Posts Tagged ‘blessings’

THE OLD FISHERMAN – an inspirational story

June 28, 2011

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out-patients at the clinic.

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. ‘Why, he’s hardly taller than my eight-year-old,’ I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body.

But the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw. Yet, his voice was pleasant as he said, ‘Good evening. I’ve come to see if you’ve a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there’s no bus ’till morning.’

He told me he’d been hunting for a room since noon but with no success; no one seemed to have a room. ‘I guess it’s my face. I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments…’

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me, ‘I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.’ I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. ‘No thank you. I have plenty’ and he held up a brown paper bag.

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn’t take a long time to see that this old man had an over-sized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn’t tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was prefaced with thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He was thankful for the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children’s room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded, and the little man was out on the porch.

He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, ‘Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won’t put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.’ He paused a moment and then added, ‘Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don’t seem to mind.’ I told him he was welcome to come again.

And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they’d be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4 a.m., and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.

Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. ‘Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!’

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice, but, oh if only they could have known him, perhaps their illness would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude…

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, ‘If this were my plant, I’d put it in the loveliest container I had!’

My friend changed my mind. ‘I ran short of pots,’ she explained, ‘and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting out in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.’

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. There’s an especially beautiful one,’ God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. ‘He won’t mind starting in this small body.’

All this happened long ago — and now, in God’s garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand…

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’

Friends are very special. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear and they share a word of praise. Show your friends how much you care.

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Top 10 Predictions for 2011

January 15, 2011

With all the problems the World is facing, it can be unsettling to the mind.

Today, I will share with you ten predictions that are true!

1.  The Bible will still have all the answers.
2.  Prayer will still be the most powerful thing on Earth…
3.  The Holy Spirit will still move.
4.  God will still honor the praises of His people.
5.  There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6.  There will still be singing of praise to God.
7.  God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8.  There will still be room at the Cross.
9.  Jesus will still love you.

10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.

Isn’t It Great to Remember Who Is Really in Control, and that; “the Word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:25)

I hope you found this encouraging!  I sure did.

Sometimes we need the reminder of just “WHO” is really in control.

The True Story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

December 24, 2010

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.

His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob’s wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s Mommy?” Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he’d rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn’s bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn’t even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn’t buy a gift, he was determined to make one – a storybook! Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal’s story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn’t end there.

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn’t end there either.

Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore, it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry.  “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of “White Christmas.”

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn’t so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

DAY OF FASTING AND PRAYER FOR AMERICA

December 3, 2009

We, my wife and I, are firmly convinced that our elected politicians are incapable of representing the will of the American people – and incapable of adhering to the Constitution of the United States of America which they took a solemn oath to uphold and defend.

We are among the millions of U.S. Citizens who are at our wits end sending e-mails, faxes, telephoning, meeting with elected officials, demonstrating, rallying – and hoping – that those representatives will do the will of the people. They have failed. Have we, as well?

The United States of America is a choice land, a nation that was founded by our forefathers who were divinely inspired by God the Father Almighty. This choice nation has been the defender of freedom throughout its relatively short history. We have led in the fight for freedom against many tyrants and dictators who have plundered and pillared their citizens and have subjected them to great sufferings through blood and horror. The people of those nations who suffered these great injustices knew that they could always depend upon the goodness, power and righteousness of the United States of America to extract them from their plights. And it was done – many times over. It was not done without expense – the expense of the blood and sacrifice of the members of our armed forces – and the suffering of their families.

As the year 2009 soon comes to a close, we the citizens of the United States of America finds ourselves facing many of the challenges – which those nations suffered at the hands of their political leaders. We are being attacked from within! Who do we turn to? Which great nation can we turn to help us to keep and maintain our freedom? We do not have the same hope of those nations to whom we were benefactors.

We MUST turn to our Savior. If we are a righteous people, we will be deserving of, and receive of His blessings as He has promised. He suffered and died for us – He atoned for our sins; each one of us – individually. We know that – as a nation – we can once again be the choicest of lands. However, we cannot achieve that blessing without our willingness to please our Lord and Savior.

We are asking that all who read this message that have faith in Christ designate Sunday December 6, 2009 as a day of fasting and prayer for America .

You do not have to march on the nation’s Capitol nor go to a tea bag rally. From the comfort of your home, you can get on bended knee and with a broken heart and contrite spirit, petition the Lord to bless this nation generously according to His will. Then, keep the fast for that day. Make that Christ-like commitment to our Heavenly Father. He will listen, He will answer. That has been promised.

“And whatsoever he shall ask the father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.” (3 Nephi 18-20) “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22)

Joe and Janice Hagen

St. George, UT.

Letter to God – an inspirational story

November 22, 2009

This is one of the kindest things you may ever see. It is not known who replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service.


Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey.. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, ‘To Meredith’ in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies…’  Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey and Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away… Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by…

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.
I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I’m easy to find, I am wherever there is love.

Love,
God


Forward to all your friends, and don’t tell me you’re too busy for this. Don’t you know the phrase ‘stop and smell the flowers’?


Happiness keeps you Sweet,
Trials keep you Strong,
Sorrows keep you Human,
Failures keep you Humble,
Success keeps you Glowing,
But Only Friends Keep You Going!


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