God’s Goodness and Mercy…

Ephes. 4:30 “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

God’s Goodness and Mercy…….

A mom was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school. He didn’t want his mother to walk with him. She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence but yet know that he was safe. So she had an idea of how to handle it. She asked a neighbor, Mrs. Goodnest, if she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, so he probably wouldn’t notice her.

Mrs. Goodnest said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well, so she agreed. The next school day, Mrs. Goodnest and her little girl, Marcy, set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor boy he knew. She did this for the whole week.

As the boys walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, Timmy’s little friend noticed the same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week. Finally, he said to Timmy, “Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week? Do you know her?”

Timmy nonchalantly replied, “Yeah, I know who she is”.

The friend said, “Well, who is she”?

“That’s just Shirley Goodnest”, Timmy replied, “and her daughter Marcy”.

“Shirley Goodnest? Who the heck is she and why is she following us”?

“Well”, Timmy explained, “every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, ‘cuz she worries about me so much. And in the Psalm, it says, ‘Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life’, so I guess I’ll just have to get used to it”!

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord makes his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Numbers 6:22-26 (And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”

May Shirley Goodnest and Marcy be with you today, and always.

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The Real Spiritual Cold War is on….

The Real Spiritual Cold War is on…

Yes there is a Cold War going on right now. It is an invisible one so we cannot see it.  There is a group of books authored by God that keeps us informed. Listen up!

 Job 2:2 “And the Lord said unto Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So satan answered the Lord and said, ‘ From going to and fro on the earth and from walking back and forth on it.’

The warning and the solution to battling it.

I Pet 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour.”

The main weapon of war in a spiritual cold war!

James 4:7 “SUBMITT yourselves therefore unto God, RESIST the devil and he will flee from you.”

 All those proclaiming to be from God are not!! The word Christian has a different definition in our world than in the Bible. Some supposed men and women of God proclaim a Gospel of health, wealth and prosperity and teach many different ways to get to heaven and they sound so good. So how can we tell the difference??

II Tim. 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. “

II Cor. 11:14-15 “And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

John 3:3 “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again”

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” 

 John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 Protection comes from!”

Ephes. 6:11-12 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. “

Have a great day and don’t forget the greatest book ever written provides you with the Armor needed to do battle. Apart from God’s power you are helpless to do battle!

James 4:7″ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Lessons from Life…

James 2:15,16 “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute
of food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be
warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things
which are needed for the body, what does it profit?”

Lessons from Life:

During the waning years of the depression in a
small southeastern Idaho community, I used to stop by
Mr. Miller’s roadside stand for farm-fresh produce
as the season made it available. Food and money were still
extremely scarce and bartering was used, extensively.

One particular day Mr. Miller was bagging some
early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of
bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a
basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the
display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed
peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn’t
help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller
and the ragged boy next to me.

“Hello Barry, how are you today?”

“H’lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them
peas……sure look good.”

“They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?”

“Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.”

“Good. Anything I can help you with?”

“No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.”

“Would you like to take some home?”

“No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ’em with.”

“Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?”

“All I got’s my prize marble here.”

“Is that right? Let me see it.”

“Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.”

“I can see that. Hmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and
I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?”

“Not ‘zackley…. but, almost.”

“Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and
next trip this way let me look at that red marble.”

“Sure will. Thanks, Mr. Miller.”

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over
to help me. With a smile she said: “There are two other boys
like him in our community, all three are in very poor
circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas,
apples, tomatoes or whatever. When they come back with their
red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like
red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for
a green marble or an orange one, perhaps.”

I left the stand, smiling to myself, impressed with
this man. A short time later I moved to Utah but I never forgot
the story of this man, the boys and their bartering. Several
years went by each more rapid than the previous one. Just
recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho
community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had
died.

They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my
friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon our arrival
at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the
deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an
army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and
white shirts…very professional looking.

They approached Mrs. Miller, standing smiling and composed,
by her husband’s casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed
her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.
Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young
man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale
hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary, awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and
mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. Eyes
glistening she took my hand and led me to the casket. “Those three
young men, that just left, were the boys I told you about. They just
told me how they appreciated the things Jim “traded” them. Now, at
last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size…they
came to pay their debt.

We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,” she
confided, “but, right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man
in Idaho.”

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her
deceased husband. Resting underneath were three, magnificently shiny,
red marbles.

“We will not be remembered by our words, but by our life and
kind deeds.”

How will you be remembered?

Mat 20:26b-28 “…but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

What God won’t ask when….

Phil 4:11b “…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”

What God won’t ask when . . .

God won’t ask what kind of car you drove, but He’ll ask how many
people you drove who didn’t have transportation.

God won’t ask the square footage of
your house, but He’ll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.

God won’t ask about the clothes you had in your closet, but
He’ll ask how many you helped to clothe.

God won’t ask what your highest salary was, but He’ll ask if you
compromised your character to obtain it.

God won’t ask what your job title was, but He’ll ask if you
performed your job to the best of our ability.

God won’t ask how many friends you
had, but He’ll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.

God won’t ask in what neighborhood
you lived, but He’ll ask how you treated your neighbors.

God won’t ask about the color of your
skin, but He’ll ask about the content of your character.

And the most important question God won’t ask…

God won’t ask how many good things you did or what church
you belonged to for your Salvation, but He will ask if you accepted

Jesus sacrifice for your sins………..

Romans 14:12 “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”

Phil 4:11b “…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”

Moses and a former President…

Exodus 3:13-15 “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”

Moses and a former President….
While going through an airport during one of his many trips, former President Bush encountered a man with long gray hair, wearing a white robe and sandals, holding a staff.

President Bush went up to the man and said, “Has anyone told you that you look like Moses?”

The man didn’t answer. He just kept staring straight ahead.

The President said, “Moses!” in a loud voice.

The man just stared ahead, never acknowledging the President. The president pulled a Secret Service agent aside and, pointing to the robed man, asked him, “Am I crazy or does that man not look like Moses to you?”

The Secret Service agent looked at the man and agreed.

“Well,” said the president, “every time I say his name, he ignores me and stares straight ahead, refusing to speak. Watch!”

Again the President yelled, “Moses!” and again the man ignored him.

The Secret Service agent went up to the man in the white robe and whispered, “You look just like Moses.

Are you Moses?”

The man leaned over and whispered back, “Yes, I am Moses. However, the last time I talked to a bush, I spent 40 years wandering in the desert and ended up leading my people to the only spot in the entire Middle East where there was no oil, at least none found to date.”

But, Moses did recognize and praise God for His loving guidance.

Psalm 7:17 “I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.”

Don’t Drink and Drive…

Rev 21:4&6 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death,
nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. And He said to me, ‘I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give the fountain of water of life freely to him who thirsts.'”

I went to a party, Mom, I remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom, so I drank soda instead
I really felt proud inside, Mom, the way you said I would.
I didn’t drink and drive, Mom, even though the others said I should.
I know I did the right thing, Mom, I know you are always right.

Now the party is finally ending, Mom, as everyone is driving out of sight.
As I got into my car, Mom, I knew I’d get home in one piece.
Because of the way you raised me, so responsible and sweet.

I started to drive away, Mom, but as I pulled out into the road,
the other car did not see me, Mom, and hit me like a load.

As I lay there on the pavement, Mom, I hear the policeman say,
the other guy is drunk, Mom, and now I’m the one who will pay.
I’m lying here dying, Mom… I wish you’d get here soon.
How could this happen to me, Mom? My life just burst like a balloon.

There is blood all around me, Mom, and most of it is mine.
I hear the medic say, Mom, I’ll die in a short time.
I just wanted to tell you, Mom, I swear I didn’t drink.
It was the others, Mom. The others didn’t think.

He was probably at the same party as I.
The only difference is, he drank and I will die.
Why do people drink, Mom? It can ruin your whole life.

I’m feeling sharp pains now. Pains just like a knife.
The guy who hit me is walking, Mom, and I don’t think it’s fair.
I’m lying here dying and all he can do is stare.
Tell my brother not to cry, Mom. Tell Daddy to be brave.

And when I go to heaven, Mom, put “Daddy’s Girl” on my grave.
Someone should have told him, Mom, not to drink and drive.
If only they had told him, Mom, I would still be alive.

My breath is getting shorter, Mom. I’m becoming very scared.
Please don’t cry for me, Mom. When I needed you, you were always there.
I have one last question, Mom, before I say good bye,
I didn’t drink and drive, so why am I the one that has to die?
*********************************************************************

 

Finally Home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“And God will wipe away every tear…”

Life is about Helping Others…

Better have your Kleenex handy before you start this one……………

Luke 6:38 “Give and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed
down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For
by your standard of measure it will measured to you in return.”

Life is about Helping Others….

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie.
His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable
busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn’t
sure I wanted one. I wasn’t sure how my Customers would react to Stevie.

He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and
thick-tongued speech of Down syndrome. I wasn’t worried about most of my
trucker customers because truckers don’t generally care who buses tables
as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade.

The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the
mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly
polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some
dreaded “truck stop germ”; the pairs of white shirted business men on
expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted
with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I
closely watched him for the first few weeks.

I shouldn’t have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my
staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my
truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot.
After that, I really didn’t care what the rest of the customers thought
of him.

He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to
laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties.
Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not a bread crumb
or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table. Our
only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the
customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his
weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a
table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully
bus dishes and glasses onto the cart and meticulously wipe the table up
with a practiced flourish of his rag. If he thought a customer was
watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride
in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to
please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who
was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their
Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop.
Their Social worker, which stopped to check on him every so often,
admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I
paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live
together and Stevie being sent to a group home. That’s why the
restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first
morning in three years that Stevie missed work. He was at the Mayo
Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart.

His social worker said that people with Down syndrome often had heart
problems at an early age so this wasn’t unexpected, and there was a good
chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at
work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning
when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery and doing fine.
Frannie, my head waitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in
the aisle when she heard the good news. Belle Ringer, one of our regular
trucker customers, stared at the sight of the 50-year-old grandmother of
four doing a victory shimmy beside his table. Frannie blushed, smoothed
her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. “OK, Frannie, what was that all about?” he asked.
We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay.”

I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him.
What was the surgery about?” Frannie quickly told Belle Ringer and the
other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie’s surgery, and then sighed.

Yeah, I’m glad he is going to be OK” she said, “But I don’t know how

he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they’re
barely getting by as it is.” Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and
Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables.

Since I hadn’t had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie
and really didn’t want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do.

After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a
couple of paper napkins in her hand a funny look on her face.”

What’s up?” I asked.

I didn’t get that table where Belle Ringer and his friends were
sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were
sitting there when I got back to clean it off” she said. “This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup.” She handed the napkin to me, and three
$20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big,
bold letters, was printed “Something For Stevie.”

Pony Pete asked me what that was all about,” she said,”so I told
him about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and
Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this.” She handed me another
paper napkin that had “Something For Stevie” scrawled on its outside.
Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet,
shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply, “truckers.”

That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day
Stevie is supposed to be back to work. His placement worker said he’s
been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it
didn’t matter at all that it was a holiday.

He called 10 times in the past week, making sure we knew he was
coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy.

I arranged to have his mother bring him to work, met them in the
parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day back.

Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn’t stop grinning as he
pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron
and busing cart were waiting.

“Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast,” I said. I took him and his
mother by their arms. “Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you
coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me.”

I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room.
I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we
marched through the dining room.

Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning
truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big
table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner
plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins.

“First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess,” I
said. I tried to sound stern. Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then

pulled out one of the napkins. It had “Something for Stevie” printed on the outside.

As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table. Stevie stared at the money, then
at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it.

I turned to his mother. “There’s more than $10,000 in cash and
checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that
heard about your problems. Happy Thanksgiving.”

Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody
hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well. But you
know what’s funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and
hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy
clearing all the cups and dishes from the table. Best worker I ever hired.

Eph 4:32a “And be kind to one another…”