Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Understand that things happen for a reason and “JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON”

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18th were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity, so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor," she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?" The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten "The Tablecloth". The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria.

When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week.  He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home. That was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike.

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid who says God does work in mysterious ways. I asked the Lord to bless you as I prayed for you today, to guide you and protect you as you go along your way. His love is always with you. His promises are true, and when we give Him all our cares we know He will see us through.

So when the road you're traveling seems difficult at best, just remember I'm here praying and God will do the rest. Pass this on to those you want God to bless.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Father

By Chet Nowlen

Once upon a time there was a man that took a young bride to share his life. The wife bore the man sons and he is now referred to as “Father”. One day a terrible thing happened. The wife betrayed the “Father” as she had been seduced by another. The betrayal broke the “Father’s heart, and separation and divorce hurt the “Father” even more.

The wife married the seducer and they became as one. The sons followed their mother’s direction and one of the sons accepted his new step-father as if he were his natural father. The “Father” came to visit his sons, but one of the sons ignored him as if he were not even there. The other son honored the “Father” and gave him honor and respect. One son could not find anything good that the “Father” had ever done for him, so he ignored him and hoped he would go away. The other son honored his “Father” and him his time and attention. This son gave the “Father” thanks for all he had ever done for him.

This story may sound like someone you know and it is. The “Father” in this story is God. The wife is the world and the seducer is of course Satan. The world and the worldly system are married to Satan. Satan is the illegal step-father to sons. The sons are all the children born all over the world since the creation of man.

Notice the parallel of the two sons and first two sons in the Bible, Cain and Abel. Even though Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, because of their disobedience, God still came to visit His family. Adam taught his children to honor God, because He was their creator, by giving back to God. Cain and Abel were the first to tithe to God.

Cain gave 10% of his crop to God as a tithe, but Cain dishonored God by holding back his best for himself. He only gave to God from the third picking, which is the poorest quality of the harvest. You see Cain dishonored God by only giving poor quality, whereas Abel honored God by giving Him his very best first.

The two sons represent two classes of people on the earth. The first is the people that ignore God and hope He will go away. The second is the people that love God and honor Him in all that they do. They give him thanks and praise Him. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:18

Note: The greatest gift you can give you Heavenly Father is to thank Him and give Him praise for all His blessings He has given you.  Sometimes we take our earthly father’s for granted too.  One of the Ten Commandments is to “Honor your Father and Mother”.  The greatest gift you can give your parent is your respect and honor them with thanks for the many sacrifices they made for you.  Praise them for what they did right and forgive them for what they did wrong.  Take the time to praise them, with your words, as you will not always have your parents. 

If you’ve hurt or disappointed your parents don’t tell your parents to “Get over it!”  That does not heal the wound.  Tell them you are sorry for your selfishness.  Ask them to forgive you and when you do you will heal their hurt and their pain of your selfish words.  Words are a very powerful force.  Words used the wrong way can cause much damage to another person body and spirit.