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Uncommon Courtesy

Uncommon Courtesy

Uncommon Courtesy (Adapted)

I ran into a stranger, as he passed by.

“Oh, excuse me please,” was my reply.

He said, “Oh, please, excuse me too;

I wasn’t even watching; I didn’t see you.”

We were very polite, this stranger and I.

We went on our way, and we said goodbye.

But at home, a different, story is told,

How we treat our loved ones, young and old.

Later that day, near the evening meal,

My son stood beside me, very still.

When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.

“Move out of the way,” I said with a frown.

He walked away, his little heartbroken.

I didn’t realize how, harshly I’d spoken.

Later that night, while I lay awake in bed,

God’s still small voice, came to me and said,

“When dealing with a stranger, such courtesy you use,

But the children you love, you seem to abuse.

Go into the kitchen, and look on the floor,

You’ll find some rocks, there by the door.

Those are the rocks, he brought for you.

He picked them carefully: some are rough, some smooth.

He stood quietly, not to spoil the surprise,

And you never ever saw, the tears in his eyes.”

By this time…I felt, very, very small

And now my tears, they began to fall.

I walked in his room, and knelt by his bed;

“Wake up, little boy, wake up,” I said.

“Are these the rocks, you found for me?”

He smiled, “I found ’em, out by the tree.

I picked ’em out by myself, That one’s so smooth.

I knew you’d like it.  It’s especially for you.”

I said, “Thank you so much, and I really want to say,

I am very sorry, for how I acted today;

I should not have yelled, at you, that way.”

He said, “That’s okay, Daddy. I love you anyway.”

I said, “Son, I love you too.  Now, why don’t we pray.”

Are you aware that:

-If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days.

-But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

-And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family…an unwise investment indeed.

– Author Unknown

Meditation: Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise. – Proverbs 11:29 (NIV)

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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If A Child Lives with Criticism

If A Child Lives with Criticism

If A Child Lives with Criticism

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight

If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive

If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves

If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy

If children live with jealousy, they learn what envy is

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty

If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient

If children live with encouragement, they learn to be confident

If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves

If children live with acceptance, they learn to find love in the world

If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal

If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous

If children live with honesty and fairness, they learn what truth and justice are

If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those around them

If children live with friendliness, they learn that the world is a nice place in which to live

If children live with serenity, they learn to have peace of mind.

What are your children living with?

— Author Unknown

Meditation: Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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We will Never Serve Your God!

We will Never Serve Your God!

We will Never Serve Your God!

At her father’s funeral, the pastor’s daughter (who was a prostitute) watched and listened as church members described all the wonderful deeds done by the pastor of 10,000 capacity church with worldwide television ministry.

They spoke about his care, love, generosity, miracles, signs and wonders and tenderness when he was alive. After the funeral, the daughter of the late pastor asked her siblings and her mother, “Who was that man those people were talking about at the funeral? Is he the same man that raised us? They must be telling lies!”

All the children, including Jack (a drug addict), agreed that the people were telling lies. But their mother said they were not lying.

“Your father was a good pastor, but a bad husband and bad father. He groomed and grew the church but left his family groaning. Fire was in his bone to work for God, but love, affection and intimacy were not in his mind for his family.

“I was his wife, the church was his mistress. He loved the mistress and abandoned his wife. He won the church but lost his family. What a shame!”

The children later wrote and placed on his tomb:

Dad, you pastored and nurtured them but abandoned us.

Dad, you did a lot of revival programmes, but your family is never revived.

Dad, you counseled them, but we lived without counsel.

Dad, you were a shepherd, but we lived without a pasture; you showed them love, but we lived in the desert of affection.

Dad, you were a successful pastor, counselor, but a total failure as a husband and father.

Dad, we hardly know that you are dead, because you were never there for us.

This one thing we promise you, we will never serve your God!

— Author Unknown

Meditation: But if anyone does not provide [love, affection, counsel, guidance, discipline, intimacy, mentorship, etc] for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. – 1 Timothy 5:8

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

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A Bowl of Noodles from a Stranger

A Bowl of Noodles from a Stranger

A Bowl of Noodles from a Stranger

That night, Sue quarrelled with her mother, then stormed out of the house. While en route, she remembered that she did not have any money in her pocket, she did not even have enough coins to make a phone call home.

At the same time, she walked into a noodle shop, picking up sweet fragrance, she suddenly felt very hungry. She wished for a bowl of noodles, but she had no money!

The seller saw her standing before the counter and asked:

– Hey, young lady, you want to eat a bowl of noodles?

– But … but I did not carry money … she shyly replied.

– Okay, I’ll treat you – the seller said – come in, I will cook you a bowl.

A few minutes later the owner brought her a steaming bowl of noodles. After she took some spoons, Sue began to cry.

– What is it? – He asked.

– Nothing. I am just touched by your kindness! – Sue said as she wiped her tears.

– Even a stranger on the street gives me a bowl of noodles, and my mother, after a quarrel, chased me out of the house. She is cruel!!

The seller sighed:

– Girl, why did you think so? Think again. I only gave you a bowl of noodles and you felt that way. Your mother had raised you since you were little, why were you not grateful and still disobeyed your mum?

Sue was really surprised at the seller’s question.

-Why did I not think of that? A bowl of noodles from a stranger made me feel indebted, and my mother has raised me since I was little and I have never felt so, even a little.

On the way home, Sue thought in her head what she would say to her mother when she arrives home: “Mom, I’m sorry. I know it is my fault, please forgive me … ”

Once up the steps, Sue saw her mother worried and tired of looking for her everywhere. Upon seeing Sue, her mother gently said: “Sue, come inside honey. You are probably very hungry. I cooked rice and prepared the meal already, come eat while it is still hot …”

Unable to control herself any longer, Sue cried in her mum’s arms.

In life, we sometimes easy to appreciate the small actions of some people around us, but for relatives, especially parents, we see their sacrifices as a natural thing.

Parental love and concern are the most precious gifts we have been given since birth.

Parents do not expect us to pay back for nurturing us …… but have we ever appreciated or treasure the unconditional sacrifice of our parents?

Meditation: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Rom 5:8 (NIV)

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

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Bring Something Home

Bring Something Home

I traveled with a brother and as we drew closer home, he called his wife and gave instructions about what he wanted to eat for dinner: the quantity, quality and density. He omitted a recipe and called again, adding that to the menu.

I asked him what he would be taking home for his family and he waved off the idea. I pulled into a mall and bought some edibles to give his kids. He attempted to eat from them and I humbly gave him his size of “many stripes”.

My father used to trek long distances so he could save one Naira note to buy 12 wraps of groundnut on wholesale price when he returned home from ministerial journeys. Despite his penury then, he taught us to always bring something home when we grow up.

What are you bringing home today? Some people bring aggression home as if it was their spouses or children that pushed their day southward. I once had a friend, when we were younger, who used to run for cover with his siblings whenever their dad drove into the compound. For some, it was their mother. The party of freedom and excitement would end on the arrival of the mom.

Homes are not built with the gravels of terror. Your spouse and children prayed for your safe journey, missed your presence, hopeful that your contract would be approved, and all you could return was ego and crumbs of sliced loaves of frustration which you snacked on. That’s not fair!

If you don’t have the tangibles to bring home, then bring a smile, a hug, a hot kiss, a hi5, a funny story worth sharing, a thoughtful affection, or a love letter!

May the Lord bless our homes.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.Colossians 3:21

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

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Gifts from Children

Gifts from Children

Gifts from Children

I was doing an errand when the beautiful strains of a symphony came over the airwaves from NPR. I don’t usually have my radio on NPR, choosing instead to listen to a local news station. All of a sudden I realized it had been over a year since I had heard the richness of a really good orchestra creating live stirring music all around me.

Now that our middle daughter has graduated from the school of music at the state university in our town, we are no longer attending the frequent recitals and orchestra programs we made time for (let’s face it) just because she was in them.

And that realization made me suddenly aware of all the many gifts our children gave us. I know Christmas is over, but perhaps January is a good time to revel in the continuing glow (we hope) of the holiday season: remembering times with family, children, feasting. What gifts did your children give you? I’m not talking about the store-bought kind.

Without my children, I would never have experienced what marching band was all about and all that went with that the running to cities hither and yon to attend competitions, see parades or go to the football games where they were playing in the band, including a high school state championship game and a college national championship game as well as the Macy Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. I would never have run alongside to keep up with the band during a parade, and then wept silly sentimental tears for each one’s very last parade, or leapt (in a very undignified manner) high off my seat in the grandstand with other parents when finally, finally the band achieved their first “first.”

I would never have experienced keeping eyes peeled to my children on stage in musicals, choir and band concerts, recitals, plays, elementary school pageants, graduations.

I would never have experienced sucking in my breath when a fastball was hurdled at them in girl’s softball, or an elbow was thrown rebounding a basketball, or the shared embarrassment of one coming in last in the long jump or the 440.

Without my children, I would never have gotten to relive the drama, pain and proffered bouquets of roses thrust into awkward hands during teenage dating.

I would never have had the privilege of chaperoning sleepovers and birthday parties and eavesdropping on tales of other kids’ first kisses and guys’ roaming hands if I hadn’t driven carpools and van loads of adolescents.

These are the gifts of children and that’s just the beginning. I know I wrote at one time about the many gifts children give when they are smaller. Tight hugs and wet kisses. The candy they held tightly in their hands for an hour, but now want you to eat. Already-been-chewed hamburger or French fries. Sweet bed and mealtime prayers. Innocent questions like “Why did God make the clouds so high?” After you’ve grasped for a decent answer, you gape in wonder at the answer they had already formulated, waiting to test it with you: “Maybe it’s so we don’t mess with them.”

Children bring the rediscovery of how fun it is to watch ants scurry on the sidewalk, butterflies emerge from a cocoon or experience the peacefulness of observing crawdads in a rippling creek.

Many times the gift children give us is just to make us laugh. A ten-year-old was helping his mother at our office one day when he saw one guy’s desk stacked high with many messy papers. “Looks like he’s got lots of work to do,” Owen observed. I got a good laugh out of that. It brightened my day.

Whether they are two, 12, 22 or more, thank God for the gifts children have brought to your life whether they are yours or someone else’s!

by Melodie Davis

Meditation: …children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. – Psalm 127:3

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

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