How Much Does a Prayer Weigh

>> 29 May 2008

Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work. They had seven children and they needed food.

John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store. Visualizing the family needs, she said: "Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can." John told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.

The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?" Louise replied, "Yes sir." "Okay" he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries."

Louise hesitated a moment with a bowed head. Then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scale went down and stayed down. The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it." The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales.

The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more. The grocer stood there in utter disgust.

Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list. It was instead a prayer which said: "Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands."

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. Louise thanked him and left the store. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said, "It was worth every penny of it."

It was sometime later that the grocer discovered the scales were broken; therefore, only God knows how much a prayer weighs.


The Donkey in the Well

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.yours too… Finally he decided since the animalwas old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey. So, the farmer invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed shovels, and began to shovel dirt into the well.

All the other farm animals were very upset about this, because the donkey was their friend. But they discovered there was nothing they could do to help him. At first, when the donkey realized what was happening, he cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well, and was astonished at what he saw.

With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off, and take a step up on the dirt as it piled up. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well, and trotted off!

MORAL: Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. But each trouble can be a stepping stone. What happens to you isn't nearly as important as how you react to it. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not giving up! Shake it off, and take a step up!


Best Mum

>> 17 May 2008

On Mother's Day, 2007, British national television ran an intriguing story. Peggy Bush's daughter had died, so Peggy absorbed the responsibility of caring for her daughter's three children while her son-in-law worked. Then, tragically, her son-in-law also died. With both parents gone, Peggy took her three grandchildren in and raised them as if they were her own.

In a world where wrong is glamorized and the lurid is presented as appealing, we seldom hear of the good things that happen. Yet this woman's love and sacrifice were recognized, acknowledged, and honored as the nation took note of her as Britain's "Best Mum" for 2007.

Most of the efforts, sacrifices, and ex-pressions of love our mothers have given us will not be the lead story on the news. Their recognition will be more personal. But what matters is not the scope of the appreciation but its genuineness.

On this special day, may we thank God for the mothers who have molded our hearts. As we honor them, we fulfill the truth of Proverbs 31:28, "Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her." — Bill Crowder

A Christian mother's love contains
A gospel all its own,
Because the King of love has found
Her heart an ample throne. — Crawford


True Trust

Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. — John 9:3

If you didn't know him, you might think Nick Vujicic has everything going for him. Nick has never had a sore arm. He's never had knee problems. He's never smashed his finger in a door, stubbed his toe, or banged his shin against a table leg.

But that's because Nick doesn't have a shin. Or a toe. Or a finger. Or a knee. Or an arm. Nick was born with no arms and no legs. Before you begin to feel sorry for Nick, read his words. "God won't let anything happen to us in our life unless He has a good purpose for it all. I completely gave my life to Christ at the age of 15 after reading John 9. Jesus said that the reason the man was born blind was 'so that the works of God may be revealed through him.' ... I now see that glory revealed as He is using me just the way I am and in ways others can't be used." Nick travels the world to spread the gospel and love of Jesus.

Nick says, "If I can trust in God with my circumstances, then you can trust in God with your circumstances.... The greatest joy of all is having Jesus Christ in my life and living the godly purpose He has for me."

Can we say that? Can we look beyond our limitations and have the same trust in God that transformed a man with no arms or legs into a missionary for Jesus? — Dave Branon

Lord, shape my life as only You can,
Guiding each day by Your loving plan;
Take what You need and give what You will;
My life is Yours to use and to fill. — Branon


A Child's Wonder

In 19th-century Scotland, a young mother observed her three-year-old son's inquisitive nature. It seemed he was curious about everything that moved or made a noise. James Clerk Maxwell would carry his boyhood wonder with him into a remarkable career in science. He went on to do groundbreaking work in electricity and magnetism. Years later, Albert Einstein would say of Maxwell's work that it was "the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton."

From early childhood, religion touched all aspects of Maxwell's life. As a committed Christian, he prayed: "Teach us to study the works of Thy hands ... and strengthen our reason for Thy service." The boyhood cultivation of Maxwell's spiritual life and curiosity resulted in a lifetime of using science in service to the Creator.

The community of faith has always had the responsibility to nurture the talent of the younger generation and to orient their lives to the Lord, "that they may arise and declare [God's law] to their children, that they may set their hope in God" (Ps. 78:6-7).

Finding ways to encourage children's love for learning while establishing them in the faith is an important investment in the future. — Dennis Fisher



>> 09 May 2008

A man was walking along a secluded road with his young son. On the way he found a golden chain lying on the road. He knew that it belonged to some earlier traveller but decided to steal it. He looked all around him to confirm that no one was watching his action. He picked up the precious chain and put it into his pocket. As they continued the journey the son asked him innocently, "Daddy, you looked all around you before picking up the chain. But why didn't you look upwards?" The innocent words of the child enlightened him. He realized that these words echoed the whisper of his conscience. He confessed, "I should have looked upwards - to heaven - and sought the will of God who was watching me. I have sinned." Transformed by his son's words, he entrusted the chain to the officer in the nearest police station.

The Bible reminds us, "The Lord sees everything you do. Wherever you go, he is watching" {Proverbs 5: 21}."The Lord sees what happens everywhere; He is watching us, whether we do good or evil" {Proverbs 15: 3}.

"He watches every step men take. There is no darkness dark enough to hide a sinner from God" {Job 34:21, 22}.

By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.
For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students, catechists, teachers and preachers, kindly visit the web-site:


The Carpenter and the Little End Table

>> 06 May 2008

Once there was a young carpenter. His father was a master craftsman and had taught him how to make the finest furniture in the country.

The young carpenter decided to create a small end table for his room. He worked for several days making every little detail just perfect. It was absolutely the most beautiful table he had ever seen and he loved it with all his heart.

And then one day while the young carpenter was away; a wealthy banker came to visit. When he saw the table he just had to have it.

“It is the most beautiful table I’ve ever seen,” said the banker. “What do you want for it? I’ll pay anything!”

The salesman at first was reluctant, but when he saw the banker counting out money, he quickly forgot how much the young carpenter loved the table.

“It is worth at least $500, probably more,” said the salesman.

“I’ll give you twice that,” said the banker. “Never in my life have I seen such perfection.”

The banker carefully carried the table out to his carriage and drove off into the dark night.

The next day the young carpenter returned to the workshop.

“Father, where is my table?” asked the young carpenter.

The two searched everywhere, but the table was gone. Soon, the salesman arrived.

“Do you know what happened to my son’s table?” asked the father.

A big smile came over the salesman’s face, “I sold it for $1,000!”

He saw the disappointment in his face, “Did I not do well?”

“You did,” said the father. “Do you know who purchased the table? I wish to purchase it back.”

The salesman thought for a moment. I don’t know his name. He said he was a banker, but I have never seen him around here.”

“Very good,” said the father. “Go on and watch the store. I’ll take care of everything.”

The father walked to the back where his son was waiting. He put his arm around his son.

“Don’t worry. We will find your table,” said the father. “Get focused on your work.”

Many years passed and the father never found the table. After his father’s death, the young carpenter took over the family business and it became a major enterprise, hiring hundreds of craftsmen. He became very wealthy and known throughout the world for his fine work and generosity.

But no matter what success he had, he could never forget his little end table.

After a long and happy life, the now old carpenter was enjoying his final years. His son now ran the business. The old carpenter enjoyed the simple things in life like spending time with his grandson.

One day the two were visiting a flea market checking out the merchandise. Off in the corner of a booth, covered in dust, the old carpenter saw something familiar.

“It just can’t be,” said the old carpenter as he carefully wiped the cobwebs and dust away.

Although missing a leg and neglected for years, the old carpenter instantly recognized his little end table.

“What is it grandpa?” asked his grandson.

“This is best piece I ever made,” said the old carpenter.

“That old thing?” asked his grandson.

The old carpenter turned to his grandson with a smile on his face and tears in his eyes, “I love this table dearly and have looked for it for many years. It is perfect in my eyes.”

The grandson was confused. All he saw was a broken piece of junk.

“Come back to my workshop and let me show you what love can do,” said the old carpenter.

For several days the old carpenter carefully worked on his end table. He removed all the scars and blemishes and fixed all the broken parts. With his grandson at his side, the two perfectly restored the end table.

“Its beautiful Grandpa!”

The old carpenter put his arm around his grandson and the two admired their work.

“Let’s take it inside,” said the old carpenter.

Several days later, the old carpenter had a big banquet at his house. All the guests gathered around the little end table and admired its beauty. The old carpenter’s grandson explained how they had taken a broken piece of junk and made this perfect little table.

“Its so beautiful. I must have it!” said one of the guests.

“I’ll pay whatever price you require,” said another.

Soon the guests were bidding against each other over the little end table.

The old carpenter raised his hand and a hush fell on the room.

“Friends, thank you for your kind offers and admiration. But this table is not for sale. It was lost and neglected for many years and I never stopped searching for it. Now that it is back where it belongs, I will never lose it again. I love this little end table and it will stay with me forever.”

And so the little end table stayed with the old carpenter. Each time someone inquired about it, the old carpenter would happily recount the story of the table that was lost, but later found. It was broken, but now it was again and forever perfect.


Heli, The Star of Bethlehem

On the third day of creation, God said, “Let there be lights in the heavens.” And according to His Word, the sun, moon and all the stars were created in the sky.

God loved each star and would often invite them into His presence and listen to all that they had done.

And then one day, He sent out a proclamation commanding all the stars to appear before Him. He would then select one for a very important purpose.

With eagerness, all the stars gathered in His throne room.

As they waited for God, some of the stars saw Amanda, the smallest star in the galaxy.

“Surely you don’t think that God would select you?” said Tariq, one of the largest stars.

“What could you possibly have to offer God?” added Vega, another prominent star.

“I am here because it is God’s will,” said Amanda.

Amanda made her way to the back of the room to watch the presentations.

God entered the room and all the stars worshipped Him.

And God spoke,

“I am sending my son into the world. I will select one star to announce his arrival. The greatest among you will proclaim his birth to the world.”

There was plenty of excitement in the throne room as each imagined what it would be like to have this great honor. They each came forward and presented their qualifications to God.

“I give light and heat to 15 planets and 27 moons. I am one of the largest stars in the galaxy. I would be very proud to announce your Son’s birth,” said Tariq.

“Very impressive indeed,” said God.

“Humans know me as the North Star. I have guided many sailors to their destination and have been a constant beacon of light for all travelers. Who would be better to mark the birth of your son?” said Polaris.

“Well done,” said God.

“I am one of the brightest stars. My light is seen all over this great galaxy. I can think of nothing more wonderful than to share my light with the earth,” said Sirius.

“Good job,” said God.

From the greatest to the brightest, all the stars presented themselves to God. They all told Him all the wonderful things that they had accomplished.

“Is there anyone else?” asked God. null

“Just me Lord,” said Amanda.

She humbly approached the throne and bowed.

“No planets or moons revolve around me and I guide no sailors home. My much larger and brighter brothers hide my light. But I joyfully do your will to the best of my ability. I am what you say I am. I will be what you say I will be,” said Amanda.

She bowed and returned to her spot at the back of the room.

There was a great silence in the throne room as everyone considered Amanda’s words.

After a long pause, Astra, one of the wisest of the stars, came forward.

“Lord, I am not worthy of such a great honor. Please select another.”

With that she bowed and left the throne room.

One by one, each star came forward and said the same words until only Amanda remained.

“Lord, I don’t understand. Why did they all leave?” asked Amanda.

“They all came forward to announce their own power and ability. You were the only one that proclaimed faith in my ability. You truly are the greatest star.”

“Thank you Lord,” said Amanda.

“From now on you will be called Heli,” said God. “You will proclaim my glory in the night sky for all to see.”

“I will do everything you say,” said Heli.

Heli took her place in the night sky above Bethlehem. For many months, she was the brightest and most beautiful star the world had ever seen.

When her mission was complete, God gave her a very special place of honor in the night sky. On a clear night you can still see her. She is not the biggest or the brightest, but she is still there, faithfully obeying God.

She truly is the greatest star.


Heaven's Art Gallery

One night I dreamed I was standing with Jesus in front of a beautiful museum in heaven.

“Let’s go inside,” said Jesus. “I want to show you something.”

Adorning the walls were paintings, all masterpieces. Jesus explained that each one represents one human life. Every painting in the museum was abounding with love, grace, peace and passion. I was overwhelmed with joy as I gazed at each one. They all moved me deeply and I was aware of everything lacking in my life.

I asked Jesus, “Who could paint such things of beauty? Did you or the angels make these? Surely, no human could create such perfection.”

Jesus smiled, “These were all created by God’s children.”

“But how?” I asked. “It just isn’t possible.”

“With God’s help, anything is possible,” said Jesus. “Ordinary people who submitted their will to me created them. Whenever a heart is truly given to me in every way, that person’s life will become a masterpiece. Pride, selfishness, fear, greed, doubt, and unbelief will corrupt their painting. But someone who loves me with all of his or her spirit, mind and body will live a life worthy of display.”

We walked around the gallery admiring all the lives portrayed. After a while, Jesus said that was all there was to see here.

But I protested, “Surely there is more to see Lord. For you’ve shown me only a few.”

Jesus said, “Yes, there is more.”

He led me to the back of the museum and out into a massive warehouse. Stacked on pallets and laying in heaps on the floor were millions of paintings. I looked at a few and was disappointed. They were so poorly done. Some were torn, some were patched, and still others lay unfinished.

“What is this Lord?” I asked. “Surely these don’t belong here?”

“Yes my son, they do,” said Jesus. “For each one represents a precious life in progress.”

“But they are such pitiful paintings. Hardly worthy of a museum like this,” I argued.

“Yes, you are correct they are not worthy,” explained Jesus. “But my Father is very patient. Each person’s life has a chance to become a masterpiece. All these people as long as they live, can still see their life displayed in heaven’s art gallery.”

“How can this be?” I asked. “Surely not through their own efforts.”

“No, they will never do it on their own. They need only ask me and I will help,” said Jesus.

I timidly asked, “What will happen if they never ask?”

We walked to the very back of the warehouse and Jesus opened the doors. Off in the distance I saw stacks and stacks of paintings burning in massive piles. I turned to Jesus and there were tears on his cheek.

“All these tried it on their own. Actors & athletes, businessmen & butchers, executives & educators, preachers & politicians, moms & dads, rich & poor, foolish & wise – they are all here. As long as people keep trying under their own strength they will never be good enough. And their canvas will be thrown into the fire – never to be admired. What a terrible waste,” sighed Jesus.

I wept with him. It was such a tragic site.

Jesus closed the doors and we walked back into the warehouse.

I asked, “Lord is there hope for me?”

Jesus smiled, “Yes! Follow me.”

We walked into a small room that was empty except for a blank canvas sitting on an easel.

“What is this?” I asked.

“This canvas represents your life after it has been washed cleaned with my blood,” said Jesus.

I marveled at how beautiful it was. There was not one blemish or imperfection anywhere on my canvas. Jesus handed me a brush and paint.

“Make it whatever you wish,” said Jesus

I stood there for several minutes imagining all the things I could paint. I soon realized that I could do nothing that would ever be good enough for heaven’s art gallery.

“Lord, I want to create a masterpiece, but I just can’t.”

Disappointed, I handed the brush back to Jesus, but he stopped me. Wrapping his hand around the brush in my hand and putting his arm around me he said,

“Let’s make it together.”


Twenty Dollars

>> 02 May 2008

A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked. "Who would like this $20 bill?"

Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you - but first, let me do this."

He proceeded to crumple the 20 dollar note up. He then asked. "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air.

"Well," he replied, "what if I do this?" He dropped it on theground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now, who still wants it?"

Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. Nomatter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless; but no matter what happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.

Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are stillpriceless to those who love you. The worth of our lives comes, not in what we do or who we know, but by ...WHO WE ARE.

You are special - don't ever forget it."


The Sands of Forgiveness

A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand:


They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:


The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?"

The other friend replied "When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it."




The story goes that some time ago, a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you, Daddy." He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty.

He yelled at her, "Don't you know that when you give someone a present, there's supposed to be something inside it?"

The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said,"Oh, Daddy, it is not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy."

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.

It is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.
In a very real sense, each of us as humans have been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, friends, family and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.



God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

-- Reinhold Niebuhr

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