LESSONS FROM A FISH

SEPTEMBER 30

          “There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear.  Since fear is crippling, a fearful life – fear of death, fear of judgment – is one not yet fully formed in love.”  1 John 4:18  The Message Bible.

          A fable is told about a small fish that lived in the waters of the ocean close to the surface. One day he looked down into the cold, dark depths beneath him and became fearful. “What if I were to fall,” he thought to himself. And the thought became an obsession. “I must catch my tail,” he thought, “and hold it up so I will not fall.” Around and around he chased his tail until he heard the ocean say to him, “Relax, little fish. I am around you and in you. I provide you with life-giving oxygen to breathe and food to eat. Relax, I will not let you fall.” How like the little fish we are. How we need to hear the words of the Master, “Do not be anxious about your life…

          Fear is the handcuffs of life that cause us to miss opportunities of Blessings.  When we are controlled by our fears, it is worst than being in a prison since we hold the key to freedom in our hands. 

          What fears have you chasing yourselves trying to keep you from drowning?.  What obsession is holding you back from the freedom that God has intended for you this day?.  It is time to face those fears head on… Excellent advice was given by a superintendent of a telephone company who was instructing young men in pole climbing. “Do not look straight up or down,” he cautioned, “but just a little ahead of your highest hand.”

          So should we not stare at the fears or problems, but just a little above them to see the hand of God.  My favorite illustration is David and Goliath.  When all the army of Israel looked up, they saw a Giant of a man.  When David looked up, he looked just a little above the head of Goliath and saw a Giant of a God. 

          Remember, the larger the fear or problem, when you look just above it’s peak, God is still higher and bigger.  The smaller you are, the bigger God is.

          Pastor Don

 

One Liners Plus!

I don’t eat snails… I prefer FAST food!

Weather Forecast: There will be a high chance of darkness tonight.

Anyone who uses the phrase ‘easy as taking candy from a baby’      has never tried taking candy from a baby.

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.

Most of us can keep a secret.  It’s the people we tell it to who can’t.

Kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

There are times when silence has the loudest voice.

When God measures a person, he puts the tape around his heart,  not his head.

People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.

By the time we realize our parents were right, we have children who think we’re wrong.

I never eat anything that takes longer to cook than it does to eat…        – Rodney Lee

I’ve gone out to look for myself. If I should return before I get back… Keep me here!

Experience may be the best teacher, but it sure is a tough grader.                 – Bob Thaves (Frank & Ernest)

I have claustrophobia combined with fear of success, so I completely fell apart when I did a really good job painting the inside of my closet.  – Bob Thaves (Frank & Ernest)

For all the advances in medicine, there is still no cure for the common birthday.  – Senator John Glenn

I panicked and hung up!  What kind of sick company has an actual PERSON answer their phone?!  – Bob Thaves (Frank & Ernest)

How could I have been doing 70 miles an hour when I’ve only been driving for 10 minutes?  – Jim Unger (Herman)

You know you’re a parent when peace and quiet are more suspicious than they are relaxing.  – Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott (Baby Blues)

Old age is when your former classmates are so gray, wrinkled and bald that they don’t recognize you.  – Bennett Cerf

I don’t have an attitude problem. You have a perception problem.

Never trust a doctor who’s stethoscope has Mattel written on it.

Revised judicial oath:  “I solemnly swear to tell the truth as I know it, the whole truth as I

believe it to be, and nothing but what I think you need to know.”

When I give a lecture, I accept that people look at their watches, but what I do not tolerate is when they look at it and raise it to their ear to find out if it stopped.

          – Marcel Achard

The second day of a diet is always easier than the first.  By the second day you’re off it.  –Jackie Gleason



LOST OR FOUND

SEPTEMBER 29

          “You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all.  God’s kingdom is there for the finding…  You’re blessed when the tears flow freely.  Joy comes with the morning.”  Luke 6:20-21  The Message Bible

          It never seizes to amaze me at the seemingly paradox of Scripture.  But it never amazes me that Scripture is always right.

          It would seem strange that the Lord would say we are Blessed when we’ve lost it all.  But some of the happiest people I know have little to call their own.  As a matter of fact, those with the most seem to be the least happy because they are either trying to amass more or are worried about losing what they have.

          But Christ reminds us that even if we have lost it all, the kingdom of God is there and worth the finding.  It is that kingdom economics that give more security than anything that the world’s economy has to offer.

          And then Christ said that tears were blessed.  Tears usually bring to mind pain, and problems.  They are the evidence of hurts and frustrations according to modern standards.  But again Christ uses the paradox, the Joy comes with the morning.  Tears only make room for the joy of the Lord, which then becomes our strength.

          I’m not sure who said it first, but I use it often. “Happiness comes from happenings.  Joy comes from Jesus.”  We may not always have “happiness”, because things around us are not happening right.  But we can ALWAYS have Joy, because we always have Jesus

          When you feel that you may have lost it all, remember you have found the Kingdom of God and you can not lose that.  All the riches of God are yours.  Not as the world sees it but as God does.

          When you cannot stop the flow of tears, remember “Joy comes in the morning”. And the sun is on the horizon.

          Be Blessed

          Pastor Don

 

 

Information for Northerners Visiting the Southern States

If you are from the northern states and planning on visiting or moving to the south, there are a few things  you should know that will help you adapt to the difference in life styles:

 

If you run your car into a ditch, don’t panic. Four men in a four-wheel-drive pickup truck and a tow chain will be along shortly. Don’t try to help them, just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.

Don’t be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store. Do not buy food at this store.

Remember: “Y’all” is singular, “All y’all” is plural, and “All y’alls'” is plural possessive.

Get used to hearing “You ain’t from around here, are ya?”

Don’t be worried about not understanding what people are saying; they can’t understand you, either.

The first Southern expression to creep into a transplanted Northerner’s vocabulary is the adjective “big ol’,” as in “big ol’ truck ” or “big ol’ boy.” Most Northerners begin their new Southern-influenced dialect this way. All of them are in denial about it.

The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper.

If you hear a Southerner exclaim “Hey, y’all, watch this,” stay out of the way. These are likely to be the last words he’ll ever say.

 

A man walked into a doctor’s office with a frog growing  out of his ear.

 “When did you first notice this?” asked the doctor  “Well, it all started with a wart.” said the frog

 



TIME FLEES – GOD DOESN’T

SEPTEMBER 28

          “I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there too – your reassuring presence, coming and going.  This is too much, too wonderful –  I can’t take it all in!  Psalm 139:5-6  The Message Bible

          I can hardly believe that September is almost over.  Time seems to have rocket burst speed these days.  Another new year is on the horizon with promises of changes and better and easier lifestyles. Have you ordered your new IPhone?  How can we live without it. Technology changes every day hour.

          But there is one thing for sure, God has never changed and He is constantly surrounding us, in front and in back for our good. The Palmist indicates that when he looks ahead of him, he sees God.  And when he reflects on the past, he sees the hand of God.  God has had an integral part of his life and will continue to do so.

          It is so assuring that, for the believer who is walking in daily obedience to God, to know that his steps are ordered by God.  The only thing that will cause us to get out of step is our own attempts to walk alone.

          Many people ask how to know what the will of God is for their life.  And most of the time, they want to know what their future destiny will be.  Usually they are most concerned about their job, their future mate, their success, etc.  But the best answer that I have learned about the will of God, is simply, “obey the last thing He told you to do.”

          God knows that if He tells us too much, too early, we’d all be overcome by His blessings. So, we take each day as it comes, with God’s presence engulfing us.

          So today, look behind you.  Look ahead of you.  See God there, and your day will be headed in the right direction.

          Pastor Don

 

The Pastor’s Plight

The pastor of a church is in a precarious position; he can’t please everyone! 

It has been said:

If he is young, he lacks experience; if his hair is grey, he’s too old for the young people.

If he has several children, he has too many; if he has no children, he’s setting a bad example.

If he preaches from his notes, he has canned sermons and is too dry; if he  doesn’t use notes, he has not studied and is not deep.

If he is attentive to the poor people in the church, they claim he is playing to the grandstand; if he pays attention to the wealthy, he is trying to be an aristocrat.

If he suggests changes for improvement of the church, he is a dictator; if he makes no suggestions, he is a figurehead. 

If he uses too many illustrations, he neglects the Bible; if he doesn’t use enough illustrations, he isn’t clear.

If he condemns wrong, he is cranky; if he doesn’t preach against sin, he’s a compromiser.

If he preaches the truth, he’s offensive; if he doesn’t preach the truth, he’s a hypocrite.

If he fails to please somebody, he’s hurting the church and ought to leave; if he tries to please everyone, he is a fool.

If he preaches about money, he’s a money grabber; if he doesn’t preach spiritual giving, he is failing to develop the people.

If he drives an old car, he shames his congregation; if he drives a new car, he is setting his affection on earthly things.

If he preaches all the time, the people get tired of hearing one man; if he invites guest speakers, he is shirking his responsibility.

If he receives a large salary, he’s mercenary; if he receives only a small salary, well-it proves he isn’t worth much anyway.

-Author Unknown

 

 



PRAYING YOUR HAND

SEPTEMBER 27

“While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God.  Because he honored God, God answered him.  Though he was God’s Don, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do.”  Hebrews 5:7-8  The Message Bible

          I received this simple but helpful guide to how to pray the other day.  It was sent me by a brother in Norfolk, Virginia, and is simply called the “Five Fingered Prayer”.

  1. Your thumb is nearest to you. So, begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you.  They are the easiest to remember.  To pray for our loved ones is as C. S. Lewis once said, “a sweet duty.”
  2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal.  This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers.  They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction.  Keep then in your prayers.
  3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders.  Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators.  These people shape our nation and guide public opinion.  They need God’s guidance.
  4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. A fact that us surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger; as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble, or in pain.  They need your prayers day and night.  You cannot pray too much for them.
  5. And lastly comes our little finger, the smallest finger of all, which is where we should place ourselves in relation to god and others. As the Bible says, ” the least shall be the greatest among you.” Your pinky should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper respective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

Pray One for Another.

Pastor Don

 

Overheard in children’s Sunday school classes:

– – Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles.

– – The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.

– – A Christian should have only one spouse.  This is called monotony.

– – Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day and a ball of fire by night.

 

Nine-year-old Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday School.  “Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. When he got to the Red Sea, he had his engineers build a pontoon bridge, and all the people walked across safely.

He used his walkie-talkie to radio headquarters and call in an air strike. They sent in bombers to blow up the bridge and all the Israelites were saved.

“Now, Joey, is that REALLY what your teacher taught you?” his mother asked. 

“Well, no, Mom, but if I told it the way the teacher did, you’d never  believe it!”

 



THE PARADOX OF LIFE

SEPTEMBER 23

Thanks to Charles W. Dean for the following thought provoking piece.   

The Paradox of Our Time in History

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life, not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. 

We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We have higher incomes, but lower morals. We have more food, but less appeasement. We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication. We’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to make a difference, or to just hit delete…

Your choice.

 

Here Is a Compilation Of Some NEW Church Bulletin Bloopers:

Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa will be speaking tonight at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine. Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.

& FASTING Conference. “The cost for attending the Fasting and Prayer conference includes meals”.

Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.

Miss Charlene Mason sang “I will not pass this way again” giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

“Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don’t forget your husbands”.

Next Sunday is the family hayride and bonfire at the Fowlers’. Bring your own hot dogs and guns. Friends are welcome! Everyone come for a fun time.

Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say “hell” to someone who doesn’t care much about you.

The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been cancelled due to a conflict.

The sermon this morning: “Jesus walks on the water’. The sermon tonight: ‘Searching for Jesus’.

Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack’s sermons.

The “Over 60’s Choir” will be disbanded for the summer with thanks

The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are afflicted with any church.

The Pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.

 Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service. The pastor will then speak on “It’s a terrible experience”.



THE PARDOX OF SCRIPTURE

SEPTEMBER 22

          “You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all.  God’s kingdom is there for the finding…  You’re blessed when the tears flow freely.  Joy comes with the morning.”  Luke 6:20-21  The Message Bible

          It never seizes to amaze me at the seemingly paradox of Scripture.  But it never amazes me that Scripture is always right.

          It would seem strange that the Lord would say we are Blessed when we’ve lost it all.  But some of the happiest people I know have little to call their own.  As a matter of fact, those with the most seem to be the least happy because they are either trying to amass more or are worried about losing what they have.

          But Christ reminds us that even if we have lost it all, the kingdom of God is there and worth the finding.  It is that kingdom economics that give more security than anything that the world’s economy has to offer.

          And then Christ said that tears were blessed.  Tears usually bring to mind pain, and problems.  They are the evidence of hurts and frustrations according to modern standards.  But again Christ uses the paradox, the Joy comes with the morning.  Tears only make room for the joy of the Lord, which then becomes our strength.

          I’m not sure who said it first, but I use it often. “Happiness comes from happenings.  Joy comes from Jesus.”  We may not always have “happiness”, because things around us are not happening right.  But we can ALWAYS have Joy, because we always have Jesus

          When you feel that you may have lost it all, remember you have found the Kingdom of God and you can not lose that.  All the riches of God are yours.  Not as the world sees it but as God does.

          When you cannot stop the flow of tears, remember “Joy comes in the morning”. And the sun is on the horizon.

          Be Blessed

          Pastor Don

 

Information for Northerners Visiting the Southern States

If you are from the northern states and planning on visiting or moving to the south, there are a few things you should know that will help you adapt to the difference in life styles:

 

If you run your car into a ditch, don’t panic. Four men in a four-wheel-drive pickup truck with a 12-pack of beer and a tow chain will be along shortly. Don’t try to help them, just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.

Don’t be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store. Do not buy food at this store.

Remember: “Y’all” is singular, “All y’all” is plural, and “All y’alls'” is plural possessive.

Get used to hearing “You ain’t from around here, are ya?”

Don’t be worried about not understanding what people are saying; they can’t understand you, either.

The first Southern expression to creep into a transplanted Northerner’s vocabulary is the adjective “big ol’,” as in “big ol’ truck ” or “big ol’ boy.” Most Northerners begin their new Southern-influenced dialect this way. All of them are in denial about it.

The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper.

If you hear a Southerner exclaim “Hey, y’all, watch this,” stay out of the way. These are likely to be the last words he’ll ever say.

 

 A man walked into a doctor’s office with a frog growing  out of his ear.

 “When did you first notice this?” asked the doctor  “Well, it all started with a wart.” said the frog

 

A Case For The FBI

The phone rings at FBI headquarters.

 “Hello?”

 “Hello, is this FBI?”

 “Yes. What do you want?”

 “I’m calling to report my neighbor Tom.  He is hiding marijuana in his firewood.”

 “This will be noted.”

  Next day, the FBI comes over to Tom’s house.  They search the shed where the firewood is kept, break every piece of wood, find no marijuana, swear at Tom  and leave.

  The phone rings at Tom’s house.

 “Hey, Tom!  Did the FBI come?”

 “Yeah!”

 “Did they chop your firewood?”

 “Yeah they did.”

 “Okay, now it’s your turn to call. I need my garden plowed.”

 

Going Long

The sermon had been going on too long, and the Minister should have been able to see the congregation getting more than a little restless; he droned on none-the-less for yet another 15 minutes.

Finally, he paused and said, “What else can I say Brothers and Sisters?”

“How about ‘Amen’ preacher?” said a hungry soul from the rear of the Church.

 

As a new school Principal, Mr. Mitchell was checking over his school on the first day.  Passing the stockroom, he was startled to see the door wide open and teachers bustling in and out, carrying off books and supplies in preparation for the arrival of students the next day.

The school where he had been a teacher the previous year had used a check-out system only slightly less elaborate than that at Fort Knox.

Cautiously, he asked the schools long time Custodian, “Do you think it’s wise to keep the stock room unlocked and to let the teachers take things without requisitions?”

The Custodian looked at him gravely and replied …. “We trust them with the children, don’t we?”



THE MARK

SEPTEMBER 22

“The Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” (Ezekiel 9:4)

 

Ezekiel’s days were times of judgment for Israel. This verse is an interesting verse about those who would be exempt from Divine judgment. They would be marked in a special way (on the forehead). To look into this marking of the people, we note the parting by the mark, the people for the mark, and the purpose of the mark.

Parting by the mark. God parts the righteous from the wicked. It is an eternal practice of God. The wicked and the righteous may live side by side for a time, but eventually the time will come when they will be separated. And God knows who is wicked and who is righteous. He will not make any mistakes in the parting of the people.

People for the mark. “Set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” Two qualifications were set down for those who were marked. They were to both “sigh “and “cry” for the iniquity in the land. Sighing speaks of the inward concern of people. It is the heart lamenting the sin in the land. Crying is the outward complaint of the people about the sins in the land. It is important that both the sighing and the crying be present. Many folk may cry outwardly. Many folk may show an outward lamenting of the sins. But inwardly they may not sigh. Those who cry but do not sigh are hypocrites. On the other hand, those who sigh but do not cry are cowards. Those who sigh need to cry out against evil and take a strong stand against evil.

Purpose of the mark. Later verses tell the purpose of the mark. It is to protect those who are given the mark from the judgment of God. The righteous may feel out of place in the land and they may be despised by the populace. But God thinks differently about them. God favors the righteous and will protect them from Divine judgment. If God were marking people today, would you be a marked person?

 

Views on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than ten years old, you’re so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

“How old are you?”

“I’m four and a half.”

You’re never 36 and a half .you’re four and a half going on 5. You get into your teens; now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number. “How old are you?” “I’m gonna be 16.” You could be 12, but you’re gonna be 16.  Eventually.

Then the great day of your life; you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. You BECOME 21….Yes!!

Then you turn 30. What happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk. He TURNED; we had to throw him out. What’s wrong? What changed? You BECOME 21;  you TURN 30.

Then you’re PUSHING 40….stay over there. You REACH 50. You BECOME 21; you TURN 30; You’re PUSHING 40; you REACH 50; then you MAKE IT to 60. By then you’ve built up so much speed, you HIT 70. After that, it’s a day by day thing. You HIT Wednesday.

You get into your 80’s; you HIT lunch, you HIT 4:30. My Grandmother won’t even buy green bananas. “Well, it’s an investment, you know, and maybe a bad one.”  And it doesn’t end there….

Into the 90’s, you start going backwards. “I was JUST 92.” Then a strange thing happens; if you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. “I’m 100 and a half.”  Happy aging!

 

 

Memory Problems Come Quite Naturally With Age, Right?

An 80 year old couple were having problems remembering things, so they decided to go to their doctor to get checked out to make sure nothing was wrong with them. When they arrived at the doctor’s, they explained to the doctor about the problems

they were having with their memory.  After checking the couple out, the doctor tells them that they were physically okay but might want  to start writing things down and make notes to help them remember things. The couple thanked the doctor and left.

Later that night while watching TV, the old man got up from his chair and his wife asks, “Where are you going?” He replies, “To the kitchen.” She asks, “Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?” He replies, “Sure.”

          She then asks him, “Don’t you think you should write it down so you can remember it?” He says, “No, I can remember that.”  She then says, “Well I also would like some strawberries on top. You had better write that down cause I know you’ll forget that.”

He says, “I can remember that, you want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries. “She replies, “Well I also would like whip cream on top. I know you will forget that so you better write it down.” With irritation in his voice, he says, “I don’t need to write that down I can remember that.”  He then fumes into the kitchen.

After about 20 minutes he returns from the kitchen and hands her a plate of bacon and eggs. She stares at the  plate for a moment and says, “You forgot my toast.

 

My 50th Birthday Party

A rich millionaire decides to throw a massive party for his fiftieth birthday. During this party he grabs the mic and announces to his guests that down in the garden of his mansion he has a swimming pool with two great white sharks in it. ‘I will give anything they desire of mine, to the person who swims across that pool.’

So the party continues with no events in the pool, until SUDDENLY, there is a great splash and all the guests of the party run to the pool to see what has happened. In the pool is a man and he is swimming as hard as he can…the fins come out of the water and the jaws are snapping and this guy just keeps on going. The sharks are gaining on him until the guy reaches the end and he gets out of the pool, wet and soaked.

          The millionaire grabs the mic and says, ‘I am a man of his word, anything of mine I will give, my Ferraris, my house, absolutely anything, for you are the bravest man I have ever seen. So sir what will it be?’ the millionaire asks.

The guy grabs the mic and says, ‘Why don’t we start with the name of the idiot that pushed me in!’

 

When you get older………

You don’t know real embarrassment until your hip sets off a metal detector.

She’s getting crows feet around her eyes. And I’ll tell you, that crow has big feet!

Let’s face it, traveling just isn’t as much fun when all the historical sites are younger than you are.

You know you’re past your prime when every time you suck in your gut, your ankles swell.

I don’t like to do things now that I did 20 years ago– like look in the mirror.

I’m suffering from Mallzheimer’s disease. I go to the mall and forget where I parked my car.

Age always corresponds inversely to the size of your multi-vitamin.



PASS IT ON

SEPTEMBER 20

          “Whoever wants to be great must become a servant.  Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.  That is what the Son of Man has done:  He came to serve, not be served – and then to give away His life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.”  Matthew 20:26-28  The Message Bible

          The following story was recently sent to me.  It shows the Blessing of Being a servant.  May we do likewise as the opportunity arises.

A man was driving home one evening, on a two-lane country road. Work in this small mid-western community, was almost as slow as his beat-up Pontiac.  But he never quit looking.  Ever since the factory closed, he’d been unemployed, and with winter raging on, the chill had finally hit home. It was a lonely road. Not very many people had a reason to be on it, unless they were leaving.

Most of his friends had already left. They had families to feed and dreams to fulfill. But he stayed on. After all, this was where he buried his mother and father. He was born here and he knew the country. He could go down this road blind, and tell you what was on either side, and with his headlights not working, that now came in handy. It was starting to get dark and light snow flurries were coming down. He’d better get a move on.

You know, he almost didn’t see the old lady, stranded on the side of the road.  But even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her. Even with the smile on his face, she was worried, for the he didn’t look safe. Instead, he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold.  He knew how she felt.  It was that chill which only fear can put in you. He said, “I’m here to help you ma’am.  Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm?  By the way, my name is Bryan,”

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two.  Soon he was able to change the tire.  But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt. As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him.  She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through.

She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid.  Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk.  She asked him how much she owed him.  Any amount would have been all right with her. She had already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped.  Bryan never thought twice about the money. This was not a job to him.              This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it ever occurred to him to act any other way.  He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance that they needed, and Bryan added “…and think of me.”  He waited until she started her car and drove off.  It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She stopped to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home.  It was a dingy looking restaurant, and outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The cash register was like the telephone, it didn’t ring much.  Her waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn’t erase. The lady noticed that the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude.  The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger.

Then she remembered Bryan. After the lady finished her meal, and the waitress gave her the check, the lady paid with a hundred dollar bill. While the waitress went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, the lady slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. She wondered where the lady could be, then she noticed something written on the napkin under which was 4 more $100 bills.  There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote. It said: “You don’t owe me anything, I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I’m helping you.  If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you,”

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written.  How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard.  She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low,   Everything’s gonna be all right; I love you, Bryan.”

Pastor Don

 

Sad but too true

The new pastor decided to visit the children’s Sunday School. The teacher introduced him and said, “Pastor, this morning we’re studying Joshua.”

“That’s wonderful,” said the new Pastor, “let’s see what you’re learning. Who tore down the walls of Jericho?”

Little Billy shyly raised hand and offered, “Pastor, I didn’t do it.”

Taken aback the Pastor asked, “Come on, now, who tore down the walls of Jericho?”

Teacher, interrupting, said, “Pastor, Billy’s a good boy. If he says he didn’t do it, I believe he didn’t do it.”

Flustered, the Pastor went to the Sunday School director and related the story to him.

The Director looking worried, explained, “Well, sir, we’ve had some problems with Billy before. Let me talk to him and see what we can do.”

Really bothered now, by the answers of the teacher and the director, the new Pastor approached the deacons and related the whole story, including the responses of the teacher and the director.

A white-haired gentleman thoughtfully stroked his chin and said, “Well, Pastor, I move we just take the money from the general fund to pay for the walls and leave it at that.”

 

I’d Like A Coke Please

I’ve always ordered beverages one simple way: “A Coke, please.”

Lately, though, this hasn’t seemed to work. Waitresses now often respond, “I’m sorry, we don’t have Coke. We have Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Mr. Pibb.”

Tired of listening to the long list of soft drinks, I thought I’d make life easier. So one day I simply asked the snack bar clerk at a movie theater for a “dark, carbonated beverage.”

The young man behind the counter chuckled and asked, “Sir, would you like a cylindrical plastic sucking device with that?”

 

The Not So Yuppie Generation

One of my friends works in the customer service call center of a national pager company. He deals with the usual complaints regarding poor pager operation, as well as the occasional crank caller demanding to be paged less often, more often, or by more interesting people.

The best call came from a man who repeatedly complained that he keeps being paged by “Lucille.” He was instructed that he would have to call her and tell her to stop paging him.

“She don’t never leave no number, so I can’t call her back,” he said.

After three such calls, someone thought to ask how he knew it was Lucille if she didn’t leave a number.

“She leaves her name,” was the reply.

After establishing that the customer had a numeric-only pager, the light bulb came on.

“How does she spell her name?” the service rep asked.

“L-O-W C-E-L-L”

 



THE BIBLE IN 50 WORDS

SEPTEMBER 17

God made, Adam bit, Noah arked, Abraham split, Jacob fooled, Joseph ruled, Bush talked, Moses balked, Pharaoh plagued, People walked, Sea divided, Tablets guided, Promises landed, Saul freaked, David peeked, Prophets warned, Jesus born, God walked, Love talked, Anger crucified, Hope died Love rose, Spirit flamed, Word spread, God remained. Amen.

 

THE DEVIL”S BEATITUDES  <<From Andy’s Archives>>

    If the Devil were to write his own beatitudes, they would possibly go something like this:

** Blessed are those Christians who are TOO TIRED, TOO BUSY, too distracted to spend time with their fellow Christians in Church-they are my best candidates to backslide .Christians

**Blessed are those Christians who WAIT TO BE ASKED and EXPECT TO BE THANKED -I can use them to slow things down.

**Blessed are those Christians who are TOUCHY, with a bit of luck they may STOP GOING TO CHURCH and get others to quit-they are my missionaries.

**Blessed are those Christians who are VERY RELIGIOUS but GET ON EVERYONE’S nerves-they are my most effective stumbling blocks.

**Blessed are those Christians who are TROUBLEMAKERS -they are my best wrecking crew.

**Blessed are those Christians who have NO TIME TO PRAY -they are easy prey for me.

**Blessed are those Christians who are COMPLAINERS -they are my best discouragers.

**Blessed are YOU when you read this and THINK IT IS ABOUT OTHER people

and not yourself—I’ve got you.

 

 

 

The minister selected a fifty-cent item at a convenience store, but discovered he didn’t have any money with him.

 “I could invite you to hear me preach in return,” he said jokingly to the owner, “but I’m afraid I don’t have any fifty-cent sermons.”

“Perhaps,” suggested the owner, “I could attend twice.”

 

An efficiency expert concluded his lecture with a note of caution. “You don’t want to try these techniques at home.”

“Why not?” asked somebody from the audience.

“I watched my wife’s routine at breakfast for years,” the expert explained. “She made lots of trips between the refrigerator, stove, table and cabinets, often carrying a single item at a time. One day I told her,  ‘Hon, why don’t you try carrying several things at once?'”

“Did it save time?” the guy in the audience asked.

“Actually, yes,” replied the expert. “It used to take her 20 minutes to make breakfast. Now I do it in seven.”

 

Mr. & Mrs. Smith have been back from their honeymoon for two weeks when Mr. Smith comes home from work and says that he has invited 4 of his friends from the office home for dinner on Friday night.  The wife is a bit apprehensive and asks if she must cook a meal for the four.

The husband explains that there will be eight coming because each will bring his wife.

Since this is their first party, the husband consoles her by saying that all she has to do is get some Chinese food in and perhaps she can bake a cake.

This sounds like a good idea, and they sit down and decide what Chinese food to get.

Friday morning wife calls the office in tears.  She explains that the only cake recipe she has will only feed six.

Hubby says, “Why don’t you just double the recipe?”  She decides that is a good idea.

At four, hubby gets another phone call — this time quite frantic.

“I just can’t do it,” wifely weeps.  “It’s impossible.”

“Now, now, what’s the matter?”

“Well, their recipe calls for two eggs…”

“So, you use FOUR eggs.  Don’t you have them?

“Yes — then it needs 4 cups of flour.”

“Well,” hubby says rather testily, “you will have to use 8 cups of flour –what is the problem?”

“It isn’t the ingredients,” wife sobs, “it says that the cake must be baked at 350 degrees and I have checked the oven, and I can’t turn the heat up to 700 degrees!”



BEING A MAGNET

SEPTEMBER 16

          “No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it  –  What God has arranged for those who love him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9  The Message Bible

          As a young boy, I used to lay in the back yard in the woods where I could see the sky through the leafy treetops and could see the small creek that rambled through the back edge of our property.  It was during those times that the architect arose in me and I tried with the finest splendor, to describe what heaven would be like.

          I tried to imagine a gate made out of a single pearl yet massive enough for masses of people to enter through.  It was a delight to see building high walls that shone in the brilliant sunlight. I thought about gold as plentiful and pliable as asphalt, sometimes even imagining a machine that would inlay gold like those who lay highways.  And then I would realize that the gold may not become hard serviced at all, but would be like the dusty trails that we play upon in the woods.  I could only imagine having to take a bath at night in heaven, just to wash the old dust off my feet.

          But those youthful days only assist me in trying today to imagine how wonderful God’s plan is. His home that He is preparing for us, is so far beyond description that words can never express, architects can never design, and visionaries will only touch what it will be like.

          Even here today, God’s Blessings are beyond understanding. God wants to Bless His people.  But like my childhood dreams, we must look with grateful hearts to enjoy and see all God’s goodness.

          Leadership magazine had this illustration from Henry Ward Beecher that I liked. He said, “If one should give me a dish of sand and tell me there were particles of iron in it, I might look for them with my eyes and search for them with my clumsy fingers and be unable to detect them; but let me take a magnet and sweep through it and now would it draw to itself the almost invisible particles by the mere power of attraction. The unthankful heart, like my finger in the sand, discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings, only the iron in God’s sand is gold!”

          Let your heart become a magnet for the Blessings of God.  You haven’t even begun to imagine all that God has in store for you.

          Pastor Don

 

After a young couple brought their new baby home, the wife suggested that her husband should try his hand at changing diapers.

 “I’m busy,” he said, “I’ll do the next one.”

 The next time came around and she asked again.

 The husband looked puzzled, “Oh! I didn’t mean the next diaper. I meant the next baby!”

 

My wife chewed me out at the company picnic a while back. “Doesn’t it embarrass you that people have seen you go up to the buffet table five times???”

“Not a bit,” I replied. “I just tell them I’m filling up the plate for you!

 

Definitions

Twenty Something  — The cost of a sitter for Saturday night.

Fancy Restaurant  — One that serves cold soup on purpose.

College  — The four year period when parents are permitted access to the telephone.

Hors D’oeuvres  — A sandwich cut into 20 pieces.

Kissing  —  A means of getting two people so close together that they can’t see anything wrong with each other.

Emergency Numbers  — Police station, Fire Department and Places that deliver.




 

Leave a Reply