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Archive for March, 2013

The Pastor and His Son

Every Sunday afternoon, after the morning service at the church, the Pastor and his eleven year old son would go out into their town and hand out Gospel Tracts.

This particular Sunday afternoon, as it came time for the Pastor and his son to go to the streets with their tracts, it was very cold outside, as well as pouring down rain. The boy bundled up in his warmest and driest clothes and said, "OK, dad, I’m ready."  His Pastor dad asked, "Ready for what?"  "Dad, it’s time we gather our tracts together and go out." Dad responds, "Son, it’s very cold outside and it’s pouring down rain." The boy gives his dad a surprised look, asking, "But Dad, aren’t people still going to Hell, even though it’s raining?"  Dad answers, "Son, I am not going out in this weather." Despondently, the boy asks, "Dad, can I go? Please?"  His father hesitated for a moment then said, "Son, you can go. Here are the tracts, be careful son."  "Thanks Dad!"

And with that, he was off and out into the rain. This eleven year old boy walked the streets of the town going door to door and handing everybody he met in the street a Gospel Tract.

After two hours of walking in the rain, he was soaking, bone-chilled wet and down to his VERY LAST TRACT. He stopped on a corner and looked for someone to hand a tract to, but the streets were totally deserted. Then he turned toward the first home he saw and started up the sidewalk to the front door and rang the door bell.. He rang the bell, but nobody answered…. He rang it again and again, but still no one answered.  He waited but still no answer. Finally, this eleven year old trooper turned to leave, but something stopped him…. Again, he turned to the door and rang the bell and knocked loudly on the door with his fist. He waited, something holding him there on the front porch He rang again and this time the door slowly opened. Standing in the doorway was a very sad-looking elderly lady. She softly asked, "What can I do for you, son?" With radiant eyes and a smile that lit up her world, this little boy said, "Ma’am, I’m sorry if I disturbed you, but I just want to tell you that *JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU* and I came to give you my very last Gospel Tract which will tell you all about JESUS and His great LOVE."  With that, he handed her his last tract and turned to leave.  She called to him as he departed. "Thank you, son! And God Bless You!"

Well, the following Sunday morning in church Pastor Dad was in the pulpit.  As the service began, he asked, "Does anybody have testimony or want to say anything?  Slowly, in the back row of the church, an elderly lady stood to her feet.  As she began to speak, a look of glorious radiance came from her face, "No one in this church knows me. I’ve never been here before. You see, before last Sunday I was not a Christian. My husband passed on some time ago, leaving me totally alone in this world.  Last Sunday, being a particularly cold and rainy day, it was even more so in my heart that I came to the end of the line where I no longer had any hope or will to live. So I took a rope and a chair and ascended the stairway into the attic of my home…. I fastened the rope securely to a rafter in the roof, then stood on the chair and fastened the other end of the rope around my neck. Standing on that chair, so lonely and broken-hearted I was about to leap off, when suddenly the loud ringing of my doorbell downstairs startled me. I thought, "I’ll wait a minute, and whoever it is will go away.." I waited and waited, but the ringing doorbell seemed to get louder and more insistent, and then the person ringing also started knocking loudly. I thought to myself again, "Who on earth could this be?  Nobody ever rings my bell or comes to see me." I loosened the rope from my neck and started for the front door, all the while the bell rang louder and louder.  When I opened the door and looked I could hardly believe my eyes, for there on my front porch was the most radiant and angelic little boy I had ever seen in my life. His SMILE, oh, I could never describe it to you!  The words that came from his mouth caused my heart that had long been dead, TO LEAP TO LIFE as he exclaimed with a cherub-like voice,

"Ma’am, I just came to tell you that JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU."

Then he gave me this Gospel Tract that I now hold in my hand.  As the little angel disappeared back out into the cold and rain, I closed my door and read slowly every word of this Gospel Tract. Then I went up to my attic to get my rope and chair. I wouldn’t be needing them any more. You see, I am now a Happy Child of the KING. Since the address of your church was on the back of this Gospel Tract, I have come here to personally say THANK YOU to God’s little angel who came just in the nick of time and by so doing, spared my soul from an eternity in hell."

There was not a dry eye in the church. And as shouts of praise and honour to THE KING resounded off the very rafters of the building, Pastor Dad descended from the pulpit to the front pew where the little angel was seated. He took his son in his arms and sobbed uncontrollably. Probably no church has had a more glorious moment, and probably this universe has never seen a Papa that was more filled with love and honour for his son… Except for One.

Our Father also allowed His Son to go out into a cold and dark world.. He received His Son back with joy unspeakable, and as all of heaven shouted praises and honour to The King, the Father sat His beloved Son on a throne far above all principality and power and every name that is named.

Remember, God’s message CAN make the difference in the life of someone close to you.

My Daddy’s Faith

When I was seven years old and my younger sister was only four, our father was tragically killed in an automobile accident just two weeks after his twenty-seventh birthday. Mom was devastated and although we were really too young to understand what was going on, somehow I knew life would never be quite the same.

After about a year, my mom’s friends thought she should start dating and hopefully meet someone to fill the void in her life. Although mom was young and beautiful and certainly desirable, she was more interested in her girls and making sure our life was as comfortable as possible. We had a nice home, plenty of what we needed and all the love you could ask for, but we sure missed our father. Mom was lonely too, so just about every evening we would go to our grandparent’s house for a visit.

My grandmother, Nanny as we called her, had begun working part time at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Her boss was a nice young man named Charles who had recently moved to Tennessee from North Carolina where he was fresh out of college. His older brother had purchased two Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises and Charles was managing one of them. One day he asked Nanny if she knew any nice girls, to which she replied, "No, not a one!" We still laugh about her statement to this day! Mom, my sister and I decided to eat dinner at Kentucky Fried Chicken one evening and when Charles met my mom, he was interested in getting to know her better. To make a long story short, the two of them dated for a few months and decided to get married. My sister and I were so excited that we were getting a daddy. They had a quiet ceremony and we all went to the Smoky Mountains on a honeymoon.

That was just the beginning of 32 very wonderful years for us. We were never called or considered "step" children, but we were his girls from day one. My mother was a queen and we were princesses. Daddy soon left Kentucky Fried Chicken and became a banker, which he did for 28 years before retiring in November 2003. He was a very loved and respected member of our community, a deacon at our church and a man that we were so proud to call our Daddy. He was passionate about his relationship with God, his love for his family and was an avid golfer.

On October 29, 2004, we received news that would forever change our lives. Daddy had cancer. He had been living with Parkinson’s for over ten years and dealt with it head on just like everything else. He seldom complained and was determined to squeeze as much out of life as possible. The treatments did not work and as a result we knew our time was running out. I have never experienced such overwhelming agony as I did seeing my Daddy suffer and wilt away. I have also never seen such courage demonstrated as I did as he bravely faced his destiny with as much humour and determination as he could muster.

I will never forget the day I was spending the morning with him and he had gotten violently ill. Mom and I were sitting outside the bathroom in case he needed assistance. All of the sudden he began singing, "Just A Closer Walk With Thee." That was such an inspiration to me that even though he was facing death, he still had a song in his heart. Daddy went home to heaven seven weeks to the day that he was diagnosed, so on December 17, 2004, I said goodbye to a man that was more than a father – he was my daddy, not by blood, but by love and God’s plan.

By: Traci Walker

A Fool For God

A short little man assaults a strongly built man who is also a black-belt holder in martial arts. The strongly built man bites his lip but refuses to hit back. Instead he says "thank you" and begins to walk away. Onlookers murmur at the strong man’s action and chatter about his being a coward. The strong man pauses for a moment, calmly observes the jeering onlookers, and continues to walk away. Feeling full of himself and encouraged by the cheering onlookers, the little man follows the strong man and yells abuses after the strong man. In his head, the strong man thinks of a combination of two good punches and a quick follow-up kick that would put out the little man once and for all, but he hesitates and with a smile on his face, he continues to walk away. The little man feeling satisfied in his belief (though mistaken) that he has scared off the strong man, proudly returns to the cheers and applause of the onlookers made up of different people.

The Unknown Facts

The little man did not know that the man he assaulted and abused was a black-belt holder who came close to killing him. He did realize the strong build of the man he assaulted but because he was acting on the encouragement of the onlookers and because his ego carried him away, he failed to realize the danger in provoking an unknown person. Emotionally motivated and acting on his ego, he forgot that he was very ill and could not have taken a blow from even a kid. Some of the onlookers have just stepped out of a psychological class and wanted to see if the lecturer was right about some points he made about man, aggression, and forgiveness, but they did not know how close they came to being accomplices (or at least witnesses) to a criminal charge of homicide.

The strong man did not know that the little man was sick and that the little man would have died from the blow had the strong man delivered even a single punch with his strong fist. The strong man simply took in the insult and hearkened to the martial arts admonition to be humble and only use his martial art experience if needed for self-defence. He overcame the temptation to display his superior physical strength by pouncing on his little opponent. Rather, forgave the situation and walked away convinced that it was not worth his reaction. In the eyes of some of the onlookers, he walked away a coward and a fool but he spared himself the troubles of facing a criminal charge for homicide if he had punched the little man. Yet, to the knowledge of some of the onlookers he exhibited tolerance, forgiveness, and patience, although to the general public and even to the little man, the strong man may have appeared to be a coward and a fool.

THE REALITY

The above type of scenario plays out regularly in our daily lives whether at work, at home, on the road, at a vocation, or at an event. Such is the mechanics of character and the interpretation of behaviour, action, and reaction by men amongst fellow men. Some teachers and masters emphasize and exhibit the virtues of humility, forgiveness, tolerance, and patience, while some tend towards vengeance and the principle of getting even – "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." The reality is that man reserves the right to make decisions for himself for he will always be responsible for his actions or in-actions. Man may choose to forgive and seek revenge when provoked or "offended." He may choose to humble himself or act in vanity and egotism in the face of others. He may choose to exercise restraint, tolerance and forgiveness and thereby remain a loving being before God even when others think he is a fool. After all, man is always quick to judge and make conclusions even when he knows very little about the premise of his conclusions, and therefore far from being correct.

A FOOL FOR GOD

Vengeance (the lack of forgiveness) has never been known to resolve conflicts. Rather, it has always been known to encourage bitterness, sustain rancor, and escalate conflicts. This applies across the board in life and all our dealings and relationship with each other – whether in our relationships, businesses, jobs, or other forms of social, economical, political, or spiritual interaction. Some know that it matters not what name their fellow men call them or what adjectives are ascribed to their behaviour, principles, and lifestyles. They know when to stand up for their rights and the protection of their spaces, but they refuse to be discouraged from being truthful, honest, friendly, loving, caring, peaceful, and understanding while dealing with life. They know that what really matters is the substance and fulfilment of their words, actions, or in-actions beyond the common, ordinary and external impressions of orthodox lifestyles and dogmas.

Thus in the eyes of his fellow man, the man who does not act or react in accordance with common desires and expectations of the public or to the satisfaction of the ego and/or the lower self may appear to be a fool when he is indeed existing at a higher level of consciousness and enjoying the blessings of God with all the understanding, peace, and love that comes with it. This is only my understanding and I am still learning.

Copyright ©2004 Oliver Mbamara