Great Stories assembled by Rev. E. Anderson

                                             

                                            Rev. E. Anderson

ONE MAN’S JUNK…

ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE

Ron Mehl

 

Bob had systematically worked his way to the back of the garage and was about to make his exit when he first saw it.

 

Although partially hidden underneath a table cloth and an old comforter, the shape was unmistakable. It was a motorcycle. And not only that . . . it was a Harley.

 

Obviously it wasn’t part of the garage sale, and that piqued Bob’s interest.

 

“Is the bike for sale?”

 

The man shrugged. “Well . . . . I don’t rightly see why not. The wife says it’s all got to go. But I’ll warn you. That bike hasn’t run since I’ve had it. Motor’s seized up. Won’t turn over Could probably buy yourself a new one with what it’d cost to fix up that old thing.”

 

Bob nodded patiently. “All the same, how much do you want for it?”

 

“I’m sure they’d give me thirty-five bucks for the metal at the scrap yard. How does that sound?”

 

Bob looked at the rusty old heap. What would his wife say if he brought it home? But still . . . to a practiced eye, it had potential. Even if it didn’t run, he could get it shined up as a conversation piece. And he could surely sell it again for more than thirty-five dollars. Parts alone would be worth more than that.

 

“Okay,” he said. “I’ll give you thirty-five. Can I pick it up tomorrow?”

 

Shortly thereafter the old Harley was occupying space in Bob’s garage. After a few weeks of procrastinating, he finally got around to calling Harley-Davidson, just to see what a few major parts for restoration would run him. He connected with someone on the parts line and asked a few questions.

 

“Why don’t you give me the serial number,” the dealer said, and I can look that up for you.”

 

Bob gave him the number.

 

“Hold on just a second while I look it up.”

 

Bob waited on hold, listening to a sixties rock station pipe into the receiver. How appropriate, he thought. After what seemed an inordinately long time, the parts man returned to the line. An just in time. One more number by the Trogs or County Joe ant the Fish might have driven Bob off the line altogether.

 

Somehow the Harley man sounded different. Strange. Self-conscious. Like something was up.

 

“Uh, sir… I’m going to have to call you back, okay? Could I get your full name, address, and phone number, please?”

 

Why does he need my name and address? Bob wondered. But then again, what was the harm? It was no big deal. He’d probably end up on some motorcycle list. Bob gave the man what he wanted and hung up.

 

After a few minutes, however, he found himself getting ner­vous. He regretted giving the information about himself over the phone. What if the bike had been involved in a crime of some kind.                                    .? What if the bike was stolen? Was he in danger of prose­cution? Maybe the police were already on their way or a Hell’s Angel, ready to reclaim his bike . . .

Bob sweated for a couple of days without hearing back from Harley. But just as his worries were beginning to subside, the phone rang. This time, however, it wasn’t the parts man; Bob found himself talking to a Harley executive. The man seemed overly friendly, making Bob feel even more uneasy.

 

“Listen, Bob,” said the man, “I want you to do something for me, okay?”

 

“Umm. Well, I guess.”

 

“Bob, I want you just to set the receiver down – don’t hang up – and take the seat off your bike and see if anything is written underneath. Would you do that for me, Bob?” The man talked like an air traffic controller bringing in an off-course 737.

 

And Bob felt like he was about to hit wind shear.

 

But he grabbed a screwdriver, did as he was told, and returned to the phone. “Yes,” he said, “It does have something written there. It’s engraved, and it says, ‘THE KING’ Listen, is there some kind of trouble here? What’s this all about?”

 

There was a moment or two of profound silence on the other end. Bob felt like the man on the long distance commer­cial listening for a pin to drop.

 

“Bob, my boss has authorized me to offer you $300,000 for the bike, payable to you immediately.

 

How about it? Do we have a deal?”

 

Bob was so stunned he could hardly speak. “I’ll have to think about it,” he stammered. He hung up the phone and let himself slump slowly to a sitting position on the kitchen floor.

 

The next day Bob got a call from Jay Leno, the late-night television talk sultan. Leno explained that he “had a thing about Harleys” and offered Bob $500,000.

 

“The King,” of course, was none other than Elvis Presley. The serial number had made that clear, and the engraved leg­end under the seat had removed all doubt. The bike Bob had redeemed from the scrap pile for thirty-five dollars had once been owned by “The King of Rock ‘n Roll.” And it was worth half a million at the least After all those years of seeking “The Big Find,” Bob found it. But he hadn’t even recognized what he had.

 

It goes to show you that truly one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. The value of the motorcycle, of course, wasn’t in the metal or the parts. It didn’t even run! The value had nothing to do with the bike’s beauty, what it was made of, how well it performed…. It was all tied to the fact that it h been owned by “the King.” He had touched it, ridden it, taken pride in it. And the inexplicable value our culture has attach to Elvis Presley approaching deity status transferred to the motorcycle. There were people willing to pay a small fortune for the privilege of saying, “I own Elvis Presley’s motorcycle.’

 

Bob didn’t realize he had something of great value. I hadn’t a clue about the bike’s previous owner. He just saw something cheap on the market place an opportunity for a little profit. What he found out, of course, was that ownership was by far the most important truth about that old Harley. In fact ownership was everything.

 

And what is it that speaks most forcefully about your value and mine?

 

Is it what we’re made of? Is it based on our job title or economic status? Is it determined by what we can do and how we “perform “? . . . . What gives me a sense of worth and significance is that I belong to God. I have been redeemed by God’s own Son at great suffering and a great price. He owns me . . .

one argues, with the mark of the King.

 

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Points to Ponder presented by Rev. E. Anderson

                                     

                                    Rev. E. Anderson

MARRIAGE BEST PRACTICE – CHARTER

 

 

·          I know you are not perfect so I will be patient with you in your mistakes.

 

·          I will look for opportunities to be kind to you by being good.

 

·          I will not walk in envy – be competitive or possessive, it’s okay if you are ahead of me.

 

·          Rather than be arrogant or rude I will display courtesy and good manners.

 

·          I will act selflessly putting your needs and health first always, not demanding precedence.

 

·          Rather than be rough, irritated, touchy, or hostile I will be graceful when I am under pressure.

 

·          I will seek to forgive and erase all resentments I will not keep account of wrongs done to me. I will be quick to forgive you.

 

·          I will seek to advertise your good not your shortcomings or evil reports.

 

·          I will defend and hold you up rather than be suspicious,

 

·          I will seek to believe the best about you.

 

·          I will continuously be hopeful, I will never give up on you but I will seek to always affirm your future.

 

·          I will persevere and remain loyal to you to the end.

 

A Time to Laugh served by Rev. E. Anderson

                                                      

                                     Rev. E. Anderson

CHURCH BULLETIN BLOOPERS

 

 

·          The Rev. Adams spoke briefly, much to the delight of his audience.

 

·          The eighth graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” in the church

basement on Friday at 7 pm. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

 

·          A new loudspeaker system has been installed in the church. It was given by one of

our members in honour of his wife.

 

·          The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are

not afflicted with any church.

 

·          The Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10. All ladies are invited

to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.

 

·          Evening massage: 6 p.m.

 

·          The Pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him

their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.

 

·          The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession.

 

·          Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 pm. Please use the

back door.

 

·          Ushers will eat latecomers.

 

·          The third verse of “Blessed Assurance” will be sung without musical accomplishment.

 

·          Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service. The pastor will

then speak on “It’s a Terrible Experience.”

 

·          Due to the Rector’s illness, Wednesday’s healing services will be discontinued

until further notice.

 

·          Stewardship Offertory: “Jesus Paid It All”

 

·          The concert held in Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to

the minister’s daughter, who laboured the whole evening at the piano, which as usual

fell upon her.

 

·          In the church bulletin during the minister’s illness: GOD IS GOOD! Dr. Hargreaves

is better.

 

·          Don’t miss this Saturday’s exhibit by Christian Martian Arts…

 

·          The agenda was adopted…the minutes were approved…the final secretary gave a

grief report.

 

 

News and Views editedby Rev. E. Anderson

                               

                                 Rev. E. Anderson

NEW METHODIST HYMN COLLECTION PLANNED FOR 2010

 

The Methodist Church is to produce a new hymn collection In 2010 and Is looking for your contributions.

 

A Music Resources Group has been authorised by the Methodist Conference to bring a draft list of hymns to Conference in 2009 for publication the following year.

 

‘We’re working to produce a list available for consultation from October to March next year,’ says Group Chair, the Revd Barbara Bircumshaw. ‘There’ll be a DVD presentation of our work for the Autumn Synods.’

 

The new collection will be designed to replace Hymns & Psalms, the present authorised hymnbook of the Methodist Church, which was published in 1983. Barbara says that it just missed an explosion in hymn writing and worship songs that began shortly afterwards. She hopes that the new collection will reflect a broad range of themes and theology as well as drawing on material from the World Church.

 

‘It’s proving to be a huge task as we review every published collection since Hymns & Psalms and look at unpublished material too. Our aim is to retain the best of the old, include the best of the new and to reflect a diversity of theological and musical traditions.’

 

Exactly what forms the new collection will take is still under discussion. The Methodist Publishing House (mph) is currently undertaking a survey to consider the different print and electronic options. However, whatever other options are followed up, the Group still believes that there is a demand for hymns in a book form. ‘We feel it’s part of our tradition to have an authorised book that will be used for reference and devotion,’ Barbara says.

 

Though the hymn selection process is well underway, there is still plenty of time to submit your own suggestions.

 

More information: If you would like the Group to consider a hymn/ song for the new collection, email singmethodist@aol.com

 

Postal submissions can be sent to Singmethodist, 113 Kenyon Lane, Croft, Warrington, WA3 7DU

 

Children’s Page compiled by Rev. E. Anderson

                             

                              Rev. E. Anderson

“SKIPPER, YOU HAVEN’T PRAYED”

 

The strength of the gale had turned the ocean into a raging fury, and with heavy waves dashing against the headlands, thick fog had descended to increase the perils of the night. Radio warnings had gone out to all shipping. and lifeboat teams were standing by in readiness for emergencies. The coastguard slowly made his way along the shore, but his actions seemed foolish, for the swirling fog obliterated everything.  Yet, impelled by a strange intuition, the untiring man continued his vigil.  A ship might be in distress; he would not fail in the execution of his duty.

 

He was correct. Battered and driven by merciless seas, a vessel completely out of control was drifting toward the rocks. The skipper and his crew, who had striven in vain to save the ship, now faced almost certain death. Thick fog had negatived the usefulness of their rockets, and as the ‘waves pounded the vessel; the position seemed to be hopeless. Fearful lest the surging water should sweep them overboard, the men tied themselves to the rigging of the ship.  They were weary and helpless, and every moment threatened to be their last. 

 

As the crashing waves filled the night with terror, the skipper shouted, “Men, I have done my best to save you.  I have done everything I could do.” His announcement was followed by a silence broken only by the noise of the storm; but sud­denly a boy, the youngest member of the crew, answered, “Skipper, there is one thing you have not done.” “Boy, what is that?” “Skipper, you haven’t prayed.” The lad’s reminder sounded like a rebuke; but the despairing man realized that the boy was correct. 

 

The need was urgent, and if prayer could perform miracles then it was imperative that someone should pray. His men listened as in rough sailor fashion ~he captain asked the Almighty to have mercy upon him and his crew. In plain language and in a plain way, he cried to God for help; and the Lord heard him. When the prayer had ended the captain looked at his watch. The time was twenty-five minutes past one a.m. He then looked toward the silent boy and said, “Son, now I have prayed. I have done everything.”

 

The men were amazed when a lifeboat appeared from the blackness of the night. It was unbelievable, for their rockets had long since been fired in vain.  They closed their eyes and opened them again, to discover that this was not a mocking mirage. The boat was slowly drawing nearer to their wrecked vessel. Could it be done, or would the lifeboat capsize in the mountainous seas?  Slowly but surely the miracle was performed. One by one the men were seized by willing hands.

 

Then began the hazardous journey back to the shore, where a small crowd had gathered to greet the shipwrecked men.  As the skipper of the vessel stepped ashore, he said, “We had almost lost hope when the boy said we should pray. We did, it was twenty-five minutes past one. Soon after­wards, you came and we were saved.”

 

The coastguard went forward and said, “Excuse me, skipper, but did you say it was twenty-five minutes past one, when you prayed?” The first speaker intimated that this was correct. The crowd marvelled when the coast­guard went on to tell his part of the story. He had been patrolling the cliff, and was debating the futility of his actions when quite suddenly the fog had parted, to reveal a wrecked vessel. Within a second or two the mist came together again, leaving the man wondering if he had really seen a vessel or had imagined he had. He looked at his watch, and the hands registered 1.25 a.m. Realizing that men might be in great danger, the coastguard reported to the lifeboat station that he thought a vessel was wrecked off shore.

 

His timely action saved a crew from drowning. The coastguard asked the skipper to compare watches, and both men were thrilled to find that their times were identical. When the anxious man prayed, the fog had miraculously parted, enabling a coastguard to obtain a glimpse of the wreck. The prayer had been wonderfully answered.

 

I shall always remember how Mr. Ernest Luff told this story to his band of Pilgrim Preachers. He lived near the Essex coast, and this rescue had taken place within a few miles of his home town. Our leader’s face was radiant as he said, “Real, believing prayer can perform the impossible.”

 

 

Illustrations that Light Up by Rev. E. Anderson

                                     

                                     Rev. E. Anderson

WHO ARE YOU LISTENING TO?

 

The story is told of a dog trotting along with a daily newspaper in his mouth. His owner, a boy about twelve years old, walked behind him. A boy across the street espied the dog and gave a quick, sharp whistle.

 

The dog pricked up his ears, and in a moment he started across and reached the middle of the street, when his owner saw what he was doing and whistled. The dog started back. The boy across the street gave another whistle, held up something in his hand, and called, “Come here, sir.” The dog started towards him, when he heard his owner’s whistle again and started back. Everybody on the street looked and laughed.

 

I wish you could have seen that dog race toward one then toward the other. He did not know what to do nor which way to go. He couldn’t follow both; he had to choose between them. At last a decided whistle and a loud command from his master brought him back, and he trotted along slowly behind his master.

 

There are many times when we get into about the place of that small dog.