Wednesday, January 8, 2014
A small town Chamber of Commerce invited a speaker to address it's annual dinner. The community's economy was bad, people were discouraged and they wanted the motivational speaker to give them a boost.
During the presentation, the speaker took a large piece of paper and made a small black dot at the center with a marking pen. Then she held the paper up before the group and asked them what they saw.
"I see a black dot," a person quickly replied.
"Okay, what else do you see?'
Everybody looked and many joined in agreement, "A black dot."
"That's good. Do any of you see anything else?" the speaker asked.
After a few minutes of silence, many people in the audience shook their heads and a few answered, "No!"
"What about a sheet of paper?" Asked the speaker. "I'm sure all of you can see the paper, am I right? But you all have chosen to overlook it.'
The audience was stunned and some felt embarrassed.
"In life, we also tend to overlook and take for granted many wonderful things that we have or memorable events. We spend too much time focusing our attention and energy on small, dot-like failures and disappointments. The so called 'problems' that we have are usually like the black dot on the paper. They are small and insignificant if we can widen our horizon and look at the whole picture."
Examine yourself and how you see things. Are you one of the people who focuses your attention and energy on dot-like problems?
Saturday, January 4, 2014
My name is church.
I'm sure you have heard a lot about me. I have no shortage of critics, Perhaps you have heard that I am boring, shallow, cheap and a waste of time. Perhaps you have heard that I am full of hypocrites, clowns, greedy people and the self-righteous.
Maybe you have visited me before and discovered horrible music, passionless singing, dry preaching and rude congregants. Or maybe right when you needed me I was too busy, too "righteous", too broke or too blind.
Maybe you joined me and found I was distant, demanding, dull and preoccupied. Or maybe you tried to serve in me but were caught off guard by business meetings, committees, teams, debates and bureaucracy.
Maybe you left and you were surprised that nobody called, cared, noticed or invited you back. Or perhaps your experience has driven you to speak negatively about me, swear to never come back to me, proclaim that no one needs me or maybe you believe that you are better off without me.
If this is true, if your heart resonates with this, I have something to say to you: "I'm sorry! I made a huge mistake and I was wrong. Please remember, my name is Church. It isn't perfection. It isn't flawlessness. It isn't completion."
"My name is church and I welcome the hypocrite, the dry, the self-righteous and the shallow. I welcome the sincere, the passionate, the forgiving and the selfless. I cannot shut my doors to the people who in the past have made you angry, uncomfortable, impatient or self-conscious."
"But I can apologize for the fact that you may have been burned by me and I hope that someday, maybe, you will forgive me and come back."
--- author unknown
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
A woman was diagnosed with a terminal illness and given three months to live. She asked her Pastor to come to her home to discuss her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at her funeral, what Scriptures she wanted read and which outfit she wanted to be buried in.
Then she said, "One more thing... I want to be buried with a fork in my hand."
The pastor was surprised and she must have noticed the puzzled look on his face.
She explained to him, "In all my years attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably say to everyone, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite time of the dinner, because I knew something better was coming, like velvety chocolate cake or deep dish apple pie --- something wonderful. So, I want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and wonder, 'What's with the fork?' Then, I want you to tell them, 'Keep your fork because the best is yet to come.'"
The Pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he told the woman goodbye. He realized she had a better grasp of Heaven than he did because she knew something better was coming.
At the funeral, when people asked him why she was holding a fork, the Pastor told them of the conversation he had with the woman before she died. He said he could not stop thinking about the fork and knew they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.
"Keep the fork. The best is yet to come."
"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.' --- Revelations 21:4