Well, it’s almost Christmas!  But you may have some exams first.  Try this out:

 

The Bathtub Test

It doesn't hurt to take a hard look at yourself from time to time, and this should help get you started. During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director what the criterion was which defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.  "Well," said the Director, "We fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub."  "Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."  "No." said the Director, "A normal person would pull the plug.  Do you want a bed near the window?"

 

IF THE PROFESSOR ON GILLIGAN’S ISLAND CAN MAKE A RADIO OUT OF A COCONUT, WHY CAN’T HE FIX A HOLE IN A BOAT?

 

During the Christmas season of 1879, an agnostic reporter in Boston saw three girls standing in front of a store window full of toys.  One of them was blind.  He heard the other two describing the toys to their friend.  He had never considered how difficult it was to explain to someone without sight what something looks like.  That incident became the basis for a newspaper story.  Two weeks later the reporter attended a meeting held by Dwight L. Moody.  His purpose was to catch the evangelist in an inconsistency.  He was surprised when Moody used his account of the children to illustrate a truth.  “Just as the blind girl couldn’t visualize the toys,” said Moody, “so an unsaved person can’t see Christ in all His glory.” 

 

WISE MEN STILL SEEK JESUS.

 

Peter Larson wrote:  “Despite our efforts to keep Him out, God intrudes.  The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities:  a virgin’s womb and an empty tomb.  Jesus entered our world through a door marked ‘No Entrance’ and left through a door marked ‘No Exit.’”  James Edwards echoes this theme in his book The Divine Intruder: “(God) breaks into this world, even when He is unexpected and unwelcome.  God joins us in our weakest and worst moments.  There is a Divine Intruder among us.”

 

IF WILE E. COYOTE HAD ENOUGH MONEY TO BUY ALL THAT ACME CRAP, WHY DIDN’T HE JUST BUY DINNER?

Life was tough for Datha and her family.  At age 39, she had a heart attack and bypass surgery and learned that she had coronary artery disease.  A year later, her 15-year-old daughter Heather became paralyzed as the result of a car accident.  Datha quit her job to take care of Heather, and the bills started piling up.  Soon they would be facing eviction.  Datha was so angry with God that she stopped praying.  Then came Christmas Eve 2004.  A young girl knocked on Datha’s door.  The girl wished her a “Merry Christmas,” gave her an envelope, and left quickly.  Inside was a gift that would cover Datha’s housing needs for the next year.  The attached note read, “Please accept this gift in honour of the Man whose birthday we celebrate on this holy night.  Long ago, His family also had a shelter problem.” 

 

MONEY TALKS:   MINE SAYS GOODBYE

 

A story is told about a vendor who sold bagels for 50 cents each at a street corner food stand.  A jogger ran past and threw a couple of quarters into the bucket but didn’t take a bagel.  He did the same thing every day for months.  One day, as the jogger was passing by, the vendor stopped him.  The vendor asked, “You probably want to know why I always put money in but never take a bagel, don’t you?”  “No,” said the vendor.  “I just wanted to tell you that the bagels have gone up to 60 cents.” 

Too often, as believers, we treat God with that same kind of attitude.  Not only are we ungrateful for what He’s given us – but we want more.  Somehow we feel that God owes us good health, a comfortable life and material blessings.  Of course, God doesn’t owe us anything, yet He gives us everything.  G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Here dies another day, during which I have had eyes, ears, hands, and the great world round me.  And with tomorrow begins another.  Why am I allowed two?”  The psalmist said, “This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  (Ps. 118:24) 

Let’s try to live out that during this Christmas season and hereafter.                 Love and prayers,

 

                                                                                                Bar River and Echo Bay United Churches