Parables & Analogies

How to Forgive

Roxane, thank you for sharing this. It really gives us something to think about.

How To Forgive (WOW)
One day a while back, a man, his heart heavy with grief, was walking in
the woods. As he thought about his life this day, he knew many things
were not right. He thought about those who had lied about him back
when he had a job.

His thoughts turned to those who had stolen his things and cheated
him. He remembered family that had passed on. His mind turned to
the illness he had that no one could cure. His very soul was filled
with anger, resentment and frustration.

Standing there this day, searching for answers he could not find,
knowing all else had failed him, he knelt at the base of an old oak tree
to seek the one he knew would always be there. And with tears in his
eyes, he prayed:

“Lord- You have done wonderful things for me in this life. You have
told me to do many things for you, and I happily obeyed. Today, you
have told me to forgive. I am sad, Lord, because I cannot. I don’t
know how.
It is not fair Lord. I didn’t deserve these wrongs that were done
against me and I shouldn’t have to forgive. As perfect as your way is
Lord, this one thing I cannot do, for I don’t know how to forgive. My
anger is so deep Lord, I fear I may not hear you, but I pray that you
teach me to do this one thing I cannot do – Teach me To Forgive.”

As he knelt there in the quiet shade of that old oak tree, he felt
something fall onto his shoulder. He opened his eyes. Out of the
corner of one eye, he saw something red on his shirt. He could not
turn to see what it was because where the oak tree had been was a large
square piece of wood in the ground. He raised his head and saw two
feet held to the wood with a large spike through them .

He raised his head more, and tears came to his eyes as he saw Jesus
hanging on a cross. He saw spikes in His hands, a gash in His side, a
torn and battered body, deep thorns sunk into His head. Finally he
saw the suffering and pain on His precious face. As their eyes met,
the man’s tears turned to sobbing, and Jesus began to speak.

“Have you ever told a lie?” He asked?
The man answered – “yes, Lord.”
“Have you ever been given too much change and kept it?”
The man answered – ” yes. Lord.” And the man sobbed more and more.
“Have you ever taken something from work that wasn’t yours?” Jesus
asked?
And the man answered – “yes, Lord.”
“Have you ever sworn, using my Father’s name in vain? ”
The man, crying now, answered – “yes, Lord.”
As Jesus asked many more times, “Have you ever”? The man’s crying
became uncontrollable, for he could only answer – “yes, Lord.”
Then Jesus turned His head from one side to the other, and the man felt
something fall on his other shoulder. He looked and saw that it was
the blood of Jesus. When he looked back up, his eyes met those of Jesus,
and there was a look of love the man had never seen or known before.
Jesus said, “I didn’t deserve this either, but I forgive you.”

It may be hard to see how you’re going to get through something, but
when you look back in life, you realize how true this statement
is. Read the following first line slowly and let it sink in. If God
brings you to it – He will bring you through it. Lord I love You and I
need You, come into my heart, today. For without You I can do
nothing.

When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you! If you are one of
the 7% who will stand up for him, forward this with the Title 7.%
93% of people won’t forward this

Daffodil Principle

Thank you Sue for sharing this story. We need to keep things moving, and chip away at big things one piece at a time.

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, “Mother, you must come.
To see the daffodils before they are over.”
I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake
Arrowhead “I will come next Tuesday”, I promised a little reluctantly on her
third call.
Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and
reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house I was
welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and
greeted my grandchildren.
“Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds
and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children
that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!”
My daughter smiled calmly and said, “We drive in this all the time,
Mother.”
“Well, you won’t get me back on the road until it clears, and then I’m
heading for home!” I assured her.
“But first we’re going to see the daffodils. It’s just a few blocks,”
Carolyn said. “I’ll drive. I’m used to this.”
“Carolyn,” I said sternly, “please turn around.”
“It’s all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if
you miss this experience.”
After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw
a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign
with an arrow that read, “Daffodil Garden.” We got out of the car, each
took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we
turned a corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious
sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured
it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were
planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep
orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter
yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted in large groups so that
it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There
were five acres of flowers.
“Who did this?” I asked Carolyn.
“Just one woman,” Carolyn answered. “She lives on the property. That’s
her home.”
Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting
in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house. On the patio, we
saw a poster. “Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking”, was the
headline. The first answer was a simple one. “50,000 bulbs,” it read. The
second answer was, “One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and
one brain.” The third answer was, “Began in 1958.”
For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of
this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had
begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an
obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this
unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at
a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty,
and
inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the
Greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our
goals and desires one step at a time–often just one baby-step at time–and
learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When
we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we
too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world

“It makes me sad in a way,” I admitted to Carolyn. “What might I have
accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years
ago and had worked away at it ‘one bulb at a time’ through all those years?
Just think what I might have been able to achieve!”
My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way.
“Start tomorrow,” she said.
She was right. It’s so pointless to think of the lost hours of
yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a
cause for regret is to only ask, “How can I put this to use today?”
Use the Daffodil Principle. Stop waiting…..
Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until you finish school
Until you clean the house
Until you organize the garage
Until you clean off your desk
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until the kids go to school
Until you retire
Until summer
Until spring
Until winter
Until fall
Until you die..

There is no better time than right now to be happy.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
So work like you don’t need money.
Love like you’ve never been hurt, and, Dance like no one’ swatching.
If you want to brighten someone’s day, pass this on to someone special.
I just did!

Bruised Apples

What an awesome story, and one that reminds us to each search our own hearts and actions. Thank you Vickie for sharing. It truly touched us here in just the right place.

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago.
They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time
for Friday night’s dinner. In their rush, with tickets and briefcases,
one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held
a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere.

Without stopping or looking back, they all
managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding.
All but one. He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his
feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose
apple stand had been overturned.

He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of
them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and
explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal
where the apples were all over the terminal floor. He was glad he did.

The 16 year old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears
running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly
groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one
stopping and no one to care for her plight.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put
them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this,
he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he
set aside in another basket.

When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl,
“Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?”
She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, “I hope we didn’t
spoil your day too badly.” As the salesman started to walk away, the
bewildered blind girl called out to him, “Mister…..” He paused and
turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, “Are you Jesus?”

He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way
to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about
in his soul: “Are you Jesus?”

Do people mistake you for Jesus? That’s our destiny, is it not? To be
so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and
interact with a world (shopping, working, reacting to others that are
serving us) that is blind to His love, life and grace.

If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would.
Knowing Him is more than simply quoting scripture and going to church.
It’s actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.

You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by A fall.
He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill
called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.

Let us live like we are worth the price He paid.

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is
fighting some kind of battle

The Marine’s Father

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
“Your son is here,” she said to the old man. She had to repeat
the words several times before the patient’s eyes opened.

Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he
dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen
tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his
toughened fingers around the old man’s limp ones, squeezing a
message of love and encouragement.

The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside
the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in
the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering
him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse
suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.

He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine
was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital –
the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff
members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other
patients.

Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying
man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the
night.

Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the
now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the
nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy,
but the Marine interrupted her.

“Who was that man?” he asked.

The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered.

“No, he wasn’t,” the Marine replied.
“I never saw him before in my life.”

“Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?”

“I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he
needed his son, and his son just wasn’t here. When I realized
that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son,
knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.”

The next time someone needs you just be there. Stay….
We are not human beings going through a temporary spiritual
experience.
We are spiritual beings going through a temporary human
experience.

~Author Unknown~

Some Birds Sing Even Sweeter in Confinement

Donna was kind enough to share this wonderful devotion with us. It is so important that we understand that there are true saints in prison. That sometimes they do their greatest work, for the Lord, behind bars. Bringing joy to many who serve with them. Keep these men, women, and children in prayer. Ask God to open the hearts of all who will cross their paths.

Just wanted to share the August 27th reading from Streams in the Desert.

“And he took him aside from the multitude” (Mark 7:33)
Paul, not only stood the tests in Christian activity, but in the solitude of captivity. You may stand the strain of the most intense labor, coupled with severe suffering and yet break down utterly when laid aside from all religious activities: when forced into close confinement in some prison house.

That noble bird, soaring the highest above the clouds and enduring the longest flights, sinks into despair when in a cage where it is forced to beat its helpless wings against its prison bars. You have seen the great eagle languish in its narrow cell with bowed head and drooping wings. What a picture of the sorrow of inactivity.
Paul in prison. That was another side of life. Do you want to see how he takes it? I see him looking out over the top of his prison wall and over the heads of his enemies. I see him write a document and sign his name – not the prisoner of Festus nor of Caesar; not the victim of the Sanhedrin; but the “prisoner of the Lord.” He saw only the hand of God in it all. To him the prison becomes a palace. Its corriders ring with shouts of triumphant praise and joy.

Restrained from the missionary work he loved so well, he now built a new pulpit – a new witness stand – and from that place of bondage come some of the sweetest and most helpful ministries of Christian liberty. What precious messages of light come from those dark shadows of captivity.

Think of the long train of imprisoned saints who have followed in Paul’s wake. For twelve long years Bunyan’s lips were silenced in Bedford jail. It was there that he did the greatest and best work of his life. There he wrote the book that has been read next to the Bible. He says, “I was at home in prison and I sat me down and wrote, and wrote, for joy did make me write.” (Pilgrim’s Progress)

The wonderful dream of that long night has lighted the pathway of millions of weary pilgrims. That sweet-spirited French lady, Madam Guyon, lay long between prison walls. Like some caged birds that sing the sweeter for their confinement, the music of her soul has gone out far beyond the dungeon walls and scattered the desolation of many drooping hearts.

Oh, the heavenly consolation that has poured forth from places of solitude. (S.C. Rees)

Taken aside by Jesus
To feel the touch of His hand
To rest for a while in the shadow
Of the Rock in a weary land

Taken aside by Jesus
In the loneliness dark and drear
Where no other comfort may reach me
Than His voice to my heart so dear

Taken aside by Jesus
To be quite alone with Him
To hear His wonderful tones of love
‘Mid the silence and shadows dim

Taken aside by Jesus
Shall I shrink from the desert place
When I hear as I never heard before
And see Him face to face?

God bless you!
Pastor Donna

The Spoons

Jeannine this story makes a couple wonderful points. Gee it touches on trust, humility, respect for others, just to name a few of the positive ones. Thank you for taking time to share.

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said,
“Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.”

The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man
looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table
was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished.
They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and
each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle
was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.
The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, “You have seen Hell.”

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one.
There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water.
The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were
well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, “I don’t understand.”

“It is simple” said the Lord, “it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other.
While the greedy think only of themselves. A friend is someone who reaches for your hand, and
touches your heart.” “People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don’t need to
hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there….”

“Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

Rich or Poor

Thank you Roxane, we really do need to look at the things we have. Sometimes what is seen in the eyes of a child, should make us take a new look at what is really around us.

One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”

“It was great, Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Oh yeah,” said the son.

“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.

The son answered: “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.

We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”

The boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added, “Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.”

Isn’t perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don’t have. Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends! Pass this on to friends and acquaintances and help them refresh their perspective an appreciation.

“Life is too short and friends are too few.”

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply, Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Clay Balls

Thank you Vickie for sharing, this is so true; not only of those we come in contact with, but also of ourselves.

A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag
with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave
with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.

He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!

Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him.
He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!

It’s like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn’t look like much from the outside. It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.

We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.

I am so blessed by the gems I have found. Thank you for looking beyond my clay vessel.

‘Ugly’ the Tomcat

What a wonderful story, and a humbling lesson we should each take time to learn! We would like to thank our fellow prayer warrior, Amy, for sharing it with us.

Everyone in the apartment complex I lived in knew who Ugly was. Ugly was the resident tomcat. Ugly loved three things in this world: fighting, eating garbage, and, shall we say, love.

The combination of these things combined with a life spent outside had their effect on Ugly. To start with, he had only one eye and where the other should have been was a hole. He was also missing his ear on the same side, his left foot appeared to have been badly broken at one time, and had healed at an unnatural angle, making him look like he was always turning the corner.

Ugly would have been a dark gray tabby, striped type, except for the
sores covering his head, neck, and even his shoulders.

Every time someone saw Ugly there was the same reaction. “That’s one UGLY cat!!!”

All the children were warned not to touch him, the adults threw rocks at him, hosed him down, and squirted him when he tried to come in their homes, or shut his paws in the door when he would not leave. Ugly always had the same reaction.

If you turned the hose on him, he would stand there, getting soaked until you gave up and quit. If you threw things at him, he would curl his lanky body around your feet in forgiveness.

Whenever he spied children, he would come running, meowing frantically and bump his head against their hands, begging for their love.

If you ever picked him up he would immediately begin suckling on your shirt, earrings, whatever he could find.

One day Ugly shared his love with the neighbor’s dogs. They did not respond kindly, and Ugly was badly mauled. I tried to rush to his aid. By the time I got to where he was laying, it was apparent Ugly’s sad life was almost at an end.

As I picked him up and tried to carry him home, I could hear him wheezing and gasping, and could feel him struggling. It must be hurting him terribly, I thought.

Then I felt a familiar tugging, sucking sensation on my ear. Ugly, in so much pain, suffering and obviously dying, was trying to suckle my ear. I pulled him closer to me, and he bumped the palm of my hand with his head, then he turned his one golden eye towards me, and I could hear the distinct sound of purring.

Even in the greatest pain, that ugly battled scarred cat was asking only for a little affection, perhaps some compassion.

At that moment I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I had ever seen. Never once did he try to bite or scratch me, try to get away from me, or struggle in any way. Ugly just looked up at me completely trusting in me to relieve his pain.

Ugly died in my arms before I could get inside, but I sat and held him for a long time afterwards, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray could so alter my opinion about what it means to have true pureness of spirit, to love so totally and truly.

Ugly taught me more about giving and compassion than a thousand books, lectures, or talk show specials ever could, and for that I will always be thankful.

He had been scarred on the outside, but I was scarred on the inside, and it was time for me to move on and learn to love truly and deeply. To give my total to those I cared for.

Many people want to be richer, more successful, well liked, beautiful, but for me…
I will always try to be Ugly.

What Fills Up Your Life?

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar………and the lemonade.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large, empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students, again, if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked, once more, if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes’.

The professor then produced a glass of lemonade from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things-your faith, your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favorite passions–things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else–the small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Take your loved one out to dinner. Play with your children. Fellowship with those who share your faith. Take time to get medical check-ups. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

Then the class spoke up and asked, “What about the lemonade? What does that represent?”

The professor said, “When life isn’t going just the way you planned it and it starts throwing lemons your way…..make some lemonade and enjoy what you can of it!”

Author unknown to contributor

Twinkies and Root Beer

Author Unknown

A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of Root Beer and he started his journey.
When he had gone about three blocks, he met an elderly man. The man was sitting in the park just feeding some pigeons.
The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the man looked hungry, so he offered him a Twinkie.
The man gratefully accepted it and smiled at boy. His smile was so pleasant that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer.
Again, the man smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.
As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the man, and gave him a hug. The man gave him his biggest smile ever.
When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face.
She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?
“He replied, “I had lunch with God.” But before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what? God’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”
Meanwhile, the elderly man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked,” Dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?”
He replied, “I ate Twinkies in the park with God.” However, before his son responded, he added,” You know, he’s much younger than I expected.”
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Embrace all equally!

~author unknown

Step up and Help Your Brother

This was just something God laid on my heart. I pray it will bless you as it has me.

There are so many examples of people helping one another in the Bible; helping both the lovable and the unlovable. Jesus Himself set many of these examples. Here is an excellent example of God having given the power to Moses; stepped back so others who saw a need could ‘step up and help their brother’. Has God laid on your heart the need of a brother, have you taken the next step? Pray that God would give you the wisdom, understanding, and courage to take up His leading and do what He would have you to do to change the history of this life.

Right after Moses had followed God’s direction and gotten water for the Israelites at the rock in Horeb, Amalek came and began to fight the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses directed Joshua to choose men to for this battle. During the battle he would be standing on top of the hill, with the rod of God in his hand. We take up from that point in God’s Word at Exodus 17:10-13.

10. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill.
11. And it came to pass when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
12. But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
13. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

There may be times when each one of us may question God’s presence, He truly is there; but sometimes He uses someone else to help, guide, or strengthen us. In these verses His presence was obvious. He could have just given Moses the strength he needed to keep his arms up; but He didn’t. Instead, it seems to me, He touched the hearts of Aaron and Hur to come to Moses’ aide. When they worked together, stepping out in faith; God worked a mighty work. It is our fervent prayer that God show you the way He would have you to ‘Step Up and Help a Brother or Sister’. Thank you for your interest in this site, may it bring a special blessing to your life and the life of another.

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem the worst
Than you must not quit!
-Author unknown-

Who’s Your Daddy?

Randy thank you for sharing. There are just some days when you need to read stories like the one below…..Have a great day

A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, TN. One morning, they were eating breakfast in a little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet, family meal. While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white haired man moving from table to table visiting with the guests. The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, ‘I hope he doesn’t come over here.’ But sure enough, the man did come over to their table.

“Where are you folks from?” he asked in a friendly voice.

“Oklahoma,” they answered.

“Great to have you her in Tennessee,” the stranger said. “What do you do for a living?”

“I teach at a seminary,” he replied.

“Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I’ve got a really good story for you.” And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with the couple. The professor groaned and thought to himself, ‘Great …… Just what I need — another preacher story!’

The man started, “See that mountain over there?” (pointing out a restaurant window). “Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growning up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question. ‘Hey boy, who’s your daddy?’ Whether he was at school, in the grocery store, or drug store. People would ask the same question. “Who’s your daddy?”

He would hide at recess and lunchtime from the other students. He would avoid going into stores because that question hurt him so bad. When he was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. He would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, ‘Who’s your daddy?’ But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast, he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd. Just about the time he got to the back door the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, “Son, who’s your daddy?”

The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him. Now everone would finally know the answer to the question, ‘Who’s your daddy?’

The new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to the scared little boy. “Wait a minute!” he said. “I know who your are. I see the family resemblence now. You are a child of God!” With that he patted the boy on his shoulder and said, “Boy, you’ve got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.”

With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever anybody asked him, ‘Who’s your daddy?’ he’d just tell them, “I’m a child of God.”

The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, “Isn’t that a great story?”

The professor responded that it really was a great story! As the man turned to leave, he said, “You know, if that new preacher hadn’t told me that I was one of God’s children, I probably would never have amounted to anything!” and he walked away.

The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over and asked her, “Do you know that man, who just left, that was sitting at our table?”

The waitress grinned and said, “Of course, everybody here knows him. That’s Ben Hooper. He’s the former governor of Tennessee!”

Someone in your life today needs a reminder that they are one of God’s children. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8 YOU are one of God’s children!

Easier by the Spoonful

(Used with written permission from the author.)

I remember as a child the dreaded castor oil I had to take. It was always administered by Mom’s careful hand and produced a smile afterwards that made it worthwhile. I think the cure was really in Mom’s genuine smile and not the ingredients from the bottle. Little amounts of love are the same. When faced with a situation that is unpleasant, for the moment it seems as that spoonful of castor oil. Yet, by owning-up to my fault or guilt in a situation, then bitterness is rewarded by a medicine of curative properties.

Life’s lessons are not always as simple and easily rewarded as Mom’s smile was for me as a child. Still the principle and basic truth remain the same. Mom’s idea of preventative measures by the spoonful, is the solution for what may befall us in life. It is much easier to keep focused daily on the little corrective measures we need in our relationships, than waiting until all is as a crisis level.

What one small spoonful have we forgotten to swallow in this day; that will produce a smile for tomorrow? Pride is the castor oil we can daily afford to swallow. The taste of doing so is really a momentary discomfort. How we measure our ‘self-imposed importance’ with each other, will determine the bitterness of our spoonful. Many of us can testify to the fact that, ‘pride comes before a fall’. I remember falling down as a boy and skinning my knees. Of course after Mom washed my knees and cleaned out the cuts, out came the castor oil. How this all so fits, especially when the medicine is a spoonful of humility.

After all this is said and done, I’ll just take a spoonful and leave out the bumps and bruises. After all Mom knew best with her simple smile of ‘one dose at a time’. Thanks Mom for the best medicine of all, LOVE! Oh, did I mention the other benefits that came? It is in knowing that even little cures add up in the big picture over time.

Of No Consequence to You (A Mouse Story)

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. “What food might this contain?” He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house.” The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”
The mouse turned to the cow. She said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house — like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient. But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.
So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, remember — when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
In the book of Genesis, Cain said this about Abel, his brother, to our God: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.