There once was a man named George Thomas, a pastor in a small
New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the
Church carrying a rusty, bent, old birdcage, and set it by the pulpit.
Several eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas
began to speak. "I was walking through town yesterday when I saw
a young boy coming toward me,swinging this bird cage. On the
bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold
and fright. I stopped the lad and asked,"What you got there son?"
"Just some old birds," came the reply."What are you gonna do with
them?" I asked. "Take 'em home and have fun with 'em. I'm gonna
tease 'em and pull out their feathers to make 'em fight. I'm gonna
have a real good time." "But you'll get tired of those birds sooner or
later. What will you do then?" "Oh, I got some cats. They like birds.
I'll take 'em to them." The pastor was silent for a moment. "How
much do you want for those birds, son?" "Huh??!!! Why, you
don't want them birds, mister. They're just plain old field birds.
They don't sing and they ain't even pretty!" "How much?" The boy
sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, $10?" The pastor
reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in
the boy's hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up
the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there
was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the
door,and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting
them free. Well, that explained the empty birdcage on the pulpit, and
then the pastor began to tell this story.
One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just
come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting.
"Yes, sir, I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a
trap used bait I knew they couldn't resist. Got 'em all!" "What are you
going to do with them?" Jesus asked. "Oh, I'm gonna have fun! I'm
gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other. How to hate
and abuse each other. How to drink and smoke and curse. How to
invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I'm really gonna have fun!"
"And what will you do when you get done with them?" Jesus asked.
"Oh, I'll kill 'em." "How much do you want for them?" "Oh, you don't
want those people. They ain't no good. Why, you'll take them and they'll
just hate you. They'll spit on you, curse you and kill you!! You don't
want those people!!" "How much?" Satan looked at Jesus and sneered,
"All your tears, and all your blood." Jesus paid the price.
The pastor picked up the cage, he opened the door, and he walked
from the pulpit. Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and
then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe
what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny
how everyone wants to go to heaven provided they do not have to
believe, think, say, or do anything the Bible says. Or is it scary?
Funny how someone can say "I believe in God" but still follow Satan
(who, by the way, also "believes" in God). Funny how you can send
a thousand jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but
when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think
twice about sharing. Funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene
pass freely through cyberspace, but the public discussion of Jesus
is suppressed in the school and workplace. FUNNY, ISN'T IT?
Funny how someone can be so fired up for Christ on Sunday, but
be an invisible Christian the rest of the week. Are you laughing?
Funny how when you go to forward this message, you will not
send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what
they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them.
Funny how I can be more worried about what other people think
of me than what God thinks of me. Let's continue praying for one
A friend of mine was driving through an intersection one
day and his little four-year-old son was in the car with him. The
car door flew open, and the little boy rolled out of the vehicle
right into the middle of traffic coming from four ways.
The last thing my friend saw was a set of car wheels just about on
top of his son--moving at a very fast rate of speed. All he knew to
do was cry, "JESUS!" As soon as he could bring his car to a halt,
he jumped out ran to his son, who was perfectly all right. But the
man driving the car that had almost hit the child was absolutely
hysterical. My friend went over to him and started trying to comfort
him... "Man, don't be upset!" he said. "My son is all right, he's okay.
Don't be concerned about it. Just thank God you were able to stop!"
"You don't understand!" the man responded. "I never touched my
Some time ago, a few ladies met to read the Scriptures. Whilereading the third chapter of Malachi they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse. "And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."
One lady thought that it was intended to convey the view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to her friends what he said on the subject.
She went accordingly and without telling the objective of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her.
"But Sir," she said, "do you sit while the work of refining is going on?"
"Oh, yes madam," replied the silversmith; "I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining is exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."
The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." Christ considers it necessary to put His children into a furnace; His eye is intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random since the very hairs of our heads are all numbered.
As the lady was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back, and said he wanted to mention also that the only way he knows that the process of purifying is complete is when he sees his own image reflected in the silver.
What a beautiful picture! When Christ shall see His own image in His people, His work of purifying is accomplished.
I CHOOSE LOVE. No occasion justifies hatred, no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.
I CHOOSE JOY. I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
I CHOOSE PEACE. I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.
I CHOOSE PATIENCE. I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray.
I CHOOSE KINDNESS. I will be kind to the unkind, for such is how God treated me.
I CHOOSE GOODNESS. I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I boast. I will confess before I accuse.
I CHOOSE FAITHFULNESS. Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife/husband will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.
I CHOOSE GENTLENESS. Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice, may it only be in praise. If I make a demand, may it only be of myself.
I CHOOSE SELF-CONTROL. I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot rule the eternal. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self--control. To these, I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.
A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer 3 months to track down.
After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply (actual letter):
"Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented an application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear title back to its origin."
Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows (actual letter):
"Your letter regarding title in Case 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 194 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased by the U.S. from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application. For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by then reigning monarch, Isabella. The good queen, being a pious woman and careful about titles, almost as much as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to fund Columbus' expedition. Now the Pope, as I'm sure you know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that He also made that part of the world called Louisiana. He, therefore, would be the owner of origin. I hope to hell you find His original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our damn loan?"
They got it.
A church goer wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I;ve gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me can't remember a single one of them. So I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all." This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall what the menu wa for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: they all nourished m and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me those meals, I would be dead today."
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When you are DOWN to nothing...God is UP to something!!! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!!