Group active since Sun, Sep 25, 2011
From time to time we each come across a story that leaves us to ponder over the message from that story....here is a place to drop off that story so we too can ponder over the message....to learn from it and share it with others.
I hope you will stop by often and enjoy your stay!
On the west coast a man named Kurt was a 36 year-old man who never had children and didn't believe he would be good with children. He married a woman who had two adult daughters and a seven year-old daughter still at home.
He struggled with fears of not being good enough to be a step-parent. He worked hard to be good enough and became the child's friend and mentor.
Many years later, when the little girl was an adult and enlisted in the military, he missed her more than he could have imagined.
That same year his wife's oldest daughter had her first son. The daughter lived on the east coast so there was no opportunity to meet the child. Three years later The daughter now lived in Las Vegas with her husband and child. She became pregnant again. Both she and her husband hadn't worked for two years and they needed help.
Kurt took three days off from work to drive to Vegas and move these strangers into the home he shared with his wife. Driving straight through, renting a trailer, loading the trailer and driving back to Oregon was done in those three days.
The new family addition was a difficult transition for Kurt, he did not know what to do with a three year old boy so he keep his distance and observed. The new baby was born six weeks later. Kurt's wife was thrilled but he was really feeling lost.
For the first year and a half Kurt was pulled in as his wife helped him get used to the kids. She encouraged him but he still didn't feel comfortable. The little family got their own apartment when the baby was seven months old. Kurt's wife took care of the children regularly.
Then one day the baby started talking and Kurt found himself wanting to know the kids batter. He helped "babysit", read stories and became attached. It seemed to happen overnight!
A very short time passed, the children chose him as a playmate. The day came when he first heard himself called Grampa instead of Kurt. He beamed from the inside out.
Grampa Kurt and the boys are inseparable now and Kurt wants to see them every day in addition to the 72 hours he and his wife care for the boys each weekend while both parents are working.
God knew what he was doing when Kurt met his wife. God knew Kurt would be needed by tiny hearts and fill Kurt's heart greater then he ever expected.
Tom had just finished making a toy boat. He carried it to the river and let out the string tied to it. He admired how smoothly it cut through the water. Suddenly, a strong current took hold. Tom tried to pull his boat back, but the string snapped. He sprinted along the bank to catch it, but soon his boat drifted out of sight. He desperately searched until dark. Unsuccessful, he finally gave up.
Days later as he walked home from school, Tom passed a toy store and a boat caught his eye. He pressed his face against the window to get a better look. Sure enough, it was his lost boat. He ran inside and told the manager, “Sir, that’s my boat in your window. I made it myself.”
The manager replied, “Sorry, son, but someone else brought it in this morning. If you want it, you’ll have to buy it.” Tom hurried home and counted all of his money; he had just enough. He rushed back to the store and purchased his beloved boat. As he walked home, he held it tightly to his chest and said, “Now you’re twice mine. First, I made you and now I bought you.”
This story illustrates God’s relationship with us. He designed, crafted, and breathed life into each of us. Sadly, people drifted away from Him on the sweeping currents of sin. To bring us back, God paid a substantial price—He gave His own Son to die (John 3:16). With that sacrifice God now owns us twice. He made us and He bought us.
I haven't been able to be in all of the groups that I belong to for some time; but I found this story that I thought that I would share with all of you...kinda neat.
THE LITTLE BOY
Sally jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: “How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?”
The surgeon said, “I’m sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn’t make it.”
Sally said, “Why do little children get cancer? Doesn’t God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?”
The surgeon asked, “Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he’s transported to the university.”
Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good-bye to son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair.
“Would you like a lock of his hair?” the nurse asked.
Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy’s hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally. The mother said, “It was Jimmy’s idea to donate his body to the university for study. He said it might help somebody else. “I said no at first, but Jimmy said, ‘Mom, I won’t be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom.” She went on, “My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting to help others if he could.”
Sally walked out of Children’s mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy’s belongings on the seat beside her in the car. The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy’s belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son’s room. She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She laid down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.
It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Laying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said:
I know you’re going to miss me; but don’t think that I will ever forget you, or stop loving you, just ’cause I’m not around to say I LOVE YOU. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won’t be so lonely, that’s okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn’t like the same things us boys do. You’ll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know. Don’t be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything. The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn’t look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God’s knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That’s when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good-bye and everything. But I already knew that wasn’t allowed. Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him ‘Where was He when I needed him?’ “God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children.
Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I’ve written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn’t that cool? I have to give God His pen back now. He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I’m, sure the food will be great.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don’t hurt anymore. The cancer is all gone. I’m glad because I couldn’t stand that pain anymore and God couldn’t stand to see me hurt so much, either. That’s when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that?
Signed with Love from: God, Jesus & Me.”
You may have heard the WW II story of the Four Chaplains. It’s one of those true and inspiring stories that should be told in every U. S. history class but isn’t.
On February 3, 1943, the Army transport ship, Dorchester, was torpedoed by a German U-boat while crossing the icy North Atlantic in a convoy. Of the 902 soldiers, merchant seamen, and civilian workers aboard, only 230 were rescued. The fact that even that many survived is in part because of the level heads and steady hands of Lt. George Fox, Lt. Alexander Goode, Lt. Clark Poling, and Lt. John Washington.
As Dorchester slid beneath the waves, the four army Chaplains calmed frightened men and led as many as they could to safety. When they ran out of life jackets, they gave away their own. Those swimming in the water and floating on rafts never forgot their last glimpse of the Chaplains: all four – Methodist minister, Jewish rabbi, Reformed Church in America reverend, and Roman Catholic priest – were linked arm in arm, praying and singing hymns as they went down with the ship.
In a way they have achieved immortality. For a nation at war, the Chaplains’ triumph in the face of tragedy became an enduring example of faith, courage, selflessness, and sacrificial love. In 1988, Congress designated February 3 “Four Chaplains Day.” May we remain faithful to the spirit of the Four Chaplains who, having learned to live and serve together, in death were not divided.
On February 4, take time to remember the legacy of the Four Chaplains, and remember those among us who strive to meet the spiritual needs of this nation’s military, veterans, and their families. In a challenging time, they are willing and able to remind us all of our dependence on God, if we’ll hear them.
Year after year, an old farmer planted and plowed around a large rock in his field. His experience with rocks over time led him to believe it would be a most difficult obstacle to remove. Even after breaking several plowshares and a cultivator against the stone, he continued to work around it. He grew rather accustomed to this enemy in the field.
One day after losing yet another plowshare to the rock, he remembered all the problems it had caused him through the years. That’s when he finally decided to take action. Putting a crowbar under the stone, he discovered to his surprise that the “foreboding rock” was only a few inches thick and could easily be broken up with a sledgehammer.
Hauling the broken pieces away, he smiled sadly as he reflected on all the trouble this rock had given him and how he could have gotten rid of it years ago. His life’s labor was much easier once the rock was removed.
Like the farmer in the story, when we have stones of frustration rearing their ugly heads in our day-to-day lives, and we start to give in to anger, pride, hurt and revenge, may we use the crowbar of our courage to wedge underneath our debilitating weaknesses to remember to face our own faults and to look past grudges.
We know that the solutions are not normally very easy to determine, and it can be more difficult to remove those rocks when we have let them become embedded. However, it is equally frustrating and difficult to only work around them. Our lives can be much easier and have much more joy and happiness, when we purge our souls of all these destructive stones to which we tend to cling.
So, start this year with a new sense of strength to overcome the obstacles that may get in our path and create the life of peace and joy we desire.
I hope that this story will help you to “mount up as on eagle’s wings” and renew a little of your strength to keep moving forward and find joy (Isaiah 40:31).