Monday, May 18, 2009


Ok so what you will read below is not my writing but I feel like it could be! I subscribe to an E-letter and this is what came today. Here is the link if you want to subscribe also! look on the left side bar this is the Reflections E-letter.

Responding to Difficulties with Discipline

Remember the old adage: “Don’t cry over spilt milk”? Adages such as these contain distilled wisdom, capsulated in pithy statements.

When milk spills, a number of responses are possible. We can cry for the lost milk and perhaps a broken cup; we can blame ourselves or someone else for spilling it. We can regret the cost of the milk.

Or we can quickly reach for a towel to wipe it up, knowing that milk gets spilled in life. We clean it up without lamenting the loss or blaming anyone for spilling it. We replace the milk and get on with living, without wasting energy on regret or blame.

Be Realistic

Sometimes in our desire to express faith, we are not realistic. We want to be positive in our expressions, but inside we are hurting. The writer of Hebrews helps us by acknowledging the pain of our problems: No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful, he tells us (12:11, NIV).

Our first step in responding to hardship is to own our situation. Yes, it hurts to lose a loved one, to be laid off of work, to see our children go astray, to learn of a terminal illness. It is painful; other translations use the word grievous. Faith does not deny pain; it recognizes pain and moves on to appropriate action.

Be Courageous

The writer of Hebrews again uses the metaphor of the race. He draws a picture of an exhausted runner with wobbly knees and hands hanging limply at his side. He exhorts the runner, saying, Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees (12:12, NIV). Sometimes we call this getting a second wind, or pushing through the hurt.

We watched a courageous runner at a middle school track meet this week. One girl just ended the third lap as the winner finished the fourth. All other runners were right behind the winner, but the courageous girl continued the lonely trek around the track. Loud cheers arose from the stand when the girl finally made it around the fourth time. She must have labored through a lot of discouragement to make it.

We read that David encouraged himself in the Lord. When circumstances all around us are discouraging, we need to know how to encourage ourselves, and allow ourselves to be encouraged by others.

Be Visionary

Difficulties may bring curves in our path of life, but it is not a time for losing our purpose for living. We may have to set some new goals, while never losing sight of our ultimate goal: being conformed to the image of Christ and living eternally with Him.

The Hebrews writer continues: “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed (12:13, NIV). The implication is that the runner is racing along a rough road, so some adjustments need to be made in his path.

When difficulties come, we might need to set some new philosophic goals, evaluating our purpose in life and the direction we are going. We may have to set some new behavioral goals as to how we handle our difficulty.

I have read that women who walk purposefully toward a destination are less likely to be attacked. I believe that is also true in our spiritual walk; we are less vulnerable to discouragement and defeat when we have clear purpose in life.

Be peaceful

The writer concludes this segment with an exhortation to work on our relationships with God and man. Life is too short to be burdened down with bitterness in any relationship. Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord (12:14, NIV).

Some shattered relationships cannot be resolved, but the writer exhorts us to do what we can to have peace with others. This may require confrontation, assertiveness and forgiveness, but the end result of peace will be worth it

Friday, May 15, 2009

~*~Keep your Fork ~*~

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in order," she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. "There's one more thing," she said excitedly.

"What's that?" came the pastor's reply.

"This is very important," the young woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

The pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

"That surprises you, doesn't it?" the young woman asked.

"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor.

The young woman explained. "My grandmother once told me this story, and from there on out, I have always done so. I have also, always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement.

'In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming .. . like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!' So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder "What's with the fork?". Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork .. the best is yet to come." The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye.

He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She knew that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled.
During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her.

The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.

Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to

Show your friends how much you care. Remember to always be there for them, even when you need them more. For you never know when it may be their time to "Keep your fork."