PO Box 3425
January/February Issue 2005 - Volume 24 Number 1
Stilling the Troubled Waters
On the shore of Galilee
The sun was going down,
Painting the trees at water’s edge
A hue of golden brown.
“Put in your boat,” the Master said,
To the twelve that stood close by,
“Let us get to the other side,
Where the hills are steep and high.”
Their craft moved smoothly o’er waters deep,
Her sails were all outspread;
The wearied Savior went to sleep,
A pillow for His head.
The sky grew dark with lowering clouds
On the shoreline’s rocky brow;
The waves beat down upon their bark
And water came over the prow.
The frightened disciples trembling cried
As they viewed that watery grave;
“We’re sinking Master! Master awake!
Did You not come to save?”
In calm serenity the Master rose
And spoke the waves to rest;
He gently whispered, “Peace be still.”
The waves stilled like a pardoned breast.
“Where is your faith?” the Master asked,
Of the frightened crew that cried;
“Don’t you remember that I said,
‘Let us go to the other side’?”
Upon the storm-tossed sea of life
There are many contrary winds;
But with the Master in your boat
Your peace will never end.
With His loving, gentle eye
Carefully looking your plight o’er;
Why raise your frightened, trembling voice,
Did I not say, “To the other shore?”
“I was the Captain of Noah’s Ark;
He heard the storm’s great roar;
He did not fear for he had heard My voice
As I said, ‘To the other shore.’”
Peaceful and calm I found life’s sea,
When first I sailed with Thee;
Peace within, my sins forgiven,
My life a calm blue sea.
But when the storms of passion rose,
My sea was tempest tossed;
Sin rose with it’s angry waves,
“Help, Master! I am lost.”
“Peace, peace be still,” the Master speaks,
“My message is for thee;
Obey my voice and you’ll find rest
Like the waves of Galilee.”
And now I feel His holy eye
Upbraid my heart of pride;
“Why raise your cry of unbelief,
Did I not say, ‘To the other side’?”
Ralph D. Gage
El Dorado, Arkansas
“The Wooden Bowl”
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.
The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.
The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We must do something about Grandfather," said the son. I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.
So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.
When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.
The four year old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up." The four year old smiled and went back to work.
The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.
That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.
I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."
I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.
I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch---holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.
...From an email forwarded to me Dec 30, 2003 (lsg)
“The Da Vinci Code” Book Put on Trial
It's a novel. That means it's fiction. That means it's not true! But a group of art experts and conservative clerics have had it with what they see as factual inaccuracies in the runaway best-seller "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown and put the book on "trial" on Friday in Vinci, Italy, Leonardo da Vinci's hometown.
The Associated Press reports that the unusual trial, which is an attempt to sort fact from fiction, opened with a statement from Alessandro Vezzosi, director of a Leonardo museum. He produced 120 photographs and documents as evidence of the mistakes and historical inaccuracies contained in the book. "Leonardo is misrepresented and belittled," Vezzosi told AP in an interview. "His importance is misunderstood. He was a man full of fantasy, inventions, and genius."
AP notes that the novel has incensed Roman Catholic and Protestant conservatives with its claims that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and then sired a bloodline. It also portrays Catholic leaders as demonizing women throughout the centuries and hiding the truth of the Holy Grail, which the book says is Mary Magdalene. One item in the book that Vezzosi proves wrong: The Mona Lisa was painted in Leonardo's image. That's false, he claims, saying their noses, mouths, eyes, and expressions are different. Author Dan Brown has pretty much stayed out of the debate that has swirled around his book, but in June 2003, he told NBC's "Today" that while the novel's main character, Robert Langdon, is fictional, "all of the art, architecture, secret rituals, secret societies, all of that is historical fact."
What’s New Compuserve
Feb. 21, 2005
“Making It Count Or Just Breezing Through?”
More than half a century ago Albert E. Brumley wrote: “This world is not my home, I'm just a passing thru. My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue; the angels beckon me from heaven's open door, and I can't feet at home in this world anymore.”
How true that we are just passing thru. We are not permanent dwellers on this earth. Situations in place at this time cause us to realize that our leaving this existence or the reappearance of Jesus would not be a bad option. War is threatening the peace of our world and though we seem to have the superiority, still there is the question as to what the eventual outcome might be. Will our world be a better place to pass through? It is strange how our outlook on things changes as we progress through early in the trip. We think about life in regards to temporal things, our comforts, and pleasures, etc. At some point those thoughts change more to spiritual things and finally, in the closing years of our life, we suddenly begin to wonder did I make a difference of any kind?
Often during the ministry of Jesus, He placed emphasis on saving treasures for eternity. In fact, He taught there was a difficulty in gaining things in this world because of their perishable nature, but an eternal treasure would be protected against every contingency. His words: “Lay up treasures where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and thieves do not break through and steal.” Perhaps Paul's statement in Col. 3:1 is a good one for us to consider: “Set your affections on things above and not on things on the earth.” Have we ever mapped out a plan for reaching this objective? How do I lay up treasure in Heaven? We do so by serving others and being an influence for good.
I often think of our dad. He left this existence just over fifty years ago to move to a new home or a place that is permanent. Although he had little formal education, all the time I knew him he maintained a vital interest in the church and its work. He was not formally educated, but he was still able to teach others about Christ. There are still a few in the congregation here that remember him. Most of the ones he led to the Master are no longer living, but even so his influence lives through the lives of those still living.
When the apostle of the Hebrew letter wrote: “Seeing we are compassed about with so great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, ever looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” I can think of a number of people who have really made a difference. The work of these old soldiers of the cross continues even today in helping the churches. Others have made a difference and so can we.
The last verse of Mr. Brumley's song says: “Just up in glory land we'll live eternally, the saints on every hand are shouting victory; their song of sweetest praise drifts back from heaven's shore, and I can't feel at home in this world anymore.”
Foundation Forum - March 2003
"A VISIT WITH OL' MAN LISTER:
HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?"
Ol' man Lister and I were standing at the counter at Ponder Point Parts visiting with Baldy Green, sharpening our pocket knives on the whetstone, when Baldy's nephew, Barry Green, strolled in wearing what lots of college students wear when they visit their hometown; an attitude. He said he was here to bring his uncle Baldy into the twenty-first century.
Barry started running Baldy "down the country" for not getting a chainsaw to cut firewood. Baldy holds to the old saying, "If you cut your own wood, it warms you twice." and he swings the biggest axe in the county. His nephew talked about horsepower and cords per hour until he was blue in the face. It was obvious that he was not being very persuasive.
Finally he said, "Uncle Baldy, it's this simple. If you use a chainsaw, you'll have twice as much wood."
Baldy calmly looked him square in the eye and said, "Boy, I don't need twice as much wood."
You know...I reckon he's right.