During Sunday School Mr. Jones had Monopoly on his mind.
Every Sunday after church and a good meal, the family would gather around the table for their weekly round of the famous board game.
He absolutely loved this American pastime and knew much trivia about the game. It first originated in 1933 and is now played in 47 different languages in 114 countries.
Jones even counted the amount of money in a Monopoly game to realize it is $20,580. He also knew the longest recorded game. It lasted 70 straight days.
During World War II, escape maps, compasses, and files were inserted into Monopoly game boards smuggled into POW camps inside Germany. Real money for escapees was slipped into the packs of Monopoly money.
He must have had the game and other things on his mind when one morning Mr. Jones stood up and said “I’d like us to pray for some smiling faces in this church.” Then, in typical fashion, he added, “I think more people would want to go to heaven, if they weren’t afraid it’d be like church when they go there!”
“Church shouldn’t be fake.” he suggested. “It’s not about entertainment, comfort, or fads. Church should be a place to bring your joys and your sorrows and connect with others who want to find God and be loved. Fog machines, exotic coffee, and specialty groups will never meet those needs the way the core truths will. Let’s focus on what will not change: God, His Word, and our need to love each other.”
“I grew up in a church, back in the sixties, and we only sang hymns,” Jones continued. “Then came the contemporary praise movement in the seventies and I thought, wow this might be better than the old hymns. And we all know the rest of the story. It seems my nine-year-old granddaughter will never know the great hymns like I do. And to be honest, that makes me sad.”
“Contemporary music can mean a stronger focus on individual performance rather than group worship as a whole,” he suggested. “New music should not be forgotten as it is necessary to express current burdens of the culture in song, but we should be congregation-ready and free of commercial trappings.”
“I just want to quit worrying and pay attention to the sermon,” he continued. “There is no get out of jail free card. Do not pass Go and do not collect $200.”
“What was all of that about?” his family asked, after the services. He gathered his thoughts and explained when they arrived home.
Life, according to Mr. Jones
Life is like a game of Monopoly. You may own hotels on Boardwalk or you may be renting on Baltic Avenue, but in the end, it all goes back into the box. The next generation will be getting out all of your stuff and playing with it or fighting over it.
The Small Stuff
The small stuff is what makes up the larger picture of our lives. Many people are like you. But their perspective is distorted. They ignore ‘small stuff’ claiming to have an eye on the bigger picture, never understanding that the bigger picture is composed of nothing more than—are you ready?—‘small stuff.’
Have you ever been bitten by an elephant? How about a mosquito? It’s the small stuff that’ll get you!
At this very moment, you possess the power of perspective. You can choose to see your life becoming whatever you wish. If you choose, you can move the mountains in your life’s path with the eventual help of those who will come to love you and learn to respect you for what you are becoming.
Happiness and Charisma
You must become a person that others want to be around! This is far and away the greatest success secret in existence. This is the person who gets the chance. The second chance and the benefit of the doubt. You should ask yourself this question every day: What is it about me that other people would change if they could?
What is it about the way I dress that other people would change if they could?
What is it about the way I act that other people would change if they could?
What is it about the way I talk that other people would change if they could?
You WILL Make a Difference
One day, you will look back on your ‘worst time’ in your life as a fortuitous event. Even your worst times have value and can become, in retrospect, your best times. You will make a difference. Now, what kind of difference? That’s up to you.
Just keep smiling and roll the dice. When you get a chance, sing a good ‘ol gospel hymn now and then.
In God We Trust
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