A man named Jack was walking along a steep cliff one day when he accidentally got too close to the edge and fell. On the way down he grabbed a branch, which temporarily stopped his fall. He looked downward, and to his horror saw that the canyon fell straight down for more than a thousand feet. He couldn't hang onto the branch forever, and there was no way for him to climb up the steep wall of the cliff.
Therefore, Jack began yelling for help, hoping that someone passing by would hear him and lower a rope or something. "HELP! HELP! Is anyone up there? HELP!" He yelled for hours, but no one heard him.
He was about to give up when he heard a voice. "Jack, Jack. Can you hear me?"
"Yes, yes! I can hear you. I'm down here!"
"I can see you, Jack. Are you all right?"
"Yes, but . . . Who are you, and where are you?" "I am the Lord, Jack. I'm everywhere."
"The Lord? You mean, GOD?"
"God, please help me! I promise if You'll get me down from here, I'll stop sinning. I'll be a really good person. I'll serve You for the rest of my life."
"Easy on the promises, Jack. Let's just get you down from there; then we can talk. Now, here's that I want you to do. Listen carefully."
"I'll do anything, Lord. Just tell me what to do."
"Okay. Let go of the branch."
"I said, let go of the branch. Just trust Me. Let go."
There was a long silence. Finally Jack yelled, "HELP! HELP! IS ANYONE ELSE UP THERE?"
Reflection: Have you ever felt like Jack? We say that we want to know the will of God, but when we find out what it is, we can't handle it. It sounds too scary, too difficult. Then we decide to look elsewhere. When He says, "Let go of the things that stand between you and Me, and trust Me with your life," it sounds pretty scary. But when we let go, we find freedom and safety in His hands."
Once there was this very wealthy young man. He lived in a great, elaborate house with dozens of rooms. each room was more comfortable and more beautiful than the one before it. There were paintings and sculptures. Crystal chandeliers, golden, ornate railings on the stairs. More beauty than most have ever seen.
One day he decided to invite the Lord to come home and stay with him. When the Lord arrived, this young man offered him the very best room in the house. The room was upstairs and at the end of the hall. "This room is yours, Jesus! Stay as long as you like and you can do whatever you want to in this room, remember Jesus, its all yours."
That evening after he had retired for the night there came a loud knocking at the front door. The young man pulled on his robe and made his way downstairs. When he opened the door he found that the devil had sent three of his demons to attack the man. He quickly tried to close the door but one of the demons kept sticking his foot in. Sometime later, after a great struggle, he managed to slam the door shut and returned to his room totally exhausted.
Can you believe that," the man thought. Jesus is upstairs in my very best room sleeping while I am down here battling demons. Oh, well, maybe he just didn't hear. He slept fitfully that night.
The next day thing went along as normal and, being tired as he was, the young man retired early that evening. Along about midnight, there came such a terrible ruckus at the front door that the young man was sure that whatever it was would tear the door down. He stumbled down the stairs once again and opened the door to find that were dozens of demons now trying to get into his beautiful home.
For more than three hours he fought and struggled against the demons from hell, and finally overtook them enough to shut the door against their attack. All energy seemed to fail him. He really didn't understand this at all. Why won't the Lord come to my rescue? Why does he allow me to fight all by myself? I feel so alone. Troubled, he found his way to the sofa and fell into a restless sleep.
The next morning he decided to inquire of the Lord about the happenings of the last two evenings. Quietly he made his way to the elegant bedroom where he had left Jesus. "Jesus," he called as he tapped at the door. "Lord, I don't understand what is happening. For the last two nights I have had to fight the demons away from my door while you laid up here sleeping. Don't you care about me? Did I not give you the very best room in the house?"
He could see the tears building in Jesus' eyes but continued on, "I just don't understand, I really thought that once I invited you in to live with me that you would take care of me and I gave you the best room in my house and everything. What more can I do?"
"My precious child," Jesus spoke so softly. "I do love and care for you. I protect all that you have released into my care. But, when you invited me to come here and stay, you brought me to this lovely room and you shut the door to the rest of your house. I am Lord of this room but I am not Master of this house. I have protected this room and no demon may enter here."
"Oh, Lord, please forgive me. Take all of my house-it is yours. I am so sorry that I never offered you all to begin with. I want you to have control of everything." With this he flung open the bedroom door and knelt at Jesus' feet. "Please forgive me Lord for being so selfish."
Jesus smiled and told him that He had already forgiven him and that He would take care of things from now on. That night as the young man prepared for bed he thought, I wonder if those demons will return, I am so tired of fighting them each and every night. But, he knew that Jesus said that he would take care of things from now on.
Along about midnight the banging on the door was frightening. The young man slipped out of his room in time to see Jesus going down the stairs. He watched in awe as Jesus swung open the door, no need to be afraid.
Satan stood at the door, this time demanding to be let in. "What do you want, satan?" the Lord asked. The devil bowed low in the presence of the Lord, "So sorry, I seem to have gotten the wrong address." And with that, he and the demons all ran away.
There is a moral to this tale. Jesus wants all of you, not just a part. He will take all that you give Him, but nothing more. How much of your heart have you given to the Lord? Are you keeping a portion of it away from Him? Perhaps the attacks are coming more and more each day. Why not let the Lord fight the battles for you? He is always victorious. I have found that God made man simple, all of man's complexities are of his own devising.
A man's daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed. The minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his impending visit. "I guess you were expecting me," he said. "No, who are you? said the father.
"I'm the new minister at your church," he replied. "When I saw the empty chair, I figured you knew I was going to show up."
"Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden man. "Would you mind closing the door?" Puzzled, the minister shut the door. "I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter," said the man. "But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the preacher talk about prayer, but it went right over my head."
"I abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old man continued, "until one day about four years ago my best friend said to me, 'Joe, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest. Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and, in faith, see Jesus on the chair. It's not spooky because He promised, "I'll be with you always." Then just speak to him and listen in the same way you're doing with me right now.'"
"So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I'm careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm."
The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old guy to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him and returned to the church building. Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon. "Did he die in peace?" He asked.
"Yes, when I left the house about two o'clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?"
The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, "I wish we all could go that way."
I have a list of folks I know
For each Name stands for someone
Although it sounds fantastic
So please don't think my greeting
So whether I have known you
Thank you for being my friend!
There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in order", 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 outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested 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 surprises 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 potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork'. It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and 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: "Keep your fork....the best is yet to come". The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the 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 the best is yet to come. Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed.
They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.
Subject: God's answering service
have all learned to live with voice mail as a necessary part of modern life. But you may have wondered, What if God decided to install voicemail?
Imagine praying and hearing this:
What if God used the familiar excuse... "I'm sorry, all the angels are helping other customers right now. Please stay on the line. Your call is important to us and will be answered in the order it was received."
Can you imagine getting these kinds of responses as you call God in prayer:
"If you would like to speak to:
If you'd like to hear King David sing a Psalm while you are holding, please Press 4.
To find out if a loved one has been assigned to Heaven, Press 5, enter his or her social security number, then press the pound key. For reservations at My Father's House, please press the letters J-O-H-N, then 3-1-6.
For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age of the earth and where Noah's Ark is, please wait until you arrive here.
Our computers show that you have already called once today. Please hang up and try again tomorrow.
This office is closed for the weekend. Please call again on Monday after 9:30 a.m."
One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex was staring up at the large plaque that hung in the foyer of the church. The plaque was covered with names, and small American flags were mounted on either side of it.
The seven-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, "Good morning Alex." "Good morning pastor," replied the young man, still focused on the plaque. "Pastor McGhee, what is this?" Alex asked. "Well, son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service." Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Little Alex's voice was barely audible when he asked, "Which service, the 9:00 or the 11:00?
It takes years to build a reputation and just a moment of indiscretion to destroy it. Often we think young people should be the most careful about their reputation, and indeed they need to protect their good name. But adults too can throw away their good name through one poor choice. Think of David, who for many years bore the stigma of his sinful, adulterous liaison with Bathsheba. Even though he was forgiven, his reputation had been stained. We can't be sure of the specific occasion for the writing of Psalm 38, but in it David describes the agony of living with the results of his sin. To avoid such pain, Scripture tells us to guard our heart, walk wisely, and to follow in Jesus' steps. It takes just a moment to destroy your good name and your testimony for God. Don't let it happen to you. "If we take care of our character, our reputation will take care of itself."
Follow These Directions They Couldn't Be Better:
Make a Right onto "Believeth Blvd."
God has a way of allowing us to be in the right place at the right time. I was walking down a dimly lit street late one evening when I heard muffled screams coming from behind a clump of bushes. Alarmed, I slowed down to listen and panicked when I realized that what I was hearing was the unmistakable sounds of a struggle: heavy grunting, frantic scuffling and tearing of fabric. Only yards from where I stood, a woman was being attacked. Should I get involved? I was frightened for my own safety and cursed myself for having suddenly decided to take a new route home that night. What if I became another statistic? Shouldn't I just run to the nearest phone and call the police? Although it seemed an eternity, the deliberations in my head had taken only seconds, but already the cries were growing weaker. I knew I had to act fast. How could I walk away from this?
No, I finally resolved, I could not turn my back on the fate of this unknown woman, even if it meant risking my own life. I am not a brave man, nor am I athletic. I don't know where I found the moral courage and physical strength---but once I had finally resolved to help the girl, I became strangely transformed.
I ran behind the bushes and pulled the assailant off the woman. Grappling, we fell to the ground, where we wrestled for a few minutes until the attacker jumped up and escaped. Panting hard, I scrambled upright and approached the girl, who was crouched behind a tree, sobbing. In the darkness, I could barely see her outline, but I could certainly sense her trembling shock.
Not wanting to frighten her further, I at first spoke to her from a distance. "It's OK," I said soothingly. "The man ran away. You're safe now." There was a long pause and then I heard the words, uttered in wonder, in amazement.
"Dad, is that you?" And then, from behind the tree, stepped my youngest daughter, Katherine.
Do all the good you can,
Author Unknown EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
Last Updated: 03/31/2001