Thursday, 31 March 2011

You Can’t Please Everyone

~Author Unknown~
Submitted by Richard

 An old fable that has been passed down for generations tells about an elderly man who was traveling with a boy and a donkey. As they walked through a village, the man was leading the donkey and the boy was walking behind. The townspeople said the old man was a fool for not riding, so to please them he climbed up on the animal’s back. When they came to the next village, the people said the old man was cruel to let the child walk while he enjoyed the ride. So, to please them, he got off and set the boy on the animal’s back and continued on his way. In the third village, people accused the child of being lazy for making the old man walk, and the suggestion was made that they both ride. So the man climbed on and they set off again. In the fourth village, the townspeople were indignant at the cruelty to the donkey because he was made to carry two people. The frustrated man was last seen carrying the donkey down the road.
We smile, but this story makes a good point: We can’t please everybody, and if we try we end up carrying a heavy burden. Well-meaning Christians may offer us advice, and much of it is valuable. But when we try to do everything other believers want us to do, we can easily become frustrated and confused. That’s why we need to remember that the One we must please above all others is Christ. And we do that by obeying God’s Word. Carried any donkeys lately? You don’t have to if you’re trying to please Jesus.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

A Difficult Hill

Researchers at the University of Virginia have found that most people perceive a hill to be steeper than it really is, especially if they are tired or carrying a heavy load. When asked to estimate the slope of a hill, test participants consistently misjudged it, thinking a 10-degree slant was about 30 degrees, and rating a 5-degree slope as nearly 20 degrees. Hardly any of them believed they could be that far off.
When we are burdened and exhausted, even a minor problem can seem too big for us to handle. As we encounter a trial in life, we are tempted to sit down at the base of that difficult hill and stay there, convinced that the grade is too steep for us.
That is why we need the encouragement of God’s Word. It draws our attention to our untiring God, who knows our need. Isaiah wrote, “The Creator of the ends of the earth neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might – He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:28-29).
Because we so easily misjudge life’s difficulties, we need courage to keep going when we are tempted to quit. Take a step of faith today and join those who depend on the Lord, who run and are not weary, who walk and do not faint (v.31). In His strength, you can conquer any difficult hill.
As we live for Christ and follow Him,
The way may seem quite steep;
But if we trust His grace and strength,
Our steps He will guide and keep.
God always gives enough strength for the next step.
“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.”
ISAIAH 40:29
Author Unknown
Submitted by Richard

The Lonely Girl

Bare foot and dirty, the girl just sat and watched the people go by. She never tried to speak, she never said a word. Many people passed, but never did one person stop. Just so happens, the next day I decided to go back to the park, curious if the little girl would still be there. Right in the very spot as she was yesterday, she sat perched on high, with the saddest look in her eyes.
Today I was to make my own move and walk over to the little girl. As we all know, a park full of strange people is not a place for young children to play alone. As I began walking towards her, I could see the back of the little girl's dress indicated a deformity. I figured that was the reason the people just passed by and made no effort to help. As I got closer, the little girl slightly lowered her eyes to avoid my intent stare. I could see the shape of her back more clearly. It was grotesquely shaped in a humped over form.
I smiled to let her know it was OK, I was there to help, to talk. I sat down beside her and opened with a simple Hello. The little girl acted shocked and stammered a "hi" after a long stare into my eyes. I smiled and she shyly smiled back. We talked 'til darkness fell and the park was completely empty. Everyone was gone and we at once were alone.
I asked the girl why she was so sad. The little girl looked at me and with a sad face said, "Because I'm different."
I immediately said "that you are!" and smiled.
The little girl acted even sadder, she said, "I know."
"Little girl," I said, "you remind me of an angel, sweet and innocent."
She looked at me and smiled, slowly she stood to her feet, and said, "Really?"
"Yes, dear, you're like a little guardian angel sent to watch over all those people walking by."
She nodded her head "yes" and smiled, and with that she spread her wings and said, "I am. I'm your guardian angel," with a twinkle in her eye.
I was speechless. Surely I was seeing things. She said, "For once you thought of someone other than yourself, my job here is done."
Immediately I stood to my feet and said, "Wait, so why did no one stop to help an angel?"
She looked at me and smiled, "You're the only one who could see me, and you believed it in your heart." And She was gone.
And with that my life was changed dramatically. So, when you think you're all you have, remember, your angel is always watching over you.
Mine was.

Monday, 28 March 2011

A Day in Church with Kids

 A little child in church for the first time watched as the ushers passed the offering plates. When they neared the pew where he sat, the youngster piped up so that everyone could hear: “Don’t pay for me Daddy, I’m under five.”
A little boy was attending his first wedding. After the service, his cousin asked him, “How many women can a man marry?” “Sixteen,” the boy responded. His cousin was amazed that he had an answer so quickly. “How do you know that?” “Easy,” the little boy said.
“All you have to do is add it up, like the Bishop said: 4 better, 4 worse, 4 richer, 4 poorer.”
After a church service on Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother, “Mom, I’ve decided to become a minister when I grow up.” “That’s okay with us, but what made you decide that?” “Well,” said the little boy, “I have to go to church on Sunday anyway, and I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell, than to sit and listen.”
A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon. “How do you know what to say?” he asked. “Why, God tells me”, the father replied. The boy thought for a while then quietly said, “Then why do you keep crossing things out?”
A little girl became restless as the preacher’s sermon dragged on and on. Finally, she leaned over to her mother and whispered, “Mommy, if we give him the money now, will he let us go?”
After the christening of his baby brother in church, little Johnny sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, “That priest said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I want to stay with
you guys!”
Terri asked her Sunday school class to draw pictures of their favorite Bible stories. She was puzzled by Kyle’s picture, which showed four people on an airplane, so she asked him which story it was meant to represent. “The flight to Egypt,” said Kyle. “I see … And that must be Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus,” Ms. Terri said. “But who’s the fourth person?” “Oh, that’s Pontius -the Pilot.
The Sunday School Teacher asks, “Now, Johnny, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?” “No sir, “little Johnny replies, “I don’t have to. My Mom is a good cook.”
A college drama group presented a play in which one character would stand on a trap door and announce, “I descend into hell!” A stagehand below would then pull a rope, the trapdoor would open, and the character would plunge through. The play was well received. One day the actor playing the part became ill, and another actor who was quite overweight took his place. When the new actor announced, “I descend into hell!” the stagehand pulled the rope, and the actor began his plunge, but became hopelessly stuck. No amount of tugging on the rope could make him descend. One student in the balcony jumped up and yelled:
“Hallelujah! Hell is full!”
Pastor Dave Charlton tells us, “After a worship service at First Baptist Church in Newcastle, KY, a mother with a fidgety seven-year old boy told how she finally got her son to sit still and be quiet. About halfway through the sermon, she leaned over and whispered, ‘If you don’t be quiet, Pastor Charlton is going to lose his place and will have to start his sermon all over again!’ It worked.”
A little girl was sitting on her grandfather’s lap as he read her a bedtime story. From time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch his wrinkled cheek. She was alternately stroking her own cheek, then his again. Finally she spoke up, “Grandpa, did God make you?” “Yes, sweetheart,” he answered, “God made me a long time ago.” “Oh,” she said, “Grandpa, did God make me too?” “Yes, indeed, honey,” he said, “God made you just a little while ago.” Feeling their respective faces again, she observed, “God’s getting better at it, isn’t he?
Author Unknown
Submitted by Richard

Sunday, 27 March 2011


Author Unknown  
Submitted by Richard
An old man, probably some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the park bench. He didn’t move, just sat with his head down staring at his hands.
When I sat down beside him he didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if he was ok. Finally, not really wanting to disturb him, but wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked him if he was ok.
He raised his head and looked at me and smiled. Yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking, he said in a clear strong voice.
I didn’t mean to disturb you, sir, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were ok, I explained to him.
Have you ever looked at your hands he asked? I mean really looked at your hands.
I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point he was making.
Then he smiled and related this story:
Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and embrace life. They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back.
As a child my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They dried the tears of my children and caressed the love of my life.
They held my rifle and wiped my tears when I went off to war. They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special. They wrote the letters home and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse and walked my daughter down the aisle.
Yet, they were strong and sure when I dug my buddy out of a foxhole and lifted a plow off of my best friends foot. They have held children, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn’t understand. They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer. These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the ruggedness of my life.
But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And He won’t care about where these hands have been or what they have done. What He will care about is to whom these hands belong and how much He loves these hands. And with these hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.
No doubt I will never look at my hands the same again. I never saw the old man again after I left the park that day but I will never forget him and the words he spoke. When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and wife I think of the man in the park. I have a feeling he has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.
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