Friday, January 2, 2009

The Letter

Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address.

She read the letter:

Dear Ruth,

I'm going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit.

Love Always,

Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. "Why would the Lord want to visit me? I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer." With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets.

Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner." She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents.

"Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least." She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. A loaf of french bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.

"Hey lady, can you help us, lady?" Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.

"Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we'd really appreciate it."

Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.

"Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."

"Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway." The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.

"Sir, wait!" The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. "Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest." She handed the man her grocery bag.

"Thank you lady. Thank you very much!"

"Yes, thank you!" It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering. "You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one." Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders.

Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest. "Thank you lady! Thank you very much!"

Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox.

"That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day." She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.

Dear Ruth,

It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.

Love Always,

The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.



Becky Ellis was a loving, beautiful little girl; a third grader. She also suffered of Cerebral Palsy, which is a disease that effects a person physically. Becky had three sisters; Sara 14, Melissa 18, who suffered from mental retardation, and Laura who was 19. They were a loving family who lived with Christ in their hearts.

In the winter of '97 around Christmas time, they had gone up to the mountain, where they had a cabin, and rode snowmobiles in the snow. Becky, along with another woman, unfortunately lost control of their snowmobile and crashed right into a tree killing little Becky almost instantly.

Many people loved Becky; she was a very friendly, a bright little girl, and was missed by many. However that's only the beginning of the story.

The family asked one of their close family friends to attend Becky's funeral, a pastor. The pastor and his wife had been trying to have a baby for quite some years, and it just never happened. Two days before the funeral, the pastor's wife discovered that she was pregnant. Not only had she finally become pregnant, but the baby was born later that year in October, on the same day of little Becky's birthday.

That just shows you two things,
The Lord does answer prayers,
And that when one door closes, another door opens.


There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores. They both liked antiques and pottery and especially teacups. This was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful teacup. They said, "May we see that? We've never seen one quite so beautiful." As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke.

"You don't understand," it said. "I haven't always been a teacup. There was a time when I was red and I was clay." My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, "let me alone", but he only smiled, "Not yet."

"Then I was placed on a spinning wheel," the teacup said, "and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. Stop it! I'm getting dizzy!" I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, 'Not yet."

Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I wondered why he wanted to burn me, and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as He shook his head, "Not yet."

Finally the door opened, he put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. "There, that's better," I said. And he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. "Stop it, stop it!" I cried. He only nodded, "Not yet."

Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening nodding his head saying, "Not yet."
Then I knew there wasn't any hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. But the door opened and he took me out and placed me on the shelf. One hour later he handed me a mirror and said, "Look at yourself." And I did. I said, "That's not me; that couldn't be me. It's beautiful. I'm beautiful."

"I want you to remember, then," he said, "I know it hurts to be rolled and patted, but if I had left you alone, you'd have dried up.

I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I knew it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn't done that, you never would have hardened; you would not have had any color in your life. And if I hadn't put you back in that second oven, you wouldn't survive for very long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you."

Winning means giving it all

As I approached the final mile of the race I realized there were only three opponents left. Obstacles standing between my goal and me.....the finish line.

As I reached the first opponent, I closed my eyes and heard this message: "You only fail if you fail to try." I peddled with all my might and took his place. One down, two to go.

As I neared number two I once again closed my eyes. Knowing this one would be harder, I searched for strength. Not only was I more tired than before, but this opponent was the second strongest. Suddenly I heard the voice from within: "You only see the obstacle when you take your mind off the goal." I visualized the finish line and continued to push my body to it's limit and took position number two.

My last opponent, my last obstacle was in first place for a reason. He symbolized every goal that I hoped to achieve. Knowing this would be the toughest moment of the race, I again closed my eyes. This time I waited for the message. But it didn't come. As the fear rose from inside I realized it was up to me, not this voice, to win the race. With that in mind, I opened my eyes and it hit me.

On the back of my opponent's shirt was the message. It read, "If you can read this........I'm winning!!!"

Then with every ounce of energy in my body and soul, I peddled and fought the toughest battle of my life. As I crossed the finish line, I realized that first place means nothing if you haven't given 150%. There is always someone out there who is a little faster or a little stronger, but the real champion is the one who reaches the finish line with nothing more to give.