bqvtwyKhNExjfBhcI_O-iw4SkkE Christian Resources: May 2012

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May 27, 2012

Looking to the Trees

Tree Silhouettes
Tree Silhouettes (Photo credit: John-Morgan)

Trees are a wonder of creation. Some are big and tall others are small and short. There are no two trees exactly alike. Even two oak trees will never be the same.
People are similiar. Two people may be in the same family, but that does not mean that they will react the same or see things the same way. Everyone has their own unique strengths and talents. One talent is not better than another. Just like one type of tree is not better than the others. Some are just more usefully in some locations while other trees really does not belong. For example an oak tree has no business on a sandy beach. However, a palm tree does excellent on the beach. Both types of trees are great. However, they have thier stenghths and weaknesses just like people.
The trees that survive the longest are the ones that bend and sway with the breeze. They know when to gently bend and when to stand tall. The same is true with people. People that are ridgid on everything are usually the ones that die young with high blood pressure or other stress related problems. Those that learn when to just go with the flow and when to stand tall and not back down often times live longer happier lives.
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May 25, 2012

Missing Child

It started out as a normal afternoon for Jennifer. As usual, she had walked over to a neighboring apartment to tutor a boy in reading. After the lesson was over, Gab had asked to play with her son Levi. Therefore, Gab, Alex, and Levi went outside to play. Gab and Alex’s grandfather sat outside to watch them because their mother was busy. Jennifer stood and watched all three boys, but mostly her son, Levi. Levi is big for his age; however, he is only 2 years old.

Jennifer saw a car pull into a parking place. She noticed that 2 or 3 children got out of the car. Then she went back to watching the three boys. After a few minutes, it was time for Jennifer to walk back and start cooking supper. Alex and Gab were sad. Alex started following Jennifer and Levi on his scooter. Another boy was outside riding his scooter also. Let’s call him Joe. Joe started trying to play with Alex. Alex’s brother followed after him. Their grandfather followed both of the boys.

Joe and Alex decided to race on their scooters. However, they went a different way back around the apartment building.  Because of this, Jennifer decided to let Levi ride his bike around the apartment building to make sure that Alex made it back home. Gab had already started walking back to his grandfather. Therefore, Jennifer yelled to him, Alex went the other way. Then she started after Alex. When Alex got to the corner, his mother was waiting on him.

As Jennifer and Levi were heading home, Joe started trying to play with Levi. Jennifer told him that Levi had to go inside because she needed to cook supper. When Jennifer got back to her apartment, she told Levi to say bye, bye to Joe. Joe then said, “I am going to go and get my bike.” Jennifer and Levi went inside.

A few minutes later Joe was back with his bike and knocking at the door. Jennifer went to the door to see who was there. As she tried to explain that Levi could not go outside and play, Joe came inside. He then started playing with the toys in the living room. Jennifer then started trying to explain to Joe that he could not just come inside and play. Joe is only about 6 years old. Jennifer asks Joe where his mother is. He simply ignores her.

Jennifer’s mother, Kay, lives with her. Therefore, Jennifer goes and gets her. Both Kay and Jennifer start trying to find out where Joe lives. They both ask him many questions including his name, where he lives, and where his mother lives. He does not answer. Jennifer gets Joe to go back outside. However, before she can get back inside, he goes back in.  Kay calls, Ms Connie, the apartment manger. Ms Connie asks Joe the same questions. Finally, he tells Ms Connie his last name. Ms Connie looks and discovers that only one apartment has that last name. She calls, but they are not missing a child. The child has now been inside Jennifer’s apartment for 30 minutes. Ms Connie tells Kay to call 9-1-1.

Kay calls 9-1-1. She explains the situation. They inform her that there are no missing children in the area. Kay explains to them that the boy must be missing and either way someone needs to come and get his little boy. About 30 minutes later a police officer knocks on the door. Jennifer goes outside and explains to him what has happened. He then comes inside and asks the boy, “Where are your parents?” The boy says, “Right here” while pointing to his pants. Jennifer tries not to laugh. The police officer then says, “Not your pants, your parents. Where are your mom and dad?” The boy says that he does not have a dad. Therefore, the police officer continues by asking, “Where is your mom?” The boy finally indicates that she is over in one of the other apartments. The police officer tells the boy, “Let’s take a walk and go see her.” The boy takes the police officer right to her. After taking the boy home, the police officer comes back to Jennifer’s apartment. He asks a couple of clarifying questions and leaves.

A few minutes later the boy and his mother come. The boy’s mother is angry because the police was called. She explains that the boy was not missing. The babysitter was sitting on the steps. Kay asks, “But where was your child?” This only makes the mother angrier. However, she leaves with the boy. About 15 minutes later the boy is back. This time he is standing at the corner of the building. He watches as Jennifer moves one of Levi’s toys inside.

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May 2, 2012

The Journey

When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I watched Rev. Charles Stanley on television. At that time, my family only had three channels. Many times, I would wake up on Sunday mornings and watch television while eating peanut butter sandwiches or peanut butter and crackers.  Two of the channels only had news on it. The other channel had preaching. Therefore, the preaching was more interesting to me. I have never liked watching news.

One memorable Sunday, I was sitting in the recliner eating peanut butter sandwiches while listening to Rev. Charles Stanley. He must have been preaching a sermon about repentance because I remember that he gave an analogy concerning heaven and hell. I do not remember it word for word, but the main idea has stuck with me. According to the analogy, people are on a journey. They can only go two directions. One direction is hell. The other direction is heaven. When you are born, you start out facing the direction of hell because of Adam’s sin. When you get older you can decided to continue towards hell or you can repent and ask Jesus into your heart. As soon as you repent and ask Jesus into your heart, you turn around and start going towards heaven.  After you turn towards heaven, you stop doing those things that Jesus does not like.

At that time, I “played” with the idea. I likened hell to the back of the armrest on the recliner and heaven was the front. The back of the armrest looked dark and the front was light. I started walking my fingers in the middle. In my mind, everyone starts in the middle. At first, I started “walking” my fingers towards “hell”. Then I thought, “I want to go to heaven; therefore, I need to turn around.” So, I started “walking” my fingers towards heaven.

Thinking back on this, I believe this is called child-like faith. Now that I am an adult, I liken this journey to a number line. If you keep going towards one direction, you are heading towards negative infinity or “hell”. The other direction is positive infinity or “heaven”. Everyone will live forever. You will be in either negative infinity or positive infinity. The chose is yours. To continue this analogy, when you are born you are at zero. In mathematics zero is neutral. A baby does not yet have the knowledge to know right from wrong. Therefore, they are neutral.

As a baby grows up, either they learn about Jesus and heaven or they learn evil. I watched preaching on television as a child. What are your children watching? Remember they learn what they see and hear. If they watch violent shows, they learn violence. If the watch good shows, they learn to be good. This also shows that children can understand the basic message of the gospel.

Thank you Dr. Charles Stanley for preaching the word of God so 
plainly that a child could understand.
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