Rays of Son, week of July 10, 2016

Pastor Considers Leaving the Ministry

 By Greg Miller © 2016

Pastor Seth had become increasingly discouraged about his lack of effectiveness in the ministry.

“I’m seriously thinking about getting out of the ministry,” Pastor Seth confided in his wife, Sylvia.

Throughout Pastor Seth’s 25-year pastorate, Sylvia had been his encourager and friend, and she wasn’t going to let her husband throw away his ministry. “You’re a wonderful pastor,” she said. “The adults love you because you preach the Word of God with boldness and integrity. The youth love you because you give them opportunities to lead various aspects of the services. The younger kids adore you because of your magnetic personality.”

Sylvia continued, “You may want to give up on yourself, but I’m not going to let you do that. I’m not giving up on you either. And I know God’s not finished with you yet.”

“What makes you so sure God’s not giving up on me?” asked Pastor Seth.

“Jesus didn’t give up on Peter after the fisherman denied Jesus three times in one night,” Sylvia recalled the gospel accounts of Peter’s denials.

“And God didn’t give up on the prophet Jonah, who initially refused to preach to the people of Nineveh. But after he was almost digested by a whale, he changed his mind, then fulfilled God’s call to preach to the Ninevites.”

“So, do you think God may still actually want to use me in ministry?”

“Of course, I do. And you can continue to count on me to be a suitable helper to you in your ministry.”

“You’ve been such a blessing to me in ministry,” the pastor observed. “In fact, you’ve been a blessing to me in every aspect of our lives together.”

“You’ve been a blessing to me, too,” said Sylvia. “But it’s the job of both a husband and wife to edify and encourage his or her mate as they travel the journey of life together.”

“I think the Sovereign Lord has used you to plant the idea in my mind for a future sermon,” Pastor Seth smiled.

“Really?”

“Sure. It can be a message to encourage husbands and wives to support each other in all aspects of their lives together.”

“It sounds like you’ve decided to continue to serve as the church’s pastor.”

“Well, you have helped me to come to grips with God’s call on my life and the importance of fulfilling that call.”

“I’m always glad to help in any way I can,” chuckled Sylvia. “Now I will let you take me out for dinner, and we can celebrate!”

To contact the writer of this column about speaking engagements, including Christian Comedy Fundraising Outreaches, Christian Creativity Seminars and/or puppet ministry, please email raysofson@gmail.com or kidcool4jesus@yahoo.com.

Rays of Son, week of July 17, 2016

Bears Are Eager to Learn from Human Teacher

By Greg Miller © 2016

Jane taught her daughter, Jill, and her two sons, Joshua and Jeremiah, at the family’s country home.

During cold days, Jane taught the children inside the cabin. On warmer days, the children were blessed to sit in a special outdoors classroom.

Prior to the start of one warm school day, Jill told her mother, “Thanks, mom, for making this outdoor classroom for us. It’s the greatest.”

“You’re welcome, dear,” said Jane. “I think it’s important for you to have a nice environment in which to learn.”

Jill, Joshua and Jeremiah enjoyed learning, but they weren’t the only ones in the neighborhood who enjoyed that process. Jackie, a huge bear, and her two young cubs, were also avid learners. Each day, the bears positioned themselves behind a vast of expanse of trees and tall bushes, where they drank in every bit of knowledge as if it were a drink of cool water from a freely flowing stream.

Each day, Jane concentrated on teaching lessons from a different subject. Science was the children’s favorite subject. Jane especially enjoyed teaching about the planets in the Solar System and, in her lessons she emphasized God’s creation of everything.

On the final day of studies about the planets, Jane gave her children a test about the heavenly bodies. The test was in the form of a brief essay.

“Jupiter is the largest planet in our Solar System,” wrote Joshua. “It is great because it is so big.”

“Jupiter is also my favorite planet,” wrote Jeremiah. “I think I remember that this planet has dozens of moons, which, in my mind, also makes it a bit mysterious.”

Jill was a bit romantic in her essay. “Saturn is my favorite planet,” she wrote, “because its rings are so big and bright. Although I do understand that some other planets also have rings, Saturn’s are, by far, the biggest and brightest.”

Jackie and her cubs were irritated because they could not participate in the test. “It’s just not fair,” Jackie mumbled to her cubs.

While the children were writing their essays, Jane walked over to a nearby blackberry patch, picked a few of the plump, juicy berries and popped them into her mouth.

Jane reached for another berry, but grabbed a handful of bear cub fur. Jane found herself face to face with the bears, which to her amazement, could speak fluent English.

“She pulled my fur, mommy, and it hurt,” one of the cubs complained.

“It’s okay, honey,” Jackie said. “She didn’t mean to hurt you. She only wanted a few of our berries, and we don’t mind sharing.

“Besides, we have enjoyed her lessons on the planets, and the lessons were totally out of this world!”

To contact the writer of this column about speaking engagements, including Christian Comedy Fundraising Outreaches, Christian Creativity Seminars and/or puppet ministry, please email raysofson@gmail.com or ministry4jesus@yahoo.com.

Rays of Son, week of Jul 24, 2016

High School Sophomores Share Career Plans

By Greg Miller © 2016

Rexalla taught a class of high school sophomores.

Rexella’s goal was to inspire her pupils to begin thinking seriously about their career options. “It’s never too early to begin planning for the future,” she said.

The teacher asked each student to address the other students from the front of the room. Rachael walked nervously to the assigned speaking position. With a smile she stated, “I have decided on a nursing career. I really enjoy helping people and I don’t like seeing anyone suffer.”

Raymond said he hadn’t even begun thinking about career options. “I’m going to wait until I graduate from high school to start that process,” he remarked.

Roy, a three-sport star athlete, surprised everyone with his announcement, “I’m going to be a high-profile attorney. I’ll make a lot of money, and get to be on TV all the time. It’ll be great!”

Rufus said his aim was to work as a carpenter. “I really enjoy making and fixing things,” he stated.

Reuben confidently took his place next to the teacher’s desk. He drew supportive applause as he announced, “And if you elect me president of the United States, I promise to uphold and defend the Constitution and lift up the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“What about the separation of church and state?” Rexella asked.

“I’m not going to insist that everyone become a Christian,” Reuben replied, “but I definitely am not going to give up my right – even as president – to exercise my faith.

Rosa expressed a desire to work in a supervisory capacity. “I believe I have many supervisor-type qualities that I need to share with the world,” she said.

Rachel said she didn’t plan on any career outside the home. “I plan to get married and have a large family,” she stated. “I want to have six boys and six girls.”

“Wow! That’s a huge family!,” Rexella exclaimed.

“I know that,” chuckled Rachael. “But I figure that after several years my first few children will be able to help care for the younger kids. With all these children, there won’t be enough time for me to work outside the home.”

Rebecca said she planned on spending all her time sharing her Christian faith. She quoted Matthew 5:14-16, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Rebecca added, “Constantly shining my light will take so much energy, I’ll probably be too tired to do anything else!”

To contact the writer of this column about speaking engagements, including Christian Comedy Fundraising Outreaches, Christian Creativity Seminars and/or puppet ministry, please email raysofson@gmail.com or ministry4jesus@yahoo.com.

Rays of Son, week of July 31, 2016

High School Junior Starts Home Bible Study

By Greg Miller © 2016

Georgia, a high school junior, was determined to use her life to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

“He lived and died for me, so living for Him is the least I can do,” Georgia proclaimed. “I’m going to serve Him as long as I live.”

Georgia spoke to her mother, Gina, about an idea to increase the Christian influence at her school. “One afternoon a week, we can invite several of my friends from school to come over for a pizza party,” said Georgia.

“You and your friends can do your homework, then you can eat the pizza,” said Gina. “Members of the group can take turns leading a Bible study and praying for the teachers and the other students.”

Gina told her daughter, “You had a wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing it with me.”

After school the following day, Georgia spoke with some of her friends about the upcoming Bible studies. Gail promised she would attend all the sessions. “I want to do everything I can to promote the gospel of Jesus,” she said.

Gale also planned to go to all the sessions at Georgia’s home. “This could be the start of a Christian revival at the school,” Gale said.

Gordon was less than enthusiastic about the Bible studies. “I get all the religion I need in church,” he proclaimed proudly.

Gabriel figured his presence in the classes would very helpful. “I can be the angel in the room,” he chuckled.

Georgia was thrilled by the number of students who showed up for the first Bible study. Gina, too, was overjoyed by the turnout. “The Lord is going to use these Bible studies for His glory,” she predicted.

Georgia and Gina were both surprised that Gordon showed up. “I was just trying to be cute when I said I get all the religion I need in church,” Gordon said. “The Lord showed me that religion isn’t what’s important. The most important thing is a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Religion is just a decoy to draw people away from God.

“After that revelation, I became excited about your new Bible study. I plan to be here every week and support what you are doing.”

“Thanks very much,” said Georgia. “I appreciate that. You will be a great blessing to this group.”

Georgia asked Gordon to close the Bible study with a prayer. Gordon prayed, “Thank you, Lord, for showing me the importance of attending these Bible studies. And thank you for allowing an angel named Gabriel to be here.”

“Amen!,” Gabriel chuckled. “Amen and amen!”

To contact the writer of this column about speaking engagements, including Christian Comedy Fundraising Outreaches, Christian Creativity Seminars and/or puppet ministry, please email raysofson@gmail.com or ministry4jesus@yahoo.com.

Rays of Son, week of Aug. 7, 2016

Rodent and Human Congregations Split

 By Greg Miller © 2016

Cheddar the church mouse was very proud of his family.

While Cheddar was the church mouse of a small-town church, some of his family members served as church mice for larger churches in bigger metropolitan areas.

Chad, Cheddar’s younger brother, worked as a church mouse in a church across town from Cheddar’s church. The two brothers met regularly to discuss their respective ministries, as well as other topics.

The two mice, of course, enjoyed snacking on the finest cheese and cheese-flavored soft drinks. They met at their favorite Rodent Snack Shoppe, where they also talked about the increase or decrease in numbers in their human and rodent congregations.

“Our attendance in mice has risen substantially over the past few months,” said Chad. “However, the number of our human parishioners has dropped significantly.”

Cheddar said he had observed similar numerical fluctuations at his church. “I don’t understand it,” Cheddar told his brother. “It seems the larger our rodent numbers are, the greater decrease the human church seems to experience.”

“It’s the same at our church,” Chad frowned. “I don’t think our human brothers and sisters like us rodents very much.”

“I’m on speaking terms and a first-name basis with the human pastor at our church,” said Cheddar. “I’ll talk discuss the situation with him this weekend and see if we can find a solution.”

“That would be great!” Chad exclaimed. “You can talk to me about it when we meet again next week.”

Cheddar spoke with Pastor Charles about the apparent rift between the local human and rodent congregations. The meeting was open and frank. After a lengthy discussion, they agreed the best idea would be for the rodent church members to find other locations in which to worship.

They agreed that Jesus died on the cross to pay for eternal life for all humans who accepted that sacrifice as atonement for their own sins. They also agreed that it probably wasn’t practical to combine human and rodent worship styles.

“We will, of course, continue to pray for all members of the rodent churches,” said Pastor Charles.

“And we’ll pray for our human brothers and sisters,” said Cheddar.

Cheddar and Chad met several days later at the Rodent Snack Shoppe. “I’m sorry we had to be part of a church split,” said Cheddar. “But I believe it’s for the best.”

“I know you’re right,” said Chad. “But I have a wonderful idea for an annual celebration that may draw our congregations closer together. I’m going to suggest an annual cheese tasting festival.”

“Super idea!” said Cheddar. “Humans love cheese as much as we do. If we can all agree on something as simple as cheese, one day we may actually learn to like each other!”

To contact the writer of this column about speaking engagements, including Christian Comedy Fundraising Outreaches, Christian Creativity Seminars and/or puppet ministry, please email raysofson@gmail.com or ministry4jesus@yahoo.com.

Rays of Son, week of Aug. 21, 2016

Discussion of Temperatures Opens Door for Discussion about New Study Bible

By Greg Miller © 2016

“Today was a very nice day,” Naomi told her father, Nehemiah.

“Yes, the temperatures were very comfortable,” Nehemiah replied. “The last few days, the temperatures have been very uncomfortable, so very, very hot!”

“Yes, today was certainly a blessing from the Lord,” Naomi said. “God is such a good, good God.”

“There’s no doubt about that,” Nehemiah said.

Naomi’s mother, Nancy, walked into the room and joined the conversation. “Regardless of the temperature, every day is a blessing from the Sovereign Lord,” Nancy said. “I praise God for every day He gives me to serve Him and for every day He gives me to spend time with my precious family.”

“I cherish every second of life, from the first heartbeat inside the womb to the last breath before death!” Naomi declared. “God created us in His own image, so that shows us the value of life.”

Nehemiah brought the conversation back to temperatures. “You do realize that before long our daytime high temperatures are going to be very cool, and our nighttime lows will be so cold,” he said with a mock shiver in his voice.

“Then those autumn days will give way to the brisk and wind-blown days of Old Man Winter,” said Nancy.

“I know!” exclaimed Naomi. “And although it’s usually super cold, Christmas is my favorite time of the year!

“Then about a week after Christmas, the new year rolls in,” said Nancy. “Before we know it, spring will be in the air, and April showers will be bringing May flowers to us.”

“Don’t forget something else important will be happening in May,” Naomi said.

“Oh, yes,” Nancy remembered. “It’s your birthday, and you will be 21 years old.”

“That’s right, 21!” Naomi beamed. “The following week, I’ll be enrolling in Bible college to study God’s Word and eventually I will become a missionary.”

“Your mother and I are very proud of you,” said Nehemiah. “We’re so glad you decided when you were a young teenager to spend your life sharing the gospel with the people of various countries of the world.”

“Speaking of your birthday, what would you like your dad and I to get for you for the occasion?” asked Nancy.

“How about a new study Bible?” asked Naomi. “The Bible I am now using is well worn, and I would like to have a new one with lots of study helps. I would also appreciate it if you could find a Bilingual Bible with a translation into Spanish, German or French. If I’m going to serve as a missionary in various countries, it’s only makes sense that I learn to read God’s Word in a different language!”

To contact the writer of this column about speaking engagements, including Christian Comedy Fundraising Outreaches, Christian Creativity Seminars and/or puppet ministry, please email raysofson@gmail.com or ministry4jesus@yahoo.com.

Rays of Son, week of Aug. 28, 2016

Souls Come to Christ after Pastor Preaches Sermon about Love

By Greg Miller © 2016

Pastor Bill preached an eloquent message about God’s magnificent, unfailing love.

“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,” Pastor Bill quoted the familiar verse from John chapter three.

Pastor Bill then shared Romans 8:37-39, “Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The pastor recalled that, for as long as he could remember, he had felt God’s overwhelming love. “Who can resist the love of such magnitude?” Pastor Bill shouted. “Like a divine magnet, His love draws us to Himself and assures us of His concern for us.”

At the conclusion of the worship service, Pastor Bill’s voice softened, as he offered an invitation for attendees to accept Jesus as their personal savior. “If you have never asked Jesus to forgive your sins and live in your heart, there will never be a better time than right now,” he said, with tears streaming down his cheeks.

Two people, about 60 seconds apart, responded to Pastor Bill’s invitation. Barbara was the first to respond. Barbara knelt at the altar, asking for forgiveness. “Please forgive my sins and come live in my heart,” she prayed. Filled with sorrow for her sin, and ecstasy because of God’s forgiveness, Barbara wept openly.

As Barbara stood to her feet, Brad walked to the front of the church and knelt at the altar. Although his response was not as emotional as Barbara’s, Brad expressed heartfelt sorrow for his sin and asked God for forgiveness. “God be merciful to me a sinner,” he prayed.

Pastor Bill thought it would be a good idea for church members to welcome Barbara and Brad into God’s family. He invited everyone to walk to the front of the church and shake hands with the new believers. Within moments, a sea of parishioners flooded the front of the sanctuary.

“Welcome to the family,” Bob told Brad. “Praise the Lord!”

Bonnie hugged Barbara and said, “I’m glad to have you as a sister in Christ. God bless you abundantly as you begin your walk with Him.”

“Thank you,” Barbara replied. “All I can say is if my walk with the Lord is as great for the next 60 years as it has been for the last 60 seconds, the journey to heaven will be one fantastic trip!”

To contact the writer of this column about speaking engagements, including Christian Comedy Fundraising Outreaches, Christian Creativity Seminars and/or puppet ministry, please email raysofson@gmail.com or ministry4jesus@yahoo.com.

Rays of Son, week of Sept. 4, 2016

The Sovereign Lord Attends and Blesses Labor Day Celebration

By Greg Miller © 2016

The Labor Day weekend arrived and departed with much fanfare in every community, including massive metropolises and tiny towns.

Hot dogs and hamburgers sizzled on the grill. Fresh ice-cold lettuce, tomatoes and onions provided a colorful addition to picnic tables everywhere.

Many families, small and large, took advantage of summer’s final official three-day weekend to assemble for food, fun and festivities. Freda and her husband Felix invited their next door neighbors, Fawn and Frank, over for a holiday celebration.

Felix and Frank manned the grill, while Fawn and Freda relaxed on the front porch swing. A breeze began blowing, and clouds began appearing in the heavens. For about an hour clouds filled the skies, then for about 30 minutes a steady rain fell on the parched community.

The clouds then slowly disappeared. “Okay, ladies, the burgers and hot dogs are melt-in-your-mouth ready,” said Felix.

“Well, the potato salad, sliced tomatoes and onions have been ready since last night,” said Freda. “So it looks like we’re ready to eat.”

Felix said he thought everyone should say a prayer of thanks before they began eating their holiday feast.

Frank was the first to pray. “Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of life. And thank you for this wonderful meal.”

Fawn prayed, “Thank you, Father, that Frank is a dedicated husband. And thank you for our two beautiful daughters, Frances and Faith.”

“Thank you for all your blessings, Lord,” Felix prayed. “And thank you for my gorgeous wife Freda. Finally, thanks for our two handsome sons, Felix, Jr. and Francis.”

Freda had listened reverently while her husband and their guests prayed. She realized her turn to pray had arrived.

“Lord, thank you for my terrific family,” she prayed. “Thank you most of all for the love you showed by sending your son Jesus into the world to die on Calvary’s cross for our sins. Thank you for continuing to forgive our sins every day. I also pray that you will bless this food to nourish our bodies and continue to bless us for your service. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

The Lord’s presence hovered over His children as they prayed. The Sovereign Lord spoke clearly and in an authoritative, audible voice.

“Thank you for acknowledging me in your holiday celebration,” the Lord said. “Many times, my people celebrate Christmas as the time I sent Jesus into the world as a little baby, but they ignore me on many other holidays. It makes me very happy when my children ask me to participate in and bless a holiday celebration. And because you have chosen to include me, what a celebration it’s going to be!”

To contact the writer of this column about speaking engagements, including Christian Comedy Fundraising Outreaches, Christian Creativity Seminars and/or puppet ministry, please email raysofson@gmail.com or ministry4jesus@yahoo.com.

Rays of Son, week of Sept. 11, 2016

Animals Discuss the Uniqueness of Eden’s Creatures

By Greg Miller © 2016

The Garden of Eden was beautiful.

Vivid colors were everywhere.

The Sovereign Lord had created every form of life to be unique and honoring to Himself. God’s Word contains the record in Genesis 1:24-28 … “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Every creature in Eden watched all the other creatures with amazement. Tim the Tortoise talked with Tammy the Tiger about the uniqueness of all the Garden’s animals. “We’re all unique,” Tim observed. “But I think Adam and Eve, the man and woman, are the most unusual beings in our world.”

“I agree with you,” said Tammy. “That’s because the Sovereign Lord created them in His own image. Every creature is unique, that’s for sure, but Adam and Eve are definitely the most unusual.”

“I think I’m pretty unusual,” said Thomas the Tarantula. “I’m much smaller than a tiger or a tortoise”

“But you have a big heart,” said Tammy.

“I agree with Tammy,” said Tim. “You’re also a friendly sort of guy.”

“Thanks,” said Thomas. “But I agree with the two of you that man is the most unusual creature in Eden because the Sovereign Lord created him in His own image.”

Tonya the Turkey joined the conversation. “God made man in His own image,” she agreed. “But I think He also did a pretty wonderful job when He created all of us.”

“I’m very thankful to be alive,” said Tabitha, Thomas’ mate. “We should all be content to be the beings God created us to be!

“We must be ourselves and be content to be in our own skins! Only man was created in the image of God, and the sooner we come to grips with that fact, the happier all of us will be!”

To contact the writer of this column about speaking engagements, including Christian Comedy Fundraising Outreaches, Christian Creativity Seminars and/or puppet ministry, please email raysofson@gmail.com or ministry4jesus@yahoo.com.

Rays of Son, week of Sept. 18, 2016.

Father Time and Mother Time Monitor Minutes and Seconds

By Greg Miller © 2016

Father Time was very pleased to have Mother Time as his suitable helper.

Father Time was known to the couple’s friends as Minutes, and Mother Time was known as Seconds. The couple worked as a team to fulfill the will of the Sovereign Lord.

“God has certainly blessed our lives together,” Mother Time observed. “We’ve been together since creation. We were meant to be together.”

“I feel the same way, Sweetheart,” Father Time replied.

“Do you have any regrets?” asked Mother Time.

“Not many,” Father Time mused. “It does bother me when I see so many people living life by their own selfish rules instead of by God’s laws.”

“I know what you mean,” Mother Time responded. “I wish everyone would ask Jesus, God’s only begotten son, to live in their hearts and forsake their sins.”

“True,” said Father Time. “After all, God sent Jesus into the world to die to save everyone, but only a few seem to want to accept the sacrifice of Jesus’ blood on the cross as atonement for their sins.”

“Many people aren’t even thankful for the life God has given them,” said Mother Time, her lips turning a bit upside down. “Or their food, clothing, water, their home, or even the air they breathe.”

“All those things are important,” Father Time agreed. “But I think time is one of the blessings man takes for granted the most.”

“As we both know very well, time is a very important commodity,” said Mother Time. “As the stewards of time, we know the importance of every second.”

“And once a second or minute becomes history, it’s gone forever,” said Father Time.

“People can relive the past through their memories,” said Mother Time. “Memories of the good times are a joy for humans to recall.”

“And they would rather not remember the bad times and wrong decisions,” Father Time chimed in.

Father Time and Mother Time were friends with those who made good and bad decisions with their time. George, Father Time’s best friend, had accepted Jesus as his savior when he was 18 years old and became a good steward of his time.

Giselle was Mother Time’s best friend. Although Mother Time tried to mentor Giselle and be a good example to her, Giselle couldn’t seem to grasp the concept of the importance of being an excellent steward of her time.

In the course of time, both Giselle and George passed away. An appropriate message was placed on their respective tombstones. George’s epitaph read, “Time is no more. Now he’s in God’s presence for eternity.”

Giselle’s epitaph read, “In life, she wasted her time. Now she’s in eternity, with no opportunity to make good use of her time!”

To contact the writer of this column about speaking engagements, including Christian Comedy Fundraising Outreaches, Christian Creativity Seminars and/or puppet ministry, please email raysofson@gmail.com or ministry4jesus@yahoo.com.