Tag Archives: True

True Love

True Love

From: OurDailyBread
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. —John 15:13

During the rehearsal for my brother’s wedding ceremony, my husband snapped a picture of the bride and groom as they faced each other in front of the pastor. When we looked at the photograph later, we noticed that the camera’s flash had illuminated a metal cross in the background, which appeared as a glowing image above the couple.

The photograph reminded me that marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the church as shown on the cross. When the Bible instructs husbands to love their wives (Eph. 5:25), God compares that kind of faithful, selfless affection to Christ’s love for His followers. Because Christ sacrificed His life for the sake of love, we are all to love each other (1 John 4:10-11). He died in our place, so that our sin would not keep us separate from God for eternity. He lived out His words to the disciples: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Many of us suffer from the pain of abandonment, rejection, and betrayal. Despite all of this, through Christ we can understand the sacrificial, compassionate, and enduring nature of true love. Today, remember that you are loved by God. Jesus said so with His life.

Nothing speaks more clearly of God’s love than the cross of Jesus.

The Blind Men and The Elephant

From: Academictips.org

A long time ago in the valley of the Brahmaputra River in India there lived six men who were much inclined to boast of their wit and lore. Though they were no longer young and had all been blind since birth, they would compete with each other to see who could tell the tallest story.

One day, however, they fell to arguing. The object of their dispute was the elephant. Now, since each was blind, none had ever seen that mighty beast of whom so many tales are told. So, to satisfy their minds and settle the dispute, they decided to go and seek out an elephant.

Having hired a young guide, Dookiram by name, they set out early one morning in single file along the forest track, each placing his hands on the back of the man in front. It was not long before they came to a forest clearing where a huge bull elephant, quite tame, was standing contemplating his menu for the day.

The six blind men became quite excited; at last they would satisfy their minds. Thus it was that the men took turns to investigate the elephant’s shape and form.

As all six men were blind, neither of them could see the whole elephant and approached the elephant from different directions. After encountering the elephant, each man proclaimed in turn:

“O my brothers,” the first man at once cried out, “it is as sure as I am wise that this elephant is like a great mud wall baked hard in the sun.”

“Now, my brothers,” the second man exclaimed with a cry of dawning recognition, “I can tell you what shape this elephant is – he is exactly like a spear.”

The others smiled in disbelief.

“Why, dear brothers, do you not see,” said the third man, “this elephant is very much like a rope,” he shouted.

“Ha, I thought as much,” the fourth man declared excitedly, “this elephant much resembles a serpent.”

The others snorted their contempt.

“Good gracious, brothers,” the fifth man called out, “even a blind man can see what shape the elephant resembles most. Why he’s mightily like a fan.”

At last, it was the turn of the sixth old fellow and he proclaimed, “This sturdy pillar, brothers, mine, feels exactly like the trunk of a great areca palm tree.”

Of course, no one believed him.

Their curiosity satisfied, they all linked hands and followed the guide, Dookiram, back to the village. Once there, seated beneath a waving palm, the six blind men began disputing loud and long. Each now had his own opinion, firmly based on his own experience, of what an elephant is really like. For after all, each had felt the elephant for himself and knew that he was right!

And so indeed he was. For depending on how the elephant is seen, each blind man was partly right, though all were in the wrong.

The Alphabet Of Happiness

From: Academictips.org

The Alphabet:
A – ACCEPT Accept others for who they are and for the choices they’ve made even if you have difficulty understanding their beliefs, motives, or actions.
B – BREAK AWAY Break away from everything that stands in the way of what you hope to accomplish with your life.
C – CREATE Create a family of friends whom you can share your hopes, dreams, sorrows, and happiness with.
D – DECIDE Decide that you’ll be successful and happy come what may, and good things will find you. The roadblocks are only minor obstacles along the way.
E – EXPLORE Explore and experiment. The world has much to offer, and you have much to give. And every time you try something new, you’ll learn more about yourself.
F – FORGIVE Forgive and forget. Grudges only weigh you down and inspire unhappiness and grief. Soar above it, and remember that everyone makes mistakes.
G – GROW Leave the childhood monsters behind. They can no longer hurt you or stand in your way.
H – HOPE Hope for the best and never forget that anything is possible as long as you remain dedicated to the task.
I – IGNORE Ignore the negative voice inside your head. Focus instead on your goals and remember your accomplishments. Your past success is only a small inkling of what the future holds.
J – JOURNEY Journey to new worlds, new possibilities, by remaining open-minded. Try to learn something new every day, an you’ll grow.
K – KNOW Know that no matter how bad things seem, they’ll always get better. The warmth of spring always follows the harshest winter.
L – LOVE Let love fill your heart instead of hate. When hate is in your heart, there’s room for nothing else, but when love is in your heart, there’s room for endless happiness.
M – MANAGE Manage your time and your expenses wisely, and you’ll suffer less stress and worry. Then you’ll be able to focus on the important things in life.
N – NOTICE Never ignore the poor, infirm, helpless, weak, or suffering. Offer your assistance when possible, and always your kindness and understanding.
O – OPEN Open your eyes and take in all the beauty around you. Even during the worst of times, there’s still much to be thankful for.
P – PLAY Never forget to have fun along the way. Success means nothing without happiness.
Q – QUESTION Ask many questions, because you’re here to learn.
R – RELAX Refuse to let worry and stress rule your life, and remember that things always have a way of working out in the end.
S – SHARE Share your talent, skills, knowledge, and time with others. Everything that you invest in others will return to you many times over.
T – TRY Even when your dreams seem impossible to reach, try anyway. You’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish.
U – USE Use your gifts to your best ability. Talent that’s wasted has no value. Talent that’s used bill bring unexpected rewards.
V – VALUE Value the friends and family members who’ve supported and encouraged you, and be there for them as well.
W – WORK Work hard every day to be the best person you can be, but never feel guilty if you fall short of your goals. Every sunrise offers a second chance.
X – X-RAY Look deep inside the hearts of those around you and you’ll see the goodness and beauty within.
Y – YIELD Yield to commitment. If you stay on track and remain dedicated, you’ll find success at the end of the road.
Z – ZOOM Zoom to a happy place when bad memories or sorrow rears its ugly head. Let nothing interfere with your goals. Instead, focus on your abilities, your dreams, and a brighter tomorrow.

Author Unknown

 

Can’t Wait

From: Getmorestrength.org

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:3

Hey, for you guys out there who have forgotten, it’s Valentine’s Day! Hopefully you still have time to pick up something special for the love of your life. (And you don’t even have to tell her that I reminded you!)

The love of my life, of course, is my wife, Martie. I remember so clearly the summer before our senior year of college when I finally summoned up the nerve to ask her to marry me. We had been dating for a couple of years and ended up working in different states over the summer. I spent the summer working at home in New Jersey, and she was up in the Adirondack Mountains serving at a Christian conference center. That struck a little panic in my soul. She would not only be away from me, but she would be surrounded by tanned lifeguards and well-abbed water-ski instructors! I knew in order to seal the deal I would need to take some action.

I pulled together the cash to buy her an engagement ring and climbed into my little Volkswagen to trek up to the conference grounds. The whole way there I was a mixture of nerves and excitement, anticipating the moment that I would pop the question! When I arrived at the conference, however, I discovered that our college president was there as the featured speaker. And, in an act of goodwill, he decided to take all of us students out for pie and ice cream after the evening session. Normally, I would have been delighted to be out for dessert with our college president. But that evening all I could think of was, “I can’t wait to get her out of here!” I had bigger plans and a better agenda for the evening. I wasn’t interested in snacks—I wanted to get Martie out of there so I could propose and spend the rest of my life with her!

Recently, as I was reading John 14:3, it struck me—Jesus can’t wait to get us out of here so He can spend eternity with us. In fact, one of the key metaphors used to describe His relationship with the church is the picture of a groom waiting for his bride. With that in mind, you can almost feel the sense of urgency and anticipation in His voice when He assures us: “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

The timing of Christ’s return, while unknown to us, is perfectly on schedule with God’s sovereign plan. Why would God wait if He really wants to be with us? He waits to allow additional people to hear the life-transforming message of forgiveness and new life in Jesus (2 Peter 3:9). And yet I can’t help but think that Jesus, longing to be reunited with you, says to Himself, “I can’t wait to get them out of there!” His agenda is far greater, far more thrilling, and infinitely better than whatever we have planned on this earth.

If Martie had known what was coming that evening, it would have made her just as anxious and excited as I was to get out of there. It would have affected her whole perspective. And here’s the amazing thing: When it comes to Christ’s return for us, we’re in on the secret! We don’t know the time, but we know the promise—He’s coming back, and He can’t wait! The thrill of the prospect of it all should transform the way we live each day. There should be a sense of holy discontent and a constant longing for what we have ahead of us.

Helpless Love

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Helpless love

Once upon a time all feelings and emotions went to a coastal island for a vacation. According to their nature, each was having a good time. Suddenly, a warning of an impending storm was announced and everyone was advised to evacuate the island.

The announcement caused sudden panic. All rushed to their boats. Even damaged boats were quickly repaired and commissioned for duty.

Yet, Love did not wish to flee quickly. There was so much to do. But as the clouds darkened, Love realised it was time to leave. Alas, there were no boats to spare. Love looked around with hope.

Just then Prosperity passed by in a luxurious boat. Love shouted, “Prosperity, could you please take me in your boat?”

“No,” replied Prosperity, “my boat is full of precious possessions, gold and silver. There is no place for you.”

A little later Vanity came by in a beautiful boat. Again Love shouted, “Could you help me, Vanity? I am stranded and need a lift. Please take me with you.”

Vanity responded haughtily, “No, I cannot take you with me. My boat will get soiled with your muddy feet.”

Sorrow passed by after some time. Again, Love asked for help. But it was to no avail. “No, I cannot take you with me. I am so sad. I want to be by myself.”

When Happiness passed by a few minutes later, Love again called for help. But Happiness was so happy that it did not look around, hardly concerned about anyone.

Love was growing restless and dejected. Just then somebody called out, “Come Love, I will take you with me.” Love did not know who was being so magnanimous, but jumped on to the boat, greatly relieved that she would reach a safe place.

On getting off the boat, Love met Knowledge. Puzzled, Love inquired, “Knowledge, do you know who so generously gave me a lift just when no one else wished to help?”

Knowledge smiled, “Oh, that was Time.”

“And why would Time stop to pick me and take me to safety?” Love wondered.

Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and replied, “Because only Time knows your true greatness and what you are capable of. Only Love can bring peace and great happiness in this world.”

“The important message is that when we are prosperous, we overlook love. When we feel important, we forget love. Even in happiness and sorrow we forget love. Only with time do we realize the importance of love. Why wait that long? Why not make love a part of your life today?”

 

A gift of love!

“Can I see my baby?” the happy new mother asked.

When the bundle was nestled in her arms and she moved the fold of cloth to look upon his tiny face, she gasped. The doctor turned quickly and looked out the tall hospital window. The baby had been born without ears.

Time proved that the baby’s hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred. When he rushed home from school one day and flung himself into his mother’s arms, she sighed, knowing that his life was to be a succession of heartbreaks. He blurted out the tragedy. “A boy, a big boy … called me a freak.”

He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A favorite with his fellow students, he might have been class president, but for that. He developed a gift, a talent for literature and music. “But you might mingle with other young people,” his mother reproved him, but felt a kindness in her heart. The boy’s father had a session with the family physician. Could nothing be done? “I believe I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they could be procured,” the doctor decided.

Whereupon the search began for a person who would make such a sacrifice for a young man. Two years went by. Then, “You are going to the hospital, Son. Mother and I have someone who will donate the ears you need. But it’s a secret,” said the father. The operation was a brilliant success, and a new person emerged. His talents blossomed into genius, and school and college became a series of triumphs.

Later he married and entered the diplomatic service. “But I must know!” He urged his father, “Who gave so much for me? I could never do enough for him.” “I do not believe you could,” said the father, “but the agreement was that you are not to know … not yet.” The years kept their profound secret, but the day did come … one of the darkest days that a son must endure. He stood with his father over his mother’s casket. Slowly, tenderly, the father stretched forth a hand and raised the thick, reddish-brown hair to reveal that the mother had no outer ears. “Mother said she was glad she never let her hair be cut,” he whispered gently, “and nobody ever thought Mother less beautiful, did they?”

Real beauty lies not in the physical appearance, but in the heart. Real treasure lies not in what that can be seen, but what that cannot be seen. Real love lies not in what is done and known, but in what that is done but not known.

From: Inspire21.com

Faith To Move Mountains

 

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Mountain Moving Faith

Author Unknown

A small congregation in the foothills of the Great Smokies built a new sanctuary on a piece of land willed to them by a church member. Ten days before the new church was to open, the local building inspector informed the pastor that the parking lot was inadequate for the size of the building. Until the church doubled the size of the parking lot, they would not be able to use the new sanctuary.

Unfortunately, the church with its undersized parking lot had used every inch of their land except for the mountain against which it had been built. In order to build more parking spaces, they would have to move the mountain out of the back yard.

Undaunted, the pastor announced the next Sunday morning that he would meet that evening with all members who had “mountain-moving faith”. They would hold a prayer session asking God to remove the mountain from the back yard and to somehow provide enough money to have it paved and painted before the scheduled opening dedication service the following week.

At the appointed time, 24 of the congregation’s 300 members assembled for prayer. They prayed for nearly three hours. At ten o’clock the pastor said the final “Amen”. “We’ll open next Sunday as scheduled,” he assured everyone. “God has never let us down before, and I believe He will be faithful this time too.”

The next morning as he was working in his study there came a loud knock at his door. When he called “come in”, a rough looking construction foreman appeared, removing his hard hat as he entered.

“Excuse me, Reverend. I’m from Acme Construction Company over in the next county. We’re building a huge new shopping mall over there and we need some fill dirt. Would you be willing to sell us a chunk of that mountain behind the church? We’ll pay you for the dirt we remove and pave all the exposed area free of charge, if we can have it right away. We can’t do anything else until we get the dirt in and allow it to settle properly.”

The little church was dedicated the next Sunday as originally planned and there were far more members with “mountain-moving faith” on opening Sunday than there had been the previous week!


 

This is Jesus just checking in today

Author Unknown

A minister passing through his church in the middle of the day, decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray.

Just then the back door opened, a man came down the aisle.

The minister frowned as he saw the man hadn’t shaved in a while.

His shirt was kinda shabby and his coat was worn and frayed.

The man knelt, he bowed his head, then rose and walked away.

In the days that followed, each noon time came this chap,

Each time he knelt just for a moment, a lunch pail in his lap.

Well, the minister’s suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear,

He decided to stop the man and ask him, “What are you doing here?”

The old man said, he worked down the road. Lunch was half an hour.

Lunchtime was his prayer time, for finding strength and power.

“I stay only moments, see, because the factory is so far away;

As I kneel here talking to the Lord, this is kinda what I say:

“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I’VE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.

DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY. SO, JESUS, THIS IS JIM CHECKING IN TODAY.”

The minister feeling foolish, told Jim, that was fine.

He told the man he was welcome to come and pray just anytime.

Time to go, Jim smiled, said “Thanks.” He hurried to the door.

The minister knelt at the altar, he’d never done it before.

His cold heart melted, warmed with love, and met with Jesus there.

As the tears flowed, in his heart, he repeated old Jim’s prayer:

“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I’VE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.

I DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY. SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME CHECKING IN TODAY.”

Past noon one day, the minister noticed that old Jim hadn’t come.

As more days passed without Jim, he began to worry some.

At the factory, he asked about him, learning he was ill.

The hospital staff was worried, but he’d given them a thrill.

The week that Jim was with them, brought changes in the ward.

His smiles, a joy contagious. Changed people, were his reward.

The head nurse couldn’t understand why Jim was so glad, when no flowers, calls or cards came, not a visitor he had.

The minister stayed by his bed, he voiced the nurse’s concern:

No friends came to show they cared. He had nowhere to turn.

Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up and with a winsome smile; “the nurse is wrong, she couldn’t know, that in here all the while everyday at noon He’s here, a dear friend of mine, you see, He sits right down, takes my hand, leans over and says to me:

“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM, HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP, AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN.

ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY, I THINK ABOUT YOU EACHDAY,

AND SO JIM, THIS IS JESUS CHECKING IN TODAY.”


 

My Attorney

Author Unknown

After living what I felt was a “decent” life, my time on earth came to the end. The first thing I remember is sitting on a bench in the waiting room of what I thought to be a court house.

The doors opened and I was instructed to come in and have a seat by the defense table.

As I looked around I saw the “prosecutor.” He was a villainous looking gent who snarled as he stared at me. He definitely was the most evil person I have ever seen.

I sat down and looked to my left and there sat My Attorney, a kind and gentle looking man whose appearance seemed so familiar to me,I felt I knew Him.

The corner door flew open and there appeared the Judge in full flowing robes. He commanded an awesome presence as He moved across the room I couldn’t take my eyes off of Him.

As He took His seat behind the bench, He said, “Let us begin.”

The prosecutor rose and said,

“My name is Satan and I am here to show you why this man belongs in hell.”

He proceeded to tell of lies that I told, things that I stole, and In the past when I cheated others. Satan told of other horrible Perversions that were once in my life and the more he spoke, the further down in my seat I sank. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t look at anyone, even my own Attorney, as the Devil told of sins that even I had completely forgotten about.

As upset as I was at Satan for telling all these things about me, I was equally upset at My Attorney who sat there silently not Offering any form of defense at all. I know I had been guilty of those things, but I had done some good in my life – couldn’t that at least equal out part of the harm I’d done?

Satan finished with a fury and said, “This man belongs in hell, he is guilty of all that I have charged and there is not a person who can prove otherwise.”

When it was His turn, My Attorney first asked if He might approach the bench. The Judge allowed this over the strong objection of Satan, and beckoned Him to come forward. As He got up and started walking, I was able to see Him in His full splendor and majesty. I realized why He seemed so familiar; this was Jesus representing me, my Lord and my Savior.

He stopped at the bench and softly said to the Judge, “Hi, Dad,” and then He turned to address the court.

“Satan was correct in saying that this man had sinned, I won’t deny any of these allegations. And, yes, the wage of sin is death, and this man deserves to be punished.”

Jesus took a deep breath and turned to His Father with outstretched arms and proclaimed, “However, I died on the cross so that this person might have eternal life and he has accepted Me as his Savior, so he is Mine.”

My Lord continued with, “His name is written in the book of life and no one can snatch him from Me. Satan still does not understand yet. This man is not to be given justice, but rather mercy.”

As Jesus sat down, He quietly paused, looked at His Father and said, “There is nothing else that needs to be done. I’ve done it all.”

The Judge lifted His mighty hand and slammed the gavel down. The following words bellowed from His lips..

“This man is free.” The penalty for him has already been paid in full. Case dismissed.”

As my Lord led me away, I could hear Satan ranting and raving, “I won’t give up, I will win the next one.” I asked Jesus as He gave me my instructions where to go next, “Have you ever lost a case?”

Christ lovingly smiled and said, “Everyone that has come to Me and asked Me to represent them has received the same verdict as you, ……. Paid In Full.

From: gatewaytojesus.com

Never Give Up

 

Never Give Up

 

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Things Change 

                                Alex W. Miller

“For most people, graduation is an exciting day – the culmination of years of hard work. My graduation day… was not.
I remember that weekend two years ago. Family and friends had flown in from across the country to watch our class walk across that stage. But like everyone else in my graduating class, I had watched the economy turn from bad to worse my senior year. We graduates had degrees, but very limited prospects. Numerous applications had not panned out and I knew that the next day, when my lease ended, I would no longer have a place to call home.
The weeks ahead weren’t easy. I gathered up everything I couldn’t carry and put it into storage. Then, because I knew my small university town couldn’t offer me any opportunities, I packed up my car and drove to Southern California to find work. But what I thought would take a week dragged into two, and then four, and 100 job applications later, I found myself in the exact same spot as I was before. And the due date to begin paying back my student loans was creeping ever closer.
You know that feeling when you wake up and you are just consumed with dread? Dread about something you can’t control – that sense of impending failure that lingers over you as you hope that everything that happened to you thus far was just a bad dream? That feeling became a constant in my life.
Days felt like weeks, weeks like months, and those many months felt like an unending eternity of destitution. And the most frustrating part was no matter how much I tried, I just couldn’t seem to make any progress.
So what did I do to maintain my sanity? I wrote. Something about putting words on a page made everything seem a little clearer – a little brighter. Something about writing gave me hope. And if you want something badly enough… sometimes a little hope is all you need!
I channeled my frustration into a children’s book. Beyond the River was the story of an unlikely hero featuring a little fish who simply refused to give up on his dream.
And then one day, without any sort of writing degree or contacts in the writing world – just a lot of hard work and perseverance – I was offered a publishing contract for my first book! After that, things slowly began to fall into place. I was offered a second book deal. Then, a few months later, I got an interview with The Walt Disney Company and was hired shortly after.
The moral of this story is… don’t give up. Even if things look bleak now, don’t give up. Two years ago I was huddled in my car drinking cold soup right out of the can. Things change.
If you work hard, give it time, and don’t give up, things will always get better. Oftentimes our dreams lie in wait just a little further upstream… all we need is the courage to push beyond the river.” 

Things Change, By: Alex W. Miller

A Different Kind Of Treasure

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Treasure in Your Sacks

by Upper Room Administrator on Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When Joseph’s brothers discovered that silver had been put into their sacks, they were scared and worried about what would become of them. However, the steward told them, “Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; I received your silver” (Gen. 43:23, NIV). God gives us treasure, and we perceive it as garbage.

How many times do situations look grim to us, when in fact, they are for our good? Moving to South Korea three years ago for my husband’s job, to me, was anything but good. But God has shown me that I can bloom wherever I’m planted.

I’ve gotten to understand my husband more through learning his culture and getting to know his family. Hey, my Korean cooking has also improved. We attend a church for foreigners and can reach out to English-speaking families in Korea who might be here because of jobs.

And as a freelance writer, God has blessed my writing, keeping me busy with writing projects and upcoming books! I’m not only writing for American publishers, but even have one Korean publisher!

My children are blossoming, learning both Korean and American cultures. I’m homeschooling them since we’re too far from international schools. They attend taekwondo classes every week day for one hour and have advanced to the level right under black belt.

God has provided for our needs in every way. For example, going to the doctor and dentist are very cheap, compared with the U.S. One visit only costs maybe $5 and the same with the prescription. Plus, you’re in and out of the doctor’s clinic within 5-10 minutes!

Since we live right by the Han River, I can jog along the river walk and meditate on the beauty of God’s creation as I look at the mountains that surround us.

God, indeed, gave me a treasure by allowing me to experience this other country.

From: The Upper Room.