I was watching the news this week and saw all the crowds trampling on each other, spraying peeper spray and yelling at each other on Black Friday. It was a tough week. It reminded me of a story of how believers need to not respond in kind but exhibt love.
The story is told about a good citizen who was being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy street. Suddenly, the light at the intersection just in front of them turned yellow. The good citizen did the right thing by stopping at the crosswalk – even though he could have beaten the red light by gunning it through the intersection.
The tailgating woman hit the roof – and her horn. She was screaming in frustration because she had missed her chance to get through the intersection. As she was still in mid-rant – alternately pounding the steering wheel and gesturing to the fellow in front of her – she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.
The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He put handcuffs on her. He took her to the police station, where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a police captain approached the cell and opened the door.
The woman was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.
He said, “I’m very sorry for my mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cursing a blue streak. Then I noticed the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ bumper sticker, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.”
I received this story via email and thought I would pass it along to you this Thanksgiving. Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day and weekend.
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books.
I thought to myself, ‘Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.’
I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.
As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him…
He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes . My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.
As I handed him his glasses, I said, ‘Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.’ ‘ He looked at me and said, ‘Hey thanks!’ There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.
I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.
He said he had gone to private school before now.
I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.
He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends . He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.
Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, ‘Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday! ‘ He just laughed and handed me half the books.’
The next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never Be a problem. He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd.
He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak . Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.
He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous!
Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, ‘Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!’
He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled….’ Thanks,’ he said.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began …
‘Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach…but mostly your friends….
I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.’ I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the first day we met.
He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.
‘Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.’
I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.
I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it’s depth.
Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life. For better or for worse.
God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.
I shared this story in church this morning. It reminded me of how the Lord provided for Elijah by sending ravens to him with food in their beeks. Some find the story in the Bible how to believe. Yet, this story reveals how the Lord can use anything or any force in nature to provide for His children.
Bill owns a company that manufactures and installs car wash systems.
Bill’s company installed a car wash system in Frederick , Md.
Now, understand that these are complete systems, including the money changer and money taking machines.
The problem started when the new owner complained to Bill that he was losing significant amounts of money from his coin machines each week.
He went as far as to accuse Bill’s employees of having a key to the boxes and ripping him off…
Bill just couldn’t believe that his people would do that, so they setup a camera to catch the thief in action.
Well, they did catch him on film!
That’s a bird sitting on the change slot of the machine.
The bird had to go down into the machine, and back up inside to get to the money!
That’s three quarters he has in his beak!
Another amazing thing is that it was not just one bird — there were several working together.
Once they identified the thieves, they found over $4000 in quarters on the roof of the car wash and more under a nearby tree.
And you thought you heard of everything by now!! !!
And to think the phrase ‘bird brain’ is associated with being dumb. Not these birds.
Here are twelve inspirational quotes to lift your spirits this weekend. I will post another twelve tomorrow. The link is http://wp.me/1GmG0
This is an older post by Josh Harris. If you haven’t seen it before, I thought it might be benefical to see Romans 13:14 illustrated in this fashion. He used this illustration in his book Dug Down Deep. This little cartoon is a great way to help others understand how to battle those fleshly desrires.
Romans 13:14 which says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
1. This is you. Or us, a human made in God’s image. Ladies, sorry you have to identify with a little guy. I’m not sure why he doesn’t have a shirt.
2. This is the flesh. He’s kind of a Jabba the Hut meets WWF wrestler. The Flesh represents the sinful, corrupted desires of our heart. It’s not a reference to our bodies—our bodies are created by God and are good. The flesh represents our sinful cravings to live for ourselves and disobey God’s laws and commands.
3. Before Jesus saves us, this is how all of us relate to the flesh. The Bible says that we are slaves to our sinful desires. Our flesh is boss. If you’re not a Christian, I’m not trying to offend you. I know this isn’t a flattering picture of your current condition but it’s true of all of us apart from God saving us.
4. This is what happens when we trust in Jesus. Because Jesus died on the cross and conquered sin and rose again, we are freed from the power of sin. It’s no longer our boss. See how the chain is broken? And we get clothes, which is really great.
5. But our flesh doesn’t disappear. It still hangs around to entice us. After we’re Christians, we’re no longer slaves to sin, but the flesh can still tempt us. We can choose to give into temptation and indulge the flesh. This is what theologians call “indwelling sin.” Jesus broke the power of sin, but we still live with the presence and influence of sinful desires.
6. That’s why the Bible is full of encouragement to fight our fleshly desires. We can’t live at peace with it. We have to attack it and deny it. (In hindsight, I guess the “sword of the Spirit” would have been a bit more biblical. Oh well.)
7. The problem is that too often Christians make friends with their flesh. In fact they feed their flesh. We give into our sinful desires. We pamper our flesh. We provide it three rounded meals a day with snacks and dessert. We might think that since we’ve been freed by the cross it’s okay to indulge the flesh. But there’s a real problem. When we feed the flesh…
8. …it grows! And before you know it, the flesh is bigger and stronger than you and starts to push you around. That’s why Paul is telling us in Romans 13 that we need to…
9. …starve our flesh!
That’s what we want our flesh to look like. We want the flesh gaunt and feeble.
When Paul says “make no provision for the flesh” he’s saying don’t feed your sinful desires. Don’t do things—don’t think things, don’t watch things, don’t meditate on things—;that strengthen your sinful inclinations.