Pearls

Pearls

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.

“Oh please, Mommy, can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?”

Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl’s upturned face. “A dollar ninety-five. That’s almost $2.00. If you really want them, I’ll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday’s only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma.”

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbour and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere-Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story.

One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, “Do you love me?”

“Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you.”

“Then give me your pearls.”

“Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess – the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She’s my favourite.”

“That’s okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night.” And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after the story time, Jenny’s Daddy asked again, “Do you love me?”

“Daddy, you know I love you.”

“Then give me your pearls.”

“Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper.”

“That’s okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you.” And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.

“What is it, Jenny? What’s the matter?”

Jenny didn’t say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, “Here, Daddy. It’s for you.”

With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny’s kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.

Jenny’s father is like our heavenly Father. He also is waiting for us to give up our dime store stuff and seek Him first… so He can fling open the windows of Heaven and pour us out such a blessing that we will not have room enough to hold it.

What are you hanging on to? Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

Meditation: By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son – Hebrews 11:17

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Develop The Right (self) Attitude

Develop The Right (self) Attitude

Here are 10 suggestions to help you develop and maintain a healthy attitude and self-image. Read them slowly. Meditate on them regularly.

1. Hate your sin, but never hate yourself.

2. Be quick to repent.

3. When God gives you light, walk in it.

4. Stop saying negative things about yourself. God loves you and it’s wrong to hate what He loves. He has great plans for you, so you’re in conflict with Him when you speak negatively concerning your future.

5. Never be afraid to admit that you’ve made a mistake and don’t always assume that when things go wrong, it must be ‘my fault’.

6. Don’t meditate excessively on what you’ve done, right or wrong; both of these activities keep your mind on you! Centre your thoughts on Christ.

7. Take good care of yourself physically. Make the best of what God gave you to work with, but don’t be obsessed with your appearance.

8. Never stop learning but don’t allow your education to become a point of pride. God doesn’t use you because of what’s in your head: He uses you because of what’s in your heart.

9. Realize that your talents are a gift, not something you have manufactured yourself; never look down on people who can’t do what you do.

10. Don’t despise your weaknesses they keep you dependent on God.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. – Romans 11:29

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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The Four Candles

The Four Candles burned slowly. Their Ambiance was so soft you could hear them speak…

The first candle said, “I Am Peace, but these days, nobody wants to keep me lit.”

Then Peace’s flame slowly diminishes and goes out completely.

The second candle says, “I Am Faith, but these days, I am no longer indispensable.”

Then Faith’s flame slowly diminishes and goes out completely.

Sadly the third candle spoke, “I Am Love and I haven’t the strength to stay lit any longer. People put me aside and don’t understand my importance. They even forget to love those who are nearest to them.”

And waiting no longer, Love goes out completely.

Suddenly…

A child enters the room and sees the three candles no longer burning.

The child begins to cry, “Why are you not burning? You are supposed to stay lit until the end.”

Then the Fourth Candle spoke gently to the little boy, “Don’t be afraid, for I am Hope, and while I still burn, we can re-light the other candles.”

With shining eyes, the child took the Candle of Hope and lit the other three candles.

Never let the Flame of Hope go out of your life.

With Hope, no matter how bad things look and are…Peace, Faith and Love can shine brightly in our lives.

Meditation: Now hope does not disappoint… – Romans 5:5

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Entertaining Angels

Entertaining Angels

It was 50 years ago, on a hot summer day, in the deep south. We lived on a dirt road, on a sand lot. We were, what was known as “dirt poor”. I had been playing outside all morning in the sand.

Suddenly, I heard a sharp clanking sound behind me and looking over my shoulder, my eyes were drawn to a strange sight! Across the dirt road were two rows of men, dressed in black and white, striped, baggy uniforms. Their faces were covered with dust and sweat. They looked so weary, and they were chained together with huge, black, iron chains. Hanging from the end of each chained row was a big, black, iron ball.

They were, as polite people said in those days, a “Chain Gang,” guarded by two, heavily armed, white guards. I stared at the prisoners as they settled uncomfortably down in the dirt, under the shade of some straggly trees. One of the guards walked towards me. Nodding as he passed, he went up to our front door and knocked. My mother appeared at the door, and I heard the guard ask if he could have permission to get water from the pump, in the backyard, so that “his men” could “have a drink”. My mother agreed, but I saw a look of concern on her face, as she called me inside.

I stared through the window as each prisoner was unchained from the line, to hobble over to the pump and drink his fill from a small tin cup, while a guard watched vigilantly. It wasn’t long before they were all chained back up again, with prisoners and guards retreating into the shade, away from an unrelenting sun. I heard my mother call me into the kitchen, and I entered, to see her bustling around with tins of tuna fish, mayonnaise, our last loaf of bread, and two, big, pitchers of lemonade. In what seemed “a blink of an eye”, she had made a tray of sandwiches using all the tuna we were to have had for that night’s supper.

My mother was smiling as she handed me one of the pitchers of lemonade, cautioning me to carry it “carefully” and to “not spill a drop.” Then, lifting the tray in one hand and holding a pitcher in her other hand, she marched me to the door, deftly opening it with her foot, and trotted me across the street. She approached the guards, flashing them with a brilliant smile. “We had some leftovers from lunch,” she said, “and I was wondering if we could share with you and your men.” She smiled at each of the men, searching their dark eyes with her own eyes of “robin’s egg blue.”

Everyone started to their feet. “Oh no!” she said. “Stay where you are! I’ll just serve you!” Calling me to her side, she went from guard to guard, then from prisoner to prisoner, filling each tin cup with lemonade, and giving each man a sandwich.

It was very quiet, except for a “thank you, ma’am,” and the clanking of the chains. Very soon we were at the end of the line, my mother’s eyes softly scanning each face. The last prisoner was a big man, his dark skin pouring with sweat, and streaked with dust. Suddenly, his face broke into a wonderful smile, as he looked up into my mother’s eyes, and he said, “Ma’am, I’ve wondered all my life if I’d ever see an angel, and now I have! Thank you!”

Again, my mother’s smile took in the whole group. “You’re all welcome!” she said. “God bless you.” Then we walked across to the house, with empty tray and pitchers, and back inside.

Soon, the men moved on, and I never saw them again. The only explanation my mother ever gave me, for that strange and wonderful day, was that I “remember, always, to entertain strangers, for by doing so, you may entertain angels, without knowing.”

Then, with a mysterious smile, she went about the rest of the day. I don’t remember what we ate for supper, that night. I just know it was served by an angel.

Meditation: Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. – Luke 6:38

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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No Time

No Time

I knelt to pray but not for long,

I had too much to do.

I had to hurry and get to work

For bills would soon be due.

 

So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,

And jumped up off my knees.

My Christian duty was now done

My soul could rest at ease.

 

All day long I had no time

To spread a word of cheer.

No time to speak of Christ to friends,

They’d laugh at me I’d fear.

 

No time, no time, too much to do,

That was my constant cry,

No time to give to souls in need

But at last the time to die.

 

I went before the Lord,

I came, I stood with downcast eyes.

For in His hands God held a book;

It was the Book of Life.

 

God looked into his book and said

“Your name I cannot find.

I once was going to write it down…

But never found the time.”

— Author Unknown

Meditation: Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ – Matthew 25:44-45

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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