Good News blog by Mike Farho
December 22, 2005
Christmas candy cane legend
Here is a Christmas story that some see as a legend and others claim as fact. Either way, it is an interesting way to explain the Good News at Christmas time.
A candy maker wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols from the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.
He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the Church, and firmness of the promises of God.
The candy maker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. It could also represent the staff of the "Good Shepherd" with which He reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.
Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candy maker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life.
Unfortunately, the candy became known as a Candy Cane -- a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But the meaning is still there for those who "have eyes to see and ears to hear." Every time you see a Candy Cane, remember the Wonder of Jesus and His Great Love that came down at Christmas, and that His Love remains the ultimate and dominant force in the universe today.
December 22, 2005
A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner, the people were in and out of the cold. The little boy was so cold that he wasn't trying to sell many papers. He walked up to a policeman and said, "Mister, you wouldn't happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place to sleep tonight would you? You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there and down the alley and it's awful cold in there for tonight. Sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay."
The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, "You go down the street to that big white house and you knock on the door. When they come out the door you just say John 3:16, and they will let you in."
So he did. He walked up the steps and knocked on the door, and a lady answered. He looked up and said, "John 3:16."
The lady said, "Come on in, Son." She took him in and she sat him down in a split bottom rocker in front of a great big fireplace, and she went off.
The boy sat there for a while and thought to himself: John 3:16...I don't understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy warm.
Later she came back and asked him "Are you hungry?"
He said, "Well, just a little. I haven't eaten in a couple of days, and I guess I could stand a little bit of food," The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn't eat any more Then he thought to himself: John 3:16...Boy, I sure don't understand it but it sure makes a hungry boy full.
She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub filled with warm water, and he sat there and soaked for a while. As he soaked, he thought to himself: John 3:16... I sure don't understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy clean. You know, I've not had a bath, a real bath, in my whole life. The only bath I ever had was when I stood in front of that big fire hydrant as they flushed it out.
The lady came in and got him. She took him to a room, tucked him into a big old feather bed, pulled the covers up around his neck, kissed him goodnight and turned out the lights. As he lay in the darkness and looked out the window at the snow coming down on that cold night, he thought to himself: John 3:16...I don't understand it but it sure makes a tired boy rested.
The next morning the lady came back up and took him down again to that same big table full of food. After he ate, she took him back to that same big old split bottom rocker in front of the fireplace and picked up a big Bible. She sat down in front of him and looked into his young face. "Do you understand John 3:16?" She asked gently.
He replied, "No, Ma'am, I don't. The first time I ever heard it was last night when the policeman told me to use it," She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to explain to him about Jesus. Right there, in front of that big old fireplace, he gave his heart and life to Jesus. He sat there and thought: John 3:16....don't understand it, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.
You know, I have to confess I don't understand it either, how God was willing to send His Son to die for me, and how Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don't understand the agony of the Father and every angel in heaven as they watched Jesus suffer and die. I don't understand the intense love for ME that kept Jesus on the cross till the end. I don't understand it, but it sure does make life worth living.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
December 12, 2005
Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark...
- Don't miss the boat.
- Remember that we are all in the same boat.
- Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
- Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
- Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
- Build your future on high ground.
- For safety sake, travel in pairs.
- Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
- When you're stressed, float a while.
- Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
- No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
The Christmas Tree
I find myself staring at the Christmas tree with all the lights and the beauty that it shows. I am reminded of something a Christian said one day at Christmas time. It was very profound and I will always remember it.
He said, "Isn't that tree really pretty with all the lights, decorations and gifts under it? Do you know what that reminds me of? It reminds me of three trees in Scripture."
The tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
The first tree was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:9-17 Adam and Eve were not to eat from it. Because they ate it's fruit, the second tree had to come.
The cross was the tree that Jesus died on. He died to pay the debt for our sins. Thanks to His death and resurrection, we will partake of the third tree. Hebrews 12:2
The Tree of Life
The Tree of Life grows out of the river of life, which flows from the throne of the Lamb of God. The Tree of Life bears twelve fruits, each yielding its fruit according to one month. The leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22:2
The Christmas Tree Lights
The lights remind us of Jesus, who is the light of the world. John 9:5 If we trust in Him alone, we will have eternal life. Then we also will be the light of the world. Matthew 5:14
The gifts under the tree remind us of God's gift of Jesus. He is the perfect gift from our Heavenly Father. John 3:16
Friday, December 9, 2005
The actions of a friend
- Accepts you as you are
- Believes in "you"
- Calls you just to say "HI"
- Doesn't give up ! ! on you
- Envisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
- Forgives your mistakes
- Gives unconditionally
- Helps you
- Invites you over
- Just "be" with you
- Keeps you close at heart
- Loves you for who you are
- Makes a difference in your life
- Never judges
- Offer support
- Picks you up
- Quiets your fears
- Raises your spirits
- Says nice things about you
- Tells you the truth when you need to hear it
- Understands you
- Values you
- Walks beside you
- X-plains thing you don't understand
- Yells when you won't listen and
- Zaps you back to reality
Jesus can do ALL these things for you. He wants to be your loving friend. He sticks closer than family.
Proverbs 18:24 Friends can destroy one another, but a loving friend can stick closer than family. (God's Word Bible)
Thursday, December 8, 2005
Duct Tape, WD-40, or a Nail
A man dies and goes to heaven.
Of course, St. Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates.
St. Peter says, "Here's how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you've done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in."
"Okay," the man says, "I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart."
"That's wonderful," says St. Peter, "that's worth three points!"
"Three points?" he says. "Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service."
"Terrific!" says St. Peter.
"That's certainly worth a point."
"I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans."
"Fantastic, that's good for two more points," he says.
"Two points!?!! "Exasperated, the man cries. "At this rate the only way I'll get into heaven is by the grace of God."
"Bingo, 100 points! Come on in!"
We often try to fix problems with WD-40 and duct tape. God did it with a nail.