Wooden Indian or Wooden Christian?


English: "Cigar store Indian" outsid...

English: “Cigar store Indian” outside of a tobacco shop in Long Beach, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aunt Sophie, a converted scrub woman, used to say that she had been called to scrub floors and to preach. Wherever she went, she would tell others of Christ the Savior.

Someone made fun of her once by remarking that she had been seen some time ago talking about Christ to the wooden Indian statue standing in front of the cigar store.

Sophie’s reply was, “Perhaps I did. My eyesight is not so good. But talking about Christ to a wooden Indian is not as bad as being a wooden Christian who never talks to anybody about Christ.”

— after William Barclay

If this story hit home, as it did to me, then it’s time we become witnesses (or better witnesses) for God. In my daily prayers, I ask God guide my thoughts, words, and deeds – that in all these things I honor Him and I serve as a testimony to the people around me of God’s grace and love.

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.'” (Mark 16:15)

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Little Sins


Stones

Stones (Photo credit: rkramer62)

Two sinners visited a holy man and asked his advice. “We have done wrong,” they said, “and our conscience is troubled. What must we do to be forgiven?”

“Tell me of your wrongdoing, my sons,” said the old man.

The first man said, “I have committed a great and grievous sin.”

The second man said, “I have done some small things, nothing much to worry about.”

“All right,” said the saint. “Go and bring me a stone for each sin.”

The first man came back with a big boulder. The second man cheerfully brought a bag of small stones.

“Now,” said the old man, “go and put them all back where you found them.”

The first man lifted the rock and staggered back to the place where he had gotten it. The second man could not remember where half the stones belonged to, so he just gave up. It was too much like work.

“Sins are like these stones,” said the old man. “If a man commits a great sin, it is like a heavy stone on his conscience. But with true sorrow it is removed completely. But the man who is constantly committing small sins which he knows to be wrong, gets hardened to them and feels no sorrow. So he remains a sinner.

“So you see,  my sons,” concluded the old saint, “it is as important to avoid little sins as well as the big ones.”

— Tony Castle

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3 : 19)

Meaning of Christmas


Русский: Исмаил 1й 1487-1524

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Long ago, there ruled in Persia a wise and good king. He loved his people. He wanted to know about the hardships they suffered. Often he dressed in the clothes of a workingman or a beggar and went to the homes of the poor. No one he visited thought he was their ruler.
One time he visited a poor man who lived in a cave. He ate the coarse food the poor man ate. He spoke kind, cheerful words to him. Then he left. Late, he visited the poor man again and told him clearly, “I am your king.”
How surprised the poor man was! The king thought that the man would surely ask for some gifts or favor. But he did not. Instead, he said, “You left your palace and your glory to visit me in this dark, dreary place. You ate the coarse food I ate. You brought gladness to my heart. To others you have given your rich gifts. To me you have given yourself.”

— Walter B. Knight

Christ in People


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A Portuguese novel tells the story of  a young man who travelled to the Indies to seek a fortune, and in a few years, returned to Lisbon with several ships laden with wealth.

“Now,” he thought, “I’ll play a trick on my relatives.” He put on some worn-out clothes and went round to see his cousin Pedro.

“Here I am, your cousin John. After some years in India, I have come back home. You see how I am fixed… Could I stay at your house for a time?”

“Oh, my dear John, how I wish I could put you up. Unfortunately, there isn’t a room free in my house.”

John went round to another friend, and another, but everywhere he found the door closed against him.

Then he returned to his ships, got into his best clothes, and sailed into town with a dozen servants attending him. He bought a large mansion right on the main street of Lisbon. Within a few weeks his fabulous wealth was the talk of the town.

“Who could have imagined it?” said his friends and relatives who had given him the brush-off. “If we had only known, how differently we would have acted. But now we have spoiled our chances with him forever.”

Our Lord comes to us every day in the guise of those who need our help… How do we respond?

Let the Children Come


Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

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The Gospel story about the mothers bringing their children to Jesus to be blessed, tells the kind of person he was. Children would go to him. That is no small compliment. Many big men scare children away.

A famous preacher once said that no one could be a follower of Jesus is the children were afraid to play at his door,

To Jesus no one was unimportant. The apostles were saying, just as some people nowadays would, “They’re only kids; don’t bother about them.”

But Jesus would never follow that advice. No one was ever a nuisance to Jesus. He was never too tired… or too busy. You did not need a ticket to see him. You did not have to go through the proper channels.

How many people have been lost to the cause of Christ forever because clergymen turned them away? They had come at meal time… They had not taken the trouble to make an appointment… This was the pastor’s day off…

Having time for people is the best compliment which we can pay them. That was Christ’s secret weapon.

— after William Barclay

What’s My Role?


Adam_and_Eve_working

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“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.” —Colossians 3:23-24

Why do we have different occupations? And why can’t we all be the boss? There is an old German folktale that goes like this..

When Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise, they had to build a house for themselves on barren soil and earn their bread by the sweat of their brows. Adam hoed the fields and Eve spun wool. Every year they had a child.

As the years passed, the children grew and numbered 14. One day, there was a knocking at the door. Adam opened the latch and the heavenly Father stepped in. Eve quickly invited the Lord to sit down. “Thank you,” he said as he was offered something to drink. “Are the children near?”

Quickly, Adam called the children and seven of them marched into the room and stood politely in front of the Lord. He arose, smiled, and said, “I would like to give each of you a blessing.” They knelt before him as he placed his hands on their heads. To the first he said, “You will become a mighty king.” Turning to the second, he said, “You will be a princess.” The third child heard the Lord say, “You will be a count.” Each of the remaining also received his blessing to become scholars and merchants.

When Adam and Eve saw how marvelously God had blessed their children, they ran out and found all the others. In trooped the last seven, out of breath. Again the Lord smiled and said, “I would also like to give my blessing to these children.” Adam and Eve smiled in anticipation.

Reaching the first, the Lord said, “You will be a domestic servant.” To the second, “You will be a farmer.” The third received the blessing to be a shoemaker. Others were blessed to become blacksmiths, tanners, and seamstresses.

When Eve heard the blessings for the last group, she cried, “Lord, this is not fair. You distribute your blessings so unequally. All of these are my children, yet you have made some to be kings and some servants.”

God listened to Eve and replied, “Eve, you do not understand. It is necessary for me to on provide for all of the tasks on earth through your children. If all were kings and princesses, there would be no one to farm or provide food. If all were counts, who would provide clothing? Everyone serves a different function, and in my eyes they are all important. Like the parts of the body, they all blend together and support one another.”

Then Eve answered, “O Lord, forgive me. I was too hasty in arguing with You. I want your divine will to be done for all my children.”

Love your work, work hard, work for God.. and God will reward you.

What is Salvation?


a catholic cross

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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,...

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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

Bible for Illiterates


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

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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.