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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?
Now, my dad once told me the story about a peculiar fisherman from Minnesota. You see, this fisherman was very well prepared. He knew how to fish. He had everything you need to be a good fisherman. He had poles, nets, bait, and even a really nice boat, but this fisherman had a problem. You see, for all his preparation he never caught anything. Not one fish. Not one, not ever. And you know why he never caught a fish? What do you think? The answers easy: He never went fishing. He had all the knowledge and all the equipment, but he never got into the boat, he never left the dock.
Several years ago the Peanuts comic strip had Lucy and Charlie Brown practicing football. Lucy would hold the ball for Charlie’s placekicking and then Charlie would kick the ball. But every time Lucy had ever held the ball for Charlie, he would approach the ball and kick with all his might. At the precise moment of the point of no return, Lucy would pick up the ball and Charlie would kick and his momentum unchecked by the ball, which was not there to kick, would cause him to fall flat on his back. This strip opened with Lucy holding the ball, but Charlie Brown would not kick the ball. Lucy begged him to kick the ball. But Charlie Brown said, "Every time I try to kick the ball you remove it and I fall on my back." They went back and forth for the longest time and finally Lucy broke down in tears and admitted, "Charlie Brown I have been so terrible to you over the years, picking up the football like I have. I have played so many cruel tricks on you, but I’ve seen the error of my ways! I’ve seen the hurt look in your eyes when I’ve deceived you. I’ve been wrong, so wrong. Won’t you give a poor penitent girl another chance?" Charlie Brown was moved by her display of grief and responded to her, "Of course, I’ll give you another chance." He stepped back as she held the ball, and he ran. At the last moment, Lucy picked up the ball and Charlie Brown fell flat on his back. Lucy’s last words were, "Recognizing your faults and actually changing your ways are two different things, Charlie Brown!"
Are you going to change your ways as of today?
A man flew into Chicago & hired a taxi to take him downtown. As he was riding along they came to a red light & the driver went right on through the red light.
The man said, "Hey, the light was red. Youíre supposed to stop." The driver said, "Yeah, I know, but my brother does it all the time."
Soon they came to a second red light & again he went right straight through. The passenger said, "Youíre going to get us killed. That light was red. Why didnít you stop?"
The driver said, "Donít worry about it. My brother does it all the time."
Then they came to a green light & he stopped. The man said, "The light is green. Now is the time to go. Why donít you go on through?"
The driver answered, "I know itís g...
The boss of a big company needed to call one of his employees about an urgent problem with one of the main computers. He dialled the employees home telephone number and was greeted with a child’s whispered, "Hello?"
Feeling put out at the inconvenience of having to talk to a youngster, the boss asked, "Is your Daddy home?" "Yes," whispered the small voice. "May I talk with him?" the man asked. To the surprise of the boss, the small voice whispered, "No."
Wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, "Is your Mommy there?" "Yes," came the answer. "May I talk with her?" Again, the small voice whispered, "No."
Knowing that it was not likely that a young child would be left home alone, the boss decided he would just leave a message with the person who should be there watching over the child. "Is there any one there besides you?" the boss asked the child. "Yes," whispered the child, "a policeman."
Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee’s home, the boss asked, "May I speak with the policeman?" "No, he is busy," whispered the child. "Busy doing what?" asked the boss. "Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the Fireman," came the whispered answer.
Growing concerned and even worried as he heard what sounded like a helicopter through the ear piece on the phone, the boss asked, "What is that noise?" "A hello-copper," answered the whispering voice. "What is going on there?" asked the boss, now alarmed. In an awed whispering voice, the child answered, "The search team just landed the hello-copper!"
Alarmed, concerned and more than just a little frustrated, the boss asked, "Why are they there?"
Still whispering, the young voice replied (along with a muffled giggle), "They are looking for me!"
A German soldier was wounded. He was ordered to go to the military hospital for treatment. When he arrived at the large and imposing building, he saw two doors, one marked, "For the slightly wounded," and the other, "For the seriously wounded."
He entered through the first door and found himself going down a long hall. At the end of it were two more doors, one marked, "For officer" and the other, "For non-officers." He entered through the latter and found himself going down another long hall. At the end of it were two more doors, one marked, "For party members" and the other, "For non-party members." He took the second door, and when he opened it he found himself out on the street.
When the soldier returned home, his mother asked him, "How did you get along at the hospital?"
"Well, Mother," he replied, "to tell the truth, the people there didn’t do anything for me, but you ought to see the tremendous organization they have!"
The soldier’s comment describes many churches in our day: really organized, but accomplishing little.
The story is about a man by the name of Larry Walters, a 33-year-old man who decided he wanted to see his neighborhood from a new perspective. So, he went down to the local army surplus store and bought forty-five used weather balloons.
That afternoon he strapped himself into a lawn chair, to which several of his friends tied the now helium-filled used weather balloons. He took with him, something to drink, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and a BB gun, figuring he could shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land.
Walters, who assumed the balloons would lift him about 100 feet in the air, was caught off guard when the chair soared more than 11,000 feet into the sky--smack into the middle of the air traffic pattern at Los Angeles International Airport. Because he was too frightened to shoot any of the balloons, he stayed airborne for more than two hours, and forced the airport to shut down its runways for much of the afternoon.
Soon after he was safely grounded and cited by the police, reporters asked him three questions:
"Were you scared? "Yes."
"Would you do it again? "No.
"Why did you do it?" "Because you can’t just sit there."
Have you ever felt that you just didnít have the heart for something?
Late one night, a man had gone to a party and had too much to drink, so he decided it would be best to walk home. He found a shortcut through a poorly lit cemetery and, in the darkness, stumbled into an open grave. He tried to climb out but the walls were too slippery. Again and again he fell back into the grave. Finally, in exhaustion, he settled in a corner to wait for sunlight.
A few minutes later, another man in the same condition was cutting through the cemetery and fell victim to the same grave. He, too, tried desperately to climb and claw his way out...
At times we probably feel it would be so much easier if we could be like Lucy in the old Peanuts cartoon: Lucy says to Charlie Brown, "I would have made a great evangelist." Charlie Brown answers, "Is that so?" She says, "Yes, I convinced that boy in front of me in school that my religion is better than his religion." Charlie Brown asked, "Well, how did you do that?" And Lucy answers, "I hit him over the head with my lunch box."
Just in case your boss catches you asleep at your desk, be ready to blurt out one of these excuses:
*They told me at the blood bank that this might happen.
*This is just a 15-minute power nap like they raved about in that time management course you sent me to.
*I was working smarter - not harder.
*Whew! I must have left the top off the whiteout.
*I wasn’t sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm!
*This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!
*I was testing the keyboard for drool resistance.
*I’m in the management training program.
*I’m actually doing a Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan (SLEEP).
I learned at the last mandatory seminar you made me attend.
*This is in exchange for the six hours last night when I dreamed about work!
*Darn! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem.
*The coffee machine is broken ....
*Someone must have put decaf in the wrong pot.
*Boy, that cold medicine I took last night just won’t wear off.
*Ah, the unique and unpredictable circadian rhythms of the workaholic!
*I wasn’t sleeping. I was trying to pick up my contact lens without my hands.
*The mail courier flipped out and pulled a gun so I was playing dead to avoid getting shot.
*Gosh, I thought you (the boss) were gone for the day.
*From Pastor Tim’s CleanLaugh Archives