Archive for October, 2013

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Suppose God would text me… What would He say?

You are UNIQUE!

You are the PRETTY ONE! – The Pretty One

Again, first two are foundational to all the rest. To the degree that you accept and believe these first two you will receive from the rest.

LOVE the details and build Intimacy! – Marriage

Resolve yourself to share JOY! – The Hospital Window

Put your life in MY Daddy Hands and bring PEACE! – Daddy Hands

Learn to be PATIENT with one another! – Burned Biscuits

KINDNESS is My language! – The Miracle of $1.11

GOODNESS is what I want for you! is my desire! – I wish you enough

Be FAITHFUL to take time to be close to Me! -The Woodcutter

GENTLENESS is one of the most important things in life! – The Last Cab Ride

Suppose God would text me… What would He say?

Today’s story is titled “Chopsticks” by an unknown author.

A woman who had worked all her life to bring about good was granted one wish, “Before I die let me visit both hell and heaven.” Her wish was granted.

She was whisked off to a great banqueting hall. The tables were piled high with delicious food and drink. Around the tables sat miserable, starving people as wretched as could be.

“Why are they like this?” she asked the angel who accompanied her.

“Look at their arms,” the angel replied.

She looked and saw that attached to the people’s arms were long chopsticks secured above the elbow. Unable to bend their elbows, the people aimed the chopsticks at the food, missed every time and sat hungry, frustrated and miserable.

“Indeed this is hell! Take me away from here!”

She was then whisked off to heaven. Again she found herself in a great banqueting hall with tables piled high. Around the tables sat people laughing, contented, joyful.

“No chopsticks I suppose,” she said.

“Oh yes there are. Look, just as in hell they are long and attached above the elbow but look, here people have learned to feed one another”.

God’s text today says,

Text - 11

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Suppose god Would Text me… What would He say?

This story is by Kent Nerburn and is titled “The Last Cab Ride”.

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.

Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.

“Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice.

I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80′s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.

The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

“It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”

“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”

“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.

“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”

I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

“I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.

It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.

“Nothing,” I said.

“You have to make a living,” she answered.

“There are other passengers.”

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

“You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

Today’s text from God says,

Text 10

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There are some things you just can’t do in a Podcast and this is one of them so look at this before you click to listen.

Suppose God would text me… What would He say?

It dawned on me that God actually did primatively text Moses when He gave him the Ten Commandments. He used a chisel and a hammer while we peck on the letters of a keyboard. The following is a modern-day version of that text.

1. no1 b4 me. srsly. No other gods before me.

2. dnt wrshp pix/idols. No graven images

3. no omg’s. Don’t take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.

4. no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r). Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy

5. pos ok – ur m&d r cool. Honour thy father and thy mother.

6. dnt kill ppl. Thou shalt not kill.

7. :-X only w/ m8. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8. dnt steal. Thou shalt not steal.

9. dnt lie re: bf. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

10. dnt ogle ur bf’s m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, wife, manservant, maidservant, ox, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s

Today’s story is written by Stephen Covey and it’s titled The Woodcutter.

Once there was, a very strong woodcutter who asked for a job with a timber merchant and he got it. The pay was really good and so was the work condition. For those reasons, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he supposed to work.

The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees.

“Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!”

Very motivated by the boss words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.

“I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.

“Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy and faithful trying to cut trees…”

God’s text today says,

#9

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Suppose God would text me… What would He say?

The story today is short so i’m going to take a moment to recap God’s texts thus far.

#1 You are UNIQUE!

#2 You are the PRETTY ONE! – Story, The Pretty One

#3 LOVE the details and build Intimacy! – Story, Marriage

#4 Resolve yourself to share JOY! – Story, The Hospital Window

#5 Life in My Daddy hands brings My PEACE! – Story, Daddy Hands

#6 Learn to be PATIENT with one another! – Story, Burned Biscuits

#7 KINDNESS is My language! – Story, The Miracle of $1.11

#8 GOODNESS is My presence in you! -Story, I wish you enough

Today’s story is written by Bob Perks and is tiled “I Wish You Enough.”

Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter’s departure had been announced.

Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said: “I love you and I wish you enough.”

The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.”

They kissed and the daughter left.

The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.

I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?”

“I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.

When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?”

She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.”

She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more.

“When we said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”.

Before walking away she turned toward me, and she shared the following, reciting it from memory. It is also God’s text today,

Text - 8

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Suppose God Would Text me… What would He say?

Today’s story is The Miracle of $1.11

It begins with Tess, a precocious eight year old. Tess heard her Mom and Dad talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he was very sick and they were completely out of money. They were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn’t have the money for the doctor bills and our house. Only a very costly surgery could save him now and it was looking like there was no-one to loan them the money. She heard Daddy say to her tearful Mother with whispered desperation, “Only a miracle can save him now.”

Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall’s Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good.

Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!

“And what do you want?” the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. “I’m talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven’t seen in ages,” he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

“Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,” Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. “He’s really, really sick… and I want to buy a miracle.”

“I beg your pardon?” said the pharmacist.

“His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?”

“We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you,” the pharmacist said, softening a little. “Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.”

The pharmacist’s brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, “What kind of a miracle does you brother need?”

“I don’t know,” Tess replied with her eyes welling up. “I just know he’s really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can’t pay for it, so I want to use my money.”

“How much do you have?” asked the man from Chicago. “One dollar and eleven cents,” Tess answered barely audibly. “And it’s all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.

“Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the man. “A dollar and eleven cents – the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.” He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said, “Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the kind of miracle you need.”

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specialising in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn’t long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

“That surgery,” her Mom whispered. “was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?”

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost… one dollar and eleven cents … plus the faith of a little child.

God’s text today says,

Text - 7

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Suppose God would text me… What would He say?

Todays story is Burned Biscuits, by Deb Billy Graham.

When I was a little child, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said: “Baby, I love burned biscuits.”

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides – a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!”

God’s text today says,

Text 5

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Suppose God Would Text me… What would He say? #5

Todays story was written by Susan Fahncke and is titled Daddy Hands.

I awoke in the night to find my husband, Marty, gently rocking our baby son, Noah.

I stood for a moment in the doorway, watching this amazing man with whom I was so blessed to share my life, lovingly stroke Noah’s fat pink cheeks in an effort to comfort him.

I felt in my heart that something was seriously wrong with Noah. This was one of several nights Noah had been up, burning with a high fever.

Tears filled my eyes as I watched my beautiful husband move Noah’s little cheek up against his own chest, so that Noah could feel the vibrations of his voice. Noah is deaf. Learning to comfort him has brought on a whole new way of thinking for us. We relied on our voices, a soothing lullaby, audio toys, and music to comfort our other children. But with Noah, we need to use touch, his soft blankie, sight, the feel of our voices, and most importantly, the use of sign language to communicate emotions and a sense of comfort to him. My husband made the sign for “I love you” with his hand and I saw a tear roll down his cheek as he placed Noah’s tiny, weak hand on top of his.

We had taken Noah to the doctor more times than I can remember. It had been a week and a half and Noah’s fever remained very high and very dangerous, despite everything the doctor or we had tried. I knew in my soul the way only a mother can know, that Noah was in trouble.

I gently touched my husband’s shoulder and we looked into each other’s eyes with the same fear and knowledge that Noah’s wasn’t getting any better. I offered to take over for him, but he shook his head, and once again, I was amazed at this wonderful man who is the father of my children. When many fathers would have gladly handed over the parenting duties for some much-needed sleep, my husband stayed stubbornly and resolutely with our child.

When morning finally came, we called the doctor and were told to bring him in again. We already knew that he would probably put Noah in the hospital. So, we made arrangements for the other children, packed bags for all three of us, and tearfully drove to the doctor’s office once again. Our hearts filled with dread, we waited in a small room, different from the usual examining room we had become used to. Our doctor finally came in, looked Noah over, and told us the news we expected. Noah had to be admitted to the hospital. Now.

The drive to the hospital in a neighboring town seemed surreal. I couldn’t focus on anything, couldn’t think, couldn’t stop crying. My husband reassured me that he felt in his heart that Noah would be okay. We admitted Noah and were taken to his room right away. It was a tortuous night, filled with horrible tests that made my son’s tiny little voice echo through the halls as he screamed over and over.

I felt as if I were shattering from the inside out. My husband never wavered in his faith. He comforted me and Noah, and everyone who called to check on Noah. He was a rock.

When the first batch of tests were done, the nurse informed us that a spinal tap would be performed soon. Meningitis was suspected. Marty and I had prayer together with Noah. Our hands intertwined, we held our son and the love of my life lifted his voice to the Lord, telling him how grateful we were for this awesome little spirit with whom he had entrusted us. With tears streaming down his face, he humbly asked the Lord to heal our son. My heart filled with comfort and gratitude.

A short time later, the resident doctor came in. He told us that Noah’s first results were back, and that he had Influenza A. No spinal tap was needed! Noah would recover and soon be back to his zesty, tornado little self. And Noah was already standing up in the hospital crib, bouncing like he was on a trampoline. My husband’s talk with the Lord was already being answered.

Marty and I grinned at each other through our tears, and waited for Noah to be released from the hospital. Finally, in the middle of the night, our own doctor came in and told us that it was fine to take Noah home. We couldn’t pack fast enough!

A few days later, I was cooking dinner. Noah was healing, slowly but surely. I felt at peace and knew my husband was the greatest father I could ever want for my children. I peeked around the corner into the living room, and chuckled at the picture I saw. There was my husband, sitting in his “daddy chair”, Noah in his lap. They were reading a book, dad taking Noah’s teeny hands to help him form the signs for the words in the book. They both looked up and caught me watching them, and my husband and I simultaneously signed “I love you” to each other, then to Noah. And then Noah put his little arm up, trying to shape his tiny hand in his own effort to sign “I love you” to his daddy. I watched with tears as my husband carefully helped him form his tiny fingers into the sign with his own gentle hands. Daddy hands.

God’s text today says,

Text

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Suppose God would text me… What would He say?

The temptation for me is to apologize for the length of the stories but i’m not going to do that. Instead i’m going to encourage you to enjoy them verses endure them. For me extracting what God wants to say to me through the stories is worth every minute of them. To me these are my essentials for living life intentionally. As I shared before all the stories have been hand selected through the leading of the Holy Spirit and i might add are all true stories.

The story today is titled The Hospital Window.

It starts with two men, both seriously ill, and they occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it. In his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

God’s text today says,

Text 2

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Suppose God would text me… What would He say?

Today’s hand selected intentional story is titled Marriage. From this story i will extract God’s text message for today and share it, as i have been  asked to do.

I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. “I want a divorce” I said calmly.

She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, but asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, “you are not a man!” That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came home late and found her writing something at the table. I went straight to bed and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy. To make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last-minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to the office… jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind… I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The sales girl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I ran up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead.

My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce –At least, in the eyes of our son— I’m a loving husband…

God’s text today says,

Text Template

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Suppose God were to text me… What would He say? As I have already said it’s a provoking question.

Today I have a better grasp on this than yesterday. i’ll try to keep my explanation simple. Over the next week or so i will share stories, but not just any stories. These stories have been hand selected with an intentional purpose, through the leading of the Holy Spirit. Out of those stories i am to extract in less than 140 characters, according to the rules, what God is texting me. Then i am to share it with you through these daily posts and podcasts. So the fact that these may be a little longer than my norm, it’s because of the hand selected story and not God’s text.

Today’s hand selected story is written by Roger Dean Kiser.

It had been a long night. The black cocker spaniel ‘Precious’ was having a difficult delivery. I lay on the floor beside her large four-foot square cage, watching her every movement. Watching and waiting, just in case I had to rush her to the veterinarian.

After six hours the puppies started to appear. The first-born was black and white. The second and third puppies were tan and brown. The fourth and fifth were also spotted black and white. “One, two, three, four, five,” I counted to myself as I walked down the hallway to wake my wife, Judy, and tell her that everything was fine.

As we walked back down the hallway and into the spare bedroom, I noticed a sixth puppy had been born and was now laying all by itself over to the side of the cage. I picked up the small puppy and laid it on top of the large pile of puppies, who were whining and trying to nurse on the mother. Precious immediately pushed the small puppy away from rest of the group. She refused to recognize it as a member of her family.

“Something’s wrong,” said Judy.

I reached over and picked up the puppy. My heart sank inside my chest when I saw the little puppy had a cleft lip and palate and could not close its little mouth. I decided right there and then that if there was any way to save this animal I was going to give it my best shot.

I took the puppy to the vet and was told nothing could be done unless we were willing to spend about a thousand dollars to try to correct the defect. He told us that the puppy would die mainly because it could not suckle. After returning home, Judy and I decided that we could not afford to spend that kind of money. However, that did not stop me from purchasing a syringe and feeding the puppy by hand. Which I did every day and night, every two hours, for more than ten days. The little puppy survived and learned to eat on his own as long as it was soft canned food.

I placed an ad in the newspaper, and within a week we had people interested in all of the pups, except the one with the deformity. One afternoon I went to the store to pick up a few groceries. Upon returning I saw the old retired schoolteacher, who lived across the street, waving at me. She had read that we had puppies and was wondering if she might get one for her grandson. I told her all the puppies had found homes, but I would keep my eyes open. I mentioned that if someone should change their mind, I would let her know. Within days, all but one of the puppies had been picked up by their new families. This left me with one brown and tan cocker as well as the smaller puppy with the cleft lip and palate.

Two days passed without me hearing from the gentleman who had been promised the tan and brown pup. I telephoned the schoolteacher and told her I had one puppy left and that she was welcome to come and look at it. She advised me that she was going to pick up her grandson and would come over that evening.

That night at around seven-thirty, Judy and I were eating supper when we heard a knock on the front door. When I opened the door, the man who had wanted the tan and brown pup was standing there. We walked inside, took care of the adoption details and I handed him the puppy. Judy and I did not know what we would do or say when the teacher showed up with her grandson. The doorbell rang. I opened the door, and there was the schoolteacher with her grandson standing behind her. I explained to her the man had come for the puppy after all, and there were no puppies left. “I’m sorry, Jeffery. They found homes for all the puppies,” she told her grandson.

Just at that moment, the small puppy left in the bedroom began to yelp.

“My puppy! My puppy!” yelled the little boy as he ran out from behind his grandmother.

I just about fell over when I saw that the small child also had a cleft lip and palate. The boy ran past me as fast as he could, down the hallway to where the puppy was still yelping. When the three of us made it to the bedroom, the small boy was holding the puppy in his arms. He looked up at his grandmother and said, “Look, Grandma. They found homes for all the puppies except the pretty one, and he looks just like me.”

The schoolteacher turned to us, “Is this puppy available?”

“Yes,” I answered. “That puppy is available.”

The little boy, who was now hugging the puppy, chimed in, “My grandma told me these kind of puppies are real expensive and that I have to take real good care of it.”

The lady opened her purse, but I reached over and pushed her hand back down into her purse so that she would not pull her wallet out. “How much do you think this puppy is worth?” I asked the boy. “About a dollar?” “No. This puppy is very, very expensive,” he replied.

“More than a dollar?” I asked.

“I’m afraid so,” said his grandmother.

The boy stood there pressing the small puppy against his cheek. “We could not possibly take less than two dollars for this puppy,” Judy said, squeezing my hand. “Like you said, it’s the pretty one.”

The schoolteacher took out two dollars and handed it to the young boy.

“It’s your dog now, Jeffery. You pay the man.”

Still holding the puppy tightly, the boy proudly handed me the money. Any worries I’d had about the puppy’s future were gone.

God’s text to me today says,

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