Friday, November 12, 2010

Cost of a Miracle

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 dollar and eleven the faith of a little child.
Morale of the Story:
Do we have this child like faith to come to God and Knock at the door? Our Lord wanted us to become like children… and the above story scripts it. Only of such who has the child like faith belongs the Kingdom of God. Lets Pursue it…….Amen

The Best of Both Worlds

'...whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets... everything...' John 3:36

It's said that the wealthy English Baron Fitzgerald had only one child, a son. Early in his teens the boy's mother died. Tragically, in his late teens the boy died also. In the meantime, Fitzgerald's financial holdings greatly increased due to acquiring the artwork of Europe's greatest masters. Before his death, Fitzgerald left explicit instructions that an auction be held at which his entire art collection would be sold.

 A big crowd of prospective buyers gathered. Among them were many well-known museum curators and private collectors eager to bid. The artwork was displayed for viewing before the auction began. Among the paintings was one that received little attention. It was of poor quality and by an unknown local artist. It happened to be a portrait of Fitzgerald's only son.
 As the auction began the auctioneer read from Fitzgerald's will, which clearly instructed that the first painting to be sold was of 'my beloved son'. Because of its poor quality the painting didn't receive any bids - except one. The bidder was the old servant who'd helped raise the boy and had dearly loved him. For less than a pound he bought the painting. At that point the auctioneer stopped the bidding and asked the lawyer to read again from the will. The crowd was hushed as he read, 
'Whoever purchases this painting of my son, gets all my art collection - the auction is over!' 
Christ: without Him you have nothing. But with Him you have the best of both worlds: this one, and the one to come.

A Tiny Rosebud

A young preacher was walking with an older more seasoned preacher in the garden one day and the younger preacher, feeling a bit insecure about what God had for him to do, he was inquiring of the older preacher.

The older preacher walked up to a rosebush and handed the young preacher a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals. The young preacher looked in disbelief at the older preacher and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the WILL OF GOD for his life and for his ministry.

Because of his high respect for the older preacher, he proceeded to TRY to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact it wasn't long before he realized how impossible it was to do so. Noticing the younger preacher's inability to unfold the rosebud while keeping it intact, the older preacher began to recite the following poem.

"It is only a tiny rosebud, a flower of God's design; but I cannot unfold the petals with these clumsy hands of mine. The secret of unfolding flowers is not known to such as I. God opens this flower so sweetly. When in my hands they die. If I cannot unfold a rosebud this flower of God's design. Then how can I have the wisdom to unfold this life of mine”?

So I'll trust in Him for leading each moment of my day. I will look to him for His guidance each step of the pilgrim way. The pathway that lies before me, only my Heavenly Father knows. I'll trust Him to unfold the moments, just as He unfolds the rose".

Walking in the Spirit

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:25 KJV

One of the things God asks us to do as His children is to walk. Our walk begins in our spirits, with the Holy Spirit, not in our feet. Joni Erickson Tada, who became a quadriplegic after a serious spinal injury, said, “You can be in a wheelchair and still walk with God.”

To walk in the spirit means the manner in which we live our lives as we allow the Holy Spirit to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. Walking in the Spirit means an active life, one that is responsive to the Holy Spirit’s work, rather than a passive life, which does not respond. Walking in the Spirit means going at His pace and not our own pace. Sometimes we want to force fruit to grow, or hurry and pick fruit that is not ready to be harvested. Walking in the Spirit also means following His direction and not blazing our own trails.

When we walk in the Spirit we will…

Walk by faith.
For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

Walk in love.
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. Ephesians 5:2 KJV

Walk in the light.
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1:6-7 KJV

Walk as Jesus walked (Pleasing the Father)
He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 1 John 2:6 NKJV  

Walk in truth.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:4

Walk in a worthy manner.
That you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:12 NKJV

Walk wisely.
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Colossians 4:5 KJV

Walk properly.
Let us walk honestly (properly) as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. Romans 13:13 NKJV

Walk in newness of life.
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4 NKJV

Roy Lessin

For the Good

No one is good but One, that is, God. Matthew 19:17 NKJV

Because God is good, everything that comes to us from Him is meant for our benefit. God’s good is the highest good; after His goodness there is no better or best. The Gospel is the “Good News” because it comes to us from God. We are also assured that He will not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly before Him.

We are told in the Scriptures that God is able to work all things together for the good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. In ways that we may not fully know or understand, God is able to take even the hard and difficult things we go through and use them for the good. Goodness, not evil, will always have the final say in our lives as we trust God to fulfill His purposes for us.

After years of hardships, unfairness, rejection, and isolation, Joseph was able to say, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” Genesis 50:20 NKJV. Joseph understood the goodness of God because he was able to witness the purpose of God fulfilled through all he experienced. The good purpose of God was something much greater than just the life of Joseph, it was to save the lives of the children of Israel and the lives of the Egyptians, in whose land they had come to dwell and grow into a great nation.

Our lives are not just about God being good to us, but also about God using us to extend His goodness to others. We can see this in the lives of people like Corrie Ten Boom and Amy Carmichael. God used the incredible hardships of Corrie Ten Boom for the good purpose of bringing hope, comfort, and encouragement to people all around the world. Amy Carmichael came to understand that God was able to use her pain for the good purpose of ministering, with empathy and compassion, to others who were hurting and going through great suffering.

Whatever you may be going through today, no matter how dark the sky may be, or how deep the valley takes you, be assured that God has not abandoned you, and because He is with you, goodness has not abandoned you…it will follow you all the days of your life, and goodness will prevail in the end.

God will take care of you!

Gladys Aylward, missionary to China more than fifty years ago, was forced to flee when the Japanese invaded Yuncheng. With only one assistant, she led a hundred orphans over the mountains toward free China. During the journey she grappled with fear. After enduring a sleepless night she faced the morning with no hope of reaching safety. A thirteen-year-old girl in the group reminded her of their much-loved story of Moses and the Red Sea. ‘But I am not Moses,’ Gladys sighed in despair. ‘Of course you aren’t,’ the girl said, ‘but God is still God!’ When Gladys and the orphans made it through, they proved once again that no matter how inadequate we feel, God is still God, and we can still trust Him. Sometimes God calms the storm, other times He lets the storm rage and calms us. Either way, He sustains us and brings us through. We always have a choice: either we give the burden to God or we try to carry it ourselves. How does God provide for us? One day at a time. Remember the Israelites in the wilderness? Each day God fed them by sending manna from heaven. Notice how it worked. The number of people in your family determined the amount of manna you received, no more and no less. And God would only allow you to collect enough for each day; if you tried to hoard more, it rotted. Getting the idea? So trust God for today and leave tomorrow in His hands.

‘Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you.’ Psalm 55:22.

Fullness of Joy

I enjoy golf, but I enjoy it much more when I am playing a round of golf with a friend. Having the companionship of a friend on the golf course changes everything for me. When I hit a good shot or make a long putt, I find it more enjoyable when a friend shares the moment with me (even the bad shots are easier to endure when a friend shares your pain.)

What do you enjoy? How about a day at the beach or a hike in the mountains? Do you want to multiply your joy? Spend that day with someone you love.

When I was a boy, my dad would take me to visit Palm Springs. I remember enjoying so many things about Palm Springs, not only because I liked the desert, but because I loved being with my dad in the desert. It was my deep enjoyment of being with him that made Palm Springs so enjoyable for me.
The Bible tells us that God has given us richly all things to enjoy (I Timothy 6:17), yet the joy He has for us goes even deeper. He not only wants us to enjoy the things He gives us, but He wants us to experience joy in its fullest measure (John 15:11.) To have the blessings God gives brings enjoyment, but to have God Himself, brings more than enjoyment, it brings fullness of joy. Fullness of joy means having His presence in the midst of all the blessings He gives.

Sharing a meal with a close friend brings great enjoyment, having Jesus sup with you brings fullness of joy; having a cooling wind blow across your face on a warm summer’s day brings enjoyment, to have the refreshing wind of the Holy Spirit move upon your heart brings fullness of joy; walking through a flower garden brings enjoyment, to walk through a flower garden with the One who created the flowers, brings fullness of joy; to relax by a quiet flowing stream brings enjoyment, to be joined to the restful yoke of Jesus Christ brings fullness of joy. It is as though God is saying to us, “The joys that come from the blessings I give you can only go so far, for they are from Me, but they are not Me. I want you to enjoy what I give you, but even more, I want you to have Me—My life, My love, My presence. It is with Me, in Me, and from Me alone that you will know the fullness of joy I want you to have.”

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 NKJV

Even Though

Trust His ways, even though they may not be your ways.

Take His hand, even though it means letting go of what you are hanging onto.

Depend upon His strength, even though you are aware of your weakness.

Please His heart, even though it means not having the approval of others.

Wait for His time, even though you desire to do it now.

Obey His Word, even though you hear different opinions.

Follow His path, even though it takes you through valleys and hills.

Seek His wisdom, even though you don’t understand everything He’s doing.

Give Him praise, even though you wish things were different.

Be at rest, even though you’re tempted to worry and fear.

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