When The Door Opens

And When The Door Opens

A sick man turned to his doctor, as he was leaving the room after paying a visit, and said, “Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.” Very quietly the doctor said, “I don’t know.” “You don’t know?” the man said.

“You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?”

The doctor was holding the handle of the door, on the other side of which came a sound of scratching and whining. As he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.

Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “Did you notice my dog? He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear.”

“I know little of what is on the other side of death,” the doctor continued, “but I do know one thing: I know my Master is there, and that is enough. And when the door opens, I shall pass through with no fear, but with gladness.”

 

John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

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Do Not Judge The Rusty Truck

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Recently a friend told me the following story.

A couple of years ago, my wife and I purchased a new truck. I took my father-in-law out for a test drive to show it off, and I could tell the horsepower and all the extras impressed him.

As we turned a corner, however, a truck pulled out in front of us. We have all seen a truck like this truck before. White, rusty in some spots, rusted out holes in others, bed full of ladders, tools, paint buckets, ropes, and various other work materials. It sputtered as it pulled out, and I had to slightly brake, so as not to rear end it.

I kept thinking to myself about how this guy and his truck were ruining my afternoon drive. “How am I going to show off my truck when I’m stuck behind this loser?” The words out of my mouth were: “He needs to get that thing fixed.”

My father-in-law, who had said maybe ten words the whole drive, kept looking straight ahead and said calmly, “He’s probably doing the best he can.” He was very matter-of-fact when he said that, his voice reflected no pity–just empathy and understanding. The simplicity and truth in his words gave me just the valuable reminder I needed that day.

Often it takes the words of the humble person to restore our direction and see what are the important values of life: love, friends, forgiveness, humility, compassion.

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24

God Could I Talk To Mom For a Minute?

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The trials and tribulations our family have went through this past year has, at times, put faith to test.  But because of God’s grace and love we have grown stronger in our faith and continue to find the good in all things.  One of the things that has helped me deal with the loss of my father in-law (dad) and mother in-law (mom), is my daily conversations with God and writing letters to them.  I also talk to dad as I drive to work in the morning, it’s an hour drive and I tend to talk a lot but I have found that dad is a great listener.  His favorite line was “just be quiet and listen”.

I pray that if you are going through a loss and you feel as if you are alone and with nobody to talk to, remember that God is always listening.  Sit and talk to Him, let it all out.  He will listen, He does understand, and He will comfort you and love you.  I urge you to write a letter to the person you lost.  Just like a prayer, the words do not have to be perfect.  Write from the heart, write about the day, about memories, your sadness, write about anything that is in your heart that you feel you need to get out.  I do this almost daily. Sometimes the letters are long, sometimes the only thing I write is,  I Love You!  If you’re unsure about the letter, here is mine for today.

Hi mom,

It’s been awhile since I sat down and put pen to paper but everyday I think of you and during the quiet times in my day, I talk to you.  It’s not really quiet right now, a little loud, but a good loud.  Haley is giving your great grandson a bath and they sound like they are having way to much fun with the water.  Your daughter is asleep in the bedroom, (just like dad, supposedly watching TV) and I thought I would write to you, let you know how we are doing, and that you are forever in our thoughts and in our hearts.

Today was one of those fall Sundays where the sky was cloudy with a bit of sun here and there, a chill to the breeze, and Detroit Lion football on TV.  Your beautiful daughter put a turkey in the oven today and the smells, the weather, the familiarity of the day hit her hard.  It filled her with memories of being at your house on Sundays after church and watching the game.  Dad and I stretched out on the floor, you on the couch crocheting and Carol in the recliner.  And the tears came, and they came hard.  She misses you so much.  Sometimes she catches herself in the evening when she heads out to the balcony, “I’m going out to call….” and her words and thoughts trail off.  Today was one of those days, a day where memories filled our hearts and we thanked God for giving you to us.

Well your great grandson is out of the bath and wants to wrestle a bit before bedtime and I don’t want to disappoint, so I’ll end this for now.  Tell dad that I miss him something awful and that I will talk to him tomorrow during my ride to work as I always do.  I love you mom and everyday it gets a little better.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

John 14:1-4

Lord, thank you for being my rock and my strength. I know you have a plan for each of us. But right now I’m hurting, and that hurt runs deep. Lord, I know that you are a comfort for me, and I pray that you continue to be by my side through this time. Everyone keeps saying that time will ease what I’m going through, but at times I feel angry, hurt and alone. I don’t know if time will help me, but I know you will. I cannot imagine going through this without you holding me up.

Sometimes, Lord, it’s just hard to look at tomorrow, and I just don’t know how I will get through the day without mom and dad in my life. Lord, I just ask for you to be here for me. I pray for you to give me strength to take another step. I need you to help me cope with the loneliness and to move forward in my life. Please, Lord, help make each day a little easier. Continue to provide me with hope for tomorrow. I know I will never stop missing mom and dad, but I hope that you are holding them closely. Thank you, Lord for always being here for me. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

The Son

A wealthy man  loved to collect rare works of art. He had everything in his collection, from Picasso to Raphael.. He would often sit and admire the great works of art.

When the man died a great auction of his paintings was held. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.

On the platform sat the painting of “The Son.”   This painting was of the old man’s son who had died in the Vietnam war.  The auctioneer pounded his gavel and yelled,“We will start the bidding with this picture of The Son.” “Who will bid for this picture?” Total silence.

Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, “We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.”

But the auctioneer persisted. “Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? Anyone? $100.00, $200.00?”

Another voice angrily shouted . “We didn’t come here to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids. We want the works of art!”

But still the auctioneer continued. “The Son! The Son! Who’ll Take The Son?”

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the long-time gardener of the man and his son.

” I’ll give $10 for the painting.”  Being a poor man, it was all that he could afford. “We have $10, who will bid $20?” “Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters.” “$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20? $15?”

The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.

The auctioneer pounded the gavel. “Going once, twice, SOLD for $10! “Someone sitting in the second row shouted, “Now let’s get on with the collection!”

The auctioneer laid down his gavel. “I’m sorry, the auction is over.”

”What about the paintings?” “I am sorry.”  Said the auctioneer.  “When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time.  Only the painting of “The Son” would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!”

God is waiting for you to take “The Son”, because “Whoever Takes The Son gets everything.”

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16