Monday, March 24, 2014

What Do You Want to Hear?

    Three friends die in a car crash, and they find themselves at the Gates of Heaven. Before entering, they are each asked a question by St. Peter himself. "When you are in your casket and friends and family are mourning upon you, what would you like to hear them say about you?"
     The first guy says, "I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor and a great family man."
     The second guy says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher who made a huge difference in our children."
     The last guy replies, "I would like to hear them say ... "LOOK!!! HE'S MOVING!!!"


Somebody Might Be Watching

My first visual memories of Joe Dimaggio were not on a baseball field, but in a commercial. He was not swinging a bat, but "pitching" the Mr.Coffee brand coffee-maker. To this young viewer, he was simply a distinguished looking older gentleman who was trying to get people to buy the product he endorsed. As I grew older, of course, I learned about the "Yankee Clipper" and his legendary abilities and characteristics. I came to have great respect for his athletic ability and his humble demeanor.

So it was that I, along with others, felt quite a bit of sadness the day I heard the news of the death of "Joltin' Joe." Through the following days I read and heard much of his "class" and his "sweet swing." But probably the most unforgettable thing I heard was the phrase he uttered when he was asked if he ever considered giving less than his best on the field. "Never," he said, "Somebody might be out there, watching me for the first time." (The Paducah Sun, Tuesday, March 9, 1999).

Dimaggio's remark ought cause us all to stop and think about how we live our lives. Indeed, each day we influence people who are looking to us for an impression. Those who love us and appreciate us are looking to us for conformation of their trust and reciprocation of their love.

The Encourager, Calvert City Church of Christ, edited. [Exact date unknown]

"I Just Can't Remember the Bible!"

"I know all the latest recipes by heart;
I can tell all the movie stars apart;
I know all  the new programs on TV'
I know all the ballplayers, from A to Z;
I know every big-wig in this town;
I know the bargain prices up and down;
But when it comes to Scripture, I'm not reliable;
It seems I can't ever remember the BIBLE."

The Encourager, Calvert City Church of Christ. [Exact date unknown]

What About Priorities?

By Terry Casey

In Sunday's edition of the San Antonio News was an interesting item. A wealthy business man is being sued by  his wife for a divorce. According to a court affidavit the wife is demanding almost $28,000 per month as a settlement. The breakdown of projected monthly expenditures was reported as follows:

Vacation                    $10,446.00
Clothing                    $6,452.00
Restaurants               $2,600.00
Gifts                          $2,267.00
Groceries                  $1,59200
Beauty Parlor            $1,440.00
Miscellaneous           $1,407.00
Furnishing                 $1,255.00
Pet Care                     $171.00
Church Charities        $20.00

WOW! Her demands for one month are as much or more than many folks make in a year. But what stands out even more is the last figure ("church charities") as compared to the other items. It is evident where he priories are.

The Encourager, Calvert City Church of Christ, edited. [Exact date unknown]

Some Thoughts on Prayer

  • Daily prayers lessen daily cares.
  • More things are wrought by prayer than the world dreams of.
  • Arguments never settle things, but prayer changes things.
  • Prayer is profitable whenever it is practiced.
  • He stands best who kneels most.

The Encourager, Calvert City Church of Christ. [Exact date unknown]

Dr. Semmelweis & the Bible

By Bert Thompson

Anyone who has ever taken an introductory course in microbiology has heard the name of Ignaz Semmelweis. A medical doctor who taught at the prestigious Allegemeine Frankenhaus (a renowned teaching hospital) in Vienna. Semmelweis was appalled at the mortality rate of women who gave birth there. One of every six women died of "child bed fever." The doctor set out to discover why, and in so doing uncovered an "old" new truth.

The problem was that doctors were not washing their hands or utensils between patients. When Dr. Semmelweis instituted this simple but effective procedure, mortality rates fell to almost zero, practically overnight. His discovery altered the course of medical history!

Yet, Moses, millennial earlier, had instructed the Israelites on these matters (Numbers 19:14-19; Leviticus 13-15). Those coming into contact with the dead or diseased were considered "unclean," and had to be washed. Both the people and their clothing were to be purged in clear, running water. But more that this, they were to take hyssop branches, wet them, and use them to sprinkle water on them and their clothing for cleansing. Interestingly, we know that hyssop is a type of marjoram plant, the oil of which contains 50% carvacrol, a powerful antibacterial and anti fungal agent (similar to thynol, which we use today).

Even toady doctors "scrub" prior to surgery, because there is no better practical deterrent to the spread of disease. While the Israelites' neighbors were putting worm blood mixed with animal waste on injuries, Moses was giving laws that were light-years ahead of their time, and that would remain correct and relevant as long as the Earth stands. The Bible was right - again!

The Sower, Sharpe Church of Christ, Benton, KY, March 25, 2001.

I Love the Church That Jesus Built

By Gus Nichols

I love the church that Jesus built,
And know that it is right.
I go there every Sunday morn,
But not on Sunday night.

I love to sing the songs of God;
Such worship must be right.
And this I do on Sunday morn,
But not on Sunday night.

I love to hear the Gospel too,
It gives me pure delight.
I hear it every Sunday morn,
But not on Sunday night.

And may God bless our preacher too,
And give him power and might,
And put a sinner in my place
At worship Sunday night.

It’s true, the church can save the world,
If good light shines bright;
I help it every Sunday morn,
But not on Sunday night.

Yes, all of us must one day die,
I hope I’ll be doing right;
So may I die on Sunday morn,
But not on Sunday night!

- via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere Church of Christ, Belvedere, SC.

Second Thoughts

"The church should be known not as a courtroom of prosecuting attorneys, but as a hospital for the world God loves." (Knefel Staton)

"Kindness is a language which the blind can see and the deaf can hear."

Worry does not exempt tomorrow from its griefs, but it does empty today of its joys."

"The most expensive piece of furniture in the church building is the empty pew."

"Character is much easier kept than recovered."

The Sower, Sharpe Church of Christ, Benton, KY, March 25, 2001.


"Let us have faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it" (Abraham Lincoln, Address at Cooper Union, New York).

"If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself you should say: "He obviously does not know me very well, since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned" (Epictetus).

Firm Foundation, June 2001, p. 26.

Eye Test

I was performing a complete physical, including the visual acuity test. I placed the patient twenty feet form the chart and began, "Cover your right eye with your hand."

He read the 20/20 line perfectly.

"Now your left."

Again, a flawless read.

"Now both," I requested.

There was silence. He couldn't even read the large E on the top line.

I turned and discovered that he had done exactly what I had asked. He was standing there with both his eyes covered. I was laughing too hard to finish the exam.


Just in Case

If I knew that tomorrow there would be no dawn on earth for me;
    That I should have gone in the dark of night into eternity,
I should do so many things for those I love.
    But, oh, I should be happy too, with those above!

So - just in case I might be viewing morning in celestial skies,
    Lord, bring me those who need my love today.
For otherwise the night may close a door on words I meant to say.
    And morning find my empty house - with me away.

The Sower, Sharpe Church of Christ, Benton, KY, November 5, 2000.

A Little Doctor Humor

  • My Doctor finally found out what I had. He nearly too it all, too.
  • A good doctor can add years to your life. And that's just in his waiting room.
  • A Columbia Doctor's secretary called an old farmer out my way and said: "Your check came back." The old man replied, "So did my arthritis."
  • A patient tells the Doctor, "I've been going to a faith healer, but wasn't getting any better." The doctor smiled and said, "And what dumb advice did this phony give you?" "He told me to come see you," replied the new patient.
  • I had to go see a Urologist recently, and naturally the first thing his secretary did was take a medical history. The first question was: "Do you pay your bills on time?"


Undivided in Death

    E'en for the dead I will not bind my soul to grief,
    Death cannot long divide.
    For is it not as though the rose that climbed my garden wall
    Has blossomed on the other side?
    Death doth hide,
    But not divide;
    Thou art but on Christ's other side!
    Thou art with Christ, and Christ with me;
    In Christ united still are we.

Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Charles Cowman

How To Treat Others

        A young student named Sally relates an experience she had in class, given By her teacher, whom we'll call Brother Smith. She says Brother Smith was known for his elaborate graphic lessons. One particular day, Sally walked into class and knew they were in for another fun day. On the wall was a big target and on a nearby table were many darts. Brother Smith told the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry. He would then allow them to throw darts at their enemy's picture.

        Sally's girlfriend (on her right) drew a picture of a girl who had stolen her boyfriend. Another friend (on her left) drew a picture of his little brother. Sally drew a picture of Brother Smith, putting a great deal of detail into her drawing. Sally was pleased at the overall effect she had achieved. The class lined up and began throwing darts, with much laughter and hilarity. Some of the students threw their darts with such force that their targets were ripping apart. Sally looked forward to her turn, and was filled with disappointment when Brother Smith, because of time limits, asked the students to return to their seats.

        As Sally sat thinking about how angry she was because she didn't have a chance to throw any darts at her target, Brother Smith began removing the target from the wall. Underneath the target was a picture of Jesus. A complete hush fell over the room as each student viewed the mangled picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covered His face and His eyes were pierced out. Brother Smith said only these words, "Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto Me." (Matthew 25:40) No other words were necessary; the tear-filled eyes of each student focused only on the picture of Christ. The students remained in their seats even after the bell rang, then slowly left the classroom, tears streaming down their faces.

- Alan Smith, author of the popular "Thought For Today," and minister for the Fayetteville Church of Christ in Fayetteville, NC, may be contacted at - November 15, 2000.