Friday, August 4, 2017

Ice Cream?

Last week, I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads, he said, "God is good. God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And liberty and justice for all! Amen!"
Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!"  Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?" As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.  He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer." "Really?" my son asked. "Cross my heart." Then, in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."  Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and, without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman.
With a big smile, he told her, "Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lessons Learned From Noah's Ark


Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah's Ark.
Don't miss the boat.

Remember that we are all in the same boat.

Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.

Stay fit. When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
Build your future on high ground.

For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

When you're stressed, float awhile.

Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

- Author Unknown

Monday, June 26, 2017

Did You Miss God?


The man whispered, "God, speak to me"
And a meadowlark sang.
But, the man did not hear.

So the man yelled, "God, speak to me"
And the thunder rolled across the sky.
But, the man did not listen. The man looked around and said,

"God let me see you."
And a star shined brightly.
But the man did not see.

And, the man shouted, "God show me a miracle."
And, a life was born.
But, the man did not notice.

So, the man cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are here."
Whereupon, God reached down and touched the man.
But, the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

I found this to be a great reminder that God is always around us in the little and simple things that we take for granted even in our electronic age, so I would like to add one more:

The man cried, "God, I need your help!"
And an e-mail arrived reaching out with good news and encouragement.
But, the man deleted it and continued crying...

Don't miss out on a blessing because it isn't packaged the way that you expect.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Apples


A few years ago, a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner.

In their rush, with tickets and briefcases in hand, moving quickly through the airport terminal, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding.

All but one! He paused, took a deep breath, quickly assessed the situation -- and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then, he returned to the terminal where the apples were still all over the terminal floor.

The man was glad he did. The 16-year-old girl running the stand, he discovered, was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, all the while helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the rushing crowd swirled about her, no one stopping and no one caring for her plight.

No one else, that is. The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised. These he set aside in another basket.

When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, "Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?" She nodded through her tears. "I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly," he said.

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, "Mister..." He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, "Are you Jesus?"

He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered, stunned by the words. Then slowly, he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning in his soul: "Are you Jesus?"

Friday, May 19, 2017

He Is With Us

A girl went to a party, but she ended up staying longer than planned and had to walk home alone. She wasn't afraid because it was a small town and she lived only a few blocks away. As she walked along under the tall elm trees, she asked God to keep her safe from harm and danger.

When she reached the alley, which was a shortcut to her house, she decided to take it. However, halfway down the alley she noticed a man standing at the end as though he were waiting for her. She became uneasy and began to pray, asking for God's protection. A comforting feeling of quietness and security wrapped around her, and she felt as though someone was walking with her.

 When she reached the end of the alley, she walked right past the man and arrived home safely.  The following day, she read in the newspaper that a young woman had been raped in the same alley just twenty minutes after she had been there. Feeling overwhelmed by this tragedy and the fact that it could have been her, she began to weep.

Thanking the Lord for her safety and to help this young woman, she decided to go to the police station.  She felt she could recognize the man, so she told them her story. The police asked her if she would be willing to look at a lineup to see if she could identify him. She agreed and immediately pointed out the man she had seen in the alley the night before. When the man was told he had been identified, he immediately broke down and confessed.

The officer thanked her for her bravery and asked if there was anything they could do for her. She asked if they would ask the man one question. She was curious as to why he had not attacked her. When the policeman asked him, he answered, "Because she wasn't alone. She had two tall men walking on either side of her."

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Jesus Checking In


A minister passing through his church
In the middle of the day
Decided to pause by the altar
And see who had come to pray.

Just then the back door opened,
A man came down the aisle,
The minister frowned as he saw
The man hadn't shaved in a while.

His shirt was shabby, old,
And his coat was worn and frayed.
The man knelt, he bowed his head
Then rose and walked away.

In the days that followed,
Each noon time came this chap.
Each time he knelt just for a moment,
A lunch pail in his lap.

Well, the minister's suspicions grew,
With robbery a main fear.
He decided to stop the man and ask him,
"What are you doing here?"

The old man said he worked down the road.
Lunch was half an hour.
Lunchtime was his prayer time
For finding strength and power.

"I stay only moments, see,
Because the factory is so far away.
As I kneel here talking to the Lord,
This is what I say:

I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD,
HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN
SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP,
AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.
I DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY,
BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS JIM,
CHECKING IN TODAY."

The minister, feeling foolish,
Told Jim, that was fine.
He told the man he was welcome
To come and pray just anytime.

Time to go, Jim smiled, and said "Thanks."
He sped to the door.
The minister knelt at the altar,
He'd never done it before.

His cold heart melted, warmed with love,
And met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed, in his heart,
He repeated old Jim's prayer:

HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP,
AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.
I DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY,
BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERY DAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME,
CHECKING IN TODAY."

Past noon one day, the minister noticed
That old Jim hadn't come.
As more days passed without Jim,
He began to worry some.

At the factory, he asked about him,
Learning he was ill.
The hospital staff was worried,
But he'd given them a thrill.

The week that Jim was with them,
Brought changes in the ward.
His smiles, a joy contagious.
Changed people, were his reward.

The head nurse couldn't understand
Why Jim was so glad
When no flowers, calls or cards came,
Not a visitor he had.

The minister stayed by his bed,
He voiced the nurse's concern:
No friends came to show they cared.
He had nowhere to turn.

Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up
And with a winsome smile;
"The nurse is wrong, she couldn't know,
That in here all the while.

Everyday at noon, He's here,
A dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down, takes my hand,
Leans over and says to me:

'I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM,
HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP,
AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN.
I ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY,
AND I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERY DAY,
SO JIM, THIS IS JESUS,
CHECKING IN TODAY.'"

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

God Can Use You!

The next time you feel like God can't use you, just remember...
  • Noah was a drunk.
  • Abraham was too old.
  • Isaac was a daydreamer.
  • Jacob was a liar.
  • Leah was ugly.
  • Joseph was abused.
  • Moses had a stuttering problem.
  • Gideon was afraid.
  • Samson had long hair and was a womanizer.
  • Rahab was a prostitute.
  • Jeremiah and Timothy were too young.
  • David had an affair and was a murderer.
  • Elijah was suicidal.
  • Isaiah preached naked.
  • Jonah ran from God.
  • Naomi was a widow.
  • Job went bankrupt.
  • John the Baptist ate bugs.
  • Peter denied Christ.
  • The Disciples fell asleep while praying.
  • Martha worried about everything.
  • The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once.
  • Zaccheus was too small.
  • Paul was too religious.
  • Timothy had an ulcer.
    AND...
  • Lazarus was dead!
No more excuses now. God can use you to your full potential. Besides, you aren't the message; you are just the messenger.