Monday, 9 October 2017

Sharing the Good News

Are you the kind that enjoys handing out tracts? Some don’t. I suppose there are various reasons for objecting, and I’m not inclined to hand them out indiscriminately. That’s just not me. I far prefer the personal touch. Like tonight, for instance, we were sitting in a restaurant when my husband got to chatting with the waitress about the cross on her necklace. Good enough place to start, right? Fleetingly a troubled looked crossed her face when Stephen asked if she was a Christian. From what she told us it sounded like she had tried to be one, once, but her family wasn’t at all ‘into that sort of thing’.
Well, what do you tell a young girl in the few minutes of time allotted to you? I told her that Jesus was not only a Saviour but a Friend who wants to guide her through life. But how much did she know? In the busyness of life that brief thought could be like a leaf caught in an eddy and soon lodged far away in the back of her mind. That’s when I looked into my purse and lo and behold I found one tract in there. Search For God, How Can I Find Him. Perfect! And the perfect opportunity to give it to her also came up. Did she turn up her nose and act insulted when I offered it to her? No way! She snatched it eagerly and carefully put it in a safe place. This isn’t a one- time type of experience for me—for us. We have often found that people are happy to receive one of those little messages from God if we chat with them first. We are so fortunate—so blessed, and long to share the wonderful gift of salvation. I’m sure you do too. Try handing out a tract next time you have a nice, little visit with a stranger. It is so heartwarming. But don’t forget to pray for them, also. P.S. Do YOU know what the Good News Is?

Thursday, 28 September 2017

What's Wrong With Mommy?

Emily had no way of knowing what was making her mother so unhappy but she was worried. As the six-year-old
girl trotted along the empty tracks beside her Grandpa she wasn’t prattling in her usual happy way and Ben’s brow furrowed. How can I get her to not think about the tension in the home?
He had never seen Marita so close to hysteria before. Something was definitely on her mind and Randall, his son and Marita’s husband was determined to get it out of her. Ben’s frown deepened. Could any good come out of the confrontation?
Ben had whisked the little girl out of the house before the showdown occurred but not soon enough to avert his granddaughter’s puzzling questions.
There’s nothing to worry about, “ he said taking her hand. “Look! There’s a little bird. What do you think it is?”
A robin,” she responded, barely glancing at it. She picked up a lump of coal had fallen out of a train car and rolled it between her hands.
As they trudged along, Ben racked his brains for a way to cheer the youngster. He wondered how far they would have to go before daring to turn back.
Emily’s face lighted as she skipped over to the shining rail, and teetered on top of it.
Hold my hand, Gran’pa. I want to walk on it.”
Ben inwardly groaned. That’s a job for her mother to do.

Evidently, she doesn’t think I’m doing a good enough job, he thought a moment later, as she hopped off to gather some black-eyed Susan’s and purple asters.

Let’s give these to Mommy.  That’ll make her happy.” Soon an eagle high in the sky saw two small figures trudging down a long railway.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Nothing Could Go Wrong...Right?

Babysitting for a few hours, why that's a piece of cake, I've done it lots of times. Nothing could go wrong...unless you have a two-year-old who tries to (fortunately) ineffectively cut everything in sight. Or maybe the same little gal wants to use the seam ripper to pierce the clear table liner. No big deal, right? Or what if she and her brother get hold of the pepper grinder, pry the lid off and shake pepper on the floor and on their tongues. (Yes, that's why they were fanning their mouths and begging 'Grandma Lynn' for a drink.

Nothing too hysterical, yet, right, but what about the little guy who manages to burn his finger on the sewing machine light bulb while the babysitter, that's me! is preparing to fix his pants. He will not stop whimpering even with the tenderest of care. Little sister was patting the chair and begging him to sit down beside her, and 'Grandma' was trying her own doctoring skills but with the same success. So what was the problem? Why the tears over a tiny burn? He wanted me to 'kill' the blister

Yes, today was a piece of cake, and it didn't even crumble much.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Based on a True Story

“What do I care if they are hungry?” Comrade Snezhana scoffed.  “We’ve put up with them all day long, and are taking a well-deserved break.”
Lyosha could hear whimpering down the long halls in the orphanage and it made her feel uncomfortable. She knew how little the children had to eat today, and it wasn’t any better yesterday, or last week either.
A half-hour later Comrade Roksana handed her a glass of wine to go with the expensive white chocolates that were topping off the meal but she felt too full or was it sick, to take another bite.
A toddler’s fretful whimpers were turning into lusty wails. Lyosha knew she should go comfort Klava before Comrade Snezhana strode over there and started slapping her around. But Lyosha didn’t dare. She knew she had the reputation of spoiling the ‘brats’ and didn’t have the nerve to make a scene in front of the other comrades including hardened officers who were partying with them.

I suppose you are horrified that something like this really did happen in Russia during the war. Why is it that we can sympathize with physical needs and want to do something, yet hardly hear the hidden cry of our or their hearts?
How many children, young people, and others are starving spiritually while those of us that should be helping are feasting on what the world has to offer and barely take enough spiritual manna to keep our own souls alive?
When’s the last time we have had a truly satisfying hour of studying the Bible? When is the last time we fasted, not to be seen of men, but because we had such a deep longing to pray, that food or earthly pleasures just didn’t seem important? I fall so far short but pray that I can do better!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

What Do the You Have to Offer?

Don’t be ashamed of your past, don’t be ashamed because your skin is darker than mine—I’m not white either, but peaches and cream!
               The white race should collectively hang their heads if they think they are superior. We are historically known for being assertive and materialist, for getting things done, but is that really what counts?
               You have traditions, gentler customs than we are known for, and it brings tears to my eyes and I’m not the weepy type. Some of you come from cultures that deeply respect your elders, may God bless you.  When so many from the same area are sweet and mannerly, I know it’s more than just a coincidence.
               Okay, it’s time to get more specific. I was reading Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul Book 2 just now and these Native American’s girls had the custom of spending one day alone, each month, during their menstrual cycle to contemplate on what kind of person they wanted to become. Was that part of your lineage? Just imagine the quality of character that could develop from taking the time to prayerfully meditate beginning in your formative years and continuing throughout life.
               Now, let’s go way across the ocean, to the other side of the world, and learn about a different group of women. These wonderful African ladies obviously valued children highly: well before the child was born, even before conception had taken place, they would go off alone to listen to the song of the infant they hoped to carry.  All throughout the pregnancy, they will sing this song, and teaches it to the old women and midwives in the village. At birth, the child is greeted by ‘their’ song and soon all the village learns it so that at every high point, or time of distress, it is being sung to the growing child and later adult.
Doesn’t that sound so peaceful and loving? Doesn’t it seem like a beautiful way to knit family members, a village, together? I only wish I knew more details about these wonderful people, where they came from, what their names were, and so on.
               Lift up your heads, you ‘colored’ people, you have so much to offer! (And don’t forget we are actually more colored than you. We blush with embarrassment; turn green with envy, blue with cold, pale with shock, you name it!)

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If The Missions Impossible, What Can I Do?

Andy looked towards the top of the mountain but couldn’t see it. You see he was only an ant, but he had a job to do, he hoisted his backpack and started crawling… and crawling. It was impossible to see the path through the maze of grass, gravel, fallen leaves and other obstacles but he must get to the top. Every day for as long as he could remember he had been traveling upward, and much of the time the trip was exceedingly difficult. He was lost, Andy knew it; he hadn’t been able to find the trail for days, but knew it must be there somewhere. Surely, if he kept climbing in the right general direction he would get there; after all, he was climbing upwards.
Andy was exhausted. The sun was beating mercilessly on his head, had been for hours now, and the load was getting heavier by the minute. Could things get any worse? They could. Other ants were making their way back, tired and discouraged.

“It’s not enough,” they lamented, “You’ll have to hurry, our little anthills of good deeds are not enough to appease the Creator.
“What about those who have been martyrs: their piles are made up the pain they have suffered, are their offerings more acceptable?”
The only one not too weary to respond shook his head. “All of our offerings look pitiful; I don’t know why we try.”  At that, the other insects hissed angrily and there was such a clamor of protests that Andy crawled away to find shelter under a leaf.
He wondered for a long time what he should do if they toiled all day and long into the night yet their efforts weren’t satisfactory.  At length, he fell asleep.

“Andrew! Andrew!”
Andy stirred and opened his eyes but saw no one. There was a soft glow off to one side so focused on it.
“You are not an ant, but a man,” the melodious voice continued. “The one you call your master has convinced you that you are worthless, of no more significance that a lowly insect, but that is not so.
“Come let me take your burden, and as you share your worries with me, you will find the weight shrinking and you, yourself, will grow into the person you were meant to be.”
Andy turned over and went back to sleep, but in the morning the vision had not left him.
“I don’t know who you are, Sir,” he whispered into the air, but could you come and help me carry my weight?”
Immediately he felt his chest expand as if he could breathe easier and he was able to walk faster.
As the days went by, he found himself sharing more of the load with the unseen Comforter. Other ants looked up at him, puzzled, he was changing, growing, but not in a fearsome way. His face took on more human characteristics, such as kindliness and joy. Every time he helped someone with their troubles, he grew.
One day he shed the mold that was cramping him and was able to gaze into the eyes of his new Master.
Thank you for loving me enough to set me free,” he whispered.
The other ants still clamored around him, belittling him, accusing and distracting him, but he had a new Master.
That made such a difference.

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