Saturday, June 5, 2010

Baptism - kids' view

A family drove home from church one afternoon, happily after part taking in a baptism ceremony that day. As they were saying how proud they were of him, the 3-year-old daughter asked, "What does it mean to be baptized?"

The 5-year-old son spoke up, "Oh, baptism - that's when the preacher washes all your senses away."

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Plea

A three year old little boy was being baptized after the service.  By nature, this kid was always restless in church and would not settle down.  Finally when the time of the baptism arrived, his father picked him and carried him over his shoulder strode firmly down the center aisle of the church.

As he reached the end of the aisle, the congregation heard the 3 year old pleading, "Pray for me folks, I'm gonna get it!"

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Baptism - another perspective

A dad was in the church with three of his young children, including his five-year-old daughter. As it was customary, he sat in the very front row so that the children could properly witness the service.

During this particular service, the minister was performing the baptism of a tiny infant. The little five-year-old girl was taken by this, observing that he was saying something and pouring water over the infant's head.

With a quizzical look on her face, the little girl turned to her father and asked, "Daddy, why is he brainwashing that baby?"

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Baptism - few revalations


One Sunday, the minister was giving a sermon on baptism and in the course of his sermon he was illustrating the fact that baptism should take place by sprinkling and not by immersion. He pointed out some instances in the Bible.

He said that when John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the River Jordan, it didn't mean "in" - it meant close to, round about, or nearby. And again when it says in the Bible that Phillip baptized the eunuch in the river, it didn't mean "in" - it meant close to, round about, or nearby.

After the service, a man came up to the minister and told him it was a great sermon, one of the best he had ever heard, and that it had cleared up a great many mysteries he had encountered in the Bible. "For instance," he said, "the story about Jonah getting swallowed by the whale has always bothered me. Now I know that Jonah wasn't really in the whale, but close to, round about, or nearby, swimming in the water. Then there is the story about the three young Hebrew boys who were thrown into the fiery furnace, but were not burned. Now I see that they were not really in the fire, just close to, round about, or nearby, just keeping warm. But the hardest of all the stories for me to believe has always been the story of Daniel getting thrown into the lions' den. But now I see that he wasn't really in the lions' den, but close to, round about, or nearby, like at the zoo. The revealing of these mysteries has been a real comfort to me because I am a wicked man."

"Now I am gratified to know that I won't be in Hell, but close to, round about, or nearby," he concluded.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Dad's trick

After tucking their three-year-old child Sammy in for bed one night, his parents heard sobbing coming from his room.

Rushing back in, they found him crying hysterically. He managed to tell them that he had swallowed a penny and he was sure he was going to die. No amount of talking was helping.

His father, in an attempt to calm him down, palmed a penny from his pocket and pretended to pull it from Sammy's ear. Sammy was delighted.

In a flash, he snatched it from his father's hand, swallowed, and then cheerfully demanded, "Do it again, Dad!"

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Dad'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 clean, 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 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."

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Credits: General Douglas MacArthur

Father's gift

The times have proved my judgment bad,
I've followed foolish hopes in vain,
And as you look upon your dad
You see him commonplace and plain.

No brilliant wisdom I enjoy;
The jests I tell have grown to bore you,
But just remember this, my boy:
'Twas I who chose your mother for you!

Your life from babyhood to now,
Has known the sweetness of her care;
Her tender hand has smoothed your brow,
Her love gone with you everywhere.

Through every day and every night,
You've had an angel to adore you!
So bear in mind I once was right;
'Twas I who chose your mother for you!

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Table manners

Here are few table manners at God's table:

You have to do your own chewing. Too many Christians expect God to take out a spoon and dish up the blessing for them. He is supposed to place it in our mouths, work our jaws to chew it up, and help us swallow it. We want God to do everything. The fact is that you have responsibility in God's sovereign world.

Accept the seating. Take the lowest seat, the seat of humility and service. If God wants you to sit higher up, He will show you that, but err on the side of humility, not pride.

Finish the meal. John 3:16 tells us, "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." Some believe that because God has already come and died for the sins of the world, they don't have to do anything else. However, it's important to finish the phrase regarding man's responsibility: "whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." You must come to Him in order to receive the forgiveness that He purchased for you.

Read the menu. You must spend time reading what God has prepared. Read your Bible, meditate on the Word. It will give you strength and illumination according to God's plan for your life. It will keep you on course and remind you of your responsibilities in order to fulfill the plan of God.

Count the fruit. If you are not willing to bear fruit for Him, then He is not obligated to answer your requests, even if you ask things in His name. Jesus declares, "Everyone that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away" (John 6:37). The Holy Spirit inspires us to go to Jesus and do what He asks of us. His sovereignty makes the first move toward us, but because He gave us free will, we must move toward Him as well.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Van Gogh's relatives

Researchers have recently discovered that the artist Vincent Van Gogh had quite a few interesting relatives.

A grandfather that moved to Yugoslavia: U Gogh

A dizzy blonde aunt: Verti Gogh

A brother that worked at a convenience store: Stopen Gogh

A magician uncle: Wherediddy Gogh

A psychiatrist nephew: E. Gogh

A niece that danced in a mini-skirt: Go Gogh

A very obnoxious brother: Please Gogh

A sister with a small bladder: Gotta Gogh

A cousin that moved to Illinois: Chica Gogh

A niece that moved to Mexico: Ami Gogh

A second cousin that drove a stagecoach: Wells Far Gogh

A bird-watching uncle: Flamin Gogh

His wife that no one even knew he had, because she’s been traveling around the USA for years: Winnie Bay Gogh.

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A living message

Vincent Van Gogh was not always an artist. In fact, he wanted to be a church pastor and was even sent to the Belgian mining community of Borinage in 1879. He discovered that the miners there endured deplorable working conditions and poverty-level wages. Their families were malnourished and struggled simply to survive. He felt concerned that the small stipend he received from the church allowed him a moderate life style, which, in contrast to the poor, seemed unfair.

One cold February evening, while he watched the miners trudging home, he spotted an old man staggering toward him across the fields, wrapped in a burlap sack for warmth. Van Gogh immediately laid his own clothing out on the bed, set aside enough for one change, and determined to give the rest away. He gave the old man a suit of clothes and he gave his overcoat to a pregnant woman whose husband had been killed in a mining accident. He lived on starvation rations and spent his stipend on food for the miners. When children in one family contracted typhoid fever, though feverish himself, he packed up his bed and took it to them.

A prosperous family in the community offered him free room and board. But Van Gogh declined the offer, stating that it was the final temptation he must reject if he was to faithfully serve his community of poor miners. He believed that if he wanted them to trust him, he must become one of them. And if they were to learn of the love of God through him, he must love them enough to share with them.

He was acutely aware of a wide chasm, which can separate words and actions. He knew that people's lives often speak louder and clearer than their words. Maybe it was that same knowledge that led Francis of Assisi to frequently remind his monks, "Wherever you go, preach. Use words if necessary."

Today, others will be "listening" carefully to your actions.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Teenage thoughts

From an actual newspaper contest where teenaged entrants were asked to imitate “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey.”

I believe you should live each day as if it is your last, which is why I don’t have any clean laundry because, come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life?
–Age 15

Give me the strength to change the things I can, the grace to accept the things I cannot, and a great big bag of money.
–Age 13

It sure would be nice if we got a day off for the president’s birthday, like they do for the queen’s. Of course, then we would have a lot of people voting for a candidate born on July 3 or December 26, just for the long weekends.
–Age 12

I bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween.
–Age 13

I often wonder how come John Tesh isn’t as popular a singer as some people think he should be. Then, I remember it’s because he’s terrible.
–Age 15

For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That’s what happens to cheese when you leave it out.
–Age 14

My younger brother asked me what happens after we die. I told him we get buried under a bunch of dirt and worms eat our bodies. I guess I should have told him the truth-that most of us go to hell and burn eternally – but I didn’t want to upset him.
–Age 16

I like to go down to the dog pound and pretend that I’ve found my dog. Then I tell them to kill it anyway because I already gave away all of his stuff. Dog lovers sure don’t have a sense of humor.
–Age 14

As you make your way through this hectic world of ours, set aside a few minutes each day. At the end of the year, you’ll have a couple of days saved up.
–Age 17

The only stupid question is the one that is never asked, except maybe “Don’t you think it is about time you audited my return?” Or “Isn’t it morally wrong to give me a warning when, in fact, I was speeding?”
–Age 15

If we could just get everyone to close their eyes and visualize world peace for an hour, imagine how serene and quiet it would be until the looting started.
–Age 18

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Sermon tips

Remember these tips if you are ever asked to give a seromon at church:

According to every congregation, there are bad sermons and short sermons but there are no bad short sermons.

A life saver mint will last 22 minutes exactly if left lying between the cheek and gum during the normal course of talking. This is a helpful hint to time your sermon. Just don’t make the mistake of putting a button in your mouth instead of a life saver before you get up to preach.

Have the congregation stand up for the birthday and wedding anniversary prayers, and then deliver the sermon - to assure everyone at least starts out awake.

It is a well kept secret among Ministers that the offering total goes up 5 percent each time the verse of a hymn is skipped

The purpose of a great sermon is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. The latter is preferable to the former.

Whatever scripture you quote and whatever your sermon outline, remember that your verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.

When the congregation starts to lose interest and doze off you can awaken them by saying loudly, “And Finally” or “In Conclusion.” This will only work about four times per sermon.

A good sermon should NEVER generalize.

Have a good opening point. Have a good closing point. Keep the two as close together as possible.

You can judge the length of your sermon by the length of response from your SPOUSE to the question, “How was my sermon, honey?” Examples:
“Fine” means way too long
“It was okay” Means a bit lengthy
“It was really good this week, I gained a blessing dear!” means just about right.

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The wooden apples

There once was a happy monkey wandering the jungle, eating delicious fruit when hungry, and resting when tired. One day he came upon a house, where he saw a bowl of the most beautiful apples. He took one in each hand and ran back into the forest.

He sniffed the apples and smelled nothing. He tried to eat them, but hurt his teeth. They were made of wood, but they were beautiful, and when the other monkeys saw them, he held onto them even tighter.

He admired his new possessions proudly as he wandered the jungle. They glistened red in the sun, and seemed perfect to him. He became so attached to them, that he didn't even notice his hunger at first.

A fruit tree reminded him, but he felt the apples in his hands.

He couldn't bear to set them down to reach for the fruit. In fact, he couldn't relax, either, if he was to defend his apples. A proud, but less happy monkey continued to walk along the forest trails.

The apples became heavier, and the poor little monkey thought about leaving them behind. He was tired, hungry, and he couldn't climb trees or collect fruit with his hands full. What if he just let go?

Letting go of such valuable things seemed crazy, but what else could he do? He was so tired. Seeing the next fruit tree, and smelling it's fruit was enough. He dropped the wooden apples and reached up for his meal. He was happy again.

Like that little monkey, we sometimes carry things that seem too valuable to let go. A man carries an image of himself as "productive" - carries it like a shiny wooden apple. But in reality, his busyness leaves him tired, and hungry for a better life. Still, letting go seems crazy. Even his worries are sacred apples - they prove he's "doing everything he can." He holds onto them compulsively.
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Motherhood


Many moms encounter situations similar to this story at various government offices.

Episode 1:

A woman, renewing her driver’s license at the County Clerk ’s office was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation. She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself. ”What I mean is,” explained the recorder, “do you have a job or are you just a……?”

“Of course I have a job,” snapped the woman. ”I’m a Mom.”

“We don’t list ‘Mom’ as an occupation, ‘housewife’ covers it,” said the recorder emphatically.

Episode 2:

The same woman forgot all about her story until one day she found herself in the same situation, this time at her own Town Hall.

The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient and possessed of a high sounding title like, “Official Interrogator” or “Town Registrar.”

”What is your occupation?” she probed.

What made her say it? She did not know. The words simply popped out, “I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.”

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right. The woman repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.

The clerk stared with wonder as the woman's pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

”Might I ask,” said the clerk with new interest, “just what you do in your field?”

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in her voice, the woman heard herself reply, “I have a continuing program of research, (which mother doesn’t) in the laboratory and in the field, (normally she would have said indoors and outdoors). I’m working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (does any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.”

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as she completed the form, stood up and personally ushered the woman to the door.

As she drove into her driveway, buoyed up by her glamorous new career, she was greeted by her lab assistants — ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs she could hear her new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.

She felt she had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And she had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than “just another Mom.”

Remember: Just because a mother is not working for corporate America or any government firm, it does not mean that moms have no work at home.  In fact, motherhood is the most important and difficult job on this planet.  Only few exceptionally well candidates perform their duties with flying colors, feeding their family, creating a happy homely atomosphere and raising their offspring.

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If men were

If men were to get pregnant and bear children..

Menus at most restaurants would list ice cream and pickles as an entrée.

There'd be a cure for stretch marks.

Natural childbirth would become obsolete.

Morning sickness would rank as the nation's number one health problem.

All methods of birth control would be improved 100 percent effectiveness.

Children would be kept in the hospital until they were toilet trained.

Men would be EAGER to talk about commitment.

They wouldn't think twins were quite so cute.

Fathers would demand that their SONS be home from dates by 10:00pm.

Men could use their computer case/briefcases as diaper bags.

They'd have to stop saying, "I'm afraid I'll drop him."

Paternity suits would be a line of clothes.

They'd stay in bed for the entire nine months.
    Happy Fathers day. 

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    Soul deep


    Abraham Lincoln loved to tell stories on himself. One of his favorites concerned itself with physical appearance.

    In the days when Lincoln used to be on the circuit (traveling on horseback from one county court to another), he was once approached by a stranger who said, "Excuse me, sir, but I have an article which belongs to you."

    "How is that?" Lincoln asked in astonishment.

    The stranger took a jack-knife from his pocket. "This knife," he said "was placed in my hand some years ago, with the injunction that I was to keep it until I found a man homelier-looking than I am myself. I have carried that knife for many years. Now I pass it on to you."

    Lincoln added wryly, "I've carried that knife ever since."

    One of Lincoln's greatest assets was his ability to laugh at himself. And he frequently laughed at his physical appearance. But history does not remember him as an "ugly" individual -- in fact, often just the opposite. His outer appearance was clothed in magnificently beautiful garments: character, honesty, humor and courage. But there are other clothes he wore equally well -- such as humility and forgiveness.

    We say that beauty is skin deep. But it isn't really. It has very little to do with the skin. True beauty is soul deep. It is a fabric that is woven in the soul and worn in plain view.

    The Bible speaks of something similar. It teaches us to clothe ourselves with "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Then "over all of these put on love, which binds them in perfect unity." Regardless of how good looking we may otherwise be, it is these clothes that will determine our actual beauty.

    Beauty is soul deep. Learn that and you may realize that you are far more attractive than you ever imagined!

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    Monday, May 31, 2010

    Teenage daughter - owners manual

    Congratulations! You are now the proud new owner of a teenaged daughter. Please read this manual carefully, as it describes the maintenance of your new daughter, and answers important questions about your warranty (which does NOT include the right to return the product to the factory for a full refund.)

    IF YOU FEEL YOU HAVE RECEIVED YOUR TEENAGER IN ERROR: To determine whether you were supposed to receive a teenaged girl, please examine your new daughter carefully. Does she
    (a) look very similar to your original daughter, only with more makeup and less clothing?
    (b) refuse to acknowledge your existence on the planet Earth (except when requesting money)?
    (c) sleep in a burrow of dirty laundry? If any of these are true, you have received the correct item. Nice try, though.

    BREAK-IN PERIOD: When you first receive your teenaged daughter, you will initially experience a high level of discomfort. Gradually, this discomfort will subside, and you will merely feel traumatized. This is the "Break-In Period," during which you are becoming accustomed to certain behaviors that will cause you concern, anxiety, and stress. Once you have adapted to these behaviors, your teenager will start acting even worse.

    ACTIVATION: To activate your teenaged daughter, simply place her in the vicinity of a telephone. No further programming is required.

    SHUTDOWN: Several hours after activation, you may desire to shut down your teenaged daughter. There is no way to do this.

    CLEANING: Having a teenaged daughter means learning the difference between the words "clean" and "neat." Teenaged daughters are very clean, because they take frequent showers that last more than an hour. They will scrub themselves with expensive, fragrant soaps which you must purchase for them because like I'm sure I'm going to use like the same kind of soap my mom and dad use. When they have completely drained the hot-water tank, they will step out and wrap themselves in every towel in the bathroom, which they will subsequently strew throughout the house. If you ask them to pick up the towels, you are confusing "clean" with "neat." Teenagers are very busy and do not have time to be neat. They expect others to pick up after them. These others are called "parents."

    FEEDING: Your teenaged daughter requires regular meals, which must be purchased for her at restaurants because she detests everything you eat because it is like so disgusting. She does not want you to accompany her to these restaurants, because some people might see you and like I'm sure I want my friends to see me eating dinner with my parents. Either order take-out food or just give her the money, preferably both. If you order pizza, never answer the doorbell because the delivery boy might see you and ohmigod he is so hot. Yes, your daughter's idea of an attractive man is the pizza boy.

    CLOTHING: Retailers make millions of dollars a year selling stylish and frankly sensible clothing which will look adorable on your daughter. If you enjoy shopping, you will love the vast selections which are available to you. Unfortunately, your teenaged daughter wants to dress like a lap dancer. You may be able to coërce her into putting on a cute outfit before leaving the house, but by the time she walks in the schoolhouse door, she will be wearing something entirely different.

    OTHER MAINTENANCE: Teenaged daughters require one of two levels of maintenance: "High," and "Ultra High." Your daughter is "Ultra High." This means that whatever you do won't be enough and whatever you try won't work.

    WARRANTY: This product is not without defect because she has your genes, for heaven's sake. If you think this is not fair, talk to your parents, who think it is hilarious. Your teenaged daughter will remain a teenager for as long as it takes for her to become a woman, which in her opinion has already happened and as far as you are concerned never really will. If you are dissatisfied with your teenaged daughter, well, what did you expect? In any event, your warranty does not give you your little girl back under any circumstances, except that deep down she's actually still there-you just have to look for her.

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    Sometime

    "Sometime, we'll meet again,
    Somewhere in the sky,
    And, together, we'll sit
    On heaven's steps;
    Watching the stars go by.

    Somehow, I'll find you,
    Though the crowds
    May be numbered great.
    When its your time to come,
    I'll be there, at heaven's gates."

    That's what she told us,
    When we asked her if we'd ever part.
    We told her, if we ever did,
    It would surely break our hearts.

    As she dried our tears,
    She promised that
    Our love would never die.
    She said we'd always be together
    And never say goodbye.

    Then, she said, "When God calls me home,
    Please don't grieve or be lonely too long.
    For, I'll be waiting, my dears,
    If it takes a million years, for you,
    Somewhere, in the sky.

    Sometime, we'll meet again,
    Somewhere in the sky,
    And together we'll
    Sit on heaven's steps,
    Watching the stars go by.

    Somehow, I'll find you, though
    The crowds may be numbered great.
    When it's your time to come,
    I'll be there,
    At heaven's gates."

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    Eyesight

    Here is the story of a kind-hearted king who finds a blind, destitute orphan boy while hunting in a forest. The kind takes the boy to his palace, adopts him as his son, and provides for his care. He sees that the boy receives the finest education. The boy is extremely grateful, and he loves the king, his new father, with all his heart,

    When the boy turns twenty, a surgeon performs an operation on his eyes, and for the first time he is able to see.

    This boy, once a starving orphan, has for some years been a royal prince, at home in the king’s palace. But something wonderful has happened, something far greater than the magnificent food, gardens, libraries, music, and wonders of the palace. The boy is finally able to SEE the face of the father he adores.

    He loves his father because his father loved him. The love in the son's heart is the thunder produced by the lightning of this father's love.

    The father’s rescue of the starving child is like our conversion. We come to know God’s love and enjoy his indwelling presence, but still we cannot fully see. The day is coming when we will live in a glorious world where all will be beautiful beyond our imagination, with feasts, gardens, fruit trees, rivers and mountains, music and art, and perhaps libraries, games, and dramas.

    But all these magnificent wonders will be secondary, mere tributes to the King. For by far our greatest thrill will be when, with resurrected eyes, we see for the first time the face of the God who loved us so much as to pour out his life for us.

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    Memorial day creed

    Lord let me not in service lag.
    Let me be worthy of our flag.
    Let me remember when I’m tired,
    The sons heroic who have died.

    In freedom’s name and in my way,
    Teach me to be as brave as they.
    In all I am, in all I do,
    Unto our flag I would be true.

    For God and country let me stand,
    Unstained of soul, clean of hand.
    Teach me to serve and guard and love,
    The starry flag that flies above.

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    Sunday, May 30, 2010

    One

    One song can spark a moment,
    One flower can wake the dream
    One tree can start a forest,
    One bird can herald spring.

    One smile begins a friendship,
    One handclasp lifts a soul.
    One star can guide a ship at sea,
    One word can frame the goal

    One vote can change a nation,
    One sunbeam lights a room
    One candle wipes out darkness,
    One laugh will conquer gloom.

    One step must start each journey.
    One word must start each prayer.
    One hope will raise our spirits,
    One touch can show you care.

    One voice can speak with wisdom,
    One heart can know what's true,
    One life can make a difference,
    You see, it's up to you!
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