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Sweet Rains

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Last night I received a call from my son, Max.  He sounded sad.  Gracie, his two-year-old daughter and my granddaughter, had lost “Baby Sad”, her favorite doll.  Since I live closer to the grocery store where “Baby Sad” was thought to have been lost, he asked if I could try and find her.  He had already called the store, but she had not yet been found.

I quickly scanned the nearly empty, dark parking lot before going inside, and then I inquired at the customer service desk.  No “Baby Sad”.  When I told the young woman behind the counter that I’d be looking around the store, she called two staff members over and asked them to help.  As they headed in one direction, I informed them I would start at the other end.  I expected to meet at least one of them halfway as I carefully, yet quickly scanned…

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
January 2, 1990

When I look at a patch of dandelions, I see a bunch of weeds that are going to take over my yard. My kids see flowers for Mom and blowing white fluff, you can wish on.

When I look at an old drunk and he smiles at me, I see a smelly, dirty person who probably wants money, and I look away. My kids see someone smiling at them, and they smile back.

When I hear music I love, I know I can’t carry a tune and don’t have much rhythm, so I sit self-consciously and listen. My Kids feel the beat and move to it. They sing out the words. If they don’t know them, they make up their own.

When I feel wind on my face, I brace myself against it. I feel it messing up my hair and pulling me back when I walk. My kids close their eyes, spread their arms, and fly with it, until they fall to the ground laughing.

When I pray, I say thee and thou and grant me this, give me that. My kids say, “HI, God! Thanks for my toys and my friends. Please keep the bad dreams away tonight. Sorry, I don’t want to go to Heaven yet. I would miss my Mommy and Daddy.”

When I see a mud puddle, I step around it. I see muddy shoes and clothes and dirty carpets. My kids sit in it.. They see dams to build, rivers to cross, and worms to play with

I wonder if we are given kids to teach or to be taught? No wonder God loves the little children!

July 12, 1989

One night, a man was sleeping in his cabin when suddenly his room was filled with the light and the Creator appeared.

The Creator told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Creator explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.

The man did the same, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain…

Since the man was showing signs of discouragement, the Adversary decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind:

“You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You can never move it,” thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. “Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough.” And that is what he planned to do, until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Creator. “Creator,” he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”

The Creator responded compassionately, “My friend, when I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push.” “Now you come to me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But is that really so?

Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back is sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith in My wisdom. This you have done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.” At times, when we hear a word from the Creator, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what the Creator wants is just obedience and faith in Him…. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still the Creator who moves the mountains. When everything seems to go wrong … just P.U.S.H.! When the job gets you down … just P.U.S.H.! When people don’t react the way you think they should … just P.U.S.H.! When your money looks gone and the bills are due … just P.U.S.H.! When people just don’t understand you…

Just PUSH! P.U.S.H – Pray Until Something Happens

Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author so credit can be awarded.
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
March 2, 1998

Be ye fishers of men…You catch them – He’ll clean them.

Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

Don’t put a question mark where God put a period.

Don’t wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.

Forbidden fruits create many jams.

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

God grades on the cross, not the curve.

God loves everyone, but probably prefers “fruits of the spirit” over “religious nuts!”

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

He, who angers you, controls you!

If God is your Copilot – swap seats!

Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity.

Prayer: Don’t give God instructions just report for duty!

The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.

The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.

We don’t change the message, the message changes us.

Author Unknown
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert – February 9, 2001

Wishing to encourage her young son’s progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted an old friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her.

Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked “NO ADMITTANCE”.

When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing.

Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy’s ear, “Don’t quit. Keep playing.” Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part.

Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child, and he added a running obligato.

Together, the old master and the young novice transformed what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience.

The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn’t recall what else the great master played. Only the classic “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

Perhaps that’s the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren’t always graceful flowing music. However, with the hand of the Master, our life’s work can truly be beautiful.

Next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You may hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, “Don’t quit. Keep playing.”

May you feel His arms around you and know that His hands are there helping you turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces.

Remember, God doesn’t seem to call the equipped; rather, He equips the ‘called’.

Life is more accurately measured by the lives you touch than by the things you acquire.

Unknown Author
If you know the Author please comment 
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
January 7, 2000

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside. ‘Your son is here,’ she said to the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s eyes opened. Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man’s limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile. He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital – the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients. Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night. Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her. “Who was that man?” he asked.

The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered.

“No, he wasn’t,” the Marine replied. “I never saw him before in my life.”

“Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?”

“I knew right away there had been a mistake, But I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn’t here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son and knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.”

The next time someone needs you … Just be there. Stay.

Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author.
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
April 2, 1997

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October, excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18th, were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19th, a terrible tempesta driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity, so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. “Pastor,” she asked, “where did you get that tablecloth?” The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten “The Tablecloth”. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria.

When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home. That was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one
that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike?

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

True Story – submitted by Pastor Rob Reid who says God does work in mysterious ways. I asked the Lord to bless you as I prayed for you today, to guide you and protect you as you go along your way. His love is always with you. His promises are true, and when we give Him all our cares we know He will see us through.

So when the road you’re traveling seems difficult at best, just remember I’m here praying and God will do the rest. When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need.

God does work in mysterious ways.

By Pastor Rob Reid

 

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