A Snowy Day

On a very cold, snowy Sunday in February, only the pastor and one farmer arrived at the village church. The pastor said, ‘Well, I guess we won’t have a service today.’  The farmer replied:  ‘Pastor, even if only one cow shows up at feeding time, I feed it.’


I found the above short story on a site of amusing Christian stories. Once, not too long ago, I thought I had only one Spiritual Journaling student show up for a workshop. I was thinking about what to do–perhaps send her to another class or what? The “problem” was solved when two more students arrived for that workshop.

But after reading the above, it really touched me that even if I have just the one on any given Lord’s Day, I should do all the Lord allows to give to that one soul all God has for him or her at that particular time.

What a lesson for not only pastors, but each of Christ’s disciples as well.

“So he told them this parable: ‘Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.” ~ Luke 15:3 -7

God of Wonders

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Seven Wonders of the World

The Seven Wonders of the World have historically been a listing of the seven sites known by the Ancient Greeks as the most remarkable physical setting in their recognized world. However, since that time there have been many others who have developed various lists of the “modern” Seven Wonders of the World. It seems that the only list that has stood the real test of time is the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, produced by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The Original Seven Wonders of the World

  • The Colossus of Rhodes
  • The Great Pyramid of Giza
  • The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  • The Lighthouse of Alexandria
  • The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  • The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

I remember being a grade school student and being absolutely enamored by the vision of the third wonder – The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. In fact today I am still drawn to images and renderings of what those gardens may have looked like! Maybe that is why I love my house plants :)

Other lists include: The “New” Seven Wonders of the World, New York’s Seven Wonders, Florida’s Seven Wonders, Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages, Seven Natural Wonders of the World, The Seven Underwater Wonders of the World,  Seven Wonders of the Industrial World and more. There are several countries that list their seven wonders and there are lists for man-made wonders, civil-engineering wonders and blunder wonders! In all of these lists, I wonder … what have we learned and I get slightly depressed. We are still trying to make ourselves bigger and better than the next guy in most of our Continue reading …

A Sticky Communication Problem

The staff at an old people’s home were puzzled when one of their residents suddenly began gargling with an antiseptic mouthwash. They asked her why but all she would say was that something had happened at the post-office.

This is what actually occurred: 

The old lady, who rarely ventured out, had visited the post office to post a letter.

She bought a stamp, and since there was a long line of customers behind her, she stepped aside. She put her change in her purse, licked the stamp and put it on her letter. Despite pressing and thumping and licking it again, the stamp failed to stick.

“Excuse me, this stamp won’t stick,” said the old lady.

“You need to peel the paper off the back,” explained the clerk.

The old lady put on her spectacles, fiddled for a few seconds to peel off the backing paper – and then licked the stamp again.

“It still won’t stick,” interrupted the old lady again.

“It’s a self-stick stamp,” said the assistant.

“Well this one isn’t sticking at all – there’s something wrong with it,” demanded the Continue reading

They Went Before Us to Show Us the Way ~ George Wiltshire in Hell

George Wiltshire in Hell

GEORGE WILTSHIRE, of the Philadelphia Conference, was a naive personality, and was so much beloved as a minister that he became widely known by the affectionate title, “Father Wiltshire.”

The most powerful force on earth is the human soul on fire.

Much of the evangelistic preaching of that day was colored with vivid and elaborate descriptions of hell and its burning lake, coupled with warnings upon the eternal consequences of sin and exhortations to seek salvation without delay. Many of the preachers in their flights of imagination would vie with Dante in picturing the horrors of the nether world. Perhaps there was more of the love of God than the fear of hell in the sermons of the gentle George Wiltshire. Nevertheless, hell was a sulphuric reality to him, and never more so than on his railroad journey back to Philadelphia from Harrisburg, where the Methodist Conference had been held in the spring of 1853.

His brethren in the car were laughing over some funny reminiscences they were exchanging, while he alone in his seat was making an inventory of the treasures in his carpetbag. Whether his conscience was disturbed by the levity of the conversation he overheard or by the pride he was taking in his possessions, that tender Continue reading

They Went Before Us to Show Us the Way ~ Money and the Heart

Wesley and Money

Miss Margaret Lewen, of Leytonshire, a devout woman, was rich in property, but poor in health. Her father told John Wesley that his visits to her had done more good than those of all her physicians. Conscious of her great spiritual debt to Wesley, when she heard that he had fallen from his horse in December, 1765, he was then in his sixties, she presented him with a chaise and a team of horses.

Some years later she died, and it transpired that Wesley received a grateful legacy from her of a thousand pounds. Of her death he wrote in his journal in November, 1776: “I found it needful to hasten to Leytonshire, but I came too late. Miss Lewen died the day before, witnessing that good confession,

Nature’s last agony is o’er,
And cruel sin subsists no more.

So died Margaret Lewen, a pattern to all young women of fortune in England, a real Bible Christian. She rests from her labors and her works do follow her.”

The next year Wesley received the proceeds of this legacy and began at once to give it all away to the Continue reading

An Advent Lesson ~ Foolishness

The Ants and the Honey

There once lived a little ant that was no one very special. It was just one of those worker types that would go out from the Nest with the rest and join in the stream of ants, the Way. Like every worker it would find some choice little bits of food and then struggle with its load to carry back to the Queen.

Everyday from dawn to dusk the same.

Then one day the ant noticed something strange. It seemed as though while many were leaving in search of food as usual, fewer appeared to be returning as the day progressed. It shrugged this observation away immediately and went out into the Way with its fellow workers.

As it scurried along with its antennae waving about, out of the corner of its eyes it saw a huge tunnel appear from out of the sky, touch the ground to its left where several other ants had been scurrying.

Then it disappeared, along with the other ants.

In a panic it stopped several of its mates and said: ‘Stop! There is something wrong here.’

Just as the others were about to ask what exactly it referred to, several ants came marching up with golden droplets in their pincers.

’Wrong!?’ said the leader of this group. ‘Only a fool would say there is something wrong here. Look at all this honey we have. We have hit the Mother Lode! The Queen will be so pleased.’

‘But I saw something come out of the sky and the next moment a bunch of us were gone,’ said the ant.

However, no one stayed to listen; off went its companions to get some of that honey, while the others raced back with their sweet prize.

‘Well, maybe I was just imagining it,’ the ant reasoned to itself.

And off it raced to reach the honey.

Yet no sooner had it began, again it saw the tunnel from the sky come down and its shadow fall over another group of ants. And then the tunnel and the ants were gone.

With great panic the ant tried to stop the others racing ahead. Yet now the Way flowed with excited ants that Continue reading

An Advent Lesson ~ Little

I’ve read this story and heard it told in several different versions. There is even a television commercial made using a version of the story!

I’ve learned that the larger truth of God and His creation (us!) can be found in some of the simplest tales repeated through the ages. We are all a part of God’s story,the question is – are you the child in the story, delighted to be in the presence of the maestro? Or the embarrassed parents, wanting to step back and be simply on the fringe of the music? Or maybe you are a part of the crowd and simply annoyed by the music being created?

Praying you find your gifts and graces in the presence of the maestro.

A Little Girl and A Grand Piano

A little girl wanted to become a great pianist, but all she could play on the piano was the simple little tune, “Chopsticks.” No matter how hard she tried, that was the best she could do. Her parents decided after some time to arrange for a great maestro to teach her to play properly. Of course, the little girl was delighted.

When the little girl and her parents arrived at the maestro’s mansion for the first lesson, they were escorted by the butler into the parlour, where they saw a beautiful concert grand piano. Immediately, the little girl dashed over to the piano and began playing “Chopsticks.” Her embarrassed parents started across the room to tell her to stop, but as she played, the maestro entered the room and encouraged the little girl to continue.

The maestro then took a seat on the piano bench next to the little girl, listening to Continue reading