Saturday, April 17, 2021
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
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     All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.  Proverbs 15:1

"Slow Down Therapy"
(Author Unknown)

1. Slow down; God is still in heaven. You are not responsible for doing it all yourself right now.

2. Set your own pace. When someone is pushing you, it's OK to tell them they're pushing.

3. Notice the sun and the moon as they rise and set. They are remarkable for their steady pattern of movement, not their speed.

4. When you talk with someone, don't think about what you'll say next. Thoughts will spring up naturally if you let them.

5. Take time just to meditate
on the Lord's goodness and on His word.

6. Listen to the words you speak, especially in prayer.

7. Divide big jobs into little jobs. If God took six days to create the universe, can you hope to do any better with the comparatively tiny tasks you need to do?

8. Take time to read the Bible. When you do, you'll find you are refreshed to do all that needs to be done.

9. Pet a furry friend.

10. Once in a while, turn off the gadgets, turn down the lights, the volume, the throttle, the invitations. Less really can be more.

“Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor, we've got 24 hours each.”  ~ Christopher Rice

Church Nevers
6. Never ask an usher to break a $20.
5. Never do a cannonball in the baptismal tank.
4. Never hold a church business meeting on Super Bowl Sunday.
3. Never tell the pastor, "We love your church, and we might even come back next Easter."
2. During youth group activities, never bungee jump off the church steeple or play chicken with the church buses.
1. After a soloist of impressive size sings "Love Lifted Me," don't follow with the hymn "It Took a Miracle."

From "Bible Humor Top Seven Lists" by Dave Veerman and Rich Anderson
The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending;
and to have the two as close together as possible.
Blind Horse
(By Alison Cotter)

Just up the road from my home is a field with two horses in it. From a distance, each looks like every other horse. But if one stops the car, or is walking by, one will notice something quite amazing.

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing.

Listening, one will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, one will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her bridle is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her.
As one stands and watches these two friends, one sees how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is -- trusting that she will not lead him astray.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need. Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by God and those whom he places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see God.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, who watches over even a blind old horse, thank you for watching over us and leading us to You. Amen.
 What God Has Promised
(By Annie Johnson Flint)

God has not promised skies always blue, Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through.

God has not promised sun without rain, Day without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God has promised strength for the day, Rest for the labor, Light for the way.

Grace for the trials, help from above, Unfailing sympathy, Undying love .

"Early Lesson"

Sunday after church, a Mom asked her very young daughter what the lesson was about.

The daughter answered, 'Don't be scared, you'll get your quilt.'

Needless to say, the Mom was perplexed.

Later in the day, the pastor stopped by for tea and the Mom asked him what that morning's Sunday school lesson was about.

He said, 'Be not afraid, thy comforter is coming.'


Just Think You are Here, Not by Chance

Just think you are here, not by chance but by God's choosing.
His hand formed you and made you the person you are.
He compares you to no one else - you are one of a kind.
You lack nothing that His grace can't give you.
He has allowed you to be here at this time in history
To fulfill His special purpose for this generation.


A Good Defense

A family of skunks was trapped in a thicket, surrounded by a pack of hungry wolves that were edging even closer.  The Mother skunk calmly instructed her young: "Quickly children, let's put our heads together!"

After they obeyed, forming a circle, she continued, "Now-Let us spray!"

"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket - keep it in your own."

No Need for Marriage Counseling  

A husband and wife were at a party chatting with some friends when the subject of marriage counseling came up.

"Oh, we'll never need that. My husband and I have a great relationship," the wife explained. "He was a communications major in college and I majored in theater arts. He communicates really well and I just act like I'm listening!"


Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.    —William Arthur Ward

 Without God, our week would be:

Sinday, Mournday, Tearsday, Wasteday, Thirstday, Fightday, and Shatterday. 

So allow Him to be with you every day!
 Just Look Up!

(By Jessica Campbell)

Our high school just had a concert, and we went through a long and trying 2-hour practice the afternoon of a concert. As we sat down to play, this came to mind. Hope you like it . . .

Life is like playing in an orchestra. First, God gives you your instrument and some music, and you sit down to play, but you say, "God, I've never played this piece before! Look at all of those notes! I'll never be able to do it!" But God gets up on the pedestal and holds His baton in His hand. He winks at you and says calmly, "Just follow me."    

You say, "But God, that will be too hard ...can't we play this other song? It looks a whole lot easier and a lot more fun to play," but God says, "No, follow MY lead"
Well, you decide that it doesn't matter what God says, you want to play the other song. So, as He raises His baton and begins to conduct, you ignore Him and begin wailing away at the piece you wanted to play. However, it just doesn't quite work.
The music doesn't sound beautiful at all, because it's not the way God wanted you to play. After a little more playing and a whole lot more frustration, you realize that it would be better just to listen to your Conductor. So, with a red face you silently search for the piece God wants you to play.
"But God, it looks so hard." But God just smiles caringly and taps the baton on His stand. "No matter what, follow Me. Just look up at Me, and I will lead you," He whispers. So, you begin to play.
In the beginning, it seems as though you will never be able to play this piece. All you can see are those notes rushing by. Then you remember what God said . . . "LOOK UP" . . . so you look up and see God carefully counting out the beats for you, and if you listen really carefully, you can hear His Voice humming your part.
The song is the most beautiful song that you have ever heard, and you find that as long as your eyes are fixed on the Conductor, you are able to play along. All you have to do is look up! 
Sure, some parts are REALLY tough, but as long as you follow the Conductor and listen to His steady rhythm, you can make it through. All you have to do is LOOK UP!
Follow the Leader
In "Everyday Discipleship for Ordinary People," Stuart Briscoe wrote about a fellow minister who was asked to officiate at a funeral for a war veteran.  Briscoe recalls, "The dead man's military friends wished to have a part in the service at the funeral home, so they requested the pastor to lead them down to the casket, stand with them for a solemn moment of remembrance, and then lead them out through the side door.
This he proceeded to do, but . . . picked the wrong door. The result was that they marched with military precision into a broom closet, in full view of the mourners . . ."
Briscoe suggests at least two principles that can be gained from that story: "First, if you're going to lead, make sure you know where you're going. Second, if you're going to follow, make sure that you are following someone who knows what he is doing!"
Who are you following today? In other words, who are the leaders in your life? Are they good leaders (leading you to follow God), or bad leaders (leading you down dead-end streets)?
Matthew 4:18-20 (NIV) says: "As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.' At once they left their nets and followed him."
What do you think it means to follow Jesus? How you can follow Him today.

(Author Unknown)


 That Little Penny In The Parking Lot

I found a penny today
Laying on the ground.
But it's not just a penny,
This little coin I've found.

Found pennies come from heaven,  
that's what my Grandpa told me.
He said Angels toss them down.
Oh, how I loved that story.

He said when an Angel misses you,
They toss a penny down;
Sometimes just to cheer you up,
To make a smile out of your frown.  

So, don't pass by that penny
When you're feeling blue.
It  may be a penny from heaven
That an Angel's tossed to you.

The Nail

As the story goes, they built a new church building and people came from far and wide to see it. They admired its beauty! Up on the roof, a little nail heard the people praising everything about the lovely structure - except the nail! No one even knew he was there, and he became angry and jealous.
"If I am that insignificant, nobody will miss me if I quit!" So the nail then released its hold, slid down the roof, and fell in the mud.
That night it rained and rained. Soon, the shingle that had no nail blew away, and the roof began to leak. The water streaked the walls and the beautiful murals. The plaster began to fall, the carpet was stained, and the pulpit Bible was ruined by water. All this because a little nail decided to quit!
But what of the nail? While holding the shingle, it was obscure but it was also useful. Buried in the mud it was just as obscure, but now it was useless and would soon be eaten up by rust!
The moral of the story :



You may, like the nail, feel obscure at times, but just like the nail, your absence is felt.


When you are not present for worship, in some way the body of Christ hurts. We are ALL a part of the Lord's ministry.
(Author Unknown)


(Debbie Preuss)
Lord, help me make a difference in someone's life today.
May I always be alert as I go on my way.

May I reach out in love to point the way to you;
Showing Your direction When this life is like a zoo.

May fear never be a reason for me to shrink away.
May I always feel free to say "come on let's pray."

May I be a beacon shining brightly in the night;
Radiating joy and mercy, shining forth Your light.

May I always be alert as I go on my way.
Lord, help me make a difference in someone's life today.


There comes a point in your life when you realize
who matters, 
who never did,
who won't any more............... 
and who always will.

So don't worry about people from your past, there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.'
Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right.  Forget about the ones who don't.
Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands.  If it changes your life, let  it.

Click on the link to find your birth date Bible verse.
GOD is a DJ;
LIFE is a dance floor;
LOVE is the rhythm;
YOU are the music!

Put yourself in your photos!!!

I would like to make a suggestion that is very important. I lived in Australia for a year in 1974 and made a scrapbook when I got back. Now, all these years later, the only photos that really matter are the ones with me in them  

 I used to think it seemed conceited to ask people to snap my picture but have gotten over it. One example is the grandmother or grandfather who takes pictures at all family gatherings but never puts herself/himself in them....PLEASE do yourself and your heirs a favor and get yourself into those pictures!
My dear Aunt Mary died 5 years ago and she was a world traveler. She had thousands of pictures in a gazillion albums, plus, thousands of photos in boxes everywhere. Out of a thousand, we might find one photo with her in it. We could care less about seeing a picture of a tree or a rock or a mountain.....we want to see Aunt Mary in those places! She could have just bought postcards and left her camera at home.
Please consider taking pictures that will mean something to you and your children in the future. People are always happy to snap a picture of you (they won't think you're vain and if they do, who cares?)....and there's always the self-timer feature on cameras these days.  I rest my case..... 
Mary May Angelil
p.s.  Oops, "gotta" unrest my case to mention......
1.  TRY your best to label the photos the moment you get them.  Many people, like me, plan to do it later, then years later you find this sleeve of pictures and you have no idea where or when they were taken.  The same goes for digital pictures......put a caption on them when you download them into your computer. 
2.  I've also learned that putting a caption below a photo in an album is great.  But, most albums fall apart after 10-20 years and labels fall out.  Do label your albums for enjoyable viewing, but also label every photo on the back of the photo itself.
OK, now I really rest my case.  


 "I don't believe that God chose you and blessed you so that you could heap those blessings up upon yourself. I believe God chose you...because He wants to make a difference in this world. And you know what?
What I think is scary about God is He didn't come up with any 'plan B.' That He left the church here, and the church is the only group of people and the church is the only institution in the world that can bring about a change. This government cannot do it, so stop depending on the government. Educational systems cannot do it, so stop trusting educational systems.
The church was chosen by God to make a difference...And you know what people?...You're gonna make a difference when you lay down your life, and in complete submission to God, choose to die with Him in service to other people."

- Rich Mullins, the "Awesome God" guy

There are four things in life you can't get back...

the stone, after the throw...
the word, after it's said...
the occasion, after the loss...
the time, after it's gone.



This is a good explanation of why God allows pain and suffering......

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists."
"Why do you say that?" asked the customer.
"Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things."
The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt.
The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist."
"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!"
"No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."
"Ah, but barbers DO exist! That's what happens when people do not come to me."
"Exactly!" affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! That's what happens when people do not go to Him and don't look to Him for help. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."

I knelt to pray but not for long, I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work For bills would soon be due.

 So I knelt and said a hurried prayer, And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done My soul could rest at ease.....    

All day long I had no time To spread a word of cheer
No time to speak of Christ to friends, They'd laugh at me I'd fear.

No time, no time, too much to do, That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need.  But at last the time, the time to die.  

I went before the Lord, I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God held a book;  It was the book of life.

God looked into his book and said "Your name I cannot find
I once was going to write it down... But never found the time"

The Greatest Man in History 

Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.
Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.
He had no army, yet kings feared Him.
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.
I feel honored to serve such a Leader who loves us!


Life is short so.....forgive quickly, love truly, believe completely,laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you genuinely happy.
Avoiding Sin
Our new cultural postmodern credo for avoiding sin is, "Hurt no one and do what you please."
I much prefer Augustine's credo for avoiding sin: "Love God and do what you please."
Even better would be:  "Love God and do what pleases Him."
Dancing With God
I noticed that in the word "Guidance", I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word.
I remember once reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing. But if both partners try to lead, the movement is awkward; everything is uncomfortable and jerky.
But when one partner lets the other lead, both are able to move gracefully to the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by leaning slightly in one direction or another.
It's as if the two become one, beautifully in sync.
Dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.
My eyes drew back to the word Guidance. When I saw "G: I thought of God, followed by "u" and "i". " God, "u" and " i" dance."
I understood then what was required in order to receive His Divine  guidance in my life.
I became willing to let God lead me.
My prayer for you is that God's blessings and mercies be upon you on this day and everyday.  May you abide in God as God abides in you.
Dance together with God, trusting Him to nudge you when you need nudging, and to lead and guide you through each season, through each decision, and through each challenge of your life. .
And I Hope You Dance!!!

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