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> Misc Ramblings From Maceoghainn, Stuff I stumble upon I'd like to share
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Posted: 28-May-2004, 02:49 PM
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Gee Todd, didn't anybody ever tell you "guys don't cry"

Sez who? (Keep 'em comin' MacE, and thanks for this one.)

Randal Smith alias Smitty the Kid
Wielder of the Six-String Claymore!

"We have enough Youth, how about a Fountain of Smart?"
"When the going gets tough, the smart go fishing!"

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Posted: 28-May-2004, 05:20 PM
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I was listening to an old Amy Grant song, El-Shaddai, and I decided to find out the meaning of the words in the title: I found this information on the website: http://www.gospeltrail.com/Study/God/elshaddai.htm

(God Almighty)

This name is first used in connection with Abram.

Gen 17:1-2 (KJV)

1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD (Jehovah) appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God (El-Shaddai); walk before me, and be thou perfect.

2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

El-Shaddai is translated "God (El) Almighty (Shaddai)". The name Elohim is also translated into "God Almighty". How then do these two names differ? Elohim (meaning "All Powerful One") is evident throughout the story of creation. It is derived from the root "El" which means "Power, Might, Exceeding Greatness" and is translated into Almighty God as well many times in the Bible. Many scholars believe the difference lies in the fact that in God?s dealings with Abram, special circumstances (the age of Abram and the deadness of Sarai?s womb) required special powers to bring about the fulfillment of His promise. Powers which cause nature to perform contrary to natural law. Scripture certainly seems to support this theory in the account of God?s dealings with Abram and Sarai. We know from God?s Word that, in spite of natural law, Sarai (Sarah) bore Isaac. However, many believe that the meaning of Shaddai is much deeper than this.

In the year 250 B.C., a group of Jewish scholars translated the Scriptures into Greek. This version of the Bible is called the Septaugint. These scholars translated the Hebrew Shaddai into the Greek word ikanos which means "all-sufficient". The word Shaddai occurs some 48 times in the Old Testament and is always translated "almighty" in the King James Version. Now consider that fact that the Hebrew word shad is used 24 times and is always translated as "breast". In the same way that a mother?s breast is "all-sufficient" for her newborn?s nourishment, God is "all-sufficient" for His people. Hence, when we combine El (Almighty God) with Shaddai (All-sufficiency) we have " The Almighty God who pours out sustenance and blessing". Now the remaining question is "Does God?s Word support this theory?" Let?s look at Genesis Chapter 49. In this chapter, we see Jacob giving last words to his sons. Let?s begin reading at verse 24.

Gen 49:24-25

24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God (El) of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)

25 Even by the God (El) of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty (Shaddai), who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:

The usage of the names here is obvious. It is God as El (Omnipotent, Almighty, All-Powerful) who helps in time of need, but God as Shaddai (All-Sufficient) who satisfies with abundant blessings "of the breasts and of the womb". This clearly indicates that the righteous and loving God Jehovah cares for us as a mother cares for a newborn child. Everything we could possibly need, exactly when we need it, God IS!

(For other references to this same usage, see Isaiah 60:15-16 and Isaiah 66:10-13.)

Steve Ewing

I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25

"Non sibi sed patriae!"

Reviresco (I grow strong again)
Clan MacEwen motto

Audaciter (Audacity)
My Ewing Family Motto
(descendants of Baron William Ewing of Glasgow, born about 1630)

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." Abraham Lincoln

"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum." from "Epitoma Rei Militaris," by Vegetius

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Posted: 30-May-2004, 09:59 PM
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From: A Joke a day Ministries

Memorial Day Special

"Kingdom Business" 5/28/04
CyberDailyDevotion by Pastor Bill

Scripture: Mark 3:2
Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven
is near NLT

World War II saw the use of German submarines throughout the Atlantic
to stop the transport of men and material from America to England.
The waters from America passing near Greenland and on to England soon
earned the nickname Torpedo Alley.

February 1943 was an icy cold time in Torpedo Alley and the waters
were just above freezing. On the early morning of February 3 the USS
Dorchester a converted luxury coastal liner into a troop carrier was
150 miles from Greenland with 900 sailors, soldiers and civilian

Silently the Dorchester and five other ships were making their way to
Greenland. At 1:00 AM the German submarine U-223 fired three
torpedoes. One torpedo hitting the Dorchester a mid-ship below the
water line causing a tremendous explosion, fire and death. In less
than 30 minutes the ship settled to the bottom of the Atlantic. 230
survivors were picked up by two escort ships making this the third
largest loss of life in American Naval warfare during WWII.

There were four Chaplains on the Dorchester that morning. All four
Chaplains distinguished themselves as they stepped forward with the
ship ablaze and the abandon ship horn sounding --- they stood their
ground and began praying for the men --- THIS WAS KINGDOM BUSINESS
--- many of those they were praying for would not make it.

One witness, Private William B. Bednar, found himself floating in
oil-smeared water surrounded by dead bodies and debris. "I could hear
men crying, pleading, praying," Bednar recalls. "I could also hear
the chaplains preaching courage. Their voices were the only thing
that kept me going."

The four chaplains were:
Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist
Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish
Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed
Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic

"Witnesses of that terrible night remember hearing the four men offer
prayers for the dying and encouragement for those who would live,"
says Wyatt R. Fox, son of Reverend Fox.

Another sailor, Petty Officer John J. Mahoney, tried to re-enter his
cabin but was stopped by Rabbi Goode. Mahoney, concerned about the
cold Arctic air, explained he had forgotten his gloves. "Never mind,"
Goode responded. "I have two pairs." The Rabbi then gave the petty
officer his own gloves. In retrospect, Mahoney realized that Rabbi
Goode was not conveniently carrying two pairs of gloves, and that the
rabbi had decided not to leave the Dorchester.

By this time, most of the men were topside, and the chaplains opened
a storage locker and began distributing life jackets. It was then
that Engineer Grady Clark witnessed an astonishing sight. When there
were no more lifejackets in the storage room, the chaplains removed
theirs and gave them to four frightened young men.

"It was the finest thing I have seen or hope to see this side of
heaven," said John Ladd, another survivor

When last seen all four Chaplains were arm in arm as the ship sank
and the sea rolled over them.

The four Chaplains on the Dorchester --- their story --- their
bravery and love for their fellowmen has survived in stain glass
windows at the West Point Chapel, in the Pentagon and the Chapel at
Fort Snelling, Minnesota.

A posthumous Special Medal for Heroism, never before given and never
to be given again, was authorized by Congress and awarded by the
President Eisenhower in 1961.

Prayer: Father, thank you for Memorial Day each year where we can
show our appreciation for all those who gave their lives so freedom
rings. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
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Posted: 01-Jun-2004, 05:16 AM
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I'd like to add a story here about somethings that happened while my husband was in Desert Storm.

First, when they were deploying to go over all the men and women were told they couldn't take anything that pertained to Chirstianty. What doest my husband take, the small bible I gave him when he had finished basic training. It's small enough to fit in his pocket so he would alway have the word of God with him. Then he packs a book called The Seventy Weeks of Danial, which has a huge Star of David on the cover. I was so proud of him for standing up to what he believed.

Second, Back here in the states I had everyone I knew praying for him while he was over there.
When he came home he was telling me about this little puppy that he and the boys that where with him on his track had adopted. Then he told me this. One day they had stoped for some reason and had let the dog out to run around. The dog stepped on a land mined and was killed. He showed me a picture of where it had happened. Where the pup had died you could see foot prints and tire tracks all around the spot. I praised God for sending them that dog. It saved their lives.

"They That Wait Upon The LORD,
Shall Renew Their Strength,
They Shall Mount Up With Wings
As Eagels,
They Shall Run,
And Not Be Werry;
They Shall Walk,
And Not Faint." ISAIAH 40:31
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Posted: 06-Jun-2004, 02:35 PM
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The First One You Must Bring

Many years ago I used to lead a thing at St. Peter's called The Children's Church. There was a little girl who was a member many years ago. Jillie was 10 at the time. We'd been studying Matthew's gospel, and in those days at the end of the year we set these poor kids an examination--a written examination. Having asked them 30-odd academic questions, I permitted myself a final personal one. This is what I said, because we'd been studying the Gospel of John, chapter 1: "Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Philip brought Nathaniel to Jesus. Whom have you brought to Jesus?"

Do you know what Jillie answered? "I have brought myself to Jesus." She was quite right. Have you? You can't bring anybody else till you've brought yourself.

-- John R. W. Stott, "Keeping the Right Company," Preaching Today, Tape No. 46.
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Posted: 08-Jun-2004, 06:28 PM
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Malicious Wish

Two shopkeepers were bitter rivals. Their stores were directly across the street from each other, and they would spend each day keeping track of each other's business. If one got a customer, he would smile in triumph at his rival.

One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, "I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive twice as much. Would you be rich? You can be very rich, but he will be twice as wealthy. Do you wish to live a long and healthy life? You can, but his life will be longer and healthier. What is your desire?"

The man frowned, thought for a moment, and then said, "Here is my request: Strike me blind in one eye!"

One sign of jealousy is when it's easier to show sympathy and "weep with those who weep" than it is to exhibit joy and "rejoice with those who rejoice."

-- Thomas Lindberg, Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Leadership, Vol. 6, no. 4.
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Posted: 11-Jun-2004, 06:36 PM
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From Joke a Day Ministries


by David Langerfeld

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales
convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would
be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner.
In their rush, with tickets and brief-cases, one of these salesmen
inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of baskets of
apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back,
they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed

All but one. He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his
feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose
apple stand had been overturned.

He told his buddies to go on without him, waved goodbye, told one of
them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and
explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal
where the apples were all over the terminal floor.
He was glad he did.

The 16 year old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears
running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time
helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about
her, no one stopping, and no one to care for her plight.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put
them into the baskets, and helped set the display up once more. As he
did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and
bruised; these he set aside in another basket.

When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl,
"Here, please take this $20 for the damage we did. Are you okay?"

She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, "I hope we didn't
spoil your day too badly."
As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl
called out to him, "Mister..." He paused and turned to look back into
those blind eyes.
She continued, "Are you Jesus?"

He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his
way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing
about in his soul: "Are you Jesus?"
Do people mistake you for Jesus?

That's our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people
cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that
is blind to His love, life and grace.

If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would.
Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to
church. It's actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day. You
are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a
fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill
called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.
Let us live like we are worth the price He paid.

From The Daily Encourager
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Posted: 15-Jun-2004, 05:10 PM
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A thought for Father's Day from A Joke a Day Ministries:

When God Created Fathers

When the good Lord was creating Fathers...He started with a tall frame.

An angel nearby said, "What kind of Father is that? If you're going to
make children so close to the ground, why have you put the Fathers up so
high? He won't be able to shoot a marble without kneeling, play pretend
drinking tea, tuck a child in bed without bending, or even kiss a child
without a lot of stooping."

God smiled and said, "Yes, but if I make him child-size, who would
children have to look up to?"

And when God made a Father's hands, they were large.

The angel shook her head sadly and said, "Do you know what you are
doing? Large hands are clumsy. They can't manage diaper pins, small
buttons, rubber bands on pony tails, or even remove splinters caused by
baseball bats."

Again God smiled and said, "I know, but they're large enough to hold
everything a small boy empties from his pockets, all his daughter's
paper dolls, jump rope, yet small enough to cup a child's face in his

Then God molded long slim legs and broad shoulders.

The angel nearly had a heart attack. "Do you realize you just made a
Father without a lap? How is he going to pull a child close to him
without the kid falling between his legs?"

God smiled and said, "A Mother needs a lap. A Father needs strong
shoulders to pull a wagon, to balance a child on a bicycle, or to hold a
sleepy head on the way home from the circus."

When God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet anyone
had ever seen, the angel giggled and could not contain herself any
longer. "That's not fair. Do you honestly think those large boats are
going to get out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries? Or
walk through a birthday party without crushing one or two of the

Again God smiled and said, "It will work, you'll see. It will support a
small child who wants to ride a horse to Banbury Cross, or scare mice
away from a summer cabin, or walk in shoes that will be a challenge to

God worked throughout the night, giving the Father few words, but a firm
authoritative voice; eyes that could see everything, yet remain calm and

Finally, almost as an afterthought, He added tears. Then he turned to
the angel and said, "Now are you satisfied that he can love as much as a
Mother can?"

The angel said nothing more.

~ Erma Bombeck ~
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Posted: 21-Jun-2004, 04:57 PM
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I'm not sure if any of these posts are doing anything for my CelticRadio Brethren since I haven't had any feedback, positive or negative, in awhile. I'll keep on posting them anyway until somebody tells me to stop.

MacE smile.gif

I know the scripture mentioned at the end of this has been mentioned before, but I thought this presented a slightly different look at it's meaning.

From Joke a Day Ministries

Facing Adversity Over and Over

Did you hear about the teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put his boots on? He asked for help and she could see why. With her pulling and him pushing, the boots still didn't want to go on. When the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost whimpered when the little boy said, "Teacher, they're on the wrong feet." She looked and, sure enough, they were.

It wasn't any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on this time on the right feet. He then announced, "These aren't my boots."

She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, "Why didn't you say so?" like she wanted to. Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off. He then said, "They're my brother's boots. My Mom made me wear them."

She didn't know if she should laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace to wrestle the boots on his feet again. She said, "Now, where are your mittens?" He said, "I stuffed them in the toes of my boots..."

As I read that, I thought about how many of our frustrations come about as the result of having to do something over and over. Let me give you an example. A number of years ago, I was having some back trouble and the doctor told me I needed surgery. I counted down the days until I could find some relief. The surgery went well (in fact, I went home less than 12 hours after surgery), but the recuperation didn't go as planned. Instead of getting relief, I found myself back under the doctor's knife six weeks later.

I remember that the greatest source of frustration wasn't the surgery itself. It was the fact that I thought I was getting better, but I had to start all over again. Just when I thought I was making progress, I encountered a setback. I was able to easily muster the emotional strength to face the first surgery, but it was much tougher the second time.

I've seen the same thing happen in a number of different areas. I suspect you have, too. Maybe you were hoping to get bills cleared up only to be hit with an unexpected dentist bill or car repair. Maybe it's harsh criticism you're dealing with, a situation at work that's making it difficult to maintain your Christian standards, or perhaps the struggles of dealing with a rebellious child. You think, "I can handle the difficulty I'm going through as long as I can see the light at the end of the tunnel". Only just when you're about at the end of the tunnel and you taken about all you can take, you realize that there's more adversity ahead and the light is barely visible. I understand; I've been there.

The Christian life is long and sometimes difficult. There are times we feel we just can't take it anymore and we want to give up, especially when we've had to face the same adversity over and over and over again. May this passage serve as a source of comfort and strength to you:

"He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." (Isa. 40:29-31).

I pray that your strength will be renewed this day as you wait upon the Lord.
Hang in there!

Have a great day!
Alan Smith
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Posted: 21-Jun-2004, 05:16 PM
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QUOTE (MacEoghainn @ 21-Jun-2004, 03:57 PM)
I'm not sure if any of these posts are doing anything for my CelticRadio Brethren since I haven't had any feedback, positive or negative, in awhile. I'll keep on posting them anyway until somebody tells me to stop.

Keep 'em coming! I for one am enjoying them!


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Dear Lord, lest I continue in my complacent ways, help me to remember that someone died for me today. And if there be war, help me to remember to ask and to answer "am I worth dying for?" - Eleanor Roosevelt

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)
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Posted: 21-Jun-2004, 05:25 PM
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NO, NO! Don't stop, I enjoy reading them very much!

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Posted: 21-Jun-2004, 06:43 PM
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Hey Mac!

Thanks for sharing these! I don't always respond to every one of them, but I still enjoy them!

Here's a little something for your collection. Don't know if you've read it or not but I hope you like it!

Why Go To Church?

A church-goer wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all." This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"

I liked that one! Hope you do too!

Slān agus beannachd,
Allen R. Alderman

'S i Alba tėr mo chridhe. 'S i Gāidhlig cānan m' anama.
Scotland is the land of my heart. Gaelic is the language of my soul.
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Posted: 28-Jun-2004, 04:37 PM
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From Joke a Day Ministries

Be Somebody

It is of interest that the name given to graduation ceremonies is "commencement". This word signifies not an ending, but the act of beginning. It refers to the beginning of the next phase of life for which the educational process has prepared us. That new phase may be a full time job, marriage, additional education or some combination of these, but whatever the next phase is, there is a real sense in which the end is also the beginning.

My own commencement after finishing Eastland High School in 1955, has not been forgotten. Neither has this story and the three main points spoken at our 1955 commencement service. At our commencement service, the speaker shared with us a story and the three main points which follow:

This story is taken from Acts 9:36-42. "In the city of Joppa there was named Dorcas, a believer who was always doing kind things for others, especially for the
poor. About this time she became ill and died. Her friends prepared her for burial and laid her in an upper room. But when they learned that Peter was nearby at Lydda, they sent two men to beg him to return with them to Joppa. This he did.
As soon as he arrived, they took him upstairs where Dorcas lay. The room was filled with weeping widows who were showing one another the coats and other garments Dorcas had made for them.

But Peter asked them all to leave the room. Then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, 'Get up Dorcas'. She opened her eyes! He gave her his hand and helped her up and called in the believers and widows, presenting her to them.
The news raced through the town, and many believed in the Lord."

The speaker then pointed out three main points in this story. First, DORCAS WAS SOMEBODY. She was a benevolent, compassionate, devout woman who gave so generously of herself to others that her name today, over 2,000 years later, is synonymous with acts of charity. Out of these works of hers grew the Dorcas Societies, now worldwide.

Second, DORCAS DID SOMETHING. In Acts 9:36 the motivating principle of Dorcas' life is given in six words, "full of good works and alms deeds". Dorcas could have given of her coins only, but she chose to give of herself also.

Third, DORCAS LEFT SOMETHING. The acts of charity she had performed lived on. The friends Dorcas had befriended first grieved for her, and then rejoiced with her.

Just as Dorcas (1) was someone (2) did something and (3) left something, our challenge is to be someone in God's universe. Be a source of inspiration to others. Do something lasting. Be faithful stewards of your money, possessions, time and abilities. What you leave behind can be a legacy to others.

Each of us is made up of two parts. These parts are what we are and what we may become. Regardless of your age or station in life, these divisions remain with you. POTENTIALITIES CAN BECOME ACTUALITIES. The next phase of life offers an opportunity to BE SOMEBODY!

by Hazel Stone

as seen in Inspired Buffalo

From Cup O'Cheer. To SUBSCRIBE: Send an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE CUP
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Posted: 10-Jul-2004, 05:15 PM
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From A Joke A Day Ministries

Life's fragments

I am reminded of a story that is found in Max Lucado's book: In The
Eye of the Storm. Let me share it with you: Once there was an old man
who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a
beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had
never been seen before.

People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man always refused.
"This horse is not a horse to me," he would tell them. "It is a person. How
could you sell a person? He is a friend, not a possession. How could you sell
a friend?"

The man was poor and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse.
One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable. All the village
came to see him. "You old fool," they scoffed, "we told you that someone
would steal your horse. You are so poor. How could you ever hope to protect
such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him. You could
have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would have been too high.
Now the horse is gone, and you've been cursed with misfortune."

The old man responded, "Don't speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is
not in the stable. That is all we know; the rest is judgment. If I've been
cursed or not, how can you know? How can you judge?"

The people contested, "Don't make us out to be fools! We may not be philos-
ophers, but great philosophy is not needed. The simple fact that your horse
is gone is a curse."

The old man spoke again. "All I know is that the stable is empty, and the
horse is gone. The rest I don't know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing,
I can't say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?"

The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man was crazy. They
had always thought he was a fool; if he wasn't, he would have sold the horse
and lived off the money. But instead, he was a poor woodcutter, an old man
still cutting firewood and dragging it out of the forest and selling it. He
lived hand to mouth in the misery of poverty. Now he had proven that he was,
indeed, a fool.

After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn't been stolen; he had run
away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild
horses with him.

Once again the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke. 'Old
man, you were right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a
blessing. Please forgive us."

The man responded, "Once again, you go too far. Say only that the horse is
back. State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don't judge.
How do you know if this is a blessing or not? You see only a fragment.
Unless you know the whole story, how can you judge? You read only one
page of a book. Can you judge the whole book? You read only one word of a
phrase. Can you understand the entire phrase?

'Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or one word. All
you have is a fragment! Don't say that this is a blessing. No one knows. I
am content with what I know. I am not perturbed by what I don't."

'Maybe the old man is right," they said to one another. So they said
little. But down deep, they knew he was wrong. They knew it was a blessing.
Twelve wild horses had returned with one horse. With a little bit of work,
the animals could be broken and trained and sold for much money.

The old man had a son, an only son. The young man began to break the wild
horses. After a few days, he fell from one of the horses and broke both
legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and cast their

"You were right," they said. "You proved you were right. The dozen horses
were not a blessing. They were a curse. Your only son has broken his legs,
and now in your old age you have no one to help you. Now you are poorer
than ever."

The old man spoke again. "You people are obsessed with judging. Don't go
so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. Who knows if it is a blessing
or a curse? No one knows. We only have a fragment. Life comes in fragments."

It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in war against
a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were required to
join the army. Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he was

Once again the people gathered around the old man, crying and screaming
because their sons had been taken. There was little chance that they would
return. The enemy was strong, and the war would be a losing struggle.
They would never see their sons again.

"You were right, old man," they wept. "God knows you were right. This
proves it. Your son's accident was a blessing. His legs may be broken, but
at least he is with you. Our sons are gone forever."

The old man spoke again. "It is impossible to talk with you. You always
draw conclusions. No one knows. Say only this: Your sons had to go to war,
and mine did not. No one knows if it is a blessing or a curse. No one is
wise enough to know. Only God knows."

The old man was right. We only have a fragment. Life's mishaps and dis-
appointments are only a page out of a grand book. We must be slow about
drawing conclusions. We must reserve judgment on life's storms until we
know the whole story.

For the Christian, Prayer is not an option but an opportunity.
"In prayer; expect setbacks, but refuse retreat." Richard Eastman
Don't tell the Lord how big the problem is,
tell the problem how Great the Lord is!
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Posted: 13-Jul-2004, 05:39 PM
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