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Who to blame?

Boy was born to a couple after eleven years of marriage.
They were a loving couple and the boy was the gem of their eyes.
When the boy was around two years old, one morning the husband saw a medicine bottle open.
He was late for office so he asked his wife to cap the bottle and keep it in the cupboard. His wife, preoccupied in the kitchen totally forgot the matter. The boy saw the bottle and playfully went to the bottle fascinated by its color and drank it all. It happened to be a poisonous medicine meant for adults in small dosages. When the child collapsed the mother hurried him to the hospital, where he died. The mother was stunned. She was terrified about how to face her husband.

When the distraught father came to the hospital and saw the dead child, he looked at his wife and uttered just five words.

The husband just said “I am with you Darling”

The husband’s totally unexpected reaction is proactive behavior.
The Child is dead. He can never be brought back to life. There is no point in finding fault with the mother. Besides, if only he had taken the time to keep the bottle away, this would not have happened.

No one is to be blamed. She had also lost her only child. What she needed at that moment was consolation and sympathy from the husband. That is what he gave her.

If everyone can look at life with this kind of perspective, there would be much fewer problems in the world. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears. And you will find things are actually not as difficult as you think.

Sometimes we spend time asking who is responsible or whom to blame, whether in a relationship, in a job or with the people we know. In this way, we miss out on some warmth in human relationships.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Learn to focus and work on a relationship more than personal comfort and selfish motives.

OUTLOOK

A young couple moves into a new neighbourhood. The next morning, while they were eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbour hang the clothes outside. “That laundry is not very clean”, she said. They don’t know how to wash properly. Perhaps they need better laundry soap. Her husband looked on but remained silent. Every time her neighbour would hang their wash to dry, the young women made the same comment. About one month later, the woman was surprised to see nice clean clothes were on the line and said to her husband. Look! Our neighbour now learned how to wash properly. I wonder who taught them this. The husband replied, “I got up this morning and cleaned our windows”.

So it is with life: what we see in others, depends on the purity of the window through which we look. Jesus says in Mathew 7:3 “why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eyes, but do not notice the log that is in your own eyes”. The word of God does not permit us to judge or criticize another person, rather it teaches us to examine our own motive and conduct. Before criticising, we should check our state of mind and ask ourselves if we are ready to see the good rather than look for something negative in the person that we are about to ‘judge’. John 15:2 teaches us that the pruning knife is with the FATHER, not with elders, priests or pastors or with any of us. A spirit-filled humble believer will never judge but corrects with a heart moved with love and compassion. Let’s examine ourselves, instead of wasting time judging and criticising others.

During the Second World War, German paratroopers invaded the island of Crete. When they landed at Maleme, the islanders met them, bearing nothing other than kitchen knives and hay scythes. The consequences of resistance were devastating. The residents of entire villages were lined up and shot.

Overlooking the airstrip today is an institute for peace and understanding founded by a Greek man named Alexander Papaderous. Papaderous was just six years old when the war started. His home village was destroyed and he was imprisoned in a concentration camp. When the war ended, he became convinced his people needed to let go of the hatred the war had unleashed. To help the process, he founded his institute at this place that embodied the horrors and hatreds unleashed by the war.

One day, while taking questions at the end of a lecture, Papaderous was asked, “What’s the meaning of life?” There was nervous laughter in the room. It was such a weighty question. But Papaderous answered it.

He opened his wallet, took out a small, round mirror and held it up for everyone to see. During the war, he was just a small boy when he came across a motorcycle wreck. The motorcycle had belonged to German soldiers. Alexander saw pieces of broken mirrors from the motorcycle lying on the ground. He tried to put them together but couldn’t, so he took the largest piece and scratched it against a stone until its edges were smooth and it was round. He used it as a toy, fascinated by the way he could use it to shine light into holes and crevices.

He kept that mirror with him as he grew up, and over time it came to symbolize something very important. It became a metaphor for what he might do with his life.

I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have I can reflect light into the dark places of this world–into the black places in the hearts of men–and change some things in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise. This is what I am about. This is the meaning of my life.

Robert Fulgham, It Was On Fire When I Laid Down On It

But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. 1 Corinthians 15:10

 

A husband and wife were invited to spend the weekend at the husband’s employer’s home. The wife was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.

The first day and evening went well, and she was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. The husband’s employer was quite generous as a host and took them to the finest restaurants. The wife knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so she was enjoying herself immensely.

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of her and her husband. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment.

The wife wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny.

He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?

Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

A smile crept across the man’s face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?

“Look at it.” He said. “Read what it says.” She read the words “United States of America” “No, not that; read further.” “One cent?” “No, keep reading.” “In God we Trust?” “Yes!” “And?” “And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God’s way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!

This man knew the power of simple, daily Christian object lessons!

We always hear stories of pennies on the sidewalk being good luck, etc. Here’s a story that gives this a twist and hopefully a tool to turn our thoughts toward God.

Just like in Jesus’ day we have to pay taxes to the government, but only God deserves our trust and devotion.

Mark 12:17 “Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.”

Let’s let a penny remind us just like the man in the story to stop and thank God for all His blessings and also to make sure we are trusting Him in our lives at that very moment.

Also, the next time you use the phrase “a penny for your thoughts,” these lessons can remind you that even a small penny really can bring your thoughts back to God.
CBS

Tess was a precocious eight-year-old when she heard her Mom and Dad talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he was very sick and they were completely out of money. They were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn’t have the money for the doctor’s bills and our house. Only a very costly surgery could save him now and it was looking like there was no one to loan them the money. She heard Daddy say to her tearful Mother with whispered desperation, “Only a miracle can save him now.”

Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall’s Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter.

That did it! “And what do you want?”, the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice, “I’m talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven’t seen in ages.”, he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

“Well, I want to talk to you about my brother.”, Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone.

“He’s really, really sick and I want to buy a miracle.”

“I beg your pardon?” said the pharmacist.

“His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?”

“We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you, the pharmacist said, softening a little.

“Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.”

The pharmacist’s brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, “What kind of a miracle does your brother need?”

“I don’t know,” Tess replied with her eyes welling up. “I just know he’s really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can’t pay for it, so I want to use my money”.

“How much do you have?” asked the man from Chicago.

“One dollar and eleven cents”, Tess answered barely audibly, “and it’s all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.”

“Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the man. “a dollar and eleven cents-the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.” He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said, “Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the kind of miracle you need

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn’t long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

“That surgery”, her Mom whispered, “was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?”

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost …………. one dollar and eleven cents …….. plus the faith of a little child.

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law. …. Author Unknown

 

Amazing Faith!  

Jesus did many miracles and wonders during his public ministry on the earth.  People marveled and were astonished at His work.  Here is an occasion Jesus marveled hearing the faith of a centurion and said “I have not found such faith with anyone in Israel” Mat 8:10

The centurion was a military officer in the Roman army who could have let many obstacles to stand between him and Jesus – pride, time, money, self-sufficiency, power, race etc.  But these barriers did not block him in approaching Jesus for help.

The compassion of centurion towards his slave servant who was paralyzed and about die is remarkable. He sets his priorities right notwithstanding his position and power he wanted his servant to get healed. He acknowledged that Jesus is the only source of life and reach Him for the help and the healing.

The centurion considered his power and position inferior to the power of Jesus. He acknowledged the worth of Jesus and accepted his unworthiness.  He said “Lord I am not worthy for you to come under my roof” Mat 8:8. 

Jesus marveled at the faith of Roman centurion who exercised his whole hearted faith in Him.  He said “Lord, you just say a word and my servant will be healed” Mat 8:8. Amazing faith!!!

 

Being fervent in the service of the Lord is what is required of a believer who is a child of God (Romans 12:11). These days many are being active in the service of the Lord. Many are involved in activities that show themselves to be spiritual. But are all these activities honoring the Lord? We cannot judge them, but we must analyze our motives of being involved in activities. Paul asks us to build with care on the foundation already laid that is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3: 10-11). We should build on this foundation with materials that will last when tested with fire on the last day. These will reveal the quality of our work. Three of the materials which last portray Jesus Christ and three which will be burnt portrays man.

Gold speaks of the divinity of Jesus, Silver is related to betrayal and thus the redemption of man and precious stones displays His Glory. Wood, hay or straw all speak of man and shows that they easily and quickly are burned with fire. Only ashes remain when they are burnt. What do we learn from these? Our foundation is already laid and we must build using GOLD- proclaim Jesus is God, SILVER- Just as Jesus was betrayed, suffered, we too must be able to undergo persecutions and sufferings for Christ and PRECIOUS STONES-don’t do anything for personal glory. Are we doing these spiritual activities for getting a name in Christian circles, to be recognized, and thus wield a proxy power?