I was walking down life’s highway a long time ago.
One day I saw a sign that read, “Heaven’s Grocery Store”.
As I got a little closer the door came open wide,
and when I came to myself I was standing inside.
I saw a host of Angels, they were standing everywhere.
One handed me a blanket and said, “My Child shop with care”.
Everything a Christian needs is in that grocery store,
and all you can’t carry, come back the next day for more.
First, I got some Patience, Love was in the same row.
Further down was Understanding, needed everywhere you go.
I got a box or two of Wisdom, a bag or two of Faith,
I just couldn’t miss the Holy Ghost, it was all over the place.
I stopped to get some Strength and Courage to help me run this race,
but then my blanket was getting full, and I remembered I needed Grace.
I didn’t forget Salvation, which like the others was free,
so I tried to get enough of that to save both you and me.
Then I started to the counter to pay my grocery bill,
for I thought I had everything to do my master’s will.
As I went up the aisle, I saw Prayer and had to put it in,
for I knew when I stepped outside, I would run right into sin.
Peace and Joy were plentiful, they were on the last shelf.
Song and Praises were hanging near, so I just helped myself.
Then I said to the Angel, “How much do I owe?”
The Angel smiled and said, “Just take them everywhere you go.”
Again, I politely asked “How much do I really owe?”
The Angel smiled again and said, “My Child, Jesus Paid Your Bill A Long Time Ago.”
by Ron DeMarco
When my parents were alive, they weren’t well off financially. Yet they helped their two older daughters time after time. My sisters paid Mom and Dad back part of the time, but when Daddy passed away, his cash journal showed debts due from several of his children. I was not among them. I seldom borrowed money and when I did, at the outset I set a repayment plan and stuck to it without being pestered. It was a matter of pride with me.
When you think about how I was raised in the same household with my brothers and sisters and had the same parents, it is hard to figure out why I was the only one who couldn’t stand to owe them—or anyone—money. Maybe it’s because I watched my parents struggle to help out my older sisters when they were in financial straits themselves. Maybe it’s because of that reason I stated above—I was just too proud to depend on anyone else.
These days, I am the one of those other people turn to for help when they need it. Just as I can’t stand to owe other people, I can’t stand to say no to anyone who presents a plausible case of need. So I am what is called an “enabler.”
Being an enabler is an insidious disorder. It starts simply enough when you help someone with an extraordinary expense created by an unusual event. Then when people find out you will provide aid, they ask you more and more and you—being a nice person—just keep giving. It’s a hard cycle to break and I personally have no clue how to escape.
I’m not angry. I’m not holding a grudge. I don’t try to tell my children or my sisters how to run their lives because they ask me for money. Yet I would be so proud of all of them if they would make more of an effort to handle things themselves, perhaps by doing some financial planning—like planning not to spend money they don’t have!
And I don’t see why they can’t do this. After all, I’m not lassoing them and forcing them to take my money. I’m just not good at saying “no.” So I ask you, what can I do about my enabling when so many people around me have no shame in being enabled?
On the other hand, I am doing them a great disservice by my “kindness”. I remember as a child how my father always said these two things, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” and “’I can’t’ got stuck on the fence. ‘I’ll try’ pulled him over.” As an enabler, I have prevented my children from learning to keep trying instead of turning to me for help. Yes, they could change their ways and learn to get along on their own, but why would they do that? Who among us would choose to be out of a car because we can’t afford to fix it when Mom will supply the money to get it fixed.
Yes—I am an enabler; and I am wronging my children by enabling them to be less than self-sufficient. I have known this for a long time but I still can’t say no.
God and Man
Consciousness of God
Is only known by man;
But go ahead, use logic;
Rebuff Him if you can;
But when argument is over,
You will see what must be true—
Were there not a God,
There would also not be you.
By B. Killebrew
What is within …
What is within the depths of my soul …
What is …
What created what is.
What lies without …
What lies in the serenity of a morning
hike through the forest, along side a
mountain stream, slowly and steadily
cascading a bed of mountain stone.
What is mighty and majestic as
the roar and tumble of the ocean’s
tide at storm.
What is as gentle as the touch of the gardener,
tending the rose.
What is …
Gentle, Calm, Mighty,
and Majestic from the depths of my soul
to the world around me…
God is All-Surrounding.
Magnificent, Unfathomable, Astonishing…
His vastness is beyond comprehension…
His mercy unceasing …
By Robin M. Ferguson
Look to This Day!
Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
lie all the verities and realities
of your existence.
is already a dream
is only a vision;
but today, well lived,
makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness,
and every tomorrow
a vision of hope.
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