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Let me close with this story, at first you may not catch my point, but hang in there, when I land you will see a wonderful point.

I had been teaching in Virginia, and I resigned my position and accepted a pastorate of a mission work in eastern Kentucky. The area was very poor, and the little church had little to offer.

We had to move into the government housing, and one of the conditions of our lease was we were not allowed to have a dog or a cat.

My youngest son, then 3, loved animals and wanted a dog. I was ashamed to tell my son, I made so little money, that we had to live in the housing project and he could not have a dog.

One day, riding home from church in our Pinto station wagon, my youngest son, Joshua asked me, "Daddy, why can everybody at church have a dog, and I can’t have one?"

I could not answer him? Had I made the right choice leaving teaching school to pastor a church that had averaged 3 the year before? I was glad it was dark, I cried and felt I had failed my two sons.

Linda and noticed there was a clause in the lease that we were allowed to have an aquarium. So we saved our pennies and saved until we could buy

the aquarium. I made a shelf out of some scrape lumber. We purchased several little fish and had enough money to buy a little crab.

The boys loved the crab. It had one big pincher and one small pincher. It would crawl up the grass and sit right at the top of the aquarium and wave it’s one big pincher back and forth. My boys would stand and wave back to our pet crab.

The little crab was a joy to our home. When company would come, the first things the boys would do was to introduce the people to the crab and wave at it, and the crab would wave back.

We came in from service one day, and my oldest son started crying. They went to the side of the aquarium and my boy didn’t wave. I knew something was wrong, and there our pet crab was there dead.

I got the net and pulled the dead crab’s body out of the tank. It was pretty quiet, as we prepared for the funeral. We got a nice cup and place the lifeless body into the cup. I sure didn’t have the words to comfort my sons?

The telephone rang, and this old lady was on the phone. She could talk all night. I sat the cup down on the table and I talked to her. I later explained the death of the crab to her and while we were talking, the boys went over to the fish tank, they just stood in front of the tank, they seemed hopeless.

I heard this terrible scream, my oldest son was screaming to the top of his voice. I dropped the phone and ran into the room, there Marty and Joshua stood waving at the aquarium, there was the crab on top of the grass waving at them, and they were waving back.

What we thought was the dead crab was the old shell. The crab had a new shell. The new shell was bigger and brighter in color. The dead crab in the cup was not the dead crab at all, it was just the shell. The crab had a new body, better than the old.

May I suggest a truth to you today, the corpse in the casket is not our loved one? It is just the shell. This shell had become a prison, the bars were bones.

Today, our loved ones are rejoicing, together forever with the Lord.

Are we living right? What is important to us?


How could I close today without telling you what I think are some of the most important aspects of life? I think God and His Only Son Jesus are important.

I may sound like a preacher, but I think the church, with all her faults, is very important. I think faithfulness to God and family are important. Are you investing in things that don’t really matter?



You could help me, you could read this and make some copies and pass it to someone else. You could be a team member, or you could just do nothing. It is up to you? I have done my part.

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