18 November, 2012

posted 15 Nov 2012, 19:08 by C S Paul

18 November, 2012

God's Cover Letter

To Whom It May Concern....

I heard you were considering a new manager for your life. I would like to apply for the job.

I believe I am the most qualified candidate applying. I am the only one that has ever done this job successfully. I was the first manager of life. In fact, I made all lives, so naturally I know how humanity works, and what is best to get people back into proper working condition. Hiring me will be exactly like having the manufacturer as your personal mechanic.

If this is your first time considering me, I would just like to point out that my salary has already been paid by my son, Jesus on the cross of Calvary. This salary covers the time prior to my hiring as well as my present and future employment.

If you decide to hire me I will need to receive from you an acknowledgment that you erred in not hiring me sooner. I understand this is a strange requirement, but since you violated the manufacturer's warrantee by placing your being under inferior management, this is a necessary prerequist to my engagement.

Lastly, I will require a carte blanche (a blank check) to reorganizing and managing your life. I intend to make some major changes and revisions. They are not for you to worry about. I need your permission to execute these changes, My way and in My time. I will establish new goals and objectives and restructure your life to meet these requirements. Please keep your hands out of the way. Don't try to help me and don't resist me and we will get along fine. I really do need your full commitment and cooperation in this. If you give me those, the process of getting your life back to manufacturer's intentions can go smoothly, without delays. I assure you: you will be pleased with the outcome.

I will require a verbal contract to all these stipulations in the presence of witnesses.


Yours
Sincerely, GOD

P.S. I created the heavens and the earth. I AM.

BELOW IS MY RESUME...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

GOD Everywhere All over, Every Place ~ Phone: (123) 456-PRAY

EXPERIENCE From the beginning of time. Before the beginning of time. From everlasting to everlasting. I made time.

ABILITY All Powerful

PRIOR EMPLOYMENT Created the universe, put the galaxies in place, formed man. Established heaven and earth by My spoken Word and am currently holding up the world by My power.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING: I AM and I have all knowledge.

CHARACTER REFERENCE: Love, light, and life (1 John 4:16, 1 John 1:5, John 14:6). A representative, but by no means conclusive list of other character traits follows: Wisdom (James 1:5), Comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3), Truth (John 8:32), Healer (1 Peter 2:24), Strength (Phil. 4:13), Forgiveness (1 John 1:9), Provider (Phil. 4:19), Mercy (Ephesians 2:24), Good (Matthew 19:17), Peace (Romans 14:17).

AVAILABILITY Willing and ready to take over your life. Able to put your life together again. Will bring all of who I AM into your life. Can start now.

SALARY REQUIREMENT: Work in your life has already been paid for through the blood of My Son, Jesus. Your only responsibility is to commit initially and on a daily basis. To trust and obey what Jesus has done and wants to do in your life.

Other references available upon request.


“I love you and I wish you enough.”

The following anonymous email has circulated on the Internet:

Recently I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure.

Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, “I love you and I wish you enough.”

The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.”

They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?”

“I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is—the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.

“When you were saying goodbye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May I ask what that means?”

She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations” … “When we said, ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.”

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger …

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.”


BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST 

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 V continued

Rearward of the structure which graced the entrance-way--a purely Grecian pile--he stood upon a broad esplanade paved with polished stone; around him a restless exclamatory multitude, in gayest colors, relieved against the iridescent spray flying crystal-white from fountains; before him, off to the southwest, dustless paths radiated out into a garden, and beyond that into a forest, over which rested a veil of pale-blue vapor. Ben-Hur gazed wistfully,uncertain where to go. A woman that moment exclaimed,

"Beautiful! But where to now?"

Her companion, wearing a chaplet of bays, laughed and answered, "Go to, thou pretty barbarian! The question implies an earthly fear; and did we not agree to leave all such behind in Antioch with the rusty earth? The winds which blow here are respirations of the gods. Let us give ourselves to waftage of the winds."

"But if we should get lost?"

"O thou timid! No one was ever lost in Daphne, except those on whom her gates close forever."

"And who are they?" she asked, still fearful.

"Such as have yielded to the charms of the place and chosen it for life and death. Hark! Stand we here, and I will show you of whom I speak."

Upon the marble pavement there was a scurry of sandalled feet; the crowd opened, and a party of girls rushed about the speaker and his fair friend, and began singing and dancing to the tabrets they themselves touched. The woman, scared, clung to the man, who put an arm about her, and, with kindled face, kept time to the music with the other hand overhead. The hair of the dancers floated free, and their limbs blushed through the robes of gauze which scarcely draped them. Words may not be used to tell of the voluptuousness of the dance. One brief round, and they darted off through the yielding crowd lightly as they had come.

"Now what think you?" cried the man to the woman.

"Who are they?" she asked.

"Devadasi--priestesses devoted to the Temple of Apollo. There is an army of them. They make the chorus in celebrations. This is their home. Sometimes they wander off to other cities, but all they make is brought here to enrich the house of the divine musician. Shall we go now?"

Next minute the two were gone.

Ben-Hur took comfort in the assurance that no one was ever lost in Daphne, and he, too, set out--where, he knew not.

A sculpture reared upon a beautiful pedestal in the garden attracted him first. It proved to be the statue of a centaur. An inscription informed the unlearned visitor that it exactly represented Chiron, the beloved of Apollo and Diana, instructed by them in the mysteries of hunting, medicine, music, and prophecy. The inscription also bade the stranger look out at a certain part of the heavens, at a certain hour of the clear night, and he would behold the dead alive among the stars, whither Jupiter had transferred the good genius.

The wisest of the centaurs continued, nevertheless, in the service of mankind. In his hand he held a scroll, on which, graven in Greek, were paragraphs of a notice:
                          "O Traveller!
                      "Art thou a stranger?

"I. Hearken to the singing of the brooks, and fear not the rain of the fountains; so will the Naiades learn to love thee.

"II. The invited breezes of Daphne are Zephyrus and Auster; gentle ministers of life, they will gather sweets for thee; when Eurus blows, Diana is elsewhere hunting; when Boreas blusters, go hide, for Apollo is angry.

"III. The shades of the Grove are thine in the day; at night they belong to Pan and his Dryades. Disturb them not.

"IV. Eat of the Lotus by the brooksides sparingly, unless thou wouldst have surcease of memory, which is to become a child of Daphne.

"V. Walk thou round the weaving spider--'tis Arachne at work for Minerva.

"VI. Wouldst thou behold the tears of Daphne, break but a bud from a laurel bough--and die.
                            "Heed thou!
                      "And stay and be happy."

Ben-Hur left the interpretation of the mystic notice to others fast enclosing him, and turned away as the white bull was led by. The boy sat in the basket, followed by a procession; after them again, the woman with the goats; and behind her the flute and tabret players, and another procession of gift-bringers.

"Whither go they?" asked a bystander.

Another made answer, "The bull to Father Jove; the goat--"

"Did not Apollo once keep the flocks of Admetus?"

"Ay, the goat to Apollo!"

The goodness of the reader is again besought in favor of an explanation. A certain facility of accommodation in the matter of religion comes to us after much intercourse with people of a different faith; gradually we attain the truth that every creed is illustrated by good men who are entitled to our respect, but whom
we cannot respect without courtesy to their creed. To this point Ben-Hur had arrived. Neither the years in Rome nor those in the galley had made any impression upon his religious faith; he was yet a Jew. In his view, nevertheless, it was not an impiety to look for the beautiful in the Grove of Daphne.

The remark does not interdict the further saying, if his scruples had been ever so extreme, not improbably he would at this time have smothered them. He was angry; not as the irritable, from chafing of a trifle; nor was his anger like the fool's, pumped from the wells of nothing, to be dissipated by a reproach or a curse; it was the wrath peculiar to ardent natures rudely awakened by the sudden
annihilation of a hope--dream, if you will--in which the choicest happinesses were thought to be certainly in reach. In such case nothing intermediate will carry off the passion--the quarrel is with Fate.

Let us follow the philosophy a little further, and say to ourselves, it were well in such quarrels if Fate were something tangible, to be despatched with a look or a blow, or a speaking personage with whom high words were possible; then the unhappy mortal would not always end the affair by punishing himself.

In ordinary mood, Ben-Hur would not have come to the Grove alone, or, coming alone, he would have availed himself of his position in the consul's family, and made provision against wandering idly about, unknowing and unknown; he would have had all the points of interest in mind, and gone to them under guidance, as in the despatch of business; or, wishing to squander days of leisure in the beautiful place, he would have had in hand a letter to the master of it all, whoever he might be. This would have made him a sightseer, like the shouting herd he was accompanying; whereas he had no reverence for the deities of the Grove, nor curiosity; a man in the blindness of bitter disappointment, he was adrift, not waiting for Fate, but seeking it as a desperate challenger.

Every one has known this condition of mind, though perhaps not all in the same degree; every one will recognize it as the condition in which he has done brave things with apparent serenity; and every one reading will say, Fortunate for Ben-Hur if the folly which now catches him is but a friendly harlequin with whistle and painted cap, and not some Violence with a pointed sword pitiless.

to be continued


Mom's Last Laugh

 

Consumed by my loss, I didn't notice the hardness of the pew where I sat. I was at the funeral of my dearest friend -- my mother. She finally had lost her long battle with cancer. The hurt was so intense, I found it hard to breathe at times. Always supportive, Mother clapped loudest at my school plays, held a box of tissues while listening to my first heartbreak, comforted me at my father's death, encouraged me in college, and prayed for me my entire life. 

When Mother's illness was diagnosed, my sister had a new baby and my brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart, so it fell on me, the 27-year-old middle child without entanglements, to take care of her.

I counted it an honor.

"What now, Lord?" I asked sitting in church. My life stretched out before me as an empty abyss. My brother sat stoically with his face toward the cross while clutching his wife's hand. My sister sat slumped against her husband's shoulder, his arms around her as she cradled their child. 

All so deeply grieving, no one noticed I sat alone. My place had been with our mother, preparing her meals, helping her walk, taking her to the doctor, seeing to her medication, reading the Bible together. Now she was with the Lord. My work was finished, and I was alone. 

I heard a door open and slam shut at the back of the church. Quick footsteps hurried along the carpeted floor. An exasperated young man looked around briefly and then sat next to me. He folded his hands and placed them on his lap. His eyes were brimming with tears. He began to sniffle. "I'm late," he explained, though no explanation was necessary. After several eulogies, he leaned over and commented, "Why do they keep calling Mary by the name of Margaret?" 

"Oh, " "Because that was her name, Margaret. Never Mary. No one called her 'Mary,'" I whispered. I wondered why this person couldn't have sat on the other side of the church. He interrupted my grieving with his tears and fidgeting. Who was this stranger anyway? 

"No, that isn't correct," he insisted, as several people glanced over at us whispering, 

"Her name is Mary, Mary Peters." 

"That isn't who this is, I replied." 

"Isn't this the Lutheran church?" 

"No, the Lutheran church is across the street." 

"Oh." 

"I believe you're at the wrong funeral, Sir." 

The solemnness of the occasion mixed with the realization of the man's mistake bubbled up inside me and came out as laughter. I cupped my hands over my face, hoping it would be interpreted as sobs. The creaking pew gave me away. Sharp looks from other mourners only made the situation seem more hilarious. I peeked at the bewildered, misguided man seated beside me. He was laughing, too, as he glanced around, deciding it was too late for an uneventful exit. 

I imagined Mother laughing. 

At the final "Amen," we darted out a door and into the parking lot. "I do believe we'll be the talk of the town," he smiled. He said his name was Rick and since he had missed his aunt's funeral, asked me out for a cup of coffee. 

That afternoon began a lifelong journey for me with this man who attended the wrong funeral, but was in the right place. A year after our meeting, we were married at a country church where he was the assistant pastor. This time we both arrived at the same church, right on time. 

In my time of sorrow, God gave me laughter. In place of loneliness, God gave me love. This past June we celebrated our twenty-second wedding anniversary. Whenever anyone asks us how we met, Rick tells them, "Her mother and my Aunt Mary introduced us, and it's truly a match made in heaven."

 Provided by Free Christian Content.org


Power of Positive Thinking

 by Norman Vincent Peale


Chapter 11

How to Use Faith in Healing

IS RELIGIOUS FAITH a factor in healing? Important evidence indicates that it is. There was a time in my own experience when I was not convinced of this, but now I am, and that very definitely. I have seen too many evidences to believe otherwise.

We are learning that faith properly understood and applied is a powerful factor in overcoming disease and establishing health.

My conviction regarding this important question is shared by many medical men. Newspapers carried an account of the visit to this country of the famous Viennese surgeon, Dr. Hans Finsterer. I quote the newspaper story which was headed "Honor Surgeon 'Guided by God.' "

"A Viennese doctor, Dr. Hans Finsterer, who believes 'the unseen hand of God' helps make an operation successful, was selected by the International College of Surgeons for its highest honor, 'master of surgery.' He was cited for his work
in abdominal surgery with the use of local anesthesia only.

"Finsterer, seventy-two-year-old professor at the University of Vienna, has performed more than 20,000 major operations, among them 8,000 gastric resections (removal of part or all of the stomach) using only local anesthesia.

Finsterer said that although considerable progress has been made in medicine and surgery in the past few years 'all advances are not sufficient in themselves to insure a happy outcome in every operation. In many instances,' he said, 'in what appeared to be simple surgical procedures the patients died, and in some cases where the surgeon despaired of a patient there was recovery. 
 
" 'Some of our colleagues attribute these things to unpredictable chance, while others are convinced that in those difficult cases their work has been aided by the unseen hand of God. Of late years, unfortunately, many patients and doctors have lost their conviction that all things depend on the providence of God.

" 'When we are once again convinced of the importance of God's help in our activities, and especially in the treatment of our patients, then true progress will have been accomplished in restoring the sick to health.' "

So concludes the account of a great surgeon who combines his science with faith.
I spoke at the national convention of an important industry. It was a large gathering of the leaders in an amazingly creative merchandising enterprise that has established this particular industry as a vital factor in American business life.

I was somewhat surprised when one of the leaders of this organization at the convention luncheon where the discussion centered around taxation, rising costs, and business problems, turned to me and asked, "Do you believe that faith can heal?"

"There are a good many well-authenticated examples on record of people who have been healed by faith," I answered.

"Of course, I do not think we should depend on faith alone to heal a physical ailment. I believe in the combination of God and the doctor. This viewpoint takes advantage of medical science and the science of faith, and both are elements in the healing process."

"Let me tell you my story," the man continued. "A number of year ago I had a malady that was diagnosed as osteoma of the jaw, that is, a bone tumor on my jaw. The doctors told me it was practically incurable. You can imagine how that 
disturbed me. Desperately I sought for help. Although I had attended church with fair regularity, still I was not a particularly religious man. I scarcely ever read the Bible.

One day, however, as I lay in my bed it occurred to me that I would like to read the Bible, and I asked my wife to bring one to me. She was very surprised, for I have never before made such a request.

"I began to read, and found consolation and comfort. I also became a bit more hopeful and less discouraged. I continued to read for extended periods every day. But that wasn't the chief result. I began to notice that the condition which had
troubled me was growing less noticeable. At first I thought I imagined this, then I became convinced that some change was taking place in me.

"One day while reading the Bible I had a curious inward feeling of warmth and great happiness. It is difficult to describe, and long ago I got over trying to explain the feeling. From that time on my improvement was more rapid.

I went back to the doctors who had first diagnosed my case. They examined me carefully. They were obviously surprised and agreed that my condition had improved, but warned me that this was only a temporary respite. Later, however, upon further examination, it was determined that the symptoms of
osteoma had disappeared entirely. Still the doctors told me it would probably start all over again. This did not disturb me, for in my heart I knew that I was healed."

"How long has it been since your healing?" I asked.

"Fourteen years," was the answer.

I studied this man. Strong, sturdy, healthy, he is one of the outstanding men in his industry. The incident was told to me in the factual way that a businessman would recount it. There was not the slightest indication of doubt in this man's mind.
Indeed how could there be, for whereas he had been condemned to death, here he was alive and vigorous.

What did it? The skillful work of the physician plus! And what was the plus? Obviously the faith that heals. The healing described by this gentleman is but one of many similar accounts, and so many of them are attested by competent medical evidence that it seems we must encourage people to make greater use of the amazing power of faith in healing. Sadly the healing element in faith has suffered
neglect. I am certain that faith can and does work what we call "miracles" but which are, in truth, the operation of spiritually scientific laws.

to be continued

Prodigals

Brian Stofferahn 

I was afraid, as a young parent, of losing something. No, I was afraid of losing someone. I was afraid when I would go Christmas shopping that when I turned around my child would be gone, lost is a crowd of faces in the toy section. One time, at ValleyFair, I lost Emily. We had been in the Berenstien Bears area, and when we went to leave, she wasn't there. We were with a group that instantly transformed into a search party. We fanned out. We sealed the exits. We search everywhere until we found her in one of the tree houses less than 15 feet from where she had been playing.


Of course, there is a solution. I can hold onto their hand. I can grip the little hand tightly and surround their fingers with mine. And it works, for a time. And then their little fingers get too big to hold, and they are embarrassed that you are treating them like a child and you have to let go. You have to let go and let them walk beside you. I would still keep them in my sight, within a quick reach if there was trouble. I had let go physically, but I gripped them emotionally.

Eventually a child becomes a teen, and chooses not to walk beside you. You still keep your eye on them, and you continue to walk in the same direction. You have already told them the destination, the goal, and they are headed in the right way. You keep communicating and you are there if they want to ask directions.

At the end of a school year, I am reflecting about the youth ministry over the last nine months. Where did we do well? Where do we need to improve? How could I have been more dependent on God? Where did I miss the sound of his voice when He wanted to give me direction? When should I have held more tightly to His hand?

Eventually, I lose everyone I am ministering to. Some will graduate and move on to better things and brighter teachers, but I know that we have the same destination and that we'll see each other when we get there. Others find a different church, perhaps with more kids, bigger programs, louder music and a dynamic speaker. That's harder to see, but again the goal is the same.

Others just walk away. You see them drifting and you want to give them a little space. Maybe they are busy with a job, something at school, or a new relationship and you let go of their hand. You take a few steps and turn for them to catch up. Some do. Some don't. They just walk farther and farther away until you have to say that they are going in a different direction. You don't know if they'll find their way.

I think about the father of the prodigal son. I think about how much he longed to run after his child and find him. He wanted to hold onto his hand and never let go. To carry him back home. He didn't. Instead he waited. He waited and prayed and eventually his son found his was back home. Some don't. Some do and there is much rejoicing.

"My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand." John 10:29.


Just for Laughs

GREAT  TRUTHS ABOUT LIFE THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED:

1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2) When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the
second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10) The best place to be when you're sad is Grandpa's lap.


Did you Know ?

  • The drive-through line on opening day at the McDonald's restaurant in Kuwait City, Kuwait was at times seven miles long. 
  • Point Roberts in Washington State is cut off from the rest of the state by British Columbia, Canada. If you wish to travel from Point Roberts to the rest of the state or vice versa, you must pass through Canada, including both Canadian and U.S. customs. 
  • The Pentagon in Washington, D. C. has five sides, five stories, and five acres in the middle. 
  • Sylvia Miles had the shortest performance ever nominated for an Oscar with "Midnight Cowboy." Her entire role lasted only six minutes. 
  • The Starbucks at the highest elevation is on Main Street in Breckenridge, Colorado. 
  • Chances that a burglary in the United States will be solved: 1 in 7 
  • One third of the land in the United States is owned by the government. 
  • John Madden is an accomplished ballroom dancer. 
  • In 21 states, Wal-Mart is the single largest employer. 
  • Jim Gordon, drummer of Derek and the Dominos ("Layla"), killed his mother with a claw hammer. 





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