"A Red Marble"
(Author Unknown)

11-13-02 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #214
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Bulletin
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For those of you who may not have read our short e-mail notification Tuesday evening…

Our Church Computer FRIED early Sunday Morning. -sigh- That is why there was no Sunday Service this week---the First time in 320 consecutive weeks.
Sunday evening I got ahold of my computer guy on his emergency line... took him the computer... didn't find out 'till Monday morn that the Motherboard fried itself, And the processor, And the RAM, And the bios... 'bout everything But the hard-drive (Fortunately), was Trash.
Monday evening a Dear Spiritual Brother in “our Congregation” gave us a short-term loan without interest for $800. so that we could buy a new computer and keep the Church Services up and running for all who read them. For the rest of Monday and a Large portion of Tuesday I have been setting up and restoring everything to the new computer.
Now all we have to figure out is how to repay the loan. Prayers and any other kind of Help would be Greatly and Sincerely Appreciated.
Thank You all for being here!

"The Church Within"
1004 S. Millsap Loop
Post Falls ID, 83854
(208) 777-8077

Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

I thought for Sure we already had used today's Story, but when I looked through the S.O.W. Archives at the Church Within Website… we Hadn't! It's a Good one… Hope you all Enjoy it!

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: (the First person to send it in) Minister Mary Huggins

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Story of the Week
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“A Red Marble”
(Author Unknown)

During the waning years of the depression in a small southeastern Idaho community, I used to stop by Mr. Miller's roadside stand for farm-fresh produce as the season made it available. Food and money were still extremely scarce and bartering was used, extensively.

One particular day Mr. Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprizing a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.

Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller and the ragged boy next to me. "Hello Barry, how are you today?" "H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas ...sure look good." "They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?" "Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time." "Good. Anything I can help you with?" "No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas." "Would you like to take some home?" "No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with." "Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?" "All I got's my prize marble here." "Is that right? Let me see it." "Here 'tis.

She's a dandy." "I can see that. Hmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?" "Not 'zackley .....but, almost." "Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble." "Sure will. Thanks, Mr. Miller."

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said: "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, perhaps." I left the stand, smiling to myself, impressed with this man.

A short time later I moved to Colorado but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys and their bartering. Several years went by each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon our arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could. Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts ... very professional looking.

They approached Mrs. Miller, standing smiling and composed, by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary, awkwardly, wiping his eyes. Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. Eyes glistening she took my hand and led me to the casket. "Those three young men, who just left, were the boys I told you about.

They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them. Now, at last when Jim could not change his mind about color or size... they came to pay their debt. We've never had a great deal if the wealth of this world," she confided, "but, right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho." With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three, exquisitely shined, red marbles.

Moral:
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.

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The Prayer
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Dear God,        
        Help me to find such Beautiful Ways to be a part of Sharing Your Love with Your Children who have needs.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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