God Guarding Us


Moon, Venus and Jupiter

Moon, Venus and Jupiter (Photo credit: harshanm)

A mother and her four-year-old daughter were preparing to retire for the night. The child was afraid of the dark and the mother, all alone with the child, was fearful herself. When the light was out, the child got a glimpse of the moon outside the window. “Mommy,” she asked, “is the moon God‘s light?”

“Yes,” said the mother, “and God’s lights are always shining.”

The next question was, “Will God put out His light and go to sleep too?”

“No, my child. God never goes to sleep.”

Then out of the simplicity of a child’s faith, the little one said something which reassured the fearful mother, “Well,’ she said, “as long as God is awake, I am not afraid.”

As poets and psalmists have said: “The Lord is in His heavens, and all’s well with the earth.”

— after William Barclay

Humility


Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), Gwynedd is the highest mo...

Image via Wikipedia

A long flight of stairs is the last stage of a climb up a mountain in China. For more than a thousand years, a steady stream of pilgrims has come and gone until the steps are worn and dangerous. Numbers of pilgrims have fallen and hurt themselves.

The people of the neighborhood have asked the monks to rebuild the steps, fearing that they might lose their profitable business of housing the pilgrims. But the abbot of the monastery refused.

“It is regrettable,” he said, “that some pilgrims have suffered injury or death. But this could be because they were holding their head too high. But they are only a few of the millions who have learned that in life, one must walk carefully, holding the head high, but not so high that pitfalls cannot be seen, and not so low as to lose sight of the sky.”

— Tom Robertson

Working for God


Joe had always been a helpful neighbor and so the lady next door asked him if he could drive her little son to the hospital. Actually, Joe had other plans but he did not know how to say no. So he sat the little boy onto the cat seat, fastened his seat belt, and started off on the 50-mile trip to the hospital.

As they were driving along, the little boy slowly turned to Joe and asked, “Are you God?”

Startled, Joe said, “No.”

The boy continued, “I heard my mommy asking for some way to get me to a doctor. If you are not God, do you work for him?”

Joe replied, “I guess so – sometimes. And now that you ask, I will be doing it a lot  more.”

— Quote

Ten Steps to Success in Work


Work area

First: Don’t get the idea that you are Atlas, carrying the world on your shoulder. The world would go on even without you. Don’t take yourself so seriously.

Second: Tell yourself that you like your work. Then it will become a pleasure, not a drudgery. Perhaps you do not need to change your job. Change yourself, and your work will seem different.

Third: Plan your work – work your plan. Lack of system produces that “I’m swamped” feeling.

Fourth: Don’t try to do everything at once. That is why time is spread out. Operate on that wise advice from the Bible, “This one thing I do.”

Fifth: Get a correct mental attitude. Think a job is hard, and you will make it hard. Think it is easy, and it will tend to become so.

Sixth: Become an expert in your work. It is always easier to do a thing right.

Seventh: Practice being relaxed. Easy always does it. Don’t press or strain.

Eighth: Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today. It only makes tomorrow’s job harder. It piles up on you. Keep your work on schedule.

Ninth: At the start of every day, pray about your work. You will get some of your best ideas that way.

Tenth: Take along your “unseen Partner”. It is surprising, the load He will take off you. God is as much at home in offices and shops as in churches. He knows more about your business than you do.

— Gems of Thought

What is Salvation?


a catholic cross

Image via Wikipedia

Longfellow could take a sheet of paper, write a poem on it and make it worth sixty thousand dollars. That is talent.

Rockefeller could sign a piece of paper and make it worth a million. That is capital.

Uncle Sam can take an ounce of gold and stamp an eagle on it and make it worth $40. That is money.

A mechanic can take material worth five dollars and make it into an article worth $50. That is skill.

A merchant can buy an article for 8o cents, put it on his counter and sell it for a dollar. That is business.

God can take a worthless sinful life, wash it, cleanse it, put His Holy Spirit within it – and make it a blessing to all humanity. That is salvation.

— Sunshine

Doing It With Soul


Coal drawing by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres,...

Image via Wikipedia

Paganini, the great violinist, came out before his audience one day and just as they ended their applause, he noticed that there was something wrong with his violin. He noticed that someone had stolen the real one and replaced it with a common cheap violin. He was stunned and paralyzed. He went behind the curtain to look again, but it was not there. So he returned to the audience and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I have just discovered that someone has stolen my precious violin and left this learner’s model behind. But I want to show you that music is not in an instrument but in the soul.”

Then he played as he had never played before, and out of that secondhand instrument poured music that made the audience almost hit the roof with applause. Paganini had showed them that the music was not in the instrument but in his own soul.

It is our job to walk out onto the stage of this world and reveal to all the earth that the music of the Good News is not in things, in externals — but in our souls.

— Tony Castle

Rash Judgement


“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7 : 1-5)

Bishop Potter of New York was sailing for Europe. As he went aboard the large ocean liner, he found that another passenger was to share the cabin with him. After looking over his quarters, he went back to the purser’s desk and asked if he could leave his gold watch and other valuables in the ship’s safe. He explained that ordinarily, he never did this sort of thing but he had been to the cabin and had met the man who would occupy the other bed, and judging from his appearance, he was afraid that he might not be a very trustworthy person.

The purser accepted the responsibility of caring for the valuables and remarked, “It’s all right, Bishop. I’ll be very glad to take care of them for you. The other man has just been up here and deposited all his valuables for the same reason.”

— Sunday School Times

Joy in the Midst of Hardship


A group of pilgrims were walking along a road, headed for a sacred shrine, to make a special petition. Each of them was carrying a burden of some sort. But they kept their mind on their goal, and not on what they were carrying. An angel joined the little band and passing from one to another, threw onto the burdens a few little white seeds. These sprouted and grew into a pair of large wings which carried the burdened travelers along the dusty road.

Farther down the same road there was another party of pilgrims moving along with downcast faces and complaining of their heavy loads. The same angel came up to them and kept on going. Someone asked him, “Why didn’t you give them wings, too? They are so downcast and gloomy; they need help more than the cheerful ones up front.”

The angel answered, “The kind of seeds I have will only grow in the right kind of soil. They need cheerfulness and helpfulness; but an atmosphere of grumbling kills them.”

— Tony Castle

When faced with burdens, it is often so much easier for us to complain and ask God, “Why me?” Maybe instead of grumbling, we should, like the first group of pilgrims, ask God, “Lord, what do You want me to learn from these?” and keep our eyes on the goal.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22) Don’t our doctors tell us the same thing? 🙂

Bible for Illiterates


Title page of The Holy Bible, King James versi...

Image via Wikipedia

Four clergymen were discussing the merits of the various translations of the Bible. One liked the King James version because of its simple, beautiful English.

Another liked the American standard version best because it comes closer to the original Hebrew and Greek.

The third liked Moffat‘s translation best because of its up-to-date words.

The fourth clergyman was silent. When asked to express his opinion, he replied, “I like my mother’s translation best.”

The other three expressed surprise and wanted to know what he meant. “Well,” he explained, “my mother translated the Bible into her everyday life, and it was the most convincing translation I ever saw.”

—- after William Barclay

A wise person once told me that the way I behave and act at home and at work is the best way to show people the true meaning of Christianity. In short, my life is an open testimony of what it means to be a follower of God. And I am ashamed to say that I have not always been the best example for my loved ones and friends, especially for those who are still non-Christians.

We can stand on a pulpit and preach the gospel ’til we’re blue in the face. We can put on shows, concerts, theater performances that will entice crowds and audiences. But the real show starts when the lights are off, when the stage is down, when we think nobody is watching.

Is our life a living testimony of Christianity, or are we just Christians in words, but not in deeds?

“Dear children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18)

“If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works is dead, being alone.” (James 2:15-17)

May our lives always be a first-rate version of the bible.

The Magic Mustard Seed


Yellow mustard seeds

Image via Wikipedia

A Chinese lady who had lost her only son went to the man of religion in her village and said, “Is there anything you can give me to reduce the pain that I feel?”

“Yes,” he said. “There is a wonderful thing you can do. I want you to go and get me a mustard seed from a home that has no problems. Such a mustard seed can ward off all problems. When you find it, bring it to me and I will use it to relieve your pain.”

So the lady started out and came to a big mansion. Nothing could possibly be wrong here! She knocked on the door, told what she was looking for, and they answered, “You’ve come to the wrong house.” And they told her all their problems.

As she was listening to their problems, she thought, “I know something about problems… Maybe I can help these people with theirs.” So she listened to them; and this helped people.

She kept on searching for her magic mustard seed. But no matter where she went, she could not find that seed. Everyone everywhere had some kind of troubles.

But she really did find the magic mustard seed, because in trying to help others solve their problems, she forgot all about her own.

— Willi Hoffsuemmmer

Sometimes we are so focused on our own pain and problems that we forget that other people have their own heartaches and troubles also. Nobody’s  life is perfect; and just because other people are not facing the exact same kind of problems that we ourselves are facing, that doesn’t give us the right to say, “Oh, then my problems are greater than yours; I deserve more help and sympathy.”

The Bible says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) God encourages us to help one another not only for the other person’s sake, but also for our own. When we stop being so self-centered and start being more compassionate and helpful to others, we inevitably help ourselves too. Remember, a candle doesn’t lose any of its light by lighting another candle.. in fact, in lighting others, it makes the world a brighter place!

As the Dalai Lama said, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” God bless.