Only God holds the future, and when you have found Him, you might not know what your future holds, but you will have the blessed security of knowing Who holds you now and forever."
~ R.G. LeTourneau
"Does your need seem big to you? Then make sure that God knows how big it looks to your eyes and He will treat it as such. He will never belittle it however trivial. He willnot laugh at it, or at us. He never forgets how large our problems look to us."
~ Corrie ten Boom
In the Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis wrote, "Men are not angered by mere misfortune but by misfortune conceived as injury, and the sense of injury depends on the feeling that a legitimate claim has been denied" He goes on to describe how Satan gains a foothold when a person believes that those things he desires and for which he longs, but is denied, were in some mysterious sense, his personal birthright.
Peace comes -- not because we know what is going to happen but because we know the One who is in control of what happens.
The calling of a Christian is not to do extraordinary things, but to do ordinary things in an extraordinary way."
~ Samuel Johnson
The true test of a servant is if I act like one when I am treated like one.
How To Be Great
Do not try to do great things you may waste all your life waiting for the opportunity which may never come. But since little things are always claiming your attention, do them as they come, from a great motive, for the glory of God, to win His smile and approval and do good to men. It is harder to plod in obscurity, acting thus than to stand on the high places of the field, within the view of all, and do seeds of valor at which rival armies stand still to gaze. But no such act goes without the swift recognition and the ultimate recompense of Christ.
To fulfill faithfully the duties of your station; to use the uttermost the gifts of your ministry; to bear the chafing unthankful and evil; to be content to be martyrs who bore the pillory and stake; to find the one noble trait in people who try to attack you; to put the kindest construction on unkind acts and words; to love with the love of God even the unthankful and evil; to be content to be a fountain in the midst of a wild valley of stones, nourshing a few lichens and wild flowers, or now and again a thirsty sheep; and to do this always, and not for the praise of man, but for the sake of God -- this makes a great life.
If God sends us on stony paths. He provides strong shoes.
When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember well the polished old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother used to talk to it.
Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person - her name was Information Please and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anybody's number and the correct time.
My first personal experience with this genie-in-the-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible, but there didn't seem to be any reason in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway - The telephone! Quickly I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. Information Please I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.
A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. "Information."
"I hurt my finger. . ." I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.
"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.
"Nobody's home but me." I blubbered.
"Are you bleeding?"
"No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."
"Can you open your icebox?" she asked. I said I could. "Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it to your finger."
After that I called Information Please for everything. I asked her for help with my geography and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math, and she told me my pet chipmunk I had caught in the park just the day before would eat fruits and nuts.
And there was the time that Petey, our pet canary died. I called Information Please and told her the sad story. She listened, then said the usual things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was unconsoled. Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers, feet up on the bottom of a cage?
She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, "Paul, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in."
Somehow I felt better.
Another day I was on the telephone. "Information Please."
"Information," said the now familiar voice.
"How do you spell fix?" I asked.
All this took place in a small town in the pacific Northwest. Then when I was 9 years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. Information Please belonged in that old wooden box back home, and I somehow never thought of trying the tall, shiny new phone that sat on the hall table.
Yet as I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me; often in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.
A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about half an hour or so between plane, and I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please".
Miraculously, I heard again the small, clear voice I knew so well, "Information." I hadn't planned this but I heard myself saying, "Could you tell me please how-to spell fix?'
There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess that your finger must have healed by now."
I laughed, "So it's really still you, I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time."
"I wonder, she said, if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children, and I used to look forward to your calls."
I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.
"Please do, just ask for Sally."
Just three months later I was back in Seattle. . .A different voice answered Information and I asked for Sally.
"Are you a friend?" "Yes, a very old friend." "Then I'm sorry to have to tell you. Sally has been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago." But before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute. Did you say your name was Paul?"
"Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down, Here it is I'll read it 'Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean'."
I thanked her and hung up. I did know what Sally meant.
by Alice Gray
The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?
Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."
As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.
Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere--Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.
Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story.
One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"
"Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess--the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favorite."
"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"
"Daddy, you know I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."
"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.
A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. "What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"
Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver,she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you."
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure. So like our heavenly Father.