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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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    A lesson on forgiveness

    My niece, Darcy, is an incredibly sweet child, always eager to please. She is three years old and she absolutely adores her slightly older cousin.

    Recently the two were playing together and had gone into a bedroom together. Suddenly, Darcy came down the hall in a state of indignation, saying, “Jo-Jo slapped my face.” She had a slightly reddened place on her very pale cheek.

    Jo-Jo followed her saying, “I didn’t do anything. Darcy banged me with her head and I know she did it on purpose.”

    Now I love both little girls, but I knew Darcy did not do it on purpose. Bouncing around in her excitement, she had banged her head into Jo-Jo’s nose. The sudden pain made Jo-Jo fly off the handle and I knew she had slapped her without thinking.

    We had a little talk about it and she finally allowed that she had put up her hand and it had hit Darcy’s cheek. I asked her to apologize to Darcy because her hand had hit her cheek. She refused, saying, “No. I didn’t do anything.”

    Whereupon Darcy said, “Jo-Jo, I’m sorry my cheek hit your hand.” Now that is forgiveness. I’ve never seen anybody forgive any better.

    In case you’re worried, we didn’t make a big issue of it right then, but a few days later we had a little talk with Jo-Jo about controlling those sudden flashes of temper; but between you and me, I’ve suffered from the same problem all of my life; and it’s far easier to identify with Jo-Jo’s feistiness than with the amazing kindness of little Darcy. Jo-Jo will have a hard way to go in life, but little Darcy will sail through with the grace of an angel.



     
  2. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Liberty

    "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people."1

    John Brokhoff explained how, "When the Statue of Liberty was remodeled, it was discovered that the entire inside support system had to be replaced.

    "The outside copper skin of the statue was okay; it only had to be cleaned. Rust and corrosion had ruined the inner iron supports. If repairs had not been made, the statue in 20 years would have fallen over. The iron supports were replaced with stainless steel. Now it can withstand 125 mph (200k) winds."2

    No matter how it appears on the outside, when a nation discards its inner supports of character and moral integrity, sooner or later it will lose its liberty and be bound by and in bondage to its own fallen sinful nature. The same is true in the life of an individual.

    At the rate of the moral decline in North America I grieve about what kind of legacy we are leaving for our children and our children's children. Will someone erect a Statue of Bondage?

    Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please send a great spiritual awakening to our nation so that we will turn from our wicked ways back to you and rebuild and strengthen our crumbling foundations—foundations that are built solidly on your Word. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
     
  3. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    The Sheep With a Broken leg

    "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."1

    Robert Munger writes about an American traveling in Syria who became acquainted with a shepherd. Each morning he noticed the shepherd taking food to a sheep that had a broken leg. As he looked at the animal, he asked the shepherd, "How did the sheep break its leg? Did it meet with an accident, fall into a hole, or did some animal break its leg?"

    "No," said the shepherd, "I broke this sheep's leg myself."

    "You broke it yourself?" queried the surprised traveler.

    "Yes, you see, this is a wayward sheep; it would not stay with the flock, but would lead the sheep astray. Then it would not let me near it so I had to break the sheep's leg so that it would allow me, day by day to feed it. In doing this it will get to know me as its shepherd, trust me as its guide, and keep with the flock."2

    Sometimes, just sometimes, when we insist of going our own stubborn way and leading others astray, the Shepherd of the fold, may have to "break our leg" too for our own good and that of others.

    Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the good sense to not only know what is the right thing to do but the courage to do it, so that I won't need to experience painful discipline. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
     
  4. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Mommy

    My grandmother, Laura Jane Payton, was born in 1868. Sadly, she died in 1910, at the age of forty-two.

    She died giving birth to her twelfth child. Ten were still living when she died. My mother was only five when her mother died. The family survived the tragedy and the children went on to lead happy, productive lives. But, the longing for a Mother and the emptiness left in the wake of her death never subsided. This was vividly impressed on my mind when I heard them talk in the summer of 1990.

    Mother was 85 and Aunt Helen was 83. It was a hot, humid day and the sisters were sitting on the porch. A storm was on its way, but for now the air was dry and still. The sisters looked so old and frail as they sat and reminisced. They were bent and their hands were gnarled. Hair that had once shone like copper, now framed their faces like puffs of cotton. Faces that were once fresh and smooth were now seamed in wrinkles.

    For a while they were quiet. Then Annabel spoke. “Do you remember Mommy?”

    “Barely” was Helen’s soft reply. “I think I remember when she died. Papa cried. I couldn’t understand why Papa cried. And, I couldn’t understand why Mommy was laying in the parlor.”

    “I remember Mommy.” said Annabel. “Her eyesight was so bad. She always had me thread her needles. She called me her ‘eyes’. I always stood by the side of the sewing machine and watched her sew.”

    For a while neither sister spoke. They were quiet, alone in their thoughts.

    “Mommy was so good to me,” whispered Annabel. I remember she hugged me and she said she loved me. I miss Mommy.”

    “I do too,” Helen whispered in soft reply.

    Tears moistened the cheeks of these two old women. Then the storm broke and the rain streamed off the porch. It seemed the heavens were crying too for the children that missed their Mommy.





     
  5. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    A Lesson Learned From a Bug

    I pulled out of my driveway heading for my mom's and noticed a
    katydid on my windshield. This is rare for the area I live in
    since it is more city than farm or wooded area.

    For those of
    you who do not know what a katydid is, it is similar to a
    grasshopper. It is green but has a flat (up-down) body
    whereas the grasshopper has a round body and is more brown
    colored.

    As I accelerated, I noticed the wind was making his body flutter,
    but the legs were securely attached to the windshield. I was
    sure he would lose his battle to the wind, but he kept hanging
    on body fluttering in the wind.

    He did this for a couple of
    miles. As I slowed down one time he tried to re-adjust his
    footing. He released his grip on the windshield with just one
    leg and it was all over, he was gone.


    The wind is our trials.

    The windshield is like the word of God.

    When we hold on to our "windshield" securely, we are secure.

    When things start to settle down we often loosen our grip on
    God’s word. We start to rely on our strength and understanding
    rather than staying in God’s word. That’s when the trials come
    back and catch us unprepared and the trials drag us away.

    If we hold firm to God's word, we will be ready for the trials
    as they come.
     
  6. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Little Angel in Heaven

    Once upon a time, in heaven, there was a sweet little angel whom Jesus loved. Of course Jesus loves all angels as well as all children; but this angel was particularly dear to him because she sat at his feet every day, all day long.

    This sweet little angel was always there to meet everyone who arrived in Heaven. As soon as God said, “Well done, you can come in,” the little angel was always the first to say, “Welcome to heaven.” Then she would ask questions. “What is it like on earth?” she would ask; and she would listen very closely to all she was told. She was particularly interested when a little child was called to heaven. Sometimes they would come in tears, afraid they would miss their mommy and daddy. Jesus always soothed those children immediately telling them it would only be a moment in heaven before their parents came to join them. Sure enough, a moment later, the parents would arrive and the three went together onto the streets of Heaven to live in perfect joy; but the little angel stayed on beside Jesus’ feet, waiting for the next newcomer to whom she would say, “What is it like on earth?”

    After eons of time on earth, although only a short time in heaven, the little angel could contain her curiosity no more. “Please, Jesus,” she asked “Let me go to earth. I want to see for myself what it is like.”

    Of course, Jesus did not want to send his little companion to suffer the travails of the world. He did not want her to suffer even for the moment in heaven that she could live a lifetime on earth, but Jesus loved the little angel very much and he could see no reason not to allow her to go; so he allowed the little angel to be born on earth where she would have a mommy and a daddy and see exactly what it was like to have a human life.

    In the blink of an eye, the little angel returned to heaven. Even Jesus was surprised that she returned so soon, but he spoke to her tenderly, “You did not have a long life on earth,” He said.

    “No,” said the little angel still a little confused from her time on earth. “But it was a good life. I had a wonderful mommy and daddy and I am sorry to leave them.”

    “Don’t be concerned, Little One,” Jesus reminded her. “They will be here in a moment.”

    Sure enough, a moment later the parents of a dear little girl who died while yet an innocent young child, parents who had spent long years grieving and waiting, arrived in heaven. The little angel and her parents from earth recognized each other immediately and they were soon walking the streets of heaven together; and although Jesus missed the little angel that used to sit at his feet, he was happy to see the angel be reunited with the parents she had loved on earth.



     
  7. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    God Bless ALL The Children

    I struggled with the challenge,once more presented me.
    The fear my daughter again was ill and would be called upon to leave.

    Although I wanted to fall upon, my knees, in prayer to you.
    You patiently took me by the hand and taught me what to do.

    I trusted you completely, the wisdom of your words.
    That need to be unselfish, if I was to be heard.

    So I thanked you for her birth and life when she was young.
    For everything that she was now and all she might become.

    I prayed for ALL your children, who suffered in the world.
    My reward, Your loving mercy when you spared my little girl.

    Now whenever I’m alone and on my knees to pray.
    “God Bless ALL the Children of the World” are the words I always say.

    Thank you God


     
  8. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    They took an interest in me…

    There were a lot of people that took an interest in me when I was a child, and although they couldn’t completely dispel the ignorance of the world that was inherent in my situation, they did give me a few glimpses of what was beyond our front door.

    We lived in a four room house. (At one time there were seven of us.) Mom was often sick and Dad didn’t make much money. We had little in the way of worldly goods and we seldom went anywhere special except at those times that some generous adult stepped in to brighten our horizons.

    One of my favorite memories of my early years was when I was a second grader. My teacher, also my best friend’s aunt, took the two of us to a neighboring city for a day. She didn’t drive, so the trip was accomplished by bus. We two little girls rode the city bus downtown where we met the aunt and boarded the bus for the city. In the evening, after our day in the city, this was reversed.

    While in the city that day, I remember seeing a beautiful display of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer books. I longed for the book. Of course, I couldn’t buy it—I probably only had a little pocket change in my little handbag that I was permitted to spend myself; but that day we did ride an elevator and an escalator and were taken to see a Disney movie after eating in a restaurant—it was a truly memorable day.

    Another time my aunt, a dry old woman who went out about as seldom as our family did, took me to the movies for some biblical epic. Perhaps the movie was “The Robe.” I no longer can remember; but I do remember it was a unique experience to see a movie that was so long it had an intermission—and on such a wide screen.

    Other times, relatives enlisted me as company for cousins attending a carnival or a drive-in movie. I was invited to a neighbor’s home to watch some musical program on television back when TVs were not situated in every living room.

    Had it not been for all those kind people allowing me to participate in their lives, I would have grown up completely ignorant of the world outside our little house and rural school.

    An interesting thing is that most of the time when I went on delightful outings by the kindness of others, my mother would scrape together the money to give me for whatever activity was planned; but often my benefactor would not allow me to pay. If the money I was given was not spent for the purpose intended, I always returned home with it and gave it back to Mother.

    Today, most children enjoy a variety of experiences. They have a rich environment through television programming even if they seldom leave home. In our time it was different. It was only through the kindness of others that I was able to share in experiences I would otherwise never have had. At the time, I didn’t know enough to be grateful for the favors I was given, but I am grateful now.




     
  9. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    A Child’s 11 Commandments To Parents

    1. My hands are small; please don’t expect perfection whenever I make a bed, draw a picture or throw a ball.

    2. My legs are short; please slow down so that I can keep up with you.

    3. My eyes have not seen the world as yours have; please let me explore safely; don’t restrict me unnecessarily.

    4. Housework will always be there. I’m only little for such a short time — please take time to explain things to me about this wonderful world, and do so willingly.

    5. My feelings are tender; please be sensitive to my needs; don’t nag me all day long. (You wouldn’t want to be nagged for your inquisitiveness). Treat me as you would like to be treated.

    6. I am a special gift from God; please treasure me as God intended you to do, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by, and disciplining me in a loving manner.

    7. I need your encouragement and praise, but not your criticism, to grow. Please go easy on the criticism; remember, you can criticize the things I do without criticizing me.

    8. Please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself. Permit me to fail, so that I can learn from my mistakes. Then someday I’ll be prepared to make the kind of decisions life requires of me.

    9. Please don’t do things over for me. Somehow that makes me feel that my efforts didn’t quite measure up to your expectations. I know it’s hard, but please don’t try to compare me with my brother or my sister.

    10. Please don’t be afraid to leave for a weekend. Kids need vacations from parents, just as parents need vacations from kids.

    11. Please take me to church regularly, setting a good example for me to follow. I enjoy learning more about God.



     
  10. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Philip’s Egg

    Philip was born with Downs Syndrome. He was a pleasant child . . .happy it seemed . . . but increasingly aware of the difference between himself and other children. Philip went to Sunday School faithfully every week. He was in the third grade class with nine other eight-year olds.

    You know eight-year olds. And Philip, with his differences, was not readily accepted. But his teacher was sensitive to Philip and he helped this group of eight-year olds to love each other as best they could, under the circumstances. They learned, they laughed, they played together. And they really cared about one another, even though eight-year olds don’t say they care about one another out loud.

    But don’t forget. There was an exception to all this. Philip was not really a part of the group. Philip did not choose, nor did he want to be different. He just was. And that was the way things were.

    His teacher had a marvelous idea for his class the Sunday after Easter. You know those things that pantyhose come in . . . the containers that look like great big eggs? The teacher collected ten of them. The children loved it whe he brought them into the room and gave one to each child. It was a beautiful spring day, and the assignment was for each child to go outside, find the symbol for new life, put it into the egg, and bring it back to the classroom They would then open and share their new life symbols and surprises, one by one.

    It was glorious. It was confusing. It was wild. They ran all around the church grounds, gathering their symbols, and returned to the classroom.

    They put all the eggs on a table, and then the teacher began to open them. All the children gathered around the table. He opened one and there was a flower, and they ooh-ed and aah-ed. He opened another and there was a little butterfly. “Beautiful!” the girls all said, since it is hard for eight-year old boys to say ‘beautiful.’ He opened another and there was a rock. And as third-graders will, some laughed, and some said, “That’s crazy! How’s a rock supposed to be like new life?” But the smart little boy who’d put it in ther spoke up: “That’s mine. And I knew all of you would get flowers and buds and leaves and butterflies and stuff like that. So I got a rock because I wanted to be different. And for me, that’s new life.” They all laughed.

    The teacher said something about the wisdom of eight-year olds and opened the next one. There was nothing inside. The children, as eight-year olds will, said, “That’s not fair. That’s stupid! Somebody didn’t do it right.”

    Then the teacher felt a tug on his shirt, and he looked down. “It’s mine, Philip said. It’s mine.”

    And the children said, “You don’t ever do things right, Philip. There’s nothing there!”

    “I did so do it right!” Philip said. “I did do it right. The tomb is empty!”

    There was silence, a very full silence. And for you people who don’t believe in miracles, I want to tell you that one happened that day. From that time on, it was different. Philip suddenly became a part of that group of eight-year old children. They took him in. He was set free from the tomb of his differentness.

    Philip died last summer. His family had known since the time he was born that he wouldn’t live out a full life span. Many other things were wrong with his little body. And so, late last July, with an infection that most normal children could have quickly shrugged off, Philip died.

    At his memorial service, nine eight-year old children marched up to the altar, not with flowers to cover over the stark reality of death . . . but nine eight-year olds, along with their Sunday School teacher, marched right up to that altar, and laid on it an empty egg . . . an empty, old, discarded pantyhose egg.

    And the tomb is empty!


     
  11. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    The gift


    Sharon was rich and lived in a large house. Beth was from a poor family and lived in a little house that had thin walls and bare pine floors. Sharon and Beth went to the same school, were in the same class and one day entered the same contest for reading books and writing reports. At the end of the contest, both girls had completed the exact same number of reports and both girls had done reports of very high quality. The contest was declared a tie and the two girls were asked to draw straws—short straw to win.

    An ecstatic Beth won the prize, a music box of bright blue plastic. When the music played, a tiny screen showed a series of different pictures as the wheel revolved. Beth placed her prize next to the front door of her small house so if there was ever a fire she would be able to rescue it on her way out.

    Sharon was very disturbed that she had not won the drawing. After all, she had written just as many good book reports as Beth. She went home and complained loudly to her parents. The next day her parents came to school and complained loudly. Before you know it, the contest judges decided to buy another music box for Sharon.

    Sharon was pleased to have gotten her own way, but after playing the music box she was not impressed. She shoved it on a shelf in her closet with many other forgotten toys.

    While it was Beth who worried about fire, it was Sharon who suffered that catastrophe. Early that winter, a fire caused by a careless maid destroyed Sharon’s home. The family escaped but all their possessions were destroyed.

    When Beth heard about the fire, she was dismayed. At school, it was said that all of Sharon’s many toys had burned except for the pony cart that was in the barn. All her clothes had burned. Many of the little children were not too kind about Sharon’s hardship. One little girl even said, “It serves her right for being so hoity-toity all the time.”

    Beth, however, was sad for Sharon. On the way home after school, she thought and thought. She was home only a minute before she rushed back out the door carrying a small bag. She raced to a large brick house—the home of Sharon’s grandmother where Sharon was now staying. When the maid brought Sharon to the parlor where Beth was waiting, Beth opened the bag and pulled out her cherished music box. “I’m sorry about your fire,” she said. “I want you to have this in place of the one you lost.”

    “Thank you,” said Sharon. “I’m sorry I can’t visit now. Grandma is taking me shopping to get new clothes.”

    A few minutes later, the maid closed the door behind Beth as Sharon raced upstairs to the bedroom she had been given in her grandmother’s home the moment she was born. As she pulled out a warm coat to wear on her shopping trip, she took a moment to shove the music box to the back of a shelf. “It’s a stupid toy,” she thought. “No wonder Beth gave it to me.”

    Sharon went off shopping with Grandma with no understanding of the great gift she had been given while Beth went home to her little house, watched and guarded all the way by a thousand angels.
     
  12. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Here are five prayers easy enough for children to memorize. They are about things most parents would like their children to learn to pray about.

    A Child’s Prayer to Start the Day
    Be with me dear Lord I pray
    As I start another day;
    And also, Father, please help me
    To be as good as I can be.

    Amen

    A Child’s Prayer to Say at Meals
    Dear Lord,
    Every single bite we chew
    Is given as a gift from you,
    So thank you for our table spread
    With vegetables and meat and bread.
    Amen

    A Child’s Prayer for Family

    Thank you for my family
    And that we love and share;
    Keep us all together, Lord,
    And safe within your care.
    Amen

    A Child’s Prayer of Thanks
    Thank you, God, for sun and trees;
    Thank you for the summer breeze;
    Thank you for all plants that grow;
    And thanks for rain and winter snow.
    Thank you for all things you give,
    And thank you, God, because we live.

    Amen

    A Child’s Prayer for Bedtime
    When I go to sleep tonight
    Tucked up in my covers tight,
    Protect me God the whole night through
    And bless and keep my family too.
    Amen
     
  13. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    A mother's tears

    The baby’s name is Paul and his little fingers, wrapped around one of mine, are chubby and dimpled. He is named for my brother. When I gaze at Baby Paul’s little fingers, another image comes to mind. It is of a woman crying. The woman was my mother and she has been dead so many years now that I would have to stop and figure out exactly how many years it has been; but those tears—they are still alive in my heart.

    I can see those tears so clearly, dripping gently against the fingers of another little boy so many years ago. That little boy, four years old, was in her arms. I, three years older, was standing alongside the rocker feeling very sorry about my little brother and about my mother’s tears.

    Paul and a cousin a few years older had been playing outside together a few days before. Every few minutes, my mother would go to the door and holler for Paul. The cousin, Abel, was a venturesome boy and mother would not trust him to keep Paul in the yard, although he had promised to do so.

    When Paul came running on his little short legs, Mother would say, “Stay you near the house Paul,” with her little twist of an accent because for her, English was a second language.

    The boys were playing mostly in the orchard at the back of the yard. There Abel spotted a low hanging branch that was almost parallel to the ground. Rushing off to the washhouse, he returned with a length of rope and swung it over the branch. Then with Paul’s little back for a stool, Abel climbed to the first fork in the tree, then up a little more and onto the branch. There he tied each end of the rope in knots around the limb. The boys were very proud and excited about the swing they had just created; but of course, sitting on that rope was not very comfortable.

    We need a board, said Abel. Off they went in different directions until Paul ran back to the orchard, hollering, “I found one. I found one.” The neighbor was a carpenter. From his refuse pile, Paul had rescued the perfect board.

    When Abel reached the swing, Paul was trying to fit the board onto the rope, but of course it kept sliding off. “I’ll be right back, Paul,” he said. “I know how to make a swing.” And in all of his seven-year old wisdom, Abel did have an idea how that was done.

    He returned with an axe from the woodshed and proceeded to chop at the board to put in the notches he could see in his mind’s eye. The board jumped away. He tried again. The board jumped again. “Here, Paul,” he said, “You hold it.” And Paul did.

    And that’s how Paul came to lose one of those beautiful little chubby fingers. One was sliced endwise from nail to upper knuckle. Medical knowledge was not what it is today. The doctor could do nothing but amputate the finger of the terrified little boy.

    My mother blamed herself and shed many, many tears over her baby’s precious little hand; and now, as I look at another baby Paul’s little dimpled fingers, my heart grieves anew for Mother and for the little boys who learned an awful lesson that day.

    I say a small prayer for my great-grandson. “Lord, keep him safe and let him grow up unscathed.” Then I raise his chubby fingers to my lips and kiss them.






     
  14. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    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 great and God is Good. Let us thank Him 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.”

    Then in 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.”

    (Luke 18:16 NIV) But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

    (Luke 18:17 NIV) I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

    Note: In today’s world with crime and hate we need to be still and listen to God. I believe Jesus speaks to us through little children but we have to be willing to listen. So next time a little one is around be still and listen because they just might have a message for you.
     
  15. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    A happy day

    As an adult, there have been times when I have said to myself, “This is such a wonderful moment. I don’t ever want to forget it.” At those times, I take a mental snapshot of that moment and commit myself to remembering it. As I write this, several of those moments come to mind; but one of my happiest memories is of at day in my life that happened when I was too young to be introspective. I simply remember it because of the total happiness I felt.

    In the greater scheme of things, that day was not that special. It was our second grade class picnic day. I recall that we wore play clothes. That would mean pants for little girls when in those days we were required to wear dresses on regular school days. We each took a sack lunch and we were taken by bus to a local park where we played. On the way home, I got off the bus at a corner a block from my home and a few blocks before the bus reached the school. Nobody was home when I got there, so I decided to clean up the living room to surprise my mommy. Those are the unremarkable details of that memorable day.

    So why do I remember that day so much better and more fondly than the many other days of my childhood? When I think about it now as an adult, I can be introspective about it and understand some reasons why it was so special to me.

    First, on that day I overcame fear and truly enjoyed playing at the park. Before the day was out, I was confident about climbing to the heights of the sliding board and soaring down and about swinging high on the huge swings—two things I had always been timid about before. Because of my new confidence and my ability to do what the other children were doing, I had acceptance from them. When my teacher told the bus driver to let me off near my home I experienced the respect of her knowing I was self-reliant enough to go home alone. When I got home, I made myself useful by cleaning the living room and consequently received something all children covet, my mother’s praise.

    Those were the simple elements that made me happy on that bright day sixty years ago. I believe those are pretty much the same things that make me happy today.

     
  16. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    If Jesus Came to Your House

    "Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."1

    "If Jesus came to your house to spend a day or two,
    If He came unexpectedly, I wonder what you'd do.

    Oh, I know you'd give your nicest Room to such an honored Guest,
    And all the food you'd serve to Him would be the very best,

    And you would keep assuring Him you're glad to have Him there—
    That serving Him in your home is joy beyond compare.

    "But when you saw Him coming would you meet Him at the door,
    With arms outstretched in welcome to your Heavenly Visitor?

    Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in,
    Or hide some magazines and put the Bibles where they'd been?

    Would you turn off the radio and hope He hadn't heard,
    And wish you hadn't uttered that last, loud, hasty word?

    Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?
    Could you let Jesus walk right in, or would you rush about?

    "And I wonder … if the Savior spent a day or two with you,
    Would you go right on doing the things you always do?

    Would you keep right on saying the things you always say?
    Would life for you continue as it does from day to day?

    Would your family conversation keep up its usual pace,
    And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?

    Would you sing the songs you always sing and read the books you read,
    And let Him know the things on which your mind and spirit feed?

    "Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you'd planned to go?
    Or would you maybe change your plans for just a day or so?

    Would you be glad to have Him meet your very closest friends,
    Or would you hope they'd stay away until His visit ends?

    Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on,
    Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?

    It might be interesting to know the things that you would do
    If Jesus came in person to spend some time with you."



    Prayer: "Dear God, please help me to become more and more Like Jesus in every way so that my life, and the way I live, will always reflect His glory. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
     
  17. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    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.
     
  18. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    People Who Mock God

    "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit [God's Spirit], from the Spirit will reap eternal life."1

    For those of us old enough to remember, we may recall the words of John Lennon (1940-1980) of Beatles fame who "said in 1966: 'Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that. I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first—rock n' roll or Christianity.' Fourteen years later, Lennon was shot dead by Mark David Chapman in New York City on December 8, 1980."2

    Some time after John Lennon's statement about being more popular than Jesus, "while in Chicago, Lennon and the Beatles called a press conference and apologized to the world for his comment."2 However, I believe Lennon was referring to his own country with his statement … and it probably was true in the UK.

    There has been an email message floating around claiming that other famous people verbally mocked God and were killed in an unusual way soon after. Many, if not most, of these claims were false. I did check on TruthOrFiction.com about the report on John Lennon and it is stated as truth, not fiction.

    However, in a very real sense, any person who disregards the Word of God saying that they don't believe in God or his Word, and fails to accept the fact that Jesus, the son of God, died on the cross to pay the penalty for their sins, and in so doing rejects God's gift of salvation, forgiveness, and eternal life, is living a life of mockery. This is because they play the role of God in choosing to believe their own word instead of God's Word. Putting themselves above God is not only a mockery, but also a fatal path to follow—eternally fatal.

    Whatever you do, God has given us his Word and specific warning about life after death, so don't mock God and hope for the best when you come to the end of life's journey. The reality is that we cannot mock God. We will reap what we sow. For help to be sure your life is right with God read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian … without having to be religious" on line at: http://tinyurl.com/real-christian. Also read, "Life After Death" at: http://tinyurl.com/8brzh.

    Suggested prayer: Dear God, thank you that you have given mankind your eternal Word so that we can know the way to you and the path to eternal life. I choose to believe in you and in your Word, and I thank you that your forgiveness and gift of eternal life is available to all who believe in and put their trust in you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
     
  19. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    There is something I learned from raising a “difficult” child that I now utilize with my grandchildren, both the exasperating ones and those with sweet temperaments. I think it helps them cope with new situations.

    Prepare your child for everything. Don’t let him walk into a strange situation with no preparation. Tell him what he will see, what you will do, what he should do and what he can expect to happen. Role-play a little bit. He is more likely to feel competent and stay calm at the ice cream stand if you have rehearsed all the way there exactly what he will say when he orders the ice cream.

    We often tell a child when they are doing something wrong, but how can we expect them to behave properly without them knowing exactly what proper behavior is? If my husband and I take a child to a restaurant, we tell them in advance what kind of behavior we expect and why they should behave that way. We almost always have good results.

    To paraphrase an old saying, “An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.”
     
  20. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Once upon a time there was a child ready to be born.

    So one day he asked God: They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?

    Among the many angels out there, I chose a special one just for you. She will be waiting for you and will take care of you.

    But tell me, here in heaven, I don’t do anything else but sing and smile, that’s enough for me to be happy.

    Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you every day, and you will feel your angel’s love and that will make you happy.

    And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me, if I don’t know the language that men talk?

    Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.

    And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?

    Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.

    I’ve heard that on earth there are bad men. Who will protect me?

    Your angel will defend you even if it means risking her life.

    But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.

    Your angel will always talk to you about me and will teach you the way for you to come back to me, even though I will always be next to you.

    At the moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from earth could already be heard, and the child in a hurry asked softly: Oh God, if I am about to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name.

    Your angel’s name is of no importance, you will call your angel: Mommy.
     

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