Don’t Take it Home

Don’t Take it Home

The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet the family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. After opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His face was wreathed in smiles, and he hugged his two small children and then gave his wife a kiss. Afterwards, he walked me to my car. We passed the tree, and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. “Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning, I pick them up again.” “Funny thing is,” he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren’t

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Buying Time

Buying Time

A man came home from work late again, tired, irritated, and stressed, to find his 6-year-old son waiting for him at the door. “Daddy, may I ask you a question?” “Yeah, sure, what is it?” replied the man. “Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?” “That is none of your business! What makes you ask such a question?” the man said irritatingly. “Oh, I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy. “Well, if you must know, I make $20.00 an hour.” “Oh,” the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up, he said, “Daddy, may I borrow $10.00 please?” The father was irritated. “If the only reason you want to know how much money I make is so you can borrow some for a dopey toy or other nonsense, then off to your room and think about your selfishness. And besides, you’re only 6 years old, and 6 year-olds don’t need money. I work long, hard hours every day to earn money for you and your mom, I don’t have time to talk about loaning you money”. The little boy went quietly to his room and shut the door. After about an hour, the father had calmed down and started to think he may have been a little

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19 Somethings to Say to Children

19 Somethings to Say to Children

1. I love you! There is nothing that will make me stop loving you. Nothing you could do or say or think will ever change that. 2. You are amazing! I look at you with wonder! Not just at what you can do, but who you are. There is no one like you. No one! 3. It’s all right to cry. People cry for all kinds of reasons: when they are hurt, sad, glad, or worried; when they are angry, afraid, or lonely. Big people cry too. I do. 4. You’ve made a mistake. That was wrong. People make mistakes. I do. Is it something we can fix? What can we do? It’s all over. You can start fresh. I know you are sorry. I forgive you. 5. You did the right thing. That was scary or hard. Even though it wasn’t easy, you did it. I am proud of you; you should be too. 6. I’m sorry. Forgive me. I made a mistake. 7. You can change your mind. It’s good to decide, but it is also fine to change. 8. What a great idea! You were really thinking! How did you come up with that? Tell me more. Your mind is clever! 9. That was kind. You did something helpful and thoughtful for that person. That must make

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When You Divorce Me…

When You Divorce Me…

The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” – Matthew 19:3 On my wedding day, I carried my wife in my arms. The bridal car stopped in front of our one-room flat. My buddies insisted that I carry her out of the car in my arms. So I carried her into our home. She was then plump and shy. I was a strong and happy bridegroom. This was the scene ten years ago. The following days were as simple as a cup of pure water: we had a kid; I went into business and tried to make more money. When the assets were steadily increasing, the affection between us seemed to ebb. She was a civil servant. Every morning we left home together and got home almost at the same time. Our kid was studying in a boarding school. Our marriage life seemed to be enviably happy. But the calm life was more likely to be affected by unpredictable changes. Dew came into my life. It was a sunny day. I stood on a spacious balcony. Dew hugged me from behind. My heart once again was immersed in her stream of love. This was the apartment I bought for her. Dew said, “You are the kind of

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Traffic Ticket

Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73 in a 55 zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get caught so often? When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror. The cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand. Bob? Bob from church? Jack sunk farther into his trench coat. This was worse than the coming ticket. A Christian cop catching a guy from his own church. A guy who happened to be a little anxious to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was about to play golf with tomorrow. Jumping out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday, a man he’d never seen in uniform. “Hi, Bob. Fancy meeting you like this.” “Hello, Jack.” No smile. “Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see my wife and kids.” “Yeah, I guess.” Bob seemed uncertain. Good. “I’ve seen some long days at the office lately. I’m afraid I bent the rules a bit-just this once.” Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement. “Diane said something about roast

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The House Behind the Weeds

The House Behind the Weeds

Just two little boys walking down a dusty lane They came upon this old white house With broken window panes. The paint was faded, the shine was gone The grass had grown so high Still they made their little feet To see what was inside. They opened up the squeaky door And then it came to light This must have been an old church house Once upon a time. Dirty, dusty wooden pews A pulpit that still stood A bible laid upon it Though the pages weren’t too good. An offering plate and song books too Were lying on the floor They must have left this old church fast The day they closed these doors. And over in the corner A piano was still there It must have played a pretty tune But I guess nobody cared. So little Bill looked up at Tommy And Tommy looked at Bill Why Don’t we clean this old church up, and get these old pews filled?” They took a rag and wiped the dust To try and make things shine And then they took the offering plate And put in it their Last dime. They took a broom and swept the floor And picked up broken glass They got it all so nice and neat And then they mowed the grass. They lifted

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