His Son's Friend

>> Monday, February 28, 2011

After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church’s pastor slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit and, before he gave his sermon for the evening, briefly introduced a guest minister who was in the service that evening. In the introduction, the pastor told the congregation that the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service. With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak.

“A father, his son, and a friend of his son’s were sailing off the Pacific coast,” he began, “When a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to the shore. The waves were so high that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright. The three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized.”
The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story. The aged minister continued.

“Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: to which boy would he throw the other end of the life line. He had only seconds to make that decision. The father knew that his son was a Christian and that his son’s friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of the waves.

As the father yelled out, ‘I love you, son,’ he threw out the life line to his son’s friend. By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night. His body was never recovered.”

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister’s mouth.

“The father,” he continued, “knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save his son’s friend.

How great is the love of God that He should do the same for us. Our heavenly Father sacrificed His only begotten Son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept His offer to rescue you. Take hold of the life line He is throwing out to you in this service.”

With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room. The pastor walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal.

Within minutes after the serviced ended, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side.

“That was a nice story,” politely stated one of them, “but I don’t think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son’s life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian.”

“Well, you’ve got a point there,” the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face. He once again looked up at the boys and said, “It sure isn’t very realistic, is it? But I’m standing here today to tell you that story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His son for me. You see…

I was that father, and your pastor is my son’s friend!”
(Author Unknown)

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” 
John 3:16 (NLT)



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The Lord's Prayer and His Responses

>> Saturday, February 26, 2011

 Our Father Who Art In Heaven.

Yes?

Don't interrupt me. I'm praying.

But -- you called ME!

Called you? No, I didn't call you. I'm praying. Our Father who art in Heaven.

There -- you did it again!

Did what?
                           
Called ME. You said,"Our Father who art in Heaven." Well, here I am. What's on your mind?

But I didn't mean anything by it. I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord's Prayer. It makes me feel good, kind of like fulfilling a duty.

Well, all right. Go on.

Okay. Hallowed be thy name . .

Hold it right there. What do you mean by that?

By what?
                             
By "Hallowed be thy name"?

It means, it means . . . good grief, I don't know what it means. How in the world should I know? It's just a part of the prayer. By the way, what does it mean?
                                
It means honored, holy, wonderful.

Hey, that makes sense. I never thought about what 'hallowed' meant before. Thanks. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Do you really mean that?

Sure, why not?  What are you doing about it?

Doing? Why, nothing, I guess. I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control of everything down here like you have up there. We're kinda in a mess down here, you know.

Yes, I know; but, have I got control of you?

Well, I go to church.

That isn't what I asked you. What about your bad temper? You've really got a problem there, you know. And then there's the way you spend your money -- all on yourself. And what about the kind of books you read?

Now hold on just a minute! Stop picking on me! I'm just as good as some of the rest of those people at church!

Excuse ME. I thought you were praying for my will to be done. If that is to happen, it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you, for example.

Oh, all right. I guess I do have some hang-ups. Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others.
                                
So could I.

I haven't thought about it very much until now, but I really would like to cut out some of those things. I would like to, you know, be really free.

Good. Now we're getting somewhere. We'll work together -- You and ME. I'm proud of you.

Look, Lord, if you don't mind, I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does. Give us this day, our daily bread.

You need to cut out the bread. You're overweight as it is.

Hey, wait a minute! What is this? Here I was doing my religious duty and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups.

Praying is a dangerous thing. You just might get what you ask for. Remember, you called ME  -- and here I am. It's too late to stop now. Keep praying. ( . . pause . . ) Well, go on.

I'm scared to.

Scared?  Of what?

I know what you'll say.

Try ME.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

What about Ann?

See? I knew it!  I knew you would bring her up! Why, Lord, she's told lies about me and spread stories. She never paid back the money she owes me. I've sworn to get even with her!

But  -- your prayer -- What about your prayer?

I didn't -- mean it.

Well, at least you're honest. But, it's quite a load carrying around all that bitterness and resentment isn't it?

Yes, but I'll feel better as soon as I get even with her. Boy, have I got some plans for her. She'll wish she had never been born.

No, you won't feel any better. You'll feel worse. Revenge isn't sweet. You know how unhappy you are -- Well, I can change that.

You can? How?

Forgive Ann. Then, I'll forgive you; And the hate and the sin, will be Ann's problem – not yours. You will have settled the problem as far as you are concerned.

Oh, you know, you're right. You always are. And more than I want revenge, I want to be right with You . . . (sigh). All right, all right. I forgive her.

There now! Wonderful! How do you feel?

Hmmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at all! In fact, I feel pretty great! You know, I don't think I'll go to bed uptight tonight. I haven't been getting much rest, You know.

Yeah, I know. But, you're not through with your prayer are you? Go on.

Oh, all right. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Good! Good! I'll do that. Just don't put yourself in a place where you can be tempted.

What do You mean by that?

You know what I mean.

Yeah, I know.

Okay. Go ahead. Finish your prayer.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Do you know what would bring me glory – What would really make me happy?

No, but I'd like to know. I want to please You now. I've really made a mess of things. I want to truly follow You. I can see now how great that would be. So, tell me . . .How do I make You happy?

YOU just did.
(Author Unknown)

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Mensa Words and Definitons

>> Friday, February 25, 2011

The  Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again  invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new  definition.

Here are the winners: 
1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Intaxicaton : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

3. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a
 hillbilly.

4. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

5. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

6. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

7. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

8. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

9. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

10. Glibido : All talk and no action.

11. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

12. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

13. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

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A Blue Rose

>> Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Having four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items. I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn't in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy, I'm over here."

It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, "Hey Buddy, what's your name?"

"My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my mother," he responded proudly.

"Wow," I said, "that's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve."

"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked.  "Yes," I answered. "How old are you Denny?"

"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.

"You're fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by."

I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the center of someone's attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.

Denny's mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn't even look at him, much less talk to him.

I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God's Garden; however, "Blue Roses" are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn't stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God.

She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, "Who are you?"

Without thinking I said, "Oh, I'm probably just a dandelion, but I sure love living in God's garden."

She reached out, squeezed my hand and said, "God bless you!" and then I had tears in my eyes.

May I suggest, the next time you see a BLUE ROSE, don't turn your head and walk off. Take the time to smile and say Hello. Why? Because it is only by the grace of God this mother or father is not you. This could be your child, grandchild, niece or nephew. What a difference a moment can mean to that person or their family.
(Author Unknown)

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Sending Signals

>> Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I’ve had a capsule attached to the inside of my esophagus since last Wednesday. It was placed there to send signals to a monitor I carried for 48 hours. I’ve returned the monitor to the doctor, but the capsule has lingered on … sending signals to the aliens, I guess. I was told I wouldn’t be able to feel it (big untruth) and that it would release and pass through me (lovely) in 5-7 days.

This little (gel cap size) piece of equipment affected the way I breathed, swallowed, coughed, sneezed, and slept. I was aware of it constantly. Even though I tried not to think about it, it was always there, in the background. At midnight last night it decided to move. I was wide awake for 45 minutes, pondering my insides.

Sin is like that. It affects everything. Even though we try to ignore it, the results of sin are evident in our lives. And as we sin, we are sending signals to the people around us. If we say we are a Christ follower, they will be very aware of our hypocrisy.

As we live in this world, there will always be sin. But one of these days … whether through death or rapture … all sin signals will fall away. God will see each of us for exactly who we are on the inside, no monitor required. Today, and every day, I need to focus on my actions with the same awareness as I have had of that little capsule.

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The Rookie Won

>> Monday, February 21, 2011

Yesterday I watched the Daytona 500; 43 cars, 500 miles, at a track where the race has occurred for 53 years. Many of the drivers have driven on that track for years; therefore, they knew it well. But this year, things were different. The track was newly paved and the cars had been re-configured, which resulted in a totally new way of running the race. Drivers who found a dancing partner could go 10 mph faster than a single car.

I listened to Darrell Waltrip, a winner of the Daytona 500, who had driven on that track many times, as he described what was happening to the veteran drivers. They had to adjust to a whole new way of driving.

But there was a rookie in the mix. Trevor Bayne had never been in that race before. Saturday had been his birthday and he just turned 20. He had no pre-conceived ideas of how the race should go. He did not have to un-learn anything.

He won the race … the youngest driver to ever win it. It was inspiring to hear him pray with his crew before the race and to give God the glory when he won.

I thought of some of the churches I’ve been in. They are settled in their routine of how they “do” church. A new person comes in and the church immediately begins telling the new attendee how church works. Sometimes the young Christian accepts the teachings as fact, letting their new found enthusiasm be drained away by the rules and regulations of “doing it right.”

But some are like Trevor Bayne. They turn to God for guidance. As they travel in new territory, they keep their eyes focused on the goal … winning the race.

As we listened to Trevor from his in-car audio, his excitement was contagious. That’s the kind of Christ follower I desire to be … contagious in my love for Him.

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My Capo D'Astro Bar

>> Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pianos have a device called the Capo d’Astro Bar. It’s a bar under the piano, fixed across the harp and bearing down on the strings. It is designed to prevent any warping. But in most pianos, this device isn’t heavy enough to actually prevent warping. But the Aeolian piano is different. It has a very heavy-duty metallic Capo d’Astro Bar.

                                                      

Did you know that the strings in a piano don’t even begin to warp until 50 years have passed? That means for 50 years the Capo d’Astro Bar is just sitting there, waiting to be put to work. And after 50 years, the solid Capo d’Astro Bar in the Aeolian piano goes to work, keeping it in tune.  

When I learned of the Capo d’Astro Bar, I immediately drew a parallel to my life.

When I was about 30 years old, I made a wonderful discovery. I had been gifted from birth with a VERY HEAVY-DUTY Capo D’Astro Bar. It had been there through all my hurting years, just waiting for the right moment to begin its job. At 30, it began working, pressing on my warping strings and bringing me into tune.

God is my Capo D’Astro Bar. He waited patiently while I struggled through those early years. He waited some more while I worked my way out of a life that had been programmed by others. More waiting while I searched for the “real” me inside. And when I chose to begin a new life, my Capo D’Astro Bar began doing the work it was designed to do.

This “Bar” will never break. It will never need to have some repair work done on it. There is no heavier Capo D’Astro Bar. It will last forever.

What more could I ask?

I see people all around me who are having a problem with their warping strings. I want to open up their piano and show them the tinker toy bar they have inside, that will never keep them from warping. But they have to want a tune up. I didn’t know I was out of tune for all those years. And so, just as God was patient with me, I must be patient with them.

The next time you listen to a piano being played, think about what is inside, pressing on the strings, keeping it in tune. Then turn your thoughts inward and check out your own Capo D’Astro Bar. Do you have the HEAVY-DUTY one? Or is it still waiting to go to work?

“Tinker Toy” or Heavy-Duty”. The choice is up to you.


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Who's Your Daddy?

>> Thursday, February 17, 2011

A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, TN. One morning, they were eating breakfast at a little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet, family meal. While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests. The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, 'I hope he doesn't come over here.' But sure enough, the man did come over to their table.

'Where are you folks from?' he asked in a friendly voice. 'Oklahoma,' they answered. Great to have you here in Tennessee,' the stranger said. 'What do you do for a living?' 'I teach at a seminary,’ the professor replied.

'Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I've got a really great story for you.' And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with the couple.

The professor groaned and thought to himself, 'Great ... Just what I need ... another preacher story!'

The man started, 'See that mountain over there? (pointing out the restaurant window). Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question, 'Hey boy, Who's your daddy?' Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same question, 'Who's your daddy?'

He would hide at recess and lunch time from other students. He would avoid going in to stores because that question hurt him so bad. 'When he was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. He would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, 'Who's your daddy?'  But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast that he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd.

Just about the time he got to the back door, the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, 'Son, who's your daddy?'

The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him. Now everyone would finally know the answer to the question, 'Who's your daddy?'

'This new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to that scared little boy.  'Wait a minute! I know who you are! I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God.'  With that he patted the boy on his shoulder and said, 'Boy, you've got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.'

'With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door, a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever anybody asked him, 'Who's your Daddy?' he'd just tell them, 'I'm a Child of God.''

The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, 'Isn't that a great story?'  The professor responded that it really was a great story!

As the man turned to leave, he said, 'You know, if that new preacher hadn't told me that I was one of God's children, I probably never would have amounted to anything!' And he walked away.

The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over and asked her, 'Do you know who that man was … the one who just left that was sitting at our table?'

The waitress grinned and said, 'Of course. Everybody here knows him. That's Ben Hooper. He's governor of Tennessee.'
(True Story)


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WHYAMI

>> Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I have personalized license plates. They say WHYAMI. Yes, they do. I’ve been made fun of a great deal.

In my effort to get a message across to the people sitting in the lane behind me, walking past my car at the gym or sitting at Starbucks, I wanted my plates to say something like PURPOSE or CHOICES. You are only allowed to have seven letters and those words were already taken.

One day I parked my car at Starbucks and walked toward the door. A young man I had never seen before was sitting at an outside table. As I walked by, he asked, “So have you figured it out yet?” It took me a moment, but what an opening. “Yes, I have.” Suddenly I was in the midst of a Divine appointment.

Another impact from having such specialized plates is that I am very recognizable. Thus, I became very aware of how I was driving. I am trying to send a positive message, which just won’t work if I cut someone off in traffic. And the police would certainly have no trouble identifying my car.

If you say you are a Christ-follower, then you have people reading you. Are you sending conflicting messages? You never know when you might have a Divine appointment.

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New School Prayer

>> Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Since the Pledge of Allegiance and The Lord's Prayer are not allowed in most public schools anymore because the word 'God' is mentioned … this new school prayer was written.

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate.
God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's 'inappropriate' to teach right from wrong.
We're taught that such 'judgments' do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed.
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess.
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; my soul please take.
Amen
(Author Unknown)

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Look Around

>> Monday, February 14, 2011

Yesterday I sat in church in front of a man who was carrying an oxygen tank and had the little hose prongs in his nose. There was a “swish-swish” sound each time the machine gave him some oxygen. As I listened to the rhythm of his life-saving air, I felt so very grateful for my health.

I am facing a medical test this week. Of course it has been on my mind. And I will have to have a monitor hooked to me for 48 hours. How can I whine about that, when he will (unless he is healed) have to carry his oxygen the rest of his life?

I also know that he buried his son two weeks ago.

More gratitude. No parent should have to attend their child’s funeral.

If you are feeling down, look around. You can always find someone worse off than you.

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This is Powerful.

>> Sunday, February 13, 2011

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The Acknowledgment

>> Saturday, February 12, 2011

I dreamt I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels. My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, "This is the Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received."

I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world.

Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.

The angel then said to me, "This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them." I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth.

Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated there, idly doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledgment Section," my angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed.

"How is it that there is no work going on here?" I asked.

"So sad," the angel sighed. "After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments."

"How does one acknowledge God's blessings?" I asked.

"Simple," the angel answered. Just say, "Thank you, Lord."

"What blessings should they acknowledge?" I asked.

"If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy."

"If you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity."

"If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day."

"If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 700 million people in the world."

"If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world."

Have a good day and count your blessings.
(Author Unknown)

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Experiment

Sitting in Starbucks seeing if I can post to my blog on my phone.

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In the Movie Business

>> Friday, February 11, 2011

I heard on the news today about a man who accidentally called his wife’s cell phone while he was killing her. The voice mail on her phone had a recording of him saying he was going to kill her and then her screams.

My Bible tells me everything I do in this life is being recorded ... not just my words ... but a movie of my actions. I forget that sometimes. But just as that man had no recourse when the tape was played for the jury, I will have no way to explain my way out of my wrong doing when I stand before God.

Just how big do you think the screen will be as it plays the movie of my life?

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Letting Go of the Rope

>> Thursday, February 10, 2011

Eleven people were hanging on a rope under a helicopter, ten men and one woman. The rope was not strong enough to carry them all, so they decided that one has to drop off. Otherwise they are all going to fall. They weren't able to choose that person, but then the woman made a very touching speech.

She said that she would voluntarily let go of the rope, because as a woman she was used to giving up everything for her husband and kids, and for men in general, without ever getting anything in return.

As soon as she finished her speech, all the men started clapping.……..

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Holes in the Fence

>> Wednesday, February 9, 2011

There once was a little girl who had a bad temper. Her mother gave her a bag of nails and told her that every time she lost her temper, she must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day, the little girl had driven 37 nails into the fence.

Over the next few weeks, as she learned to control her anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. She discovered it was easier to hold her temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the girl didn’t lose her temper at all. She told her mother about it and the mother suggested that the girl now pull out one nail for each day that she was able to hold her temper. The days passed and the young girl was finally able to tell her mother that all the nails were gone. The mother took her daughter by the hand and led her to the fence.

She said, “You have done well, my daughter, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a person and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say “I’m sorry”, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is a bad as a physical one.”

(Author Unknown)

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Checking the Rear View Mirror

>> Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Several years ago, I was rear-ended as I waited to turn left into our home street. There were no cars behind me when I stopped, but checking in my rear view mirror, I could see one coming several blocks back. That car never even slowed down. Now, I have trouble sitting on a street, waiting to turn left. I am checking my rear view mirror as much as I am watching the traffic going the other way, looking for a break to get through.

Sometimes life is like that. We’ve been hurt in the past, so we spend as much time looking at the past as we do looking to the future. The chances of another car deciding to just run into me from the rear are rather slim (I’m counting on that). And if we learn from past hurts and don’t allow ourselves to get in those situations, the chances are slim we will be hurt like that again. The future stretches out before us.

Are you living life looking in your rear view mirror?

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Jumping to Conclusions

>> Monday, February 7, 2011

In the Bible, 1 Samuel:1, there is an interesting story about a woman named Hannah who had no children. Year after year people made fun of her, making her cry and unable to eat. One time, Hannah went to the Tabernacle to pray … in deep anguish, crying bitterly. She made a vow that if God would give her a son, she would give him back to the Lord for his entire lifetime.

But there was a problem. She was not praying out loud … just moving her lips.

Eli, the priest, was watching her. Seeing her lips move but hearing no sound, he assumed she had been drinking and admonished her for it.

Oops. Even priests make mistakes.

Many times we jump to conclusions without first checking the facts. Then we tell someone else what we just perceived … and that is how gossip starts. Those unfounded rumors will some day make it back to the person we said them about.

It hurts badly to be the brunt of gossip. I speak from experience. Therefore, I do not want to inflict that kind of pain on someone else.

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Helping a Friend

>> Saturday, February 5, 2011

Two old guys are pushing their carts around Wal-Mart when they collide. The first old guy says to the second guy, “Sorry about that. I’m looking for my wife and I guess I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.”

The second old guy says, “That’s OK. It’s a coincidence. I’m looking for my wife too. I can’t find her and I’m getting a little desperate.”

The first old guy says, “Well, maybe we can help each other. What does your wife look like? 

The second old guy says, “Well, she is 27 years old, tall, with red hair, blue eyes, long legs, and is wearing short shorts. What does your wife look like?”

The first old guy says, “Doesn’t matter … let’s look for yours.”

(Author Unknown)

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Dull of Hearing

>> Friday, February 4, 2011

Listening to Chuck Swindoll’s podcast, I couldn’t get past a phrase he used … dull of hearing. Think about it. How many people do you know who are dull of hearing?

Children are very good at this. You ask them to do something, and nothing happens. You ask again. Still nothing. I’ve watched time and again when the parent resorts to yelling to get the child’s attention. Is the child dull of hearing … or have they just trained the parent how to react?

It doesn’t get better when they are teenagers. With how loudly they listen to their music plugged in their ears, they may very well be dull of hearing. But they also live in their own world and tune others out.

And now to the nitty-gritty. How about spouses? Are any of you dull of hearing? Does your spouse have to throw things, yell, cry, or leave to get your attention?

Dull of hearing can apply to any type of relationship … including my relationship with my God. His book tells me the way He wants me to live, If I choose to be dull of hearing, I will ignore the words of wisdom and go my own way.

Just as there are consequences for the child who doesn’t listen … the spouse who seems to not hear … I reap the consequences of not listening. It may take years before I finally hear what God has been saying all along.

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Do More

>> Thursday, February 3, 2011

Do More - by William Arthur Ward

Do more than belong: Participate.
Do more than care: Help.
Do more than believe: Practice
Do more than be fair: Be Kind
Do more than forgive: Forget
Do more than dream: Work.

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UP

>> Wednesday, February 2, 2011

This two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word. That word is 'UP.'  It is listed in the dictionary as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

It's easy to understand
UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come
UP?  Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?  We call UP our friends, brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.  We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.

At other times, this little word has real special meaning.  People stir
UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed
UP is special.

And this
UP is confusing:  A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.

We open
UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.  We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of
UP, look UP the word UP in the dictionary.  In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

If you are
UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.  It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding
UP.  When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP.  When it rains, it soaks UP the earth.  When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP.  One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now …  my time is UP!

Oh … one more thing.  What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?
U
P!

Did that one crack you
UP?

Now I'll shut
UP!
(Author Unknown)

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Two Wolves

>> Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all." 

"One is evil" --- It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." 

"The other is God --- It is joy, peace, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:  "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

An old Cherokee saying; life explained !


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