Saturday, April 12, 2008
I was too busy today…
I forgot to pray.
I had to get up early.
I had to get myself ready for the day.
I ran from one task to the next
Trying so hard to keep my cool
I kept thinking, as I rushed here and there
Am I such a fool?
I couldn’t stop myself
I had a ton of work to do
Why can’t I just sit down?
Maybe for a moment, utter a prayer or two?
But there were copies to be made
And there were notes to be sent
So I rushed once again
And time just swiftly went
I was so tired at the end of the day
I felt miserable; not a thing went my way.
Why does everything seem so empty and gray?
All I did, was simply forget to pray…
Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food.
John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store.
Visualizing the family needs, she said: "Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can."
John told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.
Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.
The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?"
Louise replied, "Yes sir"
"O.K." he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries."
Louise, hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.
The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down.
The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it."
The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more. The grocer stood there in utter disgust. Ê
Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer which said:
"Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands."
The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. Louise thanked him and left the store. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said, "It was worth every penny of it."
It was some time later that the grocer discovered the scales were broken; therefore, only God knows how much a prayer weighs.
If I could catch a rainbow
I would do it just for you
And share with you its beauty
On the days you're feeling blue.
If I could build a mountain
You could call your very own
A place to find serenity
A place to be alone.
If I could take your troubles
I would toss them in the sea
But all these things I'm finding
Are impossible for me.
I cannot build a mountain
Or catch a rainbow fair
But let me be what I know best:
A friend that's always there.
Sally was only eight years old when she heard Mommy and Daddy talking about her little brother, Georgi. He was very sick and they had done everything they could afford to save his life. Only a very expensive surgery could help him now . . . and that was out of the financial question. She heard Daddy say it with a whispered desperation, "Only a miracle can save him now."
Sally went to her bedroom and pulled her piggy bank from its hiding place in the closet. She shook all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Tying the coins up in a cold-weather-kerchief, she slipped out of the apartment and made her way to the corner drug store.
She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her attention. . . but he was too busy talking to another man to be bothered by an eight-year-old. Sally twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. She cleared her throat. No good. Finally she took a quarter from its hiding place and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!
"And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice.
"Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Sally answered back in the same annoyed tone. "He's sick . . . and I want to buy a miracle."
"I beg your pardon," said the pharmacist.
"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 can't help you."
"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. Just tell me how much it costs."
The well-dressed man stooped down and asked, "What kind of a miracle does you brother need?"
"I don't know," Sally answered. A tear started down her cheek. "I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my folks can't pay for it . . . so I have my money.
"How much do you have?" asked the well-dressed man.
"A dollar and eleven cents," Sally answered proudly. "And it's all the money I have in the world."
"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the well-dressed man. A dollar and eleven cents . . . the exact price of a miracle to save a little brother. 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."
That well-dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, renowned surgeon, specializing in solving Georgi's malady. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn't long until Georgi was home again and doing well. Mommy and Daddy were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.
"That surgery," Mommy whispered. "It's like a miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?
Sally smiled to herself. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost... one dollar and eleven cents... plus the faith of a little child.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
That twas you---who went to find
An empty tomb--JESUS gone
Guard soldiers all struck blind
Imagine--hearing an angel speak--
Saying "He is risen, and is not here"!!
How happy would your heart be--
Could you retain-- that joyful tear?
Imagine --the hastening of your steps
As you rushed to share the news.
The rocky path, no longer steep
But smooth beneath your shoes
Imagine remembering the promise
GOD gives to all who believe
That His son now lives forever
And His death we need not grieve
God's promise kept in words of truth
This life is not the end.
But hope eternal is ours to claim!!
He lives!! He lives!! -- my friend
Easter joy--yet what sacrifice
That God's own son should pay the price
For love eternal---peace divine
Praise God I'm His---and He is mine
- Marie Alexander
The sound of Martha’s voice on the other end of the telephone always brought a smile to her pastor’s face. She was not only one of the oldest members of the congregation, but one of the most faithful. Aunt Martie, as all of the children called her, just seemed to ooze faith, hope, and love wherever she went. This time, however, there seemed to be an unusual tone to her words “Preacher, could you stop by this afternoon? I need to talk with you.”
“Of course, I’ll be there around three. Is that ok?”
It didn’t take long to discover the reason for what had been sensed in her voice before. As they sat facing each other in the quiet of her small living room. Martha shared the news that her doctor had just discovered a previously undetected tumor.
“He says I probably have six months to live.” Martha’s words were naturally serious, yet there was a definite calm about her.
“I’m so sorry to …” but before her pastor could finish, Martha interrupted.
“Don’t be. The Lord has been good. I have lived a long life. I’m ready to go. You know that.”
“I know,” her pastor responded with a reassuring nod.
“But I do want to talk with you about my funeral. I have been thinking about it, and there are things that I know I want.”
The two talked quietly for a long time. They talked about Martha’s favorite hymns, the passages of Scripture that had meant so much to her through the years, and the many memories they shared at Central Church. When it seemed that they had covered just about everything, Aunt Martie paused, looked up with a twinkle in her eye, and then added, “One more thing, preacher. When they bury me, I want my old Bible in one hand and a fork in the other.”
“A fork? Why do you want to be buried with a fork?”
“I have been thinking about all of the church dinners and banquets that I attended through the years,” she explained. “One thing sticks in my mind. At those really nice get-togethers, when the meal was almost finished, a server would come by to collect the dirty dishes. I can hear the words now. Sometimes, at the best ones, somebody would lean over my shoulder and whisper, ‘You can keep your fork.’ And do you know what that meant? Dessert was coming! It didn’t mean a cup of Jell-O or pudding or even a dish of ice cream. You don’t need a fork for that. It meant the good stuff, like chocolate cake or cherry pie! When they told me I could keep my fork, I knew the best was yet to come!
“That’s exactly what I want people to talk about at my funeral. Oh, they can talk about all the good times we had together. That would be nice. But when they walk by my casket and look at my pretty blue dress, I want them to turn to one another and say, ‘Why the fork?’ And I want you to tell them that I kept my fork because the best is yet to come!”