Spiritual Kingdom

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A very ill man turned to his doctor, as he was preparing to leave the examination room 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? 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, and 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, but I do know one thing... I know my Master is there and that is enough."

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The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished his first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pick up truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. “Oh that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.” “Funny thing is,” he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there ain’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”

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The Lord's voice

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice. The young man couldn't help but wonder, "Does God still speak to people?" After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways.

It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, "God...If you still speak to people speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey."

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, "God is that you?" He didn't get a reply and started on toward home. But again, the thought , buy a gallon of milk.

The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. "Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk." It didn't seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home.

As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, "Turn Down that street." This is crazy he thought and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street.

At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, "Okay, God, I will". He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in semi commercial area of town. It wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed.

Again, he sensed something, "Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street." The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat.

"Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid." Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk.

Finally, he opened the door, "Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but if they don't answer right away, I am out of here"

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man's voice yelled out, "Who is it? What do you want?" Then the door opened before the young man could get away.

The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep. "What is it?"

The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, "Here, I brought this to you" The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway.

Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face.

The man began speaking and half crying, "We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn't have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk." His wife in the kitchen yelled out, "I ask him to send an Angel with some. Are you an Angel?"

The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put in the man's hand. He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face.

He knew that God still answers prayers.

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A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was "too crowded." "I can't go to Sunday School," she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by.

Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday School Class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus. Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements.

As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School." For two years she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do.

Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building. But the story does not end there...

A newspaper learned of the story and published It. It was read by a wealthy realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the curch could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.

Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00--a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptish Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300. And be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday School time.

In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russel H. Conwell, author of the book, "Acres of Diamonds."

This is a true story, which goes to show WHAT GOD CAN DO WITH 57 CENTS.

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If you woke up this morning
with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the
million who won't survive the week.

If you have never experienced
the danger of battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or
the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 20 million people around the world.

If you attend a church meeting
without fear of harassment,
arrest, torture, or death,
you are more blessed than almost
three billion people in the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator,
clothes on your back, a ro! of over
your head and a place to sleep,
you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank,
in your wallet, and spare change
in a dish someplace, you are among
the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If your parents are still married and alive,
you are very rare,
especially in the United States.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face
and are truly thankful,
you are blessed because the majority can,
but most do not.

If you can hold someone's hand, hug them
or even touch them on the shoulder,
you are blessed because you can
offer God's healing touch.

If you can read this message,
you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world
that cannot read anything at all.

You are so blessed in ways
you may never even know.

He's watching

Prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate

When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and call it Pluralism.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.

Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of Your will and to openly ask these things in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ.

Amen!"

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest..

In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively.

The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea.

Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, "The Rest of the Story," and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.

With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called "one nation under God."

If possible, please pass this prayer on to your friends. "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."

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It's a Wednesday night and you are at a church prayer meeting when somebody runs in from the parking lot yelling, "Turn on a radio, turn on a radio!"

And while the church listens to a little transistor radio with a microphone stuck up to it, the announcement is made: "Two women are lyi! ng in a Long Island hospital dying from a 'mystery' flu." Within hours it seems, this thing just sweeps across the country.

People are working around the clock trying to find an antidote. Nothing is working! California, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts. It's as though it's just sweeping in from the borders.

And then, all of a sudden, the news comes out. The code has been broken. A cure can be found. A vaccine can be made. It's going to take the blood of somebody who hasn't been infected, and so, sure enough,all through the Midwest, through all those channels of emergency broadcasting,

Everyone is asked to do one simple thing: Go to your downtown hospital and have your blood type taken. That's all we ask of you. When you hear the sirens go off in your neighborhood, please make your way quickly, quietly, and safely to the hospitals.

Sure enough, when you and your family get down there late on that Friday night, there is a long line, and they've got nurses and doctors coming out! and pricking fingers and taking blood and putting labels on it.

Your wife and your kids are out there, and they take your blood type and they say, "Wait here in the parking lot and if we call your name, you can be dismissed and go home."

You stand around, scared, with your neighbors, wondering what in the world is going on and if this is the end of the world.

Suddenly a young man comes running out of the hospital screaming. He's yelling a name and waving a clipboard. What? He yells it again! And your son tugs on your jacket and says, "Daddy, that's me."

Before you know it, they have grabbed your boy. Wait a minute! Hold on! And they say, "It's okay, his blood is clean. His blood is pure.

We want to make sure he doesn't have the disease. We think he has got the right type." Five tense minutes later, out come the doctors and nurses! , crying and hugging one another ... some are even laughing. It's the first time you have seen anybody laugh in a week, and an old doctor walks up to you and says, "Thank you, sir. Your son's blood type is perfect. It's clean, it is pure, and we can make the vaccine." As the word begins to spread all across that parking lot full of folks, people are screaming and praying and laughing and crying.

Then the gray-haired doctor pulls you and your wife aside and says, "May we see you for moment? We didn't realize that the donor would be a minor and we need ....... we need you to sign a consent form." You begin to sign and then you see that the number of pints of blood to be taken has been left blank.

"H-how many pints?", you ask.

And that is when the old doctor's smile fades and he says, "We had no idea it would be little child. We weren't prepared. I'm sorry sir, we need it all!"

"But but .. You don't understand."

"We are talking about the world here. Please sign. We need it all!"

"But can't you give him a transfusion?"

"If we had clean blood we would. Can you sign? Would you sign?"

In numb silence, you do.

Then they say, "Would you like to have a moment with him before we begin?"

Can you walk back? Can you walk back to that room where he sits on a table saying, "Daddy? Mommy? What's going on?" Can you take his hands and say, "Son, your mommy and I love you, and we would never! ever let anything happen to you that didn't just have to be. Do you understand that?"

And when that old doctor comes back in and says, "I'm sorry, we've GOT to get started! People all over the world are dying.

Can you leave?"

Can you walk out while he is saying, "Daddy? Mommy? Daddy?

"Why, why have you forsaken me?"

And then next week, when they have the ceremony to honor your son some folks sleep through it ... some folks don't even come because they go to the lake or the seashore ... some folks come with a pretentious smile and just "pretend" to care. Would you want to jump up and say, "MY SON DIED FOR YOU! DON'T YOU CARE?"

Is that what GOD wants to say? "MY SON DIED FOR YOU. DON'T YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I CARE?"

"FATHER, Seeing it from YOUR eyes breaks our hearts. Maybe now we can begin to comprehend the great Love YOU have for us."

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