Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Last Butterfly

"Poor little butterfly," the young girl said. "Poor little butterfly."

Then reaching down slowly so as to not scare it away, she slid her tiny fingers underneath, urging it to step upon her hand.

It would appear to anyone that this delicate creature was lifeless leaving behind remains of what once was.

But not her. She sensed something. She knew right away that there was indeed some life left in this most fragile example of God's work.

The butterfly nearly tumbled onto her hand, wings folded straight up, apparently unable to fly.

Then, perhaps it was the warmth of her hands or the welcoming response to the attention it was given, but the butterfly began to walk slowly up to her palm.

"Poor little butterfly," she repeated again as she brought it closer to her face.

"If I could kiss you I would, " she said.

The butterfly, appearing to respond, slowly opened its wings, to reveal its beautiful designand colors. Now open fully, the child brought it closer and gave an angel's kiss of love.

Just off in the distance watching this precious moment, her grandmother walked toward them.

"Oh, you have found it," she said. "I was waiting for it and wondered where it was."

The child looked a bit surprised and said. "You were waiting for this butterfly? Why?"

"It is sent to remind us," grandmother said.

"But it is dying. I feel sorry for it. Don't they fly away when it gets cold?"

"Yes, they do. But one is always chosen to remain behind," she said.

Maybe this was just grandmother's way of softening the the truth so that the child would not be saddened by the thought of the butterfly dying. But what unfolded here was an incredible moment, an opportunity seen and taken to teach a lesson of love.

"Why would they choose to be left behind?" the child asked as she gently stroked the butterfly.

"They don't choose to be, they are chosen," she told her.

The child looked down again and held it closer.

"It is a great honor to be chosen. The story goes that God realized that when winter comes color disappears. The color of the flowers fade into the earth and all the delicate butterflies leave for warmer places. So, God decided that one should remain to remind us of the beautiful world He has created and the promise of Spring's return."

The child looked down and then lifting her head slowly, she whispered, "And I found it, grandmother."

"Yes, and with that you have a great responsibility," she said as she held the young girl's face in her hands.


"You must now take time to see God's colors in the darkness of winter. You must be the sunshine. You must help those who have forgotten how beautiful life is, to see the color of God's love for them."

"Oh, grandmother. I don't know how to," she said.

"It is simple. Be yourself. People believe only what they see. Like the flowers and butterflies. But God makes people beautiful inside. It is up to us to bring that beauty out by loving each other, helping each other and when we find someone who has fallen, just like that butterfly, it is up to us to pick them up, carress them and care for them. For one day it may very well be His Chosen One left behind."

The child moved closer to her grandmother as they sat admiring God's messenger.

Take time to see the beauty, the colors of God in the people around you.

You, too may find the "Poor little butterfly!"

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Weight of a Prayer

Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work. They had seven children and they needed food.

John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store. Visualizing the family needs, she said: "Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can." John told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.

The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?" Louise replied, "Yes sir." "Okay" he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries."

Louise hesitated a moment with a bowed head. Then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scale went down and stayed down. The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it." The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales.

The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more. The grocer stood there in utter disgust.

Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list. It was instead a prayer which said: "Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands."

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. Louise thanked him and left the store. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said, "It was worth every penny of it."

It was sometime later that the grocer discovered the scales were broken; therefore, only God knows how much a prayer weighs.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Does God really answer prayer? If so, why are prayers sometimes not answered? What should we pray about: praise, thanks, petition, worship, requests, intercession for others? When and how often should we pray? What conditions must we meet for our prayers to be heard and answered? What power does prayer have?


In Luke 11:1 Jesus' disciples asked, "Lord, teach us to pray." Christians today also need to learn to pray.
The purpose of this study is to help Christians improve in prayer. People who are new in the faith may have never studied about how to pray. Some members do not pray properly so their prayers are not even answered. All of us can improve in this aspect of worship.
We need to learn what to pray about. Should we make requests, be thankful, offer praise, intercede on behalf of others, offer petition? And what power does prayer have? Does God really answer prayer? If so, how should we pray and what conditions must prayer meet in order for God to hear and answer? These and other questions will be considered in this study.
What is prayer? Note Acts 4:24,31. Prayer is simply man talking to God, expressing his thoughts to God (Rom. 10:1; Matt. 6:9ff). Hence, it is a form of communication similar in may ways to simply talking to our earthly father, except that we must remember whom we are addressing and must meet conditions of acceptable prayer.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Christian Logic

A college student was in a philosophy class which had a discussion about God's existence. The professor presented the following logic: 

"Has anyone in this class heard God?"
Nobody spoke.
"Has anyone in this class touched God?"
Again, nobody spoke.
"Has anyone in this class seen God?"
When nobody spoke for the third time, he simply stated, "Then there is no God." 

One student thought for a second, and then asked for permission to reply. Curious to hear this bold student's response, the professor granted it, and the student stood up and asked the following questions of his classmates: 

"Has anyone in this class heard our professor's brain?"
"Has anyone in this class touched our professor's brain?"
Absolute silence.
"Has anyone in this class seen our professor's brain?"
When nobody in the class dared to speak, the student concluded, "Then, according to our professor's logic, it must be true that our professor has no brain!" 

...The student received an "A" in the class.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Window

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can't buy. "Today is a gift, that's why it is called the PRESENT".

Friday, 8 June 2012

A Bus Stop Angel

There was a still a steady rain when Amee trudged into the shelter at the bus stop that evening. Sitting heavily on the bench, she stared at muddy gutter, and wondered when things would ever change. So much had been wrong, she felt she was slowly being crushed inside. The physical therapy after the auto accident was only supposed to be for a couple weeks. The weeks had stretched to months, and although she could walk now, she still fought for balance on her steps, and the numbing ache still robbed her of sleep most nights. Her broken collarbone still ached, too, when it rained. Like today. Her stomach growled, and she grimaced at the thought of food. All the medications were ruining her appetite, too. She was so tired of being sick. So tired of being tired. Amee sat lost in thought, as the rain dripped steadily off the awning.

Suddenly, Amee was aware of white service shoes in front of her line of vision. Startled, she followed the sturdy uniform-clad legs up to see pudgy tan hands clasped around an ample waist within a bright blue scrub shirt. She looked up into a pair of crinkled-rimmed kind brown eyes, and realized a woman was speaking to her.

"Ya all right, honey?" she was saying. Without warning, Amee burst into tears. In seconds, the woman had stepped close, and pulled Amee's head to her ample bosom, and held her quietly close. The moment passed, and Amee straightened up, apologizing profusely through her tears.

"Stop Amee," said the soft voice. "God knows when we're drowning, and need His touch. The sun will come out again for you." Gently she kissed Amee's forehead, and turned to walk away.

"Wait!" cried Amee, "How did you know my name?!"

"God knows all His children by name, child."

As Amee blinked in astonishment, the bus arrived, blocking her view. As she stood up, shaking her head, the voice came again. At the same moment as the breaking sunbeams. In the mist steaming off the pavement Amee distinctly heard, "He knows you needed to be held in His arms, for just a moment. To hear His heartbeat. He sent me to wrap you in it today."

Friday, 1 June 2012

Mikey and the Mud Puddle

Howard County Sheriff Jerry Marr got a disturbing call one Saturday afternoon a few months ago. His 6-year-old grandson Mikey had been hit by a car while fishing in Greentown with his dad. 

The father and son were near a bridge by the Kokomo Reservoir when a woman lost control of her car, slid off the bridge and hit Mikey at a rate of about 50 mph. Sheriff Marr had seen the results of accidents like this and feared the worst. When he got to Saint Joseph Hospital , he rushed through the emergency room to find Mikey conscious and in fairly good spirits. 

"Mikey, what happened?" Sheriff Marr asked. Mikey replied, "Well, Papaw, I was fishin' with Dad, and some lady runned me over, I flew into a mud puddle, and broke my fishin' pole and I didn't get to catch no fish!" 

As it turned out, the impact propelled Mikey about 500 feet, over a few trees and an embankment and in to the middle of a mud puddle. His only injuries were to his right femur bone, which had broken in two places. Mikey had surgery to place pins in his leg. Otherwise the boy is fine. 

Since all the boy could talk about was that his fishing pole was broken, the Sheriff went out to Wal-Mart and bought him a new one while he was in surgery so he could have it when he came out. 

The next day the Sheriff sat with Mikey to keep him company in the hospital. Mikey was enjoying his new fishing pole and talked about when he could go fishing again as he cast into the trash can.

When they were alone Mikey, just as matter-of-fact, said, "Papaw, did you know Jesus is real?" 

"Well," the Sheriff replied, a little startled. "Yes, Jesus is real to all who believe in him and love him in their hearts." 

"No," said Mikey. "I mean Jesus is REALLY real." 

"What do you mean?" asked the Sheriff. 

"I know he's real 'cause I saw him," said Mikey, still casting into the trash can. 
"You did?" said the Sheriff. 

"Yep," said Mikey. "When that lady runned me over and broke my fishing pole, 
Jesus caught me in his arms and laid me down in the mud puddle."
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