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Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Son!

The Son

A Story:

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier.
The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. 
A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.

He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.

The young man held out his package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears.
He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection On the platform sat the painting of the son.

The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?"

There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."
But the auctioneer persisted, "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?"

Another voice shouted angrily, "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids! "But still the auctioneer continued, "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?"

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
"We have $10, who will bid $20?" "Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters." "$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?" The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. 
"Going once, twice, SOLD for $10! 

A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!" The auctioneer laid down his gavel, "I'm sorry, the auction is over."
"What about the paintings?"

"I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. 
Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!"

God gave his Son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, "The Son, the Son, who'll take the Son?" Because you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything. 

*author unknown

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The yellow light

The light turned yellow, just in front of him.


He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection. The woman tailgating him was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.


As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.



He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.


He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, gesturing to the guy in front of you and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'Follow Me to Sunday-School' bumper sticker, and the 'chrome-plated Christian fish emblem' on the trunk, so naturally ....

I assumed you had stolen the car."

Monday, October 31, 2016

Getting the Man right.

The following story is from the book:  "The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic" by Matthew Kelly.


Prologue


Once upon a time there was a very successful business
owner. His company had faithfully served millions of customers
for many, many years. But lately, business had not been so good,
and his competitors were just waiting for him to fail. For weeks
and months, the man pondered the crisis, but the problems were
so complex, and solutions seemed nowhere to be found.
Everyone was wondering what would happen to this great
company, so finally the businessman announced that he was hosting
a dinner for all of his employees to unveil a plan that would
save the company and return it to its former glory. He wanted to
convey to them how important each person was to the future success
of the organization.

The morning of the dinner, he was sitting in his study at home
working on his speech, when his wife came in and asked if he
would mind watching their son for a few hours while she ran
some errands. He was about to say, “I really need to focus on finishing
my speech,” but something caught his tongue and he found
himself agreeing, reluctantly.

His wife had only been gone about ten minutes when there
was a knock on the study door, and there appeared his seven year-
old son. “Dad, I’m bored!” he exclaimed. The father spent
the next couple of hours trying to amuse his son while also trying
to finish his speech. Finally he realized that if he could not find
some way to entertain his child he was never going to get his
speech finished in time.

Picking up a magazine, he thumbed through the pages until
he came to a large, brightly colored map of the world. He ripped
the picture into dozens of pieces, and led his son into the living
room. Then, throwing the pieces all over the floor, he announced,
“Son, if you can put the map of the world back together I will
give you twenty dollars.”

The boy immediately began gathering the pieces. He was
keen to earn the extra money, as he needed just twenty more dollars
to buy a toy he had been saving for since his last birthday.
The father returned to his study, thinking he had just bought
himself a couple of hours to finish working on his speech, because
he knew his seven-year-old son had no idea what the map of the
world looked like.

But five minutes later, just as he was settling into his speech,
there was another knock on the study door. There stood the
young boy holding the completed map of the world.
The father said in amazement, “How did you finish it so
quickly?” The boy smiled and said, “You know, Dad, I had no
idea what the map of the world looked like, but as I was picking
up the pieces, I noticed that on the back there was a picture of
a man.” The father smiled, and the boy continued. “So, I put a
sheet of paper down, and I put the picture of the man together,
because I knew what the man looked like. I placed another sheet
of paper on top, then holding them tightly I turned them both
over.” He smiled again and exclaimed, “I figured, if I got the man
right, the world would be right.”

The man handed his son twenty dollars. “And you’ve given
me my speech for tonight.
 
If you get the man right, you get the world right.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Avoid Friendly Fire



I read about something interesting that happens at wartime called friendly fire. Friendly fire is when a soldier either purposely or accidentally shoots one of his fellow warriors. Sadly, this happens quite often on the battlefield.

One place this practice should not be taking place is inside the Church. In the book of Acts, Jesus told us to be His Witnesses in all the world, that is, to be His representatives (Acts 1:8). The mission He imparted on His followers is humbling and at times overwhelming. That is why it is so important to keep this mission in front of us at all times. It seems to me, that when Churches lose this mission, often times, they lose their way. This is generally when friendly fire takes place. When we start looking inward and stop looking outward.
Consider the most recent sporting event in which you attended. Who does all the yelling and screaming? The Fans!
The folks who are filling the seats, sitting comfortably, and watching ...
The players on the other hand, are busy. They are sweating, hurting, and engaged fully in the game. The players know they need their teammates to win and they support each other. In other words, no time for friendly fire when you are in the game.
Church, is it time that you wake up to your calling once again?
If we keep the main things the main things, a lot of our friendly fire will cease.  Let's face it, we have enough enemies already, we do not need to be fighting amongst ourselves.
 
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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Satan has a plan

Satan called a worldwide convention of demons.
In his opening address he said, "We can't keep Christians from going to church." "We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth." "We can't even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their saviour." "Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken." 

"So let them go to their churches; let them have their covered dish dinners, BUT steal their time, so they don't have time to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.." 

"This is what I want you to do," said the devil: "Distract them from gaining hold of their Saviour and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!" "How shall we do this?" his demons shouted. "Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds," he answered. "Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow." 

"Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles." "Keep them from spending time with their children." "As their families fragment, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!" "Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice." 

"Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive." To keep the TV, VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly." "This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ." "Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers." "Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day." "Invade their driving moments with billboards." "Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes.." 

"Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so their husbands will believe that outward beauty is what's important, and they'll become dissatisfied with their wives..." "Keep the wives too tired to love their husbands at night." "Give them headaches too! " "If they don't give their husbands the love they need, they may begin to look elsewhere." "That will fragment their families quickly!" "Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas." 


"Give them an Easter bunny so they won't talk about his resurrection and power over sin and death." "Even in their recreation, let them be excessive." "Have them return from their recreation exhausted." "Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God's creation. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead." "Keep them busy, busy, busy!" "And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences. " "Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Jesus." 

"Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause." "It will work!" "It will work!" It was quite a plan! The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there. 
Having little time for their God or their families. 
Having no time to tell others about the power of Jesus to change lives. I guess the question is, has the devil been successful in his schemes? 

Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis.

You be the judge.
Does "BUSY" mean: 
B-eing U-nder S-atan's Y-oke?

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