A Braves' pitcher was struggling at the mound, so the catcher walked out to have a talk with him.
"I've figured out your problem," he told the young southpaw. "You always seem to lose control at the same point in every game."
"When is that?" asked the kid.
"Right after the National Anthem."
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“Would you create a world with such pain,” the skeptic charges, “and if you did, could you at the same time still be called good?“.
Plainly speaking, there are only four possible worlds. The first is that there be no creation at all. Would it not have been better for God to have not created a world than to have created ours—where good and evil are both possibilities? The second is a world where only good is permitted, a kind of robotically beneficent universe. The third option is a world where there is no such thing as good or evil, an amoral world. There, right and wrong would not even be legitimate categories for consideration. The fourth is the world that we live in, where good and evil exist with the possibility of choosing either.
In the final analysis, our world is the only one where love is genuinely possible because freedom is a precondition for authentic love. We intuitively recognize that love is the supreme ethic and where love is possible, freedom is necessary. Where freedom is real, so is the possibility of suffering.
Perhaps you picture God observing our world like an astronaut viewing the earth while in orbit—abstract and distant. But this is not God of the Scriptures! He has not removed himself from the dimensions of our experience, nor has He left us to our own devices. Rather He has powerfully broken into our reality.
How? Through the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Outside of a Christian worldview, this may seem odd, and even the apostle Paul said this reality appears “foolish” to the unbeliever. Yet when you perceive the infinite holiness of God and His boundless love, we see God’s twin desires fulfilled in the Cross: His holiness satisfied through suffering, and motivated by love strong enough to endure pain.
In the Cross love, holiness and suffering are brought together. God cannot be at the same time both holy and unloving, or both loving and unholy. Who of us cannot understand that love cannot exist without goodness? Our hearts hunger for a love that is pure. If we turn our backs upon God, we lose not only the source of defining love, but even our suffering remains an enigma—leaving our finite minds crying for an answer.
Even Mahatma Gandhi concluded that the display of grace in the crucifixion is without comparison. Have you made the extraordinary discovery that in love Jesus bore the cost of our freedom gone wrong? Ravi Zacharias
Doctors can be frustrating. You wait a month-and-a-half for an appointment, and he says, "I wish you'd come to me sooner."
1726: "Gulliver's Travels" First Sold to Public
A book entitled "Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World" went on sale in England, supposedly written by a restless sailor called Lemuel Gulliver. Popularly known as "Gulliver's Travels," the book was actually written by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), an Irish- born Anglican priest. Swift avoided using his real name because he feared the book's biting satire of the political establishment might get him into trouble. It has remained in print for more than a quarter of a millennium.
A brief biography of Jonathan Swift: http://mural.uv.es/criscer/work.html
Two UNC accounting students go on a fishing trip. They rent all the equipment - the reels, the rods, the wading suits, the rowboat, the car, and even a cabin in the woods.
The first day they go fishing they don't catch anything. The same thing happens on the second day, and on the third day. It goes on like this until finally, on the last day of their vacation, one of the men catches a fish.
As they're driving home they're really depressed. One turns to the other and says, "Do you realize that this one lousy fish we caught cost us fifteen hundred bucks?"
The reply is, "Wow! Then it's a good thing we didn't catch any more!"
The following words were spoken by the late Red Skelton on his television program as he related the story of his teacher, Mr. Laswell, who felt his students had come to think of the Pledge of Allegiance as merely something to recite in class each day.
Now, more than ever, listen to the meaning of these words.
"I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?"
I -- me, an individual, a committee of one.
Pledge -- dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.
Allegiance -- my love and my devotion.
To the flag -- our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there's respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job!
United -- that means that we have all come together.
States -- individual communities that have united into 48 great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that's love for country.
And to the republic -- a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
For which it stands, one nation -- one nation, meaning "so blessed by God"
Indivisible -- incapable of being divided.
With liberty -- which is freedom -- the right of power to live one's own life without threats, fear or some sort of retaliation.
And Justice -- the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.
For all -- which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.
Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country and two words have been added to the pledge of Allegiance...
Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer and that would be eliminated from schools too?
As, always, a great T&H! I am reminded today of what a truly great servant you are for Christ! Putting together such a varied and always new and interesting publication for the whole world to read is nothing short of a huge task and challenge. You show grace and love towards all those who send you negative comments (putting that lightly, occasionally) and display great consideration and concern for all of your readers. In that, you personify Christ. I admire your efforts and your efforts must not be underestimated.
GOD BLESS YOU HOWDY for you work in the Great Commission!!! Ellen
One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?" You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness"! He said..... "Then I thank you from my heart."
As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.
Many years later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case.
After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words.....
"Paid in full with one glass of milk" (Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.
Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed:
"Thank You, God, that Your love has spread broad through human hearts and hands."
A college student challenged a senior citizen, saying it was impossible for their generation to understand his. "You grew up in a different world," the student said. "Today we have television, jet planes, space travel, nuclear energy, computers..."
Taking advantage of a pause in the student's litany, the geezer said, "You're right. We didn't have those things when we were young; so we invented them! What are you doing for the next generation??"