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The Tiger, the Man and God
A man was being chased by a tiger. He ran as hard as he could until he was at the edge of a cliff with the tiger in hot pursuit. The man looked over the edge of the cliff and saw a branch growing out of the side of the cliff a few feet down. He jumped down and grabbed the branch just as the tiger reached the cliff. The tiger growled viciously as the man sighed a great sigh of relief.
Just then a mouse came out from a crevice and began to chew on the branch. The man looked down to what was a drop of a thousand feet and sure death and looked to the heavens and yelled out, "Dear God, if you are there, please help. I will do anything you ask but please help."
Suddenly a voice came booming down from heaven, "You will do anything I ask?" it questioned.
The man shocked to hear a reply to his plea yelled back, "I will gladly do anything you ask, but please save me."
The voice from heaven then replied, "There is one way to save you but it will take courage and faith."
The branch began to weaken from the mouse and the tiger was still growling a few feet above the man, "Please, Lord, tell me what I must do and I will do it. Your will is my will."
The voice from heaven then said, "All right then, let go of the branch."
The man looked down to a fall of a thousand feet and certain death. He looked up at the hungry tiger a few feet away and he looked at the mouse still chewing on the branch. Then he looked up at the heavens and yelled, "Is there anyone else up there?"
It was Sunday morning and Harry was off. He pulled out of his driveway in his 2-seater convertible, with the roof closed because of typical Melbourne driving rain, and headed for church. But as he turned into the main road he saw ahead of him three bedraggled figures huddled under a single umbrella at the next bus stop. One was old Mrs Fletcher. She still insisted on getting to church by herself, despite her arthritis which was always worse in wet weather. There was Dr Jones, the local GP. A year earlier Dr Jones had diagnosed a rare and dangerous disease that Harry had contracted on an overseas holiday, so Harry virtually owed him his life. And the third person was Judith. Harry had had a crush on Judith for the past 6 months since she joined their church but had never had the courage or the opportunity to ask her out.
Harry had about 3 seconds to decide what to do. There was only one spare seat. Who should he offer a lift to? But 3 seconds was enough. He pulled to a halt, jumped out, passed the keys to Dr Jones, helped Mrs Fletcher into the passenger seat, then modestly waved them good-bye as he huddled close to Judith under the umbrella.
God’s sovereignty and our action so often go hand in hand.
Taking the Plunge—Readers’ Digest Online, As Kids See It, Stephen McCormack, St. Joachim, ON, 1997
To my five-year-old son, Alex, jumping off the diving board that first time seemed an insurmountable challenge. He was too timid to manage it that day. On the drive home I tried to bolster his courage with a personal confession."When I was a little boy," I began, "there was a huge slide in the park be-side my house. The first time I tried it, I was so scared that my father had to rescue me from the top. But the next time, I slid down, and each time after that, I had more and more fun. Do you know what I’m saying?" Alex nodded with en-thusiasm. At his next lesson, Alex approached the board with a new confidence. He strode purposefully to the end, then stopped. He tried again, and again pulled up short. Fi-nally he turned and made a beeline for where I was stand-ing. "Dad," he asked urgently, "do you know any other stories that might work?"
Another two elderly people living in Trailer Estates, he was a widower
and she a widow, had known each other for a number of years.
One evening there was a community supper in the big activity center.
The two were at the same table, across from one another. As the meal went on,
he took a few admiring glances at her and finally gathered the courage to ask her,
"Will you marry me?"
After about six seconds of ’careful consideration,’ she answered, "Yes. Yes, I will."
The meal ended and, with a few more pleasant exchanges, they went to their respective places.
Next morning, he was troubled. "Did she say ’yes’ or did she say ’no’?" He couldn’t remember.
Try as he might, he just could not recall. Not even a faint memory.
With trepidation, he went to the telephone and called her. First, he explained that he didn’t
remember as well as he used to. Then he reviewed the lovely evening past. As he gained a
It was a dark and stormy night.
You could hear the thunder in the distance. Bats flapped their wings in the darkness of the night.
There the castle stood. The wolves were howling; the trees were swaying in the wind as it whistled.
And inside the castle, a faint light shown…from a laboratory.
This was the laboratory of the one and only, the maddest
scientist of them all…the laboratory of the infamous Dr. Emil Van-Gelical!
A rat ran across the granite floor as a daunting figure appeared in the light. It was Dr. Van Gelical himself with his white laboratory coat stained with the evidence of his notorious experiements.
His eyes were glowing with mad delight as he gazed upon the table in the middle of the room, covered with a white sheet.
Under the sheet lay a human-like form.
Suddenly, Dr. Evan Gelical shouted:
"Igor, come quickly! We have much to do!"
Irregular footsteps were heard coming down from the stairs.
In a moment appeared Igor, a hunchback with tattered clothes and a candelabrum in one hand and a big cardboard box in the other.
"Yes master…here is everything you ordered. All is ready!"
"Very good. Bring all the materials to the table Igor. Now we begin….the experiment!
Thunder was heard in the distance while Igor dragged the box towards the table.
"Tonight I will conduct the greatest experiment of my career. Tonight shall be my greatest triumph ever!"
Doctor Evan Gelical raised his fist towards the sky:
"I shall achieve what no man has achieved before. Tonight I create spiritual life! This shall be my greatest hour for I shall create….Christianstein!"
More thunder and lightning.
"They say that I am mad Igor. But Christianstein shall be the greatest specimen of spiritual life the world has ever seen! He shall everything Igor, EVERYTHING!"
"The moment has arrived. Igor, y gloves!."
"Give me the voice of a great evangelist Igor!"
"Yes master" and he handed him a jar from the box.
"The courage of Stephen!" Igor produced a disty vial.
"The patience of Job!" the doctor commanded and he was rewarded with an ancient-looking flask.
"Now the hypodermic and the serums I distilled!"
Igor’s hands trembled as he presented a long, steel syringe and bottles filled with different colored fluids.
"Double dosis of daily prayer and Bible reading,"
murmured Dr. Evan Gelical while he withdrew liquid from one of the bottles and injected it into the lifeless figure’s arm.
"Then faithful church attendance…generous giving…temperance…volunteer work…ability to resist temptation…witnessing…"
The doctor paused for a moment, then filled the syringe with fluid from the final container.
"And last-but not least-a triple injection of …orthodoxy!
The mad doctor consulted his list once more.
"Examine the box Igor. Have we forgoteen anything?"
"Oh no master…Everything must be in place!"
"Excellent! This is the moment the world has waited for. This is the moment for….Christianstein!"
The doctor dashed to the nearest wall where an electical control panel waited.
"A million volts of lightning will bring my creation to life. Now stand back Igor while I throw the power switch…and prepare to meet the perfect Christian…CHRISTIANSTEIN!"
Doctor Emil Van Gelical threw the massive switch as an avalanche of thunder shook the castle.
The figure began to tremble.
"Doctor! shouted Igor…it’s….moving!
"Yes, yes, my creation lives!
That thing called "CHRISTIANSTEIN" sat up slowly. Then, stiffly, it climbed from the table and stood to its full height.
"Oh, my creation…..Speak to me, speak to me!"
The figure looked down at the doctor and frowned. Finally it began to speak in a low and hostile growl:
"If I speak in the language of angels but have not love…"
"LOVE?" asked the doctor, examining in perplexity his list once again.
Slowly the creature lifted his hands towards the doctor who was still consulting his list.
"If I have the gift of prophecy and can understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have faith that can move mountains and have not love…."
"LOVE?" Igor, what is he talking about?"
"I, I don’t know master! answered Igor as he hid himself under the table.
"If I give all my possessions to the poor and give my body to the flames to be burned and have not love…" Suddenly the figure, growling, picked up the doctor by his coat off of his feet…."I gain nothing!"
"Nothing?" said the doctor.
"¡Aaarrggghhh!" the creature bellowed throwing the doctor to the ground and reaching for his throat.
"Igor you fool! I knew that we forgot something! And such a small thing!" while the doctor fled for his life with the creature CHRISTIANSTIEN in hot pursuit.
A few minutes passed before Igor finally had enough courage to come out from under the table. Finally, looking this way and that, he whispered:
"I, I think….we have created a monster!"
On "Prairie Home Companion," with Garrison Keillor, they frequently advertise a product called Powdermilk Biscuits. "Powdermilk Biscuits, heavens they’re tasty! You can find them in your grocers, in the big blue box with the stains that indicate freshness. Powdermilk Biscuits: they give shy people the courage to do what needs to be done." Through prayer, the Holy Spirit gives us the courage to do what needs to be done.
Russ Perman tells this story: "Working as a secretary at an international airport, my sister had an office adjacent to the room where security temporarily holds suspects. One day security officers were questioning a man when they were suddenly called away on another emergency. To the horror of my sister and her colleagues, the man was left alone in the unlocked room. After a few minutes, the door opened and he began to walk out. Summoning up her courage, one of the secretaries barked, "Get back in there, and don’t you come out until you’re told!" The man scuttled back inside and slammed the door. When the security people returned, the women reported what had happened. Without a word, an officer walked into the room and released one very frightened telephone repairman. [Reader’s Digest]
CHURCH CAKE COVER-UP
It was time for the annual cake sale at a Presbyterian church not much different than our own. Ms. Billings always made the most beautiful cakes...she was expected to make another one this year. However, Ms. Billings was a very busy woman with the time she spent with her family and the time she gave to her community. She put off making the cake this year thinking she could put it all together at the last minute.
When the cake came out of the oven, Ms. Billings was horrified to see that the cake had fallen. She didn’t have the time or the ingredients to make another one...she panicked. Frantically, she devised an ingenious plan. She would find a way to "fix" the cake...then she would be the first one to the sale and buy her own cake back.
She looked around the room, trying to find something that she could use to "prop" the cake back up, and then she found it. A roll of toilet paper was the perfect size. So she put it under the center of the cake and the cake looked perfect. She decorated it bright yellow and took it to the bake sale. Then she stuck around until the bake sale started.
She was the first in line when the doors opened; she smiled to herself about how clever she was. But then there was a terrifying horror crawling up from within her. She looked at every single table; no yellow cake! Someone had snuck in before the sale and purchased it. The helpers couldn’t remember who had purchased it either; there was so much going on.
She went home and felt absolutely horrible. That was it: they would find the toilet paper in the cake, trace it back to her, and ban her from ever cooking ever again, except for potlucks.
Well, she didn’t have a whole lot of time to dwell on it, like I said she was a very busy woman. She was going to a reception that the Mayor’s wife was holding, and she was already a little late.
When she got there, she almost died right where she stood… because there, at the center of a brilliantly decorated table, was a bright yellow cake. She debated al...
SWIMMING WITH THE SHARKS
There's an old story of a rich guy who threw a party at his mansion. One of his pride and joys was his new saltwater pool in which he had the ability to let swim in various specious of ocean fish.
He had the party assemble along the edge of the pool as he proudly released into the pool his new collection of Great White Sharks. As the sharks swam back and forth in the pool the rich man offered 1 Million to anyone brave enough to swim across.
Suddenly there was a splash and someone started swimming across at a speed never seen even in the Olympics. A man bounded out of the pool on the opposite side completely out of breath. The rich man ran to him and began to congratulate him on his courage.
The tired swimmer said, ‘I only have one question… WHO PUSHED ME?’
I was born on Christmas day in 1948 and when I was around 10 years old my hero was Superman. I can remember watching it on our black and white TV. It was a very popular show back then and kids like me looked up to this man of steel that was as the advertisement says, "Faster than a speeding bullet, stronger than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound."
I remember one Saturday after watching an episode of Superman I got one of Mama's bath towels and tied it around my neck like the cape of Superman and would pretend I could fly just like my hero.
I even convinced myself that with this bath towel and faith in Superman I could really fly.
I climbed up in the barn loft and got the courage to test that faith and cape of courage made of cotton and jump from our old barn loft in hopes I could fly.
Guess what, I hit the ground without a scratch or a broken bone. I found out I couldn't fly to my regret.
You might be thinking right now, I would have never told that on myself. But, think about this if you will. How many of us have put our faith and trust in things besides Christ for our salvation such as our works or our goodness. That's more ridicules than thinking you can fly