It was a cold winter’s day that Sunday.
The parking lot to the church was filling up quickly. I noticed as I got out of my car that fellow church members were whispering among themselves as they walked to the church. As I got closer I saw a man leaned up against the wall outside the church. He was almost laying down as if he was asleep. He had on a long trench coat that was almost in shreds and a hat topped his head, pulled down so you could not see his face.
He wore shoes that looked 30 years old, too small for his feet with holes all over them, his toes stuck out. I assumed this man was homeless, and asleep, so I walked on by through the doors of the church. We all fellowshipped for a few minutes, and someone brought up the man laying outside. People snickered and gossiped but no one bothered to ask him to come in, including me.
A few moments later church began. We all waited for the Preacher to take his place and to give us the Word, when the doors to the church opened. In came the homeless man walking down the aisle with his head down. People gasped and whispered and made faces. He made his way down the aisle and up onto the pulpit he took off his hat and coat.
My heart sank.
There stood our preacher…he was the “homeless man.” No one said a word. The preacher took his Bible and laid it on the stand. “Folks, I don’t think I have to tell you what I am preaching about today.” Then he started singing the words to this song. “If I can help somebody as I pass along. If I can cheer somebody with a word or song. If I can show somebody that he’s traveling wrong. Then my living shall not be in vain.”
“IS YOUR LIVING IN VAIN?”
- fwd: robin veigas
Mr. Yates wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage, so he was in danger of losing his ranch.
With little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on government subsidy. Day after day, as he grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills. Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.
In fact, 30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day. And Mr. Yates owned it all. The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he’d been living on relief.
A multimillionaire living in poverty. The problem?
He didn’t know the oil was there even though he owned it.
Many Christians live in spiritual poverty.
They are entitled to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and his energizing power, but they are not aware of their birthright.
- fwd: samuel machado
Oh!!! Lord This Is What I Seek
Nor bear an easy load.
I pray for strength and fortitude,
To climb the rock-strewn road.
Give me such courage I can scale
The hardest peaks alone.
And transform every stumbling block,
Into a Stepping Stone.
- fwd: samuel machado
Think about it…
‘We love because HE first loved us.’ 1 John 4:19
One author writes: ‘Think of an area of unforgiveness and see if any of these reasons to hold a grudge resonate with you.
b) A grudge takes time and energy, and you’re not sure who you’d be without it.
d) The idea of moving on is terrifying, whereas misery is familiar.
f) Harbouring resentment stops you from getting hurt again because nobody can get close.’
Jesus said, ‘Why…look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own?’(Matthew 7:3 NIV).
This author says, ‘I’ve banged my plank into walls and around corners so often I’m certain I have retina damage!’
Now consider these Reasons for releasing a grudge.
e) Once you lower your defenses you can start to heal, love, and be loved.
g) God mandates us to love ‘because he first loved us.’
You’ve held onto it long enough; it’s time to let it go and enjoy the freedom that comes from forgiveness.
- fwd: valliamannil mathews
If this is not a place where tears are understood,
Where do I go to cry?
If this is not a place where you’ll accept me as I am,
Where do I go to be?
If this is not a place where I can learn and grow,
Where can I be just me?
- fwd: samuel machado
A man was sitting by a lake. He was throwing small pebbles into it from time to time.
A young boy happened to cross by, he was intrigued to see that after every few minutes or so, the man would toss a pebble into the lake.
The boy went up to the man and said, “Good pastime, this stone throwing, he?”
“Hmmm,” said the man.
He seemed to be deep in thought and obviously did not wish to be disturbed.
Sometime later, the man said softly, “Look at the water, it is absolutely still.”
The boy said, “Yeah, it is.”
The man tossed a pebble into the water and continued,
“Only till I toss a pebble into it now do you see the ripples?”
“Yeah,” said the boy, “they spread further and further.”
“And soon, the water is still again,” offered the man.
The boy said, “Sure, it becomes quiet, after a while.”
The boy put his hand into the water and tried to take the stone out.
But he only succeeded in making more ripples.
He was able to take the stone out, but the number of ripples that were made in the process were a lot more than before.
The wise man said, “It is not possible to stop the movement of the water once a pebble has been thrown into it.
But if we can stop ourselves from throwing the pebble in the first place, the ripples can be avoided altogether!
So too, it is with our minds. If a thought enters into it, it creates ripples.
The only way to save the mind from getting disturbed is to block and
ban the entry of every superfluous thought that could be a potential cause for disturbance.
If a disturbance has entered into the mind, it will take its own time to die down.
Too many conflicting thoughts just cause more and more disturbances.
Once the disturbance has been caused it takes time to ebb out.
Even trying to forcibly remove the thought may further increase the turmoil in the mind.
Time surely is a great healer, but prevention is always better than cure.”
Before you allow a thought or a piece of information to enter your mind,
put it through the triple filter test of authenticity, goodness and value.
- fwd: vc mathews
Hundreds of gospel messages streak through the air over the nation every day.
Crusades have been held, healing meetings have made a vital contribution, “come outers” have “come out” and settled, too, without a nation-shaking revival.
But where, oh where, is the prophet?
Where are the incandescent men fresh from the Holy Place?
Where is the Moses to plead in fasting before the holiness of the Lord for our moody morality, our political perfidy, and sour and sick spirituality?”
- fwd: leonard ravenhill / samuel machado
‘I can’t go to Sunday School,’ she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by.
Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.
Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements.
As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump.
Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: ‘This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School.’
For two years she had saved for this offering of love.
He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.
But the story does not end there….
A newspaper learned of the story and published It. It was read by a wealthy realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands.
When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.
Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide..
When you are in the city of Philadelphia , look up Temple Baptist Church , with a seating capacity of 3,300. And be sure to visit TempleUniversity, where thousands of students are educated.
Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.
In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, ‘Acres of Diamonds’.
This is a true story, which goes to show WHAT GOD CAN DO WITH 57 CENTS.
- fwd: esther akhtar
So when she died, the editor of the local paper wanted to print a little article remembering this dear old lady, except he couldn’t think of anything to say when he sat down to write the article. Miss Jones had never done anything terribly wrong. She had never spent a night in jail or had ever been drunk.
On the other hand, she had never done anything significant.
He wanted to put something on Miss Jones’ tombstone besides
“Miss Nancy Jones, born such-and-such a date and died such-and-such a date,” but he couldn’t think of anything to write either.
The editor decided to go back to his office and assign the job of writing up a small article for both the paper and the tombstone to the first reporter he saw. When he got to the office, he ran into the sports editor, who got the assignment. So somewhere in some little community in the Midwest there is a tombstone which reads:
Here lie the bones of Nancy Jones, For her life held no terrors.
She lived an old maid. She died an old maid.
No hits, no runs, no errors.
I’m afraid to say, “That’s the way many Christians live their lives.”
They’ve never done anything terribly wrong, but they never accomplish anything significant for the Lord
- fwd: samuel machado
She had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.
People all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Wal-Mart. They waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. Some were mesmerized by the rainfall and got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as children come pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of the day.
Her voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance the people all caught in. “Mom, let’s run through the rain,” she said. “What?” Mom asked. “Let’s run through the rain!” She repeated. “No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,” Mom replied. This young child waited about another minute and repeated: “Mom, let’s run through the rain.” “We’ll get soaked if we do,” Mom said. “No, we won’t, Mom.
That’s not what you said this morning,” the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm. “This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?” “Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!”
The entire crowd stopped dead silent. You couldn’t hear anything but the rain. They all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life.
A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith. “Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD let’s us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,” Mom said.
Then off they ran. The people all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. People got wet. They needed washing.
Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories… So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday.
- fwd: reuben tellis