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April 24th, 2011

The Magic of Three Days

The Magic of Three Days

It was a beautiful spring day, and a sense of peace stayed with me as I left the cathedral on Easter Monday morning. I paused for a moment on top of the steps leading to the avenue, now crowded with people rushing to their jobs. Sitting in her usual place inside a small archway was the old flower lady. At her feet, corsages and boutonnieres were parading on top of a spread-open newspaper.

The flower lady was smiling, her wrinkled old face alive with some inner joy. I started down the stairs–then on an impulse, turned and picked out a flower.

As I put it in my lapel, I said, “You look happy.”

“Why not?’ she answered. “Everything is good.”

She was dressed so shabbily and seemed so very old that her reply started me. “You’ve been sitting here for many years now, haven’t you? And always smiling. You wear your troubles well.”

“You can’t reach my age and not have troubles,” she replied. “only it’s like Jesus and Good Friday….” She paused for a moment.

“Yes?” I prompted

“Well, when Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, that was the worst day for the whole world. When I get troubles I remember that, and then I think of what happened only three days later-Easter and our Lord rose from the dead. So when things go wrong, I’ve learned to wait days and somehow everything gets much better.”

She smiled good-bye, but her words still follow me whenever I think I have troubles… “Give God a chance to help…wait three days.”

– – – written by Patt Barnes

April 8th, 2011

Why Should We Never Fear Death?

Angel and Kids

Barbara was driving her six-year-old son, Benjamin, to his piano lesson. They were late, and Barbara was beginning to think she should have cancelled it. There was always so much to do, and Barbara, a night-duty nurse at the local hospital, had recently worked extra shifts. She was tired. The sleet storm and icy roads added to her tension. Maybe she should turn the car around.

“Mom!” Ben cried. “Look!” Just ahead, a car had lost control on a patch of ice. As Barbara tapped the brakes, the other car spun wildly rolled over, then crashed sideways into a telephone pole. Barbara pulled over, skidded to a stop and threw open her door. Thank goodness she was a nurse – she might be able to help these unfortunate passengers. Then she paused. What about Ben? She couldn’t take him with her. Little boys shouldn’t see scenes like the one she anticipated. But was it safe to leave him alone? What if their car were hit from behind?

For a brief moment Barbara considered going on her way. Someone else was sure to come along. No! “Ben, honey, promise me you’ll stay in the car!” “I will, Mommy,” he said as she ran, slipping and sliding toward the crash site. It was worse than she’d feared.

Two girls of high school age are in the car. One, the blond on the passenger side, was dead, killed on impact. The driver, however was still breathing. She was unconscious and pinned in the wreckage. Barbara quickly applied pressure to the wound in the teenager’s head while her practiced eye catalogued the other injuries. A broken leg, maybe two, along with probable internal bleeding. But if help came soon, the girl would live.

A trucker had pulled up and was calling for help on his cellular phone. Soon Barbara heard the ambulance sirens. A few moments later she surrendered her lonely post to rescue workers. “Good job,” one said as he examined the driver’s wounds. “You probably saved her life, ma’am.” Perhaps. But as Barbara walked back to her car a feeling of sadness overwhelmed her, especially for the family of the girl who had died. Their lives would never be the same. Oh, God, why do such things have to happen?

Slowly Barbara opened her car door. What should she tell Benjamin? He was staring at the crash site, his blue eyes huge. “Mom,” he whispered, “did you see it?” “See what, Honey?” she asked. “The angel, Mom! He came down from the sky while you were running to the car. And he opened the door, and he took that girl out.”

Barbara’s eyes filled with tears. “Which door, Ben?” “The passenger side. He took the girl’s hand, and they floated up to Heaven together” “What about the driver?” Ben shrugged. “I didn’t see anyone else.”

Later, Barbara was able to meet the families of the victims. They expressed their gratitude for the help she had provided. Barbara was able to give them something more – Ben’s vision.

There was no way he could have known what happened to either of the passengers. Nor could the passenger door have been opened; Barbara had seen its tangle of immovable steel herself. Yet Ben’s account brought consolation to a grieving family. Their daughter was safe in Heaven. And they would see her again.

March 22nd, 2011

Go Higher In Prayer

Go Higher In Prayer

Venomous snakes were being ferried from Africa to Europe in a plane. Unfortunately the person who packed the snakes forgot to lock the box in which the snakes were put.

Once the plane had taken off and responding to the movement of the plane, the snakes found their way out of the box. Passengers in the plane could see various snakes on the isle. They screamed, some fainted and the brave ones sought refugee wherever they could within the plane.

The air hostess ran to the pilot to inform him of this scaring incident. The pilot quickly informs the air controllers on the ground. “We are very very sorry, says his boss. We forgot to lock the box where we put the snakes. They are indeed some of the most poisonous snakes in the world”. “So where can I land? Please advise me before passengers are bitten”, asks the shaken pilot.

“No do not land, stay there for a minute, let me think”, advises the boss. Surely this sounds like stupid advice to the impatient pilot. But he has to follow the orders. A minute is too long for someone faced with such trouble he thinks. But he has to follow orders.

After a minute, the boss contacts him. “At what altitude are you flying? He asks. “300”, says the pilot. “Go higher”, advises the boss. “But the snakes will….” Before he finishes his sentence the boss bellows “I said go higher!!”.

He complies. Now whats your altitude? Asks the boss. 500.66 , answers the shaken pilot. “Go higher” “But sir…..” “I said go higher captain.” He complies.

By now the snakes are all over the plane, even one male member of the crew collapses. It is unbearable. A few have been bitten and have instantly died. But still, the majority keeps on seeking refugee.

“Now captain, keep on going higher”, says the boss. The pilot complies and keeps on going higher and higher. “Now what’s your altitude?”, asks the pilot. “Now I am on 1200”, he says quickly.

“Now stay there. Tell the cabin crew that at this altitude the snakes are now harmless. They can just pick them up with their hands and return them to the box and this time they should not forget to lock.”, advises the boss.

This is true. Once cabin crew member tries holding one snake. It is numb and harmless.

Soon it is a game within the plane with passengers,some for the first time holding snakes in their hands and returning them to the box. “Look at this black mamba, it was really after me. Now I can even throw it and catch it like a ball”, says one passenger even throwing and catching the black mamba.

This was the end of the seemingly dangerous ordeal in the plane. Even those who had fainted were resuscitated and they gained consciousness.

Moral of the Story:

In 2011, the snakes or problems of 2010 will follow you. However there is need for you to go higher and increase your altitude in prayer and commune with God And surely, there is a certain point in praying that you reach and this is the point when even the most seemingly unconquerable problems are defeated; they lose power. In the Name of Jesus.

God is going to shift things around for you today and let things work in your favor. If you believe, send this story to your friends also. If you don’t believe, ignore it.

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