I’m Flying!

I’m Flying!

I’m Flying!

Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who was raised in an orphanage. The little boy had always wished that he could fly like a bird. It was very difficult for him to understand why he could not fly. There were birds at the zoo that were much bigger than he, and they could fly. “Why can’t I?” he thought. “Is there something wrong with me?” he wondered.

There was another little boy who was crippled. He had always wished that he could walk and run like other little boys and girls. “Why can’t I be like them?” he thought.

One day, the little orphan boy, who had wanted to fly like a bird, ran away from the orphanage. He came upon a park where he saw the little boy, who could not walk or run, playing in the sandbox.

He ran over to the little boy and asked him if he had ever wanted to fly like a bird.

“No,” said the little boy who could not walk or run. “But I have wondered what it would be like to walk and run like other boys and girls.”

“That is very sad,” said the little boy who wanted to fly. “Do you think we could be friends?” he said to the little boy in the sandbox.

“Sure,” said the little boy.

The two little boys played for hours. They made sand castles and made really funny sounds with their mouths. Sounds which made them laugh real hard. Then the little boy’s father came with a wheelchair to pick up his son. The little boy who had always wanted to fly ran over to the boy’s father and whispered something into his ear.

“That would be OK,” said the man.

The little boy who had always wanted to fly like a bird ran over to his new friend and said, “You are my only friend and I wish that there was something that I could do to make you walk and run like other little boys and girls. But I can’t. But there is something that I can do for you.”

The little orphan boy turned around and told his new friend to slide up onto his back. He then began to run across the grass. Faster and faster he ran, carrying the little crippled boy on his back. Faster and harder he ran across the park. Harder and harder he made his legs travel. Soon the wind just whistled across the two little boys’ faces.

The little boy’s father began to cry as he watched his beautiful little crippled son flapping his arms up and down in the wind, all the while yelling at the top of his voice,

“I’M FLYING, DADDY. I’M FLYING!”

Meditation: For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:14

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Always Aim Higher

Always Aim Higher

Always Aim Higher

Edmund O’Neill

Always aim higher than you believe you can reach. So often, you’ll discover that when your talents are set free by your imagination, you can achieve any goal.

If people offer their help or wisdom as you go through life, accept it gratefully. You can learn much from those who have gone before you. But never be afraid or hesitant to step off the accepted path and head off in your own direction if your heart tells you that it’s the right way for you.

Always believe that you will ultimately succeed at whatever you do, and never forget the value of persistence, discipline, and determination.

You are meant to be whatever you dream of becoming.

Meditation: Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart; He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the Lord; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change; He who does not put out his money at usury, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved. – Psalm 15

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Carl’s Garden

Carl’s Garden

Carl’s Garden

Carl was a quiet man. He didn’t talk much. He would always greet you with a big smile and a firm handshake. Even after living in our neighborhood for over 50 years, no one could really say they knew him very well.

Before his retirement, he took the bus to work each morning. The lone sight of him walking down the street often worried us. He had a slight limp from a bullet wound received in WW II. Watching him, we worried that although he had survived WW II, he may not make it through our changing uptown neighborhood with its ever-increasing random violence, gangs, and drug activity.

When he saw the flyer at our local church asking for volunteers for caring for the gardens behind the minister’s residence, he responded in his characteristically unassuming manner. Without fanfare, he just signed up. He was well into his 87th year when the very thing we had always feared finally happened.

He was just finishing his watering for the day when three gang members approached him. Ignoring their attempt to intimidate him, he simply asked, “Would you like a drink from the hose?”

The tallest and toughest-looking of the three said, “Yeah, sure”, with a malevolent little smile. As Carl offered the hose to him, the other two grabbed Carl’s arm, throwing him down. As the hose snaked crazily over the ground, dousing everything in its way, Carl’s assailants stole his retirement watch and his wallet, and then fled. Carl tried to get himself up, but he had been thrown down on his bad leg.

He lay there trying to gather himself as the minister came running to help him. Although the minister had witnessed the attack from his window, he couldn’t get there fast enough to stop it. “Carl, are you okay? Are you hurt?” the minister kept asking as he helped Carl to his feet. Carl just passed a hand over his brow and sighed, shaking his head.

“Just some punk kids. I hope they’ll wise-up someday.” His wet clothes clung to his slight frame as he bent to pick up the hose. He adjusted the nozzle again and started to water.

Confused and a little concerned, the minister asked, “Carl, what are you doing?”

“I’ve got to finish my watering. It’s been very dry lately”, came the calm reply. Satisfying himself that Carl really was all right, the minister could only marvel. Carl was a man from a different time and place. A few weeks later, the three returned. Just as before their threat was unchallenged. Carl again offered them a drink form his hose. This time they didn’t rob him. They wrenched the hose from his hand and drenched him head to foot in the icy water.

When they had finished their humiliation of him, they sauntered off down the street, throwing catcalls and curses, falling over one another laughing at the hilarity of what they had just done. Carl just watched them. Then he turned toward the warmth giving sun, picked up his hose, and went on with his watering.

The summer was quickly fading into fall. Carl was doing some tilling when he was startled by the sudden approach of someone behind him. He stumbled and fell into some evergreen branches. As he struggled to regain his footing, he turned to see the tall leader of his summer tormenters reaching down for him. He braced himself for the expected attack. “Don’t worry old man, I’m not gonna hurt you this time.” The young man spoke softly, still offering the tattooed and scarred hand to Carl.

As he helped Carl get up, the man pulled a crumpled bag from his pocket and handed it to Carl. “What’s this?” Carl asked.

“It’s your stuff,” the man explained. “It’s your stuff back. Even the money in your wallet.”

“I don’t understand,” Carl said. “Why would you help me now?”

The man shifted his feet, seeming embarrassed and ill at ease. “I learned something from you”, he said. “I ran with that gang and hurt people like you. We picked you because you were old and we knew we could do it. But every time we came and did something to you, instead of yelling and fighting back, you tried to give us a drink. You didn’t hate us for hating you. You kept showing love against our hate.”

He stopped for a moment. “I couldn’t sleep after we stole your stuff, so here it is back.” He paused for another awkward moment, not knowing what more there was to say. “That bag’s my way of saying thanks for straightening me out, I guess.” And with that, he walked off down the street.

Carl looked down at the sack in his hands and gingerly opened it. He took out his retirement watch and put it back on his wrist. Opening his wallet, he checked for his wedding photo. He gazed for a moment at the young bride that still smiled back at him from all those years ago.

He died one cold day after Christmas that winter. Many people attended his funeral in spite of the weather. In particular, the minister noticed a tall young man that he didn’t know sitting quietly in a distant corner of the church. The minister spoke of Carl’s garden as a lesson in life. In a voice made thick with unshed tears, he said, “Do your best and make your garden as beautiful as you can. We will never forget Carl and his garden.”

The following spring another flyer went up. It read: “Person needed to care for Carl’s garden.” The flyer went unnoticed by the busy parishioners until one day when a knock was heard at the minister’s office door. Opening the door, the minister saw a pair of scarred and tattooed hands holding the flyer. “I believe this is my job, if you’ll have me,” the young man said.

The minister recognized him as the same young man who had returned the stolen watch and wallet to Carl. He knew that Carl’s kindness had turned this man’s life around. As the minister handed him the keys to the garden shed, he said, “Yes, go take care of Carl’s garden and honor him.”

The man went to work and, over the next several years, he tended the flowers and vegetables just as Carl had done. In that time, he went to college, got married and became a prominent member of the community. But he never forgot his promise to Carl’s memory and kept the garden as beautiful as he thought Carl would have kept it.

One day he approached the new minister and told him that he couldn’t care for the garden any longer. He explained with a shy and happy smile, “My wife just had a baby boy last night, and she’s bringing him home on Saturday.”

“Well, congratulations!” said the minister, as he was handed the garden shed keys. “That’s wonderful! What’s the baby’s name?”

It was Carl.

– Author Unknown

Meditation: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good… But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. – Romans 12:21, Matthew 5:44

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones

The Lord came to me like a dream one day and asked, “Why do you sorrow?”
I answered, “Lord my life is so full of pain, I can’t face one more tomorrow.”

The Lord sat down beside me, and gently took my hand.
He said, “Let Me explain to you, and then you’ll understand.

Each sorrow is a stepping stone you must surmount each day,
And every stepping stone you climb is a sorrow that’s passed away.

The road of life is a mountainside, with crevices in which to be caught,
But as you struggle on your way, I, the Rock, will lend support.

Every stepping stone you climb, makes spirit and heart grow strong.
Exercising character and faith, this road seems painful and long.

The way is paved with stepping stones, to uplift your heart and soul,
Though difficult, they aid your way, to a City paved with gold.

I know that you are tired, for I too have walked this way,
My sorrows did they multiply, but I cleared many stones away.

I left My Rock to lift you up, I left behind My story.
To give you strength to make your climb, to that special place in glory.

And never fear, the Rock is here, you’ll never climb this mountain alone
Surmount life’s sorrows; continue on, for they are but stepping stones.”

— Author Unknown

Meditation: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Vitamins to Take Per Day

Vitamins to Take Per Day

Remember to take your vitamins every day!

Anxious? Take Vitamin A. “All things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Blue? Take Vitamin B. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” (Psalm 103:1)

Crushed? Take Vitamin C. “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

Depressed? Take Vitamin D. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

Empty? Take Vitamin E. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.” (Psalm 100:4)

Fearful? Take Vitamin F. “Fear not, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Greedy? Take Vitamin G. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put unto your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Luke 6:38)

Hesitant? Take Vitamin H. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.'” (Isaiah 52:7)

Insecure? Take Vitamin I. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Jittery? Take Vitamin J. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Know nothing? Take Vitamin K. “Know this that the Lord is God, it is He that made us and not we ourselves. (Psalm 100:3)

Lonely? Take Vitamin L. “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

Mortgaged? Take Vitamin M. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Nervous? Take Vitamin N. “Never, no never will I leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Overwhelmed? Take Vitamin O. “Overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)

Perplexed or puzzled? Take Vitamin P. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Quitting? Take Vitamin Q. “Quit you like men and women, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)

Restless? Take Vitamin R. “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” (Psalm 37:7)

Scared? Take Vitamin S. “Stay with me, and do not be afraid; for the one who seeks my life seeks your life; you will be safe with me.” (1 Samuel 22:23)

Tired? Take Vitamin T. “Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Uncertain? Take Vitamin U. “Understand that I am (the Lord). Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.” (Isaiah 43:10)

Vain? Take Vitamin V. “Vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. (Acts 5:16)

Wondering what to do? Take Vitamin W. “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

eXhausted? Take Vitamin X. “Exercise thyself rather unto godliness.” (1 Timothy 4:7)

Yearning for hope? Take Vitamin Y. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you art with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

Zapped? Take Vitamin Z. “Zealous for good deeds.” (Titus 2:14)

— Author Unknown

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Something Better

Something Better

Something Better

There was a woman who had been diagnosed with cancer and had been given 3 months to live. Her doctor told her to start making preparations to die (something we all should be doing all of the time.) So she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what she wanted to be wearing.

The woman also told her pastor that she wanted to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. “There’s one more thing.” She said excitedly. “What’s that?” came the pastor’s reply.

“This is very important.” The woman continued. “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.”

The pastor stood looking at the woman not knowing quite what to say.

“That shocks you doesn’t it?” The woman asked.

“Well to be honest, I’m puzzled by the request,” said the pastor.

The woman explained. “In all my years of attending church socials and functions where food was involved and let’s be honest, food is an important part of any church event; spiritual or otherwise); my favorite part was when whoever was clearing away the dishes of the main course would lean over and say ‘you can keep your fork.’ It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming. When they told me to keep my fork, I knew that something great was about to be given to me. It wasn’t Jell-O or pudding. It was cake or pie. Something with substance. So I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder ‘What’s with the fork?’ Then I want you to tell them: ‘Something better is coming so keep your fork too.'”

The pastor’s eyes were welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that that woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the woman’s casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over the pastor heard the question “What’s with the fork?”

And over and over he smiled. During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you oh so gently that there is something better coming.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. – 1 Corinthians 15:19

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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