ADVERSITY STRENGTHENS

MARCH 25

            Stronger for the struggle: Some time ago a fascinating article appeared in The Reader’s Digest telling about a most unusual tree called the “Bristlecone Pine.” Growing in the western mountain regions, sometimes as high as two or more miles above sea level, these evergreens may live for thousands of years. The older specimens often have only one thin layer of bark on their trunks. Considering the habitat of these trees, such as rocky areas where the soil is poor and precipitation is slight, it seems almost incredible that they should live so long or even survive at all. The environmental “adversities,” however, actually contribute to their longevity. Cells that are produced as a result of these adverse conditions are densely arranged, and many resin canals are formed within the plant. Wood that is so structured continues to live for an extremely long period of time. The author Darwin Lambert says in his article, “Bristlecone Pines in richer conditions grow faster, but die earlier and soon decay.” The harshness of their surroundings, then, is a vital factor in making them strong and sturdy. How similar this is to the experience of the Christian who graciously accepts the hardships God allows to come into his life.    Don Emmitte

            Sometimes the greatest BLESSINGS of  our lives are the direct result of adversity in it….  So when troubles come….. count your blessings…  you are made stronger in them.

 

 

CHRISTIAN FOOTBALL!!

 Quarterback Sneak – Church  members quietly leaving during the invitation.

 Draw Play – What many children do with the bulletin during worship.

 Halftime –  The period between Sunday School and worship when many choose to leave.

 Benchwarmer – Those who do not sing, pray, work, or apparently do anything but sit.

 Backfield-in-Motion – Making a trip to the back (restroom or water fountain) during the service.

 Staying in the Pocket – What happens to a lot of money that should be given to the Lord’s work.

 Two-minute Warning – The point at which you realize the sermon is almost over and begin to gather up your children and belongings.

 Instant Replay – The preacher loses his notes and falls back on last week’s illustrations.

 Sudden Death – What happens to the attention span of the congregation if the preacher goes “overtime”.

 Trap – You’re called on to pray and are asleep.

 End Run – Getting out of church quick, without speaking to any guest or fellow member.

 Flex Defense – The ability to allow absolutely nothing said during the sermon to affect your life.

 Halfback Option – The decision of 50% of the congregation not to return for the evening service.

 Blitz – The rush for the restaurants following the closing prayer.



HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS

March 19

“If You Continue to Do What is Right, What’s Wrong And Who’s Wrong Will Eventually Leave Your Life. (David Blunt)”

   “A businessman had personalized letterhead that read, “Right is right even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong even if everyone is for it.”  James 1:12 (LB) says, “Happy is the man who doesn’t give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterward he will get as his reward the crown of life that God has promised those who love Him.”

   “Spend less time worrying about who’s right and take charge of deciding what’s right in your life.  Don’t let someone else choose it for you.  Your failures may be planned by hell, but your victory is planned by heaven. “And remember when someone wants to do wrong it is never God who is tempting him, for God never wants to do wrong and never tempts anyone else to do it.”  (James 1:13, LB).”

  “You cannot do the right thing too soon, for you never know when it will be too late.  You can always find the time to do what you really want to do.”

    John L. Mason,  You’re Born an Original, Don’t Die a Copy.

 

The Ticket (a groaner)

Driving to work, a gentleman had to swerve to avoid a box that fell out of a truck in front of him. Seconds later, a policeman pulled him over for reckless driving.  Fortunately, another officer had seen the carton in the road. The policemen stopped traffic and recovered the box.  It was found to contain large upholstery tacks.

“I’m sorry sir,” the first trooper told the driver, “but I am still going to have to write you a ticket.”

Amazed, the driver asked for what.

The trooper replied, “Tacks evasion.”

(Told you it was a groaner)



BE LIKE BABIES. . THEY LIKE CHANGES

March 18

  ” Proverbs 13:19 (LB) says, ‘It is pleasant to see plans develop. That is why fools refuse to give them up even when they are wrong.”  Wise people sometimes change their minds – fools never do.  Be open to God’s change in your plan.  It is a sign of strength to make changes when necessary.”

  “The longer a man is in error, the surer he is he’s right.  Defending your faults and errors only proves that you have no intention of quitting them. An obstinate man does not hold opinions – they hold him.”

   “Where we cannot invent we can at least improve.  A ‘sensational new idea’ is sometimes just an old idea with its sleeves rolled up  – if you itch for ideas, keep on scratching. Everybody is in favor of progress.  It’s the change they don’t like.  Constant change is here to stay.  Most people are willing to change, not because they see the light, but because they feel the heat.”

  “Great ideas still need change, adaptation and modification in order to prosper and succeed.  Henry Ford forgot to put a reverse gear in his first automobile.  Few knew of his oversight.  Few don’t know of his success.  Success and growth are unlikely if you always do things the way you’ve always done them.”

         John L. Mason,  You’re Born an Original, Don’t Die a Copy                               

 

True Navy Humor

Radio conversation released by the chief of naval operations 10.10.95:

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision

Americans: This is the captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

Canadians: No, I say again divert YOUR course.

Americans: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS ENTERPRISE, WE ARE A LARGE WARSHIP OF THE US NAVY. DIVERT YOUR COURSE NOW.

Canadians: This is a little lighthouse.  Your call.

This was the transcript of a radio conversation between a US naval ship and Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland.



“IN THE BEGINNING . . GOD”

March 17

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Gen. 1:1)”

  “In the time it takes you to read this page, you will have entered a moment you have never been in before.  God said before we can form His name in our heads and speak it forth, He will be there! (Isaiah 65:24).  Before any defeat; before any distress; before any sorrow; before any pain or discouragement. . . He has already been there and made all the necessary arrangements to ensure you make it into the next moment of your future with Him.”

   “With God in charge, every moment can be a brand new beginning.  In the next moment, if you will let God be bigger than the pain of the last moment, you will have a new beginning in Him.”

   “Before you think about all you went through yesterday, think about where you are.  And right there is God – bigger than all your problems!”

   “As you start this day, put God in the beginning of every moment, and let Him lead you through a year of victory!”

                    – Rod Parsley, “Covenant Devotional”

 

Brickbats: Terse observations and other mild forms of humor

My boss hates “yes” men and I have to agree with him.

Can a person be chalant? Can weather be clement? And are children ever ruly?

My best pickup line is: “Hi, I’m Bob. Do you speak English?”

Somewhere in my office, in the vicinity of my desk, there exists a black hole into which all my pens disappear.

A woman was scooping up an armload of toaster pastries just as I was contemplating their ingredients. I said to her, “These things could kill you.” She said, “Well, they’re just for the kids.”

The penalty for bigamy is two wives.

Baseball Rules Section 3.12.5 — The strike zone shall consist of an area from the kneecap to the midpoint between the waist and shoulders vertically and shall be as wide as the home-plate umpire’s hind quarters.



LOOKING FORWARD

March 16

   “‘Misery is a yesterday person trying to get along with a tomorrow God,’ says Mike Murdock.  Don’t let your past mistakes become memorials. They should be cremated, not embalmed.  It is important to look forward – your calling and destiny are there.  The apostle Paul said, ‘Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  (Phil 3:13-14 NIV)”

   “Those who predominantly talk about the past are going backward.  Those who talk about the present are just maintaining.  But those who talk about the future are growing.”

   “Some people stay so far in the past that the future is gone before they get there. The future frightens only those who prefer living in the past.  No one has ever backed into prosperity.  You can’t have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday today.  Yesterday has passed forever and is beyond our control.  What lies behind us is insignificant compared to what lies ahead.”

   John L. Mason -You’re Born an Original, Don’t Die a Copy

 

Strangest US Laws

  Minnesota:

  –It is illegal to tease skunks.

  –Every man in Brainerd is required by law to grow a beard.

  Michigan:

  –A state law stipulates that a woman’s hair legally belongs to her husband.

  –Under state law, dentists are officially classified as “mechanics.”

  –In Clawson, it is legal for a man to “sleep with his pigs, cows, horses, goats, and chickens.”

  Oklahoma:

 –Whale hunting is strictly forbidden.

  –People who make “ugly faces” at dogs may be fined and/or jailed.

 Virginia:

  –In Richmond, it is illegal to flip a coin in any eating establishment to determine who buys a cup of coffee.

  –In Lebanon, it is illegal to kick your wife out of bed.



GOD HAS A PLAN

March 15

   “What does God think about your future?  We find the answer in the book of Jeremiah (29:11, NIV): “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”  All of what we are, good and bad, is what we have thought and believed.  What you have become is due to the price you paid to get what you used to want.”

   “All of the important battles we face will be waged within ourselves.  Nothing great has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that God was superior to any circumstance.  First John 4:4 says, ‘Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.”

   “Don’t put water in your own boat; the storm will put enough in on its own.  Don’t dream up thousands of reasons why you can’t do what you want to: find one reason why you can.  It is easier to do all the things you should do than spend the rest of your life wishing you had.  The first key victory you must win is over yourself.  “You can’t consistently perform in a manner that is inconsistent with the way you see yourself,” says Zig Ziglar.”

   “Building a case against yourself is like a microscope – it magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones.  To keep from building a case against yourself; multiply your prayer time, divide the truth from a lie, subtract negative influences and add God’s Word.  We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.  Both faith and fear may sail into your harbor, but allow only faith to drop anchor.”

     John L. Mason,  You’re born an Original, Don’t Die a Copy 

 

Good-news-bad-news…

The following letter from the family’s solicitor is addressed to a

member of the British aristocracy who has been spending much of the

summer in his residence in the south of France leaving his wife in the

United Kingdom to look after the ancestral home.

Dear Sir Royston,

I hope you are having a good time on your holiday. 

I say this with sincerity because I am afraid that I have some bad

news for you, although there is good news too. First the bad news. I

am sorry to tell you that your favorite dog, Honey, is dead. The vet

says that she died instantly and could have felt no pain. She was

kicked in the head by your horse, Sherbert, though I’m sure that no

blame can be attached to Sherbert, frightened as he was by the fire in

the barn.

I’m afraid that Sherbert was in the barn along with your other

horses when it burnt to the ground.

I should explain how the barn came to be on fire in the first place.

You see a spark from the house blew over and set the roof alight. The

fire started in the main hall of the house where, as you know, your

Mattisse and your Picasso once hung. I say ‘once’ because they are not

there now. Fortunately neither of these paintings were damaged in the

conflagration as they were stolen beforehand by the burglar who

started the fire.

Although all of this may seem to you very serious it is not in fact

the bad news that I wrote of. Your wife and brother had been visiting

your Insurance Agent in prison where he is serving a three year

sentence for fraud. I’m afraid that none of your insurance policies

are valid. This is the bad news.

As I said, there is some good news. The heat from the fire warmed your

greenhouse and brought your flowers on.

Regards,

Morgan



WHAT LIFE IS !

MARCH 12

But, life is about who you love and who you hurt.

It’s about who you make happy or unhappy purposefully.

It’s about keeping or betraying trust.

It’s about friendship, used as a sanctity or a weapon.

It’s about what you say and mean, maybe hurtful, maybe heartening.

About starting rumors and contributing to petty gossip.

It’s about what judgments you pass and why.  And who your judgments are spread to.

It’s about who you’ve ignored with full control and intention.

It’s about jealousy, fear, ignorance, and revenge.

It’s about carrying inner hate and love, letting it grow, and spreading it.

But most of all, it’s about using your life to touch or poison other people’s hearts in such a way that could have never occurred alone.

Only you choose the way those hearts are affected, and those choices are what life’s all about.

 

 

Don’t Worry, Be Crabby

If you don’t like my driving, don’t call anyone. Just take another road. That’s why the highway department made so many of them.

When I’m feeling down, I like to whistle.  It make the neighbor’s dog run to the end of his chain and gag himself.

It’s always darkest before dawn.  So if you’re going to steal the neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.

A handy telephone tip:  Keep a small chalkboard near the phone. That way, when a salesman calls, you can hold the receiver up to it and run your fingernails across it until he hangs up.

Each day I try to enjoy something from each of the four food groups: the bonbon group, the salty-snack group, the caffeine group, and the “whatever-the-thing-in-the-tinfoil-in-the-back-of-the-fridge-is” group.

Try a little kindness.  As little as possible.

Into every life some rain must fall.  Usually when your car windows are down.

How much of a tip to leave in a restaurant is always a controversial question.  I usually recommend half a crouton, or for special service, throw in that little sprig of parsley.

If genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration, I wind up sharing elevators with a lot of bright people.

Remember: you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar… Of course, how you spend your leisure time is your business.

If they lined up all the men in the world…it would be one goofy line.

Men are like buses.  They have spare tires and smell funny.

Last night I was in the mood to see something silly and idiotic on TV. So I put the cat there.

I don’t know about art, but I know what makes me say, “$2000 for that piece of junk?! Are you nuts?!”

Somewhere, over the rainbow…that’s where the airline will find my luggage.

It’s a small world.  So you gotta use your elbows a lot

Keep your nose to the grindstone and your shoulder to the wheel…it’s cheaper than plastic surgery.

This land is your land.  This land is my land.  So stay on your land.

I’ve found a sure way to relieve office stress:  Step 1: take a deep breath. Step 2: count to 10.  Step 3: set the boss’s wastebasket on fire.



GOD’S CONCRETE

March 11

  “Like the Apostle Paul, like David of old, I know that I will be delivered from all my afflictions.”

  “How do I know?”

  “Because the Bible tells me so.”

   “But I need something deeper, something more solid, something more concrete, than that.”

   “There is nothing more deep or more solid or more concrete than the Word of God.”

   “In speaking of his life-or-death situation, Paul could say, “I know that this will turn.”

  “That is what you should be saying in your situation, whatever it may be: ‘I know that this will turn.’  Say it as though you mean it: ‘ I know that this will turn.’  Now say it so that the devil will know you mean it: ‘I know that this will turn!'”

   “If you will make that profession of faith a practice until it becomes your habitual response to whatever situation you find yourself facing, you will go on with a smile on your face and a joy in your heart that others cannot understand.  You will go through life talking faith, because you will be able to see with the eye of faith…… that looks not at the seen but on the unseen, not at the temporal but at the eternal.  (2 Cor. 4:18)

      Jerry Savelle,  Turning Your Adversity Into Victory

 

Laws to Live By

O’Reilly’s law of the kitchen: Cleanliness is next to impossible.

Lieberman’s law: Everybody lies, but it doesn’t matter since nobody listens.

Denniston’s law: Virtue is its own punishment.

Gold’s law: If the shoe fits, its ugly.

Conway’s law: In any organization, there will always be one person who knows what is going on.  This person should be fired.

Finster’s law: A closed mouth gathers no feet.

Lynch’s law:  When the going gets tough, everyone leaves.

Muir’s law: When we try to separate anything out by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

Glyme’s formula for success:  The secret of success is sincerity.  Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.



WHAT LIFE IS NOT?

MARCH 10

Life isn’t about keeping score.

It’s not about how many friends you have

Or how accepted you are.

Not about if you have plans this weekend or if you’re alone.

It isn’t about who you’re dating, who you used to date, how many people you’ve dated, or if you haven’t been with anyone at all.

It isn’t about who you have kissed,

It isn’t about who your family is or how much money they have

Or what kind of car you drive.

Or where you are sent to school.

It’s not about how beautiful or ugly you are.

Or what clothes you wear, what shoes you have on, or what kind of music you listen to.

It’s not about if your hair is blonde, red, black, or brown

Or if your skin is too light or too dark.

Not about what grades you get, how smart you are, how smart everybody else thinks you are, or how smart standardized tests say you are.

It’s not about what clubs you’re in or how good you are at “your” sport.

It’s not about representing your whole being on a piece of paper and seeing who will “accept the written you.”

 

 

 

Don’t Worry, Be Crabby

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.

A rose by any other name would stick you just as bad and draw just as much blood when you grab a thorn.

If I wanted to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, I’d put shoes on my cat.

Strangers are friends you haven’t bled for an easy twenty yet.

It takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown, and fewer still to ignore someone completely. 

The best laid plans of mice and men are worth just as much.

I believe no problem is so large or so difficult that it can’t be blamed on somebody else.

I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows.  And a foundation leaks and a ball game gets rained out and a car rusts and…

Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either, Just leave me alone.



DEALING WITH PRESSURE

March 9

2 Timothy 1:12 12  For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

“… we should never give up, regardless of our outward circumstances.  Even when we are under pressure, we should refuse to surrender.”

  “I learned a long time ago that when I am under the greatest pressure to quit, that is always an indication that Satan has just fired his best shot.  If he didn’t get me with that one, then he is finished.”

  “So if you are under great pressure today, it is time to rejoice.  If you think you can’t possibly hold on any longer, if you are left wobbling on one leg, then take joy; the devil has just launched his fiercest attack, and you are still standing.”

  “Notice that Paul didn’t say that he thought he would be delivered, or that he hoped he would be delivered, or that he prayed he would be delivered; instead, he said that he knew he would be delivered.  You can know that too.  When you get out of the realm of wondering and into the realm of knowing, you will discover the greatest joy you will ever experience in your life.”

       Jerry Savelle,  Turning Your Adversity into Victory

 

 

 

Lawyer Humor

  1. There was the time the judge was asked to contribute 10 bucks to a lawyer’s funeral. “Here’s a hundred,” he said. “Bury 10 of ’em.”
  2. A very wealthy lawyer retreated for several weeks each year to his summer home in the backwoods of Maine. Every summer, he would invite one friend or another to stay with him there for a week or two.

   One summer he invited a Czechoslovakian friend to visit him. The friend, happy to get anything free from a lawyer, eagerly agreed. When the time came, they spent a wonderful time, getting up early every morning and enjoying the great outdoors. One morning, as the lawyer and his Czechoslovakian friend were picking raspberries and blueberries for their breakfast, they were approached by two huge bears–a male and a female. The lawyer noticed them in time to run for cover.

   His friend, however, was not so lucky. The male bear reached him and swallowed him whole. Seeing this, the lawyer ran back to his Mercedes and raced for the nearest town to get the local sheriff.

   The sheriff grabbed his high-powered rifle and raced back to the berry area with the lawyer. All the while, he was plagued by visions of lawsuit from his friend’s family. He just had to save his friend.

Luckily, the bears were still there.

   “He’s in THAT one!” cried the lawyer, pointing to the male.

   The sheriff looked at the bears, leveled his gun, took careful aim, and shot the female.

    “What did you do that for?!” exclaimed the lawyer, “I said he was in the other bear!”

   “Exactly,” replied the sheriff. “Would YOU believe a lawyer who told you that the Czech was in the male?”

  1. Upon seeing an elderly lady for the drafting of her will, the attorney charged her $100. She gave him a $100 bill, not noticing that stuck to it was a second $100 bill. Immediately the ethical question arose in the attorney’s mind: “Do I tell my partner?”
  2. Did you hear about the lawyer on vacation whose sailboat capsized in dangerous, shark-infested waters? He started swimming toward the far-off shore, wondering how he could make it safely. As he was swimming, the sharks seemed to make way for him, helping him reach shore safely. We suspect it was professional courtesy.



 

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