ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM (Author Unknown)
Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night
in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused
to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead they
were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made a
bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall
and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel
replied, "Things are not always what they seem."
The next night the angels came to rest at the house of a very
poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what
little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their
bed where they could have a good night's rest. When the sun came
up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in
tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income,
lay dead in the field. The younger angel was infuriated and asked
the older angel, "How could you have let this happen? The first
family had everything, yet you helped them. The second family
had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the
cow die. Why?"
"Things are not always what they seem."
the older angel replied. "When we stayed in the basement
of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in
the wall. Since the family was so greedy and unwilling to share
in their good fortune, I sealed the wall so they wouldn't find
it. Then last night when we slept in the farmer's bed, the angel
of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead."
Things are not always what they seem. If you have faith and a
good heart, you just need to trust that every outcome is always
to your advantage. You might not know it until some time later.
WRECKED (Author Unknown)
A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of
the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert-like island.
The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agreed that they
had no other recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose
prayer was more powerful, they agreed to Divide the territory between
them and stay on opposite sides of the island.
The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the
first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and
he was able to eat its fruit. The other man's parcel of land remained
After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for
a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor
was a woman who swam to his side of the island. On the other side
of the island, the second man has nothing.
Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, and more food.
The next day, like a miracle, all of these were given to him. The second man still had nothing.
Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his
wife could leave the island. In the morning a ship docked at his
side on the island. He boarded the ship with his wife and decided
to leave the second man on the island. He considered the other
man unworthy to receive God's blessings, since none of his prayers
had been answered.
As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from
heaven booming: "Why are you leaving your companion on the
"My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed
for them, the first man answered. "His prayers were all unanswered
and so he does not deserve anything."
"You are mistaken!" the voice rebuked him. "He
had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would
not have received any of my blessings."
"Tell me," the first man asked the voice, "what
did he pray for that I should owe him anything?"
"He prayed that all your prayers be answered."
GIVING (Author Unknown)
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10
year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress
put a glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream
sundae?" he asked. "Fifty cents," replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the
coins in it. "Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?"
he inquired. by now more people were waiting for a table and the
waitress was growing impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she
brusquely replied. The little boy again counted his coins. "I'll
have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the
ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished
the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came
back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed
neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies.
You see, he could not have the sundae, because he had to have enough
left to leave her a tip.
This little boy knew the meaning of sacrifice more than most. When
we give to Jesus, out of what portion do we give? Is it just a percentage
of all we have, or do we give unselfishly, even though we may need
to sacrifice something else we may desire.
WHEN IT COUNTS (Author Unknown)
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got
to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and
serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood
transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived
the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat
the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother,
and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood
to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking
a deep breath and said, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save her."
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister
and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks.
Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the
doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die
right away? Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor;
he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood
in order to save her.
The Apostle Paul once said "For I could wish that I myself
were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers..."
(Romans 9:3) It may be difficult for us to understand how Paul could
be willing to give up so much, even his own salvation so someone
else could be saved. He and this little boy knew the true meaning
of giving everything for the sake of another.
EXPLAINING GOD: (by Danny Dutton,
a third grader from Chula Vista California)
Although this letter can be found all over the web, we feel it is
"One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to
replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take
care of things on earth.
He doesn't make grown-ups, just babies. I think they are smaller
and easier to make. That way, He doesn't have to take up His valuable
time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers
God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful
lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things,
pray at times besides bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to
the radio or TV because of this. Because He hears everything, there
must be a terrible lot of noise in His ears, unless He has thought
of a way to turn it off.
God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere, which
keeps Him pretty busy. So, you shouldn't be wasting His time by
going over your mom and dad's heads asking for something they said
you couldn't have.
Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think that
there are any in Chula Vista . At least there aren't any who come
to our church. Jesus is God's son. He used to do all the hard work
like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach
people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired
of Him preaching to them and they crucified Him. But He was good
and kind like His Father and He told His Father they didn't know
what they were doing and to forgive them and God said OK.
His Dad (God) appreciated everything He had done and all His hard
work on earth, so He told Him He didn't have to go out on the road
anymore, He could stay in Heaven. So He did. And, now, He helps
His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are
important for God to take care of Himself without having to bother
God -- like a secretary, only more important.
You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to hear you, because
they got it worked out so that one of them is on duty at all times.
You should always go to church on Sunday, because it makes God happy,
and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God. Don't skip
church to do something you think will be more fun like going to
the beach. This is wrong! And, besides, the sun doesn't come out
at the beach until noon anyway.
If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will
be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you,
like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when
you are scared in the dark or when you can't swim very good and
you got thrown into really deep water by big kids.
But you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you.
I figure God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases.
And that is why I believe in God."