"The Cold Within"
(by: James Patrick Kinney)

and "A Lone Ember"

(Author Unknown)

7-7-99 Story of the Week Seeds from Church Within #39
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds]

Today we have Two "Seeds" for you. One a Poem, one a Story, both lessons using "fire" as the vehicle for their planting.

This week's SOW Seeds Service- #39 , contributed by: Patije

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Story of the Week
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"The Cold Within"
(by: James Patrick Kinney)

Six humans trapped by happenstance
In black and bitter cold.
Each one possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story's told.

Their dying fire in need of logs,
The first woman held hers back
For on the faces around the fire,
She noticed one was black.

The next man looking cross the way
Saw one not of his church,
And couldn't bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

The third man sat in tattered clothes;
He gave his coat a hitch.
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store.
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy poor.

The black man's face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight,
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

And the last man of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain.
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

The logs held tight in death's still hands
Was proof of human sin.
They didn't die from the cold without,
They died from the cold within.


"A Lone Ember"
(Author Unknown]

        A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor's visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination. As the one lone ember's flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and "dead as a doornail." Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. Just before the pastor was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it. As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said, "Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday."

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The Prayer
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Dear God,        
        Ever pluck the strings of my Soul to remind me of the Supreme Value of Sharing the gifts which You have entrusted to me. And also, that I cannot, should not, need not, ever carry any material or spiritual burden all alone. Keep Blazing the Fire of my Soul dear Cherished Source. Your Will be Done.

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

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

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