Friday, October 7, 2011

A Carrot, an Egg, and a Cup of Coffee

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things
were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and
wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one
problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and
placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she
placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed
ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying A word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots
out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her
daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see." "Carrots, eggs, and coffee,"
she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and
noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg
and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter
smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma the daughter then asked, "What does it
mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same
adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in
strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling
water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer
shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the
boiling water, its insides became hardened. The ground coffee beans were
unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your
door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain
and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?
Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial
hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my
shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff
spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the
very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases
the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their
worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is
the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to
another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a
coffee bean?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Wish You Enough...

Recently I overheard a Father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport, they had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the Father said, 'I love you, and I wish you enough.'

The daughter replied, 'Dad, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Dad.' They kissed and the daughter left. The Father walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, 'Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?' 'Yes, I have,' I replied. 'Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?' 'I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is - the next trip back will be for my funeral,' he said. 'When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?' He began to smile. 'That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone...' He paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and he smiled even more. 'When we said, 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.' Then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

He then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Artist

The Artist lifted the canvas
And sketched each line carefully
I watched as the picture unfolded
It was shaped in the image of me.

The shadows were deepened with sorrow
And the brow was sprinkled with pain
The eyes were sad and so empty
A picture of sorrow and shame.

He painted a heart that was broken
Torn and scarred deep within,
And bitter from life's disappointments
And framed with the blackness of sin.

I looked in the eyes of the Artist,
I trembled and reached for His hand,
And cried O Master Creator
Transform me and paint me again.

So He smiled and lifted the canvas
And started all over again
Remolding and shaping the image
How graceful the touch of His hand.

He painted a heart that was mended
Replacing the guilt and the shame,
And framed it with colors of crimson
I posed and He painted again.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Parable Of The Pencil

The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box. There are 5 things you need to know, he told the pencil, before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be. 

One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow 
yourself to be held in someone's hand. 

Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but 
you'll need it to become a better pencil. 

Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make. 

Four: The most important part of you will always be what's inside. 

Five: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark.  No matter what the condition, you must continue to write. 

The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box 
with purpose in its heart. 

Now change places with the pencil. 
Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best person you can be.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Whatever It Takes

There’s a voice calling me, to an old rugged tree
And it whispers draw closer to me.
Leave this world far behind, there are new heights to climb
And a new place in me you will find.

Whatever it takes to draw closer to You Lord
That’s what I’ll be willing to do.
And whatever it takes to be more like You
That’s what I’ll be willing to do.

These are the opening lyrics to a song written many years ago by Lanny Wolfe. The first time I heard it my spirit was so moved that it became the theme song for my life. I am convinced one of the most difficult prayers to pray is a prayer of complete submission unto the Lord but I am also convinced it is the prayer that most moves our Father and this song is a song of submission. Check the next verse out:

Take the dearest thing to me, Lord if that’s how it must be
To draw me so much closer to Thee
Let the disappointments come, lonely days without the sun
If through sorrow more like You I’ll become.

You don’t hear many prayers like this today. Most of us are taught we are the Kings kid and deserve nothing but the best and that is true, but I believe God is more interested in our heart and character than how much we possess and how good we look, after all He said in His Word, “man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart” – 1Samuel 16:7 and He also said “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” – Matthew 6:33. Is your hand clenched so tightly around something or someone that it’s preventing a closer relationship with your heavenly Father? I encourage you to let it go. You will never know the true joy of relationship with Him until you do.

Take my houses and land, change all of my dreams and my plans
Lord I’m placing my whole life in your hands.
And if you call me someday, to a land that’s far away
I’ll go and your will obey.

Radical thinking huh? Give up my plans for my life? Can’t possibly do that. Yet that is what He is looking for. Consider for a moment Paul who at one time was a pillar of his community, a man of stature, very religious, so religious he persecuted those radical Christians and truly believed he was right until he had a personal encounter with the Savior. Then His life and attitude completely changed and where did it land him ? In prison. But that didn’t matter to him. All that mattered was obeying Christ, living for Him and glorifying Him. “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ in me and the life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave His life for me.” – Galatians 2:20 and “we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. – Romans 5:2-4

I’ll trade sunshine for rain, comfort for pain
That’s what I’ll be willing to do
For whatever it takes for my will to break
That’s what I’ll be willing to do.

Are we willing to trade sunshine for rain, or comfort for pain? Whoever will be His disciple must be willing to take up is cross and follow Him. I don’t know about you but as for me, whatever it takes for my will to break I will be willing to do.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Pursuit Of Happiness

I have been dogged by one of those statements that someone will make occasionally that will stick in your mind and on your conscience forever it seems like, those statements that make you just say hmmm... Some time a ago a relationship I was in ended with the person saying that they were not happy and they wanted to pursue their happiness. On the surface there is nothing wrong with that but being the thinker I am I had to take it to the next level and ask what does that statement really mean? How do you define happiness and what makes a person happy? It's obvious it's different for each individual or maybe it's not?

Recently this interest was perked once again by 2 articles I read on the subject, one by noted author and pastor, Rick Warren, and another by a personal friend, Dwight Rodgers, who also is an author and pastor. "Happiness is feeling good about what is happening in your life. Happiness is not popularity, which is how others feel about you, happiness is what you think about you." writes Pastor Rodgers. I couldn't agree more. Happiness that is dependent upon what others think of me is fleeting because others opinion of me is constantly changing.

Adding to that are the thoughts expressed by Pastor Warren who makes a distinction between happiness and joy. "Don't settle for happiness", he says, "aim for joy." Phillipians 3:1 says," Whatever happens, dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord give you joy …” Philippians 3:1 (NLT). "Joy comes from within", Pastor Warren continues, " joy is not dependent upon the people in your life, or the possessions you accumulate, or what’s happening at this point in your life. God says you’ll find joy, when you trust that he’s in control and working to use the good – and the bad – of your life for a greater purpose."

The apostle Paul certainly understood this truth as he wrote many of his most encouraging words while in the worst of circumstances. In prison, chained to a guard and alone in a foreign city he was constantly encouraging others to receive God's joy. Was he happy in his circumstances? I have to believe he was not, but He was full of joy because of who He lived for and who lived in him. We sing a song in our worship service that simply says "Be full of joy, be full of joy, be full of joy in the Lord always." Pastor Warren says, "Happiness is overrated. On the other hand, joy is often forgotten." I encourage you to seek to "Be full of joy."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Reflections 2008

Ups and downs, we've all had them during the course of this year, 2008. Just as there are 4 seasons in a year Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. This year I have experienced joy and pain, loss and gain, triumph and defeat just like you. There have been times I've wanted to give up, throw in the towel and call it a life. But I am thankful for I serve a God who continues to breath life into a weary soul, who continues to give hope and encouragement when I'm ready to give up, who continues to put a song in my heart just when I think there is no melody. As this year comes to a close I look forward with great anticpation to what God has in store. I don't know what it is but knowing Him as I do it has to be good for me, no, the best for me, and you also. Romans 8:28,29: "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son."