February 26, 2012

posted 24 Feb 2012, 20:07 by C S Paul   [ updated 24 Feb 2012, 23:36 ]

February 26, 2012


How to Explain God was written by Danny Dutton, age 8, from Chula Vista, California, for his third grade homework assignment "Explain God".

"One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grown-ups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way He doesn't have to take up His valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.
"God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times besides bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because He hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in His ears, unless He has thought of a way to turn it off. "God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting His time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.

"Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church.

"Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of Him preaching to them and they crucified Him. But He was good and kind, like His Father and He told His Father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.

"His Dad (God) appreciated everything that He had done and all His hard work on earth so He told Him He didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So He did. And now He helps His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones He can take care of Himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.

"You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.

"You should always go to Church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God. Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.

"If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.

"But you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases.

And that's why I believe in God.

Laughter the best Medicine

Children laugh hundreds of times per day, but as adults we can sometimes go through an entire day without sharing a heartfelt laugh. 

Maybe you’ve started taking life very seriously as you’ve gotten older, or maybe anxiety and stress have taken their toll on your ability to appreciate humor. 


Or maybe you grew up in a household where humor and laughter weren’t encouraged.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t start now and learn how to make laughter an important part of your life.


Like all of life’s most important skills, humor can be learned and rediscovered.  I’m not suggesting that you start to act like a child again, but you can learn something about laughter and humor by setting aside time to develop your playful side.


by Lew Wallace

Part Two

Biblical references: Luke 2:51-52

Judah Ben-Hur is a prince descended from a royal family of Judaea. Messala, his closest childhood friend, the son of a Roman tax-collector, leaves home for five years of education in Rome. He returns as a proud and avaricious Roman. He mocks Judah and his religion and the two become enemies. Judah decides to go to Rome, as Messala had, for military training but use his skills to fight the Roman Empire.

Valerius Gratus, the fourth Roman prefect of Judaea, passes by Judah's house. As Judah watches the procession, a roof tile is loosed, falls into the street and hits the governor. Messala betrays Judah, who is arrested. There is no trial; Judah's family is secretly imprisoned in the Antonia Fortress and all the family property is seized. Judah vows vengeance against the Romans. He is sent to become a slave aboard a Roman warship. On the way to the ship he meets Jesus, who offers him water, which deeply moves Judah.

CHAPTER V - continued

For a time the rustling of the fan was all the sound heard in the chamber.


"In the sense which limits art to sculpture and painting, it is true," she next said, "Israel has had no artists."


The admission was made regretfully, for it must be remembered she was a Sadducee, whose faith, unlike that of the Pharisees, permitted a love of the beautiful in every form, and without reference to its origin.


"Still he who would do justice," she proceeded, "will not forget that the cunning of our hands was bound by the prohibition, 'Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything;' which the Sopherim wickedly extended beyond its purpose and time.


Nor should it be forgotten that long before Daedalus appeared in Attica and with his wooden statues so transformed sculpture as to make possible the schools of Corinth and AEgina, and their ultimate triumphs the Poecile and Capitolium--long before the

age of Daedalus, I say, two Israelites, Bezaleel and Aholiab, the master-builders of the first tabernacle, said to have been skilled 'in all manner of workmanship,' wrought the cherubim of the mercy-seat above the ark. Of gold beaten, not chiseled, were they; and they were statues in form both human and divine. 'And they shall stretch forth their wings on high, .... and their faces shall look one to another.' Who will say they were not beautiful? or that they were not the first statues?"


"Oh, I see now why the Greek outstripped us," said Judah, intensely interested. "And the ark; accursed be the Babylonians who destroyed it!"


"Nay, Judah, be of faith. It was not destroyed, only lost, hidden away too safely in some cavern of the mountains. One day--Hillel and Shammai both say so--one day, in the Lord's good time, it will be found and brought forth, and Israel dance before it, singing as of old. And they who look upon the faces of the cherubim then, though they have seen the face of the ivory Minerva, will be ready to kiss the hand of the Jew from love of his genius, asleep through all the thousands of years."


The mother, in her eagerness, had risen into something like the rapidity and vehemence of a speech-maker; but now, to recover herself, or to pick up the thread of her thought, she rested awhile.


"You are so good, my mother," he said, in a grateful way. "And I will never be done saying so. Shammai could not have talked better, nor Hillel. I am a true son of Israel again."


"Flatterer!" she said. "You do not know that I am but repeating what I heard Hillel say in an argument he had one day in my presence with a sophist from Rome."


"Well, the hearty words are yours."


Directly all her earnestness returned.


"Where was I? Oh yes, I was claiming for our Hebrew fathers the first statues. The trick of the sculptor, Judah, is not all there is of art, any more than art is all there is of greatness. I always think of great men marching down the centuries in groups and goodly companies, separable according to nationalities; here the Indian, there the Egyptian, yonder the Assyrian; above them the music of trumpets and the beauty of banners; and on their right hand and left, as reverent spectators, the generations from the beginning, numberless. As they go, I think of the Greek, saying, 'Lo! The Hellene leads the way.' Then the Roman replies, 'Silence! What was your place is ours now; we have left you behind as dust trodden on.' And all the time, from the far front back over

the line of march, as well as forward into the farthest future, streams a light of which the wranglers know nothing, except that it is forever leading them on--the Light of Revelation! Who are they that carry it? Ah, the old Judean blood! How it leaps at the

thought! By the light we know them. Thrice blessed, O our fathers, servants of God, keepers of the covenants! Ye are the leaders of men, the living and the dead. The front is thine; and though every Roman were a Caesar, ye shall not lose it!"


Judah was deeply stirred.


"Do not stop, I pray you," he cried. "You give me to hear the sound of timbrels. I wait for Miriam and the women who went after her dancing and singing."


She caught his feeling, and, with ready wit, wove it into her speech.


"Very well, my son. If you can hear the timbrel of the prophetess, you can do what I was about to ask; you can use your fancy, and stand with me, as if by the wayside, while the chosen of Israel pass us  at the head of the procession. Now they come--the patriarchs first; next the fathers of the tribes. I almost hear the bells of their camels and the lowing of their herds. Who is he that walks alone between the companies? An old man, yet his eye is not dim, nor his natural force abated. He knew the Lord face to face! Warrior, poet, orator, lawgiver, prophet, his greatness is as the sun at morning, its flood of splendor quenching all other lights, even that of the first and noblest of the Caesars.


After him the judges. And then the kings--the son of Jesse, a hero in war, and a singer of songs eternal as that of the sea; and his son, who, passing all other kings in riches and wisdom, and while making the Desert habitable, and in its waste places planting cities, forgot not Jerusalem which the Lord had chosen for his seat on earth. Bend lower, my son!


These that come next are the first of their kind, and the last.

Their faces are raised, as if they heard a voice in the sky and were listening. Their lives were full of sorrows. Their garments smell of tombs and caverns. Hearken to a woman among them--'Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously!' Nay, put your forehead in the dust before them! They were tongues of God, his servants, who looked through heaven, and, seeing all the future, wrote what they saw, and left the writing to be proven by time.


Kings turned pale as they approached them, and nations trembled at the sound of their voices. The elements waited upon them. In their hands they carried every bounty and every plague. See the Tishbite and his servant Elisha! See the sad son of Hilkiah, and him, the seer of visions, by the river of Chebar! And of the three children of Judah who refused the image of the Babylonian, lo! that one who, in the feast to the thousand lords, so confounded the astrologers.


And yonder--O my son, kiss the dust again!--yonder the gentle son of Amoz, from whom the world has its promise of the Messiah to come!"


In this passage the fan had been kept in rapid play; it stopped

now, and her voice sank low.


"You are tired," she said.


"No," he replied, "I was listening to a new song of Israel."


The mother was still intent upon her purpose, and passed the pleasant speech.


"In such light as I could, my Judah, I have set our great men before you--patriarchs, legislators, warriors, singers, prophets.


Turn we to the best of Rome. Against Moses place Caesar, and Tarquin against David; Sylla against either of the Maccabees; the best of the consuls against the judges; Augustus against Solomon, and you are done: comparison ends there. But think then of the prophets--greatest of the great."


She laughed scornfully.


"Pardon me. I was thinking of the soothsayer who warned Caius Julius against the Ides of March, and fancied him looking for the omens of evil which his master despised in the entrails of a chicken.


From that picture turn to Elijah sitting on the hill-top on the way to Samaria, amid the smoking bodies of the captains and their fifties, warning the son of Ahab of the wrath of our God. Finally, O my Judah--if such speech be reverent--how shall we judge Jehovah and Jupiter unless it be by what their servants have done in their names? And as for what you shall do--"


She spoke the latter words slowly, and with a tremulous utterance.


"As for what you shall do, my boy--serve the Lord, the Lord God of Israel, not Rome. For a child of Abraham there is no glory except in the Lord's ways, and in them there is much glory."


"I may be a soldier then?" Judah asked.


"Why not? Did not Moses call God a man of war?"


There was then a long silence in the summer chamber.


"You have my permission," she said, finally; "if only you serve the Lord instead of Caesar."


He was content with the condition, and by-and-by fell asleep. She arose then, and put the cushion under his head, and, throwing a shawl over him and kissing him tenderly, went away.

(to be continued) 

God Never Leaves You By Yourself


I was walking down a dimly lit street late one evening when I heard muffled screams coming from behind a clump of bushes. Alarmed, I slowed down to listen, and panicked when I realized that what I was hearing were the unmistakable sounds of a struggle: heavy grunting, frantic scuffling, and tearing of fabric.


Only yards from where I stood, a woman was being attacked. Should I get involved? I was frightened for my own safety, and cursed myself for having suddenly decided to take a new route home that night. What if I became another statistic? Shouldn't I just run to the nearest phone and call the police?


Although it seemed an eternity, the deliberations in my head had taken only seconds, but already the girl's cries were growing weaker. I knew I had to act fast. How could I walk away from this? No, I finally resolved, I could not turn my back on the fate of this unknown woman, even if it meant risking my own life. 


I am not a brave man, nor am I athletic. I don't know where I found the moral courage and physical strength, but once I had finally resolved to help the girl, I became strangely transformed. I ran behind the bushes and pulled the assailant off the woman. Grappling, we fell to the ground, where we wrestled for a few minutes until the attacker jumped up and escaped. 


Panting hard, I scrambled upright and approached the girl, who was crouched behind a tree, sobbing. In the darkness, I could barely see her outline, but I could certainly sense her trembling shock. Not wanting to frighten her further, I, at first, spoke to her from a distance.


"It's OK," I said soothingly. "The man ran away. You're safe now."


There was a long pause... and then I heard the words, uttered in wonder, in amazement. "Daddy, is that you?"


And then from behind the tree, stepped my youngest daughter, Katherine. 


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A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy. 


"Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies." 


"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, "These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money." The boy dropped his head for a moment. 


Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. 


"I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?" 


"Sure," said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle, "Here, Dolly!" he called. Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight.  

As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse. Slowly another little fur ball appeared; this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up.... 


"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt. The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would." 


With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe. Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands." 


The world is full of people who need someone who understands. Do you understand? 


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Power of Positive Thinking


Chapter 5 (continued)


A genuinely happy man is a friend of mine, H.C. Mattern, who, with his equally happy wife, Mary, travels throughout the country in the course of his work. Mr. Mattern carries a unique business card on the reverse side of which is stated the philosophy which has brought happiness to him and his wife and to hundreds of others who have been so fortunate as to feel the impact of their personalities.


The card reads as follows: "The way to happiness: keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Fill your life with love. Scatter sunshine. Forget self, think of others. Do as you would be done by. Try this for a week and you will be surprised."


As you read these words you may say, "There is nothing new in that." Indeed, there is something new in it if you have never tried it. When you start to practice it you will find it the newest, freshest, most astonishing method of happy and successful living you have ever used. What is the value of having known these principles all your life if you have never made use of them? Such inefficiency in living is tragic. For a man to have lived in poverty when all the time right on his doorstep is gold indicates an unintelligent approach to life.


This simple philosophy is the way to happiness. Practice these principles for just one week, as Mr. Mattern suggests, and if it has not brought you the beginnings of real happiness, then your unhappiness is very deep seated indeed.


Of course in order to give power to these principles of happiness and make them work it is necessary to support them with a dynamic quality of mind. You are not likely to secure effective results; even with spiritual principles without spiritual power. When one experiences a dynamic spiritual change inwardly, success with happiness-producing ideas becomes extraordinarily easy. If you begin to use spiritual principles, however awkwardly, you will gradually experience spiritual power inwardly. I can assure you that this will give you the greatest surge of happiness you have ever known. It will stay with you, too, as long as you live a God-centered life.


In my travels about the country I have been encountering an increasing number of genuinely happy individuals. These are persons who have been practicing the techniques described in this book and which I have presented in other volumes and

in other writings and talks and which other writers and speakers have likewise been giving to receptive people. It is astonishing how people can become inoculated with

happiness through an inner experience of spiritual change.


People of all types everywhere are having this experience today. In fact, it has become one of the most popular phenomena of our times, and, if it continues to develop and expand, the person who has not had a spiritual experience will soon be considered old-fashioned and behind the times.


Nowadays it is smart to be spiritually alive. It is old-fogyism to be ignorant of that happiness-producing transformation which people everywhere are enjoying at this time.

(to be continued) 


Christian Bumper Stickers


The best way to get even is to forget.


Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.


God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.


Some folks wear their halos much too tight.


Some marriages are made in heaven, but they ALL have to be maintained on earth.


Unless you can create the WHOLE universe in 5 or 6 days, then perhaps giving "advice" to God isn't such a good idea!


Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, and faith looks up.


Words are windows to the heart.


A skeptic is a person who when he sees the handwriting on the wall claims it's a forgery.


It isn't difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill, just add a little dirt.


A successful marriage isn't finding the right person, it's being the right person.


The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground.


Too many people offer God prayers with claw marks all over them.


The tongue must be heavy indeed because so few people can hold it.


To forgive is to set the prisoner free and then discover the prisoner was you.


You have to wonder about humans; they think God is dead and Elvis is alive!


You'll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out its neck.


If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher.


And last but not least -- God gave the angels Wings, and He gave humans CHOCOLATE.



Kid Prayer


One night Mike's parents overheard this prayer: "Now I lay me down to rest, and hope to pass tomorrow's test. If I should die before I wake, that's one less test I have to take."


A rabbi said to a precocious six-year-old boy: "So your mother says your prayers for you each night. Very commendable. What does she say?" The little boy replied, "Thank God he's in bed!"



Skipping Church


John, who loved to play golf, was also pastor of the Community Church. Every Sunday he chafed under the realization that while he had to go preach at the church, his golfing buddies were having a great time out on the greens. So John devised a plan.


On Saturday evening he taped his sermon, and placed the tape player in the pulpit. He then connected it to the church's amplifying equipment, and set it on a timer so that it would start precisely at the time in the service when he would normally begin preaching.


The next day, John enjoyed a wonderful day at the golf course. And surprisingly, there were no adverse comments from the church deacons, or from any of the members. So, John decided to follow the same plan the next week. However, after golfing nine holes, John became a little uneasy, and decided to check to see if everything was going o.k. back at the church.


As he approached the church, he could hear his own voice booming out the sermon he had taped the night before. He quietly opened the front door, and walked through the vestibule. But when he peered through the sanctuary doors, he was shocked to see that no one was in church at all. Instead, on every pew there were six small tape recorders, all of them eagerly taking in every word of the sermon.



Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to God's kids. 

After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first 
thing said to them was: "Don't."

"Don't what?" Adam replied.

"Don't eat the forbidden fruit." God said.

"Forbidden fruit? We got forbidden fruit? Hey, Eve...we got Forbidden Fruit! No way! Yes WAY!"

"Don't eat that fruit!" said God.


"Because I'm your Creator and I said so!" said God, wondering why he hadn't stopped after making the elephants. A few minutes later God saw the kids having an apple break and was angry.

"Didn't I tell you not to eat that fruit?" the first parent asked.
"Uh huh," Adam replied.

"Then why did you?"

"I dunno," Eve answered.

"She started it!" Adam said "Did Not!" "DID so!" "DID NOT!!"

Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. 

Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed. 

But there is a reassurance in this story. 

If you have 
persistently and lovingly tried to give them wisdom and they haven't taken it, don't be hard on yourself. 

If God had trouble handling children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you? 


Did You Know ?


  • About 30% of consumers use their credit card as their main means of buying Christmas goodies, 70% do not save to buy Christmas gifts and 86% of consumers do their Christmas shopping during December.
  • In the 1400s, global income rose only 0,1% per year; in the 20th Century and early 21st Century it often topped 5% – until the Great Recession of 2008/2009.
  • In 1998, US states spent $30 billion in funds on correctional services and $24 billion on social welfare.
  • The global expenditure on health care and nutrition is $2.1 trillion.
  •  The average age of Forbes’s 400 wealthiest individuals is over 60. 
  • Queen Elizabeth II is one of the 10th wealthiest women in the world. 
  • The $ sign was designed in 1788 by Oliver Pollock. 
  • Music was sent down a telephone line for the first time in 1876, the year the phone was invented. 
  • Sound travels through water 3 times faster than through air. 
  • A US ton is equivalent to 900 kg (2000 pounds). A British ton is 1008 kg (2240 pounds), called a gross ton.