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A little boy surprised his grandmother one morning and brought her a cup of coffee in bed. He had made it all by himself and was very proud of himself. He waited eagerly to hear her verdict on the quality of the coffee.

The grandmother had truly never in her life had such a bad cup of coffee. The first few sips just about did her in, but she praised her grandson, and told him it was wonderful – and she drank it all anyway.

As she forced down the last sip, she noticed three little green army guys in the bottom of the cup. She asked, “Honey, why would three of your little army guys be in the bottom of my cup?”

Her grandson replied, “You know, Grandma, it’s like on TV: ‘The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup.”

 

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I was five years old when I walked into my mother’s bedroom and told her I wanted to give my life to Christ. We got down on our knees beside the bed and I asked Jesus into my heart. After that, I proudly told everyone that Jesus had saved me, but my pride slowly diminished over the years.

As I got older, the more I questioned the efficacy of my salvation prayer because, let’s be honest, the five-year-old motives behind it didn’t exactly demonstrate any depth of understanding about what I was doing.

On the one hand, my parents taught me a lot about the Bible, so by that age, I really had developed a childhood affection for the miracle-working Savior who held little kids in His lap and then died to save them.

On the other hand, I wanted to be born again because I would get to take the grape juice and cracker during communion at our Baptist Church — not to mention the most important reason of all: I would avoid going to hell. These reasons didn’t seem like very good ones for wanting to commit my eternal life to God, so I eventually began to wonder if perhaps I hadn’t actually been saved after all.

My insecurity about my salvation inspired me to repeatedly redo my salvation prayer, but it never seemed like it was enough. I wanted something more official. I needed a prayer that would unquestionably provide my eternal connection to Jesus. But there was a vignette in the Easter story that provided the security that a prayer for salvation never could.

A Thief’s Last Words

As Jesus was hanging there and His life was almost over, He had a brief conversation with one of the two thieves hanging on either side of Him. The gospel of Matthew tells us that this thief had actually been mocking Jesus earlier in his crucifixion. But Luke tells us the rest of the story: With the clock ticking down on his life, the thief had a sudden change of heart and made a simple request: “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom.”

The man was a low-life, a common criminal attempting a desperate deathbed conversion, and all he could utter was a request that wasn’t exactly profound: “Remember me.”

Jesus didn’t do an inventory of the man’s good or bad deeds before He responded. He didn’t ignore him or wait until the man said the perfect words. “Remember me” was more than enough. In the final minutes of their lives, Jesus responded, “Truly I say to you, today you’ll be with Me in Paradise.”

Maybe you won’t go to church this Easter — maybe you don’t even want to. Maybe you’re a believer who’s insecure about your salvation. Maybe the idea of praying about something as monumental as your eternal salvation seems intimidating to you — you wouldn’t even know where to start. Start here: “Remember me.”

It doesn’t matter if your motives are self-interested or if you’ve never shown any desire to follow Jesus. It doesn’t matter how many mistakes you’ve made and how many more you’re likely to make. He’s there willing and waiting to take you home with Him.

Call out to Him. Trust that He’s willing to welcome you into His kingdom. Ask Him to remember you today. His certain response will have nothing to do with your worthiness and everything to do with His unfailing love.

This column was originally published on April 13, 2017.

Joshua Rogers is a writer and attorney who lives in Washington, D.C. You can follow Joshua on Twitter @MrJoshuaRogers and Facebook, and read more of his writing at JoshuaRogers.com.

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
September 3, 2003

Christmas is officially over. Today I dragged the tree with its fifteen remaining needles out to the curb, tied the Christmas lights into one great big ball like I found them, and dumped the odd remains of two ham-a-ramas and a jalapeño cheese log into the cat’s dish, which caused him to immediately jump up onto the telephone stand and look up the address for the Humane Society’s self-admittance wing.

But it’s done. Kaput. Finé. The yuletide has ebbed. And not a moment too soon, because now it’s time for . . . Valentine’s Day. Not to worry though, because this year I’m ready.

Last February I was fooled by the pact my wife and I made that we weren’t going to bother with Valentine’s Day. What I thought she meant was that she didn’t expect a gift. What she really meant was that only a chump would think it was okay not to get his wife (who was put on this earth for no greater reason than to serve her husband’s every need, although said husband could count on serving certain needs himself until further notice) a gift.

And even though it was quite a bonding experience camping out in my backyard in February with my brother-in-law, who had wondered why everyone was buying flowers on Washington’s birthday, I think I’d rather spend the rainy season inside this year.

So I grabbed the garbage bag full of Christmas cards and wrapping paper to drop off at the local landfill and headed off to the Hallmark store, that magical place full of those beautiful poetic musings that women love.

I settled on a card with a romantic, soft-focus photograph of a young couple laughing and hugging in a wooded glen, taken no doubt just seconds before they realized they were standing waist deep in poison oak. Then I headed across the mall to the lingerie store.

The place was mobbed with guys all holding intimate apparel, trying to picture their wives in them. One guy was holding his selection upside down wondering, I suspect, why the thing had snaps at the neck.

I was about to explain when a saleslady approached wearing a button that said “All Our Bras Are Half Off.” She looked frazzled. Her hair was mussed. Her makeup was smeared, and she had bags under her eyes. “Let me guess,” she said. “Gift for the wife?” Before I could compliment her on such a quick assessment of the situation, she moved me to one side and yelled over my shoulder. “Please don’t mix the satin panties up with the silk ones.” Two guys, who were each holding a dozen pair of panties, smiled sheepishly, like they just got caught during a midnight raid at the female dorms.

“I hate Valentine’s Day,” she muttered. Then with a forced smile she asked, “So, what did you have in mind?” “I dunno. Something sexy, I guess.” “Novel idea. What’s her favorite color?” “Uhh . . . brown?” “Brown? Brown’s her favorite color?” “Green?” “You don’t know, do you?” “Well, our cat is gray and white and she likes him a lot.”

I thought briefly about the cat and wondered if he’d still be there when I got home. Meanwhile, the saleslady moved me to one side again. “Sir. Siiirrrr.” A large, bald man in a three-piece suit glanced up. “It’s Velcro,” she said. “As you have no doubt observed, it will make that same sound over and over.”

She shook her head, turned her attention back to me and was about to speak when a tall, thin guy approached us wearing a teddy over his T-shirt and boxer shorts. “Whaddya think?” he asked. I thought the red was a little too bright for his complexion and was about to say so when the saleslady jumped up onto a clearance counter and addressed the entire store.

“Okay. Here’s what we are going to do. I want every one of you to take out the amount of money you want to spend and step up to the counter. I will hand you an item that costs that amount of money. Do not worry about the color or size. Your wives will be in here to exchange your gifts tomorrow. Now, who’s first?” We all hesitated.

She held up her watch. “The mall closes in fifteen minutes, gentlemen, and they are predicting a particularly cold February this year.” I thought I caught a whiff of damp tent. Then I quickly took out my wallet and got in line.

Ernie Witham (c) 1996
From Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
December 18, 2009

An atheist created a case in court against the upcoming Easter and Passover holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians, Jews and observances of their holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days.

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, “Case dismissed!”

The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, “Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday.”

The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, “But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant. The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states, ‘The fool says in his heart, there is no God.’ Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned.”

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

Vintage Dilbert
March 17, 1997

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children
while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each
child’s work.

As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she
asked what the drawing was? The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.”
The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks
like.” Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing,
the girl replied, “They will in a minute.”

——–

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with
her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to
“honor” thy Father and thy mother,” she asked, “is there a
commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and
sisters?” Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of
a family) answered, “Thou shalt not kill.”

——–

An honest seven-year-old admitted calmly to her parents that
Billy Brown had kissed her after class. “How did that happen?”
gasped her mother.

“It wasn’t easy,” admitted the young lady, “but three girls
helped me catch him.”

——–

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the
dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother
has several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her
brunette head.

She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, “Why are some
of your hairs white, Mom?” Her mother replied, “Well, every time
that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of
my hairs turns white.”

The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and
then said, “Momma, how come ALL of grandma’s hairs are white?”

——–

A three-year-old went with his dad to see a litter of kittens.
On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother that
there were two boy kittens and two girl kittens. “How did you
know?” his mother asked.

“Daddy picked them up and looked underneath,” he replied. “I
think it’s printed on the bottom.”

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
March 4, 1994

I made a traffic stop on an elderly lady the other day for speeding on U.S. 166 Eastbound at Mile Marker 73 just East of Sedan, KS.

I asked for her driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.

The lady took out the required information and handed it to me.

In with the cards I was somewhat surprised (due to her advanced age) to see she had a conceal carry permit. I looked at her and ask if she had a weapon in her possession at this time.

She responded that she indeed had a .45 automatic in her glove box.

Something—body language, or the way she said it—made me want to ask if she had any other firearms. She did admit to also having a 9mm Glock in her center console. Now I had to ask one more
time if that was all.

She responded once again that she did have just one more, a .38 special in her purse. I then asked her what was she so afraid of.

She looked me right in the eye and said, “Not a thing!”

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

Vintage Dilbert
February 23, 1995

A couple in their nineties are both having problems remembering things.

They decide to go to the doctor for a checkup. The doctor tells them that they’re physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember.

Later that night while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair.

His wife asks, “Where are you going?”

“To the kitchen,” he replies.

“Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?”

“Sure.”

“Don’t you think you should write it down so you can remember it?” she asks.

“No, I can remember it.”

“Well, I’d like some strawberries on top, too. You’d better write it down, because you know you’ll forget it.”

He says, “I can remember that! You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries.”

“I’d also like whipped cream. I’m certain you’ll forget that, so you’d better write it down!” she retorts.

Irritated, he says, “I don’t need to write it down, I can remember it! Leave me alone! Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream — I got it, for goodness sake!” Then he grumbles into the kitchen.

After about 20 minutes the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs.

She stares at the plate for a moment and says… “Where’s my toast?

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 so credit can be given
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