Monday, February 20, 2017

 

[dailyfoodforthought] SEARCHING FOR A VESSEL

SEARCHING FOR A VESSEL

 

The Master was searching for a vessel to use;

On the shelf there were many - which one would He choose?

Take me, cried the gold one, I'm shiny and bright,

I'm of great value and I do things just right.

My beauty and lustre will outshine the rest

And for someone like You, Master, gold would be the best!

 

The Master passed on with no word at all;

He looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall;

I'll serve You, dear Master, I'll pour out Your wine

And I'll be at Your table whenever You dine,

My lines are so graceful, my carvings so true,

And my silver will always compliment You.

 

Unheeding the Master passed on to the brass,

It was widemouthed and shallow, and polished like glass.

Here! Here! cried the vessel, I know I will do,

Place me on Your table for all men to view.

 

Look at me, called the goblet of crystal so clear,

My transparency shows my contents so dear,

Though fragile am I, I will serve You with pride,

And I'm sure I'll be happy in Your house to abide.

The Master came next to a vessel of wood,

Polished and carved, it solidly stood.

You may use me, dear Master, the wooden bowl said,

But I'd rather You used me for fruit, not for bread!

 

Then  the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.

Empty and broken it helplessly lay.

No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,

To cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.

 

Ah!  This is the vessel I've been hoping to find,

I will mend and use it and make it all Mine.

I need not the vessel with pride of its self;

Nor the one who is narrow to sit on the shelf;

Nor the one who is bigmouthed and shallow and loud;

Nor one who displays his contents so proud;

Not the one who thinks he can do all things just right;

But this plain earthy vessel filled with My power and might.

 

Then gently He lifted the vessel of clay.

Mended and cleansed it and filled it that day.

Spoke to it kindly.  There's work you must do,

Just pour out to others as I pour into you.

 

-- Author Unknown

 

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

 

[dailyfoodforthought] ANGEL IN THE CLASSROOM

ANGEL IN THE CLASSROOM

 

A pastor read a letter from an elementary school teacher who attends East Hill Church.  The gist of the letter was as follows:

 

Last school year, her classroom was made up of little third graders, every one of which came from either a single parent family, or a dysfunctional family, was undernourished and/or uncared for, lived in an abusive home and was either beaten, bruised, or raped by other family members; one little girl's dad died of aids, and the list goes on.  Her heart bled for these kids.

 

Before the '99-2000 school year started, she and her husband went to her classroom and prayed over each desk in the room.  They prayed that God would place an angel behind each and every child throughout the coming year to watch over them and protect them.  A month or so after the year had started, she gave the kids an assignment to write about what they would like to be when they grew up.  Everybody was busy with his or her assignment, when "Andrew" raised his hand.  When she asked him what he needed, he asked how to spell mighty."  After telling him how to spell mighty, she asked him why he needed to know.  Andrew said it was because when he grew up he wanted to be a "mighty man of God."  When he said this, little "Mark" sitting next to him asked, "So, what's a mighty man of God?"  The teacher, swallowing back her tears, and knowing she could not say anything in the classroom, told Andrew to go ahead and tell Mark what it was.  So Andrew says, "It's a man who puts on the armor of God and is a soldier for God."  After observing some conversation between Andrew and Mark, the teacher, with a lump in her throat, started to walk away when Andrew motioned with his little forefinger for her to come closer.  He whispered to her, asking if she believed in angels.  She told him yes, she did.  Then he asked her if she thought people could see angels, and she said she thought some people probably could.  Andrew said that he did, and he could see an angel standing behind each kid in the room .  .  .  .  .  .

 

I don't think there was a dry eye in the church that night!  We need to remember to pray for all of the teachers, that although there is no prayer in school, that they are dedicated enough to pray for the protection of God's angels over the lives of their students.  Maybe it wouldn't hurt, even at work.

 

-- Author Unknown


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Saturday, February 18, 2017

 

[dailyfoodforthought] TAKE MY HAND

TAKE MY HAND

 

Are you troubled, burdened, blue?

Take my hand.

I've been troubled, too,

I understand.

Where you've fallen, once I fell --

Let me help the clouds dispel --

Take my hand.

 

Others helped when I was weak,

Took my hand,

Helped me face toward the peak,

Helped me stand.

What they did, now let me do --

Pass the kindness on to you.

Someday you'll help others, too.

Take my hand.

 

-- Author Unknown


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Thursday, February 16, 2017

 

[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


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Sunday, February 12, 2017

 

[dailyfoodforthought] NO EXCUSE SUNDAY

NO EXCUSE SUNDAY

 

To make it possible for everyone to attend church next Sunday, we are going to have a special "No Excuse Sunday".

 

Cots will be placed in the foyer for those who say, "Sunday is my only day to sleep in."

 

There will be a special section with lounge chairs who feel that our pews are too hard.

 

Eye drops will be available for those with tired eyes from watching T.V. late Saturday night.

 

We will have steel helmets for those who say " The roof would cave in if I ever came to church."

 

Blankets will be furnished for those who think the church is too cold and fans for those who say it is too hot.

 

Score cards will be available for those who wish to list the hypocrites present.

 

Relatives and friends will be in attendance for those who can't go to church and cook dinner, too.

 

We will distribute "Stamp Out Stewardship" buttons for those who feel that church is always asking for money.

 

One section will be devoted to trees and grass for those who like to seek God in nature.

 

Doctors and nurses will be in attendance for those who plan to be sick on Sunday.

 

The sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who never have seen the church without them.

 

We will provide hearing aids for those who can't hear the preacher and cotton for those who say he is to loud.

 

-- Author Unknown


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Friday, February 10, 2017

 

[dailyfoodforthought] HEAVEN & HELL

HEAVEN & HELL

 

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, "Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like. "

 

The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, "You have seen Hell."

 

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the Holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The Holy man said, "I don't understand." "It is simple" said the Lord, "it requires but one skill.

 

You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves." When Jesus died on the cross he was thinking of you!

 

-- Author Unknown


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Thursday, February 02, 2017

 

[dailyfoodforthought] SPIRITUAL HOUSEKEEPING

SPIRITUAL HOUSEKEEPING

 

I do not know about you but I don't like cockroaches.  We had them in a house that we bought in Long Island.  I did not know anything about hiring exterminators so I decided to get rid of them myself.  I bought a sprayer and bought some chemicals to kill them.  To measure the chemicals I took a measuring spoon and wired it to the outside of the sprayer.  I did this to make sure that I didn't make a mistake and use the measuring spoon again in the house.  How could I ever clean it well enough to use it again safely for cooking?

 

Imagine going in your china closet, getting one of your best crystal glasses, and then using it to measure chemicals to kill the bugs around your house.  Then let's imagine that you take it in the house and wash it.  Would you dare to use it again?  Of course not!  It would be contaminated with a toxic film invisible to your eye that might poison anyone who used this glass.

 

Now imagine that your soul and mine are like this glass.  It has been so easy for me to fall victim to the attractive but false temptations of our contemporary world.  For example, power, money, liquor, sex, and possessing more and more material possessions are alluring.  These are played up so seductively on television and in the media.  These can become our golden calves, our false idols!  Who has time for God or Church?  Perhaps unwittingly or even deliberately I have filled up my glass with these toxins that may kill my soul and potentially others whom I know and love.  We call these toxins sin. This mix more importantly is toxic to God and poisons our relationship with Him. The worst of these is so strong that it totally poisons our relationship with God. 

 

Imagine that we determine to do better and try to rid ourselves of these toxins.  Can you or I wash the glass of our soul clean enough by ourselves?  It would be like trying to wash the lethal chemicals out of our glass with household soap.

 

Let's assume, however, that we turn to Our Savior, Jesus Christ, and ask Him with a contrite heart to wash our glass.  Is there a sin that He cannot forgive?  His Mercy is boundless.  He died to redeem us of our sins and is prepared always to forgive us.

 

How can we avoid refilling the glass to the brim with another toxic brew?  This also is very difficult to do by ourselves.  No matter how I have tried to do this the devil always seems to find a way to slip a temptation in my life when I am weak.  My glass, you see, is terribly weak and fragile.  The toxins once again begin to fill my glass.

 

Imagine that Christ not only cleans our glass but also puts a protective substance in the glass that makes it difficult for the devil to introduce any more toxins.  Is this possible?  The answer is yes.  We call this protection grace.  The Sacraments are the greatest source of this protection.  The more grace that we have in our glass the stronger that this protection is.  The greatest of the Sacraments is the Communion.  We have the blessing and privilege to be able to receive Our Divine Savior, Jesus Christ, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, in Communion.  The grace that He brings surpasses all human understanding. Communion is the food of Eternal Life.  Jesus Himself, who suffered and died for us on the Cross, gives Himself willingly, joyfully, lovingly, mercifully, to us.  This protection increases the more frequently that we receive Communion.  The devil, compared to Christ, is a grain of sand.  When Christ fills our soul there is no room for the toxins that the devil seeks to tempt us with.  May we get in the habit of receiving Jesus in the Communion as often as we can to take full advantage of this protection.

 

When Christ has cleaned and filled the glass of our soul whom do you imagine others see when they look at us?  My we pray that they no longer see us - - but only see Jesus Christ Himself!

 

-- Author Unknown


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