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GIVING:

A couple of months ago I went to an event and had to park at actually the furthest parking space there was. A lady realtor I recognized was at the event. She had come very late. On the way out I noticed her getting in her car and she was at the very closest parking space there was. I couldn’t help my self, I asked, “How did you get that parking spot.” She looked at me and said, ‘Oh … I pay my tithes, what can I say.

TRUE STORY: Back in the 1880’s, there was a young medical student. He was selling books from house to house in a farming community in order to pay his way through college. This obviously took a lot of time and a lot of walking. One day (hot and thirsty) he came to a certain farmhouse. No one was home except a teenage girl. She told the man, my mother is a widow, we have no money to buy books, but here’s what I can do.” She went in and got him some cookies and a large glass of fresh milk. She wouldn’t take any money when he offered. Years later … the medical student had become chief of surgery at a monumental hospital. One day while visiting the wards, he spotted a face he thought he remembered. He asked a few questions, and sure enough it was indeed she. The teenage girl was now a middle-aged woman, but she was also very ill. The doctor took a special interest in her case. She was put in a private room with nurses around the clock. Everything known to medical science was done for her. After weeks of care she was about to be dismissed. The woman was cured, and for that the woman was delighted. But the woman was also frightened out of her wits. She still lived on the farm with her now ninety-year old mother. She had no money to pay for all of this. But as they prepared for her discharge, they brought her the bill. She could not believe her eyes. The bill was indeed for a lot of money, but at the bottom of the page it said, “Paid in full by some cookies and one glass of milk.” Dr. Howard A. Kelly, MD

The story is told of two men who crashed their private plane on a South Pacific Island. One of the men brushed himself off and proceeded to run all over the island to see if they had any chance of survival. When he returned, he rushed up to the other man and screamed, “This Island is uninhabited and there is no food or water. We’re going to die!” The other man leaned back against the fuselage of the wrecked plane, folded his arms and responded, “No we’re not. I make over $100,000 a week.” The first man grabbed his friend and shook him. “Listen, we’re on a deserted island and no one knows where we are.” The other man, unruffled, again responded. “It’s OK … I make over $100,000 a week.” The first man could not believe what his friend was saying. So he again repeated, “For the last time, I’m telling you that we are lost. It doesn’t matter how much money you make because there’s no one around to help us.” Still unfazed, the first man looked the other guy in the eye and said, “Don’t make me say this again. I make over $100,000 per week, and I tithe 10%! … Trust me when I tell you my pastor will find us!”

A rich man died and went to heaven. St. Peter came to greet him and said, “Welcome to heaven. Let me show you where you’ll be staying.” As they walked, he saw mansions stretching out in every direction. They were beautiful! Constructed of gold and silver and precious gems. They came to an ornate home. As they paused to gaze at it, the rich man said, “Who gets to stay here?” Peter replied, “That’s for your janitor. He was a godly man who loved Jesus, and served Him all his life. This is his reward.” They continued to stroll past other mansions, until they stopped in front of an extremely large one that seemed to be made of emeralds and rubies. The rich man asked Peter, “Is this mine?” Peter answered, “No, this one belongs to your maid. On the little bit of money you paid her, she raised six children and gave to her church every week.” They continued to walk and came to a different section of homes. Only these houses weren’t as nice. As they walked up a small hill, they stopped in front of a shack made of tar paper and used sheet metal. The front door was cut out of an old refrigerator box. It was held together with bailing wire, twine, and duct tape. After pausing for a moment, the rich man asked, “And whose is that?” Peter responded, “Why, it’s yours!” The rich man couldn’t believe it. There must be some mistake. Peter bowed his head and said, “No, there’s been no mistake – We did the best we could with what you sent ahead!”

GRATITUDE: See Manna

GREED:

A couple went to a concert at a beautiful old art-deco theatre. At the end of the concert, there were two ushers standing near who were applauding harder than anybody else in the whole place. Now … this couple was amazed with this particular concert because of the talent of the musicians … But it amazed them even more to see these two ushers. They were applauding more vigorously than all of the concert attenders. A moment later as the applause began to die down however. It was then that they overheard one usher say to the other, “Keep clapping … If we can get them to do another encore, we get overtime!” It wasn’t the music … it was their wallets they were applauding for …

GROWING:

TRUE STORY: It started off with a letter to the editor, printed in the British Weekly. “Dear Sir: I have been attending a church quite regularly for the past 30 years. To my consternation, I discovered that I couldn’t remember a single sermon. I wonder if a minister’s time might be more profitably spent on something else? Sincerely ______. For weeks a huge storm of editorial responses ensued. Another letter finally ended the uproar. “Dear Sir: I have been married for 30 years. During that time, I have eaten some 32,850 meals — mostly of my wife’s cooking. Suddenly, I have discovered that I cannot remember the menu of a single meal. And yet, I have received nourishment from every single one of them. I have the distinct impression that without them, I would have starved to death long ago. Sincerely _______”

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