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A "Call" to Preach

An elder of the church was talking to a young mechanic who thought he had a call to give up his shop and go into the ministry. "I feel," said the young enthusiast, "that I have had a call to preach." The elder, knowing his deficiencies as a speaker, shrewdly asked, "Have you noticed whether people seem to have a call to hear you?" Before you subject others to the sound of your voice, make sure that preaching comes naturally to you and that you have a call from God to exercise this ability. Paul knew he was "sent" to preach.

A "Nickel" Heart

"Ah!" said a woman who in her poverty had done much for Christ and who had a great sum willed to her, "I cannot do as much as I used to do." "But how is that?" someone asked. Said she, "When I had a nickel purse I had a silver heart, but now I have a silver purse and I have only a nickel heart."

A Baby with a Message

A six-year-old tiptoed softly up to the little low crib where one of this world's very latest hopes was lying throned and swathed in the coverlets that love had sewn for its coming. Big brother's face was gravely intent, his eyes bright and shining. He stooped far over and gazed down at that wrinkled, peevish bit of a face. "Now, baby brother," he whispered into one tiny red ear half hid by the clustering black hair, "tell me about God before you forget." The brother thought that the tiny baby had a message from God. There was one Baby who did. He was born in Bethlehem. But His existence did not begin at the time of His physical birth. He had a message for us from God the Father. It is found in the old familiar words of Joh 3:16. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

A Baby Would Change Their Life

Percentage of women who chose an abortion because having a baby “would; change their life (job, school)”: 76 percent. Percentage who chose an abortion because of rape or incest, 1.

A Bad Dude Is Chasing Me

An old fellow had been in the north woods for weeks by himself, camping out. Each night at dusk he built a campfire, boiled water for coffee, and took out his skillet to fry up some bacon for dinner. As he was sitting by the fire one night, the water boiling and the bacon sizzling, he heard a tremendous racket in the brush. The sound was like a roaring freight train, and as trees fell over and branches snapped, the biggest bear he’d ever seen lumbered into the clearing. On the bear’s back was a tough-looking hombre holding a seven-foot live rattlesnake in his hands.

The man shouted and screamed as he brought the bear to a skidding halt, bit the head off the rattlesnake, and flung it into the brush. Then he slid off the bear’s back, turned, and hit him between the eyes, knocking him unconscious. The camper was speechless as this wild-eyed renegade walked over to the fire, tossed the boiling coffee down his throat, drank the hot grease from the skillet, and ate all of the bacon in one bite. As he wiped his hands with poison ivy and slapped the bear back to consciousness, he turned to the camper and said, “Partner, I’m sorry I can’t stay around and visit with you a while, but I’ve got to keep moving ‘cause a real bad dude is chasing me!”

A Bag Tied in the Middle

A New Zealand preacher described a Pharisee as being like a bag tied in the middle. Anything put into the top will not reach the bottom. The Pharisee opens his mouth wide when he prays, but his heart is tightly shut. With his lips he asks for things that his heart does not really desire. If God were to give him the spiritual blessings he asks for, it would only be a waste of good gifts, for they could not get to the bottom of the bag. His pride would choke them off, and they would never touch his heart.

A Beautiful Christmas Evening

It was Christmas Eve. Six-year-old Mary Lou was walking down a dark city street with her father on their way to the children's service.

Her active little mind was filled with the wonders of the event she and her classmates were about to celebrate-the coming of the Christ Child from heaven to earth, to be born a tiny infant in a lowly stable.

Above them was the velvety blue-black canopy of heaven, Swiss-dotted (as it seemed to her) with an infinite variety of brilliant lights twinkling down to earth.

Her eyes were fixed on the shimmering tapestry above as she and her father walked, silently but thoughtfully, toward the lighted church at the end of the block.

Suddenly she looked up at her father and, with that rare insight peculiar to a six-year-old, observed: "Daddy, I was just thinking-if the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, how wonderful the right side must be!"

A Believer Like Zacharias

A gentleman who believed himself perfect called to see an old Christian neighbor. They began talking about the interesting subject of the believer's perfection. "Can you point to a single perfect man or woman in the Bible?" inquired the aged saint. "Yes," readily answered the other, "turn to Luk 1:6 and you will read there of two-Elizabeth and Zacharias-who walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." "Then you consider yourself a believer like Zacharias?" "Certainly I do," said the visitor. "Ah," replied the old man, "I thought you might be; and we read a few verses further on that he was struck dumb for his unbelief."

A Better Idea

A businessman well known for his ruthlessness once announced to writer Mark Twain, “Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the 10 Commandments aloud at the top.”

“I have a better idea,” replied Twain. “You could stay in Boston and keep them.”

A Better Kind of Indian Giver

An Indian one day asked Bishop Whipple to give him two one-dollar bills for a two-dollar note. When asked why, the Indian replied, "One dollar for me to give to Jesus, and one dollar for my wife to give." The Bishop asked him if it was all the money he had. He said, "Yes." The Bishop was about to tell him it was too much, when an Indian clergyman who was standing by whispered, "It might be too much for a white man to give, but not too much for an Indian who has this year heard for the first time of the love of Jesus."

A Birthday Never Forgotten

How many people celebrate your birth? When a prince is born, there is usually a big national celebration. But when a child is born into a poor family, little or no celebration may take place. Yet, children of humble origin have often become national heroes whose birthdays continue to be celebrated long after their deaths. However, there is only one Person whose birthday is still celebrated nearly 2,000 years after the event-and He was born in a stable!

A Bishop’s Prayer for His Church

(Adapted as a Prayer of a Mother for Her Children)

Jesus, good Shepherd, they are not mine but Yours, for I am not mine but Yours.

I am Yours, Lord, and they are Yours,

because by Your wisdom You have created both them and me,

and by Your death You have redeemed us.

So we are Yours, good Lord, we are Yours,

whom You have made with such wisdom and bought so dearly.

Then if You commend them to me, Lord, You do not therefore desert me or them.

You commend them to me: I commend myself and them to you.

Yours is the flock, Lord, and Yours is the shepherd.

Be Shepherd of both Your flock and shepherd.

You have made an ignorant mother, a blind leader, an erring ruler:

teach the mother You have established

guide the leader You have appointed,

govern the ruler You have approved.

I beg you, teach me what I am to teach,

lead me in the way that I am to lead,

rule me so that I may rule others.

Or rather, teach them, and me through them,

lead them, and me with them,

rule them, and me among them.

Anselm (1033-1109) Archbishop of Canterbury

A Blessing Overlooked

A man who owned a small estate sent for an agent and asked him to write an advertisement offering it for sale. When the advertisement was ready, the agent read it to him. "Read that again," said the owner. The agent read it once more. "I don't think I will sell after all," said the man. "I have been looking for an estate like that all my life and did not know that I owned it." Have you praised the Lord for what you now possess on this earth which you wouldn't have if the Lord had not given it to you.

A Body Fit for Heaven

What do we know about the germination of seeds? Keep a grain of wheat in your pocket all your life and it will never change. But place it in a congenial environment, a furrow of earth, and it will sprout into a living sheaf of grain. Every kind of life requires its particular corresponding environment in order to achieve its full and predestined potential. You would really be just as foolish to expect your body, as now constituted, to be able to live in the world to come, as a farmer would be if he expected to produce a harvest of wheat by keeping bare grains stored in his pocket.

A Bone Shared

A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog. - Jack London

A Bridge Across Niagara River

Charles Eliet had a problem. He had a contract to build an engineering marvel—a suspension bridge over the Niagara River. But he had no way of stretching his first cable between the shores. Any boat that tried to cross the falls would be swept over. Then Eliet hit on an idea. If a kite carrying a cord could be flown across the river, the cord could then be used to pull larger cables across. So Eliet announced a kite-flying contest, and a young man named Homan Walsh responded. On Walsh’s first attempt the kite’s cord broke with it caught in the river’s ice, but on his next try he succeeded in flying his kite to the opposite shore of the river. The vital link was established, and the bridge built.

A Brother in Heaven

"How many brothers have you?" said someone to a little boy. The child stated the number, adding, "and one in heaven." "No, my son," interposed his mother. "You have no brother in heaven."

"Yes, I have," said the boy. "Didn't you tell me that God was my Father, and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Then He must be my Brother in heaven."

A Builder Or a Wrecker

As I watched them tear a building down

A gang of men in a busy town

With a ho-heave-ho, and a lusty yell

They swung a beam and the side wall fell

I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,

And the men you’d hire if you wanted to build?”

He gave a laugh and said, “No, indeed,

Just common labor is all I need.”

“I can easily wreck in a day or two,

What builders have taken years to do.”

And I thought to myself, as I went my way

Which of these roles have I tried to play?

Am I a builder who works with care,

Measuring life by rule and square?

Am I shaping my work to a well-made plan

Patiently doing the best I can?

Or am I a wrecker who walks to town

Content with the labor of tearing down?

“O Lord let my life and my labors be

That which will build for eternity!”

Author Unknown

A Cablegram From Heaven

A merchant was asked to contribute to a certain piece of church work. He gladly wrote a check and gave it to the solicitor. At that moment, a cablegram was brought in. The merchant read it and looked troubled. "This cablegram," he said, "tells me that one of my ships has been wrecked and the cargo lost. That makes a difference in my business. I will have to write you another check."

The solicitor thought he understood and handed back the check for , and the merchant wrote out another and gave it to him. When the solicitor read it, he was utterly amazed; it was for ,000. "Have you not made a mistake?" he asked. "No," said the merchant, "I have not made a mistake." Then he added, "To me, that cablegram was a message from my Father in Heaven. It reads, 'Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth ...but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal'(Mat 6:19-20)."

A Chair Affixed to a Shotgun

In 1982, “ABC Evening News” reported on an unusual work of modern art—a chair affixed to a shotgun. It was to be viewed by sitting in the chair and looking directly into the gunbarrel. The gun was loaded and set on a timer to fire at an undetermined moment within the next hundred years. The amazing thing was that people waited in lines to sit and stare into the shell’s path! They all knew the gun could go off at point-blank range at any moment, but they were gambling that the fatal blast wouldn’t happen during THEIR minute in the chair. Yes, it was foolhardy, yet many people who wouldn’t dream of sitting in that chair live a lifetime gambling that they can get away with sin. Foolishly they ignore the risk until the inevitable self-destruction.

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