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18-06-2003, 08:10 AM
A man's daughter had asked the local pastor to come and pray with her father. When the pastor arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows and an empty chair beside his bed. The priest assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. "I guess you were expecting me," he said.
"No, who are you?"
"I'm the new associate at your local church," the pastor replied. "When I saw the empty chair, I figured you knew I was going to show up."
"Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden man. "Would you mind closing the door?"
Puzzled, the pastor shut the door.
"I've never told anyone this, not even my daughter," said the man. "But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it always went right over my head.."
"I abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old man continued, "until one day about four years ago my best friend said to me, 'Joe, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here's what I suggest. Sit down on a chair, place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It's not spooky because he promised, 'I'll be with you always.' Then just speak to him and listen in the same way you're doing with me right now."
"So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I'm careful, though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm."
The pastor was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old guy to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, and returned to the church.
Two nights later the daughter called to tell the pastor that her daddy had died that afternoon.
"Did he seem to die in peace?" he asked.
"Yes, when I left the house around two o'clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me one of his corny jokes, and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there was something strange, In fact, beyond strange--kinda weird. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on a chair beside the bed."

(received by e-mail)

18-06-2003, 08:13 AM
I dreamed I was in heaven Where an angel kept God's book.
He was writing so intently I just had to take a look.
It was not, at first, his writing That made me stop and think
But the fluid in the bottle That was marked eternal ink.
This ink was most amazing, Dark black upon his blotter
But as it touched the parchment It became as clear as water.
The angel kept on writing, But as quickly as a wink
The words were disappearing With that strange eternal ink.

The angel took no notice, But kept writing on and on.
He turned each page and filled it Till all its space was gone.
I thought he wrote to no avail, His efforts were so vain
For he wrote a thousand pages That he'd never read again.
And as I watched and wondered that This awesome sight was mine,
I actually saw a word stay black As it dried upon the line.
The angel wrote and I thought I saw A look of satisfaction.
At last he had some print to show For all his earnest action.
A line or two dried dark and stayed As black as black can be,
But strangely the next paragraph Became invisible to see.
The book was getting fuller, The angel's records true,
But most of it was blank, with Just a few words coming through.
I knew there was some reason, But as hard as I could think,
I couldn't grasp the significance Of that eternal ink.

The mystery burned within me, And I finally dared to ask
The angel to explain to me Of his amazing task.
And what I heard was frightful As the angel turned his head.
He looked directly at me, And this is what he said...
I know you stand and wonder At what my writing's worth
But God has told me to record The lives of those on earth.
The book that I am filling Is an accurate account
Of every word and action And to what they do amount.
And since you have been watching I must tell you what is true;
The details of my journal Are the strict accounts of YOU.
The Lord asked me to watch you As each day you worked and played.
I saw you as you went to church, I saw you as you prayed.
But I was told to document Your life through all the week.
I wrote when you were proud and bold, I wrote when you were meek.
I recorded all your attitudes Whether they were good or bad.
I was sorry that I had to write The things that make God sad.
So now I'll tell the wonder Of this eternal ink,

For the reason for its mystery Should make you stop and think.
This ink that God created To help me keep my journal
Will only keep a record of Things that are eternal.
So much of life is wasted On things that matter not
So instead of my erasing, Smudging ink and ugly blot.
I just keep writing faithfully and Let the ink do all the rest
For it is able to decide What's useless and what's best.
And God ordained that as I write Of all you do and say
Your deeds that count for nothing Will just disappear away.
When books are opened someday, As sure as heaven is true;
The Lord's eternal ink will tell What mattered most to you.
If you just lived to please yourself The pages will be bare,
And God will issue no reward For you when you get there.
In fact, you'll be embarrassed, You will hang your head in shame
Because you did not give yourself In love to Jesus' Name.
Yet maybe there will be a few Recorded lines that stayed
That showed the times you truly cared, Sincerely loved and prayed.
But you will always wonder As you enter heaven's door
How much more glad you would have been If only you'd done more.
For I record as God sees, I don't stop to even think
Because the truth is written With God's eternal ink.

When I heard the angel's story I fell down and wept and cried
For as yet I still was dreaming I hadn't really died.
And I said: O angel tell the Lord That soon as I awake
I'll live my life for Jesus- I'll do all for His dear sake.
I'll give in full surrender; I'll do all He wants me to;
I'll turn my back on self and sin And whatever isn't true.
And though the way seems long and rough I promise to endure.
I'm determined to pursue the things That are holy, clean and pure.
With Jesus as my helper, I will win lost souls to Thee,
For I know that they will live with Christ For all eternity.
And that's what really matters When my life on earth is gone
That I will stand before the Lord And hear Him say, well done.
For is it really worth it As my life lies at the brink?
And I realize that God keeps books With His eternal ink.

Should all my life be focused On things that turn to dust?
From this point on I'll serve the Lord; I can, I will, I must!
I will NOT send blank pages Up to God's majestic throne
For where that record's going now Is my eternal home.
I'm giving all to Jesus I now have seen the link
For I saw an angel write my life With God's Eternal Ink.

(Internet Christian sites)