LAUGH, TALK, OR THINK
A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later. As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. Mom taught me to love the Word of God. Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spellbound for hours each evening. He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Mom and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars. The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn't seem to mind, but sometimes Mom would quietly get up - while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places - and go to her room to read her Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave. You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt an obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house - not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four-letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in his home - not even for cooking. But the stranger felt he needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (too much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man/woman relationship were influenced by the stranger. As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave. More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. But if I were to walk into my parents' den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name? We always called him......... TV.
-Unfortunately, this story's source is unknown.
TWO LITTLE BOYS
A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town their two young sons were in some way involved.
The parents were at their wits end as to what to do about their sons' behavior. The mother had heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if he thought they should send the boys to speak with the clergyman.
The husband said, 'We might as well. We need to do something before I really lose my temper!' The clergyman agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The 8 year old went to meet with him first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked him sternly,'Where is God?'
The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, 'Where is God?' Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face, 'WHERE IS GOD?'
At that the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home, slamming himself in the closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and asked what had happened. The younger brother replied, 'We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it.'
12 Things Satan Does to Get Victory Over Christians
Satan said to a convention of Demons, "As long as Christians stay close to God, we have no power over them. So here are 12 things you can do to get victory over Christians."
1) Keep them busy with non-essentials.
2) Tempt them to overspend and go into debt.
3) Make them work long hours to maintain empty life styles.
4) Discourage them from spending family time together, for when their homes disintegrate there is not refuge from work.
5) Over stimulate their minds with television and computers, so they can't hear God speaking to them.
6) Fill their coffee tables and nightstands with newspapers and magazines so they have no time to read the Bible.
7) Flood their mailboxes with sweepstakes promotions and get rich quick schemes to keep them chasing material things.
8) Put glamour models on TV and on magazine covers to keep them focused on outward appearances. That way they will be dissatisfied with themselves and dissatisfied with their mates.
9) Make sure couples are too exhausted for physical intimacy so they will be tempted to look elsewhere.
10) Make Santa and the Easter bunny bigger than Jesus to divert them from remembering the real meaning of the holiday.
11) Involve them in good causes so they won't have time for eternal ones.
12) Make them self-satisfied. Keep them busy working in their own strength so they'll never know the joy of God's power working through them.
Remember my demons, keep them busy, busy, BUSY! Because we know what it stands for ~
B = Being
U = Under
S = Satan's
Y = Yoke
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. I Peter 5:8
~ Bob Gass
The Poor People
One day a father and his rich family took his son to a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night in the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"
"Very good Dad!"
"Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked.
"And what did you learn?"
The son answered, "I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden, they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden, they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard, they have a whole horizon."
When the little boy was finishing, his father was speechless.
His son added, "Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are!"
One day, God was looking down at Earth and saw all of the rascally behavior that was going on. He decided to send an angel down to Earth to check it out. So, he called one of His angels and sent the angel to Earth for a time.
When he returned, he told God, "Yes, it is bad on Earth; 95% are misbehaving and 5% are not."
God thought for a moment and said, "Maybe I had better send down a second angel to get another opinion." So God called another angel and sent him to Earth for a time too.
When the angel returned he went to God and said, "Yes, it's true. The Earth is in decline; 95% are misbehaving and 5% are being good."
God was not pleased. So, He decided to e-mail the 5% that were good, because He wanted to encourage them, give them a little something to help them keep going.
Do you know what that e-mail said?
Oh, so you didn't get one either?
Is It Only Words?
The two cars were waiting at a stoplight. The light turned green, but the man didn't notice it. A woman in the car behind him is watching traffic pass around them.
The woman begins pounding on her steering wheel and yelling at the man to move. The man doesn't move. The woman is going ballistic inside her car, ranting and raving at the man, pounding on her steering wheel and dash. The light turns yellow.
The woman begins to blow the car horn, flips him off, and scream curses at the man. The man, hearing the commotion, looks up, sees the yellow light and accelerates through the intersection just as the light turns red.
The woman is beside herself, screaming in frustration as she misses her chance to get through the intersection. As she is still in mid-rant she hears a tap on her window and looks up into the barrel of a gun held by a very serious looking policeman.
The policeman tells her to shut off her car while keeping both hands in sight. She complies, speechless at what is happening.
After she shuts off the engine, the policeman orders her to exit her car with her hands up. She gets out of the car and he orders her to turn and place her hands on her car. She turns, places her hands on the car roof and quickly is cuffed and hustled into the patrol car.
She is too bewildered by the chain of events to ask any questions and is driven to the police station where she is fingerprinted, photographed, searched, booked and placed
in a cell.
After a couple of hours, a policeman approaches the cell and opens the door for her. She is escorted back to the booking desk where the original officer is waiting with her personal effects.
He hands her the bag containing her things, and says, "I'm really sorry for this mistake. But you see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping that guy off, and cussing a blue streak at the car in front of you, and then I noticed the "Choose Life" license plate holder, the "What Would Jesus Do" and "Follow Me to
Sunday School" bumper stickers, and the chrome plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, so naturally I assumed you had stolen the car."
An inexperienced preacher was to hold a graveside burial service at a pauper's cemetery for an indigent man with no family or friends. Not knowing where the cemetery was, he made several wrong turns and got lost. When he eventually arrived an hour late, the hearse was nowhere in sight, the backhoe was next to the open hole, and the workmen were sitting under a tree eating lunch.
The diligent young pastor went to the open grave and found the vault lid already in place. Feeling guilty because of his tardiness, he preached an impassioned and lengthy service, sending the deceased to the great beyond in style.
As he returned to his car, he overheard one of the workman say to the other, "I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years and I ain't never seen anything like that."
Interview with God
I asked : "What's the one thing that surprises you most about mankind?"
He answered: "That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again.
That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health.
That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future.
That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived..."
His hands took mine and we were silent.
After a long period, I said, "May I ask you another question?"
He replied with a smile.
"As a Father, what would you ask your children to do for the new year?"
"To learn that what is most valuable is not what they have in their lives, but who they have in their lives.
To learn that a rich person is not one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.
To learn that they should control their attitudes, otherwise their attitudes will control them.
To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them.
To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.
To learn that there are persons that love them dearly, but simply do not know how to show their feelings.
To learn that money can buy everything but happiness.
To learn that while at times they may be entitled to be upset, that does not give them the right to upset those around them.
To learn that great reams do not require great wings, but a landing gear, to achieve.
To learn that true friends are scarce; he/she who has found one has found a true treasure.
To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they forgive themselves.
To learn that they are masters of what they keep to themselves and slaves of what they say.
To learn that they shall reap what they plant; if they plant gossip they will harvest intrigues; if they plant love they will harvest happiness.
To learn that true happiness is not to achieve their goals, but to learn to be satisfied with what they already achieved.
To learn that happiness is a decision. They decide to be happy with what they are and have, or die from envy and jealousy of what they lack.
To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see something totally different.
To learn that those who are honest with themselves without considering the consequences go far in life.
To learn that even though they may think they have nothing to give, when a friend cries with them, they find the strength to appease the pain.
To learn that by trying to hold on to loved ones, they very quickly push them away; and by letting go of those they love, they will be side by side forever.
To learn that even though the word "love" has many different meanings, it loses value when it is overstated.
To learn that they can never do something extraordinary for Me to love them; I simply do.
To learn that the shortest distance they could be from Me is the distance of a prayer." God bless.
Do It Anyways
"People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway."
~ Mother Teresa
A Sunday school teacher was asking her students some questions after a series of lessons on God's omnipotence. She asked, "Is there anything God can't do?"
All was silent. Finally, one boy held up his hand.
The teacher, on seeing this, was disappointed that they had missed the point of the lesson. She sighed and asked, "Well, what is it you think God can't do?"
The boy replied, "He can't please everybody."
A form of worship is prayer
What is prayer? Prayer is communicating with the Godhead; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Prayer is having a loving relationship with the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Prayer is talking to God. It’s as simple as that.
Some people believe that prayer is complicated. How do I pray? What should I say? Prayer is not difficult. Think of prayer as if you’re speaking with your best friend. God wants us to communicate with Him. He loves interacting with us. He loves for us to include Him in every part of our lives.
It’s not enough to know about God, to know that He exists. Having a deep and personal relationship with Him makes all the difference in your life. When you are a child of God, He hears your prayers.
You can pray in church, in a group, or by yourself. You can pray anywhere and at anytime. You can pray silently or out loud. Pray in faith and hope. Pray without doubting. Pray with the right motives.
The most important thing is having that special time with the Creator. It’s the time you acknowledge His magnificence, confess your sins, give thanks for all His blessings upon your life, and the time to express your love for Him. It’s the time you share your concerns, your desires, and your needs in your everyday life.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (Philippians 4:6 NLT)
Prayer should not be done for show. When alone, go to a private place where there are no distractions and spend quality time with your heavenly Father. Having that one on one time with God is crucial in our daily lives. You can hear His voice through His Word, or through His still small voice.
“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6 NLT)
Worshiping God through prayer brings us closer to Him. It changes us. It changes our lives. It changes our circumstances. It gives us peace. It gives us joy. It strengthens us. It builds our faith.
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you...” (James 4:8 NLT)
God answers our prayers in three ways; YES..WAIT..or NO..(I've got something better!) It’s the waiting that can be the hardest, but God’s timing is always perfect.
Sometimes the answer to our prayers is hindered because we are walking in sin. If you feel this is happening to you, ask the Lord to reveal anything in your life that is not pleasing to Him. God will make you aware of your sins so that you may confess them and repent. Then trust that He will answer your prayers.
One day, a man went to visit a church. He arrived early, parked his car, and got out. Another car pulled up near him, and the driver told him, "I always park there. You took my place!"
The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat, and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, "That's my seat! You took my place!"
The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.
After Sunday School, the visitor went into the church sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, "That's where I always sit. You took my place!"
The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still said nothing.
Later, as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood, and his appearance began to change.
Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, "What happened to you?"
The visitor replied, "I took your place."
I hope that I will always be for each person
what he or she needs me to be.
I hope that each person's death will diminish me,
but that fear of my own will never diminish my joy of life.
I hope that my love for those whom I like will never lessen
my love for those whom I do not.
I hope that another person's love for me will never
be a measure of my love for him or her.
I hope that everybody will accept me as I am,
but that I never will.
I hope that I will always ask for forgiveness from others,
but will never need to be asked for my own . . .
I hope that I will always recognize my limitations,
but that I will construct none.
I hope that loving will always be my goal,
but that love will never be my idol.
I hope that everyone will always have hope.
FUNNY CHURCH BULLETIN BLOOPERS
Thank you dead friends.
Thank you Steve, who once again has worked hard to clean the pastor off the basement floor.
The ‘Over 60s Choir’ will be disbanded for the summer with the thanks of the entire church.
The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.
Attend and you will hear an excellent speaker and heave a healthy lunch.
Newsletters are not being sent to absentees because of their weight.
Jean will be leading a weight-management series Wednesday nights. She's used the program herself and has been growing like crazy!
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
Maundy Thursday service: The ladies of the altar guild will be stripping on the altar.
The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
Hymn: I Need Three Every Hour
Hymn of Response: Crown Him With Many Cows
Visitors are asked to sing their names at the church entrance.
Stewardship Offertory: "Jesus Paid It All"
The Rector will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing ‘Break Forth into Joy.’
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
Miss Charlene Mason sang ‘I will not pass this way again, giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
If you need to heave during the Postlude, please do so quietly.
Next Thursday, there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
The ‘Over 60s Choir’ will be disbanded for the summer with the thanks of the entire church.
Applications are now being accepted for 2 year-old nursery workers.
For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
Announcement to the Moms Who Care ladies group: There will be no Moms who care this week.
The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM . The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
Ice Cream For The Soul
Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, "God is good. God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen."
Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice-cream! Why, I never! "Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?" As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer." "Really?" my son asked. "Cross my heart."
Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."
Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and without a word walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, "Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes, and my soul is good already.
A Little Girl’s Miracle
A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet.
She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully.
Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes.
Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.
She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!
'And what do you want?' the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages,' he said without waiting for a reply to his question.
'Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,' Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone.. 'He's really, really sick .. and I want to buy a miracle.'
'I beg your pardon?' said the pharmacist.
'His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?'
'We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you,' the pharmacist said, softening a little.
'Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.'
The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, 'What kind of a miracle does your brother need?'
' I don't know,' Tess replied with her eyes welling up. 'I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money.'
'How much do you have?' asked the man from Chicago .
'One dollar and eleven cents,' Tess answered barely audibly.
'And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.'
'Well, what a coincidence,' smiled the man. 'A dollar and eleven cents - the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.'
He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said 'Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents.. Let's see if I have the miracle you need.'
That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.
'That surgery,' her Mom whispered. 'was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?'
Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost ... one dollar and eleven cents plus the faith of a little child.
A Breath of Prayer
A breath of prayer in the morning
Means a day of blessing sure.
A breath of prayer in the evening
Means a night of rest secure.
A breath of prayer in our weakness
Means a clasp of a mighty hand.
A breath of prayer when we're lonely
Means Someone to understand.
A breath of prayer in our doubting
Assures us the Lord knows best.
A breath of prayer in our sorrows
Means comfort and peace and rest.
A breath of prayer in rejoicing
Gives joy and added delight;
For they that remember God's goodness
Go singing far into the night.
There's never a year or a season
That prayer may not bless every hour
And never a soul need be helpless
When linked with God's infinite power.
Francis McKinnon Morton