|"Things aren't always what they seem."|
|Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, "Things aren't always what they seem."|
|The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angel sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field. The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel how could you have let this happen? The first man` had everything, yet you helped him, she accused. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.|
|"Things aren´t always what they seem," the older angel replied. "When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I notice there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn´t find it." Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead.|
|Things aren´t always what they seem." Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don´t turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every out come is always to your advantage. You might not know it until some time later|
Baby Erik and the Old Man
We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, "Hi there." He pounded his fat baby hands on the highchair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin. He wriggled and giggled with merriment. I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man with a tattered rag of a coat; dirty, greasy and worn. His pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map. We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. "Hi there, Baby, Hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster," the man said to Erik. My husband and I exchanged looks, "What do we do?" Erik continued to laugh and answer, "Hi, hi there." Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, "Do ya now patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo." Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.
We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. "Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik," I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's "pick-me-up" position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man's. Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love relationship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor -- gently, so gently, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms for a moment, and then his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, "You take care of this baby." Somehow I managed, "I will," from a throat that contained a stone. He pried Erik from his chest, unwillingly, longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, "God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift." I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, "My God, my God, forgive me."
I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, "Are you willing to share your son for a moment?" When He shared His for all eternity. The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, "To enter the kingdom of God, we must become as little children."
May this story bless you. And, if this has blessed you, please bless others by sending it on.
Abide In Christ
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
There are some outstanding promises made in the Word of God to those who learn to abide "in Christ." When we abide in Him, we are living in Him, dwelling in a place of protection, and can rest trusting, leaning, and relying on Him and His promises. Christ is our place of rest, our refuge, a place to settle down into, and wait for Him to do what we could never do. As we abide "in Christ," our will is joined with His. His desires become our desires; our concerns become the same as His. We become like Him as we abide "in Him."
Jesus said, I am the Vine; you are the branches...
Think about that image for a moment. How long can a branch survive if it is broken off the vine? Christians who have lost, or don't seem to have much life or spark, need to spend more time abiding in the vine. I have found that when I start to feel dry, withered up, and just plain
thirsty, what I need is to get back in contact with the vine. The life of abiding is a peaceful, restful, and fruitful life. Enter in and abide there!
Ask the Holy Spirit to get involved in everything you do. He is the Helper, and He is waiting for you to ask.