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 21st group of them for you. And you are welcome to share them with others.
One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.
Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.
It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.
That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.
On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. ‘Really?’ she heard whispered. ‘I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!’ and, ‘I didn’t know others liked me so much,’ were most of the comments.
No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.
Several years later, one of the students was killed in Viet Nam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.
The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to pass the coffin.
As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. ‘Were you Mark’s math teacher?’ he asked. She nodded: ‘yes.’ Then he said: ‘Mark talked about you a lot.’
After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon.. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously wanting to speak with his teacher.
‘We want to show you something,’ his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket ‘They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.’
Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.
‘Thank you so much for doing that,’ Mark’s mother said. ‘As you can see, Mark treasured it.’
All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, ‘I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.’
Chuck’s wife said, ‘Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.’
I have mine too,’ Marilyn said.. ‘It’s in my diary’
Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. ‘I carry this with me at all times,’ Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: ‘I think we all saved our lists’
That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for allhis friends who would never see him again.
The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be.
So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.
Remember, you reap what you sow. What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own.
May Your Day Be Blessed!
We have all heard the haunting song, “Taps.”
It’s the song used at military funerals and at the end of each day on U.S. military bases.
Perhaps we should read the words to the melody U.S. soldiers hear around the world each night. Try humming with the words:
Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the skies
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
Fading light, dims the sight
And a star, gems the sky,
Gleaming bright, from afar,
Drawing nigh, falls the night.
Thanks and praise for our days
‘Neath the sun, ‘neath the stars, ‘neath the sky.
As we go, this we know, God is nigh.
“Taps” – Words by Union General Daniel Butterfield and bugler Oliver Norton.
Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute did the following study:
It’s a widely known fact that Barracuda love to eat mullet.
Scientists put a barracuda into an aquarium, added a glass partition in the middle and then put a mullet in the other side.
Not believing his good luck the barracuda circled a few times, gathered up speed and launched directly at his lunch – the poor unsuspecting mullet.
Wham! Bam! Full throttle into the glass partition.
Unfazed at this, the barracuda did his preliminary circles and sped off again toward the mullet. Again, Wham! Bang! into the glass partition.
Again and again and again he tried. Some weeks later, the scientists noticed the barracuda quit trying to eat the mullet, so they removed the glass partition.
Amazingly, the barracuda remained in his side of the aquarium, silently swimming in circles.
In fact, the hapless barracuda slowly died of starvation while the lucky mullet swam about in safety just a few inches away!
Many of us are like that barracuda – hurt, bruised and wounded from many previous collisions with life.
We’ve given up, our lives have become unproductive, lifeless, hopeless, without goal, purpose or meaning. And in this life, the Devil wants us to stay that way……until death.
Around and around we go, going nowhere…silently, starving to death… while just a few inches away there is a prize to be collected, a blessing to be claimed, a job to be had, a relationship to begin an education to be gained earnings to be earned.
“Tomorrow morning,” the surgeon began, “I’ll open up your heart…”
“You’ll find Jesus there,” the boy interrupted
The surgeon looked up, annoyed, “I’ll cut your heart open,” he continued, “to see how much damage has been done “
“But when you open up my heart, you’ll find Jesus in there,” said the boy.
The surgeon looked to the parents, who sat quietly. “When I see how much damage has been done, I’ll sew your heart and chest back up, and I’ll plan what to do next.”
“But you’ll find Jesus in my heart. The Bible says He lives there. The hymns all say He lives there. You’ll find Him in my heart.”
The surgeon had had enough. “I’ll tell you what I’ll find in your heart. I’ll find damaged muscle, low blood supply, and weakened vessels. And I’ll find out if I can make you well.”
“You’ll find Jesus there too. He lives there “
The surgeon left.
After the operation the surgeon sat in his office, recording his notes from the surgery, “…damaged aorta, damage to
pulmonary vein, widespread muscle degeneration. No hope for transplant, no hope for cure. Therapy: painkillers and bed rest. Prognosis: here he paused, “death within one year.”
He stopped the recorder, but there was more to be said. “Why?” he asked God aloud “Why did You do this? You’ve
put him here; You’ve put him in this pain; and You’ve cursed him to an early death. Why?”
And they say the Lord…..actually really answered in an amazingly clear voice, …..and said, “The boy, My lamb, was not meant for your flock for long, for he is a part of My flock , and will forever be. Here, in My flock, he will feel no pain, and will be comforted as you cannot imagine. His parents will one day join him here, and they will know peace, and My flock will continue to grow.”
The surgeon’s tears were hot, but his anger was hotter. “You created that boy, and You created that heart. He’ll be dead in months. Why?”
The Lord answered, “The boy, My lamb, shall return to My flock, for He has Done his duty; I did not put My lamb with your flock to lose him, but to retrieve another lost lamb, “YOU!”
The surgeon gasped and wept ………… The surgeon sat beside the boy’s bed; the boy’s parents sat across from him. The boy awoke and whispered, “Did you cut open my heart?”
“Yes,” said the surgeon.
“What did you find?” asked the boy.
“I found Jesus there,” said the surgeon!
If you would like to watch a wonderful, life changing movie, get yourself all prepared with the time to watch a full length movie, and then go to this site and be ready for a life changing experience. .…………….. https://www.jesusfilm.org/watch/jesus.html/english.html