The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
1. The courage to admit that we are weak and to see our gifts — to see ourselves as we really are. – courage to be humble This is exemplified by (The counterfeit it pride– “I can do this” I got it handled” ” I can do this” I do not need any help”)
2. Be Diligent – stay the course (The counterfeit is idleness – we don’t act , we don’t get anything done)
3. Recognizing God’s Hand – recognizing God’s hand in the situation that you find yourself in – story of Corrie Tenboom in the concentration camp (The counterfeits are coveting, jealousy and fear)
4. Virtue – is if you know that you are a knife you cut well. (the counterfeit is Vice) Virtue leads you to acknowledge that you are on the right course.
5. Knowledge – Reason and seeking – (the counterfeit is ignorance and complacency)
6. Temperance – metal and glass is tempered the more tempering the stronger it is. Example of climbing of Mount Everest – your body has to get use to each level before it goes to the next otherwise your lungs and brain with fill with water and you will die if you do not let your body acclimatize to each new level of altitude. Pacing ourselves , knowing the season we are in, the gestation period – you are becoming charactered (the counterfeit is indulgence and depression)
7. Patience – (the counterfeit is blame and shame)
8. Peace – you can not get it through any other way except through this path. Peace is a choice. (The counterfeit is contempt)
9. Brotherly Kindness (the counterfeit is cruelty)
10. Love – (the counterfeit is hatred)
During those years I found that children have many levels of musical ability, and even though I have never had the pleasure of having a prodigy, I have taught some very talented students.
However, I have also had my share of what I call ‘musically challenged’ pupils – one such pupil being Robby..
Robby was 11 years old when his mother (a single mom) dropped him off for his first piano lesson. I prefer that students (especially boys) begin at an earlier age, which I explained to Robby. But Robby said that it had always been his mother’s dream to hear him play the piano, so I took him as a student.
Well, Robby began his piano lessons and from the beginning I thought it was a hopeless endeavor. As much as Robby tried, he lacked the sense of tone and basic rhythm needed to excel. But he dutifully reviewed his scales and some elementary piano pieces that I require all my students to learn. Over the months he tried and tried while I listened and cringed and tried to encourage him. At the end of each weekly lesson he would always say ‘My mom’s going to hear me play someday’. But to me, it seemed hopeless, he just did not have any inborn ability.
I only knew his mother from a distance as she dropped Robby off or waited in her aged car to pick him up. She always waved and smiled, but never dropped in.
Then one day Robby stopped coming for his lessons. I thought about calling him, but assumed that because of his lack of ability he had decided to pursue something else.
piano lessons, but that he had been practicing. ‘Please Miss Honor, I’ve just got to play’ he insisted. I don’t know what led me to allow him to play in the recital – perhaps it was his insistence or maybe something inside of me saying
that it would be all right.
The night of the recital came and the high school gymnasium was packed with parents, relatives and friends. I put Robby last in the program, just before I was to come up and thank all the students and play a finishing piece. I thought that any damage he might do would come at the end of the program and I could always salvage his poor performance through my ‘curtain closer’.
Well, the recital went off without a hitch, the students had been practicing and it showed. Then Robby came up on the stage. His clothes were wrinkled and his hair looked as though he had run an egg beater through it. ‘Why
wasn’t he dressed up like the other students?’ I thought. ‘Why didn’t his mother at least make him comb his hair for this special night?’
No, I have never had a prodigy, but that night I became a prodigy ……. of Robby. He was the teacher and I was the pupil, for he had taught me the meaning of perseverance and love and believing in yourself, and may be even taking a chance on someone and you didn’t know why.
Robby was killed years later in the senseless bombing of the Alfred P. Murray Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April, 1995.
Women have strengths that amaze men….
The Carpenter’s House
By: Author Unknown
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.