Archive for February 2011
What Is It Like To Be Real?
That was a story my friend, Pastor Kenneth Bow told me about recently. He said that many years ago he had read the story and was taken by its power. It’s truths are still powerful today.
Bro. Bow is one of those friends that always helps me go to a higher level in God and in life. I will always be indebted to him for his insightful guidance and personal encouragement. He is a Gift of God in my life.
Since he related the story to me, I wouldn’t stop looking until I found it.
The following, is part of the story that takes place in a child’s nursery. The Velveteen Rabbit that is stuffed with sawdust is talking to the old Skin Horse.The Rabbit wanted to know what it would be like to be real.
For a long time he lived in the toy cupboard or on the nursery floor, and no one thought very much about him. He was naturally shy, and being only made of velveteen, some of the more expensive toys quite snubbed him. The mechanical toys were very superior, and looked down upon every one else; they were full of modern ideas, and pretended they were real. The model boat, who had lived through two seasons and lost most of his paint, caught the tone from them and never missed an opportunity of referring to his rigging in technical terms. The Rabbit could not claim to be a model of anything, for he didn’t know that real rabbits existed; he thought they were all stuffed with sawdust like himself, and he understood that sawdust was quite out-of-date and should never be mentioned in modern circles. Even Timothy, the jointed wooden lion, who was made by the disabled soldiers, and should have had broader views, put on airs and pretended he was connected with Government. Between them all the poor little Rabbit was made to feel himself very insignificant and commonplace, and the only person who was kind to him at all was the Skin Horse.
The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.
The Skin Horse Tells His Story
“The Boy’s Uncle made me Real,” he said. “That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
(May the Lord be praised that we Pentecostal Apostolics have been given the honor of hearing and receiving the Gospel truth of Acts 2:38. It is a privilege to live separated from the world. I have no desire to change from this holiness lifestyle.)
In spite of our God-given heritage, too many of us are plagued with a self-righteous, and holier than thou spirit. It severely hinders the work of God.
1. Pompous Pentecostals Are Hurting The Church. They are hurting our church growth. They are hurting our spiritual growth. Saints and sinners alike observe them with disdain.
Pompous Pentecostals won’t speak to other Pentecostals in the Mall or on the street. You see them coming toward you in the mall and you nod. They don’t even nod back. They act like you are invisible. Why?
I have had warmer responses from Baptists and Methodists. Even strangers, that by all appearances have never been in a Holiness church, will readily respond to a friendly ‘Hello’ or a ‘Howdy’. Why can’t we Pentecostals be friendlier? Are we saying to the world, and even to other Pentecostals, “I’m too holy to talk to you?” Whatever happened to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’?
2. Pompous Pentecostals Will Disfellowship One With Reckless Abandon. I’m not talking about disfellowshipping a person or a church because of immorality or doctrine that is contrary to Acts 2:38. I’m talking about precious people have been disfellowshipped for doing things that fall into the category of ‘doctrines of men’.
Here is a short list of things I’ve seen some disfellowshipped over by pastors and saints.
- Wearing the color red
- Wearing shoes with heels out
- Wearing shoes with toes out.
- Women’s hair not in a hair net.
- Because of no seams in women’s nylons.
- Women shaving their legs.
- Playing Old Maid.
The list is endless. Pompous Pentecostals are inconsistent. Pharisees always seemed to incur the rebukes of Jesus. He was more angry with them than the sinners.
My point is this. What if we Pompous Pentecostals disfellowship someone who God is still in fellowship with? Why are we so quick to cut people off?
How are we going to explain that in the Judgment? God forbid that we should go to heaven together with those that we disfellowshipped.
3. Pompous Pentecostals Are The Only Ones That Are Right. They are the last defenders of truth in their minds. Everyone else is wrong. If they are not in our fellowship circle, they are lost.
Eccl. 7:16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?
Eccl. 7:17 Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?
There are good Holiness minded Apostolic people who are scorned, shunned and discounted because they are not considered exactly like those that we are comfortable around.
4. Pompous Pentecostals Have Need Of Nothing.
Rev. 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev. 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev. 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev. 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Pompous folks won’t receive preaching that involves correction or instruction. They feel no need for improvement.
A fine young couple moved to the assembly I pastored from a church 2,500 miles away. I knew his former pastor preached against wearing watches.
The couple had been at our church for several weeks. One Bible Study night I singled out our new brother who was sitting on the front row. I welcomed him and told him what a blessing he was to the whole church.
“I notice that you do not wear a watch.” I said .
He shook his head no.
“I honor and respect that carefulness in you. Never lose your carefulness before the Lord.
We have some that wear watches in this church. I appreciate the wearers using them for timepieces and not for ornamentation.
“But I don’t want you to go out and buy a watch and hurt your conscience because everyone here has one. I don’t want you wearing one just because we allow them here. Do you understand?”
“On the other hand, if you don’t wear one and we do, then I don’t want you to sit there and feel holier than the rest of the church and the pastor because you don’t and we do.
Because once you feel holier than the pastor, he can no longer help you or teach you. You in your own mind are holier than him and the church.
“If that spirit ever gets ahold of you then I am ordering you to go out and buy two watches and wear one on each wrist until you get over that spirit.
He nodded. He bought a watch.
5. Pompous Pentecostals Get Caught Up In Secondary Boycotts. You are my friend’s enemy, so you are then my enemy, because I love my friend. I don’t know what you did, but my friend leaves you alone, so I will too. There has to be something wrong with you if you and my friend are not close friends.
6. Pompous Pentecostals Show Their Prejudices. God doesn’t have a White Church, a Black Church, a Hispanic Church or an Asian Church. He just has a Church. How can we say we love God and hate our brother enough not to want to worship in the same building with him?
I was at a church were several dozen people boycotted the Sunday services because the pastor had personally canvassed and bused in several bus loads of people from the ‘projects’ the week before.
They wanted no one from the ‘low income’ housing development to attend their upscale church. The boycotting of the weekend services by all the ‘rich’ people was to get the pastor’s attention and make him ignore ‘those low class people’
Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. What would it be like in a world where love was felt and people were treated with kindness regardless of income or race?
Definition – Online Dictionary and Thesaurus
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: arrogant, egotistic
Synonyms: affected, arrogant, bloated, boastful, bombastic, conceited, flatulent, flaunting, flowery, haughty, high and mighty, high-flown, highfaluting, important, inflated, magisterial, narcissistic, ostentatious, overbearing, overblown, pontifical, portentous, presumptuous, pretentious, puffed up, puffy, rhetorical, self-centered, self-important, selfish, self-important, showy, snobbish, stuck-up, supercilious, uppity, vain,
Antonym: (the opposite meaning) = modest
The opposite of being a Pompous Pentecostal, is being a Modest Pentecostal.
May we all remember the timeless lesson Jesus gave about the Pharisee and the Publican. The Pharisee was proud that he was not like ‘other’ men and bragged on his own ‘godliness.’ The Publican was ashamed and with much inward pain smote his chest and asked for God’s mercy. “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. ” Luke 18:14
I Flunked His Test Of Fellowship
“Pastor Ballestero?” The female voice on the phone asked.
“This is he.” I responded as I settled into the Lazy Boy recliner.
“I’m calling on behalf of Pastor Lester. He would love for you to come to our new FM Radio Station tomorrow night.
He would like for you to evaluate our new Christian Radio Station’s transmitter. Could you come at 7pm tomorrow night?
“He will give you a personal tour of our new facilities, and I think he will try to encourage you to come on board as on of our regular broadcasters.”
I laughed. “Tell him that I’ll do my best to be there, thanks.”
I was into Amateur (Ham) Radio; I had even worked as an Electronics Wholesaler but I knew next to nothing about Commercial Broadcasting equipment. Why would I get invited to ‘evaluate’ the new 50,000-watt FM radio station? I couldn’t.
What was the catch? Was that just a ploy to get me to move our church broadcast to their new station? Probably.
At 7pm sharp I walked up to the front office and announced myself to the receptionist.
“Pastor Lester is expecting you,” she said as she welcomed me and shook my hand.
I heard my name announced over the intercom and almost immediately I was shaking hands with Pastor Lester.
We walked down the hall towards the transmitter room and he placed his arm around my neck like we were old friends. Actually we’d never met. I only knew of him because I heard him on the radio almost every day for several years and he pastored a large Charismatic church in the area.
“I just got back last week from Africa.” He began. I saw over 100,000 get the Holy Spirit in one service in my Crusade!”
“That is amazing!” I blurted out! How do you get 100,000 people to get the Holy Ghost in one service?”
“Aw, that’s easy. I just stretched my hands toward the crowd, and said in Jesus Name, receive the Holy Ghost!”
“And they did?”
“They sure did. Not only that, but we had over 50,000 confirmed miracles the same day.”
I replied, “How did you get 50,000 people healed in one day? How do you do that?”
“Why, I just stretched my hands toward the people and prayed, be healed in Jesus Name!”
“And they were healed?”
“Yes they were. But I also cast out over 1,000 demons in one day as well.”
I stopped walking. “How did you cast out 1,000 demons in one day?”
“I just pointed my hands toward those that were bound and said, in Jesus name, come out of them!”
“And they came out?”
“Yes they did.” He said.
“I’m starting to see a pattern here. I notice that when you prayed for the Holy Ghost to be poured out, or when you prayed for healing, or even when you prayed for demons to be cast out, you said ‘In Jesus Name’ every time. Why is that?”
“Why, Bro. Ballestero, Pastor Lester said in his most condescending tone of voice, the Bible says that ‘Whatsoever we do in word or deed, do all in the Name of Jesus’.”
“Then why don’t you get baptized in Jesus Name?” I asked.
Pastor Lester took his arm off from around my neck and walked back to his office without a goodbye.
I never did get to see that new 50,000-watt transmitter.
There Are Two Ways To Remove Your Past, Man’s Way And God’s Way.
The laws of man have provided a way for the guilty to get their past sealed or expunged. I was in the Federal Building in Tacoma today and saw a very nice pamphlet that described to the general public how to expunge their criminal record.
Reading that made me look further. Online I found a great website that describes the process in detail for the residents of Washington. I am glad that this is available for those that wish to turn their lives around.
Expungement of Criminal Records in Washington State -7 Steps to Clearing Your Record
You don’t have to be stuck with a criminal conviction on your record. Your Washington State criminal conviction can be expunged if you meet the criteria. And after your conviction is expunged, Washington State law permits you to state you have not been convicted for employment purposes.
Expungement is an often misunderstood term and process. In Washington State expungement of a criminal record or criminal conviction is accomplished by Vacating the Criminal Conviction. The terms Expungement and Vacating are largely interchangeable, the difference being that Vacating is the legal term.
Expungement of a criminal record by vacating the conviction does not destroy or seal the file. However, it is possible to destroy, or expunge, an arrest record if the eligibility requirements are met. When an arrest record is expunged, the booking photos and fingerprints are destroyed and removed from the police record.
In Washington State, the expungement process differs between felony and misdemeanor convictions. The following 7 steps are an overview of what is involved.
1. The Required Time Period has Passed Since the Case Completed.
The first eligibility requirement to expunge your conviction in Washington State is passage of the required time period. For a misdemeanor, the time period begins to run on the date the case is Closed. For a felony conviction, the time period begins to run on the date a document called a Certificate of Discharge is filed with the court. In both instances, a case is Closed or a Certificate of Discharge is filed after all the sentence conditions are completed as required.
2. The Conviction is Eligible for Expungement.
Certain convictions, and classifications of convictions, are not eligible for Expungement in Washington State. Generally, class A felonies (the most serious), sex crimes, and violent crimes cannot be expunged in Washington State. Among misdemeanors, Washington State does not permit a DUI conviction to be expunged.
3. You Meet the Clean Behavior Requirement.
Two situations will make your conviction ineligible for expungement. For a misdemeanor, if you were convicted of another crime on a later date then you would not be eligible to have the misdemeanor expunged. For example, if you were convicted of a misdemeanor in 1995, and another crime in 1997, then the 1995 crime would not be eligible to be expunged. For a felony, if you were convicted of another crime after the date the Certificate of Discharge was filed then you cannot expunge the felony.
4. Special Rule for Misdemeanors.
Washington State has an interesting rule that applies only to misdemeanor convictions. To expunge a misdemeanor, you cannot have had any other conviction expunged (vacated). What this means is if a person has a felony conviction and a misdemeanor conviction, and the person expunged the felony conviction first, then the misdemeanor could no longer be expunged. However, if the misdemeanor was expunged first, and if the misdemeanor conviction occurred before the felony conviction, then the felony could still be expunged.
An expungement, or vacation of a criminal conviction, requires a judge to sign a court Order. The court process is begun by filing a Motion to Vacate Conviction with the court. Prior to filing the Motion, you should get copies of the Docket and the Judgment & Sentence from the court clerk. You should also obtain a criminal history report, called a WATCH Report, from the Washington State Patrol website.
6. Your Day In Court.
Most Washington State courts require a hearing to Expunge, or Vacate, a criminal conviction. Most courts do not require you to attend if you have a lawyer appearing at the hearing on your behalf. If the preparation has been done properly, then the hearing should go very smoothly and the judge will sign the Court Order Vacating your criminal conviction.
7. Your Criminal Record is Cleared.
The court clerk processes the Order and sends a certified copy to the Washington State Patrol, which removes the conviction from the public database. The FBI record is updated based on the Washington State record. And, if the Order was prepared correctly, a copy will also be sent to the police department that handled the case and your record will also be cleared in their file. Your conviction has now been expunged (vacated), and your criminal record is cleared.
As you can see, you don’t have to be stuck with a criminal conviction on your record. It is not difficult to expunge a conviction in Washington State if you meet the straightforward criteria. In most cases, these 7 steps take only a few weeks to complete.
Copyright ©2008 Douglas Stratemeyer. All Rights reserved.
Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/criminal-articles/expungement-of-criminal-records-in-washington-state-7-steps-to-clearing-your-record-588959.html#ixzz1EM5KIxdu
He can do it in one day. Once you have repented of your sins and been baptized in Jesus name according to Acts 2:38.
Your Sins Are Then:
1. Covered By His Blood.
Rom. 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
2. Forgiven Immediately
Col. 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
3. Blotted Out
Col. 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Psa. 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
5. He Forgives All Sins.
Mark 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
Matt. 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men:
6. Your Sins Will Be Washed Away In Baptism In Jesus Name.
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
7. If You Sin, He Will Even Be Your Defense Attorney.
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
We All Are Invited To Take Advantage Of This Immediately.
Heb. 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Heb. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Do It Today!
Sinner! Backslider! I don’t care what you’ve done, where you’ve gone or how low you have fallen, God’s Mercy is available for you today. He’s waiting for you to make that move. Get your sins forgiven and washed away now.
Take Me, Break Me, Make Me
- Receive Me.
- Don’t leave me on the pile.
- Choose me.
- Call me.
- I’m Available.
- You use broken things, I’m willing to fall on the Rock and be broken.
- Not my will, but thine be done.
- I’ll say yes.
- David said – “Before I was afflicted, I went astray.”
- Mold Me – Like a Potter molds a vessel.
- Make me an instrument.
- Prodigal said – “Make me as one of thy hired servants.”
- “Make me what I ought to be, help me to be more like thee.”
Take Me To Mercy
Last week I was in Bakersfield, California with my good friend, Pastor Kenneth Bow. He was taking care of his mother’s estate and settling her affairs. As we drove down a main thoroughfare in the city, I was greatly surprised to read these words written on the side of the city bus.
“Take me to Mercy!”
The big yellow bus was advertising Bakersfield’s Mercy Hospital. But the slogan brought this precious Scripture passage to my mind:
Heb. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
“Take Me To Mercy” is the unspoken request of the hurting.
- Their life says they need Mercy.
- Their actions say they need Mercy.
- Their condemnation says they Mercy.
- Their pain says they need Mercy.
- Their eyes say they need Mercy.
- Their tears say they need Mercy.
- Take them to Mercy!
Where does one go when they have sinned? They need to go to a place called Mercy!
- Don’t throw away a brother or sister who has failed. Take them to Mercy!
- Don’t take them to task. Take them to Mercy.
- Don’t ignore their problem or their pain. Take them to Mercy.
- Don’t drop them like a hot potato. Take them to Mercy.
- Don’t talk about them. Take them to Mercy.
- Don’t be judgmental. Take them to Mercy.
- Don’t try to rub their nose in it. Take them to Mercy.
- Let’s not lose another dear Brother or Sister. Let’s take them to Mercy!
Gal. 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
This Christian life is not about gloating how “holy” we are. It’s about finding a place called Mercy and taking everyone there that we can.
I’m on my way there now, I’d love to have you come along!
Almost all of my readers are God-fearing. Yet no matter how holy we may seem at church, the most damaging and disturbing problem in Christian homes today is Anger.
Although I have not purchased, used or listened to their products, this site claims to be “The Most Visited Personal Development Product Site On The Internet”
The following guest post today is found at:
Think Right Now
How To Recognize If You Have an Anger Problem
Here are some of the most common signs of problem anger.
|Road Rage: Yelling, swerving, using a vehicle as a weapon|
|Bullying: Treating other people like they are worthless|
|Throwing/ Breaking things: Taking out your frustration (or revenge?) on yours or other people’s property|
|Sarcasm and Teasing: Showing people (in a humorous way?) how stupid or ridiculous you think they are|
|Pouting: Feeling sorry for yourself, not cooperating just to get your way, creating guilt trips|
|Slamming doors/ Stomping feet|
|Criticizing others: To hell with being politically correct, power trip|
|Saying, “You’re right” but not meaning it: Seething, gets you out of a situation you are uncomfortable with/shuts them up fast|
|Condescension: You feel superior to everyone else and tell them about it in a nasty or sarcastic way|
|Interrupting: Your opinion counts the most; a form of bullying|
|Lying: Sneaky revenge, making up/spreading rumors, making promises you never intend to keep|
|Emotional abuse: Continually putting the same person down/ controlling/ threatening them repeatedly|
|Domestic abuse: Continual physical and/or mental cruelty toward those you live with|
|Yelling: Creating fear and/or submission through threatening volume|
|Body tension: Squeezing fists, clenching jaws, flexing muscles, turning red, stress|
|Withholding affection: You’ll show them who’s in control, lack of forgiveness, revenge|
|Starting arguments/fights just “for fun”: Getting a “high” or a “rush” at the expense of others|
|Moral superiority: Believing you “have a right” to be outraged and are justified in your destructive actions|
|Showing off: Being the “tough guy” to impress others|
|Grumpiness/moodiness: No awareness or concern about how you are coming across to others|
|Plotting revenge: Planning elaborate schemes to get back at your enemies|
|No forgiveness or forgetting: Hanging onto the hurts of the past|
|Masochism/Sadism: Addiction to hurting others and/or being hurt|
|Martyrdom: Enjoying making others feel guilty by playing the victim, way to get attention/sympathy|
|Low self-esteem: Hate yourself because you are stupid, worthless, ugly, lazy… a doormat|
|Stubbornness: Refusing to acknowledge being wrong or let others have their way|
|Glaring: You can’t hide your disdain for others, keeps people at a distance|
|Swearing/name-calling: Signal that the gloves have come off|
|Threatening others with harm: Physical, mental, financial, property, loss of freedoms/choices|
|Sighing/rolling eyes: Outer show of disrespect, contempt and/or frustration, listening is over|
|And many more|
Here is what will happen-maybe it already has
If you exhibit a fair number of those common signs of problem anger, consider the consequences if you don’t change.
|End your marriage/romance|
|Destroy your friendships/working relationships|
|Stunt your career and thus your financial growth|
|Land you in jail|
|Cause you heavy fines and legal fees|
|Give you higher insurance rates and costs to repair property|
|Isolate you from your family|
|Isolate your family from others|
|Push you into long-term depression|
|Cause anxiety and panic attacks|
|Destroy your self esteem|
|Cause high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, etc.|
|Increase your medical bills (Dr. visits, medicine, surgery)|
|Cause drug and alcohol abuse|
|And maybe worst of all, it will keep you from being happy and fulfilled every day… like you deserve to be.|
To My Loving Bride Of 45 Years.
In Memory Our First Valentine’s Day
The Youth Revival in Lansing, Michigan I’d preached at your Grandfather Hebert Starr’s church had just closed. I was back home in South Bend, Indiana for a few days with my parents. My car was in the shop getting some repairs done, and I was desperate for transportation. I’d asked my old friend Bobby Edgin if he would take me to see you so I could give you my Valentine’s Day gifts. He and his wife drove me the 100 miles to Albion, Michigan after he got off work. We got to your church a little bit late.
The song service was already in progress. We surprised you by coming. You looked so beautiful sitting up there in the orchestra playing your saxophone. You were dressed in a fashionable A-line “Poodle” skirt and beautiful blouse. Your white bobby socks completed your outfit. I couldn’t take my eyes off of you.
You were a Senior in High School. I found out later you were still in your school clothes. Your hair was beautifully curled as usual, and hung down over your shoulders and back. I had never watched you from out in the audience before.
When I’d preached the Youth Revival for your Dad three months earlier, I’d sat with him on the platform behind you and the orchestra. You looked beautiful to me from every angle.
As soon as the orchestra was dismissed that night, you disappeared for a while. In a few minutes you returned to the service having changed out of your school clothes into something more dressy, with nylons and heels as well. Then you came and sat by me. I’d never sat by a girl in church before. I have absolutely no memory of the sermon. You were the only thing on my mind!
I couldn’t stay long after service because it was a 2-hour drive back home and my ride disliked staying up late.
Not long after the service was over, I gave you my card and candy. I remember giving you something else but I have forgotten. Whatever it was, it was just part of the excuse to see you, tell you I loved you, and hope there might be an opportunity for another hug and a few kisses. There certainly was!
After all these years, my love, I’m still coming back for more of those wonderful kisses. They seem to get sweeter with time.
I love you Marcia June Starr Ballestero.
I Really Love You, And I Always Will!
Happy Valentine’s Day My Love, for the 46th time, from the man who’s still thrilled to be your husband.
In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.
About 4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
At 6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
At 10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.
At 45 minutes: The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.
After 1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.
This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities. This experiment raised several questions:
- In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
- If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
- Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . . How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?
Enjoy life NOW … it has an expiration date.
Snopes verifies this as true http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/bell.asp
(Taken from an email.)
Did You Grow Up With An Angry Person?
If someone close to you, such as a family member or friend has or has had an anger problem, the following questions may help you determine if help is needed.
1. Do you constantly seek approval and affirmation?
2. Do you fail to recognize your accomplishments?
3. Do you fear criticism?
4. Do you overextend yourself?
5. Have you had problems with uncontrolled outbursts?
6. Do you have a need for perfection?
7. Are you uneasy when your life is going smoothly, continually anticipating problems?
8. Do you feel more alive in the midst of a crisis?
9. Do you feel responsible for others, as you did for the angry person in your life?
10. Do you care for others easily, yet find it difficult to care for yourself?
11. Do you isolate yourself from other people?
12. Do you respond with fear to authority figures and angry people?
13. Do you feel that individuals and society in general are taking advantage of you?
14. Do you have trouble with intimate relationships?
15. Do you confuse pity with love as you did with the problem person?
16. Do you attract and/or seek people who tend to be angry and/or abusive?
17. Do you cling to relationships because you are afraid of being alone?
18. Do you often mistrust your own feelings and the feelings expressed by others?
19. Do you find it difficult to identify and express your own emotions?
20. Do you think someone’s anger problem may have affected you?
Anger is a dysfunction in many families. Those who have lived through this as children may have problems that need to be resolved. If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, there is help for you.
Victims of anger have had to deal with extreme circumstances beyond their control for most of their life. Their environment became their private prison through no fault of their own.
Prov. 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous;
Eccl. 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.