Shooter’s mistakes

Number 615 • February 17, 2021


The parables selected for this essay — whether invented by me or adapted from something told by others – have been told by me before. There’s no law that every story told or every sermon preached or printed has to be original and used but once. Sometimes it takes repeated hearings before the intended message is understood and absorbed. As we sometimes say in cliché, “If at first you don’t get your point across, try again – repeat as necessary.” Second shots may hit what first shots miss. Other pointed lessons may be learned from the same illustration. Jesus repeated some of his parables and other lessons. So did apostle Paul. Continue reading

#geraldcowan, #stories

Explaining in vivid detail

I ran across this story on the Internet:

Today, when I went to pick-up my daughter from preschool she was sitting on the ground in the corner of the after-care area with three blind students. All of them had smiles on their faces. The after-care instructor told me my daughter has been spending time with these three students every afternoon this week, answering questions and explaining to them in vivid detail what different objects, people and animals look like.

The story, which I assume to be true, reminded me a bit of what the people of God do for those who are spiritually blind.

#children, #mission, #stories

Invitation sounded too good to be true, so his guard was up

David Gunn turned off the engine, rested his clammy hands on the steering wheel, and stretched his arms full length. He blew air through his cheeks and bugged out his eyes. This was it. Continue reading

#evangelism, #stories

A picture, a question and story about prayer walk into TFR

A picture, a question and a story about prayer walk into TFR…and no, this isn’t a joke (and some would find the use of a double-negative even less funny!).

The picture: Here’s a rather dizzying picture from my back yard. It’s the branches of my cork-screw willow tree thoroughly covered in ice; and it’sIcy Tangled Mess also my computer wallpaper for now. Unfortunately the ice was enough to break off the top seven or eight feet of this tree.

The question: How big were Samson’s muscles? Seriously. Every picture drawn of him is comparable to someone who has won the “Mr. Universe” award, but if memory serves me correctly (and maybe it doesn’t) the Bible never describes his physical stature. Did his muscles have to be abnormally large? Perhaps it’s a “useless question”, but then again maybe it’s not. Think about it – it might just be a matter of faith.

The story: The story isn’t a joke, or then again maybe it is. I don’t remember where I got it from; I’ve had it lying around in the ole’ computer filing cabinet for quite a while. Either way, it’s yours to use to the glory of God’s truth. “A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for Bible class. As she ran she prayed, ‘Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late! Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late!’ While she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and started running again! As she ran she once again began to pray, ‘Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late… But please don’t push me either!’” You know there’s a lesson in there just waiting to be told.

#bible-questions, #pictures, #random-thoughts, #stories

A Quarter and A Christian

I got this story sent to me in an email not too long ago. I’m sure it’s just one of those “chain like” emails that gets around a lot, but I thought there may be some here who had not read it. I used it last Sunday in Keltonburg’s bulletin. I don’t know the author but the story makes a great point. I hope someone can use it.

Several years ago, a preacher from out-of-state accepted a call to a church in Houston, Texas. Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, ‘You’d better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it.’ Then he thought, ‘Oh, forget it, it’s only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a ‘gift from God’ and keep quiet.’ When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, ‘Here, you gave me too much change.’

The driver, with a smile, replied, ‘Aren’t you the new preacher in town?’ ‘Yes’ he replied. ‘Well, I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I’ll see you at church on Sunday.’ When the preacher stepped off of the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said, ‘Oh God, I almost sold your Son for a quarter.’

Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read. This is a really scary example of how much people watch us as Christians, and will put us to the test! Always be on guard – and remember — You carry the name of Christ on your shoulders when you call yourself ‘Christian.’

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

#christian-living, #example, #honesty, #illustrations, #stories

The richest man

A rich landowner named Carl often rode around his vast estate so he could congratulate himself on his great wealth. One day, while riding around his estate on his favorite horse, he saw Hans, an old tenant farmer. Hans was sitting under a tree when Carl rode by. Hans said, “I was just thanking God for my food.” Carl protested, “If that is all I had to eat, I wouldn’t feel like giving thanks.” Hans replied, “God has given me everything I need, and I am thankful for it.”

The old farmer added, “It is strange you should come by today because I had a dream last night. In my dream a voice told me, ‘The richest man in the valley will die tonight.’ I don’t know what it means, but I thought I ought to tell you.” Carl snorted, “Dreams are nonsense,” and galloped away, but he could not forget Hans’ words: “The richest man in the valley will die tonight.”

He was obviously the richest man in the valley, so he invited his doctor to his house that evening. Carl told the doctor what Hans had said. After a thorough examination, the doctor told the wealthy landowner, “Carl, you are as strong and healthy as a horse. There is no way you are going to die tonight.”

Nevertheless, for assurance, the doctor stayed with Carl, and they played cards through the night. The doctor left the next morning and Carl apologized for becoming so upset over the old man’s dream.

At about nine o’clock, a messenger arrived at Carl’s door. “What is it?” Carl demanded. The messenger explained, “It’s about old Hans. He died last night in his sleep.”

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#riches, #spiritual-riches, #stories, #wealth

Daily Nudge: fave fable

Remember Aesop, the master teller of fables? He doesn’t have a corner on the market, but he’s the best known of the spinners of such tales. Do you have a favorite fable to share? Can be one from the old master or a new concoction. Why is this particular fable special to you?

I heard one yesterday about the nice little farm with one cow. But that’s for another time. It reminded me to ask in the Nudge today.

#fables, #nudge, #stories

Daily Nudge: family history — and news

Each family tells stories about itself. These stories help define it as a unit. Share with us a story that your parents tell, or used to tell, about you when you were small.

We’re taking our guests to Sao Paulo for the day, to meet with friends in the church there, and see the big city. Then we’ll take them directly to the airport for their return to the US tonight. So we’ll be out of pocket all day.

Got news of the saints?

#families, #nudge, #stories