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WITandWISDOM(tm) - November 4, 1999
"If you can't be content with what you have received, be thankful for what you have escaped."
(E-zine: DAILY BITS http://www.DailyBits.com)
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
AN "IRRATIONAL" PLEA
by Frank Martin
Like most of us who are parents, there was nothing as important to Betty and her husband as passing their faith on to their children. The task had always seemed natural and uncomplicated. Their kids accepted their faith easily because they saw it so readily in the lives of their parents.
But John was different. "John is a lot like his father," Betty confided. "He doesn't accept things at face value. You have to prove it to him first." So more than the other children, John questioned his parents' faith. "I just don't know if I believe that God answers our prayers," John told his mother. "We've been praying for months that this guy at church would get well, and he's only getting worse. We're always praying for people who are sick. Sometimes they get better and sometimes they don't. But that happens to people whether they believe in God or not. I can't think of one time where God answered a prayer, and there was no doubt it was Him who did it. Not one time."
That's when Betty did something drastic. "I felt I had to prove to John that there is a God and that He does answer prayers," she told me.
Hiding her panic, she calmly sat down at the table. Placing her arm around John's shoulder, she asked, "What would it take for you to believe that God hears and answers our prayers?"
John looked startled. "What do you mean?" "I mean, what prayer could God answer for you before morning to prove that He does answer prayer?" She paused for a moment to let John gather his thoughts. "I happen to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God does answer our prayers," she continued, "and I know that He wants you to know that, too." Again she paused, letting her words sink in a little deeper. "In fact, I'm so sure that God can prove Himself to you that I want you to pick something He could do for you before morning is over to let you know that He is real and genuine and active in our lives. Tell me what it is, we'll pray for it, and before morning is over, it will happen. I give you my word."
"Even while I was talking to John, I couldn't believe what I was saying," Betty told me. "I sat there and promised my son that God would answer any prayer he could come up with - and who knows what he could have come up with!"
So John came up with his request. "Well, we haven't had any rain for months," he said, "and everywhere we go, we hear that people are praying for rain. The weatherman said there's no chance of rain for days to come. If God would make it rain in the morning, I'd believe that it was Him who did it."
So, together, Betty and John prayed for rain. "When we finished, I patted John on the back and with all the confidence I could muster, said 'Well, John, looks like it's going to rain tomorrow. Better get your umbrella out.' Then I walked upstairs and prayed harder than I'd ever prayed in my life. I don't know if I got more than two or three minutes of sleep that night. You know, Frank, I never dreamed I would do anything that irrational."
The next morning, Betty and her family sat around the breakfast table, staring out at a clear blue sky. In the background they heard the morning news reporting another hot day with no rain in sight. Not a word was mentioned about the night before. The table was cleared, and the kids had gone to their rooms to get dressed for school. All the while, Betty continued to pray.
Suddenly, one of Betty's daughters called her to the dining room window. What Betty saw there took her breath away. "John," she called out, "Come look out the window. There's something here for you."
John stepped out of his room. As he approached the window, a clap of thunder shook the house. Outside, large beads of rain beat furiously against the pavement. John stood motionless beside his mother. "This is a present from God to you, John," she whispered through tears of joy. "Promise me you'll never forget it."
With that, she gave him a loving hug, gazed another moment at the miracle outside, and walked back into the kitchen. John remained at the window for several minutes, then returned silently to his room.
There was a lot of excitement at news desks around town that day. Out of nowhere, it seems, a small, black cloud rolled into the city, planted itself over a four-block area, and for 10 solid minutes threw down a wall of thunder and rain that hadn't been seen for quite some time. It stopped as suddenly as it started, rolled itself up, and headed north. No one could explain it.
FRANK MARTIN is president/CEO of MBM Companies in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is also the author of several books, including The Kid-Friendly Dad (InterVarsity).
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
Two-year-old Dylan was helping me made a Jell-O dessert for a committee meeting at my home later that day. We selected a recipe that used soda pop for part of the liquid. Dylan was absolutely delighted by the sparkle and bubbling of the mixture as we poured in the pop. I left him to view the magic while I took a two-minute phone call. When I returned, I found Dylan exclaiming with glee, "Fizzie! Dylan made Fizzie."
Fizzies are flavored tablets that create a drink of that same flavor when placed in water. The pleasure of their taste is second to that of the visual show they put on as they sizzle and bubble. I was fascinated by them as a child and was ecstatic when I found some for Dylan. "Yes," I agreed, "it does look a lot like when we make Fizzies."
Immensely proud of his assistance, Dylan announced to each arriving guest, "Dylan made Fizzie!" Asked about the preparation process, I explained while the guests began eating the dessert. Just as I finished, Dylan's grandfather walked in and said, "Excuse me for interrupting. I can't find my denture tablet. I put it out in the kitchen this morning and now it's gone."
At that moment, Dylan let out an ear-piercing, "Dylan make Fizzie!" I looked at the dessert. I looked at Dylan. I thought of the implications. Dear God, I just fed denture tablets to my guests.
Unfortunately, my guests also made the same realization. I was surrounded by a room full of desperate guests - some of whom were suddenly nauseous - politely trying to spit out a mouth full of Jell-o. It wasn't pretty.
The story does have a happy ending. I have a very busy schedule, and since the "Fizzie Incident," I have never once been asked to prepare food for a committee meeting!
- By Nancy Richard-Guilford from A Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Copyright 1996 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Barry Spilchuk
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~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
WARNING . . .
A history professor and a psychology professor were sitting on a deck beside a swimming pool.
The history professor asked the psychology professor, "Have you read Marx?"
The psychology professor replied, "Yes, I think they are from the wicker chairs."
(E-zine: HUMORG Mailto:Judib@kktv.com)
What airplane can land using a parachute? . . . The SR20 light aircraft from Cirrus Designs can land safely, even from a full spin, by popping out a built-in emergency parachute. It's the first airplane designed to make a parachute landing that has been licensed by the US Federal Aviation Administration.
When the pilot pulls a lever in the cockpit, a rocket shoots out of the rear of the plane, trailing the parachute. To prevent the chute from ripping to shreds if the plane is moving at a high speed, a cloth slider moves down the cables, opening the parachute slowly.
Once the parachute is open, the plane settles to the ground at about 17 miles per hour (27 kph). When it touches down, the landing gear is destroyed, punching up through the wing, but the people in the plane will not be injured.
Picture of the Cirrus SR20 with chute open:
USA Today story about the Cirrus SR20:
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