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New Illustrations May 17, 2006new

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Priceless painting

Praying with Others

Did Jesus use a Modem?

The Tenant by Frederick Knowles

A poem about memories

Heartwarming

Sharing

GOD IS NOT A VENDING MACHINE.

Balance

 

 

Priceless

Once there was a Father and son who were very close and enjoyed adding valuable art pieces to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of the family estate.

The widowed, elder man looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector. The son's trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they dealt with art collectors around the world.

As winter approached, war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve his country. After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram. His beloved son was missing in action. The art collector anxiously awaited more news, fearing he would never see his son again. Within days, his fears were confirmed. The young man had died while rushing a fellow soldier to a medic.

Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with anguish and sadness. The joy of the season, a season that he and his son had so looked forward to, would visit his house no longer. On Christmas morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed old man.

As he walked to the door, the masterpieces of art on the walls only reminded him that his son was not coming home.

As he opened the door, he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his have something to show you." As the two began to talk, the soldiers told of hand. He introduced himself to the man by saying, "I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments? I how the man's son had told everyone of his, not to mention his father's, love of fine art. "I'm an artist,"said the soldier, "and I want to give you this."

As the old man unwrapped the package, the paper gave way to reveal a portrait of the man's son. Though the world would never consider it the work of a genius, the painting featured the young man's face in striking detail. Overcome with emotion, the man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the picture above the fireplace.

A few hours later, after the soldier had departed, the old man set about his task. True to his word, the painting went above the fireplace, pushing aside thousands of dollars of paintings. And then the man sat in his chair and spent Christmas gazing at the gift he had been given. During the days and weeks that followed, the man realized that even though his son was no longer with him, learn that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before a bullet the boy's life would live on because of those he had touched. He would soon stilled his caring heart. As the stories of his son's gallantry continued to reach him, fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease the grief. The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the pieces for which museums around the world clamored. He told his neighbors it was the greatest gift he had ever received.

The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away. The art world was in anticipation! Unmindful of the story of the man's only son, but in his honor; those paintings would be sold at an auction. According to the will of the old man, all of the art works would be auctioned on Christmas day, the day he had received his greatest gift.

The day soon arrived and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world's most spectacular paintings. Dreams would be fulfilled this day; greatness would be achieved as many would claim, "I have the greatest collection."

The auction began with a painting that was not on any museum's list. It was room was silent. "Who will open the bidding with $100?" he asked. the painting of the man's son. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid. The passed. No one spoke.

From the back of the room came, "Who cares about that painting? It's just a picture of his son. Let's forget it and go on to the good stuff." More voices echoed in agreement.

"No, we have to sell this one first," replied the auctioneer. "Now, who will take the son?"

Finally, a friend of the old man spoke. "Will you take ten dollars for the painting? That's all I have. I knew the boy, so I'd like to have it. "I have ten dollars."

"Will anyone go higher?" called the aauctioneer. After more silence, the auctioneer said, "Going once, going twice. Gone."

The gavel fell. Cheers filled the room and someone exclaimed,

"Now we can get on with it and we can bid on these treasures!"

The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced the auction was over. Stunned disbelief quieted the room. Someone spoke up and asked, "What do you mean it's over? We didn't come here for a picture of some old guy's son. What about all of these paintings? There are millions of dollars of art here! I demand that you explain what's going on here!."

The auctioneer replied, "It's very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son . . . gets it all." Puts things into perspective, doesn't it? Just as those art collectors discovered on that Christmas day, the message is still the same: the love of a Father, a Father whose greatest joy came from his son, who went away and gave his life rescuing others. And because of that Father's love, whoever takes the Son gets it all.

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Praying with Others

            Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about
anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in
heaven. Matthew 18:19.

Prayer is a corporate, as well as an individual activity. The
apostolic Christians prayed together from the start. The Holy
Spirit was poured out on a group at prayer (Acts 1:14). They
continued to spend a lot of time in prayer together (Acts
2:42).

Paul prayed constantly with his co-missioners
(Colossians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:11)
and asked others to join him in disciplined prayer (Romans
15:30). James (5:16) tells us to 'confess your sins to one
another and pray for one another, so that you will be
healed.'

'There is a deep joy in praying together, an added vitality,
a plus difficult to define', writes Stephen Winward (Teach
Yourself to Pray, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1976, p.86).
'It is rather like the difference between eating your meal
alone and sharing in a party feast. Eating together is not
the same as eating in solitude; the something more is the
company, the fellowship. So it is with prayer.'

May your prayer be to you as breath is to life. May your
worship be in spirit and in truth. May your confessions be
sincere, and you know your sins are forgiven. May your
intercessions be answered according according to his will.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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"DID JESUS USE A MODEM AT THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT?"
      Author Unknown

Did Jesus use a modem,
At the Sermon on the Mount?
Did He ever try a broadcast fax,
To send His message out?
Did the disciples carry beepers,
As they went about their route?
Did Jesus use a modem,
At the Sermon on the Mount?

Did Paul use a Laptop,
With lots of RAM and ROM?
Were his letters posted on a BBS,
At Paul.Rome.Com?
Did the man from Macedonia,
Send an E-Mail saying "Come?"
Did Paul use a Laptop,
With lots of RAM and ROM?

Did Moses use a joystick,
At the parting of the Sea?
And a Satellite Guidance Tracking System,
To show him where to be?
Did he write the law on tablets,
Or are they really on CD?
Did Moses use a joystick,
At the parting of the Sea?

Did Jesus really die for us,
One day upon a tree?
Or was it just a Hologram,
Or Technical Wizardry?
Can you download the Live Action Video Clip,
To play on your PC?
Did Jesus really die for us,
One day upon a tree?

Have the wonders of this modern age,
Made you question what is true?
How a single man, in a simple time,
Could offer life anew?
How a sinless life, a cruel death,
Then a glorious life again,
Could offer more to a desperate world,
Than all the inventions of man?

If in your life, the voice of God,
Is sometimes hard to hear.
With other voices calling,
His doesn't touch your ear.
Then set aside your laptop and modem,
And all your fancy gear.
Open your Bible, open your heart,
And let your Father draw near.
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The Tenant" by Frederick Knowles

"This body is my house...it is not I;
Wherein I sojourn till, in some fair sky,
I lease a fairer dwelling, built to last
Till all the carpentry of time is past;
When form my high place viewing this lone star;
What share I care where these poor timber are ??
What though the crumbling walls turn dust and loam,
I shall have left them for a larger home.

What though the rafters break, the stanchions rot,
What earth has swindled to a glimmering spot!!
When thou, clay cottage, falls, I'll immerse
My long-cramped spirit in the universe.

Through uncorrupted silence of space
I shall yearn upward to the leaning Face
The ancient heaven will roll aside for me,
As Moses monarched the dividing sea.

This body is my house ---- it is not I.
Triumphant in this faith I live and die."
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A poem about memories by Ben Burroughs

When someone you hold very dear...departs and leaves you blue....and you're engulfed by floods of tears...here's what you ought to do......think of the many happy times....God let you call your own....and do not think of how it is....now that your are alone....for after all is said and done....what good are endless tears.... when memories can dry your eyes....with thoughts of happy years.....you cannot gain, you'll only lose.....by wearing sorrow's veil....so life your eyes and force a smile....and you will never fail......you must accept what God decrees....and that is why I say.....let memories of God given times......dive all your blues away.
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"Heartwarming"

Years ago a hardworking man took his family from New York State to
Australia to take advantage of a work opportunity there. Part of this
man's family was a handsome young son who had aspirations of joining the
circus as a trapeze artist or an actor. This young fellow, biding his time
until a circus job or even one as a stagehand came along, worked at the
local shipyards that bordered on the worse section of town.

Walking home from work one evening this young man was attacked by five
thugs who wanted to rob him. Instead of just giving up his money the young
fellow resisted. However they bested him easily and proceeded to beat him
to a pulp. They smashed his face with their boots, and kicked and beat his
body brutally with clubs, leaving him for dead. When the police happened
to find him lying in the road they assumed he was dead and called for the
Morgue Wagon.

On the way to the morgue a policeman heard him gasp for air, and they
immediately took him to the emergency unit at the hospital. When he was
placed on a gurney a nurse remarked to her horror, that this young man no
longer had a face. Each eye socket was smashed, his skull, legs, and arms
fractured, his nose literally hanging from his face, all his teeth were
gone, and his jaw was almost completely torn from his skull.

Although his life was spared he spent over a year in the hospital. When he
finally left, his body may have healed but his face was disgusting to look
at. He was no longer the handsome youth that everyone admired.

When the young man started to look for work again he was turned down by
everyone just on account of the way he looked. One potential employer
suggested to him that he join the freak show at the circus as "The Man Who
Had No Face." And he did this for a while. He was still rejected by
everyone and no one wanted to be seen in his company. He had thoughts of
suicide. This went on for five years.

One day he passed a church and sought some solace there. Entering the
church he encountered a priest who had seen him sobbing while kneeling in a
pew.

The priest took pity on him and took him to the rectory where they talked
at length. The priest was impressed with him to such a degree that he said
that he would do everything possible for him that could be done to restore
his dignity and life, if the young man would promise to be the best
Catholic he could be, and trust in God's mercy to free him from his
torturous life. The young man went to Mass and communion every day, and
after thanking God for saving his life, asked God to only give
him peace of mind and the grace to be the best man he could ever be in His
eyes.

The priest, through his personal contacts, was able to secure the services
of the best plastic surgeon in Australia. There would be no cost to the
young man, as the doctor was the priest's best friend. The doctor too was
so impressed by the young man, whose outlook now on life, even though he
had experienced the worse, was filled with good humor and love.

The surgery was a miraculous success. All the best dental work was also
done for him. The young man became everything he promised God he would be.
He was also blessed with a wonderful, beautiful wife, and many children,
and success in an industry which would have been the furthest
thing from his mind as a career if not for the goodness of God and the love
of the people who cared for him. This he acknowledges publicly.

The young man...............Mel Gibson.
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Sharing

It was one of the hottest days of the dry season. We had not seen rain in
almost a month. The crops were dying. Cows had stopped giving milk. The
creeks and streams were long gone back into the earth. It was a dry season
that would bankrupt seven farmers before it was through. Every day, my
husband and his brothers would go about the arduous process of trying to
get water to the fields. Lately this process had involved taking a truck to
the local water rendering plant and filling it up with water. But severe
rationing had cut everyone off. If we didn't see some rain soon, we would
lose everything.

It was on this day that I learned the true lesson of sharing and witnessed
the only miracle I have seen with my own eyes.

I was in the kitchen making lunch for my husband and his brothers when I
saw my six-year old son, Billy, walking toward the woods. He wasn't walking
with the usual carefree abandon of a youth but with a serious purpose. I
could only see his back. He was obviously walking with a great effort,
trying to be as still as possible. Minutes after he disappeared into the
woods, he came running out again, toward the house.

I went back to making sandwiches; thinking that whatever task he had been
doing was completed. Moments later, however, he was once again walking in
that slow purposeful stride toward the woods. This activity went on for an
hour: walk carefully to the woods, run back to the house.

Finally I couldn't take it any longer and I crept out of the house and
followed him on his journey (being very careful not to be seen...as he was
obviously doing important work and didn't need his Mommy checking up on
him). He was cupping both hands in front of him as he walked; being
very careful not to spill the water he held in them, .maybe two or three
tablespoons were held in his tiny hands.

I sneaked close as he went into the woods. Branches and thorns slapped his
little face but he did not try to avoid them. He had a much higher purpose.
As I leaned in to spy on him, I saw the most amazing site.

Several large deer loomed in front of him. Billy walked right up to them. I
almost screamed for him to get away. A huge buck with elaborate antlers was
dangerously close. But the buck did not threaten him, he didn't even move
as Billy knelt down. And I saw a tiny fawn laying on the ground, obviously
suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, lift its head with great
effort to lap up the water cupped in my beautiful boy's hand. When the
water was gone, Billy jumped up to run back to the house and I hid behind a
tree.

I followed him back to the house; to a spigot that we had shut off the
water to. Billy opened it all the way up and a small trickle began to creep
out. He knelt there, letting the drip drip slowly fill up his
makeshift "cup", as the sun beat down on his little back.

And it came clear to me. The trouble he had gotten into for playing with
the hose the week before. The lecture he had received about the importance
of not wasting water. The reason he didn't ask me to help him. It took
almost twenty minutes for the drops to fill his hands.

When he stood up and began the trek back, I was there in front of him. His
little eyes just filled with tears. "I'm not wasting", was all he said. As
he began his walk, I joined him, with a small pot of water from the
kitchen. I let him tend to the fawn. I stayed away. It was his job. I stood
on the edge of the woods watching the most beautiful heart I have ever
known working so hard to save another life.

As the tears that rolled down my face began to hit the ground, they were
suddenly joined by other drops, and more drops, and more. I looked up at
the sky. It was as if God, himself, was weeping with pride.

Some will probably say that this was all just a huge coincidence. That
miracles don't really exist. That it was bound to rain sometime. And I
can't argue with that. I'm not going to try. All I can say is that the rain
that came that day saved our farm. just like that actions of one little boy
saved another.

This is not one of those crazy chain letters. if you don't forward it to
anyone, nothing bad will happen to you. If you choose to forward it, you
won't receive any riches in the mail. I don't know if anyone will read
this, but I had to send it out. To honor the memory of my beautiful Billy,
who was taken from me much too soon, But not before showing me the true
face of God, in a little sunburned body.

Author unknown
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GOD IS NOT A VENDING MACHINE.
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Balance

"To acquire balance means to achieve that happy medium between the minimum and the maximum that represents your optimum. The minimum is the least you can get by with. The maximum is the most you're capable of. The optimum is the amount or degree of anything that is most favorable toward the ends you desire." -- Nido Qubein

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