Monthly Archives: August 2009

Be wary of making assumptions

Two gas company service men, a senior training Supervisor and a young trainee were out checking meters and parked their truck at the end of the alley and worked there way to the other end. At the last house a woman looking out her kitchen window watched the two men as they checked her gas meter. As they finished the meter check the older supervisor challenged his younger co-worker to a foot race down the alley back to the truck. As they came running up to the truck, they realized that the lady from the last house was huffing and puffing right behind them. They stopped and asked her what was wrong. Gasping for breath she said, “When I see two gas men running full speed away from my house, I figured I had better run too.”

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Focused on the wrong thing

       While crossing the US-Mexican border on his bicycle, Pedro Gonzalez was stopped by a border guard who pointed to two sacks Pedro had on his shoulders. “What’s in the bags?”, asked the guard. “Sand,” said Pedro.”Get them off – we’ll take a look,” said the guard. Pedro did as he was told. He put down the two sacks and poured out the contents. Sure enough, they contained nothing more than sand. The border guard stood there scratching his head for a while then he told Pedro to empty his pockets. Pedro complied by pulling his pockets inside out revealing that there was nothing in them. The Border guard was sure that this Mexican was a smuggler. Even so, he told Pedro that he was free to go. So Pedro carefully scooped up the sand in his hands and reloaded the two sacks. Putting them back on his shoulders, Pedro continued across the border.

       A week later, the same thing happened. Again the border guard stopped Pedro and demanded to see what was in the two sacks. Once again, they contained nothing but sand. As Pedro was leaving, the border guard thought to himself, “Maybe he’s just testing me! Maybe he’s going to keep doing this hoping that I’ll quit searching his sacks! Well, I know he’s got to be a smuggler so I’ll keep stopping him and searching his bags. That Mexican won’t fool me!” This went on every week for six months. Each time, the border guard found nothing but sand in Pedro’s sacks

       One day, the Border guard was waiting for Pedro to appear with the sand bags. He was convinced that Pedro was guilty of smuggling something into the U.S. This time he was going to find out what it was! However, Pedro failed to appear.  A few days later, the guard happened to meet Pedro in El Paso. “Say friend, you sure drove me crazy”, said the guard. “I knew you were smuggling something across the border. I won’t say a word – but what were you smuggling across the border? I know you had to be smuggling something!” A big grin spread across Pedro’s face and he replied, “Bicycles!”

       The border guard had his eyes on the wrong things.  His eyes were focused on the sacks Pedro was carrying!  If he had focused on what Pedro was riding, he could have seen that it was a different bike each time!  His eyes were on the wrong thing!

Hebrews 12:2:  “Looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of (our) faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

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THINGS I WISH I'D KNOWN

Someone has composed this list (from a variety of sources) of “Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out Into the Real World”:

*  Never continue dating anyone who is rude to the waiter.

*  Some people are working backstage, some are playing in the orchestra, some are on-stage singing, some are in the audience as critics, some are there to applaud.  Know who and where you are.

*  The five most essential words for a healthy, vital relationship: “I apologize” and “You are right.”

*  Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

*  When you make a mistake, make amends immediately.  It’s easier to eat crow while it’s still warm.

*  The only really good advice that I remember my mother ever gave me was, “Go!  You might meet somebody!”

*  If he says that you are too good for him, believe it.

*  I’ve learned to pick my battles; I ask myself, “Will this matter one year from now?  How about one month?  One week?  One day?”

*  The shortest line is always the longest.

*  Being happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect, it just means you’ve decided to see beyond the imperfections.

*  If you woke up breathing, congratulations!  You have another chance!

     There’s a lot of biblical truth in many of the statements above, especially the last statement.  How often have you done something really stupid and said to yourself, “I wish I could have a second chance”?  The truth is, God has given you a second chance.  He’s given you hundreds of second chances.  You’re not guaranteed another one, but the fact that you got up out of bed today means that you have one more opportunity to make right anything that has destroyed your relationship with God or others.

     Many people have questioned why Jesus has not yet returned like he promised he would.  Here’s one reason:

     “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise [to return], as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

     If you woke up breathing, congratulations!  You have another chance!  Don’t waste it.

— Alan Smith

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How times have changed!

“First dentistry was painless.
Then bicycles were chainless,
Carriages were horseless,
And many laws enforceless.

Next cookery was fireless,
Telegraphy was wireless,
Cigars were nicotineless,
And coffee caffeineless.

Soon oranges were seedless,
The putting green was weedless,
The college boy was hatless,
The proper diet fatless.

New motor roads are dustless,
The latest steel is rustless,
Our tennis courts are sodless,
Our new religion–godless.”

~Arthur Guiterman, “Gaily the Troubadour”

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Tested by freedom and hardship

According to Pavel Poloz (1987) an exile from Russia – “In Russia, Christians are tested by hardship, but in America you are tested by freedom. And testing by freedom is much harder. Nobody pressures you about your religion. So you relax and are not so concentrated on Christ, on His teaching, how He wants you to live.”

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Very sweet, Indeed!

 The names Lindt, Neuhaus, Toblerone, and Godiva are world-renowned for their unique and delicious blends of chocolate and other confectionery. In Europe, there are over thirty museums dedicated to chocolate, such as the Imhoff Schokolade Museum in Cologne, which celebrates 3,000 years of chocolate making by allowing visitors to drink daily from their chocolate fountain.

One of the tools that confectionery makers may use is a process known as batch distillation, where a liquid is poured into a kettle and heat is applied. The undesirable components, such as water, ethers, alcohols, acids and other lightweight materials are driven off by the heat; in fact workers call these substances “lights.” The molecules composing these substances are usually free standing and do not bond with neighboring molecules to give higher molecular weight. The desirable product, however, is not driven away but stays in the kettle and sweetens as the heating proceeds. The molecules of this product readily interact with others to form tight bonds and intertwine to give heavy molecular weight.

When the right amount and duration of heat has been applied, the process is stopped to give the end product a perfect texture and taste. Great care is taken to apply only as much heat as the product can bear, so as not to form carbon or “caramelize” it. By staying in the kettle and being transformed by the heat, soupy and viscous liquids are converted into delectable products which people all over the world cherish and enjoy daily.

The process of making chocolate illustrates a process that God would like to implement in YOUR LIFE and MINE – with our cooperation. First,

God would like to remove the “undesirable components” from our lives; Our SINS! Sin separates us from God and from all that is truly good (Isaiah 59:1-2). Sin also leads to eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). In order to receive the abundant life now (John 10:10) and eternal life to come (Romans 6:23), the impurity of sin must be removed from our lives. God, in His love, has provided the means of purging these impurities from our lives. He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for our sins by dying on the cross (Ephesians 1:7). To be cleansed from our sins through His atoning sacrifice, we must believe and trust Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38).

Secondly, God wants to transform our lives into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). This process requires “heat” – the challenge of living for Christ in an ungodly society. With our faithful cooperation, by His grace, God will mold us more and more into the image and likeness of Jesus – a life that is very sweet, indeed.

Won’t YOU allow Him to make something sweet out of YOUR life?

In order to enjoy the GREATER RICHES of forgiveness and life, we must renounce our false gods and submit to the one TRUE God. We must believe and trust in Him (Hebrews 11:6) and His Son (Acts 16:30-31), turn from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).

 The two sisters have now realized that winning isn’t everything; it can be accompanied by great loss. But through Christ, if we will choose to “lose” our focus on dead idols and turn to serve the living and true God (1 Thessalonians 1:9), then in the end, we will WIN! Where’s YOUR focus?

 — Terry Livingston & David A. Sargent

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An offensive savior

“THE WORLD HAS no problem accepting and following a religious leader who permits them to stay in their sins… but they will crucify the man who dares to point them to a narrow gate that leads to a narrow way” (Warren Wiersbe). “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:10). –Mike Benson

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