Tag Archives: loving

God Gives Us Blessings

 

(pictures of people being blessed)

God Gives Us Blessings

The land which I do give them, even the children of Israel (Joshua 1:2).

God here speaks in the immediate present. It is not something He is going to do, but something He does do, this moment. So faith ever speaks. So God ever gives. So He is meeting you today, in the present moment. This is the test of faith. So long as you are waiting for a thing, hoping for it, looking for it, you are not believing. It may be hope, it may be earnest desire, but it is not faith; for “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The command in regard to believing prayer is the present tense. “When ye pray, believe that ye receive the things that ye desire, and ye shall have them.” Have we come to that moment? Have we met God in His everlasting NOW?
–Joshua, by Simpson

True faith counts on God, and believes before it sees. Naturally, we want some evidence that our petition is granted before we believe; but when we walk by faith we need no other evidence than God’s Word. He has spoken, and according to our faith it shall be done unto us. We shall see because we have believed, and this faith sustains us in the most trying places, when everything around us seems to contradict God’s Word.

The Psalmist says, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of living” (Ps. 27:13). He did not see as yet the Lord’s answer to his prayers, but he believed to see; and this kept him from fainting.

If we have the faith that believes to see, it will keep us from growing discouraged. We shall “laugh at impossibilities,” we shall watch with delight to see how God is going to open up a path through the Red Sea when there is no human way out of our difficulty. It is just in such places of severe testing that our faith grows and strengthens.

Have you been waiting upon God, dear troubled one, during long nights and weary days, and have feared that you were forgotten? Nay, lift up your head, and begin to praise Him even now for the deliverance which is on its way to you.
–Life of Praise

Life, Death, God and Fear

The subject of fear is an interesting thing when we consider both life and God.  You see, I
don’t believe I’m afraid of dying and yet I know that as long as I am alive, I will resist death;
and perhaps even in my final moments I will not be able to reconcile myself to the
inevitability of dying in any time that I call NOW.  Instead, I suspect I will believe that it is
imminent and yet still in the future—always in the future. I think that is the optimistic frame
of mind that God gives to all humans and that death, coming as it does after years of
declining health, still “sneaks up” on us most of the time.

That brings me to Fear.  You see I am afraid of a lot of things—some of them involving a fear of a method of death but the main one just a fear of fear itself.  For instance, I enjoy the process of flying and viewing all the earth below me, but even though I deeply doubt that the exact plane I’m on will plummet to earth, I am afraid all the time I’m flying,  because I am afraid of the fear I would feel on the way down if that terrible thing were to happen.

While actually the abrupt jolting of my soul from my human body would be easier than the pain of a long, lingering illness, I just don’t want to face that particular fear—that knowing that the time for death is NOW.

I’m also afraid of roller coasters.  I think if I took a ride on one it is likely that I would come back to the starting place all in one piece as thousands of people do every year, but I would be so afraid.  So I don’t ride roller coasters.

The same goes for driving too fast.  Who wants to risk life and limb to get there faster?  I don’t want to see another car unexpectedly appear in front of me and know I am going to suffer the impact.  That scares me.

What does not scare me is going home to be with God.  I just want to go there by his gentle invitation; I don’t want to go crashing in heaven’s gate unexpectedly.

I don’t think God minds that I’m afraid of things that hold more elements of danger than day-to-day life usually engenders.  I think he wants me to hold my life dear and submit my soul to him only when he gives me that quiet call.

I’m not ashamed of being afraid of taking chances with my life; I would be ashamed if I wasn’t. I would be ashamed to not hold the wonderful life God gave me in the esteem this great gift deserves.

B. Killebrew

 

The History of “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know” Song

The very first Christian song most children learn is “Jesus Loves Me.” If there were a best-seller hit list among the preschoolers, this very simple but precious song would have to be at the top of the charts. Yet few people know that “Jesus Loves Me” began life not as a song but as a part of one of 1860′s best-selling novels.

Anna Warner was well aware of the coming of the war between the states. She lived with her father and sister on Constitution Island. Their home was practically next door to the United States Military Academy at West Point, and from her front porch she constantly heard the rumors of war. Yet even in the face of uncertain times, every Sunday Anna taught Bible classes to the cadets. She realized that if the southern states made good on their threat to withdraw from the Union many of the boys she knew could be killed or wounded in the war that would follow. While it broke her heart to consider the dismal fate for those too young to have experienced the many blessings of life, she also fully comprehended the importance of leading each of them to Jesus now. With an urgency brought about by a nation on the brink of dividing, sharing Christ’s love became her mission in life.

Besides her teaching, the forty-year-old Anna also wrote. With her sister
Susan she had written several novels, using the pseudonym Amy Lothrop. In
1860 the sisters’ Say and Seal became the country’s best-selling work of
fiction. Written for the masses and the moment, not fueled by timeless
struggles or epic writing, the book would quickly pass from the public’s
fancy, lost with thousands of other period pieces of the time. Yet, thanks
to one very special scene on but a single page, the essence of the book and
of Anna’s faith would live for decades after Say and Seal and Anna herself
had been forgotten.

In one chapter a child lay dying. Nothing could be done to ease his pain or
give him a second chance at life. As his ultimate fate grew nearer, the
novel’s focal character, Mr. Linden, attempted to comfort the small boy.
Looking into the child’s eyes, he slowly recited a poem that began, “Jesus
loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

The words of the poem made the boy’s last moments of life much easier. These
simple lines also moved thousands of readers to tears. Hauntingly beautiful,
composed straight from Anna’s faithful heart, “Jesus Loves Me” quickly
sprang out of her book’s pages and became one of the most beloved poems of
the era. No one can even begin to calculate how many times it was said on
the battlefield, in the homes of children whose fathers were engaged in the
Civil War, from pulpits and in Sunday school classes, and even at the White
House itself. Ringing so clear and true, Anna’s sixteen short sentences had
touched the hearts of millions with verses meant only to calm the soul of a
dying fictional character.

One of the scores of readers who memorized the poem was William Bradbury. A
teacher of voice and organ, in 1854 Bradbury had formed a piano company with
Ferdinand Lighte and Henry Newton. Besides heading up his business, the
noted musician also continued a practice of setting his faith to music by
composing his own songs. By the beginning of the Civil War, Bradbury had
built his own music company to publish and distribute his works. It was
during the time when his music business was taking off that he first read
and fell in love with “Jesus Loves Me.”

Although an accomplished composer of what many think of as high-church
music–he had already lent his talents to such hymns as “Sweet Hour of
Prayer, …. He Leadeth Me,” and “On Christ the Solid Rock I
Stand”–Bradbury was moved in a much different fashion when he decided to
add a melody to Anna Warner’s poem. A lover of children’s voices, as well as
a proponent of music education in both school and church, Bradbury allowed
the child in his own heart to spring forth when writing the simple musical
notes for “Jesus Loves Me.” Then, to fully complete the work, he added the
following chorus:

Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, The Bible
tells me so.

The marriage of Waner’s words and Bradbury’s music was one of the most
beautiful gospel efforts of all time. Yet the song “Jesus Loves Me” might
have been as quickly forgotten as the novel Say and Seal if Bradbury’s music
company hadn’t published it. Through the publisher’s established
distribution network, the new children’s song quickly worked its way across
the North and South. In the face of the most horrible fighting this nation
had ever known, both sides were singing about a Savior who died, yet had
risen and still watched over everyone with equal love and compassion. It was
an ironic message for a very ironic time.

Almost a hundred and forty years after this song was first published, few
know of the writings of Anna Warner or recognize the name of William
Bradbury. But even though the writer and the composer have been forgotten,
everyone knows their song. Children and adults of all races and even
millions outside the Christian faith can sing “Jesus Loves Me.” How many
millions have clung to this message on lonely nights or rocked babies to
sleep while singing this song is unknown. But what can be most assuredly
stated is that “Jesus Loves Me” is the foundation on which many children not
only first come to know Christian music but also come to know the love and
sacrifice of the Lord who inspired it. And this message is what keeps them
singing the gospel throughout their lives.

Norma Lee Liles

 

God’s Word: Embracing Us in Love

Introduction

Matthew 18:1-14: Jesus instructs his followers about entering the Kingdom of heaven and about avoiding temptations to sin. Today’s reading concludes with the story of a shepherd who searches for a lost sheep to emphasize God’s vigilant love and care.

Today’s Scripture: Matthew 18:4

The greatest in the Kingdom of heaven is the one who humbles himself and becomes like this child.

Today’s Reading

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, asking, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” 2 So Jesus called a child to come and stand in front of them, 3 and said, “I assure you that unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven. 4 The greatest in the Kingdom of heaven is the one who humbles himself and becomes like this child. 5 And whoever welcomes in my name one such child as this, welcomes me. 6 If anyone should cause one of these little ones to lose his faith in me, it would be better for that person to have a large millstone tied around his neck and be drowned in the deep sea. 7 How terrible for the world that there are things that make people lose their faith! Such things will always happen—but how terrible for the one who causes them! 8 If your hand or your foot makes you lose your faith, cut it off and throw it away! It is better for you to enter life without a hand or a foot than to keep both hands and both feet and be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye makes you lose your faith, take it out and throw it away! It is better for you to enter life with only one eye than to keep both eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. 10 See that you don’t despise any of these little ones. Their angels in heaven, I tell you, are always in the presence of my Father in heaven. 12 What do you think a man does who has one hundred sheep and one of them gets lost? He will leave the other ninety-nine grazing on the hillside and go and look for the lost sheep. 13 When he finds it, I tell you, he feels far happier over this one sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost. 14 In just the same way your Father in heaven does not want any of these little ones to be lost.

Reflect

Children were considered a gift from God because they cared for older parents and carried on the family name when the parents died. Yet children had little power and were to obey their parents completely. Jesus used children as an example to show that being powerful is not the way to get into God’s kingdom; what God wants is obedience. What is your understanding of Jesus’ words that we are to humble ourselves and become like a child (verse 4)?

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

Intimacy That Satisfies

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Intimacy That Satisfies

 From: getmorestrength.org.

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” Psalm 42:1-2

In my opinion, intimacy is a really attractive word. Deep down inside, all of us long for meaningful connections that satisfy our souls and chase away the shadows of aloneness. But if we’re not careful, we may be looking for true intimacy in all the wrong places. Thoughts of intimacy often conjure up mental pictures of close encounters of the physical kind or the shallow, shabby offers of alluring lingerie, one-night stands, colognes, video titles, evenings of candlelight and red wine, or voyeuristic exchanges on the Internet. More innocently, your thoughts of intimacy may be about just finding a good friend that can be a soul mate. But even deep friendships can be sometimes fleeting and fickle.

It’s easy to be lured into counterfeit offers of intimacy only to find that they are not what our soul really craves. In fact, every time we dip into these buckets, we eventually come up empty, disappointed, and frequently left with shame and regret. Accept no substitutes! Don’t stop looking until you have found the soul mate that will truly satisfy.

You ask, “Who would that be?” Search no more, the offer of fulfilling intimacy is found in a deepening relationship with God Himself. After all, you were built for intimacy with Him. That’s what Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden until sin blocked access to God. But thankfully, God didn’t give up on His desire for intimacy with you. He stepped in and removed the barrier through the death of His Son so that intimacy with Him could be restored! And now He welcomes you to Himself by saying, “Come near to [me] and [I] will draw near to you” (James 4:8) and “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock” (Revelation 3:20). He’s wanting and waiting to come in and dine with you!

God is the only One perfectly suited to satisfy and sustain us. The joy of true intimacy is ours as we grow more deeply conscious of, connected to, and confident in God—and Him alone—as our unfailing resource in life.

As in any relationship, intimacy with God has some dynamics that make it grow. We don’t experience His nearness by just telling Him that we love Him, as important as that is. Intimacy is cultivated by drawing near to Him in obedience; by loving what He loves and hating what He hates; by sharing our deepest desires and struggles with Him in prayer; and by expressing our love to Him by acts of loyalty, sacrifice, and service to others. These attitudes and actions all say to God, “I love you!” in clear and compelling ways. Hebrews assures us that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Indeed, intimacy with God will reward your spirit with peace, confidence, a sense of direction and purpose, and the blessing of knowing that you are loved, really loved, by the one who promises that He will never leave you nor forsake you!

Intimacy with God can’t be bought at the corner newsstand. Nor can it be purchased at the mall, found on an exotic vacation, or acquired in developing the most impressive of social calendars. When it comes to the joy of intimacy, these things are the small talk of life compared to the deep satisfaction that comes from the privilege of knowing that “in a love that cannot cease, I am His and He is mine!”

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • Have you looked to other people and things to satisfy the longings of your heart? If so, in what ways have they fallen short of your expectations? Inevitably they will!
  • How would you rate your relationship with God? If a lack of obedience has hindered your intimacy with Him, pray and ask Him to “work in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
  • How can you show God a deeper love today?

 

Replace Complaints with Thanks

November 23 | Bob Christian | Emphasis: Thankfulness
“Give thanks in all circumstances.” 1 thessalonians 5:18
During my junior year at Northwestern University, I learned an important lesson about thankfulness. It was midseason, and we had yet to win a game. Our homecoming game was very close—going back and forth right down to the last seconds. Trailing by 2 with 7 seconds left, we called a timeout on the 17-yard line and sent the field goal unit out for the game-winning field goal. The kick was tipped, however, and it went just wide. Instead of an exhilarating win, we suffered a bitter defeat.

That loss hurt badly. It didn’t seem fair that we never seemed to catch a break. Our chances of winning a single game that year started to look grim. The next week I was sitting in church and started complaining to God about how life was unfair. When I finally stopped, God quietly spoke to me. He asked me how many people would love to be in my shoes? How many would love to have a scholarship to Northwestern? How many would love to start for a Division I team? How many would just love the chance to play football? How many would just love to be able to walk?

Thinking about those questions made me ashamed of complaining. I had a lot to be thankful for. I started approaching each day, each practice, and each game with thankfulness. It didn’t change my circumstances, but it changed me within the circumstances. I ended up working harder and enjoying life more in the midst of a difficult season.

From: sports.org.

Loved To Love

 

Loved To Love

 — by Julie Ackerman Link
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
What does the Lord your God require of you, but . . . to walk in all His ways and to love Him. —Deuteronomy 10:12
Bible in a Year:
Jeremiah 24-26; Titus 2

“A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” I saw this quotation, attributed to the Wizard of Oz, on a wall plaque in a gift shop.

The Wizard of Oz may be a good story, but it’s not a reliable source of spiritual information. God said something quite different. According to Him, the greatest commandment is to love—to love Him first and then others (Mark 12:29-31). Scripture says nothing about expecting to be loved in return. In fact, Jesus stated the opposite in His most famous sermon: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matt. 5:11-12).

When it comes to love, the important thing we need to know is this: All love starts with God (1 John 4:19). As Moses told the Israelites, God delighted in them to love them (Deut. 10:15), and because of that they were to love others, even strangers (v.19). God’s intent is that the people who receive His love will become the conduit of His love to others.

Apart from God—who Himself is love—none of us could truly love or be loved (1 John 4:7-8).

“Love seeketh not her own,” and so
He did not stay as God above,
But chose a manger and a cross
To show that He was Love. —Wilmshurst
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. —1 John 4:8

A Real Treasure

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How I Found a Real Treasure

“Have you ever found a treasure?”, I once asked my father. He smiled a big smile and told me this story. That was many years ago and I have never forgotten it.

“Once when I was about ten years old” my father told me, “I went treasure hunting with my older sister. She had heard some people talking about a treasure chest that was supposed to be hidden in a hillside cave, way at the back of an empty lot about a mile from where we lived. One day during our summer vacation we went there and spent two or three hours looking for the entrance to the cave. Then, as I was trying to squeeze between two big boulders, I suddenly fell into a hole. It was the mouth of a tunnel that led to the cave.

My sister and I crawled through the tunnel into the cave. It was very dark but we had brought a flashlight and as we shined it around we were shocked to see that there was a large wooden chest about ten feet ahead of us. Neither of us had thought we would really find a treasure.

We ran to the chest and pulled it open. It was filled with silver and gold coins. I started to count them but my sister told me to stop. This is only money she said. This is not a real treasure. If you want money all you have to do is work for it.

I was going to argue with her when I suddenly noticed a big metal chest on the other side of the cave. ‘That must be the real treasure.’ I yelled and we both ran over to the metal chest. This chest was harder to open and we were very excited when we finally opened it.

The chest was filled with statues of men and animals. Some of the statues were made of ivory, some were made of marble with diamonds for eyes and rubies for lips, and some were made of gold. I took one of the gold statues out of the chest and stood it up. Since I was knelling it almost reached my chin. ‘Don’t do that!’ yelled my sister. ‘This is only beauty and art. It is not a real treasure. There must be something better here.’

But there was nothing else in the cave. We searched and searched but the two chests were all there was. Then the battery in the flashlight started to die. The bulb grew dim. We got scared and crawled back to the tunnel. I wiggled through but my sister got stuck half way into the tunnel. I tried to pull her out but I couldn’t. I began to cry. ‘Find someone to help me.’ my sister said.

I ran up and down the street knocking on doors and begging people to come with me to help my sister. Nobody would come. Some were watching TV or playing video games. Others were busy eating, or talking on the phone. Some didn’t believe me and some didn’t want to get involved.

The only one who would help was a girl about my age. She got a rope and a spade and a water bottle. We returned to the tunnel and after about a half an hour we got my sister out of the tunnel.

We never told our parents about what had happened. I became good friends with the girl who had helped us. I asked her why she helped us even though she had never even met us before. She told me that there was a commandment in the Torah that said, “Don’t be a bystander when someone else is bleeding.” (Leviticus 19:16)

I grew to admire her very much. She was very responsible, charitable, faithful, kind and loving. I learned a lot from her and when we finished college I realized that she was more than a very good friend. She was the woman I wanted to marry and live with for the rest of my life. That’s your mom.

I also learned that my sister was right. Wealth and great art are nice but as the good book says, “Who can find a capable wife? Her worth is far above rubies. Her husband safely trusts in her. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the Torah of kindness is on her tongue.” (Proverbs 31:10,26)

In your mother I found the best treasure in the world.”

From: Rabbi Allan S. Maller, www.inspirationalarchive.com

Stories That Make You Think

 

 

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One night while diving for lobster on the small Island of Mauritius I was stung on my forearm by 5 Box-Jellyfish, which the local Creole fishermen called “invisables” A sting from a Box-Jellyfish often proves to be fatal – as exemplified in Australia where 70 people are known to have died from their stings. Many books quote this particular type of Jellyfish to be among the most venomous creatures in the world.

 

By the time an ambulance arrived my body was totally paralyzed and necrosis had begun to set into my bone marrow. On route to the hospital I began to see my life flash before me. At this point of my life I was an atheist – but I knew I was nearly dead and I didn’t know if there was life after death or whether there was just nothing. As I lay there dying, I saw my mother in a vision praying for me, encouraging me to cry out to God from my heart and He would hear me and forgive me (my mother was the only Christian in our family.) I didn’t know what to pray and cried out that if God was real, could He help me to pray. Immediately God showed me the Lord’s Prayer, and for the first time in my life I prayed from my heart and gave my life to the Lord.

 

 

Death & Hell
 

The ambulance stopped and they placed me in a wheel chair and raced me into the hospital. The nurse took my blood pressure twice but could not find a pulse as my veins had collapsed. The doctors tried to save my life by injecting anti-toxins and dextrose into my body, but seemingly to no avail. Within a few minutes I seemed to slip away (apparently life ceased from my body for a period of approx. 15 minutes).

 

During this time I found myself in a very dark place, not realising where I was. So I tried to find a light switch, thinking I was still in the hospital – but as I reached out into the dark I couldn’t touch anything. Reaching to touch my face I found my hand go straight through it. It seemed so bizarre, as I knew I was standing there but couldn’t touch any part of my physical body.

 

As I stood there I began to sense that this wasn’t just a physical darkness but that there was something else there. I could feel a cold eerie feeling as though something or someone was looking at me – a spiritual darkness. From the darkness I began to hear men’s voices screaming at me telling me to “shut up” – “that I deserved to be there” – “that I was in Hell”. I couldn’t believe it, but as I stood there a radiant beam of light shone through the darkness and immediately began to lift me upward. I found myself being translated up into an incredibly brilliant beam of pure white light – it seemed to be emanating from a circular opening far above me (I felt like a speck of dust being drawn up into a beam of sunlight).

 

 

The Journey
 

I entered this opening to find myself inside a long narrow passageway or tunnel – at the far end of the tunnel I could see the source of the light – it was so radiant that it looked to be the centre of the universe. As I continued to look towards this light it seemed to draw me towards it at an incredible speed – I wasn’t walking but was being translated along this tunnel towards the source of this light. I watched as a wave of light broke off the source and moved up the tunnel towards me – as it passed through me I could feel a wave of warmth and comfort flood my soul … it was incredible. This light wasn’t just physical, but was giving off a living emotion … Halfway down another wave of light – this time it gave off pure peace – followed by another wave – of pure joy. Coming out of the end of this tunnel I found myself standing in the presence of awesome light and power – it seemed as though even the constellations in the universe must find their energy source from this focal point.

 

As I stood there I wondered to myself if this was just an energy source in the universe or if perhaps there could be someone standing in the midst of this light!!!!! A voice immediately responded to my thought and asked me “Ian, do you wish to return?” Return, I thought!!! Where am I??? As I looked over my shoulder I could see the tunnel going back into darkness.

 

 

The Light
 

I thought – darkness – hospital bed – am I out of my body? – is this real? – am I standing here? – or am I in a coma having some bizarre dream? Am I in my body or out of my body?? (I could cognitively think of the two alternatives.) As I looked back towards the light, it was still there … I responded “I don’t know where I am, but if I am out of my physical body I wish to return.” The voice responded “If you wish to return – you must see in a new light.” “New light”, I thought, “I’m seeing the light.” “Are you the true light???” Words appeared in front of me “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).” I had never read a Bible before in my life so I didn’t know this was straight out of the scriptures. God is light, I thought – that is pure light – I see no darkness here, I have just come from darkness – I see no evil, no shadows – this is pure light – am I standing in the presence of God??? He knows my name and I didn’t tell Him, only God could do that – He knows what I am thinking before I even speak, only God could do that. Then he must be able to see everything I have done wrong in my life … no … I don’t want God to see that. I felt totally exposed and wanted to move away from the light and go back into the darkness where I belonged. I thought someone had made a mistake and brought the wrong person up. As I drew back towards the darkness a wave of light swept through me … I felt pure unadulterated Love flow over me. Love I thought, how could God love me – I’ve taken his name in vain – I’ve slept around – I’m not a good man … but no matter what I said, waves of His unconditional Love continued to flow over me. I found myself weeping uncontrollably in His Presence. It was so amazing that He had totally forgiven me and accepted me as I was.

 

The waves of Love ceased and I wondered if I could possibly step into the light and see what God looked like. I was so close. … I asked if I could step in. ..???.. I heard no response but thought if God could love me so much, He wouldn’t mind …. As I stepped into the light I found myself disappear into it as it was so radiant – it had the intensity of laser light, yet you could look directly at it. The light seemed to absorb me into it – the centre seemed to be very bright so I aimed for it – I could feel a healing presence coming off this light that was healing my broken heart … it was touching me deep inside my heart of hearts where no one gets to see … so beautiful.

From: Heavensinspirations.com

Puppy Love

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puppy love

By Bill McCartney

“We jog, run, camp, fish, and build furniture. But do we ever cross the line?

I’m Bill McCartney… It’s 4th and Goal!

I know men who can take raw wood and a few nails and create a family heirloom. And then there are those of us who can listen to a sputtering engine and pinpoint the problem without even popping the hood. Other guys fly fish or fry up a gourmet meal.

Some of us are music lovers, avid readers and huge pet fans. These interests help fulfill us, but sometimes we can get caught up filling our days… and evenings… and weekends… pursuing activities that leave our families in the dust.

Take our interest in man’s best friend. Our animals are companions for kids, protection for the home and just plain furry fun for the whole family. But, with all the extras and supplies available, there can be a tendency to get a little carried away.

We’ve got doggy beds, doggy diet chow, and special canine clothing. People primp their pooches, put them up in pet hotels, and even take them to counselors, when they’re not sure what’s dogging Fido. Things can easily get out of hand.

While we enjoy our outside interests and hobbies, do we let these “extras” become sore spots in our lives? Do they absorb far more time, energy and money than we should be sacrificing?

Any diversion can draw us away from the relationships that make life worth living. Let’s ask ourselves what’s more important, fulfilling our own needs or being a father to our children? What will they remember longer? The shiny wax job on the classic ‘vette? Or all those times we got on the ground and wrestled around with them?

Guys, we can take our hobbies to the extreme, pouring money and time into efforts that have no lasting value. Anything we put ahead of our wives and children, whether a pedigreed pooch, a workbench full of tools, or a super-deluxe convertible, says something about who we are, as men. Let’s keep first things first and stay clear of anything that pulls us away from our first priorities as fathers and husbands.

—–

Bill McCartney was the head coach of the University of Colorado football team for years, leading them to a co-National Championship. Now he is active as a speaker for a Christian organization.” Puppy Love, Inspire 21.com, by: Bill McCartney.

“…Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

Father and Daughter

 

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A True Story — by Ronda Rich

“Funny, the things you learn when you tuck manners away and allow yourself to eavesdrop.

Mary Noble and I slid into the ancient red leather and steel booth of a diner in Birmingham and placed our breakfast order.

As we poured cream into steaming black coffee, we heard the shrilling ring of the telephone at the cash register.

“Diner,” answered the aging man with silver hair and loose skin that hung in folds around his neck.

He answered briskly but quicker than you could say “eggs over easy,” his voice melted like marshmallows dropped into hot chocolate. “Oh, hey honey.”

That’s what caught our attention. We hushed, raised our eyebrows and leaned closer to eavesdrop better.

“Where are you?” He waited. “You didn’t forget your camera, did you?” Another pause. “Be sure to put it in the basket at airport security. Don’t walk through the detector with it. Then, don’t forget it. You’ve got your money, right?” Another pause. “OK, sweetheart. Call me first thing so I’ll know you’re all right.”

He smiled. “I love you. Be careful. Bye, sweetheart.”

Really, I don’t know how we knew, but somehow we reckoned it was his daughter. Women’s intuition, I guess. Though, he did seem too old to have a young daughter that he would be talking to like that. He hung up the phone. We smiled sentimentally like women will do because conversations like that touch our hearts.

“Isn’t that sweet?” I asked.

Mary Noble nodded. She turned around, craning her neck to look at the man who was returning to the morning newspaper in the first booth. Then, she sold us out.

“That must have been your daughter. It was so sweet.”

He chuckled slightly and blushed. “Yeah, that was my girl.”

“It’s wonderful to hear a father talk like that,” I remarked.

He put the newspaper down. “She’s 50 years old.” Before that comment could stun us, he continued. “She’s got MS (multiple sclerosis). It hasn’t progressed much in the past five years. She’s going to Washington, D.C.” He looked out the large plate glass window, studying the morning sunlight that dappled the trees and cars parked along the street. He waited a long moment before speaking again.

“I love that girl so. She’s her mama made over.” He shook his head slowly.

That scene hangs with me. In a little Alabama diner on a quiet, tree-lined street, we discovered a father unashamed to say “I love you” to a daughter who was half a century old. And, not embarrassed to say it loud enough for the eager ears of strangers.

Funny, the things that will warm your heart when you tuck your manners away long enough to eavesdrop.” A True Story by: Donna Rich. Inspire 21.com.

Dearest Grandmamas

 

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Dearest grandmama

by STEPHEN

“Hi all, I would like to share a story with you, a person who has been a source of inspiration to each and everyone of our family member.

She is (was rather, she is no more) my grandmama. She was an affectionate woman who could win over anyone with her undying love, no matter what. Let me narrate to you, the story of her life, the trauma that no woman should ever undergo!

She was the eldest of a family of 7 girls and 1 boy. Of these, 2 children died shortly after birth. Right now, only 2 of them are alive.

At the age of 16, my grandma got married as a second wife to a 40 year old man. She lost her husband 1 year after her wedding. By God’s grace she had a son whom she considered a solace. But that didn’t last, as the son passed away shortly too! Ultimately, by the age of 25 she lost her entire family! Nevertheless, she then dedicated her life towards the upbringing of each and every child in the family. This was the reason she was loved and respected by everyone in our family.

Last year, by this same time, my marriage was fixed. Being the oldest grandchild in my family, she was very happy and said she would bring up my kid too! I was in tears and said of course you will have to! Shortly before my engagement, she had a fall one night when sleeping. It left her right hand fractured. There began all the trouble. She was 83 years old by then.

At my engagement function, all she could do was sit quietly in one place. It was a hard hitting reality for all of us since we got used to seeing her doing the entire household chores all by herself!

There was hardly a month left for my wedding. She developed a strange mental depression since that time, imagining things, fearing death, longing to see my wedding and the like. All of us assured her that she would be the first person to bless me at my wedding. But nature is inevitable as we all know.

She was admitted in the ICU for nearly 20 days. All day we would stay at the hospital, praying for her. One fine day it happened-what we all feared. She was no more, and left all of us teary-eyed.

My dad was the eldest child in the family, so naturally he had to do the rites. But our family stopped him since I had my wedding the next month. We (me, dad, mum and sis) weren’t allowed to even see her face! Imagine our plight!

At my wedding, her garlanded photo was in front of me and my husband. I was speechless, moved to tears. I knew, my dearest grandmama will bless me as ever!

Even today, we don’t feel her loss, I only feel why she isn’t around to share our joys and sorrows.”

From; Academic Tips.org, Moral Stories.