The Other Side of the Door

A sick man turned to his doctor, as he was leaving the room after paying a visit, and said, “Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.”

 Very quietly the doctor said, “I don’t know.”

 “You don’t know? You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?”

silhouette photo of person holding door knob
Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com

The doctor was holding the handle of the door. On the other side of the door there came the sound of scratching and whining. As he opened the door a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.

 Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “Did you notice that dog? He had never been in this room before. He did not know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing: I know my Master is there, and that is enough. And when the door opens, I shall pass through with no fear, but with gladness.”

 

Butterfly and Cocoon

the-metamorphosis.282120459_stdPsalm 34:19 — The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.

1 Peter 5:10— And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

 

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther.

Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What this man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If nature allowed us to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. And we could never fly….

Build Wisely

The-Carpenters-House

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more relaxing life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week. But he wanted to retire.The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go & asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor.

The carpenter said yes but over time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to sloppy workmanship and used low-grade materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career. When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, “This is your house… my gift to you.”

The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we would do it much differently.

But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter and every day you hammer a nail, place a board or erect a wall. “Life is a do-it-yourself project.”
Your attitude and the choices you make today helps build the house you will live in tomorrow. Therefore, build wisely!

Blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding. Proverbs 3:13 

 

http://www.english-for-students.com

Why Aren’t You Grateful?

Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. – Hebrews 12:28 NIV

When my family first brought Willow home from the shelter, she was a big, goofy, lovable dog with a major defiant streak. She had not been taught any manners by her previous owners and was, therefore, a very difficult dog.

On one occasion when she was being particularly disobedient, I got down on the ground, held her big head in my hands and said, “Willow, we rescued you from an uncertain future in a scary shelter and brought you here, where we take care of your every need and love you and sacrifice time and money for your — why aren’t you grateful?”

I was immediately struck by my own words.

Why am I not grateful? Christ saved me from certain death, washed away my sins with His own blood, justified me, and adopted me into his family, where He loves me with a perfect, undefiled love. Instead of being grateful, I live a life where I’m the priority, where I defiantly act as though I don’t need God by nonchalantly choosing worthless things over my time with Him. I pray as though He owes me something instead of the other way around. I minimize the sacrifice of His Son on the cross by repeatedly going back to the sins that He bled for. And yet He still loves me fiercely and will never give up on me.

Ask yourself, ‘Why am I not grateful?’


Lord I worship You with reverence and awe for what you have done for me. And through personal reflection of all these wonderful things, I am learning to be more grateful. Amen.

*Barbour Books

grateful

Who do you hate?

A young lady named Sally relates an experience she had in a seminary class given by her teacher, Dr. Smith. She says that Dr. Smith was known for his elaborate lessons.

One particular day, Sally walked into the seminary and knew they were in for a fun day.

On the wall was a big target, and on a nearby table were many darts. Dr. Smith told the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry, and he would allow them to throw darts at the person’s picture.

Sally’s friend drew a picture of a girl who had stolen her boyfriend. Another friend drew a picture of his little brother. Sally drew a picture of a former friend, putting a great deal of detail into her drawing, even drawing pimples on the face.

The class lined up and began throwing darts. Some of the students threw their darts with such force that their targets were ripping apart. Sally looked forward to her turn, and was filled with disappointment when Dr. Smith asked the students to return to their seats because class was almost over. Sally sat thinking about how angry she was because she didn’t have a chance to throw any darts at her target. Dr. Smith began removing the target from the wall.

Underneath the target was a picture of Jesus. A hush fell over the room as each student viewed the mangled picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covered His face, and His eyes were pierced.

Dr. Smith said only these words, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40 (ESV – English Standard Version)

No other words were necessary. Eyes filled with tears, the students focused only on the picture of Christ.

jesus-within

 

The Story of the Farmer

farmer_jThe LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want (Psalm 23:1, NIV).

Stress is a familiar and faithful companion. It doesn’t matter where life takes us, we will encounter stress. Unless we learn to manage and deal with that stress – God’s way – we will find ourselves trapped, an easy target for the enemy.

I heard the story of a farmer who, as the owner of a large piece of land along the Atlantic seacoast, constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic because of terrible storms known to plague the area. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals. Finally, a short, thin middle-aged man applied for the job. “Are you a good farm hand?” the farmer asked. “Well, I can sleep when the wind blows,” answered the little man. Although puzzled by this answer, the desperate farmer hired him.

The slight man worked hard, to the delight of the farmer. One night, the howling wind blew in from offshore, signaling the approach of a monstrous storm. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed to the hired hand’s sleeping quarters. “Get up! A storm is coming!” he yelled. The man rolled over in bed and firmly responded, “No sir. I told you. I can sleep when the wind blows.” Furious, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm only to discover that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarps.  The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in their coops, the doors were barred, and the shutters were tightly secured. Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand had meant. He, too, returned to his bed to sleep while the wind blew.

Stress management is a spiritual discipline that begins with diligent preparation in every area of life – mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. We must be ready to deal with stress before we have to deal with stress.

Jeremiah 17: 7,8. “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water and sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Leaning on God’s Word helps prepare you before the storms arrive. He wants you to also be able to sleep while the wind blows.

 

 

God’s Cake

cake

 A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong… she is failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.

Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, “Absolutely Mom, I love your cake.”

“Here, have some cooking oil,” her Mother offers.

“Yuck” says her daughter.

“How about a couple raw eggs?”

“Gross, Mom!”

“Would you like some flour then?  Or maybe baking soda?”

“Mom, those are all yucky!”

To which the mother replies, “Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!

God works the same way.  Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times.  But God knows that when Continue reading “God’s Cake”

In His Image

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver” Malachi 3:3 (NIV).

The story is told of a group of women who met each week to study the Bible, hoping to learn more about the nature and character of God and how He works in our lives. The women were puzzled and even a little troubled by the description of God they found in Malachi 3:3, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” One of the women offered to do a little research on the subject and report back to the group at their next meeting.

The woman found a local silversmith and made an appointment to observe him at work, explaining that she was particularly interested in the process of refining silver. She watched as the craftsman carefully selected a piece of silver for his demonstration. She thought the piece of silver was already beautiful but evidently the silversmith saw something that she could not see. As he held the silver over the furnace, the craftsman explained that in refining silver, the silver had to be placed in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so all of the impurities would be burned away.

The woman was silent for a moment as her thoughts drifted to the fiery trials she was facing in her own life. Honestly, she did not get it. Why would a loving God allow His children to suffer when He could so easily deliver them? In fact, why does God even allow bad things to happen to people who are seeking Him and really trying to live for Him?

The woman asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. “Oh, yes!” he replied. “I cannot take my eyes off the silver. If it is left in the furnace even a moment too long, it will be destroyed.” The woman suddenly understood the beauty and comfort of Malachi 3:3, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”

Yes, there are times when it seems as if we will be swallowed whole by the fires of Hell itself. The pain seems too hard to bear. The fear is paralyzing. The doubt is overwhelming.

Is God really who He says He is? Will He really do what He says He will do? Will He really keep His promises?

Our trials are not random persecutions. Heaven is not in a panic. Where we are and what we are going through is no surprise Continue reading “In His Image”

The Duck and the Devil

duck picThere was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he saw Grandma’s pet duck.

Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head, and killed it. He was shocked and grieved.

In a panic, he hid its dead body in the wood pile, only to see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch the next day Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen. Then she whispered to him, “Remember the duck?” So Johnny did the dishes.

Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, “I’m sorry but I need Sally to help make supper.” Sally just smiled and said,” Well that’s all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help.” She whispered again, “Remember the duck?” So Sally went fishing and Continue reading “The Duck and the Devil”

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