"Hello, is this Pastor Smith?" asked the caller.
Red, White and Blue - flag colors
All too true - especially as April 15th approaches!
A Dutchman was explaining the red, white, and blue Netherlands flag to an American.
"Our flag is symbolic of our taxes. We get red when we talk about them, white when we get our tax bills, and blue after we pay them."
The American nodded. "It’s the same in the USA only we see stars too!"
In China this is the year of the rooster, but for American Christians, it's the year of the list:
But the list making the most headlines was February's list in TIME magazine: "The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America" including 1. Rick Warren 2. Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, 3. David Barton 4. Doug Cole 5. Chuck Colson. Billy Graham wasn't listed until number 10. I didn't even recognize twelve of the nominees.
• an unknown inn keeper who took pity on a pregnant couple
• shepherds (the bottom rung of the socio-economic ladder) who were the first ones invited to worship the newborn King
• an unnamed boy (children had little value in the culture) who gives his lunch to Jesus
• a Samaritan (the very bottom of the Jew's list) woman (the bottom of that time and culture's list) who brings an entire village to Jesus
• a widow who gives everything in the temple offering
• a formerly demon-possessed man to evangelizes the ten towns of Decopolis
• an unnamed man who loaned Jesus his donkey on Palm Sunday
• a Sunday school teacher somewhere who told a disruptive second-grader, "Ricky, you really need to find a purpose for your life instead of just being driven in every direction."
• a North Carolina farmer, who warned a teen trouble-maker, "Billy, the Buh-ble says, You must be born again . . . right now. If you came on a bus, it will wait for you . . .'"
• a school psychologist telling third-grade Franky, "Perhaps you could deal with the monsters and demons in your mind by writing stories about this present darkness."
• a next-door neighbor saying, "Joyce, could you teach a home Bible study?"
• a nurse who told a young quadriplegic, "Joni, I need you to sign this form. Here, put the pen in your mouth. Wow, nice penmanship. Have you every thought of a career in art?"
The most influential people in my life include:
• a high school teacher who said, "Jim, you can write."
• the local Youth For Christ leader who convinced me to "give all that you know about yourself to all that you know about God."
• a girlfriend who said, "Jim, you'd make a good minister." (Not exactly what I was hoping to hear on her front porch after a date.)
• a pastor's wife who had a word of knowledge that the first girl I met at Marion College would become my wife. (She was right!)
• and most of all, a wife who has taught me how to love people unconditionally through her amazing example.
And I hope and pray that after thirty years of ministry, I'm on someone's list as well. And that you are as well.
Copyright © 2005 James N. Watkins