There once was a man named George Thomas, a pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Several eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak.
"I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me, swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. I stopped the lad and asked, "What you got there son?"
"Just some old birds," came the reply.
"What are you gonna do with them?" I asked.
"Take 'em home and have fun with 'em. I'm gonna tease 'em and pull out their feathers to make 'em fight. I'm gonna have a real good time."
"But you'll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?"
"Oh, I got some cats. They like birds. I'll take 'em to them."
The pastor was silent for a moment. "How much do you want for those birds, son?"
"Huh??!!! Why, you don't want them birds, mister. They're just plain old field birds. They don't sing - they ain't even pretty!"
The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, "$10?"
The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy's hand. In a flash, the boy was gone.
The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free.
Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story.
One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting.
"Yes, sir, I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn't resist. Got 'em all!"
"What are you going to do with them?" Jesus asked.
"Oh, I'm gonna have fun! I'm gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other. How to hate and abuse each other. How to drink and smoke and curse. How to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I'm really gonna have fun!"
"And what will you do when you get done with them?", Jesus asked.
"Oh, I'll kill 'em."
"How much do you want for them?"
"Oh, you don't want those people. They ain't no good. Why, you take them and they'll just hate you. They'll spit on you, curse you and kill you!! You don't want those people!!"
Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, "All your tears, and all your blood." Jesus paid the price!
The pastor picked up the cage, he opened the door, and he walked from the pulpit.
He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom He paid was not mere gold or silver. 1 Peter 1:18-19 (NLT)
[ Author Unknown ]
Sleeping Through The Storm
Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops.
As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals. Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. "Are you a good farmhand?" the farmer asked him. "Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man. Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work.
Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, "Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!" The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."
Enraged by the old man's response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, and he returned to bed to also sleep while the wind blew.
Where to take it from here......
When you're prepared, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm. We secure ourselves against the storms of life by grounding ourselves firmly in the Word of God.
[ Author Unknown]
The Monkey With The Wooden Apples
There once was a happy monkey wandering the jungle, eating delicious fruit when hungry, and resting when tired. One day he came upon a house, where he saw a bowl of the most beautiful apples. He took one in each hand and ran back into the forest.
He sniffed the apples and smelled nothing. He tried to eat them, but hurt his teeth. They were made of wood, but they were beautiful, and when the other monkeys saw them, he held onto them even tighter.
He admired his new possessions proudly as he wandered the jungle. They glistened red in the sun, and seemed perfect to him. He became so attached to them, that he didn't even notice his hunger at first.
A fruit tree reminded him, but he felt the apples in his hands.
He couldn't bear to set them down to reach for the fruit. In fact, he couldn't relax, either, if he was to defend his apples. A proud, but less happy monkey continued to walk along the forest trails.
The apples became heavier, and the poor little monkey thought about leaving them behind. He was tired, hungry, and he couldn't climb trees or collect fruit with his hands full. What if he just let go?
Letting go of such valuable things seemed crazy, but what else could he do? He was so tired. Seeing the next fruit tree, and smelling it's fruit was enough. He dropped the wooden apples and reached up for his meal. He was happy again.
Letting Go Of Wooden Apples
Like that little monkey, we sometimes carry things that seem too valuable to let go. A man carries an image of himself as "productive" - carries it like a shiny wooden apple. But in reality, his busyness leaves him tired, and hungry for a better life. Still, letting go seems crazy. Even his worries are sacred apples - they prove he's "doing everything he can." He holds onto them compulsively.
This is a hard thing to see. We identify so strongly with our things even, feeling pain when our cars are dented. How much more powerfully will God identify us with our Faith & and God's commandments?? Have you obeyed them ? but we have always searched after vain pleasures to make us happy , Yet they don't always feed our souls, do they? And we become tired of defending them.
How else could the story end?
The monkey might be found dead of hunger, under a beautiful tree, with fruit within reach, but still grasping his wooden apples.
I chose to end it with him letting go, because only with open hands can we receive anything , Ask God & He will give you more greater riches.