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The Chatterbox / Trust in God's Plans for You
« Last post by Philippa on May 22, 2018, 10:32:21 pm »
Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up. The first little tree looked up at the stars and said, "I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I'll be the most beautiful treasure in the world!"

The second little tree looked out at a small stream trickling by on it's way to the ocean. "I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I'll be the strongest ship in the world."

The third tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. "I don't want to leave this mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they will raise there eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world."

Years passed.  Rain came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall. One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain. The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me."

With a swoop of his shining ax, the first tree fell. "Now I will be made into a beautiful chest. I shall hold wonderful treasure!" the first tree said.

The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, "this tree is strong, it is perfect for me."

With a swoop of his shining ax, the second tree fell.  "Now I shall sail mighty waters!" thought the second tree. "I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!"

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looker her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the woodcutter toppled it. "Any kind of tree will do for me." he muttered.

With a swoop of his shining ax the third tree fell.  The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her to a carpenter's shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, nor with treasure. She was covered in saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals. The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day.  Instead, the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail an ocean, or even a river; instead she was taken to a small lake. The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. "What happened?" the once tall tree wondered. "All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God."

Many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. "I wish I could make a cradle for him," her husband whispered.

The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and sturdy wood. "This manger is beautiful," she said.

And suddenly the first tree knew she was holding the greatest treasure in the world.  One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through with the wind and the rain. The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand and said, "Peace, be still."

The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew she was carrying the King of Heaven and Earth. Early one morning a couple years later, the third tree was startled when her beam was yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. But three days later, with he sun shining and the earth trembling beneath her, the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong, And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God, that was better than being the tallest tree in the world!
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The Chatterbox / DON'T DRAW CONCLUSIONS UNTIL YOU GET ALL THE FACTS...
« Last post by Philippa on May 22, 2018, 10:14:13 pm »
One old man was sitting with his 25 years old son in the train.  Train is about to leave the station, all passengers are settling down their seats.  As train started young man was filled with lot of joy and curiosity.  He was sitting on the window side. He Put out one hand and felt the passing rain.  He shouted "Papa see all trees were going behind"

Old man smiled and admired his son's feelings.  Beside the young man, one couple was sitting and listing all the conversation between the father and the son.  They were little awkward with the attitude of the 25 years old man behaving like a small child.  Suddenly the young man again shouted, "Papa, see the pond and animals. Clouds are moving with train"

Couple was watching the young man embarrassingly.  Then it started to rain and some of water to touched the young man's hand.  He was filled with joy, and he closed the eyes. He shouted again, "Papa, it's raining, water is touching me, see Papa'

Couple couldn't help themselves and asked the old man, "Why don't you visit the Doctor and get treatment for your son?"

Old man said "Yes, we're coming from the hospital as today only, my son got his first eyesight for first time in his life.'
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The Chatterbox / TO REACH TO THE TOP OF TOWER....
« Last post by Philippa on May 22, 2018, 10:07:08 pm »
Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began.  No one in crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. crowd yelled statements such as:

“Oh, WAY too difficult!!!”

“They will NEVER make it to the top.”

“Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!”

The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one. Except for few.  The crowd continued to yell, “It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!”

More tiny frogs got tired and gave up. But ONE continued higher and higher and higher. This one wouldn’t give up!

At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top! All of the other tiny frogs gathered around him and wanted to know how he made it to the top?

It turned out that the tiny winner was DEAF!!!

MORAL OF THE STORY:

Never listen to other people’s negative thoughts because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes of your heart away from you.  Be DEAF when people tell YOU that you cannot fulfill your dreams ! BE POSITIVE. Always think: God and I can do this.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens Me--PHILIPPIANS 4:13
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Christian / Megaphones And Soapboxes: Is Street Preaching Worth It?
« Last post by Daffy on May 22, 2018, 09:33:50 pm »
https://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors-preaching-articles/greg-stier-megaphones-and-soapboxes-is-street-preaching-worth-it-978?ref=?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=button&utm_campaign=scbpu20180514&maropost_id=742347701&mpweb=256-6895255-742347701

Megaphones And Soapboxes: Is Street Preaching Worth It?
By Greg Stier on Jul 2, 2011

Looking for a semester of “cross-cultural” experience, non-Christian college student Kevin Roose transferred to Liberty University. As an undercover unbeliever, Roose’s goal was to understand how Christians think and get a sense of the evangelical culture from a firsthand “insider” perspective.  As part of his cultural experiment, Kevin decided to go on a week long outreach adventure over Spring Break with a group of 13 other Liberty students. Their mission?

To bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the beer-guzzling, body-baring, sand-loving sinners on Daytona Beach. The team was trained to share the gospel and then unleashed to comb the beach on a spiritual search and rescue mission.  After a solid week of almost constant rejections, the group consoled themselves that they had planted spiritual seeds that would sprout later. Roose concluded that these well intentioned street evangelists had really not made any converts. Even the few who had ostensibly said “yes” to Jesus were not followed up on or plugged into local churches. In his words, “The issue of post-salvation behavior is an interesting one. I thought, when Scott was teaching us to evangelize, that we’d be told to do some sort of follow-up with successful converts, if we had any guide them to a local church, maybe, or at least take their contact information. But there’s no such procedure. If Jason had decided to get saved (he didn’t), Martina would have led him through the Sinner’s Prayer (“Jesus, I am a sinner, come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior” or some variant thereof), she would have let him know he was saved, perhaps given him some Bible verses to read, and they never would have seen each other again. Cold-turkey evangelism provides the shortest, most non-committal conversion offer of any Western religion which, I suspect, is part of the appeal.” (Source: salon.com).

Interesting.  Clearly he didn’t write his article out of vindictiveness or venom. He seemed to actually like these evangelicals and was exploring why they were willing to go through all the pain and strain of being persecuted without seeing tangible results. His conclusion was that the prospect of saving someone from hell was enough witnessing fuel to keep them going in the face of mockery and disdain.  Before I give my perspective on all this, let me explain that I was born and bred on street evangelism. I did my first cold-turkey evangelism when I was 11 years old. I was terrified and trembling as I shared the gospel. But I was hooked. This was the closest thing I had experienced to extreme sports and I loved it.  The church that reached my entire beer-drinking, body-building, tobacco-chewing family (and that’s just the women!) was a street evangelist training ground. My tough, ripped Uncle Jack was led to Christ when the preacher at this church went to his house, knocked on his door, and started sharing the good news of salvation. That began a domino effect of salvation in my large extended family.  As a result, I was immersed into this pre-evangelical world of fundamentalist Christianity and loved it. Why?

Because, now I not only had a real Heavenly Father (I was the product of a one-night stand and never knew my biological father), but I had a purpose: the salvation of souls from hell.  From that first witnessing experience as a fifth grader to my freshman year at Liberty University, hardly a Friday night went by without me and my Christian compadres going “soulwinning” at local malls across Denver.  We would gather together, train the newcomers, and head out to do cold-turkey evangelism. While sharing my faith, I have been hit, spit at, picked up by the throat, pushed down, laughed at, and mocked relentlessly. But these became battle scars for my adolescent soul. I could talk about them and show them off later to my fundie friends. After all, every rejection was worth it if just one person put their faith and trust in Jesus. And unlike Kevin Roose, we were trained to try and get the people we led to Christ plugged into our church, where they too could be trained as street evangelists.  I estimate conservatively that I personally witnessed to 5,000 people from the time I was 11 until I left for college. I was an expert at serving cold-turkey evangelism sandwiches. But to be honest, out of all of the street evangelism I have done, I am only aware of a handful of stories when someone who got saved actually got plugged into a faith community.  So do I think street evangelism works?

Yes and no. Yes in the sense that I have seen countless people look me in the eye and say “yes” to Jesus. In my heart of hearts, I know that many of them were sincere. As Romans 10:13 reminds us, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

It makes no preconditions about location or depth of the relationship. If they genuinely believe in Christ, then they truly receive the gift of eternal life. So, yes, I believe street evangelism works when it comes to making converts. But I don’t believe it works well when it comes to making disciples.   Does that mean that I think we shouldn’t do street/mall/park evangelism?

No. I just think we should try to do it differently.  To be honest, God has been taking me on a journey of reflection over the last several months and I am trying to figure out where He is leading. You see, my goal is to make as many disciples, not as many converts, as I can before I die. Making converts is merely additional (souls added to the kingdom). But making disciples is exponential (souls multiplied through disciples who make disciples who make more disciples.) And the street and the shopping mall are not the best places for making disciples. Again, we may have opportunities with various strangers and we should make the most of them to wisely and gracefully share the good news. God may be using you to plant a seed, water the seed or reap the harvest with those strangers He brings across your path. But I am more and more convinced that sharing Christ with strangers must be done in a very specific way.
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Fun, Games and Silliness / Re: Jokes
« Last post by Charlies Girl on May 22, 2018, 08:59:32 pm »
The Power of Woman

There were 11 people ten men and one woman hanging onto a rope that came down from a helicopter.  They all decided that one person should get off, because if they didn't, the rope would break and everyone would die.  No one could decide who should go, so finally, the woman gave a really touching speech saying how she would give up her life to save the others, because women were used to giving up things for their husbands and children, giving in to men, and not receiving anything in return.  When she finished speaking, all the men started clapping.
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Fun, Games and Silliness / Re: Jokes
« Last post by Charlies Girl on May 22, 2018, 08:56:36 pm »
Chain Letters

I want to thank all of you who have taken the time and trouble to send me your chain letters over the past two years.  Thank you for making me feel safe, secure, blessed, and wealthy. Because of your concern.

I no longer can drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put "Under God" on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer use cancer causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our troops.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a stupid number for which I will get the phone bill from hell with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer go to bars because someone will drug me and take my kidneys and leave me taking a nap in a bathtub full of ice.

Thanks to you, I have learned that God only answers my prayers if I forward an email to 7 of my friends and make a wish within 5 minutes.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl who has been dying for the past seven years.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

Now to Return the Favor:

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 1200 people in the next 60 seconds, a large bird with diarrhea will fly over your head at 5:00 PM and the fleas of a thousand camels will infest your armpits.  I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of a friend of a friend's neighbor's cousin, and he's a lawyer. So you'd better get going on that e-mail!!!
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Fun, Games and Silliness / Re: Jokes
« Last post by Charlies Girl on May 22, 2018, 08:49:31 pm »
Two Trouble Makers

A couple had two little mischievous boys, ages 8 and 10. They were always getting into trouble, and their parents knew that if any mischief occurred in their town, their sons would get the blame.  The boys' mother heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The clergyman agreed and asked to see them individually.  So, the mother sent her 8 year old first, in the morning, with the older boy to see the clergyman in the afternoon.

The clergyman, a huge man with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, "Where is God?"
 
They boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there with his mouth hanging open.  The clergyman repeated the question. "Where is God?"

Again, the boy made no attempt to answer.  So, the clergyman raised his voice some more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed, "Where is God!?"

The boy screamed and bolted from the room. He ran directly home and dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him.  When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, "What happened?"

The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied: "We are in real BIG trouble this time! God is missing, and they think we did it!"
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Fun, Games and Silliness / Re: Jokes
« Last post by Charlies Girl on May 22, 2018, 08:44:46 pm »
Sunday Morning

Picture it: rural area, Sunday morning, church is packed and the devil decides to pay a visit.  The doors burst open, and a roiling black cloud rolls in with the devil in its midst. People jump out of the pews and run outdoors, screaming all except for two. One is the Pastor, the other is an elderly farmer.  Satan is a bit perplexed. He points to the Pastor and says, "You! I can understand why you didn't run away, you are in your Lord's house, you preach against me everyday and you aren't afraid of me. But YOU (points to the farmer), why didn't you run out scared like everyone else?"

The farmer crosses one leg over the other and drawls, "Why, I'm surprised you don't recognize me I've been married to your sister for 36 years!"
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Fun, Games and Silliness / Re: Jokes
« Last post by Twiglet on April 29, 2018, 07:15:01 pm »
How to Handle Teens

A wise old gentleman retired and purchased a modest home near a junior high school. He spent the first few weeks of his retirement in peace and contentment. Then a new school year began.  The very next afternoon three young boys, full of youthful, after-school enthusiasm, came down his street, beating merrily on every trash can they encountered. The crashing percussion continued day after day, until finally the wise old man decided it was time to take some action.  The next afternoon, he walked out to meet the young percussionists as they banged their way down the street. Stopping them, he said, "You kids are a lot of fun. I like to see you express your exuberance like that. In fact, I used to do the same thing when I was your age. Will you do me a favor? I'll give you each a dollar if you'll promise to come around every day and do your thing."

The kids were elated and continued to do a bang-up job on the trash cans. After a few days, the old-timer greeted the kids again, but this time he had a sad smile on his face. "This recession's really putting a big dent in my income," he told them. "From now on, I'll only be able to pay you 50 cents to beat on the cans."

The noisemakers were obviously displeased, but they did accept his offer and continued their afternoon ruckus. A few days later, the wily retiree approached them again as they drummed their way down the street.  "Look," he said, "I haven't received my Social Security check yet, so I'm not going to be able to give you more than 25 cents. Will that be okay?"

"A lousy quarter?" the drum leader exclaimed. "If you think we're going to waste our time, beating these cans around for a quarter, you're nuts! No way, mister. We quit!"

And the old man enjoyed peace.
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Christian / Re: Devotion
« Last post by Twiglet on April 29, 2018, 06:34:06 pm »
At Home in God’s Love
Feb 16, 2018 | Mary Southerland

Today's Truth
I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved Me. Make yourselves at home in My love   John 15:9

Friend to Friend
Our twin grandchildren were born on December 2. Their mom and dad go out of their way to make their birthday special since it is so close to Christmas. But Jodi wanted to make this year’s birthday  celebration extra-special since Lelia and Jaydan were turning 10 the first double-digit birthday!  Jodi and Jered sectioned off half of their basement garage for games like hot potato, beanbag toss, and the old fashioned game of Gossip. Thankfully, the weather co-operated. It was a gorgeous day with fresh, crisp autumn air, clear blue skies, and just the hint of a breeze. The kids played soccer, football, and even one or two games of Red Rover until we remembered why we should not play it any more. It is painful!  Nearly all of the kids in Lelia and Jaydan’s school class came. It was delicious chaos for two hours. After all of the children left, it was family time time for us to give Jaydan and Lelia our presents. I could tell Jaydan was especially excited as everyone gathered in the living room to witness the unveiling of the long-awaited birthday gifts. Jaydan has developed a love for Legos and knows his Mimi and Papa delight in feeding that love. He was definitely hoping for a Lego set of some kind.  When Jaydan started to pick up the present we bought him, his mom said, “Jay, why don’t you save that one for last?”

Jaydan looked at us and grinned. He then began to open the rest of his gifts, hugging his little brother and sisters, thanking them for their gifts. He reached for our gift and then oh, yes he did he shook it! When he heard the rattle sound he had come to love so well, he put one fist in the air and said, “Yes! It’s Legos! Thank you, Mimi and Papa!”

Yes, the gift was a Lego set, but Jaydan had no idea that it was the Lego Ice Tank he had been wanting for months. When he saw the box, Jaydan’s mouth fell open and he said, “I can’t believe it!”

We got some great hugs from Jaydan for those Legos! But I was surprised when Jaydan’s little four-year-old brother, Mo James, gave me a big hug and said, “Thank you, Mimi!”

I didn’t understand. “Mo, what are you thanking me for?” I asked.

With a sweet smile he said, “For giving my brother such a great gift!”

And a little bit of heaven melted my heart, filling my soul with wonder. I just sat still for a moment, letting the profound truth taught by a child take root.  Mo had not received any presents.  Mo was far too young to play with the Legos Jay had received.  Mo just realized how happy our gift had made his brother and wanted to thank us for giving it to him.  When was the last time you celebrated the success of someone in your life instead of coveting that success?

If we want to live a life full of joy, we must learn to love each other the way Jesus loves us. That is the best kind of love. Jesus said so in John 15:11-12, “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that My joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love (The Message).

Jesus spent the first part of the John 15 describing the love God has for us. He wants us to be at home in that love to revel in it every minute of every day. God’s love only sees the best in others no judgment. When we are at home in God’s love, we become a safe place for those who are hurting and broken, those who are lonely and misunderstood.  Today, I encourage you to surrender to God’s fathomless love for you. Don’t try to understand it. Don’t try to earn it. Don’t try to justify it. It is a gift one you can truly celebrate and one in which you can make yourself at home.
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