I hope you enjoy these stories and articles as much as I do! I also have some great poetry!
Read the history of the great men and women of the true church of Jesus Christ how they stood up for their faith in the face of death! Read also about the false pagan church of Rome and how they treated anybody who differed with them either politically or theologically!
The complete text of Pilgrim's Progress book I and II by John Bunyan! - TXT format about 590 K
Pilgrim's progress in HTML format. This one looks prettier but not as complete as the text file.Back to story index
A Very Present Help in Trouble If you like stories about the early American pioneers and their mutual beneficial relationships with the native Americans, you'll love this story! My good American friend Roger wrote it. I think that you will agree he has a real knack for language! About 50K to download.
Seahawk Another fictional tale by Roger. A story of how a teenage boy saved his uncle's ship that was captured at sea by a band of pirates! About 43K.Back to story index
A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects.
When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists."
"Why do you say that?" asked the customer.
"Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving a God who would allow all of these things."
The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and un-kept.
The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist."
"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!"
"No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."
"Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is, people do not come to me."
"Exactly!"- affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don't go to Him and do not look for Him. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."Back to story index
An old priest told this story one Sunday. It is a true story of when he served in the military.
One day their drill sergeant came out and threw a hand grenade into a group of young soldiers. The man all ran away and took cover away from the grenade. Then the drill sergeant told them that the grenade was not set to explode and he just did it to see their reaction. The next day a newly recruited soldier joined the group. The drill sergeant told the other soldiers not to tell the new soldier what was going to happen. As the drill sergeant came out and threw the grenade into the crowd of soldiers, the new soldier, not knowing it wasn't going to explode, threw himself on top of the grenade to prevent it from killing the other men. He was willing to die for his fellow soldiers. That year the young man was awarded the only medal for courage and bravery that had not been won during battle.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man give his life for his friends." The Bible John Chapter 15
There is an old story about a fellow who lived alone and went to a pet store to buy a parrot. He thought the bird might fill some of his lonely hours. The very next day, however, he came back to complain, "That bird doesn't talk."
The store owner asked if he had a mirror in its cage, and the man said he didn't. "Oh, parrots love mirrors," he explained. "When he sees his reflection in the mirror, he'll just start talking away." So he sold him a birdcage mirror.
The bird owner was back the next day to gripe that his parrot still hadn't said a word. "That's very peculiar," allowed the pet expert. "How about a swing? Birds really love these little swings, and a happy parrot is a talkative parrot." So the man bought a swing, took it home, and installed it in the cage.
But he was back the next day with the same story. "Does he have a ladder to climb?" the salesman asked. "That just has to be the problem. Once he has a ladder, he'll probably talk your ear off!" So the fellow bought a ladder.
The man was back at the pet store when it opened the next day. From the look on his face, the owner knew something was wrong. "Didn't your parrot like the ladder?" he asked. His repeat customer looked up and said, "The parrot died."
"I'm so sorry," the stunned businessman said. "Did he ever say anything?"
"Well, yes. He finally talked just before he died. In a weak little voice, he asked me, 'Don't they sell any bird seed at that pet store?'"
Some of us have mistakenly thought that happiness consists of lining our cages with toys, gadgets, and other stuff. Excessive consumption has become the hallmark of American life. "Whoever has the most toys wins" seems to be the likely candidate to be the bumper sticker for an entire culture. But is it so?
There is a spiritual hunger in the human heart that can't be satisfied by seeing one's own image reflected back in vanity mirrors, playing with our grown-up toys, or climbing the corporate ladder. Our hearts need real nourishment.
The love of family and friends, relationships over the pursuit of more things, personal integrity, a secure connection to God -- these are the things that feed the soul.
Have you chosen a life course that leads to a destination that matters?
Jesus told us this in his Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6). He knew that we could never be satisfied without true food that nourishes the soul.
"One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grown-ups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way He doesn't have to take up His valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers."
"God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because He hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in His ears, unless He has thought of a way to turn it off."
"God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting His time by going over your Mom and Dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have."
"Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church."
"Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of Him preaching to them and they crucified Him. But He was good and kind, like His Father and He told His Father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K."
"His Dad (God) appreciated everything that He had done and all His hard work on earth so He told Him He didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So He did. And now He helps His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones He can take care of Himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important."
"You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time."
"If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids."
"But...you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases.
And...that's why I believe in God."Back to story index
Billions of people were scattered on a great plain before Godfs throne. Some of the groups near the front talked heatedly not with cringing shame, but with belligerence.
"How can God judge us?" someone asked.
"What does He know about suffering?" snapped an old woman. She jerked back a sleeve to reveal a tattooed number from a Nazi concentration camp. "We endured terror, beatings, torture, and death!"
In another group a black man lowered his collar, "What about this?" he demanded, showing an ugly rope burn. "Lynched for no crime but being black! My people have been wrenched from loved ones, have suffocated in slave ships, and have been worked like animals till death gave release."
Far out across the plain were hundreds of such groups. Each had a complaint against God for the evil and suffering He permitted in His world. How lucky God was to live in Heaven where there was no weeping, no fear, no hunger, no hatred! Indeed, what did God know about what man had been forced to endure in this world? "After all, God leads a pretty sheltered life," they said.
So each group sent out a spokesperson, chosen because he or she had suffered the most. There was a Jew, a black, an untouchable from India, an illegitimate, a radiation casualty from the Hiroshima bombing, a prisoner from a Siberian gulag, and on it went.
In the center of the plain they consulted with each other. At last they were ready to present their case. It was rather simple: Before God would be qualified to be their judge, He must endure what they had endured. Their decision was that God should be sentenced to live on Earth as a man. But because He was God, they set certain safeguards to be sure He could not use His divine powers to help Himself: Let Him be born a Jew. Let the legitimacy of His birth be doubted, so that none would know who His Father was. Let Him champion a cause so just but so radical that it would bring down upon Him hate and condemnation and cause the leaders of every major religion to seek to eliminate Him. Let Him try to describe what no man has ever seen, felt, tasted, heard, or smelled. Let Him try to communicate God to men. Let Him be betrayed by one of His dearest friends. Let Him be indicted on false charges, tried before a prejudiced jury, and convicted by a cowardly judge. Let Him see what it is like to be terribly alone and completely abandoned by every living thing. Let Him be tortured, and let Him die the most humiliating death, with common criminals.
As each leader announced his portion of the sentence, loud murmurs of approval went up from the great throngs of people assembled before God s throne. But when the last had finished, there was a long silence. No one uttered another word. No one moved. For suddenly all knew God had already served His sentence.
AUTHOR UNKNOWNBack to story index
Mary and her husband Jim had a dog, Lucky. Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably someone would forget and something would come up missing. Mary or Jim would go to Lucky's toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky's favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.
It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease...she was just sure it was fatal. She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders. The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her...what would happen to Lucky? Although the three year old dog liked Jim, he was Mary's dog through and through. If I die Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won't understand that I didn't want to leave him. The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death.
The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully but the dog just drooped, whining and miserable. But finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home Mary was so exhausted she couldn't even make it up the steps to her bedroom. Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap.
Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn't come to her when she called. It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed. When Mary woke for a second she couldn't understand what was wrong. She couldn't move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. Panic soon gave way to laughter though when Mary realized the problem....she was covered, literally blanketed in every treasure Lucky owned! While she had slept the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement and back bringing his beloved mistress his favorite things in life. He had covered her with his love. Mary forgot about dying. Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every night.
It has been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free. Lucky? He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this 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 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the@world.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead 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 some place, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
If your parents are still alive and still married you are very rare, even in the United States and Canada.
If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.
It's a cold day in December in New York City. A little boy about
ten years old was standing before a shoe store on Broadway,
barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A
lady approached the boy and said, "My little fellow, why are you
looking so earnestly in that window?" "I was asking God to
give me a pair of shoes," was the boy's reply.
The lady took him by the hand and went into the store, and asked the clerk to get a half dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with a towel. By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy's feet, she then purchased a pair of shoes for him, and tying up the remaining pairs of socks, gave them to him. She patted him on the head, and said, "No doubt, my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?"
As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her by the hand and looking into her face with tears in his eyes, he answered the question with these words: "Are you God's wife?"
Who is "God's wife"?
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Romans 7:4
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17
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Once upon a time there lived a pastor who had a kitten that climbed up
a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor
coaxed, offered warm milk, etc. The kitty would not come down. The
tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he
tied a rope with one end to the tree and the other end to his car and
drove away so that the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get
He did all this, checking his progress in the car frequently, then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved a little further forward....the rope broke. The tree went "boing!" and the kitten instantly sailed through the air-out of sight.
The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they'd seen a little kitten. Nobody had seen a stray kitten.
So he prayed, "Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping," and went on about his business.
A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. Now this woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, "Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?" She replied,
"You won't believe this," and told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the mom finally told her little girl, "Well, if God gives you a cat, I'll let you keep it."
She told the pastor, "I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, Pastor, you won't believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws spread out, and landed right in front of her.
One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to
pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime
left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at
the next house, However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young
woman opened the door.
Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he
looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it
slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?"
"You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us
never to accept pay for a kindness."
He said, "Then I thank you from my heart." As Howard Kelly left
that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith
in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and
Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local
doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city,
where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. DR.
Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard
the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his
eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital
to her room.
Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He
recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room
determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he
gave special attention to the case. After a long struggle, the
battle was won.
DR. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill
to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on
the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open
it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay
for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her
attention on the side of the bill. She read these words: "PAID
IN FULL WITH ONE GLASS OF MILK." (Signed) DR. Howard Kelly.
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A year after her husband and sons were murdered, Gladys Staines continues to serve in India. Graham, Philip, and Timothy Staines died Jan. 23, 1999, when a mob stirred up by Hindu radicals set fire to the car in which they were sleeping near the village of Manoharpur in Orissa state, news reports said. The deaths touched off protests against nationalist Hindu groups and started a nationwide debate on religious conversions, The Week, an Indian news magazine, said.
...Staines, 49, forgave her husband's killers and assumed his duties at the Mayurbhanj Leprosy Home, 100 miles from Manoharpur. She oversees the facility, where about 60 patients receive medical treatment and vocational training, she said. Patients who are rejected by their families even after they are cured live at the ministry's "rehabilitation farm," where they work at dairy and vegetable farming; their children receive free education at a local school.
..."I was a housewife, virtually not involved in Graham's work. Now that he's gone I've taken on all the responsibility," she said. She visits the home several times a week to check on patients' progress and take care of the facility. She is working to fulfill her husband's dream of building a 40-bed hospital on nearby land.
...Gladys met Graham in 1981 on a mission trip to India. They married two years later and spent the next 16 years raising their family and ministering to people in Orissa state. Their three children were born in India and considered the country "their home," she said. "When they visited their grandparents in Australia, they would ask Graham, 'When are we going home?' " She and her surviving child, Esther, 14, never seriously considered leaving India, she said.
..."I thought about [leaving] but then I think, 'What do I gain by going back?' I believe that God brought me here. He will give me the strength to continue." She said she misses her family and "sometimes the pain is very deep," but "I believe my husband and sons have gone to heaven. There is hope that this is not the end. I am going to see them again." Staines gets many encouraging letters from Hindus saying "that what happened has nothing to do with Hinduism," she said.
...She bears no ill will toward Dara Singh, the man police accuse of orchestrating the murders. "All of us deserve forgiveness. Christ forgave us -- did any of us deserve forgiveness? He expects us to forgive others," she said. Police are offering rewards for information leading to the capture of Singh, who also is suspected in the murders of a Muslim merchant and Catholic priest Arul Doss, The Week said.
"Can I see my baby?" the happy new mother asked. When the bundle was nestled in her arms and she moved the fold of cloth to look upon his tiny face, she gasped. The doctor turned quickly and looked out the tall hospital window. The baby had been born without ears.
Time proved that the baby's hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred. When he rushed home from school one day and flung himself into his mother's arms, she sighed, knowing that his life was to be a succession of heart breaks. He blurted out the tragedy. "A boy, a big boy...called me a freak."
He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A favorite with his fellow students, he might have been class president, but for that. He developed a gift, a talent for literature and music. "You might mingle with other young people," his mother reproved him, but felt a tenderness in her heart.
The boy's father had a session with the family physician. Could nothing be done? "I believe I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they could be procured" the doctor decided. Whereupon the search began for a person who would make such a sacrifice for a young man.
Two years went by. Then, "You are going to the hospital, son. Mother and I have someone who will donate the ears you need. But it's a secret" said the father.
The operation was a brilliant success, and a new person emerged. His talents blossomed into genius, and school and college became a series of triumphs. Later he married and entered the diplomatic service. "But I must know!" he urged his father. "Who gave so much for me? I could never do enough for him." "I do not believe you could," said the father, "but the agreement was that you are not to know...not yet."
The years kept their profound secret, but the day did come... one of the darkest days that ever pass through a son. He stood with his father over his mother's casket. Slowly, tenderly, the father stretched forth a hand and raised the thick, reddish-brown hair to reveal... that the mother had no outer ears.
"Mother said she was glad she never let her hair be cut," he whispered gently, "and nobody ever thought mother less beautiful, did they?"
Real beauty lies not in the physical appearance, but in the heart. Real treasure lies not in what can be seen, but what cannot be seen. Real love lies not in what is done and known, but in what is done but not known.
A young man who had been raised as an atheist was training to be an
Olympic diver. The only religious influence in his life came from his
outspoken Christian friend. The young diver never really paid much
attention to his friend's sermons, but he heard them often.
One night the diver went to the indoor pool at the college he attended. The lights were all off, but the moon was bright so there was plenty of light to practice by.
The young man climbed up to the highest diving board and as he turned his back to the pool on the edge of the board and extended his arms out, he saw his shadow on the wall. The shadow of his body, was in the shape of a cross. Instead of diving, he knelt down and finally asked Jesus Christ to come into his life. As the young man stood, a maintenance man walked in and turned the lights on.
The pool had been drained for repairs.
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It is said that at the University of Chicago Divinity School each year they have what is called "Baptist Day." On this day each one is to bring a lunch to be eaten outdoors in a grassy picnic area. Every "Baptist Day" the school would invite one of the greatest minds to lecture in the theological education center.
The story is that one year they invited Dr. Paul Tillich.
Dr.Tillich spoke for two and one-half hours "proving" that the resurrection of Jesus was false. He quoted scholar after scholar and book after book. He concluded that since there was no such thing as the historical resurrection the religious tradition of the church was groundless, emotional mumbo-jumbo, because it was based on a relationship with a risen Jesus, who, in fact, never rose from the dead in any literal sense. He then asked if there were any questions.
After about 30 seconds, an old, dark skinned preacher with a head of short-cropped, woolly white hair stood up in the back of the auditorium.
"Docta Tillich, I got one question," he said as all eyes turned toward him. He reached into his sack lunch and pulled out an apple and began eating it.
"Docta Tillich"... CRUNCH, MUNCH... "My question is a simple question," CRUNCH, MUNCH. "Now, I ain't never read them books you read..." CRUNCH, MUNCH "...and I can't recite the Scriptures in the original Greek"...CRUNCH, MUNCH ..." I don't know nothin' about Niebuhr and Heidegger"... CRUNCH,MUNCH... He finished the apple.
"All I wanna know is: This apple I just ate------was it bitter or sweet?"
Dr. Tillich paused for a moment and answered in exemplary scholarly fashion: "I cannot possibly answer that question, for I haven't tasted your apple."
The white-haired preacher dropped the core of his apple into his crumpled paper bag, looked up at Dr. Tillich and said calmly, "Neither have you tasted my Jesus."
The 1,000 plus in attendance could not contain themselves. The auditorium erupted with applause and cheers. Dr. Tillich thanked his audience and promptly left the platform.
Have you tasted Jesus?
"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him." ----Psalm 34:8
Amy R. Sullivan
Blaney Elementary School
In the days of the Revolutionary War there lived at Ephrata, Pennsylvania, a Baptist pastor by the name of Peter Miller who enjoyed the friendship of General Washington. There also dwelt in that town one Michael Wittman, an evil-minded man who did all in his power to abuse and oppose this pastor.
One day Michael Wittman was involved in treason and was arrested and sentenced to death. The old preacher started out on foot and walked the whole seventy miles to Philadelphia to plead for this man's life. He was admitted into Washington's presence and at once begged for the life of the traitor.
Washington said, "No, Peter, I cannot grant you the life of your friend." The preacher exclaimed, "He is not my friend--he is the bitterest enemy I have." Washington cried, "What? You've walked seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the matter in a different light. I will grant the pardon." And he did. And Peter Miller took Michael Wittman from the very shadow of death back to his own home in Ephrata--no longer as an enemy, but as a friend.
--James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited