Stories – 8th Installment

For the last 20 years I have presented the Gospel to each new youth at the highly secure prison for the kids ages 13 to 19 at Gainesville, Texas.  It is the first time that most any of them have stopped “running on the streets” and had the time to think about their life.  Most every one made a decision to make God part of their life.  After our hour+ together I would write each one a letter.  As a result I corresponded more with many of them.  And in each letter I would enclose a group of short stories or poems.  They really liked them, especially those with an emotional message.  You probably would not believe how many locked-up prison boys have loved theses little stories, and read them over and over.

In my soon to be published book I enclosed a long list of those short stories in the Appendix.  Since the prison boys liked them so much, I thought you may like to see some of them.  So, here is a 8th group of them for you.  And you are welcome to share them with others.

Ron

Caller ID

God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t He?

Isn’t it amazing how God works in our lives!  On a Saturday night several weeks ago, this pastor was working late, and decided to call his wife before he left for home.  It was about 10:00 PM, but his wife didn’t answer the phone.

The pastor let the phone ring many times.  He thought it was odd that she didn’t answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes.  When he tried again she answered right away.  He asked her why she hadn’t answered before, and she said that it hadn’t rung at their house. They brushed it off as a fluke and went on their merry ways.

The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the church office, which was the phone that he’d used that Saturday night.   The man that he spoke with wanted to know why he’d called on Saturday night.

The pastor couldn’t figure out what the man was talking about.  Then the man said, “It rang and rang, but I didn’t answer.” The pastor remembered the mishap and apologized for disturbing him, explaining that he’d intended to call his wife.

The man said, “That’s, OK.  Let me tell you my story:

You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, ‘God if you’re there, and you don’t want me to do this, give me a sign, now.’  At that point my phone started to ring.  I looked at the caller ID, and it said, ‘Almighty God’.  I was afraid to answer!”


The reason why it showed on the man’s caller ID that the call came from “Almighty God” is because the church that the pastor attends is called Almighty God Tabernacle!!

Don’t ever doubt that God answers prayers!

The Center of the Bible

This is pretty strange or odd how it worked out this way. Even if you are not religious you should read this.

What is the shortest chapter in the Bible? Answer – Psalms 117

What is the longest chapter in the Bible? Answer – Psalms 119

Which chapter is in the center of the Bible? Answer – Psalms 118

Fact: There are 594 chapters before Psalms 118

Fact: There are 594 chapters after Psalms 118

Add these numbers up and you get 1188

What is the center verse in the Bible? Answer – Psalms 118:8

Does this verse say something significant about God’s perfect will for our lives? The next time someone says they would like to find God’s perfect will for their lives and that they want to be in the center of His will,
just send them to the center of His Word!

Psalms 118:8 (NKJV) “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put
confidence in man
.”

Now isn’t that odd how this worked out (or was God in the center of it)?



Life Is Like a Box of Chocolates

It was the day after Christmas; my brother and I were visiting my aunt.  It was a happy day, especially as they have five children, four under the age of six, and I, like many people, love small children.

There was a box of sweets on the side, and kids being kids, naturally couldn’t take their eyes off it.  When my aunt came into the room, they all clamored for a sweet, so she opened the box of Quality Street (a selection of chocolates) and divided them into so many for each child.

My youngest cousin, age three, is famous for his funny sayings.  Now was no different; he opened each sweet with undisguised glee, throwing the wrappers on the floor and yelling with more delight at each one – “Yea! Chocolate again!! Look, chocolate!!”

Straight away, I recognized something strategic here.

Yes, all of the sweets were chocolate, but the lesson here was that so many things in life we take for granted or expect them to be what they are, so that when we experience them we take almost no delight in them at all.

Learning to be grateful for the “chocolate” of life, even if it is all “chocolate” is a valuable skill, and something that not many people know how to do.

It is often in small children that it is found the most, and I felt that such was reflected in this story.

And Jesus said that for those who have given their lives to him, they are the very “Sons of God” now.  He asked us not to focus on what we can accumulate on this earth………but to “store up treasures in Heaven”.

CHURCH IN THE WEEDS

Just two little boys walking down this dusty lane…
They came upon this old white house…
With broken window panes

The paint was faded, the shine was gone…
The grass had grown so high…
Still they made their little feet,
Go see what was inside.

They opened up the squeaky door and then it came to light…
This must have been an old church house… Once upon a time.


Dirty, dusty wooden pews… A pulpit that still stood….
A Bible lay upon it… Though the pages weren’t too good…

An offering plate and song books too… Were lying on the floor.
They must have left this old church fast… The day they closed these
doors.

And over in the corner… A piano was still there,
It must have played a pretty tune… But I guess nobody cared.

So little Bill looked up at Tommy… And Tommy looked at Bill…
Why don’t we clean this old church up, and get these old pews filled?’

They took a rag and wiped the dust… To try and make things shine…
And then they took the offering plate… And put in it their last dime.

They took a broom and swept the floor… And picked up broken glass….
They got it all so nice and neat… And then they mowed the grass.

They lifted up the old church sign… And stood it by a tree….
Right down by that old dirt road where every one could see.

They ran back home, to find Daddy gone but their Momma was inside..
Just to find her hurt again… Where Daddy had made her cry.

‘Don’t cry Momma, wipe those tears,’ Little Bill and Tommy smiled…
‘Cause we have a big surprise for you… Just down the road a mile.’

Hand in hand they tugged at her, until they made her run….
‘What is it Bill, Oh Tommy, just what have you two kids done?’

And then they came upon the house… Once hidden by the weeds….
And there it stood a country church… Just like it used to be.

‘But what is it, Mother? What’s with your tears?
We thought this would bring you joy.’
‘Yes, but hush kids now and listen close…
My two sweet precious boys.’

They both got quiet and stood real still… For the words they heard so true…
Was their now sorrowful Daddy praying in the church… With his head bowed on the pew.

‘Forgive me Lord! Forgive me Lord! Though I’m not worthy of Your love…
Shine down on this sinner man, sweet Salvation from above.’

‘For I’ve been out in the world, you know… Living my life all wrong…
Until I came upon this church; the place where I belong.’

‘I never noticed it before… All those times I passed it up…
I guess I wasn’t looking, Lord…. Or maybe I was drunk..’

‘Bless oh Lord, yes, bless oh Lord….. The one who made me see..
This little church that used to hide…. Behind all those tall weeds.’

And then he raised his head and stood… With his hands high in the air…
To find two dirty, tear-faced boys….. With Momma standing there.

They ran up to him, hugged him tight… As their tears fell on the floor.
‘Don’t worry kids; I’m not the Dad, the one you’ve known before.’

Things are different for us now… So keep on those pretty smiles..
And let’s go gather people in…. To walk down these church aisles.’

Then Bill looked up at Tommy… And Tommy looked at Bill…
‘Come on brother, let’s get to work…. To get these old pews filled.’

‘For we need no special blessing.. For cleaning up this church….
’cause, God gave us back our Daddy… And that’s more than gold is worth.’

Sunday morning, pews all filled and smiles on every face…
Especially two little country boys… The ones who found this place.

Though it was hid back in the weeds… And so far out of sight…

Nothing’s ever hard to find if you’re walking toward God’s light.

1-John 1:7 ‘we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have
fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ
His Son cleanses us from all sin.’

IN GOD WE STILL TRUST

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