Tell Me Your Story Friend


I usually keep a funny story handy to tickle my friends if they need tickling. Lately my favorite comes from Zig Ziglar.

A teacher asks her class of six-year olds: “Did anyone do anything really fun this weekend?”

Little Johnnie’s hand shoots up. “Me, me, me!”

“What did you do this weekend, Johnny?”

“My daddy and me went fishing and we caught 75 fish and they weighed 75 pounds each.”

“Johnny, are you sure?”

“Yes, m’aam,” the confident youngster responded. “My daddy is a good fisherman and I’m even better than him.”

The teacher thought she should instruct the young man about telling the truth so she says, “Listen to my story Johnny and tell me what you think. Continue reading

Could I Tell You My Story?

Sometimes we forget that other people have a story, too.
The other day we moved for the umpteent jillionth time. Did I ever tell you that I hate moving with a purple passion? Anyway, at the end of the day I returned dead tired to the rental place with the moving van I had rented.

A harried lady greeted us, took the key and did a quick once over to make sure I hadn’t destroyed their property. I was a bit put off because she wasn’t friendly.

A few minutes later to make conversation as she worked to get the final bill ready I remarked, “It’s been a long day. I am bushed.” Then I thought, “It’s after six. It’s probably been a long day for her, too.”

So I said, “I guess it’s been a long day for you, too.” Continue reading

The Dog-meat Story

We all tell ourselves stories each day. We act on those stories. Make sure they are faith-filled and uplifting.

Little Johnny (name changed to protect the guilty) was the terror of children’s church. Ricky, our children’s director struggled to control this unruly four-year old. He wasn’t mean, but he certainly disrupted the program.

One Sunday while the others were leaving, Ricky confronted the little fellow. “Johnny, why are you like this?”

“It’s a long story,” Johnny responded.

“I’ve got time.”

“Well, you see when I was little I was walking on the rails of a railroad track. I fell and knock a hunk of meat out of my leg and they replaced it with dog meat. It’s the dog meat that makes me act like that.”

“Okaaay.” Continue reading

The Prince

Enchantment overcame travelers who first saw the country from atop the mountains on its western borders. The little kingdom lay way over on the edge of the world. The sweet smell of all kinds of fruit filled it’s open marketplaces while industrious men and women worked the land and enthusiastic sons and daughters studied and dreamed of their own future.

The whole country burst with pride for their wise king and his majestic son. When they rode their white horses through the streets people stopped and cheered. Some even threw their baseball caps into the air (This is kind of a modern, ancient country).

Sometimes though, people who liked to criticize said, “The king’s son, what has he ever done to be so admired? He was born into royalty. Why is he so respected?

One day a soldier thundered into the capital city on a well-lathered horse. A vast army was coming against the little country! The king committed their defense into the hands of his son. The critical ones raised their eyebrows, but not for long.

The invading army filled all the countryside as they crossed the borders of the happy kingdom. The king’s son deployed his troops wisely against a vastly superior force. Wherever the battle raged hottest, the king’s son rode at the head of the defenders, pushing back the invaders.

The people dared to hope until the day the rumor ran through their army, “The Death King, the king of the invaders, has come in person to command the final attack.” Fear seized the defenders but their prince rallied them to resistance.

The Death King unleashed all his forces and the army of the little kingdom gave ground as the blood of the two armies stained the field as never before. Soon it seemed the center of the defenders would fold and all would be lost when suddenly the prince was there on his white horse. He led a desperate charge into the center of the invading hordes and for a moment the monster shrunk back.

But the weight of the invaders pushed ahead and the little army suffered severe losses. The prince refused to retreat and struck valiantly right and left with his sword until the sheer numbers overwhelmed him and he was pulled under the mass.

The small army fled the field, back to their capital, to await the inevitable. The Death King strode onto the field where the fallen prince lay on his face, sword still in his hand. The arrogant leader raised his hands towards heaven in triumph, when suddenly to everyone’s surprise, the prince rose up and planted a sword stroke deep through his heart.

A gasp, followed by a shriek of unbelief sprinted through the army. Leering laughs of victory faded into crying murmurs of fear. They thought their king invincible and now he lay dead. The courageous among them trembled. All of the army turned, then one after another began to run away until the only one left standing on the battlefield was the prince.

Weeks later, after burying and mourning their dead, the little kingdom celebrated. People ate, drank, and laughed. Hope was reborn.

In the middle of the festivities, the king stood before his high throne, set up in the marketplace for the occasion. A silence spread over the people because everyone wanted to hear what the king had to say.

My people …” and the silence deepened. “You’ve always honored my son because he is my son, and that’s right. You valued him for what he is because of my blood that flows in his veins. But today, I command you to honor my son not only because of what he is but also because of what has done. Surely no prince has ever served his country more valiantly and sacrificially.

And the whole country burst into wild cheers and fell to their knees in loving submission, chanting the name of the prince who stood before them!


“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
(Phil. 2: 5-11, NIV)


Hmmm …

“Following Him when your heart is breaking is greater faith than praising Him when your heart is singing.” (Rick Warren)


The sun shone brightly as I ambled past the fellow draped on the park bench, legs extended lazily, head resting against the back of the bench. His sleeping face radiated contentment.

But as I passed carefully in front of him, avoiding those long legs, I glimpsed something like a ghost just behind him! This shadow looked like a marathon runner, huffing and striving for victory. I stopped and turned to look closely, but the ghost had disappeared.

“Hmmm …” I mused and I turned to continue my walk, when suddenly, from the corner of my eye, I glimpsed another ghost just behind the resting fellow’s head. This one had a look of despair and he wept as he gazed towards where the athletic ghost had disappeared.

I started, and turned to look, but no, he had vaporized into the air. Who was this fellow, sleeping so happily on the bench? As I scrutinized his features, I had the biggest surprise of all—he looked like … like … me!!!

Now, I’m not going to get into the question of which “me” he looked like. I’ve looked a lot of different ways in my life. A friend recently sent me a picture of my family, back when I was in my early thirties. There I was, black hair, mustache curled down at the edges of my mouth, looking a bit like the Frito Bandito.

These days I look in the mirror and my granddad stares back at me (a young, dynamic version of granddad, not the old wrinkled one). At times I’ve been also been fatter or skinnier, hairier or more athletic, but it’s not really important which version of me I saw on the bench; it was just me, okay?

As I considered this contented figure, snoozing happily in the early-afternoon sunshine, the ghosts appeared again—one running, the other crying.

… And I realized that it was a sort of parable of my life.

Like the resting fellow, I’m happy at my place in the Lord Jesus. My sins are forgiven and I’ve been justified; Jesus has made me a part of His Father’s family and my future destiny couldn’t be brighter—eternity in a heaven created by God for those who love Him.

He’s with me each step of my life and I rejoice in such a wonderful Lord and Savior. No wonder the sprawled-out figure looked so happy; he had it made.

But the striving, marathon-running ghost was just as real
. I’m happy in Him but I’m not settled because there’s so much to do, so many people who need to know Him, so many who love Him who need to be strengthened and affirmed. And I’ve got so many ideas of things I want to do. So I run, fight, cry, and struggle, all because I want to win and hear him say to me, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

Honestly, though, that weeping ghost haunts me. I’m far from accomplishing all I want to. And so often I goof up, or a lack of discipline blows all my good intentions for that day to smithereens, or I just feel worthless for a period, and when it’s like that, the runner is not very effective.

Truth is, I’m all this. I’m resting in the Lord, running and working for Him, while at the same time I feel so short of what I want to be. What to do?

Keep running. Keep working. Keep resting. And when the tears come, repent, shake it off, look to the Lord and get going and get resting in Him again. Even trust Him to overcome our weaknesses.

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made,” an old runner named Paul observes. “But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.” (Phil. 3:12-14, The Message)

As you learn to run and rest in faith in the Lord, the weeping ghost fades more and more, and the running ghost presses closer to the finish line.