Random Christian Stories and Poems
[#prayer]-New School Prayer
[#giver]-A True Giver?
[#miracle]-How Much Does A Miracle Cost?
[#where]-Where is God?
[#stand]-Stand Up and Pray!
[#heart]-What Will Be Found In Your Heart?
[#jesus]-Who is Jesus?
[#son]-Take My Son
Where is God's Perfection?
Lessons From Boys and Baseball.
In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to learning disabled children. Some children remain in Chush for their entire school career, while others can be mainstreamed into conventional schools. At a Chush fundraising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.
After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, "Where is the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God's perfection?" The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father's anguish and stilled by the piercing query. "I believe," the father answered, "that when God brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that he seeks is in the way people react to this child." He then told the following story about his son Shaya:
One afternoon Shaya and his father walked past a park where some boys Shaya knew were playing baseball. Shaya asked, "Do you think they will let me play?"
Shaya's father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But Shaya's father understood that if his son was chosen to play it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging. Shaya's 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 and said, "We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. 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. Shaya was told 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 scheduled to be up. Would the team actually let Shaya bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shaya was given the bat. Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because Shaya didn't even know-how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However 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 and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shaya. As the pitch came in, Shaya and his teammate swung at the bat and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. 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. 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, who was 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. 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 and made him the 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."
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?"
The young boy was apologetic. "Please, mister...please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do," He pleaded. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop..." With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. "It's my brother, "he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up." Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me." Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. "Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger.
Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: "Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!" God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It's our choice to listen or not.
ChristiansBy Maya Angelou
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting, "I'm clean livin'."
I'm whispering, "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou;
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!
New School Prayer
Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.
If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.
We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong
We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.
It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!
Amateurs... built the ark.
Professionals... built the Titanic.
When you're down to nothing, God is up to something.
People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. For you see in the end, it is between you and God. It never was between you and them anyway.
Thought for the Day:
If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
He sends you flowers every spring.
He sends you a sunrise every morning.
Face it, friend - He is crazy about you!
God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.
If you look at what you do not have in life, you don't have anything. If you look at what you have in life, you have everything.
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments trust God.
Every moment, thank God.
What you feel only matters to you...It's what you do to the ones you love that really matter.
Sometimes the angels fly close enough to you that you can hear the flutter of their wings...
A True Giver!
The greatest reward awaits for those,
That give from their hearts of endless flows
With no expectations of praise or fame.
Their only intention, a smile to claim.
The rapture, the joy, they bring to a face.
Their deepest hope is the sad to erase.
Being a giver of hope and pleasure
Is a blessed soul far beyond measure.
One day a while back, a man, his heart heavy with grief, was walking in the woods. As he thought about his life this day, he knew many things were not right. He thought about those who had lied about him back when he had a job. His thoughts turned to those who had stolen his things and cheated him. He remembered family that had passed on. His mind turned to the
illness he had that no one could cure. His very soul was filled with anger, resentment and frustration.
Standing there this day, searching for answers he could not find, knowing all else had failed him, he knelt at the base of an old oak tree to seek the One he knew would always be there. And with tears in his eyes, he prayed:
"Lord- You have done wonderful things for me in this life. You have told me to do many things for you, and I happily obeyed. Today, you have told me to forgive. I am sad, Lord, because I cannot. I don't know how. It is not fair Lord. I didn't deserve these wrongs that were done against me and I shouldn't have to forgive. As perfect as your way is Lord, this one thing I cannot do, for I don't know how to forgive. My anger is so deep Lord, I fear I may not hear you, but I pray that you teach me to do this one thing I cannot do - Teach me to Forgive."
As he knelt there in the quiet shade of that old oak tree, he felt something fall onto his shoulder. He opened his eyes. Out of the corner of one eye, he saw something red on his shirt. He could not turn to see what it was because where the oak tree had been was a large square piece of wood in the ground. He raised his head and saw two feet held to the wood with a large spike through
He raised his head more, and tears came to his eyes as he saw Jesus hanging on a cross. He saw spikes in His hands, a gash in His side, a torn and battered body, deep thorns sunk into His head. Finally he saw the suffering and pain on His precious face. As their eyes met, the man's tears turned to sobbing, and Jesus began to speak.
"Have you ever told a lie?" He asked and the man answered, "Yes, Lord."
"Have you ever been given too much change and kept it?" The man answered, "Yes. Lord." And the man sobbed more and more.
"Have you ever taken something from work that wasn't yours?" Jesus asked. And the man answered, "Yes, Lord."
"Have you ever sworn, using my Father's name in vain? " The man, crying now, answered, "Yes, Lord."
As Jesus asked many more times, "Have you ever?" The man's crying became uncontrollable, for he could only answer, "Yes, Lord."
Then Jesus turned His head from one side to the other, and the man felt something fall on his other shoulder. He looked and saw that it was the blood of Jesus. When he looked back up, his eyes met those of Jesus, and there was a look of love the man had never seen or
Jesus said, "I didn't deserve this either, but I forgive you."
How Much Does a Miracle Cost?
A Little Girl’s Faith.
A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!
"And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages," he said without waiting for a reply to his question.
"Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick...and I want to buy a miracle."
"I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.
"His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?"
"We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you," the pharmacist said, softening a little.
"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs."
The pharmacist's brother was a well-dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does your brother need?"
" I don't know," Tess replied with her eyes welling up. I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money."
"How much do you have?" asked the man from Chicago.
"One dollar and eleven cents," Tess answered barely audibly.
"And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to."
"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents---the exact price of a miracle for little brothers. "
He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the miracle you need."
That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.
"That surgery," her Mom whispered. "Was a real miracle. I wonder how
much it would have cost?"
Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost...one dollar and
eleven cents.... plus the faith of a little child.
In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will need.
A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a
Where is God?
Missing Him When He’s All Around.
The man whispered, "God, speak to me," and a meadowlark sang.
But the man did not hear.
So the man yelled, "God, speak to me," and the thunder rolled across the sky.
But the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said, "God, let me see you." And a star shined brightly.
But the man did not see.
And the man shouted, "God, show me a miracle." And a life was born.
But the man did not notice.
So, the man cried out in despair, "Touch me, God, and let me know you are here."
Whereupon, God reached down and touched the man. But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.
I found this to be a great reminder that God is always around us in the little and simple things that we take for granted -- even in our electronic age.
So I would like to add one more:
The man cried, "God, I need your help!" And an e-mail arrived reaching out with good news and encouragement. But, the man deleted it and continued crying.
Don’t miss out on a blessing, because it isn’t packaged the way that you expect.
On a Saturday night several weeks ago, this pastor was working late, and decided to call his wife before he left for home It was about 10:00 PM, but his wife didn't answer the phone.
The pastor let the phone ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn't answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes. When he tried again she answered right away. He asked her why she hadn't answered before, and she said that it hadn't rung at their house. They brushed it off as a fluke and went on their merry ways.
The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the church office, which was the phone that he'd used that Saturday night. The man that he spoke with wanted to know why he'd called on Saturday night. The pastor couldn't figure out what the man was talking about. Then the man said, "It rang and rang, but I didn't answer." The pastor remembered the mishap and apologized for disturbing him, explaining that he'd intended to call his wife.
The man said, "That's, OK. Let me tell you my story. You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, 'God if you're there, and you don't want me to do this, give me a sign now.' At that point my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID, and it said, 'Almighty God'. I was afraid to answer!"
The reason why it showed on the man's caller ID that the call came from "Almighty God" is because the church that the pastor attends is called Almighty God Tabernacle!!
You are in your car driving home. Thoughts wander to the game you want to see or meal you want to eat, when suddenly a sound unlike any you've ever heard fills the air. The sound is high above you. A trumpet? A choir? A choir of trumpets? You don't know, but you want to know.
So you pull over, get out of your car, and look up. As you do, you see you aren't the only curious one. The roadside has become a parking lot. Car doors are open, and people are staring at the sky. Shoppers are racing out of the grocery store. The Little League baseball game across the street has come to a halt. Players and parents are searching the clouds. And what they see, and what you see, has never before been seen.
As if the sky were a curtain, the drapes of the atmosphere part. A brilliant light spills onto the earth. There are no shadows. None. From whence came the light begins to tumble a river of color spiking crystals of every hue ever seen and a million more never seen. Riding on the flow is an endless fleet of angels. They pass through the curtains one myriad at a time, until they occupy every square inch of the sky.
Thousands of silvery wings rise and fall in unison, and over the sound of the trumpets, you can hear the cherubim and seraphim chanting, Holy, holy, holy. The final flank of angels is followed by twenty-four silver-bearded elders and a multitude of souls who join the angels in worship.
Presently the movement stops and the trumpets are silent, leaving only the triumphant triplet: Holy, holy, holy. Between each word is a pause. With each word, a profound reverence. You hear your voice join in the chorus. You don't know why you say the words, but you know you must. Suddenly, the heavens are quiet. All is quiet. The angel's turn, you turn, the entire world turns and there He is. Jesus.
Through waves of light you see the silhouetted figure of Christ the King. He is atop a great stallion, and the stallion is atop a billowing cloud. He opens his mouth, and you are surrounded by his declaration: I am the Alpha and the Omega.
The angels bow their heads. The elders remove their crowns. And before you is a Figure so consuming that you know, instantly you know: Nothing else matters. Forget stock markets and school reports. Sales meetings and football games. Nothing is newsworthy.. All that mattered, matters no more.... for Christ has come.
Stand Up and Pray!
This is a statement that was read over the PA system at the football game at County High School, Kingston, Tennessee, by school Principal, Jody McLeod.
"It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football games, to say a prayer and play the National Anthem, to honor God and Country.
Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a Prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law. As I understand the law at this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and call it "an alternate lifestyle," and if someone is offended, that's OK.
I can use it to disregard sexual promiscuity, by dispensing condoms and calling it, "safe sex." If someone is offended, that's OK.
I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an unborn baby as a "viable means of birth control." If someone is offended, no problem...
I can assign a school day as "Earth Day" and involve students in activities to worship religiously and praise the goddess "Mother Earth" and call it "ecology."
I can use literature, videos, and presentations in the classroom that depicts people with strong, traditional Christian convictions as "simple minded" and "ignorant" and call it "enlightenment."
However, if anyone uses this facility to honor GOD and to ask HIM to bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, then Federal Case Law is violated.
This appears to be inconsistent at best, and at worst, diabolical. Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone, except GOD and HIS Commandments.
Nevertheless, as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and students to abide by rules with which they do not necessarily agree. For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best, and at worst, hypocritical... I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally. I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression.
For this reason, I shall ‘Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's’, and refrain from praying at this time.
However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise, thank GOD, and ask HIM, in the name of JESUS, to Bless this event, please feel free to do so. As far as I know, that's not against the law----yet."
One by one, the people in the stands bowed their heads, held hands with one another and began to pray. They prayed in the stands. They prayed in the team huddles. They prayed at the concession stand and they prayed in the Announcer's Box!
The only place they didn't pray was in the Supreme Court of the United States of America- the Seat of "Justice" in the "one nation, under GOD."
Somehow, Kingston, Tennessee, remembered what so many have forgotten. We are given the Freedom OF Religion, not the Freedom FROM Religion. Praise GOD that HIS remnant remains!
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 t 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"
What will be found in your heart?
"Tomorrow morning," the surgeon began, "I'll open up your heart..."
"You'll find Jesus there," the boy interrupted.
The surgeon looked up, annoyed, "I'll cut your heart open," he continued, to see how much damage has been done."
"But when you open up my heart, you'll find Jesus in there," said the boy.
The surgeon looked to the parents, who sat quietly. "When I see how much damage has been done, I'll sew your heart and chest back up, and I'll plan what to do next."
"But you'll find Jesus in my heart. The Bible says He lives there. The hymns all say He lives there. You'll find Him in my heart."
The surgeon had had enough. "I'll tell you what I'll find in your heart. I'll find damaged muscle, low blood supply, and weakened vessels. And I'll find out if I can make you well."
"You'll find Jesus there too. He lives there "
The surgeon left. The surgeon sat in his office, recording his notes from the surgery, "...damaged aorta, damaged pulmonary vein, widespread muscle degeneration. No hope for transplant, no hope for cure. Therapy: painkillers and bed rest. Prognosis:, " here he paused, "death within one year." He stopped the recorder, but there was more to be said. "Why?" he asked aloud. "Why did You do this? You've put him here; You've put him in this pain; and You've cursed him to an early death. Why?"
The Lord answered and said, "The boy, my lamb, was not meant for your flock for long, for he is a part of my flock, and will forever be. Here, in my flock, he will feel no pain, and will be comforted as you cannot imagine. His parents will one day join him here, and they will know peace, and my flock will continue to grow."
The surgeon's tears were hot, but his anger was hotter. "You created that boy, and You created that heart. He'll be dead in months. Why?"
The Lord answered, "The boy, my lamb, shall return to my flock, for He has done his duty: I did not put my lamb with your flock to lose him, but to retrieve another lost lamb. YOU!”
The surgeon wept. The surgeon sat beside the boy's bed; the boy's parents sat across from him.
The boy awoke and whispered, "Did you cut open my heart?"
"Yes," said the surgeon.
"What did you find?" asked the boy.
"I found Jesus there," said the surgeon
A college drama group presented a play in which one character would stand on a trap door and announce, "I descend into hell!" A stagehand below would then pull a rope, the trapdoor would open, and the character would plunge through. The play was well received. When the actor playing the part became ill, another actor who was quite overweight took his place. When the new actor announced, "I descend into hell!" the stagehand pulled the rope, and the actor began his plunge, but became hopelessly stuck. No amount of tugging on the rope could make him descend. One student in the balcony jumped up and yelled: "Hallelujah! Hell is full!"
The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in urban 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 Dec. 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On Dec 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 sunk when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 6 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 sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, hand-made, ivory colored, crochet 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.
Then 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 the tablecloth. 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. She 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, which 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 concentration camp. He never saw his wife or his home again for 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 by Pastor Rob Reid.
Here's a message that will bring you chills. Have you ever felt the urge to pray for someone and then just put it on a list and said, "I'll pray for them later"? Or has anyone ever called you and said, "I need you to pray or me, I have this need"? Read the following story that was sent to me and may it change the way that you may think about prayer and also the way you pray. This will bless you. 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 overnight. 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, 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.
Ruth went to her mailbox and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address.
She read the letter:
I’m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit.
Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. "Why would the Lord want to visit me? I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer." With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets.
"Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner." She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents. “Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least."
She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk...leave Ruth with grand total twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.
"Hey lady, can you help us?"
Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans; she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.
"Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us Lady, we'd really appreciate it."
Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to. "Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."
"Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway."
The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.
The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. "Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest." She handed the man her grocery bag.
"Thank you lady. Thank you very much!"
"Yes, thank you!" It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering.
"You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one." Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders.
"Thank you lady! Thank you very much!"
Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.
Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox.
"That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day."
It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.
The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.
Who is Jesus?
HE IS JESUS
Who is He?
In Chemistry, He turned water to wine.
In Biology, He was born without the normal conception;
IN PHYSICS, HE DISPROVED THE LAW OF GRAVITY WHEN HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN;
IN ECONOMICS, HE DISPROVED THE LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURN BY FEEDING 5000 MEN WITH TWO FISHES & 5 LOAVES OF BREAD;
IN MEDICINE, HE CURED THE SICK AND THE BLIND WITHOUT ADMINISTERING A SINGLE DOSE OF DRUGS,
IN HISTORY, HE IS THE BEGINNING AND THE END;
IN GOVERNMENT, HE SAID THAT HE SHALL BE CALLED WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, PRINCE OF PEACE;
IN RELIGION, HE SAID NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH HIM;
SO. WHO IS HE?
HE IS JESUS!
The Greatest Man in History
Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.
He had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
He had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.
He had no army, yet kings feared Him…
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.
I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd., and the car started to choke and splutter and die - I barely managed to coast, cursing, into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It wouldn't even turn over. Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the 'quickie mart ' building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a Gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay.
When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.
At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95.
I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying 'don't want my kids to see me crying,' so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, 'And you were praying?' That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, 'He heard you, and He sent me.'
I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling, walked to the next door McDonald's and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.
She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City. Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn't have money to pay rent Jan 1, and finally in desperation had finally called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in about 5 years. They live in California and they said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there.
So she packed up everything she owned in the car. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.
I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, 'So, are you like an angel or something?'
This definitely made me cry. I said, 'Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people.'
It was so incredible to be a part of someone else's miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I'll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won't find anything wrong.
Take my Son
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.
When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.
He said, “Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.” The young man held out a
package. “I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.”
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. “Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son
did for me. It's a gift.”
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.
On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. “We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?”
There was silence.
Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, “We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.”
But the auctioneer persisted. “Will somebody bid for this painting. Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?”
Another voice angrily. “We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Gogh's, the Rembrandt's. Get on with the real bids!”
But still the auctioneer continued. “The son! The son! Who'll take the son?”
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. “I'll give $10 for the painting.” Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
”We have $10, who will bid $20?”
”Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters.”
”$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?”
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. “Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!”
A man sitting on the second row shouted, “Now let's get on with the collection!”
The auctioneer laid down his gavel. “I'm sorry, the auction is over.”
”What about the paintings?”
”I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the
paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!”
God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: “The son, the son, who'll take the son?”
Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.