Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A Glass of Milk

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?" "You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness." He said, "Then I thank you from my heart."

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She began to read the following words:

"Paid in full with one glass of milk"

Dr. Howard Kelly

A friendly reminder from NCF

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Kindness - Very Moving Story

One day a woman was walking down the street when she spied a beggar sitting on the corner. The man was elderly, unshaven, and ragged. As he sat there, pedestrians walked by him giving him dirty looks They clearly wanted nothing to do with him because of who he was -- a dirty, homeless man. But when she saw him, the woman was moved to compassion.

It was very cold that day and the man had his tattered coat -- more like an old suit coat rather than a warm coat -- wrapped around him. She stopped and looked down. "Sir?" she asked. "Are you all right?"

The man slowly looked up. This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like that she had never missed a meal in her life. His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before. "Leave me alone," he growled.

To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling -- her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. "Are you hungry?" she asked.

"No," he answered sarcastically. "I've just come from dining with the president. Now go away."

The woman's smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm. "What are you doing, lady?" the man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone."

Just then a policeman came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" he asked.

"No problem here, officer," the woman answered. "I'm just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?"

The officer scratched his head. "That's old Jack. He's been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?"

"See that cafeteria over there?" she asked. "I'm going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile."

"Are you crazy, lady?" the homeless man resisted. "I don't want to go in there!" Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. "Let me go, officer. I didn't do anything."

"This is a good deal for you, Jack," the officer answered. "Don't blow it."

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived. The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by the table. "What's going on here, officer?" he asked. "What is all this. Is this man in trouble?"

"This lady brought this man in here to be fed," the policeman answered.

"Not in here!" the manager replied angrily. "Having a person like that here is bad for business."

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. "See, lady. I told you so. Now if you'll let me go. I didn't want to come here in the first place."

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled. "Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?"

"Of course I am," the manager answered impatiently. "They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms."

"And do you make a good profit from providing food at the weekly meetings?"

"What business is that of yours?"

"I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company."


The woman smiled again. "I thought that might make a difference." She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. "Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?"

"No thanks, ma'am," the officer replied. "I'm on duty."

"Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?"

"Yes, ma'am. That would be very nice."

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel. "I'll get your coffee for you right away, officer."

The officer watched him walk away. "You certainly put him in his place," he said.

"That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this." She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently. "Jack, do you remember me?"

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes "I think so -- I mean you do look familiar."

"I'm a little older perhaps," she said. "Maybe I've even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry."

"Ma'am?" the officer said questioningly. He couldn't believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

"I was just out of college," the woman began. "I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn't find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat."

Jack lit up with a smile. "Now I remember," he said. "I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy."

"I know," the woman continued. "Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over, I saw you put the price of my food in the cash register. I knew then that everything would be all right."

"So you started your own business?" Old Jack said.

"I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered." She opened her purse and pulled out a business card. "When you are finished her e, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons. He's the personnel director of my company. I'll go talk to him now and I'm certain he'll find something for you to do around the office." She smiled. "I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet And if you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you."

There were tears in the old man's eyes. "How can I ever thank you," he said.

"Don't thank me," the woman answered. "To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus. He led me to you."

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways. "Thank you for all your help, officer," she said.

"On the contrary, Ms. Eddy," he answered. "Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And... And thank you for the coffee."

She frowned. "I forgot to ask you whether you used cream or sugar. That's black."

The officer looked at the steaming cup of coffee in his hand. "Yes, I do take cream and sugar -- perhaps more sugar than is good for me." He patted his ample stomach.

"I'm sorry," she said.

"I don't need it now," he replied smiling. "I've got the feeling that this coffee you bought me is going to taste as sweet as sugar."

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Everybody Else’s Mother

by Debbie Farmer
Submitted by Richard
 It seems my 11-year-old daughter has a new friend. Although I haven’t met her, I’ve heard a lot about her. Apparently she’s the same age, height, and build as my daughter, but with bright blue hair, multiple body piercings, and a henna snake tattoo. She wears things like sliced-up jeans and suede halter-tops to school. On top of that, she’s allowed to stay up as late as she wants to, play inappropriate video games, and watch B horror movies. She never has to clean her room and keeps all 50 pairs of her trendy low cut jeans in a pile stuffed underneath her bed.
Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably thinking that I must be some kind of negligent parent to let my daughter associate with such a bad influence. And, well, you’re right.
But, you see, her name is Everybody Else. And, chances are, if you’re a parent of a middle schooler, your child hangs around with her, too.
Oh, at first, she seems quite harmless. You’ll be sitting around the kitchen table giving the family high fives because of the great deal you found on a, say, purple rolling backpack, and your eleven-year-old will suddenly say, “But Everybody Else has a blue one.”
You absent-mindedly nod in a “That’s nice, Honey” sort of a way and go on about your business.
But then later you’ll say something like, “It’s 9 o’clock so you’d better get ready for bed.” And your eleven-year-old will say, “But Everybody Else gets to stay up until 10 o’clock.”
And so it goes until, sooner or later, you find out that Everybody Else is also allowed to ride on motorcycles with 16-year-old boys, wear cut off fish net stockings, paint her toe nails purple, and listen to Marilyn Manson CDs.
In short, you really start to hate Everybody Else.
But, as infuriating as Everybody Else is, let me just say her mother is even worse.
Take, for instance, the other day when I asked my daughter to turn off the television. She said, “Everybody Else’s mom lets them watch television before doing homework.” When I said she couldn’t have a slumber party until she’s sixteen, she informed me that, “Everybody Else’s mom invites whole Girl Scout troops over to sleep.” And when I served store bought cake for my daughter’s 11th birthday, she said, you guessed it, “Everybody Else’s Mom makes cakes from scratch.”
Face it, Everybody Else’s mom makes the rest of us look, well, bad.
Now a wiser person would’ve recognized this for what it is and risen above it. But me, I am not this wise. So you can’t really blame me when, last night, during a 15 minute diatribe on what kind of deprived life my daughter leads because she doesn’t have her own cell phone, I heard myself say, “I don’t care if Everybody’s Else’s mom likes loud rap music, or makes bologna casserole for Thanksgiving dinner or approves of multiple body piercing, if I ever catch her alone in an aisle at the grocery store I’m going to grab her by the nose ring and give her a piece of my mind!”
You have to just marvel that a rational human being can say something like this and mean it.
But I’m not that worried, really. Lately my daughter’s starting to hang out with a better crowd. In fact, last night, when I asked her to go to bed, she replied, “Nobody Else goes to bed before nine o clock.” And when I asked her about her C on her history test, she said, “Nobody Else got an A on last week’s history test.”
You know, I’m starting to really like this Nobody Else kid.
And I can’t wait to meet her mother. Something tells me we’re going to get along great.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

A Donkey's Tale

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quietened down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Not Quite Alive...

by Agnes Orito on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 9:13am

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live..." John 11:25

One of the first things Primary 1 students learn in their Science class is how to tell between living things and non-living things. Living things, things that are alive, have special characteristics that set them apart from things that are not alive.
 Ask 1st-graders what these things are and they will enumerate them for you: Living things breathe, eat, grow, move and reproduce. Living things breathe in air. It is the one thing living things can't live for very long without. Living things also need to eat. They get energy from their food. It is vital for their growth. Yes, growth; living things grow--they develop. Growing means becoming stronger. Living things also move, they respond to stimuli. And living things reproduce; they bear fruit.
 All these characteristics can be used to tell whether a person has life in Christ or not. A true Christian [a spiritual living thing] is someone who has been quickened by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the breath of life for a Christian. Without the Spirit, there is no true life [John 6:63]. There's a lot of talk these days about carnal Christians. They profess to believe in Jesus and some even have the audacity to claim to love Him, but their life clearly shows that He has only very little space in their hearts; they adhere to the ways of the world and not to the ways of God. There is no such thing as a carnal Christian. A person who has received the Spirit's breath of life becomes spiritual. If you're carnal, then you are not a Christian and should stop calling yourself one because it's only bringing dishonor to Christ's name.
 One who is alive in Christ is one who feels hunger--hunger for righteousness, hunger to know God, hunger to know and do His will. Do you feel this kind of hunger? It is more than just a mild interest. It is the kind of hunger that pushes you to seek God, to search for His Truths. As living things forage for food, so those who are alive in Christ diligently feed upon His Word and daily crave His grace and love. [1 Peter 2:2]
 As a result of the nourishment provided by Scripture and daily glimpses into God's wonderful attributes, the Christian grows--in strength, in knowledge, in faith, in grace, in joy. There is progress. The love for Christ felt in the heart, though it was only a little love at first, grows stonger and stronger until it becomes the one strongest love felt and all other feelings are subdued and influenced by it. The small seed of faith becomes an imposing and sturdy landmark that no wind of false doctrine and doubt can shake. It grows ever steady, a strong faith in Christ that cannot be discouraged. [Ephesians 4:14-16]

Another mark of a true Christian is his reaction to God's gentle invitation, "Come, leave your love for the world behind." A spiritual living thing responds to God's call and does not remain immobile, but is moved into action. When Christ said to Andrew and Peter, "Follow me," it was not said that they lingered and continued going about their business or that they ignored Him. But they "immediately forsook their nets and followed." Instant action. You may know something about Jesus; you may feel some amount of respect and even admiration for Him; but unless what you know and feel about Him moves you to follow Him, then it cannot be said of you that you are alive in Him. [John 10:27]

As a person walks with Christ, quickened by the Spirit, nourished by His Word, tested and strengthened by the wisdom of God; as he grows in grace and becomes mature, he bears fruit. And that's how we see that he has life in Christ. A dead log cannot sprout oranges; but a tree planted by the rivers of water brings forth his fruit in his season [Psalm 1:3]. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance [Galatians 5:22-23]. The more time a person spends reflecting on Christ, the more he discovers the perfect kind of love. He is filled with love to overflowing and he gains perfect joy--the joy that is not dependent on outward circumstances. Joy unspeakable; joy that comes from perfect confidence in God's wisdom and mercy. A person who has the Spirit is a person who bears fruit in the form of good works. We do not become spiritual living things by doing good works. We do good works as a result of being made alive in Christ. Change can be witnessed in a person who has truly believed. The change that has been wrought in the heart would soon be outwardly manifested. Preferences, priorities, and goals would shift from temporal to eternal things. The momentary fleeting pleasures that can be found in the world are traded for the more lasting spiritual blessings that can only be found in Christ.

These are five things borrowed from a Grade-1 Science lesson that can tell us whether a person is a spiritual living thing or non-living thing. One who is alive in Christ is one who has been given the Spirit's breath of life, one who feeds upon God's Word, one who grows in knowledge and grace, one who recognizes the voice of Christ and moves to respond to His call, and one who enjoys the blessings and fruits of the Spirit.

It would do us a lot of good if we would constantly check ourselves and our lives and make sure we qualify to be named under those who are spiritually alive in Christ. If we are spiritually dead, then we walk in darkness, ever seeking our place in the sun and never quite getting there; ever running after pleasure and enjoyment and never quite finding true and lasting joy. Always, we will feel that something is missing. As a stone cannot feel and appreciate the warmth of the sun, so a person who is not spiritually alive is deprived of the warmth of God's goodness and love. It is only when we are alive in Christ that we can understand His tender mercies, His tender love. Only a heart that has been awakened to Christ can receive His deep and lasting joy. Let's examine ourselves. Can it be said of us that we are spiritual living things? If we say we are Christians but don't long to be closer to God and don't feel the need to know and do what pleases Him, then we are deceiving ourselves.

We should not delay. We should hurry to make sure that we are on the right track. The hours travel fast. Every minute not spent seeking God, communing with Him, praying to Him, meditating on His word, singing His praise, enjoying His goodness, appreciating His beauty, talking about Him, sharing His truths, bringing His love to others; every minute not spent glorifying Him, thinking about Him, is wasted time. Let us redeem the time by making sure we are alive in Christ, because, remember that popular adage that says, "You have never truly lived until you have..." and people fill them in with 'scuba-dived' or 'mountain-climbed' or 'bungee-jumped'? Well, the high you get out of those are temporary and the rush you feel always eventually wanes. The high you get out of knowing God and being loved by Him beats all other highs. No joy can be compared to it. Wordly enjoyments are mediocre at best when compared with the true happiness believers have in their heart. So whether you've already tried scuba-diving or partying-til-you-drop or whatever grand excitement the world can offer, it all comes to nothing. Truth is, you have never really truly lived until you have found life in Christ.

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