Shared by Barb Anderson
At the University of Chicago Divinity School each year they have what is called "Baptist Day". It is a day when all the Baptists in the area are invited to the school because they want the Baptist dollars to keep coming in. On this day each one is to bring a lunch to be eaten outdoors in a grassy picnic area. Every "Baptist Day" the school would invite one of the greatest minds to lecture in the theological education center.
One year they invited Dr. Paul Tillich. Dr. Tillich spoke for two and one-half hours proving that the resurrection of Jesus was false. He quoted scholar after scholar and book after book. He concluded that since there was no such thing as the historical resurrection the religious tradition of the church was groundless, emotional mumbo-jumbo, because it was based on a relationship with a risen Jesus, who, in fact, never rose from the dead in any literal sense. He then asked if there were any questions.
After about 30 seconds, an old, dark skinned preacher with a head of short-cropped, woolly white hair stood up in the back of the auditorium. "Docta Tillich, I got one question," he said as all eyes turned toward him. He reached into his sack lunch and pulled out an apple and began eating it. "Docta Tillich ..." CRUNCH, MUNCH ... "My question is a simple question," CRUNCH, MUNCH ... "Now I ain't never read them books you read ... " CRUNCH, MUNCH ... "and I can't recite the Scriptures in the original Greek ... " CRUNCH, MUNCH ... "I don't know nothin' about Niebuhr and Heidegger ..." CRUNCH, MUNCH ... He finished the apple. "All I wanna know is: This apple I just ate - was it bitter or sweet?"
Dr. Tillich paused for a moment and answered in exemplary scholarly fashion: "I cannot possibly answer that question, for I haven't tasted your apple."
The white-haired preacher dropped the core of his apple into his crumpled paper bag, looked up at Dr. Tillich and said calmly, "Neither have you tasted my Jesus." The 1,000 plus in attendance could not contain themselves. The auditorium erupted with applause and cheers. Dr.Tillich thanked his audience and promptly left the platform.
In Psalms 34:8 we read: "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him."
Talk about confusing addresses! The towns of Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Kansas and Wyoming are all in the state of Illinois. New York State can boast the towns of Alabama, Maryland, Maine and Wyoming. There is a Nevada in Iowa and in Kentucky. There is a California in four states, a Delaware in five, and a Wyoming in nine states. The town of Nebraska is in Indiana, and the town of Virginia is in Nebraska.
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Shared by Karen Campbell
Now, this time you dream that you and the Lord Jesus are walking again in the sand together. For much of the way, His footprints go along steadily, consistently, rarely varying the pace. But your prints are a disorganized stream of zigzags, starts, stops, turn-arounds, circles, departures, and returns.
For much of the way it seems to go like this. Gradually, though, your footprints come more in line with the Lord's, soon paralleling His consistently. You and Jesus are really walking TOGETHER.
Then an interesting thing happens: your footprints that once etched the sand next to the Master's are now walking precisely within His steps. Inside each of His larger footprints is the small "sandprint," safely enclosed. You and Jesus are walking as one.
Gradually you notice another change. The smaller footprints seem to grow larger. Eventually they seem to disappear altogether, as if the footprints have actually become one.
Then something awful happens. The second set of footprints is back. This time it seems even worse. Both sets of footprints are making zigzags all over the place - stops - starts - deep gashes in the sand. It's a veritable mess of prints!
You're amazed and shocked. But this is the end of your dream. Now you pray. "Lord, I understand the first part of the dream, with the zigzags and stops and starts, and so on. I was a new Christian, just learning. But you walked on steadily and helped me to learn to walk with You."
"That's correct, My child."
"And when the smaller footprints were inside of Yours, I was learning to walk in Your steps! I followed You very closely."
"Very good. You've understood everything so far."
"Then the smaller footprints grew and eventually became the same size as yours. I guess I was growing so much that I was becoming like You in every way."
"But this is my question, Lord. Was there a regression? The footprints went back to two, and this time it was worse than the first time! What happened?"
The Lord smiles, and says, "You didn't know? That was when we danced."
- Author unknown
The Freedom of Obedience
Author: Martha Thatcher
This book is worth having around to read more than once. It originally caught my eye because of my interest in the title. I wrote about obedience leading to freedom in my book, Life Endeavor. I still know little about the freedom God promises to those who live the truths of His Word. This book uncovered many of my questions and dealt with them in an understandable and beautiful style of writing. It can take you far beyond knowledge, motivation and challenge to show how to obey. You can see beyond what the obedient life appears to be in your relationship with the Lord, which is the prerequisite for a desire to please Him.
"When we obey," says the author, "it is because God enables us to love Him. When He blesses us, it is because He has chosen to respond to our expression of love to Him. We can never cite our obedience as a reason to demand anything from God. Yet in His love and goodness, God wants to respond to us by blessing our lives 'immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine'" (Ephesians 3:20).
In another chapter, "God wants to teach us lifelong obedience by directing our steps - not just for the miles, but for the inches as well. It is in this daily, volitional alignment of my walk with God's Word that I practice obedience - one step at a time. These steps of application are the small pieces that, put one after another, make up my journey as I follow God."
It is a marvelous book and can possibly be obtained through your local library.
When Shawn was about three years of age, he and his daddy invested much time outdoors, on the desert, together. After one of these times, Bill came in to get a cup of coffee. Just as he was finishing the last sip, Shawn came in the door and quipped, "Daddy, please don't wander off into the house again."
by Shawn Reed
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. As they lay down for the night, Holmes said:
"Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what you see".
Watson said "I see millions and millions of stars".
Holmes: "And what does that tell you?"
Watson: "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Theologically, it tells me that God is great and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?"
Holmes: "Somebody stole our tent".
by Dusty Reed
Loving my neighbor as myself is a big assignment. To know God's love is absolute, I can love myself. I can love others unconditionally as creations of God. I do not always agree with their actions but, as a friend reminds me, "that is none of my business - it is God's business."
If I love them, by allowing God's love to shine through me, I am taking care of my responsibility. It is not a matter of self-discipline to love someone. It is a matter of obedience to the Lord and allowing Him to love them through me. When I allow Him to take charge, my part becomes effortless.
"To the praise of his glorious grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the beloved" - Ephesians 1:6.
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