"Encourage each other and build each other up." 

  1 Thessalonians 5:11

 

... LIFE ENRICHMENT STORIES ...

 

Three volumes of heart-warming stories
 that will bless your heart and nourish your soul.
So just sit back and enjoy being blessed.

 

Volume One

Story One . . . Unconditional Acceptance

Story Two . . . Power In His Word  

Story Three . . . His Name is Daniel

Story Four . . . Choose Wisely

Story Five . . . Making A Difference

 

  Volume Two            Volume Three  

Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to these pages.

  

... Story One ...

- Unconditional Acceptance -

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed
my college degree.  The last class I had to take was Sociology.  The
teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every
human being had been graced with.  Her last project of the term was
called "Smile."  The class was asked to go out and smile at three people
and document their reactions.  I am a very friendly person and always
smile at everyone and say, "Hello", anyway - so I thought this would be
a piece of cake, literally.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son and
I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning.  It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.  We were standing in line, waiting to
be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back up, and
then even my husband did.

I did not move an inch - an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside
of me as I turned to see why they had moved.  As I turned around, I smelled
a horrible "dirty body" smell and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men.  As I looked down at the short gentleman close to me, he
was smiling.  His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he
searched for acceptance.  He said, "Good day," as he counted the few coins
he had been clutching.  The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend.  I realized the second man was mentally deficient and the
blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.

I held my tears as I stood there with them.  The young lady at the counter
asked him what they wanted.  He said, "Coffee is all Miss," because that was
all they could afford.  If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up,
they had to buy something.  He just wanted to be warm.

Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes.  That is when I noticed all eyes
in the restaurant were set on me judging my every action.  I smiled and
asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast
meals on a separate tray.  I then walked around the corner to the table that
the men had chosen as a resting spot.  I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand.  He looked up at me with tears
in his eyes and said, "Thank you."  I leaned over, began to pat his hand and
said, "I did not do this for you.  God is here working through me to give you hope." 

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son.  When I sat
down, my husband smiled at me and said, "That is why God gave you to me, Honey.  To give me hope."  We held hands for a moment and at that time we knew that only because of the grace that we had been given were we able
to give.  We are not church-goers, but we are believers.  That day showed
me the pure Light of God's sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class with story in hand, I turned
in "my project," and the instructor read it.  Then she looked up at me and
asked, "Can I share this?"  I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the
class.  She began to read and that is when I knew that we, as human beings
and being part of God, share this need to heal people and be healed.

In my own way, I had touched the people at McDonald's, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent
as a college student.  I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn: UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.  

Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read
this and learn how to: LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS - not love things and
use people.

- author unknown -

... Story Two ...

- Power In His Word -

Very early in my walk with the Lord I learned of the great power contained
in His Word.  I began to search the Word for Scriptures to use in prayer for
my family, for the unsaved and for circumstances.  I personalized these Scriptures and pray them to the Lord.

Here are some examples . . .

When I pray for salvation for anyone I pray thus ... "Thank You, Father,
that the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared unto all men (use personal name in place of all men) - Titus 2:11, because God from the
beginning chose all men (use personal name in place of all men) - for
salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth."
2 Thessalonians 2:13.

My prayer for children and grandchildren ... Thank You, Father, that my
children and grandchildren do no enter the path of the wicked, and do
not walk in the way of evil.  They avoid it, they do not travel on it; they
turn away from it and pass on. - Proverbs 4:14-15.  Father, you open
their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of
satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in You. - Acts 26:18.  Thank You,
Father, that they flee also youthful lusts but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. - 2 Timothy 2:22.  Thank You, Father, that all my children and grandchildren shall be taught
of You, O Lord, and great shall be the peace of my children and grand-
children. - Isaiah 54:13.  You will pour out Your Spirit on my descendents
and Your blessings on my offspring. - Isaiah 44:3.  You will contend with
him who contends with me and You will save my children and grandchildren. Isaiah 49:25.

My three children are serving the Lord and four of my eight grandchildren.
My oldest and youngest grandchildren have recently accepted the Lord as
Savior and another has begun attending church.  God hears and answers
our prayers.  

I have found that there is a Scripture for every need and circumstance
that we have and that there is a power in praying them to the Lord.
  

Dorothea Montague - Hearken To The Voice Of The Lord - www.angelfire.com/in/hislove/

... Story Three ...

- His Name is Daniel -

It was an unusually cold day for the month of May.  Spring had arrived
and everything was alive with color.  But a cold front from the north
had brought winter's chill back to Indiana.  I sat with two friends in
the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off the corner of the town
square.  The food and the company were both especially good that day.
As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street.  There,
walking into town, was a man who appeared to be carrying all his worldly
goods on his back.  He was carrying a well-worn sign that read, "I will
work for food."  My heart sank.  I brought him to the attention of my
friends and noticed that others around us had stopped eating to focus
on him.  Heads moved in a mixture of sadness and disbelief.  We
continued with our meal, but his image lingered in my mind.  

We finished our meal and went our separate ways.  I had errands to
do and quickly set out to accomplish them.  I glanced toward the town
square, looking somewhat halfheartedly for the strange visitor.  I was
fearful, knowing that seeing him again would call some response.  I
drove through town and saw nothing of  him.  I made some purchases
at a store and got back in my car.  Deep within me, the Spirit of God kept
speaking to me: "Don't go back to the office until you've at least driven
once more around the square."  And so, with some hesitancy, I headed
back into town.  

As I turned the square's third corner, I saw him.  He was standing on
the steps of the storefront church, going through his sack.  I stopped
and looked, feeling both compelled to speak to him, yet wanting to drive
on.  The empty parking  space on the corner seemed to be a sign from
God: an invitation to park.  I pulled in, got out and approached the
town's newest visitor.

"Looking for the pastor?" I asked.  "Not  really," he replied, "Just resting."
"Have you eaten today?"  "Oh, I ate something early this morning."
"Would you like to have lunch with me?  "Do you have some work I could
do for you?"  "No work," I replied.  "I commute here to work from the city,
but I would like to take you to lunch."  "Sure, "he replied with a smile.
As he began to gather his things. I asked some surface questions.
"Where you headed?"  "St. Louis."  "Where you from?"  "Oh, all over;
mostly Florida."  "How long you been walking?"  "Fourteen years," came
the reply.  I knew I had met someone unusual. 

We sat across from each other in the same restaurant I had left earlier.
His face was weathered slightly beyond his 38 years.  His eyes were dark
yet clear, and he spoke with an eloquence and articulation that was
startling.  He removed his jacket to reveal a bright red T-shirt that said,
"Jesus is The Never Ending Story."  Then Daniel's story began to unfold.
He had seen rough times early in life.  He'd made some wrong choices
and reaped the consequences. Fourteen years earlier, while back -
packing across the country, he had stopped on the beach in Daytona.
He tried to hire on with some men who were putting up a large tent
and some equipment.  A concert, he thought.  He was hired, but the
tent would not house a concert but revival services, and in those
services he saw life more clearly.  He gave his life over to God.

"Nothing's been the same since", he said, "I felt the Lord telling me to
keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years now."  "Ever think of stopping?"
I asked.  "Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best of me.  But
God has given me this calling.  I give out Bibles.  That's what's in my sack.
I work to buy food and Bibles, and I give them out when His Spirit leads."
I sat amazed.  My homeless friend was not homeless.  He was on a mission
and lived this way by choice.  The question burned inside for a moment
and then I asked: "What's it like?"  "What?" he asked.  "To walk into a
town carrying all your things on your back and to show your sign?"  "Oh,
it was humiliating at first.  People would stare and make comments.  Once
someone tossed a piece of half-eaten bread and made a gesture that
certainly didn't make me feel welcome.  But then it became humbling to
realize that God was using me to touch lives and change people's concepts
of other folks like me.  "My concept was changing, too.  We finished our
dessert and gathered his things.

Just outside the door, he paused.  He turned to me and said, "Come ye
blessed of my Father and inherit the kingdom I've prepared for you.  For
when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me
drink, a stranger and you took me in."  I felt as if we were on holy ground.
"Could you use another Bible?" I asked.  He said he preferred a certain translation.  It traveled well and was not too heavy.  It was also his
personal favorite.  "I've read through it 14 times, "he said.  "I'm not sure
we've got one of those, but let's stop by our church and see."  I was able
to find my new friend a Bible that would do well, and he seemed very grateful.

"Where you headed from here?"  "Well, I found this little map on the
back of this amusement park coupon."  "Are you hoping to hire on there
for  awhile?"  "No, I just figure I should go there.  I figure someone under
that star right there needs a Bible, so that's where I'm going next."  He
smiled, and the warmth of his spirit radiated the sincerity of his mission.
I drove him back to the town square where we'd met two hours earlier,
and as we drove, it started raining.  We parked and unloaded his things.
"Would you sign my autograph book?" he asked.  "I like to keep messages
from folks I meet."  I wrote in his little book that his commitment to his
calling had touched my life.  I encouraged him to stay strong.  And I left
him with a verse of scripture, in Jeremiah, "I know the plans I have for
you," declared the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans
to give you a future and a hope."  "Thanks, man," he said.  "I know we
just met and we're really just strangers, but I love you."  "I know," I said,
"I love you, too."  "The Lord is good."  "Yes. He is.  How long has it been
since someone hugged you?" I asked.  "A long time," he replied.  And so
on the busy street corner in the drizzling rain, my new friend and I
embraced, and I felt deep inside that I had been changed.  He put his
things on his back, smiled his winning smile and said, "See you in the New Jerusalem."  "I'll be there!" was my reply.  He began his journey again.
He headed away with his sign dangling from his bed roll and pack of Bibles.
He stopped, turned and said,  "When you see something that makes you
think of me, will you pray for me?"  "You bet," I shouted back, "God bless."
"God bless," he replied.  And that was the last I saw of him.  

Late that evening as I left my office, the wind blew strong.  The cold front
had settled hard upon the town.  I bundled up and hurried to my car.  As I
sat back and reached for the emergency brake, I saw them....a pair of
well-worn brown work gloves neatly laid over the length of the handle.  I
picked them up and thought of my friend and wondered if his hands would
stay warm that night without them.  I remembered his words: "If you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?"  

Today his gloves lie on my desk in my office.  They help me to see the world
and its people in a new way, and they help me remember those two hours
with my unique friend and to pray for his ministry.  "See you in the New Jerusalem," he said.  Yes, Daniel, I know I will....
 

- author unknown -

... Story Four ...

- Choose Wisely -

A woman came out of her house and saw three old men with long white
beards sitting in her front yard.  She did not recognize them.  She said,
"I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry.  Please come in and
have something to eat.  "Is the man of the house home?", they asked.
"No", she said. "He's out." "Then we cannot come in", they replied.

In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had
happened.  "Go tell them I am home and invite them in!"  The woman
went out and invited the men in.  "We do not go into a house together,
" they replied. "Why is that?" she wanted to know.  One of the old men
explained: "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends,
and pointing to another one said, "He is Success, and I am Love."  Then
he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you
want in your home."  

The woman went in and told her husband what was said.  Her husband was overjoyed.  "How nice!", he said.  "Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth.
Let him come and fill our home with wealth!"  His wife disagreed.  "My dear,
why don't we invite Success?"  Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house.  She jumped in with her own suggestion: "Would
it not be better to invite Love?  Our home will then be filled with love!"  "Let
us heed our daughter-in-law's advice," said the husband to his wife.  "Go out
and invite Love to be our guest." 

The woman went out and asked the three old men, "Which one of you is Love?  Please come in and be our guest."  Love got up and started walking toward the house.  The other two also got up and followed him.  Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love.  Why are you coming in?"  The old
men replied together: "If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of
us would've stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever he goes, we go
with him.  Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!" 

- author unknown -

... Story Five ...

- Making A Difference -

There was a story many years ago of an elementary school teacher who's
name was Mrs. Thompson.  And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class
on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie.  Like most teachers,
she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same.  But
that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat,
was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.  

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he
didn't play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and
that he constantly needed a bath.  And Teddy could be unpleasant.  It got
to the point where
Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking
his
papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F"
at the top of his papers.  

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review
each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last.  However, when
she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.  Teddy's first grade teacher
wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh.  He does his work neatly
and has good manners...he is a joy to be around."  His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be
a struggle."  His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has been
hard on him.  He tries to do his best but his father doesn't show much
interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."  Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show
much interest in school.  He doesn't have many friends and sometimes
sleeps in class."  

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of
herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas
presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's.
His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got
from a grocery bag.  Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the
middle of
the other presents. Some of the children started to
laugh when she found
a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing and a bottle that
was one quarter full of perfume.  But she stifled the children's laughter
when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing
some of the perfume on her wrist.  Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that
day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like
my Mom used to."  

After the children left she cried for at least an hour.  On that very day,
she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic.  Instead, she began
to teach children.  Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy.  As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive.  The more she encouraged
him, the faster he responded.  By the end of the year, Teddy had become
one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would
love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets."  

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that
she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.  Six years went
by before she got another note from Teddy.  He then wrote that he had
finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher
he ever had in his whole life.  Four years after that, she got another letter,
saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school,
had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest
of honors.  He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.  Then four more years passed and yet another letter came.  This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further.  The letter explained that she was
still the best and favorite teacher he ever had.  But now his name was a
little longer.  The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.  

The story doesn't end there.  You see, there was yet another letter that
spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was going to be married.  He
explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was
wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding
that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. 

Of course, Mrs. Thompson did.  And guess what?  She wore that bracelet,
the one with several rhinestones missing.  And she made sure she was
wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their
last Christmas together.  They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard
whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for believing
in me.  Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me
that I could make a difference."  Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back.  She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong.  You were the one
who taught me that I could make a difference.  I didn't know how to teach
until I met you."  

- author unknown -

 

 

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Volume Two | Volume Three

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Inspired Writings | Poetry | Scripts for Thought
The Word Says | Uplifting Words

A Love Story | A Special Visitor | A Tribute to Godly Mothers
An Invitation | Awaiting My Beloved Heavenly Bridegroom

Behold The Lamb of God | Giving Thanks to the Lord
God's Divine Treat |
God's Gift of Love
 | Going God's Way
Heavenly Father - We Love and Adore You | Holy Spirit
How The Shamrock Glorifies God | Let's Celebrate Freedom
Little Visits With God | New Beginnings In Christ | Prince of Peace

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