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A LOVE STORY:

One day, I woke early in the morning
to watch the sunrise.
Ah the beauty of God's creation
is beyond description.
As I watched, I praised God for
His beautiful work.
As I sat there, I felt the Lord's
presence with me.

He asked me, "Do you love me?"
I answered,"Of course, God!
You are my Lord and Saviour!"

Then He asked, "If you were
physically handicapped, would
you still love me?"

I was perplexed. I looked down
upon my arms, legs and the
rest of my body and wondered
how many things I wouldn't be
able to do, the things that I took
for granted.

And I answered, "It would be
tough Lord, but I would
still love You."

Then the Lord said, "If you were
blind, would you still love
my creation?"

How could I love something
without being able to see it?
Then I thought of all the blind
people in the world and how
many of them still loved God
and His creation.

So I answered, "It's hard to
think of it, but I would still
love you."

The Lord then asked me,
"If you were deaf, would you
still listen to my word?"

How could I listen to anything
being deaf?
Then I understood.
Listening to God's Word is not
merely using our ears,
but our hearts.

I answered, "It would be tough,
but I would still listen to
Your word."

The Lord then asked,
"If you were mute, would you
still praise My Name?"

How could I praise without
a voice?
Then it occurred to me:
God wants us to sing from our
very heart and soul.
It never matters what we
sound like.
And praising God is not always
with a song, but when we are
persecuted, we give God praise
with our words of thanks.

So I answered, "Though I could
not physically sing, I would still
praise Your Name."

And the Lord asked,
"Do you really love Me?"

With courage and a strong
conviction, I answered boldly,
"Yes Lord! I love You because
You are the one and true God!"

I thought I had answered well,
but God asked,
"Then why do you sin?"

I answered, "Because I am
only human. I am not perfect."

And God asked, "Then why in
times of peace do you stray
the furthest?
Why only in times of trouble
do you pray the earnest?"

No answers. Only tears.

The Lord continued: "Why only
sing at fellowships and retreats?
Why seek Me only in times
of worship?
Why ask things so selfishly?
Why ask things so unfaithfully?"
The tears continued to roll
down my cheeks.
"Why are you ashamed of Me?
Why are you not spreading
the good news?
Why in times of persecution,
you cry to others when I
offer My shoulder to cry on?
Why make excuses when I give
you opportunities to serve in
My Name?"

"You are blessed with life.
I made you not to throw
this gift away.
I have blessed you with talents
to serve Me, but you continue
to turn away.
I have revealed My Word to
you, but you do not gain
in knowledge.
I have spoken to you but your
ears were closed.
I have shown My blessings
to you, but your eyes were
turned away.
I have sent you servants, but
you sat idly by as they were
pushed away.
I have heard your prayers and
I have answered them all."
"Do you truly love Me?"

I could not answer.
How could I?
I was embarrassed beyond
belief. I had no excuse.
What could I say to this?
When my heart had cried out
and the tears had flowed, I said,
"Please forgive me Lord. I am
unworthy to be Your child."

The Lord answered,
"That is My Grace, My child."

I asked, "Then why do you
continue to forgive me?
Why do You love me so?"

The Lord answered,
"Because you are My creation.
You are my child. I will never
abandon you.
When you cry, I will have
compassion and cry with you.
When you shout with joy,
I will laugh with you.
When you are down, I will
encourage you.
When you fall, I will raise
you up. When you are tired,
I will carry you.
I will be with you till the end of
days, and I will love you forever."

Never had I cried so hard before.
How could I have been so
cold?
How could I have hurt God
as I had done?
I asked God,
"How much do You love me?"

The Lord stretched out His
arms, and I saw His
nail-pierced hands.
I bowed down at the feet of
Christ, my Saviour.
And for the first time,
I truly prayed.

Author Unknown



God's Chair:

A man's daughter had asked the local
pastor to come and pray with
her father.
When the pastor arrived, he found
the man lying in bed with his head
propped up on two pillows and an
empty chair beside his bed.

The pastor assumed that the fellow
had been informed of his visit.
"I guess you were expecting me,"
he said.
"No, who are you?"
"I'm the new associate at your
local church," the pastor replied.
"When I saw the empty chair, I
figured you knew I was going to
show up."

"Oh yeah, the chair," said the
bedridden man.
"Would you mind closing
the door?" Puzzled, the pastor
shut the door.

I've never told anyone this,
not even my daughter,"
said the man,
"But all of my life I have
never known how to pray.
At church I used to hear the
pastor talk about prayer,
but it always went right over
my head.
I abandoned any attempt at prayer,"
the man continued,
"until one day about four years
ago my best friend said to me, ....

"Joe, prayer is just a simple
matter of having a conversation
with Jesus.
Here's what I suggest:
Sit down on a chair; place
an empty chair in front of
you, and in faith see Jesus
on the chair.
It's not spooky because he
promised, "I'll be with you always.
Then just speak to him and listen
in the same way  you're doing
with me right now."

So, I tried it and I've liked it so
much that I do it a couple of
hours every day.
I'm careful, though.
If my daughter saw me talking
to an empty chair, she'd either
have a nervous breakdown or
think I was crazy."

The pastor was deeply moved by
the story and encouraged the man
to continue on the journey.
Then he prayed with him, and
returned to the church.
Two nights later the daughter called
to tell the pastor that her daddy
had died that afternoon.
"Did he seem to die in peace?"
he asked.

"Yes, when I left the house
around two o'clock
, he called
me over to his bedside
, told me
one of his corny jokes
, and
kissed me on the cheek.
When I got back from the store
an hour later
, I found he had
passed away.
But there was something strange
,
in fact, beyond strange,
really weird.
Apparently
, just before Daddy died,
he leaned over and rested his
head on a
chair beside the bed."

Author Unknown