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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
April 26, 2001

Approximately 15 years ago I was at a friend’s wedding and during the speeches at the reception, the groom was thanking his parents for their love and patience. His emotions got the better of him and tears began to freely flow.

Some at the wedding thought it showed a weakness in Warren. As for me, these words came to my mind (I don’t know if I created this saying or if I heard it from somewhere else), and I am reminded of them everytime tears well up in my eyes: “Tears do not a man belittle – but rather a man they make.”

Women just seem to naturally know how to cry. Their emotions are stirred reading a book, watching a movie, grieving with a friend, experiencing the pain their children experience.

Men have a long way to go in learning, and I hesitate to use it, about their “soft side”. We have been taught by our fathers that tears are a sign of weakness, “Grown men don’t cry”. Instead, we should be teaching our children that tears are a sign that we have enough confidence in ourselves to be ourselves.

To be able to laugh so hard that tears run down your face is to experience true joy. To be able to look up to a Heavenly Father with tears streaming down our face and say “Thank-you for forgiving me” is to understand true forgiveness. To stand at a grave side with uncontrolled tears is to say that you loved someone and you are truly going to miss them.

Can a man really be complete if he suppresses the urge to shed tears, to show his soft side? You have to decide that for yourself.

--- Copyright © 2000 Brian McKay --- Manitoba, Canada
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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
April 28, 1999

Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a female village moneylender. The female Moneylender, who was old, fat and ugly, fancied the farmer’s handsome son, Cliff. So she proposed a bargain.

She said she would forgo the farmer’s debt if she could marry his son. Both the farmer and his son were horrified by the Proposal.

So the cunning female moneylender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. She told them that she would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty moneybag. Then the son would have to pick one pebble from the bag.

If he picked the black pebble, he would become her husband and the father’s debt would be forgiven. If he picked the white pebble he need not marry her and the father’s debt would still be forgiven. But if he refused to pick a pebble, his father would be thrown into jail.

They were standing on a pebble-strewn path in the farmer’s field. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As she picked them up, the sharp-eyed son noticed that she had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag.

She then told the son to close his eyes and pick one pebble from the moneybag. Now, if he reveals the dishonesty of the lady, it would be harmful for his father. He also thought that providence of God will lead him to a better conclusion that can overcome the dilemma.

The son put his hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, he fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles. ‘Oh, how clumsy of me,’ he said. ‘But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.’

Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that he had picked the white one. And since the moneylender dared not admit her dishonesty, the son changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.

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"Working for Christ"

Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:24-27, NLT)

storms of life

We often feel like we are treading water in the sea of life. The waves crash against us. We feel as if we are going to drown. Just as we catch our breath, another swell crests and crashes down upon us. We find ourselves lost in the mayhem of our day.

You overslept. The kids are sick. You had an argument with your spouse on the way…

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Sweet Rains

ImageDo you ever feel like you’re losing control and things are slipping through your fingers?  Sometimes when things start becoming a bit chaotic or scary, we panic and grasp for control.  But like holding sand and trying to grasp it more tightly, we find it slipping through our fingers even faster.  And instead of maintaining control, like King Saul, who was jealous of David’s success and popularity, he eventually lost his kingdom, his son, and his very life.

Image

Or maybe you’re more like Eli, the priest, who was passive and failed to properly train and rein in his sons.  He held them too loosely, not realizing things were slowly slipping through his fingers, and he, too, eventually lost his sons, the Ark of the Covenant and his life.

Finding the balance between panic and passivity can be difficult.  You may have heard the phrase “Let go and let God”. …

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
April 26, 1996

Ten Little Christians came to church all the time;
One fell out with the preacher, then there were nine.

Nine Little Christians stayed up late;
One overslept on Sunday, then there were eight.

Eight Little Christians on their way to Heaven;
One took the low road, then there were seven.

Seven Little Christians, chirping like chicks;
One didn’t like the singing, then there were six.

Six Little Christians seemed very much alive;
One took a vacation, then there were five.

Five Little Christians pulling for Heaven’s shore;
One stopped to take a rest, then there were four.

Four Little Christians each as busy as a bee;
One had his feelings hurt, then there were three.

Three Little Christians couldn’t decide what to do;
One couldn’t have his way, then there were two.

Two Little Christians each won one more;
Now don’t you see, two plus two equals four.

Four Little Christians worked early and late;
Each brought one, now there were eight.

Eight Little Christians if they double as before;
In just seven Sundays, we have one thousand twenty four.

In this jingle there is a lesson true;
You belong either to the building, or to the wrecking crew.

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
April 25, 2000

He was looking forward to this moment all day long, after 6 days of labor and it finally arrived – Visiting Day!

The man with the keys arrived to swing open the large, heavy doors. The cold gray hall springs to life in the warm glow of light. He could hardly control His emotions.

The families began to arrive. He peers from the corner of the room longing for the 1st glimpse of His loved one. He lives for the weekends. He lives for these visits.

As the cars arrive, He watches intently. Then, finally, they arrive, for whom He would do anything. They embrace, eat a light lunch and reminisce how things used to be.

At one point, they break into singing, with interruptions of laughter and applause. But all too soon it is over. A tear comes to His eyes as they depart.

Then the man with the keys closes the heavy doors. He hears the key turn in the lock marking the end of a special day. There He stands, alone again.

He knows that most of His visitors will not contact Him again till next week. As the last car pulls away from the parking lot, Jesus retreats into loneliness as He waits until next Sunday – Visiting Day.

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
April 24, 2002

As the story goes, they built a new church building and people came from far and wide to see it. They admired its beauty! Up on the roof, a little nail heard the people praising everything about the lovely structure-except the nail! No one even knew he was there, and he became angry and jealous.

“If I am that insignificant, nobody will miss me if I quit!” So the nail then released its hold, slid down the roof, and fell in the mud.

That night it rained and rained. Soon, the shingle that had no nail blew away, and the roof began to leak. The water streaked the walls and the beautiful murals. The plaster began to fall, the carpet was stained, and the pulpit Bible was ruined by water. All this because a little nail decided to quit!

But what of the nail? While holding the shingle, it was obscure but it was also useful. Buried in the mud it was just as obscure, but now it was useless and would soon be eaten up by rust!

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