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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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    Where do you find good people—how do you pick them out?

    Would you trust a stranger on the street and never feel any doubt?

    If you’re looking for a friend or a spouse,

    You can look everywhere from house to house

    And still be unsure about those within—

    Whether they’re righteous or steeped in sin;

    But if were to join the church down the street,

    You could probably depend on the people you meet;

    So pick out your friend at church—not the bar—

    The odds there are better, much better by far;

    And when you have a need and must hold out your hand,

    Who do you think will understand?

    Your friends at the church will be there for you;

    They’ll give you a hand and pray for you too;

    They’ll stand at the ready to provide what you need

    For friends made in church are good friends indeed.
     
  2. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    “Girt about the paps with a golden girdle.”

    Revelation 1:13

    “One like unto the Son of Man” appeared to John in Patmos, and the beloved disciple marked that he wore a girdle of gold. A girdle, for Jesus never was ungirt while upon earth, but stood always ready for service, and now before the eternal throne he stays not is holy ministry, but as a priest is girt about with “the curious girdle of the ephod.” Well it is for us that he has not ceased to fulfil his offices of love for us, since this is one of our choicest safeguards that he ever liveth to make intercession for us.

    Jesus is never an idler; his garments are never loose as though his offices were ended; he diligently carries on the cause of his people. A golden girdle, to manifest the superiority of his service, the royalty of his person, the dignity of his state, the glory of his reward. No longer does he cry out of the dust, but he pleads with authority, a King as well as a Priest. Safe enough is our cause in the hands of our enthroned Melchizedek.

    Our Lord presents all his people with an example. We must never unbind our girdles. This is not the time for lying down at ease, it is the season of service and warfare. We need to bind the girdle of truth more and more tightly around our loins. It is a golden girdle, and so will be our richest ornament, and we greatly need it, for a heart that is not well braced up with the truth as it is in Jesus, and with the fidelity which is wrought of the Spirit, will be easily entangled with the things of this life, and tripped up by the snares of temptation.

    It is in vain that we possess the Scriptures unless we bind them around us like a girdle, surrounding our entire nature, keeping each part of our character in order, and giving compactness to our whole man. If in heaven Jesus unbinds not the girdle, much less may we upon earth. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth.
     
  3. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Lord, when I speak in your good name,
    Keep me free of any blame.

    Let my teaching be just and true,
    The exact message meant by you;

    And let me live in a Christian way
    So people believe the words I say;

    And most important, through my vocation,
    Help some struggler find salvation.

    In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen
     
  4. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    The Christian Face.


    The faces of Christians might not shine with a light so bright you have to look away as did the face of Moses after he met God and talked to him face to face, but there is a Christian light that shines on the faces of Christians everywhere.

    My two sisters and I once spent a long night in a hospital waiting room waiting for the morning when emergency heart surgery would be performed on our brother. During that long night, we became acquainted with a kind old gentleman who was there waiting for news of his wife. My sisters and I are life-long Christians and we recognized a kindred spirit in this old man. When we were away from him for a while, we speculated about the old fellow, sure that he had to be a Christian—just from the look on his old but contented face.

    Sure enough, when we asked him about his faith, we learned that he was a practicing Christian and a life-long church member.

    We have been telling this story ever since as we try to define that Christian look we saw on the old man’s face; and while we are still unable to accurately describe what exactly it is that we see, this light of Christ truly exists. It is as real as eyebrows, eyes and wrinkles. You can see Christianity right there on the faces of Christians. It is, as they say, as plain as the noses on their faces; and it is a look to which I aspire daily.
     
  5. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Gone fishing.


    My Son’s voice was fading. Head leaning against the back of the opened fold-up chair, I faced the warmth of the morning sun. Legs stretched out, I propped my feet on top of the fence that kept small children and adults alike from dropping and flaying in the waters that surrounded the small metal pier. Sure didn’t wanna scare away the fishies.

    A night crawler firmly attached to my hook, I patiently waited for it to either drown or be nibbled on-affording me the opportunity to sit and daydream, converse with my child in hushed tones, and soak up some rays.

    My child, an experienced fisherman, has never caught a fish. Too many distractions. He likes to experiment with different lures and baits. Takes all helpful suggestions from more seasoned fisher folk than myself with serious consideration. His unwritten Mission Statement is to try most anything that will stick to the end of the line at least once.
    “How do they (the fish) KNOW they won’t like a certain bait if they haven’t tried ‘em?”

    His logic makes sense when he explains further, “Whenever you make Brussel Sprouts, you make me keep tasting them every single time…”

    “Yeah, but you don’t like them.”

    He nods in agreement as he reels in the line. “But you say maybe someday when I get older I will. So maybe it’ll be the older-bigger fish that I’ll catch.”

    Clicking over the bar on his reel, his awkward all elbows, knees and feet transform into one of fluid motion. Cuts through a slice of sky with his mighty saber, freeing his line. Exhaling with an audible sigh, he aims across the horizon, unfurling a song of ribboned hope born of all fishermen. As the Faux Food, attached to the hook mark the lake’s surface, he holds still, waiting, hoping.

    “Hey Mom.”

    “Uh-huh?”

    I just figured out why fishing is so cool.”

    “Why?”

    He pointed to where the rings slowly expanded in the final moments of movement where his lure dropped. ” ’cause every time you cast out, it hits a bull’s-eye!”

    Chuckling, I considered the truth of his statement. With measured movement, the line crawled across the water’s glassy surface, fragmenting it into patterns of fragile cracks as he once more reeled in.

    Meandering down the pier, he headed towards a fellow fisherman. I grinned. Poor guy didn’t have a clue. This kid of mine could extract information from a rock. Tenacious of spirit, if a stranger held a rod and reel, information WOULD be gleamed. Spontaneous of attitude, but plotted by desire in connecting, the conversations and opportunities almost always ended with both he and I traipsing home with more bait, lures, and weights than what we started out with.

    I dozed as they quietly talked. Gave Tim a thumbs up when he asked permission in sharing our lunch with his new bud.

    As the snowy white egrets skimmed the lake, the wood ducks mirrored the glass in perfect unison, dancing through sky and water as the music of breeze filtered through the trees. Male mallard ducks, with their emerald jeweled heads chased competitors from reeds where their mates nested. We munched our sandwiches in companionable silence, watching the world, as viewed from the perspective of the lake, move in a forward motion.

    Lunch finished, the fishermen wandered back to their favored place to fish. Later I noticed that the two were joined by yet another. Shaking hands, he introduced himself as the first fisherman’s son.

    It is strange how we, as parents, are so anxious to cut the apron strings that keep our youth clinging-but the nearly invisible line that connects through the subtle art of fishing is knotted securely against the forces of time to establish and re-establish opportunities beyond the surface.

    A child’s familiar voice breaks through my train of thought…

    “Hey Mom…”

    “Yeah?”

    “I know you don’t want to get pregnant any more, ’cause you think you’re too old, but do you get PMS?”

    Now, do I REALLY need to interject here how I felt as that innocent blurb was spewed out through the oh-so-peacefully quiet skies? My first instinct was to grab all the weights in the tackle box in hopes that once I jumped off the pier I would sink low and long. My second thought was to throw a couple of ‘em at my child. Common sense ruled under a Higher Power, proving once again that miracles indeed, in this modern age still happen. My face reddened-and not from the sun, as acute embarrassment washed over me.

    The fishermen were polite enough to keep silent. I watched as they quickly turned their backs to us, shoulders shaking in mirth. I was afraid to speak, to ask-but like that lemming, headed for the cliff’s edge anyway.

    “What?!” I squeaked in response.

    “Well, I was watching the mallard ducks and noticed the guys keeping away all the other male ducks, and the females are hiding in their nests with the eggs…I know they lay a bunch of ‘em…”

    As he was sharing these important facts, he slowly sided up to me, and continued…

    “Now, everyone knows that the eggs have to be fertilized before they can be babies, but I was wondering what happens when they aren’t. They still lay the eggs, whether they have babies in ‘em or not- and HE said,” (nodding to the younger fisherman who still had the grace to face the water with his shoulders hunched down), “that he thought that the lady ducks probably had PMS.”

    He paused for breath while I, depleted of oxygen, still held mine.
    “I told him that I knew ’bout that stuff, but I didn’t think it applied to ducks. Besides, I really don’t think you do either. You usually save your mad times for when I try to sneak outta doing my homework or when I hide my stuff under my bed when you tell me to clean my room.”

    Sometimes silence is better than opening the mouth. Don’t have to dig an enlarging hole that way. I nodded in agreement. Later, after the younger fisherman left, I walked up to the other as he was packing up his gear. Wanted to apologize for my son’s…sharing.

    Slowly, the wizened old gentleman creaked to a standing position, and stood tall. Readjusting the wide band of his sun bleached hat, his pale blue eyes locked into mine.

    “Ya know, I’ve had some mighty strange conversations over the years with other folk who like fishin’, but gotta admit, this one was a tad…” (here he grinned, searching, but coming up short for the right words…)” different. After my son left, we kept talkin’. ’bout the habits of ducks, bait, rocks in mountains, rocks in the deserts, rocks in the ocean…his rock collection. We talked on ’bout which would be more dangerous, a viper with an attitude, or a black bear coming out of hibernation He asked me what I liked to do when I was his age, when I learned how to fish, and if ‘en my Mom made me taste vegetables I didn’t’ like when I was young. He talked ’bout what scared him when he was little, and what still worries him now. He asked me what scared me when I was little and what worries ME now…”

    This gentle older fisherman paused, looking down at his feet, then looked back up, peering deep into my eyes. Quietly spoke:
    “Then outta the blue, like it was the normalist thing in the world, he asked me if I was goin’ to church tomora. I told him I stopped a long time ago. Your kid said to me,
    ‘know what? When I was young,’ “(he snickered), ” ‘ I went through this time where I didn’t’ wanna go, too. It would be lots more fun to stay home and play, or watch cartoons and stuff.’ I asked him what happed to change his mind…’well, going to a church you like is kinda like fishing, wherever you, (and here your kid cast his line out again, dropping it into the water), ‘go you’re surrounded in a circle after circle after circles that touch, but keeps going’ out and out and out…and sometimes, when you least ‘spect it, you catch something…”

    …AND I WILL MAKE YOU FISHERS OF MEN-Matt 4:19
     
  6. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    There once was a little boy who wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of root beer, and he started his journey.

    When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry so he offered her a Twinkie. She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a root beer. Once again, she smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

    As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave but before he had gone more than a few steps; he turned around, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever. When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?” He replied, “I had lunch with God.” But before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”

    Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked, “Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?” She replied, “I ate Twinkies in the park with God.” But before her son responded, she added, “You know, he’s much younger than I expected.”

    Too often we under estimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Embrace all equally!
     
  7. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

    1 Corinthians 9:22

    Paul's great object was not merely to instruct and to improve, but to save. Anything short of this would have disappointed him; he would have men renewed in heart, forgiven, sanctified, in fact, saved. Have our Christian labours been aimed at anything below this great point? Then let us amend our ways, for of what avail will it be at the last great day to have taught and moralized men if they appear before God unsaved? Blood-red will our skirts be if through life we have sought inferior objects, and forgotten that men needed to be saved.

    Paul knew the ruin of man's natural state, and did not try to educate him, but to save him; he saw men sinking to hell, and did not talk of refining them, but of saving from the wrath to come. To compass their salvation, he gave himself up with untiring zeal to telling abroad the gospel, to warning and beseeching men to be reconciled to God. His prayers were importunate and his labours incessant. To save souls was his consuming passion, his ambition, his calling. He became a servant to all men, toiling for his race, feeling a woe within him if he preached not the gospel.

    He laid aside his preferences to prevent prejudice; he submitted his will in things indifferent, and if men would but receive the gospel, he raised no questions about forms or ceremonies: the gospel was the one all-important business with him. If he might save some he would be content. This was the crown for which he strove, the sole and sufficient reward of all his labours and self-denials.

    Dear reader, have you and I lived to win souls at this noble rate? Are we possessed with the same all-absorbing desire? If not, why not? Jesus died for sinners, cannot we live for them? Where is our tenderness? Where our love to Christ, if we seek not his honour in the salvation of men? O that the Lord would saturate us through and through with an undying zeal for the souls of men.
     
  8. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    See me


    This poem was written by an old woman living in a nursing home in
    Ireland. It was found among her things when she died.

    What do you see nurses, what do you see?
    Are you thinking when you look at me?

    A crabbit old woman, not very wise,
    Uncertain of habit, with far away eyes,

    Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
    When you say in a loud voice- “I do wish you’d try.”

    And forever is losing a sock or a shoe.

    Who unresisting or not, lets you do as you will,
    With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill.

    Is that what you think, is that what you see?
    Open your eyes, nurse, you’re not looking at me.

    I’ll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still,
    As I use at your bidding, and eat at your will,

    I’m a small child of ten, with a father and mother,
    Brothers and sisters who loved one another,

    A young girl of 16, with wings on her feet,
    Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet.

    A bride soon at 20, my heart give a leap.
    Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.

    At 25 now, I have young of my own,
    Who need me to build a secure, happy home.

    A women of 30, my young now grow so fast,
    Bound to each other with ties that should last.

    At 40, my young sons have grown and are gone,
    But my man’s beside me to see I don’t mourn.

    At 50 once more, babies play round my knee,
    Again we know children, my loved one and me.

    Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead.
    I look at the future and shudder with dread.

    For my young are all rearing young of their own,
    And I think of the years and the love that I’ve known,

    I’m and old women now and nature is cruel,
    Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.

    The body, it crumbles, grace and vigor depart.
    There is now a stone where I once had a heart.

    But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells,
    And now and again, my battered heart swells,

    I remember the joys and I remember the pain,
    And I’m living and loving life over again,

    I think of the years all too few- gone too fast,
    And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

    Open your eyes, nurse open and see.
    Not an empty old women, look closer- see ME.
     
  9. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    There was a king who had a daughter who was very ill. The doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with her. She just seemed miserable and cried often.

    One night the princess dreamed that if she ate a pair of very special pears she would get well. In order to learn what would make the pears so special, she would have to meet with each person who brought pears to her. Her mother the queen, decreed that whoever brought in the very special pears that healed the princess, would have the opportunity to marry the princess, if she wanted to marry him.

    Hundreds of young men brought baskets of pears to the princess. She talked for a long time to each of the young men, and ate their pears, but none of them made her feel better.

    One farmer who had very sweet and juicy pears as well as three sons told his eldest son, the most handsome of the three, to take a basket of pears to the princess. On the way to the princess the handsome son met a dwarf who related how hungry he was. The dwarf saw the basket and said, “You must be taking pears to heal the princess. Please give me a few pears so I will not starve.”

    The handsome son didn’t want to give away even one pear, especially to a dwarf. He was afraid that any pear given away might turn out to be the special one of the pair that would heal the princess. Then he would lose the chance to marry her.

    So he said to the hungry man, “The only pears I have in this basket are pairs of pig’s feet.” The hungry man, who was really the prophet Elijah in disguise, replied, “Amen! So shall it be.” Then he walked away.

    When the handsome son was brought to the princess, he opened his basket to show her his pears, and it was filled with pairs of pig’s feet. The princess fainted. The king ordered the eldest son to be thrown out into the street.

    When the handsome son returned home he didn’t want to tell anybody what had happened so he just said that the pears didn’t work. The farmer then decided to send his middle son, the one who was tall, strong and had lovely blond hair, to bring the farmer’s best pears to the princess.

    On the road to the castle the tall blond son also met Elijah, who was disguised this time as a poor beggar who was deaf in one ear. The blond son also didn’t want to help the beggar, even though he seemed very hungry.

    The tall blond son said, “I can’t help you. The only pears I have in this basket are pairs of pig’s ears.” “Amen!” said Elijah, “so shall it be.”

    When the tall blond son was brought to the princess he opened his basket and it was filled to the top with pairs of pig’s ears. The princess became nauseous and threw up. The king had the blond son thrown out the window into the street. When the middle son returned home he also didn’t tell anybody what happened.

    The youngest son wasn’t very handsome, and he wasn’t tall or blond, but he was very kind and considerate. He begged his father to let him go because he wanted to help the princess, although he didn’t think she would want to marry him. On the road to the princess he also met Elijah disguised as a beggar with ugly sores and scabs all over his face and arms.

    He felt sorry for the ugly beggar, and even before the beggar asked, he offered half of the pears in the basket to the man saying, “I pray these pears are good for you.” Elijah took them and replied, “Amen! So shall it be good for you.”

    When the youngest son opened his basket before the princess she asked why it was only half filled with pears. He told her about offering half the basket of pears to the beggar who was covered with sores and scabs. The princess began to cry. The youngest son apologized for making her cry, but to his surprise she suddenly hugged him. They spent the whole day talking and the princess felt better and better. By the next day she was feeling great. A month later she told the youngest son she wanted to marry him, and that is what she did.

    The boy’s father could never figure out what was special about the pears that the youngest son brought to the princess
     
  10. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    The lonely girl

    Bare foot and dirty, the girl just sat and watched the people go by. She never tried to speak, she never said a word. Many people passed, but never did one person stop. Just so happens, the next day I decided to go back to the park, curious if the little girl would still be there. Right in the very spot as she was yesterday, she sat perched on high, with the saddest look in her eyes.

    Today I was to make my own move and walk over to the little girl. As we all know, a park full of strange people is not a place for young children to play alone. As I began walking towards her, I could see the back of the little girl’s dress indicated a deformity. I figured that was the reason the people just passed by and made no effort to help. As I got closer, the little girl slightly lowered her eyes to avoid my intent stare. I could see the shape of her back more clearly. It was grotesquely shaped in a humped over form.

    I smiled to let her know it was OK, I was there to help, to talk. I sat down beside her and opened with a simple Hello. The little girl acted shocked and stammered a “hi” after a long stare into my eyes. I smiled and she shyly smiled back. We talked ’til darkness fell and the park was completely empty. Everyone was gone and we at once were alone.

    I asked the girl why she was so sad. The little girl looked at me and with a sad face said, “Because I’m different.”

    I immediately said “that you are!” and smiled.

    The little girl acted even sadder, she said, “I know.”

    “Little girl,” I said, “you remind me of an angel, sweet and innocent.”

    She looked at me and smiled, slowly she stood to her feet, and said, “Really?”

    “Yes, dear, you’re like a little guardian angel sent to watch over all those people walking by.”

    She nodded her head “yes” and smiled, and with that she spread her wings and said, “I am. I’m your guardian angel,” with a twinkle in her eye.

    I was speechless. Surely I was seeing things. She said, “For once you thought of someone other than yourself, my job here is done.”

    Immediately I stood to my feet and said, “Wait, so why did no one stop to help an angel?”

    She looked at me and smiled, “You’re the only one who could see me, and you believed it in your heart.” And She was gone.

    And with that my life was changed dramatically. So, when you think you’re all you have, remember, your angel is always watching over you.
     
  11. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Something to someone.

    I don’t wish to be
    Everything to Everyone
    But I would like to be
    Something to Someone

    For while some people have
    A shoulder to cry on
    It is the destiny of others
    That they must cry alone

    We should always remember
    – To themselves
    No one is just another person

    Touch gently the Life
    Of your fellow man
    For the human heart
    Shapes as easily
    As clay upon
    The potter’s wheel

    Our path is a little clearer
    Our steps are a little lighter
    And we appear a little taller
    When we walk beside
    Someone we Love

    The pain we feel
    When someone leaves our life
    Is in direct proportion
    To the joy they bring
    While a part of our life
    For a few moments
    In my Life
    You made me feel
    As if I truly meant
    Something to Someone
     
  12. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    The Grandfather's table.

    A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table, but the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

    The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about Grandfather,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.” Therefore, the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since grandfather had broken a dish two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

    The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?” Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.” The four-year-old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

    That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days, he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

    Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently, provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day the building blocks are being laid for the child’s future. Let us be wise builders and role models.

    Always remember: “What goes around, comes around!” However, “Treating others as you would treat yourself or that you would like to be treated will grant you more love than not!
     
  13. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to eke out a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby boy. He dropped his tools and ran to the boy. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

    The next day, a carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. “I want to repay you,” said the nobleman. “You saved my son’s life.” “No, I can’t accept payment for what I did,” the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer.

    At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family’s cottage. “Is that your son?” the nobleman asked. “Yes,” the farmer replied proudly. “I’ll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he’ll grow to a man you can be proud of.” And that he did.

    In time, Farmer Fleming’s son graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin.

    Years afterward, the nobleman’s son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin.

    The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son’s name? Sir Winston Churchill.

    Someone once said, “What goes around comes around.”
     
  14. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    “They have dealt treacherously against the Lord.”

    Hosea 5:7

    Believer, here is a sorrowful truth! Thou art the beloved of the Lord, redeemed by blood, called by grace, preserved in Christ Jesus, accepted in the Beloved, on thy way to heaven, and yet, “thou hast dealt treacherously” with God, thy best friend; treacherously with Jesus, whose thou art; treacherously with the Holy Spirit, by whom thou hast been quickened unto life eternal!

    How treacherous you have been in the matter of vows and promises. Do you remember the love of your espousals, that happy time — the springtime of your spiritual life? Oh, how closely did you cling to your Master then! saying, “He shall never charge me with indifference; my feet shall never grow slow in the way of his service; I will not suffer my heart to wander after other loves; in him is every store of sweetness ineffable. I give all up for my Lord Jesus’ sake.” Has it been so? Alas! if conscience speak, it will say, “He who promised so well has performed most ill.

    Prayer has oftentimes been slurred — it has been short, but not sweet; brief, but not fervent. Communion with Christ has been forgotten. Instead of a heavenly mind, there have been carnal cares, worldly vanities and thoughts of evil. Instead of service, there has been disobedience; instead of fervency, lukewarmness; instead of patience, petulance; instead of faith, confidence in an arm of flesh; and as a soldier of the cross there has been cowardice, disobedience, and desertion, to a very shameful degree.”

    “Thou hast dealt treacherously.” Treachery to Jesus! what words shall be used in denouncing it? Words little avail: let our penitent thoughts execrate the sin which is so surely in us. Treacherous to thy wounds, O Jesus! Forgive us, and let us not sin again! How shameful to be treacherous to him who never forgets us, but who this day stands with our names engraven on his breastplate before the eternal throne.
     
  15. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    Let Me Give.

    I do not know how long I’ll live
    But while I live, Lord, let me give
    Some comfort to someone in need
    By smile or nod, kind word or deed.

    And let me do what ever I can
    To ease things for my fellow man.
    I want naught but to do my part
    To “lift” a tired or weary heart.

    To change folks’ frowns to smiles again.
    Then I will not have lived in vain
    And I’ll not care how long I’ll live
    If I can give … and give … and give.
     
  16. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    I Saw Him in Church for the First Time


    I saw him in the church building for the first time on Wednesday. He was in his mid-70′s, with thinning silver hair and a neat brown suit. Many times in the past I had invited him to come to church. Several other Christian friends had talked to him about the Lord and had tried to share the good news with him.

    He was a well-respected, honest man with so many characteristics a Christian should have, but he had never accepted Christ, nor entered the doors of the church. “Have you ever been to a church service in your life?” I had asked him a few years ago. We had just finished a pleasant day of visiting and talking.

    He hesitated. Then with a bitter smile he told me of his childhood experience some fifty years ago. He was one of many children in a large impoverished family. His parents had struggled to provide food, with little left for housing and clothing. When he was about ten, some neighbors invited him to worship with them. The Sunday School class had been very exciting!

    He had never heard such songs and stories before! He had never heard anyone read from the Bible! After class was over, the teacher took him aside and said, “Son, please don’t come again dressed as you are now. We want to look our best when we come into God’s house.”

    He stood in his ragged, unpatched overalls. Then looking at his dirty bare feet, he answered softly, “No, ma’am, I won’t-ever.”

    “And I never did,” he said, abruptly ending our conversation.

    There must have been other factors to have hardened him so, but this experience formed a significant part of the bitterness in his heart. I ‘m sure that Sunday School teacher meant well. But did she really understand the love of Christ? Had she studied and accepted the teachings found in the second chapter of James?

    What if she had put her arms around the dirty, ragged little boy and said, “Son, I am so glad you are here, and I hope you will come back every chance you get to hear more about Jesus.”

    I reflected on the awesome responsibility a teacher or pastor or a parent has to welcome little ones in His name. How far-reaching her influence was! I prayed that I might be ever open to the tenderness of a child’s heart, and that I might never fail to see beyond the appearance and behavior of a child to the eternal possibilities within.

    Yes, I saw him in the church house for the first time on Wednesday. As I looked at that immaculately dressed old gentleman lying in his casket, I thought of the little boy of long ago. I could almost hear him say, “No, ma’am, I won’t-ever.”

    And I wept.

    Let’s be careful of our words and our judgments

    TODAY’S SCRIPTURE MEMORY VERSE…. just for YOU!
    “Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed.” Psalms 25:3
     
  17. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

    John 10:9

    Jesus, the great I AM, is the entrance into the true church, and the way of access to God himself. He gives to the man who comes to God by him four choice privileges.

    1. He shall be saved. The fugitive manslayer passed the gate of the city of refuge, and was safe. Noah entered the door of the ark, and was secure. None can be lost who take Jesus as the door of faith to their souls. Entrance through Jesus into peace is the guarantee of entrance by the same door into heaven. Jesus is the only door, an open door, a wide door, a safe door; and blessed is he who rests all his hope of admission to glory upon the crucified Redeemer.

    2. He shall go in. He shall be privileged to go in among the divine family, sharing the children's bread, and participating in all their honours and enjoyments. He shall go in to the chambers of communion, to the banquets of love, to the treasures of the covenant, to the storehouses of the promises. He shall go in unto the King of kings in the power of the Holy Spirit, and the secret of the Lord shall be with him.

    3. He shall go out. This blessing is much forgotten. We go out into the world to labour and suffer, but what a mercy to go in the name and power of Jesus! We are called to bear witness to the truth, to cheer the disconsolate, to warn the careless, to win souls, and to glorify God; and as the angel said to Gideon, “Go in this thy might,” even thus the Lord would have us proceed as his messengers in his name and strength.

    4. He shall find pasture. He who knows Jesus shall never want. Going in and out shall be alike helpful to him: in fellowship with God he shall grow, and in watering others he shall be watered. Having made Jesus his all, he shall find all in Jesus. His soul shall be as a watered garden, and as a well of water whose waters fail not.
     
  18. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    This is a prayer for someone you know that has suffered a break-up with their loved one.

    I know your heart is broken

    And you’re not sure what went wrong,

    So I’m praying for you daily

    That you will not suffer long.

    There are things that you can change

    And things that you cannot;

    With every loss you need to focus

    On what you still have got.

    It hurts when there’s a break-up;

    We can’t deny the pain,

    But the best thing we can do

    Is get up and start again.

    That’s something that’s not easy

    But I will pray until you do—

    Remember every ending

    Is a new beginning too.

    May God be with you as you get over this sad event in your life. In the name of Christ Jesus, I pray. Amen
     
  19. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    “Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened.”

    Isaiah 48:8

    It is painful to remember that, in a certain degree, this accusation may be laid at the door of believers, who too often are in a measure spiritually insensible. We may well bewail ourselves that we do not hear the voice of God as we ought, “Yea, thou heardest not.”

    There are gentle motions of the Holy Spirit in the soul which are unheeded by us: there are whisperings of divine command and of heavenly love which are alike unobserved by our leaden intellects. Alas! we have been carelessly ignorant—“Yea, thou knewest not.” There are matters within which we ought to have seen, corruptions which have made headway unnoticed; sweet affections which are being blighted like flowers in the frost, untended by us; glimpses of the divine face which might be perceived if we did not wall up the windows of our soul.

    But we “have not known.” As we think of it we are humbled in the deepest self-abasement. How must we adore the grace of God as we learn from the context that all this folly and ignorance, on our part, was foreknown by God, and, notwithstanding that foreknowledge, he yet has been pleased to deal with us in a way of mercy! Admire the marvellous sovereign grace which could have chosen us in the sight of all this!

    Wonder at the price that was paid for us when Christ knew what we should be! He who hung upon the cross foresaw us as unbelieving, backsliding, cold of heart, indifferent, careless, lax in prayer, and yet he said, “I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour ... Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life!” O redemption, how wondrously resplendent dost thou shine when we think how black we are! O Holy Spirit, give us henceforth the hearing ear, the understanding heart!
     
  20. beensetfree

    beensetfree Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    She walks up to me and says” Lady, can you spare a dime?” I reach into my coin purse and fish out a coin or two. She says: “Thank you, and may God bless you for your generosity!”

    I watch her closely as she panhandles her way through the throng of Christmas busy shoppers. Not too many people bother to give her a ‘dime’ or even a look of kindness. Who knows why she has chosen this lifestyle but we have not walked in her shoes?

    Later that evening, I see this lady again; sitting close to the dying embers of a fire which the city had closely monitored while the young of the area were having a weiner roast after they sang carols for all to hear.

    This time, this lady was not alone. I notice as I look closer that she has a dog which sits close to her; keeping this lady warm from it’s bodily fur. In my haste, I had not noticed that she carried a white cane which lay along side her on this cold cold night.

    As I think about this situation, I asked myself, “She is not your concern, you cannot take care of all the homeless who sit idly by; taking handouts and letting the world take care of their needs?”

    Oh yes, I think, as I dwell on what my life has been; filled with love of family, friends and coworkers, I must see what I can do to lighten her load.

    I walk up to the lady; introduce myself and ask if she would like to join me in a little Christmas spirit of fellowship by sharing a cup of hot chocolate and a donut.

    If the light on her face could only be mirrored in her eyes, she would have looked like an angel. With outstretched arms, she linked hers in mine while we walked to the closest vendor with Buddy, her charming dog walking close beside her.

    During our short respite; having our treat, I learned that her husband had left her to her own devices when he found out she was losing her vision. She had no family or relatives on whom to depend. Fortunately, she had her Buddy who was like family to her. She found comfort where she could from friends such as I.

    I was able to find housing for her through a friend who owned a small apartment building. My new found friend would be able to receive financial assistance since she now had an address.

    This new found friend of mine was able to read to others through her art of reading with braille when she was escorted to the illiterate, nursing homes,or orphanages. With this tool, she was able to supplement her income. Buddy, her helpmate has endeared himself to one and all. We have become very close over the years and it warms my heart to see how this lady has found a new way of life; no longer homeless.
     

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