Christian Stories

Daily Devotionals - Thursday's Dose - 18th December 2014


A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.

The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.

The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.

Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.

The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah".

The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"

The little girl replied, "Then you ask him".
An Atheist and a Christian were hiking up a mountain; they came upon a large rock and decided to rest. While there, they talked about their jobs, families, and how good it was to enjoy nature.


Their conversation then drifted toward the supernatural. “I do not believe in God because there is no proof of his existence,” said the Atheist.


The Christian did not immediately respond, but instead gazed upon the tall pines and blue sky above him. “No,” said the Christian, “we cannot actually see, hear, or touch God, but we can know that God exists since we can see the results of His work.”


The Christian continued, “Think of all the magnificent things we saw today… grand mountains, hundred of varieties of trees, flowers, insects, birds… and even you and I! There is beauty in all these things; they are good.”


The Atheist replied, “Yes, nature is definitely awesome, but I believe this all came about by chance.”


Again, the Christian peered at the billowy clouds above him, then asked, “We cannot see air, can we? We know that it exists because we see the effects of air. We see the trees sway and leaves rustle, but we do not actually see air nor wind. The effects of God are all around. We just have to take the time to look.”


Without another word, the Atheist and Christian continued their long journey up the mountain.

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried:
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, “Child, you must wait”.

“Wait? You say, wait! ” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By Faith, I have asked, and am claiming your Word.
My future and all to which I can relate
hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me to WAIT?

I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign,
or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.
And Lord, You promised that if we believe
we need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply!

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.”

So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
and grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting…. for what?”

He seemed, then, to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And he tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want
But, you wouldn’t know Me.

You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint;
You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there;
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.

You’d never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You’d know that I give and I save…. (for a start),
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.

You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that “My grace is sufficient for Thee.”
Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true,
But, Oh, the Loss! If I lost what I’m doing in you!

So, be silent, My Child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft’ may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still, “WAIT.”
A little girl walked to and from school daily. Though the weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trek to the elementary school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning. The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school and she herself feared that the electrical storm might harm her child.


Following the roar of thunder, lightning, like a flaming sword, would cut through the sky. Full of concern, the mother quickly got into her car and drove along the route to her child’s school. As she did so, she saw her little girl walking along, but at each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up and smile. Another and another were to follow quickly and with each the little girl would look at the streak of light and smile.


When the mother’s car drove up beside the child she lowered the window and called to her.


“What are you doing? Why do you keep stopping?”


The child answered, “I am trying to look pretty, God keeps taking my picture.”


May God bless you today as you face the storms that come your way. And don’t forget to SMILE then.


Dr. Jimmy Lee interviewed Tammy Webb-Witholt on several of our radio programs. This week's devotions are taken largely from the thoughts expressed in those interviews. Twenty years ago, Tammy moved out of a lesbian lifestyle into a walk with God. Today she is ministering to people struggling with homosexuality and to churches who want to minister to these individuals. This week we will consider some of the lessons Tammy has learned along her journey with God.
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"One of the first things I learned," began Tammy, "was that the love of my life that I had searched for so diligently could only be found in a personal relationship with Jesus.
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"During my eight years in the gay world, my quest for security and lasting love became an endless cycle of relationships that I hoped would bring healing and perfect love. I proudly displayed my gay relationships to the world, but not one relationship filled the void that remained in my heart.
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"Early one morning after leaving a party, I realized I had been looking in all
the wrong places for love and security. When I called out to God, it seemed as though a dam broke in my heart. I confessed my sins and told God that I needed him, but he should not get his hopes up because I could not change who I was. I promised to do two things: read the Bible and attend church once a week.
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"Though this was a small step toward God, he—like the father in the story of the prodigal son—ran toward me with open arms. And so began my journey from homosexuality to holiness. Along that journey, I have learned beyond a doubt that there is only one place of complete love and security—Jesus."



Tammy continues her testimony: "When I first made a commitment to serve Jesus, I promised to read the Bible and attend church once a week. My intention was to read scripture with an analytical eye, but soon the words came to life and penetrated my heart. I was confronted with God's love and his call to obedience. Though I tried, I could not make the Bible say what I wanted it to say. I prayed, 'OK, God, I still feel like a homosexual. I don't know how to follow you in obedience. But even with my questions and my confusion, I'll leave it all.
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"When I first came to Christ, I was obstinate and resistant to God's will. But his grace stood patiently, hands extended in mercy and arms open wide in love.Now, with his help, I was ready to take a very difficult step of obedience.
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"That evening I ended the relationship I was in. My partner responded to my declaration by saying, 'You can't get out of this; no one ever gets out.' Her words seemed like the words of a drug dealer, not a friend."
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"Help me, God," I prayed. And he did.

Tammy's testimony continues: "One big lesson I've learned is that the Word of God is clear about obedience and how it relates to the Christian walk. Obedience is not optional. In a world that claims no authoritative truth, we must resolve to accept the Word of God as authority in our lives.
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"For a long time, my attitude kept me from obeying God. 'I deserve a loving relationship,' I rationalized. 'If this is not permissible, then why do I feel gay? I never asked to be attracted to others of the same sex.' I felt as though the God who was seemingly absent in my childhood was now demanding more than I could give. My anger fueled my disobedience and, in my mind, justified my rebellion.
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"As I opened my heart to God, I recognized my rebellion for what it was. God's call for obedience ceases to be a list of unattainable rules when we realize it is the request of a loving heavenly father inviting us to trust him. He has a plan for my life that exceeds my own, and I can trust him because his love has no limits."

** Are you looking in wrong places for love and security? Perhaps you too are struggling with homosexuality. Or maybe you are looking for love and security in an unhealthy heterosexual relationship, or in striving to be a people pleaser. Tammy discovered that Jesus is the only place to find total love and security. And as she came to him in total honesty and repentance, he ran toward her with open arms. His open arms of love are waiting for you as well.



** Tammy couldn't experience the power of God's Word until she moved beyond reading it to living it. Then God gave her the strength to make some very difficult choices to walk in obedience.

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Are you struggling with a problem, doing some things you know you shouldn't, but just aren't strong enough to do what you know is right? Ask God to make his Word real to you. And determine in your heart that you will obey him. Once you make that choice and run to him, you will experience his love, his grace and his power in an all new way.

** Is there an area of rebellion in your life? Ask God to help you trust him with every part of your life. Choose to do things his way and begin to live "a life energetic and blazing with holiness."

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As you study the Bible and pray, discover as Tammy did that God's ways really are the best ways. That he is your loving heavenly Father and is inviting you to trust him. Just as he had a plan for Tammy's life, he has one for yours. You can trust him because his love has no limits.

Courtesy : Daily Dose Devotionals Team

www.DailyDevotionals.Co





DEAR FRIEND, 

 I GOT THIS AND I WANT YOU TO READ IT TOO:

A pastor was traveling Last week, he saw an old man, and gave him a lift. While they were going, the old man said; my son, do you know what happened in Heaven last night? The pastor was so terrified and hurriedly parked and asked; Sir,are you sleeping? How did you get the information about Heaven? The Old man said; last night in Heaven God became very angry with man and asked the Angels to blow the trumpet. The angels picked up the trumpets and as they  were about to blow it WHEN, Jesus fell down and began to plead in tears. The blood that came out of His hands and body were very fresh. He told God that His death shouldn't be in vain. God couldn't stand the pains of the saint and the wickedness of the evil ones. So He said; "I AM GIVING THEM THEIR LAST CHANCE.". Jesus then turned to the angels and told them to move down in their numerous numbers to tell the world that "THE END IS NEAR, JESUS IS COMING VERY SOON". The pastor (sweating and crying) asked; sir, how did you know this?.The OLD MAN replied; I am one of the Angels sent to the World. Please use every medium of communication to send this message. No time to waste, Please! And the old man disappeared. Brethren, this story is real, Christ is coming Soon. Please REPENT. I beg of you. Please SHARE this message round. PLEASE SAVE A SOUL TODAY. I Have done my part, it's now your turn to spread the Gospel. No wealth can be compared to life everlasting in Heaven. If you are Ready to share this Message, Comment "AMEN" DO NOT IGNORE! 

Scriptures Relating the coming of Jesus: 

Matthew 16:27   For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.



Matthew 23:39    For I tell you, you wil not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'



Matthew 24:27   For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  



Matthew 24:30  "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn.  they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 


Matthew 24: 36-39  No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.   As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.   For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;  and they knew nothng about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.  That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Matthew 24:42  "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come."

Mathew 26:64  "Yes it is as you say,"  Jesus replied.  "But I say to all of you:  In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

Mark 8:36-38    What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with holy angels.

Mark 13:26-27   At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.  And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

Mark 13:35-37   Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back - whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.  If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.  What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!'

Mark 14:61-62    Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" "I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Might One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

Luke 9:26-27   If anyone I fanyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.  I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."

Luke 17:28-30    "It was the same in the days of Lot.  People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.  But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.  "It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.

Luke 18:8    I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

Luke 21:25-28  "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.  On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.  Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.   At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads, becasue your redemption is drawing near."

John 14:1-4       "Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God ; trust also in me.  In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going."

Acts 1:11  "Men of Galilee," they said. "why do you stand here looking into the sky?  This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

Acts 3:19-21    Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you - even Jesus.   He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.

1 Corinthians 1:7    Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.

1 Corinthians 4:5    Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes.   He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts.  At that time each will receive his praise from God.

1 Corinthians 11:26    For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

1 Corinthians  15:23-24  But each in his own turn:  Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.  Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

Philippians 1:10   so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 3:20    But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Colossians 3:4    When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

1 Thessalonians  1:9   for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us.  They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven,   whom he raised from the dead - Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

1 Thessalonians 2:19   For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes?  Is it not you?  Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

1 Thessalonians 3:13   May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:4    According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of god, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage each other with these words.  Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.  But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should suprise you like a thief.

1 Thessalonians 5:23   May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:7    and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.  This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.

2 Thessalonians  2:1    Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.

2 Thessalonians 2:8    And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destory by the splendor of his coming.

1 Timothy 6:13-16    I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time - God the blessed and only Ruler, the King of Kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.  To him be honor and might forever.  Amen

2 Timothy 4:1-2     In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:  Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage- with great patience and careful instruction.

2 Timothy 4:8    Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Titus 2:12    It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Hebrews 9:28    so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Hebrews 10:25    Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the day approaching.

Hebrews 3:7    For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay.

James 5:7-9    Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming.  See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.  You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.  Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged.  The Judge is standing at the door!

1 Peter 1:3-5     Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and ito an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvataion that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:13    Therefore, prepare your minds for action;  be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 2:12    Live such good lives among the pagans that though they acuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.


2 Peter 1:16  We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

2 Peter 3:3    First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.  They will say, "Where is the 'coming' he promised?

2 Peter 3:8-10     But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:  With the Lord a day is ike a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise,  as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to peris, but everyone to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.   The heavens will disappear with a roar;  The elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

1 John 2:28    And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

Jude 1:21  Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Revelation 1:7     Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him.  So shall it be! Amen.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, " says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

Revelation 3:11    I am coming soon.   Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.  Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.  Never again will he leave it. 

Revelation 16:15    "Behold, I come like a thief!  Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."

Revelation 22:12  Behold, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Revelation 22:20-21  He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon."  Amen, Come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people.  Amen.
A little girl was enjoying the beauty of the garden in her home. Her father had a good collection of rare and exotic plants. He grew them with tender care.


The girl was fascinated by a plant full of fine and fragrant flowers. She went near the plant and enjoyed its beauty and the fragrance of its fine flowers. Suddenly she noted that the plant was growing in a heap of filth. She could not tolerate the presence of dirt at the bottom of the plant with such fantastic flowers.


She conceived a plan to clean the plant. She pulled the plant with all her might and uprooted it. She then carried it to the tap and washed the shoot and roots in running tap-water till all traces of dirt were washed away. She then placed the plant on a clean stone and went away, thinking that she had done a great deed indeed.


Later her father came to the garden and saw the uprooted plant. Its flowers and leaves had wilted and the plant had almost died in the scorching sun. His little daughter ran to him to exhibit her achievement. “I have cleaned it, Daddy”, she reported innocently. “It was placed in dirty soil. Now it is clean.”


The father showed her how her treatment had almost killed the plant. He told her that he had collected the filthy soil and placed it to cover the plant’s roots as it was the best medium to grow that plant. It could grow up healthily and produce fine flowers only if grown in filthy soil. She was sad that the plant had suffered and withered by her cleaning.


Pain, poverty and illness may cause agony in our life. Sight of successful persons may make us depressed and envious. A great gardener mixes the right soil for each plant. In the same way God provides each of us with the best environment required for optimum spiritual growth. But it may appear to be unpleasant to us and we may even complain to God about our plight.

When I Say, "I Am A Christian"
 Copyright 1989, Carol S. Wimmer
When I say, "I am a Christian,"
I'm not shouting "I am saved."
I'm whispering "I was lost";
That is why I chose this way.

When I say, "I am a Christian,"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble,
And need someone to be my guide.

When I say, "I am a Christian,"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak,
And pray for strength to carry on.

When I say, "I am a Christian,"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed,
And cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say, "I am a Christian,"
I'm not claiming to be perfect.
My flaws are too visible,
But God believes I'm worth it.

When I say, "I am a Christian,"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches,
Which is why I speak His name.

When I say, "I am a Christian,"
I do not wish to judge.
I have no authority;
I only know I'm loved.
One day a while back, a man, his heart heavy with grief, was walking in the woods. As he thought about his life this day, he knew many things were not right. He thought about those who had lied about him back when he had a job.

His thoughts turned to those who had stolen his things and cheated him. He remembered family that had passed on. His mind turned to the illness he had that no one could cure. His very soul was filled with anger, resentment and frustration.

Standing there this day, searching for answers he could not find, knowing all else had failed him, he knelt at the base of an old oak tree to seek the one he knew would always be there, and with tears in his eyes, he prayed "Lord - You have done wonderful things for me in this life. You have told me to do many things for you, and I happily obeyed.

Today, you have told me to forgive. I am sad, Lord, because I cannot. I don't know how. It is not fair Lord. I didn't deserve these wrongs that were done against me and I shouldn't have to forgive. As perfect as your way is Lord, this one thing I cannot do, for I don't know how to forgive. My anger is so deep Lord, I fear I may not hear you, but I pray that you teach me to do this one thing I cannot do - Teach me To Forgive.

As he knelt there in the quiet shade of that old oak tree, he felt something fall onto his shoulder. He opened his eyes. Out of the corner of one eye, he saw something red on his shirt. He could not turn to see what it was because where the oak tree had been was a large square piece of wood in the ground. He raised his head and saw two feet held to the wood with a large spike through them. He raised his head more, and tears came to his eyes as he saw Jesus hanging on a cross. He saw spikes in His hands, a gash in His side, a torn and battered body, deep thorns sunk into His head.

Finally he saw the suffering and pain on His precious face. As their  eyes met, the man's tears turned to sobbing, and Jesus began to speak.

Have you ever told a lie, he asked?
The man answered - yes Lord.
Have you ever been given too much change and kept it?
The man answered yes Lord. And the man sobbed more and more.
Have you ever taken something from work that wasn't yours, Jesus asked?
And the man answered yes Lord.
Have you ever sworn, using my Father's name in vain?
The man, crying now, answered yes Lord.
As Jesus asked many more times, "Have you ever"? The man's crying became uncontrollable, for he could only answer yes Lord.
Then Jesus turned His head from one side to the other, and the man felt something fall on his other shoulder. He looked and saw that it was the blood of Jesus. When he looked back up, his eyes met those of Jesus, and there was a look of love the man had never seen or known before. Jesus said, I didn't deserve this either, but I forgive you.

It may be hard to see how you're going to get through something, but when you look back in life, you realize how true this statement is Read the first line slowly and let it sink in. This is simple, and important. Read on....This first line is deep.

If God brings you to it - He will bring you through it.

Lord, I love You and I need You, come into my heart, today.
They tell a story about st Peter. He was taking a visitor to the next world on a tour. 


First they came to hell. It was like a big dining room with long tables all loaded with food. And still, everyone seemed skinny and half starved.


They had a special way of eating here in hell: each one had a spoon with a handle which was two meters long. 


Now when the guest visited heaven he noticed that they had the same system of eating in their dining room. But here everyone seemed well fed. Noticing this, the visitor asked st Peter for the reason. "Well," he explained, "did you notice that in hell everyone tried to feed himself with that long spoon?


Well, no one can reach his mouth, and so they are all starving. But in heaven everyone feeds everyone else with those long spoons. And so, everything goes just fine.


This is a good example of Christianity in practice. We think of the other person first and of ourselves, last.
There was a teenage boy who lost a contact lens while playing basketball in his driveway. After a fruitless search, he told his mother the lens was nowhere to be found. Undaunted, she went outside and in a few minutes returned with the eyepiece in her hand.

"How did you manage to find it, Mom?" the teenager asked.

"We weren't looking for the same thing," she replied. "You were looking for a small piece of plastic. I was looking for $150."

What we look for and see in life is largely determined by our values. More often than not when kids inherit a small fortune which cost them nothing and for which they did nothing to earn it, they pretty much blow it within two years. Also, if suffering people don't have any value to us, we will largely ignore them and not do anything to help them. Furthermore, if I don't see people the way God sees them—lost sinners in need of a Savior and of such infinite value to God that he gave his Son, Jesus, to come to earth and die on a cruel Roman cross to pay the penalty for all our sins—I won't do anything to seek to influence them for Jesus nor do anything to help win them to him.

What we value is what we seek after and find.

A cab driver taught me a million dollar lesson in customer satisfaction and expectation. Motivational speakers charge thousands of dollars to impart his kind of training to corporate executives and staff. It cost me a $12 taxi ride.


I had flown into Dallas for the sole purpose of calling on a client. Time was of the essence and my plan included a quick turnaround trip from and back to the airport. A spotless cab pulled up.


The driver rushed to open the passenger door for me and made sure I was comfortably seated before he closed the door.

As he got in the driver's seat, he mentioned that the neatly folded wall street journal next to me for my use. He then showed me several tapes and asked me what type of music I would enjoy.



Well! I looked around for a "Candid camera!" Wouldn't you? I could not believe the service I was receiving! I took the opportunity to say, "Obviously you take great pride in your work. You must have a story to tell."



"You bet," he replied, "I used to be in Corporate America. But I got tired of thinking my best would never be good enough. I decided to find my niche in life where I could feel proud of being the best I could be.


I knew I would never be a rocket scientist, but I love driving cars, being of service and feeling like I have done a full day's work and done it well. I evaluate my personal assets and... wham! I became a cab driver.



One thing I know for sure, to be good in my business I could simply just meet the expectations of my passengers. But, to be GREAT in my business, I have to EXCEED the customer's expectations! I like both the sound and the return of being 'great' better than just getting by on 'average'"



Did I tip him big time? You bet! Corporate America's loss is the traveling folk's friend! 



----- Good service always brings good return.
See this wonderful Video, Christmas Special from GodTube. This is a Christmas video using the many names of God set to the “Nativity Story”. 





His Birth – Foretold in ancient writings


His Birth – A miracle that would threaten an Empire


His Birth – Would bring forth a revolution of New Life and shine light into a world filled with darkness


His Birth – Would change the world


His Birth – Would be the greatest gift God has ever given


May the miraculous gift of Christ fill your home with faith, Your heart with hope and your life with love.
Inside every adult lurks a graduation speaker dying to get out, some world-weary pundit eager to pontificate on life to young people who'd rather be Rollerblading. Most of us, alas, will never be invited to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns, but there's no reason we can't entertain ourselves by composing a Guide to Life for Graduates.
I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt...
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Sing.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Floss.
Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Stretch.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen
A young man asked Socrates the secret to success.

Socrates told the young man to meet him near the river the next morning. Next morning, they met. Socrates asked the young man to walk with him toward the river. When the water got up to their neck, Socrates took the young man by surprise and ducked him into the water.

The boy struggled to get out but Socrates was strong and kept him there until the boy started turning blue. Socrates pulled his head out of the water and the first thing the young man did was to gasp and take a deep breath of air.

Socrates asked, “What did you want the most when you were there?” The boy replied, “Air.”

Socrates said, “That is the secret to success. When you want success as badly as you wanted the air, then you will get it.”

There is no other secret.

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Once there was a young boy who lived with his father in a cottage deep in the forest. His father worked him hard from sunrise to sunset and still almost every evening he would hear his father say the same thing: “Poor me! Poor me! I will die a sad old man because you are a fool and will never amount to anything.”


But the boy was not a fool, in fact, he showed a lot of wisdom for his age, and he had a generous heart besides. One day, after helping an old widow stack some wood, he was about to go home when she stopped him and placing her hand on his head spoke these words: “You are a reflection of the face of God. The world is brighter for the joy you have given me this day. I bless you my child!”


The boy stepped back, amazed: “What was that?”


“Why, it was a blessing my child! Haven’t you ever received a blessing before?”


Back at home he asked his father: “Papa? Why do you curse me? Why do you not bless me?”


“What a ridiculous question! Because it is against my nature to bless and I will not do what feels so unnatural to me. What a ridiculous question. Poor me! Poor me! I will die a sad old man because you are a fool and will never amount to anything.”


“Oh.” said the boy, and he felt sorry for his father, but that night he decided that no matter how uncomfortable it felt, he would become the kind of person who blessed others. And so he did.


The boy grew to be a man, left the forest and built a home for himself out in the meadowlands. In time had a family of his own. He was still haunted by the curses of his father, and it would make him sad for days at a time, but he had decided to bless, so even though he felt sad, almost every evening, he would call one of his children to himself, lay his hand upon their head and speak these words: “You are a reflection of the face of God. The world is brighter for the joy you give me this day. I bless you my child.”


One night he had a dream in which he saw his father and heard him saying over and over: “Poor me! Poor me! I will die a sad old man because you are a fool and will never amount to anything.”


And it upset him so much he woke up, got out of bed, and went out into the backyard. He stood there by the trees in the moonlight and was so angry his hands became fists as he spoke out loud to the wind: “What’s the point in being someone who blesses? I’m still so haunted by these curses of my father! Well, maybe I should curse as well!”


And he kicked the ground as hard as he could which shook loose a stone. He picked it up to throw and just then the wind became very strong and he thought he heard a voice: “Do not discard your father’s heart!”


He looked at the trees and then at the rock in his hands. The voice called again: “Do not discard your father’s heart!”


“Who are you?”


“I am the Father of every son and daughter and I tell you, the stone you hold in your hand is like the condition of your father’s heart!”


He looked at the rock. He could tell it was badly misshapen, that it had broken off from a larger rock and had many cracks and flaws within.


And then again the voice: “You can try to change this rock. You can press it until your fingers bleed, but you will not succeed in changing the rock! Neither will you succeed in changing the heart of your father by force or manipulation. Hold your father’s heart gently within your own and pray for him. You have no idea what forces shaped this rock. Neither do you know the forces that shaped the heart of your father. Hold your father’s heart gently within your own and pray for him.”


“When did his heart become like this?”


“When he chose to curse instead of bless. But do not become proud…Your heart would look just like this, if I had not blessed you as a child.”


“I only remember the old woman.”


“The voice was hers, but the words were mine.”


“Then why didn’t you bless my father when he was a child?”


“I bless every one of my children. But I never force them to bless in return. In eternity you will have no questions. For now, it is enough that you decide to bless and not curse. Hold your father’s heart gently within your own, and pray for him”


“Father of every son and daughter, bless my father.”


And as soon as he spoke these words, the wind died down and everything became peaceful in the countryside and in the heart of the young man. He went back inside, put the rock in a safe place, laid down and went right to sleep. He had the best night sleep he’d had for a long time. And from then on whenever he recalled one of the curses of his father, he genuinely prayed a blessing on his father, and in time began to experience true healing and a strong peace within.


One evening there was a knock on the front door and as he had raised his children to do, they welcomed in a blind beggar, sat him down at the kitchen table, and gave him some food to eat. The young man walked in and immediately recognized it was his own father. But he didn’t reveal his own identity. He listened to the old man speak. And the old man talked about how his son had abandoned him, how he had lost his eyesight, and how he’d been forced to beg in a world where life was hard. Just then his son spoke up: “Grandfather! You’re welcome to stay here with us!”


“But I have no money to pay you.”


“Oh, we don’t need any money; all we ask is that as long as you stay with us, you speak only blessings. — What’s the matter?”


“It…it’s against my nature to bless!”


“Grandfather, I can tell by your hands that you have worked your whole life. So, begging must be against your nature as well, but see, it has brought you here to us!”


The old man couldn’t argue this point, so he agreed to stay, but it was weeks before he spoke a word – it was so against his nature to bless. When he finally did, you could hardly hear him: “What’s that Grandfather?”


“I said, bless you for taking an old man in from the cold. I wish my son had turned out like you, but he was a fool and…”


“Ah! Grandfather, only blessings!”


“Well, I wish my son had turned out like you! Bless you!”


Wasn’t bad for a first blessing! And a week later he spoke another one and it was a little smoother. And the next day he spoke two – and they were a lot smoother. Then he began to bless every day — many times in a day. He really got into it! You could say that blessing became – second nature to him.


And the more he blessed, the more he smiled. And the more he smiled the more his face softened. And the more his face softened, the more his heart softened and the more his heart softened, the more joy he began to experience; a different kind of joy than he had known before.


They lived happily for years until one winter the old man fell ill and was near death. As his breathing grew labored, his son sat on the bedside and asked: “Grandfather, is there anything I can get for you?”


“No one can bring me what I most need at this hour.”


“Please Grandfather, anything! What would you like?”


“I should like to see my own son once more to give him my blessing. As he was growing I gave only curses. I told him it was against my nature to bless. And, as you can see, I have learned to bless too late…”


Then his son leaned closer and whispered: “Papa! Papa it’s me, your own son… I am here! It is not too late! God has seen fit to bring us together these last years…It’s not too late! I’m here… I’m here!”


And they embraced. A moment later the old man straightened up, stretched out a trembling hand, laid it upon his son’s head, and spoke these words: “You are a reflection of the face of God. Though I cannot see you with my eyes, I see you with my heart and the mercy you have shown me these past years is like a brilliant light, dispelling all shadow as I pass from time into eternity. I will die a happy, happy old man, because I have learned to bless and so…my son… I… bless you.”


And with these words, his hand fell back down to his chest and he died with this beautiful smile on his face. Later that night the young man took the stone out of the place he had put it years before and he sat at the kitchen table by candlelight. Turning it over and over in his hands, a single tear fell onto the rock and it split in two. Inside was a priceless stone; smooth to the touch and sparkling in beauty. Just then the wind became very strong outside and he got up to close the shutter, but then again he heard the ancient voice: “Eternity shines brighter for the joy you bring me this day. And I bless you my child.”

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