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Se cuenta que cierto emperador chino, cuando le avisaron que en una de las provincias de su imperio había una insurrección, dijo a los ministros de su gobierno y a los jefes militares que lo rodeaban: "Vamos. Seguidme. Pronto destruiré a mis enemigos." Cuando el emperador y sus tropas llegaron a donde estaba los rebeldes, él trató afablemente a éstos, quienes, por gratitud, se sometieron a él de nuevo. Todos los que formaban el séquito del emperador pensaron que él ordenaría la inmediata ejecución de todos aquellos que se habían sublevado contra él; pero se sorprendieron en gran manera al ver que el emperador trataba humanitariamente y hasta con cariño a quienes habían sido rebeldes. Entonces el primer ministro preguntó con enojo al emperador:
"¿De esta manera cumple vuestra Excelencia su promesa? Dijisteis que veníamos a destruir a nuestros enemigos, los habéis perdonados a todos y a muchos hasta con cariño los habéis tratado.
Entonces el emperador, con actitud generosa, dijo:
-os prometí destruir a mis enemigos; y todos vosotros veis que ya nadie es enemigo mío: a todos los e hecho mis amigos."
It is said that a Chinese emperor, when told that one of the provinces of his empire had an uprising, told his government ministers and military chiefs about him: "Come on. Follow me. Soon I will destroy my enemies." When the emperor and his troops arrived to where the rebels were, he treated them graciously, who, in gratitude, were subjected to it again. All who were the emperor's entourage thought he would order the immediate execution of all those who had rebelled against him, but was greatly surprised to see that the emperor treated humanely and even loving those who had been rebellious. Then the prime minister angrily asked the emperor:
"This way your Excellency met their promise? You said you were coming to destroy our enemies, you have forgiven everyone."
Then the Emperor, generous attitude, said:
"I promised to destroy my enemies. You see that nobody is my enemy. I've made them all my friends."
Steven Simala Grant
Let me tell you a story from Alberta history: Cree Chief Maskepetoon met Rev. Robert Rundle, and at their first meeting declared "I will never become a Christian as long as there are horses to steal and scalps to take." Nevertheless Maskepetoon became a staunch friend to Rundle and his attitude towards religion began to change. He became a great and feared warrior, but then later became a Christian and a champion of peace.
John McDougall (son of pioneer missionary George, for whom McDougall United is named) later told about the murderer who stopped to shake hands with him while he was traveling with Maskepetoon. When John said "This man wants to shake hand with you," Maskepetoon, apparently under great strain, gave his hand in greeting. He later said to John, "that man killed my son and I often longed to kill him but because I wanted to become a Christian I have kept, with great effort, from avenging my son’s murder. Meeting your father and sitting beside you has softened my heart and now I have given him my hand. It was a hard thing to do but it is done and he need fear no longer as far as I’m concerned."
The story continues: on another occasion the Crees were camped near what is now the city of Wetaskiwin when the Blackfoot asked for a truce. The truce was granted and the Blackfoot came to smoke the pipe of peace. One of their number had murdered Maskepetoon’s father years earlier.
Maskepetoon saw this old warrior, his father’s killer, approach with the others. He ordered his best horse saddled and brought to the tent, then ordered the culprit to stand before him. The murderer expected to be killed. Instead he was asked to be seated. The Chief handed him his best, richly decorated suit. Then Maskepetoon spoke, "you killed my father. The time was when I would have gloried in drinking your blood, but that time is past. You need not fear. You must now become a father to me. Wear my clothes, ride my horse. Tell your people that this is the way Maskepetoon takes revenge."
"You have killed me, my son!" cried the old murderer. "Never in the history of my people has such a thing as this been known. My people and all men will say ’The young Chief is brave and strong and good. He stands alone.’"
Do you see the power of forgiveness? It turned a fierce warrior, who desired nothing more that to steal horses and men’s scalps, into a man who could shake the hand of the man who killed his son. It turned him into a man who could look his father’s murdered in the eye and say, “you killed my father, you must now become a father to me. Wear my clothes, ride my horse.” I want to leave that image in your mind, because it is almost the exact thing that God says to you and I: “Your sin hurt me deeply. You killed my son – your sin killed my son. Wear my clothes, ride my horse. You must now become a son to me.”
Writer & speaker Joni Erickson Tada was paralyzed from the neck down in a diving accident. In her book Secret Strength, Joni wrote about facing temptation.
I was in my late 20’s, single, and with every prospect of remaining so. Sometimes lust or a bit of fantasizing would seem so inviting and so easy to justify. After all, hadn’t I already given up more than most Christians just by being disabled? Didn’t my wheelchair entitle me to a little slack now and then?
Joni went on the ask her readers;
When God allows you to suffer, do you have tendency to use your trials as an excuse for sinning? Or do you feel that since you’ve given God a little extra lately by taking abuse, that He owes you a "day off?"
Hard times can often lead to temptation... In our suffering the evil one is quick to come to our aid and offer one of his solutions; pursuing pleasure to numb the pain, coping an attitude, becoming bitter, getting even, feeding anger...
The First Billionaire
The very first person to reach the status of billionaire was a man who knew how to set goals and follow through. At the age of 23, he had become a millionaire, by the age of 50 a billionaire. Every decision, attitude, and relationship was tailored to create his personal power and wealth. But three years later at the age of 53 he became ill.
His entire body became racked with pain and he lost all the hair on his head. In complete agony, the world’s only billionaire could buy anything he wanted, but he could only digest milk and crackers. An associate wrote, "He could not sleep, would not smile and nothing in life meant anything to him." His personal, highly skilled physicians predicted he would die within a year.
That year passed agonizingly slow. As he approached death he awoke one morning with the vague remembrances of a dream. He could barely recall the dream but knew it had something to do with not being able to take any of his successes with him into the next world. The man who could control the business world suddenly realized he was not in in control of his own life. He was left with a choice.
He called his attorneys, accountants, and managers and announced that he wanted to channel his assets to hospitals, research, and mission work. On that day John D. Rockefeller established his foundation. This new direction eventually led to the discovery of penicillin, cures for current strains of malaria, tuberculosis and diphtheria. The list of discoveries resulting fr...
One of the most memorable books I have ever read is A Severe Mercy. This is the story of Sheldon Vanauken and his wife Davy, who happened to be friends of C. S. Lewis. This couple was deeply in love and they sought to build the ideal marriage. They would only read books that the other wanted to read, and always tried to do everything together. But then a third person came along and interfered with this perfect relationship. That person was God. Davy began to get to know the Lord, and began to love Him. Sheldon became jealous, in his mind he didn’t want to share his wife with God. It was only after Davy’s premature death that Sheldon realized how foolish his attitude was. He also came to understand that the perfect marriage is not just when both partners love each other, but when both husband and wife love God even more than they love their spouse.
THE ENEMY IS REAL
I am learning some things about the FIRST WORLD WAR. Things like it was a TRENCH WAR in which both sides just looked at each other from trenches for most of the war. Often they did not see one another as enemies. The French would not fire on the Germans when they saw their fires from their cooking for meals. "It is common courtesy not to bother them while they are eating." The Germans talk about how a French soldier would smell their dinner and ask if he could join them. Night after night during dinner he would come over and sit and eat and then go back to his trench.
The Generals spoke of the greatest problem in the war was a LIVE AND LET LIVE attitude on both sides. They would rather relax, enjoy the weather, read books in the high grass than to fight with one another. ANYBODY KNOW THERE IS A WAR GOING ON?
AMERICA: Things like it wasn’t the fact that the Germans were attacking England and France that made us willing to fight in that war. In fact when the war started thousands of German-Americans went to join the German side.
America was in an economic boom and didn’t want to worry about an overseas war. We also weren’t willing to join the war when the Germans sank the Ocean Liner the Lusitania killing many Americans. And we weren’t even willing to go when German agents came and bombed steel mills in America to try to keep up from producing things for the other side. We decided to get into the war when we intercepted communication from Germany to Mexico which was trying to get Mexico to join against us by attacking our southern border and taking back the states of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. We finally accepted our enemy was real.
Reported in USATODAY.COM on Saturday April 27, 2001 at FRUITPORT, Mich. (AP) — At the funeral for his wife and infant daughter, an American missionary said he has forgiven the Peruvian pilot who shot down their small plane and said his wife would have done the same.
"I’m not bragging about my attitude. I have no idea why I feel this way," Jim Bowers said Friday night at the funeral for Veronica "Roni" Bowers, 35, and their daughter, 7-month-old Charity. "God’s given me peace."
Veronica and Charity Bowers died after a Peruvian military jet, believing the pontoon plane was smuggling drugs, shot it down over northeastern Peru on April 20.
Jim Bowers, 38, and son Cory, 6, were also on board but were unhurt. Pilot Kevin Donaldson, 41, who managed to land the plane on the Amazon River, suffered serious leg wounds.
About 1,300 people attended Friday’s service at a Baptist church in Fruitport, 40 miles northwest of Grand Rapids. The victims will be buried Sunday afternoon in Pensacola, Fla., near the home of the wife’s parents.
Bowers, in a 30-minute eulogy, spoke calmly as he recalled fond memories of his wife and daughter, and thanked people around the world for their prayers and words of comfort.
"One sign that God was responsible for what happened is the profound effect on people around the world," he said. "I’m hoping it will result in an increase in missionaries .... I’m sure it will; people are challenged now to go do what Roni did."
I.e. Jim Bowers is thinking of mission of God… His attitude toward Peruvian military jet pilot is so different from Jonah, which is - they have forfeited grace, their chance, die man die!
Aftermath: Manuel Boza, Peru’s consul general in Chicago, offered his nation’s condolences during the service, and called the deaths a tragedy for his country as well. It seems whole of Peru got to hear of God.
President Bush telephoned his condolences to Jim Bowers. The White House said Bush did not attend the funeral because he did not want to intrude on a private event. Great Nation of USA once again heard of God’s love that missionaries would go on dangerous journeys to tell of God’s grace and love.
In Inquitos, Peru, more than 500 people packed a university auditorium Friday night for a memorial service for Veronica and Charity Bowers.
K. Edward "Ed" Skidmore
A few years back, a Galveston church had a Tithing Demonstration Sunday for its members. On a designated Sunday everyone was asked to give a tithe of one week’s salary. They urged everyone … whether or not they usually tithed … to give a tithe that one time.
As you could imagine, the offering that Sunday was the largest ever given. In fact, it was 6 times the usual offering. The aftermath was even more exciting. Many who had never tithed before changed their attitude and decided if they could do it once, they could do again.
By the end of that year giving was up almost 3 times what it had been before the demonstration. The enthusiasm was up ...
In an article in Campus Life a young nurse writes of her pilgrimage in learning to see in a patient the image of God beneath a very “distressing disguise.”
Eileen was one of her first patients, a person who was totally helpless. “A cerebral aneurysm (broken blood vessels in the brain) had left her with no conscious control over her body,” the nurse writes. As near as the doctors could tell Eileen was totally unconscious, unable to feel pain and unaware of anything going on around her. It was the job of the hospital staff to turn her every hour to prevent bedsores and to feer her twice a day, “what looked like a thin mush through a stomach tube.” Caring for her was a thankless task. “When it’s this bad,” and older student nurse told her, “you have to detach yourself emotionally from the whole situation…” As a result, more and more Eileen came to be treated as a thing, a vegetable …
But the young student nurse decided that she could not treat Eileen like the others had treated her. She talked to her, sang to her, encouraged her and even brought her little gifts.
One day when things were especially difficult and it would have been easy for the young nurse to take out her frustrations on the patient, she was especially kind. It was Thanksgiving Day and the nurse said to the patient, “I was in a cruddy mood this morning, Eileen, because it was supposed to be my day off. But now that I’m here, I’m glad. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss seeing you on Thanksgiving. Do you know this is Thanksgiving?”
Just then the telephone rang, and as the nurse turned to answer it, she looked quickly back at the patient. Suddenly, she writes, Eileen was “looking at me … crying. Big damp circles stained her pillow, and she was shaking all over.”
That was the only human emotion that Eileen ever showed any of them, but it was enough to change the whole attitude of the hospital staff toward her. Not long afterward, Eileen died. The young nurse closes her story, saying, “I keep thinking about her … It occurred to me that I owe her an awful lot. Except for Eileen, I might never have known what it’s like to give myself to someone who can’t give back.”
Wade Hughes, Sr
ONE LITTLE BOY GREW A NEW APPROACH TO THE GAME.
We have this little boy at church, Seth Keown, Seth is 6 years old and plays PeeWee football.
Our son is the coach of the Packers. Our grandson Matthew plays on the same team with Seth.
There are only two teams in this league, the Packers and the Titans.
The Packers have yellow jerseys and the Titans have blue.
The Titans are a much bigger team in size than the Packers, and thus won every game.
We drove to Brownsville for this week’s game, every week prior the Titans stomped the Packers.
Seth’s team, the Packers had lost every game.
This Saturday Seth got out of their car with a different attitude.
Seth had on his number 44 yellow uniform. As Seth walked away from his Mother,
I watched him. Seth had his shoulders spread eagle and his eyes sparkled.
Seth walked right up to the star of the Titans, the biggest blue Titan player,
Seth came up to the bigger boy’s number on his jersey, Seth look right at the big blue star, and
Seth made a declaration to the biggest player.
SETH SAID: WE ARE GOING TO WIN TODAY!
Seth turned and walked away.
Seth came to this game with a different approach than the other games.
Well, I thought this was really cute, this little boy went to Goliath and stated a new attitude,
but I feared another lost. I knew there was no way the Packers could beat the Titans.
BUT THEY DID! The Packers won. Seth was right.
At the end of the game, it was Packers 14, Titans 6.
Seth’s new approach was infective, contagious to the other players.
I heard my son, the Coach, say, Boy’s I prayed for you this week --- the prayer was not just to win,
but for a new approach to the game.
Last Saturday, in Brownsville, Kentucky was the TOY BOWL. The Titans coach had never lost
a TOY BOWL. Seth and the Packers took the field, they were behind, loosing most of the game.
With two minutes to go, the Packers scored a touchdown and took the lead, and won the TOY BOWL.
As a bystander, I remembered back to the day, that Seth climbed out of the car, saying,
the Packers are going to win today. At first, Seth was just saying this to himself.
But later with a boldness, Seth walked up and told the Star Titan, WE ARE GOING TO WIN TODAY.