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Showing posts from June, 2007

Harmonica

The US Army sent a young soldier for a yearlong tour of duty in Ireland . Before he boarded the plane, his fiancĂ© gave him a harmonica. She said, “I want you to learn to play this. It will help to keep your mind off those Irish girls.”[1]

Every time he writes, the soldier would assure her that he was practicing and playing his harmonica every night. After a year, she met him at the airport. He immediately grabbed her to kiss her. But she pushed him back.

When the man asked why, she looked at him straight in the eyes and said, “Before you kiss me, I want to hear you play the harmonica.”[1]

The Bible made it clear: “God wants you to be holy… God has called us to be holy, not to live impure lives.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3a, 7, NLT) In fact, “without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14b, NIV) That’s how important holiness is. Thus, God will take it personally if we fail to live up to His standards. “Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives…

Blessed are the meek

“I’m sorry but you have rabies,” a physician told a dog-bite victim.

The patient immediately got a pad and pencil and started writing. Worried, the doctor asked, “Are you writing a will already? I know that rabies is usually fatal. But I heard there were a few who survived it. We can still try to cure you.”

The patient barked, “No, I’m not writing a will. I’m making a list of all the people I’m going to bite!” [1]

“Don’t get mad. Get even.” That seems to be the world’s motto. But that’s weak. Our Lord Jesus proclaimed, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5, NIV) Merriam and Webster Online Dictionary defined “meek” as “enduring injury with patience and without resentment”.In short, a meek person does not hold grudges or take revenge. It is just sad that the dictionary also defined “meek” as “deficient in spirit and courage”. I beg to disagree. Meekness is not weakness. A meek person is a strong person.

It takes a strong person to turn the other cheek or to w…

Meek, Not Weak

People tend to equate “meekness” with “weakness.” We see a meek person as more of a gaunt man rather than a muscleman. In fact, in MS Word, when I right-clicked the word “meek” and searched for its synonyms, one of them is “timid.” When Jesus declared, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth,”[1] we tend to think that what He was actually saying was, “Blessed are the weak for they shall become doormats.”[2] I was not at all surprised when I saw that the Merriam and Webster online dictionary[3] defined “meek” as “deficient in spirit and courage” and “not violent or strong.”

Keep in mind, that in the Bible, meek is not weak. The word “meek” has a very colorful background in Biblical times. Back then, it refers to a wild stallion that trainers brought under control. Can you imagine the raw power that horses possess? Well, just watch a rodeo to get an idea of how much power a horse has. In fact, we use the term “horsepower” to measure a unit of power.

But, we can tame a hor…

Memories of Fatherhood

Image
Fatherhood.
That's the title of Bill Cosby's book which he wrote some time ago. Here's an excerpt: 


"Now that my father is a grandfather, he just can't wait to give money to my kids. But when I was his kid and I asked him for fifty cents, he would tell me the story of his life. How he got up at 4 A.M. when he was seven years old and walked twenty-three miles to milk ninety cows. And the farmer for whom he worked had no bucket, so he had to squirt the milk into his little hand and then walk eight miles to the nearest can. All for 5 cents a month. The result was that I never got my 50 cents. 

But now he tells my children every time he comes into the house, 'Well, let's see how much money old Granddad has got for his wonderful kids.' And the minute they take money out of his hands, I call them over to me and I snatch it away from them. Because that is MY money!"

That made me laugh... and think. We all have fond (and not so fond) memories of our fathers…

E-Hoaxes

Poisonous levels of lead in leading lipsticks… Generous philanthropists willing to share their rich bank accounts to you… Virus to wipe away your hard disk… Yahoo! (or Google, MSN, or whatever) about to shutdown unless… Name it. I think I received it in my inbox.

Since e-mail caught our fancy, we all got our share of junk mails or spam. Some of it you can delete immediately. Then, you saw the picture and read the story of a child dying of a rare disease. You learn that Microsoft will donate an x amount of money for every forwarded e-mail. Thus, you are tempted to click on “forward” to send it to all your contacts. Don’t.

Let me tell you a secret. Before I forward something, I usually check a website dedicated on busting what they call “urban legends” or simply hoaxes sent through e-mail.

What’s the harm there? Well, other than clogging people’s inbox, you are making yourself and your friends vulnerable to identity theft. You might one day find your inbox clogged with more junk mails. So…

Gaining From Your Loss

Ludwig Van Beethoven noticed that he was losing his sense of hearing. As a composer, he worried that he could no longer create music if he becomes deaf. He tried every cure available to him but to no avail. One day, his greatest fear came true. He became totally deaf.

According to the Daily Walk devotional, “Beethoven finally found the strength he needed to go on despite his great loss. To everyone’s amazement, he wrote some of his grandest music after he became totally deaf. With all distractions shut out, melodies flooded in on him as fast as his pen could write them down. His deafness became a great asset.”[1] In other words his loss became his gain. Now, in His sermon on the mount, our Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”[2] I like how The Message translated it: “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.” This morning let us talk about “Gaining from Your Loss.…