Stumbling Stones or Stepping Stones

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"Train up a child in the way he
should go: and when he is old, he
will not depart from it."

Proverbs 22:6

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Dear God, my little boy of three
Has said his nightly prayer to Thee;
Before his eyes were closed in sleep,
He asked that Thou his soul would keep.

And I, still kneeling at his bed,
My hand upon his tousled head,
Do ask, with deep humility,
That Thou, dear Lord, remember me.

Make me, Lord, a worthy dad,
That I may lead this little lad
In pathways ever fair and bright,
That I may keep his steps aright.

O God, his trust must never be
Destroyed or even marred by me;
Let Christ in all my actions shine
To guide this little lamb of Thine.

So for the simple things he prayed
With childish voice so unafraid,
I, trembling, ask the same from Thee--
Dear Lord, kind Lord, remember me.

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"Well, what are you going to be, my boy,
When you have reached manhood's years:
A doctor, a lawyer, or actor great,
Moving throngs to laughter and tears?"

But he shook his head as he gave reply
In the serious way he had:
"I don't think I'd care to be any of those--
I want to be like my dad."

He wants to be like his dad! You men,
Did you ever think, as you pause,
That the boy who watches your every move
Is building a set of laws?

He's molding a life you're the model for,
And whether it's good or bad
Depends on the kind of example set
To the boy who'd be like his dad.

Would you have him go everywhere you go?
Have him do just the things you do?
And see everything that your eyes behold,
And woo all the gods you woo?

When you see the worship that shines in the eyes
Of your lovable little lad,
Could you rest content if he gets his wish
And grows up to be like his dad?

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Bob Richards, the former pole-vault champion,
shares a moving story about a skinny young
boy who loved football with all his heart.
Practice after practice, he eagerly gave
everything he had. But being half the size
of the other boys, he got absolutely nowhere.
At all the games, this hopeful athlete sat
on the bench and hardly ever played.

This teenager lived alone with his father,
and the two of them had a very special
relationship. Even though the son was always
On the bench, his father was always in the
stands cheering. He never missed a game.

This young man was still the smallest of the
class when he entered high school. But his
father continued to encourage him but also
made it very clear that he did not have to
play football if he didn't want to. But the
young man loved football and decided to hang
in there. He was determined to try his best
at every practice, and perhaps he'd get to
play when he became a senior.

All through high school he never missed a
practice nor a game but remained a
bench-warmer all four years. His faithful
father was always in the stands, always with
words of encouragement for him.

When the young man went to college, he
decided to try out for the football team as
a "walk-on." Everyone was sure he could
never make the cut, but he did. The coach
admitted that he kept him on the roster
because he always put his heart and soul
into every practice, and at the same time,
provided the other members with the spirit
and hustle they badly needed.

The news that he had survived the cut
thrilled him so much that he rushed to the
nearest phone and called his father. His
father shared his excitement and was sent
season tickets for all the college games.

This persistent young athlete never missed
practice during his four years at college,
but he never got to play in a game. It was
the end of his senior football season, and
as he trotted onto the practice field
shortly before the big playoff game, the
coach met him with a telegram.

The young man read the telegram and he
became deathly silent. Swallowing hard, he
mumbled to the coach, "My father died this
morning. Is it all right if I miss practice
today?" The coach put his arm gently around
his shoulder and said, "Take the rest of
the week off, son. And don't even plan to
come back to the game on Saturday."

Saturday arrived, and the game was not
going well. In the third quarter, when the
team was ten points behind, a silent young
man quietly slipped into the empty locker
room and put on his football gear. As he ran
onto the sidelines, the coach and his players
were astounded to see their faithful teammate
back so soon. "Coach, please let me play.
I've just got to play today," said the young
man. The coach pretended not to hear him.

There was no way he wanted his worst player
in this close playoff game. But the young
man persisted, and finally, feeling sorry
for the kid, the coach gave in. "All right,"
he said."You can go in." Before long, the
coach, the players and everyone in the stands
could not believe their eyes. This little
unknown, who had never played before was
doing everything right. The opposing team
could not stop him. He ran, he passed, blocked,
and tackled like a star. His team began to
triumph. The score was soon tied. In the
closing seconds of the game,this kid
intercepted a pass and ran all the way for
the winning touchdown. The fans broke loose.
His teammates hoisted him onto their shoulders.
Such cheering you have never heard.

Finally, after the stands had emptied and
the team had showered and left the locker
room, the coach noticed that this young man
was sitting quietly in the corner all alone.
The coach came to him and said,"Kid, I can't
believe it. You were fantastic! Tell me; what
got into you? How did you do it?" He looked
at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said,
"Well, you knew my dad died, but did you know
that my dad was blind?" The young man
swallowed hard and forced a smile, "Dad came
to all my games, but today was the first time
he could see me play, and I wanted to show
him I could do it!"

Like the athlete's father, God is always
there cheering for us. He's always reminding
us to go on. He's even offering us His hand
for He knows what is best, and is willing to
give us what we need and not simply what we
want. GOD has never missed a single game.
What a joy to know that life is meaningful
if lived for the Highest. Live for HIM for
He's watching us in the game of life!

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I watched him playing around my door--
My neighbor's little boy of four--
I wondered why a child would choose
To wear his dad's old worn-out shoes.

I saw him try with all his might
To make the laces snug and tight;
I smiled to see him walk, and then,
He'd only step right out again.

I heard him say, his voice so glad,
"I want to be just like my dad."
I hope his dad his steps would choose,
Safe for his son to wear his shoes.

And then a shout and a cry for joy,
A "Hello, Dad" and a "Hi-ya, boy."
They walked along in measured stride,
Each face aglow with love and pride.

"What have you done today, my lad?"
"I tried to wear your old shoes, Dad.
They're big, but when I'm a man,
I'll wear your shoes; I know I can."

They stopped and stood there hand in hand;
He saw his son's tracks in the sand.
His words--a prayer--come back to me:
"Lord, let my steps lead him to Thee."

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Please Note: With the exception of Scripture,
writings are by author or authors unknown.

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