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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Out of the Mouth of Babes

I received this e-mail yesterday, and I just wanted to share it with all of you. Kids really do say the "darndest" things.

A little boy was attending his first wedding.
After the service, his cousin asked him, "How many women can a man marry?"
"Sixteen," the boy responded. His cousin was amazed that he had an answer so quickly.
"How do you know that?"
"Easy," the little boy said.
"All you have to do is add it up, like the pastor said,
4 better, 4 worse, 4 richer, 4 poorer."


After a church service on Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother,
"Mom, I've decided to become a minister when I grow up."
"That's okay with us, but what made you decide that?"
"Well," said the little boy, "I have to go to church on Sunday anyway,
And I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell, than to sit and listen."


A 6-year-old was overheard reciting the Lord's Prayer at a church service,
"And forgive us our trash passes, as we forgive those who passed trash against us."


A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon.
"Ho w do you know what to say?" he asked.
"Why, God tells me."
"Oh, then why do you keep crossing things out?"


A little girl became restless as the preacher's sermon dragged on and on.
Finally, she leaned over to her mother and whispered,
"Mommy, if we give him the money now, will he let us go?"


Ms. Terri asked her Sunday School class to draw pictures of their favorite Bible stories.
She was puzzled by Kyle's picture, which showed four people on an airplane, so she asked him which story it was meant to represent.
"The Flight to Egypt ," was his reply.
Pointing at each figure, Ms. Terri said, "That must be Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. But who's the fourth person?"
"Oh, that's Pontius - the pilot!"


The Sunday School Teacher asks, "Now, Johnny, tell me frankly do you say prayers before eating?"
"No sir," little Johnny replies, I don't have to. My mom is a good cook."


A little girl was sitting on her grandfather's lap as he read her a bedtime story.
From time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch his wrinkled cheek.
She was alternately stroking her own cheek, then his again.
Finally she spoke up, "Grandpa, did God make you?"
"Yes, sweetheart," he answered, "God made me a long time ago."
"Oh," she paused, "Grandpa, did God make me too?"
"Yes, indeed, honey," he said, "God made you just a little while ago."
Feeling their respective faces again, she observed, "God's getting better at it, isn't he ?"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

I know! I know! I said that I was going to get back into the swing of things with my blog posts on Monday. Yes, I know that it's Thursday, but you have no idea how crazy things have been. I've been cleaning, scraping, sanding, painting, marketing, studying, and on and on. The one thing I haven't been doing is writing. I haven't written in my blogs. I haven't written any articles. I haven't written any stories. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. And you know, I feel empty. There's a pressing need within me to write, and lately I've been too busy to see to that need. Lord willing, things will slow down a bit. I WANT TO WRITE! No, I NEED TO WRITE!

Just as I need to write to feel complete in my daily life, my spiritual life yearns for certain things too. And when I don't provide it with those things, it feels a great longing or emptiness. When I don't take the time to read my Bible or pray, I feel like something is missing. When I don't follow the Lord's leadership to send a card or make a phone call, something within me feels weakened or discouraged. Yes, my spirit has needs as well, and I would do well to make sure those needs are met . . . even if it means I won't get to write another day.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We've Been Warned

On a recent trip to the lake, Tippy (my black and white beagle) discovered a wasp. As it buzzed around her head, she snapped at it. I warned her that she didn't want to do that. Still, even as the wasp flew away from her, she was determined to follow it, to sniff it, to "play" with it. Over and over I warned her to leave it alone. Why? Because I knew something she didn't. I knew that when that wasp got tired of its game, it was going to sting. But when Tippy refused my warnings time and time again, I said, "Fine! Play with the wasp, but you'll regret it."

Sound familiar in your life? I know it does in mine. How often have I disregarded the Lord's warnings and regretted it? Time and again I receive warnings from the Lord. Why? Because He knows what I don't. He can see where my current path will lead me. But instead of heeding His warning, I, like Tippy, decide that I want to do my own thing. Thankfully, Tippy didn't get stung that day; however, I can't say the same about me. I've been "stung" more times than I can count, and all because I didn't heed the warning of the Master.

And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. - Isaiah 30:20-21

Monday, August 9, 2010

100 Prayers God Loves to Hear by Stephen Elkins

100 Prayers God Loves to Hear by Stephen Elkins was a joy to read. In fact, I sat down and went through it in one reading. After reading the book's description, I thought I was going to be receiving a book with familiar children's prayers like "God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food." I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the book was more like a devotional for children of all ages. Bible stories, prayers, songs, and quotes -- this book has it all. And while it is intended for children, I found myself encouraged.

100 Prayers God Loves to Hear is a hard-back, 207-page book for children. The book design and layout is very appealing. The illustrations are cute and detailed without cluttering the pages. The book includes two CD's of children's songs (actually being sung by children). I knew many of the songs, but there were several that I had never heard. I admit, I enjoyed the book and the CD's even though I don't have any children of my own.

100 Prayers God Loves to Hear does an excellent job in teaching children the importance of prayer. If you are a parent or work with children in any capacity, I highly recommend this great resource.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Suicidal Bugs

As I sat at the lake this morning, I was amazed at the stupidity of certain bugs. One by one these tiny little bugs would land on the surface of the water only to be immediately gulped up by a fish. Yet as many times as it happened, the bugs kept landing on the water. "Didn't you just see your buddy get gobbled up?" I found myself saying. But the suicidal bugs paid me no mind. They simply went about their task of landing on the water and being eaten. Stupid bugs!

As I sat there, however, my mind wandered to the message that was preached at church last night. A guest speaker brought a wonderful message on Samson. As we read through the story of Samson and Delilah, I found myself thinking, Samson, don't you have a lick of sense? Seriously, read the passage below.

And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver. And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee. And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man. Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known. And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man. Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread. And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web. And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web. And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth. And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man. And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house. - Judges 16:4-21

Okay, let's see if we've got this straight. Delilah tells Samson from the very beginning that she wants to know the secret of his power so that she can afflict him. Nice girl! So in response to this, Samson leads her on a bit of a wild goose chase. He gives her false ideas about his strength, and each time she proves that she cannot be trusted. Finally, after she's had enough, she nags him to the point that he finally reveals the truth about his strength. What was he thinking? Didn't he know that she would betray him? Hadn't she tried everything else he had told her? Why had he even stayed with her to begin with? To quote Mr. Spock from Star Trek, it's highly illogical.

However, I must admit that I often do the same thing. I do things that I know are not good for me. I expose myself to temptations that should be avoided. I trudge along down the path of my own making knowing that there will soon be an opening in the earth to gobble me up. Why do I do these things? Don't I have any sense? Sometimes, I wonder. Other times I realize that I'm not stupid; I'm just human. Is that an excuse? No. It's simply a fact. I don't think God refers to us as "sheep" for no reason. Sometimes we really don't have a lot of sense. That's why it's so important for us to follow God. He will keep us on the right path. He will keep us from doing stupid things. He will keep us from being "gobbled up" by the predators in this life. But we must keep our eyes on Him. Otherwise, we may find ourselves on someone's menu!

Monday, August 2, 2010

One Moment Please!

Last week was a bit of a roller coaster. Jason's work had slowed down a good bit which meant a smaller paycheck, but more time to spend together. After all the long weeks he's put in lately, I was more than happy to make the trade. However, things didn't quite work out the way I had planned.

Monday - Jason's work day schedule was supposed to be fairly short, but several added jobs caused him to work late into the evening. Then, he had to leave at 9:30 pm to work a restaurant.

Tuesday - Jason actually got off work around 3:30, but spent most of the afternoon/evening trying to catch up on some much needed repairs around the house. Once again, he left at 9:30 pm to work a restaurant.

Wednesday - Jason had the entire day off. We spent a couple of hours in the morning running some errands, expecting to have the afternoon to ourselves. However, when we arrived home from errands, we discovered that our laptop had a virus, and Jason spent the entire afternoon getting things fixed and running properly. Then, of course, it was off to church.

Thursday - Jason promised me that no matter what else happened, when he got home I could have his undivided attention. He was about four hours late getting home (due to added jobs), and he had only been home about two hours when he got a call to go back out. He didn't return home until midnight.

Friday - Jason called me at 4:00, saying that he was on his way home. While on the phone with me, he received a call for another job. As he was wrapping up that job, he received another call for yet another job. He finally arrived home after 7:00.

Please don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining about Jason having to work. His work pays the bills, and I'm thankful that he has a job. I'm simply saying that I'm starting to realize how the Lord must feel many times.

Dana, a moment of your time please? "Sure, Lord, I'll be right there. Just let me finish this project." Dana, can we talk? "Yeah, no problem. I'll be with you in just a minute." Dana, I really miss spending time with you. "I know. I miss you too. It's just that there's so many things to be done. Tomorrow, okay? I promise."

When the Lord pointed this out to me this morning, my heart broke. My mind replayed all the times I have made excuses about being too busy to spend a moment of quiet time with Him. He doesn't ask for much -- just a few moments to sit and commune with Him. Why do I find that so difficult? Oh, how it must break the Father's heart when I push Him away time and time again.

As we begin a new week, let's make it our goal to spend more time with God. We may be amazed to discover that we need the time as much as He desires it.