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.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Empty Birdcage?


One Easter Sunday morning, a pastor came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Several eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, the pastor began to speak.

"I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me, swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. I stopped the lad and asked, "What you got there son?"

"Just some old birds," came the reply.

"What are you gonna do with them?" I asked.

"Take 'em home and have fun with 'em. I'm gonna tease 'em and pull out their feathers to make 'em fight. I'm gonna have a real good time."

"But you'll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?"

"Oh, I got some cats. They like birds. I'll take 'em to them."

The pastor was silent for a moment. "How much do you want for those birds, son?"

"Huh??!!! Why, you don't want them birds, mister. They're just plain old field birds. They don't sing - they ain't even pretty!"

"How much?"

The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, "$10?".

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy's hand. In a flash, the boy was gone.

The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free.

Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story.

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting.

"Yes, sir, I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn't resist. Got 'em all!"

"What are you going to do with them?" Jesus asked.

"Oh, I'm gonna have fun! I'm gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other. How to hate and abuse each other. How to drink and smoke and curse. How to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I'm really gonna have fun!"

"And what will you do when you get done with them?", Jesus asked.

"Oh, I'll kill 'em."

"How much do you want for them?"

"Oh, you don't want those people. They ain't no good. Why, you take them and they'll just hate you. They'll spit on you, curse you and kill you!! You don't want those people!!"

"How much?"

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, "All your tears, and all your blood." Jesus paid the price.

The pastor picked up the cage he opened the door and he walked from the pulpit.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Love Of Jesus

Author Unknown

Every Sunday afternoon, after the morning service at their church, the
Pastor and his 11-year-old son would go out into their town and hand out
Gospel tracts. This particular Sunday afternoon, as it came time for the
Pastor and his son to go to the streets with their tracts, it was very
cold outside as well as pouring down rain. The boy bundled up in his
warmest and driest clothes and said "Okay Dad, I'm ready."

His Pastor Dad asked, "Ready for what?
"Dad, it's time we gather our tracts together and go out."
Dad responds, "Son, it's very cold outside and it's pouring down rain."
The boy gives his Dad a surprised look, asking, "But Dad, aren't people
still going to Hell, even though it's raining?"

Dad answers, "Son, I am not going out in this weather."
Despondently the boy asks, "Dad, can I go -- Please?"
His father hesitated for a moment then said, "Son, you can go. Here's
the tracts; be careful son."

"Thanks, Dad!" And with that he was off and out into the rain. This
11-year-old boy walked the streets of the town going door-to-door and
handing everybody he met in the street a Gospel tract. After 2-hours of
walking in the rain he was soaking bone-chilled wet and down to his very
last tract. He stopped on a corner and looked for someone to hand a
tract to but the streets were totally deserted.

Then he turned toward the first home he saw and started up the sidewalk
to the front door and rang the door bell. He rang the bell -- but nobody
answered. He rang it again and again bit still no one answered. He
waited but still no answer. Finally this 11-year-old trooper turned to
leave but something stopped him. Again, he turned to the door and rang
the bell and knocked loudly on the door with his fist. He waited,
something holding him there on the front porch. He rang again, and this
time the door slowly opened. Standing in the doorway was a very sad
looking elderly lady.

She softly asked, "What can I do for you, son?"
With radiant eyes and a smile that lit up her world, this little boy
said, "Ma'am, I'm sorry if I disturbed you, but I just want to tell you
that JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU! I came to give you my very last Gospel
tract which will tell you all about Jesus and His great love." With that
he handed her his last tract, and turned to leave.

She called to him as he departed, "Thank you, son! And God bless you!"
Well, the following Sunday morning in church, Pastor Dad was in the
pulpit and as the service began he asked, "Does anybody have a testimony
or want to say anything?"

Slowly, in the back row of the church, an elderly lady stood to her
feet. As she began to speak, a look of glorious radiance came from her
face. "None of you in this church know me. I've never been here before.
You see, before last Sunday I was not a Christian. My husband has passed
on, some time ago, leaving me totally alone in this world. Last Sunday,
being a particularly cold and rainy day, it was even more so in my heart
as I came to the end of the line where I no longer had any hope or will
to live.

"So I took a rope and a chair and ascended the stairway into the attic
of my home. I fastened the rope securely to a rafter in the roof then
stood on the chair and fastened the other end of the rope around my
neck. "Standing on that chair, so lonely and brokenhearted, I was about
to leap off when suddenly the loud ringing of my doorbell downstairs
startled me. I thought, 'I'll wait a minute, and whoever it is will go
away.' "I waited and waited -- but the ringing doorbell seemed to get
louder and more insistent and then the person ringing also started
knocking loudly. I thought to myself again, 'Who on earth could this
be?! Nobody ever rings my bell or comes to see me!' "I loosened the rope
from my neck and started for the front door, all the while the bell rang
louder and louder. When I opened the door and looked I could hardly
believe my eyes! "There on my front porch was the most radiant and
angelic little boy I had ever seen in my life! His smile! Oh, I could
never describe it to you! And the words that came from his mouth caused
my heart, that had long been dead, to leap to life as he exclaimed with
cherub-like voice, 'Ma'am, I just came to tell you that JESUS REALLY
DOES LOVE YOU.' "Then he gave me this Gospel tract that I now hold in my
hand. As the little angel disappeared back out, into the cold and rain,
I closed my door and read slowly every word of this Gospel tract. Then I
went up to my attic to get my rope and chair. I wouldn't be needing them
any more.

"You see, I am now a happy child of the KING, and since the address of
your church was on the back of this Gospel tract I have come here to
personally say, 'Thank you to God's little angel who came just in the
nick of time, and by so doing, spared my soul from an eternity in Hell.'"
There were now no dry eyes in the church. As shouts of praise and honor
to the KING resounded off the very rafters of the building, Pastor Dad
descended from the pulpit to the front pew where the little angel was
seated. He took him in his arms and sobbed uncontrollably.

Probably no church has had a more glorious moment and probably this
Universe has never seen a Papa that was more filled with love and honor
for his son, except for one: This Father, God, also allowed His Son,
Jesus, to go out into a cold and dark world. He received His Son back
with joy unspeakable, and as all of Heaven shouted praises and honor to
the King, the Father sat His beloved Son on a throne far above all
principality and power and every name that is named. There may be
someone, reading this, who is also going through a dark, cold and lonely
time in your soul. You may be a Christian, for we are not without
problems, or you may not yet know the King. Whatever the case, and
whatever the problem or situation you find yourself in, and no matter
how dark it may seem, I want you to know that I just came to tell you,

"JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU!"