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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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    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 and a little girl named Jocelynn Jay said, “I know all about adoptions because I was adopted.”

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

    “It means,” said Jocelynn, “that you grew in your mommy’s heart instead of her tummy''
     
  2. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    A Mother’s Prayer

    God, give me wisdom to see that today is my day with my children.
    That there is no unimportant moment in their lives.
    May I know no other career is as precious,
    No other work so rewarding,
    No other task so urgent.


    May I not defer it nor neglect it,
    But, by thy Spirit, accept it gladly, joyously, and by thy grace realize
    That the time is short and my time is now,
    For children won’t wait!

     
  3. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    In a Hurry?

    How many eggs are in your basket;
    How many balls do you juggle?
    How often do you take the time
    To pick-up your child and snuggle?

    Are you so busy you don’t have the time
    To notice a forlorn little face?
    Are you always in so big a hurry
    You feel like you’re running a race?

    Have you thought of what you might be missing
    As you rush madly on every day?
    Perhaps you should “stop, look and listen,”
    At your little kids as they play;

    For someday when you’re on your deathbed
    You won’t care about work that’s undone;
    Every thought that will dwell in your heart
    Will be of your daughters and sons.




     
  4. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    One hundred years from now It will not matter What kind of car I drove, What kind of house I lived in, How much I had in my bank Nor what my clothes looked like.

    One hundred years from now It will not matter What kind of school I attended, What kind of typewriter I used, How large or small my church, But the world may be … a little better because… I was important in the life of a child.
     
  5. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    The Never Ending Call

    The boy walked along the ocean shore… trying not to stray.
    He looked up to his Father saying “Dad I want to play.”


    His Father looked upon him, with love showing in his eyes.
    “Do what you want to, my son… but do not leave my side.”


    “I would never leave you daddy, I love you way too much.”
    But the boy took a step away, out of his fathers range of touch.


    He walked through the surf, The waves tickling one toe.
    “If I take one more step in… ” he thought “Father will never know.”


    His father called out to him, “Son, to me remain true.”
    The boy thought with glee… “At the moment I don’t need you.”


    His Father felt a sadness, But he held his tongue.
    Sometimes lessons need to be learned… even when so young.


    The boy stepped out a little further… the water covering his waist.
    His Father spoke with urgency… his father spoke with haste.


    “My Son come Back to me,” he said “The day is almost done.”
    Not yet, Dad,” the boy yelled, “I’m having too much fun!”


    But the Boy did not have his fathers sight… So he could not tell…
    The Tide was coming in fast… There would be no time to yell.


    “Father!” he tried to scream As the water covered his head.
    “I need you now daddy!” was what the boy had said.


    And in a single instant his father was by his side.
    “I thought you left me daddy… I thought you went to hide.”


    The Father looked upon his son… a tear streaming down his cheek.
    The Boy looked upon his father. and cried the sobs of the meek.


    “I would never leave you son… For I love you just the same.”
    “I was only waiting… for you to call upon my name.”


     
  6. Psalm23

    Psalm23 Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Wonderful message. But I like to add, in good time and in bad time, we should always call out to God..to thank Him, to praise Him, or just to simply to acknowledge Him that He is our loving Father. For me, when I looked back, I have million of things to thank Him. God is forever trustworthy.

    God Bless
    Psalm23
     
  7. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    A big Amen to that brother.


     
  8. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Here I am, Daddy and Mama, a gift from the Lord up above,
    To brighten your days with joy untold, and fill our home with love.
    I’m tiny, precious and fragile, but made miraculously,
    To fulfill God’s plan for my life and be what He wants me to be.

    Some say I look like you, Mom, other say more like Dad.
    But I have distinct traits from both of you, whether that’s good or bad.
    I love it when you hold me securely in your strong arms,
    You let me know you’re my protector in this world with all it’s harm.

    Please teach me about my Creator, of all His amazing acts.
    Show me the awe and wonder, not just the basic facts.
    Tell me He love me, even before I was born,
    So much that He sent HIS Baby, to bear unspoken scorn.

    And how He watched as His Child was put on a tree to die.
    How sad it must have made Him, Mom and Dad, did He cry?
    He must really love me, for my salvation He bought then,
    To make sure I could go to heaven, and be forgiven of my sins
     
  9. Psalm23

    Psalm23 Alfrescian Old Timer

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    This is a wonderful children kindergarten song my daughter loves very much and she sings so frequently to thank God. Hope you all like it.



    Have a great holiday season ahead! God bless.

    Psalm23


     
  10. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Wonderful and may the words touch her life always, Blessings.


     
  11. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    For all Moms

    We are sitting at lunch when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of “starting a family.”

    “We’re taking a survey,” she says, half-joking. “Do you think I should have a baby?”

    “It will change your life,” I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral. “I know,” she says, “no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations….”

    But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

    I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking “What if that had been MY child?” That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

    I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub.

    That an urgent call of “Mom!” will cause her to drop a souffle or her best crystal without a moment’s hesitation.

    I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood.

    She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby’s sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of her discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

    I want my daughter to know that everyday decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy’s desire to go to the men’s room rather than the women’s at McDonald’s will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

    However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

    Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years — not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

    I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor. My daughter’s relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

    I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

    I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children’s future.

    I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or a cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real, it actually hurts.

    My daughter’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. “You’ll never regret it,” I finally say. Then I reach across the table, squeeze my daughter’s hand and offer a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all of the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings. This blessed gift from God . . . that of being a Mother.



     
  12. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Why don't you try going to church?


    I often advise people to go to church for pragmatic rather than spiritual reasons.

    My own return to church after a nearly twenty-year absence was because I was worried about my children. I felt that the older ones were beginning to go off in the wrong direction. When I looked at successful parents, I realized most of them were regular church goers. Because I wanted to do my parenting job a little better, I started attending church every Sunday morning and every Sunday evening. Only six weeks or so later, the Holy Spirit moved me. I had been baptized long before, but I went forward to the altar and re-affirmed my faith. Before the year was out, my husband also accepted Christ and some years later I saw the youngest of my children baptized into the Lord.

    I have no feelings of guilt whatever when I urge someone to come to church just to get a handle on how church people live—what they do to keep their bills paid even on low incomes and how they raise good children. It may not seem as if I’m trying to save souls, but I know if I get someone into the church, God will take care of the rest.
     
  13. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    I didn’t know bikes sold in stores in shiny red and blue;

    My bike was made of junk yard parts my daddy sorted through.

    My brother and my sisters all had bikes that Daddy also made;

    And learning to ride my own bike was something that I craved.

    My Daddy promised me a bike when I reached six years old;

    As that birthday loomed ahead, my begging grew more bold.

    Finally he went to the basement to build a bike for me,

    Using all those rusted parts he picked up nearly free.

    The bike he built was very large for a little girl like me;

    So I had to learn while standing up, but how hard could that be?

    With staunch determination, I tried and took a fall,

    And wished with all my little heart that bike was not so tall;

    But in time I learned to stand and ride which made my daddy proud

    Of how I took those many falls and never cried out loud.

    My bike was balanced perfectly and I could ride, “no hands”

    After I grew tall enough to sit instead of stand.

    The bike was never shiny and it really wasn’t “new”

    But it taught a little girl to have fun while “making do”.

     
  14. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Comparison Forest was a strange forest indeed.

    The fact that it had a lot of different types of trees in it didn’t make it strange. What made Comparison Forest unique was how all the trees compared themselves with each other.

    The maples all tried hard to stretch their branches higher, hoping to achieve the oak’s height. They wished they could produce the acorns the squirrels and other animals loved so well. Sometimes, one could even hear an audible sigh in the forest as the maples lamented not being oaks. The fact that they offered brilliant colors each fall and delicious syrup each spring (plus seeds the animals loved) didn’t seem very important to them.

    On the flip side, the oaks could often be seen drooping their branches in an attempt to look like maples. They felt terrible about being so large and conspicuous. Why couldn’t they be maples?

    Then there were the pine trees. They hated how sappy and prickly they were (and how soft their wood was) and wished they could have beautiful leaves and firmer wood like the maples and oaks. It didn’t occur to them what protection and beauty they provided during the winter months when the maples and oaks lost those leaves.

    Each tree in the forest was too busy comparing to realize that each of them had a role to play and gift to give.

    “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them:…” Romans 12:4-6 (ESV)
     
  15. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Notes to a Kindergarten Teacher on the First Day of School

    This is the child who was in my thoughts
    Long before she was in my womb.
    She was named before she was conceived.

    This is the child we thought we couldn’t have.

    This is the child on whose birthday I wept
    Because I realized that babies don’t keep
    And that someday she would even
    Go to kindergarten.

    Well, now that day has come.

    I’ve changed her diapers and changed her sheets.
    She’s changed her clothes at least 5,000 times.

    I’ve been her teacher, her disciplinarian,
    Her buddy, her confidant and her albatross.

    I’ve seen her first attempts at rolling over.
    I’ve seen her almost do a cartwheel.
    I’ve waited anxiously for her first word.
    Now she used her logic to outreason and correct me.

    I’ve watched her gaze at the world in amazement.
    I’ve watched her lasso that world in her play.
    I’ve watched her create sandcastles.
    Invent her own carseat,
    Design doll furniture.

    I’ve watched her dance in dramatic delight.

    Now I won’t get to watch quite as much.

    You’ll be part-time watcher
    Part-time keeper.

    Please watch her carefully.
    Please keep her well
    And please, please help keep that
    Sense of wonder in her gaze,
    That creativeness and inventiveness in her work.

    I know to you she is just one of many
    And you don’t know her very well.

    But I know that she calls tomatoes “potatoes”
    And that she can follow directions to put a bun in my hair
    And that she is not very tough.

    And to me, she is one of not so many.

    She is my firstborn.
    She is the answer to our prayers
    And she was in my heart even before she was in my womb.

     
  16. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Children’s Letters to God

    For some chuckles today.....

    Dear GOD, Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t you just keep the ones you have? -Jane

    Dear GOD, Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother. -Larry

    Dear GOD, If You watch me in church on Sunday, I’ll show you my new shoes. -Mickey

    Dear GOD, I bet it is very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. -Nan

    Dear GOD, In school they told us what you do. Who does it when you are on vacation? -Jane

    Dear GOD, I read the Bible. What does “beget” mean? Nobody will tell me. -Love, Alison

    Dear GOD, Are you really invisible or is it just a trick? -Lucy

    Dear GOD, Is it true my father won’t get in Heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house? -Anita

    Dear GOD, Did You mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident? -Norma

    Dear GOD, Who draws the lines around the countries? -Nan

    Dear GOD, I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay? -Neil

    Dear GOD, What does it mean you are a Jealous God? I thought you had everything. -Jane

    Dear GOD, Did you really mean “do unto others as they do unto you”? Because if you did, then I’m going to fix my brother. -Darla

    Dear GOD, Thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. -Joyce

    Dear GOD, It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some things about you that people are not supposed to say, but I hope you will not hurt him anyway. Your friend, (But I am not going to tell you who I am).

    Dear GOD, Why is Sunday school on Sunday? I thought it was supposed to be our day of rest. -Tom L.

    Dear GOD, Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up. -Bruce

    Dear GOD, If we come back as something – please don’t let me be Mary Horton because I hate her. -Denise

    Dear GOD, If you give me a genie like Aladdin, I will give you anything you want, except my money or my chess set. -Raphael

    Dear GOD, You don’t have to worry about me. I always look both ways. -Dean

    Dear GOD, I think the stapler is one of your greatest inventions. -Ruth M.

    Dear GOD, I think about you sometimes even when I’m not praying. -Elliott

    Dear GOD, Of all the people who work for you I like Noah and David the best. -Rob

    Dear GOD, My brother told me about being born but it doesn’t sound right. They’re just kidding, aren’t they? -Marsha

    Dear GOD, I would like to live 900 years like the guy in the Bible. -Love, Chris

    Dear GOD, We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday school they said you did it. So I bet he stole your idea. -Sincerely, Donna

    Dear GOD, The bad people laughed at Noah – “You made an ark on dry land you fool.” But he was smart, he stuck with you. That’s what I would do. -Eddie

    Dear GOD, I do not think anybody could be a better GOD. Well, I just want you to know but I am not just saying that because you are GOD already. -Charles

    Dear GOD, I didn’t think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday. That was cool. -Eugene



     
  17. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Your Cross

    A young man was at the end of his rope;
    seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer.

    "Lord, I can't go on," he said.
    "I have too heavy a cross to bear."

    The Lord replied, "My son, if you can't bear its weight,
    just place your cross inside this room.
    Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish."

    The man was filled with relief and said,
    "Thank you Lord," and he did as he was told.

    Upon entering the other room, he saw many crosses,
    some so large the tops were not visible.

    Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall.
    "I'd like that one, Lord," he whispered.

    The Lord replied,
    "My son, that is the cross you just brought in."

    When life's problems seem overwhelming, it helps to look around
    and see what other people are coping with.

    You may consider yourself far more fortunate than you imagined.
     
  18. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Chad

    Little Chad was a shy, quiet young fellow. One day, he came home and told his mother that he would like to make a valentine for everyone in his class. Her heart sank. She thought, “I wish he wouldn’t do that!” because she had watched the children when they walked home from school. Her Chad was always behind them. They laughed and hung on to each other and talked to each other

    But Chad was never included. Nevertheless, she decided she would go along with her son. So she purchased the paper and glue and crayons. For three whole weeks, night after night, Chad painstakingly made thirty-five valentines.

    Valentine’s Day dawned, and Chad was beside himself with excitement! He carefully stacked them up, put them in a bag and bolted out the door. His mom decided to bake him his favorite cookies and serve them up warm and nice with a cool glass of milk when he came home from school. She just knew he would be disappointed. Maybe that would ease the pain a little. It hurt her to think that he wouldn’t get many valentines… maybe none at all.

    That afternoon, she had the cookies and milk on the table. When she heard the children outside, she looked out the window. Sure enough, here they came, laughing and having the best time.

    And, as always, there was Chad in the rear. He walked a little faster than usual.

    She fully expected him to burst into tears as soon as he got inside. His arms were empty, she noticed, and when the door opened, she choked back tears.

    “Mommy has some warm cookies and milk for you.” But he hardly heard her words. He just marched right on by, his face aglow, and all he could say was :

    “Not a one. Not a one.” Her heart sank. And then he added, “I didn’t forget a one, not a single one!”




     
  19. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Do The Bible’s Proverbs Promise Too Much?

    If you do this, if you don’t do that, then you will get this or not get that. It’s called “retribution theology” and “reward theology” and Tremper Longman examines whether this theology in the wisdom literature promises what it can’t possibly deliver. Is Proverbs unrealistic? Is Proverbs the prosperity gospel in ancient form?

    This issue of retribution, or what I like to call “correlation” theology, cannot be shelved in books about history as if it is now a bygone era. I’ve met many Christians who operate with the correlation theology: If I do this, if I read my Bible, if I pray, if I live obediently, if I follow Jesus … then I will be blessed.

    When bad things happen such persons wonder why God hasn’t lived up to the divine sign of the bargain.

    Longman’s book is called The Fear of the Lord is Wisdom.

    Here is the basic moral vision of Proverbs and the wisdom tradition (see Longman’s Proverbs commentary here):

    Wise behavior leads to wealth, health, longer life, good relationships, and other benefits. In a word, wisdom leads to life in the fullest sense. By contrast, foolish behavior leads to the opposite consequences, including poverty, sickness, and troubled relationships. In short, folly leads to death (179).

    Proverbs 11:8: “The righteous person is delivered from distress, but the wicked will take his place.”

    Then comes the Book of Job. And Ecclesiastes. It’s not so simple even in Bible’s own wisdom literature. So, we have two traditions at work: one that correlates result with behavior and another that challenges any simplistic correlation.

    First, Job (Longman’s commentary on Job here):

    While the book does not purport to answer the question of why humans suffer, it nonetheless completely undermines belief in mechanical and absolute retribution theology. … Job differs only in knowing that he is innocent, though his retribution theology leads him to accuse God of injustice. The conclusion of the book of Job serves to repudiate this crude, naive way of thinking about retribution. To suppose that a person suffers because they are a sinner (or that they live well because they are wise, godly, and righteous) is not only wrong-minded but cruel.

    Second, Ecclesiastes (Qohelet; Longman’s commentary on Ecclesiastes here):

    If there is no justice in this life and there is no (certain) life after death, then where is justice to be found? Nowhere for sure. Thus, according to Qohelet, one cannot count on proper retribution in this life or the next.

    Our conclusion was that the frame narrator affirmed Qohelet’s speech was true given the stated context. That is, he is right that the righteous/wise/godly are not always rewarded and the wicked/foolish/ungodly do not always suffer in this life (“under the sun”). Thus, those who presume that they will be rewarded for good behavior (the prosperity gospel) are much mistaken. That said, the frame narrator has a different perspective on divine judgment. Indeed, the very last thing he tells his son, and the final statement of the book, is “for God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil” (12:14). Thus the conclusion of the book of Ecclesiastes is that, while retribution may not work out in this life, there is a future judgment.



    Now Proverbs, and here are the money quotes:



    First, the better-than proverbs demonstrate that, in the mind of the sages who produced Proverbs, people sometimes or perhaps frequently have to choose between wisdom and wealth, and when such a situation arises, there is no doubt about which to choose. The second consideration will lead us back to the question of the proverb as a genre, where we will see that … proverbs don’t make promises.

    [Thus:] Better to be a humble spirit with the needy than dividing plunder with the proud. (16:19)

    It is a mistake, though, to treat the proverb as a type of guarantee. That is not what proverbs do. Again, it is a genre issue. Proverbs are not in the business of giving promises. Rather, they encourage people toward attitudes and actions that will lead toward a desired goal, all other things being equal. It is more likely that a child will grow up to be wise if their parents train them in the Lord’s way. But perhaps that child will come under the negative influence of his or her peers (see, for instance, the advice given in 1:8-19).

    So, he concludes:

    But the book of Job, in particular, urges its readers to move beyond the questions of whether we deserve what life brings us. Yes, as the lament psalms and the book of Lamentations demonstrate, God invites his people to express their pain to him, including their anger directed at God. However, the story does not end there. Ultimately, according to the picture of suffering developed in the book of Job, God desires our silent trust in spite of the pain of life.

    Correlation is my best attempt to express what’s at work here: there is a correlation between life and consequences. But it’s not simplistic and it’s not a promise. What I think is most helpful from Longman is that Proverbs’ proverbs are a genre exhorting people to live wisely.

    Parents speak like this to their children often (“if you do that, that will happen” or “if you don’t do this, this will occur”).

    A friend of mine once warned his son of the potential disasters of gambling. So he took him to a casino, placed some kind of bet in a slot machine, and out popped several hundred dollars. It is wisdom literature to say “Those who gamble their wages bankrupt their family” but sometimes a few hundred dollars come from gambling.





     
  20. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    A Mother’s Prayer for Guidance
    Lord, it is hard to be a mother.

    I am concerned when my children misbehave. Help me to have patience with them and continue to correct them as is needed in your sight.

    I am concerned when my children suffer illness. Help them to be strong and well in body and in mind.

    I am concerned about my children’s future. Help me to raise them to be diligent workers that they may earn their way in the world.

    I am concerned for their salvation. Help my children to believe on you and live according to your will so that they may enjoy an eternity in heaven with you.

    I ask these blessings for my children in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen


     

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