great stories

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Rev. E. Anderson

PRODIGAL FATHER

by Dale Kugler

An old ironworker learns that he is loved.

At seventy-three, Marcia Pollock’s father was a man of great independence, a man of great pride. He had been an ironworker, a career that gave him great satisfaction, even looking back. He loved to point out to his grandchildren the construction jobs he had worked on, the huge advertising structures in and around town. The kids called him ‘Poppy’, a contagious name that every­body used.

Poppy lived in a furnished room in his old neighbourhood and he had a part-time job at a local pharmacy. After Marcia’s mother died, Poppy had firmly and flatly refused Marcia and Jack’s invitation to come and live with them. He was stubborn about not intruding on their lives, about not crowding their little house, about not becoming a burden.

Yet the truth of the matter was that they really wanted him. Poppy was good to be around. He was always on the up side, always helpful. The kids loved him because he listened to them and worked with them and because he always brought them something. There were always special gifts on birthdays and at Christmas. And whether it was a little bunch of flowers for Marcia, or a new after-shave for Jack, Poppy simply never arrived empty-handed.

And so it was with shock and bewilderment that Marcia went to see Poppy in the hospital that summer after he had collapsed in the street. The doctors told Marcia, Poppy had been living on coffee and doughnuts.

‘Why, Poppy, why?’ Marcia wanted to know. ‘There’s no reason to go without food. You have money. You have us.’

But Poppy just brushed the whole subject aside.

‘You’re wrong,’ the pharmacist told Marcia later that day. ‘He has practically no money at all – just the government cheque and what little he makes here. Yet I myself saw him spend most of his last cheque on your little boy’s bicycle.’

She became stern with Poppy. ‘You’re foolish, Poppy,’ she said.

‘I have my pride,’ Poppy answered.

‘False pride,’ she hurled back at him.

During autumn, Poppy didn’t come around as often as he had in the past, but when he did, he would still arrive with little gifts in hand, and he would look at Marcia with a defiance she had never seen in him.

‘I can’t come over Christmas Day,’ Poppy told her just before the holidays. ‘This year I promised I’d watch the store.’

Marcia knew the shop was not open on Christmas.

From then on she grew more distressed with each day that passed. She had to do something, but she floundered until the morning she sat down and wrote the letter.

Poppy dear –

This will be brief. We’ll miss you at Christmas, all of us, because you are one of us. I am praying for you – as always.

And, Poppy, lately I’ve been thinking about the parable of the prodigal son and it’s meaning, especially in the confusion of Christmas. What’s more important in that situation, the destruction of pride – or the triumph of love?

We love you.

Marcia

All Christmas morning Marcia thought about Poppy. Half an hour before the turkey went on the table, the doorbell rang. Marcia jumped. She knew it was Poppy.

The kids rushed to him and in their great surprise inundated Poppy with more hugs and kisses than he had ever had before. Poppy then looked at Marcia. Now there was no defiance in his eyes, only snap and sparkle like the Poppy of old. Yet there was something else, a look of triumph, the look of a battle won.

Poppy held out his arms to Marcia, and his hands, those strong ironworker’s hands, were empty, utterly empty — yet never had they been more filled.

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gospel nuggets

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Rev. E. Anderson

KNOW THAT GOD LOVES YOU

A written declaration in the Bible affirms beyond doubt the immense and intense love that God has for all mankind, and that includes you! The Bible not only reveals that God exists but that He has a tremendous, undying affection for every human being irrespective of sex, nationality, gift, culture etc. It states simply that “God so loved the world” (and that means every individual, yes, you!) that He gave Jesus Christ His Son to become your Saviour, Friend and Lord.

He was willing to vacate His unique form as the Son of God in heaven and take on a human, frail body to manifest God’s love in a real manner. His advent to earth and His life and service here was to give a visible and lasting demonstration of God’s kindness and goodness.

The reason for His death is clearly given to us in the Bible and was expressed by himself. He said that He had come with this purpose in mind, to die for man’s sins, to become our substitute in dying as a sacrificial victim on the Cross. Paul, a preacher of the Christian message wrote: “God commandeth His love towards us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” – Romans %:8.

CHRIST CAME INTO THIS WORLD TO BE YOUR REAL AND TRUE FRIEND. He came specifically to love and befriend you in a uniquel manner and desires to make known His friendship to you. He is the best and greatest Friend you could ever have and know.

CHRIST ALSO CAME TO BE YOUR SAVIOUR. In His friendship He makes known the fact that He loved you enough to die for you, to be the sacrifice for your sin. Instead of you having to bear the judgment of God on your sins, He suffered in your room and stead so that God the  Father could forgive you. It is important that you receive Him into heart and life as your Saviour so that you will not have to bear the final judgment on sin which is hell. Peter said: “He died the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God” 1 Peter 3:18.

CHRIST CAME WITH THE OBJECT THAT YOU MAKE HIM YOUR LORD. He rose from death and the grave to reveal His power and authority over such. In receiving Him into your life He brings and gives His power to live the God-life, the ability to live clean, pure, good and right and to have the favour of God on your life now.

Today, you can take Him into your life by faith. Make him your Friend right now. Receive him as your Saviour and your past will be forgiven. And make Him your Lord and you will possess the power to live the God-kind of life. The Bible says: “If any man is in Christ, He is a new creature; old things have away and all things have become new” – 2 Corinthians 5:17. Don’t miss out on knowing Christ!

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a time to laugh

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Rev. E. Anderson

A  MUMMY FUNNY

LETTER FROM A MOTHER TO A DAUGHTER:

My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.

When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?

When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way. Remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair, and dealing with life’s issues every day. The day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.

And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.

When those days come, don’t feel sad … just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love.

I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you, my darling daughter.

BIRTHDAY  FUNNY

Guy 1: “It’s the wife’s birthday today. Last week I asked her what she
wanted as a present.”

Guy 2: “So what did she ask for?”

Guy 1: “She said, ‘Oh, I don’t know, just give me something with diamonds.’
And so I’m giving her a deck of playing cards.”

A SHERRIF FUNNY

In one small town the Sheriff was also the Veterinarian.

One night an agitated citizen phoned him: “We need you right away!”

“Do you need me as the sheriff or the vet?”

“Both! We can’t get our dog’s mouth open, and there’s a burglar in it!”

today’sTHOT

Some people are so poor; all they have is money.

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