Reunion|Effective Unity [v18]

AUGUST 2000

GREETINGS — It was a wonderful July for me—especially Saturday, the 22nd—we had our family reunion at my home. It was a beautiful day, we had a tremendous variety of food, but most importantly, we all shared that wonderful “kinship” that reconnecting and reuniting can do for all in a family.

Try to remember the feeling you had the last time you met with and intimately shared with family member or very close friend—how it “doubled your joy and divided your sorrow.” Or, think about when you are a part of a “team” to work something out. If there was “unity,” it probably was much easier to develop a solution, in a shorter period of time, and the solution was probably “light years” ahead of anything just one in the group could have come up with themselves.

Unity “feels” so good and is so effective, because God created us to be that way—to work together as a “body.” “The body is a unit…and we are all given the one Spirit to drink…in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be.” [1 Corinthians 12:12-18]

A. W. Tozer gave an illustration of having 100 concert pianos. “If you tune the second to the first, and the third to the second, and the fourth to the third, until you have tuned all 100 pianos accordingly, you will still have disharmony. But if you tuned each piano to the same tuning fork, you will have unity and harmony.” So, too, when we each “tune” ourselves and our lives to God—we will have unity.

The Bible says that in Heaven there will be “perfect unity”—a “feeling,” I am sure, none of us could even get close to imagining how wonderful it will be. Are you confident that you will be going to Heaven to experience this indescribable feeling?

You can be assured of this by accepting God’s free gift of salvation and eternal life. By realizing you are a sinner and that, besides being ABSOLUTELY PERFECT in every thought, word, and deed, the ONLY WAY to be assured of going to Heaven, is to simply believe in the saving grace of God and the shed blood of His Son, the “Lamb of God,” Jesus Christ. He paid the penalty for our sin and bridged the gap between God and people—His blood was shed for everyone, all of their sins, past, present, and to come.

It is up to you—God never “forces” His way into our lives. So, if you desire to have an even more intimate relationship with Someone that loves you more and deeper than any family member or close friend ever could, then trust your life to Jesus Christ and receive Him by your personal invitation. This is something you can do anywhere, anytime, with someone or not. If you would like to do this right now, pray the following prayer:

Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins so I could be forgiven and set free. I want to turn from my sins. I now receive the gift of your Spirit, and invite You to come into my heart and life, to be with me forever. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. Thank you, Lord Jesus.

If you prayed this prayer, or something similar, you have started a wonderful journey developing a deep personal understanding and experience of God’s matchless love and grace. Now, go tell someone of the most important decision you will ever make, someone who you think would be pleased to hear the news. Also, join a “lively,” bible-based church that will encourage you in your development as a Christian, and that provides a “unity” of people desiring to hear what God has to say to them.

Blessings….
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v18) for AUGUST 2000
(NOTE: Please send your ‘thoughts’ to me at: mbesh@ameritech.net)

I am glad to organize and distribute more ‘stuff’ if y’all send it to me… Thank you’s to:

Joy Asashon
Richard Bachman
Gerry Besh
Lezlie Besh
Sandy Lerner
Terry Longo
Beth McMillan
Tracy Pultorak
Cher’re Walters
Laurie Westman

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IF NOBODY

If nobody smiled and nobody cared and nobody helped us along.
If every moment looked after itself and good things always went to the strong;

If nobody thought just a little about you and nobody cared about me, and we stood all alone, in the battle of life,
What a dreary old world this would be.

Life is sweet, just because, of friends we have made and the things which in common we share.
We want to live on, not because of ourselves, but because of the people who care.

It is doing and giving for somebody else on which all of life’s splendor depends.
The joy of this world, when you’ve summed it all up is found in the making of friends.

[Author unknown – Received from Joy Asashon]

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ATTITUDES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN FACTS

There was a beginning teacher in Illinois who loved teaching. But because the principal had not visited her classroom to evaluate her skills, she assumed that she would not be employed next year.

She was surprised, at the end of the school year, when the principal said he was looking forward to having her teach next year. And that her students scored higher in achievement tests than any other students in the last 10 years.

She said “It’s easy to teach when you have such a great group of kids as I had. They were sharp, interested, motivated, and all of them had IQs of 150, 152, 153, and even higher.”

The principal asked how she knew this. She said that she got a list at the beginning of the year with their names and the IQ scores on it.

The principal smiled and said, “Those were their locker numbers.”

Because she thought the students had high IQs, she treated them as if they did. Her attitude was one of high expectations. She KNEW they could accomplish the work. Her experience underscores the point that ” attitudes are more important than facts.”

[Art Gardner]

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RUMINATIONS

Knowing the truth and living the truth are two different things.

Never place a period where God has placed a comma.

If you weather the storm, you will reach the port.

Give and forget. Receive and remember.

Doing beating talking every time.

Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.

A procrastinator suffers from hardening of the oughteries.

If you wouldn’t write it and sign it, don’t say it.

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

Some doctors say that cheerful people resist disease better than grumpy ones. So, I guess the “surly bird catches the germ.”

Some minds are like concrete–all mixed up and permanently set.

People may doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do.

Opportunity may ‘knock’, but temptation barges right in!

There is enough good in bad people and enough bad in good people that we all should be patient with everyone else.

[Bits & Pieces]

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NEW SCIENTIFIC THEORIES

Here are the winning entries from a recent contest:

RUNNERS-UP:
The earth may spin faster on its axis due to deforestation. Just as a figure skater’s rate of spin increases when the arms are brought in close to the body, the cutting of tall trees may cause our planet to spin dangerously fast.

The ‘Why Yawning Is Contagious’ Theory: You yawn to equalize the pressure on your eardrums. This pressure change outside your eardrums unbalances other people’s ear pressures, so they must yawn to even it all out.

HONORABLE MENTION:
The quantity of consonants in the English language is absolutely constant. If consonants are omitted in one geographic area, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian “pahks” his “cah”, the lost r’s migrate southwest, causing a Texan to “warsh” his car and invest in “erl wells.”

GRAND PRIZE WINNER:
When a cat is dropped, it ALWAYS lands on its feet; and when toast is dropped, it ALWAYS lands with the buttered side facing down. Therefore, I propose to strap buttered toast to the back of a cat. When dropped, the two will hover, spinning inches above the ground, probably into eternity. A “buttered-cat array” could replace pneumatic tires on cars and trucks, and “giant buttered-cat arrays” could easily allow a high-speed monorail linking New York with Chicago.

[Received from Beth McMillan]

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FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE

An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally
asked him, “How do you expect to get into heaven?”

The boy thought it over and said, “Well, I’ll just run in and out and in
and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, ‘For heaven’s
sake, Jimmy, come in or stay out.'”

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If you can start your day without caffeine,
If you can get along without pep pills,
If you can always be cheerful ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles.
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can forgive your friends for their lack of consideration,
If you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you when through no fault of your own something goes wrong,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better that a poor friend,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can honestly say that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed or color, religion, or politics,

Then, my friend, you’re almost as good……..as your dog!!!

[Heard on Dr. James Dobson’s “Focus on the Family” radio broadcast]

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Service is the sweet perfume of human goodness which you cannot pour upon another without getting a few drops on yourself. The greatest rewards of service are self-satisfaction, but often more practical and material rewards follow.

[Edward L. Friedman]

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COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

6       8       9
+4     +5     +7
—     —     —
10     12     16

When you look at the three sets of addition problems above, what do you see? Now, answer honestly….most of us will say “There’s one that’s WRONG!! We don’t even notice the two that are correct. We only notice what is wrong. For the most part, our society focuses on what is negative, and we are subconsciously trained to think this way. We discount the positive and dwell on the negative.

[Cherie Carter-Scott]

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Life is a place of service. Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.

[Leo Tolstoy]

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IT’S IN THE BIBLE

There was this Christian lady that had to do a lot of traveling for her business, so she did a lot of flying. But flying made her nervous so she always took her Bible along with her to read and it helped her to relax.

One time she was sitting next to a man. When he saw her pull out her Bible he gave a little chuckle and went back to what he was doing.

After awhile he turned to her and asked, “You don’t really believe all that stuff in there do you?”

The lady replied, “Of course I do. It is the Bible.”

He said “Well, what about that guy that was swallowed by that whale?”

She replied, “Oh, Jonah. Yes, I believe that; it is in the Bible.”

He asked, “Well, how do you suppose he survived all that time inside the whale?”

The lady said, “Well I don’t really know. I guess when I get to heaven I will ask him.”

“What if he isn’t in heaven?” the man asked sarcastically.

“Then you can ask him.” replied the lady.

[Received from Beth McMillan]

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NEW TWIST ON AN OLD CLASSIC

The optimist says the glass is “half full.”
The pessimist say it is “half empty.”
The process reengineer says “it looks like you’ve got twice as much glass as you need there.”

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FAITH

The African Impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater that 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall! The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall.

Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and with faith we are freed from the flimsy enclosures of life that only fear allows to entrap us.

[Craig Brain Larson]

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Wanting to capture monkeys alive and unharmed, an expedition of scientists used their knowledge of ‘monkey ways’ by devising a trap that consisted of a small jar with a long, narrow neck. Into the jar was placed a handful of nuts.

Scenting the nuts in the bottle, the monkey would thrust his paw into the bottle. But when he tries to withdraw the prize, he discovers that his clenched fist would not pass through the narrow neck of the bottle. Even though he is unable to escape, he is unwilling to let the nuts go.

We may smile at the monkeys, thinking how foolish they were, but in some respects we are just like them. We cling to the very things that hold us back, remaining captive through sheer unwillingness to let go. We feel we have been unjustly treated in our work or by some friend or associate, and say, “I will never forget this as long as I live.” Thus he holds on to the ‘nuts’ and is trapped, spending the rest of his days complaining about being tied to a bottle, but unwilling to let go.

[Eric Butterworth]

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SPEECHMAKING HINTS:

Be sincere,
Be brief,
Be seated.

[Eleanor Doan]

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GLEANING WISDOM

Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped
[Old African Proverb]

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26 GUARDS

Here’s a message that may change the way that you may think about prayer and the way you pray….

A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan…..”While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point.  On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital. Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to him about the Lord. I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident.

Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines.  He said, ‘Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp over night. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards. At this I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said, ‘No sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them.  It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.’ “At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day this happened. The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story: “On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you.

Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?” The men who had met together to pray that day stood up. The missionary wasn’t concerned with who they were, he was too busy counting how many men he saw. There were 26.

This story is an incredible example of how the Spirit of the Lord moves in mysterious ways. If you ever hear such prodding, go along with it. Nothing is ever hurt by prayer except the gates of hell. I encourage you to forward this to as many people as you know. If we all take it to heart, we can turn this world toward God once again. As the above true story clearly illustrates, “with God all things are possible” and more importantly, how God hears and answers the prayers of the faithful. After you read this, please pass it on and give God thanks for the beautiful gift of your faith, for the powerful gift of prayer, and for the many miracles He works in your own daily life…and then pass it on.

[Received from Gerry Besh]

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THOUGHTS…

With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.
[Thomas E. Buxton]

Progress results from persistence with purpose
[Frank Tyger]

The only thing wrong with being retired is that you never get a day off!
[Bill Heider]

Try and live you life the way you wish other people would live theirs.
[Raymond Burr]

The PURPOSE of life is to discover your gift.
The MEANING of life is giving your gift away.
[David Viscott]

Medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
[Voltaire]

There is only one thing about which I am certain, and that is that there is very little about which one can be certain.
[Somerset Maugham]

Friends in your life are like pillars on your porch. Sometimes they hold you up and sometimes they lean on you. Sometimes it’s just enough to know they’re standing by.
[Elizabeth Foley]

Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
[St. Francis of Assisi]

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KIDS THINK PRAYER WORKS, TOO

Johnny had been misbehaving and was sent to his room. After a while he emerged and informed his mother that he had thought it over and then said a prayer. “Fine,” said the pleased mother. “If you ask God to help you not misbehave, He will help you.” “Oh, I didn’t ask Him to help me not to misbehave,” said Johnny. “I asked Him to help you put up with me.”

[Received from Tracy Pultorak]

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A TOAST TO GOLF

To golf, the only game where par is good, but below par is better.
[Dale Irwin]

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WHERE’S JESUS?

A Sunday school teacher of preschoolers was concerned that his students might be a little confused about Jesus Christ because of the Christmas story’s emphasis on His birth. He wanted to make sure they understood that the birth of Jesus occurred for real. He asked his class, “Where is Jesus today? “Steven raised his hand and said, “He’s in heaven.” Mary was called on and answered, “He’s in my heart.” Little Johnny, waving his hand furiously, blurted out, “I know, I know! He’s in our bathroom!!!” The whole class got very quiet, looked at the teacher, and waited for a response. The teacher was completely at a loss for a few very long seconds. Finally, he gathered his wits and asked Little Johnny how he knew this. Little Johnny said, “Well … every morning, my father gets up, bangs on the bathroom door, and yells,  “Good Lord, are you still in there?!”

[Received from Tracy Pultorak]

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MISTAKES

The doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his client to plant vines

[Frank Lloyd Wright]

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THEORIES ABOUT GOD’S EXISTENCE

Imagine a family of mice who lived all their lives in a large piano. To them in their piano–world came the music of the instrument, filling all the dark spaces with sound and harmony. At first, the mice were impressed by it. They drew comfort and wonder from the thought that there was Someone who made the music–though invisible to them–above, yet close to them. They loved to think of the Great Player whom they could not see. Then one day a daring mouse climbed up part of the piano and returned very thoughtful. He had found out how the music was made. Wires were the secret; tightly stretched wires of graduated lengths which trembled and vibrated. They must revise all their old beliefs; none but the most conservative could any longer believe in the Unseen Player. Later, another explorer carried the exploration further. Hammers were now the secret, numbers of hammers dancing and leaping on the wires. This was a more complicated theory, but it all went to show that they lived in a purely mechanical and mathematical world. The Unseen Player came to be thought of a myth….but the pianist continued to play.

[From “Leadership”]

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LIFE SUCCESS – You can’t steal first

Life’s like baseball…you must go one base at a time if you want to get home—and associate yourself with those who can help move you along.

I’m not sure what the difference is between a stepping stone and a stumbling block–I’m never sure which one is higher. Do you have to step higher for the ‘stepping stone’ or is the ‘stumbling block’ there because you are not willing to raise your foot up and go for things you need to do. Step high–reach to be the best.

[Johnny Bench]

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WHY THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS HARD TO LEARN

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

[Received from Tracy Pultorak]

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Real friends are those who, when you feel you’ve made a fool of yourself, don’t feel you’ve done a permanent job

[Received from Lezlie Besh]

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THOUGHT STARTERS

A coincidence is when God performs a miracle, and decides to remain anonymous

Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep.

Following the path of least resistance is what makes rivers and men crooked.

Lead your life so you won’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.

Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace–and your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need for God’s grace.

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REAL COMMITMENT—NO TURNING BACK!

A young pastor in Zimbabwe, said it this way: “I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made—I’m a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go ’til He comes, give ’til I drop, preach ’til all know, and work ’til He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me….my banner will be clear.”

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THE ‘OTHER’ SEVEN DEADLY SINS

1. Truth, if it becomes a weapon against persons.
2. Beauty, if it becomes vanity.
3. Love, if it becomes possessive.
4. Loyalty, if it becomes blind, careless trust.
5. Tolerance, if it becomes indifference.
6. Self-confidence, if it becomes arrogance.
7. Faith, if it becomes self-righteous.

[Ashley Cooper]

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REAL FAITH

Legend has it that a man was lost in the desert, just dying for a drink of water. He stumbled upon an old shack–a ramshackled, windowless, roofless, weather-beaten old shack. He looked about this place and found a little shade from the heat of the desert sun. As he glanced around he saw a pump about 15 feet away–an old, rusty water pump. He stumbled over to it, grabbed the handled, and began to pump up and down, up and down. Nothing came out.

Disappointed, he staggered back. He noticed off to the side an old jug. He looked at it, wiped away the dirt and dust, and read a message that said, “You have to prime the pump with all the water in this jug, my friend. P.S. Be sure you fill the jug again before you leave.”

He popped the cork out of the jug and sure enough, it was almost full of water! Suddenly, he was faced with a decision. If he drank the water, he could live. Ah, but if he poured all the water in the old rusty pump, maybe it would yield fresh, cool water from down deep in the well, all the water he wanted.

He studied the possibility of both options. What should he do, pour it into the old pump and take a chance on fresh, cool water or drink what was in the old jug and ignore its message? Should he waste all the water on the hopes of those flimsy instructions written, no telling how long ago?

Reluctantly he poured all the water into the pump. Then he grabbed the handle and began to pump, squeak, squeak, squeak. Still nothing came out! Squeak, squeak, squeak. A little bit began to dribble out then a small stream, and finally it gushed out! To his relief, fresh, cool water poured out of the rusty pump. Eagerly, he filled the jug and drank from it. He filled it another time and once again drank its refreshing contents.

Then he filled the jug for the next traveler. He filled it to the top, popped the cork back on, and added this little note: “Believe me, it really works. You have to give it all away before you can get anything back.”

[Charles R. Swindoll]

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HOMERUNS

At a fund-raising dinner for a Brooklyn school that caters to learning-disabled children, the father of one child was expected to give a speech extolling the dedicated staff’s work. Instead his opening remarks shocked the crowd of parents and teachers. He cried out: “My son goes to this
school, which teaches that everything God does is done with perfection. But where is the perfection in my son Shaya? My child cannot understand things as other children do. So tell me where is God’s perfection?”

The audience, shocked by the man’s anguished question, hushed. A few people coughed nervously as the father continued: “I believe that when God brings a child like this into the world, the perfection He seeks is in the way people react.” The father then told about the afternoon he and Shaya walked past a park where some boys Shaya knew were playing baseball. Shaya asked, “Do you think they will let me play?”

The father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. Nevertheless, Shaya’s father understood that if his son were to be chosen to play it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging. So the father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if Shaya could play.

The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands. “We’re losing by six runs, and the game is in the eighth inning,” he told the father. “I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning.”  Shaya’s father was ecstatic as Shaya smiled broadly. A team member told Shaya to put on a glove and go out to play short center field.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shaya’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shaya’s team scored again and now, with two outs and the bases loaded with the potential winning run on base, Shaya was up to bat.

Would the team actually take a chance on Shaya to bat home the winning run? Everyone knew it was all but impossible because Shaya didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it.

Yet as Shaya stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shaya should at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came in and Shaya swung clumsily and missed. One of Shaya’s teammates came up to Shaya so together they could hold the bat and face the pitcher.

Again the pitcher took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly. As the pitch came in, Shaya and his teammate swung at the bat and together they hit a slow ground ball. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shaya would have been out and that would have ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, “Shaya, run to first! Run to first!”

Never in his life had Shaya run to first. So now he scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tag out Shaya, still running. But the right fielder understood what the pitcher’s intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman’s head. Everyone yelled: “Run to second! Run to second!” Shaya ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. Just as Shaya reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, “Run to third.” As Shaya rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming: “Shaya, run home!” Shaya ran home, stepped on home plate, and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders.  They made Shaya their hero, as he had just hit a grand slam and won the game for his team.

“That day,” said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, “those 18 boys reached their level of God’s perfection.”

[Received from Lezlie Besh]

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THE ABC’s OF THANKSGIVING

by Cindy Blackamore

A lthough things are not perfect
B ecause of trial or pain
C ontinue in thanksgiving
D o not begin to blame
E ven when the times are hard
F ierce winds are bound to blow
G od is forever able
H old on to what you know
I magine life without His love
J oy would cease to be
K eep thanking Him for all the things
L ove imparts to thee
M ove out of “Camp Complaining”
N o weapon that is known
O n earth can yield the power
P raise can do alone
Q uit looking at the future
R edeem the time at hand
S tart every day with worship
T o “thank” is a command
U ntil we see Him coming
V ictorious in the sky
W e’ll run the race with gratitude
eX alting God most high
Y es, there will be good times and yes some will be bad, but…
Z ion waits in glory…where none are ever sad!

Psalm 69:30  “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” Proverbs 4:23  “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

[Contributed by CK Bannister]

*****************************
THE NATIONALITY OF JESUS

Scholars have long debated the exact ethnicity and nationality of Jesus. Recently, at a theological meeting in Rome, scholars from around the world had a heated debate on this subject. One by one, they offered their evidence for Jesus’ nationality…

THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS MEXICAN:
1. His first name was Jesus
2. He was bilingual
3. He was always being harassed by the authorities

But then there were equally good arguments that…

JESUS WAS BLACK:
1. He called everybody “brother”
2. He liked Gospel music
3. He couldn’t get a fair trial

But then there were equally good arguments that…

JESUS WAS JEWISH:
1. He went into His Father’s business
2. He lived at home until he was 33
3. He was sure his Mother was a virgin, and his Mother was sure
he was God

But then there were equally good arguments that…….

JESUS WAS ITALIAN:
1. He talked with his hands
2. He had wine with every meal
3. He used olive oil

But then there were equally good arguments that…

JESUS WAS A CALIFORNIAN:
1. He never cut his hair
2. He walked around barefoot
3. He started a new religion

But then there were equally good arguments that…

JESUS WAS IRISH:
1. He never got married
2. He was always telling stories
3. He loved green pastures

But perhaps the most compelling evidence…

THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS A WOMAN:
1. He had to feed a crowd at a moment’s notice when there was no food
2. He kept trying to get the message across to a bunch of men who
JUST DIDN’T GET IT
3. Even when He was dead, He had to get up because there was more work for him to do

[Received from Sandy Lerner]

*****************************
When I finished school, I took one of those career aptitude tests, and based on my verbal ability score, they suggested I become a mime.
[Tim Cavanagh]

*****************************
CAN

Concentrate
Action
Now

*****************************
SUCCESSFUL SALESPERSON:

Someone who has found a cure for the common cold shoulder
[Robert Orben]

*****************************
DO YOU HAVE THE TIME?

I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.

So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.

All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer.
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They’d laugh at me I’d fear.

No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.

I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God held a book;
It was the book of life.

God looked into his book and said
“Your name I cannot find.
I once was going to write it down…
But never found the time.”

“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” [Matthew 8:12]

[Received from Terry Longo]

*****************************
NO JACKET REQUIRED

I shook my head in disbelief.  This couldn’t be the right place.  After all, I couldn’t possibly be welcome here.  I had been given an invitation several times, by several different people, and had finally decided to see what this place was all about.  But, this just couldn’t be the right place.

Quickly, I glanced down at the invitation that I clutched in my hand.
I scanned past the words, “Come as you are.  No jacket required,” and found the location.  Yes, I was at the right place.  I peered through the window again and saw a room of people whose faces seemed to glow with joy. All were neatly dressed, adorned in fine garments and appeared strangely clean as they dined at this exquisite restaurant.

Ashamed, I looked down at my own tattered and torn clothing, covered in stains.  I was dirty, in fact, filthy.  A foul smell seemed to consume me and I couldn’t shake the grime that clung to my body.  As I turned around to leave, the words from the invitation seemed to leap out at me…

…”Come as you are.  No jacket required.” I decided to give it a shot.  Mustering up every bit of courage I could find, I opened the door to this restaurant and walked up to a man standing behind a podium.  “Your name, sir?” he asked me with a smile. “Jimmy D.  Brown,” I mumbled without looking up.  I thrust my hands deep into my pockets, hoping to conceal their stains.  He didn’t seem to notice the filth that I was covered in and he continued, “Very good, sir.  A table is reserved in your name.  Would you like to be seated?”

I couldn’t believe what I heard!  A grin broke out on my face and I said, “Yes, of course!” He lead me to a table and, sure enough, there was a placard with my name written on it in a deep, dark red. As I browsed over a menu, I saw many delightful items listed. There were things like, “peace,” “joy,” “blessings,” “confidence,” “assurance,”  “hope,” “love,” “faith,” and “mercy.” I realized that this was no ordinary restaurant!  I flipped the menu back to the front in order to see where I was at…  “God’s Grace,” was the name of this place!

The man returned and said, “I recommend the ‘Special of the Day’. With it, you are entitled to heaping portions of everything on this menu.” You’ve got to be kidding!  I thought to myself.  You mean, I can have ALL of this!  “What is the ‘Special of the Day’ I asked with excitement ringing in my voice.  “Salvation,” was his reply.  “I’ll take it,” I practically cried out.

Then, as quickly as I made that statement, the joy left my body.  A sick, painful ache jerked through my stomach and tears filled my eyes. Between  my sobs I said…  “Mister, look at me.  I’m dirty and nasty.  I’m unclean and unworthy of such things.  I’d love to have all of this, but, but, I just can’t afford it.

Undaunted, the man smiled again.  “Sir, your check has already been taken care of by that Gentleman over there,” he said point to the front of the room.  “His Name is Jesus.”

Turning, I saw a man whose very presence seemed to light the room.  He was almost too much to look at.  I found myself walking towards Him and in a shaking voice I whispered, “Sir, I’ll wash the dishes or sweep the floors or take out the trash.  I’ll do anything I can do to repay you for all of this.”

He opened His arms and said with a smile, “Son, all of this is yours if you just come unto me.  Ask me to clean you up and I will. Ask me to take away the stains and it is done.  Ask me to allow you to feast at my table and you will eat.  Remember, the table is reserved in your name. All you must do is accept this gift that I offer you.”

Astonished, I fell at his feet and said, “Please, Jesus.  Please clean up my life.  Please change me and sit me at your table and give me this new life.”

Immediately, I heard the words, “It is finished.”

I looked down and white robes adorned my squeaky clean body. Something strange and wonderful had happened.  I felt new, like a weight had been lifted and I found myself seated at His table.

“The ‘Special of the Day’ has been served,” the Lord said to me. “Salvation is yours.” We sat and talked for a great while and I so enjoyed the time that I spent with Him.  He told me, me of all people, that He would like for me to come back as often as I liked for another helping from God’s Grace. He made it clear that He wanted me to spend as much time with Him as possible.

As it drew near time for me to go back outside into the “real world,” He whispered to me softly, “And Lo, I am with you always.” And then, He said something to me that I will never forget.  He said…

“My child, do you see these empty tables throughout this room?” “Yes, Lord. I see them.  What do they mean?” I replied.  “These are reserved tables…but the individuals whose names are on each placard have not accepted their invitations to dine.  Would you be so kind as to hand out these invitations to those who have not joined us yet?” Jesus asked.

“Of course,” I said with excitement as I picked up the invitations.” “Go ye therefore into all nations,” He said as I turned to leave.

I walked into God’s Grace dirty and hungry.  Stained in sin.  My righteousness as filthy rags.  And Jesus cleaned me up.  I walked out a brand new man…robed in white, His righteousness.  And so, I’ll keep my promise to my Lord.  I’ll go.  I’ll spread the Word.  I’ll share the Gospel…  I’ll hand out the invitations.  And I’ll start with you.

Have you been to God’s Grace?  There’s a table reserved in your name, and here’s your invitation…  “Come as you are.  No jacket required.”

“For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”
[Ephesians 2: 8,9]

[Author Unknown – Received from Beth McMillan]

*****************************
A Jewish father was concerned about his son who was about a year away from his Bar Mitzvah but was sorely lacking in his knowledge of the Jewish faith.

To remedy this, he sent his son to Israel to experience his heritage.

A year later the young man returned home.

“Father, thank you for sending me to the land of our Fathers,” the son
said. “It was wonderful and enlightening, however, I must confess that
while in Israel I converted to Christianity.”

“Oi vey,” replied the father, “what have I done.”

So in the tradition of the patriarchs, he went to his best friend and
sought his advice and solace.

“It is amazing that you should come to me,” stated his friend, “I too sent
my son to Israel and he returned a Christian.”

So in the tradition of the patriarchs they went to the Rabbi.

“It is amazing that you should come to me,” stated the Rabbi, “I too sent
my son to Israel and he returned a Christian. What is happening to our
sons?”

“Brothers, we must take this to the Lord,” said the Rabbi.

They fell to their knees and began to wail and pour out their hearts to
the Almighty. As they prayed the clouds opened and a mighty voice
stated,

“Amazing that you should come to Me. I, too, sent My Son to
Israel…..”

[Received from Cher’re Walters]

*****************************
I AM THANKFUL

For the teenager who is not doing dishes, but is watching TV, because that means he is at home and not on the streets.

For the taxes that I pay, because it means that I am employed.

For the mess to clean after a party, because it means that I have been surrounded by friends.

For the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means I have enough to eat.

For my shadow that watches me work, because it means I am out in the sunshine.

For a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing, because it means I have a home.

For all the complaining I hear about the government, because it means that we have freedom of speech.

For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means I am capable of walking and that I have been blessed with transportation.

For my huge heating bill, because it means I am warm.

For the lady behind me in church that sings off key, because it means that I can hear.

For the pile of laundry and ironing, because it means I have clothes to wear.

For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day, because it means I have been capable of working hard.

For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours, because it means that I am alive.

And finally …for too much e-mail, because it means I have friends who are thinking of me.

[Received from Laurie Westman]

*****************************
A church congregation sat enthralled while a young, very pregnant woman
rose in the choir and sang, “O Lord, make haste and deliver me.”
[Pastor James Simpson]

When a church seeks a pastor, they want the strength of an eagle, the grace
of a swan, the gentleness of a dove, the friendliness of a sparrow, and the
night hours of an owl.  And when they catch that bird, they expect the
pastor to live on the food of a canary.
[Anonymous]

“Dad,” a little boy asked, “Did you go to Sunday school every week?”  “I
sure did, son,” his father replied.  “I’ll bet it won’t do me any good,
either,” the boy replied.
[Pastor Dennis Fakes]

The only thing some folks give up for Lent are their New Year’s
resolutions.
[Pastor Felix A. Lorenz, Jr.]

If one first gives himself to the Lord, all other giving is easy.
[Robert Harris]

A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon.  “How do you know what to say?” he asked.  “Why, God tells me,” the clergyman replied.  “Oh,” said the lad.  “Then why do you keep crossing things out?”
[Archbishop John May]

A pastor asked a youngster: “Johnny, do you know where little boys go if
they don’t put their money in the collection plate?”  “Yes, pastor,” the
boy answered.  “They go to the movies.”
[George Goldtrap]

*****************************
HELL IS REAL!

Went into my classroom,
Ready for another year at school.
I didn’t want the work,
Just wanted to hang and be cool.

I had on new clothes,
New sneaks on my feet.
I was there for class on time,
Went to the back and took my seat.

Yeah, I’m moving up,
I’m already grown.
Soon I’ll be graduating,
And out on my own.

I talked to some of my friends,
We were all having fun.
Said some things I shouldn’t have said,
Did stuff I shouldn’t have done.

I knew I was different.
I felt God touch my heart,
I knew I should set a standard,
But then I’d be set apart.

Walking to the bus,
I was not looking for strength.
I heard the car tires screeching,
But now it’s too late.

I’m standing in this room,
And I can see the heavenly gate.
Oh no! I never prayed.
I thought I had time to get it straight.

An angel walked to me,
He had a book in his hand.
I knew it was the Book of Life,
When would this dream end?

I told him my name,
And he began to look.
Then he looked at me sadly and said,
Your name is not in this book.

Angel, this is a dream,
No, I can’t be dead!
He closed the book and turned away,
He whispered – You cannot proceed ahead.

No…No this can’t be real,
Angel, you can’t turn me away.
Let me talk to God,
Maybe he’ll let me stay.

He led me to the gate,
Jesus came to me.
He did not let me in but said,
Beloved what is your need?

Jesus, I cried, please,
Don’t cast me away from you.
Tears ran down his face as he said,
You knew what you needed to do.

Lord, please I’m young,
I never thought I would die.
I thought I’d have plenty of time,
Death caught me by surprise.

Lord, I went to church,
Please Jesus, I believe.
He said you would not accept me,
My love you would not receive.

Lord, there were too many hypocrites,
They weren’t being true.
He took a step back and asked,
What does that have to do with you?

Lord, my family claimed to be saved,
They weren’t real. You know.
He said, I died for you,
Now I have to go.

I fell to my knees crying to Him,
Lord, I planned to be real tomorrow.
I couldn’t, make Him understand,
I had never — felt such sorrow.

Then it hit me hard, I said,
Lord, where will I go?
He looked into my eyes and said,
My child you already know.

Please Jesus, I begged,
The place is so hot.
It seemed to trouble and grieve him,
He whispered, DEPART FROM ME, I KNOW YOU NOT.

Lord, you’re supposed to be love,
How can you send me to damnation?
He replied, “With your mouth you said you loved me, But each day you rejected my salvation.”

With that in an instant,
Day turned into night.
I never knew such torture could be,
Now too late, I know the Bible is right.

If I can tell you anything,
Hell has no age.
It is a place of torture,
Separated from God and full of rage.

You know, I thought it was funny — a joke,
But this one thing is true.
If you never accept Jesus Christ,
HELL IS WAITING FOR YOU!

So please, ask Him into your heart.

[Net153]

*****************************
*****************************
Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with!

Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for our sins, so that we could be forgiven and set free. Thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit as our earthly counselor. I commit my life to You, and am excited to develop a deep personal understanding of You and experiencing Your matchless love and grace. I trust You as Lord and Savior.

Mark

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