Food For Thought ...
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Martin Luther King, Jr.
"BE the change you want to see in the world." Mohandas Gandhi
One pumpkin to another!
A woman was asked by a coworker, "What is it like to be a Christian?"
The coworker replied, "It is like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then He cuts the top off and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."
Jesus clearly understood what the healing power of love was for a troubled world.
Read the three minute long homily at The Healing Power of Love
Billy Graham: Two Rallies that I Recall Very Well
Like many I have had the opportunity to hear Billy Graham preach in person, in my case twice.
The first was as a ten year old at the old Madison Square Garden in 1957 with my parents. I recall the music of the 3,000 person choir led by Cliff Barrows, particularly their rendition of "Just As I Am" at the end of Dr. Graham's sermon. I recall feeling the presence of the Spirit of God touching my heart but, as a ten year old with my parent's present, I was hardly ready to take those steps to the floor of the Garden at the call at the end of the service. It was the first time that I clearly understood that our Christian faith was a personal, individual experience not simply a community worship experience with parents and friends at our local place of worship.
Of course, the other memory that remains to this day was of George Beverly Shea singing his powerful and moving version of "How Great Thou Art" with the 3,000 person choir backing him up. Though we often sing this song in our worship services today, back in 1957 it was never sung in the Baptist Church on Long Island (New York) which we attended. The church left this song for the crusade and it made it that much more special to hear.
Forty-eight years later my wife and I attended a Billy Graham Service in Queens. New York. It was held on a Sunday afternoon and we were returning from a visit to a Hindu Service at a church a friend of ours attended. We were unaware of the Billy Graham meeting as we travelled to that Hindu service.
This was our first visit to a Hindu place of worship and our three hours with a Hindu congregation left us in a contemplative mood. On the way home a billboard on the side of the road announced the service by Billy Graham. We were ready to hear him.
Little did we know that this would be the last public sermon that Dr. Graham would preach (At least, as depicted in newspaper reports the next day.) Once again George Beverly Shea sang his version of How Great Thou Art.
The topic of the sermon was the story of Noah, how Noah had to make a decision - to obey or not to obey a rather unusual directive from God. Billy Graham did his usual wonderful job of telling this Bible story just the way it was written but with a passion for the Word of God. In the story God, noting Noah's faithfulness, called him to build an ark for his family and all living creatures of the earth. He had to act alone at the instructions of God. The rest of the world was going their own way.
The message was a simple one and Dr. Graham asked each of us: have you ever found yourself all alone, taking a stand for what you deem to be correct while being questioned by all others around you. It made me think about times I have taken stands out of faith when logic said otherwise. Not as often as perhaps I should have but there have been times. Those few times resulted in blessings beyond which I could have imagined could occur.
Billy Graham was a humble man, giving all the credit for his success to God. His life of commitment is as influential to me as any of his sermons but the two times I heard him, in person, were impactful.
We live in troubled times in America. The country is separated into factions that are unbearable to observe. Many, who deem themselves conservative, and many, who choose to follow liberal standards, appear to have less tolerance for each other than at any time during my lifetime.
It is a lonely place trying to be the mediator at this time. The mediator is attacked by both sides of the ideological segments of the world. The Christian Church even has become ideological.
Perhaps the tragedy at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School will be the moment that people look to those things we can agree upon and focus less upon their differences. The articulated determination of the youth of this country to bring about needed change is commendable. Is there another Billy Graham in this generation?
Perhaps the gospel message by Dr. Graham, that touched me as a ten year old, is a message the Christian world needs to hear again. God calls us individually and personally. We all have a choice to respond or not. Respond "yes" and the loneliness we sometimes feel will be overcome by the prayerful inspiration we receive.
Tim FergusonClick: The Challenge that Separates Us
What would happen if Jesus arrived today instead of...    Includes a Vision of Heaven
|Fun, Faith, Friends...|
<While walking to the supermarket to purchase a few groceries, I noticed a written announcement taped to the side of the entrance. Before the New Year, Come Meet God at the Library Meeting Room. The writing was in black magic marker, neatly written with the wordGod in gold...
A five minute drive to the library brought an unexpected surprise. I anticipated ten to fifteen attendees but, as I approached the front door, there was a line that reached outside the front door.To hear a special story of Hope for 2018 click: A Dream? A Vision?
Valentines Day is approaching and it is a time of joy for many and lonelineness for others. In the world of Caperston, Mattpaul, Huchfee and Rachaeling meet the "Man who talks to Trees" (Pages 36, then 38-39 and finally page 63). This man, limited and child-like, understood what it was like to be friendless. He is one of the truly interesting individuals in Caperston, whose life was turned around because young people took the time to greet him and befriend him.
ThisValentines Day is there someone we each know, who needs an "Inoculation of Hope". Wouldn't Valentines Day be special if, instead of only seeking out attention from our "Valentine" that we also spend time to reach out to someone who has no "Valentine" this year. We all know people , lonely like the "Man who Talked to Trees".
Want to learn more about the Man who Talks to Trees" and what became of him?
Note:Amazon.com has a 20 percent discount on "The Chest of Visions" at this time and we do not know how long that will last. Read some reviews to see if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity and purchase the book at a nice discount.
|Story of the Vision that changed their world|
It was Christmas Eve in 1818 in Oberndorf, Austria. The church organ had broken down and the choir director was asked to prepare a musical piece for the evening's service. Playing on an acoustic guitar, Silent Night was composed and performed that evening.
Our rendition by local carolers from Long island, New York also features acoustic guitar accompaniment. However, it adds, amidst the two verses, a spoken verse that makes Silent night a song across universes. Listen and consider the message.
O Little Town of Bethlehem
How beautiful in snowy white
O star of wonder, star of night
Star of gold shines o'er the sight
O Come All Ye Faithful
We Three Kings see the child
As shepherds kneel and angels sing
Sing to the tune of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" Our savior's born meek and mild
Christmas 2017 Gift ... Christmas 2017 Gift... Christmas 2017 Gift
Fourteen billion years ago, a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, a gravity defying force emerged, less than a thousandth of a second in duration
and a second parallel universe to our own emerged.
What happened in this universe? The record of it has been personally received and it is:
An "Extraterrestrial Adventure that calls the reader to examine herself/himself and one's life goals as young people from Caperston confront a prophet and his unique message."
A Christmas gift for all, aged ten and older. To read more about the outcome of these parallel universes, please click: Reviews Chest of Visions
Christmas 2017 Gift ...Youth need a hero today - hero being someone to bring us together in the modern world. Someone who is one of their peers. I think it is from their generation, not we in the 60-70's generation, that will bring us the hero. Is he here?
The Extraterrestrial Adventure that calls the reader to examine himself and his life goals.Young people from Caperston confront a prophet and his unique message.   Here it is:
Senior's Night Activity
A Massacre, A Martrydom
|Christmas Around the World
Christmas in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
My kids today showed me the true meaning of Christmas!! Our car broke down again today.. Last week the coil gave way and today battery and radiator hose gave way... Heart broken I told my kids, gifts will be simple and won't be getting new cloths this year... And beautifully they said.. "Mom we don't need all this, spending time with you all is way more better," and my youngest ran to me and gave me a kiss and hugged me!! That was the best gift any parent could get during this season, our kids understanding the true meaning of Christmas!! These lil things make this season more special!!!
Jennifer Joni Thomas
Christmas in Kitala,Uganda
Christmas is celebrated differently based on the level of income. The poor celebrate Christmas by going to church, putting on their best clothes and cooking good food. Other visit relatives or friends who are financially ok so as to enjoy a good meal.
The rich dine and seek accommodate out in hotels with friends and family. Other stay home and invite friends and other rich families and cook a variety of foods and offer a variety of drinks.
People concentrate on feasting. They leave the significance of Christmas in church. Everybody worries about what they will eat,what they will drink and what they will wear. They quickly forget the significance of Christmas.It is heartbreaking, but it reunites people somewhat.
Christmas is when most people get to see long lost relatives,friends and family. Basically Christmas is all about reconnecting with people, fun and feasting.
ImmaculateLearn more about Immaculate's mission at: Immaculate's Mission
Featured Youth Worker
Please meet Immaculate Nalubega of Kitala, Uganda.
She writes: "Praise our lord Jesus Christ. I extend my humble regards to you. I am by name Nalubega immaculate. I am a 32 year old Ugandan citizen. I am a youth pastor in a growing church of 100 -50 people. I have a passion for evangelism and teaching the word of God. I wanted to join a bible penpals group but I didn't see a group of my age group."
Read Immaculate's story, including her update about the Thanksgiving Day celebration in Uganda and think about joining a group of adult Bible Penpals sponsored by Christianyouthgroup.org. Click: Immaculate Nalubega
Immaculate shares:Thank you so much, Tim, for helping me find a Bible Penpal and offering us good uplifting articles to read on your website.