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The desire to "get even" seems to be a part of the human psyche.
It is like the story of a mother who heard her seven-year-old son screaming. She runs into the next room to see what is wrong, and discovers her two-year-old daughter is pulling the hair of her brother. The mother gets the hand of the baby unclenched and says, "You will have to overlook this. Your sister doesn't know what it feels like to have her hair pulled."
The mother goes back into the kitchen when she hears the daughter screaming. She runs back into the room and says, "What happened?"
The boy answered, "She knows what it feels like now."
K. Edward "Ed" Skidmore
DO YOU LIKE TO BE BLIND?
Our grand-kids came to visit our church one Sunday, and I asked our grandson, Caleb, how he liked Sunday School. He said he didn't like it at all!
I asked him why and he explained that the teacher made them close their eyes for a long time and wouldn't let them open their eyes.
I looked at his Sunday School paper and saw they were teaching this same story we talked about today about healing the man born blind. So I explained that the teacher just wanted him to see what it would be like to be blind.
Caleb wasn't impressed. He shouted, "But I don't LIKE to be blind!" (Of course, at that age, he actually said, "I don't WIKE to be Bwind!"
There are a lot of people walking around today who seem to "wike to be bwind!" They walk around with their eyes tightly shut against seeing God's power and love for them.
Will YOU let Jesus reveal your spiritual blind spots and open your eyes to His truth today?
1 Peter 4:10-4:10
1 Peter 4:1-4:11
1 Peter 4:8-4:8
1 Timothy 2:1-2:10
DO YOU KNOW HOW TO PRAY
I heard a story of a ship that was sinking in the middle of a storm, and the captain called out to the crew and said, "Does anyone here know how to pray?"
One man stepped forward and said, "Yes sir, I know how to pray."
The captain said, "Wonderful, you pray while the rest of us put on life jackets--we're one short."
Author unknown. Taken from pastorlife.com.
LEADERS AND FOLLOWERS
S. I. McMillen, in his book "None of These Diseases," tells a story of a young woman who wanted to go to college, but her heart sank when she read the question on the application blank that asked, "Are you a leader?" Being both honest and conscientious, she wrote, "No," and returned the application, expecting the worst.
To her surprise, she received this letter from the college: "Dear Applicant: A study of the application forms ...
STOP OR SLOW DOWN
Pastor John Hagee told us a story of a driver that refused to stop at a STOP sign; he was then pulled over by a cop. The cop told him that the reason he pulled him over was because he refused to stop at a STOP sign. He replied that he slowed down, the cop then explain to him that the sign reads STOP and not slow down. He then gave him a ticket.
The second day, the same driver refused to stop at the same sign, the same cop pulled him over, the same accusation and the same defense, he was then given another ticket.
The third day, the same driver refused to stop at the same STOP sign, he was pulled over by the same cop, and was accused of not stopping at the same STOP sign, again, he told the cop that he did slow down. The cop then took a big stick and started hitting him with it on his head very fast, he then asked the driver, "Since you are finding it difficult to understand the difference between STOP and SLOW DOWN, here I am, hitting you with this stick on the head very fast. Now do you want me to slow down or stop?"
Dr. Larry Petton
I love the story about the Lutheran pastor who always started each service off with the phrase, "The Lord be with you." The people would then respond, "and also with you.”
However, one Sunday the sound system wasn’t working very well. The pastor stepped up to the pulpit and said, "There’s something wrong with this microphone."
The people responded, "AND ALSO WITH YOU!."
A new believer was on a plane with an intellectual (a man educated beyond his intelligence). He sneered at her reading the Bible and asked if she believed it?
"Jonah and the whale story?" (A great fish)
"How did it happen?"
"Don't know, but I'll find out when I get to heaven."
"What if Jonah isn't there?"
"Then I guess you'll have to ask him for me."
Source: Galaxie Software. (2002; 2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.
THIS IS GOOD!
The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!"
One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual,
"This is good!"
To which the king replied, "No, this is not good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail.
About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake.
As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone who was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.
As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend.
THE UMPIRE'S REVENGE
Forgiveness begins when we give up the quest to get even. This is difficult, because getting even is the natural obsession of the wounded soul. Stories about getting even always capture our attention. It wouldn’t surprise me if revenge is the theme of as many as half the movies shown in theaters today.
Sometime ago Dave Hagler, who works as an umpire in a recreational baseball league, was pulled over for driving too fast in the snow in Boulder, Colorado. He tried to talk the officer out of giving him a ticket by telling him how worried he was about insurance and how he’s normally a very safe driver, and so on. The officer said that if he didn’t like receiving the ticket, he could take the matter to court.
At the first game in the next baseball season, Dave Hagler is umpiring behind the plate, and the first batter up is--can you believe it?--the policeman. As the officer is about to step into the batter's box, they recognize each other. Long pause. The officer asks, "So how did the thing with the ticket go?"
Hagler says, "You’d better swing at everything."
(Ortberg, J. (2009). Everybody’s normal till you get to know them. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.)
Norman Cates shared the humorous story of a guy who prayed this prayer every morning: "Lord, if you want me to witness to someone today, please give me a sign to show me who it is." One day he found himself on a bus when a big, burly man sat next to him. The bus was nearly empty but this guy sat next to our praying friend. The timid Christian anxiously waited for his stop so he could exit the bus. But before he could get very nervous about the man next to him, the big guy burst into tears and began to weep. He then cried out with a loud voice, "I need to be saved. I’m a lost sinner and I need the Lord. Won’t somebody tell me how to be saved?" He turned to the Christian and pleaded, "Can you show me how to be saved?" The believer immediately bowed his head and prayed, "Lord, is this a sign?" Are you looking for a "sign" to start witnessing?