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

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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

The Parable of the Bath Water and the Bucket

A group of business people were being given a tour of a mental hospital where their companies held supply accounts.

One of the visitors had made some very derogatory remarks to the staff and other visitors about the patients throughout the tour.

After the tour the visitors were introduced to various members of the staff in the dining room.

The rude visitor chatted to one of the security staff, Bill, a kindly and wise ex-policeman.

“Are they all raving loonies in here then?” said the rude man.

“Only the ones who fail the test,” said Bill.

“What’s the test?” said the man.

“Well, we show them a bathtub full of water, a bucket, a milk jug and a syringe, and we ask them Continue reading

An Advent Lesson ~ of Repentance and Grace

Unchopping A Tree

Start with the leaves, the small twigs, and the nests that have been shaken, ripped, or broken off by the fall; these must be gathered and attached once again to their respective places. It is not arduous work, unless major limbs have been smashed or mutilated. If the fall was carefully and correctly planned, the chances of anything of the kind happening will have been reduced. Again, much depends upon the size, age, shape, and species of the tree. Still, you will be lucky if you can get through this stage without having to use machinery. Even in the best of circumstances it is a labor that will make you wish often that you had won the favor of the universe of ants, the empire of mice, or at least a local tribe of squirrels, and could enlist their labors and their talents. But no, they leave you to it. They have learned, with time. This is men’s work. It goes without saying that if the tree was hollow in whole or in part, and contained old nests of bird or mammal or insect, or hoards of nuts or such structures as wasps or bees build for their survival, the contents will have to repaired where necessary, and reassembled, insofar as possible, in their original order, including the shells of nuts already opened. With spider’s webs you must simply do the best you can. We do not have the spider’s weaving equipment, nor any substitute for the leaf’s living bond with its point of attachment and nourishment. It is even harder to simulate the latter when the leaves have once become dry–as they are bound to do, for this is not the labor of a moment, Also it hardly needs saying that this the time fro repairing any neighboring trees or bushes or other growth that might have been damaged by the fall. The same rules apply. Where neighboring tree were of the same species it is difficult not to waste time conveying a detached leaf back to the wrong tree. Practice, practice. Put your hope in that.

Now the tackle must be put into place, or the scaffolding, depending on the surroundings and the dimension of the tree. It is ticklish work. Almost always it involves, in itself, further damage to the area, which will have to be corrected later. But, as you’ve heard, it can’t be helped. And care now is likely to save you considerable trouble Continue reading

A Parable for Christmas

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere on Christmas Eve in years, since his wife had passed away. It and Christmas day were just like any day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas; he just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.

Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. “Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger “If you’re busy, I’ll just go.” “Not without something hot in your belly.” George said. He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. “It ain’t fancy, but it’s hot and tasty. Stew … made it myself. When you’re done, there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”

Just at that moment he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell. “Excuse me, be right back,” George said. There in the driveway was an old ’53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked. “Mister can you help me!” said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. “My car quit and my wife is having baby any minute.”
George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead. “You ain’t going anywhere in this thing. Wait here.” George said as he turned away.

“But Mister, please help …” The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. “Here, take my truck,” he said. “She ain’t the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good.”

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. “Glad I gave ‘em the truck, their tires were shot too. That ‘ol truck has brand new . . .” George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man was gone. The thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. Well, at least he got something hot in his belly, George thought.

George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered that the block hadn’t cracked; it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. “Well, shoot, I can fix this,” he said to himself. So he put a new hose on.

Those tires ain’t gonna get ‘em through the winter either. He took the snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car anyway.

As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, “Please help me.”

George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. Pressure to stop the bleeding, he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. “Hey, they say duct tape can fix anything,” he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.

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 ~ Compassion

The Horse and the Ass

An Ass and rude horse were travelling together.
The Horse carried little beyond his own tether.
While the poor laden beast beside him did struggle;
So overburdend that he finally faltered.
He pleaded with the Horse to show him some pity,
Else he would die before reaching the city.
“My request after all is not impolite;
Half of this load you would still find light.”
The Horse he refused thinking himself clever,
But soon saw his comrade fall down forever.
He realized quickly he had been Continue reading