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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Table

A man walked into The World store and spotted a dirty old oak table in the corner of the room.  At the sight of it, he burst into tears.

A sales clerk, noticing his countenance, approached him and asked if he was okay.

Trying hard to form a full sentence, he finally had enough composure to mutter, "This table....this table.  I'd like to purchase this beautiful table."

Looking at the battered table, the confused clerk looked back at the man.  "This beat up old thing?  Why would you want this god-awful thing?  Its legs are weak, the finish is gone, and to tell you honestly, it's been mistreated by our employees.  You see, it's not for sale.  It belongs to the owner of the World.  We use it as a junk table to throw our trash on.  Frankly, it's not good for anything else."

"I'm willing to pay." the man insisted. "Pay much.  In fact, no price is too high."

"Sir, I don't understand.  We have so many other beautiful tables here.  Plenty to chose from.  Why would you care so much for such rubbish?"

The man took a deep breath and a hard swallow.  Squatting down next to the table, he caressed the surface of it with his strong hands.

"I'm a Carpenter." the man began. "Years ago, my Father grew a single tree in the center of our property with the intent of creating something beautiful with it.  When the time came, he took the tree and we made the most stunning piece of furniture.  I had the privilege of being a part of crafting it.   But, the table was stolen.  The tragedy left my Father and I heartbroken and determined to find it and do whatever we needed to do to get it back -- no matter what the cost."

With tears streaming down his face, the man said, "Can I show you something?"

"Of course." the clerk responded, moved by his emotional story.

The man stood up and turned the table on its side. 

"Here!" the man said, as he placed his fingers over a small carved marking.  "These are my initials.  This is the work of art my Father and I have been searching for!  This table belongs to me!"


Monday, April 23, 2012

In the Plane I choose to ride,
setting my own strength aside.

I step on board and trust the Pilot.
He's so glad I came to try it...
a taste of something I've yet to see.
What a journey's in store for me!

I hear His Voice through the speaker above,
"Now, just relax and rest in my Love.

I'm about to take you higher, above all earthly worry.
You'll soar with Me and then you'll see
that with Me there's no gravity.




                                       I'm just so glad you chose to Leeeetttt  Gooooooo!"




                           I love you so!



So, here we go.






Friday, April 20, 2012

Just When I Needed It

Around 11am, Elaine was cleaning her bathroom, not thinking about anything in particular as she went about her chore.  Then, her dear friend Sarah came to her mind.  She smiled at the thought of her and wondered what she was up to today.  She had moved out west with her family and they hadn't been in touch much since the move.  Her thoughts for her turned into prayers for her...

"God, wherever Sarah is right now, be her strength.  Be her protection.  Surround her with your love.  Thank you for always being with her. You always know just what she needs."

Then she went on with her chore and about her day.

The next day, she surprisingly got a call from Sarah.

"How funny you called!  I was just thinking about you yesterday.  How have you been?" Elaine asked.

"You're not going to believe this," Sarah told Elaine. "but, a tornado almost hit our home yesterday.  I was in the front yard with my daughter when we saw it coming.  We ran inside and braced ourselves.  When it was all over, the tornado had come and gone, leaving a trail of destruction, but our house was untouched.  It was a miracle!"

"I'm so glad you're ok." Elaine said.

Then, remembering she had prayed for Sarah yesterday, she asked, "Sarah, what time did this happen yesterday?" 

Sarah paused a moment to think and then said,  "Around 11am."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

White Wolf

A woman knelt down to pray as she always did.  She held her hands close to her chest as she pleaded before God. 

"God, you know I never ask for anything much for myself.  I am a modest woman with simple needs.  But, there is one request I must make tonight before I rest my head for a night's slumber.  Please...." and the woman continued her prayer in her heart and only with the movement of her lips. 

The woman fell asleep and arose the next morning, forgetting all about her prayer.  She began her day the usual way.

Then, there was a knock at the door.

It was her cousin.

"Cousin!" she exclaimed.  "What are you doing here?" the woman asked, opening the door a bit wider to let her in.

"I've come to deliver a message to you." the cousin explained as she entered the house and sat down.

 "Last night, I had the strangest dream. In this dream,  I was walking in the forest and I saw a white wolf just ahead of me among the bushes. The wolf was beautiful and strong and the color of its fur reflected the moonlight.  What a gorgeous sight to behold!  But, as I cautiously approached the wolf and looked closer, I could see that the wolf had something stuck in its paw.  It was a thorn.  I asked the wolf if I could take it out.  But, the wolf, seeming to understand me, went from calm to terrified.  It began to shake and tremble at the idea that someone would touch the thorn.  Then, it put its head down in shame and turned away from me.  Not understanding the wolf's reaction, I put my hand on its shoulder and asked again if I could help.  But, the wolf pulled away from me and laid down on the ground.  Suddenly, I could hear someone behind me.  It was the Keeper of the woods.  I asked Him what was wrong with this beautiful white wolf and why did it fear my touch so much?

"This wolf is a gem to me," the Keeper said affectionately. "No other creature can touch my heart the way this one does.  But, her thorn keeps her from moving freely throughout my woods.  I have built great trust with her, but she will not let me pull the thorn from her.  She is ashamed of it as if it were part of her and a blemish she must live with for the rest of her life.  She does not know that that ugly thorn has nothing to do with her value to me and it is not even her fault that she has been afflicted this way."

"That is a fascinating dream." the woman said to her cousin.

"Yes," the cousin agreed, "it felt extremely real to me -- as if it were not even a dream at all.  The Voice of the Keeper, the smell of the woods, the feel of the wolf's fur.  It all was so vivid!  But, there is one more thing.  Before I awoke, the Keeper told me to come to you today, describe my dream, and give you this message."

"What is it?" the woman said curiously, her eyes widening.

The cousin, taking the woman's hand, said, "It's time to let Him have your paw."

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Inconvenient Morning

A man was late for work one morning due to circumstances he could not control. His daughter spilled milk on his suit and he was forced to change his clothes. He got in his car and his garage door would not open. When he finally made it out, he hit construction that normally was not there. And, to top it all off, he got a flat tire from some of the construction debris!

The man was extremely frustrated and cursed God as he changed his tire, "God, why do you hate me!? Do you INSIST on making my life miserable!?"

Just then, he looked up and saw the most adorable, yet extremely frightened, kitten dodging cars as he darted across the road.

"Where did you come from, little guy?" the man said as he checked the kitten's tags on his collar and looked in the direction the kitten had come from. 

Grumbling to himself over one more inconvenience, he decided to take the kitten to a rescue shelter and explained to them how he found the animal.  He left his name and phone number as a contact, per their request.

Several days later, the man received a phone call.  It was the owner of the lost kitten. 

The woman, choking back tears, explained that the kitten belonged to her daughter who was extremely ill.  It was her daughter's main source of happiness through a very despairing time.  The woman went on to say that when they lost the kitten, her daughter prayed an earnest prayer that God would bring her kitten home safely.

"Because you were on the side of the road that day -- at that hour, at that very minute, in fact," the woman said, "my daughter's kitten is home safely and her faith in God is strengthened!"

When the man hung up the phone, he wept before God, asking for forgiveness about his attitude that morning.

"I see now, God," the man said, "that all my inconveniences that morning were being worked for the good.  And, in fact were part of something bigger than me -- little did I know!" 


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ensemble

Ensemble: 
Emphasizing the roles of all performers as a whole
rather than a star performance.
(Merriam-Webster Dictionary)


Plays.  Orchestras.  Bands.  The Army.  Sports Teams.  Project Teams.  And, even families.

The players and members all have one thing in common:

 IT'S NOT ABOUT THEM. 

Nope.  It's not. 

Yes, there might be ones that shine.  Ones that you remember for a long time.  Even ones that go down in history as one of the greatest.  But, as a team player, as a member -- it is not about them.  It's about the whole.  It's about making and creating something bigger than what only one person can do by themselves -- no matter how gifted they are.

Broadway musicals are amazing.  But, it takes an entire cast and crew to make the magic happen.

Armies do phenomenal things!  But, it takes more than just one brave soldier.

Adrenaline-filled softball and football games can't be played out with just the pitcher or the quarterback. 


In the Kingdom of God,

It's Not About You.


We are fearfully and wonderfully made.  We are special, precious and invaluable in the sight of God.  No one or nothing can separate us from the Love of God.  We were crafted.  We were marked.  We are, in fact, made in His Image.  We are His children.

But, it's not about us.  It's not about that one person climbing to the top.  It's not about just making ourselves happy.  It's not a life of spiritual selfishness. 

We are part of something now that is bigger than what one person can do by themselves.  We, in a sense, are on God's team.  God's grand orchestra. God's ensemble.  We each play a part.  We each have a role.  We each bring our gifts to the 'stage' of Life. 

It keeps us from being prideful.  It keeps us from being an island.  It keeps us connected to each other.  And, it keeps us remembering that the greatest joys are found when we 'make our music' together!