Where is God…

Mat 6:33a “But seek you first the Kingdom of God…”

Where is God…

My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed.
At least that’s what I heard him say one night. He was
praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped
outside his closed door to listen.

“Are you there, God?” he said. “Where are you?”
“Oh, I see. Under the bed.” I giggled softly and tiptoed
off to my own room. Kevin’s unique perspectives are
often a source of amusement. But that night something
else lingered long after the humor. I realized
for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.

He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a
result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size
(he’s 6-foot-2); there are few ways in which he is an
adult. He reasons and communicates with the capabilities
of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably
always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa
Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every
Christmas, and that airplanes stay up in the sky because
angels carry them.

I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is
different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous
life? Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop
for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel,
returning to eat his favorite macaroni and cheese for
dinner, and later to bed. The only variation in the
entire scheme are laundry days, when he hovers excitedly
over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn
child. He does not seem dissatisfied. He lopes out to
the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple
work. He wrings his hands excitedly while the water
boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late
twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next
day’s laundry chores.

And Saturdays – oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That’s the day
my dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink,
watch the planes land, and speculates loudly on the
destination of each passenger inside. “That one’s goin’
to Chi-car-go!” Kevin shouts as he claps his hands. His
anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.

I don’t think Kevin knows anything exists outside his world of
daily rituals and weekend field trips. He doesn’t know what it
means to be discontent. His life is simple. He will never
know the entanglements of wealth or power, and he does
not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of
food he eats. He recognizes no differences in people,
treating each person as an equal and a friend. His needs
have always been met, and he never worries that one day
they may not be. His hands are diligent.

Kevin is never as happy as when he is working. When he
unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart
is completely in it. He does not shrink from a job when
it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is
finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how
to relax. He is not obsessed with his work or the work
of others. His heart is pure. He still believes
everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and
when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue. Free
from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is
not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is
always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.
Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to
God, he comes as a child.

Kevin seems to know God-to really be friends with
Him in a way that is difficult for an “educated” person to
grasp. God seems like his closest companion. In my
moments of doubt and frustrations with my religion,
I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith. It is
then that I am most willing to admit that he has some
divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.
It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with
the handicap; I am.

My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances – they
all become disabilities when I do not submit them to God.

Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn?
After all, he has spends his whole life in that kind of
innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the
goodness and love of the Lord. And one day, when the
mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at
how close God really is to our hearts, we’ll realize
that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed
that God lived under his bed. Kevin won’t be surprised at all.

Mat 18:3, 4 “Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as a little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

A Change of Perspective…

Philip. 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

A Change of Perspective

  1. The best way to get even is to forget…
    2. Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death…
    3. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts…
    4. Some folks wear their halos much too tight…
    5. Some marriages are made in heaven, but they ALL have to be maintained on earth…
    6. Unless you can create the WHOLE universe in 5 days, then perhaps giving “advice” to God isn’t such a good idea!
    7. Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, and faith looks up…
    8. Standing in the middle of the road is dangerous. You will get knocked down by the traffic from both ways.
    9. Words are windows to the heart.
    10. A skeptic is a person who when he sees the handwriting on the wall claims it’s a forgery.
    11. It isn’t difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill just add a little dirt.
    12. A successful marriage isn’t finding the right person- It’s BEING the right person.
    13. The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground.
    14. Too many people offer God prayers, with claw marks all over them.
    15. The tongue must be heavy indeed, because so few people can hold it.
    16. To forgive is to set the prisoner free, and then discover the prisoner was you.
    17. You have to wonder about humans, they think God is dead and Elvis is alive!
    18. Its all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.
    19. You’ll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out its neck.                                                                                                                                                     20. And last but not least-God gave the angels wings, and He gave humans CHOCOLATE.

Romans 12:1-2 ” I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Kids and Humor for your day…

Proverbs 15:13 “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. “

Kids and Humor for your day….

A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.

Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say ‘Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.’

Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus!”

Mat 20:16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

+++++

A father was at the beach with his children when the four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore, where a seagull lay dead in the sand.

“Daddy, what happened to him?” the son asked.

“He died and went to Heaven,” the dad replied.

The boy thought a moment and then said,

“Did God throw him back down?”

+++++

After the church service a little boy told the pastor, “When I grow up, I’m going to give you some money.”

“Well, thank you,” the pastor replied, “but why?”

“Because my daddy says you’re one of the poorest preachers we’ve ever had.”

James 1:19 “Therefore my beloved brethren, let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”

+++++

A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said,

“Would you like to say the blessing?”

“I wouldn’t know what to say,” the girl replied.

“Just say what you hear Mommy say, “The wife answered. The daughter bowed her head and said,

“Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?

+++++

At Sunday school they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings.

Little Johnny, a child in the kindergarten class, seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam’s ribs. Later in the week his mother noticed him lying as though he were ill, and said. “Johnny what is the matter?”

Little Johnny responded, “I have a pain in my side. I think I’m going to have a wife. ”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Sunday school teacher was carefully explaining the story of Elijah the Prophet and the false prophets of Baal. She explained how Elijah built the altar, put wood upon it, cut the steer in pieces and laid it upon the altar. And then Elijah commanded the people of God to fill four barrels of water and pour it over the altar. He had them do this four times.

“Now, said the teacher, “can anyone in the class tell me why the Lord would have Elijah pour water over the steer on the altar?”

A little girl in the back of the room raised her hand with great enthusiasm. “To make the gravy,”   came her enthusiastic reply.

Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. “

Reasons not to mess with a Child…

Luke 18:17 “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

II Tim 3:15 “And that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 

Reasons not to mess with a Child:

1) A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a
human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very
small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a
human; it was physically impossible. The little girl said, “When I get
to heaven I will ask Jonah”. The teacher asked, “What if Jonah went to
hell?” The little girl replied, “Then someone else will have to ask
him”.  I John 5:13 ” These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that ye have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God

2) A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while
they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each
child’s work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently,
she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.”
The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.”
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl
replied, “They will in a minute.”

3) A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her
five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to “honor” thy
Father and thy Mother, she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches
us how to treat our brothers and sisters?” Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered,
“Thou shall not kill.”

4) One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the
dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother has
several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette
head. She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, “Why are some of
your hairs white, Mom?” Her mother replied, “Well, every time that you
do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns
white.” The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and
then said, “Momma, how come ALL of grandma’s hairs are white?”

5) The children were lined up in the cafeteria of an elementary school
for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. A note
was posted on the apple tray: “Take only ONE. God is watching.” Moving
further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large
pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, “Take all
you want. God is watching the apples.

 Luke 18:17 “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

The Holy Alphabet…

1 Thes. 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

The Holy Alphabet…

Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of “Camp Complaining”
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To “thank” is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We’ll run the race with gratitude
Exalting God most high
Yes, there’ll be good times and yes some will be bad, but…
Zion waits in glory…where none are ever sad!

“I AM Too blessed to be stressed!” The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor.

The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything. Love and peace be with you forever, Amen.

I Chronicles 16:34 “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

That’s my Child…

Mat 11:28, 29 “Come unto Me all you labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me;
for I am meek and lowly of heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.”

That’s my Child

I was watching some little kids play soccer.  These
kids were only five or six years old, but they were
playing a real game — a serious game. Two teams,
complete with coaches, uniforms, and parents.  I didn’t
know any of them, so I was able to enjoy the game without
the distraction of being anxious about winning or losing.
I wished the parents and coaches could have done the same.

The teams were pretty evenly matched.  I will just
call them Team One and Team Two.  Nobody scored in the first
period.  The kids were hilarious. They were clumsy and
terribly inefficient.  They fell over their own feet, they
stumbled over the ball, they kicked at the ball and missed
it but they didn’t seem to care.  They were having fun.

In the second quarter, the Team One coach pulled out
what must have been his first team and put in the scrubs,
except for his best player who now guarded the goal. The
game took a dramatic turn.  I guess winning is important
even when you’re five years old, because the Team Two coach
left his best players in, and the Team One scrubs were no
match for them.

Team Two swarmed around the little guy who was now the
Team One goalie.  He was an outstanding athlete, but he was
no match for three or four who were also very good.  Team Two
began to score. The One goalie gave it everything he had,
recklessly throwing his body in front of incoming balls,
trying valiantly to stop them.

Team Two scored two goals in quick succession. It
infuriated the young boy.  He became a raging maniac —
shouting, running, diving.  With all the stamina he could
muster, he covered the boy who now had the ball, but that
boy kicked it to another boy twenty feet away, and by the
time he repositioned himself, it was too late — they scored
a third goal.

I soon learned who the goalie’s parents were.  They
were nice, neat-looking people.  I could tell that his dad had
just come from the office – he still had his suit and tie on.
They yelled encouragement to their son.  I became totally
absorbed, watching the boy on the field and his parents on the
sidelines.

After the third goal, the little kid changed.  He could
see it was no use, he couldn’t stop them.  He didn’t quit, but
he became quite desperate, futility was written all over him.
His father changed, too.  He had been urging his son to try
harder, yelling advice and encouragement.  But then he changed.
He became anxious.  He tried to say that it was okay — to hang
in there.  He grieved for the pain his son was feeling.

After the fourth goal, I knew what was going to happen.
I’ve seen it before.  The little boy needed help so badly, and
there was no help to be had.  He retrieved the ball from the net
and handed it to the referee and then he cried. He just stood
there while huge tears rolled down both cheeks.  He went to his
knees and put his fists to his eyes — and he cried the tears of
the helpless and brokenhearted.

When the boy went to his knees, I saw the father start
onto the field.  His wife clutched his arm and said, “Jim, don’t.
You’ll embarrass him.”  But he tore loose from her and ran onto
the field.  He wasn’t supposed to — the game was still in progress.
Suit, tie, dress shoes and all, he charged onto the field, and he
picked up his son so everybody would know that this was his boy,
and he hugged him and held him and cried with him. I’ve never been
so proud of a man in my life.

He carried him off the field, and when he got close to the
sidelines I heard him say, “Scotty, I’m so proud of you. You were
great out there.  I want everybody to know that you are my son.”

“Daddy,” the boy sobbed, “I couldn’t stop them.  I tried,
Daddy, I tried and tried, and they scored on me.”

“Scotty, it doesn’t matter how many times they scored on
you. You’re my son, and I’m proud of you.  I want you to go back
out there and finish the game.  I know you want to quit, but you
can’t.  And, son, you’re going to get scored on again, but it
doesn’t matter.  Go on now.”

It made a difference – I could tell it did. When you’re
all alone, and you’re getting scored on — and you can’t stop them,
it means a lot to know that it doesn’t matter to those who love you.
The little guy ran back on to the field — and they scored two more
times but it was okay.

I get scored on every day.  I try so hard.  I recklessly
throw my body in every direction.  I fume and rage, I struggle
with temptation and sin with every ounce of my being — and satan
laughs.  And he scores again, and the tears come, and I go to my
knees — sinful, convicted, and helpless.

And my Father–my Father–rushes right out onto the field —
right in front of the whole crowd — the whole jeering, laughing
world and He picks me up, and He hugs me and He says,
“Child, I love and forgive you.

I want everybody to know that you are my child, and because
I control the outcome of this game, I declare you – Forgiven.”

I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.”
 
James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore unto God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

The Empty Chair and Jesus…

Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Mat 11:28, 29 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

The Empty Chair and Jesus:

A man’s daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her
father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his
head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed. The
minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. “I
guess you were expecting me,” he said. “No, who are you?” said the father.

The minister told him his name and then remarked, “I see the empty chair;
I figured you knew I was going to show up.” “Oh yeah, the chair,” said the
bedridden man. “Would you mind closing the door?” Puzzled, the minister
shut the door. “I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter,” said
the man. “But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I
used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head.”

“I abandoned any attempt at prayer,” the old man continued, “until one day
about four years ago my best friend said to me, ‘Johnny, prayer is just a
simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest:
Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see
Jesus on the chair.’ It’s not spooky because He promised, “I’ll be with you
always.” Then just speak to him in the same way you’re doing with me right
now.’ “So, I tried it and I’ve liked it so much that I do it a couple of
hours every day. I’m careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an
empty chair, she’d either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the
funny farm.” The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the
old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him
and returned to the church. Two nights later the daughter called
to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon. “Did he die in
peace?” he asked.”Yes, when I left the house about two o’clock, he called
me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek.

When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there
was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he
leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed.

What do you make of that?”

The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, “I wish we could all go like that”

Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord.”