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Posts Tagged ‘heart’

The Willing Heart

Here is a true story about a nine year old boy who lived in a rural town in Tennessee. His house was in a poor area of the community.

A church there had a bus ministry that came knocking on his door one Saturday afternoon. The kid came to answer the door and greeted the bus pastor. The bus  pastor asked if his parents were home and the small boy told him that his parents take off every weekend and leave him at home to take care of his little brother. The bus pastor couldn’t believe what the kid said and asked him to repeat it. The youngster gave the same answer and the bus pastor asked to come in and talk with him. They went into the living room and sat down on an old couch with the foam and springs exposed. The bus pastor asked the kid, "Where do you go to church?" The young boy surprised the visitor by replying, "I’ve never been to church in my whole life."

The bus pastor thought to himself about the fact that his church was less than three miles from the child’s house. "Are you sure you have never been to church?" he asked again.  "I sure haven’t," came his answer. Then the bus pastor said, "Well, son, more important than going to church, have you ever heard the greatest love story ever told?" and then he proceeded to share the Gospel with this little nine year old boy. The young lad’s heart began to be tenderized and at the end of the bus pastor’s story the bus pastor asked if the boy wanted to receive this free gift from God. The youngster exclaimed, "You betcha!"

The kid and the bus pastor got on their knees and the lad invited Jesus into his little heart and received the free gift of salvation. They both stood up and the bus pastor asked if he could pick the kid up for church the next morning.  "Sure," the nine old replied.  The bus pastor got to the house early the next morning and found the lights off. He let himself in and snaked his way through the house and found the little boy asleep in his bed. He woke up the little boy and his brother and helped get them dressed. They got on the bus and ate a doughnut for breakfast on their way to church.

Keep in mind that this boy had never been to church before. The church was a real big one. The little kid just sat there, clueless of what was going on. A few minutes into the service these tall unhappy guys walked down to the front and picked up some wooden plates. One of the men prayed and the kid with utter fascination watched them walk up and down the aisles. He still didn’t know what was going on.  All of a sudden like a bolt of lightning it hit the kid what was taking place. These people must be giving money to Jesus. He then reflected on the free gift of life he had received just twenty-four hours earlier. He immediately searched his pockets, front and back, and couldn’t find a thing to give Jesus.

By this time the offering plate was being passed down his aisle and with a broken heart he just grabbed the plate and held on to it. He finally let go and watched it pass on down the aisle. He turned around to see it passed down the aisle behind him. And then his eyes remained glued on the plate as it was passed back and forth, back and forth all the way to the rear of the sanctuary. Then he had an idea. This little nine year old boy, in front of God and everybody, got up out of his seat. He walked about eight rows back, grabbed the usher by the coat and asked to hold the plate one more time. Then he did the most astounding thing I have ever heard of. He took the plate, sat it on the carpeted church floor and stepped into the center of it. As he stood there, he lifted his little head up and said, "Jesus, I don’t have anything to give you today, but just me. I give you me!"

Do you have a willing heart… willing enough to give Jesus

EVERYTHING… anywhere, anytime, any place… your whole self?

The Late Bloomer

A cactus stood all alone in the desert, wondering why it was stuck in
the middle of nowhere.

"I do nothing but stand here all day," it sighed.  "What use am I? I’m
the ugliest plant in the desert.  My spines are thick and prickly, my
leaves are rubbery and tough, my skin is thick and bumpy.  I can’t
offer shade or juicy fruit to any passing traveller. I don’t see that
I’m any use at all."

All it did was stand in the sun day after day, growing taller and
fatter. Its spines grew longer and its leaves tougher, and it swelled
here and there until it was lumpy and lopsided all over.  It truly was
strange looking.

"I wish I could do something useful," it sighed.

By day hawks circled high overhead.

"What can I do with my life?" the cactus called. Whether they heard or
not, the hawks sailed away.

At night the moon floated into the sky and cast its pale glow on the
desert floor.

"What good can I do with my life?" the cactus called. The moon only
stared coldly as it mounted its course.

A lizard crawled by, leaving a little trail in the sand with its tail.

"What worthy deed can I do?" the cactus called.

"You?" the lizard laughed, pausing a moment.

"Worthy deed?

Why, you can’t do anything!  The hawks circle way overhead, tracing
delicate patterns for us all to admire.  The moon hangs high like a
lantern at night, so we can see our ways home to our loved ones. Even
I, the lowly lizard, have something to do.  I decorate the sands with
these beautiful brushstrokes as I pull my tail along.

But you?

You do nothing but get uglier every day."

And so it went on, year after year.  At last the cactus grew old, and
it knew its time was short.

"Oh, Lord," it cried out, "I’ve wondered so long, and I’ve tried so
hard. Forgive me if I’ve failed to find something worthy to do.  I
fear that now it’s too late."

But just then the cactus felt a strange stirring and unfolding, and it
knew a surge of joy that erased all despair.  At its very tip, like a
sudden crown, a glorious flower suddenly opened in bloom.

Never had the desert known such a blossom.  Its fragrance perfumed the
air far and wide and brought happiness to all passing by.  The
butterflies paused to admire its beauty, and that night even the moon
smiled when it rose to find such a treasure.

The cactus heard a voice.

"You have waited long," the Lord said. "The heart that seeks to do
good reflects My glory, and will always bring something worthwhile to
the world, something in which all can rejoice… even if for only a
moment."

Adversity

A daughter complained to her father about her life and how things were
so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it, and
wanted to give up. She was tired of all the fighting and struggling.

It seemed as though in solving one problem, two more would arise.

Her father, (a chef) took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots
with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil.

In one he placed carrots,
in the second he placed eggs,
and the last he placed ground coffee beans.

He let them sit and boil without saying a word. The daughter
impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. In about twenty
minutes he turned off the burners.

He fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the
eggs out and placed them a bowl. Then he ladled the coffee out and
poured it in a cup.

Turning to her he asked. "Darling, what do you see?"
"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and
noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break
it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. She smiled as she tasted its
rich aroma.  She humbly asked. "What does it mean Father?"

He explained that each of them had faced the same adversity, boiling
water, but each reacted differently. The carrots went in strong, hard,
and unrelenting. But after being subjected to the boiling water, they
softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its
liquid interior. But after sitting through the boiling water, the
insides became hardened.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were in the
boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you," he asked his daughter. "When adversity knocks on your
door, how do you respond?

Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

How about you?

Are you the carrot that seems hard, but with pain and adversity do you
wilt and become soft and lose your strength?

Are you the egg, which starts off with a changeable heart? Were you a
fluid spirit, but after difficult times, have you become hardened and
stiff. Your shell looks the same, but are you tough with a stiff
spirit and heart?

Or are you like the coffee bean?

The bean changes the hot water, the thing that is bringing the pain.
When the water reaches it’s peak temperature, it just tastes better.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get
better and make things better around you. When people talk about you,
do your praises to the Lord increase? When the hour is the darkest and
trials are their greatest, does your worship elevate to another level?

How do you handle adversity?

Are you a carrot,
an egg,
or a coffee bean?

"Please God, help me to be a coffee bean! Amen"