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Contributed By:
Mark  Beaird
 
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SUCKED IN, WASHED UP, AND BLOWN OVER

Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.

The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She’d barely said "hello" when "ssssopp!" Chippie got sucked in.
The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie -- still alive, but stunned.

Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air.

Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.

A few days after the trauma, the reporter who’d initially written about the event contacted Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. "Well," she replied, "Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore -- he just sits and stares."
It’s hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over . . . That’s enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart.

SOURCE: Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm, Word Publishing, 1991, p. 11.

Contributed by: Mark Beaird

 
Contributed By:
Brian Mavis
 
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A man has been lost and walking in the desert for about five days. One hot day--actually, they’re all hot--he comes to the home of a preacher. Tired and weak, he crawls up to the house and collapses on the doorstep. The preacher takes him in and nurses him back to health. Feeling better, the man asks the preacher for directions to the nearest town. The preacher tells him the directions, and offers to lend him his horse to make it. The preacher says, "However, there is a special thing about this horse. You have to say ’Thank God’ to make it go and ’Amen’ to make it stop."

Anxious to get to town, the man says, "Sure, okay" and gets on the horse. He says, "Thank God" and sho ’nuff, the horse starts walking. A bit later he says louder, "Thank God, thank God," and the horse starts trotting. Feeling really brave, the man say, "Thank God! Thank God! THANK GOD!" and the horse is soon up to a full run!

About then he realizes he’s heading for a huge cliff and yells "Whoa!" But the horse doesn’t even slow! It’s coming up REAL QUICK and he’s doing everything he can to make the horse stop. "Whoa, stop, hold on!" Finally he remembers "AMEN!!!"

The horse stops a mere two inches from the cliff’s edge, almost throwing him over its head. The man, panting and heart racing, wipes the sweat from his face and leans back in the saddle. "Oh!" he says, gasping for air, "Thank God."

 
Contributed By:
William Neel
 
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Ill. Can you imagine what it would be like to be at a track meet waiting for the start of the 100 meter race? Gathered together are the top runners from across the world. Fractions of a second separate these runners. While the marathon is a test of stamina and endurance, the 100 meters is an explosion of power that is over in less than ten seconds. If you have ever run the sprints you know that there is little room for error. Often a race is won in the start itself. But imagine that as the runners come to the blocks that something seems strange about the world record holder. You pick up your binoculars to get a better view and what you see doesn’t make any since. Strapped around his ankles are 25 pound weights. For what ever reason, he has decided to run with this extra load. There is no way he is going to win.

 
Contributed By:
Stan Martin
 
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Two gas company service men, a senior training Supervisor and a young trainee were out checking meters and parked their truck at the end of the alley and worked there way to the other end. At the last house a woman looking out her kitchen window watched the two
men as they checked her gas meter. As they finished the meter check the older supervisor challenged his younger co-worker to a foot race down the alley back to the truck.

As they came running up to the truck, they realized that the lady from the last house was huffing and puffing ...

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Contributed By:
Terry Blankenship
 
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Mike the Headless Chicken

On September 10, 1945, Mike’s short life was about to take a turn for the worse. On this day, Mike received a death sentence. His owners, Lloyd and Clara Olsen, decided that it was time to slaughter a group of birds, some to sell and to prepare others for themselves. Out to the hen house they went…
As you can probably imagine, Mr. Olsen was the one whacking the heads off while Clara plucked and cleaned the birds. Bash! Down came the ax and off went Mike’s head. Mike’s head was surely dead. Mike’s body was not.
Now I know what you are thinking - it is well known that chickens will run around frantically when their heads are chopped off. That’s probably where that old expression comes from. And, everyone knows that a headless chicken just can’t survive more than a few moments.
Apparently, Mike forgot to read the rulebook for playing the game of Life. His head may have been lying on the floor, but he had no problem standing up and strutting around as if nothing had actually happened. The next day, Mike was still flopping around, so Lloyd decided to feed him to see how long he could keep the bird alive. Day after day he continued to gain weight.
Mike could easily balance himself on the highest perches without falling. His crowing consisted of a gurgling sound made in his throat. Mike even attempted to preen his feathers with his nonexistent head (apparently he never noticed). It seems that Mike could do just about anything that any other chicken could do, if you exclude all of the functions of his head.
As I’m sure you can imagine, headless chickens are not an everyday event. In the tradition of that famous huckster P.T. Barnum, there was money to be made in this oddity. A promoter by the name of Hope Wade came along and convinced Lloyd that Mike would be a big draw in the sideshow circuit. Miracle Mike, as he soon came to be known, toured up and down the West Coast of the United States. Just six weeks after his beheading, Mike was featured in a Life magazine article and his fame grew. For just 25 cents, anyone could pay to get a look at Mike. At the height of his popularity, Mike was raking in a cool $4,500 per month, which was no small potatoes in those days. They probably would have thrown in his head as a bonus - it was stored in a canning jar and toured along with Mike.
So how was Mike able to survive? Scientists examined him and determined that Mr. Olsen had not done a very good job at chopping Mike’s head off. Most of the head was actually removed, but one ear remained intact. The slice actually missed the jugular vein and a clot prevented him from bleeding to death. Apparently, most of a chicken’s reflex actions are located in the brain stem, which was also largely untouched. Mike was also examined by the officers of several humane societies and was declared to have been free from suffering.
Through his open esophagus, Mike was fed a mixture of ground up grain and water with your typical eyedropper. Little bits of gravel were dropped down his throat to help his gizzard grind up the food.

One serious problem that Mike commonly experienced was that he would start to choke on his own mucus. The Olsens came up with the simple solution of using a syringe to suck the mucus out. But, one day tragedy struck. Mike was traveling back home to Fruita and was roosting with the Olsens in their Phoenix motel room. They heard Mike choking in the middle of the night and quickly realized that they had left the syringe at the sideshow the day before. Miracle Mike was no more.
The exact date of Mike’s belated departure from this world was never recorded. Years later, it was estimated, based on Lloyd’s information, that Miracle Mike died in March of 1947. Eighteen months living without a head could be considered a world’s record.

But wait, the story is not over! Mike actually has his own holiday! On May 17, 1999, Mike’s hometown of Fruita held the first "Mike the Headless Chicken Day" in honor of one of its most famous citizens. Some of the events included the 5K Run Like a Headless Chicken Race, egg tosses, Pin the Head on the Chicken, the Chicken Cluck-Off, and the classic Chicken Dance. The food offerings included - you guessed it - chicken, chicken salad, and the like. Let’s not forget the great game of Chicken Bingo in which the numbers were chosen by where chicken droppings fell on a numbered grid.

 
Contributed By:
Brent Williams
 
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Where’s God?
Two young lads had terrorized their neighborhood with their pranks and thefts. The parents didn’t know what to do and finally with the assistance of their minister, it was decided that the clergy would intervene and attempt to straighten out the boys. The parents needless to say were ecstatic and wanted to send both boys immediately. The old minister declined and wished only the younger son. He would be more impressionable and would therefore assist in correcting the older boy. Everyone agreed and Billy, the youngest son was sent to the church that afternoon.

The lad arrived and was ushered into the church office where he was offered a very large chair in front of the desk. The minister then sat down opposite the lad. He folded his hands in front of him and stared at the boy a few seconds then said, “Where is God?”

Billy wasn’t sure what the question meant, so he just sat there quietly.

The minister leaned over his desk, locked eyes and said in a much stronger voice, “Where…is…God?”

Billy started to squirm. He had no idea why he was here and the minister kept asking the same question.

The minister then stood, again leaned over the desk and glared right at Billy, “Where is God? He asked.

The poor boy was now really getting scared and snuggled back into the full chair. The minister, meanwhile, moved from behind his desk to stand directly in front of Billy and raised one hand upward to Heaven.

“WHERE…IS…GOD?” he bellowed at the lad.

Poor Billy lost it. What could he do? Here was a man of God asking questions he didn’t understand and he was scared. So he jumped up out of the chair, ran from the office, down the church aisle, out onto the sidewalk, up the street into his house. The he raced up the stairs and into their bedroom.

“What’s wrong Billy?” his brother asked.

“Oh, Johnny,” he said. “We’re in BIG trouble this time. God’s missing and they think we took Him.”


 
Contributed By:
Terry Blankenship
 
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Mike the Headless Chicken

On September 10, 1945, Mike’s short life was about to take a turn for the worse. On this day, Mike received a death sentence. His owners, Lloyd and Clara Olsen, decided that it was time to slaughter a group of birds, some to sell and to prepare others for themselves. Out to the hen house they went…
As you can probably imagine, Mr. Olsen was the one whacking the heads off while Clara plucked and cleaned the birds. Bash! Down came the ax and off went Mike’s head. Mike’s head was surely dead. Mike’s body was not.
Now I know what you are thinking - it is well known that chickens will run around frantically when their heads are chopped off. That’s probably where that old expression comes from. And, everyone knows that a headless chicken just can’t survive more than a few moments.
Apparently, Mike forgot to read the rulebook for playing the game of Life. His head may have been lying on the floor, but he had no problem standing up and strutting around as if nothing had actually happened. The next day, Mike was still flopping around, so Lloyd decided to feed him to see how long he could keep the bird alive. Day after day he continued to gain weight.
Mike could easily balance himself on the highest perches without falling. His crowing consisted of a gurgling sound made in his throat. Mike even attempted to preen his feathers with his nonexistent head (apparently he never noticed). It seems that Mike could do just about anything that any other chicken could do, if you exclude all of the functions of his head.
As I’m sure you can imagine, headless chickens are not an everyday event. In the tradition of that famous huckster P.T. Barnum, there was money to be made in this oddity. A promoter by the name of Hope Wade came along and convinced Lloyd that Mike would be a big draw in the sideshow circuit. Miracle Mike, as he soon came to be known, toured up and down the West Coast of the United States. Just six weeks after his beheading, Mike was featured in a Life magazine article and his fame grew. For just 25 cents, anyone could pay to get a look at Mike. At the height of his popularity, Mike was raking in a cool $4,500 per month, which was no small potatoes in those days. They probably would have thrown in his head as a bonus - it was stored in a canning jar and toured along with Mike.
So how was Mike able to survive? Scientists examined him and determined that Mr. Olsen had not done a very good job at chopping Mike’s head off. Most of the head was actually removed, but one ear remained intact. The slice actually missed the jugular vein and a clot prevented him from bleeding to death. Apparently, most of a chicken’s reflex actions are located in the brain stem, which was also largely untouched. Mike was also examined by the officers of several humane societies and was declared to have been free from suffering.
Through his open esophagus, Mike was fed a mixture of ground up grain and water with your typical eyedropper. Little bits of gravel were dropped down his throat to help his gizzard grind up the food.

One serious problem that Mike commonly experienced was that he would start to choke on his own mucus. The Olsens came up with the simple solution of using a syringe to suck the mucus out. But, one day tragedy struck. Mike was traveling back home to Fruita and was roosting with the Olsens in their Phoenix motel room. They heard Mike choking in the middle of the night and quickly realized that they had left the syringe at the sideshow the day before. Miracle Mike was no more.
The exact date of Mike’s belated departure from this world was never recorded. Years later, it was estimated, based on Lloyd’s information, that Miracle Mike died in March of 1947. Eighteen months living without a head could be considered a world’s record.

But wait, the story is not over! Mike actually has his own holiday! On May 17, 1999, Mike’s hometown of Fruita held the first "Mike the Headless Chicken Day" in honor of one of its most famous citizens. Some of the events included the 5K Run Like a Headless Chicken Race, egg tosses, Pin the Head on the Chicken, the Chicken Cluck-Off, and the classic Chicken Dance. The food offerings included - you guessed it - chicken, chicken salad, and the like. Let’s not forget the great game of Chicken Bingo in which the numbers were chosen by where chicken droppings fell on a numbered grid.

 
Contributed By:
Randy Aly
 
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none
 

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This is what happened to a Texas minister who was scheduled to speak at an all-day conference. He was running late because his alarm had failed to ring. In his haste to make up for lost time, he cut himself while shaving. Then he found his shirt was not ironed. To make matters worse, running to his car he noticed a tire was flat. Disgusted, and by this time thoroughly distraught, the minister finally got underway with a sudden burst of speed. Racing through town he failed to notice a stop sign and rushed through it. As fate would have it, there was a policeman nearby, and in just moments he heard the scream of a siren. Jumping out of his car, the...

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Contributed By:
Chris Surber
 
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FAITH WITHOUT WORKS

As a Marine Sergeant, there were many times when I helped out the young troops in my charge with various sorts of favors. Sometimes I was the local financial aid officer, assisting a young Marine in between pay days with the money necessary for a car insurance payment. Sometimes my home was the local USO as Christina and I held thanksgiving dinners for troops who for various reasons would not be heading home for the holidays. This was a part of my job and I never minded it very much; except for one particular favor paid by me to a certain LCPL Rice.

John was a fun kid who loved fast cars and big trucks. He had once loaned me his brand new 4-wheel-drive truck to drive from Yuma Arizona to San Diego, California which I very mistakenly, and equally to his disfavor, drove that entire trip with the 4-wheel-drive engaged; all the while wondering why the gas mileage was so terribly poor and so impressed with the incredible way the truck seemed to hug the freeway.

Not long after that time John purchased a classic Corvette of moderate condition, which he had intentions of fully restoring. He was heading to a military school for a few months and asked if I would keep his Corvette at my house while he was away. He told me that I could drive it as often as I liked upon the condition that I keep the gas tank full and wash it once in a while. John left for the school over the weekend and I got a ride into the base on Monday morning, found the keys where John had left them for me, and later that day, during the lunch hour I was set to drive home this Corvette and then return to the base in my own car.

It was July, in Yuma Arizona; it was hot, very HOT. I strapped myself into the low riding Corvette, started the car and revved the engine a bit. It had a low growl. Even though he had yet to restore the body, he had done many repairs to the engine and it purred beautifully. I drove out of the front gate and did take the liberty of pushing the speed limit on my way done 32nd Street in Yuma on my way to the foothills where our house was. I noticed on the way home that the oil gage was acting very erratic. In fact it was bouncing all over the place.

About 2 miles from home the car began to sputter and slow down, about a mile and a half from home the car began to shake and jerk, the temperature grace shot into the red zone, and then 1 mile from home the engine exploded, seized, and I coasted to a stop. I then pushed that car for the better part of a mile, by myself, in the desert heat. My hopes of cruising in John’s Corvette for the next 3 months were dashed. That car sat in my driveway, motionless until he returned.

I would sometimes sit outside in the Corvette and pretending I was cruising in it until Christina would tell me I had to get out of the car because it was pathetic and I was embarrassing her in front of the neighbors! The car looked good, in fact, for a little while it ran for me, but at the end all I had was an attractive lawn ornament; I had the appearance of speed with a broken engine. I had the appearance of real Detroit muscle without any punch.

I had something very much akin to what is spoken of in James chapter two. I had something like faith without works, because the car was dead. It was unable to perform its intended purpose. Its purpose was not to reside in my driveway, unable to move, it was built for speed! It was build to race down the road and growl at stops. So it is with our faith. Our faith is not an end unto itself. Faith is not intended for faith’s sake. Faith that doesn’t work is as useless as a car which cannot drive a plane which lacks the ability to fly, or a ship which cannot sail.

 
Contributed By:
Brian La Croix
 
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HINDRANCES

Hindrances: These are those things that the Bible doesn’t necessarily call sin, but that can get in the way. Let me give you an example:

It’s not illegal to run the 100-yard dash wearing snow-mobile suit and snow boots. But you’re not going to win. In fact, you’ll probably pass out half-way into the race. So you actually wear clothes that are conducive to running the race well.

In the context of what we’re talking about here, these hindrances are anything that might get in the way of you living for Christ fully. It might be a relationship, it might be what you allow into your life in terms of entertainment, it might be the scramble for money, it might be any number of things. But you know that you can probably live for Christ better without these things. And the counsel from Scripture is to get rid of them for the sake of running well.

 
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