14 October, 2012

posted 11 Oct 2012, 09:22 by C S Paul   [ updated 11 Oct 2012, 20:16 ]
14 October, 2012

What Do Angels Look Like?

Like the little old lady who returned your wallet yesterday. 

Like the taxi driver who told you that your eyes light up the world. 

Like the small child who showed you the wonder in simple things. 

Like the poor man who offered to share his lunch with you. 

Like the rich man who showed you that it is really possible, if you only believe. 

Like the stranger that just helped you along when you had lost your way.

Like the friend who touched your heart, when you didn't think you had one. 

ANGELS come in all sizes and shapes, all ages and skin types. 

Some with freckles, dimples, and wrinkles. Disguised as friends, enemies, teachers, students, lovers and fools. 

They don't take life too seriously, they travel light. 

They leave no forwarding addresses, they ask nothing in return. 

They are hard to find with your eyes closed, but when you choose to see, they are everywhere you look. 

So, OPEN YOUR EYES and count all YOUR ANGELS - for you are truly blessed! 

Do You Know Bailey's Jesus?

Provided by Free Christian Content.org

God recently allowed me to see Jesus through the eyes of someone seeing Him for the first time. Having the advantage of knowing how the story ends, we can easily forget the cost of our redemption and the love of our Savior. 

Every year we attend a local church pageant at Christmas time, which tells the story of Jesus from His birth through His resurrection. It is a spectacular event, with live animals and hundreds of cast members in realistic costumes. The magi enter the huge auditorium on llamas from the rear, descending the steps in pomp and majesty. Roman soldiers look huge and menacing in their costumes and makeup.

Of all the years we have attended, one stands out indelibly in my heart. It was the year we took our then three-year-old granddaughter, Bailey, who loves Jesus. She was mesmerized throughout the entire play, not just watching, but involved as if she were a player. She watches as Joseph and Mary travel to the Inn and is thrilled when she sees the baby Jesus in His mother's arms.

When Jesus, on a young donkey, descends the steps from the back of the auditorium, depicting His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Bailey was ecstatic. As he neared our aisle, Bailey began jumping up and down, screaming, "Jesus, Jesus! There's Jesus!" Not just saying the words but exclaiming them with every fiber of her being. She alternated between screaming his name and hugging us. "It's Jesus. Look!" I thought she might actually pass out. Tears filled my eyes as I looked at Jesus through the eyes of a child in love with Him, seeing Him for the first time. How like the blind beggar screaming out in reckless abandon, "Jesus, Jesus!", afraid he might miss Him, not caring what others thought. (Mark 10:46-52) This was so much fun.

Then came the arrest scene. On stage, the soldiers shoved and slapped Jesus as they moved Him from the Garden of Gethsemane to Pilate. Bailey responded as if she were in the crowd of women, with terror and anger. "Stop it!" she screamed. "Bad soldiers, stop it!" As I watched her reaction, I wished we had talked to her before the play. "Bailey, it's ok. They are just pretending."

"They are hurting Jesus! Stop it!" She stood in her seat reacting to each and every move. People around us at first smiled at her reaction, thinking "How cute!". Then they quit smiling and began watching her watch Him. In a most powerful scene, the soldiers lead Jesus carrying the cross down the steps of the auditorium from the back. They were yelling, whipping, and cursing at Jesus, who was bloodied and beaten. Bailey was now hysterical. "Stop it! Soldiers! Stop it," she screamed. She must have been wondering why all these people did nothing. She then began to cry instead of scream. "Jesus, Oh, Jesus!"

People all around us began to weep as we all watch this devoted little disciple see her Jesus beaten and killed as those first century disciples had. Going back and forth between her mother's lap and mine for comfort, she was distraught. I kept saying, "Bailey, it's ok. Jesus is going to be ok. These are just people pretending to be soldiers. She looked at me like I was crazy. In my lap, we talked through the cross and burial. "Watch, Bailey, watch for Jesus!"

The tomb began to tremble and lightening flashed as the stone rolled away. A superbowl touchdown cheer couldn't come close to matching this little one's reaction to the resurrection. "Jesus! He's ok. Mommy, it's Jesus!"

I prayed that she wasn't going to be traumatized by this event, but that she would remember it. I shall never forget it. I shall never forget seeing Jesus' suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection through the eyes of an innocent child.

Following the pageant the actors all assembled in the foyer to be greeted by the audience. As we passed by some of the soldiers Bailey screamed out, "Bad soldier, don't you hurt Jesus." The actor who portrayed Jesus was some distance away surrounded by well-wishers and friends. Bailey broke away from us and ran toward him, wrapping herself around his legs, holding on for dear life. He hugged her and said, "Jesus loves you." He patted her to go away. She wouldn't let go. She kept clinging to Him, laughing and calling His name. She wasn't about to let go of her Jesus.

I think God in heaven stopped whatever was going on that day and made all the angels watch Bailey. "Now, look there! You see what I meant when I said, 'Of such is the kingdom of heaven?'" Bailey's reaction should be our reaction every day. When we think of Him, who He is, what He did for us, and what He offers us, we have to say how can we do anything less than worship Him?

I pray that God will bless each one of you on this day!! 


by Lew Wallace

Part Four

Judah Ben-Hur trains for five years in the Palaestra in Rome and becomes the heir of the deceased Arrius. Judah goes to Antioch on state business. On the voyage, he learns that his real father's chief servant, Simonides, lives in a house in this city, and that his father's possessions had been entrusted to him. He pays a visit to the house and tells his full story to Simonides, who demands more proof. Ben-Hur replies he has no proof, but asks whether they know the fate of Judah's mother and sister. He says he knows nothing and Judah Ben-Hur leaves the house with an apology. Simonides hires his servant Malluch to spy on Judah to see if his story is true and find more information. Malluch meets and befriends Judah in the Grove of Daphne and they go to the games stadium together. There, Ben-Hur finds his old rival Messala racing one of the chariots, preparing for a tournament.

A prosperous Arab of Antioch, Sheik Ilderim, announces that he is looking for a chariot driver to race his team in the coming tournament. Judah, wanting revenge on Messala, decides to drive the sheik's chariot and defeat Messala. Meanwhile, Balthasar and his daughter Iras are sitting at a fountain in the stadium. Messala's chariot nearly hit them but Judah intervenes. Balthasar thanks Ben-Hur and presents him with a gift. Judah heads to Sheik Ilderim's tent. The servant Malluch follows him there, and along the way they talk about the Christ and Malluch relates Balthasar's story of the Magi. They realize that the man rescued at the fountain was the same Balthasar that saw the Christ's birth.

Back at Simonides' house, Esther, Simonides and Malluch talk together, and conclude that Ben-Hur is who he claims to be, and that he is on their side in the fight against Rome.

Messala realizes that Judah Ben-Hur has been adopted into a Roman home and his honor has been restored. He threatens to take revenge.

Meanwhile, Balthasar and his daughter Iras arrive at the Sheik's tent. With Judah they discuss how the Christ, approaching the age of thirty, is ready to enter public ministry. Judah takes increasing interest in the beautiful Iras.

Part Four  Chapter III continued

Ben-Hur looked as he listened, and where the figure of the man should have been in healthful roundness, there was only a formless heap sunk in the depths of the cushions, and covered by a quilted robe of sombre silk. Over the heap shone a head royally proportioned--the ideal head of a statesman and conqueror--a head
broad of base and domelike in front, such as Angelo would have modelled for Caesar. White hair dropped in thin locks over the white brows, deepening the blackness of the eyes shining through them like sullen lights. The face was bloodless, and much puffed with folds, especially under the chin. In other words, the head and face were those of a man who might move the world more readily
than the world could move him--a man to be twice twelve times tortured into the shapeless cripple he was, without a groan,much less a confession; a man to yield his life, but never a purpose or a point; a man born in armor, and assailable only through his loves. To him Ben-Hur stretched his hands, open and palm up, as he would offer peace at the same time he asked it.

"I am Judah, son of Ithamar, late head of the House of Hur, and a prince of Jerusalem."

The merchant's right hand lay outside the robe--a long, thin hand, articulate to deformity with suffering. It closed tightly; otherwise there was not the slightest expression of feeling of any kind on his part; nothing to warrant an inference of
surprise or interest; nothing but this calm answer,

"The princes of Jerusalem, of the pure blood, are always welcome in my house; you are welcome. Give the young man a seat, Esther."

The girl took an ottoman near by, and carried it to Ben-Hur. As she arose from placing the seat, their eyes met.

"The peace of our Lord with you," she said, modestly. "Be seated and at rest."

When she resumed her place by the chair, she had not divined his purpose. The powers of woman go not so far: if the matter is of finer feeling, such as pity, mercy, sympathy, that she detects; and therein is a difference between her and man which will endure as long as she remains, by nature, alive to such feelings. She was simply sure he brought some wound of life for healing.

Ben-Hur did not take the offered seat, but said, deferentially, "I pray the good master Simonides that he will not hold me an intruder. Coming up the river yesterday, I heard he knew my father."

"I knew the Prince Hur. We were associated in some enterprises lawful to merchants who find profit in lands beyond the sea and the desert. But sit, I pray you--and, Esther, some wine for the young man. Nehemiah speaks of a son of Hur who once ruled the half part of Jerusalem; an old house; very old, by the faith!
In the days of Moses and Joshua even some of them found favor in the sight of the Lord, and divided honors with those princes among men. It can hardly be that their descendant, lineally come to us, will refuse a cup of wine-fat of the genuine vine of Sorek, grown on the south hill-sides of Hebron."

By the time of the conclusion of this speech, Esther was before Ben-Hur with a silver cup filled from a vase upon a table a little removed from the chair. She offered the drink with downcast face.

He touched her hand gently to put it away. Again their eyes met; whereat he noticed that she was small, not nearly to his shoulder in height; but very graceful, and fair and sweet of face, with eyes black and inexpressibly soft. She is kind and pretty, he thought, and looks as Tirzah would were she living. Poor Tirzah! Then he said aloud,

"No, thy father--if he is thy father?"--he paused.

"I am Esther, the daughter of Simonides," she said, with dignity.

"Then, fair Esther, thy father, when he has heard my further speech, will not think worse of me if yet I am slow to take his wine of famous extract; nor less I hope not to lose grace in thy sight. Stand thou here with me a moment!"

Both of them, as in common cause, turned to the merchant. "Simonides!" he said, firmly, "my father, at his death, had a trusted servant of thy name, and it has been told me that thou art the man!"

There was a sudden start of the wrenched limbs under the robe, and the thin hand clenched.

"Esther, Esther!" the man called, sternly; "here, not there,as thou art thy mother's child and mine--here, not there, I say!"

The girl looked once from father to visitor; then she replaced the cup upon the table, and went dutifully to the chair. Her countenance sufficiently expressed her wonder and alarm.

Simonides lifted his left hand, and gave it into hers, lying lovingly upon his shoulder, and said, dispassionately, "I have grown old in dealing with men--old before my time. If he who told thee that whereof thou speakest was a friend acquainted with my history, and spoke of it not harshly, he must have persuaded thee that I could not be else than a man distrustful of my kind. The God of Israel help him who, at the end of life, is constrained to acknowledge so much! My loves are few, but they are. One of them is a soul which"--he carried the hand holding his to his lips, in manner unmistakable--"a soul which to this time has been unselfishly mine, and such sweet comfort that, were it taken from me, I would die."

Esther's head drooped until her cheek touched his.

"The other love is but a memory; of which I will say further that, like a benison of the Lord, it hath a compass to contain a whole family, if only"--his voice lowered and trembled--"if only I knew where they were."

Ben-Hur's face suffused, and, advancing a step, he cried, impulsively, "My mother and sister! Oh, it is of them you speak!"

Esther, as if spoken to, raised her head; but Simonides returned to his calm, and answered, coldly, "Hear me to the end. Because I am that I am, and because of the loves of which I have spoken, before I make return to thy demand touching my relations to the Prince Hur, and as something which of right should come first, do thou show me proofs of who thou art. Is thy witness in writing? Or cometh it in person?"

The demand was plain, and the right of it indisputable. Ben-Hur blushed, clasped his hands, stammered, and turned away at loss. Simonides pressed him.

"The proofs, the proofs, I say! Set them before me--lay them in my hands!"

Yet Ben-Hur had no answer. He had not anticipated the requirement; and, now that it was made, to him as never before came the awful fact that the three years in the galley had carried away all the proofs of his identity; mother and sister gone, he did not live in the knowledge of any human being. Many there were acquainted with him, but that was all. Had Quintus Arrius been present, what could he have said more than where he found him, and that he believed the pretender to be the son of Hur? But, as will presently appear in full, the brave Roman sailor was dead. Judah had felt the loneliness before; to the core of life the sense struck him now. He stood, hands clasped, face averted, in stupefaction. Simonides respected his suffering, and waited in silence.

"Master Simonides," he said, at length, "I can only tell my story; and I will not that unless you stay judgment so long, and with good-will deign to hear me."

"Speak," said Simonides, now, indeed, master of the situation--"speak, and I will listen the more willingly that I have not denied you to be the very person you claim yourself."

Ben-Hur proceeded then, and told his life hurriedly, yet with the feeling which is the source of all eloquence; but as we are familiar with it down to his landing at Misenum, in company with Arrius, returned victorious from the AEgean, at that point we will take up the words.

"My benefactor was loved and trusted by the emperor, who heaped him with honorable rewards. The merchants of the East contributed magnificent presents, and he became doubly rich among the rich of Rome. May a Jew forget his religion? or his birthplace, if it were the Holy Land of our fathers? The good man adopted me his son by formal rites of law; and I strove to make him just return:
no child was ever more dutiful to father than I to him. He would have had me a scholar; in art, philosophy, rhetoric, oratory, he would have furnished me the most famous teacher. I declined his insistence, because I was a Jew, and could not forget the Lord God, or the glory of the prophets, or the city set on the
hills by David and Solomon. Oh, ask you why I accepted any of the benefactions of the Roman? I loved him; next place, I thought with his help, array influences which would enable me one day to unseal the mystery close-locking the fate of my mother and sister; and to these there was yet another motive of which I shall not speak except to say it controlled me so far that I devoted myself to arms,
and the acquisition of everything deemed essential to thorough knowledge of the art of war. In the palaestrae and circuses of the city I toiled, and in the camps no less; and in all of them I have a name, but not that of my fathers. The crowns I won--and on the walls of the villa by Misenum there are many of them--all came to me as the son of Arrius, the duumvir. In that relation only am I known among Romans.... In steadfast pursuit of my secret aim, I left Rome for Antioch, intending to accompany the Consul Maxentius in the campaign he is organizing against the Parthians. Master of personal skill in all arms, I seek now the higher knowledge pertaining to the conduct of bodies of men in the field. The consul has admitted me one of his military family. But yesterday, as our ship entered the Orontes, two other ships sailed in with us flying yellow flags. A fellow-passenger
and countryman from Cyprus explained that the vessels belonged to Simonides, the master-merchant of Antioch; he told us, also, who the merchant was; his marvellous success in commerce; of his fleets and caravans, and their coming and going; and, not knowing I had interest in the theme beyond my associate listeners, he said Simonides was a Jew, once the servant of the Prince Hur; nor did he conceal the cruelties of Gratus, or the purpose of their infliction."

At this allusion Simonides bowed his head, and, as if to help him conceal his feelings and her own deep sympathy, the daughter hid her face on his neck. Directly he raised his eyes, and said, in a clear voice, "I am listening."

"O good Simonides!" Ben-Hur then said, advancing a step, his whole soul seeking expression, "I see thou art not convinced, and that yet I stand in the shadow of thy distrust."

The merchant held his features fixed as marble, and his tongue as still.

"And not less clearly, I see the difficulties of my position," Ben-Hur continued. "All my Roman connection I can prove; I have only to call upon the consul, now the guest of the governor of the city; but I cannot prove the particulars of thy demand upon me. I cannot prove I am my father's son. They who could serve me
in that--alas! they are dead or lost."

He covered his face with his hands; whereupon Esther arose, and, taking the rejected cup to him, said, "The wine is of the country we all so love. Drink, I pray thee!"

The voice was sweet as that of Rebekah offering drink at the well near Nahor the city; he saw there were tears in her eyes, and he drank, saying, "Daughter of Simonides, thy heart is full of goodness; and merciful art thou to let the stranger share it with thy father. Be thou blessed of our God! I thank thee."

Then he addressed himself to the merchant again:

"As I have no proof that I am my father's son, I will withdraw that I demanded of thee, O Simonides, and go hence to trouble you no more; only let me say I did not seek thy return to servitude nor account of thy fortune; in any event, I would have said, as now I say, that all which is product of thy labor and genius is thine;
keep it in welcome. I have no need of any part thereof. When the good Quintus, my second father, sailed on the voyage which was his last, he left me his heir, princely rich. If, therefore, thou cost think of me again, be it with remembrance of this question, which, as I do swear by the prophets and Jehovah, thy God and mine, was the chief purpose of my coming here: What cost thou know--what canst thou tell me--of my mother and Tirzah, my sister--she who should be in
beauty and grace even as this one, thy sweetness of life, if not thy very life? Oh! what canst thou tell me of them?"

The tears ran down Esther's cheeks; but the man was wilful: in a clear voice, he replied,

"I have said I knew the Prince Ben-Hur. I remember hearing of the misfortune which overtook his family. I remember the bitterness with which I heard it. He who wrought such misery to the widow of my friend is the same who, in the same spirit, hath since wrought upon me. I will go further, and say to you, I have made diligent quest concerning the family, but--I have nothing to tell you of
them. They are lost."

Ben-Hur uttered a great groan.

"Then--then it is another hope broken!" he said, struggling with his feelings. "I am used to disappointments. I pray you pardon my intrusion; and if I have occasioned you annoyance, forgive it because of my sorrow. I have nothing now to live for but vengeance. Farewell."

At the curtain he turned, and said, simply, "I thank you both."

"Peace go with you," the merchant said.

Esther could not speak for sobbing.

And so he departed.

to be continued


Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his room-mate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Then unexpectedly, a sinister thought entered his mind. Why should the other man alone experience all the pleasures of seeing everything while he himself never got to see anything? It didn't seem fair. At first thought the man felt ashamed. But as the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and he found himself unable to sleep. He should be by that window - that thought, and only that thought now controlled his life.

Late one night as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room he never moved, never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse running in. In less than five minutes the coughing and choking stopped, along with that the sound of breathing. Now there was only silence-deathly silence.

The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window, she was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take it away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped

himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

Epilogue. . . . You can interpret the story in any way you like. But one moral stands out: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can't buy.


Power of Positive Thinking

 by Norman Vincent Peale

Chapter 9 - continued

Strategy must be used in the campaign against the worry habit. A frontal attack on the main body of worry with the expectation of conquering it may prove difficult. Perhaps a more adroit plan is to conquer the outer fortifications one by one, gradually closing in on the main position.

To change the figure, it might be well to snip off the little worries on the farthest branches of your fear. Then work back and finally destroy the main trunk of worry.

At my farm it was necessary to take down a large tree, much to my regret. Cutting down a great old tree is fraught with sadness. Men came with a motor-driven saw and I expected them to start by cutting through the main trunk near the ground. Instead, they put up ladders and began snipping off the small branches, then the larger ones, and finally the top of the tree. Then all that remained was the huge central trunk, and in a few moments my tree lay neatly stacked as though it had not spent fifty years in growing.

"If we had cut the tree at the ground before trimming off the branches, it would have broken nearby trees in falling. It is easier to handle a tree the smaller you can make it," so explained the tree man.

The vast tree of worry which over long years has grown up in your personality can best be handled by making it as small as possible. Thus it is advisable to snip off the little worries and expressions of worry. For example, reduce the number of worry words in your conversation. Words maybe the result of worry, but they also create worry. When a worry thought comes to mind, immediately remove it with a faith thought and expression. For example: "I'm worried that I will miss the train." Then start early enough to be sure you get there on time. The less worrying you do, the more likely you are to start promptly, for the uncluttered mind is systematic and is able to regulate time.

As you snip off these small worries you will gradually cut back to the main trunk of worry. Then with your developed greater power you will be able to eliminate basic worry, i.e.,the worry habit, from your life.

My friend Dr. Daniel A. Poling gives a valuable suggestion.

He says that every morning before he arises he repeats these two words, "I believe," three times. Thus at the day's beginning he conditions his mind to faith, and it never leaves him. His mind accepts the conviction that by faith he is going to overcome his problems and difficulties during the day. He starts the day with creative positive thoughts in his mind. He "believes," and it is very difficult to hold back the man who believes.

I related Dr. Poling's "I believe" technique in a radio talk and had a letter from a woman who told me that she had not been very faithful to her religion which happened to be the Jewish faith. She said their home was filled with contention,bickering, worry, and unhappiness. Her husband, she declared, "drank far too much for his own good" and sat around all day doing no work. He weakly complained that he couldn't find a job. This woman's mother-in-law lived with her and the latter "whined and complained of her aches and pains all the while."

This woman said that Dr. Poling's method impressed her and she decided to try it herself. So the next morning upon awakening she affirmed, "I believe, I believe, I believe." In her letter she excitedly reported, "It has been only ten days since I started this plan and my husband came home last night and told me he had a job paying $80 a week. And he also says that he is going to quit drinking. I believe he means it. What is even more wonderful, my mother-in-law has practically stopped complaining of her aches and pains. It is almost as if a miracle has happened in this house. My worries seem to have just about disappeared."

That does indeed seem almost magical, and yet that miracle happens every day to people who shift over from negative fear thoughts to positive faith thoughts and attitudes.

My good friend, the late Howard Chandler Christy, the artist, had many a sound anti-worry technique. Scarcely ever have I known a man so filled with the joy and delight of life. He had an indomitable quality, and his happiness was infectious.

My church has a policy of having the minister's portrait painted sometime during his pastorate. This portrait hangs in the minister's home until his death, when it reverts to the church and is placed in a gallery along with pictures of his predecessors. It is usually the policy of the Board of Elders and Deacons to have a portrait painted when in their wise judgment the minister is at the height of his good looks (mine was painted several years ago).

While sitting for Mr. Christy, I asked, "Howard, don't you ever worry?"

He laughed. "No, not on your life. I don't believe in it."

"Well," I commented, "that is quite a simple reason for not worrying. In fact, it seems to me too simple—you just don't believe in it, therefore you don't do it. Haven't you ever worried?" I asked.

He replied, "Well, yes, I tried it once. I noticed that everybody else seemed to worry and I figured I must be missing something, so one day I made up my mind to try it. I set aside a day and said, 'That is to be my worry day.' I decided I would investigate this worry business and do some worrying just to see what it was like.

"The night before the day came I went to bed early to get a good night's sleep to be rested up to do a good job of worrying the next day. In the morning I got up, ate a good breakfast—for you can't worry successfully on an empty stomach—and then decided to get to my worrying. Well, I tried my best to worry until along about noon, but I just couldn't make heads nor tails of it. It didn't make sense to me, so I just gave it up."

He laughed one of those infectious laughs of his.

"But," I said, "you must have some other method of overcoming worry." He did indeed, and it is perhaps the best method of all.

"Every morning I spend fifteen minutes filling my mind full of God," he said. "When your mind is full of God, there is no room for worry. I fill my mind full of God every day and I have the time of my life all day long."

Howard Christy was a great artist with a brush, but he was an equally great artist with life because he was able to take a great truth and simplify it down to its basic fact, namely, that only that comes out of the mind which originally you put into the mind. Fill the mind with thoughts of God rather than with thoughts of fear, and you will get back thoughts of faith and courage.

Worry is a destructive process of occupying the mind with thoughts contrary to God's love and care. Basically that is all worry is. The cure is to fill the mind with thoughts of God's power, His protection, and His goodness. So spend fifteen minutes daily filling your mind full of God. Cram your mind full of the "I believe philosophy," and you will have no mental room left to accommodate thoughts of worry and lack of faith.

Many people fail to overcome such troubles as worry because, unlike Howard Christy, they allow the problem to seem complicated and do not attack it with some simple technique. It is surprising how our most difficult personal problems often yield to an uncomplicated methodology. This is due to the fact that it is not enough to know what to do about difficulties. We must also know how to do that which should be done.

The secret is to work out a method of attack and keep working it. There is value in doing something that dramatizes to our own minds that an effective counter attack is in process. In so doing we bring spiritual forces to bear upon the problem in a manner both understandable and usable. 

to be continued

Did You Know ?

  • In a 1631 edition of the King James Bible – in Exodus 20 verse 14 – the word “not” was left out, changing the 7th commandment to read – “Thou shalt commit adultery.” See: Printing errors in the Bible
  • The raven is the first bird mention in the Bible. It appears in Genesis 8:7, when it is sent out from the ark by Noah to see if the flood waters have abated. The second bird was a dove, in verse 8.
  • Almonds and pistachios are the only nuts mentioned in the Bible.
  • A chariot imported from Egypt cost around 600 shekels of silver (1 Kings 10:29). That would be about $77,000. One shekel was 4 days wages.
  • Methuselah is the oldest man on record: 969 years old (Genesis 5:27).
  • Of the 1.5 billion Islam followers, 1 billion follow Sunni Islam. Shi’ite Muslims number approximately 125 million.
  • Some 200 mosques in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, point the wrong way for prayers.
  • The only government-authorized ideology in North Korea is Juche, which began in the 1950s.
  • The word agnostic was coined by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1860 – although the agnostic concept is centuries old.
  • The word Islam means “submission,” derived from the Arab word for peace, salaam.
  • Hinduism, the world’s third largest religion, is the oldest organized religion.
  • Zoroastrianism is known as the world’s oldest prophetic religion. It was started by Zarathustra some 8 000 years ago. At first a dualistic religion, it is considered by some to later have become the first monotheist religion. Others consider the pharaoh Ikhnaton (Anibgiteo IV, rule 1353 BC – 1336 BC) – aka Akhenaten – the first monotheist when he claimed his god, Aton, as the only god; that was 700 years before the Jews became total monotheists and 1 300 years before the time of Jesus.
  • The last word in the Bible is AMEN.

Just for Laughs

The Meaning of Dreams.

A young woman woke up one morning and told her husband, "I just dreamed that you gave me a pearl necklace for Valentine's Day. What do you think it means?"

"You'll know tonight," he said.

That evening the man came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it, only to find a book entitled, The Meaning of Dreams.

How can I Get There ?

The kid wants to help so he very politely says, "Oh sure, down three blocks, make a right, 2 blocks make a left and it's in the next block on your right."

The preacher is moved by this kind of friendship to a newcomer like himself so he says, "son, how'd you like me to tell you how you can get to Heaven?"

At this the kid laughs slightly and says, "How you gonna do that, you can't even find First Baptist?"