How poor we are!

One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, 'How was the
'It was great, Dad.'
'Did you see how poor people live?' the father asked.
'Oh yeah,' said the son.
'So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?' asked the father

The son answered:
'I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.
We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.
We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.
We buy our food, but they grow theirs.
We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.'

The boy's father was speechless.
Then his son added, 'Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.'

Isn't perspective a wonderful thing?

Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don't have. Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends!
'Life is too short and friends are too few.'

When you Pray, Give God Your Worries "

“Give us today the food we need” (Matthew 6:11).

Once you have given God your love and your life, Jesus teaches you can give Him your worries by asking God to provide for your needs and then trusting that He will provide.

For instance, we can ask God to give us the food we need each day. Some translations say, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
What is “daily bread”?

It’s the necessities of life—our physical and material needs that we’re always worrying about.

God wants you to ask Him to provide those things so you don’t have to worry about them.

He’s promised to provide all your needs: “My God shall supply all of your needs”(Philippians 4:19 ).
What do you need today ?

Energy to make it through the day? Finances? Wisdom?

You have two alternatives: panic or pray.

Philippians 4:6 says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (NIV).
Do you really believe this verse?

God says you can pray about everything.

Nothing is too great for God’s power.

Nothing is too insignificant for his care.

Anything worth worrying about is worth praying about. If we prayed as much as we worried, we’d have a lot less to worry about ! Give God your worries.

When you talk to God about your needs,
you need to be specific.

When you pray generically—“God, bless me”—how are you going to know if He answered it or not?

What’s a blessing? Sometimes blessings come in the form of problems.

You’d better be careful when you pray, “God, bless me.”

Notice the Philippians verse also says, “By prayer and petition, with thanksgiving.”

When you pray, be specific and do it with thanksgiving. Psychologists say gratitude is the healthiest emotion you can have.

The more you develop an attitude of appreciation for God, your family, and other people, the healthier you are emotionally.

You worship God through prayer when you give Him your love (praise), your life(purpose), and your worries (provision)

Refiner's Fire !!!

Once a woman was puzzled and wondered what the Bible verse "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." (Mal.3:3) meant about the character and nature of God. She offered to find out the process of refining silver and called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"
He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you and, no matter whatever you are going through now, you will be a better person in the end!

How God uses a cracked pot?

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the House, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, Perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection. And miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw. So I Planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house?

Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life.

Things happen for a reason

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church
in suburban Brooklyn , arrived in early October excited about their opportunities When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18
were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had
leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the
sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone
the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was
having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful,
handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross
embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front
wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was
trying to catch the bus.. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for
the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor
while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor
could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.
T hen he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet...

'Pastor,' she asked, 'where did you get that tablecloth?'
The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there.. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten theTablecloth. The
woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria ...
When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again.
The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church.
The pastor insisted on driving her home, that was the least he could do.. She lived on the other
side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full.. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized
from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving. The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike.

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was
supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison.. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten
Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on
the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid (One of my friends sent me this story - Mathew Palathunkal)

The Good Shepherd

As with all of His statements, this is a concise, to the point, pronouncement by Jesus Christ. Yet, it embodies much more than the picture of a shepherd and his flock. To fully understand the scope of Jesus' word picture, it helps to understand the role of a shepherd and the nature of sheep.

A good shepherd did not envision his responsibility as just a job. Sheep, at the time of Jesus, were very valuable critters. They provided food and wool for clothing. The care and protection of the flock was the shepherd's life. Jesus points out in further biblical statements, that a good shepherd would give his life for his flock. The shepherd would lead his flock to pasture and water; tend to their wounds; guide them; calm them; keep them together; and, rescue them from pitfalls and briar patches. He was the sole provider of all that the flock needed.

Sheep are single minded, skittish, near-sighted, critters. They are one of the few creatures who, if let on their own, will totally destroy their pasture. They are easily terrified and prone to wandering off from the flock. They require constant attention. They will continually repeat wandering and getting into dangerous situations without ever learning to avoid them.

The relationship between a shepherd and his flock is very unique. Jesus outlines part of this relationship in John 10. It was common, at various times, for shepherds to bring their flocks into community pens at night. Several flocks would be housed together. Yet, when it came time to separate the flocks all that was necessary was for the shepherd to call out to his sheep to lead them out of the pen.
"To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice."
(John 10:3-4)

The flock depends on the shepherd for all that it needs. David, who was a shepherd, before being a king, was familiar with the relationship between a shepherd and his flock.
"THE LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."
(Psalm 23:1-4)

The shepherd kept the flock together by calling wandering individuals back to the fold and, when necessary, brought hard- headed sheep back by gentle application of his staff. Should one of the sheep manage to get separated, and lost, the shepherd would actively seek that lost sheep until it was found. If necessary, he would risk his own life to save that sheep from any dangerous situation that it got itself into. Should a predator attack the flock the shepherd would willingly give his life to protect his sheep. The bond between the shepherd and the flock is very similar to that of a father and his family. Another facet of this relationship is that the shepherd picks the sheep; it is not the sheep, which pick the shepherd.

Jesus used many similes in describing the relationship between His people and Himself. All are pretty basic representations of the bond, which exists between God and His children. Yet, all entail a depth of meaning far greater than the word pictures they generate. Each, although being comprised of several verses, could fill volumes with what is actually being said. Each clearly expresses the love of God for His children.

Welcome to All

A man took his dog to the veterinarian and asked him to cut his tail off completely.
"I don't like to do that," said the vet. "And why completely?"
"Well," said the dog owner, "my mother-in-law is coming to visit us, and I don't want anything in the house to suggest that she is welcome."


It must have been with quivering hands and tear-filled eyes that Horatio Spafford, an acquaintance of D. L. Moody, read the telegram from his wife. The telegram contained only 2 words. It reads, "Saved alone."

Mrs. Spafford and their 4 children had set sail from New York to France on the S.S.Ville Du Haure, one of the most luxurious ships afloat. On November 22, 1873, only a few days out of New York, the liner was rammed by an English sailing vessel. In 2 hours the luxury vessel sank.

226 people drowned, including the 4 Spafford children. Previous to this several traumatic events happened in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer).

At once, Mr. Spafford booked passage to join his wife in France. Notified by the captain when passing over the spot where the liner had gone down with his children abroad, Spafford found himself restless and unable to sleep.

And then, amidst his internal raging storm, as memories of his four daughters and grieving wife filled his soul, a loving Heavenly Father quieted His child's troubled heart.

As Spafford sat in his cabin and felt the gentle roll of the ship, he penned these immortal words:

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul
It is well, with my soul,

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

When reunited with his wife several weeks later, Spafford remarked, "I have not lost my children. We are only separated for a little time."

Music was later added to Spafford's poem by his friend Philip Bliss, and "It is well with my soul" was born. It has encouraged millions of God's children during the storms of life for more than 135 years.

The Magnificent Defeat

Jacob has been running!

For nearly 20 years! From his brother from whom he deceitfully purchased the fortunes of the first-born. From his father whom he shamelessly deceived. And running away from unknown fears and judgement. At last from Laban his father-in-law.

But he had to face what he run from. Now he is face to face with his brother Esau. Earlier he faced his father-in-law. But somehow brushed aside his allegations and saved himself. But this time he is not going to escape easily. God planned that encounter with Esau. No, He planned that encounter with HIMSELF!

In his book The Magnificent Defeat, Frederich Buechner paints a vivid picture of that encounter.

Out of the deep of the night a stranger leaps. He hurls himself at Jacob, and they fall to the ground, their bodies lashing through the darkness. It is terrible enough not to see the attacker's face, and his strength is more terrible still, the strength of more than a man. All the night through they struggle in silence until just before morning when it looks as though a miracle might happen. Jacob is winning. The stranger cries out to be set free before the sun rises. Then, suddenly, all is reversed.

He merely touches the hollow of Jacob's thigh, and in a moment Jacob is lying there crippled and helpless. The sense we have, which Jacob must have had, that the whole battle was from the beginning fated to end this way, that the stranger had simply held back until now, letting Jacon exert all his strength and almost win so that when he was defeated, he would know that he was truly defeated; so that he would know that not all the shrewdness, will, brute force that he could muster were enough to get this. Jacob will not release his grip, only now it is a grip not of violence but of need, like the grip of a drowning man.

The darkness has faded just enough so that for the first time he can dimly see his opponent's face. And what he sees is something more terrible than the face of death- the face of love. It is vast and strong, half ruined with suffering and fierce with joy, the face a man flees down all the darkness of his days until at last he cries out, "I will not let you go, unless you bless me!" Not a blessing that he can have now by the strength of his cunning or the force of his will, but a blessing that he can have only as a gift. (Frederich Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat, San Farncisco: Harper Collins Publishers, 1966, pp.17-18).

Jacob was stopped by the encounter. He learned to walk! First he was limping because of his hip. Then slowly he regained his balance but not without failures at Shechem and other places. But He reconciled with his brother, father and above all with HIS GOD!

How about us? We need an encounter right now? Yes He is waiting at the bank of your Jabbock to face you. Are you ready?

Laugh, if not smile please

An older man never attended church. One day the church got on fire, and there with everyone else, was the old man throwing water.
After the fire fire had been extinguished, the minister said, "This is the first time I've seen you at church."
The old man replied, "And this is the first time I have ever seen this church on fire."


"How many members do you have in your church?" a friend of the pastor inquired.
"Three hundred," replied the Pastor.
"Are all of them active?"
"Yes," replied the pastor. "One hundred and seventy-five are working for me, and the other hundred and twenty-five are working against me."