Friday Funnies

GOOD NEWS

A sweet grandmother telephoned St. Joseph’s Hospital. She timidly asked, “Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?”

The operator said, “I’ll be glad to help, dear. What’s the name and room number of the patient?”

The grandmother, in her weak, tremulous voice, said, “Norma Findlay, Room 302.”

The operator replied, “Let me put you on hold while I check with the nurse’s station for that room.”

After a few minutes, the operator returned to the phone and said, “I have good news. Her nurse just told me that Norma is doing well. Her blood pressure is fine; her blood work just came back normal and her physician, Dr. Cohen, has scheduled her to be discharged tomorrow.”

The grandmother said, “Thank you. That’s wonderful. I was so worried. God bless you for the good news.”

The operator replied, “You’re more than welcome. Is Norma your daughter?”

The grandmother said, “No, I’m Norma Findlay in Room 302. No one tells me anything!”

SHOPPING

Shortly after the birth of their second child, a husband offered to take his wife shopping for a new dress. He endured more than two hours of listening to her complaints about which figure flaw each dress accentuated.

As she emerged from the dressing room, having tried on the last selection, she asked for her husband’s opinion. By this time he had learned just the right things to say. “It’s perfect!” he exclaimed. “It makes your waist look smaller, your legs look longer, and slenderizes your hips.”

Just then another lady in the dressing room spoke out. “If there is a dress here that will do that, I’ll buy them all!”

SUNDAY SCHOOL
“God warned a man named Lot to take his wife and flee out of the city,” said the Sunday school teacher, “but Lot’s wife looked back and was turned to salt.”

A curious boy then asked, “What happened to the flea?”

Wishes

Wishes for the New Year
Faith that increaseth, walking in light;
Hope that aboundeth, happy and bright;
Love that is perfect, casting out fear;
These shall insure thee a happy New Year.
Peace in the Savior, rest at his feet,
Smile on his countenance, radiant and sweet.
Joy in his presence, Christ ever near!
This will insure thee a happy New Year.
                                  —Frances Ridley Havergal
~ ~ ~
“May God grant, when you and I shall come to the end of this year, we may have a good tale to tell concerning the faithfulness of God in having answered our prayers, and having fulfilled his promise.”           —Charles Spurgeon
 

WADE’S WEDNESDAY

“If you can look into the seeds of time,
and say which grain will grow,
and which will not,
Speak then to me . . . “

Macbeth, act I, scene 1, line 58

Who wouldn’t want to hear from someone like that? Who hasn’t felt himself standing on tiptoe, straining to see what lies ahead? Even the writers of a weekly news magazine tried to look beyond today. They didn’t try many predictions but they did ask some tough, sweeping questions. Among them:

Is America in retreat?

Will our nation regain its trust?

Is public education doomed?

Can the world be fed?

Can we find more oil?

Can we keep hoping?

That last one is really the root issue, isn’t it? Unless we have hope, it could mean some pretty dismal years in front of us. Shakespeare’s “seeds of time” might very well be scattered and dangerously thinned out by the next century.

But let’s limit our thoughts to something we can handle. Most of us must admit those news magazine questions are too vast for us. We need a bite-size chunk to chew on.

Okay then, how about that unit called your family . . . now there’s something worth thinking about beyond today. Where are you going? What’s your game plan for the next ten years? Given any thought to specific objectives you want to reach—or at least shoot for? How about selecting some priorities? You say there’s no hurry? I challenge that. These ten years will literally fly by. A decade from now you’ll rip the December sheet off your calendar wondering, “How did ten years go by so fast?”

Ten years . . . Right now, stop and add ten years to your life and (if you have a family) do the same with each of your children.

Suddenly we’re all a bit more sober. The clapper of urgency has struck the bell of reality, and some of us sense a summons back to our inescapable responsibility. God commands us to number our days. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Psalm 92:12

Forgive me for pressing the issue near the point of offense, but unless some of you who read these words stop and think and start to execute essential goals for the next ten years, indifference, passivity, and procrastination will win another victory. And instead of making a few hard decisions that will initiate beneficial changes, your family ties will loosen, your children will drift, and you’ll dread the memory of the way you were.

How much better to invite the living, all-knowing Lord to show you ways to make the coming years much better than the years before! To allow you to become better, as well as older.

How about offering this prayer—in faith:

Lord, since You can look into the seeds of time,
and say which grain will grow,
Speak then to me . . .

Lord, show us how to make the coming years more fruitful than prior years.

— Charles R. Swindoll

Tuesday With Karen

A Gift Provided

A gift is paid for by the one who gives,
One who’s thoughtful of others as they live;
Jesus paid the price from Calvary’s cross,
It’s only His blood that can save the lost!

A gift is provided by one who cares,
One who is ready, unselfishly shares;
Jesus cared so much, He died for our sin,
Ready to redeem those who ask Him in!

A gift is given to one who’s admired,
To uplift their heart is a great desire;
Jesus knows our heart, loves us anyway,
Gives eternal life when our soul is saved!

The greatest gift that’s ever been given,
Is Jesus, the only Door into Heaven;
He gave His all to keep us out of Hell,
Trusting in Him makes eternal life well!

Christmas Deal

You know it is the Holiday season when nearly everywhere you look you find colorful advertisements boasting “great deals.” Looking at the top of today’s paper my attention was drawn to big bold letters screaming, “Buy One Get One Free.” On the next page, a similarly attentive ad with the headline, “Buy One Get Two Free!”

Yet in all these good deals, there is one deal that continues to stand out. A deal that has stood out for nearly 2,000 years, and a deal that doesn’t require rain-checks or even getting up at 4 in the morning. If we were to give this deal a similar title, I’m sure it would read something like, “By One, Billions Free!”

This deal, of course, is salvation through Christ. Freedom from Satan’s power, freedom from eternal punishment and as a bonus, a personal relationship with God Himself (John 8:36). In essence, it is the only deal that let’s you start over and be something even better (2 Corinthians 5:17)… And the best part is, it’s already been paid for! This amazing, life changing, deal was paid for by God Himself, who came down to die so that you would not have to [spiritually] (Romans 5:8).

And all this deal requires is you “cashing in the coupon.” Like going to the store and buying something you do not have, all you have to do is realize that without God you have nothing… and without God you cannot be freed from your sins (Romans 3:23). And once you realize this, all you have to do is ask God to forgive you, and change your life because you know that Jesus has already paid for your sins. Just like that coupon, all you have to do is ask the cashier to take it, knowing by faith it is good, and you’re going to get a great deal… a life saver (Ephesians 2:8-9).

If you have already accepted this deal, then you know how much joy it has brought into your life (Romans 5:1). You know how amazing it is to have a personal relationship with a God who loves you so much, that He died to save you. This Christmas season, I ask you to share this “Great Deal” with others unashamedly (Romans 1:16); just like you would a great coupon in a newspaper. I ask you to share this wonderful coupon, the Gospel, with anyone and everyone, so that they too may know the joy that fills your life (Mark 16:15).

 

 

Heartfelt Greetings

By Helen Steirner Rice

Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him —Colossians, 7:17

In her book, Living Christmas Everyday, Helen Steiner Rice asks, “Do you send Christmas cards each year? More and more the custom of sending greetings during the holidays is falling away, due to lack of time, the expense of postage, and an unwillingness to add one more item to a long list of obligations.”

She goes on to say that too often we are simply fulfilling “some misguided social obligation” especially if those cards have no personal greeting—such as those with “an imprinted signature. This communicates only that the recipient was on your list.”

She further suggests is would be good to “Forget about sending cards to everyone you know. . . Instead direct your effort in a more meaningful way by using this Christmas tradition to touch the lives of others. Add a personal note, even if it consists of just a few words. Something from the heart.”

She goes on to suggest that “Sending cards at Christmas is a valuable opportunity to say the things you have been thinking all year— ‘I’m praying for you’. ‘You aren’t forgotten’.”

“Jesus Christ was God’s Christmas card to us. He told us that God still cared, that His love for us was still strong, that He hadn’t forgotten us in our sinful state. His message was heartfelt and full of meaning. When you send your Christmas greeting. . .keep His example in mind.” ©Helen Steiner Rice Foundation 2007

The real Christmas story

Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Reclaiming Christmas

The events leading up to the birth of Christ weren’t coincidental, but were put in place by God, so that the prophecies of old would be fulfilled, in Isaiah 7: 13-14Isaiah 9: 6-7Micah 5: 2-5.

 

Everything that happened, from the time the census was ordered, to everyone returning to their own city to be registered, and then the birth of Jesus while Joseph & Mary were in Bethlehem, was orchestrated by God. Out of Bethlehem, a small town in the City of David, came the Messiah.

 

This event was the beginning of something so incredible. Jesus Christ left His throne in glory and took on human form just to bring us reconciliation to our Father God. He came into the world, miraculously conceived, and then born as all humans are. He was first a baby, then became a toddler, then grew into a child and went through adolescence before becoming an adult. He experienced humanity at all levels. He truly can identify with all people at all stages of life.

 

This very first Christmas, God gave the greatest gift ever. His Son! And His Son gave the gift of His life – which was why He came. Because of this, we can have relationship with God as His children. Through Jesus Christ, we are Sons and Daughters of the Most High God.

 

So this Christmas, bear in mind the ‘True’ Christmas story, which led to the ‘True’ Easter story. Let us give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father for these events, which have changed our lives forever.

No matter how ‘secular’ the world is becoming, disregarding the truth of Christmas, let us boldly proclaim the truth about the birth of Jesus as the reason for the season.

 

Let us claim ‘CHRISTmas’ back!

 

© By M.S.Lowndes

 

 

Journey of the Magi

images

By David Jeremiah

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem
of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him
.” Matthew 2:1-2

If you’re traveling during the holidays, you’re participating in one of the oldest Christmas traditions. Two thousand years ago, the Magi gave a parting glance at home and trekked westward, where they found and worshiped the Savior.

Who were these strange travelers? In the days of the Old Testament, the prophet Daniel, a young Jewish exile in Babylon, interpreted the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar and was appointed chief of the wise men of Babylon (Daniel 2:48). Daniel wrote extensively about the coming of Christ, so we suppose he passed along a keen sense of anticipation for the coming Messiah. Perhaps the wise men in Matthew 2 were from a sect among the eastern Magi devoted to the writings or oral traditions of Daniel.

If so, Daniel cast a long shadow. So do we. Future generations will be influenced by how we live, what we believe, and how we pass on our faith. Should Christ tarry, you can still be influencing the world a hundred years from now by your devotion to Christ today.

Wade’s Wednesday

Overcoming Despair

th

Christmas can be a difficult time for people who are hurting or grieving. In the 1860s, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had reason to despair: America was at war with itself, his son was severely wounded in battle and his wife died in a fire. The first Christmas after his wife’s death, Longfellow wrote, “How inexpressibly

sad are all holidays.”

Three years later, on Christmas Day 1864, Longfellow penned a poem that later became the song “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” The lyrics move from despair to hope — and, thanks to Jesus, so can we.

I heard the bells on Christmas day

Their old familiar carols play

And mild and sweet their songs repeat

Of peace on earth good will to men

And in despair I bowed my head

There is no peace on earth I said

For hate is strong and mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good will to men

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,

With peace on earth, good will to men!