PERFUME FOR MY WIFE

On Christmas Eve, Nathan thought it would be nice to buy his wife a little gift for the next day. Always short of money, he thought long and hard about what that present might be. Unable to decide, Nathan entered Dillard’s and in the cosmetics section he asked the girl, “How about some perfume?”  She showed him a bottle costing $150.00

“Too expensive,” muttered Nathan.

The young lady returned with a smaller bottle for $75.00.

“Oh dear,” Nathan groused, “still far too much.”

Growing rather annoyed at Nathan’s meanness, the sales girl brought out a tiny $30.00 bottle and offered it to him. Nathan became really agitated, “What I mean”, he whined, “is I’d like to see something really cheap.”

So the sales girl handed him a mirror.

Source | unknown

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A slightly different version

At the end of a long business trip, a man was searching for a gift to take home to his wife. “How about some perfume?” he asked the clerk. She showed him a bottle for 50.

“That’s too much,” he replied. So the clerk showed him a smaller bottle for 30.“That’s still quite a bit,” he complained.

Rolling her eyes, the clerk brought out a tiny bottle for 15. Again he shook his head. “What I mean is I’d like to see something real cheap.” With that the clerk handed him a mirror!

Source | Dennis R. Clark, Sunday Morning (1996).

PONDER AND CONSIDER

Does your mirror reflect scarcity or abundance?

THE PARABLE OF THE BIRDS

Once upon a time there was a man who looked upon Christmas as a lot of humbug. He wasn’t a Scrooge. He was a kind and decent person, generous to his family, upright in all his dealings with other men. But he didn’t believe all that stuff about Incarnation which churches proclaim at Christmas. And he was too honest to pretend that he did. “I am truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, who was a faithful churchgoer. “But I simply cannot understand this claim that God becomes man. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

On Christmas Eve his wife and children went to church for the midnight service. He declined to accompany them. “I’d feel like a hypocrite,” he explained. “I’d rather stay at home. But I’ll wait up for you.”

Shortly after his family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window and watched the flurries getting heavier and heavier. “If we must have Christmas,” he thought, “it’s nice to have a white one.” He went back to his chair by the fireside and began to read his newspaper. A few minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound. It was quickly followed by another, then another.

He thought that someone must be throwing snowballs at his livingroom window. When he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the storm. They had been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter had tried to fly through his window. “I can’t let these poor creatures lie there and freeze,” he thought. “But how can I help them?” Then he remembered the barn where the children’s pony was stabled. It would provide a warm shelter.

He put on his coat and galoshes and tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the door wide and turned on a light. But the birds didn’t come in. “Food will lure them in,” he thought. So he hurried back to the house for bread crumbs, which he sprinkled on the snow to make a trail into the barn. To his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around and waving his arms. They scattered in every direction – except into the warm lighted barn.

“They find me a strange and terrifying creature,” he said to himself, “and I can’t seem to think of any way to let them know they can trust me. If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes, perhaps I could lead them to safety. . . .”

Just at that moment the church bells began to ring. He stood silent for a while, listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. Then he sank to his knees in the snow. “Now I do understand,” he whispered. “Now I see why You had to do it.” 

Source | Louis Cassels,  The Parable of the Birds as told in Greg Johnson, The 25 Days of Christmas,  pages 30-31

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • They shall name him Emmanuel, which means, “God is with us.” | Matthew 1:23
  • And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. | Luke 2:7
  • For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, your all-powerful word leaped from heaven …  into the midst of the land … | Wisdom 18:14-15
  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us. |  John 1:14
  • Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. | Matthew 25:40

SOCKS AND SHOES

A little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, 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 half a 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 purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and 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 up in her face, with tears his eyes, answered the question with these words: “Are you God’s Wife?”

Source | Unknown

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. | Matthew 25:40 NRSV
  • Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. | Matthew 25:40 the message

 

ARE YOU GOD?

With Christmas coming  grandma was out shopping for gifts for her grandchildren.  While she was at the toy store going through her list she noticed a small homeless girl outside wistfully looking into the store.  Grandma’s heart went out to this little girl.  She invited her into the store and asked her to pick out a gift for herself.  As they walked out of the store, the little girl held Grandma’s hand and looked into her kind eyes and asked “Are you God?” 

Grandma, somewhat embarrassed and somewhat touched said, “No, my dear, I am not God.” 

“Then who are you?”  continued the little girl.  Grandma thought for a moment and said, “I am a child of God.”  The little girl, fully satisfied and smiling, said, “I knew there was a connection!”

Source | Paul Coutinho, How Big is Your God?, page 1

PONDER AND CONSIDER

When people come into your life do they see a divine connection?

IS THERE ROOM IN THE INN

Wally was big for his age – seven years old. Everyone wondered what role the teacher would give him in the annual Christmas play. Especially considering the fact that he was also a slow learner. Perhaps he could pull the curtain.

To everyone’s surprise the teacher gave Wally the role of the innkeeper. The boy of course was delighted. After all, all he had to learn was one line:

“There is no room in the inn.” He had that down in no time.

Then came the night for the program. The parents took their places. Every seat in the auditorium was filled. The children entered singing “Oh come all ye faithful.” The lights dimmed. A hush moved over the audience. The curtain opened on Scene One. Mary and Joseph entered the stage and walked up to the inn. “Please sir, my wife is not well. Could we have a room for the night?”

Wally was ready for his line. He had rehearsed it all night. He began, “there is”, and he hesitated. He started over again. “There is … “ and again his mind went completely blank. Everyone was embarrassed for him but poor Wally just didn’t know what to do. Joseph thought he would improvise and started walking away toward the stable on stage left. Seeing him walking away Wally in desperation called out: “Look, there’s plenty of room at my house, just come on home with me.”

Source | eSermons

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A DIFFERENT RENDITION FO THE SAME STORY

A young girl, playing the part of the innkeeper, needed to respond to Mary and ]oseph’s question, “ls there any room in the inn?”

As the Bible’s rendition goes, the innkeeper replies, “No. There is no room in the inn.” But this little girl paused as she looked at Mary and Joseph. She looked out at the priest responsible for the choreography of the nativity play … she looked at her parents. She looked at Mary and Joseph again, and told them, “You might as well at least come in for a drink or two.”

Source | Terry Hershey, Soul Gardening, page 70

PONDER AND CONSIDER

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelations 3:20)

A delightful twist on a familiar story. Over the years the characters in the Christmas story have become clearly defined for us. The issues all seem so clear cut. Herod was a villain and the wise men were heroes. The shepherds were heroes and the Innkeeper – well, the poor innkeeper has gone down as one of the heavies in the story. In our minds eye, we envision him as a crotchety old man with a night cap on his head sticking his head out a second story window and tersely shouting: Take the stable and leave me alone.

What if  the innkeeper has received bad press? What if this simple little statement about there being no room in the Inn is about you and not the “him” of two thousand years ago?

THE DANGERS OF STANDING FROZEN

A boy was asked by his grade school teachers if he wanted to play a part in the Christmas nativity play.

“Of course I do,” he said.

“Good,” the teacher told him. “You get to be Joseph.”

The boy was proud.  “What are my lines?” he asked.

“You don’t have any,” the teacher answered.

“But what do I do?” the boy asked.

“You just stand there,” the teacher said, “and make sure Mary doesn’t look bad.”

The boy did just that. Standing frozen throughout the entire play. After it was over, adults patted him on the head and told him, “You were such a marvellous Joseph.” And he was proud.

Source | Terry Hershey, Soul Gardening, pages 69-70

PONDER AND CONSIDER

The boy grew up and wondered:

  • If I was such a marvellous Joseph, why did I never once talk to Mary?
  • If I was such a marvellous Joseph, why did l never once pick up the baby Jesus and sing him a song?
  • If I was such a marvellous Joseph, why did I never once offer coffee to the shepherds?

He was a marvellous Joseph only because he did what everyone said he should do. He was marvellous because he was frozen! A frozen Joseph. And your insides grind to a halt, wound tight and immobile.

Are you frozen? Or are you open, flexible, soft and flexible, always ready to respond freely, spontaneously, and creatively?

SOCKS, SHOES AND CONNECTIONS

With Christmas coming  grandma was out shopping for gifts for her grandchildren.  While she was at the toy store going through her list she noticed a small homeless girl outside wistfully looking into the store.  Grandma’s heart went out to this little girl.  She invited her into the store and asked her to pick out a gift for herself.  As they walked out of the store, the little girl held Grandma’s hand and looked into her kind eyes and asked “Are you God?”  Grandma, somewhat embarrassed and somewhat touched said, “No, my dear, I am not God.”  “Then who are you?”  continued the little girl.  Grandma thought for a moment and said, “I am a child of God.”  The little girl, fully satisfied and smiling, said, “I knew there was a connection!”

Source | Paul Coutinho,  How Big is Your God? , page 1

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Another version of the same story

A little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, 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 half a 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 purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and 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 up in her face, with tears his eyes, answered the question with these words: “Are you God’s Wife?”

Source Unknown

  • When people come into your life do they see a divine connection?