Monday, 27 February 2012

Through the Eyes of Children

When I look at a patch of dandelions, I see a bunch of weeds that are going to take over my yard.
My kids see flowers for Mom and blowing white fluff you can wish on.

When I look at an old drunk and he smiles at me, I see a smelly, dirty person who probably wants money and I look away.
My kids see someone smiling at them and they smile back.

When I hear music I love, I know I can't carry a tune and don't have much rhythm so I sit self-consciously and listen.
My kids feel the beat and move to it. They sing out the words. If they don't know them, they make up their own.

When I feel wind on my face, I brace myself against it. I feel it messing up my hair and pulling me back when I walk.
My kids close their eyes, spread their arms and fly with it, until they fall to the ground laughing.

When I pray, I say thee and thou and grant me this, give me that.
My kids say, "Hi God! Thanks for my toys and my friends. Please keep the bad dreams away tonight. Sorry, I don't want to go to Heaven yet. I would miss my Mommy and Daddy."

When I see a mud puddle I step around it. I see muddy shoes and dirty carpets.
My kids sit in it. They see dams to build, rivers to cross, and worms to play with.

I wonder if we are given kids to teach or to learn from? No wonder God loves the little children!

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

Friday, 24 February 2012

If You Love Her Enough

This is a great story about love. The Bible speaks often about love as there are many types of it. 

My friend John always has something to tell me. He knows so much that young men have to have older and more worldly wise men to tell them. For instance who to trust, how to care for others, and how to live life to the fullest.

Recently, John lost his wife Janet. For eight years she fought against cancer, but in the end her sickness had the last word.

One day John took out a folded piece of paper from his wallet. He had found it, so he told me, when he tidied up some drawers at home. It was a small love letter Janet had written. The note could look like a school girl's scrawls about her dream guy. All that was missing was a drawing of a heart with the names John and Janet written in it. But the small letter was written by a woman who had had seven children; a woman who fought for her life and who probably only had a few months left to live.

It was also a beautiful recipe for how to keep a marriage together.

Janet's description of her husband begins thus: "Loved me. Took care of me. Worried about me."

Even though John always had a ready answer, he never joked about cancer apparently. Sometimes he came home in the evening to find Janet in the middle of one of those depressions cancer patients so often get. In no time he got her into the car and drove her to her favorite restaurant.

He showed consideration for her, and she knew it. You cannot hide something for someone who knows better.

"Helped me when I was ill," the next line reads. Perhaps Janet wrote this while the cancer was in one of the horrible and wonderful lulls. Where everything is -- almost -- as it used to be, before the sickness broke out, and where it doesn't hurt to hope that everything is over, maybe forever.

"Forgave me a lot."

"Stood by my side."

And a piece of good advice for everyone who looks on giving constructive criticism as a kind of sacred duty: "Always praising."

"Made sure I had everything I needed," she goes on to write.

After that she has turned over the paper and added: "Warmth. Humor. Kindness. Thoughtfulness." And then she writes about the husband she has lived with and loved the most of her life: "Always there for me when I needed you."

The last words she wrote sum up all the others. I can see her for me when she adds thoughtfully: "Good friend."

I stand beside John now, and cannot even pretend to know how it feels to lose someone who is as close to me as Janet was to him. I need to hear what he has to say much more than he needs to talk.

"John," I ask. "How do you stick together with someone through 38 years -- not to mention the sickness? How do I know if I can bear to stand by my wife's side if she becomes sick one day?"

"You can," he says quietly. "If you love her enough, you can."

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Experience Grace

I left work early so I could have some uninterrupted study time right before the final in my Youth Issues class. When I got to class, everybody was doing their last minute studying. The teacher came in and said he would review with us for just a little bit before the test. We went through the review, most of it right on the study guide, but there were some things he was reviewing that I had never heard of. When questioned about it, he said that they were in the book and we were responsible for everything in the book. We couldn't really argue with that.

Finally it was time to take the test.

"Leave them face down on the desk until everyone has one and I'll tell you to start," our professor instructed.

When we turned them over, every answer on the test was filled in! The bottom of the last page said the following:

"This is the end of the Final Exam. All the answers on your test are correct. You will receive an 'A' on the final exam. The reason you passed the test is because the creator of the test took it for you. All the work you did in preparation for this test did not help you get the A. You have just experienced...grAce."

He then went around the room and asked each student individually, "What is your grade? Do you deserve the grade you are receiving? How much did all your studying for this exam help you achieve your final grade?"

Now I am not a crier by any stretch of the imagination, but I had to fight back tears when answering those questions and thinking about how the Creator has passed the test for me.

Discussion afterward went like this: "I have tried to teach you all semester that you are a recipient of grace. I've tried to communicate to you that you need to demonstrate this gift as you work with young people.

Don't hammer them; they are not the enemy. Help them, for they will carry on your ministry if it is full of GRACE!"

Talking about how some of us had probably studied hours and some just a few minutes, but had all received the same grade, he pointed to a story Jesus told in Matthew 20. The owner of a vineyard hired people to work in his field and agreed to pay them a certain amount. Several different times during the day, he hired more workers. When it was time to pay them, they all received the same amount. When the ones who had been hired first thing in the morning began complaining, the boss said, "Should you be angry because I am kind?" (Matthew 20:15).

The teacher said he had never done this kind of final before and probably would never do it again, but because of the content of many of our class discussions, he felt like we needed to experience grace.

Have you thanked your Creator today because of the grace you have experienced?

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Two LOVE Poems in a Row

A Perfect Fit

My goodness you were tall,
And I just past five feet;
We looked a little silly,
But it turned out very sweet,
I stood upon my tiptoes
And you bent really low,
And our first kiss was perfect—
As of course you also know!
That you’re a large
And I’m a small
Didn’t matter—
Not at all…
I think you “rose above it”
And I got “down to earth”
And we made a love decision
Based upon each other’s worth.
So if someone thinks that you’re too tall
Or that I am far too short,
Tell them that we fell in love;
That’s all you need report.
By Betty L. Killebrew
Me and You
Me and you, you and me—
Oh how happy I would be

If our lives were joined together
Like bright sun and lovely weather;

And our couplehood was known,
As a thing that’s set in stone;

So that no one ever thought
Of you and then did not

Think of me at the same minute
And of love and how we’re in it.

By Betty L. Killebrew

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Start Over

When you've trusted Jesus and walked his way
When you've felt his hand lead you day by day
But your steps now take you another way,
start over.

When you've made your plans and they've gone awry
When you've tried your best and there's no more try
When you've failed yourself and you don't know why,
start over.

When you've told your friends what you plan to do
When you've trusted them and they didn't come through
And now you're all alone and it's up to you,
start over.

When you've failed your kids and they're grown and gone
When you've done your best but it's turned out wrong
And now your grandchildren have come along,
start over.

When you've prayed to God so you'll know his will
When you've prayed and prayed and you don't know still
When you want to stop cause you've had your fill,
start over.

When you think you're finished and want to quit
When you've bottomed out in life's deepest pit
When you've tried and tried to get out of it,
start over.

When the year has been long and successes few
When December comes and you're feeling blue
God gives a January just for you,
start over.

Starting over means "Victories Won"
Starting over means "A Race Well Run"
Starting over means "The Lords' Will Done"
We need not just sit there ... START OVER.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Waiting for the Wind

These words are true. Sometimes we think we can do it all on our own, but we need to wait for the wind. Read this story for more...

My nephew's 10 year old son came for a visit one hot, July weekend. I was enticing him to stay inside by joining him in a Nintendo game. After being mercilessly defeated by a more experienced player, I suggested that we relax awhile. I collapsed into my favorite recliner to let my neck muscles relax and my ego recover from such a beating. He had slipped out of the room and I was catching a few relished moments of peace and quiet.

"Look, Alice," he said enthusiastically as he ran over to the chair where I was recovering.
"I found a kite. Could we go outside and fly it?"
Glancing out a nearby window, I noticed there was not a breeze stirring. "I'm sorry, Tripper," I said, sad to see his disappointed eyes, but thankful for the respite from more activity. "The wind is not blowing today. The kite won't fly."
The determined 10 year old replied. "I think it's windy enough. I can get it to fly," he answered, as he hurried out the back door.

I peeked through the slats in the venetian blinds to watch determination in action. Up and down the yard he ran, pulling the kite attached to a small length of string. The plastic kite, proudly displaying a picture of Batman, remained about shoulder level. He ran back and forth, as hard as his ten year old legs would carry him, looking back hopefully at the kite trailing behind. After about ten minutes of unsuccessful determination, he came back in.

I asked, "How did it go?"
"Fine," he said, not wanting to admit defeat. "I got it to fly some."
As he walked past me to return the kite to the closet shelf, I heard him say under his breath, "I guess I'll have to wait for the wind."

At that moment I heard another Voice speak to my heart. "Alice. Sometimes you are just like that. You want to do it your way instead of waiting for the Wind."

And the voice was right. How easy it is to use our own efforts to accomplish what we want to do. We wait for the Wind only after we have done all we can and have exhausted our own strength. We must learn how to rely on Him in the first place!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


Do you ever feel this way? Turn to Jesus.

I'm trapped, trapped inside myself, I want to get out, get out and be free. I don't want to live in my shell, But I'm scared, scared to take away my mask.

Friends are forever letting me down, No matter how close they are. They are there if I have a problem, But when I don't I may as well not exist.

I want someone to trust and care about me, Someone to cry on and someone to listen. I want someone to love me for who I am, Not the masked me whom everyone knows.

Unfortunately none of this can ever come true, Not from someone on this earth anyway. No one I know is perfect, No one I know can fulfil this.


Someone I know who is watching down on everyone of us. He has a special plan and a purpose for anyone who turns to Him. There will still be hardship and sorrow, But these will make you strong.

He can be trusted, he is ever so faithful. He cares deeply about each person on this earth. He can be cried upon, and will cry with you. He even puts each tear we cry in a bottle. He is the best listener anyone could be, And most of all He loves us for who we are, No matter what we have done.

"Who could do all this?" I hear you ask. It's a very dear and special friend of mine called Jesus, With whom I can take away my mask and be free.

Monday, 6 February 2012

There was once a couple who had been married for 60 years. Throughout their life they had shared everything. They loved each other deeply. They had not kept any secrets from one another, except for a small shoebox that the wife kept in the top shelf of her closet. When they got married, she put the box there and asked her husband never to look inside of it and never to ask questions about its contents. 

For 60 years the man honored his wife's request. In fact, he forgot about the box until a day when his wife grew gravely ill, and the doctors were sure she had no way of recovering. So the man, putting his wife's affairs into order, remembered that box in the top of her closet, got it down, and brought it to her at the hospital. He asked her if perhaps now they might be able to open it. She agreed. They opened the box, and inside were two crocheted dolls and a roll of money that totaled $95,000. The man was astonished.

The woman told her husband that the day before they were married, her grandmother told her that if she and her husband were ever to get into an argument with one another, they should work hard to reconcile, and if they were unable to reconcile, she should simply keep her mouth shut and crochet a doll. The man was touched by this, because there were only two crocheted dolls in the box. 

He was amazed that over 60 years of marriage, they apparently had had only two conversations that they were unable to reconcile. Tears came to his eyes, and he grew even more deeply in love with this woman. Then he asked about the roll of money. "What's with this?" he asked. His wife said, "Well, every time I crocheted a doll, I sold it to a local craft fair for five dollars."

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