CHRIST - Must recognize Him
Steve Brown tells the story of a wealthy Ohio farmer who was approached by a young man named Jamie, asking for a job. Taylor hired him and allowed Jamie to sleep in the barn.
Over the ensuing weeks and months, Jamie proved to be a hard worker and a valuable employee -- so much that he was even given responsibility over some of the other workers.
One day, Jamie came to Taylor and announced that he and the wealthy man's daughter had fallen in love. The young worker asked Taylor for his daughter's hand in marriage. Taylor was incensed; he exclaimed, "I've treated you well and this is how you repay me! You do not deserve my good treatment -- get your things and go!" Jamie packed his things, left, and Taylor never heard from him again.
Years later, Taylor was cleaning in the barn and came to an area where Jamie used to sleep. There, when the straw was swept away, he was startled to find the place where Jamie had carved his full name in the wood. It read: James A. Garfield.
Taylor was astounded to find that His undeserving farm hand had gone on to become a general, then president of the United States. He could have been father-in-law to the President, but he never recognized Garfield for what he was.
Jesus Christ stands ready to make you a child of God -- but first you must recognize Him for who He is!
COMMUNION
William Stidget tells about a mother putting her child to bed at night. The child seemed a bit frightened as she asked, "Am I to be left alone in the dark?"
"Yes," answered the mother calmly, "but you know you have God with you all the time." "I know God is here with me," said the child, "but I want somebody who has a face."
At the Lord's table, Jesus shows us God's face of compassion. It is by this means that Jesus continues to take us up in His arms to bless us. (provided by Richard Andersen, Senior Pastor, St. Timothy's Lutheran Church, San Jose, CA)
CREDIBILITY
Billy Graham tells of a time early in his ministry when he was in a small town to preach. Wanting to mail a letter, he stopped a young boy on the street and asked directions to the post office. When the boy had told him, Graham thanked him and said, "If you'll come to the Baptist church this evening, I'll be telling everyone how to get to heaven."
The boy replied, "I don't think I'll be there. You don't even know how to get to the post office."
FAITH
"Faith is the wire that connects you to grace, over which grace comes streaming from God." (unknown)
"All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
"Man cannot live without faith because the prime requisite in life's adventure is courage, and the sustenance of courage is faith." (Harry Emerson Fosdick)
"Faith goes up the stairs that love has made and looks out of the windows which hope has opened." (Charles H. Spurgeon)
GOSSIP
In 1690, the British fought the French for control of the St. Lawrence River. The British commander ordered Admiral Phipps to take eleven ships and anchor outside Quebec. They were to wait for the British land forces before starting the joint naval-ground attack on the city.
Admiral Phipps arrived early on the river, and saw the statues of saints on the roof of Quebec's Roman Catholic cathedral. He spent the next several days firing at those statues with his ship's guns. When the land forces arrived to attack the city, Phipps was out of cannonballs. He had used his ammunition shooting at the saints!
Edward Chinn points out that another term for shooting at the saints is "gossip." St. Augustine had a motto printed on the wall of his dining room: "He who speaks an evil word of an absent man or woman is not welcome at this table." (Chinn is Pastor, All Saints' Church, Philadelphia, PA)
MIND - Should be used
Montford L. Neal tells about the time he was teaching a second-grade class. A little girl came up to his desk and explained: "Teacher, I have been reading a lot of words lately. I am able to think about things. I can think about one thing, another thing, and hundreds of things. I am a thinking machine!"
God has given us each a mind and He expects us to use it. As Jesus instructed us, we are to "Love the Lord your God ... with all your mind." (Neal is Pastor, First Church of God, Bristow, OK)
PRACTICE
When Bobby Dodd was football coach for Georgia Tech, he confided that one of the secrets to his success was that he paid the officials -- to come to practice! One day a week, he paid a regular officiating team -- the same folks who would officiate at college games each weekend -- to work Georgia Tech's scrimmages, so that the team would become used to practicing under game conditions. Under Dodd's leadership, Georgia Tech teams had the fewest penalties of any major college team.
Dodd's view was that it's not practice that makes perfect -- it's perfect practice that makes perfect. It doesn't help to practice mistakes!
PRAYER
Leith Anderson describes the 911 emergency system; dial those three numbers and you are immediately connected to a dispatcher. The dispatcher will already have a monitor display of your telephone number, address, and name. Even if you cannot say what the problem is -- perhaps your spouse has just suffered a heart attack, and in panic you can do nothing but scream into the phone -- the dispatcher already knows where the home is and help is already on the way.
"There come times in our lives when in our desperation and pain we dial 911 prayers. Sometimes we're hysterical. Sometimes we don't know the words to speak, but God hears. He knows our name and He knows our circumstance. Help is on the way; God has already begun to bring the remedy." (submitted by Wayne Rouse, Pastor, Church of the Brethren, Astorial, IL)
PRIORITIES
Margaret Court was one of the great tennis champions, holding a record sixty-two Grand Slam titles during her career. She retired in 1977 but she doesn't simply live in the past. She comments: "It is much more exciting winning souls for Christ than it ever was winning Wimbledon. You could win Wimbledon and feel flat the next day but working for God is exciting every day!" (provided by David W. Richardson, Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Dexter, MO)
TRUTH
"If you find truth anywhere in the world, seize upon it, for real truth cannot contradict the Bible." (W. Douglas Hudgins)
"Peace if possible, but truth at any rate." (Martin Luther)
"Keep one thing forever in view -- the truth; and if you do this, though it may seem to lead you away from the opinion of men, it will assuredly conduct you to the throne of God." (Horace Mann)
"It is better to stand alone with the truth than to be wrong with the multitude." (Adrian Rogers)