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WITandWISDOM(tm) - January 9, 2004
I've always tried to go a step past wherever people expected me to end up. - Beverly Sills, Opera singer
Source: Bits & Pieces, Copyright (c) Economic Press, Inc http://www2.ragan.com/html/main.isx?sub=226
Submitt ed by Barbara Henry
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
A Story about Free Gifts by a Pastor
I had hoped to illustrate the availability of God's gift of salvation. "Whoever wants this beautiful Christmas poinsettia may have it," I said to my Sunday morning congregation. "All you have to do is take it." They stared at me. I waited. And waited.
Finally a mother timidly raised her hand and said, "I'll take it." "Great! It's yours." That's what I wanted; quick and easy, and on with the application of my sermon, but to my astonishment, she nudged her son and said, "Go get it for me."
"No," I said. "Whoever wants this gift must come and get it personally. You can't send a substitute." She shook her head, not willing to risk embarrassment. I waited again. It was a gorgeous flower, unusually large, wrapped in red cellophane with a gold satin ribbon. It was set in front of the pulpit to brighten our small sanctuary during the holiday season. Several people had commented on how beautiful the plant was. Now it was free for the taking. Someone snickered, "What's the catch?" "No catch," I replied. "It's free!" No one moved. A college student asked, "Is it glued to the altar?" Everyone laughed. "It is not glued to the altar. Nor are there any strings attached. It's yours for the taking." "Well," asked a pretty teenager, "can I take it after the service?" I shook my head, though I was tempted to give in. "You must come and get it now."
Today is the day of salvation, I thought as I marveled at the power of passive resistance. I was beginning to wish I'd never started the whole thing, when a woman I'd never seen before stood up in the back. Quickly, as if she were afraid she'd change her mind, she strode to the altar and picked up the plant. "I'll take it," she said, as she returned to her seat carrying the free gift, I launched with enthusiasm into my text, Romans 6:23. "The gift of God is eternal life. Believe. Receive. It's free!"
When the service had ended and most of the people had gone home, the woman who claimed the poinsettia came to the platform, where I was picking up my Bible to leave. "Here!" She held out her hand. "This flower is too pretty to just take home for free. I couldn't do that with a clear conscience." I looked down at the crumpled paper she stuffed into my hand, it was a ten-dollar bill.
Source: The Funnies, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/andychaps_the-funnies
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
The good folks at Ask Yahoo! keep track of how many times their answers to assorted and sundry questions are forwarded from their web site, and thus are able to compile a list of the Top Questions of 2003. Here are some of them.
Where does the flushed waste from airplane toilets go while in flight?
Are soy candles really better than wax candles?
Why do people throw rice or birdseed as a newly-married couple leaves the church?
How long is wine supposed to breathe before it is served?
How do I clean my flat-screen monitor?
What is the shelf-life of fast food condiment packages?
What IQ ranges are considered "smart" and "genius"?
Why do people crave chocolate?
How many vacation days has George W. Bush taken as president?
For answers you can visit:
Source: Flint Friday Funny, mailto:email@example.com?subject=Subscribe_Flint_Friday_Funny
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
When Jeanne Calment turned 120 years old, she was asked what her view of the future was. "Very brief," she responded.
Steve Goodier is the editor of The Life Support System, a motivational e-newsletter delivered daily to 85,000 subscribers in over 100 nations. His inspirational newsletter and books are available through his website at http://www.lifesupportsystem.com
Source: Life Support System, mailto:LifeSupportfirstname.lastname@example.org
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