Tuesday, December 11, 2018

 

[dailyfoodforthought] SANTA, CAN YOU VISIT MY GRANDDAUGHTER?

SANTA, CAN YOU VISIT MY GRANDDAUGHTER?


Three years ago, a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin. The child climbed up on his lap, holding a picture of a little girl.

"Who is this?" asked Santa, smiling. "Your friend? Your sister?"

"Yes, Santa," he replied. "My sister, Sarah, who is very sick," he said sadly.

Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby, and saw her dabbing her eyes with a tissue.

"She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much, Santa!" the child exclaimed. "She misses you," he added softly.

Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy's face, asking him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.

When they finished their visit, the Grandmother came over to help the child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.

"What is it?" Santa asked warmly.

"Well, I know it's really too much to ask you, Santa, but ..." the old woman began, shooing her grandson over to one of Santa's elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all his young visitors.

"...The girl in the photograph .. My granddaughter . Well, you see ... She has leukemia and isn't expected to make it even through the holidays," she said through tear-filled eyes. "Is there any way, Santa
.
Any possible way that you could come see Sarah? That's all she's asked
for, for Christmas, is to see Santa."

Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with his elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do.

Santa thought of little else the rest of that afternoon. He knew what he had to do.

"What if it were MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying," he
thought with a sinking heart, "this is the least I can do."

When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening, he retrieved from his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was staying.

He asked the assistant location manager how to get to Children's Hospital.

"Why?" Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his face.

Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah's grandmother earlier that day.

"C'mon .... I'll take you there," Rick said softly.

Rick drove them to the hospital and came inside with Santa. They found out which room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said he would wait out in the hall.

Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah on the bed.

The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the Grandmother and the girl's brother he had met earlier that day. A woman whom he guessed was Sarah's mother stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah's thin hair off her forehead. And another woman who he discovered later was Sarah's aunt, sat in a chair near the bed with weary, sad
look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah.

Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a hearty, "Ho, ho, ho!"

"Santa!" shrieked little Sarah weakly, as she tried to escape her bed to run to him, IV tubes intact.

Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug. A child the tender age of his own son -- 9 years old -- gazed up at him with wonder and excitement.

Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from the effects of chemotherapy. But all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of huge, blue eyes. His heart melted, and he ad to force himself to choke back tears. Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah's face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the women in the room.

As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing Santa's shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering "thank you" as they gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes.

Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she'd been a very good girl that year.

As their time together dwindled, Santa felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked for permission from the girl's mother. She nodded in agreement and the entire family circled around Sarah's bed, holding hands.

Santa looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels.

"Oh, yes, Santa ... I do!" she exclaimed.

"Well, I'm going to ask that angels watch over you," he said.

Laying one hand on the child's head, Santa closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease. He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep her. And when he finished praying, still with eyes closed, he started singing softly,

"Silent Night, Holy Night ... all is calm, all is bright."

The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all. When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah's frail, small hands in his own.

"Now, Sarah," he said authoritatively, "you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well. I want you to have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at my house at Mayfair Mall this time next year!"

He knew it was risky proclaiming that, to this little girl who had
terminal cancer, but he "had" to. He had to give her the greatest gift he could -- not dolls or games or toys -- but the gift of HOPE.

"Yes, Santa!" Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright.

He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and left the room.

Out in the hall, the minute Santa's eyes met Rick's, a look passed between them and they wept unashamed.

Sarah's mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed to Santa's side to thank him.

"My only child is the same age as Sarah," he explained quietly. "This is the least I could do."

They nodded with understanding and hugged him.

One year later, Santa Mark was again back on the set in Milwaukee for his six-week, seasonal job which he so loves to do. Several weeks went by and then one day a child came up to sit on his lap.

"Hi, Santa! Remember me?!"

"Of course, I do," Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down at her. After all, the secret to being a "good" Santa is to always make each child feel as if they are the "only" child in the world at that moment.

"You came to see me in the hospital last year!"

Santa's jaw dropped. Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle and held her to his chest.

"Sarah!" he exclaimed.

He scarcely recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy -- much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before.

He looked over and saw Sarah's mother and grandmother in the sidelines smiling and waving and wiping their eyes.

That was the best Christmas ever for Santa Claus. He had witnessed -- and been blessed to be instrumental in bringing about -- this miracle of hope. This precious little child was healed. Cancer-free. Alive and well. He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered,

"Thank you, Father. 'Tis a very, Merry Christmas!"


Author Unknown


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Monday, December 10, 2018

 

[dailyfoodforthought] A Christmas Letter from Jesus

A Christmas Letter from Jesus

 

As you well know, we are getting closer to my birthday. Every year there is a celebration in my honor and I think that this year the celebration will be repeated.

 

During this time there are many people shopping for gifts, there are many radio announcements, TV commercials, and in every part of the world everyone is talking that my birthday is getting closer and closer.  

 

It is really very nice to know, that at least once a year, some people think of me.

As you know, the celebration of my birthday began many years ago.

 

At first people seemed to understand and be thankful of all that I did for them, but in these times, no one seems to know the reason for the celebration.

 

Family and friends get together and have a lot of fun, but they don't know the meaning of the celebration. I remember that last year there was a great feast in my honor. The dinner table was full of delicious foods, pastries, fruits, assorted nuts and chocolates. The decorations were exquisite and there were many, many beautifully wrapped gifts.

 

But, do you want to know something? I wasn't invited.

I was the guest of honor and they didn't remember to send me an invitation.

The party was for me, but when that great day came, I was left outside, they closed the door in my face... and I wanted to be with them and share their table.

 

In truth, that didn't surprise me because in the last few years all close their doors to me. Since I wasn't invited, I decided to enter the party without making any noise. I went in and stood in a corner.

They were all drinking; there were some who were drunk and telling jokes and laughing at everything. They were having a grand time.

 

To top it all, a big fat man all dressed in red wearing a long white beard entered the room yelling Ho-Ho-Ho!  He seemed drunk. He sat on the sofa and all the children ran to him, saying:  "Santa Claus, Santa Claus" as if the party were in his honor!

 

At midnight all the people began to hug each other; I extended my arms waiting for someone to hug me and do you know no-one hugged me.

 

Suddenly they all began to share gifts.  They opened them one by one with great expectation. When all had been opened, I looked to see if, maybe, there was one for me.  What would you feel if on your birthday everybody shared gifts and you did not get one?

 

I then understood that I was unwanted at that party and quietly left.

Every year it gets worse.  People only remember the gifts, the parties, to eat and drink, and nobody remembers me.

I would like this Christmas that you allow me to enter into your life.

I would like that you recognize the fact that almost two thousand years ago I came to this world to give my life for you, on the cross, to save you.

Today, I only want that you believe this with all your heart.

I want to share something with you. As many didn't invite me to their party, I will have my own celebration, a grandiose party that no one has ever imagined, a spectacular party I'm still making the final arrangements.

 

Today I am sending out many invitations and there is an invitation for you. I want to know if you wish to attend and I will make a reservation for you and write your name with golden letters in my great guest book.

Only those on the guest list will be invited to the party.

Those who don't answer the invite, will be left outside. Be prepared because when all is ready you will be part  of my great party.

 

See you soon.

I Love you. Jesus,

 

PS. (Share this message with your friends, before Christmas).

 

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[dailyfoodforthought] WE SMELL LIKE OUR WORK

WE SMELL LIKE OUR WORK


Author Rita Snowden remembers sitting in a café late one afternoon in a small village near Dover, England.

As she was sipping her tea, she was suddenly overwhelmed by an astonishing fragrance.

It was quite simply one of the most pleasant aromas she had ever smelled.

"Where is that coming from?" she asked her server.  He explained that it was being carried by the workers from a nearby perfume factory.  They had finished their shift and were walking down the street, on their way home. 

 

Their clothing was permeated by the fragrances they had been working on all day.

Ultimately, it's impossible to fool the people we meet every day.

We smell like our work. 

And our priorities. 

And our choices. 

And our relationships. 

And our heartfelt commitments.

Everywhere we go, we carry around the aroma of who we truly are and what we genuinely believe.

And the world is either glad that we're passing by, or hopeful that we'll quicken our pace.

There's an interesting text from the writings of the apostle Paul.

During the days of the Roman Empire, conquering troops would parade through their capitol, leading the prisoners they had captured. 

 

Conquerors and prisoners alike walked across flower petals strewn on the streets by the crowds.  The resulting fragrance was a reminder to everyone present:  Chalk up another victory for Rome.

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 2:14-15:  "But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ's triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved…"

Our greatest aspiration should be that those we meet today might catch a scent of something beautiful, humble, and hopeful in our lives.

And that they'd be glad of our presence.  And sorry to see us go.  And maybe even willing to conclude:

Chalk up another victory for the God who transforms human hearts.

-- Authored by Glenn McDonald


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Sunday, October 07, 2018

 

[dailyfoodforthought] CHRISTIAN HIP HOP

CHRISTIAN HIP HOP


That can't be right. 

 

That sounds like either watered-down, preachy rap music, or some kind of culturally compromised Christianity. 

 

But the albums of the rapper Lecrae are neither.  What they are is artistically brilliant.

 

The first 20 years of Lecrae Moore's life weren't substantially different from those of other prominent hip hop artists. 

 

He grew up the child of a single mother in Houston; admired family members who became gangsters; consumed a smorgasbord of drugs; dropped in and out of a never-ending series of relationships; and ultimately concluded that life was little more than a sick joke. 

 

But Lecrae loved music.  The urban poetry of rap became his way to make sense of reality.  

 

He came to faith at an urban conference in Atlanta.  His pathway to spiritual maturity, however, was anything but smooth.

In his autobiography Unashamed, Lecrae recounts being arrested on suspicion of drug possession – after his conversion.

There was a large bag of weed sitting in plain sight on the front seat of his car.  In the back seat was his Bible – underlined and dog-eared.  The arresting officer asked Lecrae, "Is that your Bible?"  When he answered yes, the cop let him go – and urged him to keep reading it.

Lecrae did.  Ultimately he concluded that living with half-hearted commitment to Christ was no way to live at all.

He threw himself into composing, singing, record producing, and social activism. 

 

From a musical standpoint, Lecrae has simply killed it. 

 

His first mixtape, Church Clothes, was downloaded over 100,000 times in less than 48 hours.  His follow-up album Gravity debuted as the best-selling album overall in the iTunes Store.  He was the first rap artist ever to win a Grammy in the Gospel category.  And his album Anomaly topped the Billboard 200 and Gospel charts simultaneously, something never before achieved by any artist.

His greatest challenge has come from the two different worlds he appears to represent.  Does he belong more to the restless streets of hip hop or the stuffy sanctuaries of religion?

For years it drove him crazy.  Rappers wouldn't take him seriously as an artist because he was a Christian.  And Christians wouldn't accept him as "one of us" because he refused to mention Jesus or quote a Bible verse in every song. 

 

Lecrae finally landed in the middle – a place that will never entirely satisfy the people at either extreme. 

 

"My music is not Christian," he says.  "But Lecrae is."  In other words, he's a hip hop artist.  Hip hop isn't religious or irreligious.  It's just music. 

 

But Lecrae the artist / composer / performer is absolutely sold out to the idea that God rules the cosmos.  That conviction has become the deep background of his life, something that shines through everything he creates.

 

Lecrae has identified the late theologian Francis Schaeffer as his personal hero. 

 

Schaeffer taught that the role of the artist who follows Jesus is to speak truthfully about the nature of things.  Everything doesn't have to be a sermon.  Sculptors, painters, musicians, dancers, and actors are uniquely empowered to move human minds and hearts – not only to perceive the ugliness and pain that persists in our broken world, but also to glimpse the hope that can be ours in Christ.

Lecrae raps about the unrelenting problems of urban existence for so many people.  He can do that because he's lived it.

Be he also raps about trusting a Problem Solver who is equal to anything human beings will ever have to face.

He's lived that, too.


-- Authored by Glenn McDonald

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Saturday, September 22, 2018

 

[dailyfoodforthought] THE 10 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS ARE...

THE 10 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS ARE...


LOVE

The Special Feeling That Makes You Feel

All Warm And Wonderful.

RESPECT

Treating Others As Well

As You Would Like To Be Treated.

APPRECIATION

To Be Grateful For All The Good Things

Life Has To Offer.

HAPPINESS

The Full Enjoyment Of Each Moment.

A Smiling Face.

FORGIVENESS

The Ability To Let Things Be

Without Anger.

SHARING

The Joy Of Giving

Without Thought Of Receiving.

HONESTY

The Quality Of Always

Telling The Truth.

INTEGRITY

The Purity Of Doing What's Right,

No Matter What.

COMPASSION

The Essence Of Feeling Another's Pain,

While Easing Their Hurt.

PEACE

The Reward For Living

The 10 Most Important Things.


-- Author Unknown

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Saturday, September 15, 2018

 

[dailyfoodforthought] 10 LITTLE CHRISTIANS

10 LITTLE CHRISTIANS


10 Little Christians standing in line

1 disliked the preacher, then there were 9

9 little Christians stayed up very late

1 overslept Sunday, then there were 8

8 little Christians on their way to Heaven

1 took the low road and then there were 7

7 little Christians chirping like chicks

1 disliked music, then there were 6

6 little Christians seemed very much alive

but one lost his interest then there was 5

5 little Christians pulling for Heaven's Shore

but one stopped to rest, then there were 4

4 little Christians each busy as a bee

but one got his feelings hurt, then there were 3

3 little Christians knew not what to do

1 joined the sporty crowd, then there were 2

2 little Christians, our rhyme is nearly done

differed with each other, then there was 1

1 little Christian can't do much 'tis true;

but brought his friend to Bible study -- then there were 2

2 earnest Christians, each won one more

that doubled the number, then there were 4

4 sincere Christians worked early and late

Each won another then there were 8

8 splendid Christians if they doubled as before

In just so many Sundays, we'd have 1,024

In this little jingle, there is a lesson true,

You belong, either to the building-, or to the wrecking-crew!

-- Author Unknown

 

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Friday, September 14, 2018

 

[dailyfoodforthought] TOP TEN REASONS TO BELIEVE IN THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

TOP TEN REASONS TO BELIEVE IN THE CHRISTIAN FAITH


1.  The Credibility of Its Founder:   Peter spoke for Jesus' closest followers when he said, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that You are the Holy One of God." (John 6:68-69)

2.  Reliability of Its Book:  The integrity of this historical and geographical record is supported by archeology.  The Bible continues to speak not only with spiritual power but with convincing prophetic accuracy.

3.  Explanations for Life:  It is the Christian faith that reflects a caring attention to detail so evident in the species and ecosystems of the natural world.  It is Christ who clothed himself in our humanity to feel what we feel and then to suffer and die in our place.

4.  Its Continuity with the Past:  The Christian faith offers continuity with our deepest ancestral roots.  Those who trust Christ are accepting the same Creator and Lord worshiped by Adam, Abraham, and Solomon.

5.  Its Foundational Claim:  The first Christians were witnesses.  They risked their lives to tell the World that with their own eyes they had seen an innocent man die and then miraculously walk among them 3 days later.

6.  Its Power to Change Lives:  Not only were the first disciples dramatically changed but so were their worst enemies.  Paul was transformed from a killer of Christians into one of their chief advocates (Galatians 1:11-24)

7.  Its Analysis of Human Nature:  The Bible says that society's real problems are problems of the heart.  In an age of information and technology, failures of character have scandalized institutions of the family, religion, and the arts.

8.  Its View of Human Achievement:  Generation after generation has hoped for the best.  We have conceived technologies that will deliver us from the oppressive slavery of work.  Yet we are as close as ever to what the New Testament describes as the end times.  (Matthew 24:5-31)

9.  Its Impact on Society:  From roof tops to necklaces to earrings, we see the sign of the cross, bearing visible witness to Christ's death. Social relief agencies have been fueled by the direct or residual values

of The Bible.

10.  Its Offer of Salvation:  No other faith offers everlasting life as a gift to those who trust the One who has overcome death for them.  No other system offers assurance of forgiveness and adoption into the family of God.

-- Author Unknown

 

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Monday, September 10, 2018

 

[dailyfoodforthought] REAL FRIEND TEST

REAL FRIEND TEST


A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest. A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself (and doesn't feel even the least bit weird shutting your 'beer/Pepsi drawer' with her foot!)

A simple friend has never seen you cry. A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears..

A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names. A real friend has their phone numbers in his address book.

A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party. A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.

A simple friend hates it when you call after they've gone to bed. A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.

A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems. A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.

A simple friend wonders about your romantic history. A real friend could blackmail you with it.

A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument. A real friend calls you after you had a fight.

A simple friend expects you to always be there for them. A real friend expects to always be there for you!

-- Author Unknown

 

#EMailMinistry

To learn more about E-Mail Ministry and read previous messages, visit our web site at: http://www.emailministry.org

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