The Master’s Expectations

The Master’s Expectations

A butcher watching over his shop is really surprised when he sees a dog coming inside the shop. He ‘shoos’ him away. But later, the dog is back again.

So, he goes over to the dog and notices it has a note in its mouth. He takes the note and it reads, “Can I have 12 sausages and a leg of lamb, please?”

The dog has money in its mouth, as well. The butcher looks inside and, low and behold, there is a $10 note there. So he takes the money and puts the sausages and lamb in a bag, placing it in the dog’s mouth. The butcher is so impressed, and since it’s about closing time, he decides to shut the shop and follow the dog. So off he goes.

The dog is walking down the street, when it comes to a level crossing the dog puts down the bag, jumps up and presses the button.

Then it waits patiently, bag in mouth, for the lights to turn. They do, and it walks across the road, with the butcher following him all the way.

The dog then comes to a bus stop and starts looking at the timetable. The butcher is in awe as the dog stops a bus by pulling its left leg up and gets in it. The butcher follows the dog into the bus.

The dog then shows a ticket, which is tied to its belt, to the bus conductor. The butcher is nearly fainting at this sight, so are the other passengers on the bus.

The dog then sits near the driver’s seat looking outside waiting for the bus stop to come. As soon as the stop is in sight, the dog stands and wags its tail to inform the conductor.

Then, without waiting for the bus to stop completely, it jumps out of the bus and runs to a house very close to the stop. It opens the big iron gate and rushes inside towards the door.

As it approaches the wooden door, the dog suddenly changes its mind and heads towards the garden. It goes to the window, and beats its head against it several times, walks back, jumps off, and waits at the door.

The butcher watches as a big guy opens the door, and starts abusing the dog, kicking him and punching him, and swearing at him.

The butcher, surprised with this, runs up, and stops the guy. “What in heaven’s name are you doing? The dog is a genius. He could be on TV, for the life of me!” to which the guy responds:

“You call this clever? This is the second time that this stupid dog’s forgotten his key this week!”

Moral of the story: You may continue to exceed onlookers’ expectations, but may fall short of the master’s expectations.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do. – Luke 17:10

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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The Seed

The Seed

In the Far East the emperor was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided to do something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you.”

The children were shocked, but the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today – one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor.”

One boy, named Ling, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it, carefully. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Ling didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by — still nothing in Ling’s pot.

He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow. A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But his mother asked him to be honest about what happened.

Ling felt sick at his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful — in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other children laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, “Hey, nice try.”

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today one of you will be appointed the next emperor!”

All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. He thought, “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!”

When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling,” he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, “Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!”

Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?

Then the emperor said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds that would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!”

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.

If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.

If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.

If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory.

If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.

If you plant hard work, you will reap success.

If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

If you plant faith, you will reap miracles.

So be careful what you plant, now; it will determine what you will reap tomorrow. The seeds you now scatter will make life worse or better for you or for the ones who will come after you. Someday you will enjoy the fruits or you will pay for the choices you make.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Lesson of the Goose

Lesson of the Goose

As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird behind it. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock adds 71 per cent more flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier when they are travelling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down. They stay with the goose to help and protect it until it is able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out with another formation to catch up with the flock.

Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other.

Whenever a goose falls out of the formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go.

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.

Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership.

The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Lesson: We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging- -not something less than helpful.

– Author Unknown

Meditation: Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. – Proverbs 6:6-8

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Job Vacancy

Job Vacancy

JOB DESCRIPTION:

Tell the living and the dying world about Jesus Christ

AVAILABLE POSITIONS:

Preachers, teachers, singers, musicians, missionaries, custodians, food servers, and YOU

PRINCIPAL (BOSS):

The Holy Spirit

QUALIFICATIONS:

Must have previously sinned and recognized this;

Must be willing to press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus

EDUCATION:

The Holy Spirit will teach you all things

EXPERIENCE NEEDED:

None necessary; experience will be earned on-the-job

BENEFIT PACKAGE/SALARY:

God (the employer) shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus

INSURANCE:

Access to the Divine Master Physician

PACKAGE ALSO INCLUDES:

Love, joy, peace, patience, long suffering; Lawyer, Comforter, and a Wonderful Counsellor

RECOMPENSE FOR COMPLETING THE JOB ASSIGNMENT:

The most important benefit, ETERNAL LIFE with the employer.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS:

Before the return of Jesus Christ; date/hour not known; wise to apply TODAY, RIGHT NOW

All are welcome to Gods’ Kingdom

JOY TO THE WISE.

Meditation: Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. – Matthew 9:37

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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God’s Under the Bed

God’s Under the Bed

My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed. At least that’s what I heard him say one night. He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped outside his closed door to listen. “Are you there, God?” he said. “Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed.” I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room.

Kevin’s unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humour. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in. He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labour. Apart from his size (he’s 6’2″), there are few ways in which he is an adult. He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7 year old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas, and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.

I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life? Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, returning to eat his favourite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed. The only variation in the entire scheme are laundry days, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.

He does not seem dissatisfied. He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05 eager for a day of simple work. He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day’s laundry chores. And Saturdays — oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That’s the day my dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. “That one’s goin’ to Chi-car-go!” Kevin shouts as he claps his hands. His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.

I don’t think Kevin knows anything exists outside his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips. He doesn’t know what it means to be discontent. His life is simple. He will never know the entanglements of wealth or power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. He recognizes no differences in people, treating each person as an equal and a friend. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.

His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it. He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax. He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others.

His heart is pure. He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue. Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere.

And he trusts God. Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God — to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an “educated” person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.

In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity, I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith. It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions. It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap — I am. My obligations, my fears, my pride, my circumstances — they all become disabilities when I do not submit them to Christ.

Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of the Lord. And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I’ll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.

Kevin won’t be surprised at all.

Meditation: Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it. – Luke 18:17

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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The Much Awaited Person

The Much Awaited Person

Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach…” So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work. – Nehemiah 2:17-18

Nehemiah had a great burden to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem as well as restore the city from the ruins it had become on account of the ravages of war. His concern for Jerusalem was so strong that he even risked his life by carrying a long face before king Artaxerxes – his principal, who could not have been bothered by whatever was going on in Jerusalem. But, Nehemiah was undaunted in his agitation for his fatherland until he got the attention of the king and was permitted to go and do as his heart desired concerning Jerusalem.

Immediately he got the permission he needed, he set out to Jerusalem and mobilised people to join him in the rebuilding process. Now the lessons here are that Nehemiah was not the only person who was agitated about the ruins of Jerusalem; there were probably other people like him who were equally burdened. But he was the one who was bothered enough to express his concern. He might not have staged a protest, but the frown he wore was expressive enough to get him the attention of the king who could make a difference. And he got the royal pass he needed to legitimise his agenda.

Secondly, if he hadn’t set out to Jerusalem and shared his dream with the people there, he wouldn’t have known the support he could garner in terms of doing the work. But immediately he shared his mission with the remnants resident in Jerusalem, he got an enthusiastic response and the work commenced in earnest.

Most times we are the ones sitting on our own manifestation. Until we articulate our vision and begin to do something about them, we may not know what resources and support are available to us. You can only know when you venture out and dare the odds.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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