Points To Ponder
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Oft times in our busy lives we need to be reminded of things we may have forgotten. This page is dedicated to doing just that. Read! Think! & Ponder!

     
     

Escape

“ESCAPE”, that’s what many of you may feel like doing when you look at all the world’s problems, and maybe even the problems that are going on in your own life. But you can take refuge under the wings of your heavenly Father. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, a forest ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes on the ground at the base of a tree. Sickened by the sight, the ranger gently knocked our the bird and three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings. This mother literally gave her life for her babies. In spite of life’s problems, REMEMBER, Jesus gave his life, and He cares for You. Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.”
 

     

The Lord's Team

It has been said: “When we play football, we want to make a touchdown; when we play baseball, we want to hit a homerun. When we play basketball, we want to be high point man. But on the Lord’s team, we don’t even want to practice.

     

The Bugler

On April 7th, as I sat in the dining area of the motel’s restaurant, I heard the faint crying of a lone bugle from somewhere in the darkness beyond the reach of the motels lights . . . a song of mourning . . . of despair . . . the sound of a heart crying through the note of a single trumpet,. somewhere beyond the veil of night, and it called to me. There was such a needing to be near it, to listen to its reverence, and tears formed and fell across my cheeks. I hid my eyes from the folks in the dining room as I made my way out of the restaurant, past the pool gate and headed into the expanse of grass east of the motel to the small forest lining the property . . . shielding the motel from highway 69. I followed the cry of that trumpet barely able to see the bushes, and finally I stepped into a small opening where a gazebo stood resolutely in the flash of the thunderstorm forming to the south. I stood there letting my eyes adjust to the darkness after a particularly brilliant and blinding strike; the thunder began rolling . . . like a chorus of many drums that herald a coming finale . . . and then the song of the bugle began again . . . Taps. It’s impossible to tell of the longing and the loneliness of that sound . . . a cry of honor for the fallen . . . a single horn playing a symphony of ‘I remember you" and gratitude and respect and good-bye. It tore at my heart. I could see the silhouette of a man standing in the gazebo bugle to his lips holding the last note of the ‘good-bye’ for what seemed like minutes . . . without breathing. I wished I could have recorded that moment for all to see and hear . . . the lone figure silhouetted in the gazebo against a backdrop of lightning and thunder playing in the background. Finally he stopped and sat down on the bench that lined the inner circle of the small gazebo and I hesitated . . . not wanting to disturb him . . . but finally said, "That was probably the most beautiful rendition of taps I’ve ever heard" He looked in my direction briefly, and pulled a hanky from his pocket and wiped his eyes. “Thank you, that’s kind of you,” he said. “I hope I wasn’t disturbing you.” “May I join you?” I asked him" He motioned to the bench across from him. "My names Leo, but friends call me Buzz .” “I gotta tell you Buzz, you brought tears to my eyes, like your heart was in that Bugle". "Has been", he said, "For nearin’ 70 plus now, and tomorrow is the last good-bye to a fellow soldier. I been playin’ Taps for my buddies funerals now since ’64, been blowin’ the horn since boot in ’41. I got no other way to let’ em go." He stopped, visibly fighting back hurt and memories of so many years. "I’m 92 last week, and tomorrow I’m playin’ for ‘Golpher’. His plaques gonna read Staff Sergeant Patterson , Geoffrey S, but I’m playin’ for Golpher", his voice cracking a bit. "We was in the same outfit in the war ya’ know . . . him n’ me and 27 others . . . an’ we made a pact that the last ones standin’ would blow the horn for each other as we got laid down. Last year, Golpher n’ me played at 3 funerals and tomorrow I’m playin’ for Golpher , an’ then its just me left." "I have had the honor and the humblin’ privilege", he said after a few moments, "of being able to say good-bye to so many. Esther, my wife of 69 years, has been there with me at every one of ‘em . . . and she is waiting in the room for me to try on my dress blues again. Don’t cry for me sonny, and don’t give me your pity . . . I am the luckiest man on earth to have played at nearly every National Cemetery . . . an’ bein’ the last one standin’ to say good-bye." We talked for a bit . . . well I mostly listened . . . I said simply , "Thank you sir, and God Bless you. You are someone I will treasure having met" He wet his lips, put the horn up to blow and paused to say . . . " If ya don’t mind, I gotta practice one more time since this is the last good-bye I’m gonna play . . . it’s gotta be perfect."
By Robert VanDerslice

     

Thoughts on Fathers

A man finds out what is meant by a spitting image when he tries to feed cereal to his infant.
Children seldom misquote you. They more often repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.
An ounce of Father is better than a pound of clergy

     

The Promise of Easter by Helen Steiner Rice

“Because He Lives We Too Shall Live” We need these seven words above to help us to endure The changing world around us that is dark and insecure, To help us view the present as a passing episode, A troubled, brief encounter on life’s short and troubled road- For knowing life’s eternal because our Savior died And rose again at Easter after He was crucified Makes this uncertain present, in a world of sin and strife, Nothing but a stepping stone to a New and better life!
 

     

I Believe in the Church

I believe in the church in spite of its imperfections. The Church will never be perfect in this world. It is made up of people struggling to do God’s will-but people who are still human with their weaknesses and sin. I believe in the Church in spite of its limitations and handicaps. Sometimes the Church is hindered by lack of vision and commitment. But in spite of all this, the Church is the only agency in the world that provides a place where people can gather to worship God. I believe in the Church because of it’s mission. It is a place where God’s Spirit is evident and God’s message is proclaimed. It has changed through the years, and will continue to change. It will make mistakes, but the Church is still God’s chosen vessel for carrying on His work of redemption in the world.

     

Valentine Treasures By Joanna Fuchs


Valentine treasures are people who
have often crossed your mind,
family, friends and others, too,
who in your life have shined
the warmth of love or a spark of light
that makes you remember them;
no matter how long since you’ve actually met,
each one is a luminous gem
who gleams and glows in your memory,
bringing special pleasures,
and that’s why this Valentine comes to you:
You’re one of those sparkling treasures!

     

I’ve learned…

The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person. That when you’re in love, it shows. That just one person saying to me, You’ve made my day? Makes my day. That being kind is more important than being right. That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold, and a heart to understand. That life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. That we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for. That one should keep his words soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them. That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you. That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
 

     
How God Used A Spider Web

In times of trouble, Christian, God is deeply aware of all your needs. It may be His will for you to endure a severe trial, but He’ll sustain you by His grace. Felix of Nola, an early Christian martyr, found this to be true when he was fleeing from his enemies. Calling on God for help, he took refuge in a cave. He had scarcely entered when a spider began to spin a web over the opening. The pursuers saw the spider’s lacy veil blocking the entrance, and didn’t bother to look inside. Concluding that no one could have entered without disturbing that delicate curtain of silk, they left, and the life of one of God’s noble workmen was spared for additional service for Christ. This early church father later summed up his experience with these words: “Where God is, a spider’s web is a wall: where He is not, a wall can be as fragile as a spider’s web.”

     

Burdens & Blessings!

“The road is too rough, I said, “Dear Lord, There are stones that hurt me so.” And He said, “Dear child, I understand; I walked it long ago.” “But there’s a cool green path,” I said; “Let me walk there for a time.” “No, child,” He gently answered me, “The green road does not climb.” “My burden, I said, ”is far too great; How can I bear it so?” “My child,” He said, “I remember its weight; I carried My cross, you know.” And so I climbed the stony path; Content at last to know That where my Master had not gone I would not need to go.
Thought: Burdens borne in faith become blessings!

     
Divine Appointments

No matter how you plan and prepare, each day brings its own unexpected encounters.  No matter how predictable and mundane your life may feel, surprises always wait around the corner.  These are called divine appointments.  A divine appointment may be a wonderful contact with a long-lost-friend, or an unexpected emergency that takes you to a hospital waiting room.  You may meet a new person or lose a loved one.  You may reach a long desired goal or may have to put aside a cherished dream.  There will always be many detours, disasters, and unexpected delights scattered along your path.
Sometimes divine encounters can be dramatic and surprising.  When the angel came to Mary she was afraid, but she said yes to God.  Jesus confronted Paul on the road to Damascus, and Paul’s entire life changed with that encounter.  Peter and John were on their way to afternoon prayer in the temple in  Jerusalem when they met and healed a man crippled from birth.  A casual encounter can have life-changing effects when God is at work through His people.  With this new year before us, may you experience divine appointments, and be open to God’s leading in the unexpected. 

     

Thanksgiving Delights


On Thanksgiving Day we’re thankful for Our blessings all year through, For family we dearly love, For good friends, old and new.
For sun to light and warm our days, For stars that glow at night, For trees of green and skies of blue, And puffy clouds of white.
We’re grateful for our eyes that see The beauty all around, For arms to hug, and legs to walk, And ears to hear each sound.
The list of all we’re grateful for Would fill a great big book; Our thankful hearts find new delights Everywhere we look!

     

Spending Time With God

As Martha hustled about in the kitchen, her resentment simmered right along with the food she was preparing. Didn’t that sister of hers realize that Jesus deserved the very best they could offer? And couldn’t Jesus see that Mary was in the wrong place? Why didn’t He send her back to the kitchen to help? The account in Luke 10:38-42 of Jesus’ visit with Lazarus and his sisters illustrates the dilemma many of us face-how to keep all our relationships in the right perspective. Knowing God is the ultimate human experience and is the key to fulfillment and satisfaction, and we see from this account of scripture that Mary chose to have a closer relationship with her Master. If you want to really know God, there is no substitute for time spent alone with Him. Spending time with Him will enhance all the other relationships we have.

     

Disappointment - His Appointment
“Disappointment-His appointment.”
 Change one letter, then I see That the thwarting of my purpose
Is God’s better choice for me.
His appointment must be blessing. Though it may come in disguise
For the end from the beginning, Open to His wisdom lies.
“Disappointment-His appointment.”
Whose? The Lord, who loves me best,
Understands and knows me fully.
Who my faith and love would test;
For, like loving earthly parent, He rejoices when He knows
That His child accepts, UNQUESTIONED, All that from His wisdom flows “Disappointment-His appointment.” No good thing will He withhold.
From denials oft we gather Treasures of His love untold.
Well He knows each broken purpose Leads to fuller, deeper trust,
And the end of all His dealings, Proves our God is wise and just.
“Disappointment, His appointment.”
Lord, I take it, then as such
Like the clay in hands of potter, Yielding wholly to Thy touch.
All my life’s plan is Thy molding. Not one single choice, be mine,
Let me answer, un-repining- Father, “Not my will, but Thine.”

     

Words to Live By

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends, and true enemies. Be successful anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give the best you have anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.
 

     

Explanation Of GOD

By an 8-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista , CA . Third grade homework assignment, "One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers." "God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off."
"God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have."
"Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista . At least there aren't any who come to our church."
"Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K."
"His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God.
"You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time."
"You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God! Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway." "If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids."
"But...you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases. And...that's why I believe in God."

     

Who Is this Jesus?


In chemistry, He turned water to wine. In biology, He was born without the normal conception; In physics, He disapproved the law of gravity when He ascended into heaven; In economics, He disapproved the law of diminishing return by feeding 5,000 men with two fishes & 5 loaves of bread; In medicine, He cured the sick and the blind without administering a single dose of drugs; In history, He is the beginning and the end; In government, He said that he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace; In religion, He said no one comes to the Father except through him; So? Who is He? He is Jesus! The Greatest Man in History Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master. Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

     

Holding Life with an Open Hand

Place a small rock in the open palm of your hand. Now clench your fist around that rock, holding it tightly, keeping your muscles rigid and tense. How long can you hold this position comfortable? Notice how quickly your hand tires. Now open your hand again, allowing the rock to lie comfortably in the center of your open palm. Do you think you could hold the rock more comfortably for a longer period of time in this open position?
Our bodies illustrate spiritual lessons. How often have you clutched your life in a clenched fist, fighting the natural forces, trying to control and confine life within the small boundaries of your fears and expectations? It is as uncomfortable for the human heart to be clenched and closed as it is for the human hand. We were meant for openness, movement, and freedom.
The apostle Paul had to learn a new way of relating to life after he encountered the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. He spent fourteen years in obscurity learning the lessons that would free him to fulfill his highest calling. He had to overcome a negative law-oriented religion to discover that freedom in Christ is the goal of the law he had been taught. He had to let go of the legalism of his upbringing, and argument, replacing them with the fruit of the Spirit-gentleness, patience, love. He learned to allow God to lead him down roads he had never dreamed of taking, discovering the freedom of grace in the process.
Grace is a gift that God gives to an open hand. If your hand is closed, you have no room to receive the surprise packages of life and love that God offers. Unclench your fist. Instead of trying to second-guess, judge, and control life, allow God to surprise you with new insight and unexpected gifts. Let go of rigid opinions and limited expectations. Open your heart and hand to receive God’s gifts of grace and freedom and delight Psalm 62:5 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”

 
 
 
 
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