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Among the apostles, the one absolutely stunning success was Judas, and the one thoroughly groveling failure was Peter. Judas was a success in the ways that most impress us: he was successful both financially and politically. He cleverly arranged to control the money of the apostolic band; he skillfully manipulated the political forces of the day to accomplish his goal. And Peter was a failure in ways that we most dread: he was impotent in a crisis and socially inept. At the arrest of Jesus he collapsed, a hapless, blustering coward; in the most critical situations of his life with Jesus he said the most embarrassingly inappropriate things. He was not the companion we would want with us in time of danger, and he was not the kind of person we would feel comfortable with at a social occasion.

Time, of course, has reversed our judgments on the two men. Judas is now a byword for betrayal, and Peter is one of the most honored names in the world. Judas is a villain; Peter is a hero. Yet the world continues to chase after the successes of Judas: financial wealth and political power, and to defend itself against the failures of Peter, impotence and ineptness.

Kindness is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back, usually with friends

Here are ten rules that might govern a small child's view of the world:

1. If I like it, it's mine. 2. If it's in my hands, it's mine. 3. If I can take it from you, it's mine. 4. If I had it a week ago, it's mine. 5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way. 6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine. 7. If it looks like mine, it's mine. 8. If I think it's mine, it's mine. 9. If it's near me, it's mine. 10. If it's broccoli, it's yours.

These are appropriate rules for a toddler, but some people manage to carry them through to adulthood! Of course, we all need money and possessions to function well in our society. But an over-emphasis on material things is dangerous.

Some children walk the high road

While others tread the low,

A parent's life determines

Which way a child will go.

The conscience is like a sharp square peg in our hearts. If we are confronted by a questionable situation, that square begins to turn, and it's corners cut into our hearts, warming us with an inward sensation against doing whatever confronts us. If the conscience is ignored time after time, the corners of the square are gradually worn down, and it virtually becomes a circle. When that circle turns within our hearts, there is no inner sensation of warning, and we are left without a conscience.

For all the negative things we have said to ourselves, Jehovah has a positive answer for us:

You say: "It's impossible" ~ Jehovah says: All things are possible. (Luke

18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired" ~ Jehovah says: I will give you rest. (Matthew

11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me" ~ Jehovah says: I love you. (John 3:16 &

John 13:34)

You say: "I can't go on" ~ Jehovah says: I will help you. (2Cor. 12:9 &

Psalms 91:15)

You say: "I can't figure things out" ~ Jehovah says: I will direct your steps. (Prov. 3:5, 6)

You say: "I can't do it" ~ Jehovah says: You can do all things. (Phil.

4:13)

You say: "I am not able" ~ Jehovah says: I am able. (2 Cor. 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it" ~ Jehovah says: It will be worth it. (Romans

8:28)

You say: "I can't forgive myself" ~ Jehovah says: I FORGIVE YOU (1 John 1:9,

Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage" ~ Jehovah says: I will supply all your needs

(Phil. 4:19)

You say: "I'm afraid" ~ Jehovah says: I have not given you a spirit of fear.

(2 Tim 1:7, Isa. 41:10)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated" ~ Jehovah says: Cast all your cares on ME. (1Pet. 5:7)

You say: "I don't have enough faith" ~ Jehovah says: I've given you a measure of faith. (Rom 12:3)

You say: "I'm not smart enough" ~ Jehovah says: I give you wisdom. (1 Cor.

1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone" ~ Jehovah says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Heb. 13:5)

You say: "I don't have what it takes to be a good witness" ~ Jehovah says: I accept what a person HAS not what a person does NOT have (2 Cor. 8:12)

Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity

First plant five rows of peas:

Preparedness, Promptness, Perseverance, Politeness and Prayer.

 

Next sow three rows of Squash: 

Squash gossip, Squash criticism, Squash interference.

 

Next plant five rows of Lettuce: 

Let us be faithful, Let us be unselfish, Let us be loyal, Let us love one another, and Let us be thankful for everything we have.

 

No garden is complete without turnips. 

Turn up at meetings, Turn up with new ideas, Turn up with real determination, and always Turn up with a smile.

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