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TO: Jesus, Son of Joseph, Woodcrafters shop, Nazareth
FROM: Jordan Management Consultants, Jerusalem
SUBJECT: Staff Aptitude Test.
DATE: March 29, 30 A.D.

Thank you for submitting the resumes of the 12 men you picked for management positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests, and we have not only run the results through our computer but also have arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational consultant.

It is the staff opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. They do not have the team concept. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability.

Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has absolutely no qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interest above company loyalty.

Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale. We feel that it is our duty to tell you that Matthew has been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau. James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus definitely have radical leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic depressive scale.

One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind and has contact in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious and innovative. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right hand man. All other profiles are self-explanatory.

We wish you every success in your new venture.

Sincerely, Jordan Management Consultants


The whole family was excited. It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving. That was the day they always put up their Christmas decorations.

Everyone knew what their specific job was. Dad and Tommy put up the outdoor decorations. Mom put up the tree and wrapped all of the presents, and Heather did the rest of the indoor decorating. They all started early because this was a time consuming job.

When they stopped for lunch dad had the lights halfway around the house, which was good, but he still had to finish putting the blinking lights on the bushes and put up the yard displays. Also, he had to put Santa and his reindeer up on the roof.

Mom was almost finished putting the ornaments on the tree. As far as she was concerned, all she had left was to put the icicles on it and spray it with snow. She could hardly wait until she finished, because she could get all of the presents out of the bedroom closet and start wrapping them. She sure hoped the kids would like all of the video games, computer software, and designer clothes she had gotten them, and that dad liked all of his new tools and hunting and fishing gear. After all, these things are not cheap. It is a good thing she had all of those credit cards.

She had to wrap presents for all of their other friends and relatives, too. She sure hoped everyone spent as much on her family as she had on theirs, and that they got them something they would like.

Heather was coming along well with her decorating, too. She had the house all decorated with Santa's, elves, reindeer, candy canes, stockings and other Christmas items, but she had several boxes left, and she was rapidly filling up all of the available space.

By late afternoon, everything appeared to be complete. Dad and Tommy had all of the decorations up and all of the lights were working. Mom had everything wrapped and under the tree, and there was hardly anywhere to walk. Now, all that remained was putting the empty boxes that stored the decorations back in the attic until it was time to put everything away for another year.

When they started to put the boxes up, they found one box that was still full. When they opened it, they found a nativity scene. There was Jesus, Mary and Joseph, shepherds, wise men, and animals. They tried to find a place for them, but after looking around they decided they had no room left for it.

They felt bad about it, but they were just out of room. They must have spent five minutes trying to figure out what to do. Then, someone came up with the idea to make sure they included the Jesus decorations next year, but they were afraid they would forget, so they taped a big note on the top of the box - JESUS, NEXT YEAR. Then, they all felt better.

Do you put Jesus away in the attic until it is convenient to take him out and display him in your life? Do you give him time in your life after everything else is over and done with, or do you live each day of your life for him and trumpet to the world that he is your Lord and Savior?

-- Author Unknown


You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news, Sept. 11, 2001. Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called his wife to say "Good-Bye." I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, "Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is OK...I am ready to go."

I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn't coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to me for help. "I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!" I said. "Of course I will show you the way home-only believe on Me now."

I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the believers there. Comforting and assuring them that their Faith has saved them.

I was in Texas, Kansas, London. I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me?

I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every name-though they did NOT all know Me. Some met me for the first time on the 100th floor. Some sought me out in their last breath. Some couldn't hear me calling to them through the smoke and flames, "Come to Me...this way... take my hand."

Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me.

But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day--you may not know why, But I DO. However, if you were there in that explosive moment in time, would you have reached for Me?

September 11, 2001 was not the end of the journey for you. But someday your journey will end. And I will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are "ready to go."

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.

....GOD, Your Heavenly Father


The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities.

When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc. and on Dec 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On Dec 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days. On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home.

On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall.

He bought it and headed back to the church. By this time it had started to snow.

An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus but she missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet.

"Pastor," she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?"

The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria. The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. She was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home, that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike? He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety, and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid


Fast from judging others ... feast on the Christ indwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences ... feast on the unity of life.

Fast from apparent darkness ... feast on the reality of light.
Fast from thoughts of illness ... feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute ... feast on phrases that purify.

Fast from discontent ... feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger ..feast on patience
Fast from pessimism ... feast on optimism.

Fast from worry ... feast on divine order.
Fast from complaining ... feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives ... feast on affirmatives.

Fast from unrelenting pressures ... feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility ... feast on nonresistance.
Fast from bitterness ... feast on forgiveness.

Fast from self concern ... feast on compassion for others.
Fast from personal anxiety ... feast on eternal truth.
Fast from discouragement ... feast on hope.

Fast from facts that depress ... feast on truths that uplift.
Fast from lethargy ... feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from suspicion ... feast on truth.

Fast from thoughts that weaken ... feast on promises that inspire
Fast from shadows of sorrow ... feast on sunlight of serenity
Fast from idle gossip ... feast on purposeful silence.

The Starfish

Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?"

The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean."

"I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?"

"The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die."

"But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference for that one."

There is something very special in each and every one of us. We have all been gifted with the ability to make a difference. And if we can become aware of that gift, we gain through the strength of our visions the power to shape the future. We must each find our starfish. And if we throw our stars wisely and well, the world will be blessed.

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