LORD FORGIVE ME WHEN I WHINE

DECEMBER 16

Lord, forgive me when I whine

Today, upon a bus, I saw a girl with golden hair.

 I envied her, she seemed so gay,

 and wished I was as fair.

 When suddenly she rose to leave,

 I saw her hobble down the aisle.

 She had one leg and wore a crutch.

 But as she passed, a smile.

 

 Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

 I have 2 legs, the world is mine.

 

 I stopped to buy some candy.

  The lad who sold it had such charm.

 I talked with him, he seemed so glad.

 If I were late, it’d do no harm.

 And as I left, he said to me,

 “I thank you, you’ve been so kind.

 It’s nice to talk with folks like you.

 You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”

 

 Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

 I have 2 eyes, the world is mine.

 

 Later while walking down the street,

I saw a child with eyes of blue.

 He stood and watched the others play.

 He did not know what to do.

 I stopped a moment and then I said,

“Why don’t you join the others, dear?”

 He looked ahead without a word. 

And then I knew, he couldn’t hear.

 

 Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

 I have 2 ears, the world is mine.

 

 With feet to take me where I’d go.

 With eyes to see the sunset’s glow.

 With ears to hear what I’d know.

 Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

 I’ve been blessed indeed, the world is mine

 

* * * *

 

 

 

YOU MIGHT BE AN ELEMENTARY TEACHER IT,,,,,,,

  1. Do you ask guests if they have remembered their scarves and

     mittens as they leave your home?

  1. Do you move your dinner partner’s glass away from the edge of the

     table?

  1. Do you ask if anyone needs to go to the bathroom as you enter a

     theater with a group of friends?

  1. Do you hand a tissue to anyone who sneezes?
  2. Do you refer to happy hour as “snack time”?
  3. Do you declare “no cuts” when a shopper squeezes ahead of you in

     a checkout line?

  1. Do you say “I like the way you did that” to the mechanic who

     repairs your car nice?

  1. Do you ask “Are you sure you did your best?” to the mechanic who

     fails to repair your car to your satisfaction?

  1. Do you sing the “Alphabet Song” to yourself as you look up a

     number in the phone book?

  1. Do you say everything twice? I mean, do you repeat everything?
  2. Do you fold your spouse’s fingers over the coins as you hand

     him/her the money at a tollbooth?

  1. Do you ask a quiet person at a party if he has something to

     share with the group?

                                ~~~

 

 * If you answered yes to 4 or more, it’s in your soul–you are hooked

   on teaching.  And if you’re not a teacher, you missed your calling.

 * If you answered yes to 8 or more, well, maybe it’s *too much* in

   your soul–you should probably begin thinking about retirement.

 * If you answered yes to all 12, forget it–you’ll *always* be a

   teacher, retired or not!

                       -Original Source unknown



THE CANDY CANE

DECEMBER 15

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son, And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was.  He came to help, to put the world right again.”  John 3:16-17

            One of our favorite “traditions” of the Christmas season is to serve family communion during the Christmas season. The pastor’s family is at the church for several hours during this night.  Families come, one at the time, or in corporate groups of extended families, and we serve the family unit communion ending with prayer for each member of the family.

            It is so fitting on the night that we think of the birth of the Christ child that we celebrate the reason that He came… to give his life for us.  Communion simply brings these two great events into one focus.

            The slogan that we often see, is more than just a saying, for truly “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” There are many things that we see or do during the Christmas season, ie, the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, that have special meaning.  We should always look for ways to take what the world sees as just expense and share the faith of God’s greatest gift of love.

            I’ve shared this meaning before, but with so many new readers it bears repeating.  It is the legend of the Candy Cane. 

According to legend there was a candy maker who wanted to invent a candy that was a witness to Christ.

First of all, he used a hard candy because Christ is the rock of ages. This hard candy was shaped so that it would resemble a “J” for Jesus or, turned upside down, a shepherd’s staff. He made it white to represent the purity of Christ.

Finally a red stripe was added to represent the blood Christ shed for the sins of the world, and three thinner red stripes for the stripes He received on our behalf when the Roman soldiers whipped Him. Sometimes a green stripe is added as a reminder that Jesus is a gift  from God. 

The flavor of the cane is peppermint, which is  similar to hyssop. Hyssop is in the mint family and was used in the Old Testament for purification and sacrifice. Jesus is the pure Lamb of God, come to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world. So, every time you see a candy cane, remember the message of the candy maker: Jesus is the Christ!

            May Christ be present in all that we do during this Christmas season.

            Pastor Don

 

Last time I had a flat tire, I pulled my truck into one of those side-of-the-road gas stations. The attendant ( Gomer) walks out, looks at my truck, looks at me, and he said, “Tyar go flat?”

I couldn’t resist. I said, “Nope. I was driving around and those other three just swelled right up on me.”

 

While on a car trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. After finishing their meal, the elderly woman left her glasses on the table, but she didn’t miss them until they were back on the highway. By then, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around.   The elderly man fussed and complained all the way back to the restaurant.

When they finally arrived at the restaurant, as the woman got out of the car to retrieve her glasses, the man yelled to her, “While you’re in there, you might as well get my hat, too.”

 

Our parish priest was making a visit to my nephew’s home.  He knocked on the door, and the little 4-year-old boy went to  the door and way the priest.  He called to his dad, “Hey,  Dad! That guy that works for God is here!”



A CHRISTMAS GIFT FROM MATT 1:21

DECEMBER 14

Last Christmas Bryan and his sister Kay decided to exchange gifts at Christmas. They had abandoned the practice in previous years, but since they were both spending the holidays with their parents, they decided for the sake of nostalgia to include each other on their list.

On Christmas morning Bryan was mortified when he opened Kay’s present. She had given him an incredible gift: season tickets to the San Diego Chargers 1998 home games. He suddenly wished they had discussed spending limits. He wasn’t sure how much she spent, but he knew it was considerably more than he spent on the pot-holders he bought for her. Even though Kay is two years younger than Bryan, she is already an accountant for a Big Eight firm; Bryan is still in college. He knew that she had more money than him, but he had not expected such an extravagant gift.

When Kay opened her gift, she took the pot-holders out of the box, held them up, looked at them, looked back in the box to see if she had overlooked something, then looked at the pot-holders again. She smiled and said sincerely, “Oh…these are so nice, Bryan, thank you for the beautiful pot-holders.”

Bryan felt terrible. He was embarrassed for being broke, and angry at himself for not giving a more heart-felt gift. He later said, “The only thing that could have made it worse was if she had told me that she sold her pots and pans to pay for the tickets.”

Later that day, when they were alone, Bryan told his sister how uncomfortable he was about the gifts. She punched him on the shoulder and said (like a typical accountant), “Don’t be silly. When you compare my income to your income, on a percentage basis you paid more for the pot-holders than I did for the Chargers tickets.” (And when you consider how the Chargers play, the pot-holders are arguably a better value.)

It was little consolation. Bryan determined to even the score for her birthday, which was less than a month away. He climbed into his parents attic and began rummaging through boxes, searching for tangible memories of their childhood. He spent three weeks putting together a scrapbook containing cards they had made for their parents, bookmarks from Vacation Bible School, pictures from church camp, grade school report cards, notes from old boyfriends…you get the idea.

He gave her the scrapbook for her birthday, with a note that said, “The greatest Christmas gift I ever received came 26 days late. It was delivered on January 19, 1972, and I have treasured it ever since.” Bryan couldn’t match Kay’s gift dollar for dollar, he could give only love in return.

2000 years ago we were given a gift at Christmas. He is Immanuel: “God with us.” Matthew wrote…She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,

because he will save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:22)

There is no possible way we can match the value of this gift with money or words or deeds, nor can we become worthy of it.  An entire lifetime of service doesn’t begin to balance the scale. We can only accept it, and offer in return the gift of ourselves. The wonderful truth is, it is the only gift God really wants. The Christmas hymn reminds us of this.

What can I give him, poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb.

If I were a wise man I would my part.

Yet, what I can I give him, give my heart.

            — The One Minute Message (http://www.ministrynow.com)

 

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS FOR MOM’S

  It was the night before Christmas, when all thru the abode

  only one creature was stirring, and she was cleaning the commode.

  The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds,

  while visions of Nintendo 64 and Barbie, flipped through their heads.

  The dad was snoring in front of the TV,

  with a half-constructed bicycle on his knee.

  So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,

  which made her sigh, “Now what’s the matter?”

  With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,

  she descended the stairs, and saw the old man.

  He was covered with ashes and soot, which fell with a shrug.

  “Oh great,” muttered the mom, “Now I have to clean the rug.”

  “Ho-ho-ho!” cried Santa, “I’m glad you’re awake.”

  “Your gift was especially difficult to make.”

  “Thanks, Santa, but all I want is some time alone.”

  “Exactly!” he chuckled, “I’ve made you a clone.”

    “A clone?” she asked, “What good is that?

  Run along, Santa, I’ve no time for chit-chat.”

  The mother’s twin. Same hair, same eyes,

  same double chin. “She’ll cook, she’ll dust, ”

  she’ll mop every mess. You’ll relax, take it easy,

  watch The Young & the Restless.” “Fantastic!” the mom cheered.

  “My dream come true! “I’ll shop. I’ll read.,    

   I’ll sleep a whole night   through! ”

  From the room above, the youngest began to fret.

  “Mommy?! I scared… and I ‘m wet.”

  The clone replied, “I’m coming, sweetheart.”

  “Hey,” the mom smiled, “She knows her part.”

  The clone changed the small one, and hummed a tune,

  as she bundled the child, in a blanket cocoon.

  “You the best mommy ever. ” I really love you.”

  The clone smiled and sighed, “I love you, too.”

  The mom frowned and said, “Sorry, Santa, no deal. ”

  That’s my child’s love, she’s trying to steal.”

  Smiling wisely Santa said, “To me it is clear, ”

  Only one loving mother, is needed here.”

  The mom kissed her child, and tucked her into bed.

  “Thank you, Santa, ” for clearing my head.

  I sometimes forget, it won’t be very long,

  when they’ll be too old, for my cradle-song.”

  The clock on the mantle began to chime.

  Santa whispered to the clone, “It works every time.”

  With the clone by his side Santa said, “Goodnight.

  Merry Christmas, Mom, You’ll be all right.”

 

                                                                                        



HE COULD HAVE COME

HE COULD HAVE COME

DECEMBER 12

He could have come majestically – in splendor,

Shimm’ring angels proclaiming the world ‘round.

Behold – of King of Heav’n is now approaching –

With Light and Power and Life, the King is crowned.

 

The trumpets could have signaled His appearing,

The sound of shouts and cannon blasts proclaimed,

The King had come to set to right creation,

The King of Kings – throughout the whole world famed.

 

His chariots could have been of flaming fire,

His garb of wrought gold set with burning jewels,

Upon His brow a crown to awe all people,

His pomp sufficing to declare – “He rules.”

 

But no – He came as Bethlehem’s baby,

A tiny, helpless innocent that lay

Within a cradle crude – ‘twas but a manger,

Dependent on humanity to stay.

 

Close by, that He might live yet longer;

Given to the world to cherish – or to shame,

He could not e’en request His simple wishes,

Far less demand the honor due His name.

 

His guardian – a simple, lowly maiden,

A teen.  No knowledge in the art

Of baby care.  Far less in handling royalty.

Yet God chose her to carry out the part.

 

Of Jesus’ mother.  Tender, yielded, open

Yet so alone – and oh, so far away.

She bore her son and wrapped him in the swathings

Of swaddling clothes, then placed Him on the hay.

 

And Joseph paced alone out in the darkness

And prayed his simple prayer yet once again –

For safe delivery of the child in nearby stable –

The woman, his wife – yet not – be freed from pain.

 

Only the shepherds heard the angel chorus

Announce the birth – the alleluias ring.

Only a few came to the lowly manger,

Though so few knew – this Babe was born the King.

            – Janette Oke

 

CHRISTMAS SIGNS:

     -From a toy store: “Ho, ho, ho spoken here.”

     -In a bridal boutique: “Marry Christmas.”

     -Outside a church: “The original Christmas Club.”

     -From a department store: “Big pre-Christmas sale.

      Come in and mangle with the crowd.”

     -In a Texas jewellery store: “Diamond tiaras — $70,000.

      Three for $200,000.

     -A reducing salon: “24 Shaping Days until Christmas.”

     -In a stationery store: “For the man who has everything…a

      calendar to remind him when payments are due.”

 

 

How to Raise Money Successfully

 

            The minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to, after

the worship service, ask the congregation to come up with more money than

they were expecting for repairs to the church building. Therefore, he was

annoyed to find that the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought

in at the last minute. The substitute wanted to know what to play.

            “Here’s a copy of the service,” he said impatiently. “But you’ll have to

think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances.”

            During the service, the minister paused and said, “Brothers and Sisters, we

are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected, and we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up.”

            At that moment, the substitute organist played “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

            And that is how the substitute became the regular organist!

 



WHAT DO WE PRAISE FOR

DECEMBER 10

Praise Him for Healing

Praise You God that You bear up my infirmities! Thank You for the hope of healing and restoration. Restore me Lord and give me health. I trust You are always good to restore.

Lord bless me with a life of health and those around me. Also restore everything that I lose for Your name’s sake. Remember me in Your love and be merciful to me according to my need.

“Behold, I will bring in health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.” Jer 33:6

Continue to meditate on the Lord today and praise Him for the restoration and healing He gives You. Take this time to worship Him in the secret place. Be edified in His presence and continue in it for the rest of the day.”

 

 

He’s Not Much

A truck driver stopped at a road side diner for lunch.  He ordered a cheeseburger, coffee, and a slice of apple pie.  As he was about to eat, three motorcycles pulled up outside.  The bikers came in, and one grabbed the trucker’s cheeseburger and took a bite from it.  The second one drank the trucker’s coffee, and the third wolfed down the apple pie.

The Truck driver didn’t say a word.  He simply got up, paid the cashier, and left.  When he was gone, one of the motorcyclists said, “He ain’t much of a man, is he?”  “He’s’ not much of a driver, either,” the cashier replied.  “He just backed his truck over three motorcycles

 



WHY DO WE PRAISE

DECEMBER 8

Praise Him for Purity

Lord keep me in a pure and righteous way. Bless me with a pure heart. I want to be as one who sees You and I know that only the pure in heart do. I love You Lord!  You are so faithful to remove my sin as far as the east is from the west. Purify my heart that I may worship You in the beauty of holiness.

By continual worship we maintain a pure heart. It is not that worship purifies us, but the action of meditating on the Holy Spirit does. The Holy Spirit does. The Holy Spirit cleanses the inward person as we praise Him in the place of our heart. Thereby, through having lips of continually pure hearts.

Any action that keeps your focus on the Spirit can maintain a heart of Godliness in you, not only worship. Yet seeing that worship is one of those things that helps you to abide it is good to practice continual worship. Take this time to meditate on the purity of God and confess any sins you may have committed. Commit yourself to continual meditation on the Spirit of God.

“Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has a clean hands and a pure heart. Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” Psalms 24:3-5

 

 

 

“HALF THIS GAME IS NINETY PERCENT MENTAL.”

     – Philadelphia Phillies manager Danny Ozark

“IT ISN’T POLLUTION THAT’S HARMING THE ENVIRONMENT. IT’S THE IMPURITIES IN OUR AIR AND WATER THAT ARE DOING IT.”

     – Former U.S. Vice-President Dan Quayle

“WITHOUT CENSORSHIP, THINGS CAN GET TERRIBLY CONFUSED IN THE PUBLIC MIND.”

     – General William Westmoreland, during the war in Viet Nam

“WHAT A WASTE IT IS TO LOSE ONE’S MIND. OR NOT TO HAVE A MIND IS BEING VERY WASTEFUL. HOW TRUE THAT IS.”

     – Former U.S. Vice- President Dan Quayle at a fundraising event for the United Negro College Fund. He was attempting to quote the line “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”



WHEN DO WE PRAISE

DECEMBER 7

Praise Him Through Out the Day

Lord help me to maintain a heart of worship constantly throughout the day. I know You’re worthy of a never ending love song, and I’d like to lift it up to You.  Help me with the activities of today that I can focus on the needful things while keeping the eyes of my heart on You through worship.  Help me to continually praise You as You deserve. Fill me with Your presence. I want to sit in Your presence all day today, even as I work. As I worship You quietly, inwardly inhabit my praise that I may be graced with your presence throughout the day.

Keep your heart on the LORD today. Sit with Him in the secret place and worship Him. Then take the message of the secret place with you. Worship Him quietly in your heart throughout the day. Focus on His presence and aim your praise at Him as much as you can. Don’t sing about God idly but focus on God while you sing and aim your praise to His face.

In this you will find strength, continual abiding and His perfect peace for the entire day. By continually focusing on the Holy Spirit you are able to continually walk in the Spirit. Keep it in your heart to worship God and keep in prayer all day today. Take care of the needful things but focus on God as well.

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”  Heb 13:15

 

 

* If “con” is the opposite of “pro,” then what is the opposite of progress?

* Why do we wait until a pig is dead to “cure” it?

* Why do we wash bath towels? Aren’t we clean when we use them?

* Why do we put suits in a garment bag and put garments in a suitcase?

* Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?



WHERE DO WE PRAISE

DECEMBER 6

Praise Him in the Open

Lord I will praise You in the open places. I will speak well of You among men. Let the unbeliever hear of Your greatness, and may they perceive Your love through me. Let my brethren be encouraged as I be a light to them.  Only Lord may You be glorified as I speak Your praises in the sight of all men.

 

Devote yourself to praising the goodness of God to other men. Make it a habit to speak well of the Lord always. Bring every conversation back to God. When you praise Him in your speech you will see God inhabit your daily conversations, because God inhabits the praise of His people.

 

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call Upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him! Talk of all His wondrous works!

Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!  Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!” Psalms 105:1-4

 

 

 

The Insomniac

Miguel Rodriquez long suffered from insomnia. It was a rare night that he slept more than an hour. He had consulted numerous physicians in Mexico and the United States but none had been able to help him. Even the strongest sedatives could not give him a restful night of sleep. One day, Miguel met and fell in love with a beautiful senorita named Esta Gonzales. Now when he wants to sleep he just looks at her picture.

Miguel has known from his childhood that WHEN YOU SEE ESTA, YOU SLEEP.



FOR WHAT DO WE PRAISE

DECEMBER 9

Praise Him for Purpose

Thank You God that you’ve giving me purpose! Thank You Lord that our lives are not some random chance caused by an evolutionary process. Thank You God that I was created for You by You. Thank you that I was made for the purpose of Your love, to know You and have You, even as You have me.

Lord I praise You in this: that I have meaning in my life through You. I do not question that meaning! For I know that a relationship with you in that meaning, and through You I have purpose!

Help me to understand my purpose and to know my place in the church. I seek to meditate on these things that I can fulfill the function you have decided for me. I want to walk with You Your way and not my own. For You are my Lord, and I am not my own but Christ’s

Why would I choose the way I should go claiming that You’re leading me when You haven’t even spoken? Be Lord of my life as I surrender to Your design. Create in me a new heart as I seek to fulfill the purpose for which You created me: An intimate relationship of love with You.

God has a purpose for each of us. WE all have the same purpose of being created for His love, to live by it, dwell in it, and have a relationship with God through it. Yet He has also created a specific purpose for each of us while we walk this earth. He is the Potter we are the clay. Let Him shape your life, and make of it what He desires. God makes things more beautiful than we could ever comprehend.

Surrender to His purpose for you and live according to His design. Contemplate these things in the secret place today. Seek the Lord and ask Him what your place is if you don’t know it already.

By following His every word as the Holy Spirit leads you daily, you will find your place in the Church. For God is the one who grafts the branches into the tree. Let Him graft you where He wants to, and give Him glory for your purpose. Worship Him now in the secret place knowing that you have purpose and meaning in your life.  That meaning is to live for Him and Him alone.

“For as we have many members in one body, but all members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them. If prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”  Romans 12:4-8

 

 

 

Say What

“CHINA IS A BIG COUNTRY, INHABITED BY MANY CHINESE.”

     – Former French President Charles de Gaulle

“THINGS ARE MORE LIKE THEY ARE NOW THAN THEY EVER WERE BEFORE.”

     – Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower

“A BILLION HERE, A BILLION THERE — SOONER OR LATER IT ADDS UP TO REAL MONEY.”

     – Everett Dirksen

“I DON’T FEEL WE DID WRONG IN TAKING THIS GREAT COUNTRY AWAY FROM THEM  .THERE WERE GREAT NUMBERS OF PEOPLE WHO NEEDED NEW LAND, AND THE INDIANS WERE SELFISHLY TRYING TO KEEP IT FOR THEMSELVES.”

     – John Wayne



PRAISE HIM IN SECRET

DECEMBER 3

Thank You God for these intimate moments, that I can hide away and be here alone with You. You’re so wonderful and Your presence is so amazing! Jesus I love You. I love Your Spirit and how You wrap around me as I pray. Be here with me and bless me again with Your presence today.”

Focus on His presence and be grateful He is with you now. Focus on Him and listen to His voice. Worship Him sweetly and softly in your alone time.

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalms 91:1

“But you, when your pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matt 6:6

From 30 Prayers of Praise by Adam Houge

 

 

At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker who was leaving the company due to ‘downsizing,’

our manager commented cheerfully, ‘This is fun. We should do this more often.’

Not another word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare.

This was a lunch at Texas Instruments.

 

I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself

and for the sake of her life, couldn’t understand why her system would not turn on.




 

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