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  • The Man Who Met God In A bar -Part 1 of 2-

    If there were an award given for “Most Terrible Parable,” my vote would go straight for the one about the coins. Known traditionally as “The Parable of the Talents,” the story almost single-handedly drove me out of the church and into a spiritual detox. You may know it: the tale of a nobleman who is leaving town for a while and so offers three of his servants an investment opportunity, as shifty salesmen do, giving each one a different amount of money “according to their ability.” Amy All-Star gets five talents (or coins), Count-On-It Carl gets two, and the lowlife, who maybe we just call Larry, gets one. If you’re already getting nervous, just wait.

    Each of them is given the same objective: to take care of what’s been entrusted to them. Larry, who sounds a lot like me if I’m being honest, is afraid he’s just one more demotion from the curb, so he wraps it up in a napkin and buries it. He thinks he’s being smart by not losing the one thing he’s been given. You can hear his thought process, can’t you? Oh man, just imagine what the boss’d say—I’m already on the rocks with the guy—if I lost this one, too…It’s not worth the risk. I’ve got to keep this job.

    Predictably, the boss returns, and Amy and Carl have doubled their funds, now sitting in higher cotton than they were before this cruel experiment. Lowlife Larry, on the other hand, only falls farther. As he tries to explain to the nobleman why he buried the coin, how afraid he was of losing it, his boss silences him and tells him to pack up his desk. “Cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness.” Jesus gives his listeners the following ominous warning: “For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

    So, considering some of the nicer parables—about lost lambs found, about prodigal sons welcomed home, about the last being first—yeah, this one sticks out to me. Even if you seem more like All-Star Amy, and you view yourself as someone with quite a lot to be grateful for, you can’t not hear the conditionality lining this story.

    Like a sore toe, this parable became impossible to ignore. It came to dictate the Jesus I believed in. And it wasn’t exactly the Sweet Jesus of Lambs and Orphans. It was the Very Serious Jesus of Judgment I had always been afraid was hiding behind the curtain. It’s not surprising that this picture of God—the expectant landlord, his threat of punishment, his focus on productivity—has provoked leagues of burnouts over the church’s tenure. Have you done enough? Invested wisely enough? Have you, too, chosen to sit on my opportunities for fear of losing them?

    -Robt. F. Capon-

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    • Part 2 of 2

      The gift of grace is not a reward for hard work or good behavior, it is a lark, a joke, a hilariously inequitable largesse: it is, in a word, a gift. Don’t you see, Arthur? It’s all a game. All that matters is that you play at all, not that you play well or badly. You could have earned a million with the money I gave you, or you could have earned two cents. You could even have blown it on the horses for all I care: at least that way you would have been a gambler after my own heart. But when you crawl in here and insult me—me, Mr. Risk Himself—by telling me you decided that I couldn’t be trusted enough for you to gamble on a two-bit loss, that I was some legalistic type who went only by the books, well…

      “You’ve got it all wrong, yellow belly!”

      Yes, this is a parable of judgment. No doubt about it. But not how you think. It is not a story about what you could’ve done and didn’t do. It is a story about what you never could’ve done and who did it for you. It is not God’s judgment on your missing the mark, it is God’s judgment on your wrong idea of him.

      The parable, in Capon’s estimation, imagines God not as the penny-pinching type but as the gambling type. He is a God who takes risks, who throws play money out into the expanses of his creation and wants his children to spend freely. The parable is a judgment on the God of your Fears. Jesus is saying, “If you see me as creditor, as teetotaler, as warden, go on. You obviously don’t know me.”

      Just like Lowlife Larry (or Lowlife Arthur), I was suddenly found out. For all the years I had been going to Bible studies, making good choices, hoping to be a world-changer, I had been operating in good faith to the wrong God. Suddenly, in the worst of the worst parables, Jesus himself appeared to me, and so did his message of wild, profligate grace. I have Robert Farrar Capon to thank for that.

      And so, of course, I couldn’t stop there. I bought Kingdom, Grace, Judgment and every other book of his I could find and, in no time, the man had flipped my entire biblical framework upside-down. Everything was made strange to me: the bad guys were actually the good guys, the ones I used to see as exemplars were actually the deadbeats. The images of the Kingdom that Jesus described, which I had always personalized as something I could “embody” or “engage” in culture, became beautiful pictures of what God has been doing, without me, forever. I felt the weights come off, and I felt the undeniable playfulness and freedom that faith in Jesus was always supposed to elicit.

      Fast forward to the present and, dozens of Capon books later, I can safely say that this running theme of playfulness is the man’s signature. It is representative of his writing style, yes, but only because it is first representative of God’s Kingdom. Play is only possible when faith is no longer something you prove but something you’ve been given. When God is not waiting upon your “getting serious” about Him.

      Play happens when you are invited outside the cathedrals of your own inner sanctity, and you have the absence of mind to muck about in the world. School’s out and summer’s in. You are free to throw some paint around, build a fort, binge-watch a new show, make love, take a nap. Just like in that terrible parable, God asks only that we trust him at his word—you really are free!

      Capon understood this preposterous invitation better than anyone. Churchman and food writer, he equated theology with fox hunting (the fox is never got) and onions with sacrament. Everything he’s written seems to be an extension of this playfulness, a riff on the joy of the Gospel message. Including this book that you hold in your hands. You cannot possibly see God as a “hard man” if you have the audacity to call his only begotten Son Jerry and make him a short order cook in Cleveland. To have written this book, in other words, you had to believe the Gospel, not as a call into the serious business of religious rectitude, but as a story so laughably good that it has to be mimicked, re-told, turned over, held up. You would have to believe not only that the story was worth retelling, but also that the One who held the rights for it would be slaphappy you did so. (Especially if you had a bum like Marvin telling it!)

      Within all of this, of course, is the secret ingredient the Gospel of Jesus Christ lends of its own accord, humility. I have come to see, via Robert Capon himself, that faith in grace means humility, inasmuch as humility is the prerequisite of humor. Why take yourself so seriously, Arthur/Larry/Marvin, when you’re the great pearl already? What’s to prove? What’s the fixation on “getting it right” when the Host is here and shaking your martini?

      I sometimes wonder about Jesus laughing—the Bible never says he did—and certainly the Cross is no laughing matter. Nor are many of the parables, for that matter. On the other hand, he called the silly, obnoxious kids around him and said the kingdom was for them; and then there was the slow-going and forgetful nobodies who followed him around—wasn’t this a time-sensitive ministry anyway? Perhaps Jesus wasn’t concerned with making much of himself. This is what Capon continues to teach me. Of the joy of Christ in the character of Jerry, that He died and rose again, that we may sit and wonder at what we’ve gotten all spun-around about, to feel relief for once in our jaws at night, and hurt in the gut from laughing at crude jokes.

      And so, with his good blessing, I leave you to the man who met God, not in a church, but in a bar. His name is Marvin and, if you can get past the pain of admitting it, his story may sound like yours. By the end, you’ll even hope so.

      Comment


      • Hands

        Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood. Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer the Elder's children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.

        After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines. They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg.

        Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.

        When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will support you."

        All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated over and over, "No ... no ... no ... no."

        Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks.

        He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look ... look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother ... for me it is too late."

        More than 450 years have passed.

        By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.

        One day, long ago, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "The Praying Hands."

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        • Daddy's Empty Chair

          A man’s daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows.

          An empty chair sat beside his bed.

          The minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. “I guess you were expecting me," he said.

          “No, who are you?” said the father.

          The minister told him his name and then remarked, “I saw the empty chair and 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 minister shut the door.

          “I have 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 went right over my head. I abandoned any attempt at prayer,” the old man continued, “until one day, four years ago, my best friend said to me, ‘Johnny, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest...’”

          ‘Sit down in 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 will be with you always.’ Then just speak to Him 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 send me off to the funny farm.”

          The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, anointed him with oil, and returned to the church.

          Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon.

          “Did he die in peace?” the minister asked.

          “Yes. When I left the house about two o’clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But, there was something strange about his death.

          Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?”

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          • Piano Lessons For Life

            I am a former elementary school music teacher from Des Moines, Iowa. I've always supplemented my income by teaching piano lessons - something I've done for over 30 years. Over the years I found that children have many levels of musical ability.

            I've never had the pleasure of having a protege, though I have taught some talented students. However, I've also had my share of what I call "musically challenged" pupils. One such student was Robby. Robby was 11 years old when his mother (a single mom) dropped him off for his first piano lesson.

            I prefer that students (especially boys) begin at an earlier age, which I explained to Robby. But, Robby said that it had always been his mother's dream to hear him play the piano. So I took him as a student. Well, Robby began with his piano lessons and, from the beginning, I thought it was a hopeless endeavor.

            As much as Robby tried, he lacked the sense of tone and basic rhythm needed to excel. But, he dutifully reviewed his scales and some elementary pieces that I require all my students to learn. Over the months he tried and tried while I listened and cringed and tried to encourage him. At the end of each weekly lesson he'd always say,

            "My mom's going to hear me play someday."

            But, it seemed hopeless. He just did not have any inborn ability.

            I only knew his mother from a distance as she dropped Robby off or waited in her aged car to pick him up. She always waved and smiled but never stopped in. Then one day Robby stopped coming to our lessons. I thought about calling him, but assumed, because of his lack of ability, that he had decided to pursue something else. I also was glad that he stopped coming. He was a bad advertisement for my teaching!

            Several weeks later I mailed to the student's homes a flyer on the upcoming recital. To my surprise Robby (who received a flyer) asked me if he could be in the recital. I told him that the recital was for current pupils and because he had dropped out he really did not qualify. He said that his mom had been sick and unable to take him to piano lessons, but he was still practicing.

            "Miss Hondorf... I've just got to play!" he insisted. I don't know what led me to allow him to play in the recital. Maybe it was his persistence or maybe it was something inside of me saying that it would be all right.

            The night for the recital came. The high school gymnasium was packed with parents, friends and relatives. I put Robby up last in the program before I was to come up and thank all the students and play a finishing piece. I thought that any damage he would do would come at the end of the program and I could always salvage his poor performance through my "curtain closer."

            Well, the recital went off without a hitch. The students had been practicing and it showed. Then Robby came up on stage. His clothes were wrinkled and his hair looked like he had run an eggbeater through it. "Why didn't he dress up like the other students?" I thought. "Why didn't his mother at least make him comb his hair for this special night?"

            Robby pulled out the piano bench and he began. I was surprised when he announced that he had chosen Mozart's Concerto #21 in C Major. I was not prepared for what I heard next. His fingers were light on the keys, they even danced nimbly on the ivories. He went from pianissimo to fortissimo... from allegro to virtuoso. His suspended chords that Mozart demands were magnificent! Never had I heard Mozart played so well by people his age.

            After six and a half minutes he ended in a grand crescendo and everyone was on their feet in wild applause. Overcome and in tears I ran up on stage and put my arms around Robby in joy. "I've never heard you play like that Robby! How'd you do it?"

            Through the microphone Robby explained: "Well Miss Hondorf... remember I told you my mom was sick? Well, actually she had cancer and passed away this morning. And well... she was born deaf, so tonight was the first time she ever heard me play. I wanted to make it special."

            There wasn't a dry eye in the house that evening. As the people from Social Services led Robby from the stage to be placed into foster care, I noticed that even their eyes were red and puffy and I thought to myself how much richer my life had been for taking Robby as my pupil. No, I've never had a prodigy, but that night I became a protege... of Robby's. He was the teacher and I was the pupil. For it is he that taught me the meaning of perseverance and love and believing in yourself and maybe even taking a chance in someone and you don't know why.

            This is especially meaningful to me since, after serving in Desert Storm, Robby was killed in the senseless bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April of 1995, where he was reportedly... playing the piano.

            Comment


            • Only One Showed Up

              When a friend urgently texted Florida mom Stacey Philpot about a Facebook post she just had to see, she wasn't sure what to expect. The post showed a teen aged boy standing alone at the flagpole and it seemed as if everyone had something to say about him. And that's when it hit Stacey - she was looking at her son!

              As a blogger, Stacey Philpot spends a good amount of time online. So, she decided to take a little break from Facebook. But then a friend sent her an urgent text about a post Stacey "wouldn't want to miss."

              The post showed a boy standing alone at the flagpole praying as part of See You At The Pole Day. This yearly event encourages students everywhere to gather at their school's flagpole to pray for their school, friends, families, churches, and communities. Usually the event draws a crowd. But at Minneola High School, only one young man turned up. The brave boy stood all alone, praying by himself.

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              • It's Only a Quarter!

                Several years ago a preacher moved to a town in Texas. Some weeks after he arrived, he had occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change.

                As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, you better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it. Then he thought, "Oh, forget it, it's only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway the bus company already gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a gift from God and keep quiet."

                When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, "Here, you gave me too much change."

                The driver with a smile, replied, "Aren't you the new preacher in town? I have been thinking lately about going to worship somewhere. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change."

                When my friend stepped off the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, and held on, and said, "O God, I almost sold your Son for a quarter."

                Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read.

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                • "I Love You" Translated -Part 1-

                  Afrikaans Ek is lief vir jou

                  Albanian Te dua

                  Arabic Ah’bika [to a man]

                  Ah’bik [to a woman]

                  Armenian Yes qez sirum em

                  Azerbaijani Men seni sevirem

                  Bamougoum Guo me ye te

                  Bangladeshi Ami tomake valobashi

                  Basque Maite zaitut

                  Belarussian Ya tabe kahayu

                  Bemba Nalikutemwa

                  Bengali Aami tomaake bhaalo baashi

                  Bosnia Volim te

                  Bulgarian Obicham te

                  Cambodian Soro lahn nhee ah

                  Cantonese Ngo oi ney

                  Catalan T'estimo

                  Cheyenne Ne mohotatse

                  Cornish My a'th kar

                  Corsican Ti tengu caru [to a man]

                  Ti tengu cara [to a woman]

                  Creole Mwen renmen w

                  Croatian Ja te volim

                  Czech Miluji tě

                  Danish Jeg elsker dig

                  Dutch Ik hou van jou

                  English I love you

                  Esperanto Mi amas vin

                  Estonian Ma armastan sind

                  Ethiopian Afgreki'

                  Faroese Eg elski teg

                  Farsi Tora dost daram

                  Filipino Mahal kita

                  Finnish Minä rakastan sinua

                  Flemish Ik zie oe geerne

                  French Je t'aime

                  Frisian Ik hâld fan dy

                  Gaelic Ta gra agam ort

                  Georgian Mikvarkhar

                  German Ich liebe Dich

                  Greek S'agapo

                  Greenlandic Asavakit

                  Gujarati Hoo thunay prem karoo choo

                  Hawaiian Aloha wau ia oi

                  Hebrew Ani ohevet otcha [woman to a man]

                  Ani ohev otach [man to a woman]

                  Ani ohev otcha [man to a man]

                  Ani ohevet otach [woman to a woman]

                  Hindi Hum tumhe pyar karte hae

                  Hopi Nu'umi unangwa'ta

                  Hungarian Szeretlek te'ged

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                  • 10 Little Habits that Steal Your Happiness

                    http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/03/...our-happiness/

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                    • Seeing Life Through New Eyes

                      'In a world that wants to control your every move, steal your ideas, squash your initiative, crush your hopes and stifle your passion . . . In you there will always be a flame burning, a dream that dares not to die, a love refusing to be diminished, a hope that will never be denied . . . You know you were born with wings to fly, a sky that begs you to soar, a horizon that knows no limits . . . All you need is the courage to back yourself, lift your sights, spread your wings and fly'.

                      I had written these words earlier this year as part of my efforts to help others see their lives anew. Sometimes I wonder which comes first – the growth, or the experience/event that causes you to see life differently. That question was to be answered in a small but life-changing way - the removal of cataracts from both of my eyes.

                      Only if you have had the same thing done for your eyes can you understand the seeming miracle of my vision being dramatically cleared after decades of wearing glasses and experiencing the increasing issues of ageing. Glasses discarded, colours brightened, contrasts sharpened and detail more precise.

                      What I didn't expect was for my new vision to be extended far beyond what my eyes could see and encompass what my mind could envisage . . . 'You know you were born with wings to fly, a horizon that knows no limits - lift your sights, spread your wings and fly'.

                      I felt younger, in awe of the fact that removal of cataracts could trigger a fresh chance at life, a renewed desire to spread my wings and fly.

                      Yet not even there did the magic end. I had endured six months of leg problems culminating in a total hip replacement and in need of new fitness and mental energy. 'In you there will always be a flame burning, a dream that dares not to die'. A clear vision is vital but it's the call to action that spurs the dream.

                      Is life like that? Do we see clearly in our youth, only to have the demands of daily life cloud our vision, like clouds dulling a clear horizon? The wonders of modern medicine are doing more than giving us the ability to live longer. 'In a world that wants to control your every move' I feel a sense of rejuvenation, a lifting of the pressures of others' expectations. A fresh perspective through which I can filter my years of experience and my continuing dreams.

                      New eyes through which to see more clearly not just my 'who' and my 'what?' but also my 'why?'.

                      -Peter Nicholls-

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                      • Angels Came To My Rescue

                        My name is Bruce Van Natta, and I love to work on trucks.

                        I'm a self-employed diesel mechanic; also a Christian family man living out my power truck dreams and providing for my wife and four children. I never gave a second thought to the danger of working on engines that weigh thousands of pounds, until November 16, 2006.

                        I was working on a Peterbilt logging truck about an hour from our home. The guy I was working with, who drives the truck, asked me if I would look at one more leak before I left.

                        So, if you could picture one of these great big Peterbilt trucks, I slid under the front big bumper feet first. The front axle was jacked up and the right front wheel removed.

                        I said to him, "You jump up inside and see what the temperature of the engine is." The axle is right across my chest at this point, maybe an inch or two above me.

                        The 20-ton capacity jack holding up the truck, shot out from its position. This 10,000 to 12,000 pounds of weight that's on this axle, came down across my mid-section like a blunt guillotine, and nearly crushed me in half.

                        I tasted the blood in my throat when it fell on me. I looked down and could see there was less than three inches of space between the bottom of the axle and the cement.

                        I knew the thickest part of my body was maybe two inches thick.

                        I begged the man that jacked up the truck to get me out from under it. He didn't want to because he could tell that I might have a broken back and I did.

                        The vertebrae in my spine were cracked the width of the axle.

                        I tried to pull myself out from under the truck. It was the most incredible pain you can think of. I got myself to where my head was sticking out from under the front bumper.

                        The next thing I did was to call out, "Lord, help me."

                        I called it out again. "Lord, please help me!"

                        I felt strange and the pain left my body.

                        At that point, I was unconscious. My spirit left my body and floated to the ceiling, and was looking down at the accident scene. The man I had been working with was on his knees next to my body. I could faintly hear him saying, 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry.'

                        But on each side of him, also on their knees were angels. They might have been about eight feet tall. They didn't have wings, just very broad shoulders.

                        There was a bright light shining around each one of them. They didn't move, and I never heard them say anything. They just had their arms under the truck, not holding the truck up; but had their arms angled in toward my body. There was no pain, just peace. I can't describe the peace I felt in the garage.

                        I knew I had a serious choice to make.

                        I was definitely on the edge of life and death. There were two thoughts in my head. One was, 'Shut your eyes and give up and die. You are just going to go to heaven anyway.' The other voice in my head was much quieter and not much more than a whisper, 'If you want to live, you're going to have to fight, and you are going to have to fight hard.'

                        The next thing I knew, my spirit went back down into my body.

                        I was conscious while I was flown on a life flight to the hospital. Doctors there doubted I would survive the next few hours. My ribs were broken, my pancreas and spleen crushed, and several major arteries had been severed.

                        We found out from doctors later, I had five places that major arteries were completely severed. I found out from the doctors there was a medical study done in 2001. According to that study, by the University of South California, they used my case and compared it against that study. They can't find anyone else in the world that has lived with five major arteries being severed.

                        I should have bled to death in a few minutes. So my thought is, the angels were there to somehow hold me together. I stayed in the hospital for over two months and survived five major surgeries. I still had overwhelming obstacles to overcome. Almost 75 percent of my small intestine was crushed in the accident and had to be removed. An adult has 18-20 feet of small intestine. I was down to less than 100 cm of small intestine.

                        Someone came in and told us that he didn't expect me to live much more than a year, that I was going to starve to death.

                        I was losing weight very rapidly: and they were feeding me intravenously. My once 180 lb. frame dropped to 126 lbs. My family was praying and my community rallied around me. I also received an unexpected visitor in my hospital room one day.

                        The Lord woke up a man in New York two days in a row. This was someone that I met one time on vacation. He came and prayed for me in the hospital. He put his palm on my forehead, and he prayed the way Jesus taught us to pray. He spoke to the mountain, in this case my small intestine, 'I command you to grow back in the name of Jesus Christ.' I felt like 220 volts come out of his palm and into my forehead. I could feel my intestines moving around and up and down.

                        After nine long months of surgeries and hospital stays, I was finally able to feed myself and gained weight, back up to 170 lbs.

                        When I returned for testing, radiology reports and doctors confirmed that I had almost nine feet of small intestine. They said the small intestines the Lord gave back to me were twice as good as normal. They work just as if I had all of it; absorb the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients I take into my body.

                        Over and over, the Lord kept confounding the doctors from the point of saying I shouldn't live. I should have bled to death. My intestines miraculously were growing back. God was showing us that miracles were happening. My pancreas rejuvenated by itself. My spleen rejuvenated by itself.

                        Miracle after miracle, God was just showing up. He is a miracle worker.

                        -Bruce Van Natta -

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                        • Butch O'Hare

                          During the course of World War II, many people gained fame in one way or another. One man was Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. One time his entire squadron was assigned to fly a particular mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. Because of this, he would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to leave formation and return. As he was returning to the mother ship, he could see a squadron of Japanese Zeroes heading toward the fleet to attack. And with all the fighter planes gone, the fleet was almost defenseless. His was the only opportunity to distract and divert them. Single-handedly, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes and attacked them. The American fighter planes were rigged with cameras, so that as they flew and fought, pictures were taken so pilots could learn more about the terrain, enemy maneuvers, etc. Butch dove at them and shot until all his ammunition was gone, then he would dive and try to clip off a wing or tail or anything that would make the enemy planes unfit to fly. He did anything he could to keep them from reaching the American ships. Finally, the Japanese squadron took off in another direction, and Butch O' Hare and his fighter, both badly shot up, limped back to the carrier. He told his story, but not until the film from the camera on his plane was developed, did they realize the extent he really went to, to protect his fleet. He was recognized as a hero and given one of the nation's highest military honors. And as you may know, O'Hare Airport was named after him.

                          Prior to this time in Chicago, there was a man called Easy Eddie.

                          He was working for a man you've all heard about, Al Capone. Al Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic, but he was notorious for the murders he'd committed and the illegal thing's he'd done. Easy Eddie was Al Capone's lawyer and he was very good. In fact, because of his skill, he was able to keep Al Capone out of jail. To show his appreciation, Al Capone paid him very well. He not only earned big money, he would get extra things, like a residence that filled an entire Chicago city block. The house was fenced, and he had live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. Easy Eddie had a son. He loved his son and gave him all the best things while he was growing up; clothes, cars, and a good education. And, because he loved his son he tried to teach him right from wrong. But one thing he couldn't give his son was a good name, and a good example.

                          Easy Eddie decided that this was much more important than all the riches he had given him. So, he went to the authorities in order to rectify the wrong he had done. In order to tell the truth, it meant he must testify against Al Capone, and he knew that Al Capone would do his best to have him killed. But he wanted most of all to try to be an example and to do the best he could to give back to his son, a good name. So he testified. Within the year, he was shot and killed on a lonely street in Chicago. These sound like two unrelated stories, but Butch O'Hare was Easy.

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                          • The Plan of the Master Weaver

                            Our lives are but fine weavings
                            That God and we prepare,
                            Each life becomes a fabric planned
                            And fashioned in His care.

                            We may not always see just how
                            The weavings intertwine,
                            But we must trust the Master’s hand
                            And follow His design,
                            For He can view the pattern
                            Upon the upper side,
                            While we must look from underneath
                            And trust in Him to guide…

                            Sometimes a strand of sorrow
                            Is added to His plan,
                            And though it’s difficult for us,
                            We still must understand
                            That it’s He who fills the shuttle,
                            It’s He who knows what’s best,
                            So we must weave in patience
                            And leave to Him the rest…

                            Not till the loom is silent
                            And the shuttles cease to fly
                            Shall God unroll the canvas
                            And explain the reason why —
                            The dark threads are as needed
                            In the Weaver’s skillful hand
                            As the threads of gold and silver
                            In the pattern He has planned.

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                            • There was a band back in the 70s with a lead singer named Roger Chapman. One of their tracks was called Weavers Answer. The tune is serious rock, but the lyrics I beleive are a dying man speaking with his Maker. In my mind the tune and the manner it is sung does not do the poem justice.

                              What you have posted is very, very similar and I would be interested as to where you got it from?

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69eEpI15M-M

                              The Weaver's Answer
                              Family

                              Weaver of life, let me look and see
                              The pattern of my life gone by
                              Shown on your tapestry
                              Just for one second, one glance upon your loom
                              The flower of my childhood could appear within this room
                              Does it of my youth show tears of yesterday
                              Broken hearts within a heart as love first came my way
                              Did the lifeline patterns change as I became a man
                              An added aura untold blends as I asked for her hand
                              Did your golden needle sow its thread virginal white
                              As lovers we embraced as one upon our wedding night
                              Did you capture all the joys, the birth of our first son
                              The happiness of family made a brother for the one
                              The growing of the brothers, the manliness that grew
                              Is it there in detail, is it there to view
                              Do the sparks of life grow bright as one by one they wed
                              To live as fathers, husbands, apart from lives they've led
                              Are my lover's threads cut off when aged she laid to rest
                              My sorrow blacking out a space upon our woven crest
                              A gathering for the last time as her coffin slowly lain
                              Ash to ashes, dust to dust, one day we will regain
                              Does it show the visits when grandchildren on my knee
                              But only hearing laughter when age took my sight from me
                              Lastly through these last few years of loniless maybe
                              Does by sight a shooting star fade from your tapestry
                              But wait, there in the distance your loom I think I see
                              Could it be that after all my prayers you've answered me
                              After days of wondering I see the reason why
                              You've kept it to this minute for I'm about to die
                              Weaver of life, at last now I can see
                              The pattern of my life gone by upon your tapestry
                              I know Him, correctly, as Messiah whom you call Christ. Yah Shua whom you call Jesus. Messianists who you call Christians.

                              "Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm".

                              I refuse, point blank, to speak peace to the unregenerate, hypocrites, religious dogma lovers and those that oppose the following statement:
                              A regenerate man trusts in the evangelism of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed justness of Messiah alone.
                              If you are fully persuaded, by experience, of this delightful, beautiful and life giving doctrine then I love you as a brother.

                              Anyone who thinks that salvation is conditioned on anything a man thinks, does or says is atheist. I cannot and will not speak peace to him or her.

                              I don't make statements online that I wouldn't repeat in front of my Maker, my grandmother or a judge.

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                              • Originally posted by Truster View Post
                                There was a band back in the 70s with a lead singer named Roger Chapman. One of their tracks was called Weavers Answer. The tune is serious rock, but the lyrics I beleive are a dying man speaking with his Maker. In my mind the tune and the manner it is sung does not do the poem justice.

                                What you have posted is very, very similar and I would be interested as to where you got it from?

                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69eEpI15M-M

                                The Weaver's Answer
                                Family

                                Weaver of life, let me look and see
                                The pattern of my life gone by
                                Shown on your tapestry
                                Just for one second, one glance upon your loom
                                The flower of my childhood could appear within this room
                                Does it of my youth show tears of yesterday
                                Broken hearts within a heart as love first came my way
                                Did the lifeline patterns change as I became a man
                                An added aura untold blends as I asked for her hand
                                Did your golden needle sow its thread virginal white
                                As lovers we embraced as one upon our wedding night
                                Did you capture all the joys, the birth of our first son
                                The happiness of family made a brother for the one
                                The growing of the brothers, the manliness that grew
                                Is it there in detail, is it there to view
                                Do the sparks of life grow bright as one by one they wed
                                To live as fathers, husbands, apart from lives they've led
                                Are my lover's threads cut off when aged she laid to rest
                                My sorrow blacking out a space upon our woven crest
                                A gathering for the last time as her coffin slowly lain
                                Ash to ashes, dust to dust, one day we will regain
                                Does it show the visits when grandchildren on my knee
                                But only hearing laughter when age took my sight from me
                                Lastly through these last few years of loniless maybe
                                Does by sight a shooting star fade from your tapestry
                                But wait, there in the distance your loom I think I see
                                Could it be that after all my prayers you've answered me
                                After days of wondering I see the reason why
                                You've kept it to this minute for I'm about to die
                                Weaver of life, at last now I can see
                                The pattern of my life gone by upon your tapestry
                                Dear Truster: The source is unknown, being around for many moons.

                                https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-...weaver-s-plan/

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