Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Funny, isn’t it?

Funny, isn't it?

Funny how a $10.00 bill looks so big when you take it to church, but so small when you take it to the mall.

Funny how big an hour serving God looks and how small 60 minutes are when spent playing golf, fishing or shopping.

Funny how long a couple of hours spent at church, but how short they are when watching a movie.

Funny how we get thrilled when a football game goes into overtime, but we complain when a sermon is longer than the regular time.

Funny how laborious it is to read a chapter in the Bible and how easy it isto read 200-300 pages of a best selling novel.

Funny how we believe what newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how people scramble to get a front seat at any game, but scramble to get a back seat at church service.

Funny how we cannot fit a gospel meeting into our schedule with yearly planner but we can schedule for other events at a moment's notice.

Funny how we need 2 or 3 weeks to fit a church event into our schedule, but can adjust it for a social event at the last minute.

Funny how much difficulty some have learning a simple gospel well enough to tell others, but how simple it is for the same people to understand and explain gossip about someone else.

Funny how we can't think of anything to say when we pray, and don't have any difficulty thinking of things to talk about to a friend.

Funny how we are so quick to take direction from a total stranger when we are lost, but are hesitant to take God's direction to be found.

Funny how people are so consumed with what others think about them rather than what God thinks about them.

Funny how so many church goers sing "Standing on the Promises" but all they do is sit on the premises.

Funny how people think that they can get more accomplished in a life time without God than in an hour with Him.

Funny how everyone wants to go to heaven, provided they don't have to believe, or to think, or to say, or to do anything.

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When God Speaks to You

What Do You Do, When God Speaks to You?
(author unknown)

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice.

The young man couldn't help but wonder, "Does God still speak to people?"

After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways.

It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray,"God. . . If you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey."

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought, stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, "God is that you?"

He didn't get a reply and started on toward home. But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk.

The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli.

"Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk."

It didn't seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home.

As he passed Seventh street, he again felt the urge, "Turn down that street."

This is crazy he thought and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down seventh street. At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh.

Half jokingly, he said out loud, "Okay, God, I will."

He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semi-commercial area of town. It wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed.

Again, he sensed something, "Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street."

The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat.

"Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid."

Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the door, "Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk.If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but if they don't answer right away, I am out of here."

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man's voice yelled out, "Who is it? What do you want?"

Then the door opened before the young man could get away. The man was standing there in his jeans and t-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep.

"What is it?"

The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, "Here, I brought this to you."

The man took the milk and rushed down a hall way speaking loudly in Spanish. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen.The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face.

The man began speaking and half crying,"We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money.We didn't have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk."

His wife in the kitchen yelled out, "I ask him to send an Angel with some...Are you an Angel?"

The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put in the man's hand. He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face.

He knew that God still answers prayers and that God still speaks to His people. God talks to us daily! We are to be in Obedience unto the functioning of the Holy Spirit. When God speaks to your heart of hearts, obey, for in your sacrifice of obedience, God rewards you bountifully!

Praise God, for every opportunity to be used of Him, for He is Faithful to answers prayers of those who seek Him.

God’s Table Requires Table Manners

God's Table Requires Table Manners

You undoubtedly felt awkward the first time you had to learn which fork to use. But with that knowledge you can enter any dining experience with confidence. The same is true when you dine at God's table. At first it seems difficult. But learning the right manners makes it possible for you to be in any situation and please the Father.

Table manners at God's table:

* You have to do your own chewing. Too many Christians expect God to take out a spoon and dish up the blessing for them. He is supposed to place it in our mouths, work our jaws to chew it up, and help us swallow it. We want God to do everything.The fact is that you have responsibility in God's sovereign world.

* Accept the seating. God has a place for you - in Him - that far outweighs anything the pleasures of this life have to offer. The fleshly, carnal attitudes of your world will be a constant source of contention in this life. But God calls you to sit in His kingdom, not in the world. Satan will try to convince you to take a lesser seat, that those serving God have more time, money, or talent than you. He wants you to measure flesh against flesh. Don't listen to him. Sit in the seat of inheritance that God has waiting for you

* Finish the meal. John 3:16 tells us, God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. Some believe that because God has already come and died for the sins of the world, they don't have to do anything else. However, it's important to finish the phrase regarding man's responsibility: whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.You must come to Him in order to receive the forgiveness that He purchased for you.

* Read the menu. You must spend time reading what God has prepared. Read your Bible, meditate on the Word. It will give you strength and illumination according to God's plan for your life. It will keep you on course and remind you of your responsibilities in order to fulfill the plan of God.

* Count the fruit. If you are not willing to bear fruit for Him, then He is not obligated to answer your requests, even if you ask things in His name. Jesus declares, Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away (John 6:37). The Holy Spirit inspires us to go to Jesus and do what He asks of us.His sovereignty makes the first move toward us, but because He gave us free will, we must move toward Him as well.

Do Unto Others

Do Unto Others

One stormy night many years ago, an elderly man and his wife entered the lobby of a small hotel in Philadelphia. Trying to get out of the rain, the couple approached the front desk hoping to get some shelter for the night.

"Could you possibly give us a room here?" the husband asked. The clerk, a friendly man with a winning smile, looked at the couple and explained that there were three conventions in town.

"All of our rooms are taken," the clerk said. "But I can't send a nice couple like you out into the rain at one o'clock in the morning. Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my room? It's not exactly a suite, but it will be good enough to make you folks comfortable for the night."

When the couple declined, the young man pressed on."Don't worry about me; I'll make out just fine," the clerk told them. So the couple agreed.

As he paid his bill the next morning, the elderly man said to the clerk, "You are the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel in the United States. Maybe someday I'll build one for you."

The clerk looked at them and smiled. The three of them had a good laugh.

As they drove away, the elderly couple agreed that the helpful clerk was indeed exceptional, as finding people who are both friendly and helpful isn't easy.

Two years passed. The clerk had almost forgotten the incident when he received a letter from the old man.It recalled that stormy night and enclosed around-trip ticket to New York, asking the young man to pay them a visit.

The old man met him in New York, and led him to the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. He then pointed to a great new building there, a palace of reddish stone, with turrets and watchtowers thrusting up to the sky.

"That," said the older man, "is the hotel I have just built for you to manage."

"You must be joking," the young man said.

"I can assure you I am not," said the older man, a sly smile playing around his mouth. The older man's name was William Waldorf Astor, and the magnificent structure was the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

The young clerk who became its first manager was George C. Boldt. This young clerk never foresaw the turn of events that would lead him to become the manager of one of the world's most glamorous hotels.

The Bible says that we are not to turn our backs on those who are in need, for we might be entertaining angels.

Life is more accurately measured by the lives you touch than the things you acquire...

God Bless You & Yours.

God’s Purpose in Things


One day a woodcutter took his grandson into the forest for his first experience in selecting and cutting oak trees. These they would later sell to the boat builders. As they walked along, the woodcutter explained that the purpose of each tree is contained in its natural shape: some are straight for planks, some have the proper curves for the ribs of a boat, and some are tall for masts. The woodcutter told his grandson that by paying attention to the details of each tree, and with experience in recognizing these characteristics; someday he too might become the woodcutter of the forest.

A little way into the forest, the grandson saw an old oak tree that had never been cut. The boy asked his grandfather if he could cut it down because it was useless for boat building - there were no straight limbs, the trunk was, short and gnarled, and the curves were going the wrong way.

“We could cut it down for firewood,” the grandson said. “At least then it will be of some use to us.” The woodcutter replied that for now they should be about their work cutting the proper trees for the boat builders; maybe later they could return to the old oak tree.

After a few hours of cutting the huge trees, the grandson grew tired and asked if they could stop for a rest in some cool shade. The woodcutter took his grandson over to the old oak tree, where they rested against its trunk in the cool shade beneath its twisted limbs.

After they had rested a while, the woodcutter explained to his grandson the necessity of attentive awareness and recognition of everything in the forest and in the world. Some things are readily apparent, like the tall, straight trees; other things are less apparent, requiring closer attention, like recognition of the proper curves in the limbs. And some things might initially appear to have no purpose at all, like the gnarled old oak tree.

The woodcutter stated, “You must learn to pay careful attention every day so you can recognize and discover the purpose God has for everything in creation. For it is this old oak tree, which you so quickly deemed useless except for firewood, that now allows us to rest against its trunk amidst the coolness of its shade.”

“Remember, grandson, not everything is as it first appears. Be patient, pay attention, recognize, and discover.”

Author Unknown

Kekuatan Kasih

Kekuatan Kasih

Kasih terhadap sesama yang tulus dan tanpa pamrih dapat mengubah seorang petani biasa menjadi penolong anak-anak yatim piatu Korea dan negara-negara lain. Berikut kisah sejatinya :

Kehidupan Harry Holt berubah setelah ia melihat satu film tentang anak-anak yatim piatu di Korea.

Holt, seorang petani setengah baya dari Oregon, mengetahui bahwa ia harus menolong anak-anak itu, yang beberapa orang diantaranya telah diangkat anak oleh serdadu Amerika. Dia dan isterinya, Bertha, mula-mula memutuskan untuk menyokong satu anak yatim piatu untuk setiap anggota keluarga mereka. Pada tahun 1955, Harry terbang menuju Korea untuk mengambil dua belas anak yatim piatu, empat diantaranya untuk keluarga lain.

Dalam perjalanannya ini, ia melihat ratusan anak yatim piatu. Pada waktu ia kembali, ia berbicara sedemikian meyakinkan tentang kebutuhan rakyat Korea sehingga dalam waktu satu tahun, ia berhasil mendaftarkan sebanyak enam ratus keluarga kristen yang siap menerima anak-anak baru. Konggres harus membuat perundang-undangan baru untuk memungkinkan terlaksananya imigrasi ini.

Holt terjun sendiri dalam urusan anak-anak yatim piatu ini. Di salah satu tempat tumpangan anak-anak yatim piatu yang diurusnya, ia duduk sepanjang malam dan mengasuh dua puluh lima anak yang sakit disentri, cacar air, atau radang paru-paru. Dalam suatu perjalanan, ia mengalami sakit yang berat dan disuruh beristirahat, tetapi ia bersikeras untuk berjalan terus ke desa lainnya tempat anak-anak memerlukannya.

Hary Holt hidup sembilan tahun lagi setelah ia membuat tempat tumpangan anak yatim piatu yang pertama. Selama sembilan tahun itu, petani biasa ini yang ingin melakukan sesuatu untuk menolong anak yatim piatu Korea berhasil mendapatkan keluarga untuk ribuan anak-anak. Ia mendirikan Pelayanan Anak-Anak Holt (P.O.Box 2880, Eugene, Oregon 97402), yang memperluas pelayanannya dengan pengangkatan anak dan pengasuhan anak-anak angkat bagi anak-anak dari India, Asia Tenggara, Filipina, dan Amerika Latin.

Diambil dari : Penolong Orang-Orang Yang Tidak Berumah
James C. Hefley
Buku : Penerapan Praktis Pola Hidup Kristen
Penerbit : Gandum Mas

Monday, September 22, 2008

Speak Their Language


A woman was explaining her theory of putting her children to bed: “I never tell bedtime stories that begin with 'Once upon a time,'” she said. “If I really want to put them to sleep, I start off with, 'Now, when I was your age...'” It's nice to understand people so well that we know just what to say! Here is a mother who could speak her children's language.

The story is told of the most famous elephant in the world -- a huge, beautiful and gentle beast named Bozo. Children extended open palms filled with peanuts for the Indian elephant, who gently plucked them from little hands and seemed to smile as he ate his treats.

But one day, for some inexplicable reason, Bozo changed. He almost stampeded the man who cleaned his cage. He charged children at the circus and became incorrigible. His owner knew he would have to destroy the once-gentle giant.

In order to raise money for a new elephant, the circus owner held a cruel exhibition. He sold tickets to witness Bozo's execution and, on the appointed day, his arena was packed. Three men with high-powered rifles rose to take aim at the great beast's head.

Just before the signal was given to shoot, a little, stubby man in a brown hat stepped out of the crowd and said to the elephant's owner, “Sir, this is not necessary. Bozo is not a bad elephant.”

“But he is,” the man argued. “We must kill him before he kills someone.”

“Sir, give me two minutes alone in his cage,” the visitor pleaded, “and I'll prove to you that you are wrong. He is not a bad elephant.”

After a few more moments of discussion (and a written statement absolving the circus of liability if the man should be injured), the keeper finally agreed to allow the man inside Bozo's cage. The man removed his brown derby and entered the cage of the bellowing and trumpeting beast.

Before the elephant could charge, the man began to speak to him. Bozo seemed to immediately quiet down upon hearing the man's words. Nearby spectators could also hear the man, but they could not understand him, for he spoke a foreign language. Soon the great animal began to tremble, whine and throw his head about. Then the stranger walked up to Bozo and stroked his trunk. The great elephant tenderly wrapped his trunk around the man, lifted him up and carried him around his cage before carefully depositing him back at the door. Everyone applauded.

As the cage door closed behind him, the man said to Bozo's keeper, “You see, he is a good elephant. His problem is that he is an Indian elephant and understands one language.” He explained that Bozo was frustrated and confused. He needed someone who could speak his language. “I suggest, sir, that you find someone in London to come in occasionally and talk to the elephant. If you do, you'll have no problems.”

The man picked up his brown derby and walked away. It was at that time that the circus owner looked carefully at the signature on the paper he held in his hand -- the note absolving the circus of responsibility in the case he was injured inside the elephant's cage. The statement was signed by Rudyard Kipling.

People also become frustrated and angry when they are not understood. But great relationships are formed by parents who learn to speak their children's language; lovers who speak each other's language; professionals who speak the language of their staff and clients. When people understand that You understand, that you empathize with their heartaches and understand their problems, then you are speaking their language! It is the beginning of true communication.

By Steve Goodier

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