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Archive for December, 2017

When man is stripped of all he has; when he stands by himself, alone, he recognizes all he has left is a longing to be at one with God. And God wants to be at one with us. God and man. Father and son. Man reaching up towards Heaven, and the strong arms of God, always reaching down to man! ~ Rev. Paul Barber, Lewiston, ID, 11/15/1992

 

Pastor Bill

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Men around the world have had an insatiable thirsting, or longing, for something. It is something entwined in the very essence of man over the ages. It crosses all barriers of race and language. It is a desire for peace! A peace that many recognize as peace with God. ~ Rev. Paul Barber, Lewiston, ID, 11/15/1992

 

Pastor Bill

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A BUM AND A BABY

A number of years ago I read the following told by a Nancy L. Dahlberg, that tells the story of a family who had traveled to visit their parents who lived some distance away. The husband needed to be back to work the day following Christmas, and that required that they spend most of Christmas Day on the highway, returning home. Near noon they stopped at a restaurant for lunch. There were only a few lonely customers inside.

They were the only family in the restaurant and theirs were the only children. The one-year old, Erik, was just learning to talk and with fat baby hands he whacked his metal high-chair tray and said "Hithere," "Hithere" (two words he thought were one).

His face was alive with excitement, eyes wide, and his gums bared in a toothless grin. He wiggled, and chirped and giggled and then the mother saw the source of her child’s delight.

A tattered rag of a coat, obviously bought by someone else eons ago, dirty, greasy, and worn . . . . . baggy pants, spindly body . . . . . toes that poked out of would-be shoes . . . . a shirt that had ring around the collar all over and a face with gums as bare as the baby’s. Erik was just taken with the man, grinning and smiling.

The bum said, "Hi there baby; hi there, big boy. I see you buster."

The young couple exchanged looks that said, "What do we do?" and "Poor man."

The meal came and it all continued. The baby saying "Hithere" and the bum shouting from a cross the room: "Do ya know patty cake? Atta boy . . . Do ya know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo!"

The baby just kept grinning and smiling and saying, "Hithere" and every call was echoed by the bum.

Nobody thought it was cute. The guy was causing a disturbance. The mother was embarrassed. The husband was humiliated. Even their six-year old said, "Why is that old man talking so loud?"

They hurriedly finished their meal. The father got up to pay the check leaving instructions to meet him in the parking lot. The mother prayed, "Lord, just let me get out of here before that man speaks to me or my baby." She bolted for the door.

As she started to leave she had to pass the man, and as she drew near him, she turned her back, walking so as to sidestep him and any air he might be breathing. All this time Erik’s eyes had been riveted to his new-found, and now best friend. Erik leaned far over his mother’s arms and reached out towards the bum.

In a split second of balancing the baby and turning to counter his weight, the mother came eye-to-eye with the old man. Erik was lunging for him, arms spread wide, in a baby’s "take me" gesture.

The bum’s eyes both asked and implored, "Would you let me hold your baby?"

There was no need for the mother to answer since little Erik had propelled himself from her arms into the man’s. Suddenly a very old, filthy, grimy man and a very young baby boy were hugging each other. Erik laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulders.

The man’s eyes closed, and tears hovered beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, and pain, and hard labor . . . . gently, oh, so gently, cradled the baby and he began to stroke his back.

The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms for a magnificent moment. The mother just stood there in awe and wonder.

Then the bum’s eyes opened and set squarely on the mother’s and he said in a firm, commanding voice, "You take care of this baby."

Somehow she managed an "I will," from a throat that contained a lump the size of a boulder. 

He pried Erik from his chest – unwillingly, longingly – as though he were in pain.  I held my arms open to receive my baby and again the man addressed me.

“God bless you, ma’am.  You’ve given me my Christmas gift.”

The mother muttered “thanks,” and, with Erik back in her arms she ran for the car.

Her husband wondered why she was crying and holding Erik so tightly and why she was saying, "My God, my God, please forgive me."

 

 

Pastor Bill

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By giving up your “rights” to Jesus, you gain the right to eternal life! 

 

Pastor Bill

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Too often the Christian desires to “short-circuit” God’s grace and bypass all the testing and trials of life, going directly to a point of maturity. It rarely seems to work that way! 

 

Pastor Bill

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There are two moods which characterize our country today; the right to pleasure and the right to security….. These two basic feelings are even present within the church. ~ Pastor Paul Barber, Lewiston, ID, 11/1/1992

 

Pastor Bill

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The Christian does not change history through the ballot box; he or she does it through prayer.

 

Pastor Bill

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