Passing an office building late one night, a UNC student saw a sign that said, "Press bell for night watchman."
She did so, and after several minutes she heard the watchman clomping down the stairs.
The uniformed man proceeded to unlock first one gate, then another, shut down the alarm system, and finally made his way through the revolving door.
"Well," he snarled at the student, "what do you want?"
"I just want to know why you can't ring the bell for yourself?"
Comment & Forward>>>
Knocking Out the Light" Luke 22:31-32
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It was about noon when I heard the news. I was safely in my office, fortunately. All the power was out at our airport. I mean, I've been at that airport so many times, I could very well have been one of those poor travelers who I saw on the evening news groping their way through this darkened terminal. There was no electricity at the terminals for an entire day. It was a mess! I mean, no light, no computers, no baggage equipment! That's a good day to be in my office. Oh, and the reason there was no light? A pile driver that was being used on an airport construction project somehow punched right through the main power line. With the power out, let me tell you, it was a very dark day.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Knocking Out the Lights."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Luke 22:31-32 where Jesus says to Simon, "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail, and when you've turned back, strengthen your brothers." Here's Peter, perhaps the brightest light of the disciples, and basically Jesus is saying, "Satan wants to knock you out, man." He wants to do that to anyone who's a light in a dark spot - maybe you.
If it's dark where you work, you're Jesus' light there, and the enemy wants the light out! Maybe it's dark in your school, in your area, in your family. But God has installed a light there - you. And Satan is trying to knock out that light. He wants to sift you as wheat, and God may be preparing you to spread the light to an even larger circle of people. Don't be surprised if you're suddenly taking a pounding from Hell's pile driver. The enemy's only hope of keeping his prisoners in the dark is to knock out the light.
So, does this explain some of what's been hitting you lately, maybe? You're making a difference, or you're about to. And the forces of darkness want to destroy, or at least dim your light. One wise old preacher gave a young evangelist this advice. He said, "The ferocity of Satanic attack upon you will increase in direct proportion to your potential usefulness for Jesus Christ."
The difficulties and feelings and temptations you've been dealing with lately may not mean there's anything wrong at all. In fact, maybe there's something wonderfully right. You're starting to make an impact for Jesus! You've attracted attention in Hell! You're not wrestling with flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual forces.
There's no reason to be afraid; there's no reason to be discouraged. Jesus, according to the book of Colossians "disarmed the powers and authorities." He made a public spectacle of them, "triumphing over them by His cross." Remember the simple principles of winning against any attack from the dark side:
1. Depend on spiritual weapons to win spiritual battles. That means prayer and fasting. You need to recruit a team of prayer warriors to cover you now with daily prayer as you're becoming a "Make A Difference" person. 2. Put on the spiritual armor regularly. It's described in Ephesians 6:10-18. 3. Don't give the devil a foothold. Remove any sin or compromise that the devil could use to get in. 4. Keep your power line strong. Don't miss a day of being with Jesus through His Word.
Yes, Satan may desire to have you, but Jesus says, "I have prayed for you." The enemy wants the people around you to spend this life and forever like those people at the airport that day - stumbling in the dark. He has only one way to make it dark. He has to knock out the light. But he can't; not as long as you stay close to the awesome power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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A UNC* grad phones a mental hospital and asks the receptionist if there is anybody in Room 27. She goes and checks, and comes back to the phone, telling him that the room is empty.
"Good," says the man. "That means I really did escape."
________ *UNC is the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Specializing in a wide range of degree programs including: B.A. A.H.F.(Advanced Hamburger Flipping), A.P.E., B.R.C. (Bar Room Conversations), etc. Institution was founded in 1898 for sons/daughters of local Chapel Still politicians that were unable to qualify for the more prestigious institutions of higher learning such as Duke, Wake Forest, and N.C. State.
Hey Howdy, Things are fine. There are bad days and good days, just like anywhere. I am so thankful for your T& H... I always print out the things I like and forward things to friends. My favorite verse is Nahum 1:7, The Lord is good a stronghold in the day of trouble, and HE knoweth them that trust in HIM. There are times when we cannot think that God can be good when such bad things happen, but I think it's all a matter of perspective. HE puts us through things to see what we are really made of, and at times it hurts, but boy we should be ever so thankful for all that HE does. WHY? because HE loves us.
I do have a picture I was going to e-mail you, but I forgot to hold a sign saying "where's Howdy" It is front of a big rock called "_____" I do enjoy all that you do to reach people for the Lord in this way, and sometimes the grief you go through when you hear all the bad things people say to you. The one thing I feel when reading that is sadness because of those who write that stuff, their blindness. Keep up the good work, Wanda (Somewhere in Asia)
Howdy Howdy I would prefer to stay on your mailing list. It's not that I'm short of humour. In South Africa where I live (Johannesburg), we have an unlimited supply courtesy of our inept politicians. Actually the more I see how they're ruining my country, it ceases to be funny, and we are driven to tears. I therefore need Howdy to cheer me up again!
Anyway, thanks for a cool publication, I've thoroughly enjoyed it since first receiving it as an online MA student at Regent University (VA Beach).
blessings Mario Teixeira Johannesburg
I have been without laughter for some months now since I stopped eceiving your Howdy's. Get me out of this limbo!!!!! PAUL K.
Duh Howdy I be a wunderin if'n Boffalou Bill er dat udder one Clarence bee sums ware close by fer to taluk to? I be frum dat grate unibercity da home of da whosirs en blumengton, in. Plase tel Mr Flubster Boster his fallow curnpons say hey... Larry Elish
Please continue to send me "Thought and Humor" - I always enjoy each and every issue. It's been a highlight of my e-mail reading!!!
John S. Gonzaga University +++
I've been on your list in the past under my work e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like to re-subscribe for your publication under mine and my husband's personal e-mail email@example.com. I soon won't be working anymore, I'm going to have triplets, so I would like to receive your funny and mind broadening information at home.
Thanks, Anna in Indiana
dear howdy i would like to continue receiving "thought&humor" please sign me up on the new (if any)list.
(name withheld) iran
I have missed your letter. I tried to re-subscribe but could not. Thanks for coming back. I missed your humor and thoughtful insights.
Yours in Christ,
Ann Arbor, MI
+++ Dear Howdy,
Thanks for your "Warning: Not subscribing could restrict one's opportunities for ascertaining uninterrupted existence for same's quintessence." I like to be one of your "1,000,000 people" and "a part of the jollity" as well as to ascertain that "uninterrupted existence." But I just can't bear the fact that you continuously ignored my little request and thus humiliated me by not sending me the Picture rather than stuffing me with many junk pictures. What's wrong for me to ask a portrait of the person whom I'm communicating. Unless this person is kind of an old-fashioned Arabic woman, then I won't ask a portrait. I don't want just to communicate with the impression in my mind. I need to communicate with a clear fine portrait in front of eyes. Both of them are equally necessary and essential.
You said, "We informed our detractors that we were crestfallen about being so controversial and would never (ever) be polemical again (at least until the next issue) but they just wouldn't hearken." Actually I can forgive those detractors and their mischiefs which have caused me both physical and mental pains as well as a couple of angry red pimples on my face, only if you sincerely email me the Current Picture which I regard as the "quintessence" for me to persistently ascertain and fight for....
In short, no picture, no subscription!
Dear Howdy, Why not? Your mailing was very entertaining and convincing. Please add me to your email list to receive Thought and Humor. Thanks, Jessica Graduate Assistant University of Cincinnati College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services
+++ I love you people! Your stuff keeps me laughung and thinkin! I can't live without you! D.
Dear Howdy, As it seems to be for a lot of people, I have no idea how you got my address, but I think I've read every issue I've received from the first. I guess I didn't get any of the issues you sent out this summer, but, I also didn't really have the time to read them, nor to figure out how to get them. But, I do still enjoy reading them, and have a few still in my inbox waiting for a time when I can read them through (since I don't like trying to find my place later...). If it's possible to still receive your wonderful newsletter, I would appreciate that. Thanks! Kate
Howdy Howdy, Please keep me on the sub list. It would be a very dull life with out Thought and humor. Thanks and keep up the great work, Carol
Keep those cards and letters coming in...the are rip-roaring funny. EFD
Hello, I'm a college student from Indianola Iowa and right now studying in London. I would like to resubscribe to your jokes and such. Thank you for your kindness. K
Please keep me on your e-mailing list. I enjoy the scintalating humourous quotes and stories..I was also wondering how to make contributions. James
+++ Dear Howdy, I suffer from two phobias: 1) Phobia-Phobia, the fear that you're unable to get scared, and 2) Xylophataquieopiaphobia, the fear of not pronouncing words correctly. Brad S.
Dear Howdy, I would not open all your email until a friend said it was OK. He sure was riight. Thanks for humor and messages. Having a husband with Alzheimer's disease, I need all the daily humor and inspirational messages from the Lord that I can get. Have a Happy New Year, God bless you, M.G.D.
Dear Howdy, I don't know where my first copy came from, but I like it. Send me another. Bubba. Bruce
I am a Christain and go to a secular school and I really appreciate having your mails. They are funny and encouraging. They are definately worth the time and space. Thanks for being encouraging. Jennifer L. <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< Psalm 55:22 ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>
Dear Howdy, I don't know how I was blessed to be part of your mailing list, but I do thank you for getting me through a difficult semester. We here at NCC/SUNY have been swamped with assessment forms. If this means nothing to you, bless your lucky stars. If it does, I dare you to make Assessment sound funny. Anyway in the depths of assessment despair, your HOWDY has tickled my funny bone and made life "bearable."
Hi, I thought your email was just junk when I got it, but for some reason I decided to trust you and I opened it. Very cute jokes and riddles! I plan to share them. The biggest riddle is (and the answer wasn't on the bottom of the email) how did you put me on your mailing list? I'm sure I don't know anyone at Chapel Hill. Lisa
In your "Thought and Humour" of 26 September 2003 you state that:
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 345,678,987,654,321 This is incorrect - the correct answer is actually more remarkable. It is: 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
Cheers John Ashton Manager, Management Systems Development Information Technology and Management Support COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA
I am curious to know why you pick on UNC so relentlessly! Isn't it unfair (in that other universities are spared completely) and what is UNC's fault? The jokes are funny though.
Arush (Montreal, Canada)
Dear Arush, It's mostly because I graduated from their arch-rival... It's all in good fun, Howdy
P.S. Perhaps I should give UNC a bit of slack since they're 0 and 4 in football & a very close relative now attends that institution??? Naaaaah....
Dear Howdy, Imagine what it would be like if TV actually were good. It would be the end of everything we know. Marvin M.
I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution. Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game. "But it's a Christian prayer," some will argue. Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles! And we are in the Bible Belt. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect ... Somebody chanting Hare Krishna?
If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer. If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer. If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha. And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit. When in Rome..."
But what about the atheists?" is another argument. What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer.
Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us just to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying. God, help us!!! And if that last sentence offends you, well...just sue me. The silent majority has been SILENT too long...it's time we let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard, that the vast majority don't care what they want...it is time the majority rules! It's time we tell them, you don't have to pray...you don't have to say the pledge of allegiance, you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right...but by golly you are no longer going to take our rights away ...we are fighting back and we WILL WIN!!!
After all, the God you have the right to denounce is on our side! God bless us, one and all, especially those who denounce Him...God bless America, despite all her faults she is still the greatest nation of all! God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God.
Please note that our policy allows for us to receive threats on alternate Tuesdays when the Moon is waning only...
It's one of those hidden natural treasures that not a lot of people know about. They call it Buttermilk Falls. People had told us what a picturesque spot it would be. They didn't tell us about the road you have to drive to see this picturesque spot. We turned off the paved road where our directions said to, and suddenly we found ourselves on a dirt road that was one crater after another. There was no way to miss these gigantic potholes. In fact, one guy in a Volkswagen in front of us just totally disappeared. So, I had to drive about two miles an hour with the kids reminding me that they weren't having much fun. It was really tempting to turn back, but we persevered. And I'm glad we did. We finally reached this magnificent waterfall, cascading down the rock walls of a cliff. There was even a trail where we climbed to the top and got this great view from the top of the waterfall. We loved it! And in spite of the miserable road to it, we went back several times. And it was worth it!
Actually, you may be navigating a very bumpy road in your life right now, and you're not enjoying this process much at all. And as you're having to really slow down and to absorb the shocks, it's tempting to turn back, isn't it? But God wants to remind you today of something it is easy to forget when the road is rough: there's something beautiful -- something worth it -- at the end of this difficult journey.
Few people in the Bible rode a bumpier road than Joseph did. Hated by his brothers, thrown into a pit by them, taken into slavery in Egypt, thrown into prison for doing the right thing. God didn't tell him where this rough road was leading any more than He's telling you where yours goes. But Joseph had the faith to keep driving even when it was almost impossible to imagine a happy ending. Of course, we know now there was a very happy ending. God promoted Joseph to be the assistant Pharaoh of Egypt -- the second most powerful man in the world -- so he would be in a position to help Egypt to forecast and prepare for a great famine. And to provide the food that would save the lives of the very brothers who had hurt him so deeply.
Now, our word for today from the Word of God begins in Genesis 45:5 as Joseph tells his brothers, "It was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you ... It was not you who sent me here, but God." All that pain was to position him to make a difference in many lives. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph testifies to the sovereignty of God as he says, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish the saving of many lives."
It had been a road filled with deep pitfalls and jarring blows. But it came out -- like the road to our waterfall -- at a beautiful place. Joseph's God is the same God you belong to. And He's taking you somewhere that will make the bumpy road worth it. He may be using these jolts to outfit you for a powerful ministry to hurting people. Maybe He's birthing great faith in you so you'll have what it takes to do great things for Him. Maybe He's allowing a mess so He can show you a miracle. He may be having you wait longer than you wanted because He's preparing you for a plan that is greater than you could have ever, ever dreamed.
If you keep your eyes on the God of all hope, you'll be able to handle the bumps, trusting in a God who uses bumpy roads to get us to beautiful destinations. So don't turn back now. You are going to love the view on ahead. Ron Hutchcraft
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A 'Smorgasbord' for Pedophiles The Allure of MySpace
May 30, 2006
Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley.
A few months ago, a 16-year old New York girl began exchanging messages with a stranger on the social networking site, MySpace. It was a tragic mistake. One day the stranger—a 37-year-old man—drove to where the girl had an after-school job and sexually assaulted her. How did he know where to find her? She had listed her place of work on her MySpace profile.
MySpace. It's a place for kids to go to escape parents—and teenagers know it. So do sexual predators.
The body of another MySpace fan, a 14-year-old New Jersey girl, was found in a dumpster in Newark, strangled. In California, the body of a 15-year-old girl was found floating in an irrigation canal. Both girls had MySpace accounts, and police are investigating the possibility that they met their killers through it as well.
Clearly, kids do not realize the danger. According to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, more than 2,600 reports were made involving adults going online to lure minors. The center has received nearly three hundred complaints involving MySpace alone. U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan says MySpace "creates a smorgasbord" for pedophiles.
Tragically, our kids make it all too easy for them often. Nearly 40 percent of American high school kids have posted their personal information online—information that allows predators to learn who they are, what they look like, where they live, and where they go to school. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, teenagers consider MySpace the way to communicate with friends; checking for messages, and receiving them, is part of a daily computer ritual. And they reveal a chillingly naive attitude about what they're doing. As one boy told the Post-Gazette, "I don't think it is so much of a worry . . . everyone posts pictures and puts their ages up. It's kind of like a rite of passage to have MySpace."
Clearly, teaching our kids how to be safe online has to become a rite of passage for us as adults. For several decades, we have seen increasing efforts in our culture to drive a wedge between children and their parents—from toymakers advertising toys parents don't approve of, to sex education that sends the wrong message, to films that encourage kids to engage in dangerous behavior. MySpace has become a huge success in part because it exists as a space where kids can go to escape parental influence. It's no accident that MySpace advertises itself as "a place for friends."
While kids usually think they can take care of themselves, the Scriptures are full of warnings that children need their parents, their wisdom, their protection. In the book of Proverbs, we find a father warning even his young adult son to beware of the attraction of evil and the danger of making the wrong friends.
Parents need to make sure their own kids are safe—by preventing access to MySpace, perhaps, or keeping a sharp eye on whom their kids are conversing with online and how much information they have divulged. Warn your kids about the predators out there; make sure they never give out personal information. And all of us must demand that the authorities vigorously enforce laws protecting kids from online predators—predators who consider online social networks "a smorgasbord" for evil.
This is part nine in the "War on the Weak" series.
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