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Solomon discovered the emptiness of stuff.

Illus. A young banker was driving his BMW, in the mountains, during a snowstorm. As he rounded a turn the vehicle slid out of control and toward a cliff. At the last moment he unbuckled his seatbelt and jumped from the car.
Though he escaped with his life, his left arm was caught near the hinge of the door and torn it off at the shoulder.

A trucker passing nearby witnessed the accident, stopped his rig, and ran back to see if he could be of help. There standing, in a state of shock, was the banker at the edge of the cliff moaning, "Oh no, my BMW, my BMW". The trucker pointed to the banker’s shoulder and said "man you’ve got bigger problems than a car".

With that the banker looked at his shoulder, finally realizing he’d lost his arm, and began crying ":Oh No, my new Rolex, my new Rolex".

The pull of the world can easily steal our affections away, and cause us to live for the wrong things. See, stuff is not bad, and it is not evil to own stuff, to have money, possessions, nice cars, Rolex’s.

The important thing is our attitude toward the stuff in our life.
For example: Money is not evil, the love of it is.

Many godly men were rich :
Solomon – with his wealth he built the Temple.
Jehoshaphat – with his wealth he built a great Military power
Job - Stayed faithful to God even when he lost all his wealth. Then God gave him even greater wealth as a reward..
Hezekiah – Used his wealth to reform Israel.

Solomon was the richest man who ever lived.
He owned : Houses, vineyards, gardens, parks, fruit trees, slaves, flocks, singers, so much silver that it was as common as dirt, gold shields, a solid ivory throne, a solid gold throne, fleets of ships, robes of the finest materials, weapons, Storage buildings full of exotic spices, herds of mules, peacocks, 1,400 chariots, 12,000 horses, and land that extended farther than the eye could see.

Ecclesiastes 2:10: “He was denied nothing his eye desired.”
From a Sermon By Art Good

 
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MELVIN NEWLAND
 
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ILL. Let me read a part of the list that several housewives compiled. They wrote that they were especially thankful:
"For automatic dishwashers because they make it possible for us to get out of the kitchen before the family comes back in for their after-dinner snacks.
"For husbands who attack small repair jobs around the house because they usually make them big enough to call in the professionals.
"For children who put away their things & clean up after themselves. They’re such a joy you hate to see them go home to their own parents
"For teenagers because they give parents an opportunity to learn a second language.
"For Smoke alarms because they let you know when the turkey’s done.
APPL. Now our list might not be the same as theirs, but I’m convinced that if we began to make a list, we would find that we have much more for which to be thankful than just our material possessions.

 
Contributed By:
Andy Beech
 
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The evangelist David Pawson tells a story about a budgerigar that sang hymns. He belonged to an old lady in Cardiff and could sing a whole verse of ’What a friend we have in Jesus!’

And when visitors come to this old folks home they heard a little voice saying ’What a friend we have in Jesus,’ and they look around and there’s this budgie in a cage and for some reason they push money through the bars of the cage.

And the lady who owned it sent the money to a Missionary in Africa.

That budgie was doing more than most church members, because it was actually praising God everyday, and supporting a Missionary in Africa. The old lady had sent over £175.

It’s was only a budgerigar, - it wasn’t a believer, and there are an awful lot of budgerigars in Church, saying the Creed, singing their little hearts out, and filling the pews.

When you believe the ’good news’ you can’t simply hold onto it like a treasured possession. For God’s Kingdom to come, Jesus must rule in the hearts of His people, and we must be the ones who go out and spread the good news.

 
Contributed By:
Josh Hunt
 
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The story is told of a prosperous, young investment banker who was driving a new BMW sedan on a mountain road during a snowstorm. As he veered around one sharp turn, he lost control and began sliding off the road toward a deep precipice. At the last moment he unbuckled his seat belt, flung open his door, and leaped from the car, which then tumbled down the ravine and burst into a ball of flames.
Though he had escaped with his life, the man suffered a ghastly injury. Somehow his arm had been caught near the hinge of the door as he jumped and had been torn off at the shoulder.
A trucker saw the accident in his rearview mirror. He pulled his rig to a halt and ran to see if he could help. He found the banker standing at the roadside, looking down at the BMW burning in the ravine below.
"My BMW! My new BMW!!" the banker moaned, oblivious to his injury.
The trucker pointed at the banker’s shoulder and said, "You’ve got bigger prob...

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Two 6 year olds struggled with the problem of the existence of the devil. One boy said, “Oh, there isn’t any devil.” The other, rather upset, said, “What do you mean, there isn’t any devil? It talks about him all the way through the Bible!” the first replied, “Oh that’s not true, you know. It’s just like Santa Claus, the devil turns out to be your dad.”

G. Lewis, Demon Possession, ed. J. Montgomery

 
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Troy Borst
 
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A WORRY SATIRE

Luke 12:22-34 (New Revised Updated Modernization Version for the E-Pad with notes) (NRUMVEPwN)

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, about evil people hurting you your family, or random biological terrorist attacks, or how the stock market will do. 23 Life is more than safety and security, and happiness is more than what does or does not happen to you. 24 Consider the Amish: They sow and reap without modern technology and God feeds them and protects them. And how much more of a tempting target are you than the Amish! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 27 "Consider how the Kardashians grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes people who are absolutely worthless in society, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on getting filthy rich or being physically perfect; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor on Craigslist. Provide purses for yourselves made out of duct tape that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 
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Ray Navarro
 
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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!."

"Yes master."

"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!"

 
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YOU GOTTA LOOK AT IT!

A man was seated on a park bench when a little chap of about five sat down beside him and started winding what appeared to be a most prized possession--a watch. "My, what a pretty watch," remarked the man. "Does it tell you the time?"

"No sir," replied the boy; "you gotta look at it."

God’s Truth is everywhere, but you must look for it and at it to see it. By reading, studying, medita...

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Contributed By:
Floyd John-Keith
 
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BIGGER PERSON

One day, two men appeared before a judge to have settled a dispute. One argued that the other had moved the boundary marker by five feet and thereby has taken possession of his land. After listening to both arguments and going through some documents the judge could not determine where the boundary should really be. So, he ordered that the five feet be divided in two. The first man stood and said, "Your Honor, I will be the bigger person, let him have it all." The second man got up and said, "Your Honor, I’ll be the bigger person and go right on and accept."

 
Contributed By:
Ross Cochrane
 
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RUGBY WITH JOB AND BILDAD

Reading Job 18 and 19 is like watching a game of RUGBY LEAGUE. The friends side has a bulldog called Bildad on their team. BILDAD THE SHUHITE maybe small (excuse the pun on his name) but he's built like a tank. He can parry the blows from Job's side and tackle a man with the ferocity of bulldozer.

But the other side has JOB. He looks like a weakling but surprisingly he has so far withstood some severe poundings and still got a few tries of his own. The man is quick in his defense tactics despite his injuries on the field.

The game rolls on. It's almost half time, and JOB HAS POSSESSION OF THE BALL. He charges down the line and only Bildad stands in his way. It looks like Job doesn't have a chance.

BILDAD DOESN'T FALL FOR JOB'S DUMMY PASS. He is not going to accept the "I'm innocent" assertion that Job gives. That doesn't add up in his way of thinking. Only the wicked could go through what Job is going through so he says, "Speak sense if you want us to answer! ...Do you think we are stupid?" (Job 18:2-3).

BILDAD IS READY TO TACKLE JOB! He starts trash talking to intimidate him. He yells out "I coming after you Job. Your light is about to be snuffed. In mid stride, you are going to hit a brick wall."

(Job 18:5-7 - my translation)

 
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