Saturday, April 16, 2022

Heart Squeezer Guaranteed

 Heart Squeezer Guaranteed

      Throughout much of the World this coming Sunday will be the most celebrated Sunday of the entire year.  It is known as Easter, Resurrection Day or Pascha.  The customs, festivals, fasts and childrens’ and adult happenings are plentiful.  But too many of these have scrambled the horrible Crucifixion and incredible Resurrection and cast them aside.  How sad.  How sad indeed!

     About 20 years ago the Holy Spirit filled my soul with a heart-tugging story with an unforgettable twist ending.  We performed it on Resurrection Day to a full-house church audience.  The cast included Joseph of Arimathea, Joseph’s Attorney, four Temple guards, the Mayor of Jerusalem, and three Sadducees.

     There are two scenes.  Scene one begins with the three Sadducee madder than a nest of yellow-jackets.  Their outrage is overheard: “I can’t believe he has said,  Yes.  We can’t allow this.  There may be only three of us but he needs to be stopped.  Surely the Temple Guards will help us.  Better yet let’s go to the Mayor.  He’ll have to do what we want or we’ll have him arrested.”

     Then we have some scurrying around.  Temple guards haul Joseph of Arimathea into the Courtroom accompanied by his Attorney who indignantly snaps at the Guard “Unhand me you uncouth fool!"  The three complaining Sadducees are smirking and quietly chuckling under their beards.  Yawning, the Jerusalem mayor enters and looks furiously at the Sadducees.

     “Well, what has you all with skintight skullcaps again?” sneers the Mayor.

     “It’s this Pharisee ~ ~ Joseph.  He is selling his tomb to bury that lying, blaspheming Jesus who just got crucified by order of Pilate.  As you know, so very well Mr. Mayor, city law says “No criminal may be buried in a city tomb or grave but must be flung into the fiery Gehenna garbage dump.”

     “Well surely there can be some exceptions, aren’t there?” responds the Mayor.

     “No, there are no exceptions.  If you don’t do as we say we’ll go inform Pilate and also Herod, who is in town.  They’ll drive you out of office and we hope into a camp of lepers.”

     Joseph’s Attorney leaned closely to Joseph and whispered.  Joseph got a smile on his face and nodded.  The Attorney spoke to the Mayor, “Excellency, please hear from my client as he has something very crucial.”

     Joseph, eyes focusing on the distressed Mayor and glancing at the smug Sadducees said, “They’ve got this all wrong.  I’m not selling my tomb at all. I’M JUST LOANING IT TO JESUS FOR 3 DAYS.”

     Mayor: slams the gavel saying, “We’re done here.” 

     One of the most fitting Easter songs ever is a completely rewritten lyrics to Hallelujah sung by two 9 year old Canadian sisters.  I promise you’ll never forget it.

 

 

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Thursday, March 17, 2022

It Doesn’t Have To Turn Out This Way

 It Doesn’t Have To Turn Out This Way

     “Authorities say a man shot and killed his three daughters, their chaperone and himself during a supervised visit with the girls at a church in Sacramento, California”   (Feb.28, 2022, ABC News)

     “Kayla Giles and her husband, Thomas Coutee, Jr., were embroiled in a contentious divorce and custody battle when she shot him in 2018,” (Feb. 1, 2022, People.Com)

     Dr. Jan Garavaglia says, “About 30% of murdered women were murdered by their intimate partner: husband, ex-husband, fiance, etc.”

     When I did premarital counseling there was one critical question that I always asked.  It would hopefully avoid horrible, mind-numbing-news flashes like these.  I attempted to just be so calm and relaxed the couple wouldn’t suspect a potent argument might soon erupt.  At least it often did; only a few avoided it.

     “If you get a separation or divorce who gets custody of your children?”

     In later years I counseled mainly couples with a blended-family.  You know: his, hers and ours.  There is one rule I stressed over and over and over.  For the marriage to work punishment was to be done by the natural parent.  Many times, a well-intentioned step parent, exacts reprimand or correction.  Often it would blow up in their face.  “You’re not my Dad. I don’t have to listen to you.”  Or, “You’re not my Mom. I can’t stand you.”  Over hundreds of counseling sessions I heard far worse castigations than these.

     It is so sad what is currently going on with marriages and couples who shack up.

     The percentage of adults having sex with multiple people is beyond belief and far exceeds anytime in human history.  A recent winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada had about 6,500 Athletes and Officials over the 17 day event.  They were provided over 100,000 condoms until they realized that was not enough.  So they were given another 8,500.

     I hang my head in shame to report this as in the Lord’s Plan for intimate relations He wants purity.
  
    STOP arguing thinking I’m just a crusty antique old geezer.  No matter what the world, press, websites and groups of swingers, sex dating sites, etc. present.  God wants purity.
“You adulterers and adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?  Therefore whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4, NHEB)
     The Bible contains 165 warnings against any type of immorality. 165.

     Without listing all the types of immorality the Bible warns against, let’s consider some statements from God’s Word itself.

Eyesight: 
     “I have made a covenant with my eyes;  How then could I gaze at a virgin?” Job 31:1)
     “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt 5:28)
Action: 
“Can a man take fire in his bosom  and his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?  So is the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; Whoever touches her will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 6:27-29)
Finality:

     When the Lord Jesus spoke the final description of who will and will not be going to Heaven, he made it very clear: “The one who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.  But for the cowardly, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral persons, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:7-8)

Never forget:

     There’s an option available no matter how you’ve led your life.  The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9, NHEB)

Kindness
By Chris Tomlin
 

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Sunday, February 27, 2022

FIND ANY STORY QUICKLY

Did you know that there are 67 heart-throbbing true stories at this site. Better yet you can easily find any story by going to the right side of the page and typing in the story name in the SEARCH ARTICLES box (just above Larry Smith's photo). Here are the 67 stories:

1 On Your Knees

2 Manifesting Love in Our Lives

3 Castaways and Keepsakes

4    Most Terrifying Fall Ever

5    It'll Feel Like a 2nd New Birth


6 Unsightly Toenails and Elegant Feet


7 Ed & Jesus Have Special Arrangements


8 Has the Lord Stooped for You?


9 Grief Crosses That Never Heal


10 Erasure Danger


11 What About The Weaker Ones


12 How About A Cheerful Post?


13 In The Rear-view Mirror


14 We're Not Alone


15 Red-Flag Warning And More

 

16 How Many Ways Can You Say Lonely?


17 The Cure


18 You Own The Most Complex Battlefield Ever Built


19 Soul-Destroying Behaviors


20 A Fashion Show and Full of Hypocrites


21 Don’t Let a Wishbone Grow Where a Backbone Should Be


22 Faster Than Immediately


23 They Wouldn't Let Her Say Goodbye


24 County-Wide Scream


25 I'm Still Hugging The Holy Spirit


26 Wrapped In His Loving Arms


27 From A Rut To A Tear Fest


28 Don't Open the Spine-Chilling-Terrifying Door


29 King Of The Sandbar


30 My Soul Storm


31 Where's the Line to See Jesus?


32 Life is Often Not What You Expect


33 A Most Nauseating Dinner


34 That Blasted  _ _ _ _ _ _!


35 Does God Really Help Widows?


36 The Saddest Room In Heaven


37 The Black Handkerchief


38 The Greatest Homecoming Event In All History


39 Ghastly Graveside Grief


40 Mom's Nuclear Tantrum Boomerangs


41 Forbid The Doll And Break Her Heart


42 She Taught Me How To Fly ~ Higher 


43 A Most Bizarre Assignment


44 Evolution or Creation is an eternal decision


45 The Whole World Sings Praises To The Lord ~ 2


46 I'm Just A Worm


47 Coffee With An Angel 


48 Murder Attempt Led Me To The Lord


49 I Applaud God For Creating Matt Shively


50 The Whole World Sings Praises To The Lord ~ 1


51 When All Else Fails ~ ~ Remember His Faithfulness


52 World War 3 Or A Saved Marriage?


53 Does The Lord Give 2nd Chances?


54 4 Choices To Make When A Loved One Dies Or Is Killed


55 Golden Nuggets - 2 


56 A Warlock Blasphemes Our Congregation


57 Do You Really Give God Thanks For Everything


58 Golden Nuggets From My Bible Reading - 1


59 God's Angel Named "Anonymous"


60 Flat-Tire Faith


61 Could Hollywood Compete With This Story


62 5 - 3 = 2: God Is So Good


63 In His Time 


64 Do Angels Work At Night


65 Prayer Warrior


66 Can You Make A Real True Difference


67 She Never Saw It Coming

 

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COPYRIGHT INFO: All stories are copyrighted but you may use them for any

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Tuesday, February 8, 2022

She Never Saw It Coming

        They were being playfully romantic in bed. She smilingly teased by lightly pushing his cheek away. In a couple of minutes he got up and said, “Why don’t you make some coffee.”

 

        Cheerfully she put on her robe and headed to the kitchen. Busy at her task she didn’t notice he’d come up behind her. He said her name. She turned and faster than a diamondback rattlesnake he swung from way back and knocked her flat on her back hitting her head on the marble countertop.

 

        The Emergency Room didn’t know if she was going to make it. It was touch and go. Scary days. Would her concussion ever go away? Would the Police Officer ever be able to interview this comatose petite mother of 2? Would her mother ever hear her talk or laugh again? Nobody could say. Nobody.

 

        A great amount of time passed and my office phone rang. A sweet, radiant voice made a counseling appointment for her and her fiance. Into my life entered this couple. What would you have said had it been you she called? I didn’t know, at that point, about the story above.

 

        Sometimes it’s peculiar why some couples keep things from their Counselor. More than once I’ve detected one spouse was lying and often it was from extreme force from a horridly controlling mate. It would be false of me to say, the spouse was a Partner. Far from it. Sometimes a spouse is doing drugs and allegedly isn’t even aware of the extent of their horrible behavior. It’s been said “Meth is everyone’s mistress, but the Devil’s wife.!”


        I’ve often wondered if these abusive controllers ever read what the Apostle Peter wrote: After describing how Christian wives should treat their husbands Peter says to the husbands:  “ The same goes for you husbands: Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run aground.” (1 Peter 3:7, MSG)

 


 


        On a northern Minnesota Indian Reservation Martha was being interviewed about the murder of her husband. She said, “I’ve lost my best friend”…there was a pause as she wiped her eyes,...”he was my other half.”


        Martha had an ideal marriage. Contrast Martha to the above story and many others with an abusive, controlling spouse. You don't hear these wives saying he's “my other half” or “my best friend.” Nor are they ever able to pray together, as the Apostle Peter warns in 1 Peter 3:7 above.


        When it comes to joint prayer a Hollywood movie said it right: “The family who prays together stays together.”


        In another state far, far away a husband mistreated his wife by walking out on her and their children. His only son later told him: “Dad I didn’t know where you’d gone. I spent the later afternoons for a week climbing up into that tree by the driveway ~ ~ hoping against hope that I would see your car pull into the driveway.”


Here are 4 Ways To Guarantee A Long-Lasting And Happy Marriage

        1. Turn the Other Cheek 

When Jesus said, “ but I tell you, don’t resist the man who wants to harm you. If a man hits your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” This is viewed in different ways. 

 

When I counseled married couples I explained that Jesus’ words when applied to them could mean that each spouse decides: I’m determined to act as I should whatever happens to me; As I’m going to be a Christian no matter how sour he/she is.  

We can better turn the other cheek if we realize:

 

A Christian is:

A Mind through which Christ thinks

A heart through which Christ loves

A voice through which Christ speaks

A hand through which Christ helps. 

 

2. Picture taker gets the 1st look  

 

When my wife snapped pictures with her old Pentax we’d take them in to be processed. I decided something. Though I would pick them up from the print shop I refused to peek atthem. She always deserved to see her masterpieces first. 

 

Then I enjoyed them as she displayed them to me. A good rule of thumb for marital harmony is always allow the spouse to enjoy their handiwork before they share them. “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” (Phil. 2:3, NLT)

 

3. One mantra I told every couple: 

 

“It doesn’t matter who is right but what is right. Living together peacefully is the what. This will stop any argument before it gets fiery. Example:  The couple is visiting their neighbors. Hubby says, “Did you hear of that horrid tornado that hit Kansas?” Wife says, “It was in South Dakota, Honey.” At that exact moment my mantra will stop any problem IF rather than the hubby irritatingly snapping back at her which will egg the argument on; he chooses instead to not fuss about which state it had been in. After all the seriousness of the tornado is the whole idea of the comment not the location. So “It doesn’t matter whether I’m right about it being in Kansas or my wife in South Dakota. What matters is it was a horrid tornado.” So the Who ~ hubby or wife ~ does NOT  MATTER THAT MUCH. The WHAT that matters is we both agree peacefully it was horrid. Result= no ongoing, fussing over and over again about which state it was. Once back home the wife could concede “Let me look at the news in case I misspoke.”


        4. Read The Homework To Each Other. 

 

When a couple came for counseling I required homework. A typical homework assignment was one night they would read out loud the paper given to them…followed by each one confessing to do better in any needed area. Often it would be a passage such as:

        Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another. Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. 

        Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor— since they’re already “one” in marriage.” 

        No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I  don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.”  (Ephesians 5:21-33 in the Message Translation)

         And occasionally the assignment would be a classic reading like:

ONE SOLITARY LIFE

        “Here is a man that was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in an obscure village. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty and then for three years he was a teacher. He never had a family. He never went to college, he never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born, he never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness.

        He had no credentials but himself. He had nothing to do with this world, except the power of his divine manhood. While still a young man the tide of popular opinion turned against him; his friends ran away; one of them denied him; he was turned over to his enemies; he went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to the cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth while he was dying - - his coat. Then he was taken down and laid in a borrowed  grave, through the love of a friend.

        Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone. Today he is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the marks when I say that all the armies that ever marched and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned put together have not affected the life of men upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.

(This was written by either Philip Brooks or James Allan Francis near the end of the late 1800s).

An Unknown Author wrote:

        "He came from the bosom of the Father to the bosom of woman. He put on humanity that we might put on divinity. He became the son of man that we might become sons of God. He came from Heaven where the rivers never freeze, winds never blow, frosts never chill the air, flowers never fade, and no one is ever sick. No undertakers and no graveyards for no one ever dies- - - no one is ever buried.

        He was born contrary to the laws of nature, lived in poverty, reared in obscurity; only once crossed the boundary of the land, in childhood. He had no wealth or influence, had neither training nor education. His relatives were inconspicuous and influential. 

        In infancy he startled a king; in boyhood he puzzled the doctors; in manhood ruled the course of nature. He walked upon the billows and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes with out medicine, and made no charges for his services. He never wrote a book, yet not all the libraries of the country could hold the books that have been written about him. He never wrote a song, yet he has furnished the theme of more songs than all song writers combined.

        He never founded a college, yet all the schools together cannot boast of as many students as He has. He never practiced psychiatry, and yet He has healed more broken hearts than doctors have healed broken bodies.

        He never marshaled an army, drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun, yet no leader ever made more volunteers, who have under His orders made rebels stack arms of surrender without a shot being fired.

        He is the Star of Astronomy, the Rock of Geology, the Lion and the Lamb of Zoology, the Harmonizer of all discords, and the Healer of all diseases. Great men have come and gone, yet He lives on. Herod could not kill Him, Satan could not seduce Him, Death could not destroy Him, the grave could not hold Him.

        He laid aside the purple robe of royalty for a peasant's gown. He was rich, yet for our sake He became poor. How poor? Ask Mary! Ask the wise men! He slept in another's manger. He cruised the lake in another's boat. He rode on another man's donkey. He was buried in another man's tomb. All failed, but He never. The ever Perfect One - He is the Chief among ten thousand. He is wonderful and merciful, and He is YOUR Savior!

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