Inspirations & Stories

Stories for your heart (new stories when we find good ones to post.)

"God Speaks" Billboards

Here's a list of all variations of the "God Speaks" billboards. The billboards are a simple black background with white text. They have shown up all over the country at various times.


Tell the kids I love them.
-God


Let's meet at my house Sunday before the game.
-God


C'mon over and bring the kids.
-God


What part of "Thou Shalt Not..." didn't you understand?
-God


We need to talk.
-God


Keep using my name in vain, I'll make rush hour longer.
-God


Loved the wedding, invite me to the marriage.
-God


That "Love Thy Neighbor" thing... I meant it.

-God


I love you and you and you and you and...
-God


Will the road you're on get you to my place?
-God


Follow me.
-God


Big bang theory, you've got to be kidding.
-God


My way is the highway.
-God


Need directions?
-God


You think it's hot here?
-God


Have you read my #1 best seller? There will be a test.
-God


Do you have any idea where you're going?
-God


Don't make me come down there.
-God

"I Wish You Could See"

I wish you could know what it is like to search a burning bedroom for trapped children, flames rolling above your head, your palms and knees burning as you crawl, floor sagging under you weight as the kitchen below you burns.

I wish you could comprehend a wife's horror at 3am as I check her husband of 40 years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late but wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done to try to save his life.

I wish you knew the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of soot-filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear, the sound of flames crackling, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke-sensations that I've become too familiar with.

I wish you could understand how it feels to go to work in the morning after having spent most of the night, hot and soaking wet at a multiple alarm fire.

I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a building fire, "Is this a false alarm or a working fire? How is the building constructed? What hazards await me? Is anyone trapped?" Or to an EMS call, "What is wrong with the patient, is it minor or life-threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he/she waiting for us with a 2x2 or a gun?"

I wish you could be in the emergency room as a doctor pronounces dead the beautiful 5 year old girl that I have been trying to save during the past 25 minutes. Who will never go on her first date or say the words, "I love you mommy" again.

I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of the engine or my personal vehicle, the driver his foot pressing down hard on the pedal, my arm tugging again and again at the air horn chain, as you fail to yield the right of way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us however, your first comment upon our arrival will be, "It took you forever to get here!"

I wish you could know my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of teenage years from the remains of her automobile. "What if this was my sister, my girlfriend, or a friend? What are her parents reaction going to be when they open the door to find a police officer with hat in hand?"

I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my parents and family, not having the heart to tell them that I nearly did not come back from the last call.

I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally and sometimes physically abuse us or belittle what we do, or express their attitude of "It will never happen to me."

I wish you could realize the physical, emotional and mental drain, missed meals, lost sleep and foregone social activities, in addition to all the tragedy my eyes have seen.

I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someone's property, or being able to be there in time of crisis, or creating order out of total chaos.

I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging at your arm and asking, "Is mommy okay?" Not even being able to look in his eyes without tears from you own and not knowing what to say. Or to have to hold back a long time friend who watches his buddy having rescue breathing done on him as they take him away in the ambulance. You know all along he didn't have his seatbelt on.

A sensation I have become all too familiar with.

Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, we are or what our job really means to us...I wish you could though.

Author Unknown

"YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE"

You are My Sunshine, My only Sunshine" (Be prepared to get watery eyes!)
Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way,
she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a
new
sibling. They found out that the new baby was going be a girl, and day
after day, night after night, Michael sang to his sister in mommy's tummy.
He was building a bond of love with his little sister before he even met
her. The pregnancy progressed normally for Karen, an active member of the
Panther Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tennessee.
In time, the labor pains came. Soon it was every five minutes, every three,
every minute. But serious complications arose during delivery and Karen
found herself in hours of labor.
Would a C-section be required? Finally, after a long struggle, Michael's
little sister was born. But she was in very serious
condition. With a siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushed the
infant
to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital, Knoxville,
Tennessee. The days inched by. The little girl got worse. The pediatrician
had to tell the parents there is very little hope. Be prepared for the
worst. Karen
and her husband contacted a local cemetery about a burial plot.
They had fixed up a special room in their house for their new baby but now
they found themselves having to plan for a funeral. Michael, however, kept
begging his parents to let him see his sister. I want to sing to her, he
kept saying. Week two in intensive care looked as if a funeral would come
before the week was over.
Michael kept nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed
in Intensive Care. Karen decided to take Michael whether they liked it
or not.
If he didn't see his sister right then, he may never see her alive. She
dressed him in an oversized scrub suit and marched him into ICU. I looked
like a walking laundry basket.
The head nurse recognized him as a child and bellowed, "Get that kid out of
here now. No children are allowed." The mother rose up strong in
Karen, and
the usually mild-mannered lady glared steel-eyed right into the head
nurse's face, her lips a firm line. "He is not leaving until he sings to
his sister" she
stated. Then Karen towed Michael to his sister's bedside.
He gazed at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. After a moment, he
began to sing. In the pure-hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael
sang: "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies
are gray." Instantly the baby girl seemed to respond. The pulse rate began
to calm down and
become steady. "Keep on singing, Michael," encouraged Karen with tears in
her eyes. "You never know, dear, how much I love you, please don't take my
sunshine away." As Michael sang to his sister, the baby's ragged, strained
breathing became as smooth as a kitten's purr. "Keep on singing,
sweetheart." "The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held
you in my arms". Michael's little sister began to relax as rest, healing
rest, seemed to sweep over her.
"Keep on singing, Michael." Tears had now conquered the face of the bossy
head nurse. Karen glowed. "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please
don't take
my sunshine away..."
The next day...the very next day...the little girl was well enough to go
home. Woman's Day Magazine called it The Miracle of a Brother's Song. The
medical staff just called it a miracle. Karen called it a miracle of God's
love.

57 Cents

A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was "too crowded."

"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

When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion.

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.
Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00--a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

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 Temple University, 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 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. Russel H. Conwell, author of the book, "Acres of Diamonds".

A Contest


Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.

The winner was:

A four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."

A HAPPY ATTITUDE

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it," she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy. “Mrs. Jones, you haven't seen the room,” I said, “just wait.” “That doesn't have anything to do with it," she replied, “happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged, it's how I arrange my mind.”

“I already decided to love it. It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away just for this time in my life. Old age is like a bank account: you withdraw from what you've put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories.”

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

A Pair of Shoes


An Eye Witness Account from New York City, on a cold day in December some years ago: A little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said,

"My, but your in such deep thought staring in that window!"

"I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes," was the boy's reply.

The lady took him by the hand and went into the store and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with a towel.

By this time the clerk had returned with the socks.

Placing a pair upon the boy's feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairsof socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, "No doubt, you will be more comfortable now".

As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face........ with tears in his eyes, asked her ...............

"Are you God's Wife?"

ABC's


Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without God’s love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking God for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of "Camp Complaining"
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "thank" is a command
U
ntil we see God coming
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
Xalting God most high
Yes, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but...
Z ion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!

Cell phone vs. Bible

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phones?

CHANGING A LIGHT BULB THE CHRISTIAN WAY

If we can't laugh at ourselves who can we laugh at. Enjoy.

 

How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb?

Charismatic
: Only 1
Hands are already in the air.

Pentecostal : 10
One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

Presbyterians
: None
Lights will go on and off at predestined times.

Roman Catholic : None
Candles only.

Baptists : At least 15.
One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad and fried chicken .

Episcopalians: 3
One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks and one to talk about how much better the old one was.

Mormons : 5
One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how to do it.

Unitarians :
We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, you are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, 3-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.

Methodists
: Undetermined
Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb. Bring a bulb of your choice to the Sunday lighting service and a covered dish to pass.

Nazarene! : 6
One woman to replace the bulb while five men review church lighting policy.

Lutherans: None
Lutherans don't believe in change.

Amish :
What's a light bulb?

CHRIST BE WITH ME

CHRIST BE WITH ME,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me,

Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all
that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend
and stranger.

-- Saint Patrick, Fifth Century

Clap and Cheer


Whenever I'm disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott. Jamie was trying out for a part in a school play. His mother told me that he'd set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen.

On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. "Guess what Mom," he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me.......................

"I've been chosen to clap and cheer."

DART TEST

One day Sally walked into the seminary and knew they were in for a fun day. On the wall was a big target and on a nearby table were many darts. The professor told the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry, and he would allow them to throw darts at the person's picture.

Sally's friend drew a picture of someone who had stolen her boyfriend. Another friend drew a picture of his little brother. Sally drew a picture of a former friend, putting a great deal of detail into her drawing, even drawing pimples on the face. Sally was pleased with the overall effect she had achieved.

The class lined up and began throwing darts. Some of the students threw their darts with such force that their targets were ripping apart. Sally looked forward to her turn, and was filled with disappointment when the professor, because of time limits, asked the students to return to their seats. As Sally sat thinking about how angry she was because she didn't have a chance to throw any darts at her target. Then the professor began removing the target from the wall.

Underneath the target was a picture of Jesus. A hush fell over the room as each student viewed the mangled picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covered his face and his eyes were pierced.

The professor said only these words... "In as much as you have done it unto the least of these my brothers and sisters, you have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40)

No other words were necessary. Tears filled the eyes of the students focused only on the picture of Christ.

Five Finger Prayer

Five Finger Prayer
 

This is so neat. I had never heard this before. This is beautiful - and it is surely worth making the 5 finger prayer a part of our lives.

 
1. Your thumb is nearest you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said, a 'sweet duty.'

 

2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.

 
3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God's guidance.

 

4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger, as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.

 
5. And lastly comes our little finger - the smallest finger of all, which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, 'The least shall be the greatest among you.' Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

GOD DOES EXIST

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair and beard cut as always. He began to have a good conversation with the barber. They talked about so many things and various subjects. Suddenly, they touched on the subject of God. The barber said: "I don't believe that God exists."

"Why do you say that?" asked the customer

"Well, it's so easy. You just have to go out in the street to realize that God does not exist. Oh, tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God exists, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't think of loving a God who permits all of these things."

The customer thought for a moment, but he didn't respond because he did not want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long hair and a beard. It was very long, and it must have been a long time since he had his hair cut. He looked dirty and unkempt.

The customer entered the barbershop again and he said to the barber, "You know what? Barbers do not exist."

"How can you say they don't exist?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here and I am a barber. Why, I just worked on you!"

No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did there would be no people with long hair and beard like that man outside."

“Ah, barbers do exist, what happens is that people do not come to me," replied the barber.

“Exactly!" affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God does exist. What happens is people don't go to God and they do not look for God. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."

God's Perfection

In Brooklyn, New York, there is a school that caters to learning-disabled children. Some children remain in the school for their entire school career, while others can be mainstreamed into conventional schools.

At a fundraising dinner, the father of a disabled child delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, "Where is the perfection in my son? Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God's perfection?"

The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father's anguish and stilled by the piercing query. "I believe," the father answered, "that when God brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that He seeks is in the way people react to this child." He then told the following story about his son:

One afternoon the father and son walked past a park where some boys were playing baseball. The son asked, "Do you think they will let me play?" The father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But the father understood that if his son were chosen to play it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging.

The father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if his son could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, "We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning." The father was ecstatic as the son smiled broadly. The son was told to put on a glove and go out to play short center field.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the boy's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning, the team scored again and now with two outs and the bases loaded with the potential winning run on base, the son was scheduled to be up. Would the team actually let him bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, he was given the bat. Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because he didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However, as he stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so he should at least be able to make contact.

The first pitch came in and he swung clumsily and missed. One of his teammates came up and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward the boys. As the pitch came in, the son and his teammate swung the bat and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. The son would have been out and that would have ended the game.

Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, "Run to first. Run to first!" Never in his life had the boy run to first. He scampered down the baseline wide eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman that would tag out the son, who was still running. But, the right fielder understood what the pitcher's intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman's head. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second." The boy ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As he reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, "Run to third." As he rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, "Run home!" He ran home, stepped on home plate and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit a "grandslam" and won the game for his team.

"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "those 18 boys reached their level of God's perfection."

Good for the Soul

Thank God for Children Saying Grace...

Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, "God is good, God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!"

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice-cream! Why, I never!"

Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?"

As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.

"Really?" my son asked. "Cross my heart," the man replied. Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), " Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."

Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman.

With a big smile he told her, "Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already."

Heaven’s Grocery Store

(Author unknown)

As I was walking down life's highway
many years ago,
I came upon a sign that read
“Heaven’s Grocery Store.”

When I got a little closer
the doors swung open wide;
And when I came to myself
I was standing there inside.

I saw a host of angels.
They were standing everywhere.
One handed me a basket
and said "My child shop with care."

Everything a human needed
was in that grocery store;
And what you could not carry
you could come back for more.

First I got some Patience.
Love was in that same row.
Further down was Understanding,
you need that everywhere you go.

I got a box or two of Wisdom
and Faith a bag or two.
And Charity of course
I would need some of that, too.

I got some Strength and Courage
to help me run this race.
My basket was getting full
but I remembered I needed Grace,

And then I chose Salvation,
for Salvation was for free.
I tried to get enough of that,
to do for you and me.

Then I started to the counter
to pay my grocery bill,
For I thought I now had everything
to do the Master’s will.

As I went up the aisle
I saw Prayer and put that in,
For I knew when I stepped outside
I would run right into sin.

Peace and Joy were plentiful,
the last things on the shelf.
Song and Praise were hanging near
so I just helped myself.

Then I said to the angel,
"Now, how much do I owe?"
He smiled and said,

Just take them everywhere you go."

Again I asked, "Really now,
How much do I owe?"
"My child" he said, "God paid your bill
a long, long time ago."

Is Your Hut Burning?

Anonymous

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.

John

John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"


He was a natural motivator.


If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.


Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, "I don't get it!


You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"


He replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood.


I choose to be in a good mood."


Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.


Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.


"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.


"Yes, it is," he said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood.


You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."

I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.


I saw him about six months after the accident.


When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins...Wanna see my scars?"


I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.


"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter," he replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die. I chose to live."


"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.


He continued, "..the paramedics were great.


They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action."


"What did you do?" I asked.


"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said John. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity'."


Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude... I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.


Attitude, after all, is everything.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34.

Little League


On my way home one day I stopped to watch a 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.

Love Letter


You may not know me, but I know everything about you Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore Psalms 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is. Will you be my child? John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad.

Almighty God

Pediatrician

A four year old was at the pediatrician for a check up. As the doctor looked down her ears with an otoscope, he asked, "Do You think I'll find Big Bird in here?"

The little girl stayed silent.

Next, the doctor took a tongue depressor and looked down her throat. He asked, "Do you think I'll find the Cookie Monster down there?"

Again, the little girl was silent.

Then the doctor put a stethoscope to her chest. As he listened to her heart beat, he asked, "Do you think I'll hear Barney in there?"

"Oh, no!" the little girl replied. "Jesus is in my heart. Barney's on my underpants."

Psalm 23

This is an eye opener; some probably never thought nor looked at this Psalm in this way, even though they say it over and over again.

The Lord is my Shepherd - That's Relationship

I shall not want - That's Supply

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures - That's Rest

He leadeth me beside the still waters - That's Refreshment

He restoreth my soul - That's Healing

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness - That's Guidance

For His name’s sake - That's Purpose

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death - That's Testing

I will fear no evil - That's Protection

For Thou art with me - That's Faithfulness

Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me - That's Discipline

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies - That's Hope

Thou annointest my head with oil - That's Consecration

My cup runneth over - That's Abundance

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life - That's Blessing

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord - That's Security

Forever - That's Eternity

04/14/2004

PUMPKIN PATCH

A woman was asked by a co-worker, "What is it like to be a Christian?" She replied, "It is like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then God cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. The Lord removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc., and then carves you a new smiling face and puts the light of Christ inside you to shine for all the world to see."

Religious Humor:

What Would Jesus Do?

A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, and Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, 'Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait.'

Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ryan, you be Jesus."


Natural Selection

A father was at the beach with his children when his four-year old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore where a seagull lay dead in the sand. "Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked. "He died and went to Heaven," the dad replied.

The boy thought a moment and then said, "Did God throw him back down?"


Honesty

After the church service a little boy told the pastor, "When I grow up, I'm going to give you some money." "Well, thank you," the pastor replied, "but why?"

"Because my daddy says you're one of the poorest preachers we've ever had."


Dinner Party

A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?"
"I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied.
"Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered. The daughter bowed her head and said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"

 

Runners up


Teacher Debbie Moon's first graders were discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different color hair than the other family members. One child suggested that he was adopted. A little girl said, "I know all about adoptions because I was adopted."

"What does it mean to be adopted?" asked another child.

It means," said the girl, "that you grew in your mommy's heart instead of her tummy."

THANK YOU LORD

I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked Side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels.

My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, "This is the Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received."

I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world. Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.

The angel then said to me, "This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them." I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth.

Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated there, idly doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledgment Section," my angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed. "How is it that? There's no work going on here?" I asked.

"So sad," the angel sighed. "After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments.

"How does one acknowledge God's blessings?" I asked.

"Simple," the angel answered. "Just say, "Thank you, Lord"

"What blessings should they acknowledge?" I asked.

"If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep .. you are richer than 75% of this world."

"If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy."

"And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity."

"If you woke up this morning with more health than illness ......you are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day."

"If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation ... you are ahead of 700 million people in the world"

"If you can attend a church meeting without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death .. you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world."

"If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you are unique to all those in doubt and despair."

"Ok, what now? How can I start?"

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very special and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Have a good day, count your blessings, and if you want, pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are.

ATTN: Acknowledgement Department - Thank You Lord!

The atheists daughter

There was an atheist couple who had a child. The couple never told their daughter anything about the Lord. One night when the little girl was 5 years old, the parents fought with each other and the dad shot the mom, right in front of the child. Then, the dad shot himself. The little girl watched it all. She then was sent to a foster home. The foster mother was a Christian and took the child to church. On the first day of Sunday School, the foster mother told the teacher that the girl had never heard of Jesus, and to have patience with her. The teacher held up a picture of Jesus and said, "Does anyone know who this is?" The little girl said, "I do, that's the man who was holding me the night my parents died.

The Carpenter

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work.

He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work the employer came to inspect the house. He handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."

The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then with a shock we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we'd do it much differently. But we cannot go back. You are the carpenter. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. "Life is a do-it-yourself project," someone has said.

Your attitudes and the choices you make today, build the "house" you live in tomorrow. Build wisely!

The Carpenter

The Carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. "Oh, that's my trouble tree", he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again." "Funny thing is, " he smiled. "when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

The Diver

A young man who had been raised as an atheist was training to be an Olympic diver. The only religious influence in his life came from his outspoken Christian friend. The young diver never really paid much attention to his friend's sermons, but he heard them often. One night the diver went to the indoor pool at the college he attended. The lights were all off, but as the pool had big skylights and the moon was bright, there was plenty of light to practice by. The young man climbed up to the highest diving board and as he turned his back to the pool on the edge of the board and extended his arms out, he saw his shadow on the wall. The shadow of his body, was in the shape of a cross. Instead of diving, he knelt down and finally asked God to come into his life. As the young man stood, a maintenance man walked in and turned the lights on. The pool had been drained for repairs.

THE GARDEN

I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses....
FOR THE GARDEN OF YOUR DAILY LIVING,
PLANT THREE ROWS OF PEAS:
1. Peas of mind 
2. Peas of heart 
3. Peas of soul
PLANT FOUR ROWS OF SQUASH:
1. Squash gossip 
2. Squash indifference 
3. Squash grumbling 
4. Squash selfishness
PLANT FOUR ROWS OF LETTUCE:
1. Lettuce be faithful 
2. Lettuce be kind 
3. Lettuce be patient 
4. Lettuce really love one another
NO GARDEN IS WITHOUT TURNIPS:
1. Turnip for meetings 
2. Turnip for service 
3. Turnip to help one another
 TO CONCLUDE OUR GARDEN WE MUST HAVE THYME:
1. Thyme for each other 
2. Thyme for family 
3. Thyme for friends
WATER FREELY WITH PATIENCE AND CULTIVATE WITH LOVE.

THERE IS MUCH FRUIT IN YOUR GARDEN BECAUSE YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.

4/14/2004

The Legend of The Five Kernels


It was very cold for the Pilgrims that first winter.
Food was in short supply.
Some days, they had only five kernels of corn.

When spring came, the Pilgrims planted the remaining corn.
The sun and rain helped the seeds to grow
and much food was harvested in the fall.

 

Every Thanksgiving thereafter, the Pilgrims placed five kernels of corn beside each plate to remind them of their blessings.

The first kernel reminded them of the autumn beauty.

The second kernel reminded them of their love for each other.

The third kernel reminded them of their God's love.

The fourth kernel reminded them of their friends...especially their Indian brothers and sisters.

The fifth kernel reminded them of their freedom.

This Thanksgiving, let us all remember the blessings of our lives.

Count the kernels, count your blessings.

Give Thanks to God.

The Reason For The Season!

This morning I heard a story on the radio of a woman who was out Christmas shopping with her two children; after many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable, and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.

She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year---overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, get that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, make sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.

Finally the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed she couldn't take it anymore and stated, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot."

From the back of the car everyone heard a quiet, calm voice respond, "Don't worry. We already crucified him."

For the rest of the trip down, the elevator it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. Don't forget this year to keep the One who started this whole Christmas thing in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word. If we all did it, just think of how different this whole world would be.

The sacrifice

There was once a bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge. But certain times each day, a train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing a train to cross it. A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed.

One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance through the dimming twilight and caught sight of the train lights. He stepped to the control and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance when he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but to his horror he found the locking control did not work. If the bridge was not securely into position it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came onto it, causing it to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with many people aboard.

He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and he took hold of the lever and leaned back to apply all of his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man's strength. Then, coming across the bridge from direction of his control shack, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. "Daddy, where are you?" His four year old son was crossing the bridge to look for him.

His first impulse was to cry out to the child, "Run! Run!" But the train was too close: the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left his lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety. But he realized that he could not get back to the lever. Either the people on the train or his little son must die.

He took a moment to make his decision. The train sped swiftly and safely on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the onrushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed. They did not see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked: to tell his wife how their son had brutally died.

Now if you can comprehend the emotions which went through this man's heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Father in Heaven when he sacrificed His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life. Can there be any wonder that He caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His Son died? How does He feel when we speed along through life without giving a thought to what was done for us through Jesus Christ? When was the last time you thanked Him for the sacrifice of His Son?

The Three Little Birds . . .

There once was a man named George Thomas, a pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Several eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak. "I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. I stopped the lad and asked,

"What you got there son?"

"Just some old birds," came the reply.

"What are you gonna do with them?" I asked.

"Take 'em home and have fun with 'em," he answered. I'm gonna tease 'em and pull out their feathers to make 'em fight. I'm gonna have a real good time."

"But you'll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?"

"Oh, I got some cats," said the little boy. "They like birds. I'll take 'em to them."

The pastor was silent for a moment. "How much do you want for those birds, son?"

"Huh??!!! Why, you don't want them birds, mister. They're just plain old field birds. They don't sing - they ain't even pretty!"

"How much?" the pastor asked again.

The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, "$10?" The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy's hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free. Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story.

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting.

"Yes, sir, I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn't resist. Got 'em all!"

"What are you going to do with them?" Jesus asked.

Satan replied, "Oh, I'm gonna have fun! I'm gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I'm gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I'm really gonna have fun!"

"And what will you do when you get done with them?" Jesus asked.

"Oh, I'll kill 'em," Satan glared proudly.

"How much do you want for them?" Jesus asked.

"Oh, you don't want those people. They ain't no good. Why, you'll take them and they'll just hate you. They'll spit on you, curse you and kill you!! You don't want those people!!"

"How much?" He asked again.

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, "All your tears, and all your blood."

Jesus said, "DONE!" Then He paid the price.

The pastor picked up the cage he opened the door and he walked from the pulpit.

Valentine


John 3:16 was the best valentine the Lord gave us!
For God so lo
V
ed the world
that He g
Ave

His onLy
begott
E
n
so
N

That all who
believed
I
n Him
should
N
ot perish
but have
Everlasting life.