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Thread: Just sharing.

  1. #2141
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    Sleeping through the storm


    A young man applied for a job as a farmhand. When the farmer asked for his qualifications, he said, "I can sleep through a storm."

    This puzzled the farmer... but he liked the young man. So he hired him.

    A few weeks later, the farmer and his wife were awakened in the night by a violent storm ripping through the valley. He leapt out of bed and called for his new hired hand, but the young man was sleeping soundly.

    So they quickly began to check things to see if all was secure. They found that the shutters of the farmhouse had been securely fastened. A good supply of logs had been set next to the fireplace.

    The farmer and his wife then inspected their property. They found that the farm tools had been placed in the storage shed, safe from the elements. He sees that the bales of wheat had been bound and wrapped in tarpaulins.

    The tractor had been moved into its garage. The barn was properly locked tight. Even the animals were calm and had plenty of feed. All was well.

    The farmer then understood the meaning of the young man's words, "I can sleep through a storm."

    Because the farmhand did his work loyally and faithfully when the skies were clear, he was prepared for any storm. So when the storm did actually break, he was not concerned or afraid. He could sleep in peace.

  2. #2142
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    If we tend to the things that are important in life,
    if we are right with those we love and behave in line with our faith,
    our lives will not be cursed with the aching throb of unfulfilled business.

    Our words will always be sincere, our embraces will be tight.
    We will never wallow in the agony of 'I could have, I should have.'

    We can sleep in a storm.
    And when it's our time to go, our good-byes will be complete.

  3. #2143
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    The ant and the contact lens


    Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was very scared, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took hold of the rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda's eye and knocked out her contact lens.

    Well, here she is, on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn't there.

    Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it.

    When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff.

    She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that verse that says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

    Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"

    Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it on it's back.

    Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

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    The five finger prayer



    1. Thumb (people who are close to you)
    Your thumb is nearest to you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C.S. Lewis once said, a "sweet duty".



    2. Pointer (people who point the way)
    The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.



    3. Tall Finger (people in authority)
    The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God's guidance.



    4. Ring Finger (people who are weak)
    The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger; as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.




    5. Little Finger (your own needs)
    And lastly comes our little finger; the smallest finger of all. Which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, "the least shall be the greatest among you." Your pinky should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

    Use your daily routine of life to reinforce your prayer life:

    When you first wake up - Praise your Creator

    When you shower or bathe - Ask for cleansing of your soul; confess, repent & receive forgiveness

    When you eat - Give thanks not only for the food, but for your family, home, life, etc.

    When you go to work or school - Pray for those with whom you come into contact

    Where to Pray...

    Jesus tells us where to pray in Matthew 6:6: "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

    How to Pray...

    In Matthew 6:9-15 Jesus tells us how to pray when He gives us the pattern for prayer in what is now referred to as the Lord's prayer.

    "This, then, is how you should pray: "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'

    For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

  5. #2145
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    Am I Really Pure As Snow?
    =====================================
    "My marriage broke up through no fault of my own."

    I was very interested in this statement.

    Twenty years ago, my marriage broke up after my husband had
    several affairs. I prayed nightly for nothing and no-one to
    come between us. After my husband left, he said he knew he
    would have to be the one to go because I was committed
    regardless. Actually it was the fear of failure and
    loneliness that kept me bound as a martyr. It hurt my pride
    that someone else could make him happier than I could.

    After the breakup, I committed my life to the Lord in a deeper
    way. I was praying (probably complaining to the Lord) about
    my husband's infidelity. The Lord told me, lovingly but
    firmly, that my mistrust and jealousy (He named several other
    negative characteristics of mine) were as much sin to Him as
    my husband's infidelity. "Sin is sin!" He said. It made it
    very easy to forgive my husband after I examined my
    contribution to the situation.

    A friend recently said that she had never heard me say
    anything negative about my ex-husband. I'm glad because we
    had good times as well as bad times. When he left, I lost my
    best friend. We seldom contact each other but when we do, we
    are comfortable with each other. More people may be in this
    position. Too often, the good someone has done is totally
    forgotten or destroyed by back-biting, hatred and greed. This
    is the case even among Christians. The Lord can turn any
    situation around and use it for the good while bringing glory
    to Himself at the same time. That is my "Joseph Prayer",
    which I use often and the Lord always answers.

    A couple whom we were friends with went through a similar
    scenario. However, the wife's attitude was to make her life
    interesting and ignore his behavior. He eventually realized
    that his lifestyle was not productive, changed his ways and
    their relationship came back together. 20 years later, they
    are still together.

    Another thing the Lord showed me at that time was to see
    people the way He wants us to see them. This helped
    enormously with my situation and has helped others. It doesn't
    just apply to just marriage, friendships and work situations;
    it applies anywhere.

    Does attitude count? I believe it does even if it is to make
    our lives happier in difficult circumstances. Would my
    situation end differently if my attitude had been different?
    We can never know but it certainly makes a difference in our
    happiness. It makes it easier to be less judgmental and more
    compassionate when we realize that our behavior is is not
    hidden from God. In fact, the hidden flaws are the most
    dangerous because they are a weakness that we don't know about
    or won't admit to. They will slowly erode any relationship we
    enter into.

    Afterwards, I hid behind a wall and was afraid to commit to
    another person; I didn't want to get hurt again. Lately, I
    recognized it through the caring Christian men the Lord has
    brought across my path. I have a heart for older singles and
    part of my ministry is to help them in the struggles they face
    accepting loneliness that has been thrust upon them.

    I thank the Lord for what He showed me. I was able to accept
    it as truth and act on it. Am I a saint? As a Christian, I
    may be a Saint but as a person, definitely not. However, I am
    learning to assess things more through the eyes of the Lord
    when I take time to seek Him.

    My marriage broke up through no fault of my own until the Lord
    showed me how He saw me.

    Here is a song I wrote during a bad patch last year. It
    promises hope in our bad times.

    Broken Glass Of Shattered Dreams

    Chorus: Broken glass of shattered dreams,
    All is lost, it would seem
    But I have Jesus here with me
    Giving me a new dream (Repeat last time)

    God hadn't promised my longed for things
    So my ways did not go well
    But He allowed me my direction
    Then He caught me as I fell.

    In small pieces my heart was broken.
    All the pain destroyed my dreams,
    I'd placed my hope in yearned for things,
    But now they're gone so it seems.

    Though still surrounded by shattered dreams
    I'm no longer broken down.
    I know that my Lord's right here with me
    Shattered dreams will be my crown.

    God's ways are not mine but this I see
    He has plans to help me grow
    I can trust Him because He loves me
    So where He leads I will go.
    (c) Maureen Lyons 3.8.05

    Go on, broken creature, blessed by a love that no human
    partner can give and more beautiful because of the unique
    character God has formed from the broken pieces. Each crack
    tells a story - the story of your life.

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    More Valuable Than A Fortune

    I sat in the dark.

    Most mornings at five, I am up in prayer. I sit in the dark
    downstairs in a sound isolated room that used to be a home
    recording studio vocal booth.

    No noise enters from the outside so that I can hear the quiet
    inner voices clearer.

    I thought about material things.

    Not the desire for more or the plans to make more.

    I thought about the meager times versus the times of plenty.
    I have lived on both extremes.

    For years, I earned less than minimum wage.
    Now I am in the top tax bracket.

    My first car was a 1966 Corvair. Not Corvette, Corvair.
    I paid $125.00 for it.
    It leaked a trail of oil everywhere that I drove.
    I now have a luxury car whose key costs more than my first car,
    and my motorcycle costs more than my first four cheap vehicles.

    My first home was a condo. I paid $21,000.00 for it.
    That was cheap even when I bought it.
    My home now is far larger and more expensive.

    I sat in the dark and thought about all these things.

    I am a rather content and happy man. I honestly would not trade
    places with anyone on earth even if I had the power to do so.

    Yet, as I thought of all these things and the vast change in
    material status, realization dawned.

    I was happier with the cheaper things.

    Not even a private jet would bring as much joy as my mini-bike.


    As you grow, both in age and wisdom, the power of the material
    to bring you true joy diminishes.

    Material things fade and turn to dust, both in the natural and
    in the spirit.

    Relationships and their power over the human spirit endure.

    True love grows and remains just as strong and is even enhanced
    as the years march by.

    God spoke into my spirit as I sat in the dark and reflected.

    As I thought about it during the next two days, it grew stronger,
    and I saw the truth of it even clearer.

    I repeat it for you now.



    "A friend is more valuable than a fortune."

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  8. #2148
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    The mountain climber


    They tell the story of a mountain climber who, desperate to conquer the Aconcagua, initiated his climb after years of preparation. But he wanted the glory to himself, therefore, he went up alone. He started climbing and it was becoming later, and later. He did not prepare for camping, but decided to keep on going.

    Soon it got dark. Night fell with heaviness at a very high altitude. Visibility was zero. Everything was black. There was no moon, and the stars were covered by clouds.

    As he was climbing a ridge at about 100 meters from the top, he slipped and fell. Falling rapidly he could only see blotches of darkness that passed. He felt a terrible sensation of being sucked in by gravity. He kept falling... and in those anguishing moments good and bad memories passed through his mind. He thought certainly he would die.

    But then he felt a jolt that almost tore him in half. Yes! Like any good mountain climber he had staked himself with a long rope tied to his waist. In those moments of stillness, suspended in the air he had no other choice but to shout: "HELP ME GOD. HELP ME!"

    All of a sudden he heard a deep voice from heaven... "What do you want me to do?"

    "SAVE ME."

    "Do you REALLY think that I can save you?"

    "OF COURSE, MY GOD."

    "Then cut the rope that is holding you up."

    There was another moment of silence and stillness. The man just held tighter to the rope. The rescue team says that the next day they found a frozen mountain climber hanging strongly to a rope...
    TWO FEET OFF THE GROUND.

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

    How about you? How trusting are you in that rope? Why don't you let it go? I tell you, God has great and marvelous things planned for you.

    CUT THE ROPE AND SIMPLY TRUST IN HIM.

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    The mustang dream


    I decided it was important to write this down... God is still working things out for our good, even in today’s world, and I didn’t want to forget any detail!

    Where do I even begin? The Mustang Story starts with the “cute little red Grand Am” story. After a decision to live without a 7 year financial commitment to a car, I decided to buy an inexpensive car, pay it off quickly, and begin a new way of life for me: one free of monthly payments and debt. This great idea was not as easy to pull off as I thought. After weeks of looking for a perfect car, then settling for one that just ran good, then lowering my standards again to ANYTHING I could afford, I found the perfect car!

    I had gone to one of what seemed like hundreds of car lots only to find blemished, used up, other peoples’ abandoned treasures when I spotted this cute little red Grand Am sitting off to the side. It belonged to the salesman and he had bought it for his niece and she had decided to buy an SUV instead. He had been driving it himself and not really trying to sell it. It MUST be my car!! God knew I had been praying about my car situation and He was giving me this beauty! Someone else had made an offer on it and was supposed to try to get the money together and let them know by the next day. God was in control so I could wait! I was just sure it was my car, even though the price was higher than I had determined to spend. As it turns out, it WAS my car, it was perfect and had low mileage and it was newly painted RED! The other buyer backed out, the salesman came down on the price that was just in my range and I drove it away. It was a true gift from God and an answer to prayer. I gave God the praise and the glory every time I looked at it and told everyone that amazing story!

    A few months later, the car was paid for and I was enjoying not having a car payment for the first time in my life! One rainy, storming night on my way home from work, I turned a corner and found myself on a flooded street. As bigger cars and trucks went around me, I was swamped from the rush of water and the car stalled. I decided to sit it out, call a tow truck and when they pulled me out, I would just drive my car home. Simple. As I sat there praying, I told God my plan (I always say, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans!). Well, it didn’t quite work out that way!

    After an hour of torrential rain, (and HUGE trucks still forcing water over my hood!), I was still high and dry inside but the water outside was now up to the middle of my door. A puddle was forming on my floorboard but I was sure it would drain and dry out after the tow truck arrived! I noticed a policeman wading toward me through the lake in which I was now sitting. I rolled down the window to tell him I was fine and waiting for the tow truck and before I could even think, he said I needed to get out of the car and OPENED MY DOOR to “rescue” me from my car!

    Needless to say, the force of the water gushed into the car, covering me and my beautiful little car! So much for my plans to drive my car home. In the days to come, the insurance company would total my beautiful God car and with $1000 more than I paid for it, I would start the tedious process of car shopping for a used car all over again. I could not understand why God would allow me to lose something that I gave Him glory for giving to me… unless He had a BETTER plan for my car. I did have more money to spend this time so that was a blessing. What could it be? I was excited to find out!

    Once again, I began the car search. I tried to keep a good attitude as I began to look at one after another cars that have, for whatever reason, been rejected by their former owners and were now vying for my attention. Luckily for me (not for him!), my son was out of town for an extended time and he gave me his car to use, so at least I had no problems getting to work… and to look at cars.

    Every day off, for three weeks, I looked for cars. During the times I wasn’t out looking, I searched online for some one-owner, “little old lady” car with low mileage and no issues. RIGHT! One day, after several disappointments, I was in another town running down a hot CAR tip and turned the wrong way. Seeing the numbers were going the wrong direction, I went to turn around, saw a car lot and thought I would check it out AND turn around at the same time. I found myself behind the CAR OF MY DREAMS……a 2004 40th ANNIVERSARY MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE, PEWTER WITH A BLACK TOP!! I start to cry thinking God had sent me here to finally claim my prize, the car I had dreamed about for years!

    FLASH BACK to the year 2006. I was looking for a new car and saw this gorgeous Mustang from the street and pulled in the car lot to take a look. It was perfect and almost new! I drove it, loved it and desperately wanted to buy it. It was just totally out of my monthly payment budget, so after several attempts to figure it all out, I said goodbye to my dream car. Over the years, I have pointed out the car as I saw it pass by, mentioned it longingly to friends and family and kept it in the back of my mind as a dream that just never came true. And here I am pulling in right behind this car… was God leading me to turn the “wrong” way and end up here? I was certain of it!

    The salesman comes out. In retrospect, I am sure he wishes he could have passed on this event! I start blurting out that this is my car, God sent me here, it was my dream car and (with tears rolling down) HE wants me to finally have it! By the way, what is the cost!? He said he JUST got it in, he had no idea what the price was but he was very happy that I wanted to buy it! I drove it, told the condensed version of the story of how I have loved this car for years and just lost a cute red car, made a wrong turn and GOD SENT ME THERE!!

    I made a very low offer of $3,000 less than their asking price… which was still $3000 more than I had in my pocket to spend! I heard nothing. I told everyone who would listen the story of my Mustang. Everyone had advice. Most said BUY IT, it is YOUR car, pay a fair price and get it! I prayed for a number to offer and PEACE about whatever I did. I did my part working out the financial end and waited for God to give me a bolt of lightening of guidance!!

    The next morning on my drive to work, I had decided to offer $1000 more and that would be the most I would do and my bottom line price I could pay. If that didn’t work, it obviously wasn’t my car and I was prepared to move on. I couldn’t reach them by phone at 7am, so as soon as I got to work, I sent them a fax with my FINAL offer and even said I would throw in a meal for everyone there… including dessert… if they accepted my offer (I even added a note at the bottom - if they had decided to give it to me at yesterday’s price to just disregard the fax)!

    Drama follows… HUGE drama involving lots of communication and mis-communication about the details of the sale. Every day, a co-worker would ask for an update on the Mustang saga. He had loved the car through the years with me and if I wasn’t getting it, he would go and buy it over the weekend. He went to the car dealership, made an offer of $1500 more than mine and they refused! Amazing. They didn’t even take his number so they could call him back! He was stumped about the whole thing but I told him it definitively must be my car since there was no way he could buy a car that God had already arranged for ME! Did they have someone else in mind or was it really God working it out for MY good?

    I started looking for cars again knowing that if I was supposed to get that car, God wouldn’t let anyone else have it, right? I thought my faith was strong… but what if it was just too much money? Would God want me to not be a good steward of my financial situation and just buy it anyway? I held my ground, remained peaceful and continued to look at one disappointing car after another when THE CALL CAME IN!! They would accept my offer!

    The next morning, I had the money, in cash, in my hand and went to pick up my new baby! THE END.

    Actually, it really isn’t the end… and so many parts of the story are left out. The countless friends and family offering me their cars, their money, their insight to help me make a dream come true. So many believing that God had indeed sent me to that car and it was all part of His plan. Based on the money I had, I knew I still couldn’t afford that Mustang so I never even looked for it. God had to literally drive me right into it, have a sweet friend loan the extra money and give me peace through it all so He could show me how much he wanted to bless me!

    So many people will hear this story and I can only hope a small seed is planted in those who are not believers. For those of us who do believe, keep the faith! I couldn’t help but think how many times I have put God in a box and may have missed His best for me just because I couldn’t, humanly, begin to figure out how something I have been praying about could possibly happen. I long to see things thorough His eyes and with His perspective. Wouldn’t that be something?!

    The best ending for this story would be if my Mustang was THE Mustang I drove back in 2006! Well, I called the dealer and had them check the identification number and it WAS!! Isn’t God fun?!

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    The story of charlie coulson



    I was a surgeon in the United States Army during the Civil War. After the battle of Gettysburg, there were hundreds of wounded soldiers in my hospital. Many were wounded so severely that a leg or an arm, or sometimes both, needed to be amputated.

    One of these was a boy who had been in the service for only 3 months. Since he was too young to be a soldier, he had enlisted as a drummer. When my assistants came to give him chloroform before the amputation, he turned his head and refused it. When they told him that it was the doctor's orders, he said, "Send the doctor to me."

    I came to his bedside and said, "Young man, why do you refuse the chloroform? When I picked you up on the battlefield, you were so far gone that I almost didn't bother to pick you up. But you opened those large blue eyes, it occurred to me that you had a mother somewhere who might be thinking of you that very moment. I didn't want you to die on the field, so I had you brought here. But you've lost so much blood that you've just too weak to live through an operation without chloroform. You'd better let me give you some."

    He laid his hand on mine, looked at me in the face and said, "Doctor, one Sunday afternoon, when I was nine and a half years old, I gave my life to Christ. I learned to trust Him then, I know I can trust Him now. He is my strength. He will support me while you amputate my arm and leg."

    I asked him if he would at least let me give him a little brandy.

    Again he looked at me and said, "Doctor, when I was about 5 years old, my mother knelt by my side with her arms around me and said, ‘Charlie, I am praying to Jesus that you will never take even one drink of alcohol. Your father died a drunkard, and I've asked God to use you to warn people against the dangers of drinking, and to encourage them to love and serve the Lord.’ I am now 17 years old, and I have never had anything stronger than tea or coffee. There is a very good chance that I am about to die and go into the presence of my God. Would you send me there with brandy on my breath?"

    I will never forget that look that boy gave me. At that time I hated Jesus, but I respected that boy's loyalty to His Saviour. And when I saw how he loved and trusted Him to the very end, something deeply touched my heart. I did for that boy what I had never done for any other soldier – I asked him if he wanted to see his chaplain.

    The Chaplain knew the boy well from having seen him often at the tent prayer meetings. Taking his hand he said, "Charlie, I am sorry to see you like this."

    "Oh, I am all right, sir," answered Charlie. "The doctor offered me chloroform, but I told him I didn't want any. Then he wanted to give me brandy, which I didn't want either. So now, if my Saviour calls me I can go to Him in my right mind."

    "You must not die, Charlie," said the chaplain, "but if the Lord does call you home, is there anything I can do for you after you're gone?"

    "Chaplain, please reach under my pillow and take my little Bible. My mother's address is inside. Please send it to her and write a letter for me. Tell her that since I left home, I have never let a single day pass – no matter if we were on the march, on the battlefield, or in the hospital – without reading a portion of the God's word, and daily praying that He would bless her."

    "Is there anything else I can do for you, my lad?" asked the chaplain.

    "Yes- please write a letter to the Sunday School teacher of the Sands Street Church in Brooklyn, New York. Tell him that I've never forgotten his encouragement, good advice, and many prayers for me. They have helped me and comforted me through all the dangers of battle. And now, in my dying hour, I thank the Lord for my dear old teacher, and ask Him to bless and strengthen him. That is all."

    Then turning to me, he said, "I'm ready, doctor. I promise I won't even groan while you take off me arm and leg if you don't offer me chloroform."

    I promised, but I didn't have the courage to take knife in my hand without first going into the next room and taking a little brandy myself.

    While cutting through the flesh, Charlie Coulson never groaned. But when I took the saw to separate the bone, the lad took the corner of his pillow in his mouth and all I could hear him whisper was, "O Jesus, blessed Jesus! Stand by me now." He kept his promise. He never groaned.

    I couldn't sleep that night. Whichever way I tossed and turned, I saw those soft blue eyes, the words, "Blessed Jesus! Stand by me now.'' Kept ringing in my ears. A little after midnight, I finally left my bed and visited the hospital – something I had never done before unless there was an emergency. I had such a strange and strong desire to see that boy.

    When I got there, an orderly told me that 16 of the badly wounded soldiers had died. "Was Charlie Coulson, one of them?" I asked.

    "No, sir," he answered, "he's sleeping as sweet as a babe."

    When I came to his bed, one of the nurses said that at about 9 o'clock two members of the YMCA came through the hospital to sing a hymn. The Chaplain was with them, he knelt by Charlie's bed and offered a fervent and soul-stirring prayer. Then, while still on their knees, they sang one of the sweetest of all hymns, "Jesus, Lover Of My Soul." Charlie sang along with them, too. I couldn't understand how that boy, who was in such horrible pain, could sing.

    Five days after I performed the operation, Charlie sent for me, and it was from him that I heard my first Gospel sermon. "Doctor," he said, "my time has come. I don't expect to see another sunrise. I want to thank you with all my heart for your kindness to me. I know you are Jewish, and that you do not believe in Jesus, but I want you to stay and see me die trusting me Saviour to the last moment of me life." I tried to stay, but I just couldn't – I didn't have the courage to stand by and see a Christian boy die rejoicing in the love of that Jesus who I hated. So I hurriedly left the room.

    About 20 minutes later an orderly came and found me sitting in my office with my hands covering my face. He told me that Charlie wanted to see me. "I've just seen him," I answered. "and I can't see him again."

    "But, doctor, he says he must see you once more before he dies.'

    So I made up my mind to go and see Charlie, say an endearing word and let him die. However, I was determined that nothing he could say would influence me in the least bit, so far as his Jesus was concerned.

    When I entered the hospital I saw he was sinking fast, so I sat down by his bed. Asking me to take his hand, he said, "Doctor, I love you because you are a Jew. The best friend I've found in the world was a Jew." I asked him who that was, and he answered, "Jesus Christ, and I want to introduce you to Him before I die. Will you promise me, doctor that what I am about to say to you, you will never forget?" I promised, and he said, "5 days ago, while you amputated my arm and leg, I prayed to the Lord Jesus Christ and asked Him to make His love known to you."

    Those words went deep in my heart. I couldn't understand how, when I was causing him the most intense pain, he could forget about himself and think of nothing but the Saviour and my unconverted soul Ail I could say to him was, "Well, my dear boy, you will soon be all right." With these words I left him, and 12 minutes later, he fell asleep, safe in the arms of Jesus.

    Hundreds of soldiers died in my hospital during the war, but I only followed one to the grave, and that was Charlie Coulson. I rode 3 miles to see him buried. I had him dressed in a new uniform, and placed in an officer's coffin, with a United States flag over it.

    That boy's dying words made a deep impression on me. I was rich at that time so as far as money was concerned, but I would have given every penny I possessed if I could have felt towards Christ as Charlie did. But that feeling cannot be bought with money. Alas, I soon forgot all about my Christian soldier's little sermon, but I could not forget the boy himself. Looking back, I now know I was under deep conviction of sin at that time. But for nearly 10 years I held back, until finally the dear boy's prayer was answered, and I surrendered my life to the love of Jesus.

    About a year and a half after my conversion, I went to a prayer meeting one evening in Brooklyn. It was one of those meetings where Christians testify about the loving kindness of God. After several had spoken, an elderly lady stood up and said, "Dear friends, this may be the last time I have a chance to publicly share how good the Lord has been to me. My doctor told me yesterday that my right lung is nearly gone, and my left lung is failing fast, so at the best I only have a short time to be with you. But what is left of me belongs to Jesus. It's a great joy to know that I shall soon meet my son with Jesus in heaven.

    "Charlie was not only a soldier for his country, but also a soldier for Christ. He was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg, and was cared for by a Jewish doctor, who amputated his arm and leg. He died 5 days after the operation. The chaplain of the regiment wrote me a letter and sent me my boy's Bible. I was told that in his dying hour, my Charlie sent for that Jewish doctor and said to him, "5 days ago, while you amputated my arm and leg, I prayed to the Lord Jesus Christ for you."

    As I heard this lady speak, I just couldn't sit still! I left my seat, ran across the room and took her hand and said, "God bless you, my dear sister. Your boy's prayer has been heard and answered! I am the Jewish doctor that Charlie prayed for, and his Saviour is now my Saviour! The love of Jesus has won my soul!"

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    The whisper test


    Mary Ann Bird was born with multiple birth defects. She suffered not only from her physical impairments but also with the emotional trauma of "being different" from others.

    The Whisper Test

    I grew up knowing I was different, and I hated it. I was born with a cleft palate, and when I started school, my classmates made it clear to me how I looked to others: a little girl with a misshapen lip, crooked nose, lopsided teeth, and garbled speech.

    When schoolmates asked, "What happened to your lip?" I'd tell them I'd fallen and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an accident than to have been born different. I was convinced that no one outside my family could love me.

    There was, however, a teacher in the second grade whom we all adored -- Mrs. Leonard by name. She was short, round, happy --
    a sparkling lady.

    Annually we had a hearing test. Mrs. Leonard gave the test to everyone in the class, and finally it was my turn. I knew from past years that as we stood against the door and covered one ear, the teacher sitting at her desk would whisper something, and we would have to repeat it back -- things like "The sky is blue" or "Do you have new shoes?" I waited there for those words that God must have put into her mouth, those seven words that changed my life. Mrs. Leonard said, in her whisper, "I wish you were MY little girl."

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    Three trees


    3 treesOnce there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, "Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with Intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty."

    Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."

    Finally the third tree said, "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."

    After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter"... and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.

    At the second tree a woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.

    When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true.

    One of the Woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree so I'll
    take this one," and he cut it down.

    When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for.

    The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end.

    The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark.

    The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams. Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.

    Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and he stood and said "Peace" and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.

    Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.

    The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts.

    Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.

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    Two traveling angels



    Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family.

    The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room.

    Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement.

    As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it.

    When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, "Things aren't always what they seem."

    The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife.

    After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest.

    When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

    The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel how could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him, she accused. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.

    "Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied.

    "When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it. Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem."

    Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don't turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every outcome is always to your advantage. You just might not know it until some time later.

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    Why go to church?


    If you're spiritually alive, you're going to love this!


    A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

    This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
    "I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this... They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"

    When you are DOWN to nothing, God is UP to something!

    Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!

    Thank God for your physical AND our spiritual nourishment!

    When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say, "Jesus, could you get that for me?"

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    A walk with the lord


    I sat, with two friends, in the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off the corner of the town-square. The food and the company were both especially good that day.

    As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street. There, walking into town, was a man who appeared to be carrying all his worldly goods on his back. He was carrying, a well-worn sign that read, "I will work for food." My heart sank.

    I brought him to the attention of my friends and noticed that others around us had stopped eating to focus on him. Heads moved in a mixture of sadness and disbelief.

    We continued with our meal, but his image lingered in my mind. We finished our meal and went our separate ways. I had errands to do and quickly set out to accomplish them.

    I glanced toward the town square, looking somewhat halfheartedly for the strange visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him again would call some response. I drove through town and saw nothing of him. I made some purchases at a store and got back in my car. Deep within me, the Spirit of God kept speaking to me: "Don't go back to the office until you've at least driven once more around the square." Then with some hesitancy, I headed back into town. As I turned the square's third corner. I saw him. He was standing on the steps of the storefront church, going through his sack.

    I stopped and looked; feeling both compelled to speak to him, yet wanting to drive on. The empty parking space on the corner seemed to be a sign from God: an invitation to park. I pulled in, got out and approached the town's newest visitor.

    "Looking for the pastor?" I asked.

    "Not really," he replied, "just resting."

    "Have you eaten today?"

    "Oh, I ate something early this morning."

    "Would you like to have lunch with me?"

    "Do you have some work I could do for you?"

    "No work," I replied. "I commute here to work from the city, but I would like to take you to lunch."

    "Sure," he replied with a smile.

    As he began to gather his things, I asked some surface questions.

    "Where you headed?"

    "St. Louis."

    "Where you from?"

    "Oh, all over; mostly Florida."

    "How long you been walking?"

    "Fourteen years," came the reply.

    I knew I had met someone unusual. We sat across from each other in the same restaurant I had left earlier. His face was weathered slightly beyond his 38 years. His eyes were dark yet clear, and he spoke with an eloquence and articulation that was startling. He removed his jacket to reveal a bright red T-shirt that said, "Jesus is The Never Ending Story."

    Then Daniel's story began to unfold. He had seen rough times early in life. He'd made some wrong choices and reaped the consequences. Fourteen years earlier, while backpacking across the country, he had stopped on the beach in Daytona. He tried to hire on with some men who were putting up a large tent and some equipment. A concert, he thought.

    He was hired, but the tent would not house a concert but revival services, and in those services he saw life more clearly. He gave his life over to God.

    "Nothing's been the same since," he said, "I felt the Lord telling me to keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years now."

    "Ever think of stopping?" I asked.

    "Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best of me. But God has given me this calling. I give out Bibles. That's what's in my sack. I work to buy food and Bibles, and I give them out when His Spirit leads."

    I sat amazed. My homeless friend was not homeless. He was on a mission and lived this way by choice. The question burned inside for a moment and then I asked: "What's it like?"

    "What?"

    "To walk into a town carrying all your things on your back and to show your sign?"

    "Oh, it was humiliating at first. People would stare and make comments. Once someone tossed a piece of half-eaten bread and made a gesture that certainly didn't make me feel welcome. But then it became humbling to realize that God was using me to touch lives and change people's concepts of other folks like me."

    My concept was changing, too. We finished our dessert and gathered his things. Just outside the door, he paused. He turned to me and said, "Come Ye blessed of my Father and inherit the kingdom I've prepared for you. For when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, a stranger and you took me in."

    I felt as if we were on holy ground. "Could you use another Bible?" I asked.

    He said he preferred a certain translation. It traveled well and was not too heavy. It was also his personal favorite. "I've read through it 14 times," he said. "I'm not sure we've got one of those, but let's stop by our church and see." I was able to find my new friend a Bible that would do well, and he seemed very grateful.

    "Where are you headed from here?"

    "Well, I found this little map on the back of this amusement park coupon."

    "Are you hoping to hire on there for awhile?"

    "No, I just figure I should go there. I figure someone under that star right there needs a Bible, so that's where I'm going next."

    He smiled, and the warmth of his spirit radiated the sincerity of his mission. I drove him back to the town-square where we'd met two hours earlier, and as we drove, it started raining.We parked and unloaded his things.

    "Would you sign my autograph book?" he asked. "I like to keep messages from folks I meet."

    I wrote in his little book that his commitment to his calling had touched My life. I encouraged him to stay strong. And I left him with a verse of scripture from Jeremiah, "I know the plans I have for you, "declared the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a Future and a hope."

    "Thanks, man," he said. "I know we just met and we're really just
    strangers, but I love you."

    "I know," I said, "I love you, too."

    "The Lord is good!"

    "Yes, He is. How long has it been since someone hugged you?" I asked.

    "A long time," he replied.

    And so on the busy street corner in the drizzling rain, my new friend and I embraced, and I felt deep inside that I had been changed. He put his things on his back, smiled his winning smile and said, "See you in the New Jerusalem."

    "I'll be there!" was my reply.

    He began his journey again. He headed away with his sign dangling from his bedroll and pack of Bibles. He stopped, turned and said, "When you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?"

    "You bet," I shouted back, "God bless."

    "God bless." And that was the last I saw of him.

    Late that evening as I left my office, the wind blew strong. The cold front had settled hard upon the town. I bundled up and hurried to my car. As I sat back and reached for the emergency brake, I saw them... a pair of well-worn brown work gloves neatly laid over the length of the handle. I picked them up and thought of my friend and wondered if his hands would stay warm that night without them.

    Then I remembered his words: "If you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?"

    Today his gloves lie on my desk in my office. They help me to see the world and its people in a new way, and they help me remember those two hours with my unique friend and to pray for his ministry.

    "See you in the New Jerusalem," he said. Yes, Daniel, I know I will...

    --------

    "I shall pass this way but once. Therefore, any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again."

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