SHEPHERDS INSPIRATIONAL PAGE
Fault Is It?
God still speak to people?"
JESUS IS BETTER THAN SANTA CLAUS...
TRUE MEANING OF THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
IN GOD WE TRUST
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Waters tool box
Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes when she pulled open the
florist shop door, against a November gust of wind. Her life had been
as sweet as a spring breeze and then, in the fourth month of her second
pregnancy, a "minor" automobile accident stole her joy. This was
Thanksgiving week and the time she should have delivered their infant
son. She grieved over their loss. Troubles had multiplied.
husband's company "threatened" to transfer his job to a new location.
Her sister had called to say that she could not come for her long
awaited holiday visit. What's worse, Sandra's friend suggested that
Sandra's grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to
empathize with others who suffer. "She has no idea what I'm feeling,"
thought Sandra with a shudder.
"Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" she wondered. "For a careless driver
whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended me?--For an airbag
that saved my life, but took my child's?"
"Good afternoon, can I help you?"
Sandra was start led by the approach of the shop clerk. "I . . . I need
an arrangement," stammered Sandra.
"For Thanksgiving? I'm convinced that flowers tell stories."
continued, "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this
"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything
that could go wrong has gone wrong." Sandra regretted her
outburst, and was surprised when the clerk said, "I have the perfect
arrangement for you."
Then the bell on the door rang, and the clerk greeted the new
customer... "Hi, Alyce, let me get your order." She excused herself and
walked back to a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an
arrangement of greenery, bows, and what appeared to be long-stemmed
thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped,
there were no flowers.
"Do you want these in a box?" asked the clerk. Sandra watched - was
this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers! She waited for
laughter, but neither woman laughed.
"Yes, please," Alyce replied with an appreciative smile. "You'd think
after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its
significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again," she said,
as she gently tapped her chest.
Sandra stammered, "Ah, that lady just left with . . . uh . . . she left
with no flowers!"
"That's right," said the clerk. "I cut off the flowers. That's the
'Special'. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet. Alyce
into the shop three years ago, feeling much as you do today," explained
the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had
just lost her father to cancer; the family business was failing; her
son had gotten into drugs; and she was facing major surgery. That same
year I had lost my husband," continued the clerk. "For the first time
in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no
husband, no family nearby, and too much debt to allow any travel."
"So what did you do?" asked Sandra.
”I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk
quietly. "I've always thanked God for the good things in my life and I
never questioned Him why those good things happened to me, but when the
bad stuff hit, I cried out, 'Why? Why me?!' It took time for me to
learn that the dark times
are important to our faith! I have always enjoyed the 'flowers' of my
life, but it took the thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort!
You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and
from His consolation we l earn to comfort others."
Sandra sucked in her breath, as she thought about what her friend had
tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't want comfort. I've
lost a baby and I'm angry with God."
Just then someone else walked in the shop. "Hey, Phil!" the
greeted the balding, rotund man. "My wife sent me in to get
usual Thanksgiving arrangement . . twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!"
laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue wrapped arrangement from
"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind
telling me why she wants a bouquet that looks like that?"
"Four years ago, my wife and I nearly divorced," Phil replied. "After
forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord's grace and
guidance, we trudged through problem after problem, the Lord rescued
our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose
stems to remind her of what she had learned from "thorny" times. That
was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I
decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give thanks for
what that problem taught us." As Phil paid the clerk, he said
Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"
"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life" Sandra
said to the clerk. "It's all too . . fresh."
"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that
the thorns make the roses more precious. We treasure God's providential
care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember that it was a
crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love....Don't
resent the thorns."
Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the
accident , she loosened her grip on her resentment. "I'll take those
twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.
"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a
"Thank you. What do I owe you?"
"Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your
heart...The first year's arrangement is always on me."
The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to
your arrangement, but maybe you would like to read it first."
It read: "My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have
thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my
thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of
my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of
pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your
look much more brilliant."
Praise Him for the roses; thank Him for the thorns.
God Bless all of you. Be thankful for all that the Lord does for you.
WHOSE FAULT IS IT?
A preacher and an atheist barber were once
walking through the city slums. Said the atheist
barber to the preacher: "This is why I cannot
believe in a God of love. If God was as kind as
you say, He would not permit all this poverty,
disease, and squalor. He would not allow these
poor bums to be addicted to dope and other
character-destroying habits. No, I cannot believe
in a God who permits these things."
The minister was silent until they met a man
who was especially unkempt and filthy. His hair
was hanging down his neck and he had a half-inch
of stubble on his face. Said the minister,
"You cannot be a very good barber or you
would not permit a man like that to continue
living in this neighborhood without a haircut or a
Indignantly the barber answered: "Why
blame me for that man's condition. I cannot help
it that he is like that. He has never come in my
shop; I could fix him up and make him look like a
Giving the barber a penetrating look, the
minister said: "Then do not blame God for
allowing these people to continue in their evil
ways, when He is constantly inviting them to come
and be saved. The reason these people are slaves
to sin and evil habits is that they refuse the One
who died to save and deliver them."
THE LIVING BIBLE
name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt
with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes. This was
literally his wardrobe for his entire four years
He is brilliant. Kind of profound and very, very
bright. He became a Christian while attending
Across the street from the campus is a
well-dressed, very conservative church. They want
to develop a ministry to the students but are not
sure how to go about it.
One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with
no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The
service has already started and so Bill starts
down the aisle looking for a seat.
The church is completely packed and he can't find
a seat. By now, people are really looking a bit
uncomfortable, but no one says anything.
Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the
pulpit, and when he realizes there are no seats,
he just squats down right on the carpet.
By now the people are really uptight, and the
tension in the air is thick.
About this time, the minister realizes that from
way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly
making his way toward Bill.
Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray
hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very
elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks
with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this
boy, everyone is saying to themselves that you
can't blame him for what he's going to do.
How can you expect a man of his age and of his
background to understand some college kid on the
It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy.
The church is utterly silent except for the
clicking of the man's cane. All eyes are focused
on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The
minister can't even preach the sermon until the
deacon does what he has to do.
And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on
the floor. With great difficulty, he lowers
himself and sits down next to Bill and worships
with him so he won't be alone.
Everyone chokes up with emotion.
When the minister gains control, he says,"What
I'm about to preach, you will never remember. What
you have just seen, you will never forget."
careful how you live. You may be the only Bible
some people will ever read!"
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,
You know He will see us through.
God still speak to people?"
A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible
Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to
God and obeying the Lord's voice. The young man
couldn't help but wonder, "Does God still
speak to people?"
After service he went out with some friends for
coffee and pie and they discussed the message.
Several different ones talked about how God had
led them in different ways.
It was about ten o'clock when the young man
started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just
began to pray, "God...If you still speak to
people speak to me. I will listen. I will do my
best to obey."
As he drove down the main street of his town, he
had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon
of milk. He shook his head and said out loud,
"God is that you?"
He didn't get a reply and started on toward home.
But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk. The
young man thought about Samuel and how he
didn't recognize the voice of God, and how little
Samuel ran to Eli. "Okay, God, in case that
is you, I will buy the milk." It didn't seem
like too hard a test of obedience. He could always
use the milk. He stopped and purchased the
gallon of milk and started off toward home. As he
passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge,
"Turn down that street."
This is crazy he thought and drove on past the
intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn
down Seventh Street. At the next intersection, he
turned back and headed down Seventh. Half
said out loud, "Okay, God, I
He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt
like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb
and looked around. He was in semi-commercial
area of town. It wasn't the best but it wasn't the
neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed
and most of the houses looked dark like the people
were already in bed.
Again, he sensed something, "Go and give the
milk to the people in the house across the
The young man looked at the house. It was dark and
it looked like the people were either gone or they
were already asleep. He started to open the door
and then sat back in the car seat. "Lord,
insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them
up, they are going to be mad and I will look
Again, he felt like he should go and give the
milk. Finally, he opened the door, "Okay God,
if this is
you, I will go to the door and I will give them
the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy
person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that
will count for something but if they don't answer
right away, I am out of here."
He walked across the street and rang the bell. He
could hear some noise inside. A man's voice yelled
out, "Who is it? What do you
Then the door opened before the young man could
get away. The man was standing there in his jeans
and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of
bed. He had a strange look on his face and he
seem too happy to have some stranger standing on
his doorstep. "What is it?"
The young man thrust out the gallon of milk,
"Here, I brought this to you."
The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway
speaking loudly in Spanish. Then from down the
hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the
kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby.
The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming
down his face.
The man began speaking and half crying, "We
were just praying. We had some big bills this
and we ran out of money. We didn't have any milk
for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to
show me how to get some milk."
His wife in the kitchen yelled out, "I ask
him to send an Angel with some.
Are you an Angel?"
The young man reached into his wallet and pulled
out all the money he had on him and put in the
man's hand. He turned and walked back toward
his car and the tears were streaming down his
He knew that God still answers prayers.
A man was sleeping one night in his cabin when
suddenly his room filled with
light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the
man he had work for him to
do, and showed him a large rock in front of his
cabin. The Lord explained
that the man was to push against the rock with all
his might. This the man
did, 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 it 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.
Seeing that 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 this rock for
a long time, And it hasn't
budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never
going to move it."
Thus giving the man the impression that the task
was impossible and that he
was a failure. These troubling thoughts
discouraged and disheartened the man.
"Why kill myself over this?" thought the
man, "I'll just put in my time,
giving just the minimum effort and that will be
And that is what he planned to do until one day he
decided to make it a
matter of prayer and take his thoughts to the
Lord. "Lord" he said, "I have
labored long and hard in your service, putting all
my strength to do which
you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have
not even been
able to budge that rock. What is wrong? Why am I
The Lord 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. And
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 sinewy and brown, your hands are
calloused 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 and trust in my wisdom.
This you have done. I, my
friend, will now move the rock."
At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to
use our own intellect to
decipher what he wants, when actually what God
wants is simple obedience
and Faith in him...
By all means exercise the faith that moves
mountains, but know that it is
still God who moves the mountains.
When everything seems to go wrong, ... Just
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 money is short and bills are due, ... Just
When people just don't understand you, ... Just
When the pressure at school is to much, ... Just
P.U.S.H. ----- PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS!
P.U.S.H. ...... PRAISE UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS!
God Bless & Have a Wonderful Day!
This was written by a teen in Bagdad, Arizona.
This is incredible!!!!!!!!!!!
Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.
If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.
We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks, And
pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from
We're taught that such "judgments" do
We can get our ******* and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot;
My soul please take!
JESUS IS BETTER THAN SANTA CLAUS...
Santa lives at the North Pole ... JESUS is
Santa rides in a sleigh ... JESUS rides on
the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year ... JESUS is an
ever present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies ...
JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited ...
JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then
enters your heart when invited.
You have to wait in line to see Santa ...
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap ... JESUS lets
you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say
is "Hi little boy or girl, what's your
JESUS knew our name before we were born. Not
only does He know our name,
He knows our address too. He knows our history and
future and He even knows how many hairs are on our
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly ...
JESUS has a heart full of love
All Santa can offer is HO HO HO ... JESUS
offers health, help and hope.
Santa says "You better not cry" ...
JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I
care for you."
Santa's little helpers make toys ... JESUS makes
new life, mends wounded hearts,
repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle but ... JESUS gives you
joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree ...
JESUS became our gift and died on a tree.... The
We need to put Christ back in CHRISTmas, Jesus is
still the reason for the season.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him
should not perish, but have everlasting life. John
Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those
who squandered their means and then never had
enough for the necessities. But for those who were
genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all
outdoors. It was from him that I learned the
greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from
It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old
and feeling like the world had caved in on me
because there just hadn't been enough money to buy
me the rifle that I'd wanted so bad that year for
We did the chores early that night for some
reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra
time so we
could read in the Bible. So after supper was over
I took my boots off and stretched out in front of
the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the
old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself
and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to
read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible,
instead he bundled up and went outside. I couldn't
figure it out because we had already done all the
chores. didn't worry about it long though, I was
too busy wallowing in self-pity.
Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night
out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on,
Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's
cold out tonight."
I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting
the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me
the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could
see. We'd already done all the chores, and I
couldn't think of anything else that needed doing,
especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa
was not very patient at one dragging one's feet
when he'd told them to do something, so I got up
and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and
Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door
to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't
know what. Outside, I became even more
dismayed. There in front of the house was the work
team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it
was we were going to do wasn't going to be a
short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never
hitched up the big sled unless we were going to
haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat,
reins in hand.
I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was
already biting at me. I wasn't happy. When I was
on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and
stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I
followed. "I think we'll put on the high
sideboards," he said. "Here, help
me." The high sideboards! It had been
bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low
sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going
to do would be a lot bigger with the high
When we had exchanged the sideboards Pa went into
the woodshed and came out with an armload of
wood---the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down
from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into
blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I
said something. "Pa," I asked,
"what are you doing?"
You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he
asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down
the road. Her husband had died a year or so before
and left her with three children, the oldest being
eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what?
"Yeah," I said, "why?"
"I rode by just today," Pa said.
"Little Jakey was out digging around in the
woodpile trying to find a few
chips. They're out of wood, Matt." That was
all he said and then he turned and went back into
the woodshed for another armload of wood. I
We loaded the sled so high that began to wonder if
the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa
called a halt to our loading, then we went to the
smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side
of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put
them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was
carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder
and a smaller sack of something in his left hand.
"What's in the little sack?" I asked.
"Shoes. They're out of shoes. Little Jakey
just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when
he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the
children a little candy
too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a
We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty
much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa
was doing. We didn't have much by worldly
standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile,
though most of what was left now was still in the
form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks
before we could use it. We also had meat and
flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we
didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them
shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of
this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us.
It shouldn't have been our concern.
We came in from the blind side of the Jensen
house and unloaded the wood as quietly as
then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the
door. We knocked. The door opened crack and a
timid voice said, "Who is it?"
"Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt. Could
we come in for a bit?"
Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She
had blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The
children were wrapped in another and were sitting
in front of the fireplace by a very small fire
that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen
fumbled with match and finally lit the lamp.
"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa
said and set down the sack of flour. I put the
meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack
that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly
and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There
was a pair for her and one for each of the
children---sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that
would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her
lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears
filled her eyes and started running down her
cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say
something, but it wouldn't come out.
"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am,"
Pa said, then he turned to me and said,
"Matt, go bring
enough in to last for awhile. Let's get that fire
up to size and heat this place up."
I wasn't the same person when went back out to
bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat
much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my
eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three
kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother
standing there with tears running down her cheeks
and so much gratitude in her heart that she
couldn't speak. My heart swelled within me and joy
filled my soul that I'd never known before. I had
given at Christmas many times before, but never
it had made so much difference. I could see we
were literally saving the lives of these people.
I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits
soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed
them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked
on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her
face for a long time. She finally turned to us.
"God bless you," she said. "I know
the Lord himself
has sent you. The children and I have been praying
that he would send one of his angels to spare
In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat
and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd
thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but
after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that
it was probably true. I was sure that a better man
than Pa had never walked the earth. I started
remembering all the times he had gone out of his
way for Ma and me, and many others. The list
seemed endless as I thought on it.
Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before
we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I
wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then
I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord
that the Lord would make sure he got the right
Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again
when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the
kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They
clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see
that they missed their pa, and was glad that I
still had mine. At the door Pa turned to Widow
Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to
invite you and the children over for Christmas
dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the
three of us can eat, and a man can get
cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many
meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll
be nice to have some little ones around
again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a
spell." I was the youngest. My two older
brothers and two older sisters were all married
and had moved away.
Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you,
Brother Miles. I don't have to say, "'May the
you,' I know for certain that He will."
Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from
deep within and I didn't even notice the cold.
When we had done a ways, Pa turned to me and said,
"Matt, I want you to
know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a
little money away here and there all year so we
could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have
quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me
little money from years back came by to make
things square. Your ma and me were real excited,
thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and
started into town this morning to do just that.
But on the way saw little Jakey out scratching in
the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny
sacks and I knew what I had to do. So, Son, I
spent the money for shoes and little candy for
those children. I hope you understand."
I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears
again. I understood very well, and I was so glad
Pa had done it. Just then the rifle seemed very
low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a
lot more. He had given me the look on Widow
Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three
children. For the rest of my life, whenever I saw
any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood,
remembered, and remembering brought back that same
joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa
had given me much more than a rifle that night, he
had given me the best Christmas of my life.
TRUE MEANING OF THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS.
There is one Christmas Carol that has always
baffled me. What in the world do leaping lords,
French hens, swimming swans, and especially the
partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have
to do with Christmas?
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England
were not permitted to practice their faith openly.
Someone during that era wrote this carol as
a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two
levels of meaning. The surface meaning plus a
hidden meaning known only to members of their
church. Each element in the carol has a code word
for a religious reality which the children could
The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus
Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
The four calling birds were the four gospels of
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law,
the first five books of the Old Testament.
The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of
Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold
gifts of the Holy Spirit
- Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation,
Contribution, Leadership and Mercy.
The eight maids a-milking were the eight
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the
Holy Spirit - Love, Joy, Peace, Patience,
Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and
Ten lords a-leaping were the ten
The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven
The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve
points of belief in the Apostles Creed.
So there is your history for today. This knowledge
was shared with me and I found it interesting and
enlightening and now I know how that strange song
became "a Christmas Carol" so I will
"A water bearer in India had two large pots, each
hung on each end of a pole
which he carried across his
of the pots had a
crack in it, and
while the other pot was perfect and always
delivered a full portion of water at the end of
the long walk from the stream to the master's
house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went
on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and
a half pots full of water in his master's house.
the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments,
perfect to the end for which it was made. But the
poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own
imperfection, and miserable that it was able to
accomplish only half of what it had been made to
two years of what it perceived to be a bitter
failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by
the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I
want to apologize to you. "Why?"
asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed
"I have been able, for these past two
years, to deliver only half my load because this
crack in my side causes water to leak
out all the way back to
your master's house. Because
of my flaws, you have to do all of
this work, and you don't get full value from your
efforts," the pot
water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot,
and in his compassion he said, "As we return
to the master's house, I want you to notice the
beautiful flowers along the path."
Indeed, as they went up the
hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun
warming the beautiful
wild flowers on the side of the path, and
this cheered it somewhat.
But at the end of
the trail, it still felt bad
because it had leaked out half its load, and so
again it apologized to the bearer for its
bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that
there were flowers only on your side of your path,
but not on the other pot's side? That's
because I have always known about
your flaw, and I took advantage of
planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and
while we walk back
stream, you've watered them. For
two years I have been able to pick
these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's
you being just the way you are, he would not have
this beauty to
grace his house."
moral of this story: Each
of us has our own unique
flaws. We're all
cracked pots. In this
world, nothing goes to waste. You
may think like the cracked pot that you
are inefficient or
certain areas of your life,
but somehow these flaws
can turn out to be a
blessing in disguise."
of makes ya proud of being a cracked pot.
"Tomorrow morning," the famous surgeon
began, "I'll be opening your heart..."
"You'll find Jesus there!" the boy
grinned. The surgeon looked up, annoyed.
"I'll CUT your heart open," he
continued, "to see how much damage has been
done..." "and when you Cut open up my
heart, your gonna find Jesus in there." He
The surgeon looked to the parents, who sat
quietly. "When I see how much damage
has been done, I'll suture your heart and chest
back up and there will be pain. Afterwards
I'll plan what to do next." "Yep and
you'll find Jesus in there. The Bible says He
does. The songs all say He lives there. You'll
find Him in my heart." He said this quietly
now. The surgeon suddenly stood up as HE had
had enough of this. "I'll tell you what I'll
find in your heart. "I'll find damaged
muscle, low blood supply, and weakened vessels.
And I'll find out if I can make you
well." "Okay. You'll find Jesus in
there too.", the boy whispered with eyes
The surgeon left shaking his head. What had gotten
into him he wondered? Why was he determined
to crush a young child's beliefs even though they
weren't exactly his own. Even if any healing was
(of course) going to be by his hands and not
Jesus! He still did care a great deal, he just
why it had bothered him so. He decided he had
faith in himself and not in much else and decided
to shrug it off, he would fix the boy.
The surgeon sat in his office, recording his notes
after the surgery, "...Damaged arteries,
damaged pulmonary vein, damaged aorta, widespread
muscle degeneration. No hope for transplant; No
hope for cure. Therapy: Complete bed rest and Pain
relief. Full care required. Prognosis: here he
paused, "Death Imminent." He
stopped the recorder, but there was more to be
said. There had to be more. Frustrated that he
could not save the boy he shouted to the room
"Hey! Why?" "Why did You do
this?" "You're supposed to have put him
here, so then its You who has put him in this
pain. I thought I could help him! I didn't
want him to suffer! And You've cursed him to an
early death. Normally, I should have been able to
save him but nothing could have fixed this.
Nothing! "Why?" He laid his head down on
his desk for a silent moment.
Quietly the Lord answered and said, "The boy,
My little lamb, was Not meant to remain with you
for long, for he is a part of My flock, and will
forever be. Here, with me, he will no longer feel
pain, and he will be comforted beyond what you
could now imagine." "His parents will
one day join him here, and they will know
The surgeon's tears were hot, but his anger and
doubts were greater. Although surprised to
find his question being answered, and not
quite sure he really was hearing this he went on.
"You ... you created that boy and You created
that heart. He'll be dead any time. I have Never
seen this much damage."
The Lord answered, "The boy, My little lamb,
shall return to My flock, for he has done his
best. I did not put My little lamb with your flock
to lose Him but to retrieve another lost lamb,
Shocked to silence, he knew from the look of
that heart that this had to be so. The surgeon
From that moment the surgeon sat day and night
beside the boy's bed; the boy's parents
quietly sat across from him. The boy awoke for a
last few moments and in a choked whispered,
surgeons eyes asked, "Did you cut open my
"Yes, I did" said the surgeon as he
reached out and brushed a small wisp of hair
from the boys forehead. Surprised and amazingly
comforted by the incredibly gentle touch he looked
up into a
kind face. "What did you find?" asked
the boy as his eyes began to close and a hint of a
touched his lips.
"I found Jesus in there," said the
IN GOD WE TRUST
INTERESTING THAT A HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL CAN SEE THE PROBLEM, BUT OUR
SOCIETY CANNOT. IF THIS OFFENDS ANYONE, NO APOLOGY IS
This is a statement that was read over the PA system at the football
game at Roane County High School, Kingston, Tennessee, by school
Principal, Jody McLeod
"It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football
games, to say a prayer and play the National Anthem, to honor God and
Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a
Prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law. As I understand the law at
this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual
perversion and call it "an alternate life style," and if someone is
offended, that's OK.
I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity, by dispensing condoms and
calling it, "safe sex." If someone is offended, that's OK.
I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an
unborn baby as a "viable! means of birth control." If someone is
offended, no problem...
I can designate a school day as "Earth Day" and involve students in
activities to worship religiously and praise the goddess "Mother Earth"
and call it "ecology."
I can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that
depicts people with strong, traditional Christian convictions as
"simple minded" and "ignorant" and call it "enlightenment."
However, if anyone uses this facility to honor GOD and to ask HIM to
Bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, then Federal Case
Law is violated.
This appears to be inconsistent at best, and at worst, diabolical.
Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone, except GOD and HIS Commandments.
Nevertheless, as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and
students to abide by rules with which they do not necessarily agree.
For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best, and at worst,
hypocritical.... I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally.
I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression.
For this reason, I shall "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's," and refrain from praying at this time.
" However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank GOD and ask
HIM,in the name of JESUS, to Bless this event, please feel free to do
so. As far as I know, that's not against the law----yet."
One by one, the people in the stands bowed their heads, held hands with one another and began to pray.
They prayed in the stands. They prayed in the team huddles. They prayed
at the concession stand and they prayed in the Announcer's Box!
The only place they didn't pray was in the Supreme Court of the United
States of America- the Seat of "Justice" in the "one nation, under
Somehow, Kingston , Tennessee Remembered what so many have forgotten.
We are given the Freedom OF Religion, not the Freedom FROM Religion.
Praise GOD that HIS remnant remains!
For more info on sharing
your faith with others,
see the monthly columns written by 2 God fearing
Cameron and Ray Comfort!
Or better yet, check this TV
listing guide to see if your satellite or
cable TV provider airs the great new show called "Way
of the Master" for these two fellows
teaching people how to share their faith. If not,
you can view the program on your computer at the
TBN network website! www.TBN.org