The inspiration for this website came from a Scripture song I heard over 10 years ago at a ladies retreat:

Like Apples of Gold in pictures of silver
A word fitly spoken shall be,
Like Apples of Gold in pictures of silver
Let my life bring glory to thee.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 25:11

Although some of the "stories" listed are made up, the Scriptural truths they illustrate are very real and can be of great benefit in a Christian's walk with the Lord and as illustrations for the lost.

It is my heart's desire that amongst the pages of this website, the Christian find words of encouragement and be spurred on to service for our Lord, and that seekers of the truth find Salvation in the timeless truths of God's Word for these troubled times.

- Angela

Archive for May 2009

Quilt of Holes

Quilt of Holes

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life. But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes.

Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all. I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune.

I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been.

My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me. And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes. Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes.

He said, ‘Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.’

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!

God determines who walks into your life…it’s up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.

When there is nothing left but God that is when you find out that God is all you need.

Tools For Sale

Tools For Sale

It was advertised that the devil was going to put his tools up for sale. On the date of the sale, the tools were placed for public inspection; each tool being marked with its sale price. They were a treacherous lot of implements…..Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Deceit, Lying, Pride, and so on.

Laid apart from the rest was a harmless looking tool, well worn and priced very high.

“What is the name of this tool?” asked one of the purchasers, pointing to it.

“That is Discouragement”, replied the devil.

“Why have you priced it so high?”

“Because it is more useful to me than the others. I can pry open and get inside a man’s heart with that when I cannot get near him with my other tools. Once I get inside, I can make him do what I choose. It is badly worn because I use it on almost everyone, since very few people know that it belongs to me.”

My friend, don’t let Satan discourage you in anyway. You are God’s child and have the victory already won. All you have to do is keep your faith on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. The devil will not have a chance to discourage you, even with his best tools.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Thank Him for Your Thorns

Praise Him for the Roses,

Thank Him for Your Thorns

Sandra felt as low as the heels of her Birkenstocks as she pushed against a November gust and the florist shop door. Her life had been easy, like spring breeze.

Then in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole her ease.

During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son. She grieved over her loss. As if that weren’t enough, her husband’s company threatened a transfer.

Then her sister, whose holiday visit she coveted, called saying she could not come. What’s worse, Sandra’s friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer.

“She has no idea what I’m feeling,” thought Sandra with a shudder. Thanksgiving? Thankful for what? she wondered. For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life but took that of her child?

“Good afternoon, can I help you?” The shop clerk’s approach startled her.

“I….I need an arrangement,” stammered Sandra.

“For Thanksgiving? Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the Thanksgiving “Special?” asked the shop clerk. “I’m convinced that flowers tell stories,” she continued. “Are you looking for something that conveys ‘gratitude’ this Thanksgiving?”

“Not exactly!” Sandra blurted out. “In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.” Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the shop clerk said, “I have the perfect arrangement for you.”

Then the door’s small bell rang, and the shop clerk said, “Hi, Barbara…let me get your order.” She politely excused herself and walked toward a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses.

Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped: there were no flowers.

“Want this in a box?” asked the clerk.

Sandra watched for the customer’s response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers!

She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed.

“Yes, please,” Barbara replied with an appreciative smile. “You’d think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn’t be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again.” She said as she gently tapped her chest.

“Uh,” stammered Sandra, “that lady just left with, uh….she just left with no flowers!”

“Right, said the clerk, “I cut off the flowers. That’s the Special. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet.”

“Oh, come on, you can’t tell me someone is willing to pay for that!” exclaimed Sandra.

“Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling much like you feel today,” explained the clerk. “She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family business was failing, her son was into drugs, and she was facing major surgery.”

“That same year I had lost my husband,” continued the clerk, “and for the first time in my life, had just spent the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a debt to allow any travel.”

“So what did you do?” asked Sandra.

“I learned to be thankful for thorns,” answered the clerk quietly. “I’ve always thanked God for good things in life and never to ask Him why those good things happened to me, but when bad stuff hit, did I ever ask! It took time for me to learn that dark times are important. I have always enjoyed the ‘flowers’ of life, but it took thorns to show me the beauty of God’s comfort. You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we’re afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others.”

Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing her friend had tried to tell her. “I guess the truth is I don’t want comfort. I’ve lost a baby and I’m angry with God.”

Just then someone else walked in the shop. “Hey, Phil!” shouted the clerk to the balding, rotund man.

“My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement…twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!” laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.

“Those are for your wife?” asked Sandra incredulously.

“Do you mind me asking why she wants something that looks like that?”

“No…I’m glad you asked,” Phil replied. “Four years ago my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord’s grace and guidance, we slogged through problem after problem. He rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she learned from “thorny” times, and that was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems.

My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific “problem” and give thanks for what that problem taught us.”

As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, “I highly recommend the Special!”

“I don’t know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life.” Sandra said to the clerk. “It’s all too…fresh.”

“Well,” the clerk replied carefully, “my experience has shown me that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God’s providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember, it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love.

Don’t resent the thorns.”

Tears rolled down Sandra’s cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on resentment. “I’ll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please,” she managed to choke out.

“I hoped you would,” said the clerk gently. “I’ll have them ready in a minute.”

“Thank you. What do I owe you?”

“Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year’s arrangement is always on me.” The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra.

“I’ll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you would like to read it first.”

It read:

My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain.

Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant.”

Praise Him for your roses, thank him for your thorns .

The Shadow Of The Cross

The Shadow Of The Cross

In 1967 while taking a class in photography at the University of Cincinnati, I became acquainted with a young man named Charles Murray who also was a student at the school and training for the summer Olympics of 1968 as a high diver. Charles was very patient with me as I would speak to him for hours about Jesus Christ and how He had saved me. Charles was not raised in a home that attended any kind of church, so all that I had to tell him was a fascination to him. He even began to ask questions about forgiveness of sin.

Finally the day came that I put a question to him. I asked if he realized his own need of a Redeemer and if he was ready to trust Christ as his own Saviour. I saw his countenance fall and the guilt in his face. But his reply was a strong “no.” In the days that followed he was quiet and often I felt that he was avoiding me, until I got a phone call and it was Charles. He wanted to know where to look in the New Testament for some verses that I had given him about salvation. I gave him the reference to several passages and asked if I could meet with him. He declined my offer and thanked me for the scripture. I could tell that he was greatly troubled, but I did not know where he was or how to help him.

Because he was training for the Olympic games, Charles had special privileges at the University pool facilities. Sometime between 10:30 and 11:00 that evening he decided to go swim and practice a few dives.

It was a clear night in October and the moon was big and bright. The University pool was housed under a ceiling of glass panes so the moon shone bright across the top of the wall in the pool area.

Charles climbed to the highest platform to take his first dive. At that moment the Spirit of God began to convict him of his sins. All the scripture he had read, all the occasions of witnessing to him about Christ flooded his mind. He stood on the platform backwards to make his dive, spread his arms to gather his balance, looked up to the wall and saw his own shadow caused by the light of the moon. It was the shape of a cross. He could bear the burden of his sin no longer. His heart broke and he sat down on the platform and asked God to forgive him and save him. He trusted Jesus Christ twenty some feet in the air.

Suddenly, the lights in the pool area came on. The attendant had come in to check the pool. As Charles looked down from his platform he saw an empty pool which had been drained for repairs. He had almost plummeted to his death, but the cross had stopped him from disaster.

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but
unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:18.

Mark Renicker.

Likewise, the cross can stop you from disaster. More specifically, the Saviour, Jesus Christ – who died  for your sins on the cross, was buried, and arose three days later – can save you from the disaster of an eternity without the shelter of His sinless blood. You don’t have to face eternity alone, if you are willing to turn from your sins and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ, He can and will save you!

If I can show you from the Bible when God wants you to get saved, would you go to the Saviour then?

Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time;
as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Hebrews 4:7.

(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted,
and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee:
behold, now is the accepted time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.)

2 Corinthians 6:2.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Romans 10:13.

Call on Jesus today!

The Scars Of Love

The Scars Of Love

Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

His mother in the house was looking out the window saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him.

From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal, and on his arms, were deep scratches where his mother’s fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, “But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Mom wouldn’t let go.”

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator or anything quite so dramatic, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret.

But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He’s been there holding on to you.

The Scripture teaches that God loves you. If you have Christ in your life, you have become a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations.

The swimming hole of life is filled with peril – and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That’s when the tug-of-war begins – and if you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very grateful. He did not and will not let you go.

Author Unknown.

John 10:27-30  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

Important Recall Notice!

Important Recall Notice!

The maker of all human beings is recalling all units regardless of make  or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component  of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype  units, code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the  same defect in all subsequent units.

This defect has been technically termed, Subsequential Internal  Non-Morality, or more commonly known as S-I-N, as it is primarily  symptomized by loss of moral judgment. Some other symptoms:

(a) Loss of direction
(b) Foul vocal emissions
(c) Amnesia of origin
(d) Lack of peace and joy
(e) Selfish, or violent, behavior
(f) Depression or confusion in the mental component
(g) Fearfulness
(h) Idolatry

The manufacturer, who is neither liable or at fault for this defect, provides factory authorized repair and service, free of charge, to correct this SIN defect.

The number to call for the recall station in your area is: P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN by pressing R-E-P-E-N-T-A-N-C-E. Next, download J-E-S-U-S into the heart. No matter  how big or small the SIN defect is, the JESUS repair will replace it with:

(a) Love
(b) Joy
(c) Peace
(d) Long-suffering
(e) Gentleness
(f) Goodness
(g) Faith
(h) Meekness
(i) Temperance

Please see operating manual, HOLY BIBLE, for further details on the use of these fixes. WARNING: Continuing to operate the human unit without  correction, voids the manufacturer’s warranty, exposing owner to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded. For free emergency service, call on J-E-S-U-S.

DANGER: The human units not receiving this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace.

Authorized by: The Creator.

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