Building Faith….

Building Faith in Our Lives

I hope you will love today’s story as much as I do! Building faith in our lives does not always come easily or according to the time frame we determine. I am convinced that building faith is much like navigating a maze blindfolded. We know there is a path and we know there is a way to successfully get to the goal but we cannot see the end until we actually arrive there.

With a maze and with life – the point is to navigate the path using the best efforts we are capable of. And…with the assistance made available to us, we can make corrections and keep trying until we get it right! Building faith is not an easy task but the reward is well worth the effort!

Tell Them (Author Unknown)

Some 14 years ago, I stood watching my university students file into the classroom for our opening session in the theology of faith.

That was the day I first saw Tommy. He was combing his hair, which hung six inches below his shoulders. My quick judgment wrote him off as strange – very strange.

Tommy turned out to be my biggest challenge. He constantly objected to or smirked at the possibility of an unconditionally loving God. When he turned in his final exam at the end of the course, he asked in a slightly cynical tone, “Do you think I’ll ever find God?” “No,” I said emphatically. “Oh,” he responded. “I thought that was the product you were pushing.”

I let him get five steps from the door and then called out. “I don’t think you’ll ever find Him, but I am certain He will find you.” Tommy shrugged and left. I felt slightly disappointed that he had missed my clever line.

Later I heard that Tommy had graduated, and I was grateful for that. Then came a sad report: Tommy had terminal cancer. Before I could search him out, he came to me. When he walked into my office, his body was badly wasted, and his long hair had fallen out because of chemotherapy. But his eyes were bright and his voice, for the first time, was firm.

“Tommy! I’ve thought about you so often. I heard you were very sick,” I blurted out.

“Oh, yes, very sick. I have cancer. It’s a matter of weeks.”

“Can you talk about it?”

“Sure. What would you like to know?”

“What’s it like to be only 24 and know that you’re dying?”

“It could be worse,” he told me, “like being 50 and thinking that drinking booze, seducing women and making money are the real ‘biggies’ in life.”

Then he told me why he had come.

“It was something you said to me on the last day of class. I asked if you thought I would ever find God, and you said no, which surprised me. Then you said, ‘But He will find you.’ I thought about that a lot, even though my search for God was hardly intense at that time. But when the doctors removed a lump from my groin and told me that it was malignant, I got serious about locating God. And when the malignancy spread into my vital organs, I really began banging against the bronze doors of heaven. But nothing happened. Well, one day I woke up, and instead of my desperate attempts to get some kind of message, I just quit. I decided I didn’t really care about God, an afterlife, or anything like that. I decided to spend what time I had left doing something more important. I thought about you and something else you had said: ‘The essential sadness is to go through life without loving. But it would be almost equally sad to leave this world without ever telling those you loved that you loved them.’ So I began with the hardest one: my dad.”

Tommy’s father had been reading the newspaper when his son approached him.

“Dad, I would like to talk with you.”

“Well, talk.”

“I mean, it’s really important.”

The newspaper came down three slow inches.

“What is it?”

“Dad, I love you. I just wanted you to know that.”

Tommy smiled at me as he recounted the moment. “The newspaper fluttered to the floor. Then my father did two things I couldn’t remember him doing before. He cried and he hugged me. And we talked all night, even though he had to go to work the next morning.

“It was easier with my mother and little brother,” Tommy continued. “They cried with me, and we hugged one another, and shared the things we had been keeping secret for so long. Here I was, in the shadow of death, and I was just beginning to open up to all the people I had actually been close to.

“Then one day I turned around and God was there. He didn’t come to me when I pleaded with Him. Apparently He does things in His own way and at His own hour. The important thing is that you were right. He found me even after I stopped looking for Him.”

“Tommy,” I added, “could I ask you a favor? Would you come to my theology-of-faith course and tell my students what you told me?”

Though we scheduled a date, he never made it. Of course, his life was not really ended by his death, only changed. He made the great step from faith into vision. He found a life far more beautiful than the eye of humanity has ever seen or the mind ever imagined.

Before he died, we talked one last time. “I’m not going to make it to your class,” he said. “I know, Tommy.”

“Will you tell them for me? Will you . . . tell the whole world for me?”

“I will, Tommy. I’ll tell them.”

 Story shared from: www.inspirationalarchive.com/1760/tell-them/

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Have the Faith to Cut the Rope and Do God’s Will!

the-purpose-of-faith-artistic-1676551

Sometimes I find that my daily blog post is as much for me as is it for anyone else. Today is one of those days! I really needed to be reminded that my faith is about listening and doing God’s will – not taking care of my personal desires.  I’m just getting over a bad cold and my humanness just wants a long nap and all of my responsibilities to be handled with the wiggle of my nose.

Today’s story about faith reminded me that, though I am tired, I am greatly blessed and sometimes faith requires discomfort. I hope you enjoy today’s story as much as I did! (I really needed today’s story!)

The Mountain Climber

— Author Unknown

They tell the story of a mountain climber who, desperate to conquer the Aconcagua, initiated his climb after years of preparation. But he wanted the glory to himself, therefore, he went up alone. He started climbing and it was becoming later, and later. He did not prepare for camping, but decided to keep on going.

Soon it got dark. Night fell with heaviness at a very high altitude. Visibility was zero. Everything was black. There was no moon, and the stars were covered by clouds.

As he was climbing a ridge at about 100 meters from the top, he slipped and fell. Falling rapidly he could only see blotches of darkness that passed. He felt a terrible sensation of being sucked in by gravity. He kept falling… and in those anguishing moments good and bad memories passed through his mind. He thought certainly he would die.

But then he felt a jolt that almost tore him in half. Yes! Like any good mountain climber he had staked himself with a long rope tied to his waist. In those moments of stillness, suspended in the air he had no other choice but to shout: “HELP ME GOD. HELP ME!”

All of a sudden he heard a deep voice from heaven… “What do you want me to do?”

“SAVE ME.”

“Do you REALLY think that I can save you?”

“OF COURSE, MY GOD.”

“Then cut the rope that is holding you up.”

There was another moment of silence and stillness. The man just held tighter to the rope. The rescue team says that the next day they found a frozen mountain climber hanging strongly to a rope…
TWO FEET OFF THE GROUND.

Story shared from: http://www.inspire21.com/stories/faithstories/TheMountainClimber

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The World Has Enough Beautiful Mountains…Be Grateful!

the-world-has-enough-beautiful-mountains-beautiful-1694880Does your world have enough beautiful mountains? Does it have enough to make your happy? Are you grateful for what you have?

Do you look for your blessings? As you look at today’s meme, can you see the beautiful mountains that are depicted on the woman’s face? Or, without looking closely, did you assume you were seeing a five o’clock shadow?

As we enter the holiday season – I like to think that Thanksgiving is a fitting beginning of our celebration because it starts the festivities with being Thankful and having Gratitude. Recognizing our blessings is a huge component of finding happiness in life.

If your wealth was determined by the amount of time, love and energy you shared with others, how wealthy would you be? If your happiness was dependent on your ability to recognize your blessings – would you be happy?

In reality, our eternal wealth is dependent on the amount of time, love and energy we share with others and our happiness is directly connected to our ability to recognize our blessings and be grateful.

Today, I want to share a portion of a post from the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. I think it provides some good food for thought 🙂 !

Are you thankful no matter what? Perhaps you have lost your job recently, as the economy has continued to struggle. Or you may have lost your health, or a loved one. Such circumstances can be tremendously difficult. But even so, we all have much to be thankful for. Look with me at the story of a man who had every right to be bitter—but wasn’t.

The next footsteps in the corridor, he knew, might be those of the guards taking him away to his execution. His only bed was the hard, cold stone floor of the dank, cramped prison cell. Not an hour passed when he was free from the constant irritation of the chains and the pain of the iron manacles cutting into his wrists and legs.

Separated from friends, unjustly accused, brutally treated—if ever a person had a right to complain, it was this man, languishing almost forgotten in a harsh Roman prison. But instead of complaints, his lips rang with words of praise and thanksgiving!

The man was the Apostle Paul—a man who had learned the meaning of true thanksgiving, even in the midst of great adversity. Earlier, when he had been imprisoned in Rome, Paul wrote, “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-20, NIV).

Think of it: Always giving thanks for everything—no matter the circumstances! Thanksgiving for the Apostle Paul was not a once-a-year celebration, but a daily reality that changed his life and made him a joyful person in every situation.

Thanksgiving—the giving of thanks—to God for all His blessings should be one of the most distinctive marks of the believer in Jesus Christ. We must not allow a spirit of ingratitude to harden our heart and chill our relationship with God and with others.

Nothing turns us into bitter, selfish, dissatisfied people more quickly than an ungrateful heart. And nothing will do more to restore contentment and the joy of our salvation than a true spirit of thankfulness.

In the ancient world, leprosy was a terrible disease. It hopelessly disfigured those who had it, and it permanently cut them off from normal society. Without exception, every leper yearned for one thing: To be healed.

One day 10 lepers approached Jesus outside a village, loudly pleading with Him to heal them. In an instant He restored them all to perfect health—but only one came back and thanked Him. All the rest left without a word of thanks, their minds preoccupied only with themselves, gripped with a spirit of ingratitude.

Today, too, ingratitude and thanklessness are far too common. Children forget to thank their parents for all that they do. Common courtesy is scorned. We take for granted the ways that others help us. Above all, we fail to thank God for His blessings.

Ingratitude is a sin, just as surely as is lying or stealing or immorality or any other sin condemned by the Bible. One of the Bible’s indictments against rebellious humanity is that “although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him” (Romans 1:21, NIV). An ungrateful heart is a heart that is cold toward God and indifferent to His mercy and love. It is a heart that has forgotten how dependent we are on God for everything.

From one end of the Bible to the other, we are commanded to be thankful. In fact, thankfulness is the natural out-flowing of a heart that is attuned to God. The psalmist declared, “Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving” (Psalm 147:7, NIV). Paul wrote, “Be thankful” (Colossians 3:15, NIV). A spirit of thanksgiving is always the mark of a joyous Christian.

Why should we be thankful? Because God has blessed us, and we should be thankful for each blessing.

Post is shared from: https://billygraham.org/story/how-to-be-thankful-in-all-things/.

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Happy Thanksgiving! May God’s Greatest Blessing Be Yours!

thanksgiving-2016-autumn-1649440Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May God’s greatest blessings be yours and may we all recognize the incredible blessings that are a part of our lives!

Here’s an inspirational story for Thanksgiving!:

A Thanksgiving Remembrance

My paternal grandmother lived with us. She would sit in the porch swing and I would stand behind her and brush her beautiful long gray hair. As I brushed her hair she would tell me her two favorite stories from the Bible. The only thing better was when she would have me snuggle up close to her in the swing as she read to me. As I child, I surmised that they were just good stories but now as a mother and grandmother I realize she had an ulterior motive – she was teaching me a most valuable lesson – a lesson about kindness and thankfulness.

She often added to the story of the Good Samaritan, “You never pass someone in need even if their skin is not the color of yours.” And, “You should never pick and choose who you will be kind to, you just be kind,” she would enumerate over and over.

This same instruction came with Manners and Etiquette. “Know what to do and do it. If you do the same right thing often enough it will become second nature to you.” “That way,” she would instruct, “You will always know what to do and feel confident doing it.”

Sounded complicated as a child but as I grew older I realized what I did automatically, others my age struggled with.

This tutoring soon gave me the understanding that the Kindness lessons and the Manners lessons were synonymous. They both really were practicing the Golden Rule. Which is simply put, “Treat others, as you want to be treated and never forget any kindness extended to you.”

I also learned as a child growing up that my mother always had a slip of paper fastened to the inside of a cabinet door in the kitchen. It was near the sink where mother was more apt to see it. At the top of the page were written the words, “Lest I forget.” There was never a kindness extended to her or our family that was not found listed on her paper. In November of each year she would in some way once again let the person or persons involved know how grateful she was for their kindness. Mother often quoted the reminder to us, “Don’t remember the kindness you do for another, but never forget kindness done for you.”

I am reminded even more of the lessons learned as a child and even some days I find myself missing that spot on grandma’s lap and the peace that came with her loving arms around me.

May we each give thanks and remember all kindness given to us.

Story shared from the following website: http://www.values.com/your-inspirational-stories/39-a-thanksgiving-remembrance

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Prayer is Not An Old Woman’s Idle Amusement

Portrait on Black Of Old woman Praying

I believe that Prayer may be the greatest gift we have been given – next to the Atonement! It has been my personal experience that sincere, daily prayer is an indispensable tool in  bringing me closer to God and to true balance in my life.

I love that prayer has helped me to know God better and helped me to understand more and more the true mentor and friend that my Creator is. I know of His perfection and of His love but I also know, from my near death experience, that this life is meant to be a growth experience. Prayer has helped me to grow with God as my ally. I hope that you will allow prayer to strengthen your relationship with God as well!

Today, I want to share a story that I love! :

One day in the mother house in Calcutta there were about three hundred novices and they were all out for the morning. One of the novices working in the kitchen came up to Mother Teresa and said, “We’ve planned poorly; we have no flour to back these chipaties for lunch.” Chipaties are little flour and water pancakes. The situation looked bleak—three hundred plus mouths are coming to be fed in about an hour and a half and there’s nothing to cook with. There’s no food.

“What I would expect Mother Teresa to do,” Fr. Langford explained to me, “Was that Mother would pick up the telephone and call some of her benefactors and mobilize them to find some way to feed her daughters. Instead, her reaction—her spontaneous reaction—was to say to this little one, ‘Sister, you’re in charge of the kitchen this week? Well then, go into the chapel and tell Jesus we have no food. That’s settled. Now let’s move on. What’s next?’”

Lo and behold, ten minutes later there was a ring at the door and Mother Teresa was called downstairs. A man she had never seen before was standing there with a clipboard. He addressed her saying “Mother Teresa, we were just informed that the teachers at the city schools are going on strike. Classes have been dismissed and we have 7,000 lunches we don’t know what to do with. Can you help us use them?”

God provided for the needs of his children.

Mother Teresa’s sanctity was built on a very simple foundation of deep faith and trust in God. Mother Teresa turned to Him in prayer, not only in need, but also to rest in the arms of the Father—body and spirit.

That is how Mother Teresa lived each day of her life.

This story comes from http://101prayer.com/story2.html

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