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Discussion in 'Discussions about Religion.' started by beensetfree, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Encouraging Words


    “Could I speak to the manager?”
    My friend’s sudden query to our waitress startled me. Our dinner at a popular pizza restaurant had seemed uneventful, and I wondered what Eileen was up to.

    The manager appeared at our table a few minutes later. “What can I do for you?” she asked hesitantly, as if she were expecting yet another reprimand from an angry customer.

    “I just want to you to know that our waitress tonight has been really exceptional,” Eileen began. Then she described several things our server had done that impressed her.

    The manager was obviously relieved – and delighted. So was the waitress, who was standing nearby. The four of us laughed and chatted for a few minutes. Eileen had made the day of two hard-working women… and left an indelible impression on me of the power of positive words.

    When we think about our words, it’s easy to focus on the ones we’d like to retrieve. Fortunately, however, there are certain phrases that are almost always the right thing to say – words that communicate love and encouragement. Here are a few:

    “You do that really well.”
    “May I pray for you right now?”
    “How are you, really?”
    “What you said helped me.”
    “I was wrong.”
    “Thanks for leading/serving.”
    “Have I offended you?”
    “I appreciate the way you ________.”
    “What can I do to help?”
    “Tell me about your day, job, kids….”
    “Please forgive me.”
    “I still love you.”
    “God is big enough to ________.”
    “I’m proud of you.”
    “You’re really growing.”
    “Please come over for dinner.”
    “I missed you.”
    “I’m so happy for you.”
    “I prayed for you today.”
    “That must have been very difficult.”
    “I’ll be glad to!”

    In short, if there are words you’d like to hear, it’s a good bet they would encourage others, too.
     
  2. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Blessings in Disguise

    God sends His little angels
    in many forms and guises.
    They come as lovely miracles
    that God alone devises,

    For He does nothing without purpose –
    everything’s a perfect plan
    To fulfil in bounteous measure
    all He ever promised and…

    Every little angel
    with a body bent and broken
    Or a little mind unknowing
    or little words unspoken

    Is just God’s way of trying
    to reach out and touch the hands
    Of all who do not know Him
    and cannot understand

    That often through an angel
    whose wings will never fly
    The Lord is pointing out
    the way to His eternal sky,

    Where there will be no handicaps
    of body, soul, or mind,
    And where all limitations
    will be dropped and left behind…

    So accept these little angels
    as gifts from God above,
    And thank Him for this lesson
    in faith and hope and love.
     
  3. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    The Writer


    I wanted to be a writer but found myself working at a newspaper office as the bookkeeper. A couple of times I handed little articles to the newspaper owner that he accepted to run in the editorial column.

    At that time, the newspaper office had a staff of three reporters. The boss kept asking them to write feature stories, which he felt were good fodder for entertaining our small town readers.

    In a throwback to the past, about that time a small boy started showing up in town with a little wooden shoe shine box. With tennis shoes and sandals the primary footwear of most people, he didn’t have many customers; but he made a colorful sight. The boss thought he would make a great story. Several times, I heard him, suggest, ask, and finally almost demand that one of the reporters write that feature.

    Finally, I went to his office and asked if he would mind if I took a stab at writing the story. Once I had his permission, I set up an interview with the little boy and his family. Armed with a stenographer’s pad for taking notes, I went out that evening to do my interview.

    The house where the family lived was exceedingly poor. There was hardly any furniture. The bare wood floors had no varnish or rugs. There was dirt on that floor that was less like a dirty house and more like walking on the earth. Almost immediately, I realized that the family, mired in poverty, was very excited about a newspaper article being done about them.

    I was humbled. This meant a lot to these people and I barely knew what I was doing. Had I, in my vain attempt to prove myself, done something that was unfair to them?

    That evening I sat in the bathtub and prayed. I asked the Lord to help me write a decent article…but not for me. I asked him to help me write an article that would justify the hopes of that little shoe shine boy and his family.

    After I emerged from the tub, I wrote the article. I did the best I could, going over it and over it, wanting it to read well and be free of errors. The next morning I handed it in to my boss. He was pleased and told me to get the boy to the office for a picture.

    It was nearly a week before the editor ran the story. The picture and the beginning were on the front page.

    A couple of days later, I received a phone call from a national news service. They wanted to use my story as a state-wide feature. A few days later I received another call from someone who identified himself as a philanthropist who wanted to do something for the boy in the story. Eventually, I received a check in the mail from the news service.

    It was all very gratifying but the most gratifying part was the knowledge that I had allowed myself to be an instrument of God. I had gone on the interview because of vanity and a desire to promote myself, but I had written the story with God at my side.

    I still work at the paper and I am still the bookkeeper. I am also a writer, but I never write alone.
     
  4. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Prayers


    He asked for strength that he might achieve,
    He was made weak that he might obey.

    He asked for health that he might do greater things,
    He was given infirmity that he might do better things.

    He asked for riches that he might be happy,
    He was given poverty that he might be wise.

    He asked for power that he might have the praise of men,
    He was given weakness that he might feel the need for God.

    He asked for all things that he might enjoy life,
    He was given life that he might enjoy all things.

    He has received nothing that he asked for,
    All that he hoped for,

    His prayer is answered; he is most blessed.
     
  5. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Beautiful Blessings


    One day a very wealthy father took his son to a very humble farm home. The father wanted the son to see and appreciate everything they have. For the son was never near poverty. The father decided to spend one day and one night with his son at this very humble home. On the next day after spending the night and returning to their beautiful mansion. The father wanted to hear his son’s reaction towards the educating trip.

    Father: So son what do you think about the trip. Did you see how poor people live?

    Son: Yes father.

    Father: What do you think? What have you learn from this trip?

    Son: I have learn that they have four dogs and we only have one. I have learned that we have a small garden and they have an entire forest. I have learned that we have a small stream on our back yard and they have a full river that has no end. I have learned that our back yard goes to the end of our property and they have an entire horizon. I have learned that we have lamps on our back yard to keep us from the dark and they have the stars.

    The son continues his reply and said: Thank you father for showing me how poor we really are. We sometimes don’t realize the blessings of our heavenly father. And that is why we need to be like kids in order to enter into heaven.(Luke 18:17) Lets not worry about what we have or what we need, have faith in God and he will provide.(Luke 12:22)
     
  6. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Little Girls, Little Boys–Not the Same!


    Little girls are underfoot

    Almost all the time;

    Little boys are somewhere else

    Committing some small “crime”.

    You send a posse for the boy

    To make sure they are okay,

    While begging that the little girls

    Just “go somewhere and play.”

    Girls flit like little butterflies

    And socialize with you;

    With little boys, you never know

    Just what they are up to.

    But either one that you may have,

    You’ll certainly know joy—

    God sends it to you with each child,

    Whether girl or boy.
     
  7. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Want Financial Freedom?

    . . . as poor, yet making many rich;
    as having nothing, yet possessing everything—2 Corinthians 6:10

    We ache for financial freedom. We imagine being one day free from worry about money. We dream of security and peace. Mostly, we never experience any of that; mostly, we just experience financial stress. How come? Well, let’s back up. Financial freedom comes only with financial margin.

    Financial margin is the difference between (1) money coming in and (2) money going out—between income and expenses. Without margin of sufficient size, we’ll never achieve financial freedom.

    The problem is, when we men think about margin we usually focus only on the first part of the equation, on our income. We do this because we’ve come to trust money.

    We’ve come to believe it can solve all problems—if we get that job, that promotion, that bonus, then everything will be great. This trust is misplaced (Revelation 3:17). We should trust God. We should trust the one who can do all things, instead of hoping money will.

    When we broaden our focus, however, when we focus too on the second part of the margin equation, on our expenses, we find the key to financial freedom. Though we convince ourselves otherwise, there are always ways to reduce expenses to achieve margin.

    It’s the way God designed things. So, when we decide, finally, to apply downward pressure on our expenses—on our lifestyles—we find that financial freedom is not actually elusive, but available right here, right now, the way God intended (1 Timothy 6:7-8; Hebrews 13:5).


    Do a review of your expenses. How much margin do you have? If you need to, find at least one or two significant items to cut . . . and commit to doing more such reviews, and on a regular basis. Trust God to give you everything you (and your family) will ever need.
     
  8. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Love Thyself as thy Neighbor


    Jesus said, “Love thy neighbor as Thyself”,

    Not love your neighbor instead;

    To better deliver the message of Him,

    We must by His blessings be fed.

    Let yourself be happy

    And rejoice in good things

    Our wonderful God

    In his love for you brings.

    It’s not a sin for you

    to be blessed by God’s hand;

    If you enjoy life as given

    He will not reprimand;

    And besides there’s no better

    Message to share

    With neighbors you know

    And about whom you care

    Than the massage that Jesus

    Give us blessings so many

    That we can share with a neighbor

    Without losing any.
     
  9. Psalm23

    Psalm23 Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Brother Beensetfree

    Great message!

    Sadly, we are bombarded with advertisements from newspaper to internet of those 'beautiful' must-have materials. And they come not cheap! We have home developers buying land and properties at rock-bottom price and build high-rise 'cages' and sell at sky-high price. Most very rich people around the world are somehow involved in property development, one way or another! In the process many have destroyed the lives of other people. Go to google on the internet and you will see how poor Chinese peasants are being forced to give up their farmlands to developers who well-connected government officials. Some committed suicides; some took the law into their own hands; but many were simply helpless!

    We need great discernment in terms of spending our money but given the commercials we are being bombarded every second of our life, we must seek God's help not to let us be attempted to the point of bankrupting us.

    We must also look at the bright side of thing. God will dispense judgment and everyone of us, believers, non-believers, house developers, big and small will face God's perfect judgment - the evil doers must be punished and the righteous shall be rewarded (John 16:8; Hebrew 9:27; Revelation 11:18).

    Psalm 23
     
  10. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Hi brother Psalm23,

    Yes I know about these events in China. Greed and self entitlement have been around since the Fall. We just have to be careful ourselves how we live our lives.

    Blessings brother.


     
  11. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    A Mountain of Laundry

    My husband and I became foster parents after we had been married for two years. Our first placement was two little boys, brothers, who we adopted after they were with us for eighteen months. When our boys were two and three, we were asked to take one and three-year-old sisters into our home. For the following two years we had our own little in-house, full-time daycare.

    After the girls had been with us for about six months, I attempted to get involved in a Bible study group at our church. One thing or another always seemed to prevent me from attending. I was feeling a little discouraged, but I’d purchased devotional tapes and a study guide and thought I could keep up with the Bible study by myself at home.

    One afternoon, after I’d put the children down for their naps, I tackled a mountain of laundry that had piled up on the sofa and needed folding. As I was folding, I began discussing my plight with the Lord. “You know, Lord, I’ve started attending this Bible study and I’m trying to find time for You and everything I need to do, but I just can’t seem to find any time.

    I’ve tried getting up before daylight, but one of the kids always hears me and gets up wanting my attention and by bedtime I’m exhausted. I guess I could do them during naptime, but that’s the only time I have to get caught up with the housework…mainly the laundry.

    I seem to be able to keep up with most everything but this laundry! Well, I guess You know all about it. You gave me all of these little kids to care for and You know they need clean clothes to wear. You know how much work this takes and I know You understand.”

    The following Sunday my husband and I were sitting in Sunday School class waiting for the teacher to begin, when our family’s adopted grandmother, Betty, came and sat down beside me. Betty is a widow who has raised five children. She’s a wonderful woman who’s always helping someone, and had personally blessed our family on many occasions, but I was totally unprepared for what she had to say on that particular day!

    She leaned toward me and said, “I have a proposition for you.”

    My curiosity was aroused. “O.K., what is it?” I answered back.

    She sweetly and softly replied, “I really think this is the Lord, but would you let me do your laundry?”

    As I sat gaping at her with my mouth hanging open, my mind was racing trying to think who could I have told about my laundry situation. I knew I hadn’t mentioned it to anyone, not even my husband, Rodney. “Do you know how much laundry I have?” I whispered back as my eyes started to fill.

    “Honey, I’ve raised five children and I know how much laundry you have,” was her response. Then she continued, “You know, what you and your husband are doing raising these little children is wonderful, but I know it’s hard work. I’m an old woman and I don’t watch other people’s children anymore, but I can do your laundry. You just have Rodney drop it off on his way to work, and pick it up on his way home. I’ll wash it, dry it, iron it, fold it; whatever is needed.”

    Shame on me, because the whole time she was speaking, I was thinking, “Oh, Lord, not the underwear! I can’t send our underwear to someone else to do!”

    Betty was still talking, “Last week I noticed you up on the platform during praise and worship and you looked very tired. I was thinking about you all week and then I felt the Lord telling me to, `Ask Ronni if she’ll let you do her laundry,’” then she finished with, “Now, don’t you rob me of this blessing!”

    At the time I didn’t know how to respond. Not wanting to hurt Betty’s feelings, I let her know I would think about her offer. Even though I had poured out my heart about how difficult it was to keep up and how I missed my devotional time with Him, I was unprepared for God to actually do something about it. He had given me the task of caring for these little ones and I was a little put out that He’d taken me seriously when I said I was having trouble keeping up. So I thought, “If I just get a little more organized, I can take care of this myself.”

    As I walked in and surveyed the laundry room a couple of weeks later, I sagged against the washer. The mountain of laundry hadn’t diminished a bit with my efforts to take care of things myself. As a matter of fact, it was now bigger than ever. “Well, Lord,” I said, “I guess I could send everything but the underwear.”
    Very clearly, I heard that still small voice say, “When I ask you for your dirty laundry, I want all of it, even the underwear.”

    That’s when I broke. That mountain of laundry now represented the mountain of pride in my life. Who was I to look disdainfully on a gift offered in love?

    As I picked up the phone my eyes were filling with tears and when I heard sweet little Betty’s voice on the other end, my own voice shook as I said, “Betty, do you still want to help me with my laundry?”

    My tears quickly turned to laughter at her ready response of, “Bring it on over, Honey, bring it on over!”

    Our clothes were never cleaner, brighter, or less wrinkled than during the almost two years that Betty faithfully and lovingly did our laundry. Then when our little foster daughters were placed in their “forever home” through adoption, we both knew it was time for me to resume the task, and although she no longer does our laundry, our friendship remains strong. She laughed one day when I told her I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. I still do.
     
  12. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    If you are in despair…


    How distant seems past sunshine;

    How dismal is the rain

    When dark clouds of despair

    Gather overhead again.

    All the blessing we’ve been given

    Seem nothing but hope lost

    When we’re faced with our own sin

    And are forced to bear the cost;

    But no matter what you’ve done;

    No matter what you’ve been;

    God’s within your reach

    To lift you out of sin.

    So if you yearn for SONshine

    And repent of what is past,

    Turn your face toward Jesus

    To be born again at last;

    Then with Jesus in your heart

    And with Him to guide your way

    All the blessings of your longing

    Can be yours each single day
     
  13. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    A Voice in the Night

    "Sit up!" the voice in the night said, "and take a deep breath."
    It was a stormy night, a personal friend shared, and we were awakened by an extremely loud clap of thunder. After the initial fright, checking the kids and the house, we went back to bed and to sleep.

    Then came the voice. I was certain I heard someone speaking. "Sit up and take in a deep breath," it said.
    I only half-awoke and thought I must have been dreaming, so rolled over and went back to sleep.
    The voice spoke again with more insistence, "Sit up and take in a deep breath."
    "This is weird," I thought so again rolled over and went back to sleep.

    "SIT UP! Take in a deep breath!" the voice spoke again with great urgency.
    So I sat up and took in a deep breath … and smelled smoke! I was fully awake in an instant … awakened my husband … rushed to wake the children … we had the oldest one phone 911 (for emergency) … my husband took over the phone … the operator asked if the lights were working … my husband said they were going out one room at a time.

    "Get OUT of the house immediately," declared the operator. "Your house has been struck by lightning."
    As quick as a flash the family rushed outside … immediately the house exploded and burst into flames. It took firemen six hours to put the fire out. The house was totally destroyed … but the entire family was saved. Talk about a wake-up call!

    Surely this was a God thing. Fortunately the members of this family were committed followers of Jesus Christ and even though they lost their house, their lives were saved.

    God doesn't usually speak to most of us with an audible voice. He doesn't have to because his wake-up call is spoken to us repeatedly in his Word, the Bible. "Wake up!" God says to every one of us, "Flee from the wrath to come" (God's judgment of sin and evil for the world that has turned from God will be judged and purified by fire). Wake up, "It is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment." Wake up, "I will come again," Jesus promised "to take all who believe in me to be with me in heaven forever."

    "Wake up," Jesus is coming again … it may be today. Are you ready? Again Jesus said, "I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…."
    Whatever you do don't miss God's wake-up call. Have you opened the door of life and invited Jesus, the Son of God, to come into your heart and life as your God and your Savior? If not, may I urge you to do that today … right now … by praying a simple prayer such as the following:

    Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I hear Your wake up call as faint as it may be. I confess that I am a sinner and ask for Your forgiveness. Thank You, Jesus, for dying on the cross to pay the penalty for all my sins.

    I invite You to come into my heart and life as my God and my Savior. With your help I repent of and turn from my sinful ways. Thank You for hearing my prayer, for forgiving me of my sins, and for coming into my heart and life as my Savior. Help me to live for You always in all ways. Gratefully, in Jesus name, amen.
     
  14. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Why I am able to enjoy my life…


    Are you happy in your life today? I pray that you are.

    I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying that a man who loves his work never works a day in his life. I believe that’s partly true but I also believe almost every job has aspects to it that almost everyone would find annoying, boring or just plain onerous. Still, if you like your job more than you don’t like it, you’re one of the fortunate ones.

    When I was a young woman, I lost the only well-paying job I ever had because of a pregnancy. Today, nobody can fire you for being pregnant, but they could then and they did. While I was still pregnant, I began working another job that was physically arduous, uncommonly boring and low paid. There as I lowly, factory worker in a filthy run-down small town manufacturing facility, I labored for the next seven years.

    I was reasonably intelligent and was certainly capable of doing an office job, but I was stamped with the image I was living. No one would give me an opportunity to break out of the factory.

    I will never forget a conversation I had with the bookkeeper of the factory one day after I had already worked at that factory for five or six years. She said this: “You girls are always griping about your jobs and I don’t understand it. I love my job.”

    I don’t remember what I actually said to her, but I remember what I thought, “I’d love YOUR job too.”

    Shortly after that, I began to have some strange spells with my head that even today I can attribute to nothing but stress. It was a feeling as if my brain was being nudged. Once it was so severe I felt like I had been slammed in the head. When my head stopped spinning, I looked around to see if someone had actually hit me. It was clear that the factory wasn’t good for me but I needed to make a living. I had been remarried a couple of years to a wonderful man, but he was at the beginning of his career and we needed two incomes to support our family.

    Perhaps it was my dear aunt Emilina, to whom we were both close, who alerted my cousin Betty, an illustrious professor at a prestigious university, about my situation. Betty invited our family to dinner. After dinner she told me she wanted to pay for my education and give me money to live on so that I could get out of the factory. I realize now that she could have well-afforded to do just what she said. I could actually have completed the three years I needed to graduate college; but at the time I was as proud as I was poor. I embarked on the quickest mode of education I could discover, a nine month course as a secretary.

    Betty bought me a state of the art typewriter and sent me money every month which I used for tuition, gasoline and babysitting. We were careful and my husband’s income took care of everything else. I kept track in a small notebook of every cent Betty sent me.

    I enrolled in the business school along with about fifty other students. All but two students were in a government program available at that time that paid them to go to school. Ironically, because I had been gainfully employed at a job that I doubt any of those other forty-eight people would have done, I was not eligible for that program. Along with one student from Africa, I was paying my own way—with Betty’s assistance.

    It was a hard time for me. Because it would save a substantial sum of money, I made up my mind to get through the course in record time, so I did two proscribed lessons for each class every day, while taking care of my two small boys and an ailing father. Although a severe case of pneumonia forced me to suspend my classes for four weeks, I still finished the nine-month course at the end of six months.

    When I found my job as a bookkeeper a few weeks later, it paid a little less than the factory job I had quit earlier that year but there was the promise of raises to come. I immediately began sending checks back to Betty and in the end, I repaid her in full—all except for the cost of the typewriter which she insisted was a gift that she would not allow me to repay. I bought her a present in return.

    It is to Betty that I owe the fact that today I can say that I enjoy my life. If you don’t enjoy yours, I hope someone will help you find a better life as well. More importantly, I hope in some way I am passing along what Betty did for me to others I meet along the way. I am not so successful that I can put someone through college, but I am successful enough to give aid to people that need it when I perceive their need. Whenever I do so, it is in memory of Betty.
     
  15. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    An Ordinary Day


    Think of the lame man in Acts chapter 3 who was laid at the gate Beautiful so he could beg. He was just begging for alms. He just wanted to survive. “Just give me some crumbs”, he was most likely crying out to the people that passed.

    He had been doing this for years. I think that we all have a tendency at times to beg of God “give me the crumbs Lord“, “give me the crumbs Lord”, and all too often we’re about ready to give up and we don’t know how we can go on.

    That’s where this lame man was at. He was where some of us have been; life couldn’t get much tougher. He had no hope. No one like him had ever been healed – if someone would just give him a few scraps he could live to beg again tomorrow. But there came a day, an ordinary day, a day like all the others when the servants of the Most High, Peter and John passed by. And the lame man heard these words from the mouth of Peter, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”

    You and I are out there much of the time begging for the crumbs and we have the tendency to think that God has forgotten about us and that we might as well give up. It may only be tomorrow, it may only be an ordinary day begun as any other day when the day comes when God takes you by the hand and lifts you up.

    The Bible says that if we humble ourselves under His hand in due time God will raise us up (I Peter 5:6). Joseph humbled himself and he was raised up on what seemed like an ordinary day to become the Prime Minister of the most powerful nation in the world at that time.

    Moses spent 40 years wandering in the desert getting a graduate degree in desert survival and he became humble. According to the Bible, Moses was the meekest man on earth. But there came a day, an ordinary day, when he encountered a burning bush that did not burn and Moses walked on holy ground. Your day is coming too!
     
  16. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    A Wish for a Friend


    Wishing you a rainbow
    For sunlight after showers—
    Miles and miles of Irish smiles
    For golden happy hours—

    Shamrocks at your doorway
    For luck and laughter too,
    And a host of friends that never ends
    Each day your whole life through!
     
  17. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Healthy versus Anesthetizing Relationships

    "So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect [or mature] in their relationship to Christ. That's why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ's mighty power that works within me."1

    For a number of years I have worked and taught in the area of "Divorce and Grief Recovery." With divorcees we emphasize the importance of not getting into another committed relationship too soon; that is, not before resolving the grief and loss of their divorce—and even more important, not before facing and resolving the character issues that led them to be attracted to the person they married and separated from.

    Time and again I have seen divorcees ignore this advice, and before long they are going through a second and sometimes a third divorce. The same can happen to widows and widowers who re-marry too soon.

    True, there is nothing like romance to anesthetize the pain caused by the loss of a love and, like a drug, blind one to reality. People who use romance and/or sex to avoid facing their reality and deaden their pain, fail to see that while romance can lead to love, romance in and of itself is not love. Neither is sex. Romance can be triggered by physical and sexual attraction, by being over-needy, or by the magnetic pull of one's neuroses (unresolved character issues).

    The fact is that we are as sick (or as healthy) as the people (especially in romantic relationships) we are attracted to. We need to realize that what we fail to resolve we are destined to repeat. For instance, an over-dependent person will most likely be attracted to a codependent partner and vice versa. A weak, passive person will be attracted to a domineering and controlling partner and vice versa.

    A woman who had a bad relationship with her father is just as likely to be attracted to a man just like her father—and relate to him in exactly the same way as she did to her father. Or a man who had a bad relationship with his mother will likely be attracted to a woman just like his mother and repeat that bad relationship.

    And the divorcee who fails to resolve his or her character issues will, in all probability, be attracted to the same kind of person they just divorced. The reality is that, before we can have healthy relationships, we need to be healthy, for only healthy and mature people find and make healthy and mature relationships.

    And maturity is what God's Word (as seen in today's Scripture) encourages every one of us to become.

    Furthermore, we strongly encourage all couples, whether or not they have been married before, to have in-depth pre-marriage counseling before they get married to ensure that they are suitable for each others, as feelings can come and go and be up and down like a yo-yo.

    Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to see the causes in me that contributed to my failed relationship/s, and to find the help I need to resolve these issues so that I will become, not only mature in my relationship to Jesus Christ, but also in my relationships to others. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
     
  18. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Devil’s Beastitudes


    Blessed are those who are too tired, busy or disorganized to meet with fellow Christians on Sundays each week.
    Their hearts are not in it.

    Blessed are those who enjoy noticing the mannerisms of clergy and choir.
    Their hearts are not in it.

    Blessed are those Christians who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked.
    I can use them.

    Blessed are the touchy.
    With a bit of luck they may even stop going to church.
    They are my missionaries.

    Blessed are those who claim to love God at the same time as hating other people.
    They are mine forever.

    Blessed are the trouble makers.
    They shall be called my children.

    Blessed are those who have no time to pray.
    They are easy prey for me.

    Blessed are you when you read this and think it is about other people and not about yourself.
    I’ve got you.
     
  19. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Dearest Father in Heaven,
    Bless this child and bless this day
    Of new beginnings.

    Smile upon this child
    And surround this child, Lord,
    With the soft mantle of your love.

    Teach this child to follow in your footsteps,
    And to live life in the ways of
    Love, faith, hope and charity.
     
  20. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    May God give you…
    For every storm, a rainbow,

    For every tear, a smile,
    For every care, a promise,

    And a blessing in each trial.
    For every problem life sends,

    A faithful friend to share,
    For every sigh, a sweet song,
    And an answer for each prayer.
     

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