The Parable of the Ant

So much to do and it seemed so little time to do it. He didn’t know where everyone else was going, but everyone was certainly busy. Always going. Always busy. At least that’s how it seemed.

The little black ant scurried his way along the invisible ant highway through the kitchen and up the table leg where he hoped to find a few crumbs of toast left behind. It was his job. He worked all day, every day, and would keep at it until the day he died.

Ant kept himself busy doing what he needed to do to feed his family, never dreaming that there was a world beyond what he knew. Why would he think beyond reality? He was busy in his own world; it was all that mattered.

There were times however, maybe better described as flickering moments, when the ant thought that maybe there were things bigger and greater than himself, his world, and what he knew. “Someday” he kept saying to himself, he’d find the time to ponder these things … but not today. Today would soon end and there was yet more work and even less time.

As Mom cleaned the kitchen and Dad walked out the door for the office, Timmy sat alone, his chin resting on the breakfast table, watching the little ant hurry back and forth searching. Like he did each morning, Timmy dropped a few crumbs from the crust of his toast for the ant to find. “Someday” he kept saying to himself, the ant would stop, look up, and thank him.

What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? (Hebrews 2:6).


The Parable of the New Suit

Monday morning always felt early for Martin. He dragged himself out of bed and into the shower, out of the subway and onto the sidewalk, out of the elevator and through the office door. This morning he already had a new client waiting for him.

He looked over the paperwork on his desk and then made some preliminary observations about the client. Male. Early 20s. Straight teeth. No tattoos. No needle marks. Homeless, but somebody’s son. Martin had grown tired of the same clientele day after day, but something about this young man was different. He would treat this man differently.

Martin took the client into the dressing room and began the search for the perfect new suit. “It really is the suit that makes the man,” Martin said. White shirt with spread collar. Navy suit with a modern skinny cut … Perry Ellis would look great. Most important was the necktie; two-inch, solid black. He worked carefully to ensure that the tie reached down just over the top of the belt buckle. His client looked like a million dollars. Perfectly perfect! As they said in Martin’s business, “Fit for a funeral.”

Hair trimmed and styled with a barely noticeable touch of makeup, his client was ready for the debut. It wasn’t often, but today Martin was proud of himself and his work as he wheeled the young man in the coffin into the Hearse.

A dead man is still a dead man no matter how he’s dressed.

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord  (Romans 6:23).

The Parable of the Snail’s Tale


Herbert and Hobart were twins. Almost.

They’d spent every minute of the three months of their lives together. They liked the same things, did the same things and went to the same places.

Every morning when the sun came up, Herbert opened his eyes, moved to the bright pink wheel in the center of his home, and began running around and around and around.

Hobart would wake at the same time as Herbert, only he didn’t have a wheel, he’d just move to the edge of his house and swim around and around and around.

The two best friends, a hamster and a goldfish, kept busy going. They had so many places to go and things to see in their little world.

One day as the two brothers were making the circuit around the world, Hobart noticed something odd outside his glassy home. He stopped swimming to stare. Herbert stopped running in his wheel and tumbled to the wood shavings on the floor of his home.

“Hey, what’s up?” the hamster protested as he turned to see what his twin was so interested in.

Hobart ignored his brother and rose to the top of his fishbowl. Taking a big gulp of air he called out, “You! On the wall! What are you doing?”

The snail on the wall stood still in his thin trail of slime. Turning his antennae, he saw the two twins on the table, each peering over the edges of their glass houses.

“I didn’t see you fellas there. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Solomon and I’m on my way up the wall to the window. I’ve dreamed about a big-wide world out there just waiting to be discovered. More snails than I could ever imagine. This adventure has taken me three days so far, but I’m on my way. See, I spend the day climbing up the wall and then each night I slide down a bit, but I’m certain to reach the window sill in a few days.” Solomon couldn’t resist adding, “Then the world’s my … oyster!”

The twins looked at each other and sneered. “Up the wall.” They both laughed simultaneously, Hobart’s gills choking on a wave stirred up from laughing so hard. “That’s nonsense! A world waiting to be discovered. We’ve seen and done everything there is to see and do.”

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9).


The Parable of the Grave Robber

Only two more months and Martin was going to retire, but this could ruin it all.

Martin worked at Shady Lawn Memorial Gardens. He began as the grounds keeper 40 years ago and worked his way up to supervisor. Nothing like what he found this morning had ever happened before.

As he walked into the graveyard this morning he was startled to see some of the graves freshly dug up. No, these were not newly dug graves, but only ones dug up, the caskets removed from the ground, and the bodies stolen.

Police from three different cities were swarming all of his freshly cut grass and a row of television satellite trucks from every newsroom were broadcasting live. Someone had stolen 17 bodies during the night. There didn’t seem to be a pattern to the robberies according to the police; the bodies were just gone.

Martin heard of this happening before over the years, but it had never happened at Shady Lawn. He suspected that new Christian man who’d moved in across the street of being the culprit. He even told the police so. That guy was a nut job, always reading the Bible and preaching about Jesus to everyone. A fanatic kook like that had to be responsible for the missing dead.

God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5).


The Parable of Jasmine


She’d never known anything to really call her own. She couldn’t keep a job or a friend. There were men she thought she could confide in, but it turned out that they only wanted one thing from her. So desperate for acceptance, she gave in, but there was no love. Every time she gave the result was only greater emptiness.

One October morning she suspected and a test at a local clinic proved her suspicion true. The little one growing inside her womb needed her, and needed a chance like she’d never been given herself.

She brought the baby to term, but the past wouldn’t stop stalking her. The habits were bad, but the way of life and the self-destruction were even worse. As much as she loved her little Jasmine, she knew that for her daughter’s sake, Jasmine needed more than she could provide. She put Jasmine up for adoption.

Honestly, my first choice wasn’t a newborn, but when I received the long awaited call from the agency, I hurried into the city. Jasmine was as beautiful as any baby could be, and the moment she took my finger I knew … I just knew. She wasn’t expected, but she was selected. I chose to make make her my own, loved her as my own, treated her as my own, and gave her my name. Everything I was and had became hers that day.

Now, 23 years later, Jasmine is the most wonderful daughter any father could have, perfect in all her ways. Anyone who sees us together would believe I’m her father, because I am. To her, I’m Dad; to me, she’s my daughter, my precious and fragrant flower, my very own.

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as children by Christ Jesus to Himself  (Ephesians 1:4-5).


Discomfort for Mr Macaroni

slow food pasta art workHeaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.”

Mr Macaroni boiled hearing Moody’s words. He’d always been something of a limp noodle, and today he was doubting his choice of employment. It had always been tough making decisions, but once made one he was left feeling deep regrets. When the clock struck 5, Macaroni was ready to get sauced.

Despite his constant indecision, Mr Macaroni was as true as a man could be. He was no impasta when it came to living, but his new job as a dental assistant was leaving him feeling a bit al dente.

He quickly exited the office on his way to the Meat Ball to dance with his sweetheart, a beautiful Italian gal named Penne. All dressed up, he straightened his little bow tie and slicked back his thick blonde angel hair with a bit of olive oil.

As he stepped from the sidewalk into the street, humming “On top of Old Smokey all covered with cheese,” Mr Macaroni was still steaming. A motorcycle with gleaming chrome twin-forks raced toward him. He never knew what hit him and instantly pasta way.

A moment later Mr Macaroni opened his eyes. Before him were the golden arches and beyond was the dazzling White Castle he’d always heard about. Macaroni was greeted by a choir of French guys singing, “Welcome to the realm of Burger King and Dairy Queen.”

A stout fellow calling himself Big Mac approached and laid a whopper of a story on him about being dead and forever living in the presence of the King. “If you’ll lettuce, tomater my friends and I will take you in-and-out through the kingdom.” It gave Mr Macaroni the shakes.

He hadn’t been at ease with people when he was alive, now an eternity with them was unbearable. He wasn’t made for a place like this. He hadn’t wanted anything to do with the king while he was alive and he didn’t want it now. He longed to have it his way and he wasn’t lovin’ it one bit. Mr Macaroni wondered, “Why did the King bring me here if I didn’t want him back when I was living?

If you don’t enjoy King Jesus today, what makes you think you’ll enjoy eternity with Him?

In My Father’s house are many mansions; it if were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:2-3).


Scare the Hell

Scare the Hell 10 2015Marcus went to bed earlier than usual. The morning would bring a special day for the 13-year old. He was trying out for his junior high school basketball team and needed to be rested and ready to make the squad.

From out of the hallway he heard the clock chime its familiar tune. It was 2 am. “So much for going to bed early if I don’t fall asleep early,” he thought to himself.

A short time later Marcus awoke to a screeching sound and the smell of smoke. In the same hallway where the clock chimed every hour hung the smoke alarm. He heard his parents yelling and his two baby sisters crying. He was scared. Just then his bedroom door smashed open. Marcus jumped hastily from his bed and followed his father through the smoky hallway to the front door. He could feel the searing heat of the flames as he rushed past the kitchen.

Safe outside, the family huddled in the street as the police arrived and then a fire truck. Now every part of the house lit up the night sky. Marcus felt dazed by what he was seeing. Everything he had … everything he knew … it was gone. He was sure he was going to puke.

The young teen turned in the street toward the sidewalk just in time to walk into the path of a passing car, the driver looking at the fire rather than the road. Marcus was dead.

Just because you scare the Hell out of someone with tales of everlasting fire, the mark of the beast, or a world war, doesn’t mean he is safe in the arms of Jesus. Threats and fears don’t convert men; only grace through faith in Jesus saves.

 Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved (Acts 16:31).


Ma and Pa’s Love


Billy Bob and Martha Ray got hitched one spring afternoon in their little Ozark hamlet. The tiny church was packed with their friends and family, which were the same group.

The couple got right to business and over the next fifty years, Billy Bob and Martha Ray raised 8 boys and girls, all named “Billy.” Neither had more than a third grade education, but made sure their children each continued in school until the sixth grade. Holidays were especially wonderful as the family dined on raccoon instead of the usual squirrel or possum.

Husband and wife never traveled more than five miles from the village they’d always lived in.

Work always came early; they were up and busy before dawn. Enjoying the last few minutes of the evening before bed, the two sat on the porch of their humble shack, Ma puffing on her corncob pipe and Pa chewin’ a wad a tobaccy. Martha Ray broke the silence. “Pa, how come in fifty years ya ain’t never told me ya love me?”

Billy Bob sat quietly, the only sound was the squeak of his rocking chair on the splintered floorboards. After a minute or two, he spit against the white oak tree he’d planted as a child. “Woman, I said I loved ya the day I married ya. If I ever change ma mind, I’ll tell ya.”

The Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:8), and if God never changes (Malachi 3:6), then His love for you will never change. Nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35).


My Resume

my-resumeThere isn’t much to my resume. The education section is short, my work history is not much more. I grew up in a religious home, the daughter of an Episcopal priest. I barely made it through high school. I graduated and ran away from home to live in a Christian commune in California delivering newspapers, sorting carrots, picking daffodils, and washing dishes.

When I mistakenly decided I was good with God, I bought a car and ran away in the middle of the night with only $30 in my pocket. Only a few years ago did I really learn of my sinfulness and need of Saviour.

Looking back, I learned a lot during those earlier years of life. I added to my knowledge of Jesus and learned to play the guitar. I also learned and lived a lot of things I wish I hadn’t. Who knows where I’d be without those experiences, but those experiences don’t work on a job resume.

My resume for Heaven is more substantial because having Jesus is all that really counts.

As Christians, we are each writing an eternal resume of the things we’ve accomplished for His glory. We don’t have to put down our sins because they don’t exist to Him; they’re just blank space on the page. His interest is in what we’ve done to honor Him.

I’m not great, but Jesus thinks I’m amazing because of what He’s doing in me. It’s not always easy to accept, but He loves me for who I am.

By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me  (First Corinthians 15:10).

– Written by Kimberly Rice


The Lamb of God

Cold grey mist lingered in the air just above the ground, typical this time of the year. Another spring morning in Bethlehem, and the thin layer of green grass poked through the littering of rock.  Legend is that when God created the world, the angel carrying rocks from Heaven accidentally spilled most of his load all in one place: Israel. Any visitor to Bethlehem might wonder if the legend isn’t true.

Only days before, shepherds began leading their flocks out into the fields to pasture. The weather had been too cold up until then for the ewes and their little lambs to be in the fields all night. Today would be their first to remain outside together. In a few hours the fog would burn away, the sun warming the ground and the sheep’s fine wool.

The morning of anticipation was added to by the arrival of a man and his wife into the cave the sheep called home. There was plenty of room with the flocks leaving for the pasture lands, but many would wonder at the wisdom of these city folk in a sheep pen.

The night grew dark except for the pinpoints of a thousand stars in the sky above. Sheep lay still in the short-walled enclosure while shepherds warmed themselves by the fire, telling tales of mysteries of long, long ago. Without warning the black sky burst with a brilliant light as thousands of tiny stars erupted into glorious figures of heavenly angels singing with choral voices: GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN (Luke 2:14)!

The shepherds hurriedly made their way back to Bethlehem and the cave they had abandoned earlier in the day. There, these keepers of sheep and little lambs found a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. This newborn Child, hailed by the host of Heaven and seen by keepers of sheep, was the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29).