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LOOKING THROUGH CLEAN WINDOWS
A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
'That laundry is not very clean', she said. 'She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap'
Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Everytime her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.
About one month later, the woman was surprised to see nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: 'Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?'
The husband said, 'I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.'
And so it is with life. What we see when watching others, depends on the purity of the window through which we look.
Malcolm, a man with a terrible temper, was playing a round of golf with his pastor. After leaving three straight putts on the edge of the cup, Malcolm exploded. "I missed!" he screamed. "How could I miss?" With that he heaved his putter into a nearby lake, kicked a wheel on the golf cart and drove his fist into a nearby tree.
Pastor was shocked. "I have never seen such a terrible display of anger," he said to the poor man. "Don’t you know that God doesn’t like it when we are angry? I have heard that there are angels whose one assignment is to search out people who express their anger so ferociously and to send lightning bolts from heaven to burn them to a crisp."
Malcolm was embarrassed. Heeding the warning of Pastor, on the next few holes, he managed to control himself. However, on the last three holes his putting failed him again. When the last putt veered off to the right just in front of the hole, Malcolm went crazy. "I missed!" he screamed. "How could I miss?" He broke his club across his knee and threw it as far as he could, he kicked up several large clumps of dirt on the edge of the green, and once more drove his fist into a nearby tree.
Suddenly the sky grew dark as an ominous cloud passed over. There was a clap of thunder and an awesome burst of lightning-and the pastor was burned to a crisp!
An eerie silence filled the golf course. All that could be heard was a quiet voice from heaven: "I missed! How could I miss?"’
Contributed by David Lansdown
I have obtained a copy of a recently discovered document from the 1st century. It’s from the first publisher of the Bible – this was before there was Zondervan and Tyndale and all those publishers. It’s a letter from them to the Bible’s original author…
While we appreciate that the writing of Your manuscript has involved the work of some 40 authors and taken over 1500 years to complete, as with all writers, we feel it is important to present to You some editorial suggestions for the sake of Your book’s marketability. Please understand that these are presented with Your interests in mind, as well as the necessity of this book paying for itself as we fulfill our contract with You.
At first, our review board thought it would be best to leave out some of the less-believable material – talking donkeys, floating ax heads, parting of the sea, bread from heaven, and things like that. However we are willing to leave those in. We’re just concerned that You not undermine Your work’s credibility.
However, there are still some certain elements that we deem best left out, even though they are factual. Clearly You haven’t included every thing that ever happened, so why not omit a few features that might otherwise harm Your book’s sales? – for instance, the inclusion in Joshua of the story of a prostitute named Rahab. It seems the account of the spies in her home is just as easily left out without altering the story of the conquest of Jericho. Why make such a character a key figure in your main story line? To bring her name up again in the New Testament as an illustration of good living seems to be using poor judgment too. (If you look in Hebrews 11:31, she’s one of only 2 women mentioned there – people who had faith – along with Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and others. Then James mentions her in 2:25 as a person who was “considered righteous” for what she did.)
Worst of all is her name appearing in the genealogy of Jesus along with 2 other women of questionable background. (Sure enough, right there in Matthew 1:5 is Rahab – she married a guy named Salmon and had a son named Boaz. Boaz became the father of Obed, and Obed the father of Jesse, the father of David – and Jesus descended from that earthly line.) As Your publisher, we should point out that it isn’t even considered customary to include the names of women in such lists. Our suggestion is that they simply be omitted, as in most genealogies.
If we have somehow failed to catch the spirit of Your work, our apologies. We are, of course, simply interested in Your work being polished in a way that it will be most widely read and accepted. Thank You for working with us to make Your book the best we can make it.
An umpire named Babe Pinelli once called Babe Ruth out on strikes. When the crowd booed with sharp disapproval at the call, the legendary Ruth turned to the umpire with disdain and said, "There’s 40,000 people here who know that the last pitch was ball, tomato head." Suspecting that the umpire would erupt with anger, the coaches and players braced themselves for Ruth’s ejection. However, the cool headed Pinelli replied, "Maybe so, Babe, but mine is the only opinion that counts." Believers need to realize that God’s judgment is the only on...
One of the powerful figures in Wall Street fell in love with an actress. For many months he was always seen escorting her about in the fashionable circles of town. Deciding to marry her, he first put a private detective to the job of looking into her former dealings and friends in order to guard himself against any rash mistake. At last he received his agent’s report. “Miss Blank enjoys an excellent reputation. Her past is spotless. Her associates have been above reproach. The only breath of scandal is that, in recent months, she has been much seen in the company of a business man of doubtful reputation.”
Sermon Central Staff
A PARABLE OF PARABLES
The content of belief is important: Jonathan Whitfield was preaching to coal miners in England. He asked one man, "What do you believe?"
"Well, I believe the same as the church."
"And what does the church believe?"
"Well, they believe the same as me." Seeing he was getting nowhere, Whitfield said, "And what is it that you both believe?"
"Well, I suppose the same thing."
Theological belief is sometimes a murky matter. A candidate for ordination as a minister was asked, "What part of the Bible do you like best?"
He said: "I like the New Testament best."
Then he was asked, "What Book in the New Testament is your favorite?"
He answered, "The Book of the Parables, Sir."
They then asked him to relate one of the parables to the committee. And a bit uncertain, he began...
"Once upon a time a man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves; and the thorns grew up and choked the man. And he went on and met the Queen of Sheba, and she gave that man, Sir, a thousand talents of silver, and a hundred changes of raiment.
"And he got in his chariot and drove furiously and, as he was driving along under a big tree, his hair got caught in a limb and left him hanging here! And he hung there many days and many nights. The ravens brought him food to eat and water to drink.
"And one night while he was hanging there asleep, his wife Delilah came along and cut off his hair, and he fell on stony ground. And it began to rain, and rained forty days and forty nights. And he hid himself in a cave.
"Later he went on and met a man who said, 'Come in and take supper with me.' But he said, 'I can't come in, for I have married a wife.' And the man went out into the highways and hedges and compelled him to come in!
He then came to Jerusalem, and saw Queen Jezebel sitting high and lifted up in a window of the wall. When she saw him she laughed, and he said, 'Throw her down out of there,' and they threw her down. And he said 'Throw her down again,' and they threw her down seventy-times-seven. And the fragments which they picked up filled twelve baskets full! NOW, whose wife will she be in the day of the Judgment?"
The story didn't say what the committee decided, but I have hope.
(From a sermon by Bobby Scobey, If the Church Became Unchristian # 4 - Behavior More Important Than Belief, 6/22/2010)
In November I975, 75 convicts started digging a secret tunnel designed to bring them up at the other side of the wall of Saltillo Prison in northern Mexico. On April 18, 1976, guided by pure genius, they tunneled up into the nearby courtroom in which many of them had been sentenced. The surprised judges returned all 75 to jail. *Campus Life, September 1980.
Left to our own plans we many times turn up in unlikely and UN welcomed places!
No One Expected Me!
I dreamed death came the other night
And heaven’s gate swung wide.
With kindly grace an angel fair
Ushered me inside.
And there, to my astonishment
Stood folks I’d known on earth.
Some I’d judged and labeled as
“Unfit”, “Of little worth”.
Indignant words rose to ...
JUDGING BY COMPARISON
How many people in this room would like to lose 20 pounds? How many people in this room would like to be taller? Do you know someone who sees themselves as an old alley cat while others see them as a prize Persian? Can you think of someone who thinks they are a prize poodle and they are really just a mangy mutt? How many of you are happy with yourself just the way you are?
When I was a kid, I thought I must surely be adopted, and one day my REAL parents would come and rescue me from the crazy family in which I found myself. It's like our son Christopher who told his mother one day that he didn't want to be Christopher Carr anymore; he wanted to be Christopher truck.
We judge ourselves and each other by comparison. What we use as a yardstick to make our comparisons depends on what we value.
Two taxidermists stopped before a window in which an owl was on display. They immediately began to criticize the way it was mounted. Its eyes were not natural; its wings were not in proportion with its head; its feathers were not neatly arranged; and its feet could be improved.
When they had finished with their criticism, the old owl turned his head ... and winked at them.