WHAT DO YOU SEE WHEN YOU LOOK UP?

AUGUST 4

            “God’s glory is on tour in the skies… unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.”  Psalm 19:1,4  The Message Bible

            “One August night, my children dragged me to the backyard to watch a meteor shower. I reluctantly joined them thinking, I have so many details to tend to before we leave on vacation. I don’t have time for idleness. Suddenly, golden fire balls streaked across the blackness. “God made this,” I whispered. It was a rare moment. Not because of the sight, but because I stepped beyond my familiar world into one of wonder and discovered the Creator in the midst. Could it be God filled the world with such beauty to lift people like me away from our obsession with details–to touch our lives with a magnificent awareness of himself? (Sue Monk Kidd, Today’s Christian Woman, “Heart to Heart.”).

            How many times have you and I found that the simple things in life…. like star gazing, have such profound influence on our lives.  Just to sit and dream about all of God’s creation brings bits and pieces of our faith into greater reality. 

            I’ve never been one to remember the constellations and their names.  My wife and our children all have a sense for spotting the stars in their habitation. It almost reminds me of the cartoon, Peanuts, when Charlie Brown and Linus are laying on their backs looking at cloud formation.  Charlie Brown asks Linus, “What do you see in the clouds?”  To which Linus replies, “I see two great forces, representing good and evil, engaged in a cosmic battle for the command of the Universe.  Among their members, are the idyllic dramas of life, as they wage their ongoing battle.  Over there are the faces of the lost and uninformed souls of this world, and on that side are the powers that control their destiny.  Facing each other indicates the great conflict of eternity.”  “What do you see, Charlie Brown?”.  Charles replies, “I was going to say, there is a doggie and an upside down umbrella.”

            My family sees things in the skies that I can only imagine are there.  I take their word for it.  And so must those people trust our word when we tell them that God is in control of this creation.

            When life gets you down, don’t hang your head.  Look up, God is “on tour in the skies…”  See His hand at work in your behalf.

            Pastor Don

 

The department store salesman had almost completed his pitch to the woman to convince her to buy one of those miniature washing machines.

She paused and considered it, while watching it in action. Finally, she said, “Sir. I want my clothes agitated — not just irked.”

 

A woman reported the disappearance of her husband to the police.  The officer looked at the guy’s photograph, questioned her, and then asked if she wanted to give her husband any message if they found him.

“Yes, please” she replied.  “Tell him my mother didn’t come over after all.”

 



GOD STILL WORKS

AUGUST 3

            “When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now?  Is this the time?”  He told them, “You don’t get to know the time.  Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit.  And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witness in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”   Acts 1:6-8       The Message Bible.

            There’s a slogan running through the church right now, “God’s never Late, He’s always ON TIME.”  God always does come through and yes, sometimes it’s just in the nick of time for us, but He’s always got room to spare.

            There is the story of the man who asked God, “Is it true that a thousand years is but a second to you?” And God said, “Yes that’s true.”

            “And is it true that a million dollars is like a penny to you?” And God said, “Yes, that’s true.”

            Then the man asked, “Can I have a penny?”

            And God said, “Just a second!”

            God’s timing is not always the timing that makes us most comfortable.  But it definitely builds trust.  I wonder if God is not just seeing if we really believe what we say we believe.  Faith is not just knowing God will work it out in time.  Faith is releasing the praise even before it happens. 

            Seeing God work things out, even if it is at the last possible second, is a witness to the world that there is a God who does care and gets the job done.

            Today, tell someone about how God is working out a situation for you.  Give God credit for the timely answer to prayer.  It will help them trust God.

Pastor Don

 

 

There was once a Polish guy who had a Jewish neighbor. He went to visit him and wanted to know why the Jews are so smart.

“We eat a lot of fish,” said the Jew.

“Can I have some?”

“It’s gonna cost you $100 a piece.”

“If that’s gonna make me smarter, I’m willing to try,” said the pole.

He ate a piece of it and then said to the Jew, “You know, this is quite a lot of money for a simple piece of fish. I really don’t believe I should have paid such a sum.”

“You see, it already works…”

Posted from Jewish Humor Mailing List

 

The preacher was growing concerned about sparse attendance, so he published this item in the church bulletin:

This . . . is . . . the . . . way . . . the . . . church . .. sometimes . .  . looks . . . to . . . the . . . preacher .. . when . . . he . . . goes . .  . into . . . the . . .pulpit.

“Itwouldlooklikethisifeverybodybroughtsomebodyelsetochurch.”



OPEN SPACES

AUGUST 2

            “I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide open, spacious life…. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way.  I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection.  Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!  2 Corinthians 6:11-13  The Message Bible.

            Many years ago, we had planned a trip from Virginia to California to visit Judy’s Sister and family out there.  We had traveled for over two days, (12 hours a day in an automobile) crossing through, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma.  There had been many stretches of “open” road in between the big cities of Richmond, Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock and Oklahoma City.

            But I was not prepared for the “Openness” of the land on the Western side of Oklahoma.  It seemed like it could go on “forever”.  I wondered how the earliest settlers handled the massive stretches of land without much to guide their way. 

            Being used to the big trees and flourishing undergrowth, it was hard to imagine the vast desert areas of the West. But there we were, our family of four riding in the small confines of our automobile with all this spaciousness surrounding us.  Self imposed restrictions held us within this small space while God’s playground spread around us.

            Often we find ourselves traveling on some predetermined path of life.  Our plans lay before us keeping us traveling in our little automobile of time travel, while God has created this expanse of His Plans and goals for us to walk in.  God has stretched the limits of what we can do to allow us to grow more like Himself.  His openness is full of His blessing, provision and beauty.  If we would allow God to plan our journey, He would take us to so many new places and heights.  His ways are beyond our ways.  His goals are above anything we can ask or think.

            Don’t let self-imposed limitations stop you from exploring the areas of God’s domain.  Don’t live your life in a small way, when you’ve got the painted desert before you.  Explore.  That’s how America grew.  That’s how we will grow in Christ.

            Pastor Don

 

You Know You’re Old When …

Everything hurts and what doesn’t hurt,     doesn’t work.

You feel like the morning after when you haven’t     been anywhere the night before.

You get winded playing chess.

Your children begin to look middle aged.

You know all the answers, but nobody     asks you the questions.

You look forward to a dull evening.

You turn off the lights for economic rather than     romantic reasons.

You sit in a rocking chair and can’t get it going.

You are 17 around the neck, 42 around the waist,      96 around the golf course.

You just can’t stand people who are intolerant.

You burn the midnight oil until 9:00 P.M.

Your back goes out more often than you do.

Your pacemaker raises the garage door when you      see a pretty girl go by.

The little gray-haired lady you help across the street      is your wife.

You get exercise acting as a pallbearer for friends      who exercise.

You have too much room in the house and not     enough in the medicine cabinet.

You sink your teeth into a steak … and they stay      there.

Murphy’s Law of Teaching

* The clock in the instructor’s room will be wrong.

* Disaster will occur when visitors are in the room.

* A subject interesting to the teacher will bore students.

* The time a teacher takes in explaining is inversely proportional to the information retained by students.

* A meeting’s length will be directly proportional to the boredom the speaker produces

* Students who are doing better are credited with working harder. If children start to do poorly, the teacher will be blamed.

* The problem child will be a school board member’s son.

* When the instructor is late, he will meet the principal in the hall. If the instructor is late and does not meet the principal, the instructor is late to the faculty meeting.

* New students come from schools that do not teach anything.

* Good students move away.

* When speaking to the school psychologist, the teacher will say : “weirdo” rather than “emotionally disturbed.”

* The school board will make a better pay offer before the teacher’s union negotiates.

* The instructor’s study hall be the largest in several years.

* The administration will veiw the study hall as the teacher’s preparation time.

* Clocks will run more quickly during free time.

* On a test day, at least 15% of the class will be absent

* If the instructor teaches art, the principal will be an ex-coach and will dislike art.  If the instructor is a coach, the principal will be an ex-coach who took a winning team to the state.

* Murphy’s Law will go into effect at the beginning of an evaluation.

 

A newly married man asks his wife, “Would you have married me if  my father hadn’t left me a fortune?”

“Darling,” the woman replies sweetly, ” I’d have married you no matter who left you a fortune.



KEEP YOUR FEET ON THE ROCK WHEN YOU’RE AT THE END OF YOUR ROPE

JULY 30

“Don’ t quit.  There is a big difference between quitting and changing.  I believe that when God sees someone who doesn’t quit.  He looks ahead and says, ‘There is someone I can use.'”

“In Galatians 6:9 (NIV) we are told, Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Look at this verse carefully. It urges us not to become weary, assuring us that we will — not might — reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

“God doesn’t quit. It is impossible for Him to do so.  In Philippians 1:6 (NIV) the Apostle Paul writes about being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  There are several important points in this verse.  The most crucial is the fact that God does not quit.  Therefore, we can have great confidence that He will complete the good work He has begun in us.  He will see us through every step of the way until we have reached our ultimate destination.”

“One of the best scriptural examples of a person who did not quit is Joseph.  He had many reasons to justify giving up.  First, when he was trapped in the pit into which his brothers had thrown him because of their jealousy.  I am sure he said to himself, “This is not the way I dreamed my life would work out.’ Later on, he had a marvelous opportunity to become discouraged and quit when he was unjustly accused and thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit.  Again he could have said to himself. ‘This is not right; I’m not supposed to be here.'”

“But eventually the dream which God had given Joseph became reality. He was elevated from prisoner to prime minister in one day.  Although Joseph did not know or understand the steps through which the Lord would lead him, he remained true to his God. Despite the trials and obstacles he faced, he did not quit.”

“There is no greater reward than that which comes as a result of holding fast to the Word and the Will of God.”

                             John L. Mason,  An Enemy Called Average

 

 

A man is driving down a country road, when he spots a farmer standing in the middle of a huge field of grass. He pulls the car over to the side of the road and notices that the farmer is just standing there, doing nothing, looking at nothing.

The man gets out of the car, walks all the way out to the farmer and asks him, “Ah excuse me mister, but what are you doing?”

The farmer replies, “I’m trying to win a Nobel Prize.”

“How?” asks the man, puzzled.

“Well I heard they give the Nobel Prize . . .  to people who are out standing in their field.”

 

A father is in church with three of his young children, including his five year old daughter.  As was customary, he sat in the very front row so that the children could properly witness the service.

During this particular service, the minister was performing the baptism of a tiny infant.   The little five year old girl was taken by this, observing that he was saying something and pouring water over the infant’s head.

With a quizzical look on her face, the little girl turned to her father and asked:  “Daddy, why is he brainwashing that baby??”



CRAZY PRAISE

JULY 29

“God, you did everything you promised, and I’m thanking you with all my heart.  You pulled me from the brink of death, my feet from the cliff-edge of doom.  Now I stroll at leisure with God in the sunlit fields of life.”  Psalm 56:12-13  The Message Bible.

Have you ever felt that you were living the life of Indiana Jones?  You know the guy who seems to get out of one dangerous situation, only to find himself even in deeper trouble.  He always seems to make it past the swinging pendulum just in the nick of time, or the leap over the earthquake split just before it widens beyond leaping ability.

Most of us, no doubt, can recall situations, maybe not as life threatening, that we found an escape, “just in the nick of time.”  We sigh heavily, just before heading into another crisis or two.  Or just about the time we feel that we’ve got it all together, bamm, we get hit with a major problem.

Remember that the Blessings of God are always on time, never late, never early, but always, it seems, in Indiana Jones style.  You may have already given up on the answer.  Maybe you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Or you have to look up to see bottom.  But the truth is, God is your answer, He is your light, and there is no better way to look than UP into the face of God.

God has promised to take care of you. If He cares for the flowers of the fields, how much more does He care for you.  He tends to your every need, He comforts you when the trials soar, He is near when you feel all alone.  God is watching over you.

One of our favorite worship choruses is  called “Crazy Praise”.  It talks of giving God a Praise when things do not seem like they are yet “perfect”.  There are time when we just have to give God a “crazy praise”, “praise that don’t make no sense”.  I have found that when I begin to praise God in something that is not going well, it gets my attention off the negative of the problem and gets it on the positive of the provider.  I may not be able to praise God FOR the problem, but I can praise Him IN the problem.  He never changes and is always there in the nick of time. 

Reach out today and grab hold of the only hand that can help you, the Hand of God.  He’s looking for someone to walk in the garden of life with Him today.  You are that one, for you are blessed.

          Pastor Don

 

ABC’s OF PRAISE

A lthough things are not perfect

B ecause of trial or pain

C ontinue in thanksgiving

D o not begin to blame

E ven when the times are hard

F ierce winds are bound to blow

G od is forever able

H old on to what you know

I magine life without His love

J oy would cease to be

K eep thanking Him for all the things

L ove imparts to thee

M ove out of “Camp Complaining”

N o weapon that is known

O n earth can yield the power

P raise can do alone

Q uit looking at the future

R edeem the time at hand

S tart every day with worship

T o “thank” is a command

U ntil we see Him coming

V ictorious in the sky

W e’ll run the race with gratitude

X alting God most high

Y es, there will be good times and yes some will be bad, but…

Z ion waits in glory…where none are ever sad!

(Author Unknown)

 

A lady went to a pet shop.  “I’d like to buy two yellow canaries,” she told the owner.

“We don’t have any canaries, but we have these,” the owner said, as he showed the lady some pale green parakeets.

“That’s not what I’m looking for,” the lady stated.

But the pet store owner refused to give up.  He said, “Just think of them as yellow canaries that aren’t quite ripe yet.”

 

Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do… write to them?

Why don’t they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so mailmen can look for them while delivering the mail?

 

“Teenagers are people who act like babies if they’re not treated like adults!”



GOD’S GARDEN

JULY 28

“If  God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers — most of which are never even seen — don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?  What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.”   Matthew 6:30-31 The Message Bible

The other day, I was driving down the highway and noticed a beautiful patch of wildflowers in the woods, far away from all signs of habitation.  I thought to myself, “it’s so nice to have those beautiful flowers seen by the thousands of motorists that pass that spot, when, without the highway, only a few forest wanderers would have ever seen that.

But then I read this verse and realized that if no one ever saw those flowers, if no one ever happened to hike through those woods, God would have planted them there anyway, because He loves a beautiful creation.

Then I realized that they looked more vibrant than the flowers that grow in my front flower beds. With what has been a period of dry weather, I water and cultivate the flower beds, trying to get them to “hang in there” until we get some rain.  But here in the deep woods, are these beautiful flowers, watered, I suppose, by the morning dew, still radiating their beauty.

God takes care of what He creates.  God takes care of you.  Even in the droughts of life, He will water you, refresh you, bless you with the dew of the morning time that you spend with Him.

Is there something that you think no one cares about in your struggles?  Is there a dry season where you do not see the “downpours” of God’s rich grace?  Is there a time when you wish you could be hidden from the views of everyone around you?  God is there, taking care of you.

You don’t have to “earn” God’s provision, just relax and receive it.  You don’t have to struggle to get God’s attention, His gaze has never left you.  You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone else, God accepts you just as you are. If God will take care of the wildflowers, how much more will He take care and bless you.

          Pastor Don

 

 

The story concerns a butcher who went into a pet shop.

It seems he fell in love with one the seagulls in the shop.

Alas, he had no money to spend, but the shop owner agreed to give him the bird in exchange for some of his delicious German sausage.

The deal was made. It seems … he took a tern for the wurst!

 

Clifford Clarke was a careless chap.

Every hostess hated him. They feared for their precious porcelain and good furniture whenever this emulator of a china shop bull appeared. His reputation spread and eventually he became a pariah. No one would ask him to a party for fear of damage. Then one charitable, kindly woman felt sorry for him. “Can’t be all that bad,” she said. “The poor soul deserves one more chance.”

So she sent an invitation to the loutish fellow and to display her faith further, she put on her finest dress for the occasion.

Clifford arrived on the dot and for the first hour managed to avoid disaster. It was not until refreshments were served that the customary accident happened. He spilled his entire cup of black coffee over his hostess’ evening dress which she had bought that summer in Paris for a lot of money.

Tearfully gazing at her ruined gown, flushed with anger, she turned on her clumsy guest and exclaimed: … “Go, and never darken my Dior again!”       (By Himie Koshevoy)

 

A well-dressed man approached a woman at a Gotham health food store and in a clipped British accent asked her exactly what she did with the tofu in her basket. She said she normally puts it in the refrigerator, looks at it for several weeks and then throws it away.

The man replied: “That’s exactly what my wife does with it. I was hoping you had a better recipe.” [Attributed to 6/4/99 Denver Post]

 

 

My daughter-in-law Alma and grandson Eddy were digging for fishing bait in my garden. Uncovering a many-legged creature, Eddy proudly dangled it before his mother.

“No, honey, he won’t do for bait,” his mother said. “He’s not an earthworm.”

“He’s not?” Eddy asked, his eyes wide. “What planet is he from?”



THE GOD BUBBLE

JULY 27

‚ÄúSince God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote, “God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what, Who or what can get to me?”   Hebrews 13:5-6  The Message Bible.  

Many years ago there was a story of a boy who had absolutely no immune system.  Any kind of disease or germ would attach themselves to him and he would become critically ill.  But several scientist got together and invented a “life bubble” for him.

It was a plastic, flexible bubble that completely encased him.  It has it’s own oxygen supply and a filtering system that allowed him to live inside that bubble and yet still attend school and other regular functions.  The Boy in the Bubble was protected from all the germs in life.

We used to do the same thing when we send our daughters to public school.  We would gather around them before they left for school and pray that they would be protected from any physical dangers, and that they would be protected from wrong philosophies and teachings.  It was a God bubble so to speak.

This passage reminds us that we can be surrounded by a God bubble every moment of every day.  God has promised that He would never “let you down, never walk off and leave you.” That means that He will surround you with His divine presence like a plastic bubble.  No “germs” of this world can penetrate that protection and bring these spiritual diseases against you.  He even provides His own “life support” system.  His breath is pure and holy and He’s trying to let us breathe in that righteous air.

If you are walking in God’s protective bubble, then what you declare about it, is of vital importance. Note that Hebrews tells us that we should boldly confess, “God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what…” In other words, “I’m Blessed.”  “I’m not living in fear but in faith.” “I Can do all things through Christ.” “If God be for me, Who can be against me?”.

Remember to slip inside your “God Bubble” today before you go into the world.  He will protect and keep you from every attack of the enemy.

          Pastor Don

 

 

A man goes to the doctor and tells him that he hasn’t been feeling well. The doctor examines him, leaves the room and comes back with three different bottles of pills.

The doctor says, “Take the green pill with a big glass of water when you get up. Take the blue pill with a big glass of water after lunch. Then just before going to bed, take the red pill with another big glass of water.”

Startled to be put on so much medicine the man stammers, “Jeez doc, exactly what’s my problem?”

Doctor says, “You’re not drinking enough water.”

 

 

TIME WARPED

(Susan K. Toth in Reader’s Digest)

I had gathered my first-grade class around me to teach them to tell time using a conventional-style analog clock.  We’ll be learning about the hour hand and the minute hand, I explained.  One of my students interrupted and said, “I don’t need to learn on that kind of clock.  My dad bought me this digital watch, and right now it’s 10 minutes to 38.”

 

 

John gets a call from his blonde girlfriend, Buffy.  “I’ve got a problem,” says Buffy.

“What’s the matter?” asks John.

“Well, I’ve bought this jigsaw puzzle, but it’s too hard. None of the pieces fit together and I can’t find any edges.”

“What’s the picture of?” asks John.

“It’s of a big rooster,” replies Buffy.

“All right,” says John, “I’ll come over and have a look.”

So he goes over to Buffy’s house.  Buffy leads John into her kitchen and shows him the jigsaw on the kitchen table. John looks at the jigsaw and then turns to Buffy and says, “For Pete’s sake – put the cornflakes back in the box.”



BLESS YOUR ENEMIES

JULY 26

“Love you enemies.  Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.  When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.  This is what God does.  He gives his best — the sun to warm and the rain to nourish — to everyone.”  Matthew 5:44-45    The Message Bible.

This is a lesson that God taught me several years ago.  It was when we had a series of break-ins to a former church parsonage.  We had just gotten a sale contract on it when someone kicked in the front door and just vandalized the house.  Light fixtures were broken, holes put in the walls, Trash and residue from what appeared to be Marijuana smoking was everywhere.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, right after we fixed the front door, they came back and kicked in the back door. Three or four times, they came back.

First reaction was to hide in the house with a gun to protect it from the intruders.  Too dangerous we thought.  Second, we should pray angels over the house to “smack” them if they came back.  Not much Christian love there. Finally, we decided to have a prayer meeting which revealed that we needed to forgive the burglar, and pray for his salvation with genuine love and concern.

Now we should know anyway that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood” anyhow.  Our enemy is Satan himself, and we need to constantly remind ourselves of that fact.  We get so worked up when “someone” does us wrong, but it is just Satan using that person to attack our faith.  Don’t lose the focus of your prayer warfare.  Bind Satan’s hold on that person or persons and lose the spirit of blessing upon the individuals involved.      

This verse reminds us that God Blesses everyone, the just and the unjust with the sunshine and the rain.  He realizes that they are not the true enemy, just puppets of the one who wants and intends to destroy everything – Satan.

Maybe today, you’re struggling with someone around you.  Try God’s method. Bless them and remember that it is only Satan who is attacking you.  He’s the only real enemy that you have.

                                                Pastor Don

 

 

As I was driving home from work one day, I stopped to watch  a local Little League baseball game that was being played in  a park near my home. As I sat down behind the bench on the first-base line, I asked one of the boys what the score was.

“We’re behind 14 to nothing,” he answered with a smile.

“Really,” I said. “I have to say you don’t look very discouraged.”

“Discouraged?” the boy asked with a puzzled look on his face.

“Why should we be discouraged? We haven’t been up to bat yet.”

 

A man gets a telephone call from a doctor. The doctor says: “About this medical test I did on you, I have some good news and some bad news.”

The man asks for the good news first: “The good news is that you have 24 hours to live,” says the doctor.

The man, incredulously: “If that is the good news, then what is the bad news??”

“I couldn’t reach you yesterday.”

 

“Now, how many of you would like to go to heaven?” asked the Sunday school teacher.  All the eager three-year-olds raised their hands except Tommy.

“I’m sorry, I can’t.  My mother told me to come right home after Sunday school.”

 

A little boy asked his father, “Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?” And the father replied,    “I don’t know son, I’m still paying.”

 



THE REAL LORDS PRAYER (PART 3)

JULY 23

You’re not through with your prayer. Go on.”

“Oh, all right. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

“Good! Good! I’ll do that. Just don’t put yourself in a place where you can be tempted.”

“What do you mean by that?”

Don’t turn on the TV when you know the laundry needs to be done and the house needs to be picked up. Also, about the time you spend having coffee with your friends … if you can’t influence the conversation to positive things, perhaps you should re-think the value of those friendships. Another thing, your neighbors and friends shouldn’t be your standard for “keeping up with.”

And please don’t use me for an escape hatch.”

“I don’t understand the last part.”

“Sure you do. You’ve done it a lot of times. You get caught in a bad  situation. You get into trouble and then you come running to me. “Lord, help me out of this mess, and I promise you I’ll never do it again.” You remember some of those bargains you tried to make with me?”

“Yes and I’m ashamed, Lord. I really am.”

“Which bargain are you remembering?”

“Well, there was the night that Bill was gone and the children and I were home alone. The wind was blowing so hard I thought the roof would go any minute and tornado warnings were out. I remember praying, ‘Oh God, if you spare us, I’ll never skip my devotions again.”

“I protected you, but you didn’t keep your promise, did you?” 

“I’m sorry, Lord. I really am. Up until now I thought that if I just prayed the Lord’s Prayer every day, then I could do what I liked. I didn’t expect anything to happen like it did.”

“Go ahead and finish your prayer.”

“For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.”

“Do you know what would bring me glory? What would really make me happy?”

“No, but I’d like to know. I now want to please you. I can see what a mess I’ve made of my life. And I can see how great it would be to really be one of your followers.”

“You just answered the question.”

“I did?”

“Yes. The thing that would bring me glory is to have people like you truly love me. And I see that happening between us. Now that some of these old sins are exposed and out of the way, well, there is no telling what we can do together.”

“Lord, let’s see what we can make of me, okay?” 

“Yes, let’s see.”

 

 

Rev. David A. Stammerjohn, pastor of Laboratory Presbyterian Church, Washington, Pa., spent a week at the Synod school with his two children.  The school’s theme focused on Moses and the Exodus.

When they returned home, his five-year-old daughter excitedly greeted her mother: “Guess what, Mommy. We made unleaded bread!”

 

Four-year-old Tucker Jones attended the vacation Bible school at our church. The theme was “Discipleship and Saving Mother Earth.” 

Tuckers mother, Trish Jones, asked him what he had learned.

He immediately told her all bout “Jesus and the 12 recycles.”



THE REAL LORDS PRAYER (PART 2)

JULY 22

“Look, Lord, I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does. Give us this day, our daily bread.”

“You need to cut out the bread. You’re overweight as it is.”

“Hey, wait a minute! What is this … ‘Criticize me day?’ Here I was doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups.”

“Praying is a dangerous thing. You could wind up changed, you know. That’s what I’m trying to get across to you. You called me, and here I am. It’s too late to stop now. Keep praying. I’m interested in the next part of your prayer … (pause). Well … go on!”

“I’m scared to.”

“Scared? Of what?”

“I know what You’ll say.”

“Try me and see.”

“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.”

“What about Ann?”

“See? I knew it! I knew you would bring her up! Why Lord, she’s told lies about me, spread stories about my family. She never paid back the debt she  owes me. I’ve sworn to get even with her!” 

“But your prayer? What about your prayer?”

“I didn’t mean it.”

“Well, at least you’re honest. But it’s not much fun carrying that load of bitterness around inside, is it?

“No, but I’ll feel better as soon as I get even. Boy, have I got some plans for that neighbor. She’ll wish she had never moved into this neighborhood.”

“You won’t feel any better. You’ll feel worse. Revenge isn’t sweet. Think of how unhappy you already are. But I can change all that.”

“You can? How?”

“Forgive Ann. Then I’ll forgive you. Then the hate and sin will be Ann’s problem and not yours. You will have settled your heart.”

“Oh, you’re right. You always are. And more than I want to revenge Ann, I want to be right with you. And, I want to be right with you … (pause)…

(sigh). Alright! Alright! I forgive her! Help her to find the right road in life, Lord. She’s bound to be awfully miserable now that I think about  it. Anybody who goes around doing the things she does to others has to be out of it. Someway, somehow, show her the right way.”  

“There now! Wonderful! How do you feel?”

“Hmmmm … well, not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, I feel pretty great!

You know, I don’t think I’ll have to go to bed uptight tonight for the first  time since I can remember. Maybe I won’t be so tired from now on because  I’m not getting enough rest.”

 

Max went into the doctor’s office for his annual checkup, and the Doc asked if there was anything unusual he should know about.  So Max told the Doc that his suit must have shrunk over the last year, because it didn’t fit when he went to get ready for a wedding recently.

The Doc said, “Suits don’t shrink just sitting in a closet.

You probably put on a few pounds.”

“That’s just it, Doc, I know I haven’t gained a single pound since the last time I wore it.”

“Well, then,” said Doc, “You must have a case of Furniture Disease.”

“What in the world is Furniture Disease?” asked Max.

“That’s when your chest starts sliding down into your drawers.”

On vacation with her family in Montana, a mother drove her van past a church in a small town and pointing to it, told the children that it was St. Francis’ Church.

“It must be a franchise,” her eight-year-old son said.  “We’ve got one of those in our town too.”




 

Leave a Reply