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Archive for August, 2009

An Empty Chair




An Empty Chair

Originally uploaded by susan.house

Friends, I’ve received another email that just begs to be posted. Jesus taught us using parables. More and more, I can see why He used this method. I hope this brings you the peace, joy, and cause for reflection as it did me:

A woman’s daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her mother. When the minister arrived, he found the woman lying in bed with her head propped up o n two pillows. An empty chair sat beside her bed.
The minister assumed that the woman had been informed of his visit. ‘I guess you were expecting me, he said.
‘No, who are you?’ said the mother.
The minister told her his name and then remarked, ‘I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was going to show up.’
‘Oh yeah, the chair,’ said the bedridden woman. ‘Would you mind closing the door?’ Puzzled, the minister shut the door.
‘I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter,’ said the woman.
‘But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head.’ I abandoned any attempt at prayer,’ the woman continued, ‘until one day four years ago; my best friend said to me, ‘Betty, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest. ‘Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair.
It’s not spooky because he promised, ‘I will be with you always’. ‘Then just speak to him in the same way you’re doing with me right now.’ ‘So, I tried it and I’ve liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I’m careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she’d either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm.’
The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the woman to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with her, anointed her with oil, and returned to the church.
Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her mother had died that afternoon. Did she die in peace?’ he asked.
‘Yes, when I left the house about two o’clock, she called me over to her bedside, told me she loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found her. But there was something strange about her death. Apparently, just before Mother died, She leaned over and rested her head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?’
The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, ‘I wish we could all go like that.’

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Talents




Talents

Originally uploaded by susan.house

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
This summer our church has had the distinct pleasure of having a minister from England share with us for six weeks in an exchange program with a pastor from our church. The last sermon he gave was on the parable of the talents(Matthew 25:24-30, Luke 19:12-27). So why did I use these verses? Well, one, it just appeared like this is what the kitty was saying to the brushes. However, more importantly, this verse always seems to paralell the Scripture on the talents . After all, isn’t this one of the things being referred to when we refer to this parable? Is this not what causes us much consternation and trepidation when we read the parable?

Pastor Derek mentioned most of us relate to the servant who received the one talent and returned the one talent. Pastor Derek pointed out many of us forget God doesn’t give us anymore talents than what we’re capable of handling. He doesn’t give to the person who is able to double his talents only one talent and He doesn’t give the person capable of handling only one talent, ten talents. However, God knows that even the individual He gives one talent is capable of doubling that talent when we turn to God for our guidance as we are the tasks He sets before us. Just like Paul, it’s important to remember, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Phillipians 4:13)

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A Beacon to Guide Us

Originally uploaded by susan.house

We have all had those days, weeks, months, or years where we have felt like we’re floundering. We’ve felt like there is something missing in our life. We’re just plain off-course and we don’t know what’s wrong. Without knowing what’s wrong, it’s difficult to get our lives back on course. For centuries, sailors have been using lighthouses, beacons of light, to guide them into ports of safety or as a tool to guide them back on course when they’ve strayed off-course.

This last week or so, the Enemy has been successfully getting me off-course with my writing. I’ve been totally convinced, my creative abilities had completely dried up. I knew this was wrong because I knew God would never stop using me but I didn’t know how to get back on course. So, I did the only thing I knew how to do, I turned to my Light. I had people pray for me and I turned to the Bible, and I talked WITH God. If you want to hear God talk to you, you have to turn to His Word. And, BINGO, here I am. God is faithful. He tells us “if we remain in Him, He will remain in us”.

Are you lost? Are you off-course? If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, I hope you will stop and ask Him to forgive you for all you have done wrong. There is nothing too big, too unforgivable for God. Then, I pray, you will ask Jesus Christ to come reside in your heart today, tomorrow, and forever. You’ll never regret you made this move. If you are already a Christ-follower and feel like you are off-course, turn to The Light. Ask your friends to pray for you, open your Bible, read it, and most importantly tell Him how you’re feeling. He will light the way before you. He will show you what you must do. God is real!!! God is alive!! God is faithful!!

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