Thanks, Marion, for letting us know
that Simon's Cat has struck again!
I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
My daughter, we mustn't just be resigned to the inevitability of death. We have to learn to let God choose whatever time and place He pleases, and we must be happy to leave that choice in His hands. Now I see what a strong heart and powerful will you have and how much love you have in that heart of yours, and I wouldn't want it any other way, because what good are lukewarm hearts at a time like this?
First Presbyterian Church of Ambler
Eugene and Maripat Pressler Organ Fund
4 Southridge Avenue
Ambler, Pennsylvania 19002
It was you who kept count, not me. But if you're stubborn enough to keep count, use the new chart I've made for you.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”In Matthew 5:21-25, Jesus goes a step further. He goes beyond denouncing actions such as those shown by the ungrateful servant, and condemns their source: anger, bitterness, and malice. He says,
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.If I truly believe that I am a dwelling-place for God’s Spirit, should I not be careful to offer him only the best lodging? Would I really want to offer the Lord a resting-place furnished with resentment and anger?
“You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart. Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen, do not incur sin because of him. Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against any of your people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”These readings have made me look more carefully at myself. After all, I recognize that forgiveness hasn’t always come easily to me, especially when I was younger. There was a period of years when I carried a load of baggage around with me before realizing, as Malachy McCourt has said, that “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand over your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
If a dog were your teacher
These are some of the lessons you might learn...
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face
to be pure ecstasy
When it's in your best interest
Let others know when they've invaded your territory
Take naps and stretch before rising
Run romp and play daily
Thrive on attention and let people touch you
Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do
On warm days stop to lie on your back on the grass
On hot days drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree
When you're happy dance around and wag your entire body
No matter how often you're scolded
don't buy into the guilt thing and pout
run right back and make friends
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm
Stop when you have had enough
Never pretend to be something you're not
If what you want lies buried
dig until you find it
When someone is having a bad day
be silent .....
...sit close by.
...and nuzzle them gently.
Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger. Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break. Believe the best rather than the worst. People have a way of living up or down to your opinion of them. Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship. The person you choose to marry is deserving of the courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends. Please hand this down to your children and your children’s children: the more things change, the more they are the same.
Jake, the rancher, went one day
To fix a distant fence.
The wind was cold and gusty
And the clouds rolled gray and dense.
As he pounded the last staples in
And gathered tools to go,
The temperature had fallen,
And snow began to blow.
When he finally reached his pickup,
He felt a heavy heart.
From the sound of that ignition
He knew it wouldn't start.
So Jake did what most of us
Would do if we were there.
He humbly bowed his balding head
And sent aloft a prayer.
As he turned the key the last time,
He softly cursed his luck
They found him three days later,
Frozen stiff in that old truck.
Now Jake had been around in life
And done his share of roaming.
But when he saw Heaven, he was shocked --
It looked just like Wyoming !
Of all the saints in Heaven,
His favorite was St. Peter .
So they sat and talked a minute or two,
Or maybe it was three.
Nobody was keeping' score --
In Heaven, time is free.
"I've always heard," Jake said to Pete ,
"that God will answer prayers,
But the one time I asked for help,
Well, he just wasn't there."
"Does God answer prayers of some,
And ignore the prayers of others?
That don't seem exactly square --
I know all men are brothers."
"Or does he randomly reply,
Without good rhyme or reason?
Maybe, it's the time of day,
The weather or the season."
"Now I ain't trying to act smart,
It's just the way I feel.
And I was wondering', could you tell me
What the heck's the deal?!"
Peter listened very patiently
And when Jake was done,
There were smiles of recognition,
And he said, "So, you're the one!!"
"That day your truck, it wouldn't start,
And you sent your prayer a flying,
You gave us all a real bad time,
With hundreds of us trying."
"A thousand angels rushed,
To check the status of your file,
But you know, Jake , we hadn't heard
From you in quite a while."
"And though all prayers are answered,
And God ain't got no quota,
He didn't recognize your voice,
And started a truck in Minnesota!"
One definition of patience is “the level of endurance one's character can take before negativity”. Do I show this sort of endurance, or am I easily exasperated?
Am I willing to help when I’m able to do so? Am I mean-spirited or sarcastic? Am I quicker to give compliments than criticism?
Do I truly want the best for those I care about? Am I jealous, suspicious, or selfish by nature?
Am I willing to stay in the background, or do I crave the recognition and approval of others? Do I let others have credit for their accomplishments?Love is not proud.
Do I respect the rights and opinions of others? Do I respect my own rights and opinions as well? Am I willing to listen to criticism with an open mind?
Do I speak well of others, or am I quick to condemn? Do I allow others the freedom to make their own decisions?
Is it “my way or the highway”? Am I willing to compromise? More often than not, is my way the only right way?
Do I take offense easily? Do I take time to think before I react? Do I lash out and hurt others physically or verbally when they “cross me”?
Am I resentful? Do I hold a grudge? Am I willing to forgive?
Am I more likely to look for the best in others, or do I assume the worst? Do I gossip? Will I speak up on someone’s behalf when others gossip?
Can I be trusted? Will I stand up for what is right? Can others count on me?
Am I cynical and suspicious of the motives of other people?
Am I an optimist? Do I believe people are capable of positive change? Am I willing to give folks a second chance?
Am I a loyal friend and employee? Am I faithful friend or lover, or am I quick to “throw in the towel”? Am I willing to work at my relationships?
The patient’s comfort was looked after in every way, although he was practically moribund when placed upon the bed. He lost weight slowly at the rate of one ounce per hour due to evaporation of moisture in respiration and evaporation of sweat.
During all three hours and forty minutes I kept the beam end slightly above balance near the upper limiting bar in order to make the test more decisive if it should come.
At the end of three hours and forty minutes he expired and suddenly coincident with death the beam end dropped with an audible stroke hitting against the lower limiting bar and remaining there with no rebound. The loss was ascertained to be three-fourths of an ounce.
This loss of weight could not be due to evaporation of respiratory moisture and sweat, because that had already been determined to go on,, in his case, at the rate of one sixtieth of an ounce per minute, whereas this loss was sudden and large, three-fourths of an ounce in a few seconds. The bowels did not move; if they had moved the weight would still have remained upon the bed except for a slow loss by the evaporation of moisture depending, of course, upon the fluidity of the feces. The bladder evacuated one or two drams of urine. This remained upon the bed and could only have influenced the weight by slow gradual evaporation and therefore in no way could account for the sudden loss.
There remained but one more channel of loss to explore, the expiration of all but the residual air in the lungs. Getting upon the bed myself, my colleague put the beam at actual balance. Inspiration and expiration of air as forcibly as possible by me had no effect upon the beam. My colleague got upon the bed and I placed the beam at balance. Forcible inspiration and expiration of air on his part had no effect. In this case we certainly have an inexplicable loss of weight of three-fourths of an ounce. Is it the soul substance? How other shall we explain it?
You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
- Psalm 139:1-16
Grant me the grace, Lord, to be able some day to pay you at least some small coin towards the enormous sum which I owe you. Then dispose of all the rest as you please, provided that I can do something for you... How intolerable it is to receive so much and to give nothing! Do not permit that I always present myself before you with empty hands.
Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had and argument, and one friend slapped the other in the face.
The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand, “Today my best friend slapped me in the face.
They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.
After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: “Today my best friend saved my life.”
They kept on walking.
The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone. Why?”
The friend replied, “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”
Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your benefits in stone.