The Doll And A White Rose

The Doll And A White Rose

The Doll And A White Rose

I hurried into the local department store to grab some last-minute Christmas gifts. I looked at all the people and grumbled to myself. I would be in here forever and I just had so much to do. Christmas was beginning to become such a drag. I kinda wished that I could just sleep through Christmas.

But I hurried the best I could through all the people to the toy department. Once again, I kind of mumbled to myself at the prices of all these toys. And wondered if the grandkids would even play with them. I found myself in the doll aisle.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a little boy, about 5, holding a lovely doll. He kept touching her hair and he held her so gently. I could not seem to help myself. I just kept looking over at the little boy and wondered who the doll was for. I watched him turn to a woman, and he called his aunt by name and said, “Are you sure I don’t have enough money?”

She replied a bit impatiently, “You know that you don’t have enough money for it.” The aunt told the little boy not to go anywhere, that she had to go get some other things and would be back in a few minutes. And then she left the aisle.

The boy continued to hold the doll. After a bit I asked the boy who the doll was for. He said, “It is the doll my sister wanted so badly for Christmas. She just knew that Santa would bring it.” I told him that maybe Santa was going to bring it. He said, “No, Santa can’t go where my sister is…I have to give the doll to my Mamma to take to her.”

I asked him where his sister was. He looked at me with the saddest eyes and said, “She has gone to be with Jesus. My Daddy says that Mama is going to have to go be with her.”

My heart nearly stopped beating. Then the boy looked at me again and said, “I told my Daddy to tell Mama not to go yet. I told him to tell her to wait till I got back from the store”. Then he asked me if I wanted to see his picture. I told him I would love to.

He pulled out some pictures he had taken at the front of the store. He said “I want my Mamma to take this with her so she don’t ever forget me. I love my Mama so very much and I wish she did not have to leave me. But Daddy says she will need to be with my sister.”

I saw that the little boy had lowered his head and had grown so very quiet. While he was not looking, I reached into my purse and pulled out a handful of bills. I asked the little boy, “Shall we count that money one more time?”

He grew excited and said “Yes, I just know it has to be enough”.

So I slipped my money in with his, and we began to count it. Of course it was plenty for the doll.

He softly said, “Thank you, Jesus, for giving me enough money.” Then the boy said “I just asked Jesus to give me enough money to buy this doll, so Mama can take it with her, to give to my sister. And He heard my prayer. I wanted to ask Him for enough to buy my Mama a white rose, but I didn’t ask Him, but He gave me enough to buy the doll and a rose for my Mama. She loves white roses so very, very much”.

In a few minutes the aunt came back, and I wheeled my cart away. I could not keep from thinking about the little boy as I finished my shopping in a totally different spirit than when I had started. And I kept remembering a story I had seen in the newspaper several days earlier, about a drunk driver hitting a car and killing a little girl and leaving the Mother in serious condition. The family was deciding on whether to remove the life support. Now surely this little boy did not belong with that story.

Two days later, I read in the paper where the family had disconnected the life support and the young woman had died. I could not forget the little boy, and just kept wondering if the two were somehow connected. Later that day, I could not help myself and I went out and bought some white roses and took them to the funeral home, where the young woman was.

And there she was, holding a lovely white rose, the beautiful doll, and the picture of the little boy in the store.

I left there in tears, my life changed forever. The love that little boy had for his little sister and his mother was overwhelming. And in a split second a drunk driver had ripped the life of that little boy to pieces.

– Author Unknown

Meditation: Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. – Philippians 2:3

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Love Always Finds A Way

Love Always Finds A Way

Love Always Finds A Way

Jeffie was in his playpen and he was crying. Tears were rolling down his little cheeks, his face was red as it could be. He was crying, and he looked pitiful in his little baseball T-shirt and a diaper.

Then Jeffie’s Grandpa entered the room; Jeffie’s little face lit up when he saw his Grandpa! He immediately reached out his little arms in supplication and said, “Out Pa Pa out.”

What is a Grandpa to do? How can someone resist that?

So Grandpa went over to the playpen, he bent over. He reached down to lift his little buddy from captivity and distress. Just then “Law and Order” walked into the room.

Momma said, “Jeffie, you stay right there! I’m punishing you because you have been naughty! Dad, leave Jeffie alone!”

What is a Grandpa to do?

Grandpa backs off and is thinking, “I can’t just pick up a book and read it with Jeffie here. He would think I was uncaring and distant. I can’t leave the room because he would feel like I have abandoned him.”

What is a Grandpa to do?

But you know what? Love always finds a way. Since Grandpa couldn’t take Jeffie out of the playpen, Grandpa climbed in with Jeffie!

Grandpa said, “If you are in the playpen buddy, I’m in the playpen too. What are you in for? What is your sentence?”

Having Grandpa join him in his “prison cell” brought Jeffie great comfort and joy. In the midst of his captivity, Jeffie no longer felt so alone.

What Jeffie’s Grandpa did is also a picture of what Jesus Christ did for us when He came to Earth as a baby.

God the Father yearned to reach down into our “playpen of captivity” and pull us out. He could not because of our disobedience, because of our sin. What did God do?

God climbed into our “playpen” with us! When Jesus Christ entered into our “playpen of captivity,” He took the sin and disobedience that should have been ours alone, releasing us from our captivity, allowing us the opportunity to experience the fullness of life God has for us!

The message is simple, clear and personal: God with us. He loves you so much He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ!

— Author Unknown

Meditation: For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have Eternal Life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. – John 3:16-18

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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The Wisdom of A Child

The Wisdom of A Child

The Wisdom of A Child

My son Gilbert was eight years old and had been in Cub Scouts only a short time. During one of his meetings he was handed a sheet of paper, a block of wood and four tires and told to return home and give all to “dad”.

That was not an easy task for Gilbert to do. Dad was not receptive to doing things with his son. But Gilbert tried. Dad read the paper and scoffed at the idea of making a pine wood derby car with his young, eager son. The block of wood remained untouched as the weeks passed.

Finally, mom stepped in to see if I could figure this all out. The project began. Having no carpentry skills, I decided it would be best if I simply read the directions and let Gilbert do the work. And he did. I read aloud the measurements, the rules of what we could do and what we couldn’t do.

Within days his block of wood was turning into a pinewood derby car. A little lopsided, but looking great (at least through the eyes of mom). Gilbert had not seen any of the other kids’ cars and was feeling pretty proud of his “Blue Lightning”, the pride that comes with knowing you did something on your own.

Then the big night came. With his blue pinewood derby in his hand and pride in his heart, we headed to the big race. Once there my little boy’s pride turned to humility. Gilbert’s car was obviously the only car made entirely on his own. All the other cars were a father-son partnership, with cool paint jobs and sleek body styles made for speed.

A few of the boys giggled as they looked at Gilbert’s lopsided, wobbly, unattractive vehicle. To add to the humility, Gilbert was the only boy without a man at his side. A couple of the boys who were from single parent homes at least had an uncle or grandfather by their side, Gilbert had “mom”.

As the race began, it was done in elimination fashion. You kept racing as long as you were the winner. One by one, the cars raced down the finely sanded ramp. Finally, it was between Gilbert and the sleekest, fastest looking car there. As the last race was about to begin, my wide-eyed, shy eight year old ask if they could stop the race for a minute, because he wanted to pray. The race stopped.

Gilbert went to his knees clutching his funny looking block of wood between his hands. With a wrinkled brow, he set to converse with his Father. He prayed in earnest for a very long minute and a half. Then he stood, smile on his face and announced, “Okay, I am ready.”

As the crowd cheered, a boy named Tommy stood with his father as their car sped down the ramp. Gilbert stood with his Father within his heart and watched his block of wood wobble down the ramp with surprisingly great speed and rushed over the finish line a fraction of a second before Tommy’s car!

Gilbert leaped into the air with a loud “Thank You” as the crowd roared in approval. The Scout Master came up to Gilbert with microphone in hand and asked the obvious question, “So you prayed to win, huh, Gilbert?”

To which my young son answered, “Oh, no sir. That wouldn’t be fair to ask God to help you beat someone else. I just asked Him to make it so I wouldn’t cry when I lost.”

Children seem to have a wisdom far beyond us. Gilbert didn’t ask God to win the race, he didn’t ask God to fix the outcome. Gilbert asked God to give him strength in the outcome. When Gilbert first saw the other cars he didn’t cry out to God, “No fair, they had a father’s help!” No, he went to his Father for strength. Perhaps, we spend too much of our prayer time asking God to rig the race, to make us number one, or too much time asking God to remove us from the struggle, when we should be seeking God’s strength to get through the struggle. “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

Gilbert’s simple prayer spoke volumes to those present that night. He never doubted that God would indeed answer his request. He didn’t pray to win, thus hurt someone else, he prayed that God supply the grace to lose with dignity. Gilbert, by his stopping the race to speak to his Father also showed the crowd that he wasn’t there without a “dad”, but His Father was most definitely there with him. Yes, Gilbert walked away a winner that night, with his Father at his side.

May we all learn to pray this way.

– Author Unknown

Meditation: ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ – Jeremiah 33:3

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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The River

The River

Walking through the forest, a seasoned hiker came upon a broad, slowly moving river. He stopped to gaze over the waters, appreciating the beauty, when suddenly he heard a faint cry coming from upstream.

Looking in the direction of the noise, he saw an obviously drowning man floundering in the river and drifting slowly toward him.

The hiker was stunned momentarily, but he sprang into action when he saw the man disappear beneath the waters. Throwing off all of his cumbersome gear, he dove into the river and swam like a madman toward the spot where the man went under.

Upon reaching the spot he plunged below the surface and frantically hauled up the helpless man. He then laboriously towed the victim to shore. Heaving the lifeless body up on the riverbank, the hiker attempted to revive the man, who eventually spit up water and began to breathe.

Relieved, the hiker paused to catch his breath. But no sooner had he done so than he heard another voice out on the water. Another drowning person!

Once again he swam out and pulled the person to shore, a little more slowly this time. As the hiker-turned-lifeguard revived the second victim, he heard yet another cry for help.

All day long the hiker worked, rescuing one person after another as they came drifting down the river. There seemed to be no end of drowning victims, and the hiker didn’t think he could keep it up.

Just when he was about to collapse from exhaustion, he spotted another man walking rapidly beside the river, headed upstream. “Hey mister!” he cried out. “Please help me! These poor people are drowning!”

Amazingly, the man kept walking upstream. The astonished hiker called out again. Without even acknowledging the cry, the man kept going. Indignant and angry, the hiker leapt to his feet, ran toward the uncompassionate man, stood directly in his path, and in a loud voice demanded, “Sir! How can you possibly walk past all these drowning people? Have you no conscience? Must I force you to help me save these people?”

The stranger stopped, looked at him for the first time and said with a calm, focused voice, “Sir, please get out of my way. I am headed upstream to stop the guy who is pushing all these people in.”

Each of us has a role to play in rescuing those who are drowning in sin. Some of us pull people from the water and resuscitate them with counselling, food and shelter, a rehabilitation program, a support group, or financial aid. Affirm those doing these important ministries. Others among us find our place of ministry upstream, opposing the one pushing people into the river. We do this by introducing those people to Jesus Christ. Knowing Christ sets a person free from sin and releases them from Satan’s power over them.

By itself, pulling people from the water isn’t enough.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise. – Proverbs 11:30

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Real Friend Test

Real Friend Test

A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest. A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself (and doesn’t feel even the least bit weird shutting your ‘beer/Pepsi drawer’ with her foot!)

A simple friend has never seen you cry. A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.

A simple friend doesn’t know your parents’ first names. A real friend has their phone numbers in his address book.

A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party. A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.

A simple friend hates it when you call after they’ve gone to bed. A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.

A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems. A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.

A simple friend wonders about your romantic history. A real friend could blackmail you with it.

A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument. A real friend calls you after you had a fight.

A simple friend expects you to always be there for them. A real friend expects to always be there for you!

– Author Unknown

Meditation: A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. – Proverbs 18:24

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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