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"O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.
Deliver me, Jesus...
from the desire of being loved,
from the desire of being extolled,
from the desire of being honored,
from the desire of being praised,
from the desire of being preferred to others,
from the desire of being consulted,
from the desire of being approved,
from the fear of being humiliated,
from the fear of being despised,
from the fear of suffering rebuke,
from the fear of being forgotten,
from the fear of being wronged,
from the fear of being suspected.
And Jesus, grant me the grace to desire...
that others might be loved more than I,
that in the opinion of the world others may increase
and I may decrease,
that others may be chosen, and I set aside,
that others may be praised and I unnoticed,
that others may be preferred to me in everything
that otheres may become holier than I,
provided that I become as holy as I should."
                                                                                                              ~ from Come! Live! Die!
                                                                                                                By George Verwer

Dying to Self
When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don't sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ,
That is dying to self.
When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinion ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient loving silence,
That is dying to self.
When you are content with any food, any offering, any raiment, any climate, any society, any solitude, and interruption by the will of God,
That is dying to self.
When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendation, when you can truly love to be unknown,
That is dying to self.
When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met, and honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy  nor question God, whild your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances,
That is dying to self.
When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself, and humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart,
That is dying to self.
                                                                                                                                  ~Amy Carmichael

"The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it."
                                                                                                                                            ~ D.L. Moody

Steps to Conquer Pride
Submit to authorities
Admit faults and needs
Ask for forgiveness
Praise my competitors
Welcome critics
Bless those who curse me
Express gratefulness
Ask others to point out blind spots
Get rid of status symbols
Listen vs. talking about self
Never joke about others
Tell how God "spanks" me
Have times of fasting
Kneel in prayer
Serve others
Weep over sin
Honor the Lord's day
Give sacrifically
                    ~ Bill Gothard
          Many people live in a large apartment house and the junk was taken to the basement and it was full. In a corner stood a harp that was broken, and nobody was able to repair it. Once a tramp asked if he could spend the night in the house. "There is such a severe snowstorm. May I stay here?" We don't have room for you, but you could sleep in the basement. They emptied a corner and put some straw on the floor.
          After some hours the owner of the harp heard music in the basement. She ran downstairs and saw the tramp playing the harp. "How did you repair my harp? I could not find anybody who was able to do it." The tramp answered, "When I was young I made this harp and when you make something, you can repair it."

Who made you? Do you think He can repair you?
~Corrie ten Boom

          His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog.He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.
          The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.
"I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life."
"No,I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel.
"Is that your son?" the nobleman asked.
"Yes," the farmer replied proudly.
          "I'll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of." And that he did.
          In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St.Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.
          Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.

Someone once said: What goes around comes around.

Not Yet!

Sometimes I ask the question,
"My Lord, is this your will?"
It's then I hear you answer me,
"My Precious Child, be still."

Sometimes I fell frustrated,
Cause I think I know what's best.
It's then I hear you say to me,
"My Busy Child, just rest"

Sometimes I feel so lonely
And I think I'd like a mate.
Your still small voice gets oh so clear
And says, "My Child, please wait"

"I know the plans I have for you,
the wondrous things you'll see;
if you can just be patient, Child,
and put your trust in me.

I've plans to draw you closer.
I've plans to help you grow.
There's much I do you cannot see
And much you do not know.

But know this, Child, I LOVE YOU.
You are Precious unto Me.
Before I formed you in the womb,
I planned your destiny.

I've something very special
I hope for you to learn.
The gifts I wish to give you
Are gifts you cannot earn.

They come without a price tag,
But not without a cost;
At Calvary, I gave My Son,
So you would not be lost.

Rest Child, and do not weary
Of doing what it good.
I promise I'll come back for you
Just like I said I would.

Your name is written on my palm,
I never could forget;
Therefore, do not be discouraged when
My answer is,"Not Yet"

                                                                                          Author Unknown

The Most Beautiful Flower

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read
Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree.
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent on dragging me down.

And if that weren't enough to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.
He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, "Look what I found!"

In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,
With it's petals all worn - not enough rain or too little light.
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,
I faked a small smile and then shifted away.

But instead of retreating he sat next to my side
And placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise,
"It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful, too.
That's why I picked it; here, it's for you."

The weed before me was dying or dead.
Not vibrant of colours, orange, yellow, or red.
But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.
So I reached for the flower and replied, "Just what I need."

But instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
He held it in mid air without reason or plan.
It was then that I noticed for the very first time
That weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.

I heard my voice quiver, tears shone like the sun
As I thanked him for picking the very best one.
"You're welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play,
Unaware of the impact he'd had on my day.

I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.
How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he been blessed with true sight.

Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see
The problem was not with the world, the problem was me.
And for all of those times I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life, and appreciate every second that's mine.

And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
And smiled as I watched that young boy, another weed in his hand
About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.

The Art Collection ~ Christmas

Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they travelled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures 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, 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 hands. 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 have something to show you." As the two began to talk, the soldier told of how the man's son had told everyone of his, not to mention his father's, love of fine art. "I am 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 worth of art. His task completed, the old 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 realised that even though his son was no longer with him, the boy's life would live on because of those he had touched. He would soon learn that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before a bullet stilled his caring heart.  As the stories of his son's gallantry continued to reach him, fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease his 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 clamoured. He told his neighbours 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, that with the collector's passing, and his only son dead, those paintings would be sold at 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 the 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 the painting of the man's son. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid, but the room was silent.  "Who will open the bidding with $100?," he asked. Minutes passed, and no one spoke. From the back of the room came a voice, "Who cares about that painting? It's just a picture of his son." "Let's forget about it and move 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 neighbour 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 auctioneer. 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 the real treasures!" The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced that 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 worth of art here! I demand that you explain what is going on!" 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 Christmas Day, the message is still the same. The love of 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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