God has not promised skies always blue,
flower strewn pathways all our lives through.
God has not promised sun without rain,
joy without sorrow,peace without pain.
But God has promised strength for the day,
rest for the laborer,
light on the way,
grace for the trial,
help from above,
unfailing sympathy,
undying love.

~ Author Unknown~

The Son

A wealthy man and his son loved
to collect rare works of art.
They had everything in their collection,
from Picasso to Raphael.
They would often sit together
and admire the great works of art.

When the Viet Nam conflict broke out,
the son went to war.
He was very courageous and
died in battle while rescuing another
soldier. The father was notified
and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later,
just before Christmas,
there was a knock at the door.
A young man stood at the door with
a large package in his hands.
He said, "Sir, you don't know me,
but I am the soldier for whom your
son gave his life.
He saved many lives that day,
and he was carrying me to safety
when a bullet struck him in the heart
and he died instantly.
He often talked about you,
and your love for art.

The young man held out his package.
"I know this isn't much.
I'm not really a great artist,
but I think your son would
have wanted you to have this."

The father opened the package.
It was a portrait of his son,
painted by the young man.
He stared in awe at the way the
soldier had captured the personality
of his son in the painting.
The father was so drawn to the painting
that his own eyes welled up with tears.
He thanked the young man and offered
to pay him for the picture.
"Oh, no sir, I could never repay
what your son did for me. It's a gift."

The father hung the portrait over his mantle.
Every time visitors came to his home he took
them to see the portrait of his son before
he showed them any of the other
great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later.
There was to be a great auction of his paintings.
Many influential people gathered,
excited over seeing the great paintings
and having an opportunity to purchase
one for their collection.

On the platform sat the painting of the son.
The auctioneer pounded his gavel.
"We will start the bidding with
this picture of the son.
Who will bid for this picture?"

There was silence.
Then a voice in the back of the room shouted.
"We want to see the famous paintings.
Skip this one."

But the auctioneer persisted.
"Will someone bid for this painting?
Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?"

Another voice shouted angrily,
"We didn't come to see this painting.
We came to see the Van Gogh's, the Rembrandts.
Get on with the real bids!"

But still the auctioneer continued.
"The son! The son!
Who'll take the son?"

Finally, a voice came from the
very back of the room.
It was the long-time
gardener of the man and his son.
"I'll give $10 for the painting."

Being a poor man,
it was all he could afford.

"We have $10, who will bid $20?"

"Give it to him for $10.
Let's see the masters."
$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"

The crowd was becoming angry.
They didn't want the picture of the son.
They wanted the more worthy
investments for their collections.

The auctioneer pounded the gavel.
"Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!"

A man sitting on the second row shouted,
"Now let's get on with the collection!"

The auctioneer laid down his gavel.
"I'm sorry, the auction is over."

"What about the paintings?"

"I am sorry.
When I was called to conduct this auction,
I was told of a secret stipulation in the will.
I was not allowed to reveal that
stipulation until this time.
Only the painting of the son
would be auctioned.
Whoever bought that painting would
inherit the entire estate,
including the paintings.
The man who took the son gets everything!"

God gave his son 2,000 years ago
to die on a cruel cross.
Much like the auctioneer,
His message today is,
"The Son, the Son, who'll take the Son?"

Because you see,
whoever takes the Son gets everything.

~ Author Unknown~

God Knows

When you are tired and discouraged from fruitless efforts.....
God knows how hard you have tried.

When you've cried so long and your heart is in anguish.....
God has counted your tears.

If you feel that your life is on hold & time has passed you by....
God is waiting with you.

When you're lonely and your friends are too busy even to phone call.....
God is by your side.

When you think you've tried everything and don't know where to turn.....
God has a solution.

When nothing makes sense and you are confused or frustrated.....
God has the answer.

If suddenly your outlook is brighter and you find traces of hope.....
God has whispered to you.

When things are going well and you have much to be thankful for.....
God has blessed you.

When something joyful happens and you are filled with awe.....
God has smiled upon you.

When you have a purpose to fulfill and a dream to follow.....
God has opened your eyes and called you by name.

Remember that wherever you are or whatever you are facing.....


~ Author Unknown~

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