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A Speeding Ticket Lesson

Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73 in a 55 zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get caught so often?
When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror. The cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand.

Bob? Bob from Church? Jack sunk farther into his trench coat. This was worse than the coming ticket. A cop catching a guy from his own church. A guy who happened to be a little eager to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was about to play golf with tomorrow.

Jumping out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday, a man he’d never seen in uniform.

“Hi, Bob. Fancy meeting you like this.”

“Hello, Jack.” No smile.

“Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see my wife and kids.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Bob seemed uncertain. Good.

“I’ve seen some long days at the office lately. I’m afraid I bent the rules a bit – just this once.”

Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement. “Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes tonight. Know what I mean?”

“I know what you mean. I also know that you have a reputation in our precinct.” Ouch. This was not going in the right direction. Time to change tactics.

“What’d you clock me at?”

“Seventy. Would you sit back in your car please?”

“Now wait a minute here, Bob. I checked as soon as I saw you. I was barely nudging 65.” The lie seemed to come easier with every ticket.

“Please, Jack, in the car”

Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still-open door. Slamming it shut, he stared at the dashboard. He was in no rush to open the window.

The minutes ticked by. Bob scribbled away on the pad.

Why hadn’t he asked for a driver’s license?

Whatever the reason, it would be a month of Sundays before Jack ever sat near this cop again. A tap on the door jerked his head to the left. There was Bob, a folded paper in hand. Jack rolled down the window a mere two inches, just enough room for Bob to pass him the slip.

“Thanks.” Jack could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice.

Bob returned to his police car without a word. Jack watched his retreat in the mirror. Jack unfolded the sheet of paper. How much was this one going to cost?

Wait a minute. What was this? Some kind of joke?

Certainly not a ticket. Jack began to read:

“Dear Jack,

Once upon a time, I had a daughter. She was six when killed by a car. You guessed it – a speeding driver. A fine and three months in jail, and the man was free. Free to hug his daughters, all three of them. I had only one, and I’m going to have to wait until Heaven before I can ever hug her again.

A thousand times I’ve tried to forgive that man. A thousand times I thought I had. Maybe I did, but I need to do it again. Even now. Pray for me. And be careful, Jack, my son is all I have left.

-Bob”

Jack turned around in time to see Bob’s car pull away and head down the road. Jack watched until it disappeared. A full 15 minutes later, he too, pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised wife and kids when he arrived.

~ Author Unknown ~

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you get tired of certain “friends” only calling you when they need something.

Is this something you deal with?  I know I have dealt with it off and on for years.  And I’ve heard many others complain of this particular issue as well.  When things are great, you don’t hear a thing from certain folks, but boy oh boy… let them have a need that you’re able to fill and they’re ringing your phone off the hook.

Often times, people like that also don’t have time for you when you need them.  Ever notice that?  You have a crisis and could use some of their help and it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack, cause now they’re sure impossible to find.

It can be really frustrating to say the least.  Occasionally, you might even be tempted to simply quit being their friend at all, but something always stops you from going that far.  The next time they call with a need, you can’t help but go ahead and fill that need if at all possible.

Now that you’re sitting there thinking about how “Yeah!   It really IS annoying when So n So does that to me!”, imagine if you were GOD……..

God has to deal with this ALL THE TIME.   Literally… ALL THE TIME.  It never ends for Him.   There’s never a break from being taken for granted this way.   Can you possibly begin to imagine?

As I sat thinking about this I felt so sad and so sorry.  Sorry because I’ve done that to God myself in the past.  I’ve been that person who only prayed and spoke to the Lord when I needed something or was in some type of trouble.  I’m thankful that this is no longer “me” and I pray that it’s never ever “me” again.  I know how horrible being treated that way makes me feel and I would never want to treat my very Creator, my Father, my Lord and Savior so badly.

if you only pray when youre in troubleFolks, this is sin in one of it’s worst forms.  If this is something you do, then please realize it, ask for forgiveness and make a definite point to no longer take your very Creator Himself for granted this way again.  Spend quality time with the Lord your God.  He loves you dearly and wants to be more than your trouble fixer,  habit at the dinner table, or your obligation on Sundays.

He gives Himself freely to us and we should do exactly the same.

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Last night I simply could not fall asleep.  You know what I’m talking about, right?  The kind of night where no matter what you do, you just can’t shut the brain off.  Somehow, your very own brain declares a mutiny against you and, in some sort of strange overdrive, begins taking all sorts of inventory of your life – the past, the present, and the ever so elusive future.

My brain seemed determined to torture me with thoughts of all my past failures, shortcomings, faults, and lost dreams.

I finally sailed into the land of “Fed Up” with it all and got out of the bed, hoping to find something to help me fall asleep. I refuse to drink milk- cold, warm, or otherwise- so instead… maybe an old movie, reading a book, playing a Kindle Fire game (Triple Town is a mighty little game that’s sure to drive your family crazy), perhaps boring myself to sleep by checking out Facebook in the middle of the night?

I ended up trying it all, with the exception of an old movie and the yucky milk thing.  (Well, I mean really…. vomiting up disgusting milk is not the way I wanted to end the mental gymnastics meet my mind had in full swing.)

In addition to the bout of insomnia that I was having, I was also enduring some pretty horrific tooth ache pain – which wasn’t helping one tiny bit.

So anyhow, there I was… it’s like after 2 am (Sorry, but I so do not see what Taylor Swift sees in the whole “2 am thing”… Seemed like a pretty miserable time of night to be up to me, at least at this stage of my life and not at all the dramatic and romantic time she sings of so very often – my daughters are fans – of her music – not so much the 2 am itself…) and I’m not only wide awake, but in a whole heaping lot of pain.  I thought for a little while that perhaps I was birthing a baby tooth!  Labor pains in the mouth – oh yeah…. Ouch doesn’t cover it.

The thought of counting sheep crossed my mind and got me to thinking.  Why do people count sheep in order to help lull themselves to sleep in the first place?  Which led me to Wikipedia to find out the answer to that very question – which frankly… wasn’t all that interesting. You can look it up and decide for yourself whether you think it’s an interesting tidbit of knowledge to have.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counting_sheep

Right in the middle of all of this – insomnia, pain, sheep and more….  I felt a little tug from my Creator.  In the very center of it all, I realized that I had even more to be thankful for than I did to keep me up at night.  I realized that no matter how much pain I felt because of the tooth, that I am blessed because I was born in a country where dental care is possible.  There are so many that have no choice but to suffer with things as seemingly simple as a toothache.

Counting Blessings GSSimply put, my blessings far outweigh the rest in my life.  Out of that thought came the idea that instead of counting silly sheep to try to lull myself to sleep, that I would count my many blessings from the Lord and let Him rock me to sleep with His never ending, all consuming, amazing, love.

So – Late in the night, when you find you cannot sleep, count your many blessings, instead of silly sheep!

*** You can also write a really dorky short poem too.

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379455_469705126399165_1053964202_nJanuary 1, 2013.  That’s today.  Another year is gone and a new one is here.  I pray it’s a good one.

I noticed a trend on Facebook as we were on the downhill stretch towards the start of this brand new year.  A fairly large number of people were in agreement that 2012 was a bad year for them.  Seriously, it was a decent sized number of folks all extremely glad to see the end of what appeared to be a banner year of bad luck and unhappiness.  It seemed like people were focusing on everything bad that had happened to them over the past twelve months and only a precious few were thankful for the good things the Lord had done for them.

Thinking about this issue while browsing around some of my favorite blogs, I ran across a post with a great idea for keeping track of the blessings God gives us.  (Thank you – utesmile!)   jar Each and every time something good happens to you and your family, write it down on a slip of paper and stick it in a large jar, then at the end of the year go throuigh them all and thank the Lord for all the blessings He’s given you through that year.  I love it!

What a fun way to spend next New Years Eve!  It would be a great habit to start your children doing too.   We need to spend more of our time being thankful to the Lord for all He does for us and much less time concentrating on what we don’t have, didn’t do, or wish was different in our lives.

Ok, I’ve gotta run…. time to go find a large jar in which to cram all the blessing memory notes that I just know God is going to give me and my family this year!

Happy Beginning of 2013!!!

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