Free Sermon Illustrations

All preachers can use some free sermon illustrations from time to time. The sermon illustration is a story that is used to help illuminate a Biblical truth.

Now I know that the Holy Spirit is the Great Illuminator, but part of the job of preaching includes the task of explaining the Scripture so the hearer can understand its meaning and application. Sermon illustrations help accomplish this task and that's why I want to provide some free sermon illustrations on this page and I hope you will share some of yours as well.

Take a look at Your Sermon Illustration Page where you can share your great sermon illustrations with all of us. Please do.

O. R. Baldwin in his book "Keys to Preaching" noted that in the darkness of midnight a great searchlight sends forth a beam of light from its tower and lights up an entire area. Whatever is hidden there may be brought to sight by use of the light. These subjects were there all the while, but the light pointed them out, so that they could be seen.

Ships at sea are often guided by a lighthouse. As a result, weary seamen are guided to shore, often through thick fog and heavy storms. The way to reach port was there all the time, but it was made visible by the use of the light.

Even so, God's mercy, truth and grace are always present, but many times illustrations may light the way for some weary sinner to see them and be saved, while yet they may. Do you remember that old song, "The Lighthouse"?

Brightly beams our Father's mercy
From His lighthouse ever more,
But to us He gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning;
Send a gleam across the wave;
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.

Some of the most successful evangelists, and many of the most able pastors, are those best able to apply suitable illustrations to their messages. Some seem to have an unending supply of them. They are ever watchful for, and ever seeking for new and free sermon illustrations to add a bit of spice to their messages. Truths given many times before can often be dressed with new sermon illustrations, and simply and effectively repeated over and over.

An excellent chef once said that he could serve turkey seven days each week, and by dressing it with new sauces, side dishes and new dressings, have never a complaint from the customers.

Since over and over again, the minister must set forth the same set of truths, he should learn the simple lesson which the cook offers. Dress these truths with new and interesting illustrations (sauces), and again and again, they will be acceptable to those who hear you.

Most agree that most illustrations should be short. Short, snappy ones are the most fruitful ones. Illustrations are to throw light on facts. It has been said that too much light will blind the eyes. Too much sunshine will be injurious to the skin of humans. We are not to illustrate a sermon to the extent that the audience loses sight of the facts which are to be illustrated.

Every minister should be on the watch for new facts which illustrate. The best free sermon illustrations are the ones the preacher collects himself, but unless his memory is above average, it is a good practice to file them as they are found. Many preachers keep a few 3x5 cards with them at all times to collect free sermon illustrations or write down illustration ideas as they think of them.

Cultivating the habit of collecting free sermon illustrations will provide a wealth of reference material along this line. When other sources seem to fail, one can thumb through his file and come up with something appropriate.

Obviously, the best free sermon illustrations are personal illustrations but relating the circumstances and events of others can be useful for illustration purposes as well. And the best illustrations are real, but even fictitious stories can be used if the preacher tells his audience it's just a story for illustration purposes.

No minister should use the same Christian stories over and over at the same place of preaching. The people resent it. It is easy to see that many sermon illustrations are needed in the course of time, so a constant search must be made. It is an unending and challenging search.

Do not be shaken by those who say that the use of illustrations (in moderation) is not a Scriptural practice. Jesus used many of them in His preaching. He had a way of fitting them to the particular person or persons to whom He was speaking. As he dealt with farmers, He used the parable of the sower and the reaper. To the builder, He used the illustration of the house built without a proper foundation.

To parents, He spoke of the son whom the father had sent to oversee the work, and collect the wages. To the fisherman, He talked of the dragnet. To the merchant, He talked of the lost coin and the pearl of great price. He spoke also of the tares among the wheat, and of the plight of the prodigal son.

When He was accused of casting out devils by the power of the devil, He spoke of the shaky condition of a house divided against itself. He observed the sin and sorrow of the great city of Jerusalem, and used the comparison of a hen gathering her chicks under her wings, in order to show His love for the city. When He illustrated humility, He called little children to Himself and demonstrated them as a token of what He had said.

If it was profitable for Jesus to follow such practices, should not we do likewise? It would be very profitable for the pastor to observe the many vocations and events of the membership of his congregation and fit many illustrations into their particular field of labor. It would be well for any preacher to use illustrations relating to the most common vocations and events of the area where he is preaching.

My Collection of Illustrations:

I hope these free sermon illustrations will help you in your sermon preparation. I hope they will at least give you ideas and help you remember circumstances and events in your life and the lives of those with whom you relate. Some of these free sermon illustrations are from personal experience and some are from listening to and reading from other preachers and speakers for many years. Some are just inspirational Bible quotes. Of course I hope you are willing to share your illustrations as well. To share your favorite sermon illustrations go here.


Let's get going with an alphabetical list of sermon stories:


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N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z



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Adoption
God loves you now even knowing what you'll do later. People take risks when they adopt children today because they don't know how the children will turn out. Yet God knows how we will turn out and He still took us in the family! (Romans 8:15)

A Broken Anchor Line
A man on the California coast of the Pacific Ocean conceived the idea that a larg cask, weighted down and anchored off shore, would serve as a good hiding place from which to shoot ducks, and so he rigged one up. He was rowed out to and deposited in his barrel.

So busy was he shooting at the evening flight of ducks that he failed to notice when the anchor line broke, and soon he was helplessly floating on the tide. A light wind blowing off shore sent him out to sea. A dense fog settled down with the darkness, and he feared he was lost.

When his partner returned to take him from the barrel, he surmised the man's fate and rowed out into the bay, firing his gun and shouting. At last the lost hunter was located and rescued from his perilous situation.

Many a man drifts away form the anchorage of right thinking and right living and is far on the way toward shipwreck and disaster before he appreciates his danger. Many are thus lost in the fog and darkness of doubt and sin, and will be lost eternally unless we go after them with the earnest purpose of rescue.

Anonymous Letter
D.L. Moody was preaching once and got a note before he preached. All that was on the note was the word "Fool". He stepped up to the front and said, "This is interesting. I usually get letters from people without a name on it. Tonight somebody has given me a piece of paper with their name on it but no letter."

Anxiety
My father, George Gulten,Jr., became president of Wayne State University in the spring of 1972, a time when many universities were plagued by budget cuts and student unrest. Shortly after his appointment, he was asked how he was weathering the storm. Dad pondered the question and then replied, "Well, during the day I'm under a great deal of stress, but at night I sleep like a baby, that is I sleep for a few hours, wake up and cry some, sleep a few more hours, then..." (Readers Digest)

Apathy
One account of the Titanic says that a ship close by warned them six times that they were headed for an iceberg and would sink. On the sixth time the Captain of the Titanic signaled back, "Shut up I'm busy." That's what we are telling God and the Preacher and the Holy Spirit.

April Fools Day
In Florida, an atheist created a case against the 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 holidays."

The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant."

The lawyer said, "Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists."

The judge said, "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."

You gotta love a Judge that knows his scripture!

Associations
One must not only be careful about his convictions but also for his connections. Amos 3:3..., "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Here we have rhetorical questions, one after another, and the answer to all of them is "NO".

Assurance
As Adoniram Judson lay in a foul Burmese jail with 32 pounds of chains on his ankles, and his feet tied to a bamboo pole, one sneeringly asked, "What about the prospects of converting the heathen?" Instantly Judson replied, "The prospects are just as bright as the unfailing promises of the never-failing God!"

Assurance
God makes a promise. Faith believes it. Hope anticipates it. Patience awaits it.

Assurance
"She's sinking!" said a friend at the bed side of a dying friend who happened to hear what was said. "Not so!" said the dying woman. "How can one sink through a Rock? He only is my rock and my salvation!" (Ps.62:2)

Assurance
A pastor in Norfolk, Virginia phoned the editor of religious news for a paper and gave him the topic for his Sunday morning's sermon, "The Lord Is My Shepherd." The editor asked, "Is that all?" The pastor replied, "That's enough." The editor, thinking that the words were part of his subject, announced the pastor's topic in the paper as follows: "The Lord is My Shepherd. That's Enough." To know the Lord as our protector and provider is enough to dissipate all fears and dilute all sorrows.

Assurance
One cannot walk out of the hand of God when he's one of the fingers. There will be no amputated body in Heaven, it will be whole.

Assurance
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep (his life) for that which he cannot lose (eternal life)." (Jim Elliot, one of five missionaries who were martyred by the Auca Indians.)

Assurance of Salvation
A man whose heart had been deeply touched by the death of a friend, expressed a desire to begin the Christian life, and he told the minister so. "There's just one thing that makes me hesitate," he added. "I'm afraid I can't hold out. You know where I work there are some pretty rough fellows. I don't believe there's a real Christian in the crowd." For an answer the minister reached down and lifted a flower from the vase on the table. "Do you see this flower, Arthur?" he asked. "It grew right in the mud and slime of a marsh. Yet see how clean and spotless it is. That's because God kept it. And He can keep you, too!"

Atheism
Atheism has never founded empires, established principles, or changed the world's heart. The great doers in history have always been men of faith. (E.H. Chapin)

Atheism
A Denver atheist, O.O. Whitenack, made a recording of the things he wanted said at his funeral. He died and the record was played. His voice was heard to say, "This is my funeral. I have the utmost contempt for this theological nonsense. The Bible and religion have done nothing but spread ignorance and impede the progress of the human race." He continued his attack on religion, the Bible and Christians. He closed with the simple words, "That's all." But that wasn't all: "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."

Atheism
Bro. Jim Sumpter's church in Richmond, Va. voted to declare one day a year as National Atheists Day... April 1st!

Attention
Spurgeon said that when a dog is not noticed, he doesn't like it, but when he's running a fox, he doesn't care who is watching. When we sell out to the work of the Lord, we won't care who is watching either.

Attitude
One's attitude toward life is determined largely by one's altitude! (Are you heavenly minded?)

Author of the Bible
An unbeliever said to Dwight Pentecost: "It is quite impossible now days to believe in the teaching of any book by an author whose authority is unknown."

Asked the minister, "Is the author of the multiplication table known?"

"No," answered the skeptic.

"I assume logically then, that you do not believe in the multiplication table. Right?"

"Of course, I believe in it. It works well."

Said Pentecost: "So does the Bible."

Average
When you are average, you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.

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Backsliding
David must have been a Baptist. He was backslid¬den, and Baptists believe and practice backsliding. Mordecai Ham said that when one gets saved in the average church, he has to get backslidden to get in fellowship. You can't tell a backslider from a lost person. David got to longing for the will of God, Ps.51:12, so he prayed the prayer of restoration.

Balance
You heard about the athlete who made 4 "F's" and one "D." The coach said, "How do you account for this?" The athlete said, "I guess I was concentrating too much on one subject."

Being Yourself
Be who you is and not who you ain't because if you is who you ain't then you ain't who you is.

Believe the Bible
Believe the Bible even though you don't understand it. 50 or 60 years ago the Hitites were unknown, but archaeologists have proved they did exist now so scoffers had to eat their words. Also they said Moses couldn't have written the Bible that he did for writing was not invented yet, but archaeologists have proved that writing was before Moses' time. Bible says gospel went into all the world. And in reader's digest archaeologists show there were groups in America even in 900 B.C. so the gospel could have gone to the whole world.

The Bible in 50 Words:
God made
Adam bit
Noah arked
Abraham split
Jacob fooled
Joseph ruled
Bush talked
Pharaoh plagued
Sea divided
Tablets guided
Promise landed
Judges led
Saul freaked
David peeked
Kingdom divided
Prophets warned
People exiled
Hope rose
Jesus born
God walked
Anger crucified
Love rose
Spirit flamed
Word spread
God remained.

Revised from the original by Dana Livesay, Wanganui, New Zealand. Source: 'Top of the Morning' Book of Incredibly Short Stories compiled by Brian Edwards. Auckland, New Zealand: Tandem Press, 1997.

Bible
An African woman was asked if she enjoyed reading her new Bible. She replied, "Sir, I am not reading this Book. The Book is reading me!"

Bible
The Bible is an antibiotic. If you get it in you it will expel the germs of sin. The more you get in the more germs will have to get out.

Bible
The Preacher went to a home and asked for their Bible. The father told the Son to go get that dear old book that we love and read. So the son left and came back with the Sears & Roebuck catalog! We don't love the Word if we don't read it.

Lending Bible
D.L. Moody said, "Don't be afraid to lend or borrow a Bible. Once I lent my Bible out and it came back with two great poems in it."

Bible Reading
Every time a little boy went to a playmate's house, he found the friend's grandmother deeply engrossed in reading her Bible. Finally his curiosity got the better of him.

"Why do you suppose your grandmother reads the Bible so much?" he asked. "I"m not sure," said his friend, "but I think it's because she's cramming for her finals."

Bible Study
"I never saw a useful Christian who was not a student of the Bible." (Dwight L. Moody)

Blaming God
A young girl came to Dr. Lehman Strauss and asked him to marry her and her fiancee'. He refused because the man was lost (II Cor.6:14), and counseled her not to marry an unbeliever. The girl got mad and went to another preacher who married them. Three years later she called Dr. Strauss and said I have a problem; I am legally separated and then she said, "My main problem is that I can't understand why God let me get into this mess!"

Blessings from God
A rich man started to give a poor preacher $1000.00 but changed his mind and sent $50.00 with a note that said "More to follow." The next week he sent $50.00 with another note that said "More to follow." What we get from God now is nothing because there is "More to follow." What a blessed thing to know.

Unintentional Blessings
Sometimes we don't think anything is happening (one may say, "That church service didn't help me." or "We don't need that experience."), but many times we get things and don't realize it (unintentional learning). Like the fellow who had a growth on his hand and the doctor said you better have radium treatment, so he did. He pulled his hand from the treatment and said, "I didn't feel a thing", but in two weeks the growth was gone.

Blonde Joke
A blonde went to Toys R Us and bought a 9 piece puzzle. She did the first 3 pieces the first day, the second 3 pieces the second day and the third 3 pieces the third day. Then she called the Guinness Book of World Records and told them she should be included in the book for solving that 9 piece puzzle in the fastest time of anyone...in three days. They dropped the phone and started laughing. When they recovered they picked up the phone and asked the blonde why she thought she should get the record. She said, "Well, on the side of the box it says 3 to 6 years!"

The Blood of Christ
Christ's blood is either on your hands or on your heart.

Brokenness
One quality that a person must have to be effec¬tively used for the Lord is brokenness.

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Called to Preach
Roger Martin in his book Apostle of Certainty told of R. A. Torrey saying, "I will not get saved because God will call me to preach!"

Carnal Christians
When one gets cold he starts complaining and grip¬ing. But then right before you die, they say that you get comfortable (Athletes attest to this when they have to put their feet or hands in the cold whirlpool). After a while the griping stops because they are frozen and numb. Then one dies. Christ never intended His church to be a refrigerator but an incubator.

Cause and Effect
Once, someone said something nice about me,
And all undeserved though I knew it to be,
I treasured it there on my heart's deepest shelf,
Till one day I quite surprised even myself,
By honestly making an effort to be,
That nice thing that somebody said about me!

Celibacy
Peter was the most foolish man alive if he truly was the first Pope. Mark 1:30 speaks of Peter's mother-in-law. How foolish to take on a mother-in-law without also having the benefits of a wife as well!

Change
The Captain of the ship "Enterprize" said that when the ship is going full speed, it takes 25 miles to turn the boat around. A large organization like a large church that is moving fast, even in the wrong direction, takes time to turn around.

Character
Emmerson said, "A change in geography never changes character."

Character development
It comes by (1)Instruction (2)Reinforcement (3)Warning (4)Correction.

Christ
Lew Wallace, who wrote the book "Ben Hur" said, "After six years of impartial investigation of Christianity, as to its truth or falsity, I have come to the deliberate conclusion that Jesus Christ was the Messiah of the Jews, the Saviour of the world, and my personal Saviour."

Christ
(Things we think of at Christmas)

Christmas (Luke 2:10-11; Matt.1:25)
Heaven (John 6:51; Phil.2:6-7)
Resurrection (Rom.4:25; I Thess.4:14)
Intercession (Heb.7:25; Rom.8:34; Heb.4:14)
Suffering (I Pet.2:21; 3:18; 4:1)
Trustworthiness (Heb.13:8; Jn.6:37; 14:3; 10:27-28)

Christ in Us
1. In all Christians Christ is present
2. In some Christians Christ is prominent
3. In a few Christians Christ is preeminent

Christ's Concern
A lady asked Pastor Gordon if God was concerned about little things that were trivial or just the big things. The preacher asked, "Lady can you think of anything that is big for God?

Christian Life
The Christian life is like an airplane: you either go forward or you fall.

Christlikeness
No man is like Christ who does not care for the souls of men.

Christ Preeminent
Is Christ simply present! or
Is Christ merely prominent? or
Is Christ supremely preeminent?

Church
J.C. Penny said, "If you are too busy to attend church two times on Sunday and on Wednesday night, then you have more business than God intended you to have."

Church
Morbus Sabbaticus is a peculiar disease: 1. The symptoms vary but never interfere with the appetite. 2. It never lasts more than 24 hours. 3. No physician is ever called. 4. It is contagious. The attack comes on suddenly on Sunday. No symptoms are ever felt on Saturday night. The patient awakes as usual, feeling fine, and eats a hearty breakfast.

Church
Billy Sunday said, "You say, I'll be a Christian and go to Heaven without joining a church. Yes, and you can go to Europe without getting on board a ship or airplane. The swimming is good, but the sharks are laying for fellows who take that route. If a man is truly saved, he should hunt for a good Bible-believing church right away."

Cleansing
Peter said don’t wash my feet. Jesus said you can’t be identified with me unless I do, so Peter said Okay then wash my whole body. Jesus said that only once does your whole body get washed (when saved) but continually we must have our feet of service and conduct cleansed.

Concern
They don't care how much you know, till they know how much you care.

Concern
A little girl was late getting home and the mother was upset and asked why she was late. The little girl said "My friend broke her dolly." The mother said, "I suppose you stayed to help her fix it?" The little girl said, "No, Mommy, I stayed to help her cry."

Conditions
We need to be thermostat Christians rather than thermometer Christians, that is, controlling the conditions rather than being controlled ourselves by the conditions.

Confession
More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying they made them.

Confession
If we confess our sin we also forsake our sin.

Conflict
If you live for the Lord, the Devil will be after you, and if you live for the Devil, the Lord will be after you. I'd rather live for the Lord and have the Devil after me.

Contentment
No grace is more essential to happiness and usefulness than contentment. A recent writer uses this significant illustration of the value of a contented mind. He says that when a man is climbing a mountain he ought to understand that, tho his ultimate object is to reach the summit, he should enjoy the prospect at every step.

If he worries because he is not already at the top, and envies his fellow travelers whom he sees on a higher level, his ascent is a constant and painful effort. He spoils the present by thinking overmuch of the future. His business is to do the best he can, and to get as much pleasure out of the journey as possible.

To ruin the satisfaction of having accomplished something, however little it may be, by the bitter thought that his path has peculiar obstacles, is neither good philosophy nor good sense. Let each day bring its own comfort. Let him forget the more favored, and find happiness in his own surroundings.

If he can only abolish envy and the covetousness which demands large results from small causes, he will have learned the great secret. Fretting is only another name for weakness. Be a whole man in a small place—if it be a small place where God has put you—and force from every day and hour whatever enjoyment it contains, just as the honey-bee finds food even in the thistle.

Convictions
A lot of people have convictions on Sunday and conveniences on Vacation or during the week.

Convictions
An opinion is what you carry around. A conviction is what carries you around. Convictions build character. Nobody can move you from your convictions; you'll fight for them.

Convictions
(Dan.1:8) The definition of conviction is "a belief that is so strong it produces a consistent action." The court says conviction is something you believe so strongly you couldn't change it if you wanted to. It is a very part of one's being. Peer pressure can't change it. Financial pressure can't change it. Physical pressure won't change it. Convictions run deeper than "standards". Some standards we won't die for. (Lk.21:12-14) Settle it in your heart....

Convictions
Dr. Lee Roberson at age 27 took a church where the choir director drank and the Sunday School Superintendent's wife had card games in their house. Dr. Roberson asked both of them to resign. The Sunday School Superintendent said that the church would fold up. Dr. Roberson said he was fool enough to say, "Let it." So they resigned and it was over - for them. The church went from 120 to 800 before he was called to Highland Park Baptist Church. That church was top in the state of Alabama for souls saved before Dr. Roberson left for Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Commitment
Is my commitment to Christ only token or completely total commitment?

Comparing
If one says "I may not be doing as much as that person but I am doing more than that person," then he is really just the "worst of the best and the best of the worst."

Compassion
One girl wrote an essay of how she was saved. She and her parents used to mock her saved sister. One night the lost sister heard the saved sister crying and heard her pray, "Lord if it means killing me save my Father, Mother, and Sister. Two months later she was killed in a car wreck and you guessed it; Father, Mother, and Sister were saved.

Compromise
Some advocate being neutral as opposed to taking a stand. The trouble with taking the middle of the road is that you get hit from both sides.

Cost
If it doesn't cost it doesn't count.

Coward
A coward is one who in the time of emergency thinks with his legs - he runs.

Creation
Albert Einstein, though not a Christian, was a firm believer in God. It is said that when he was asked about the origin of the universe and life by chance, he replied, "God does not throw dice."

World War II Creativity
Starting in 1941, an increasing number of British airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape. Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and accurate map, one showing not only where stuff was, but also showing the locations of 'safe houses' where a POW on-the-lam could go for food and shelter.

Paper maps had some real drawbacks -- they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush. Someone in MI-5 (similar to America's OSS) got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It's durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads, and unfolded as many times as needed, and makes no noise whatsoever. At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington, Ltd.

When approached by the government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort. By pure coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for the popular American board game, Monopoly. As it happened, 'games and pastimes' was a category of item qualified for insertion into 'CARE packages', dispatched by the International Red Cross, to prisoners of war. Under the strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington's, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany or Italy where Allied POW camps were located (Red Cross packages were delivered to prisoners in accordance with that same regional system). When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece. As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington's also managed to add:

1. A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass.
2. A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together.
3. Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!

British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first mission, how to identify a 'rigged' Monopoly set -- by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square.

Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, an estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war. The story wasn't de-classified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington's, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public ceremony.

Anyway, it's always nice when you can play that 'Get Out of Jail Free' card.

The Greatest Crown
The tragic death of King Humbert and the ceremonies connected with his funeral brought to public notice again the old iron crown of Lombardy. This relic is held in great veneration. It consists of a circlet of iron covered with gold leaves and jewels.

It is believed that the iron belonged to one of the nails used in the crucifixion, found by St. Helena and converted by the Emperor Constantine into a crown around his helmet. St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, mentioned it in the year 395. It was worn by Charlemagne at his coronation in 744, and after him by various kings.

Napoleon the Great placed it on his own head at Milan in 1805. It is now the property of the King of Italy. There is another crown which is within the reach of the humblest man or woman in the world, which it is a far greater honor to wear than the iron crown of Lombardy. It is the crown that Paul speaks about, and which he calls "the crown of righteousness."

Even the iron crown of Lombardy shall fall to dust after a while, but the crown of a righteous character will abide forever.

New Creation
God Formed us, Sin Deformed us, the Bible Informs us, the Blood of Jesus Christ Transforms us.

Criticism
He that slings mud loses ground.

Criticism
A man came up to D.L. Moody after his message and said to Moody, "I counted eighteen grammar mistakes in your message." Moody said, "I'm using all the English I know for the Glory of the Lord. What are you doing with yours?"

Criticism
It's easy to shoot a lark but it's not so easy to produce his song.

Criticism
A man had a baby with him on a train and the baby was crying. People got disturbed and one big fellow said, "Why don't you get that baby to shut up. Take it to it's mother." The man with the baby said, "I would but she's in a casket in the cargo car. We are taking her home to bury her." The big man sat down and then later said, "We raised several kids at home, let me take the baby." And as the tired dad fell asleep, the big critic walked the baby up and down the isle and sang lullabies. Don't criticize until you know the "big" picture - the whole story. By the way, that could be never and it usually is! Don't take a chance on being wrong, just don't criticize.

Criticism
You heard about the man who went to the Psychiatrist with two fried eggs on his head and a strip of bacon on each ear and said, "There's something wrong with my sister. Will you help her?"

Curiosity
A man was missing a leg and a friend asked him how he lost it. The man said, "I don't want to talk about it." The friend said, My curiosity is too great and I have to know, I just have to." The man said, "If I tell you how I lost it will you promise not to talk about it anymore and not ask any more questions?" The friend said, "Yes." So the man said, "It was bitten off!"

Cussing!
A preacher was making his rounds on a bicycle, when he came upon a little boy trying to sell a lawn mower.

"How much do you want for the mower?" asked the preacher.

"I just want enough money to go out and buy me a bicycle," said the little boy.

After a moment of consideration, the preacher asked, Will you take my bike in trade for it?"

The little boy asked if he could try it out first, and, after riding the bike around a little while, said, "Mister, you've got yourself a deal."

The preacher took the mower and began to crank it. He pulled on the rope a few times with no response from the mower. The preacher called the little boy over and said, "I can't get this mower To start."

The little boy said, "That's because you have to cuss at it to get it started."

The preacher said, "I can't cuss. It's been so long since I became a Christian that I don't even remember how to cuss."

The little boy looked at him happily and said, "You just keep pulling on that rope. It'll come back to ya."

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The Day of the Lord
(2 Thessalonians) An interesting parallel is that the Jewish way of thinking was that a day started about 6 p.m. and ended the next day at 6 p.m. (Of course, we think of 12 p.m. morning then night.). But Jews had night then morning. The parallel is that the day of the Lord includes the tribulation which is first and the millennium which is second; Night then day.

Death
One woman said, "When I get straightened out I'll come to church." That's when she came to church alright - straightened out in a casket.

Death
A Negro slave had served his Master well and loved his Lord Jesus. He got old and sick. The Doctor said, "Corporal, I must tell you, you are going to die." Corporal said, "Don't you worry one second Doctor, that's what I've been living for!"

Beyond Death
If the resurrection of Christ points to any one truth about the future, it is this, "Death is not the end." This future reality is most frightening for those who do not know the Lord. A retired minister called on a 96 year old man who had just lost his wife of many years. He said to the minister that there was nothing he wanted more than to be with his wife again. The minister said, "Why do you say that? You don't profess to be a Christian. How do you know where she is? And can you be sure you'd be happy there? After thinking a few moments, he said, "You're right. In fact, when it comes right down to it, the thought of leaving this life terrifies me." Then he blurted out this sad confession, "I'm sick of living, but afraid of dying." Why was he so afraid? Because death is not the end.

Death of Christ
A preacher was visiting a farm and the wife of the farmer asked the preacher to witness to her husband because he was hard to win to the Lord. The farmer woke the preacher up one night and took him to the hen house where there was a hen sitting on chicks but was dead. A weasel had sucked the blood out of her (there was a wound on her neck) during the night but she wouldn't move because she was protecting her young chicks. The preacher said, "Josh, that's what Jesus did for you." The farmer accepted the gift Jesus paid for by His death.

Death of Christ
It seems a contradiction when we say that Jesus gave His life and also that the people murdered Him. Jesus Himself said "No man shall take my life." They would have taken His life, but they couldn't. Jesus gave His life to the Father before they could. They came to get the death over quicker by breaking His legs, but Jesus was already dead. He took His own life and laid it down for us. Normally one could hang a day and a half on a cross like that, but Jesus gave His life up.

Dead to Self
To get rid of Jonah's problem they had to get rid of Jonah. To get rid of our problem we must get rid of ourselves - die to self!

Death of Christ
The entire world knew that John F. Kennedy had been killed within 24 hours after it happened. But Jesus Christ died on the cross over 2000 years ago and only one half of the world has ever heard. (Tom Freeney, Former Director, BIMI).

Death to Self One fellow was complaining because people were kicking him around. James Duffecy (Open Air Missions) said, "Have you ever thought of thinking of yourself as `Nothing'? It's kind of hard to kick `Nothing' around."

Death to Self
A young man wanted to give up his commission in the Navy and work with the boat-people of an oriental country. His mother wrote a letter to him and said "You've got a Doctorate, you can teach in any Christian school that you want to and inspire others to go. Why bury yourself there?" Then his father, who had been a missionary, put a "P.S." on the letter that said, "Son you are already dead in Christ; it doesn't matter where you are buried!"

Death to Self
There's a lot of ability going up like a rocket and coming down like a rock because one has not crucified self.

Deception
Once it was very foggy in Oklahoma City where my parents and sister lived. My mother and sister got in the car to go to the store. It wasn't very foggy at the house but only in certain low spots in the city. They were driving and gradually moved into fog and then out. But when they were out they did not know it because the windshield was covered with the moisture. Even though they were out of the fog they crept along in the car because they could not see. They wondered why other cars passed by swiftly and the crazy drivers were honking at them. Then one of them got the idea of turning on the windshield wipers and BEHOLD it was as clear outside as could be. They were fooled by the circumstances and they acted accordingly. Don't let Satan deceive you with a lie regardless of how it looks. Make sure you have the Truth of the Word of God. It will set you free. (Mark Hollingsworth)

Decisions
Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clean and straight; indecision a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves edges behind it.

Deity
(Mark 10:17-22) When Jesus says none is good but God, He is saying "Do you really think I'm that good, remember only Deity is good?" Then Jesus goes on to say, "OK, if you think I'm that good - Deity, then I have the right to ask, even demand, you to sell your goods and take up your cross and follow me!"

Deity of Christ
Torrey and Moody questioned Dr. George Adam Smith about his belief that Psalm 110 was not Messianic and was not written by David. They said, "That is a reflection on Christ Himself, who referred to it."

Depression
When you are depressed over a problem, don't meditate on it, but use God's periscope (the Word of God) to see over the mountain of despair. Then you can see your way clear to keep climbing and climbing until you reach the mountain top of victory in the Lord.

Derivatives
The world seeks love and happiness but they'll never find it. It's like a person digging a well for gasoline not realizing that they'll never find it because you dig for oil and a by-product is gasoline. One needs to seek Jesus Christ and then the by-products will be love and happiness.

Destination Secure
Spurgeon was poor and married a rich girl. Someone asked her why she married such a poor boy. Don't you know where he's from, they asked? She said, "No I don't know where he's from, but I know where he's going and I want to go with him."

Determination
A little boy was pulling on some weeds with long deep roots trying to get it out of the ground. He pulled and pulled again then decided to give one last jerk and when he did it came out and he went tumbling over backwards. Someone watching said, "That was a tough fight, wasn't it?" The little boy replied "It should have been - the whole world was pulling against me!"

Diet
I have a new diet for the new year. I'm going to eat garlic sandwiches. The diet won't make you lose any weight, but you will look smaller from a distance.

Different Look of a Christian
A motel in Pennsylvania let preachers stay free. One preacher after staying luxuriously was presented with the bill. He asked about preachers staying free. They said, "You don't look like a preacher; you don't say prayers before meals; after the meal you lit up a black cigar; and you told jokes that were shady. Here's your bill just like every other sinner."

Difficult Passage in Bible
Mr. Moody what do you do with that? I do not do anything with it. How do you understand it? I do not understand it. How do you explain it? I do not explain it. What do you do with it? I do not do anything with it. You do not believe it do you? Oh yes, I believe it. You don't accept anything you don't understand do you? Yes, I certainly do. Like higher math and astronomy and electricity. One man said he didn't believe what he couldn't see and Moody asked him if he ever saw his brain!

Direction
A pilot announced to his passengers over his intercom system, "Ladies and gentlemen, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that we have a tail wind, and we are making excellent time. The bad news is that our compass is broken and we have no idea where we are going." A similar situation is true of many churches.

God's Direction
Bob Jones, Sr. told of going to a preaching engagement once and his car skidded into the ditch. He went back a mile to a farm house and knocked and went in to see a man trying to put a diaper on a small child with four other small kids playing. Bob asked if something was wrong and he said, "Yes, I buried my wife two days ago." "Was she saved, asked Bob. "Yes, she's in Heaven." "Are you saved?" "No, I'm not." Bob Jones witnessed to him at the Barn door and this dad of five children got saved. Bro. Jones then knew why the car went into the ditch and why he didn't make the speaking appointment.

Disagreeing
Tom Malone in Pontiac, Michigan tells of a church member he visited who hadn't been in 20 years. He found out that they had a church picnic 20 years ago and she and another lady got into a squabble about how to cut the pies. She said, "I cut in six slices."

The other lady said, "We cut eight slices around here." The lady hadn't come back since.

There's a lot of disagreeing today among brothers and sisters in Christ over things that the Lord never intended us to break fellowship over.

Disagreeing
Some preachers disassociate with everybody who they disagree with except their wife. Why? They love her. Isn't that what Jesus said the Brethren should do? What Hypocrisy!

Disappointments
I have found that my disappointments are really the Lord's appointments. Not Disappointments but Hisappointments!

Discipleship
A disciple can tell when he is on the right road; it is always narrow and uphill.

Discipline
One woman columnist (probably an old maid) said that if her dad would have spanked her she would have hated him the rest of her life. When my dad whipped me I didn't hate him when he was through; I loved him to death for stopping and getting done.

Discipline
Some send their kids to their room. But that's not punishment. Most kids will have a great time in their room. Send the kid to the bathroom to stand in the tub for an hour and that will do the trick!

Discipline
Everything in the world is run by switches except children. One psychologist said you shouldn't spank a child on a full stomach. I agree, turn them around and give it to them where they need it.

Discontent
Discouragement is related to your problems with yourself, whereas, discontentment is related to your problem or dissatisfaction with others.

Discouragement
When discouragement comes don't depend on self or others, for that's a slippery place. The thing to do is to turn to God (Ps.73:17). You better stay close to God and the things of God or you won't make it. In the Sanctuary you get the long look. "They that do God's work will get God's pay on God's payday." (Ps.73:23-28).

Discouragement
Martin Luther was discouraged terribly and wouldn't eat. His wife went to the bedroom and came out in a black mourning outfit. Luther asked her about it and she said she was going to a funeral. He asked whose. She said it was God's. He replied, "The Pope's trying to kill me, my friends have turned on me and now my wife is a heretic." She said, "The only reason I thought God was dead was because of the way you are acting." Luther fell on his knees and cried for his wife's and God's forgiveness.

Discouragement
Moody got discouraged and a man told him of Noah. So, Moody read up on him and found out, to his amazement, that Noah preached 120 years without a convert and he didn't get discouraged.

Disobedience
While vacationing a little girl, who was told not to go by the cliff, wandered out toward it when her dad fell asleep. She reached out over the rocks and grabbed a pretty flower and ran back to her dad and said look what I brought you. He grabbed the flower and threw it down and clutched the little girl and said, "You have disobeyed. I'd rather have you than anything you could give me."

Disturbance
One time Moody told the song leader of one of his Sunday School groups, "When you see me go after that mischievious boy, have everyone stand and sing a song to the top of your voice till I get back."

Divinity of Christ
Napoleon at St. Helena is reported to have been struck with the reflection that millions are now ready to die for the crucified Nazarene who founded a spiritual empire by love, while no one would die for Alexander, or Caesar, or himself, who founded temporal empires by force. He saw in this contrast a convincing argument for the Divinity of Christ saying: "I know men, and I tell you, Christ was not a man. Everything about Christ astonishes me. His spirit overwhelms and confounds me. There is no comparison between Him and any other being. He stands single and alone."

Divorce
We have never considered divorce in all the years we have been married. We have considered murder many times but never divorce. It's not an option.

Dreams
The longest dream anyone ever dreamed is in Dan.2 where we find the dream and the outworking, which is not all fulfilled yet. The dream covers approximately 2600 years.

Drinking
It's not a disease. If it is why are they selling germs in the grocery store. It's not a sickness; it's a sin. We could get rid of the germ if it was just a disease but it's a sin.

Dying Grace
Once a Baptist Preacher was riding in an airplane on the West Coast and the door flew off the plane. The Captain told the people not to get excited which didn't help. Then the Baptist preacher stood and told the people not to worry, they would make it alright and that he was a preacher. They asked what that had to do with it? He said "Well, the Lord has promised me dying grace and I don't have it yet!"

Double-Minded
During the Civil War there was a man who put on a Blue coat and Gray pants and started running. They found his body riddled with bullets from both sides.

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Easy Religion
A particular college in Ohio was founded by Charles G. Finney. While visiting that college, Rev. Paul Dixon went to see a picture of the founder somewhere at the college. At the chapel they said it was moved to the library. At library they said it was moved to to the basement in a box. When Dixon asked where Finney's grave was, the librarian didn't know. So he went to the cemetery and the caretaker vaguely knew where the tombstone was. It was an unkept site of a famous preacher that a now liberal college wanted no association with.

Economic Crisis
This was an article from the St. Petersburg Times Newspaper on Sunday, March 15, 2009. The Business Section asked readers for ideas on "How Would You Fix the Economy?" I thought this was the BEST idea....I think this guy nailed it!
Patriotic retirement:
There's about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance with stipulations.
1) They leave their jobs. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.
2) They buy NEW American cars. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry fixed.
3) They either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis fixed.

Economy
A Banker was getting a check-up and asked the Doctor how he was. The Doctor said, "You are as sound as the American dollar" and the Banker immediately fainted.

Edification
Ted Martins' brother had just graduated from Michigan State University in engineering in 1977 when he said that in building they multiply everything by a factor or two. If they build a bridge to hold 8 tons, it is really built for 16 tons. We ought to build our lives and those around us like that.

Wrong Email Address
A lesson to be learned from typing the wrong email address!!!!
A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier.

Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day. The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an email to his wife.

However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address, and without realizing his error, sent the email.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband's funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow decided to check her email expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted. The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife

Subject: I've Arrived

Date: October 16, 2007

I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in. I've seen that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

Looking forward to seeing you then!!!! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!!

Emergency Telephone Numbers
(These are more effective than 911.)
Call When:
You are sad, phone John 14
You have sinned, phone Psalm 51
You are facing danger, phone Psalm 91
People have failed you, phone Psalm 27
It feels as though God is far from you, phone Psalm 139
Your faith needs stimulation, phone Hebrews 11
You are alone and scared, phone Psalm 23
You are worried, phone Matthew 8:19-34
You are hurt and critical, phone 1 Corinthians 13
You wonder about Christianity, phone 2 Corinthians 5:15-18
You feel like an outcast, phone Romans 8:31-39
You are seeking peace, phone Matthew 11:25-30
It feels as if the world is bigger than God, phone Psalm 90
You need Christ like insurance, phone Romans 8:1-30
You are leaving home for a trip , phone Psalm 121
You are praying for yourself, phone Psalm 87
You require courage for a task, phone Joshua 1
Inflation and investments are hogging your thoughts, phone Mark 10:17-31
You are depressive, phone Psalm 27
Your bank account is empty, phone Psalm 37
You lose faith in mankind, phone 1 Corinthians 13
It looks like people are unfriendly, phone John 15
You are losing hope, phone Psalm 126
You feel the world is small compared to you, phone Psalm 19
You want to carry fruit, phone John 15
Paul's secret for happiness, phone Colossians 3:12-17
With big opportunity/ discovery, phone Isaiah 55
To get along with other people, phone Romans 12
Alternate Numbers:
For dealing with fear, call Psalm 47
For security, call Psalm 121:3
For assurance, call Mark 8:35
For reassurance, call Psalm 145:18
Notes:
All these numbers may be phoned directly.
No operator assistance is necessary.
All lines to heaven are available 24 hours a day.
Feed your faith, and doubt will starve to death.

Endure
The word means to remain or stay behind, when others have departed. (Luke 2:43). It means to bear up under, to suffer patiently (1Cor.13:7; Heb.10:32). It means to continue firm, hold out, remain constant, persevere (Matt.10:22; 24:13). It means a patient frame of mind (Rom.5:3-4; 15:4-5; Jam.1:3).

Enthusiasm
Billy Sunday was enthusiastic in his preaching. He raved and panted in the pulpit. He took off his coat and tie and rolled his sleaves up and said, "I'm fighting mad at the Devil."

Evidence of Christianity
There is a difference between proof and evidence. No one can prove Christianity but no one can disprove it and there is much evidence that it's true. Faith is not blind--there is much great evidence that our faith is based on logic and truth and not just blind. Evidences: Jesus, Resurrection, changed lives, etc.

Example
When he was a small boy his teacher made him stay after school and write fifty times on the board, "I must not talk in class."

Now he was a big boy and a judge and into his court came his former teacher, charged with speeding. The sentence? She must pay a fine of ten dollars and write one hundred times, "I must not exceed the speed limit."

Excuses
Making excuses to serve the Lord is just an indication that one has left his first love.

Experience
You don't interpret the Bible by way of experiences. You study the experience by way of the Bible. Studying the Bible in light of experience is like studying the Microscope through a bug, instead of studying the bug through a microscope.

Expectation
D.L. Moody said that every time he preached, he looked for results.

Exposing Sin
T.T. Martin, a famous evangelist, preached at Louisville, Kentucky, Walnut Street Baptist (Largest church in the state at the time). He preached the Word all week and the last night before the end of the Revival he read a list of men who were members of the church and who were running or managing illegal distilleries in the state and suggested that the church exclude them. T.T. Sutton, the pastor, sat there and then said he was behind the evangelist and the church excluded the whole bunch at once. I think churches were a little bolder years ago. Maybe we should evaluate our stand for the Lord.

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Faith
A little faith will take you to Heaven;
a lot of faith will bring Heaven to you.

Faith
A lot of faith in a weak board will put you in the creek. A weak faith (mustard seed) in a strong board (Jesus) will get you across the creek every time!

Faith
Faith is not stepping out into the dark but stepping out into the light. If we do the possible, God will do the impossible, but not until we do what we can.

Faith
Bill Rice attended a prayer meeting before Revival services once. One fellow prayed but he prayed so long no one else got to pray. He had a wrinkled coat, gravy spots on his tie, a bunch of pencils in his coat pocket, and a tooth brush as well. He said, "God we want 100 saved and we believe you'll give us that tonight." A Deacon patted Bill Rice on the back and said, "That's faith, isn't it?" Bill Rice said, "If he had prayed `I witnessed and beat the bushes all day and brought some lost to the meeting and I want you to save them,' that would have made sense."

Faith Exercised
A boat was going across the lake to Cleveland and a storm came up and the people were crying and scared but one woman was calm. The people asked why. "Well I've got a daughter in Cleveland and one in Heaven. I'd like to see either one of them. It doesn't matter which one to me."

Faithfulness
Mr. Bells at Macedonian Baptist Temple has cancer. This man comes to church every time the door is open. He doesn't have a face from the upper lip on up. It is eaten up with cancer and he has to wear bandages constantly. Pastor Doss said he has never heard him complain. He just comes faithfully.

False Religions
The Devil will use half-truths to lead us astray. He is very subtle in his work. This is why cults are thriving, because there is some truth in these false religions. But, even a clock that doesn't run is right two times a day!

Fanatic for Christ
Rev. T.J. Owens was drafted and they began to question him, as they do all the draftees. The Sergeant asked Rev. Owens "do you want to be in the Army?" He said, "I don't care." The Sergeant said "you can't mean that." Rev. Owens said, "I've been saved and God can do with me as He pleases, so I don't care." They put him in a special line and he was counseled by someone else who asked the same questions. They wouldn't let him in the Army because he was "crazy"!

Fasting
You can't find a past great man of God who did not fast rather consistently. George Mueller did, Judson Taylor did, George Whitefield did, and many others did as well.

Fathers
A Father's spiritual temperature will determine the children's emotional state and security and stability (Prov.20:7).

Fathers
One dad to another: "I'm no model father. All I'm trying to do is behave so that when people tell my son that he reminds them of me, he'll stick out his chest instead of his tongue."

Like Father Like Son!
It was Sunday morning. A father sat in his easy chair reading the Sunday newspaper. Then he said to his boy, "Put down that funny paper. Get ready for Sunday school." "Daddy, aren't you going with me?" "No, I'm not going with you, but I want you to hurry up and get ready." "Daddy, did you go to Sunday school when you were a little boy like me?" "Certainly I did. I went every Sunday," said the father. Said the little fellow as he walked sadly away, "I bet it won't do me any good, either!"

A Father's Prayer
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.

Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past. And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain." (By General Douglas MacArthur)

Fear
Someone told Dr. John R. Rice that he was going to kill him. He said, "You can't scare me with Heaven.

Fear
Psychologists now list, and have names for, some 700 phobias. No one, apparently, is immune and everyone fears something. They range from Arachibutyrophobia, the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of the mouth, to Phobophobia, the fear of fear. But the Christian should trust the Lord. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

Fear
A man was flying in an airplane who doesn't like to fly in a plane and is scared, so a woman comes up and tells him, "Don't you know that Jesus said He was with us always?" The man said, "No, Jesus said, `Low, I am with you always.'"

Fight
It is often asked whether the Christian is not to fight in the conflict with personal sin. The answer is that of course he must fight, but it is necessary to remember that it is the "good fight of faith" (1Tim.6:12), and it is particularly important to realize that the fight is not to obtain, but to maintain. It is a struggle not for a position, but from a position. As has been well said, the Christian is not a man in the valley struggling to reach the top of the hill, but like a man on the top of the hill fighting to maintain his position there against enemies who are trying to drag him down. (Griffith W. Thomas)

Fighting
One mother said that one day her youngest brought home a note from his teacher, saying he had been fighting in the schoolyard. "Johnny and I weren't fighting when the teacher came along," my son insisted. "We were just trying to separate each other."

Filled With the Spirit
Dr. Bob Gray, when a young preacher, preached a revival once and the pastor took him soul winning. The pastor noted that Bob didn't like it too much and he asked Bob about it. Bob said that he didn't go for it too much and that he did do good with hospital visitation but not that. So the pastor took him back to the house and had a heart to heart talk with him and shared the Scripture with Bob how all the preachers in the New Testament were soul winners. Bob resented it and decided that night to preach his "sugar stick" message. So he preached his best message that night and gave them his best shot. When he gave the invitation he expected to see great results, but not a soul moved, nothing happened. Bob was so dejected and embarrassed that he had everyone bow their heads and he left and found a dark room upstairs in the educational building. Then and there he poured his heart out to the Lord and asked for the Lord to fill him with the Holy Spirit for soul winning power. He left the room shortly before dawn. Dr. Gray said his ministry took a drastic turn and from then on he won souls and his church grew vastly.

Finances
"The Lord helps those who help themselves." No, the Bible says that God helps those who cannot help themselves!

Finances
There is nothing inherently spiritual about poverty or wealth. God promises blessings but just because we give Him money does not mean He'll repay with money. He may just repay with good health and happiness or He may give wealth. It's up to Him.

Finances
There is a myth that poverty equals spirituality. Some churches believe that about the Pastor. "Lord you keep him humble and we'll keep him poor." -- As if that will help things.

Finances
If a Christian was praying for $2995.95 and a check came in the mail for $2995.95 that Christian would say that is a direct answer to prayer. But if the check didn't come they would go out and borrow the money. No where in Scripture do we find that God manifests Himself through a loan. We borrow to supplement God's plan for our lives. We won't trust Him to supply the money but we'll trust Him to make the payments - the great Christian cop-out! Furthermore, we don't give God an opportunity to say "NO" when we can charge it or borrow the money.

Finances
"Money is the root of all evil." No, the love of money is the root of all evil! There is a big difference between money and the love of money. God knows our heart and He knows whether He can trust us with money or not.

Finances In Marriage
A future Father-in-law asked the future son-in-law, "Can you support a family?" The boy said, "No, I don't intend to. I intend to support your daughter; you and the rest of your family can look out for yourselves."

Fire
To build a fire you need:
Fuel - us
Kindling - Word of God
Flame or Spark - Holy Spirit
(Dr. J.E. Hollingsworth, Jr.)

First Impressions
You never have a second chance to make a good first impression.

Flattery
Arthur Brisbane, the newspaper editor, was heard telling his best cartoonist, Windsor McKay, that he was the second greatest cartoonist in the world. A reporter standing nearby, his curiosity aroused, asked Brisbane who was first. "I don't know," said Brisbane. "But it keeps McKay on his toes!"

Operating in the Flesh
We used to live in Pennsylvania in Amish country. I heard of an Amish man who won a car. He wouldn't drive the car, but he hooked up his horses to it and they pulled it around. What a waste of power! But it's the same with us. We have the power of God and we still operate in the flesh. What a waste of power! (2Pet.1:4).

Flock of Sheep
In Jerusalem you'll see flocks of sheep everywhere and most of the time there are a couple of old goats in the flock. The shepherd has very little trouble with the sheep but the goats are a mess to handle.

Foes
We Christians have three formidable foes:
The World is our external foe.
The Flesh is our internal foe.
The Devil is our infernal foe.

Follow-Up
At one time Pastor Ronnie Doss, pastor of Macedonion Baptist Church in Eufaula, Alabama, because of new converts in the church, had a total of 30 Bible Studies in the homes of his new members going on at one time in his church.

Following the Spirit
In Navigation they chart their course by the map and not by what they see ahead of them. This is called "dead reckoning." We need to live like this as well - "Reckon yourself dead."

The Foolish Five
In Matthew 25:1-13 we see the story of the ten virgins. They all had lamps (religion). But religion is not enough. Five took oil (Holy Spirit) with their lamp and the lamp worked (Rom.8:9). All were going to the wedding. Some say that we are all heading in the same direction! That may be true, but without oil you won't make it to your destination. Don't just be religious (asleep) when Jesus comes; light the lamp with oil. CHRIST WAS BORN FOR OUR SINS

The Fork
There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things 'in order,' she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

'There's one more thing,' she said excitedly.

'What's that?', came the Pastor's reply.

'This is very important,' the young woman continued. 'I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.'

The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

'That surprises you, doesn't it?' the young woman asked.

'Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,' said the Pastor.

The young woman explained. 'My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!'

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork . . . the best is yet to come.'

The Pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand.

Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, 'What's with the fork?'

And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.


Freedom
High atop the United States Capitol dome in Washington stands the statue of the stately “Freedom Lady,” almost 20 feet high. Her face is framed by a crest of stars. A shield of stars and stripes is in her left hand. The sculptured Freedom Lady was brought from Rome during a fierce storm, and the captain ordered some cargo thrown overboard. The sailors wanted to include the heavy statue, but the captain refused, shouting above the wind, “No! Never! We’ll flounder before we throw ‘Freedom’ away.”

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Gamaliel...One of the smartest Jews ever!
The Pharisees were going to kill Peter because he preached that Christ had risen from the grave. They wanted to completely wipe out the movement...the small band of Christ followers. Gamaliel, the High Priest said, "Keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing and will die out on its own. But if this is of God, you cannot overthrow it...lest you even be found to fight against God Himself." (Acts 5:38-39).

God
A little boy came from Sunday School and a man on the street said, "Son, if you can show me where God is I'll give you a dime." The boy said, "Sir, I'll give you a dollar if you can show me where God ain't!

God's Busy
If you don't know GOD, don't make stupid remarks!

A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan . One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist and a member of the ACLU.

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in he looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform.. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes." The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop.

Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am God. I'm still waiting" It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him, knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold.

The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked, stunned, and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, "What the heck is the matter with you? Why did you do that?"

The Marine calmly replied, "God was too busy today protecting American soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid stuff and act like an idiot. So, He sent me."

Government Involvment
The Government is getting involved in everything these days and many think that they are involved in too much. But now they have gone too far. I heard on the radio that they are going to stop the farmers from making round bales of hay. They want the cows to get a square meal!

Christian Growth
There is a difference between a spiritually natural growth of Christian principle and a moral copy of it. Jesus said: “Consider the lilies how they grow.” (Luke 12:27). How do they grow? They grow organically and spontaneously, automatically, without trying or struggling or fretting – just as we grow physically without conscious effort. One day my little boy said, “I am going to be big like Daddy,” and he stretched himself up. But his efforts did not make him a fraction taller. (World Aflame).

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Building a Home
A young girl watched her mother washing dishes, and thinking of how many times she did them along with all the other housework, she said, "Mother, don't you ever get tired of washing dishes?" The mother replied, "I'm not doing dishes, I'm building a home."

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Ignorance
Will Rogers said, "We are all ignorant, just about different things."

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Jealousy
Oscar Wile once told the story of how the devil was crossing the Libyan Desert when he met a number of people tormenting a holy hermit. They tried to involve the hermit in sins of the flesh, tempting him in every way they knew, but to no avail. The sainted man shook off all their suggestions. The devil then whispered to his workers. "What you do is too crude. Give me a chance to show you how." The devil told the holy man, "Your brother has been made bishop of Alexandria." And a scowl of malignant jealousy crept across the face of the hermit. "That," said the devil to his crew, "is the sort of thing I recommend." (James R. Bjorge, "The Love Road to Calvary" Abingdon, 1982)

Jealousy
History tells of a statue that was erected to celebrate the victory of the Grecian games. It so aroused the envious hatred of the rivals that one of them sneaked out at night to topple the statue. He found it so heavy he had to put quite an effort into rocking it back and forth. When he finally got it to topple it fell the wrong way and crush him to death. This is the way of bitter envy.

Jesus
Christianity is Jesus. God didn't drop a scroll of theology from heaven. He came Himself. Finishing the course on the New Testament, a Greek professor told his class: "You have studied Christ himself, the whole Christ, all of Christ. When you study the Bible, you are studying the Lord himself. For all we know of the Lord is encompassed in these sacred pages." Believers study to understand Jesus.

Earthly Joy
It is said that as Benjamin Franklin concluded a stirring speech on the guarantees of the Constitution, a heckler shouted, "Aw, them words don't mean nothin' at all. Where's all the happiness you say it guarantees us?" Franklin smiled and replied, "My friend, the Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness; you have to catch it yourself."

Spiritual Joy
The trouble with many men is that they have got just enough religion to make them miserable. If there is not joy in religion, you have got a leak in your religion. (Billy Sunday, Sermon, New York, 1914)

Judging
In his diary a lieutenant colonel of a Northern regiment relates an incident which took place near Berryville, Virginia, during the Civil War. In the gather darkness, while the battle was still raging, the colonel saw three men going toward the rear and leaving the battle, two of them supporting the companion that limped between them.

This was a favorite dodge of cowards to pretend that they were carrying a wounded comrade to the rear, and so escape the perils of the battlefield. Convinced that this was another case of pretended injury and wounds, the angry colonel stopped the three men and ordered them to go back to the firing line. The man who was being helped protested that he was wounded, and badly wounded. But the angry colonel said to him, "You are not wounded; you are trying to sneak out of the fight in the dark. Go back to your regiment."

The wounded soldier then said, "Give me your hand, Colonel." Not knowing just what he meant, the colonel put out his hand, whereupon the wounded man took it and thrust it into a hole in his shoulder while the warm blood spurted up the arm of the skeptical colonel. Shocked and overcome, the colonel exclaimed, "You poor fellow! Forgive me; go back to the doctor quick." The man took a step forward and fell dead. He had given his life for his country; but in the moment of supreme sacrifice he had been mistaken for a coward and a deserter. (Macartney's Illustrations).

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Kindness
One way we build friendships is by those deeds which poet William Wordsworth called "Those little nameless unremembered acts of kindness and of love." One such act was performed for a man in a small village who had suffered the loss of his young son. After the funeral he visited the local undertaker and said, "I've come to square my account." "You don't owe me a penny. You've paid your bill on the nail," the undertaker replied. "But, I've had no bill for the funeral of my son."

The old undertaker answered, "If you had to bear the sorrow, surely I can bear the expense." (D.L. Moody)

Kindness
A gentleman saw a boy thief in his flower garden. He went forth quietly in a roundabout way to meet the boy and, coming up behind him, laid his hand on the boy's shoulder, saying: "Now, my boy, answer me one question: Which is the best flower in my garden?" The boy, finding no escape, looked around and after a few minutes' pause, said, "That rose is best," as he pointed to a beautiful moss rose. The gentleman, still keeping one hand on the boy's shoulder, reached out his other hand and, plucking the rose in all its beauty, gave it to the boy. As he released him he said, "There, take it, my boy." The boy was amazed. Looking into the face of his strange benefactor, he said, "Ain't you going to have me punished, sir?" "No," was the reply; "but as I am going to give you the best flower in my garden, you will never steal from my flower beds again, will you?" "Never, sir, as long as I live," was the emphatic reply; "but, please, sir, ain't there some little errand I can do for you?"

Free forgiveness and a token of love had won the hardened boy's heart, and from that hour he was the willing servant of his friend. (Christian Herald, London)

Kingdom Of God (upside down values)
I remember the time a young lady had a flat tire on her old Chrysler. She had no idea of what to do. I grabbed the tire wrench and tried to loosen the lugs. After 15 sweaty minutes on a cold winter's night I had not succeeded in loosening a single lug. In fact, they all seemed tighter than before. When I mentioned this the young lady said, "I think dad told me Chrysler has a reverse screw." Sure enough, on that Chrysler I had to turn the lugs the wrong way. There is a sense in which the Kingdom of God is a kind of reverse screw. Everything in our culture that seems right is wrong in the Bible. The way up is down. The way to spiritual wealth is to acknowledge your spiritual poverty. The way to live is to die. The way to rule is to serve. It is like Chrysler's reverse screw. It is like a lizard in a king's palace.

Divine Knowledge
Rossini was once presented with a watch by the King of France-- of which he was justly proud. Several years after, showing it to a friend, he was told that though he had possessed it so long, he did not know its real value. "Impossible," said Rossini, whereupon the friend, taking the watch, touched a secret spring, at which an inner case flew open, disclosing a beautiful miniature painting of Rossini himself. This is characteristic of a certain type of modern Christianity. It values its ethics and is acquainted with and appreciates much of its teaching, but it has not discovered the inner secret which gives it its supreme value. The portrait of Christ is still hidden. When the secret spring is touched and the Face of Christ is recognized, the whole attitude of mind and theory of values is changed. It is characteristic also of much avowed discipleship. "Have I been so long a time with you, and hast thou not known Me, Philip?" said Christ to one who called himself a disciple and an intimate.

Spiritual Knowledge
The Pilgrim reports Harry A. Ironside as a young preacher visiting the aged Alexander Fraser and listening enthralled as one truth after another from God's Word was opened up by Mr. Fraser until he could restrain him self no more and cried out, "Where did you learn these things?" "On my knees on the mud floor of a little sod cottage in the north of Ireland" replied Mr. Fraser. "There with my Bible open before me I used to kneel for hours at a time and ask the Spirit of God to reveal Christ to my soul and to open the Word to my heart. He taught me more on my knees on that mud floor than I could ever have learned in all the colleges and seminaries in the world" (Christian Digest)

Knowledge
"Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocketwatch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked." (Chesterfield)

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Living Savior
A Muslim in Africa became a Christian and some of his friends asked him why. He answered, "Well, it is like this: suppose your were going down the road and suddenly the road forked in two directions and you didn't know which way to go. If in that intersection are two men, one laying in the road dead and the other standing alive, which one would you ask to show you the way...the dead one or the living one?" That's why we choose a living Savior...a resurrected Christ and not someone still in the grave.

Love
Sir Walter Scott was trying to shew a dog off once and picked up a rock and threw it at the dog but threw it a little harder than he wanted to and it broke the dog's leg. But instead of running off mad, the dog hobbled up and licked the very hand that broke it's leg. In John 13 Jesus loved the very one who betrayed Him and later the one's who killed Him.

Love
One brother had a disease and the other brother was asked to give a blood transfusion (a simple, non-dangerous procedure). He agreed and as the two little boys were on the tables the Dad noticed the boy giving blood was tense so he asked what was wrong. The little boy replied "When do I die?" He thought he was to give all his blood and die for his brother - he was willing. That's love.

Love In The Bible
10 times told to love one another
6 times told to love neighbor as self
3 times told to love the Lord thy God
3 times told to love our enemies
2 times husbands told to love wives
(1Jn.2:15 told "Love not the world")

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Mark on Forehand and Forehead
I heard of a Missionary who went to a store somewhere in the North and stood behind a man who was buying groceries. The store clerk scanned the items and then the man ran the back of his hand across the scanner and left without any money or credit card or paper transaction whatsoever. The Missionary put his groceries on the counter and told the clerk he'd be right back and ran out to catch the man. The man would only tell him, "It's a government experiment and there are 20,000 of us!"

Mother
A teacher asked Jimmy: "Suppose your mother makes a cherry pie and there are 8 of you to eat it - your mother, father, 5 children and you. How much of the pie would you get?" "A seventh, Ma'am," was Jimmy's prompt reply. "No, Jim," said the teacher. "There are 8 of you. Remember your fractions." "I know my fractions, ma'am," said Jimmy, "but I also know my mother. She'd say she didn't want any pie."

Mother
Dr. G. Campbell Morgan had four sons. They all became ministers. At a family reunion, a friend asked one of the sons, "Which Morgan is the greatest preacher?" While the son looked at the father, he replied, "Mother!"

Mother
According to the story, a mother with seven children was asked the devilish question, "Don't you really have a favorite among all those kids?" To the questioner's astonishment, she answered, "Yes, yes I do. My favorite is the one who is ill, until he is well. The one who is away from home, until he returns. The one who is distressed, until he is relieved. The one who is rebelling until he gets over it."

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Name of God
The greek word for Lord is indeed used in scripture in the sense of master, and as a mere honorary title as in the English Sir. But, on the other hand, it is the translation of Adonai, supreme Lord, an incommunicable name of God, and the substitute for Jehovah, a name the Jews would not pronounce. It is in this sense that Christ is 'the Lord, the Lord of Lords, the Lord God'; Lord in that sense in which God alone can be Lord--having a dominion of which divine perfection is the only adequate or possible foundation. This is the reason why no one can call him Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. It is a confession which implies the apprehension of the glory of God as it shines in Him. It is an acknowledgement that He is God manifested in the flesh. Blessed are all who make this acknowledgement with sincerity; for flesh and blood cannot reveal the truth therein confessed, but only the Father who is in heaven. (Charles Hodge)

Negativism
Some people are so negative! Did you hear about the farmer that had a brilliant dog? He had a neighbor that just absolutely was negative, no matter what. If it was raining, the farmer would say to his neighbor, "Boy, look at it rain, God's sort of washing it clean." "Yeah, but if it keeps up it's gonna flood." Then the sun would come out and he'd say, "If it keeps that up, it's gonna just scorch the crops." The farmer thought, "What am I gonna do to win this guy?" So he trained his dog to walk on water. He didn't tell his neighbor, he just took him duck hunting. Boom! Boom! They brought these ducks out of the sky, and said to his dog, "Go get 'em." The dog went across, picked them up, and hopped back in the boat, nothing wet-- just his paws. The farmer said, "What do you think of that?" The neighbor said, "He can't swim, can he?"

New Creation In Christ
When a caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly it becomes a totally new creature. A metamorphose takes place. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come! (2 Cor. 5:17) (Unknown)

Now: Settled In Time
A young fellow heard a preacher in the other days and was greatly moved, and the preacher said: "When you have a religious impression, the time to act upon it is right then. The time when you hear God's call in the which you ought to respond is right then." And the young fellow walked down the aisle and publicly made his surrender to Christ saying: "It shall be right now that I take Christ as my Saviour." He went back to the sawmill in the mountains where he worked, and the boys said that next morning he sang all the morning. Religion in the heart makes men sing.

About noon his body was caught somehow in the machinery and crushed and mangled so that a little while thereafter he went away into dusty death. When they got him out he faintly said: "Send for the preacher, that preacher in the church house at the foot of the mountains last night."

The preacher fortunately was soon found. He hurried up the mountain to the mill, and he bent down by the side of the dying fellow and took his hand and said: "Charley, I have come. What would you like to say?" And with a smile on his face he faintly pressed the minister's hand and said: "Wasn't it a glorious thing that I settled it in time?"

Oh, my men, and women, my men and women, I beseech you in the great Saviour's name, turn your boat upstream before it is too late! "Now is the accepted time. Now is the day of salvation." Let it be your time, your day. (George W. Truett)

Nurture
Though it is the smallest of all warm-blooded animals, it has the biggest heart... relative to its size. This big heart allows it to be most productive. It can feed on as many as 1,000 flowers a day and fly up to 500 miles nonstop. It can fly backwards, sideways, and even lift itself straight up and hover like a helicopter. No other bird has all these abilities. It is highly adaptable to different situations in its life. It can live productively in environments ranging from 100 o F. to subzero temperature, from the warm desert to the harsh Andes. The hummingbird's primary source of food is nectar. There is a select group of flowers that only attract and provide nectar for hummingbirds. Their blooms are red and easily seen, often tubular, hanging horizontally or in pendant fashion, and suitable only to the long bill of the hummingbird. They grow wide apart so there is no danger of the fragile hummingbird becoming entangled; they have no appendages to attract insects and other birds while the hummingbird is feeding. These flowers have developed a nectar specially for the hummingbird. The nectar is liquid, has just the right sugar level, and can be easily sipped. The unique flowers also provide unusually soft and delicate filaments inside their blooms to cover and protect the very fragile eggs in the hummingbird's nest. Because of the unique design of these flowers, they depend solely on the hummingbird for pollination. But a young hummingbird does not instinctively know it should visit these flowers. It is a learned process. Slowly, through trial and error, the hummingbird learns that these flowers are the source of greatest satisfaction and essential for survival. As it responds, darting from blossom to blossom, it pulls out the deep riches within, caressing the petals with its wings. In doing so, it gets pollen on its crown, throat, and chin and transports it to other flowers of the same species. The result is often pollination and more of the beautiful blossoms from which the hummingbird can refresh itself again and again. True, the hummingbird is a servant to these flowers, helping them thrive and flourish, and in being so, sustains its own growth and development as one of God's most beautiful and talented creatures. (James F. Hind, The Heart and Soul of Effective Management)

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Obedience
American storyteller Archibald Rutledge tells about a man who worked in one of the great forests of the South. His faithful dog had burned to death a few minutes earlier in a great fire that had swept through the forest. Rutledge said the little dog had been left under a tree to guard his master's dinner pail and wouldn't leave it even when the flames roared around him. The worker was brokenhearted when he found the charred remains of his little friend. With tears streaming down his face, he said: "I always had to be careful what I told him to do, because I knew he would do it." This, and more, is the kind of obedience to which Christ has called us. The new obedience that is to characterize the believer is based on the obedience of Jesus Himself. (J.B. Fowler, Basic Bible Sermons on Philippians, Nashville: Broadman Press, 1991)

Obedience
The will of God never has been and never will be accomplished by those who are not totally obedient to Him. During the Civil War, it is said that there was a man who was sympathetic to both sides. He lived, you see, in a border line state. Finally, he decided that he would effect a compromise. He put on a mixed uniform, wearing the Confederate gray coat, and the Union blue trousers. All went well, it seems, until he became engaged in a hard fought battle, when the Federals shot him in the coat, and the Confederates shot him in the seat of the pants! Now, there's a moral to this highly improbably story. If you are going to serve in an army you must wear it's uniform. If you are going to march in the parade, you must keep in step.

Obedience To Christ
I have stood on the deck of a ship while she was toiling up stream, with wind and water against her, and I have gone up to the man at the wheel and said: "Jack, why don't you ease her off a point or two? You see how it would relieve her." But the answer was: "No, I can't; that is the point of the compass the captain gave me, and I must keep her to it." "But man," I remonstrated, "if you keep her as she is, soon the bulwarks will be stove in, and there is every chance that under this fearful strain she may spring a leak."

"That is none of my business; it is the captain's lookout. All I have to do is to obey his orders," was the man's answer. The captain, however, understood his business, and we arrived safe in harbor. Sometimes, if we do exactly as Christ commands, it appears as if our business would be ruined, our reputation lost, as if indeed we should be totally wrecked. That, however, is the Captain's lookout. All we have to do is to implicitly obey. (William Scott)

Old Age
In one of Bruce Catton's final books, Waiting for the Morning Train, he captured this sense of passage as only he could: "Early youth is exactly like old age: it is a time of waiting for a big trip to an unknown destination. The chief difference is that youth waits for the morning limited and age waits for the night train." (Reader's Digest)

Old Age
When introduced to Jacob, Pharaoh inquired, "How old art thou?" He was probably impressed with the great age of Jacob, who was then 130 years-old. But this was also a familiar Oriental salutation. Some years ago, when Li Hung Chang, a great Chinese statesman, was in America, he startled the eminent Americans to whom he was introduced by asking, "How are you?" He meant his question as a compliment, but several persons took offense at it. (Paul E. Holdcraft, Cyclopedia of Bible Illustrations, New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press)

Omniscience Of God
Ultrasound technology, which enables parents to see their developing unborn children, is the rage among the child-bearing generation. Parents are able to know, long before the actual birth of their child, whether their child is a boy or a girl, and physicians can know much about the unborn child's health condition. Does it, therefore, seem unreasonable that God knows all about us, even before we know it ourselves? (James F. Looby, Proclaim)

There is a cunning little proverb From the sunny land of Spain, But in northland or in southland, Is its meaning true and plain; Write it deep within your heart, Neither lose nor lend it - Two it takes to make a quarrel; One can always end it. (The Christian)

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Pastor
If you could hand-pick your preacher, what would he be like? Your answer is a reflection of your Christianity. Would he be a puppet with strings attached so you could pull them? Or would he be allowed to wear all the Biblical hats given to him by God, and teach and preach to us truth and character values and watch for our souls?

Patriotism
Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.

Patriotism
There is a rank due to the United States among nations which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instru¬ments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war. (George Washington)

Patriotism
Unless spiritual security goes hand in hand with military security, the United States will find itself passing into obscurity! What will destroy our country is the delusion that military defense will save it. Every civilization that has fallen has destroyed itself. (Luther W. Youngdahl)

Patriotism
Sir Robert Peel was found by a friend while he was praying over a bundle of letters. The friend apologized for disturbing him in his private devotions. "No," said Peel, "these are my public devotions. I was just giving the affairs of state into the hands of God, for I cannot manage them myself!"

Preach the Word
It is said of Cicero, the great Roman orator, that when he had spoken every one would go out of the building saying, "What a magnificent address! What an orator!" But when Demosthenes, the Greek orator had finished, the people would say "Let us go and fight Philip!" He had fired them up with the cause and courage to act. What we want is to get the attention of the people away from ourselves and on the subject of the Word. (D.L. Moody)

Proclaim the Gospel
Russell Anderson, multi-millionaire, President of 13 corporations, said that if he didn't go personal soul winning two nights a week, he felt that the week had been a total loss.

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Quiet Time
Michael E. Debakey, heart surgeon, once observed: "For me, the solitude of early morning is the most precious time of day. There is a quiet serenity that disappears a few hours later with the hustle and bustle of the multitude. Early morning hours symbolize for me a rebirth; the anxieties, frustrations, and woes of the preceding day seem to have been washed away during the night. God has granted another day of life, another chance to do something worthwhile for humanity."

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Repentance
Mr. William Gladstone, former British Prime Minister, once said proudly to a distinguished literary man, "My wife has a marvelous faculty of getting into scrapes, but a more marvelous faculty of getting out of them." That shows the difference between people who succeed and people who do not, as much as anything else.

Josh Billings once said that the difference between a wise man and a fool was that the wise man will not do the same fool thing twice, and that is a very important distinction. David was a man after God's own heart, not because he never got into a scrape, nor fell into sin, for he did both; but because when he found he was wrong he was quick to repent and face about to do right.

Resurrection
Dr. Henry Morris said, "If the resurrection of Jesus Christ did not take place then Christianity is a false religion."

Resurrection
Michelangelo, on one occasion, turned to his fellow artists and said with frustration in his voice, "Why do you keep filling gallery after gallery with endless pictures on the one theme of Christ on the cross, and most of all, Christ hanging dead? Why do you concentrate on the passing episode as if it were the last work, as if the curtain dropped down there on disaster and defeat? That dreadful scene lasted only a few hours. But to the unending eternity, Christ is alive; Christ rules and reigns and triumphs!"

Michelangelo made it very clear to his fellow artists that we need to see the full picture...we need to understand the whole story and that means we need to accept and honor the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Resurrection
The Gospels do not explain the resurrection; the resurrection explains the Gospels.

Resurrection
Belief in the resurrection is not an appendage to the Christian faith; it is the Christian faith.

Resurrection
As a young man, D. L. Moody was called upon suddenly to preach a funeral sermon. He hunted all through the Four Gospels trying to find one of Christ's funeral sermons, but searched in vain. He found that Christ broke up every funeral He ever attended. Death could not exist where He was. When the dead heard His voice they sprang to life. Jesus said, I am the resurrection, and the life. (John 11:25)

Resurrection
Four hundred years before the birth of Christ, Socrates, the renowned Greek Philosopher, drank the poison hemlock and lay down to die. "Shall we live again?" his friends asked. The dying philosopher could only reply, "I hope so, but no man can know."

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Almost Saved
Judas kissed the door of heaven (Jesus said "I am the door") and still didn't get into heaven.

Second Coming
There are two ways of looking at the Lord's coming: a looking for it and a looking at it. Mentioned no less than 1,200 times in the Old Testament and 300 times in the New Testament, the fact of His return is clearly and emphatically stated in prediction, type, parable, and promise.

Second Coming
R.A. Torrey preaching on the second coming (specifically at the moment of the angelic shout) and about that time lightning struck one of the towers of the building and streaked down the lightning rod. The people jumped up. Torrey said, "Oh, sit down. This is nothing to what it will be when the Lord really comes."

Show and Tell or
The 'Middle Wife' (by an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher)
I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back. When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater. She holds up a snapshot of an infant. 'This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday.'

'First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.'

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

'Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, 'Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. 'She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.)

'My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.' (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

'And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!' (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!)

'Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe. They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's play-center, (placenta) so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there.'

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another 'Middle Wife' comes along.

Sin
Hang around a mud puddle and you'll get mud on you: Hang around sin and you'll get sin on you!

Sin
We are capable of every sin that we have seen our neighbor commit unless God's grace restrains us. (Augustine)

Sin
"My hardest job," said the warden of a great penitentiary, "is to convince youthful delinquents that they have done something wrong."

I Am a Soldier (Author unknown)
I am a soldier in the army of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer.
The Holy Bible is my code of conduct.
Faith, Prayer, and the Word are my weapons of Warfare.
I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience, tried by adversity, and tested by fire.
I am a volunteer in this army, and I am enlisted for eternity.
I will either retire in this Army or die in this Army;
but, I will not get out, sell out, be talked out, or pushed out.
I am faithful, reliable, capable, and dependable.
If my God needs me, I am there.
I am a soldier. I am not a baby.
I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up,pumped up, picked up, or pepped up.
I am a soldier. No one has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me, or lure me.
I am a soldier. I am not a wimp.
I am in place, saluting my King, obeying His orders,
praising His name, and building His kingdom!
No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, cards, candy, or give me handouts.
I do not need to be cuddled, cradled, cared for, or catered to.
I am committed. I cannot have my feelings hurt bad enough to turn me around.
I cannot be discouraged enough to turn me aside.
I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit.
When Jesus called me into this Army, I had nothing.
If I end up with nothing, I will still come out even. I will win.
My God will supply all my needs. I am more than a conqueror.
I will always triumph. I can do all things through Christ.
Devils cannot defeat me. People cannot disillusion me.
Weather cannot weary me. Sickness cannot stop me.
Battles cannot beat me. Money cannot buy me.
Governments cannot silence me, and hell cannot handle me!
I am a soldier.
Even death cannot destroy me.
For when my Commander calls me from this battlefield,
He will promote me to a captain.
I am a soldier, in the Army; I'm marching, claiming victory.
I will not give up. I will not turn around.
I am a soldier, marching Heaven bound.

There are Four Kinds of Soldiers:
1. Active Duty: Serving the Lord faithfully, daily, and on duty 24-7-365.
2. Reserve Status: Serving only when called upon,
or twice a year: Christmas and Easter.
3. Guard Status: Backing up the Active Duty group.
4. AWOL! Absent With Out the Lord.
Which kind are you? Be an army of one for an audience of One.

Soldiers' Sack Lunch
I put my carry-on in the  luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally  surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation. 'Where are you headed?' I asked the  soldier seated nearest to me.

'Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Afghanistan.

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to base.' His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant  a fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which  do you like best - beef or chicken?'

'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. 'This is your thanks.'

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you  did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the seat numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my  side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, and said, 'I want to shake your  hand.'

Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's  hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for  their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them  sixty dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for another sandwich. God Bless You.'

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my  car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country...I could only give them a  couple of meals. It seemed so little...

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.'

The Son
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael . They would often sit together and admire the great works of art..

When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.

He said, 'Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly... He often talked about you, and your love for art.' The young man held out this package. 'I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.'

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.. 'Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me.. It's a gift.'

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.

On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. 'We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?'

There was silence..Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, 'We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.'

But the auctioneer persisted. 'Will somebody bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?'

Another voice angrily. 'We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the Real bids!'

But still the auctioneer continued. 'The son! The son! Who'll take the son?'

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. 'I'll give $10 for the painting...' Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

'We have $10, who will bid $20?' 'Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters.' The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.

The auctioneer pounded the gavel. 'Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!'

A man sitting on the second row shouted, 'Now let's get on with the collection!'

The auctioneer laid down his gavel. 'I'm sorry, the auction is over.' 'What about the paintings?'

'I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings.

The man who took the son gets everything!'

God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: 'The son, the son, who'll take the son?' Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, WHO SO EVER BELIEVETH, SHALL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE...THAT'S LOVE

Soulwinning
Mr. Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, told his students, "If I had my choice, I wouldn't send you to school, I'd send you to Hell for 5 minutes and you'd come back real soul winners."

Soulwinning
A Christian who doesn't go soulwinning is like a fireman who doesn't put out fires. A Christian who says I can win souls by my Christian life is like a fireman who tries to put out fires by being a good fireman at the station.

Spiritual Maturity
People forget it's a process of hard work and pain to get there. Many athletes want to be a star ball player but without the practice and hard work before the game. It's a process and there's pain involved.

Big Steps
Don't be afraid to take a big step if one is indi¬cated. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps! It takes one big step.

Substitution
Long ago on one of the railroads running into Chicago the lightning express was coming down the track. It was the tender's duty to see that the crossing was clear and to signal that fact to the train with his white flag. He did so, and was slowly backing from the track, still waving his flag, for the day was dark and the engineer might not see till the train was near.

Just then from the other side of the track a little girl suddenly came toddling down right in front of the swiftly approaching train. The train was almost upon her when the watchman saw her. He shouted, but she did not hear, or if she did it was too late for her to heed. Even as he shouted he ran.

He knew what it meant. To save her was to lose his life. Yet he rushed right before the train, caught her, threw her with all his might beyond the rails, and in that instant met his death. The writer who tells this story comments that this is no tale of knighthood during the age of chivalry. It was no Arthur or Galahad who did this deed, but a knight in old clothes.

It is the glory of our common manhood that such qualities lie often unrecognized, and not infrequently latent, in the humblest lives. When they appear now and then, brought into visible shape by some emergency, they glorify not only the one person who is seen to do them or the one exceptional deed which he performs, but all men who so labor with fidelity that may become heroic.

The opportunities for acts of signal heroism are exceptional, but the opportunities for fidelity that is essentially heroic are constant. It reminds us of the sacrifice that Christ made when He gave His life for us.

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Thanksgiving
Only as we are in submission to God's Word and yielded to the Holy Spirit can we be thankful. You cannot work up thanksgiving - it comes only as a product of one's relation to the Word of God. (Eph.5:18-20; Col.3:16-17)

Time
The person who makes the poorest investment of his own time is most likely to squander the time of others. Busy people dread the visit of idlers. We need to pray like David, "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." To say, like the psalmist, "My times, O Lord are in thy hands," is the best assurance that you are not wasting time--by your idle visits and purposeless talk--that others have given to the Lord.

Time is raw gold. Prayer is the mint in which moments are coined into heavenly wealth.

No Time for God?
What fools we are to clutter up our lives with common things And leave without heart's gate the Lord of life and life itself - Our God. No time for God? As soon to say not time to eat or sleep or love or die. Take time for God or you shall dwarf your soul, and when the angel Death comes knocking at your door, A poor misshapen thing you'll be to step into eternity. No time for God? Some day you'll lay aside this mortal life and make your way to worlds unknown, And when you meet Him face to face, Will He - should He have time for you?

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Unselfishness
One of the greatest characteristics of a true soul is unselfishness. Some one has well said, "Most men are like eggs, too full of themselves to hold anything else." This striking and suggestive figure shows the secret of the failure of many people to get wisdom and to grow in ability as they grow in years. It is to the open mind, the humble heart, the unselfish nature that all the world is a teacher, and every acquaintance brings each day some gift to enrich such.

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Victory
Lyle Arakaki of Honolulu, Hawaii tells the following story about himself. "In Hawaii, because of the time difference with the continetal U.S., the National Football League Monday night football game is played in mid-afternoon; so the local TV station delays its telecast till 6:30 in the evening. When my favorite team plays, I'm too excited to wait for television, so I'll listen to the game on the radio, which broadcasts it live. Then, because they are my favorite team, I'll watch the game on television too. If I know my team has won the game, it influences how I watch it on television. If my team fumbles the ball or throws an interception, it's not a problem. I just think, {That's bad, but it's okay. In the end, we'll win."}

Vision, Success
Four men used to meet together each week in Memphis. One man was a service station owner, one man was a salesman for a wholesale appliance company, one man was assistant treasurer of a large corporation, and one man was a teacher. These men shared with each other their longings, desires, and plans. They decided to set goals and to share these with each other. The service station owner set a goal to be making $50,000 a year within five years. The wholesale appliance salesman set a goal to be making $25,000 a year within the next five years. The teacher set a goal to be teaching in one of the greatest educational institutions in America within five years. The assistant treasurer said he was going to do the best he could, but he was not going to set a specific goal. Within five years the service station owner was making in excess of $50,000 a year. Today he worth over one million dollars. Within four years the wholesale appliance salesman was making $25,000 a year. Today he is a wealthy man. In two years and ten months the teacher was offered the best teaching job in his field in the United States. The assistant treasurer is still working at his same job in the circumstances that he was in the day the goals were set. Aim determines direction. When you aim a pistol toward a target, how you aim determines the direction the bullet will go. The conscious and sub-conscious goals you have for your life have brought about the situation in which you find yourself today. A goal you set, an aim you determine with your intellect and emotions is one of the most powerful forces in the world.

Voice Of God
A former park ranger at Yellowstone National Park tells the story of a ranger leading a group of hikers to a fire lookout. The ranger was so intent on telling the hikers about the flowers and animals that he considered the messages on his two-way radio distracting, so he switched it off. Nearing the tower, the ranger was met by a nearly breathless lookout, who asked why he hadn't responded to the messages on his radio. A grizzly bear had been seen stalking the group, and the authorities were trying to warn them of the danger.

Any time we tune out the messages God has sent us, we put at peril not only ourselves, but also those around us. How important it is that we never turn off God's saving communication! (Harold M. Wiest; Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada)

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Wait on the Lord
A young man lived in a Hotel by himself in a big city. His bills began to pile up higher and higher so he wrote his brother for money. He got no reply so he plunged himself to his death in the street below. All the while lying on the Hotel desk was a letter to him from his brother with the money for all his bills.

Wait and Watch
There's a story of some sailors coming into dock at shore. One was looking through his binoculars and calling off the sailors' wives who were watching on the dock. One sailor's wife wasn't called out in the list of names. He got to shore and ran to his house and she said "I've been waiting." He gently but rebukingly said, "but the others were waiting and watching. Jesus said wait and watch for his return.

Christian Walk
Our walk talks; our talk walks; but our walk talks further than our talk walks. Our talk will walk no further than our walk talks.

Walking Circumspectly
Fools or worldly people before they do something ask, "Why not?" But Christians should ask, "Why should I?" Be careful and walk circumspectly.

Cleansing of the Word
God’s cleansing agent is the Word. It’s like getting in the bathtub and not turning on the water, if you don’t read the Word. (I used to do that when I was a child.). What good is soap if you don’t apply it? What good is the Word if you don’t apply it?

Works and Our Salvation
William Wickham being appointed by King Edward to build a stately church, wrote in the windows, "This work made William Wickham." When charged by the King for assuming the honor of that work to himself as the author, whereas he was only the overseer, he answered that he meant not that he made the work, but that the work make him, having before been very poor and then in great credit. Lord, when we read in Thy Word that we must work out our own salva¬tion, Thy meaning is not that our salvation should be the effect of our work, but our work the evidence of our salvation.

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Xmas
Many feel that the term "Xmas" is a modern, disrespectful abbreviation of the word "Christmas."

It is the belief that the letter "X" is used to stand for the word "Christ" because of its resemblance to a cross, or that the abbreviation was deliberately concocted "to take the 'Christ' out of Christmas." Actually, this usage is nearly as old as Christianity itself, and its origins lie in the fact that the first letter in the Greek word for "Christ" is "chi," and the Greek letter "chi" is represented by a symbol similar to the letter "X" in the modern Roman alphabet. Hence "Xmas" is indeed perfectly legitimate abbreviation for the word "Christmas" (just as "Xian" is also sometimes used as an abbreviation of the word "Christian").

None of this means that Christians (and others) aren't justified in feeling slighted when people write "Xmas" rather than "Christmas," but the point is that the abbreviation was not created specifically for the purpose of demeaning Christ, Christians, Christianity, or Christmas; it's a very old artifact of a very different language. (Snopes.com).

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Young People
A young man entered business, failed, and spent seventeen years of his life paying the bad debts of a worthless partner. He was in love with a beautiful young woman to whom he became engaged, then she died. He ran for the legislature of his state and was badly defeated. He ran for Congress and again was badly defeated. He then sought an appointment to a government office and was refused. He ran for the United States Senate and was badly defeated. Then he ran for vice-president of the United States, with the same result. One failure after another was the story of his life, but he kept on trying. Then the tide began to turn and he became one of the greatest men of the United States. You guessed right, he was Abraham Lincoln. (Paul E. Holdcraft, Cyclopedia of Bible Illustrations, New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury)

Yielded Life, Surrendering
What is a yielded life? 'Tis one at God's command, For him to mould, to form, to use Or do with it as he may choose Resistless in his hand. What is a yielded life? A life whose only will When into blest subjection brought In every deed and aim and thought Seeks just to do his will.

What is a yielded life? A life which love has won, And in surrender, full, complete, Lays all with gladness at the feet Of God's most holy Son. (J. Wilbur Chapan, "Present Day Parables.")

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Zeal
In England, in the last generation, Robert Arthington was a shining example of Christian stewardship. He lived in a single room, cooked his own meals, and shared his friendship with students who were in need. Yet he gave to Christian missions more than $25,000,000 during his lifetime. After his death these words were found on a slip of paper: "Gladly would I make the floor my bed, and a box my chair, and another box my table rather than that men should perish for want of the knowledge of Christ." (G. Ernest Thomas, Paul E. Holdcraft, Cyclopedia of Bible Illustrations, New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury)


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