ARE TRUSTING THE ROPE? (unknown)
They tell the story of a mountain climber, who desired to conquer the
Aconcagua Mountain in Argentina, near the Chilean border. The Aconcagua
Mountain is the highest mountain in the Andes, and the highest mountain in
the western hemisphere. This man initiated his climb after years of
preparation. This man decided he would climb this mountain all by himself
for he wanted all the glory to himself. He knew better, so against all
advice he went up alone. He started climbing and soon it was getting later
... and later. He did not prepare for camping, but decided to keep on
climbing higher and higher. Then it got dark ... night fell with a great
heaviness at a very high altitude. Visibility was zero. Everything was
black. There was no moon, and the stars were covered by clouds. He had no
sense of direction, alone and no direction? As he was climbing a ridge at
about 100 meters from the top, he slipped and fell. Falling rapidly he could
only see blotches of darkness that passed. He felt a terrible sensation of
being sucked in by gravity. He kept falling ... and in those anguishing
moment good and bad memories passed through his mind. He thought certainly
he would die. But then he felt a jolt that almost tore him in half. Like any
good mountain climber, he had safely staked himself with a long rope tied to
his waist. In those moments of stillness, suspended in the air he had no
other choice but to shout,
"HELP ME, GOD! HELP ME!"
All of a sudden he heard a deep voice from heaven: "What do you want me to
"SAVE ME!" He replied. God answered, "Do you REALLY think that I can save
"OF COURSE, MY GOD, you can do anything."
The man heard a voice, "Then cut the rope that is holding you up."
There was another moment of silence and stillness. The man just held tighter
to the rope. The next morning the rescue team said that they found a frozen
mountain climber hanging strongly to
a rope ... TWO FEET OFF THE GROUND.
LAW OF PENDULUM
In college a student
was asked to prepare a lesson to teach his speech class. He was to be graded
on creativity and ability to drive home a point in a memorable way.
The title of his talk
was, “The Law of the Pendulum.” He spent twenty minutes carefully teaching
the physical principle that governs a swinging pendulum. The law of the
pendulum is: A pendulum can never return to a point higher than the point
from which it was released. Because of friction and gravity, when the
pendulum returns, it will fall short of its original release point. Each
time it swings it makes less and less of an arc, until finally it is at
rest. This point of rest is called the state of equilibrium, where all
forces acting on the pendulum are equal. The student attached a three-foot
string to a child’s toy top and secured it to the top the blackboard with a
thumbtack. He pulled the top to one side and made a mark on the blackboard
where he let it go. Each time it swung back he made a new mark. It took less
than a minute for the top to complete its swinging and come to rest. When he
finished the demonstration, the markings on the blackboard proved the law of
the pendulum. The student then asked how many people in the room believed
the law of the pendulum was true. All of his classmates raised their hands
and so did the teacher.
The teacher started to walk to the front of the room
thinking the class was over. In reality it had only begun. Hanging from the
steal beams in the middle of the room was a large, crude but functional
pendulum made from 250 pounds of metal weights tied to four strands of 500
pound test parachute cord. The student invited the instructor to climb up on
a table and sit in a chair with back of his head against a cement wall. Then
the student brought the 250 pounds of metal up to the teachers’ nose.
Holding the huge pendulum just a fraction of an inch from the teacher’s
face, the student once again explained the law of the pendulum he had
applauded only moments before, “If the law of the pendulum is true, then
when I release this mass of metal, it will swing across the room and return
short of the release point. Your nose will be in no danger.” After that
final restatement of this law, the student looked his teacher in the eye and
asked, “Sir, do you believe this law is true?” There was a long pause. Huge
beads of sweat formed on his upper lip and then weakly he nodded and
whispered, “Yes.” The student released the pendulum. It made a
swishing sound as it arced across the room. At the far end of its swing, it
paused momentarily and started back. The student later testified that he had
never seen a man move so fast in his entire life as the teacher literally
dove from the table (Ken Davis, How To Speak To Youth, pp104-106).
It was easy for this
teacher to believe in the law of the pendulum when it was all theoretical.
But when his life literally depended on the law of the pendulum he showed
that his belief was only theoretical. How easy it is for us to believe in
God’s sufficiency in church on Sunday morning or in a Bible study. But in
the real world where our lives are on the line too many of us demonstrate
that our belief was only theoretical....
know that we have all heard it before, but the truth is, that communication
is ONE OF the leading causes of conflict. Poor communication can lead to all
kinds of misunderstandings;
A rather old fashioned lady, was planning a couple of weeks vacation in
Florida. She also was quite delicate and elegant with her language. She
wrote a letter to a particular campground and asked for reservations. She
wanted to make sure the campground was fully equipped but didn’t know quite
how to ask about the "toilet" facilities. She just couldn’t bring herself to
write the word "toilet" in her letter. After much deliberation, she finally
came up with the old fashioned term "Bathroom Commode," but when she wrote
that down, she still thought she was being too forward. So she started all
over again; rewrote the entire letter and referred to the Bathroom Commode"
simply as the "B.C.". Does the campground have its own "B.C.?" is what she
Well, the campground owner wasn’t old fashioned at all, and then he got the
letter, he couldn’t figure out what the lady was talking about. That "B.C."
really stumped him. After worrying about it for several days, he showed the
letter to other campers, but they couldn’t figure out what the lady meant
either. The campground owner finally came to the conclusion that the lady
was and must be asking about the location of the local Baptist Church.
So he sat down and wrote the following reply: "Dear Madam: I regret very
much the delay in answering your letter, but I now take pleasure of
informing in that the "B.C." is located nine miles north of the camp site
and is capable of seating 250 people at one time. I admit it is quite a
distance away if you are in the habit of going regularly but no doubt you
will be pleased to know that a great number of people take their lunches
along, and make a day of it..... They usually arrive early and stay late.
The last time my wife and I went was six years ago, and it was so crowded we
had to stand up the whole time we were there. It may interest you to know
that right now, there is a supper planned to raise money to buy more
seats.....They plan to hold the supper in the middle of the B.C., so
everyone can watch and talk about this great event.....I would like to say
it pains me very much, not to be able to go more regularly, but it is surely
not for lack of desire on my part....As we grow older, it seems to be more
and more of an effort, particularly in cold weather..... If you decide to
come down to the campground, perhaps I could go with you the first time you
go...sit with you...and introduce you to all the other folks..... This is
really a very friendly community.....
>>>> now that’s some poor communication.
|REASON TO DIVORCE
A mature-looking lady
had an appointment with a marriage counselor, and told him flat out:
"I would like to divorce my husband."
To this, the counselor replied, "Well, do you have any grounds?"
She answered, "Why yes. We have almost an acre."
The puzzled counselor asked her, "You don’t understand. What I want to know
is do you and your husband have a grudge?"
The lady answered, "Actually, we don’t, but we do have a nice carport."
At this, the counselor shook his head and said, "Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I
just don’t see any reason why you should divorce your husband."
The lady looked at the counselor and said to him, "It’s just that the man
can’t carry on an intelligent conversation."
--James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House
Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 109.
The day before Thanksgiving an elderly man in Phoenix called his son in New
York and said to him, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that
your mother and I are divorcing; 45 years of misery is enough. We’re sick of
each other, and so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her."
Frantic, the son called his sister, who exploded on the phone. "Like heck
they’re getting divorced," she shouted, "I’ll take care of this." She called
Phoenix immediately, and said to her father. "You are NOT getting
divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother
back, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU
HEAR ME?" The man hung up his phone and turned to his wife. "Okay, honey.
The kids are coming for Thanksgiving and paying for their flights."
|Take My Son :
A wealthy man and his son
loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection,
from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great
works of art. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He
was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The
father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son. About a month
later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man
stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, "Sir, you
don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He
saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet
struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you,
and your love for art." The young man held out this package. "I know this
isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have
wanted you to have this." The father opened the package. It was a portrait
of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the
soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father
was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked
the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I
could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift." The father hung
the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took
them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other
great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his
paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great
paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On
the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel.
"We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for
There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted,
"We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."
But the auctioneer persisted. "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will
start the bidding? $100, $200?" Another voice shouted angrily.
"We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the
Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"
But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime
gardener of the man and his son.
"I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could
"We have $10, who will bid $20?" "Give it to him for $10. Let's see the
"$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They
wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer
pounded the gavel.
"Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!"
A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the
The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction is over."
"What about the paintings?"
"I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a
secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation
until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever
bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the
paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!"
God gave His son 2,000
years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message
today is: "The son, the son, who'll take the son?" Because, you see,
whoever takes the Son gets everything.
|How to win a
This is a
beautiful lesson written by Tiziana Ruff.
Once there was an emperor in the Far East who was growing old and knew it
was coming time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his
assistants or one of his own children, he decided to do something different.
He called all the young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It
has come time for me to step down and to choose the next emperor. I have
decided to choose one of you."
The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each
one of you a seed today. One seed. It is a very special seed. I want you to
go home, plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today
with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants
that you bring to me, and the one I choose will be the next emperor of the
There was one boy named Ling who was there that day and he, like the others,
received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the whole story.
She helped him get a pot and some planting soil, and he planted the seed and
watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had
grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about
their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept going home
and checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five
weeks went by. Still nothing. By now others were talking about their plants
but Ling didn’t have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went
by, still nothing in Ling’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed.
Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say
anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their
plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn’t
going to take an empty pot. But she encouraged him to go, and to take his
pot, and to be honest about what happened. Ling felt sick to his stomach,
but he trusted his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace.
When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by all the
other youths. They were beautiful, in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his
empty pot on the floor and many of the other kids laughed at him. A few felt
sorry for him and just said, "Hey, nice try."
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people.
Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and
flowers you have grown," said the emperor." Today, one of you will be
appointed the next emperor!" All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at
the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him
to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he
will have me killed!" When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his
name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making
fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and
then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!"
Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be
the new emperor? Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone
here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it
back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. All
of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you
found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one
I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to
bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the
From "In The Garden With Jesus," a children’s devotional written by Tiziana
|Are you a slave?
Morrison, for many years the general superintendent of the Church of the
Nazarene, used to tell the following story to show how there is only one way
to free yourself from hard servitude to Satan:
My mother’s hobby was raising a certain breed of ducks. Some of her ducks
were prize winners, and she was justly proud of them.
One day I was out behind the barn with my slingshot, shooting at fence posts
and other inanimate objects when around the end of the barn came one of my
mother’s finest ducks. A moving target is always more exciting than a fixed
object so I decided to see how close I could come to the duck without
hitting it. Putting a rock in the slingshot I let it fly, but instead of
missing it I hit the duck right on the head. Imagine my alarm when I picked
it up and discovered that I had killed my mother’s prize duck!
As wrongdoers usually do, I looked for a place to hide my deed before Mother
found out about it. Nearby was a haystack, so I ran to it, pulled up a bunch
of hay and was just in the act of stuffing the bird under it when who should
come around the end of the haystack but my older sister Jessie.
"What are you doing, Joe?" she asked.
And of course, I had to tell her the whole story. I hadn’t intended to kill
Mother’s duck, it was an accident, but anyway I didn’t want her to know
about it. But Jessie didn’t promise, which left me with a miserable feeling
of uneasiness which, mingled with my sense of guilt, made me an unhappy boy
all that day. A glance at my mother’s face when I came in told me that she
did not know my guilty secret. I tried to eat, but my appetite wasn’t up to
normal, and just when I was about to leave the house, Mother said to my
sister, "Jessie, I want you to do the dishes. I’m going over to visit our
sick neighbor this evening."
Quickly Jessie spoke up and said, "All right, Mama. Joe will help me."
When I objected, Jessie came close and whispered, "Remember the duck." So
there was nothing for me to do but help her. The next day it was the same. I
had to help Jessie with all of her chores. Every look from her said,
"Remember the duck." This went on for several days. I found myself a literal
slave to every whim of my sister.
The one day, tired of being Jessie’s slave and aching in my heart every time
I looked at my other, remembering my guilty secret, I sought out my Mother
and confessed the whole thing to her, laying my head in her lap and sobbing
how sorry I was. "Go ahead and punish me," I cried, "I’ve got it coming."
"I’m not going to punish you, Joe, "she said, putting her arms around me. "I
think you have been punished enough already. I’m going to forgive you."
That evening Jessie said, "Joe, you’re going to help me with the dishes."
But I said, "No, I’m not1" And this time I knew I wasn’t.
"Remember the duck," Jessie hissed in my ear.
"Yes, I remember the duck," I nearly shouted at her. "But I went to Mother
today and got it all straightened up, and I’m not going to be your slave
No more was I a slave.
|My, I think the whole
an old man that took a nap everyday. He had a mischievous grandson. One day
as the old man slept, his grandson got some Limburger cheese. (Limburger
cheese is a pungent semi soft surface-ripened cheese.) The grandfather had a
long handlebar mustache. So His grandson rubbed the Limburger cheese into
his grandfathers mustache. Later the grandfather awoke, and said, my this
bedroom stinks. So he went into the front room and sat in the recliner.
After a few minutes, granddad said, my the front room stinks. He went into
the kitchen to fix a sandwich, he noticed the kitchen stank terrible. So he
went out on the front porch, he noticed the pungent odor and stated even the
front porch stinks. So he took a walk toward town, and grandfather made a
brilliant observation: MY, I THINK THE WHOLE WORLD STINKS!
What a powerful illustration. This illustration describes where many of us
are in our daily walks? Does the whole world stink? Or could we possibly be
carrying a pungent odor of problems every step we take?...
|Do you deserve mercy?
once approached Napoleon seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied
that the young man had committed a certain offense twice and justice
demanded death. "But I don’t ask for justice," the mother explained. "I
plead for mercy." "But your son does not deserve mercy," Napoleon replied.
"Sir," the woman cried, "it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy
is all I ask for." "Well, then," the emperor said, "I will have mercy." And
he spared the woman’s son.
|Connected, not powered
who had a small house on the seashore of Ireland at the turn of the century
was quite wealthy but also quite frugal. The people were surprised, then,
when she decided to be among the first to have electricity in her home.
Several weeks after the installation, a meter reader appeared at her door.
He asked if her electricity was working well, and she assured him it was.
“I’m wondering if you can explain something to me,” he said. “Your meter
shows scarcely any usage. Are you using your power?” “Certainly,” she
answered. “Each evening when the sun sets, I turn on my lights just long
enough to light my candles; then I turn them off.” She’s tapped into the
power but doesn’t use it. Her house is connected but not altered. Don’t we
make the same mistake? We, too-with our souls saved but our hearts unchanged
– are connected but not altered. Trusting Christ for salvation but resisting
transformation. We occasionally flip the switch, but most of the time we
settle for shadows.
(“Just Like Jesus”; Max Lucado)
|The Cracked Pot
A water bearer in India had
two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his
neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect
and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk
from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half
full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering
only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house. Of course, the
perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which
it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection,
and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been
made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the
water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to
apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?" "I
have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load
because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to
your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work,
and you don’t get full value from your efforts," the pot said. The water
bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said,
"As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful
flowers along the path. Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked
pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of
the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still
felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized
to the bearer for its failure. The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice
that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other
pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took
advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every
day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I
have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s
table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty
to grace his house."
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. But if we will
allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father’s table.
was once told of a small girl who lived in a high-rise building in the inner
city of a large metropolis. The girl’s family was poor, but she wanted for
only one thing. Each and every afternoon, the girl would sit at her bedroom
window and look out at the most beautiful building she had ever seen. The
sun reflected off the many windows of the building like a shiny, golden
piece of jewelry. “Wow!” the girl thought, “If I could only live in that
beautiful building, then I would be happy.” One evening the girl left her
bedroom and set out to search for a closer look at the beautiful building.
However, as she neared it location, amidst all the other tall buildings that
surrounded her, she lost sight of her goal. She searched and searched for
the building to no avail. “It has to be right here,” she thought to herself.
Finally, exhausted from her search, she found a young boy about her age. She
asked the boy, “Do you know where I can find the beautiful, shiny, golden
building?” The boy replied, “Oh, yes! I know the building that you are
speaking of. I look at it every day.” The boy then pointed over her
shoulder. Upon turning around, the little girl spotted something that amazed
her. It was the building in which she lived, reflecting a beautiful golden
glimmer from the sun. While the girl had longed for what she believed that
she did not have, she had failed to see the value of what she did have.
|Do you see that
ago two shoe salesmen were sent to Nigeria to survey the country for the
possibility of building a shoe factory. The first man came back and said,
"Few people here wear shoes so there is little need to build a new shoe
factory in Nigeria. The second came back to London and said, "This is the
greatest opportunity we have ever had. Everybody I saw needs a good pair of
shoes." That is how we need to look at every community when it comes to
their need for Jesus Christ and His love and forgiveness
|Take hold of every
of mine opened his wife’s drawer and picked up a silk paper wrapped package:
"This, - he said - isn’t any ordinary package." He unwrapped the box and
stared at both the silk paper and the box. "She got this the first time we
went to New York, 8 or 9 years ago. She has never put it on. She was saving
it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is it". He got near the bed
and placed the gift box next to the other clothing's he was taking to the
funeral house, his wife had just died. He turned to me and said: "Never save
something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special
I still think those words changed my life. Now I read more and clean less. I
sit on the porch without worrying about anything. I spend more time with my
family, and less at work. I understood that life should be a source of
experience to be lived up to, not survived through. I no longer keep
anything. I use crystal glasses every day. I’ll wear new clothes to go to
the supermarket, if I feel like it. I don’t save my special perfume for
special occasions; I use it whenever I want to. The words "Someday..." and
"One Day..." are fading away from my dictionary. If it’s worth seeing,
listening or doing, I want to see, listen or do it now. I don’t know what my
friend’s wife would have done if she knew she wouldn’t be there the next
morning, this nobody can tell. I think she might have called her relatives
and closest friends. She might call old friends to make peace over past
quarrels. I’d like to think she would go out for Chinese, her favorite food.
It’s these small things that I would regret not doing, if I knew my time had
come. I would regret it, because I would no longer see the friends I would
meet, letters... letters that I wanted to write "One of these days". I would
regret and feel sad, because I didn’t say to my brothers and sons, not times
enough at least, how much I love them. Now, I try not to delay, postpone or
keep anything that could bring laughter and joy into our lives. And, on each
morning, I say to myself that this could be a special day. Each day, each
hour, each minute, is special. If you got this, it’s because someone cares
for you and because, probably, there’s someone you care about.
|Missing the Point
Isn’t it amazing how
sometimes we get all tangled up with the words we speak and end up not being
clear about what we’re trying to say?
Back when I was in high school I had a poster that read,
"I know you think you understand what I said, but what you don’t understand
is that what I said wasn’t what I meant." Are you ever misunderstood? I’ve
noticed that it happens everywhere, at work, at home, at school.
Believe it or not, it even happens at church. Every so often, Abigail Van
Buren in her column, Dear Abby, runs a list of church bulletin misprints and
church sign bloopers that prove that we in the church occasionally have
problems saying what we mean. Here are some recent ones:
The bulletin of a church in Iowa announced:
The Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday
from 7 to 8:30p.m. Please use the back door.
Another church’s bulletin carried this announcement:
Due to the Pastor’s illness, Wednesday’s healing
services will be discontinued until further notice.
During a service one preacher made this announcement:
"This being Easter Sunday, we will now ask Mr.
Vassilas to come forward and lay an egg on the altar".
Another church newsletter had this:
At the evening service tonight, the topic will be
"What is Hell?" Come early and hear our choir practice.
Not to pick on the choir, but an announcement in one church read:
Eight new choir robes are currently needed, due to the
addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
|Value of Life
A store owner was tacking a
sign above his door that read ’Puppies for Sale.’ These signs had a weird
way of attracting children. And sure enough, a little boy appeared at the
sign. "How much are you gonna sell those puppies for?" he asked. The store
owner replied" Anywhere from $30-$50." The little boy reached into his
pocket and pulled out some change. "I have $2.37; can I have a look at
them?" The store owner smiled and whistled and out of the kennel came Lady,
who ran down the aisle of his store followed by five teeny, tiny balls of
fur. One puppy was lagging considerably behind. Immediately the little boy
singled out the lagging, limping puppy and said "What’s wrong with that
little dog?" The store owner explained that when the puppy was born, the vet
had said that the puppy had no hip socket and would limp for the rest of its
life. The little boy got really excited and said "That’s the puppy I want to
buy!" The store owner replied "No, you don’t want to buy that little dog. If
you really want him, I’ll give him to you." The little boy got quite upset.
He looked straight into the store owner’s eyes, pointing his finger and
said, "I don’t want you to give him to me. That little dog is worth every
bit as much as the other dogs and I’ll pay the full price. In fact, I’ll
give you $2.37 now and 50 cents every month until I have him paid for." The
store owner countered, "You really don’t want to buy this puppy. He is never
going to be able to run, jump and play like other puppies!" To this the
little boy reached down and rolled up his pant leg to reveal a badly
twisted, crippled left leg supported by a big metal brace. He looked up at
the store owner and said softly, "Well, I don’t run so well myself, and the
little puppy will need someone who understands." IN LIFE, IT DOESN’T MATTER
WHO YOU ARE, BUT WHETHER SOMEONE APPRECIATES YOU FOR WHAT YOU ARE....
|Dad's Pickle Jar
pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser
in my parents’ bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty his
pockets and toss his coins into the jar. As a small boy I was always
fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar.
They landed with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty. Then the
tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled. I used to squat
on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper and silver circles
that glinted like a pirate’s treasure when the sun poured through the
bedroom window. When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table
and roll the coins before taking them to the bank. Taking the coins to the
bank was always a big production. Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box,
the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck.
Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me
hopefully. "Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son.
You’re going to do better than me. This old mill town’s not going to hold
you back." Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins
across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly.
"These are for my son’s college fund. He’ll never work at the mill all his
life like me." We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice
cream cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk
at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few
coins nestled in his palm. "When we get home, we’ll start filling the jar
again." He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they
rattled around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. "You’ll
get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters," he said. "But
you’ll get there. I’ll see to that."
The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town.
Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and
noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had been
removed. A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser
where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words, and never
lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith. The
pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most
flowery of words could have done.
married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle
jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than
anything else, how much my dad had loved me. No matter how rough things got
at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar. Even the
summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried
beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar. To the
contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over my beans
to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever to make
away out for me. "When you finish college, Son," he told me, his eyes
glistening, "You’ll never have to eat beans again...unless you want to."
Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my
parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa,
taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began to whimper
softly, and Susan took her from Dad’s arms. "She probably needs to be
changed," she said, carrying the baby into my parents’ bedroom to diaper
her. When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in
her eyes. She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading
me into the room. "Look," she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot
on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never
been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with
coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled
out a fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the
coins into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had
slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling
the same emotions I felt....
Unknown author, (familiar characters?)
|What Is That In Thy
Jones Sr. told the story:
I remember years ago I was holding a meeting in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. I
was in that big amphitheater there that accommodates about ten thousand
people. The people told me a story. They said a few nights before I was
there they advertised in the paper that a man who had just come back from
Europe was going to play on a five-thousand dollar violin he had bought in
some old museum in Europe. It had never been used in America — was to be
played for the first time that night. All the seats in the building were
sold and even the standing room. The time came for the artist to come on
stage. He came on the stage and waited until the applause swept the crowd
first one way the then the other. Then he took his violin and played. The
music was sweet. The violin cried like a baby, sang like a bird, laughed
like a child. The crowd sat there enrapt. The people said, “Did you ever
hear such music! Oh, the tone! We are not surprised that the violin cost
five-thousand dollars. It is marvelous. The seasoned tone is wonderful!”
When he got through playing, waves of applause swept the crowd this way and
In the midst of the excitement he turned around, took the violin and broke
it all to pieces on a chair. They said, “he is crazy! He is mad! he is
braking a five-thousand dollar violin!” Still in the midst of the excitement
he reached behind him, and from under a seat pulled out a case. He took out
a violin, looked out over the crowd, smiled and said, “Ladies and gentlemen,
you thought I was playing on a five-thousand dollar violin. That wasn’t
anything but a little three-dollar-and-a-half fiddle. This is a
five-thousand dollar violin. I will play it for you now.” He drew the bow
across the strings, but the music was not any sweeter. Do you know what the
man said by his actions? He said, “Ladies and gentlemen, it is not the
violin; it is the man who draws the bow that makes the music.”
—Dr. Bob Jones Sr., What Is That In Thy Hand?, Sword of the Lord, 5/15/70...
TILL YOU GET COOKIES
be like the 3-year-old boy (that Paul Harvey told about) who went to the
grocery store with his mother. Before they entered the grocery store she
said to him, "Now you’re not going to get any chocolate chip cookies, so
don’t even ask." She put him up in the cart & he sat in the little child’s
seat while she wheeled down the aisles. He was doing just fine until they
came to the cookie section. He saw the chocolate chip cookies & he stood up
in the seat & said, “Mom, can I have some chocolate chip cookies?” She said,
“I told you not even to ask. You’re not going to get any at all.” So he sat
back down. They continued down the aisles, but in their search for certain
items they ended up back in the cookie aisle. “Mom, can I please have some
chocolate chip cookies?” She said, “I told you that you can’t have any. Now
sit down & be quiet.” Finally, they were approaching the checkout lane. The
little boy sensed that this may be his last chance. So just before they got
to the line, he stood up on the seat of the cart & shouted in his loudest
voice, “In the name of Jesus, may I have some chocolate chip cookies?” And
everybody round about just laughed. Some even applauded. And, due to the
generosity of the other shoppers, the little boy & his mother left with 23
boxes of chocolate chip cookies.
We ought always to pray and not give up…
sons leave home, go out on their own, and prosper. Getting back together,
they discuss the gifts that they are able to give to their elderly mother.
The first says: “I built a big house for our mother.” The second says: “I
sent her a Mercedes with a driver”. The third says: “You remember how Mom
enjoys reading the Bible? She can’t see very well now. So, I sent her a
remarkable parrot that recites the entire Bible. It took the elders in the
church 12 years to teach him; he’s one of a kind. Momma just has to name the
chapter and verse, and the parrot recites it. It cost me $100,000.”
Soon thereafter, Mom sends out her letters of thanks. “Milton”, she says,
“the house you built is so huge. I live only in one room, but I have to
clean the whole house.” “Gerald”, she says, “I am too old to travel. I stay
most of my time in my house, so I rarely use the Mercedes. And that driver
is so rude! He’s a pain!” “My dearest Donald”, she says, “That skinny little
chicken was delicious!”
A man often walked
through a cemetery on his way home. One night, though, unaware that a new
grave had been dug in his path, he tumbled in. For some time he struggled to
get out of the 7 foot deep grave, but finally gave up and settled down for
An hour later, a farmer out possum hunting came walking through the cemetery
and he too fell into the grave. He began a desperate attempt to get out,
unaware that there was anyone else in the grave. The first man listened to
him for a few minutes, then reached over in the pitch darkness and laid a
hand on his shoulder. "You can’t get out of here,” the man said to the
But the farmer did.
|A MAN OF POWERFUL
Mueller was known for his powerful prayer. In the course of his ministry to
the orphans of England, he never asked for financial assistance from men -
only God... and he constantly received what was needed to the penny. Once
while on his way to speak in Quebec for an engagement. On the deck of the
ship that was to carry him to his destination, he informed the captain that
he needed to be in Quebec by Saturday afternoon.
As the captain related the story, he said "’It is impossible,’ I said. ’Do
you know how dense this fog is?’" "’No,’ he replied, ’my eye is not on the
density of the fog, but on the living God who controls every circumstance of
life. I have never broken an engagement in 57 years; let us go down into the
chart room and pray.’ He knelt down and he prayed one of the most simple
prayers. When he had finished I was going to pray, but he put his hand on my
shoulder and told me not to pray. ’As you do not believe He will answer, and
as I believe He has, there is no need for you whatever for you to pray about
it.’ "I looked at him and George Mueller said, ’Captain, I have known my
Lord for 57 yrs. and there has never been a single day when I have failed to
get an audience with the King. Get up, Captain, and open the door and you
will find that the fog has gone.’ "I got up and the fog indeed was gone, and
on that Saturday afternoon George Mueller kept his promised engagement."
Harold Kushner tells a wonderful story about a bright young man, who was a
sophomore Stanford pre-med student. To reward him for having done so well in
school, his parents gave him a trip to the Far East for the summer vacation
before the start of his junior year.
While there he met a guru who said to him, "Don’t you see how you are
poisoning your soul with this success oriented way of life? Your idea of
happiness is to stay up all night studying for an exam so you can get a
better grade than your best friend. Your idea of a good marriage is not to
find the woman who will make you whole, but to win the girl that everyone
else wants. That’s not how people are supposed to live. Give it up; come
join us in an atmosphere where we all share and love each other." The young
man had completed four years at a competitive high school to get into
Stanford, plus two years of pre-med courses at the university. He was ripe
for this sort of approach. He called his parents from Tokyo and told them he
would not be coming home. He was dropping out of school to live in an ashram
(a spiritual retreat).
Six months later, his parents got a letter from him: "Dear Mom and Dad, I
know you weren’t happy with the decision I made last summer, but I want to
tell you how happy it has made me. For the first time in my life, I am at
peace. Here there is no competing, no hustling, no trying to get ahead of
anyone else. Here we are all equal, and we all share. This way of life is so
much in harmony with the inner essence of my soul that in only six months
I’ve become the number two disciple in the entire ashram, and I think I can
be number one by June!"
Contributed by: SermonCentral PRO
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 Prof. 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
(This happened 04/30/02 in a youth ministry class at Hannibal-LaGrange
|COFFEE AND NOT THE CUP
of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their
old University of Notre Dame lecturer. Conversation soon turned into
complaints about stress in work and life.Offering his guests coffee, the
lecturer went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an
assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, some plain looking and some
expensive and exquisite, telling them to help themselves to hot coffee.
When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the lecturer said: "If
you noticed, all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving
behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only
the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.
What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously
went for the better cups and are eyeing each other's cups." "Now, if Life is
coffee, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are
just tools to hold and contain Life, but the quality of Life doesn't
"Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee in
|I WANT TO
STAY WITH YOU
As a young family was
driving away from church after the dedication of their baby, little Johnny,
the older brother, cried all the way home in the back seat of the car. His
mother asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied,
“That pastor said he wanted us to be brought up in a Christian home…and I
want to stay with you guys!”
|WHY DO I
BELIEVE IN GOD?
Written by Danny Dutton,
age 8, from Chula Vista, California, for his third grade homework assignment
to "Explain God."
One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones
that die so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He
doesn't make grown-ups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and
easier to make. That way, He doesn't have to take up His valuable time
teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and
God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of
this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times
besides bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because
of this. Because He hears everything there must be a terrible lot of noise
in His ears, unless He has thought of a way to turn it off. God sees
everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty
busy. So you shouldn't go wasting His time by going over your mom and dad's
head asking for something they said you couldn't have.
Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in
Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church. Jesus is
God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and
performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn
about God. They finally got tired of Him preaching to them and they
crucified Him. But He was good and kind like His Father and He told His
Father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and
God said OK.
His Dad (God) appreciated everything that He had done and all His hard work
on earth so He told Him He didn't have to go out on the road anymore, He
could stay in heaven. So He did. And now He helps His Dad out by listening
to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and
which ones He can take care of Himself without having to bother God. Like a
secretary only more important. You can pray anytime you want and they are
sure to hear you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty
all the times.
You should always go to Church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if
there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God. Don't skip church to do
something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong!
And, besides, the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.
If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very
lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but
God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared in the dark
or when you can't swim very good and you get thrown into real deep water by
big kids. But you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I
figure God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases.
"And that's why I believe in God."
A Dart Test
A young lady named Sally,
relates an experience she had in a seminary class, given by her teacher, Dr.
Smith. She says that Dr. Smith was known for his elaborate object lessons.
One particular day, Sally walked into the seminary and knew they were in for
a fun day.
On the wall was a big target and on a nearby table were many darts. Dr.
Smith told the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or
someone who had made them angry, and he would allow them to throw darts at
the person's picture. Sally's friend drew a picture of who had stolen her
boyfriend. Another friend drew a picture of his little brother. Sally drew a
picture of a former friend, putting a great deal of detail into her
drawing, even drawing pimples on the face. Sally was pleased with the
overall effect she had achieved. The class lined up and began throwing
darts. Some of the students threw their darts with such force that their
targets were ripping apart .. Sally looked forward to her turn, and was
filled with disappointment when Dr. Smith, because of time limits, asked the
students to return to their seats. As Sally sat thinking about how angry she
was because she didn't have a chance to throw any darts at her target. Dr.
Smith began removing the target from the wall. Underneath the target was a
picture of Jesus. A hush fell over the room as each student viewed the
mangled picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covered His face and His
eyes were pierced. Dr. Smith said only these words... "In as much as ye have
done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me."
Matthew 25:40. No other words were necessary; the tears filled eyes of
the students focused only on the picture of Christ.
This is an easy test; you
score 100 or zero . It's your choice. If you aren't ashamed to do this,
please follow the directions. Jesus said, "If you are ashamed of me, I will
be ashamed of you, before My Father." Isn't it funny how simple it is for
people to trash God and then wonder why the world is going to hell. Isn't it
funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible
says. Isn't it funny how everyone wants to go to heaven provided they do not
have to believe, think, say, or do anything the Bible says. Or is it scary?
Isn't it funny how someone can say "I believe in God" but still follow Satan
(who, by the way, also "believes" in God). Isn't it funny how you can send a
thousand jokes through e-mail and! they spread like wildfire, but when you
start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing
. Isn't it funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene pass freely through
cyberspace, but the public discussion of Jesus is suppressed in the school
and workplace. Isn't it funny how someone can be so fired up for Christ on
Sunday, but be an invisible Christian the rest of the week. Are you
laughing? Isn't it funny how when you go to forward this message, you will
not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they
believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them. Isn't it
funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than
what God thinks of me.
Will YOU pass this on? ... I did
(SOURCE: E-mail chain)