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The Remedy

A  man went to his doctor, who told him he had a bad illness, and had just one year to live. So the man decided to talk to his pastor. After he explained the situation, he asked what he should do.

His pastor had an answer. “What you need to do is to go out and buy a Dodge pick-up truck from the late 1970s. Then go marry the ugliest woman you can find and buy an old trailer house and put it halfway up a mountain.”

The man asked his pastor, “But I have a terminal illness. Will this help me live longer?”

His pastor replied, “No, but if you do the things I just said, it will be the longest year of your life?”

Life is about quality, not quantity. For some of us, this next year will actually be our last. Let’s treasure every moment, capture every memory, and take in every sunrise. In the process, may we lean on God more than ever; this is the great remedy for life.

No Cure

There was a farmer whose chickens were dying. He called an agriculture agent and said, “I had 600 chickens, but now I have just 300, as half of them died. What should I do?”

“It’s simple,” said the agent. “Give them penicillin.”

A few days passed, and the farmer approached the agent again. “I tried penicillin, but now I’m down to 150 chickens. It didn’t work.”

The agent offered, “Give them castor oil twice a day. That should take care of your problem.”

A few days later the farmer called again. “That didn’t help. Now I’m down to fifty chickens.”

The agent countered, “Here’s your solution. Give them two aspirin each day. That should do it.”

Two days later, the farmer was back on the phone. “All my chickens are dead!” he said.

“Oh no! That’s too bad,” said the agent.

“Why are you so upset?” asked the farmer.

“Because I still had some more remedies we didn’t get to try.”

We all know people like the agriculture fellow. Sometimes, we are like him ourselves. We are surrounded by people with problems. We love to offer remedies.

In Jesus’ day, they were called “Pharisees.” Sometimes, it’s okay to say, “I’m sorry. I don’t have all the answers. But I know Someone who does.” And when he doesn’t make sense to us, he still makes sense.

17 Days

Two young blonde women were sitting in a coffee shop in a celebratory mood. A man drifted over to buy them something to drink. When he got close, he heard one lady say to the other, “Here’s to 17 days!”

Smiling, the man said, “Congratulations! But what’s so special about 17 days?”

Eyes twinkling, one of the blondes explained, “Well, we’ve been spending our evenings working on a jigsaw puzzle! And we finished it in just 17 days!”

“What’s so good about that?” asked the man.

The lady responded, “On the box, it said 3-5 years.”

A famous Christian author wrote a book a few years ago. His premise was, “It all goes back in the box.” He said that whatever you have in life, when this life is over, your toys all go back in the box.

A little boy stunned his dad by putting together a jigsaw puzzle of the world in just ten minutes.

“How did you do it?” asked his dad.

“It was easy,” said the lad. “I turned the pieces over, and they formed the image of a heart. And when I got the heart right, the world fell into place.”

Get your heart right today, because when it’s over, it all goes back in the box.

Banks

A farmer who had experienced several bad years went to see the manager of his bank. “I’ve got some good news and some bad news to tell you. Which would you like to hear first?” asked the farmer.

“Why don’t you tell me the bad news first, and get it over with?” the banker replied.

“Okay. With a bad drought and inflation and all, I won’t be able to pay anything on my mortgage this year, either on the principal or the interest.”

“Well, that is pretty bad,” said the banker.

“It gets worse,” the farmer continued. “I also won’t be able to pay anything on the loan you gave me for that great machinery I bought.”

“Wow, is that ever bad!” said the banker.

“It’s worse than that. You remember I also borrowed money to buy seed and fertilizer and other supplies? Well, I can’t pay anything on those things, either.”

The banker said, “That’s enough! Tell me what the good news is.”

“The good news,” replied the farmer, “is that I intend to keep on doing business with you.”

You and I have the greatest Banker in the universe. Despite our defaults and faults, debts and moral bankruptcies, he still does business with us.

A Matter of Perspective

Sugar Ray Leonard was one of the greats of boxing. He was asked to speak to the intellectual crowd of Harvard.

“I consider myself blessed. I consider you blessed. We’ve all been blessed with God-given talents. Some of you have the talent to create rockets that will inhabit the universe. Others can cure disease. My God-given talent happens to be beating people up.”

That’s an interesting perspective.

Agatha Christie once offered this perspective on marriage. “An archaeologist is the best husband a wife can have. The older she gets, the more interesting she will be to him.”

The great Picasso once asked his friend Rodin if he liked Picasso’s latest painting that was yet unsigned. Rodin studied the painting from all directions and, only after careful deliberation answered Picasso. “Whatever else you do, sign it. If you do that, we will know which way to hold it.”

God has signed his handiwork with a sunrise, a rainbow, a gentle breeze. But until you recognize the hand of God, you will never know which way is up.

The Old Testament tells us of a man named Ahithophel, who killed himself simply because he never discovered the right perspective. Only a close walk with the Creator can give you the perspective you really need.

The Rushmore Report: Da Vinci Portrait Of Jesus Draws Record $450 Million

Christie’s Auctions in New York City have drawn incredible bids for everything from rare coins to presidential memorabilia to relics of The Titanic. But what happened last week was remarkable, even by their standards. Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait of Jesus Christ sold for a record $450 million. The prized painting is listed as the most expensive artwork ever sold at an auction – or anywhere else.

When announcing the artwork, the auctioneer called da Vinci’s work a “masterpiece of Christ the Savior.” He explained that it was once in possession of three Kings of England – King Charles I, King Charles II, and King James II.

The bid started at $240 million and slowly climbed up. Soon after the $400 million bid came in, everyone in the room gasped in disbelief. When it finally sold, they celebrated as they witnessed history.

The painting is officially known as Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World). It shows the European version of Christ holding one hand up as a sign of blessing, while the other hand holds a glass sphere resembling the shape of the earth.

CNN said the Salvator Mundi was sold at an auction in London in 1958 for just $59 because it was dismissed as a copy.

According to various reports, it is assumed that it was painted in the 1500s, and pegged “the only work thought to be in private hands.” Da Vinci died in 1519 and there are currently less than 20 of his paintings in existence.

An expert in Old Master and 19th Century art, Dr. Tim Hunter, told the BBC that the painting is “the most important discovery of the 21st century.”

But did you catch the old price? A $450 million painting sold for just $59 a few years back – because they thought it was a fake.

That is a parable on life. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between the authentic and the fake. As we learn from da Vinci’s work, authenticity is worth roughly a million times more than something else that looks exactly the same, but is not real.

There’s another lesson from Salvator Mundi. It is not the art that makes the item worth millions. It is the artist that counts. When they thought the artist was someone other than Leonardo da Vinci, the painting sold for the price of a dinner at Red Lobster. Our value is not in who we are, but in the Artist who made us. The fake life isn’t worth much. But the person whose life is a canvass at the disposal of the Great Artist is absolutely priceless.

Attitude

John Maxwell says, “Your attitude will determine your altitude.” It’s true. If a man has limburger cheese on his upper lip, he thinks the whole world stinks.

I love the story that former NBA coach Johnny Kerr tells. His biggest test came when he coached the Chicago Bulls and his biggest player was 6’8″ Erwin Mueller. “We had lost seven in a row, and I decided to give a pep talk before a game with the Celtics,” Kerr said.

“I told Bob Boozer to go out and pretend he was the best scorer in basketball. I told Jerry Sloan to pretend he was the best defensive guard. I told Guy Rodgers to pretend he could run an offense better than any other point guard, and I told Mueller to pretend he was the best center in the game. Then we went out and lost the game by 17 points.

“I was pacing around the locker room afterward, trying to figure out what to say, when Mueller walked up, put his arm around me, and said, ‘Don’t worry about it, Coach. Just pretend we won.'”

Here’s the good news for the believer. Jesus said, “It is finished.” He won. We reap the benefits of eternal and abundant life. There is no need to pretend.

Thanks a Lot!

Leslie Weatherford tells the story of a sailor who dove into the water to rescue a drowning boy. A few days later the boy and his mom were shopping and the boy saw the sailor and told his mom that he was the man who had saved his life. His mother walked up to the young man and asked if he was, indeed, the one who had pulled her son out of the water. The sailor confirmed that he was the one. He then anticipated a warm embrace, a heartfelt “thank you,” and perhaps a reward, though he didn’t seek any of those things.

What he got was far different: a question, not an affirmation. Said the boy’s mother: “My son had a new cap on that day when he fell into the water. You were right there. Did you find it?”

People are funny. The man saved the boy’s life, and all she cared about was a $10 cap. But think about it. A couple thousand years ago, Jesus dove into the lake of sin to pull you out. He did it to save your life forever. In response, do you thank him? Or do you ask for things as meaningless as a $10 cap?

He risked his life to save yours. Is it too much to whisper a simple “thank you” every now and then?

Bet You Didn’t Know

When something is repeated enough times, we accept it as fact. But there is much we accept that never really happened. And there is endless trivia that we would never guess.

So . . . let the trivia begin!

Captain Kirk never actually said, “Beam me up, Scotty.” What he did say was, “Beam me up, Mr. Scott.”

Justin Timberlake’s half-eaten French toast sold for over $3,000 on eBay.

The word “maverick” came into use after Samuel Maverick, a Texan, refused to brand his cattle. Eventually, any unbranded calf became known as a Maverick.

It’s illegal to mispronounce the name of the state of Arkansas in that state.

Guinness Book of World Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from public libraries.

On average, the lifespan of an American dollar bill is 18 months.

In 1900, the average life span in the United States was 47 years.

Yes – I love trivia. Here’s another one. The Bible says God has numbered the hairs on your head. That’s how much He is into the “little stuff.” He knows you – the trivial part and all.

17 Days

Two young blonde women are sitting at a table in a coffee shop in such an obviously celebratory mood that a man drifts over intending to offer to buy them something to drink. When he gets close he hears one say to the other, “Here’s to 17 days!”

Smiling, the man says, “Congratulations! What’s so special about 17 days?”

Eyes twinkling, one of the women explains. “Well, we’ve been spending our evenings working on a jigsaw puzzle! On the box is says ‘3-5 years.’ But we finished it in just 17 days!”

Everything is relative. If we compare ourselves to the wrong standard, we look pretty good. That’s why we shouldn’t compare ourselves – except to the standards of God.

The Apostle Paul said, “This one thing I do – forgetting the past, I strive for the mark of the high calling of Christ Jesus my Lord.”

Live by the right standards. As for 17 days, what matters most is not how fast you figure out this puzzle called life – but that you do.