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.”



HE SEES THE FINISHED WORK

HE SEES THE FINISHED WORK

          “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mid that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”  Philippians 1:6  The Message Bible

          Recently I had begun a project that could not be finished in a day or two. I had thing strewn all over the place.

One morning I woke up and stumbled through the maze of tools and materials. After nearly tripping over an obstacle, I thought to myself, if Steven had left such a mess, I’d have been all over him, until he cleaned and straightened it up.  Why then was it alright if I left this mess right where it was.

The only answer that I could come up with, was that I didn’t see the mess as much as I saw the finished project.  Because I had the dream in my heart, I couldn’t see the scaffolding to get it completed.

Sometimes I look at the mess in other’s lives and ask why they can’t get it more in control.  Why can’t they “clean up their act?”  I can’t see the mess in my own life, because I know that God is working on me.  God is working on those others as well.

I must hold on to the truth that I am not all that God wants me to be yet.  As the little song goes, “He’s still working on me.”  The mess that surrounds me may only be the means by which God can finish phase two of my development.

The good news is, that unlike us who get interrupted in our projects, and so the mess is magnified by time, God is constantly working on completing His project, ME.

I can’t get side tracked by the appearance of things of today.  I’ve got to visualize the finished product that God is working on.  What’s He working on in you today?

Pastor Don

 

 

 

Wanna Buy a Parrot?

One day a man went to an auction. While there, he bid on a parrot. He really wanted this bird, so he got caught up in the bidding. He kept on bidding, but kept getting outbid, so he bid higher and higher and higher. Finally, after he bid way more than he intended, he won the bid – the parrot was his at last!

As he was paying for the parrot, he said to the Auctioneer, “I sure hope this parrot can talk. I would hate to have paid this much for it, only to find out that he can’t talk!”

“Don’t worry.” said the Auctioneer, “He can talk. Who do you think kept bidding against you?”

 

Making Coffee Correctly!

Cousin Elly is the world’s worst at getting instructions mixed up.  When she got married her husband bought her one of those fancy, electric coffee makers.  It had all the latest

gadgets on it.

Salesman Riley carefully explained how everything worked; how to plug it in, set the timer, go back to bed, and upon rising, the coffee is ready.”

A few weeks later Elly was back in the store and Riley asked her how she liked the coffee maker.

“Wonderful!” she replied, “However, there’s one thing I don’t understand.   Why do I have to go to bed every time I want to make a pot of coffee?”

 

A father was reading Bible stories to his young son. He read, “The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city, but his wife looked back and was turned to salt.”

 His son asked, “What happened to the flea?”



GOD’S SUPPLY OF LOVE

AUGUST 13

            “Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it — because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you.  Most of all, try to proclaim his truth.”  1 Corinthians 14:1  The Message Bible

            Perhaps you read the story about a woman and her husband who came to a pastor and said, “We’re going to get a divorce, but we want to come to make sure that you approve of it.” There are people who come to the pastor hoping that when they say there is no feeling left in their marriage, the pastor will say, “Well, if there’s no feeling left, then, the only thing you can do is split.”

Instead, the pastor says to the husband, “The Bible says you’re to love your wife as Jesus Christ loved the church.”

He says, “Oh, I can’t do that.”

The pastor says, “If you can’t begin at that level, then begin on a lower level. You’re supposed to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Can you at least love her as you would love a neighbor?”

The husband says, “No. That’s still too high a level.”

The pastor says, “The Bible says, Love your enemies. Begin there.”

            Who is it in your life that you have a hard time loving?  Maybe you need to begin at the level of “loving your enemy.”  We must be willing to live the kind of love that will cause us to lay down our life for another.  It is the example that Christ lay down for us.

            But God never asks us to do anything without first giving us the supply first.  The Fruit of the Spirit is “Love…”  God has already given you the gift of Love.  You don’t have to spend any of your own, it is his supply that He is pouring through you.

            Every one of God’s Blessings is a reminder that God has given you an abundant supply of His love to reach others with the testimony of God’s Love. Share it with someone today.

            Pastor Don

 

 

From The Guardian concerning a sign seen in a Police canteen in Christchurch, New Zealand:  ‘Will the person who took a slice of cake from  the Commissioner’s Office  return it immediately.  It is needed as evidence in a poisoning case.’

From The Derby Abbey Community News:   “We apologize for the error in the last edition, in which we stated that ‘Mr Fred Nicolme is a  Defective in the Police Force’. This was a typographical error. We meant of course that Mr Nicolme is a detective  in  the Police Farce.”

            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”



UMBRELLAS OF FAITH

AUGUST 12

            “Friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival.  You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work.  Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time.”   James 5:7-8     The Message Bible

                        Many years ago, while driving through Dallas, Texas for an assignment for Southwestern College, we heard the weatherman state that there was a 40% chance of thunderstorms in the Dallas area. 

            He then explained it like this. “In order to understand what a 40% chance of rain is, you have to take a map of the city and divide it into a grid of 100 equal squares.  Then mark each square where a picnic is planned, or someone is washing their car or has a major outside project underway.  When you have 40 squares marked, then you know where it is most likely to rain in the city.”

            Well, it is a humorous way to calculate the chance of rain, but how often during a drought, have you washed the car or planned something outside, only to find that is seemed to bring in the rain.

            One of my favorite stories is that of Sister Edge, the wife of the first pastor I ever had. While living in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, they were in a severe drought, and Sister Edge, the prayer warrior that she was, called for a community prayer meeting to intercede for rain.  On the day scheduled everyone came to church “to pray”, but Sister Edge told them, “There is no need to pray today.  Only one person had the faith to bring an umbrella.”

            Like Elijah today, I’m looking for a cloud.  Not even a rain cloud.  I’m looking for a cloud that will accompany our Lord Jesus Christ as He returns.  I’m marking my grid of prophecies.  It’s nearing the 100 percent mark.  When it’s completed, Christ will return.  I think I see a cloud forming in the East. Did we bring our umbrellas of faith?  Tell someone that Jesus may come before the next Thunderstorm.  BE READY!

            Pastor Don

 

A man who had just undergone a very complicated operation kept complaining about a bump on his head and a terrible headache. Since his operation had been an intestinal one, there was no earthly reason why he should be complaining of a headache. Finally his nurse, fearing that the man might be suffering from some post operation shock, spoke to the doctor about it.

“Don’t worry about a thing, nurse,” the doctor assured her. “He really does have a bump on his head. About halfway through the operation we ran out of anesthetic.”

 

A married couple was celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. At the party everybody wanted to know how they managed to stay married so long in this day and age.

The husband responded “When we were first married we came to an agreement. I would make all the major decisions and my wife would make all the minor decisions. And in 60 years of marriage we have never needed to make a major decision.”



GOLD-MEDAL WINNER

AUGUST 10

   I spoke at a middle school in the spring of 1995.  When the program was over, the principal asked me if I would pay a visit to a special student.  An illness had kept the boy

  home, but he had expressed an interest in meeting me, and the principal knew it would mean a great deal to him.  I agreed.

       During the nine-mile drive to his home, I found out some things about Matthew.  He had muscular dystrophy.  When he was born, the doctors told his parents that he would not live to see 5, then they were told he would make it to 10. He was 13 and from what I was told, a real fighter.  He wanted to meet me because I was a gold-medal power lifter,

  and I knew about overcoming obstacles and going for your dreams.

       I spent over an hour talking to Matthew.  Never once did he complain or ask, “Why me?”  He spoke about winning and succeeding and going for his dreams.  Obviously, he knew what he was talking about.  He didn’t mention that his classmates had made fun of him because he was different; he just talked about his hopes for the future, and how one day he wanted to lift weights with me.

     When we finished talking, I went into my briefcase and pulled out the first gold medal I won for power lifting and put it around his neck.  I told him he was more of a winner and knew more about success and overcoming obstacles than I ever would.  He looked at it for a moment, then took it off and handed it back to me.  He said, “Rick, you are a champion.  You earned that medal.  Someday, when I get to the Olympics and win my gold medal, I will show it to you.”

       Last summer I received a letter from Matthew’s parents telling me that Matthew had passed away.  They wanted me to have a letter he had written to me a few days before.

 Dear Rick,

    My mom said I should send you a thank-you letter for the neat picture you sent me.  I also wanted to let you know that the doctors tell me I don’t have long to live anymore. It is getting very hard for me to breathe and I get tired very easy, but I still smile as much as I can.  I know that I will never be as strong as you and I know we will never get to lift weights together.

     I told you someday I was going to go to the Olympics and win a gold medal.  I know now I will never get to do that. But I know I am a champion, and God knows that too.  He knows I am not a quitter, and when I get to heaven, God will give me my gold medal, and when you get there, I will show it to you. Thanks for loving me.

   Your friend,

               Matthew

By Rick Metzger  from Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul

  Copyright 1997 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and

  Kimberly Kirberger

 

 

My dad, an auto mechanic, received a repair order that read: “Check for clunking sound when going around corners.” Taking the car out for a test drive, he made a right turn, and a moment later he heard a clunk. He then made a left turn and again heard a clunk.

Back at the shop, he opened the car’s trunk, and soon discovered the problem. Promptly he returned the repair order to the service manager with this notation: “Remove bowling ball from trunk”.

 

The Minister was shaking everyone’s hand while they were leaving the Church, an elderly gentleman said “Reverend that was the worst sermon I’ve ever listened to, it was terrible”.

While the Minister remained speechless, the gentleman’s wife wanting to be helpful said, “Reverend, please don’t listen to him, he only repeats what he hears other people saying.”



SPECIAL ORDERS

AUGUST 9

            “I am the Good Shepherd.  The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary… I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me.”  John 10:11-14  The Message Bible

  Horror gripped the heart of the World War I soldier as he saw his lifelong friend fall in battle. Caught in a trench with continuous gunfire whizzing over his head, the soldier asked his lieutenant if he might go out into the “No Man’s Land” between the trenches to bring his fallen comrade back.

  “You can go,” said the Lieutenant, “but I don’t think it will be worth it. Your friend is probably dead and you may throw your own life away.” The Lieutenant’s words didn’t matter, and the soldier went anyway.

  Miraculously he managed to reach his friend, hoist him onto his shoulder, and bring him back to their company’s trench. As the two of them tumbled in together to the bottom of the trench, the officer checked the wounded soldier, then looked kindly at his friend. “I told you it wouldn’t be worth it,” he said. “Your friend is dead, and you are mortally wounded.”

  “It was worth it, though, sir,” the soldier said.

  “How do you mean, `worth it?’ ” responded the Lieutenant. “Your friend is dead!”

  “Yes sir,” the private answered. “But it was worth it because when I got to him, he was still alive, and I had the satisfaction of hearing him say, `Jim, I knew you’d come.’ ”

  God has seen you fall in battle and He has come to rescue you.  What would He hear you say, as He got near you?

  A good shepherd always takes care of his flock. His livelihood and life depend on his ability to care for his sheep.  How much more does God, the GOOD SHEPHERD take care of you.  Count those Blessings today

            Pastor Don

 

 

On the church newsletter were these instructions – Hold this paper close to your nose and breath deeply.

If the sheet turns green, you need to see a doctor.

If it turns blue see your dentist.

If it turns red see your bank manager.

If it turns black, you need to check your will so see your lawyer immediately.

If, however, it does not change color then there is nothing wrong with you and so there is no reason why you should not be in church again next week.

 

Two women were discussing reincarnation.  One asked the other if her husband believed in it.  The second woman said, “Does my husband believe in life after death?  My husband doesn’t even believe in life after dinner!”

 

 A little boy’s prayer. “Dear God, please take care of my daddy and  my mommy and my sister and my brother and my doggy and me. Oh, please  take care of yourself, God. If anything happens to you, we’re gonna be in a big mess.”

 



A LITTLE DIRT

AUGUST 11

            “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.  Instead, fix your attention on God.  You’ll be changed from the inside out.  Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.  Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”  Romans 12:2  The Message Bible

            A man was concerned about the amount of “little things” that were creeping into the lives of his children.  He cautioned them about the TV shows that used foul language.  He saw them making decisions that were just a little off center of their faith.  He saw them develop prejudice against others, however slight it started.

            Lecture after lecture did nothing to remedy the situation.  Instead, all he got was the usual, “Everyone else is doing it.” Or “It’s just a little problem, it won’t affect me.”

            One day he got an idea of how to get his concerns across.  He asked them to join him in baking their favorite pie.  Eager hands joined in to gather all the ingredients and get everything ready for the cooking lesson.  Running here and there, everyone was excited about the joint effort

Midway through the mixing process, he sent one child outside to get a cup of dirt.  Thinking it strange they ran outside and complied with his request.  But when he took the dirt and began to add a Tablespoon to the pie mixture, all the children gasped. 

“What are you doing, Father?”  “Why are you putting dirt in the pie?”

The Father replied, “Well, I’ve never added dirt to the recipe before, and was wondering if it would not enhance the nutritional value of the pie.  After all, it does wonders for the grass.  Maybe it would help us to grow straight and tall.”

The children replied, “but it will taste terrible and ruin the pie.”

Dad countered, “But it is just a little bit of dirt. It won’t affect the taste, and it’s my pie, so I can do anything I want to do to it.”

The children learned quickly that day that a “little dirt” in whatever you watch or hear, WILL AFFECT YOU.  It is better to leave it alone than be fed the “dirt” of the world.

            What excuse do we have for allowing the dirt, however small the dose, to be fed us today.  We could be eating on the pure honey of God’s Word.  Why not enjoy the BEST ingredients of life

            Pastor Don

 

One Liner Signs

On the menu of a New Orleans restaurant …”Blackened bluefish”

In a Maine restaurant … “Open seven days a week and weekends.”

On an established New Mexico dry cleaning store … “Thirty-eight years on the same spot.”

On a New York convalescent home … “For the sick and tired of the Episcopal Church”

Outside a country shop in West Virginia … “We buy junk and sell antiques.”

In a Tacoma, Washington men’s clothing store … “15 men’s wool suits – $100 – They won’t last an hour!”

A sign seen on a restroom dryer at O’Hare Field in Chicago … “Do not activate with wet hands.”

In a New York restaurant … “Customers who find our waitresses rude ought to see the manager.”

In the offices of a New Jersey loan company …”Ask about our plans for owning your home.”

In the window of an Oregon general store … “Why go elsewhere to be cheated, when you can come here?”

In downtown Boston … “Callahan Tunnel – NO END”

On a poster on a telephone pole in Oregon …”Are you an adult that cannot read? If so, we can help.”

On a Tennessee highway … “Take notice: when this sign is under water, this road is impassable.”

On the grounds of a private school in Connecticut … “No trespassing without permission.”

In a New York medical building … “Mental Health Prevention Center”



THE ROADMAP

THE ROADMAP

AUGUST 6

            “I’ll run the course you lay out for me if you’ll just show me how.  GOD, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.  Give me insight so I can do what you tell me . . .my whole life one long, obedient response.  Psalms 119:32-34  The Message Bible.

            There are many ways people handle road trips these days.  There are the ones who plan weeks ahead by getting the series of road maps from their travel club and study intently the suggested routes carrying them to their destination.  Two weeks before the trip they can tell you which roads they will be taking and how long it should take them to get to each destination point.

            Then there are the individuals who get the maps, but never look at them until they are in the car and have started out the driveway.  They trust the maps, but just will take it segment by segment.

            Then there is the person who gets the maps but never looks at them until they think they are lost, and the maps can get them back on the proper course.  They are always trying to find “shortcuts” from where they are, back to the proper route.

            And finally is the person who needs no map, taking the roads as they come hoping that each one will bring the right direction and the right destination.

            Life has been given a roadmap to get us to the proper destination by traveling the right roads.  This roadmap, the BIBLE, is always available, but is not always used.  GOD, the author, has set all the right roads to save the most heartaches and disappointments.  He’s already marked the areas of construction and the detours to save us frustrations.  He gives the scenic route sometimes, the quickest route, but most often gives the most reliable route to get to Heaven.  He cares not only about the destination but the route that gets us there.

            Some will study this roadmap intently, knowing ahead of time each turn and change they must make.  Some will use it regularly to direct their path, but not plan too far into the future with it.  Some will use it only to get back on course when they discover that they’ve made a wrong turn.  Some will never open it. 

            GOD has laid out the course for your life.  Have you looked at His map lately?

                        Pastor Don

 

1. The Rewards of Lying

A clergyman was walking down the street when he came upon a group of about a dozen boys, all of them between 10 and 12 years of age.

The group surrounded a dog. Concerned lest the boys were hurting the dog, he went over and asked “What are you doing with that dog?” One of the boys replied, “This dog is just an old neighborhood stray. We all want him, but only one of us can take him home. So we’ve decided that whichever one of us can tell the biggest lie will get to keep the dog.”

Of course, the reverend was taken aback.  “You boys shouldn’t be having a contest telling lies!” he exclaimed.  He then launched into a ten minute sermon against lying, beginning, “Don’t you boys know it’s a sin to lie,” and ending with, “Why, when I was your age, I never told a lie.”

There was dead silence for about a minute.  Just as the reverend was beginning to think he’d gotten through to them, the smallest boy gave a deep sigh and said, “All right, give him the dog.”

 

Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God’s omnipotence did not extend to God’s kids.

After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing He said to them was: “Don’t.”

“Don’t what?” Adam replied.

“Don’t eat the forbidden fruit.” God said.

“Forbidden fruit? We got forbidden fruit? Hey, Eve…we got Forbidden Fruit!”

” No way!”

” Yes WAY!”

“Don’t eat that fruit!” said God.

“Why?”

“Because I’m your Father and I said so!” said God, wondering why he hadn’t stopped after making the elephants. A few minutes later God saw the kids having an apple break and was angry.

“Didn’t I tell you not to eat that fruit?” the First Parent asked.

“Uh huh,” Adam replied.

“Then why did you?”

“I dunno,” Eve answered.

“She started it!” Adam said.

“Did Not!”

“DID so!”

“DID NOT!!”

Having had it with the two of them, God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed. But there is a reassurance in this story. If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give them wisdom and they haven’t taken it, don’t be hard on yourself. If God had trouble handling 2 children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?



YOU HAVE A PIECE OF THE PUZZLE

AUGUST 5

            “Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom?  It’s way over our heads… “Is there anyone around who can explain God?… Everything comes from him:  Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory!  Always praise!  Romans 11:33-36  The Message Bible

            At a Kansas City baseball game last year, between innings, they put a little puzzle on the score board. They had the outline of a baseball player and a trivia question; you try to guess who the player is. They started off by filling in one piece of the puzzle, and it’s was the bill of a ball cap. Nobody figured out who it was at first; everybody was trying. As the pieces come together people start to talk. An excitement begins to mount. Why? They began to see a face, and they were beginning to hone in on who that baseball player is.  Finally, you could hear shouts all over the stadium as they realized who the mystery player was.

I’m here to tell you that we usually get one piece of the puzzle. In God’s sovereignty and God’s timing, many of the things that happen to you and many of the things that happen to me make us just shake our heads and say, “I don’t understand. I don’t understand this in my life

            God’s awesome Blessings that come in our lives come in so many unexpected ways.  You have to be on the constant lookout for the way that God will choose to work this week. 

            Recently we have begun to encouraged people to give a brief testimony of what God has done the previous week.  It is amazing how people will testify of such simple blessings that I may have taken for granted.  It reminds me of the wonderful God we serve and His unique concern for His people. Last Sunday, we had several such testimonies.

            Maybe you need to share God’s Blessings with someone today.  You may have a piece of the puzzle that they need to complete the picture of God that they need in their life.  And maybe they have a piece that you need to have in yours.

Pastor Don

 

 

A friend and I were standing inside a building of a local theme park. We were looking outside, and it was an extremely windy day. The area’s custodian, the one who had the job of sweeping up debris, was a very small woman (4’10”, 90 lbs.) and she was having a rough time trying to not be blown away.

My friend joked with the lady, telling her that she would have to put heavy rocks in her shoes when she went outside to work.

The lady looked at my friend and lisped, “You mean, … now I weigh me down to sweep?”

 

In a country home that seldom had guests, the young son was eager to help his mother after his father appeared with two dinner guests from the office. When the dinner was nearly over, the boy went to the kitchen and proudly carried in the first piece of apple pie, giving it to his father, who passed it to a guest. The boy came in with a second piece of pie and gave it to his father, who again gave it to a guest. This was too much for the boy, who said, “It’s no use, Dad. The pieces are all the same size.”

 




 

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