And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.
1 Kings 4:33
African hunters have a clever way of trapping monkeys.
They slice a coconut in two, hollow it out, and in one half of the shell cut a hole just big enough for a monkey’s hand to pass through. Then they place an orange in the other coconut half before fastening together the two halves of the coconut shell. Finally, they secure the coconut to a tree with a rope, retreat into the jungle, and wait.
Sooner or later, an unsuspecting monkey swings by, smells the delicious orange, and discovers its location inside the coconut. The monkey then slips his hand through the small hole, grasps the orange, and tries to pull it through the hole. Of course, the orange won’t come out; it’s too big for the hole. To no avail the persistent monkey continues to pull and pull, never realizing the danger he is in.
While the monkey struggles with the orange, the hunters simply stroll in and capture the monkey by throwing a net over him. As long as the monkey keeps his fist wrapped around the orange, the monkey is trapped.
It’s too bad the poor monkey could save its own life if it would only let go of the orange. It rarely occurs to a monkey, however, that it can’t have both the orange and its freedom. That delicious orange becomes a deadly trap.
A perfect example of forgiveness.
Four years ago, I was introduced to something that has transformed my life: essential oils.
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It will be an honor to help you in any way that I can.
Irene the church gossip, and self appointed monitor of the church’s morals, kept sticking her nose into other people’s business. Several members did not approve of her extra curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.
She made a mistake, however, when she accused George, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old blue pickup parked in front of the town’s only bar one afternoon. She emphatically told George, and several others, that everyone seeing it there would know exactly what he was doing.
George, a man of few words, stared at her for a few moments and just turned and walked away. He didn’t explain, defend or deny! He said nothing! Later that evening, George quietly parked his blue pickup in front of Irene’s house …. walked home …. and left it there….all night!
The moral of this story is don’t judge others. Even the most obvious situations are not what they appear to be.
The Parable of the Talents Matthew 25
14 ¶ For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed:
25 and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed
27 thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The more we share our talents the happier we will become. Are we sharing every talent we have or are we hiding them? I know people who literally can sing, dance or play a musical instrument that have hid their talents for years, no one knows how talented they are.
Not all talents are obvious; some come in the form of empathy, humility, unconditional love and even good humor that can help lift our spirits.
I am thankful for a thoughtful neighbor Dennis Peterson who can fix anything. He has helped our family with countless car problems and he is good at doing it. He can find a problem with any car in three minutes or less, this is no exaggeration.
The world will be a better place to live when we wake up every day asking the question, who will benefit from my talents today. Go make a difference in the lives of others.
“And Hezekiah was attentive to them, and showed them all the house of his treasures- the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory…”
II KINGS 20:13