JUST PREACH CHRIST

AUGUST 30

          “We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message.  We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity.  To be mature is to be basic.  Christ! No more, no less.”  Colossians 1:28  The Message Bible

          As every preacher knows, whatever you preach in a sermon, that subject will become the challenge of the week.  For example, preach on Divine Healing and there will be an increase in sickness and disease.  Preach on Love and you will be tested to love like Christ loves.

          So the lesson we must learn, is if we preach Christ, we will experience more of Him for the coming period.  The more we exalt and lift up the name of Jesus, the more of Him that we experience in our own life.

          And what else can we live and preach better than Christ?  Some would believe that He is unbelievable and make Him seem less than he is.  The Classic story of the little boy who came home from Sunday School illustrates this. 

Mom asked him, “what did you learn in Sunday School today?”  to which he replied, “We learned how Moses sent his engineers ahead and built a pontoon bridge across the Red Sea, so that everyone could get across safely, and then they blew it up when the Egyptians tried to follow them.”

 Mom said, “Johnny, they didn’t teach that in Sunday School did they?”.  And Johnny again answered, “Well if I told it the way they did, you’d never believe it.”

          Don’t “water” down Christ. He is more than you’ll ever expect or believe.

          And some think they have to add something to Christ to make Him bigger than life.  He already is.  There is nothing that you can add to make Him sound “better”.

          Christ, think about Him today.  Share your thoughts about Him. And He will give you the opportunity to put into practice all that Christ has revealed to you.  He will be more than enough for the day.

          Pastor Don

 

MEMOS TO A PASTOR

(Good News and Bad News for a Pastor)

 

Good news: You baptized seven people today in the river.

Bad news: You lost two of them in the swift current.

 

Good news: The Women’s Guild voted to send you a get-well card.

Bad news: The vote passed by 31-30.

 

Good news: The elders accepted your job description the way you wrote it.

Bad news: They were so inspired by it, they also formed a search committee to find somebody capable of filling the position.

 

Good news: You finally found a choir director who approaches things exactly the same way you do.

Bad news: The choir mutinied.

 

Good news: Mrs. Jones is wild about your sermons.

Bad news: Mrs. Jones is also wild about the “Gong Show,” “Beavis and Butthead” and “Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”

 

Good news: The trustees finally voted to add more church parking.

Bad news: They are going to blacktop the front lawn of your parsonage.

 

Good news: Church attendance rose dramatically the last three weeks.

Bad news: You were on vacation.

 

Good news: Your biggest critic just left your church.

Bad news: He has been appointed the head bishop of your denomination.

 

Good news: The youth in your church come to your house for a surprise visit.

Bad news: It’s in the middle of the night and they are armed with toilet paper and shaving cream to “decorate” your house.

 

After church on Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother,

“Mom, I’ve decided I’m going to be a minister when I grow up.

“That’s okay with us,” the mother said, “But what made you decide to be a minister?”

“Well,” the boy replied, “I have to go to church on Sunday anyway.”



WHO YOU ARE MAKES A DIFFERENCE

AUGUST 27

“Now GOD, don’t hold out on me, don’t hold back your passion.  Your love and truth are all that keeps me together.”  Psalm 40:11  The Message Bible

            Have you ever felt like no one cared?  Ever had that feeling that you were out on a life raft, all alone in the sea of life and you couldn’t even see dry land?. Wasn’t it wonderful to know that GOD did care in the midst of that situation?

            Perhaps the only way GOD can tell someone He cares is through us.  We may hold the key to helping “keep someone together” today.  This was sent to me sometime back it’s from Chicken Soup for the Soul.  Hope it helps someone today.

            Who You Are Makes a Difference

“One night a man came home to his 14-year-old son and sat him down. He said, “The most incredible thing happened to me today. I was in my office and one of the junior executives came in and he told me that he admired me and gave me a blue ribbon for being a creative genius. Imagine. He thinks I am a creative genius. Then he put this blue ribbon that says `Who I am makes a difference’ on my jacket above my heart. Then he gave me an extra ribbon and asked me to find somebody else to honor. As I was driving home tonight, I started thinking about whom I would honor with this ribbon and I thought about you. I want to honor you.

“My days are really hectic, and when I come home, I don’t pay a lot of attention to you. Sometimes I scream at you for not getting enough good grades in school and for your bedroom being a mess, but somehow tonight, I just wanted to sit here and, well, just let you know that you do make a difference to me. Besides your mother, you are the most important person in my life. You’re a great kid and I love you!”

The startled boy started to sob and sob, and he couldn’t stop crying. His whole body shook, and he looked up at his father and said, through his broken tears, “I was planning on committing suicide tomorrow, Dad, because I didn’t think you loved me. Now I don’t need to do that.”      (By Helice Bridges      from Condensed Chicken Soup for the Soul  Copyright 1996 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Patty Hansen)

            You’ve been given a Blue Ribbon today. On whom will you pin it?

            Pastor Don

 

 

A Texas millionaire had fallen ill.  Doctors consulted did not seem to understand what ailed him.  The millionaire let it be known that any doctor who could heal him could have whatever he desired.

A country doctor was finally able to cure him and as the doctor was leaving after a week’s stay, the Texan said, “Doc!  I am a man of my word.  You name it and if it is humanly possible I’ll get it for you.”

“Well,” said the doctor, “I love to play golf, so if I could have a matching set of golf clubs that would be fine.”  With that the doctor left.

The doctor didn’t hear from the Texan millionaire for some months.  Then one day he got a phone call from the millionaire.

“Doc, I bet you thought that I had gone back on my word. I have your matching set of golf clubs.  The reason it took so long is that two of them didn’t have swimming pools and I didn’t think they were good enough for ya.  So I had pools installed and they’re all ready for you now!”

 

Paying Attention in Class

The math teacher saw that Little Johnny wasn’t paying attention in class. She called on him and said,”Johnny! What are 2 and 4 and 28 and 44?”

Little Johnny quickly replied, “NBC, CBS, HBO and the Cartoon Network.”

 

Walking on Water

A Manpreet heard a rumor that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather had all walked on water on their 21st birthdays.

So, on his 21st birthday, Amanpreet his good friend Brian headed out to the lake. “If they did it, I can too!” he insisted.

When Amanpreet and Brian arrived at the lake, they rented a boat and began paddling. When the got to the middle of the lake, Amanpreet stepped off of the side of the boat… and nearly drowned.

Furious and somewhat shamed, he and Brian headed for home.

When Amanpreet arrived back at the family farm, he asked his grandmother for an explanation. “Grandma, why can I not walk on water like my father, and his father, and his father before him?”

The feeble old grandmother took Amanpreet by the hands, looked into his eyes, and explained, “That’s because your father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were born in January… you were born in July, dear.”



GIVING IN SECRET

AUGUST 26

            “Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop.  I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give… God loves it when the giver delights in the giving..”  2 Corinthians 9:6-7  The Message Bible

            I have often jokingly told about the year I gave my wife Judy, a power saw for Christmas (I didn’t really do it).  It illustrates how close we come to giving gifts that we would like to receive rather than one that the recipient really needs or would enjoy.

            How often have I chosen a gift for the kids that I knew I would have a great time playing with in realization that they would soon get tired of playing with it and I could have a good time too.

            Sometimes I wonder if our gifts to God are not a lot like that. Not necessarily what HE wants, but what we want to see Him have.  We calculate “what God needs” and then go and give it.  If it just so happens that we could benefit from it , then all the much better.  But sometimes gifts to God are not for our pride or use.  I read this story about Charles Spurgeon and His wife in Leadership magazine:

“Charles Spurgeon and his wife, according to a story in The Chaplain magazine, would sell, but refused to give away, the eggs their chickens laid. Even close relatives were told, “You may have them if you pay for them.” As a result some people labeled the Spurgeons greedy and grasping. They accepted the criticisms with out defending themselves, and only after Mrs. Spurgeon died was the full story revealed: All the profits from the sale of eggs went to support two elderly widows. Because the Spurgeons were unwilling to let their left hand know what the right hand was doing (Matt. 6:3), they endured the attacks in silence.”

            Now that is a gift that receives nothing but joy in giving even when others see only the critical side.

            So the question is not only, “What will you give?”, but with what purpose do you give?  Give and give abundantly.  God’s got a plan for you.

 

 

Two political candidates were having a hot debate. Finally, one of them jumped up and yelled at the other, “What about the powerful interest that controls you?”

And the other guy screamed back, “You leave my wife out of this!”

 

A fellow who’s just reached his 150th birthday was giving a press conference to the assembled media.

“Excuse me, sir,” one of the reporters said, “but how did you come to live to 150?

“It’s actually quite simple,” the old feller replied. “I just never argue.”

“That’s impossible,” the reporter responded. “There must be something else, like diet, or meditation, or something. Just not arguing won’t keep you alive for 150 years!”

The old fellow stared hard at the reporter for several seconds.

“Hmmm,” he finally shrugged, “maybe you’re right.”

 

 The executive was interviewing a young blonde for a position in his company. He wanted to find out something about her personality so he asked, “If you could have a conversation with someone, living or dead, who would it be?”

 The blonde quickly responded, “The living one.”

A guy walks into the human resources department of a large company and hands the executive his application. The executive begins to scan the sheet, and notices that the applicant has been fired from every job he has ever held.

 “I must say,” says the executive, “your work history is terrible. You’ve been fired from every job.”

 “Yes,” says the man.

 “Well,” continues the executive, “there’s not much positive in that.”

 “Hey!” says the guy as he pokes the application. “At least I’m not a quitter.”



STAY FOCUSED ON THE TARGET

AUGUST 25

            “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face.  All you need to remember is that God will never let you down;  he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit;  he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”  ! Corinthians 10:13  The Message Bible.

            “In one scene of the popular movie Robin Hood, The Prince of Thieves, Kevin Costner as Robin comes to a young man taking aim at an archery target. Robin asks, “Can you shoot amid distractions?”

Just before the boy releases the string, Robin pokes his ear with the feathers of an arrow. The boy’s shot flies high by several feet.

After the laughter of those watching dies down, Maid Marian, standing behind the boy, asks Robin, “Can you?”

Robin Hood raises his bow and takes aim. Just as he releases the arrow, Maid Marian leans beside him and flirtatiously blows into his face. The arrow misses the target, glances off the tree behind it, and scarcely misses a bystander.

Distractions come in all types, and whether they are painful or pleasant, the result is the same: we miss God’s mark. “(– Penney F. Nichols in Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching)

What kind of distractions will Satan try to use to cause you to “Miss the Mark” this week.  Be assured, they will be sly, without warning and deceitful.  The best way to stay “on target” is to keep our eyes, our minds and our souls on the Bullseye which is Christ Jesus.  He is the only thing worth staying focused on.

STAY FOCUSED

Pastor Don

 

A couple who’d been married for over 50 years was sitting on the sofa. The wife said, “Dear, do you remember how you used to sit close to me?” He moved over and sat close to her. “Dear” she continued, “do you remember how you used to hold me tight?” He reached over and held her tight. “And,” she went on, “do you remember how you used to hug me and kiss me and nibble on my ear?” With that, her husband got up and started to walk out of the room. “Where are you going?” she asked. “Well,” answered the husband, I have to go and get my teeth.”

 

ACTUAL CLASSIFIED ADS

Stock up and save. Limit: one.

We build bodies that last a lifetime.

For Rent: 6-room hated apartment.

Man wanted to work in dynamite factory. Must be willing to travel.

Used Cars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first!

Christmas tag-sale. Handmade gifts for the hard-to- find person.

3-year-old teacher needed for pre-school. Experience preferred.

Auto Repair Service. Free pick-up and delivery. Try us once, you’ll never go anywhere again.

Girl wanted to assist magician in cutting-off-head illusion. Blue Cross and salary.

We will oil your sewing machine and adjust tension in your home for $1.00.

 

Amen!

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.



WHO WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR LIFE FOR?

AUGUST 24

            “Anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields  – whatever – because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life.  This is the Great Reversal:  many of the first ending up last, and the last first.”  Matthew 19:29-30  The Message Bible

            In his book “Written in Blood”, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. The doctor had explained that she had the same disease the boy had recovered from two years earlier. Her only chance for recovery was a transfusion from someone who had previously conquered the disease. Since the two children had the same rare blood type, the boy was the ideal donor.

“Would you give your blood to Mary?” the doctor asked.

Johnny hesitated. His lower lip started to tremble. Then he smiled and said, “Sure, for my sister.”

Soon the two children were wheeled into the hospital room–Mary, pale and thin; Johnny, robust and healthy. Neither spoke, but when their met, Johnny grinned. As the nurse inserted the needle into his arm, Johnny’s smile faded. He watched the blood flow through the tube.

With the ordeal almost over, his voice slightly shaky, broke the silence. “Doctor, when do I die?” Only then did the doctor realize why Johnny had hesitated, why his lip had trembled when he’d agreed to donate his blood. He’d thought giving his blood to his sister meant giving up his life. In that brief moment, he’d made his great decision.

Johnny, fortunately, didn’t have to die to save his sister. Each of us however, has a condition more serious than Mary’s, and it required Jesus to give not just his blood, but his life.

— Thomas Lindberg, Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Leadership, Vol. 5, no. 1.

 

 

An honest seven-year-old admitted calmly to her parents that Billy Brown had kissed her after class.

“How did that happen?, ” gasped her mother.

“It wasn’t easy,” admitted the young lady, “but three girls helped me catch him!”

 

They say the grass is greener on the other side, but have you ever flipped it over?

Profanity: The linguistic crutch of inarticulate jerks.

Anybody can win unless there happens to be a second entry.

Being a husband is like any other job. It helps a lot if you like the boss



THE BE-ATTITUDES

AUGUST 23

*Be understanding to your enemies.

*Be strong enough to face the world each day.

*Be weak enough to know you cannot do everything alone.

*Be generous to those who need your help.

*Be frugal with that you need yourself.

*Be wise enough to know that you do not know everything.

*Be foolish enough to believe in miracles.

*Be willing to share your joys.

*Be willing to share the sorrows of others.

*Be a leader when you see a path others have missed.

*Be a follower when you are shrouded by the mists of uncertainty.

*Be first to congratulate an opponent who succeeds.

*Be last to criticize a colleague who fails.

*Be sure where your next step will fall, so that you will not tumble.

*Be sure of your final destination, in case you are going the wrong way.

*Be loving to those who love you.

*Be loving to those who do not love you; they may change.

**Above all, be yourself.

                                    –author unknown 

 

Good Morning.

I am God.  Today I will be handling all of your problems.  Please remember that I do not need your help.

If the devil happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, DO NOT attempt to resolve it.  Kindly put it in the SFJTD (something for Jesus to do) box.  It will be addressed in MY time, not yours.

Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold on to it or attempt to remove it.  Holding on or removal will delay the resolution of your problem. If it is a situation that you think you are capable of handling, please consult me in prayer to be sure that it is the proper resolution.

Because I do not sleep nor do I slumber, there is no need for you to lose any sleep.  Rest my child.  If you need to contact me, I am only a prayer away.

With all my Love,

God

 

You Can Learn A Lot In School

The following beguiling ideas about science quoted here gleaned from students’ essays, exams, and class room discussions.

One horsepower is the amount of energy it takes to drag a horse 500 feet in one second.

Thunder is a rich source of loudness. You can listen to thunder after lightening and tell how close you came to getting hit.  If you don’t hear it you got hit, so never mind.

When they broke open molecules, they found they were only stuffed with atoms.  But when they broke open atoms, they found them stuffed with explosions.

When people run around and around in circles we say they are crazy. When planets do it we say they are orbiting.

While the Earth seems to be knowingly keeping its distance from the sun, it is really only certificating.

Most books now say our sun is a star.  But it still knows how to change back into a sun in the daytime.

A vibration is a motion that cannot make up its mind which way it wants to go.

Many dead animals of the past changed to fossils, others preferred to be oil.

Vacuums are nothing.  We only mention them to let them know we know they’re there.

Some people can tell what time it is by looking at the sun.  But I have never been able to make out the numbers.

We say the cause of perfume disappearing is evaporation.  Evaporation gets blamed for a lot of things people forget to put the top on.

H2O is hot water and CO2 is cold water.

I am not sure how clouds get formed.  But the clouds know how to do it, and that is the important thing.

In making rain water, it takes everything from H to O. 

Rain is saved up in cloud banks.

Cyanide is so poisonous that one drop of it on a dog’s tongue will kill the strongest man. 

Isotherms & isobars are even more important than their names sound. 

It is so hot in some parts of the world that the people there have to live other places.



KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE MAP

AUGUST 20

“You’re Blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find Him.”  Psalm 119:1-2  The Message Bible

          From an early age, my dad taught me how to read a road map.  Almost every summer we would load up the car and head out on a trip to Northern Minnesota where all of our In laws on my father’s side lived.  It was fascinating to me to see how they could make a map with all the fine details on it.  After a few tries, I could tell which lane to be in for the exit ramp off the Toll Roads (Interstate Highways weren’t complete back then and no one had even heard of GPS).

          I’ll never forget the year that Mother and Dad suggested that I navigate for the trip.  What a thrill that was, to be “IN CHARGE” of the maps.  But what a responsibility to keep us on the right road.  Sometimes it would have been more relaxing to just have to read the “Burma Shave Signs”.  But couldn’t take my eyes off the maps, lest we miss the next turn.

          Of course, what I didn’t know at the time, is that Dad had memorized the maps before we ever left home.  He would spent hours on many nights, going over and over the routes.  But he never let on.  He NEEDED me.

          You and I have a roadmap on how to make it through this life.  It’s called the Bible.  Our Father has memorized the path, and has gently pointed the way to each of us.  He doesn’t really “NEED” us, but He has chosen to “USE” us as we become available.  We need to keep our eyes on that roadmap lest we make a wrong turn in life.

          There are plenty of “Burma Shave” distractions along the roadways.  There are plenty of times that we can get tired and sleepy (Our Minnesota trips took over 26 hours of continuous driving… often not stopping at a Motel for the night). And it’s hard to read the roadmap when our eyes are heavy.  But read it we must if we’re going to reach our destination.

          Where are you headed in life?  Have you stopped and consulted your roadmap, the Bible?  This is one place you don’t want to get directions from someone else who may have made a detour miles back.  You need to let His Word speak to you so that you stay on course, in the middle of a storm.

          The Lord NEEDS you to tell others about the way that He has marked on the map.  The map is not just for you, but all who can follow you.

          Pastor Don

 

AND IT IS SO

God created the mule, and told him, “You will be a mule, working from dusk to dawn, carrying heavy loads on your back, and you will live for 40years.” The mule answered, “To live like this for 40 years is too much. Please, give me no more than 20.” And it was so.

Then God created the dog, and told him, “You will hold vigilance over the dwellings of man, to whom you will be his greatest companion. You will eat his table scraps and live for 35 years.” And the dog responded, “Lord, to live 35 years as a dog is too much. Please, no more than 15 years. And it was so.

 God then created the monkey, and told him, “You are monkey. You shall swing from tree to tree, acting like an idiot. You will be funny, and you shall live for 20 years.” And the monkey responded, “Lord, to live 20 years as a clown is too much. Please, Lord, give me no more than 10 years.” And it was so.

Finally, God created man and told him, “You are man, the only rational being that walks the Earth. You will use your intelligence to have mastery over the creatures of the world, and you will live for 25 years.” And the man responded, “Lord, to be man for only 25 years is too little. Please, Lord, give me the 20 years the mule refused, the 20 years the dog refused, and the 10 years the monkey refused.” And it was so. And so God made man to live 25 years as a man, then marry and live 20 years like a mule working and carrying heavy loads on his back. Then, he is to have children and live 20 years as a dog, guarding his house and eating the leftovers after they empty the pantry; then, in his old age, to live 10 years as a monkey, acting like an idiot to amuse his grand children. And it is so.

 

You might be a preacher if…

a.. Everybody stops talking when you enter the room.

b.. You’ve ever lied at a funeral.

c.. You always read the obituaries.

d.. You’ve ever suffered anxiety attack while playing Bible Trivia Pursuit.

e.. You wonder why people who have some time to kill want to spend it with you.

f.. You get your second wind when you say “And in conclusion”

g.. The ideas you bounce off board members really do.

h.. Your car tires are balding faster than your head.

i.. You wish someone would steal some of your sheep.

j.. You’ve seen more religion at a pool hall than you’ve seen at a Church cricket match.

k.. Your Bible has more side notes than printed text.

l.. “Annual Church Meeting” and “Armageddon” are one and the same to you.

  1. You jiggle all the toilet handles before you leave the church building.

          Submitted by RWright343@aol.com



YOU CAN ONLY GRIEVE A FRIEND

AUGUST 19

          “Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart.  His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself.  Don’t take such a gift for granted.”   Ephesians 4:30  The Message Bible.

          Milton S. Agnew wrote in an article for Christianity Today  called “The Holy Spirit–Friend and Counselor,” “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God” commands Paul.  Now, only a dear friend can be grieved.  Not a stranger: he might be annoyed.  Not a chance acquaintance: he might be perplexed.  Not a business partner: he might be offended.  Only a loved one can be grieved.”

          When you realize that the more one loves, the more one can be hurt or grieved. It doesn’t even have to be a major problem that would normally cause separation, it only takes a simple act of disobedience or rebellion and the other party is “grieved”.

          Even as a pastor, I know I grieve God with certain actions and attitudes.  It hurts to realize how broken His heart is for me.  It cuts to feel His pain because of what I have done or left undone.

          Rev. Larry Jackson of Fayetteville, N.C. has a series entitled “Being Numbered with the Transgressors”.  It can change your prayer life.   It speaks about intercession being a form of identifying with the sins of the person for whom you’re interceding.  In a very real way, it helps to see how deeply God hurts when we fail Him.

          But the Love of God not only feels every pain that we bring Him, He is able to forgive us and to restore us to that same place of Intimacy with Him.  His forgiveness is not to be taken for granted or taken lightly.  It is not to be “Used” and trod upon.  It is something that we embrace and receive as a learning tool to avoid future failures.

          When you have truly understood and received forgiveness, you become even more sensitive to the grief that you bring when you come short of the glory of God.

          Bless the Lord today.  Don’t Grieve Him.

          Pastor Don

 

 

 

A young lad decided to try his hand at poetry.

He figured if he could tap his unconscious mind he would succeed.

To execute his plan, he left a pad and pen by his bed so he could write down any thoughts that came to him in the night.

Sure enough, later that first night, he awoke from a stirring event, and sought to capture those thoughts as they occurred.

However, as you might guess, it did not work as he went from bed to verse.

 

“My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to 99 cents a can. That’s almost $7.00 in dog money.”    — Joe Weinstein

 

Shirley was racing around the porch with the neighbor’s son close at her heels.  “Why are you chasing her?”  Shirley’s father asked.

“She pinched me,” he replied.

Father turned to Shirley, “Why did you pinch him?”

Blushing, she whispered to her father, “So he would chase me.”



IS GOD YOUR KEY INGREDIENT?

AUGUST 18

          “I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little.  I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.  Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”  Philippians 4:11-13  The Message Bible

          Someone asked John D. Rockfeller, “How much money does it take to make one happy?”. To which he replied, “Just a little bit more.”. That philosophy seems to guide most of us in our day to day operations.  If I just had a little more of this or that, I’d be more content. 

          It reminds me of the “Little Rascals”.  They had a wagon pulled by a goat.  In order to get the goat to move ahead and pull the wagon, they waved a carrot, tied on a fishing pole just in front of his mouth.  He couldn’t reach it, but keep trying while pulling the heavy load of the wagon filled with all the kids.

          We work ardently to try to reach some temporary satisfaction that is just beyond our reach.  We stretch, and strive but all we accomplish is pulling the heavy load to which we’ve become attached.  The more we pull, the heavier the load, and the greater desire to reach out for just a taste of something new.

          How many times have we seen God help someone get out of debt, or set free from a nagging habit, or delivered from a harmful relationship only to find something even more binding looming ahead to cause them to carry a heavier load.  And this new load destroys them.

          What recipe for contentment have you found?  I subscribe to a daily email recipe group.  Most of their recipes are simple and have ingredients that I normally have on hand.  Those are the best ones.  But once in a while they include one of those “exotic” recipes, where I would have to go out and buy a whole new pantry full of spices and ingredients that I would not know what else to use them for.  To stock up on those “one time” ingredients would not only cause the pantry shelves to be full, but a daring challenge on my part to totally ruin another recipe by trying to add some unknown item to the mix.  (Don’t laugh, I once substituted Mustard Seed for Poppy Seeds in a recipe.  I suffered by having to eat the whole bowl myself, no one else could take the bitter taste).

          Contentment is satisfied with what God gives.  Judy has always sung a song entitled, “Little is Much when God is in it.”.  How true that is.  The recipe for contentment must always have God as it’s main ingredient.  So BE SATISIFED, and BE BLESSED today.  God is in it.

          Pastor Don

 

 

Frances Benson in CAPPER’S WEEKLY:  The police officer asked the bank teller, who had been robbed for the third time in a row by the same man, if he had noticed anything special about the robber. “Yes,” replied the teller.  “He was better dressed each time.”

 

Morris and Harry were both fanatics about deep sea fishing.  Each would come back from fishing trips, and tell the other big lies about the number, and sizes of the fish they caught.

So Morris comes back from his latest fishing trip, and tells Harry… ….” You wouldn’t believe, but in da Bahamas I caught a 500 pound herring. ”

Harry says….” That’s nothing, last time I fished in da Bahamas, I pulled up an old lantern from a sunken Spanish ship….and da candle was still burning ! ”

They both looked at each other, knowing that the other was lying.

Finally, Harry said to Morris….” Look Morris, if you take 450 pounds from off your herring….I’ll blow out my candle ! ”

 

During a patient’s two week follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, he informed his doctor that he was having trouble with one of his medications. “Which one?”, asked the doctor. “The patch.  The nurse told me to put on a new one every six hours and now I’m running out of places to put it!”  The doctor had him quickly undress and discovered what he hoped he wouldn’t see….Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body! Now the instructions include removal of the old patch before applying a new one.



JESUS THE GREAT LOCK

AUGUST 17

          “I am the Gate for the sheep…  Anyone who goes through me well be cared for — will freely go in and out, and find pasture.  A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy.  I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”   John 10:7-10  The Message Bible

          One of the first things that a person usually does after purchasing a used house from someone is to change the locks on the doors.  There is something about knowing that you have the ONLY key that will unlock the doors of a house that gives the sense of security and peace of mine.

          We want that key to be a unique key.  One that no one else will be able to duplicate or copy.  We want it to be a trustworthy lock that is not easily opened.  But we want it to be an easy access to get in and out quickly and efficiently.

          We need to take the same kind of care with our spiritual houses.  We need a door lock that will be secure but will not hinder our entrance or leaving.  Jesus said that He was that door lock.

          As I understand it, in ancient Israel, the shepherd would find a cave for the sheep to find refuge in at night. He would escort the sheep to the cave opening as nightfall approached.  As the sheep entered the cave, He would first count or call each by name.  He would inspect each sheep from head to tail for any parasites, thorns or briers, or any cuts, abrasions or bruises.  He would take time to clean each sheep and tend to its’ medical needs. 

          After all the sheep had been accounted for and safely corralled in the cave, the shepherd himself would lie down at the mouth of the cave, making Himself the door or gate of that cave dwelling.  Anything that would try to come in, had to cross over the Shepherd.  Anything that tried to get out of the fold, would have to cross over the Shepherd.

          Today, nothing can attack you without crossing over the Good Shepherd.  And likewise, You cannot wander out of the fold accidentally, you must deliberately Cross over the Good Shepherd.  He is the gate, the door, of your spiritual house.  The house is secure because He Cares for You.

          Pastor Don

 

Why?  Oh Why???

A mother and baby camel are talking one day when the baby camel asks, “Mom why have I got these huge three-toed feet?” The mother replies, “Well son, when we trek across the desert your toes will help you to stay on top of the soft sand”.

          OK” said the son. A few minutes later the son asks, “Mom, why have I got these great long eyelashes?” “They are there to keep the sand out of your eyes on the trips through the desert”, “Thanks Mom” replies the son.

          After a short while, the son returns and asks, “Mom, why have I got these great big humps on my back?” The mother, now a little impatient with the boy replies, “They are there to help us store fat for our long treks across the desert, so we can go without water for long periods.”

“That’s great mom, so we have huge feet to stop us sinking, and long eyelashes to keep the sand from our eyes and these humps to store water, but Mom …”

“Yes son?”

“Why in the world are we in the San Diego zoo?”

 

The little young lady, for punishment of some minor misdemeanor, was forced to eat her dinner alone at a little table in a corner of the dining room. The rest of the family paid no attention to her whatsoever, until they heard her saying grace: “I thank thee, Lord, for preparing a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.”

– Bev Parrish

 

The Alliterated Prodigal Son

The Final Fixing of the Foolish Fugitive

Feeling footloose, fancy-free and frisky, this feather-brained fellow finagled his fond father into forking over his fortune. Forthwith, he fled for foreign fields and frittered his farthings feasting fabulously with fair-weather friends. Finally, fleeced by those folly filled fellows and facing famine, he found himself a feed flinger in a filthy farm-lot.  He fain would have filled his frame with foraged food from fodder fragments.

“Fooey!  My father’s flunkies fare far fancier,” the frazzled fugitive fumed feverishly, frankly facing facts.

Frustrated from failure and filled with forebodings, he fled for his family.  Falling at his father’s feet, he floundered forlornly. “Father, I have flunked and fruitlessly forfeited further family favors . . .”

But the faithful father, forestalling further flinching, frantically flagged his flunkies to fetch forth the finest fatling and fix a feast.

But the fugitive’s fault-finding frater, faithfully farming his father’s fields for free, frowned at this fickle forgiveness of former folderol. His fury flashed, but fussing was futile.

His foresighted father figured, “Such filial fidelity is fine, but what forbids fervent festivities?  The fugitive is found!

Unfurl the flags!  With fanfare flaring, let fun, frolic and frivolity flow freely, former failures forgotten and folly forsaken.  Forgiveness forms a firm foundation for future fortitude.”




 

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