An Eye Opener

An Eye Opener

I saw him in the church building for the first time on Wednesday. He was in his mid-70’s, with thinning silver hair and a neat brown suit. Many times in the past I had invited him to come. Several other Christian friends had talked to him about the Lord and had tried to share the good news with him. He was a well-respected, honest man with so many characteristics a Christian should have, but he had never put on Christ, nor entered the doors of the church. “Have you ever been to a church service in your life?” I had asked him a few years ago. We had just finished a pleasant day of visiting and talking. He hesitated. Then with a bitter smile, he told me of his childhood experience some fifty years ago. He was one of many children in a large impoverished family. His parents had struggled to provide food, with little left for housing and clothing. When he was about ten, some neighbors invited him to worship with them. The Sunday School class had been very exciting! He had never heard such songs and stories before! He had never heard anyone read from the Bible! After class was over, the teacher took him aside and said, “Son, please don’t come again dressed as you are now.

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The Lily and the Bluebird

The Lily and the Bluebird

Once upon a time there was a beautiful lily. This lily had a bluebird friend who used to perch on a nearby fencepost and visit with her nearly every day. Together they enjoyed observing the rancher and his family who owned the place where they lived. They watched as, day after day, the rancher and his family worked tirelessly. Though their ranch was profitable and their hard work admirable, the conversation the friends overheard and the things they observed were curious to the pair. It seemed the more profitable the ranch became, the more the family thought they needed. The bluebird made an observational flight over the rancher’s domain, “You know, Lily,” he said upon his return, “All their hard work is really paying off. They have increased and improved this place substantially in the last few years.” “I know,” replied the lily, “But have you also noticed that along with their increase they have less and less time for each other. They have all but quit going to church, and I hear them arguing more and more. And come to think of it,” she observed, “I used to see the farmer and his wife taking long walks. Sometimes they walked together, hand in hand and at other times I used to see each of them taking time out of

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The Art of Forgiving

The Art of Forgiving

The most creative power given to the human spirit is the power to heal the wounds of a past it cannot change. We do our forgiving alone inside our hearts and minds; what happens to the people we forgive depends on them. The first person to benefit from forgiving is the one who does it. Forgiving happens in three stages: we rediscover the humanity of the person who wronged us; we surrender our right to get even, and we wish that person well. Forgiving is a journey; the deeper the wound, the longer the journey. Forgiving does not require us to reunite with the person who broke our trust. We do not forgive because we are supposed to; we forgive when we are ready to be healed. Waiting for someone to repent before we forgive is to surrender our future to the person who wronged us. Forgiving is not a way to avoid pain but to heal the pain. Forgiving someone who breaks a trust does not mean that we give him his job back. Forgiving is the only way to be fair to ourselves. Forgivers are not doormats; to forgive a person is not a signal that we are willing to put up with what he does. Forgiving is essential; talking about it is optional. When we forgive, we

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Little Christians

Little Christians

Ten little Christians standing in a line, One disliked the pastor, then there were nine. Nine little Christians stayed up very late, One slept in on Sunday, then there were eight. Eight little Christians on their way to heaven, One took the low road, then there were seven. Seven little Christians chirping like chicks, One disliked the music, then there were six. Six little Christians seemed very much alive, But one lost his interest, then there were five. Five little Christians pulling for Heaven’s shore, But one stopped to rest, then there were four. Four little Christians, each busy as a bee, One got her feelings hurt, then there were three. Three little Christians knew what to do, One joined the sports crowd, then there were two. Two little Christians, our rhyme is nearly done, Differed with each other, then there was one. One little Christian can’t do much ’tis true; Brought his friend to Bible study, then there were two. Two earnest Christians, each won one more, That doubled their number, then there were four. Four sincere Christians worked early and late, Each won another, then there were eight. Eight little Christians, if they doubled as before, In just a few short weeks, we’d have 1,024. In this little jingle, there’s a lesson true, You belong to the building,

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The Diamond Ring

The Diamond Ring

A married lady was expecting a birthday gift from her husband. For many months she had admired a beautiful diamond ring in a showroom and knowing her husband could afford it, she told him that was all she wanted. As her birthday approached, this lady awaited signs that her husband had purchased the diamond ring. Finally, on the morning of her birthday, her husband called her into his study. Her husband told her how proud he was to have such a good wife, and told her how much he loved her. He handed her a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, the wife opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the wife’s name embossed in gold. Angrily, she raised her voice at her husband and said, ‘With all your money you gave me a Bible?’ And stormed out of the house, leaving her husband. Many years passed and the lady became very successful in business. She managed to settle for a more beautiful house and a wonderful family, but realized her ex-husband was very old, and thought perhaps she should go to visit him. She had not seen him for many years. But before she could make arrangements, she received a telegram telling her that her ex-husband had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to her.

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