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Saturday, 8 December 2012

The Heart of a Child


Matthew 18:4 "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like one of these children is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."


When we are children there's a part of us that is open to love, and faith and trust.
Through a little child's laughter and teary eyes we grow older and that part of us dies.
Innocence lost, is so hard to regain.
We get forgiven but hold on to the pain.
But Jesus said to the crowd roaring wild; "Come to me with the heart of a child."

It's so hard to open ourselves up to others, we're afraid to trust our own sisters and brothers.
But there is a love so costly and dear, a love strong enough to cast out fear.
Let's take off our masks and drop the facade and live like the children of the Living God.
Take a chance, you may be betrayed if you risk it all but He'll be there to catch you when you slip and fall.

There's a holy laughter, and tears so pure, there's an innocence that will always endure.
There's a dream and vision, an endless sea, the tingling of life in a heart set free.
Nothing to prove, no possessions to hold but a joy and peace more precious than gold.
It's a beautiful place, fiery and wild when we return to the heart of the child.

Remember that our Father to whom we pray considers us His children each day and like little children we must learn to rely on the love of our Father who reigns on high.
So much prejudice to forget and unlearn, it's the heart of the child for which we yearn.
We can't enter heaven with a heart defiled, it must change through Jesus to the heart of the child.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Doll Maker


In a little village, there lived a crafts man by name Ebun, who made wooden dolls for children.


Ebun was so naturally gifted in his handwork that his fame spread to all the neighboring villages. People from all over the region came to buy wooden dolls from him or bring their broken dolls for repairs. He carefully studied the broken dolls and looked for the best way to mend it such that it looked exactly the way it was when he first made it.

Ebun had a little daughter for whom he made a very beautiful doll on her tenth birthday. The little girl was so much in love with her little doll that she always played with it along with her friends. One day while playing with the doll, the wooden doll got broken and the little girl cried and ran to her father with the broken doll. When she got to him she complained that her doll's arm got broken while she was playing with it. The father took time to listen to her complaints and then told her to leave the doll with him and come back later for it. The little girl said "no daddy you don't understand, all I want you to do is carve out another arm and polish it, and then use some glue or nail and join it back that's all !!. The father still tried to explain to her to leave the doll with him and come back after sometime for it because he made the doll and he knows how best to mend it when it is broken. The little grew impatient and said to her father, "Daddy, you are not doing it the way I want, you are too slow." With that statement the little girl grabbed the doll and left her father's workshop. The father called after her but she wouldn't come back, and he felt so sad.

Like that little girl, most of us take our problem to God and try to dictate how He should solve them to Him. We often fail to realize that God made us and He understands how best to handle all our daily problems if left at His feet.

Friday, 16 November 2012

A Message to the Lord

Sometimes I ask the question, "My Lord, is this your will?" It's then I hear you answer me, "My Precious Child...be still."


Sometimes I feel frustrated, cause I think I know what's best. It's then I hear you say to me, "My Busy Child...just rest!"

Sometimes I feel so lonely and I think I'd like a mate. Your still small voice gets oh so clear and says, "My Child...please wait!"

"I know the plans I have for you, the wondrous things you'll see; If you can just be patient, Child, and put your trust in me. I've plans to draw you closer. I've plans to help you grow. There's much I do you cannot see and much you do not know.

But know this, Child...I LOVE YOU. You are Precious unto Me.

Before I formed you in the womb, I planned your destiny. I've something very special I hope for you to learn. The gifts I wish to give to you are gifts you cannot earn.

They come without a price tag, but not without a cost; at Calvary, I gave My Son, so You would not be lost. Rest Child, and do not grow weary of doing what is good.

I promise I'll come back for you just like I said I would. Your name is written on my palm, I never could forget; Therefore, do not be discouraged when my answer is... "Not Yet!"

Friday, 19 October 2012

Lord, Let Me Give


I do not know how long I'll live
But while I live, Lord, let me give
Some comfort to someone in need
By smile or nod, kind word or deed.

And let me do whatever I can
To ease things for my fellow man.
I want naught but to do my part
To "lift" a tired or weary heart.

To change folks' frowns to smiles again.
Then I will not have lived in vain
And I'll not care how long I'll live
If I can give ... and give ... and give.


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Jesus Christ, Our Hope, Strength and Refuge!


For sins of human beings all, 
Lord Jesus laid His life on cross; 
Although a sin-free soul Himself, 
He suffered, died to redeem man.

He shed His every dropp of blood, 
Emancipating human race
From punishment by hell for sins -
Such heinous crimes upon the earth! 

The cross is part of Christian's life, 
And persecutions will happen, 
As Christ predicted all these things, 
For those who walked in His foot-steps! 

His Holy Spirit guides Christians, 
Who live a righteous life for Christ, 
The only Son of Almighty -
A heart of immense love for man! 

But Christ resurrected from death! 
He won clear victory o'er satan; 
All Christians good will do the same; 
This faith is something strangely true.

Let humiliations come in life! 
Let trials, tribulations come! 
Let strife threaten our faith and hope! 
Christ stays with us till end of time! 

A Christian takes his cross and walks
Behind the Savior, Jesus Christ -
The Light and Truth and only Way
To reach Heaven, abode of God! 

Copyright by Dr John Celes 3-31-2009

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Saying the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)


(person)- 'Our Father which art in heaven...'

(God)---Yes?

(person)- Don't interrupt me. I'm praying.

(God)---But you called me.

(person)-Called you? I didn't call you. I'm praying. "Our Father which art in heaven..."

(God)---There you did it again.

(person)-Did what?

(God)---Called me. You said, "Our Father which art in heaven." Here I am...What's on your mind?

(person)-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 getting a duty done.

(God)---All right. Go on.

(person)-"Hallowed be thy name..."

(God)---Hold it. What do you mean by that?

(person) By what?

(God)---By "hallowed be thy name"?

(person)-It means... it means... Good grief, I don't know what it means. How should I know? It's just a part of the prayer. By the way, what does it mean?

(God)---It means honored, holy, wonderful.

(person)-Hey, that makes sense. I never thought about what "hallowed" meant before. "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

(God)---Do you really mean that?

(person)-Sure, why not?

(God)---What are you doing about it?

(person)-Doing? 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.

(God)---Have I got control of you?

(person)-Well, I go to church.

(God)---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?

(person)-Stop picking on me! I'm just as good as some of the rest of those people at the church.

(God)---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.

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

(God)---So could I.

(person)-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.

(God)---Good. Now we're getting somewhere. We'll work together, you and I. Some victories can truly be won. I'm proud of you.

(person)-Look, Lord, I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does. "Give us this day, our daily bread."

(God)---You need to cut out the bread. You're overweight as it is.

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

(God)---Praying is a dangerous thing. You could wind up changed, you know. That's what I'm trying to get across to you. You called me, and here I am. It's too late to stop now. Keep praying, I'm interested in the next part of your prayer...(pause).

Well, go on.

(person)-I'm scared to.

(God)---Scared? Of what?

(person)-I know what you'll say.

(God)---Try me and see.

(person)-"Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us."

(God)---What about Ann?

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

(God)---But your prayer? What about your prayer?

(person)-I didn't mean it.

(God)---Well, at least you're admitting it. But it's not much fun carrying that load of bitterness around inside, is it?

(person)-No. But I'll feel better as soon as I get even. Boy, have I got some plans for that neighbor. She'll wish she had never moved into this neighborhood.

(God)---You won't feel any better. You'll feel worse. Revenge isn't sweet. Think of how unhappy you already are. But I can change all that.

(person)-You can? How?

(God)---Forgive Ann. Then I'll forgive you. Then the hate and sin will be Ann's problem and not yours. You will have settled your heart.

(person)-Oh, you're right. You always are. And more than I want to revenge Ann, I want to be right with you....(pause)...(sigh). All right. All right. I forgive her. Help her to find the right road in life, Lord. She's bound to be awfully miserable now that I think about it. Anybody who goes around doing the things she does to others has to be out of it. Someway, somehow, show her the right way.

(God)---There now! Wonderful! How do you feel?

(person)-Hmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, I feel pretty great! You know, I don't think I'll have to go to bed uptight tonight for the first time since I can remember. Maybe I won't be so tired from now on because I'm not getting enough rest.

(God)---You're not through with your prayer. Go on.

(person)-Oh, all right. "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

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

(person)-What do you mean by that?

(God)---Don't turn on the TV when you know the laundry needs to be done and the house needs to be picked up. Also, about the time you spend coffee-ing with your friends, if you can't influence the conversation to positive things, perhaps you should re-think the value of those friendships. Another thing, your neighbors and friends shouldn't be your standard for "keeping up". And please don't use me for an escape hatch.

(person)-I don't understand the last part.

(God)---Sure you do. You've done it a lot of times. You get caught in a bad situation. You get into trouble and then you come running to me, "Lord, help me out of this mess, and I promise you I'll never do it again." You remember some of those bargains you tried to make with me?

(person)-Yes, and I'm ashamed, Lord. I really am. (God)---Which bargain are you remembering?

(person)-Well, there was the night that the children and I were home alone. The wind was blowing so hard I thought the roof would go any minute and tornado warnings were out. I remember praying, "Oh, God, if you spare us, I'll never skip my devotions again."

(God) --Did you?

(person)-I'm sorry, Lord, I really am. Up until now I thought that if I just prayed the Lord's Prayer every day, then I could do what I liked. I didn't expect anything to happen like it did.

(God)---Go ahead and finish your prayer.

(person)-"For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever." Amen

(God)---Do you know what would bring me glory? What would really make me happy?

(person)-No, but I'd like to know. I want now to please you. I can see what a mess I've made of my life. And I can see how great it would be to really be one of your followers.

(God)---You just answered the question.

(person)-I did?

(God)---Yes. The thing that would bring me glory is to have people like you truly love me. And I see that happening between us. Now that some of these old sins are exposed and out of the way, well, there is no telling what we can do together.

(person) - Lord, let's see what we can make of me, OK? Amen!

Friday, 21 September 2012

A Letter From God for YOU Today


Good Morning, this is GOD I will be handling ALL your problems today.

Please remember ... I WILL NOT NEED YOUR HELP!!!

If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFGTD Box (something for God to do). It will be addressed in My time, not yours. Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it.



Holding on or removal will delay the resolution of your problem. If it is a situation that you think you are capable of handling, please consult me in prayer to be sure that it is the proper resolution.

If you find yourself stuck in traffic, don't despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work, think of the man who has been out of work for years.

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad, think of the person who has never known what it's like to love and be loved in return.

Should you grieve the passing of another weekend, think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children.

Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance, think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror, think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine.

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking what is my purpose? Be thankful! There are those who didn't live long enough to get the opportunity.

Should you find yourself the victim of other people's bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities, remember ... things could be worse. You could be them!!!

Because I do not sleep nor do I slumber, there is no need for you to lose any sleep. Rest, my child.

If you need to contact me, I am only a prayer away.

Love Eternally, The Lord your God

Thursday, 20 September 2012

God's Pearls of Wisdom


You say: "It's impossible"
God says: All things are possible
(Luke 18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired"
God says: I will give you rest
(Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me"
God says: I love you
(John 3:16 & John 3:34)

You say: "I can't go on"
God says: My grace is sufficient
(2 Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: "I can't figure things out"
God says: I will direct your steps
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: "I can't do it"
God says: You can do all things
(Philippians 4:13)

You say: "I'm not able"
God says: I am able
(2 Corinthians 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it"
God says: It will be worth it
(Romans 8:28)

You say: "I can't forgive myself"
God says: I Forgive you
(I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage"
God says: I will supply all your needs
(Philippians 4:19)

You say: "I'm afraid"
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear
(2 Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated"
God says: Cast all your cares on ME
(I Peter 5:7)

You say: "I'm not smart enough"
God says: I give you wisdom
(I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone"
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you
(Hebrews 13:5)

Friday, 14 September 2012

Jesus is My Wish For You


This is a beautiful short poem for anyone you feel needs to find Jesus. The words are so true.

My wish for you is Jesus, 
He's all you need today, 
The Mighty God, Prince of Peace, 
The Light, the Truth, the Way, 

He's with you in times of good, 
He'll be with you when they are bad, 
Laugh with you on happy days, 
Beside you when you're sad, 

So look to Him from your heart
For choices you must make, 
He'll guide you and protect you, 
In every step you take.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Saved By God's Wings



An article in National Geographic several years ago provided an interesting picture of God's wings. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage.
One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings.
The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offsprings to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies.
Then the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body. The mother had remained steadfast. She had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live.
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge." (Psalm 91:4)
Being loved this much should make a difference in your life. Remember the One who loves you, and then be different because of it.

Friday, 17 August 2012

A Prayer to Help You Start the Day


I arise today through the

power of God:

God's might to comfort me,

God's wisdom to guide me,

God's eye to look before me,

God's ear to hear me,

God's word to speak for me,

God's hand to lead me,

God's way to lie before me,

God's shield to protect me,

God's Heavenly Host to save me

from the snares of the devil,

from temptations to sin,

from all who wish me ill,

from near and afar,

alone and with others.



May Christ shield me today

against poison and fire,

against drowning and wounding,

so that I may fulfill my mission

and bear fruit in abundance.

Christ behind and before me,

Christ behind and above me,

Christ with me and in me,

Christ around and about me,

Christ on my right and on my left,

Christ when I lie down at night,

Christ when I rise in the morning,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone that speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Sneeze


They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-two students filing into the already crowded auditorium. With their rich maroon gowns flowing ... and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt.

Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears.

This class would NOT pray during the commencements - not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it.

The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.

The speeches were nice, but they were routine ... until the final speech received a standing ovation.

A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then, it happened.

All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED!!!!

The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said, "GOD BLESS YOU, each and every one of you!" And he walked off stage ...

The audience exploded into applause. This graduating class had found a unique way to invoke God's blessing on their future with or without the court's approval.

This is a true story; it happened at the University of Maryland.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Christian One Liners


These one liners not only are true... but they are a funny way to think about our faith. It's good to laugh every now and then, so we hope you like these one liners!: 

---

Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisers.

It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.

The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close.

When you get to your wit's end, you'll find God lives there.

People are funny, they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church.

Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.

Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect, you couldn't belong.

The phrase that is guaranteed to wake up an audience: "And in conclusion."

If the church wants a better preacher, it only needs to pray for the one it has.

God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?

To make a long story short, don't tell it.

If your left hand doesn't know what your right hand is doing, you should consider running for a job in Washington, DC.

Some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

Peace starts with a smile.

I don't know why some people change churches; what difference does it make which one you stay home from?

A lot of church members who are singing "Standing on the Promises" are just sitting on the premises.

We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.

Be ye fishers of men. You catch 'em - He'll clean 'em.

Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

Don't put a question mark where God put a period.

Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.

Forbidden fruits create many jams.

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

God grades on the cross, not the curve.

God loves everyone, but probably prefers "fruits of the spirit" over "religious nuts!"

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

He who angers you, controls you!

If God is your Copilot - swap seats!

Prayer: Don't give God instructions -- just report for duty!

The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.

The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.

We don't change the message, the message changes us.

You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.

The best mathematical equation I have ever seen: 1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given.

"Father, bless this person in whatever it is that You know he or she may be needing this day! Amen!"

Don't keep the faith... spread it around!!!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Maybe




Here are some beautiful thoughts on life. "Maybe" they will help you in certain areas of your life :)
Maybe God wanted us to meet the wrong people before meeting the right one so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift.

Maybe when the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one which has been opened for us.

Maybe the best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.

Maybe it is true that we don't know what we have got until we lose it, but it is also true that we don't know what we have been missing until it arrives.

Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they will love you back. Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart; but if it does not, be content it grew in yours.

It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.

Don't go for looks; they can deceive. Don't go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile.

There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real.

Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy.

Always put yourself in others' shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person, too.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives.

Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear.

The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past, you can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you are the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

Friday, 13 July 2012

The Treasures Inside


A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake.

They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.

He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked
open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!

Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him.

He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!

It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.



Monday, 9 July 2012

The Light of the World



This is just a very short story, but it is one example of how we can be the difference in someone else's life. It's easy to think we are insignificant and even the smallest gesture doesn't matter...but it does. 

D. L. Moody told the story of a man crossing the Atlantic by ship. One night, as he was confined to his cabin due to seasickness, he heard the cry, "Man overboard!" He felt that there was nothing he could do to help, but he said to himself, "I can at least put my lantern in the porthole." He struggled to his feet and hung the light so it would shine out into the darkness.

The next day he learned that the person had been rescued and had told others, "I was going down in the dark night for the last time when someone put a light in a porthole. As it shone on my hand, a sailor in a lifeboat grabbed it and pulled me in."

God has chosen us to reach out and light up lives, no matter how small or insignificant we may feel!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Just Stay



This is the most powerful story we have ever shared. It will give you goosebumps. 

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside. "Your son is here," she said to the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened.

Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile. He refused.

Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients. Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.

Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her, "Who was that man?" he asked.

The nurse was startled, "He was your father," she answered.

"No, he wasn't," the Marine replied. "I never saw him before in my life."

"Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?"

"I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn't here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed. I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Grey. His Son was killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to inform him. What was this Gentleman's Name? "

The nurse with tears in her eyes answered, "Mr. William Grey........."

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.

"What?"

"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?

Introduction:

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.
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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?"
Silence.
"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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