Be There?


            One day the telephone range in the office of the St. John’s Episcopal Church during the years Franklin Roosevelt served as president. “Tell me,” the voice said, “do you expect the President to be in church this Sunday?”
            “That,” the Rector explained patiently, “I cannot promise. However, God will be there and that will incentive enough for a reasonably large attendance.”