Editor: Richard (Dick) Innes
Published by: ACTS International
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Vol. 19 – No. 0807 February 24, 2017
Thought for the week: "Some people say they haven't yet found themselves. But the self is not something one finds; it is something one creates." – Thomas Szasz
He ordered one hamburger, one order of French fries and one drink. The old man unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half.
He placed one half in front of his wife.
He then carefully counted out the French fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife
He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them. As he began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them kept looking over and whispering.
You could tell they were thinking, "That poor old couple—all they can afford is one meal for the two of them."
As the man began to eat his fries a young man came to the table. He politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said they were just fine—They were used to sharing everything.
The surrounding people noticed the little old lady hadn't eaten a bite. She sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.
Again the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them. This time the old woman said "No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything."
As the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asked "What is it you are waiting for?"
Dr. Samuel Weinstein is the chief of pediatric cardio-thoracic surgery for the Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. In May of 2006, he traveled to El Salvador with Heart Care International in order to provide life-saving operations for less-fortunate children. However, it would take more than his expertise and advanced equipment to save the life of 8-year-old Francisco Calderon Anthony Fernandez.
Dr. Weinstein and his team began operating on Francisco's heart shortly before noon. Twelve hours later, the procedure took a deadly turn. "The surgery had been going well, everything was working great, but he was bleeding a lot and they didn't have a lot of the medicines we would use to stop the bleeding," Weinstein said. "After a while, they said they couldn't give him blood because they were running out and he had a rare type.'' In fact, Francisco's blood type was B-negative, which-according to the American Red Cross-is present in only two percent of the population.
As it was, the only other person in the room with a blood type of B-negative was Dr. Weinstein. Knowing what he had to do, he stepped down from the operating table. As his colleagues continued their precision work, Dr. Weinstein set aside his scalpel, took off his gloves, and began washing his hands and forearm. Then, in the corner of an unfamiliar operating room, the prestigious doctor from one of the most advanced hospitals in the world sat down to give away his own blood.
When he had given his pint, Dr. Weinstein drank some bottled water and ate a Pop-Tart. Then—20 minutes after stepping away from the table—he rejoined his colleagues. After watching his own blood begin circulating into the boy's small veins, Dr. Weinstein completed the operation that saved Francisco's heart—and his life.1
Ed. Note: A good illustartion of what Jesus did for your and me when he gave his life on the cross of Calvary to pay the ultimate penalty for mankind's sins—the shedding and giving of his own blood.
That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.
Preparing to take our children on a long plane trip reminded me of how stressful traveling was just a few years ago when they were really young.
Anne and I would do everything we could to keep our kids from annoying other passengers, but no matter how hard we tried, one would always scream or kick the seat in front of her.
Inevitably, a few passengers would add to our anxiety and embarrassment by displaying disdain and discomfort through withering comments, loud sighs or accusatory looks. Their message was clear: We were inept or inconsiderate parents.
I couldn't blame them because our children did make their trip unpleasant. Still, I wished they were more understanding.
In contrast, I so admired and appreciated the occasional man or woman who would go out of their way to ease the tension or lighten the burden with a supportive smile, a kind comment, or an offer to help.
Sometimes we don't seem aware of the choices we have and our power to make things better or worse.
I read of a man on a subway with two young children who were being loud and unruly. The man seemed to ignore their behavior, so a fed-up passenger confronted him: "Sir, don't you see how your children are disturbing everyone? How can you be so thoughtless?"
The man sobbed, "I'm so sorry. Their mom just died, and I've been thinking of how we will live without her."
Sure, that's an extreme case, but why is it that so many of us have to be hit over the head before we turn on our caring and empathy buttons?
The next time you have the choice between being right or being kind, choose kindness.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
"All Scripture is God-breathed [inspired] and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."1
In an AgapePress news report Mark Creech shared how "Mike Yaconelli once wrote in the Wittenburg Door about his life in a small rural community where there were lots of cattle ranches, and once in a while a cow would wander off and get lost. He wrote, 'Ask a rancher how a cow gets lost, and chances are he will reply, 'Well, the cow starts nibbling on a tuft of green grass, and when it finishes, it looks ahead to the next tuft of green grass and starts nibbling on that one, and then it nibbles on a tuft of green grass right next to the hole in the fence. It then sees another tuft of green grass on the other side of the fence, so it nibbles on that one and then goes on to the next tuft. The next thing you know the cow has nibbled itself into being lost.'"2
Over the last two centuries liberal theologians and churches have whittled away at the Word of God until they have gotten to the point where they decide what is God's Word and what is not. Among many church leaders and church members today abortion on demand is accepted and approved, homosexuality and the gay lifestyle are no longer questioned, and gay marriage is permitted—all of which God's Word, the Bible, blatantly opposes. And the reason God is opposed to any and all sinful behavior is because it hurts and ultimately destroys those whom he loves—us!
Mark Creech also shared how a fairly recent poll of members of a major Protestant church in the U.S. "found that only 43% of parishioners, 50% of elders, and 39% of clergy could agree that Jesus Christ was the only way of salvation."3 At this point such adherents have nibbled themselves into being lost—eternally lost—because Jesus made it very clear that he and he alone was the only way to God. He said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."4
Furthermore, had there been any other way for men and women to come to God, why would Jesus, the Son of God, have needed to come to earth in human form, to be crucified and die on the cruel and excruciatingly painful Roman cross to save us from our sins?
Whenever we ignore God's Word and go our own way, we do so to our peril.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your Word, the Bible, in which you give clear instructions for this life as well as the next. Please deliver me from the sin and folly of adding to your Word or detracting from it. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV).
2. Mark H. Creech, "The Right Frame of Mind. How Did Mainline Churches Get This Way?" August 25, 2003. AgapePress. http://tinyurl.com/fjav9
4. John 14:6 (NIV).
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