Mrs. B. L. Stumbaugh submitted this story to Reader’s Digest some time back:
“My 16-year old son’s room was always a mess. I told him he couldn’t go out with his friends until he had cleaned half of it.
“Just a few minutes later, he was heading for the front door, whistling. When I confronted him, he said, “But, Mom, you told me it didn’t matter which half I cleaned, so I cleaned the top half!”
We get frustrated with our kids when they want to take short cuts, but I wonder if Father God gets just as frustrated with us when we take short cuts in our obedience to Him.
What short cuts have you seen your kids make?
Tags: children, obedience
David received a parrot for his birthday. This parrot was fully grown with a bad attitude and worse vocabulary. Every other word was an expletive. Those that weren’t expletives were, to say the least, rude.
David tried hard to change the bird’s attitude and was constantly saying polite words, playing soft music, anything he could think of, but nothing worked. He yelled at the bird, the bird got worse. he shook the bird and the bird got madder and ruder.
Finally, in a moment of desperation, David put the parrot in the freezer. For a few moments he heard the bird squawking and kicking and screaming and then, suddenly, there was quiet. David was frightened that he might have actually hurt the bird and quickly opened the door.
The parrot calmly stepped out onto David’s extended arm and said, “I’m sorry that I might have offended you with my language and actions and ask for your forgiveness. I will endeavor to correct my behavior.”
David was surprised at the bird’s change in attitude and was about to ask what had changed him when the parrot said, “May I ask what the chicken did?”
Sometimes seeing God discipline someone else is a wakeup call for us. When has that happened to you?
Tags: discipline, Parrot
I can recall being disciplined with a switch. A “switch” was a flexible branch from a tree. The switch acted like a whip when it struck across my backside and really hurt! And all us kids feared the dreaded switch. I don’t know why it was called a switch unless it referred to the behavior of the kid after applying the switch to the bottom line.
I used to get as far from the switch as I could as it was swinging my way. But it didn’t take me long to learn what a mistake that was! The wisest place to be when Mom was swinging the switch was as close as I could be to her. That way, her leverage was minimized.
And so it is with God’s correction. When he begins to wield the stinging switch, Let’s move in as close as we can get. The closer we get to the Father in those times, the less it stings.
What have you learned about the switch?
Tags: correction, discipline
When explorers Lewis & Clark blazed a trail across the American wilderness they brought along a French guide and his Shoshone wife, Sacajawea. Every night the guide offered his wife to the men for a price and every night they refused. Eventually, needing supplies, they asked the chief of a nearby Indian tribe for help. Through Sacajawea, he replied, “No. White man lie and cheat.”
Just then the guide’s wife spoke up and said, “These men are different. They keep their promises to their wives back home.” After hearing how they’d refused to commit adultery, the chief gave Lewis & Clark their supplies. Shortly thereafter they crossed the Great Divide and claimed the Northwest. But their biggest accomplishment wasn’t new territory – it was character! Jesus said, “From…out of a person’s heart, come…sexual immorality…adultery…eagerness for lustful pleasure…they…defile you and make you unacceptable to God” (Mark 7:21-23 NLT).
When God said, “Do not commit adultery,” he intended husbands and wives to be faithful to each other. Character doesn’t come out in the wash.
Tags: adultery, character, Lewis & Clark
One more blog on change. Henry Kissinger is a sought after expert on world affairs. Few people understand what happens around the world politically more than him. He said this of change: “For any student of history, change is the law of life. Any attempt to contain it guarantees an explosion down the road; the more rigid the adherence to the status quo, the more violent the ultimate outcome will be.”
On a lighter note, Ken Gaub says it like this: “If you continue to think like you always thought, you’ll always get what you always got!”
Ready or not, your life will change!
Tags: Change, Kissinger
Today is Valentine’s Day and I hope you haven’t forgotten. The story of how couples first met is always interesting. Anita and I first met at a prayer meeting at a home in Butler. We were both brand new believers and on fire for God. She arrived after me with two other young gals and began to tell of a near accident they had on the way there. As she was retelling the dramatic story her emotions came through and she began to bawl. Immediately I grabbed my handkerchief and gave it to her. The knight in shining armor rescuing the damsel in distress! She blew snot all over it! And then she refused it give it back until she had laundered it. In retrospect, I think that was her conniving strategy to see me again all along.
Of course, she tells a different version of the story. How did you first meet your sweetheart?
Tags: First Impressions, Romance, Valentine
I forgot the guy’s name who said, “Never trust anyone over 30!” A couple of years later he turned 30 and we haven’t heard anything from him since. William James, famous professor of philosophy and psychology at Harvard University, once stated that after 30 we become set like plaster and never change. But that has been proven incorrect.
John D. Rockefeller had become the world’s only billionaire. But he was a miserable man who couldn’t sleep, had no one who loved him, and who needed bodyguards for his safety.
Then at age 53 he was stricken with a rare disease. He lost all his hair, and his body became thin and shrunken. He was given a year or so to live.
Faced with the reality of death, Rockefeller started thinking about eternal issues, and suddenly began to change. He gave away his money to help churches and the poor. He established the Rockefeller Foundation, which has underwritten critical health research. Today, we don’t remember him for his wealth, we remember him for his generosity.
His health improved, and contrary to the doctor’s prediction, he lived to be 98. Don’t tell me people can’t change.
Tags: Change, generosity, Rockefeller